The first official engagement I had arranged was an evening of poker on Saturday night with friends. I didn't win but I came in second place (again) and got my stake money back. This time though, more than anytime in the past, it really was just about enjoying the company of my friends in Dublin for possibly the last time.
On Monday I visited another friend who had informed me that he had a single-wheel trailer for sale, and that I was more welcome to have first refusal on it should I wish to purchase it. Although similar to a BOB Yak it was a chapter version, which immediately become apparent during a test ride when it unhitched itself due to a poorly operating locking mechanism. But it was good to cycle with it, albeit empty, to get a feel for how it tracks with the bike.
Whilst tinkering with the bike on Tuesday morning, I realised that my headset had finally gave up. After five years of faithful service, the clicking and grinding noises, which had gradually gotten worse during the past week, finally took their toll so I had to get it replaced. I took it back to the shop where I had bought the bike in 2007 and booked a slot for Thursday. The rest of Tuesday was spent visiting ex-colleages and friends.
As I could not ride the bike at all on Wednesday for fear of damaging the frame, forks and stem, I caught up with emails, updated the website and pinpointed some campsites for the route back across Wales and England next week. I also did all my washing and took my friend's dog for a walk to the local park, where we used to go each night last July when I was dog sitting for a fortnight when they were on holiday.
After leaving the bike at the shop on Thursday morning, I again visited family and friends and caught up on the events of the past six months. I collected the bike just after lunch and with its new headset in place, it finally felt like a proper ride again - the last of the original moving parts has now been replaced!
|What a mess! The headset looking a little worse for wear!|
|St. Stephen's Church also known as 'The Pepper Canister'.|
|Looking east along the River Liffey towards Liberty Hall.|
|Looking west along the River Liffey towards the Four Courts and St. James's Gate Brewery (Guinness).|
|Ha'penny Bridge across the River Liffey with Liberty Hall again in the background.|