- Sunday Evening Ride
- Cannondale branded arse comfort!
- MTB – The Quantocks – January 2012
- Arse Saver!
- Cannondale Bad Boy…
- I won!
- Test Drive #1
- Topeak Bikamper – Interesting…
- Bad Boy – Shimano Alfine Oil Bath
- Shimano Alfine 8 Oil Bath
- Garmin 305 Edge
- Cycling to work
- Cycling FROM Work
- New Toys! C3 Stem, Carbon Bars and Shoes!
- I’m in!
- Todays Ride – Damp
- Multi-tool realisation.
- Pedal faster… IT’S COMING!!
- Tubus Logo rack on the Bad Boy 8.
- Titanium, Touch up Paint and Brakes
- Is its a bird? Is it a plane? No…
- Garmin Upload
- Garmin Upload
- Thursday… again.
- A dedicated ride.
- New “Driver Of Negative Gumption” Award
- D.O.N.G – BL51 YZW
- Best start blogging again…
- Ralph Colmans – Taunton
- Devon Coast to Coast Cycle – The Lessons
- A Solar Charger for Cycling
Yesterday my lastest toy arrived A solar charger for cycling this summer. It’s an ebay purchase and is pretty much exactly what I need.
It’s 18cm wide, 26cm long and only 2cm in depth with the battery box on the back. I’m not sure if I’ll be taking that off yet as I don’t really have a need for it. (It’s so apple products will charge) It all depends on the bag I get and the mounting options.
It comes with a USB lead featuring a surprising number of different charging plugs and an extending connector in case I want to extend it with another panel.
It’s spent today earning its keep at the window charging my rear light. A quick link to the ebayer.
It’s coming round fast… when I say “it” I am of course referring to our Annual cycle trip. Last year… we did the The Devon Coast to Coast cycle – a popular and well known, well signed route, and as
our my first cycling trip of any real length also bought about a few lessons…
- Choice of Bike
- Choice of Saddle
The bike I had used for the Devon Coast to Coast was my only bike (at the time) a 1999 Cannondale Super V 700 Freeride. A full suspension mountain bike with massive tubeless knobbly tyres. On parts of the trip it was truly amazing (namely the longer down hill off road surfaces), unfortunately the tyres weren’t best suited to the roads and heading up the hills.
The saddle was also a
mistake… lesson. Just the day before we were due to depart my gel saddle cracked, split and got thrown out so I had to quickly find a replacement. Most would have gone for something sensible… I on the other hand decided on a super slim racing saddle – Lightweight, covered in pretty tan leather and bloody unbearable for all 100+ miles (Day 2 Dave was punished with it… so we shared the pain). It took only a couple of days after getting home to burn it so no man may ever have to suffer again.
Accommodation – We found ourselves staying both nights in tents… at places where there were options to stay in rooms or Yurts… but since we’d been dragging tents and sleeping bags along with us it would have been rude not to use them. The first night we stopped at http://www.yarde-orchard.co.uk a wonderful little place… homecooked food, hot shower, toilets, clean and warm and there was a film night in the cafe. £6 a night per person camping and then reasonably priced meals in the evening. Staff so helpful that we were late for breakfast but still they managed to find us toast and a big pot of coffee. The second night was quite the contrast… http://www.foxandhoundshotel.com – what a shit tip. Tried to inform people we had arrived… no one interested… the shower and toilet block was up some very ropey steps, dirty, without power, hot water, toilet roll or privacy. We used the pub for a meal… it was nothing special… after a full days cycling a cream cracker would have been special. (Just saying) Owner/manager was rude and uninterested in anything other than shutting early. After packing up in the morning no one again was interested in taking our money or otherwise… so we left… and when I got home I left reviews for them, truly disappointing… and all because we bought tents along… next time they can stay at home… that way we won’t need the…
