I was reminded recently of a character who I now believe, with some regret, to be fictional - a minor character in an Icelandic saga, and the leader of many long and arduous sea-journeys to the New World, one Harald Hardarss. I have searched the web for his name, but the only reference I came up with was to a mention in this very blog back in August of 2009. My own words coming back to me. Hmff. I'm sure I didn't imagine it, and the search for the man continues. However he came to mind again the other day ...
The seat of the XT had sustained several splits last year, due to being left out in the sun and the general depredations of daily use. Every time it rained, the water got through the splits and into the seat foam, and every time I rode it after rain, I got wet balls. A new seat cover is about 40 quid, and not affordable at the moment, so a few strips of gaffer tape later, and all was well.
Until last week.
I needed something from town just before Christmas and, with the gridlocked traffic and a reasonably dry day, I decided to bike it. I hadn't ridden the XT for a while, and when I got it fired up and swung a leg over, I was surprised by how tall the bike felt, and how hard the seat was. However, the seat softened during the ride, and became comfy (in the limited sense of 'trail bike comfy'). But my lower regions had never been so cold. Usually, it's my extremities (hands, knees, neck) that get cold first, and my body stays relatively warm, but this time it was the opposite, with a deep, penetrating cold in my lower torso, and everything else toasty.
Then I remembered the rain-soaked seat foam, and the fact of very cold nights, and a temperature that hadn't risen above zero for several weeks. I had been riding, literally, on a block of ice wrapped in thin plastic.
Not recommended. I'm sure a simple vasectomy would have been easier.