Tag: cannondale

playing in the mud

I think the weather forecasting gods must have been listening to me a couple of weeks ago when I posted about the lousy weather forecasting. Last nights – this morning forecast was correct, overnight rain ending around 7am. It was not raining when I looked out the window at 7am, must admit it did not look inspiring but it was not raining.

After a late breakfast I wheeled the Cannondale out the shed and fitted the new chain and completed the other couple of jobs I had to do. There were still dark heavy clouds in the sky but no rain was falling. Looking around it seemed as though we had had a lot of rain over night.

I left the house at 11:30 having decided to do a short loop around Canford Heath. My earlier speculation that we had had a lot of rain was soon proved right, the path from the golf club was a very muddy. I other thing that struck me was how warm it was, by the time I rode up the short slope to the second gate I was sweating and I was only wearing a long sleeved base layer, cycling jumper and my padded cycling shorts….yes shorts! The trails were either very muddy or a running stream. After a short loop of the heath I headed for home, I wanted to save some energy for tomorrows long ride.

Looking over on Bike Radar and I came across a link to this site Bicycle Design Blog. The basic of the site is that budding bicycle designers submit drawings plans for complete bikes or bike components. These budding designers can be anything from a professional designer to a kid sat in his bedroom. I am still working my way through the blog, but the three wheeled cycle buggy for the disabled looks great.

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the end of a long week

Been a week of major problem this past 5 days, the problems peaked this morning when one of our three main servers decided it did not like of its hard disks. Fortunately dealing with the problem was easy, contact support, arrange new hard disk and shut the server down. Trying to educate the users that the server is not working and to use one of the other two servers took all morning and I am only talking 80 users.

Firstly they would not log off from the failing server, then when they had been asked not to log back on to the server they did log back on and got upset when I kicked them off the server. Then when they could not log back on they complained that they were unable to log back on. Fortunately by lunch time the message had gotten through to most of them.

I am hoping to get a couple of rides in this weekend, we have rain over night which should be finished early morning so maybe lunch time I can pop out for a ride. Might even try and get the Cannondale out on Saturday, just the new chain and a couple of little jobs to do. Sunday looks like the better day, so hopefully I will get a nice long ride out on Sunday.

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there is always tomorrow

But tomorrow never comes as my mum says

I woke up this morning to the sound of the wind howling and looking out the window the pampas grass was swaying around madly in the wind and the roads were wet with rain, just then the duvet called out my name so I went back to bed, this morning ride never happened. I wanted to go out riding this weekend but the inner wimp won the battle this weekend. While there is always tomorrow I am out for the weekly weigh in so I won’t be riding tomorrow either.

I spent the morning working on the Cannondale, only three jobs to do on the bike now, strip and re-grease the peddles, measure & fit the chain (see below) and then strip and re-grease the headset. I have not done a headset before but as this is a basic headset it has loose ball bearing (which I will probably replace anyway) so it is a case of strip clean and re-grease and re-assemble. I want to measure the chain to ensure it is the right length, as opposed to counting the links on the existing chain as I have had a lot of chain suck on this bike so I want to measure the length to ensure that the it is not to long and slapping about and causing the chain suck.

This afternoon I took a PC I had built from bits over to a friend for her daughter, only to get a phone call when I got back home saying the mouse is dead. Not sure what is going on but no amount of coaxing over the phone would persuade it to work. Unfortunately I can’t get over there until Tuesday night now.

While on line the other night somebody posted a link to a youtube video of some early mountain bike racing (XC type). Watch the video below, these pioneers of the mountain bike riding are not hanging around and take some hefty falls. While it is German video (I think), listen to the “OOo’s”, “ah’s”, applause and occasional gasp from the crowd.

Talking of falling off your mountain bike, I think I have worked out why my hip hurts, back in all the ice over xmas I fell of my bike and landed in a heap in the road on my right hip (thankfully it was a quite road). This morning I found that I can feel a metal bar through the foam padding on the drivers seat of my car. This bar run right next to my hip and I think the foam has moved. Not sure what I can do about the bar in the car seat but the car is due for replacement in July this year.

