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Picture of Doodle - a 
black cat

Welcome to Doodlecat, where we enjoy the pleasures of life (with a slight bias towards the outdoors). This page is regularly updated with news and views plus information about any additions or changes to the various parts of the site. It acts as Doodlecat’s Blog too, so the odd rant considered opinion may pop up from time to time.

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Thursday, September 24, 2009

On The Road Again

That Canned Heat number was riffing through my brain as Miss W and I set off for our first road trial on the newly restored Diana.

It was great!

After the last year I have been somewhat hampered by removal of organs, bereavement, radiotherapy and other assorted brickbats, so it has to be admitted that the fitness level is not quite what it once was. Miss W has been an absolute rock of course, but, even with the support of her iron will I have to admit to feeling somewhat depleted, especially after having had to pull out of this year's TGO Challenge.

So this evening was something of a revelation.

Firstly, my mechanical skills are still there; the bike ran silently and smoothly, each gear change a joy. Secondly, after a couple of miles we found ourselves hitting the long forgotten common cadence that irons out hills and makes a well fettled tandem the absolute queen of touring bikes. Finally, and to our astonishment, we whizzed around a nine mile circuit without feeling puffed out at all!

The old ACT computer on the bike (new contacts, a spot of Araldite and a battery coaxed it back into life) informed us that our performance was about 20% below our usual stats of a decade ago, but, for a first trial, not bad I reckon. And although we didn't get to engage top gear, we did manage a short crack at 26.5 mph, which was enough to ruffle the hair and stir memories of past rides.

Ah yes - the wind in the hair. The question of the evening is, should we invest in cycling helmets? I hate the bloody things, and point out that back in the sixties I rode my scooter with just a Parka and a cool pair of shades. Miss W thinks that it it is better to look like an idiot than to actually become one as a result of brain damage - this opinion expressed with the aside that in my case the distinction might be difficult.

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Blogger Mark Alvarez said...

Congratulations, Phil, on what sounds like a great ride and return to fitness.

On the helmet front, daughter H recently had a bad spill that destroyed her plastic lid rather than her cranium. Disaster averted.

September 25, 2009 at 2:37 PM  
Blogger Phreerunner said...

Fantastic. Well done!
Helmet for cycling ≡ seat belt for car - you will probably never need it. But when you do...
You should also remember that you have a lethal weapon, and probably no 3rd party insurance cover. Membership of the CTC (http://www.ctc.org.uk/) provides that FOC.
No mention of Miss W doing the TGOC. What is she getting fit for, then?
Have fun, Martin

September 25, 2009 at 3:29 PM  
Blogger Phil said...

Sound advice chaps. Helmets are definitely on the purchase list for the next trip into town, and a good point about the insurance too, Martin. I guess a fully laden tandem doing 25mph could inflict quite a bit of damage. No wonder that learner driver pulled over to let us pass this afternoon!

Helmets, insurance, Miss W's new cycling mitts - expense heaped on expense ...

... maybe I should've remained a pedestrian ;-)

September 25, 2009 at 6:15 PM  
Blogger Miss W. said...

Mitts - pah! My top priority is some padded knickers!

September 25, 2009 at 6:33 PM  
Blogger Alison Hobbs said...

Good for you (and I sympathise about the lack of padding on those bike seats, Tini). Autumn's a nice time for cycling.

I do like the picture you found for this post!

September 25, 2009 at 8:57 PM  
Blogger Alison Hobbs said...

P.S. We had friends round to supper last night and I served them your chocolate/pear cake. It was a great success!

September 26, 2009 at 4:21 PM  
Blogger Miss W. said...

Hi Ali

I liked the picture too. But I've got an awful lot of cycling to do to match her figure - chocolate cake doesn't help!
Glad the cake was a success; our friends enjoyed it too.

September 26, 2009 at 5:58 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Excellent stuff! They always look like lots of fun.

Miss W: I highly recommend the padded knickers. I have some in a drawer from back in my cycle-to-work days. Very sexeeeeeeeeeee :)

September 28, 2009 at 11:08 AM  
Blogger Alan Sloman said...

Padded knickers, eh Miss Whiplash? I undertand - it's an age thing.

I suggest that you should eat more chocolate cake if you want breasts like those in the picture...

Or you could take some of Lord Elpus's pills?

I would have thought a 20% drop in performance was commendable now that we are all that bit nearer gettng free bus passes. (Or is Phil there already?)

September 28, 2009 at 12:25 PM  
Blogger Phil said...

You leave my pills out of this. There are no side effects at all - I'm a fine figure of a ... oooer....!

September 29, 2009 at 9:06 PM  

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