The back had been playing up again over the weekend so I took Sunday off, but felt better today so I decided to take it for a spin to see how it fared. I headed up into the hills nearby, enjoying the return to the bike and the rather haunting mist that shrouded the valleys.
I dilly-dallied a bit, poked and a-pottered a tad, and sniffed the odd tree and maybe possibly had a pee here and there, as is my wont, and was just having a fine old time all told, spinning around and messing about with the camera on my phone.
Taiwan is a stunning place to ride it really is, with fantastic year-round weather. This time of year is my favorite in fact, with perfect riding weather (17 degrees today) just about daily.
After riding for 45 minutes on the plateau I headed back down the hill to town, and psssssssst – no, I didn’t encounter a seedy dude wearing a trench coat trying to sell me watches, but I did get a flat, front tire. No worries, I didn’t crash and I did have a brand new spare – which wouldn’t inflate. Grrrrr. Something wrong with the valve! Well, ok no problem, I’ve got the old puncture kit…. ah, yes, the one with all the patches dried up and useless. Great.
I realised I’d have to just walk down the steep bits and on the corners and drift down the straights, unless a biker came down or up the hill, a real possibility seeing as I was on one of the most popular hills in the area. Not more than a minute after thinking that, a guy whizzed by me on a road bike, all kitted up, obviously someone who’d have a spare tube or a repair kit.
Did he stop? Did he balls! I shouted after him once, twice, but still he never looked back. As he rounded the bend I shouted ‘YOU F%&$@R!’ definitely loud enough for him to hear because I saw him turning around as he slipped out of sight round the bend. A pox on his head, be damned him!
Honestly, how could you see a fellow roadie walking his bike on a damp descent, a good 5km from the nearest town of any note, and not wonder if he or she had a problem? I always slow down and ask people if they are OK even if I see them only fixing a flat, just in case. It’s just common courtesy, right?
Well, apparently not.
As I was still cursing the guy and his bike in my head, another guy flew past me! He didn’t even get a hopeful ‘Hey!‘ from me, just a mouthful of curses that’d make a sailor blush. I was spitting feathers. The absolute arse.
Finally after a good 25 minutes of walking, slipping and drifting on far too expensive carbon rims (sorry Blk Tec), I came to a 7-11. They had, as many 7s here do, a pump for all to use, and, amazingly, a tool kit too!
Brilliant! Surely it’d have a puncture kit in it!
Well, it had some weird stuff in it but a puncture kit? Erm, no.
And that’s why I’ll never ride a Merida.
And I’ll STILL stop next time I see someone by the side of the road. Why? Cos you should. It could be you some day.
Just don’t stop if it’s a fat bloke in a pink Giro jersey or a skinny arsed munter in a BMC kit….