Category Archives: Bikes

Week ending 20 Apr2014

It’s been a while since I posted so the following is in no particular order at the moment. I’m still getting out on the bike but not as much.  The receipt below was for 2 Subs and 2 coffees at the NEC  caravan and camping show. At first I thought it was for £11,000 no wonder I now need glasses.

A fair bit has been going on behind the scenes and I will fill in the blanks later.

I’ve been playing around with blog themes again and getting in a right knot at times as you can probably tell

2 Subs and 2 Coffees
Catastrophic Wheel Failure

If ever you get the chance to test ride a high end bike, take it. I took two of the Storck bike out for a test ride that was at Eureka Cyclesports and was really impressed by them.

With each pedal stroke you could feel the effort being transferred  to forward motion.

CTC ride to the Shire horse Centre

It’s been a while since I rode with the CTC and it turned out to be a lumpy one. The weather was fine and it was time to bring the bibshorts out. Led by Janet who has a Contador style when climbing , I was near the back with Roy and his Saggan descending style (sitting on the cross bar). The stop above is where the group had a double puncture. I departed at Queenferry to come back via the Dee cycle crossing, a great days cycling

Things have been moving on the motorhome front with a few trips to local Caravan club sites. It was at Cheshire Oaks on a ride to the Eureka Cafe that the Sabbath rear wheel collapsed.

Worse was to come with the news that Dandy Storage and Truckstop was closing and we only had 3 weeks to move out.  It meant a trip back to Zone 1 Storage which was filling up fast, about 10 people had been down that afternoon. A few calls to other local storage sites were not answered or they were full too.

At least the road has been done and the topsoil mountain next door has been leveled.

 

Liverpool waterfront

Sabbath at Harrison Drive

Pubstop at The Ferry

Ridewise  I’ve been doing the Wirral Coastal trail a lot, which features a lot of traffic free cycle routes and paths. Anywhere midweek is a quiet ride if you stay off the A roads.  Liverpool looks good from the Seacombe side and you could get a good 60 miles in if you wanted to take in the Dee cyclepath to Chester.
Finding stuff like the Birkenhead Drill Memorial makes it an interesting ride.

CTC Spring 50

Panorama from Borras Head

Things didnt quiet go to plan on this ride as I arrived late after cleaning the chain with the Lidl chain cleaning tool.

The panorama picture above was the MotoG £100 smartphone working out I was taking a panoramic shot, stitching the pics together and uploading it to my Google Cloud with no intervention from myself.

Lunch stop

The Edge 800 got thoroughly confused by the figure of 8 Course that had the lunch stop at the start/finish. I should have just followed my nose as it’s not like I haven’t ridden it before.

I was getting false directions in Fardon about half a mile in. At Kinnerton it said I had finished and that was last years route! After lunch it proceeded to send me around Carden Park golf course, retracing to the gates where i met Chester Tri ladies doing the short route. It found itself back on course a mile or so after the Carden Arms.

Pub stop

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Weekending 05 Jan 2014

Black Pearl Sunk

First ride of the year with this picture being the highlight of it.

New Brighton had crowds watching the waves break with the worst of it over by the time I arrived.

Helmet damaged in my only crash to date.
Helmet damaged in my only crash to date.

Just to add to the helmet debate again in the light of Michael Shumacher accident. My crash was at only 14-15 mph and happened that fast there was no chance of me avoiding my head hitting the ground. It cracked the foam and depressed the plastic shell over a fair size. I had a twinge from my chipped collar bone last week just to remind  me of it.

Thatchbirds at high tide

Had to stop to take a picture of the birds at Harrison Drive, quite interesting to watch them flocking as a wave came in.

20140103_132456

 

You normally cant get a road bike past Harrison drive due to drifting sand but the council seem to have done a good job and cleared it all. This section past Leasowe Castle is not part of the cycle route.

 

 

 

 

 

20140103_123418

Had to revert to the mobile phone for the pictures on this ride except for the  Sabbath picture.
Interesting ride, other things going on was a cheque in the post that I wasn’t expecting. This had to be paid in and brings you up against Birkenhead parking charges, the street parking having empty bays where they would be full in the past.

I ended up jet washing the bike after this ride which is a first, the sand in the brake blocks sounding like coarse grinding paste.

Went the van only to find it much as we left if before christmas. Polished the acrylic windows with perspex polish as the upper ones tend to mark with twigs brushing against them. Did a damp check after the habitation service and found the reading is coming down which is all good news.

The return trip from Dandy past Burton Point must have had half the northwests twitchers there.

As for the new year nothing planned yet but a spring classic would be nice to see.

