Thursday 16 January 2014

Two trips to Oundle

As planned, a trip to Oundle. And it was a good plan; I parked and started off, just after what I thought would be an on-foot segment, got bike.2 ready with all six Hobbyking battery-pairs (that's 30 amp-hours, one kilowatt-hour) because I was expecting a long trip with no chance of getting back to the car halfway. So I started at cache 17 and went north. I was mostly on tarmac until I got to Oundle, where I did a couple that have appeared since I last cleaned out Oundle, then South, again on tarmac. I stopped off to do one in Barnwell Country Park that I'd failed on last time I was there; it turned out that I had failed because the cache had gone, but this time I found the replacement.

Then onwards on more tarmac until I got to Barnwell. At that point, I was on bridleway, but that led across a field, and I got mud-clogged, which meant *very* slow progress. But after a while, I was back on grass, and then a long segment on tarmac again. Eventually I got to the point where I'd expected to get off and walk, so I chained the bike to a handy bench, and walked the last mile. I got back to the car at about 4:30, just as it was getting dark, and drove to where I'd chained up the bike. I had lunch, drank my coffee. By that time it was 5:30, full dark, and my back was aching as it always does after a hard day, so I decided to go home. Three and a bit batteries used, which was about what I expected.

I got home at about 7pm, en route collecting a curry for my dinner, and as I got out of the car and started to unload it, I noticed that something was missing.

The bike.

I'd forgotten to put the bike back in the car, and because I was driving in the dark, I wouldn't have been able to see it in the rear mirror. So I thought about this. The bike was still leaning on the bench, but not locked. It would probably still be there tomorrow, or Friday, but it could get stolen; bikes are very easy to steal if unlocked. I did have the batteries, so it was just the bike plus the motor and controller, a total value of about £250, and a trip tonight to collect it would cost £50 in petrol, but if you also take into account the cost of my time and depreciation on the car, then that probably exceeds the value of the bike and it would probably be most rational to leave the bike there and hope to collect it next time I went out caching.

But decisions like these aren't taken on entirely rational grounds. This was bike.2, my faithful steed, which has borne me over rough and smooth, and I couldn't find it in my heart to risk abandoning her to some thief who would possibly maltreat her.

So, a second trip to Oundle. I made the 200 mile round trip, over three hours, and she was still standing by the bench, waiting patiently for me and was very happy to be folded up and loaded into her space in the car.

69 caches found, 1 DNF.

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