Thursday, 24 September 2009

Pretty Much Done

Just a few minor thins to sort.  I need handlebar tape and a couple of bottle cages.  I thought I'd go for black cloth tape and maybe the Cuiso silver bottle cages.  Just two for starters, but I have bosses for six.



I have sorted Jayne's saddle position and pedals.  I have to sort the angle of the rack when I have suitable bolts.  The rack has been on the other tandem for a while with a bodged bolt on, which I don't think will survive being loosened and re-tightened.  I have to cut the mud guard stays and put the little end caps on.

The original plan was to run the bike with just the front canti and the rear disc operated from the front.  Unfortunately the old road levers don't pull enough cable to operate the disc, so I've reverted to what we had before, ie the front and rear canti's off the front and the disc operated by a friction thumb shifter from the rear.

Other bits and bobs: Klick Fix mount for the handlebar camera bag, bike computer (off the old tandem), a frame pump.



Wednesday, 23 September 2009

The built goes on...

Got the chains and mud guards today.  Still off sick, so I can only spend 10 or 15 minutes at a time before I have to sit down or start to make more serious mistakes.  I still make the same silly mistakes regardless.

More pics...



Tuesday, 22 September 2009

Tandem Build

We took the tandem back to the bike shop yesterday and they faced the disc brake bracket.  Seems to have done the trick.

So I spend some time today doing more build up.

Some pics...








I've got chains and cable ferrules coming from St John's Street Cycles and mudguards from Wiggle.  Can't do much more without them.  Should be on the road for the weekend.



Sunday, 20 September 2009

What a Week!

Well my final total for the week is 254 miles!  My best week of riding probably for about 12 years.  I don't think I've been up in that areas since before we had the boys.

After my 3 days off, I was back at work on Thursday, but still got 20+ miles in, including 10 or so with Jayne in the evening.  After my two 60+ mile the previous two days, I was pleased with how little it hurt.  Friday was just straight to work and back (via the Villa).

Yesterday, we did a few miles in the morning before setting out in the afternoon to get the tandem. Yes it was finally ready.  The price was a bit higher than expected, £420 for the metal work and £330 for the paint job, but they did an all in price of £710, so about £100 more than expected.  But it looked fantastic.  Metallic purple with silver Swallow stickers.  It looks very pretty.







The above one is a bit colour mis-matched due to the camera flash, but shows the Swallow logo better than the non-flash shots I took.


Now for the bad news....

First of all, I dropped the forks getting the frame out the back of the car, resulting in a small chip in the paint.  Doh!

Then, I couldn't get the cartridge bottom bracket in all the way.  So I took it out and thought that the BB shell threads weren't cut deep enough to take the cartridge BB I had.  But the old fashioned ball and axle style BB's I had must have come out of it in the first place, so must fit.  I spent ages trying to get the fixed cup side screwed in.  In the process managed to ping the adjustable spanner (the only spanner I have big enough to fit the BB cup) off and into the seat tube, chipping off another chunk of paint.  But I could not get the adjustable cup side in tight enough, eventually snapping the pin head off my pin spanner trying.  So I undid it by getting a set of very aggressively toothed pipe grips on the thread side and winding it out.  I then had to take the fixed side out as well.  Fortunately, screwing in the fixed cup had set enough thread to now fit the cartridge BB with not too much difficulty. 

The eccentric tandem BB shell, which I had real doubts about because I'd stretched the rubber o-ring seals, slipped in with no trouble.  The headset and forks went in easily as well.  As did the Hope mechanical disc calliper.  Things were looking up. I thought I'd just check the alignment with the wheel.  Disaster!  The wheel wont go round smoothly, the disc rubs fairly firmly against the inner brake pad, which is at its most inward setting.  It seems the frame builder either measured wrongly or set the calliper wrongly , maybe without the floating sleeves installed, which off set things by about 1.3mm, not enough to be right, but workable.  I reckon it is about 3mm out.  and unusable.  I have to give then a ring tomorrow.

In order to cheer myself up, I went out with Karl and Alison today.  We decided to drive 20 miles up the road and explore a different area to our usual haunts.  We parked up at Over Kellert and rode north.  The plan was to stop at a pub or cafe in one of the small towns/villages on the way to Kendall.  In practice, they all turned out to be real one horse towns, with no cafe or pub.  We ended up at Killington Lake motorway services on the M6, accessed via some back roads.  After a quick bite to eat and a cup of tea we set off from there to Kirby Lonsdale.  The roads were very up and down, very steep, very narrow, but virtually no traffic.  I think on the 15 miles from Killington to Kirby Lonsdale we must have been passed by fewer than 5 cars.  At Kirby Lonsdale we had a cup of tea, bacon and egg buttie and a toasted tea cake, sat in the sunshine.  Then 10 fairly leisurely miles back to the car and home.

Got home to hear that Jayne's Dad is still not very well.  Its one of these situations where if his temperature comes down everything is fine, if not it might be pancreatic cancer, kidney infection or just a bit of a virus. The mildest of these are serious for a 78 year old. 

Hope you and yours are well



Wednesday, 16 September 2009

Another Good Day

I was off work again today, so  decided to go for a gentle ride to recover from yesterdays 67 mile ride.  The weather wasn’t as good as yesterday, not as sunny and lots more cloud, but a little less windy.  I decided to head out to Beacon Fell again, but by a different route than normal.  This meant that most of the climbing was more gentle than the usual route, but did leave the 1/2 mile or so of 1 in 5 up from Carwags to the visitor centre.  On the way I spotted some unusual local stock.

