Monday, 28 June 2010

Joe’s Bike Build

As part of the deal for getting my P7 back from Joe, I agreed to build up another bike for him to keep at his place in France.  I have an old Claud Butler frame in the garage, one of two my sister had.  It was my first mountain bike, bought in about 1992.  I had already overhauled the headset and put a newish bottom bracket in.  The cranks from the P7 sat too far out.  The front mech was also a top pull one.  So I put some cranks off one of the boys old bikes and the mech off the original Claud Butler.  Rear mech was the old XT one from the P7.

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The front wheel needed the hub re-packing and the rim is a bit worn, but it seems OK.  The rear hub seemed OK, but I just couldn’t get it tightened up properly, it was either too tight or too much play.  Also, the dropouts on the CB seem to be a bit narrow and the quick release wouldn’t engage properly until I’d put a thicker washer in the stack.

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Front brake were STX, rear LX, canti’s.  No idea where the STX brakes came from, out of my parts bit, but only one set.

The rest of the kit pretty much swapped over from the P7.  I still need to do the rear gears, I didn’t have a long enough cable.  So nearly finished

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Sunday, 27 June 2010

Poor week again

Despite the beautiful weather, it has been yet another poor week.  I was in Switzerland Monday to Thursday.  We did a bit of walking, but no riding.

I got back Thursday afternoon and we had our normal Thirsty Thursday ride, although it was just me, Jayne and Nic, the others were away in the Alps riding.

Friday was normal ride to work day.  We were busy most of Saturday, but got out for about 16 miles in the afternoon.  I did get on with Joe’s replacement bike and have finished all but the rear mech cos I didn’t have a long enough cable.  Should get it finished soon though.

Sunday we had arranged to take Jayne’s bike to get its one month fettle.  So we drove up to Kendal and dropped it off.  I tried some shorts on but we went over to Wheelbase and Wilf’s.  I ended up buying a pair of Altura Pro Gel shorts from Wheelbase and a pair of Northwave shorts in Evans.  Jayne got a nice Fox shirt on sale as well.

We did about 16 miles again this afternoon, out to Daryl’s and back via the villa.

Not a bad week considering I was away for 4 days, but not great.

Miles for the week – 70

For the year to date – 2604



Sunday, 20 June 2010

Another mediocre week

Despite glorious weather, its been another mediocre week.  I rode in on Monday but had to go to Bristol Tuesday/Wednesday/Thursday.  I did get out briefly on Wednesday.  I rode out through the docks and down the Avon gorge, then very foolishly for a man on a fixie, decided to ride up and over the suspension bridge.  Not only that, but after riding up, missed the turn and rode down into Clifton Village and had to ride up to the bridge again!  It was a very nice evening though.


Nobody was out Thursday, so Jayne and I rode out to the Plough on the tandem.  It was a beautiful evening.  I rode in on Friday, but my mileage was poor.  I had hoped to top 2500 mile last week and was struggling to achieve it this week as well.  Jayne and I went for a short spin yesterday but I was still a couple of miles short of the required total.

Today we planned to go out to the Weird Fish, and if I was back in time, to also meet up with Simon for a spin.  In the end, we didn’t get away on time, the service at the Weird Fish was worse than its usual appallingly slow, so I texted Simon to say we’d maybe see him on the road.  We met up with him near Myerscough and decided that the two of us would head up round Inglewhite for a bit of a climb and try to catch up with Jayne on the way back.  Well we never caught up with Jayne.  It was Simon’s first long ride in quite a while and he was paying the price for his fast start.  But I did get the necessary miles in.

The rest of the weekend has been spent on a special project.  I used to have an Orange P7.  When I got my Marin full suss in 1999, I sold it to Joe, who was just getting into mountain biking.  Joe subsequently also bought a Marin full suss and consigned the P7 to being a baby seat bike at his place in France. Karl and Simon and a couple of guys at work have all recently bought new P7’s and I was getting a bit nostalgic.  I asked Joe if there was any chance of getting it back and last week he brought it back from France for me!

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The agreement is that I build up another frame as a replacement.  I will swap most of the parts over, but some won’t go, like the Suntour XC top swing front mech.

I spent most of Saturday stripping it down.  It is a disgrace!  I am not very fussy about maintenance, but his goes way beyond anything I would suffer.  There was about a centimetre of play in the bottom bracket, same again for both wheels, play in the headset.  It took me 15 minutes to wrestle the seat post out.  The bottom bracket was a nightmare.  I bought a new bottom bracket tool and even with it bolted in place and Jayne steadying the frame, I had to stand on the wrench to get it to undo.  It was a mess of rust.

