The C2C ride starts on Friday so on Sunday Emma and I decided to go out on George and Marjorie Dawes for a gentle leg stretching bike ride.
I have invested in a wing mirror so I can both see if Emma is behind me and also to give me advance warning of Lycra lizards about to overtake. You don't hear bikes coming and it's good to know if one is about to scorch past, at least so you can prepare a reply to their cheery and rather patronising comments.
As I went up Lode Hill I noticed that Emma and Marjorie had fallen behind and I smugly congratulated myself on my new found fitness. By the time we passed the Cuckoo pub I was wondering if I should enter next years' Tour de France. So it was something of a shock to hear from Emma, once she caught up, slightly irritated, that her gears were not working. She had in fact been spinning her legs like egg whisks, stuck in the ' Granny Gear'. It wasn't that I had become Wiggo like; she was held back by her lack of gears.
Of course I made a few useful suggestions that in retrospect, I acknowledge were possibly slightly irritating. 'Have you tried changing gear?' didn't go down too well. Nor did my kind offer of me having a look at her cables and front derailleur.
We rode home in silence, Emma's cadence was about 150 revolutions per minute but she set a blistering pace despite the handicap. Perfect Marjorie was in disgrace and after some hopeless tinkering by yours truly, it was unanimously decided that she would have to go to see a 'proper' mechanic.
So, two days and some begging later, Marjorie is back on form with properly tweaked cables and front derailleur. We are back on track.
So the next part of the challenge is the route.