Bike, Hike, Boat.

The title describes my last 3 days of activity beginning with a fairly long and certainly energetic mountain bike ride. Yesterday I returned to part of the area where I’d ridden not 24 hours previously to walk our dog, Freddie. Mountain biking is never far from my mind, though, and we walked down a fantastic downhill trail, Freddie furiously sniffing everything in sight whilst I imagined myself riding it. Today started cold but I walked Freddie along the canal bank and the sun started to warm us. My only concern was that last time I used my pedal powered boat I had a problem with the chain derailing. The boat has performed perfectly for some time so I was slightly annoyed to have a mechanical problem. I made some adjustments in the hope that I’d cured the matter.

My boat, on a previous adventure.

I pushed the boat on it’s trolley down to the water and climbed on board. I have no worries about safety and don’t expect to get more than a few splashes of water in the boat as I sail. I set off gently and settled into a steady rhythm, rotating the pedals with some force but at a slower speed than I would whilst cycling. On a bike you can change gears and vary the speed of rotation and force applied to the pedals but since the water always provides exactly the same resistance the boat makes you continuously decide how much effort you wish to apply. I was delighted that I had no problems with reliability this time and sailed north to Cowling slipway then turned to pass my start point to Frederick’s icecream parlour. When I turned again a small herd of cows started to follow me so I stopped to take the picture at the top of the page.

I started to feel the effort as I returned to my start point and even reduced my work load to avoid meltdown. I did give it a final hard sprint after this short rest just to check that my adjustments had been successful and the boat continued to perform well. On a beautiful, sunny day there were plenty of people walking on the canal bank so I’d inevitably had to answer the usual array of questions, which I enjoy. I’d covered 2 miles at an average speed of 2.5 mph.

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