The Grand Tour: Fife and Beyond

Ramblings of an inveterate cyclist

 Friday once more and I feel I should report in but I am sitting here at my computer, as I have on numerous occasions this week, with a head full of emptiness. Most of the week I have been on autopilot, simply gone through the motions, but with no real enthusiasm, I bought a paper on Monday, when I was out, doing a bit of shopping, but on opening it up found nothing to read between its pages. The same old grips, same politicians making the same mistakes, and spending lots of television time or column inches trying to explain themselves and how lessons have been learned, and how we should all move on.

Stop the world, I want to get off.

I mean who would have predicted that enlisting thousands of young male and female students, onto some great new adventure. Billed as the highlight in their young lives. Freeing them from family restrictions. Told to enjoy the experience of Uni, after all, this is your reward for all that hard school time you put in, and how ‘we are only young once’. You gave them (what seemed like) a limitless credit card to life. They get themselves fuelled up on alcohol, again, all part of the Uni experience, isn’t it? Now that all inhibition have been washed away on a river of inebriation, the guard’s dropped and already fuelled up on testosterone, and female hormones. We finally packing them into a central heated incubate, in the middle of a global pandemic. Really who would have predicted an explosion of coronavirus on campus? Not I.

Then we have the Scottish government complaining about what that bad Westminster government is doing and may do in the future to the devolved government at Holyrood. Come on get real, this news is already seven years out of date. Rather than grumbling about it why don’t you do something about it, ‘Bubbling Jocks’ right enough?

Felling better already after that wee moan.

I did go out earlier but only as far as Aldi, although there was a clear blue sky and very watery sun, the wind was cold and cutting, it is certainly time for that extra woolly pully.

Yesterday I tackled the housework, it was time for a new broom, time for a good clear out all that clutter that has gathered over the years, and tackle some of the traffic areas of the carpet with a carpet cleaner. There is something uplifting about a clean and fresh home. Although I said ‘a clear-out’ of all that clutter, in truth, most of those ‘could come in handy’ items did find their way back into the cupboard.

“Attention!” following on from my annual clear out, anyone opening this cupboard door, do so at their own risk.

One of our residents has been showing signs of dementia for some time now, the other day I saw lots of books and DVD “Free to good home” in the common room, and this morning the land-fill bin was full to overflowing with black bags. The rummer that he is being moved to a care home, seems to have born fruit. I had a rake through the DVD and brought some home with me, well afternoon television is the best cure for insomnia known to man.

One of them was Homeland ‘the complete first season’ four discs 12 episodes. I watched all four yesterday. The storyline was brilliant, and the acting superb, the CIA agent, Clair Danes, what an outstanding performance, more so towards the end when she suffers a mental breakdown. The ending did as all good ending should, left you wanting more.

Today (if time permits) I will watch ‘Young at Heart’ Doris Day and Frank Sinatra, this film is up there with ‘Casablanca’ and ‘The Sound of Music’ for me. I’m sure it will find many an outing from my collection. Strang but I seem to be enjoying storylines by Danielle Steel and Barbara Taylor Bradford, much more now, is this something that should bother me? I mean is this something I can expect to happen, much more as I grow into old age? Do all males go through this phase, gravitating towards Venus rather than Mars? Is there a cure for weepiness, whilst watching old films, or can I only continue watching them when alone?

The post just arrived with a package for Powabyke in Bristol with the connection I needed to finish the e-bike. Sods Law you spend days trying to find the part you need, then weeks having it sent from China or America, only to discover once it’s all finished that there was a company in Bristol that had everything you would ever need and you will received it by the return of post, ho-hum.

Also in the post the hitch for my trailer, from Germany no less. So no films this afternoon. I fitted the cable and switched on, wooooopeeee the dashboard lights up. On with the gloves and helmet and out for a wee run, of course, it was the busiest time of the day, all the students coming home and people heading home from work, or shopping trip into town.

The wind was strong out of the West and I was heading into it, but like magic it was if the same wind was out of the east, weeeeeeeeeeee, flying along at 25 kph and the pedalling were so light it was as if I was going downhill. I only went as far as Strathkinness and back, just to try it out. And on the return journey I flicked up through the gears and I was flying along at 35 kph and it seemed as if I wasn’t putting any effort in. I switched off the motor to see how it would perform as a normal cycle. With the wind on my back, not a problem, although it does feel like a bike with loaded panniers, and you have to think ahead more, the brakes are good, disc brakes front and rear, but the bike is a lot heavier and faster. I will have to keep an eye on the pads, in fact, I may order a spare set and keep them in the van.

One other problem, being an old stiffy, I had difficulty swinging my leg high enough to clear the battery, get on. When I was riding a tandem the only way for the captain to get on board was to swing a leg over the handlebars, that was then, this is now. A step-through (ladies bike) would be better if the battery pack has to go on the rear carrier.

During the test run I went over some bad road and suddenly the motor stopped, I played around with the wiring, did the switch on and switch off part nothing, then the penny dropped. I had not locked the battery into place and bouncing over the bad road had caused it to slip back and disconnect itself, lessons learned.

One other test, try the throttle, wow scary man. It will take a bit of getting used to, but so far I’m liking it a lot.

Now that I have my trailer hitch I can finish that wee job and try it on the bike, shopping will never be the same again. What about that big hill up to Aldi, what big hill?

Keep well,      

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