Roger eventually reaches the top of Castlelaw, his troubles had already begun!
What a cracking night to have so many catastrophes!
After two weeks of very little bike action is was back up into the hills and the torturous Castlelaw hill climb for starters.There were six of us out and five of us reached the top only to discover Roger was missing. he eventually arrived, his chain had jumped off the cassette and jammed against the spokes, at least that's what he said! This statement proved to be correct for about ten minutes later his rear derailleur sheared off and brought everybody to a halt, obviously the the first chain incident was connected somehow . The answer to the problem was to shorten the chain and go singlespeed but this took a bit of time and resulted in every midge in Central Scotland being alerted by whatever way midges communicate to the fact that there were six sweaty bikers at a standstill! The midges had a field day and by the time we got going again I swear I could hear midges burping from over eating. Another five or so minutes passed and Clive had a rear blow out. We changed the tube quite quickly, accompanied by more midges, only for the new tube to puncture at the valve before we even got the wheel back on! Eventually Clive got mobile again and decided to head for home rather than tempt fate with no more spare tubes, wise move as it turned out. Roger had gone on ahead on his now singlespeeder and we caught up with him, his legs a blur as he cycled along at no more than 5 mph! On the level bits we were able to give him a push or we'd never have got home before midnight! Coming down the valley to the Howe it was my turn for a puncture, how inevitable was that, but the tube change was fairly quick and I blew it up with a gas canister to get going quickly again. The final straw was a front flat on my bike about a mile from home and with no more gas canisters and nobody else with a pump I decided to run/walk the bike back. However I succumbed to temptation and got the mobile out, phoned Clive and he very kindly (bet he was swearing) came with his pump and with a couple of stop to put some air in we eventually got home, certainly a night to remember, not least for the midgey bites if nothing else!!