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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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1 year today and the wonders it has brought

12 months ago today I was taking my first tentative ride on my new mountain bike along with the wife on her new mountain bike, the most memorable moments of that ride was the wife falling off (which she has carried on doing over the last 12 months). So here we are 12 months down the line, I have just got over a pain in the butt\back injury after a fall and the wife is off her bike after aggravating an old knee injury in a fall off her bike earlier in the year, nothing has changed?

Well the fact is a lot has changed, I think that first ride totalled about 4 miles (which was all on road\cycle paths), a few weeks ago I completed a ride of just under 31 miles of which 75% was off road and I regularly do one ride per week in the mid 20’s (off road).

The bike I bought 12 months ago was a Cannondale F5 2009 has changed quite a bit since I wheeled it out the shop, biggest change is a frame swap under warranty and as the old F5 frame was no longer available any more it is sporting an F2 frame. I have also upgraded the front forks, fitted different handle bars and saddle and many other items due to wear and tear.

One of the reasons for all the changes to the bike is that I have now got into mountain bike riding, 12 months ago I just wanted a bike to ride to help with the weight loss and fitness. Had I known I would become involved in mountain biking I think I may have done some research and possibly ended up with a different bike. Which is possibly why I now own 2 mountain bikes having obtained my Whyte E120 a few months ago.

Since getting the mountain bikes I have packed in my then main hobby which was kite flying, lack of flying facilities locally meant all my kit spent most of its time sat in the shed. At least with my riding I can start rides from my house and have forest, heathland and hills I can ride within an hour drive. OK they may not be mountains (don’t think I am ready to ride up a mountain yet) but at least I am out riding every weekend.

The question I guess must be has riding helped my weight loss and fitness? Well my weight when I bought the bike was 19st 1.5lbs and on Monday just gone I was 17st 3.5lbs, a 26lbs loss. Now I am not suggesting that all that loss is riding as I have been dieting as well but I am sure it has helped. One of the problems I am looking at now is the fact of fuelling myself before and during a ride, a lot of the ‘energy’ food and drinks out there are not exactly diet friendly. I am looking at what is available and will probably post what I find in a blog later in the year.

As for fitness, I can remember some of the hills on the local heath when I first tried going up them, regardless of walking or riding up them, I was a gasping panting wreck when I got to the top, the only difference between walking and riding was the intensity of my panting and gasping when I reached the top. Now I am able to ride up those same hills without much of a problem, it may not be fast or pretty but I am riding up them.

One good side affect of the cycling is the fact that I have discovered little corners of Hampshire and Dorset that I never knew existed. A lot of my school holidays were spent in my dads lorry doing deliveries (cattle food), so I got to see lots the Hants and Dorset countryside. But I have been to corners of both counties in the last 12 months I never knew existed. I have come face to face with Lama’s, Alpaca’s and deer…………well the deer was more face to butt but hey ho!! I have walked along paths where the weeds were that tall you could only just see the top of the front wheel as you pushed the bike through on its back wheel!! I have rested on the Purbeck hills over looking the blue waters of Poole and Swanage bays and looked at Corfe Castle ruins from the same height as the top of the ruins.

On the downside I have a great distaste for riding in traffic ( to be honest I think it is more like re-awakened) and will do what ever I can to avoid it and yes that will include riding on the pavement. OK I know thats is a big no no to some cyclist but I am responsible for my own safety and the pavement is where I feel safer.

So what targets do I have for my second year of mountain biking, I think the wife would like me to say spend less on cycling but we all know that would not be much fun…….. I want to improve my hill climbing, I would like to be able to do a 50 mile ride where at least 85% of the ride is off road and of course lose a lot more weight. It seems strange sitting here thinking that if I do the same as I have done in the last 12 months I could be sitting here in 12 months time stating that my weight is around 15st.

Well I have waffled enough, better leave something write about in 12 months time

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