Weekending 26 Jun 2011

Saturday:  Called in at Vita who put this rather nice set of wheels on. Got to admit they do look nice. Phil got knocked off his bike last week by the Thatch but luckily the Reynolds carbon wheel held up despite him loosing two teeth.

The shop ride had just got back in and I’ve got to admit they do look quite good in the shop jerseys.

Sunday: Trip to Llandudno with the grandkids. Lashed out on a bucket and spade along with a fishing net. He’s not going to catch anything with that I said. Well the proof is in the pudding, the grandsons first catch, a tiny fish and a shrimp.

Headed back to Chester to pick up a Park cable cutter from the Bike Factory. A heady £37 but what a revelation. Been 51 years on the planet and am only just getting some things. The right tool for the right job is one of them, I’ve been cutting cables with hacksaws even an angle grinder but this is so simple it’s a must.
The reason a shifter upgrade to 6700 Ultegra. I’ve not been too impressed by some of the  installations, cable guides causing them to rub the frame on the larger headsets. Standard cables too long  for the bike on display.  I’d want this level of detail on any bike even a £500 one never mind what I’m willing to pay.

The things you need to know when changing Shimano Ultegra  groupsets.
A front double mech and lever 6600 is not compatible with a 6700 mech and lever, as there is an extra 1 mm distance between the 2 chainrings.  Shimano 6703 seems OK  on 6603 front chainrings. 10 speed rear seems fine.

Vita Due Sportive link added.

Monday: New levers fitted and bar s taped up. Went out for a ride and it looked really clean.
Probably going to do Liverpool-Chester-Liverpool next Sunday.
Tuesday: Kitchen to sort out, did the rounds of those still in business. B+Q carrying too much stock of stuff nobody wants, might want to see me Saturday, Magnet couldn’t get off their arses so no sale there.
Called in at Wickes who are selling off the display including the appliances.
Picked up £1600 worth of oven and hob for £350. Pure chance, grab it when you can. Looks like my Tour is going to be in Eurosport HD at this rate.

Vita Due Sportive consider giving it a go as it is in aid of a good cause, Claire House. Also had some rather good goodies up for grabs including a signed Steve Cummings jersey, two bikes , helmets  and so on.

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Weekending 19 Jun 2011

Monday: Work
Tuesday: Work
Wednesday: Work
Thursday: Work
Friday: Tex’s Spin class at the Oval, packed. Picked up the new cassette from Vita. Evening spinning class as well.
Heard about some agro on a Sunlight ride out to the Saighton 10.
Saturday:  Trip out to the ICF with Paul and the nippers, got offered discount for wearing the Discovery Channel Pro Cycling Team jacket but refused.
Free WiFi helps in that neck of the woods with the playbarn popular at the weekends. Called in at The Bike Factory and the Specialised Store. Came away empty handed.
Sunday: Late ride out to the Eureka for a BLT. Headed up the Wirral  via Parkgate which was gridlocked, past the Donkey Sanctuary open day only to get held up by all the traffic that couldn’t pass a pony ride. More gridlock at Heswall had me detour via Lower Heswall for a liquid stop at Morrisons in West Kirby.
Followed the coastal cycle route to New Brighton where I hit the stretch of Wirral,s best tarmac, the front by the new development. Gave it the gas to hit 31.9 mph. Never mind David Millar breaking the 20 mph speed limit in a royal park this piece of tarmac is fast.
Back home via Rock Park  and Port Sunlight for 47 miles, turned out nice, no agro, bike worked fine, nice to hear the Mavic whistle at speed.

Weekending 12 June 2011

Monday: Tex,s morning  spinning class at the Oval . Started stripping the varnish off the Carbitubo only to find paint stripper isn’t what it used to be.Evening spinning class at West Kirby.
Tuesday: Morning spinning class at West Kirby cancelled due to Barbara throwing a sickie . Spent 30 mins on the exercise bike in the gym at 150 watts.
Couldn’t get a replacement evening class as they are all full on the online booking system.
Route for the Bob Clift memorial came.
Note to self, NEVER EVER EVER press the back button when planning a route on BikeRouteToaster.com
Wednesday: Spent most of the morning stripping and cleaning cassettes trying to get to grips with the jumping chain under load. Set up the rear mech from scratch. Cut back the inner sleeve to make sure that wasn’t fouling. Headed out to the Eureka, saw Keith Boardman doing some secret training on the Brimstage time trial circuit.
Got caught in a shower at Willaston so hid under a tree till it passed.
BLT toastie and it was time to head back with Keith Boardman coming back from his secret training.
Still having a problem with the gears so ordered a new cassette from Vita.
Back up Rest Hill it was as bad as it’s ever been with me  getting off the bike to see which gear was worst.
Thursday: Beckies morning spinning class, with one of the newcomers getting off the bike. More work on the bike and another round of throwing a way the past. The Colnago stickers came through the post.
Broke the belt on the vacumn cleaner hoovering up a sock so off to Grange Electrical for a new one. Beats internet shopping hands down.
Leasowe for a spinning class as it was all I could book online, too many chest presses and the like for my liking.
Friday: Waiting in for a new phone and replanning the route for Sunday.
Another disaster with the route planning with Chrome locking up and altering the sheet causing another route loss.
Saturday: Trip up to Vita to see if the  the cassette is in, left with a few gels for the ride tomorrow. Planed ride again , this time in Windows and it work. I should know this ride off pat the number of times I’ve done it and lost it.
Bumped in to Peter at the Eureka who has recently come back from a ride through France including a climb of the Ventoux. It was still freezing at the summit despite being about 30 deg C at the bottom.
Sunday: Bob Clift Memorial Ride, 100 miles, think this is my 4th. Forecast is grim, just how grim I was to learn about an hour into the ride.

