Yesterday, I took my Rover to the local garage to explore the world of air conditioning and to get the dodgy tyre replaced.
The air con pressure tester revealed a leak somewhere, and sure enough, the hose between compressor and condenser had a small tear in it. Well done machine. Living in the sticks has serious downsides at this point. We weren’t going to find a Rover 600 air con pipe just sitting on a shelf somewhere. So, the lads decided to employ the services of a local agricultural merchant. After all, they make hoses for tractors that carry serious amounts of hydraulic pressure. This should have been a doddle.
This afternoon, the pipe was being refitted. With Rachel out picking billberries (she has the blue teeth to suggest not all ended up in her basket…), I was forced to seek other transport solutions.
I was given this bike by an optimistic aunt and her partner back in 2010 or maybe 2011. I’ve ridden it ONCE since then, before deciding such antics are best avoided. I’ve certainly never tried riding it beyond the borders of our village before, and as I made the bold attempt, I remembered why. I couldn’t even make it up the gentle hill that takes you out of the village. FAIL!
I bravely kept going though. I needed to get to the garage before it closed for the day. Sure, I had to walk at times, but I was still moving. Finally, I reached the section which is about a mile downhill. I barely needed to brake, even on the steep bit. If you watch the cycling on the olympics, you’ll see that the men shave their legs. I think that must explain it. I don’t. I was creating massive drag.
I made it halfway up the steep hill the other side of this drop before giving up and walking, but after ‘just’ 30 minutes, I’d manage to cycle 4.6 miles. SUCCESS!
You’ll note that the bonnet is still up at this point. The news was not good. The bolt holding one end of the pipe in place had brought a chunk of aluminium thread out with it, so the lads were tapping it out and then had to make a replacement bolt. They’re nothing if not ingenious – as you have to be when the nearest town is 12 miles away, and probably won’t have the bit you need anyway.
Finally, they got it all back together again. I fired up the engine, the compressor clattered into life for the first time in a while, and the vents became cold. Oooooh! Lovely! Then things went a bit wrong. I could see nervous faces below the raised bonnet from my position in the driver’s seat. BANG. Suddenly, refrigerant was escaping at high speed, men were running away and I was shutting the engine off. Balls.
One of the fittings on the new pipe had simply blown off under the pressure. This was not part of the plan. So, what to do? We depart on holiday tomorrow. The agricultural place opens again at 8am. I decided to risk it. The lads will attempt to get a new pipe made up, and I’ll have a nervous wait in the morning before driving to our overnight halt in Sussex. I didn’t much like the idea of cycling back home – there are even more hills, some of them very steep – so I was loaned a Clio. I had got as far as trying to get the bike into the Rover – it doesn’t fit. Happily, the Clio had no objections!
So, the car we’re going on holiday in tomorrow is still not ready. This promises to be fun!