Category: Local Bike SHop

where is my snow??

While much of the north and east of the country has had enough of the early winter snow, as usual us lot down south have not seen so much as a snow flake. The forecast is possibly a sprinkling of snow tonight and maybe some sleet or snow showers tomorrow and Sunday. Tuesday and Wednesday is looking good though according to the weather forecasters (like they never get it wrong), as a weather front moves up from the south, I won’t be holding my breath.

The past week has been a week I would prefer to forget, got really stressed out on Wednesday and saw the diet go out the window. I have had so little sleep this past week, I go to bed at the normal time. Then I will drop of the sleep quickly and then suddenly wake up and then lay there for a couple of hours trying to get back to sleep or just lay there for a couple of hours trying to sleep. Then I wake up around 4 or 5am in the morning and then I am awake then until I get up. I felt so rough when I got up Thursday morning, I woke up with a stinking headache, the wimp inside inside me called in sick for the day. So I got my day off this week just not the way I wanted.

Got the bike to the cycle shop in the week, but not Cyclefix, I think the guy who runs it must be either on holiday or ill as everytime I have phoned it has gone to answer phone. I have not had chance to even go past the shop to check. So I had to get the bike to another shop, decide to go to BikeLab who did a good job getting my suspension bearings sorted out. While doing the spoke they even spotted my rear brake pads were non existent and put a new pair of pads on for me, not sure how I had missed them getting so badly worn.

Will take the bike out tomorrow in icy the cold, have to be up early tomorrow as the son is doing his grammar school entrance exam and I have a choice, go for a bike ride or spend 5 hours in a shopping centre with lots of other shoppers??………………………BIKE RIDE it is then!!. Thinking of going round Badbury Rings way, I have two routes I can do, not sure which one I will choose, maybe a mix of the two!

Well I have to get my kit ready for tomorrow so I am out of here

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ping………there goes another spoke

Got back from my ride this afternoon and as I got off the bike to open the back gate my eye were drawn to an odd lump on the rim of the rear wheel. On closer inspection it turned out to be the broken tip of a spoke nipple, a first for me, all the spoke I have broken in the past have been on the elbow of the spoke on the hub end. Not sure when it broke as there was no jumps or heavy landing (or landing for that matter) on to-days ride, the only thing I can remember is hitting on tree root a bit hard with my butt still on the seat (caught me un-aware). Checked the wheel and there is a little buckle in the wheel so the bike is off to CycleFix in the week to have a new spoke and the rear wheeled trued and I will probably get them to check the gears over, I just can’t seem to get them running without sounding like a bag of nails, the gear changes up and down front and rear ok, there is no slipping or anything but the gears just do not sound right.

The ride this morning was a hard slog, my legs were still suffering from yesterdays ride and with mud everywhere it was a slog, I did my normal Throop loop and tried a couple of new paths particularly in Ramsdown Forest as the normal route will be under water, so I have now opted for a winter route and will wait till the drier months to arrive next year before I get back to the summer route. Apart from the slog through the mud and the spoke it was uneventful.

Tomorrow night is weigh-in night, the week has been so-so food wise so will have to see what the scales say. Hopefully I have a day off this coming week so will try and get a ride in somewhere, depending on the weather.

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a good day all round

Day started fairly well, went out for a ride this morning, had heavy rain overnight but the sun was breaking through the clouds and more white clouds were appearing all the time, no sign of the cold north west wind they had been promising, in fact I ended up taking my jumper off I was that warm. I decided to ride over the local heath (so I could play in the mud) as I only had a couple of hours available to ride. Once I got off the main road it soon became apparent that my bike was not happy at the rear, there was this definite rubbing sound from the rear gears. I could change gear up or down the cassette without a problem, it made no difference what chain ring I selected up front, there was no slipping or jumping gear and the noise was worse the lower the gear I selected on the rear. So as I rode I made some frantic adjustment with the thumb screw on the gear change but that made absolutely no difference.

By now I was well into the heath and decided to try a path I had not tried before and this lead off on to a very narrow single track section and at one stage through a deep man-made almost trench like section, my pedal at the top of the stroke were about level with the top of the trench and as this was uphill I was not keen of pushing the it with the noise from the rear so I walked up the trench pushing my bike looking a bit like the hunch back of Notre Dame with me on top of the trench bent over pushing my bike up the trench.

