So after waiting around a month for Doug's bike, the TroisV finally reunite in the saddle for a quick jaunt down to Kent to look at a nuclear power station.
Starting in the picturesque and near-deadly village of Rye, we headed towards Dungeness on the coast, through the flatlands of the Romney Marsh along the coast back to Rye for the zippy train back to London. (And if you want to finally understand the story of the lifeboat, you can read it here).
Rain greeted us at Rye, and all our jackets failed after about ten minutes. We were soon on the flat and straight Military Road and heading out. The ride was pretty quick, but some variable surfaces eventually took their toll as Dr Matt got the first puncture of the day. Luckily we were near a farm, so we took shelter in a potato barn while Matt gave Doug's new pump its first outing.
As Matt fiddled around inside his tyre trying to find the guilty piece of flint, Dr Doug and I did some more photography. We call this one 'Next Month's Rouleur Cover':
More flatness, and then more flats, although this time the weather had improved, and Doug had no trouble finding the cause:
We pressed on again, with Doug announcing portentously "I hope we go more than ten yards without another stop".
Approximately 11 yards later, I heard a rattle and a cracking noise behind me. Slowing and fearing the worst, I turned to see Matt inspecting his back wheel. A stick had become lodged between tyre and mudguard, and the mudguard lost (eyewitness Doug provided a vivid description). Strapping the remains to his top-tube for later repair, we again set off, free from mechanicals for the rest of the day.
We did have one more stop though, as Doug wisely shouted 'wow! look at those pigs!' and we wordlessly, and as one, hit the brakes so that Matt could try and get his work into the pages of the Porcine Post.
Probably your breakfast.
Due to the increasingly inclement weather, we decided to abort the out and back to the nuclear power station (although we did espy it from a distance), and headed through Lydd, along the coast and back to Rye for pubs with no parking, a trip to Marino's fish bar, and the train home.
All in all, a fun ride that would be even funnerer in the sunshine. We shall return.
The ride was also an opportunity to launch upon an unsuspecting world our new jerseys, here modelled from the rear by Dr Matt:
Designed by Jon (using the 'design it yourself' programme on AK Apparel's website), with no small help from the junior section (excellent work, Cosmo) and ordered by Doug in the vain hope of using his connections in the Western Colonies to reduce costs, our new jerseys are, we think you'll agree, the best cycling jerseys ever worn by anyone ever. All of the TroisV, including the junior section, have one, and if AK Apparel made onesies the mascot would've had one too. We all look dashing.
We had some regrets about not putting our web address on there, so that our many admirers on rides could subsequently read tales of our derring do (and our derring don't), but I'm glad we didn't do that, as thanks to librarian extraordinaire Dr Matt, we now have a new web address!
http://www.troisv.cc will get you here from now on. Tell your friends! Marvel at its pithiness! Put it on t-shirts, keyrings, and stickers! Graffiti it on walls! (Actually, don't do that last one, but do tell your friends).