Day 4, Tuesday September 11th, 2018

First of all news about Ray after the crash. He is now at home with partner and friends and being made as comfortable as can be in the circumstances. I send him loads of empathy, moral support and best wishes for his recovery.

Todays ride was from Exeter to Weston-super-Mare, 117 km, via familar names like Tiverton, Taunton and Bridgewater. Also into a third county - Somerset. I enjoyed it very much. Weather was warm and pleasant in the morning, turning mizzley and drizzley in the late afternoon. At least not the band of heavy rain in the forecast. Rode into WSM about 1630. The grop of seven riders on the tour now all seem to be strong and covering the days’ rides in competent fashion. Chris keeps complementing us on reaching the objectives ok. Groups come and go, as always in my experience , but I am spending a lot of time with Peter, John and Rick. We are very compatible as riding mates and about the same ability. The Garmins and the routes Chris has designed are clear and easy to follow. However, there are some very complicated road and traffic situations where I am very grateful for a shout of “off course” and a conference on the right road.

And so to matters mechanical. Yesterday Susan’s dropout broke and the long gear changer was also damaged. An event of extreme rarity one would think. However, on the same day, Phillip had a brake lever gear changer fail. Two mechanicals of this rarity on one day in the same tour? Impossible. What next? A plague of frogs? Amazingly, both situations were retrieved on the same day. Susan and Chris found a shop with the right gear changer and Susan actually carried a spare dropout. Phillip, like all good Tour de France riders, had a back-up car with a spare bike - his wife drove over with his other bike. Both riders back on the road today and not a mile lost! Amazing!

All this makes my minor problems with Winessing Book, Log Book, electronic complications, videos by phone and GoPro pale into insignificance. I have to admit it is getting easier with practice. However, a quick word on The Drafting Problem. John, my son-in-law, sent me a link which defined the drafting rule as applied to Triathlons, which I am studying. It made me think that there must also be drafting applied during road time trials in the cycling world. Stand by for another discussion after a bit of reading and thinking and drafting some words.