coffee and mince pies in the garden whilst admiring a new bike and amusing small children. before we set off i declared myself as a liabilitly, all tools and tubes in the other bag. not to worry, between us we'll be fine.
rolling along the quiet roads the rain began to fall but once onto the muddy farm tracks this doesn't seem to matter anymore. still admiring the new bike and discussing the possibilities of 'cross racing next year. yeh, this is the start of a good ride.
until those fateful words are uttered, "i've think i've got a flat", "you can't have, it's raining!". off the bridleway and under a street lamp, the full horror is illuminated-thorns. not just the every day variety but the kind that could kill a man, thicker than pencils and more sharp than a needle.
9 in total. "no! don't pull them out". a closer inspection reveals all three bikes have been attacked, only one rear trye is spared. then the realisation that the only spare tube is 700c. the rain falls a little bit harder as the patches are brought out. a nip of whisky to keep warm. tube pumping to get even warmer.
directly home on deflating rubber. extra hot chocolate and caramel wafers revive our damp cold bones. tomorrow i will be mostly repairing old inner tubes.