My poor bank card. It is suffering.

Bought some new bits and bobs today, like underwear (the old stuff was falling to bits), sandals, waterproof bags, and new bike trousers.

I took my Halvassons bike jacket over to Hideout Leather , just over the border in Essex. The neck of the jacket was rubbing, after a recent trip, I came home to find my neck looked like it had been in a bondage movie. Not a good look. Kate and the girls did a great job just tweeking it. I also picked up my new Lindstrands Swing trousers. Does this mean I have to swing my pants? Anyways, they fit great, and are not as frumpy and manly as the other man pants I was looking at. And have millions of pockets, so petrol and toll booth stops will be even longer now!

Packing has commenced, I have three boxes, each corresponding to a pannier, and bag, they already have too much crap in them e.g a summer’s worth of hayfever tablets, and the medicine and cosmetic bags need to shrink. Fact. Every time I look at the pile, my bike sighs. Although walking through Lakeside shopping centre today, I am relieved that I am escaping this consumerist hell (says she who has been bloomin shopping) but wish I could extend my travel wardrobe beyond two outfits.

Oh. The bike.

Had a few great runs on it, up to Yorkshire, over to the Chilterns. A hose came loose on the coolant, fixed that.

Then I decided to check the oil, after it started making unhealthy noises. There was not a drop in it. Oh dear. I rode it gently home from work, in denial, but facts are facts. It is the third Suzuki I have blown up.

So off it has gone to Dr Chris, who in exchange for a new piston, relining the barrel, crank and bearings, will dent my budget. But it has to be done. No engine, no trip. And so people have been reminding me, at least it has happened here, rather than in a desert, miles from civilisation. And I know the components are shiny and checked. As I read somewhere, although I respect mechanics, the difference between surgeons and mechanics is that surgeons have to operate with the engine still running, and the oil still flowing.

You bet my bottom I’ll be checking the oil every day now, however I need to get to the bottom of where the oil is going. ummm.


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