Sunday, August 19, 2012

I am alive

Contrary to all other reports I am not dead - although clearly I could be. Yesterday I survived a bad day in the hills with two minor offs and some lung bursting climbing up very shallow inclines (yes I am not fit). The P3 ran a smooth as a button and I was looking forward to a post-ride low maintance session when my bike broke. I say broke, but say rather a ditzy driver tried to occupy the same space currently occupied by the bike and me on the way home.

It was not as if the driver had not seen me (bright yellow rucksack) as they stopped behind me at the roundabout. The first bump might have been excusable as a misjudgement. The second and the keep coming and sucking the bike under the car was worrying. Glad I was able to unclip, but I did fear that very soon I was going over the top of the car. Lucky for me the mighty P3 stopped the car - at the expense of the rear wheel and the mech hanger which are both bent beyond repair.

The driver was thankfully shaking and apologetic, but it does make you consider several things about cycling. Mountain biking may actually be safer than cycling on an urban road - yes there are large imovable objects and smaller gnarly ones trying to unseat you at every turn, but then have you seen the potholes and street furniture on our streets? There certainly isn't 1 tonne + of metal travelling at speeds in excess of 10 mph waiting to drive you into them. The incidents of serious of death or severe crippling amongst even the most foolhardy of the mountain biking community - downhillers get my vote - it a lot less than that of cyclist of the road.

Insurance is another thing that makes me think. Third party and personal injury insurance if you spend a significant amount of time on the road makes sense. But what about fully comp - my motorist has driven off promising to send a cheque for a replacement wheel. I had no pen or paper on me at the time so I couldn't take details of insurance. Clearly a smartphone when riding is going to be a must for recording accidents (even if it is the aftermath).

So to the next P3 Project - it looks like a new rear wheel. I am not so foolhardy as to try and rebuild one at this stage of discovery. A wheel jig and dishing tool are definitely out of my budget anyway. I will though have to work out what mech hanger is compatible and replace that. Fitting at least will be easy.

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