Tommy. Another excellent story!.
It was reminiscent of a trip my pal and I made in the mid 50s. We were about 14 at the time and bike mad and went everywhere on day runs out. One Sunday, we were up very early and off we went with our saddle bags crammed with sandwiches, fruit, tea-makings etc. It was a scorching hot day and it was very gratifying when we got to Prestwick by cross-country roads. We turned right and followed the coast road north towards Largs and Wemys Bay. I can't remember where it was but we found a place with sand-dunes where we left our bikes and went for a swim. About an hour later we returned to find that my bike tyres had been split by some vandal with nothing better to do. Being a Sunday there was no chance of finding new tubes or tyres and my basic puncture outfit was nowhere near adequate for the damage. This crime really ruined a super day. We decided that we could not stay any longer if we were to get home before dark as we had no lights. I had read somewhere that if you stuffed the tyres with grass, it would provide enough 'cushioning' to proceed, albeit a bit bumpy. Well we set to, ripping up any long grass we could find and you would not believe the amount required to fill 2 small bike tyres!. When finished, they looked not bad but strange with wisps of grass sticking out. Then off we went - and boy, was it uncomfortable!!. Within a couple of hundred yards it felt like the first 'boneshaker'. The grass had compacted hard and was falling out. So the next field was stripped of more grass to fill Rabs' tyres. It was nearing dusk, so I insisted that John return home alone as it was unlikely that I would make it before dark. I struggled on along that road in excruciating discomfort for a young healthy man!. So on I went via Saltcoats, Seamill, Largs then took the A78 (shortcut) to Greenock. I was always told by my Dad that if ever I was stranded, the local Police would 'put me up', so with enormous - as I thought - courage and some cheek, I went into Greenock nick and asked the desk sergeant, after explaining my predicament if he could 'put me up'. To my amazement he agreed but had to insist that he lock me in the cell for obvious reasons. He was very impressed that I should seek his help rather than ride around with no lights at night. Unfortunately for me there was a roaring drunk next door, who, between throwing up loudly, and 'serenading' me, I got no rest at all. The next morning I was given a free cup of tea and a biscuit. The duty sergeant then arranged for me to have the loan of one of the 'found' cycles from their store which would get me home. As I cycled along the last half-mile to my home, I hit a pot-hole and buckled the front wheel, which of course I had to replace the next day!. I was home in time to get to school by 9am - and my teacher wondered why I looked so tired!.
. I have just worked out that I must have 'cycled' and pushed my wrecked bike over 40 miles that Sunday. Oh, the joys of youth!.
This post has been edited by Rab: 18th Oct 2005, 06:33pm