Sunday, 24 April 2011

Today I Killed my Wife!

Weather has been pretty good this week.  For various reasons I didn’t get a ride in on Monday.  Jayne has outstripped me this week, probably for the first time ever.  However today might have been a step too far.

Tuesday she did a 20+ mile route, Thursday another 16 plus a trip to the pub.  Friday we had to go out to Honeywell’s to get some beef for a Saturday meal with friends.  25 miles, but I was weighed down with 10lbs of beef.

Saturday we had a short spin, 30 miles, on the tandem.

Today we decided to go round the Trough.  This is a 60 mile loop including some sizeable hills.  The run out to Chipping was fairly easy going, 8 miles of climbing from the A6 to Chipping.  The church there is very nice.

Trough 001Trough 002

The route from Chipping to Dunsop Bridge is quite hilly.  We started to struggle.  It was getting warmer.  We made it to Dunsop Bridge and the cafe for lunch.  We had a good chat with another couple on a tandem who were also heading over Boundary Hill. 

The ride up over Boundary Hill is tough, a mile or so of 1 in 4.

Trough 003Trough 004Trough 005

The first pitch isn’t so bad, but it soon steepens.  The cars in the first pic are about half way up.  We made it that far before having to stop.  Jayne was knackered.

Trough 006Trough 007

After this it was a bit easier and we got to the top without further stops.

Trough 008

On the coast down the timing chain fell off.  One of the links had separated.  We had no chain tool.  Several people stopped but no one else had a tool.  Eventually I managed to force the link back together.  We carried on but were very dubious of my bodged repair.

It seemed to hold.Trough 009

We eventually got home hot and tired but 60 miles done.

Jayne is very very tired.

Miles for the week – 157 (159 for Jayne)

Total miles – 1615

Next weekend Isle of Man!


Sunday, 17 April 2011


Its been a fairly quiet week bike-wise.  Not so work-wise and I may be after a new job soon.

This weekend I stripped down my Ribble.  Without too many options, I decided just to clean it up and rebuild it as a road machine.  The chainrings are the original, now 20 year old, ones, a bio-pace 42 and a 52.  When I’ve got the money I will swap the rings for maybe a 38 and a 48 or 50.  At that point I will also swap the cassette, chain and probably the jockey wheels on the derailleur.

I put what I had back together today.  It is amazing how easy a 7 speed down tube shifter build is compared to the more modern configs.

April 003April 004April 005

Not too bad.  The last pic exaggerates the top half a bit.

On a separate note, we have goldfinches in our garden…

April 001April 002

Miles for the week – 120

Total – 1725



Saturday, 9 April 2011

New Bike

Not mine,Jayne’s.  Whilst she likes her Specialized Dolce there are a couple of small issues with it that are limiting.  There is a fair bit of toe overlap.  This isn’t usually a problem but there are a few places on our usual rides where there is a sharp right turn at the top of a steep hill.  It is a busy junction as well and she is a bit nervous approaching it.  The Dolce won’t take a mudguard either.

So Thursday night we went to Halford’s because they had offers on Boardman bikes.  Their fi Hybrid is a bargain at the moment at £400.  SRAM X5, Avid BB3 disks, aluminium frame.

090411 004 

It isn’t as light as the Dolce, but not far off.  Its a compact double, so the gears don’t go quite as low as the Dolce.  But it has no toe overlap, room for mudguards and eyelets for a pannier rack. 

We bought it!

Today was warm and very sunny, if a bit windy.  We headed out to Scorton.  This would also be Jayne’s longest solo ride this year.  We’d done it on the tandem several times.  The ride out was good, wind mostly behind.

090411 002

We stopped at the Barn for a coffee and tea cake, Jayne had a big piggy cream scone!

After our pit stop, we headed back via Pilling.  We had a relatively easy ride out with the wind moving around so that as we turned south through Pilling to Great Ecc, we were headed straight in to the wind.  Jayne started to struggle, but plugged doggedly on.

We finished with just over 43 miles, her longest solo miles this year.

On a separate note, my friends Simon, Derek and Tim did the Paris Roubaix sportive today.  They all finished and are no doubt knocking back the Leffe with gusto, well done!



Sunday, 3 April 2011

British Summer Time

The clocks changed on Sunday.  So did the weather!  On the plus side it is light til about quarter to eight,.  On the minus side it has been a very windy week.

My big halogen lights and ten ton battery pack are stashed away for the occasional pub run.  The bike seems so much lighter.  It was been very windy though, gale force at times.  The fixie wasn't always the wisest choice for commuting, but I stuck it out.

We put the KHS tandem up on eBay last week.  Sold it to a bloke who wanted to ride with his daughter.  Hope they enjoy it.  Makes a big difference to the cluttered state of the garage.

Saturday morning I’d planned to meet Simon and Catherine and their friends Sally and Annie up at Grizedale.  It was absolutely tipping down while I was getting the bike ready and the car loaded.  It was looking to be a grim day.  As I drove north, the weather improved slightly, but my mood didn’t as I forgot to pull off at the south Lakes turn and had to go on to the next exit and double back.  I was now running late and running short of fuel.  I got a text from Simon saying they were running late too.  The garage at Newby Bridge didn’t have any diesel, hopefully getting some later that morning.  I thought I had enough to get up to Moor Top and back.  Grizedale was hosting an off road triathlon, canoe-mtb-trail run.  The visitors centre and surrounding area was chocker, the North Face trail off limits.  Fortunately Moor Top was too far away to act as an overflow car park.  The others eventually turned up and we set out down the familiar route to Greythwaite.  It seemed a lot more eroded and the tricky bit through the wall was only rideable if you hit the exact line (or were much better than any of us!).  The weather had improved considerable and we were soon down to shirt sleeves.  I had two stupid crashes, first one was just by riding into a tree stump, the second a slow speed front wheel washout.  All in all a great day out.  I managed to get diesel on the way back, but had to queue for 25 minutes at one of the two working pumps.

This morning was the Riby Triathlon.  I was scheduled to man the railway crossing.  There were three or four trains scheduled and I was to stop people trying to get through once the barrier was down and note down numbers so riders could be credited with the lost time.  In the end only two riders were stopped, but I did have to spend the morning in the showery rain.  It’s good to do though as volunteer marshals are what makes these events possible.

This afternoon we did a short trip out to Bond’s for a tea cake.

Miles for the week – 106.  Still running short of my required mileages.  Hopefully now the nights are lighter, we’ll get out some mid week evenings


Friday, 1 April 2011

Old Road Bike

I've got an old road bike. Its a Ribble winter frame, 531, mudguard eyelets front and rear, about 19 years old. It has 105 throughout, but an old version, 7sp, downtube shifters, even Bio Pace chainrings! I've got other bikes, my Hewitt audax and my Pompino fixie, so I don't really need to hang onto the Ribble. But I've had it ages, ridden it thousands of miles and can't bring myself to get rid of it.

So, what do I do with it?

I suppose options are either a full retro-fetish rebuild to its original spec, or just tidy it up and use it as a pub run bike (but to be honest that is what the Pompino does) or spend a bit of money getting it to a modern spec? One possibility would be to fit different cranks and smaller rings and use it for the hillier stuff round here. I've probably got some old Sugino or Stronglight cranks from the tandems lying round in the bits bin. Or maybe another singlespeed. I used to run this as a fixie, maybe I could fit a bmx freewheel to the spare wheel I’ve got?

Any suggestions?