As I reached the far end of the heath apart from the noise, the gears were behaving so I decided on my normal route which involved going up a few slopes. The bike performed well as did its riders, the gears remained solid and I managed to clear a steep section of hill that I have never been able to clear in one go before, the dog walker at the top thought I was having a heart attack when I got to the top but hey I did it.

As I rounded the far end of the heath after riding around the tip and with the noise still emanating from the rear (no worse or quieter than when I noticed it) I decided not to push my luck and decided to head for home. This is where I had an argument with a bus, there is a section of road with a slight down hill bias through a residential area which I normally ride flat out. With cars parked on the opposite side of the road in meant the on coming bus was on my side of the road, not a problem normally except that this bus was closer to the kerb on my side the road than he was to the car parked on the his side, when I say closer I mean about 3ft gap my side and a 6ft gap his side, he eventually pulled over a bit but I don’t enjoy playing chicken with a bus!

After I got back home I had to go into town and collect my two suspension arms from the local bike shop. They had sent then back to the Whyte distributors to be checked over. When I collected the suspension arms I found 8 new bearings had been fitted and best bit of all, FOC (even though I never bought the the bike from them). My thanks have to go to ATB Sales the Whyte distributor and Bike Lab. Will spend part of tomorrow sorting out the Cannondale gears (been given some things to check) and starting to put the Whyte back together.

On my return from the bike shop I became a couch potato watching the England v New Zealand rugby, then the F1 qualifying, and then the Ireland v South Africa rugby match. Tomorrow afternoon it will be F1 from Brazil

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it is not fair

While I was writing last nights blog, I felt a twinge in my left wrist, thought nothing of it, just a twinge. Well that twinge kept me awake for half the night and currently hurts like hell. I don’t have a clue what I have done, I can move my wrist and fingers, but when I spread my fingers I get a pain in the wrist. Went out to do some shopping, I can’t operate the handbrake on the car and changing gear is painful. There is absolutely no chance of me hanging onto the handle bars of my bike for the planned ride today (and probably not tomorrow), why me?? what have I done to deserve this??

While we were out I popped into the LBS to find out what was happening with my suspension bearings, apparently the two carriers and the bearings have been send back to the distributor for them to give them the once over. Out of the 8 bearings the shop recommended 5 to be changed. Will have to see what the distributors have to say next week.

Well if I can’t ride I will have to go for a walk, got to get some exercise some how 🙁

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bearing in mind

After an abortive attempt to get the bearings out of the suspension link arms yesterday I decided it was job for the proper tools so off to the shop I went (via the phone at first) and then had a stroke of luck. One of the shops I spoke to is a Marin dealer (related to Whyte) and they told me that the bearings have a lifetime warranty, so I should get replacement bearings for free and only have to pay for the removal and fitting of the bearing to the link arms. Bad news is that the distributor is out of stock of bearing at the moment, so it look like the Whyte will be off the road for a few days.

While we were at the LBS yesterday I got the my son to sit on a 24″ wheeled kids bike, which is did very easily, so easy in fact that the Martin from the shop wheeled out a 26″ wheeled bike for him to try, putting the seat right down he was able to climb on no problem, in fact the seat would have to go up a bit so that he could pedal properly, everything was going alright until Martin said he was actually sitting on a girls bikes!! dear son could not get off quick enough………. At least we know now that he could get onto a small framed 26″ wheeled bike.

In the afternoon I sorted out the Cannondales rear gears (trouble getting the low gears) so I would have at least one bike to ride. Then I was out for a test ride, it would only be a short ride as it was 4:00pm when I left. I put my riding shorts on (as opposed to my leggings) and was surprised by how warm it was as I did a small loop along the river and around Throop. It was cold in the shade but nice and warm in the sun, wished I had gone out earlier for a longer ride.

Hopefully my new light will turn up this week, it is the UK somewhere, just got to wait for Parcel Farce to deliver it.

Last night was weight-in night and to my surprise I lost 1.5lbs, I was really expecting another gain because of my eating habits from last week. Obviously somewhere along the lines I must of got my eating right, really need to crack on and get it right again this week. and get into a new number (16st something as opposed to 17st something). Think I will make some more chicken noodle soup today.

As I finish writing this guess what has just arrived in the post…………………..my new light!!

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