Category: bike maintainance

down the pan……….

As Sunday moved to Monday I became more unsure about sorting out the blocked drain, not because of the job itself but the fact I had made a bad assumption. I believed that outlet of the drain (the bit that goes from the drain to the sewer) was a straight section of pipe from the drain. The problem I saw (wrongly as it turned out) was that from the top of the man hole to the bottom was about 5ft, If I was to stick rods down the manhole and into the sewer pipe that was going to be one hell of a bend in the rods and my concern the rods could break and\or get jammed.

In the end I opted to contact the local council and see if they would help as some of the house that connect to the drain are council house while others are privately owned (all were council at one time). Well they past me from one department to another before I landed at environmental health who were helpful but could not do anything unless I refused to clear the drain (had I gone down that route it would take several day to resolve by which time sewage would seeping from the drains and our toilets out of action). So I contacted the local water company and they said they understood my problem but if I called them out and they had to use a high pressure hose to clear the blockage it was down to me to pay and then recoup the money from my neighbours. So I opted for one of their engineers to come out and make an assessment of the problem before deciding what to do next.

The guy turned up within the hour and let just say he was there for 5 minutes and all my problems drained away. Apparently on the outlet side of the drain there is a U bend (like you have on the back of a toilet). This is to stop sewage from coming back up the pipe if the main sewer floods. So the actual outlet pipe is at about 45degree downwards to the main pipe so there no chance of having a severe bend in the rods when you use the rods to clear the blockage.

One thing that did come to light is that from October 1st, the water company will be responsible for all the drains from the point of leaving the building. So had this of happened after the 1st October it would of been a simple call to the water company.

As I had been sorting out the drains I never got to go for the planned morning ride. I had planned a ride with the wife for Tuesday, she has been out of the saddle for over 12 months following a knee injury and then hayfever induced asthma. So we decided to do the ride in the afternoon. I spent the rest of the morning checking her bike over and fitted a new padded seat cover. In the end all the bike required was air in the tyres, not bad for a bike that has not been used for over 12 month.

I had decided on a simple flat route along the river down to Throop round to Merritown and back to Throop and along the river. Number one son was coming with us as well so not only did I have to ensure the wife would not do anything to injure her knee again and I had to make sure number one son did not ride into the river. Turned out to quite an uneventful 7.8 mile ride, the wife rode of into the distance as I sat back and guided number one son, even he never complained about the distance. He made up for it later that night, he woke up screaming as he had cramp in both his calf muscles….

Last night was weigh-in night and I can happily (if a little bemused) report another 2lb loss. I thought thing were going to be a bit iffy after a meeting with several packets of biscuits last week. I am once again back into the 16st arena and this time I intend to stay in the there unlike the last couple of visits.

Tomorrow I off to somewhere new for a ride and more usually it is a trail centre, after my last trip to new riding area was followed by a visit to A&E I have dug out my knee pads just encase, won’t help my shoulder if I come off but at least my knees will be a bit safer!! More of my road trip tomorrow if I make it back in one piece.

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No it is not some Microsoft chat service but something most driver of a certain age will understand (or least had to understand to pass certain driving tests). Mirror, Signal, Manoeuvre – MSM, what you should do for instant when you wish to change lanes on a motorway or dual carriageway. Unlike the dipstick on Saturday who thought it was proper to just change lanes into the lane I was driving in just as you reach his rear bumper with no signalling and no checking of mirrors and then wonders why the driver behind him is getting so agitated………

I was having to work on Saturday which involved a 2.5 hr drive to Northampton, well it should of been 2.5 hours, by the time we got to Northampton it was just short of 4 hours. We spent 1.5 hours sat in the classic car traffic jam on the A43 near Silverstone, apparently they were holding a Classic Car auction. Mind you I should imagine it was one of the most expensive traffic jams I have sat in, we were surround by E-Type Jags (must have seen at least 20), AC Cobra’s, Austin Healey, Aston Martin, Alfa Romeo, Maserati, Ferrari (various), Ford GT40 (probably a replica), TVR’s Ginetta, Triumph TR5, TR6, Stag, Morgan, Corvette plus many I did not recognise. At least it helped with the delay having something nice to look at.

Due to the delays getting to Northampton and then the job taking longer than intended, I did not get back in time for a ride. I wanted to do a couple of jobs on the bike pre-ride and it was early evening before I had finished. Last time I rode Saturday night and then again Sunday morning my legs were like lead so I gave it a miss.

Sunday dawned to the sound of my alarm clock, I quickly turned it off turned over and went back to sleep for an hour, eventually got up at 7am. This morning ride was the Throop Loop and a visit to Avon Heath Country park (I have been calling it Ashley Heath for some reason). The past couple of weeks I have been riding around what is called South Park which is the section of the country park which is on the south side of Boundary lane. Well according to the nice Dorset Countryside Ranger they don’t encourage cyclist in the South Park but they are happy for them to ride in the North Park which sits between Boundary Lane and the A31. I thanked him and headed for North Park. All in all not a bad ride, another 30 odd miles.

During the ride my Bottom Bracket was letting me know it was not happy, I narrowed the problem down to the left hand-side (as you sit on the bike). On closer inspection back home the bearing did not look to good so I gave it a good clean and re-greased it (did both sides) and will see what it says on the next ride.

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success for once (even twice!)

While I would hate to tempt fate by saying the tide is turning but at least this week a couple of things have gone my way for once rather than going against me. First thing to go my way was finding an Avid Brakes Bleed kit at nearly half price. Searching the Internet I found the kits available from £39 to £45, then I found All Terrain Cycles who were selling the kit at £24.98 (click here for details). To be perfectly honest at that price I was expecting something less than the full kit I had seen else where on the Internet, but I took the chance and ordered a kit on Tuesday night. I was impressed when the daughter phoned me to tell me a parcel had arrived for me on Thursday morning. I was even more impressed when I unwrapped the parcel and it was the full Avid bleed kit I had seen.

Avid Bleed kit picture

Having two mountain bikes with Avid hydraulic brakes, learning how to bleed my own brakes is not only going to be a useful skill to learn but also an investment as I won’t need to pay lbs prices (even though he his prices are very reasonable) to have my brakes bled in future (I hope!!).

The second thing to go my way was the fact that tonight I was able to bleed my rear brake on the Cannondale and get it working properly first time. Now I can insert the wheel without the disc binding on the brake pads, a quick spin up and down the road showed the brake working correctly.

Unfortunately I have to work tomorrow morning, so it will be an afternoon ride hopefully and a normal ride on Sunday (a first two ride weekend for a few weeks).

Something else that went my way this week (just remembered). I have now got Memory map running properly on my new PC. Since moving to the new PC I have not been able to get some maps working correctly. Well after seeking out a bit of help I got this working in the week. Hopefully this good luck streak will keep going (euro lottery hint hint!!)

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