Weekending 17 Apr 2011

Monday: Work
Tuesday: Work
Wednesday: Work, got knocked back on the redundancy package.
Thursday: Set about planning the Spring 50  route on RidewithGPS.com after finding the CTC track had an error in it because it was a ride turned into a Course.  This was an excuse to go to a bike shop and the try the Edge 800 new settings out. Things went really well with turn directions coming up when they should. Still not convinced about Coursepoints, Garmin seem to place them on the actual turn which is too late. Must be down to the routable maps.
Friday:  Tackle a few jobs that I’ve been putting off, like the shower drain and screen.
Pretty much sorted for Sunday the plan being to ride out, do the 50 and ride home. Not planning to do anything daft on Saturday just a local ride probably involving a Cafe stop.
Starting to look at the longer term and this doesn’t involve a Saga plan with a free Parker pen (£1.50) from a Parky advert. I may have hit 50 + but Funeral plans and easyline at the gym are a bit much.
Saturday: Did a Wirral loop of 43 miles picking up some plumbing fitting from Screwfix and calling in at Vita just before Daves Vita ride called back to the shop.
The shop echoing with Garmin bleeps from riders not pressing stop.
Looking at some of the bikes, your going to need a good set of aero wheels just to hang on the back. Eat Phils sandwiches much to his amusement as not having done the shop ride.
Sunday: Rode out to the start of the CTC  Spring 50 calling in at the Eureka for gels and a drink. Ended up doing 21 miles to the start with only 5 minutes in hand for my signing on time.
It had turned out to be a really  nice day with  a record entry of nearly 170 riders.
I started in the last group with Team Wallace and Grommit, had a go up the hill but got passed on the Straight Mile by Chris with the others in tow. Allan said to leave him to it. Twice we had to call him back after he had missed a turn. It did speed things up though.

http://connect.garmin.com:80/activity/embed/79951773

Route wise everything was going great until the stop at Overton.


Things started to go wrong on the return leg, going offcourse had the Garmin trying to recalculate the Route and wanting me to do a U-turn.  This didn’t happen once but repeatedly for a about 5 miles.  So it looks as if I’m going to revisit the options  again. Completed the 50 mile Course but for some reason the Edge had me doing 5000 miles not 50. and whereas I had just completed my first 1,000 miles on the Edge 800 now it is showing 6000 miles.

Back to Janet’s ride, it hasn’t changed over the years but the numbers have.  Nearly 170 on this one and they all needed catering for at the stop. Had a bit of time to enjoy some of the views this year and it’s amazing what you miss. A ride like this takes a lot of organising and it means the organising club doesn’t get to ride their event. In contrast  to a sportife/charity ride  where your entry is paying for the marshalls/timing/charity!!!!!!??/ for what is basically the same event.

I lament the loss of Stan’s Audax and Sportif rides due to a certain Liverpool club turning it into a club ride with only one entering. Other clubs are just as guilty as I’ve seen the Sunlight do it too.  Stunning day , classic ride with great views, exellent CTC organisation, not a race but you could have fooled me.

Blew up on the ride home as I didn’t have anything to eat at the Eureka, thank God  I had a gel I’d purchased earlier in the back pocket.
93 miles not the 5000 odd Garmin have me doing.

Weekending 27 Feb 2011

A bit of a short week this week with work until Thursday. I’ve put in for the package once more as “If your not in it you can’t win it”. It’s an odd place at the moment with the ones laughing and joking are the ones that are leaving.

Had a takeaway Thursday evening and it didn’t agree with me in a big way, I had a trip to the doctors scheduled in on Friday morning and was OK with the blood pressure coming in at something resembling normal. Had planned to ride out to the Eureka but things were just getting worse.

The 705 was going to go back to Garmin for a repair and I even got as far as buying a jiffy bag for it. Next thing was the Kinlan email server going down again. It does this every year as the domain comes up for renewal. Shouldn’t really affect the blog as it is hosted by WordPress but it does.
Spent the day listening to a TwoJohns podcast, these guys are an acquired taste and I don’t think I’ve got it. Listened to one dated a year ago that had them throwing in the towel, likewise last weeks had them doing it again only to get an email or two to answer.  Duration 2hrs 20min says it all.
This weeks was 1hr 33min which was an improvment but still about 45 mins too long. Good stuff seems to get sidetracked by schoolboy stuff like which way do women wear bibshorts.
They really need to sit down and listen to themselves or the RealPeloton once.

Other things in the pipeline, Tacx software upgrade to V3 possibly brought on by the AlpineCols app for Chrome that Paul sent me last week. Some look great in Streetview.

Saturday: Nearly a washout with overnight rain and I’m supposed to be going up to Irby to Vita Cycles for a test ride on a Sabbath September.  Didn’t feel too good in the morning but the sun came out and I thought I’d give it a go.
Headed out to Irby via RestHill , Barnston and Mere lane into a headwind, as I was down to 10mph and this didn’t bode well.