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Eventually I got it stripped down.  Today I started swapping the bits on to an old Claud Butler frame I had (remember the most expensive free bike ever?).  It is going well.  I’ve got cranks, mechs and bars fitted.  I’ve overhauled the front hub and need to do the back.  Should be good in a couple of weeks.

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I’m off to Switzerland tomorrow, working unfortunately.  So it won’t get any attention til Friday.  Nor will my miles be very good next week either.  I need to plan to take my bike with me in future.

Anyway, it turned out to be an OK week and I did top 2500 miles well ahead of schedule.

For the week – 101 miles

For the year to date – 2534



Sunday, 13 June 2010

After the Good Week …

My poorest mileage since March, 57 miles.  This was largely due to having a cold and therefore not riding in to work.

I had Monday off because it was Jayne’s birthday.

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We had decided to go up to Arnside in the car and ride out from there.  As we drove up, there were spits and spots of rain on the windscreen.  We thought we might get wet.  I had swapped the little Barley bag for the bigger Nelson so we could carry rain jackets and leggings.  As we set up, the rain eased and we wouldn’t see it for the rest of the ride.  The route had us going out on quiet back roads, over to Kirby Lonsdale.  It was quite hilly, but not too extreme.  The first big climb into Burton in Kendal was a killer and Jayne very nearly beat me up it. 

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From there is was a series of rolling climbs to the top of the crags near Hutton Roof.  This is an area of limestone pavements and the crags support a unique ecosystem.  Off the crags was 5 miles of down hill into Kirby Lonsdale.  This is a pretty market town and tourist honey pot just on the edge of the Dales/Pennines.  We stopped at the Mews cafe for soup and a sandwich.

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We set off sans tea cake because we new there was a steep climb back up to Hutton Roof.  Once off the busy A road, we climbed on very quiet single lane roads.  The occasional motorist happy to pull over and let us struggle by.  Once past Hutton Roof, it was a rolling, mostly down hill back to the A6 then more smaller hills over to Arnside.  All in all, 28 miles and a deserved pint in the pub.

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Looking out over the estuary to the Lake District (apologies for the poor pictures)

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We packed the bikes up and headed home.  We immediately ran into heavy rain and were told when we got home it had rained on and off all day.

I rode in on Tuesday, but my cold was getting a grip by then so I didn’t ride the rest of the week.  We did our normal Thirsty Thursday ride.  I was on my fixie for the first time in ages.  We took it really easy on the way out, but a bit faster on the way back.  I was first up Carr hill, first time ever I think.  But I was knackered.  Good job I only had a mile or so to get home.

I’ve not ridden other than this.  I had hoped to top 2500 miles this week but it wasn’t to be.  Jayne’s parents came up Friday and took us out to eat on Saturday.  It was also club day here and Liam was in the parades with scouts and beavers.

57 miles for the week

2433 for the year



Tuesday, 8 June 2010

Big week

My best week so far this year, and I think probably my best week for years.

205 miles !!!!!

Yes, 205 miles last week. 

It was a bank holiday on Monday and Karl and I were going to go up to the Lakes to meet some of the others.  But the traffic was mad so we decided to do something local and headed for Chipping.  The route appeared on paper to be fairly timid compared to some of the Lakes routes, but it turned out to be a bit of an epic.  The ride out of Chipping was up through a parkland farm then up onto the fells proper.  Several traverses and a long grassy decent got us to Hereden and the big push.  I was knackered.  But at the top we were faced with Ouster Rake.  This is effectively a foot wide rut running down a peat and rock cliff face, at about 30%.  It took nerve.  Nerve it turned out I didn’t have.

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I have a big bruise on my hip and 20+ miles under my belt.

The rest of the week was the normal commute and Thirsty Thursday, although only Ian could make it, Karl was away mountain bike guiding.  We got away early and did a few extra miles.

Friday is usually pub day, but with Karl away Jayne and I went on a slightly longer ride out to the Running Pump for plaice and chips and a couple of pints.

Saturday Jayne and I went out to the Weird Fish for a tea cake and a coffee.  Sunday I did a long ride through the Trough with Ian.  Ian has a broken rib and is ten years older than me and still beat me up all the hills and towed me home when the wind got up.

Today Jayne and I drove out to Arnside and did a 25+ mile ride to Kirby Lonsdale, Jayne on her new bike!

205 miles for the week

2376 miles for the year