Friday, 9 April 2010

Tour to Middelburg: part 2

see part 1

After being passed by numerous pelotons on their weekly blast, I once again hit the concrete and made it about 20 meters before I notices my rack clinging for dear life to the seat-stays of my machine. Alarmed, I stopped to improve the situation and re-set the position of the rubberised p-clamps. I set off again, but not 10 meters further I realised my mistake, One of the nuts holding the stay bars had come loose and now one of the struts was flailing in the wind, hoping for a chance at freedom from this train wreck of a construction. Once the stay was attached and the bag seemingly secure, I jumped on the pedals, hoping to make up for lost time with a concerted effort into the ever present southerly. *Crash*, *BEEEEEP*. Yes, in my rush to resume the tour, I had neglected to properly re-secure the bag with the strap. The car I had just passed in the opposite direction mashed the horn in an attempt to alert me, no need, the noise of my bag hitting the concrete was enough of a warning. Cursing my bad planning and hurried repairs, I took my time to ensure everything was as secure as possible. Lesson learnt, take all the tools you need to tighten every bolt on your bike, at least when the goal is making your destination.

After this series of misfortunes, my motivation had waned and I was just hoping for no more problems. The bag stayed atop its perch despite the lack of emotional support from the stays. I hit the cobbles of the countryside roads near Wassenaar, and at some point I remember crossing some shiny brown rubbish. I thought no more of it and continued to make good progress. A few minutes later, the feeling of softness returned to my bottom. Puncture. This was almost the turning-back point of the day. I had convinced myself the rain was about to fall and I'd have another two punctures by noon. After another patch job, I hit the road and made it to Scheveningen without another stop. Finally, progress. There was a lot of weaving through the traffic system of west Den Haag, but it was generally good going. Around 11:30 I felt the need for some food, and after a photo opportunity upon entering Monster, I strolled into the bakery. "One sausage roll, one beef stew roll, and an apple round please." This was a little ambitious and after an hour of riding, my stomach was struggling to process all the butter and my legs were given low priority as a result.

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