Trailers. Bloody Trailers. Stuart was equipped with a single wheeled axle mounted cargo trailer, requiring him to keep all his weight over the bars for the most part. I had opted for the 2 wheeled seat post mount trailer… The “CT Adventure 2″ ideal since I could easily swap it between mine and Dave’s bike in minutes… providing I had checked they both had the same size seatpost. Bugger. Stuarts trailer, despite the weight seemed to survive quite well. Mine on the other hand… It looked a little more substantial than others available and was purchased for £73 from ebay – Local pickup too! I discovered a warning sticker once I got it home… “Do not exceed 10kg and 12mph”… what kind of adventure is that? Well it took all of about 10 minutes to load 20kg of luggage into it and after crawling up the 1st hill out of Ilfracombe with it I soon reached 20mph+. By the end of the 1st day the we’d had 1 puncture and the wheels were looking a little heavy on the camber… I wheeled the trailer up next to the tent… make that 2 punctures! On either day 2 or 3 we hit quite a bumpy bridleway… Trailer wasn’t keen and at a fair speed decided to make a break for it. The wheels by this point were pointing totally different directions. I loaded the bearings up with grease and bent them back as straight as I could. It got us home… but went straight back on ebay… I got £45 back on that. Money that this year is being spent on B&B’s.
As you can imagine… The bike… those tyres, the trailer and the saddle made for quite an uncomfortable experience. This year will be different. Since cycling to work twice a week last year as well I have a better idea of how to prepare myself. The Cannondale Super V will remain in the garage… the Cannondale Bad Boy will be coming along… More on that soon.
So… I’ve been a brave boy… venturing out alone into the night… smashing Thermos Flasks… and taking photos… The latest batch have been due to some very clear skies (Pre-flooding) and have resulted in some rather brilliant results… if the feedback I have received from fellow facebookers is anything to go by…
So I’ve set up and online shop and now by request I have star photos for sale!
Back when I had the recumbent trike… my 2 front wheels needed sorting… so my first point of call was my local bike shop. Ralph Colmans in Taunton… The plan was discussed with a chap in the workshop… I had 2 wheels that needed rebuilding… left my wheels, my details and let them get on with it. So 3 weeks later I popped them a phone call to find out how they had got on as I had heard nothing. And it turns out they had done nothing too. My details had been either lost or not written down correctly… but now they had them things would turn out alright, they would call me the next day to let me know what they can do once they had got details from their suppliers. A fortnight later after still hearing nothing… I went in a picked up my wheels. Still in exactly the same condition.What a poor service!
I wasn’t best pleased and decided that I would give the other local bike shops a call first in future before going back.
Over time of course I have slowly eased my way back in there when parts weren’t available elsewhere. More recently a friend told me that he found their bike servicing great. He knows nothing about bikes so just drops it off and picks it up, Pays his money, Happy days. Since the Cannondale BadBoy has popped a spoke and I am soon going to find myself stranded somewhere between work and home with half a wheel I have given in and taken it in.
2 weeks ago I asked about it and was told they wouldn’t be able to fit it in until the Friday 12th October. I booked it then and there. The chap took spoke measurements, bike info and my details and confirmed my booking. A friday works well for me as they are open late on Thursday for it to be dropped off and can pick it up Saturday morning.
I dropped it in at 6.30 last night, and at lunch time today I received the call… I was hoping for “yes sir… its ready for you” but I got more of a “We don’t have any of the right length spokes left in black”. Since I wanted it done properly I turned down their offer of silver spokes.
The right spokes will be ordered Monday and they can fit the bike in AGAIN next friday. In the meantime they don’t have a bike available for me to borrow either. So next friday it looks like it will be. I have requested that they repair the 1 spoke that is out now to allow me to get to and from work for the next week, then they can start the wheel again with all the correct spokes. I should hope I can update this again tomorrow morning with the single spoke repaired and my booking for next friday to be confirmed with a guarantee of completion on the friday.
