Monday 13 May 2013

Petersfield perambulations

A fun day today, near Petersfield, on the bike. First I did the Pig Whistle Trot; 13 caches in a small circuit. Halfway round, I took the wrong track, and didn't notice that I was on the wrong side of a severe barbed wire fence until I'd gone quite a way. So I lifted the bike over a five-bar gate, found a place in the wire that I could climb through, and managed to continue. But when I got to the part where I could race along the tarmac, I noticed that the front wheel was wobbling quite a lot. It wasn't the bearings, it wasn't the forks, and it was quite a while before I realised what it was - rather a lot of the spokes were very loose. So I tightened them by hand (that's how loose they were) and when I got home, I did a proper job on them. I'll test it tomorrow.

Then another circuit, the Froxfield Frolix. This was a mixture of mostly trads plus a few multis, with a bonus. Halfway round, I was searching for a cache under a mossy log, and there were only half a dozen possibilities, and I just couldn't find it. And then a voice called from the road.

"Are you looking for the box?"

I couldn't claim to be counting the slugs, so I admitted it. "I've got it, I took it home". It turned out to be the landowner, who was a bit annoyed that no-one had asked his permission. So I schmoozed him a bit, and followed him back to his home, and he gave me the cache, and said that we could hide it on his land.

And then I found that the kick-stand on the bike had come adrift, and was sticking out like a trafficator, and I didn't have any tools with me. But the route I was going took me about a kilometer from the car, by road, so I whizzed back and did the repair, sheltered from a bried rain shower, changed the bike battery, and then got back to the series. Usually, I carry a few tools with me, but for this series, I left my saddlebags in the car, so no tools. Isn't it always like that? I hardly ever need them, but when I do, I don't have them.

Later on in the series, I needed to go across a planted field; there was a footpath across it, but it looked unused. I decided that I could probably manage without the piece of info that going there would get for me. So I did all 19 of the caches, and then went for the bonus (missing one number), and I'm glad to say, I found it!

But by that time, it was getting a bit later than I'd expected, so I did a quick circuit of five caches on foot (and I was very glad I didn;t take the bike, because one of the stiles was what I call "Difficulty 5", meaning, almost impossible to get a bike through. So, a total of 42 caches today, and no DNFs.

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