OMG!! I mean really!! i know I am dramatic, but today took us into a whole new realm of bedlam!! We got up early, we were dry, the Sun was out – and we were ready. Very ready – and me personally, very much looking forward to getting to Mum’s in Helensburgh early. things were looking good.
We left the campsite around 08:30 and cycled the short distance to Abington town center to grab a coffee at the general store and make up some rolls and chorizo & cheese for breakfast. Upon arriving at the store (aprox 500 metres away) – Matt declared a new, un-predicted, and massively problematic problem. His seat post – the bit your saddle goes on – was bending… Not bending, but snapped – and about to snap off. This was, and would be fatal. at least that is what we thought. After a few mins of debating, we decided the only course of action was to find a bike shop on the route, Matt to get a taxi there, with bike and bags and I would cycle along behind.
We found a bike shop – more like a legends shop – named ‘Pro-Am Cycles’ in Larkhall. I gave them a call, to check they were open, and had seat posts. They were, they did… But much, much, much more. Keith (the owner), who i was talking to on the phone, decided to despatch Charlie, his colleague, in his estate car, armed with seat posts. Who would then drive the 25 miles, yes, 25 miles, down to us in Abington. 25 mins later Charlie arrived, and set to work.
Sadly, the seat post had corroded so badly, it had not only snapped above the seat tube, but had ‘bonded’ with the seat tube itself – effectively meaning it would be impossible to put a new post in.
Charlie then drove Matt, his bike, his stuff, the 25 miles onwards to Larkhall and the shop. I would ride and meet him there.
Seeing as this blog was intended to be about the journey’s I go on, I should mention the next 25 miles for me. It was great, I had the hammer down, as I was racing to catch them up. But, although stressed, thinking 2 were about to become 1, I had some of the best scenery, and some great riding. Following the Clyde, as it swells on it’s journey towards Glasogw, Helensburgh, and beyond. the best moment most dfintely being the site of Glasgow nestled ‘neath the Campsies in the distance.
I got to the shop around 1.5 hours later and it was all happening. Keith, Charlie, another bloke, Matt, all huddled round the wounded bike, walloping it with hammers, screwdrivers and chisels. This continued for another 2.5 hours – it was like CPR being performed on the bike, and our journey.
Now… to drive a 50 mile roundtrip, bringing a bike, a man, and 5 bags + tent back to shop, is awesome. But then, Keith (owner I remind you) goes off and buys us all coffee and doughnuts!! Above and Beyond – and I really mean that. It won’t surprise you – but they did it. I dare say there is nothing they can’t do. And by around 15:00 in the afternoon 1 had become 2 again. Phew!!
One thing to say to the folks of Pro-Am cycles – Chapeau!! Oh, 1 other thing – Thank You!! You are legends.
The journey from Larkall, through Glasgow, onwards by Loch Lomond and over to Helensburgh was fantastic. We were both a wee bit stunned – based on the events of the day – but after such great fortune, great generosity, to follow that cycling along the Clyde, along the Leven and then along Loch Lomond – was just great. A real tonic to the stress of the day. I could have written so much more about the scenery, Glasgow’s great cycling provision, passing Paradise (Celtic Park) – but today was really about Matt’s bike and Pro-Am cycling. Some shots:
Oh, before I finish. 2 more things…
- These guys (sorry I didn’t even ask your names) – started, at Land’s End within 5 mins of us. they were queuing to get their photo with the sign, just as we were doing ours. We have seen them once (Okehampton – first time Matt’s bike catastrophically broke), but not since, Until today.
I wish them the best of luck – they have found it tough too – and I hope wee cross paths – at John O’Groats. Chapeau lads.
Obviously the best bit for me, and needed so badly on this trip, was to see my Mum. And she did us proud – with a fantastic dinner, a cup of tea, and some home comforts. than you Mum. xx