On a warm but distinctly drizzly morning we met in Colney Heath after deriving the pleasure of holding up the traffic at the lights on the longabout. Eamonn proudly displayed his new purchase: a steel-framed gravel/tourer with a plethora of bolts on the fork blades, supposedly for fixing frames for fork bags, now the latest trend in the era of bike-packing. Noticing an increase in the precipitation, we all donned rain jackets before setting off through Welham Green and Brookmans Park. It turned out to be a wise move, as the drizzle soon morphed into rain. After crossing the A1000 we headed due east through Epping Green and Broxbourne Woods, passing several groups of cyclists coming the other way. After a couple of incidents of overtaking drivers pulling in sharply to avoid oncoming traffic, we arrived safely in Hoddesdon where Carol led us on a devious route towards Rye House avoiding the traffic and large roundabouts. We settled in to the Anatolia's cafe, where Gary's eyes lit up when he saw that liver was on their menu. However, disappointment clouded his face when the waitress informed him that the last piece had been served yesterday, and he substituted a Mediterranean breakfast. Our return journey, now in the dry, took us along a byway (ideal for Eamonn's gravel bike) to Brickendon, after which Gary noticed that Eamonn;'s rear tyre looked a bit flat, so we turned into a nearby driveway to get off the country road to change its tube. Levering off the 38mm tyre was an unexpected challenge, but eventually we got it off and inspected the inner tube for the hole. Once found, we mapped the hole back to the tyre to find a very sharp flint in the shape of a thorn, which was extracted. Getting the tyre on again with a new tube was an even greater challenge, but Eamonn managed it with difficulty after trying a putting-on tool, which he didn't know how to use, and ensuring the tyre was seated into the well of the rim.
|A two-puncture day|
|Can we hear the air leaking?|