Saturday, 31 March 2012


My eulogy for my Dad

“I’d like to take a few moments to talk, well really, about me.

A while back I was on the phone to (my big sister) Sara and she said “You sound just like Dad”

Then last Christmas I hadn’t shaved for a few days and she said I looked like Dad

And I know Sue (my sister in law) has said “Just like your father” to Paul (my brother) loads of times

And I’m sure Sara, Claire (my middle sister) and Jane have heard it at least once each

But more than looking and sounding a bit like Dad, we, all of his children, behave a bit like him

I don’t mean coming into the room, changing the TV channel then walking out again, or the one word emails

I mean the way we treat each other.  I can see Dad’s influences in the way we lead our lives, in the choices we make

I hope we can continue to be a bit like Dad, with his love of his family, his humour and his integrity

And if I can strive to be like him as a father, a husband, a brother and a friend, then I could do a lot worse, and that would be no bad thing”

It seemed to go down OK. Was hard to do though.  Still overcome by emotions almost by the minute.


Sunday, 25 March 2012

Some Things

My Dad died last week.  He had bowel cancer and was going into hospital to have a section removed.  I think it was a far bigger operation than either he or my Mum let on.  Unfortunately the surgeons couldn’t stem some serious internal bleeding and he never regained consciousness.  All but my brother were there at the end.

That and various work commitments have kept me off the bike a bit.  Last weekend Jayne and I went up to Witherslack and did this ride again.  A bit of a rain shower but a great if tiring ride.

Yesterday we went out on the tandem for a 30 mile trip out to Barton Grange.  Today Karl, Alison and I drove  out to Abbeystead and set out for a sufferfest of hills.  Only 32 mile but 3900 feet of climbing.  Hard work but good.  My climbing was OK.  Kept up with Karl and Alison.

Jubilee Tower


Dad’s funeral is Thursday.



Sunday, 4 March 2012

Couple of Good Weeks

The weather has improved.  Some parts of the country are 30 degrees warmer than they were a fortnight ago.   Not quite such a big change here but still temps into double figures for the first time this year.

Last weekend I went out with Ian and Ross, just 45 miles at a medium pace, but plenty for me.  We got out to Chipping just as the Pendle Forest club got to the cafe.  Service isn’t great at the best o times so we turned round and headed up to Beacon Fell.  A very strong wind down the other side made for a tough slog home.  Sunday we headed out to Scorton, our furthest tandem ride so far this year.  Again the wind picked up on the way home and the ride across the moss from Nateby was hard work.  The toll for the Cartford bridge has gone up 100%! 20p now rather than 10p.

A full week of riding in 3/4’s this week and almost a full week of riding home in daylight or dusk.  Spring is coming.  Yesterday we planned a long leisurely ride out to Scorton again.  But the weather changed, wind and heavy rain.  We cut the ride short and headed to Great Eccleston and the Courtyard Cafe.  Then the sun came out, but by then we were cold and wet.  Today we went out to Honeywell’s to get meat.  5lb of mince, 5lb of steak and 1lb of venison.  We took it really easy but the temps today were half of yesterday.  By the time we got home, after 20 miles, we were frozen again.

My bike was making a lot of squeaking noises over the last few weeks and it was filthy but I’d hung back from doing anything cos the roads are covered in mud.  But it was time to do something.  I started by trying to find the powerlink in the chain.  I was sure I’d put one in, but couldn’t find it.  Eventually I broke the chain with a chain tool.  Then I took the lower jockey wheel off.

Mud 001

There are supposed to be teeth on this.  after a while chipping away with a screwdriver I eventually got it clean.  I cleaned the chain in a bath of white spirit.  In the process I discovered that there was a powerlink after all.

I’m slowly clawing back the deficit but still 350+ miles short.  I’m off to Bristol tomorrow but I’ll take a bike