I’m going to be kind and offer them a link to their site – Poor Service, Ralph Colmans – Taunton . Lets hope things improve.
Been a while since my last update… Managed a week in Spain mid august so the cycling took a break but was replaced by some very relaxed lengths of the pool and a fair bit of walking in temperatures approaching 40 degrees.
The final ride home before I left involved a small incident where the GoPro nearly became a NoPro. The genuine handlebar brackets available are about as useful as a fart in a spacesuit. I noticed it had started to vibrate… then wobble… then it fell off… and was then passed over by a lorry and 3 cars until a lovely young lady stopped to allow me to pick it up. The camera was intact and still recording. I managed to mount it on a much smaller bracket (that was still in one piece) facing sideways on the way home… just to see what it came out like… it did in fact record a stupid arse who will get a post of her own shortly.
So more recently the bike has been performing ok, a quick adjustment of the mud guards… nothing too serious… until yesterday… when the 1st spoke decided it would break free from the hub… So now… obviously being me I will want to get this sorted… if one goes… they’re all going to go and its just going to be an expensive game of change the spokes… So i am going to look at my options for a complete rebuild of the wheel… and possibly with a new rim too.
The ride in yesterday was consistent with the others… a 1.10 I think. The ride home was the best for ‘work to home’ time yet. 1.06. My time is getting marginally quicker bearing in mind that I have added the rack, the mudguards and am now a spoke down… I did notice yesterday that my average heart rate for the journey was 155 when I started and I am now seeing 142. I’ve also lost 10lb since I started cycling and with very little adjustment to my diet. Excellent!
Well – here it is… the 1st D.O.N.G. Award goes to a driver who feels it is totally unnecessary to have to pull out around a cyclist. Yes BL51 YZM – That’s you!
As you can see… between the last photo… and the next photo… his position on the road has NOT changed. Clearly his steering lock has engaged and he is unable to turn his car. Well… either that or he has no regard for other road users… at least those that are unlikely to cause unrepairable damage to his Jag.
What a massive D.O.N.G.
Following an incident a couple of weeks ago now involving some hairdresser type not noticing the fluorescent cyclist as she passed with her wing mirror UNDER my handlebars… (a quick yell and the universal hand gesture for please give me more room resulted in a middle finger reply!!) I have taken to recording ALL my journeys.
I’m fairly certain on a daily basis I could report at least 1 bad or dangerous driver if I felt so inclined. I also struggle with the stay calm “no one can enter my bubble” attitude. Well… they do enter my f**king bubble and I tend to think that if people insist on driving into my bubble then they should either offer up an apology (even a little sorry wave will suffice)… or perhaps even stopping to justify why they believe a several tonne lump of metal/plastic should be a fair match against a 10kg human powered piece of aluminium. Unfortunately both of these are very rare outcomes from such scenarios. Instead I am going to start posting up the “Driver Of Negative Gumption” daily award or D.O.N.G for short. I had previously wanted to go with “Motorist Of…” but figured this is probably not the best option (Mr Gervais?).
Most of the time I am sure just a quick frame or 2 from the video, their registration plate and of course any reply I wish to make to their actions will help calm me… in more exciting cases then I expect I’ll upload the video to YouTube. It would be lovely in time of course to hear from any of the drivers featured. Stay tuned…
Turned out alright…
Few ingredients swapped out and a bit spicy…
Odd morning… I woke up to sunshine and lots of it. So first thing was to fold the waterproofs up and stick them on the rack. Earph0nes in… Garmin on. Everything felt good this morning… Like a small person must feel when they see a massive biscuit. I was determined this was going to be a good ride. The playlist was the usual but on random… certain songs came on at certain hills and with a bit more out of the saddle they just seemed to flatten right out.
So… my previous best… 1 hour 9 minutes.
This mornings time… 1 hour 5 minutes.
Feels really good, loads of extra flies in teeth this morning. Be nice to see 1 hour by the end of “the summer” whatever that might be.