New Years Play.

Blue skies, frozen trails, tea and cake to finish. What’s not to like? Well there is the ongoing digestive conundrum of our dog who – having eaten one of everything at Christmas – started to spray liquid from both ends at high velocity. Mostly in the house. The vet – after spending some time calculating exactly how large the bill would be – recommended a pasta diet and a course of Dog imodium.

Such a get well strategy has resulted in Murphy’s normally happy and loyal demeanor being somewhat tested. Nothing looks quite as sad and depressed as a hungry Labrador on starvation rations and unable to poo. If he doesn’t go soon, we’ll be needing to consider a cesarean.

Malverns 2010 - New Years Day (2 of 19) Malverns 2010 - New Years Day (4 of 19)

Sorry, nobody eating was there? Anyway with the dog plugged, I snook out for a quick ride that ended up being not quick at all. A route away from the crowds on some fantastic frozen trails was one reason, my mechanical incompetence another. Why I ever though that two new chainrings and one new chain would mesh perfectly with an old – and if I’m honest somewhat ground down – rear cassette is a mystery to me.

Malverns 2010 - New Years Day (6 of 19) Malverns 2010 - New Years Day (10 of 19)

Less mysterious was the cacophony of ill fitting teeth failing to establish any kind of interference fit, even with my meagre thigh power applied to the pedals. Eventually I ended up with about three working gears carrying the rest around as mere fitness ballast. The fellas took pity on my plight with a slew of their own mechanicals including a case of such magnificent chain-suck, I thought we were going to have to go in through the stay to release it.

Malverns 2010 - New Years Day (12 of 19) Malverns 2010 - New Years Day (16 of 19)

And with the New Year bringing out the Malvern Hoards to overflow car parks and perambulate on every major off road thorough-fair brandishing new cameras and old fat glands, we embarked on a cheeky tour of the lesser known South Side. Some good stuff there as well accessible only by granny-ring grinds and much facial gurning. For which Tim H of this parish may very well have usurped me as champion gurner.

Malverns 2010 - New Years Day (9 of 19) Malverns 2010 - New Years Day (7 of 19)

We retired after a few hours for the aforementioned tea, cake and medals. I wish I could retire but after spending yet more cash on wide-bar love and boring bits of metal to make the gears work, I reckon I’ll be sharing Murphy’s diet soon.

So 2010 is officially off to a superb start. Just the next 364 days to ratchet up the grump-o-meter.

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