As it turned out things went really well with the guys from Sabbath measuring the Trek up to set the September up. I haven’t given much thought to position and setup but once the tape measure and plumbbob came out it did arouse some curiosity in me. A normal setup is seat 6cm above the the bars, mine is 10cm and would be classed as race or timetrialing. It’s fairly obvious when you look at it side on compared with another bike it just screams race. A lot if not all of this is due to Lance Armstrongs original Madone 5.2 design, it has one of the shortest headtubes around. Another thing is I’m running the full set of spacers on the stem and I’ve been even lower at one stage!
That’s my problem in a nutshell, I’ve been riding around on a racebike for 4 years and all the new models come with comfort or sportive fits because thats what sells.
So how did it go, really, really well.  I’d been told how quiet a ride it was coming off a carbon bike and the Sabbath guys were spot on. It was the first thing I checked when I got back on the Trek.  There were no rattles or squeeks  or creaks just silent forward motion with the wind noise in you ears.
More on this later,  when I’ve sorted out the backlog of bugs and errors on the site

http://connect.garmin.com/activity/70627413

http://connect.garmin.com:80/activity/embed/70627413
This should openup a GarminConnect window but for some reason doesn’t.



Sunday:  Day out in Southport doing things that granparents do. Called in at Formby Cycles on the way home and took a picture of the Trek ——– because it looks like the way to go, disc brakes on a drop bar road bike. It even has a carbon fork that the Boardman hybrid  bike doesn’t. The image was supposed to be a thumbnail for the post

Colnago Carbitubo

This was my first roadbike, offered to me by my brother as a triathlete was too stingy to come up with the goods and prefered to do the cycling on a mountainbike, I kid you not. £400 wetsuit no problem. Pushbike, no problem, I’ll do it on a mountainbike.
Just confirms my oppinion of a few Triathletes are totally nutz.

DSCF3995.jpg

Not suggesting that all Triathletes are nutz but why on earth would you ride an MTB when even like something of the above is considered a leisure position. Now I broke my first Carbitubo. I didn’t realise what it was, the Ferrari of cycles at the time. Mine was a Khazahstan team bike in the Tour of Britain. It had seen good use but wasn’t up to a 19 stone pounding. Not over the roads I was riding.

This is my second and it feels very relaxed, probably because it a size too big for me. It has been fitted out with all my surplus gear so hasn’t cost me anything other than what it cost me on Ebay.

It is fitted out in my surplus Sora Groupset, much to many of you’s  disgust.  Now I love my Trek Madone and the Iceni is still worth riding but going out on a classic bike like this still gives you that buzz. It must be the two down tubes as there is nothing out there like it.

Another thing is the quality of the workmanship  pantagraphed cloverleaf logo’s decorate all the lugs and it really does make the bike an eye catcher. This was before the likes of the superb paintwork styles of some of the later bikes.

Use of carbon fibre was in it’s infancy when this bike was released and Colnago went down the road to Ferrari to borrow some of their expertise. With my first one coming apart at the seams it opened my eyes up to how versatile carbonfibre is.

This bike now about 17 years old looks like a normal bike for the period. The chainstay where it first came apart looks like a normal aluminium or steel chainstay. The material is very very thin. It is about 2mm thick at max, more like 1.5mm and the more I read up on epoxies to fix it the more I was convinced what a wonder material carbonfibre was.

I didn’t know it was carbonfibre at the time when I bought it, just that it was a bike I had to have. The ride was electric when I tried it out, razor sharp, responding to every pedal input, even at 19 stone. It needed a new set of wheels as one was black and one was silver. So upgrade time it was, the ride to Wheelbase was an eyeopener I just couldn’t hack downtube shifters, I was all over the place. Dangerously so, so it was an upgrade to STI,s.

Now the general consensus is an Italian bike needs a Campag groupset but when you haven’t a clue about groupsets or STI’s pounds shillings and pence start to come into it. Sora it was as the upgrade was going to cost what I paid for the bike.  For that I got a set of Mavic MA3 rims on 105 hubs, Shimano  Sora 8 speed double shifters and a decent job on the bar tape. Setup was faultless. Clearly a case of using your local bike shop until you learn some core skills.

19 stone on a double is hard work at times when you have no concept of what fitness is. The ride home had me in 39×25 on a gentle climb and I mean gentle. Town Lane, Bebington, hardly a climb at all. Back to Wheelbase for the next upgrade.

A triple on a Colnago surely some mistake. But a triple it was, I’m still trying to get any cycling clothes to fit me at this stage.  Mixing with other cyclists and sharing knowledge was not even a concept in my mind. What did I have to offer?

