Johnny says…

There goes the Bottom Bracket!

So there I am, pushing to get home from work yesterday and I hear a grating squealing type sound whenever I put force through the pedals…

I free wheel a while, no noise, spin up and the squeal grind starts up again. Oh dear, it would appear after 3 years of use that Scarlet’s Bottom Bracket is shot… poor girl!

Anyhow, I slowed up and nursed the squealing girl home, considering my options as I went:

  1. Take bike to bike shop, get new BB fitted and get the headset bearings done, wheels aligned and a general service
  2. Don’t be such a lazy git and do it myself

So I ended up on option 2, and those good folks at Chain Reaction Cycles are now dispatching my nice new Ultegra Hollowtech II BB!
I have the tool for the job, and reckon it will be a simpler task than when I did Betsy’s which is an older style Square Taper job , so watch this space!

In the mean time Scarlet gets to put her ‘feet up’ at home, whilst Betsy will once again commute.

Rain Rain Rain

Well, it may be May but the rain is as bad as April :(

This weekends mini tour to the Isle of Wight randonnee is going to be a soggy one for sure. Thinking of ditching the trunk bag and panniers for a good quality dry sack – a trip to the local camping and outdoor pursuits shop beckons this lunch time.

Endura Equipe HeliumOn a plus side I want to sing the praises of the Endura Equipe Helium Rain jacket! I bought this as a replacement for my Altura Nightvision. The Nightvision is a cracking jacket, but to me it is more suited to the cold as it is quite heavy and has a fleece lined collar – great in the cold but a bit too much when the temps rise.

I had a good scout round when choosing a light weight alternative, and the Endura Equipe Helium was the one that seemed to answer the needs best – lightweight, waterproof, ‘breathable’ (in quotes as I dont believe anything is truely breathable, but I dont end up clammy and sweaty in this jacket), a small packdown size, and most importantly for me – not too expensive! :)

So whatever the rain this coming bank holiday weekend, I am now feeling fairly confident that my core will stay dry and all I need to do is remember my overshoes!

Isle of Wight – a mini tour

not sure it counts as a tour really, but a week Saturday sees the yearly trip to the Isle of Wight.

A great little ride, leaving home and cycling to Lymington for the ferry on day 1, with a good meal out and stay at a lovely B&B in Yarmouth that evening.

Up nice and early for breakfast on Sunday morning, and then the main event, the fantastic Isle of Wight Randonee – think this is the third or fourth one I’ve ridden. No doubt it’ll be windy, rainy and grey, but it is great fun – even the south coast hills!

I’ve had the odd misfortune on the Randonee, one year coming off the night before the ride and ending up in A&E in Newport (Isle of Wight) with smashed in face (still handsome ;)) – still completed the ride the next day despite the concussion.

Then two years ago discovering – after a shower on arrival at the B&B, that I had forgotten to put any trousers in my panniers! Our fantastic hosts at the Windrush B&B furnished me with a pair and I was at least able to go out for some food :)

The mileage is good for three pleasant rides, being approximately 70 miles  day, so time to start praying to the sun gods to return us to the “drought” conditions, else I am going to consider the trip by kayak or ark!

An early Summer…

Wow, what fantastic weather, although a bit mixed up with very cold early mornings and baking hot by home time! (yeah yeah, I know it wont last ;) )

Setting off in the morning with full fingered gloves, skull cap and long sleeves, only to ride home in short sleeves and mitts :) This has led to a couple of “heavy” return commutes, panniers loaded with the excess clothing on top of the usual day wear. But heck, wouldn’t swap this for the rain!

Gradually the pace is getting better for the 16 mile return leg of the commute, so far the quickest has been a few seconds over 56mins, and given the two long climbs I am pretty pleased with that – I’ll soon be back sub 54 mins that I was at last year.

The added daylight is such a bonus now the clocks have gone forward, and it does help with feeling a little safer, although the rear lights are always on for added visibility.

Enjoy the weather, enjoy the riding!

Closing the door…

I normally just shrug off bad driving and focus on riding as safely as I can – self preservation if you like.

But on a day when two cyclists have died close to home, it made me think that driver and cyclist education must be taken seriously. I know there are bad drivers, and I accept that some folk on bikes are asking for trouble, but there are plenty of times when my safety is placed on the line due to carelessness on the part of the person in the car/van/lorry.

An example from today…

At first the driver of the Hobbs van goes nicely wide around me as he comes off the roundabout… but it doesnt last and as he shuts the door on me I brake quickly to avoid being knocked off.

So was he careless? Distracted on the way home from work on a Friday? On the phone?

Who knows, but Hobbs of Radstock, your driver of van reg VE08 UKC needs to pay a bit of attention around other road users.


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