Monday, 27 May 2013

First ride out on a bike in around 50 years...Dad your amazing

It's the weekend I'm off why can't my brain get this concept. I'm still tired yet have to get up. So I think to myself " I know I'll get my dad up too and treat him to a breakfast at McDonalds". Now that I'm working it's nice to be able to treat my dad as he has been awesome with me and god knows we have been through some tough times.

Me and The Ern

 Anyhoo I decide before we head out I really could do with a shave and while I'm on why not a quick hair cut. So as I don't like having tickley hairs all over when I cut my hair I pop downstairs to do this first.

I get the electric clippers out and start with a 10mm guard, doing round the back and sides and leaving the top slightly longer. I then move on to the top, a nice trim...just need to wet my hair and cut my fringe slightly...Oh hold on I've missed one small bit on the side, pick up the clippers...Then shock horror and the words "OH SHIT" I've only forgotten to put the guard back on the dam clippers and shaved a geet big bald patch into the side of my heed. Now normally I would have gone ballistic and gotten all stressed out, however funnily enough I burst out laughing and as my dad was in the kitchen and he heard me shout he came in to the downstairs utility to see what the commotion was all about and we both fell about laughing. Omg what a numpty. I blame it on still being half asleep and forgetting to replace the guard. So what to do, now I have half a head that's practically bald in one area. Ah well nothing for it I'll just have to shave as much of my hair off as I dare. I mean I was planning a real short cut come the summer...The optimal words being planning and short, not no planning and bald. To be honest I'm quite happy in my reaction I thought to myself it's only hair and it will grow back in. Work on Tuesday should be interesting I guess lol.

So after my incident with the clippers I finally managed to wake up and both Ern and myself headed towards the Metro. I wanted to pop into Evans Cycles while we were that way as I needed some Muc Off to clean my bike along with a new bite valve for my Camelbak water reservoir.

Got to McDonald's and Ern ordered a Bacon sarnie and a coffee and I had a breakfast wrap thingy and a coffee, mmmm it was lovely. Then a quick drive over to Evans where I picked up a new bike pump, definitely needed one after yesterdays nightmare using my other one. This time I bought one with a screw on end rather than a push on and i got the bite valve and Muc Off. Went to pay for the stuff at the till and my debit card was declined twice...aww great, first I attack my own head, now my bloody cards broke. The lad on the counter then decided to use a different swipe machine and it worked so I was free to leave with my gear.

On the way home my dad was telling me he had been given a bike. This was from a lass I used to go to school with. My dad knows her from when he goes to pick up my prescriptions up at our local chemist and obviously she knows my dad through me. At some point they must have been chatting about cycling and she mentioned her bike had a flat tyre, so my dad offered to pick her bike up,repair the tube and return it when she had come back from a small break. When my dad returned her bike she had asked would my dad like her fathers bike as he had passed away and it wasn't getting used and she would like it to go to a good home. So long story short Ern ended up with this bike.

When we got home I set about washing my new bike, while my dad pottered on helping our next door neighbour with his dog kennel and run. I got finished up my bike all nice and clean and Ern was also finished so I asked did he fancy a ride out. To be honest I thought he would say no, however he asked where to. So I suggested how about up to Aunty Claire and Uncle Dave's who live at Annfield Plain. 

And so we got ready...I loaned my dad my old Fox helmet and a snazzy pair of Troy Lee gloves, he sorted out an old Rock Shox tee- shirt and popped on a pair of amber sunglasses and fluorescent bike clips which he had gotten with the bike. We were armed with plenty of water and a few tools just in case and set off at an easy pace.

I planned the route so we could call in at my friend Adrian's as I wanted him to meet up with us later and get some shots for posterity. Believe it or not this is the first time I can remember actually ever riding along with my dad on a bike. When I was little he was always out working and I can't recall spending a great deal of time with him, other than when I would go with him when I was slightly older whilst he was on a job. It's funny what I can remember, things like sitting in a freezing cold car crying because my fingers and toes were so numb with cold, yet wanting to be with him. Or riding around in a breakdown truck, amber light flashing thinking I was very special. Ooh and I have a great memory of my dad flying around our street on old fashioned roller skates. Then I have this one special memory of a time where I never laughed so much when I had been across this field with my dad. He had crossed the field to see a man about something or other to do with work and he held my hand on the way over. On the way back he smiled and said "Race ya to the car" and set off galloping across the field looking back to see if I was running to catch up. Ha ha he wasn't expecting that big hole though was he and proceeded to go arse over tit. Well I didn't catch him up I was too busy from trying not to wet myself. Ahh good memories.

Anyhoo Ade said no problem to doing a few shots and just to txt him when we were on our way back from my Aunt and Uncles. So we set off again, over to South Moor and up the black path to Langley View. Then along to Oxhill, down towards Harperley and got on to the C2C and straight along to the Plain and Aunty Claire and Uncle Dave's.

Ern pointing the way
My Aunty Claire and Uncle Dave got a real surprise when they saw my dad had ridden up, as well as our Aunty Ann who was visiting. We all shared a brew and had a good  chat and a laugh, then it was time to set off back home again. This time we planned to come back a different way, through Chapman's Well. So we rode along to the Morrison road ends and past the council offices and a little way along the road was the turning and gate/style to get into the nature reserve. From here it was pretty much down hill. I had phoned Ade and he had agreed to meet us up at Quakies.

Ern and I got there just before Ade showed up with his wife Amanda and we all set off to get some nice photo's to mark the occasion. 

Looking good there Ern

Dad n Lad

When we had finished getting our photo's taken we said our goodbye's to Ade and Amanda, thanked them very much and headed off down through South Moor park, then out of the park down past the new school, along the playing fields and headed home through Holy Hill. We soon reached the church opposite our house, St Stephens and it was simply across the road and down the back street to home.

Just got in the house when our Kayleigh rang "Granddad will you pick me up please" and so Ern was off again in the car to do his taxi duty.

My dads a real laugh to be around, today at almost 73 years old I have seen him try to emulate Danny MacAskill, what with riding over kerbs, attempting to pop wheelies, come down flights of steps and a really steep bank side....Oh and the occasional skidded halt. He also spoke to every single person we passed and posed for photo's. What an amazing bloke, if I am half the man he is at his age I will be a very happy man.

Thanks to everyone involved in the making of this short story...

Riding around the whinny bush
Hitting the whinny bush

Riding through the lush trail

More fab images courtesy of  Ade-The-Tog...


  1. Thanks Glenn for the invite. Both of us had a great time and its ALWAYS a laugh being around you and Ern

  2. Hey thank you for popping along and taking the pics. Now I'll always have a memory to look back on. Ern's feeling quite chipper today, a bit of a sore bum, however his legs are fine, though he did get a touch of cramp last night he said.