Monday, 13 January 2014

Jessica's Jaunt

Today, I went up North. Unfortunately, there was a 25 minute traffic jam going down the road from Amersham to the M25. Is this permanent? It's happened twice now.

On the way up, I saw two very major traffic stoppages on the southbound carriageway; on one of them, I saw the recovery vehicle loading up a car, and the police were diverting traffic off the A1. I was glad I was going North!

When I got to my starting point, I parked, and got the bike out. But when I tried to use it, it went backwards!


That explains why it was going backwards yesterday, leading to me changing the leads around. Some fool had put the wheel on back to front. I considered riding round today with a back-to-front wheel, but soon decided that was crazy.

So I opened up the duck tape that sealed the wiring, reconnected the connectors so that they were yellow-to-yellow etc, and tried the bike. No reponse. I made sure that the Hall leads were fully home, still no response. I was getting to the point where I was wondering whether I should abandon the bike and walk round, when I noticed that the throttle lead had become disconnected. So I connected it back up, and hurrah! So I re-wrapped the cables in duck tape, and got ready for the Jaunt; I thought I'd need two batteries, so I took four. By that time, it was 11:30, and I'd hoped to start this more than an hour ago.

I did it in two stages. First I went down the "Jessica Shortcut", then east and north to complete a circuit of 41 caches, arriving back at the car at about 3pm.

On cache number 21, I had some fun with a muggle.

I got as far as the tree where the cache was, when a lady muggle in the house opposite and 30 yards away, hailed me. "That's a bit unusual," she said. I looked at the tree, and said "No, I think it's a perfectly ordinary tree". "No," she said, "I mean you, what are you doing?"

So I went into my "Hard of hearing and a bit stupid" routine. I think I actually am a bit hard of hearing, I have trouble hearing people when other folk seem to hear just fine. And I have an unlimited supply of stupid.


She repeated herself. "I can't hear you, could you speak up?" She was about 30 yards away. She tried again. "Sorry," I said, I still can't hear you, hang on, I'll come over to where you are."

"Never mind," she said, and pedalled away.

By the time I finished the first circuit, I'd gone through a lake so deep that I had water in my boots, which is never nice. I had a quick lunch and coffee in the car, took the two used batteries off the bike and put two fresh batteries on; again, I thought I'd only need two, but it's better to have too many than too few.

The second circuit was about 30 caches, but of course it got dark while I was going round. Fortunately, nearly all the track was good. Apart from one place where I filled my boots again,

I got back to the car at 6:30, finished my flask of coffee, took off my wet boots and socks, and set off for home. 71 caches done, 1 DNF


  1. I've filled my boots before on my bike, pedalling along a path through the edge of a flooded lake. I am wondering why you can't lift your feet up and let the bike motor drive you through where the water is too deep, keeping your feet dry. I guess the water wasn't enough to play havoc with the electrics on the bike.

  2. It was a field gate, and there was a big lake around it, like there seomtimes is. I didn't want to just bike through, because in this sort of situation, the mud can be *very* deep, and you just don't know what you're trying to ride through. So I was dismounted and walking the bike. I'd rather have a bootfull of water, than fall off the bike and get a) soaked all over and b) bruised.