RIMG0279 RIMG0278

From the top of Beacon Fell, on a clear day you can see all the way to the Isle of Man.  Today you couldn’t even see Blackpool Tower.


I was still feeling pretty fresh so decided to go over into Bleasdale and maybe Oakenclough.  RIMG0284

But the couple of little river valley drops and climbs persuaded me to head for Scorton instead.   In the end I did an even harder climb that the Oakenclough road, and one that turned out to be a dead end.  So I had to turn round and go back up anothe 1 in 4 climb to the bottom of Nicky Nook.  The cup of tea, bacon and egg buttie and toasted teacake was bliss.

I then foolishly decided to go back Over Wyre, adding another 15 or so miles. 

In the end 60 miles in 6 hours, including two reasonable stops.  I’m knackered.



PS Check out Black Moth Super Rainbow for some  strange poppy  songs

Tuesday, 15 September 2009

Tour of Britain

Went out to Waddington today to watch the Tour of Britain come through.  Me, Ian, Karl and Alison.  We thought we would miss it, but got tot the top of Waddington with about 10 mins to spare.

We decided to ride the main roads out to Clitheroe but then got side tracked outside Longridge.  We ended up in Chipping where we cleared the local shop of pies and Eccles cakes.  I had a pepper steak and mushroom pie, which I later both relied upon and regretted!

We eventually got to the top of Waddington Fell.  If you watch it in the  telly, we are the last two yellow jackets at the end of the barriers on the left.

Some pics....


RIMG0267 RIMG0268



Afterwards we went to the pub :)



Monday, 14 September 2009

Birthday Boy

Happy Birthday to me for yesterday.  46 years old.  Went to the pub with Jayne, Karl and Alison.  Steak and beer, marvellous.

September is turning out to be an expensive month.  The car tax and insurance is due on both cars.  Turns out I didn’t renew my MOT back in February.  So I’ve been driving round for 6 months illegally and effectively no insurance.  The garage has just rung to say i need a new exhaust - £300.

Saturday we went and bought a new car!  A Seat Ibiza.  Just waiting for the garage to confirm they can get it in the right colour and spec.

I somehow managed to get a decent 100+ mile in last week.  Not sure how, although I have been out most evenings with Jayne to do a short ride as well as riding to work.

Tomorrow the Tour of Britain comes to Blackpool.  We are thinking of riding out to Waddington to watch one of the main hill climbs.

Might go for a ride this evening, after I’ve picked the car up, the sun is coming out again.  After the bank holiday weekend of poor weather, we’ve had four or five days of cracking weather, 25-30 degrees, sunshine and hardly any wind.  The hardly any wind bit is unheard of this time of year.  Hopefully it will last til Wednesday, cos I’m off work til Thursday.



Saturday, 5 September 2009

Another week down

Fat Cyclist posted the other day that the autumn was his favourite time of year for riding.  I disagree.  Autumn on the west coast of the UK is a time of squally rain and strong winds, interspersed with blindingly low sun.  I would have been better off in a canoe or with a snorkel than on a bike the other day.  Thursday I caved and went to work in the car.  Sat it the car park about to come home Thursday evening, I could barely stay in my seat the car was blown around that much.  Then when I got going, I was blinded by the simultaneous pouring rain and very bright low sun in my eyes.

Anyway, Monday was a public holiday here, last one til Christmas.  it was pretty miserable all day, but brightened slightly in the afternoon.  Karl rang and said he was just up the road and did we fancy riding up to the Villa and meeting his wife.  So we arranged for him to swing by and pick us up.  When he arrived he was knackered.  He'd got the bonk about 10 mins after ringing us and was in a terrible state.  I have never seen anybody eat two Boost bars, a packet of crisps and a bottle of Lucozade quite so quickly.

We eventually got to the Villa and had a pleasant couple of pints of Copper Dragon 1816.  The rain absolutely threw it down.  At one point we were contemplating getting Alison, who had driven round in her Mini, to take Jayne back to our house, to pick up our big car and come back so we could put all the bikes in the back.  We decided to have another half and sit it out.  Eventually the rain eased and we rode home.

In hind sight, we couldn't have got the big car because it was full of our eldest's stuff.  He has been living in a flat in Blackpool with a couple who he has had more an more fallings out with.  He had decided to move out and picked up the keys for his new place on Tuesday.  Unfortunately, his old flat was bang in the middle of the busiest part of Blackpool, no parking, "No Loading" signs everywhere and traffic wardens on bonuses.  So we said we would pick all his stuff up on Sunday.  He works nights in a care home, so would be OK Sunday and Monday night and would stay at a friends Monday daytime.  So we emptied his flat, just leaving him some clothes and the junk his ex flat mates had left behind.  Or so we thought.  Tuesday morning, he rings to say he's got more stuff left than he can carry.  Fortunately, there are roadworks at the end of his street and it is a lot less busy than usual and the traffic wardens less eager.   We got the last of his stuff and got him moved in.

In between all this I have done a few rides to work and back.  No great mileages but steadily reaching for 3000 miles for this year.

Rang about the tandem this morning, hopefully it will be back next week some time.