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Unable to get a new cassette in time I had to make do with the one I had fitted in an attempt to cure the jumping. Well it didn’t work as it started to slip around Willington Hall with me falling off the front I’d bee sharing with Phil. Things got worse going up the switchback at Delamere despite using the cable adjuster.
The weather front finally moving in just before arriving at the first stop at the Ice Cream Farm, Great Budworth. Caught up with Phil and the other two riders and had a chat inside before setting out on the next stage.
Riders much reduced on the 100 mile route with only 19 opting for it, in contrast 90 plus opted for the 50 mile route with over 30 signing up on the day.


Before I forget, the 800 came up with ” Truncating Route” when I fired it up at the start which is a new one on me but didn’t bode well.
Things got wetter and wetter as the ride progressed, I’d changed to waterproof gloves at the stop but knew it would be a loosing battle in the end. Hit Alderley Edge  which lived up to it’s name as Bentley country with one passing me. Turned on to the Macclesfield Road and knew I was in trouble, at about 10% the chain was playing up. Had to stop on the climb and adjust the rear mech so it didn’t jump in the lowest gear. As long as I had one good gear it didn’t matter about the rest.

Midway stop was a Polytunnel this year with the rain rattling against the polythene. It was time to move on as I’d be there all day if I didn’t make a move.
I had Phil and company on my tail on the way back and held out to the Jesse Hughes institute where they opted to take the direct route to the finish.

It was a good job I had a tailwind on the return leg or I’d still be out there now.
I don’t know what happened with the route but at one stage I was routed down a footpath by a stream and came out on someones drive. No wonder car satnav drivers are ending up in rivers or worse.
The run into Waverton had me in the big ring doing 25 mph with it throwing it down and the roads awash, just wanting to get it over.  Interesting ride, still got a 100 miles in me despite the weather.  

Weekending 05 June 2011

Wednesday:  Spent the last week or so wondering whether to purchase a bike on the Cycle to work scheme but finally opting to refurbish the Carbitubo. A trip to C and G finishes last week had me scouring the internet for some original stickers.  More when I get back from the Eureka.
A really pleasent day in the end possibly spoilt by having an extra layer on. Bumped in to Dave at the Cafe followed up by Ray who was on his 3rd 100 of the week. That’s 35 hundreds this year with his record of 620 miles in one week, for the record he’s 71. Called in at Ness Gardens where things have changed a bit since I last called in.
Most obvious is that it is now all waitress service, which is fine if you’ve got a bit of time on your hands. I headed for the fridge thinking I was barging into a wedding reception ( as there are notices about them) and got a smile while paying for an orange juice. It looks great, whether it could cope with a big group is another matter.
Parkgate next for a water stop, passed by a CTC group who were stopping at the public toilets. These must be one of the worst public toilets around, they’d been far better off calling in at one of the pubs on the front.
Next stop was Vita in Irby where I loitered a bit too long as it meant cutting out a few miles from the ride.
As it was a shortened ride I headed out to Greasby and then Frankby via the lanes. All was going well until a slug of cars passed me in the lanes with a Gunform van nearly squeezing me out by overtaking me on a bend with traffic coming the other way. Good job he had cleared the junction by the time I’d got there because road rage works two ways. Boy it was close, probably only six inches of clearance, need a helmet camera.
Next stop was Vale Park for a Coke then along the front to Woodside and then home for what turned out to be 42 miles.
Thursday: Morning spinning class , painting and decorating and an evening spinning class.
Friday: Glorius day, 25 Deg C tempered by the fact that 2 spinning classes does take it out of you and a headwind is still a headwind no matter how good the weather. Rode out to the Eureka for lunch, spent too much time in good company yapping and taking in the sun and headed home. Had double booked spinning classes at the Oval and West Kirby so cancelled the Oval one online as the bikes are not as good as the old ones at West Kirby.
Only 7 turned up with 4 blokes in the class which is unusual as we are normally well outnumbered.  By the look of things they were all in the beer gardens.
Saturday: Took the grandkids out with Paul which ended up at the Ice Cream Farm. Fitted new chain to the Trek in preperation for the Bob Clift Memorial ride next Sunday.
Sunday: A final check of the bike before heading out had me taking out another link of the chain. Then I found out I’ve only been using 9 gears out of 10 because of the poor cable adjustment not shifting onto the 10th cog. Got to grips with the B+ adjustment too. There is a fine line that I’ve crossed by going for 28 on the rear and an ultra low of 26 on the front granny ring.
Took it out to the Eureka for a shakedown ride as I’m still getting ghost shifts while under load. The only thing I can put this down to is wear in the pivot of the rear mech.  Not too happy with the Nokon cables either, they look great but any movement of the outer alters the cable length and cause a ghost shift. Plus they creak like crazy and drive you nuts.
Painted the shower room door when I got back and booked into West Kirby for a spinning class as watching paint dry is a bit pointless.

It must have been the weather as the class was packed, I’m just getting to grips with online booking which got me a bike at the last minute. Most must have been expecting Barbara, who rang in with a sickie. Instead we had Kirsty, well you wouldn’t want to meet her in the day job but it was a bloody good spinning class, hard.
Tried  “Back to Start” on the Edge 800 on the way home. No direction or routing, just a blue line to follow on the map. Means staying on the map screen all the way home, which is a bit pointless as you wouldn’t be lost.