Not the best start…..

This morning I went for a pre-breakfast cycle ride but didn’t get very far…


I had a sinking feeling just before I fell off!

I had a sinking feeling just before I fell off!

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I was so disappointed.  I was only a few miles into my long-awaited Saturday morning bike ride when disaster struck.  Before you say anything, no I didn’t see the danger lying ahead of me as I was carefully turning the corner, eager to avoid a milk delivery van coming the other way.  He was trying to avoid me.  It was a weird kind of feeling as my back wheel simply sunk from under me and in a flash I was tumbling onto the road.  The damage seems to be confined to replacing the rim and my scraped knee.  So no big deal; thankfully.

Interesting experience followed in trying to report the fault to Hertfordshire County Council using their web-based road defect system.  Needless to say there isn’t an option for “badly fitting man-hole covers designed to trap cyclists” but I hope I got the message across by uploading some photographs for them to see.  Naturally once I’d done that, I then explored their website looking for something about making a complaint or submitting a claim to the Council.  Unsurprisingly this is not easy but we’ll see what happens.  Once home, a nice mug of coffee, a shower and breakfast had a calming effect as I was a bit shaken.

This is another reason to carry a mobile phone for obvious reasons.  Thank you to Rachel who lovingly dropped everything and came to rescue me.

And to the LBS – funnily enough I had planned to take my bike in today as I had a bottom bracket problem (will do a blog post about that soon).  Anyway, when I arrived carrying my bike in they looked a bit alarmed.  Naturally they were eager to know what had happened and eventually got ’round to asking if I was okay (but then it’s important to remember they concentrate on repairing bikes, not people).

The nice thing a decent LBS is that you get a straight forward response.  Yes, no problem we can get that rim, no problem at all but the sticker might look a little different (I can live with that).  Refreshing from what others might say i.e. you can only buy a pair, it’ll take 6 weeks to get that wheel built for you.  No, none of that.  Simply a case of “we will order the rim on Monday and it will be ready on Thursday afternoon.  No you don’t have to buy two, we’ll supply one and build it for you”.

That’s cool, plus they’ll fix the bottom bracket as well.  Hope Hertfordshire County Council will be as nice in fixing the road defect and paying for the wheel rim and rebuild.  I will blog later on about the response I get on this – watch this space!

But I miss my bike already!  Strangely I feel a bit lost without it, grrrrr.  Nevermind, I dusted off ye olde Dawes Galaxy, pumped up the tyres and fitted my SPD pedals.  Now there’s a nice relaxed kind of bike, a 1984 Dawes Galaxy with easy-going Reynolds 531 tubing.  I’m planning to ride to the annual church picnic tomorrow and then to work on Monday, so that’ll be a few unexpected miles on the Dawes.

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5 Responses to Not the best start…..

  1. Pingback: Road maintenance in Hertfordshire

  2. tyreon says:

    That looks nasty: for you,your knee,and your bike.
    By foto and comment,I trust your account. On another day,another vehicle oncoming…you could be in a wheelchair…or coffin.
    You should get compo for this. But don’t hold yer breath. The council ‘ll hav an army of lawyers,then,if you get £,really,you’re gonna pay for it…cos o taxes. Remember,investigating officer,councillor,RTA inspector,lawyers…they have to make a $ and will,as such,live off your claim(ie get salaries)
    Heads,they win;tails,you lose. It shouldn’t be,but is.
    Dontwanna bring u down…but you’re already smellin’ defeat cos u aint gone ahead with complaint. I do not blame you. Guess I’ve bin shafted too much myself.
    I think you should go ahead with the fotos you’ve pasted…and your account. I wish you well. As said,give praise: it cooda bin worse

    • doug says:

      Thank you for your comment and yes, you are right as it could have been worse.
      I have submitted a claim to the Council which has been rejected. I have notified the Council that I intend to pursue them for the cost of the repair.
      I will write more fully when I have made some progress.

      Kind regards,


  3. John says:

    Where is the highway fault location ?

    • doug says:


      It’s in Markyate, Hertfordshire – junction between Buckwood Road and the High Street. Do you know it?

      Funny thing, I seldom go that way and yet I was surprised and delighted to see that it has been repaired now.

      Kind regards, Doug.

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