Now the Colnago name on the bike had me as a marked man, everybody and I mean everybody had me in their sights. There wasn’t a club or rider at one time that hadn’t passed me or dropped me. I’m sure the bike used to spur them on, ” I’ve just passed some fat bastard on a Colnago” used to readily spring to mind.

It all ended when I separated the chainstay from the dropout on a ride going over Montgomery Hill, Caldy. Picked up the mobile to Val and asked to be picked up. It was a bleak moment in my fledgling cycling career.

More later when I take some pictures of the detail that makes this a fine bike. 01 jun 08
More later when I start living the dream.

Look Keo Recall

Look are recalling a lot of their Keo pedals.

http://www.bikeradar.com/road/news/article/product-recall-look-keo-chromoly-axle-pedals-18041?CPN=RSS&SOURCE=BRROADNEWS

Now I really like my  Keos as they are a really positive clip in.
Ran out to have a look at mine but will have to use a magnifying glass to look at the year of manufacture. Month OK but two different months on either pedal.

Go through cleats fairly quickly but the lastest version have a rubber insert that costs you another fiver. Don’t  know if it’s durable yet but it’s supposed to stop you ending up on your ear.

Colnago Carbitubo

This was my first roadbike, offered to me by my brother as a triathlete was too stingy to come up with the goods and prefered to do the cycling on a mountainbike, I kid you not. £400 wetsuit no problem. Pushbike, no problem, I’ll do it on a mountainbike.
Just confirms my oppinion of a few Triathletes are totally nutz.

DSCF3995.jpg

Not suggesting that all Triathletes are nutz but why on earth would you ride an MTB when even like something of the above is considered a leisure position. Now I broke my first Carbitubo. I didn’t realise what it was, the Ferrari of cycles at the time. Mine was a Khazahstan team bike in the Tour of Britain. It had seen good use but wasn’t up to a 19 stone pounding. Not over the roads I was riding.

This is my second and it feels very relaxed, probably because it a size too big for me. It has been fitted out with all my surplus gear so hasn’t cost me anything other than what it cost me on Ebay.

It is fitted out in my surplus Sora Groupset, much to many of you’s  disgust.  Now I love my Trek Madone and the Iceni is still worth riding but going out on a classic bike like this still gives you that buzz. It must be the two down tubes as there is nothing out there like it.

Another thing is the quality of the workmanship  pantagraphed cloverleaf logo’s decorate all the lugs and it really does make the bike an eye catcher. This was before the likes of the superb paintwork styles of some of the later bikes.

Use of carbon fibre was in it’s infancy when this bike was released and Colnago went down the road to Ferrari to borrow some of their expertise. With my first one coming apart at the seams it opened my eyes up to how versatile carbonfibre is.

This bike now about 17 years old looks like a normal bike for the period. The chainstay where it first came apart looks like a normal aluminium or steel chainstay. The material is very very thin. It is about 2mm thick at max, more like 1.5mm and the more I read up on epoxies to fix it the more I was convinced what a wonder material carbonfibre was.

I didn’t know it was carbonfibre at the time when I bought it, just that it was a bike I had to have. The ride was electric when I tried it out, razor sharp, responding to every pedal input, even at 19 stone. It needed a new set of wheels as one was black and one was silver. So upgrade time it was, the ride to Wheelbase was an eyeopener I just couldn’t hack downtube shifters, I was all over the place. Dangerously so, so it was an upgrade to STI,s.

Now the general consensus is an Italian bike needs a Campag groupset but when you haven’t a clue about groupsets or STI’s pounds shillings and pence start to come into it. Sora it was as the upgrade was going to cost what I paid for the bike.  For that I got a set of Mavic MA3 rims on 105 hubs, Shimano  Sora 8 speed double shifters and a decent job on the bar tape. Setup was faultless. Clearly a case of using your local bike shop until you learn some core skills.

19 stone on a double is hard work at times when you have no concept of what fitness is. The ride home had me in 39×25 on a gentle climb and I mean gentle. Town Lane, Bebington, hardly a climb at all. Back to Wheelbase for the next upgrade.

A triple on a Colnago surely some mistake. But a triple it was, I’m still trying to get any cycling clothes to fit me at this stage.  Mixing with other cyclists and sharing knowledge was not even a concept in my mind. What did I have to offer?

Now the Colnago name on the bike had me as a marked man, everybody and I mean everybody had me in their sights. There wasn’t a club or rider at one time that hadn’t passed me or dropped me. I’m sure the bike used to spur them on, ” I’ve just passed some fat bastard on a Colnago” used to readily spring to mind.

It all ended when I separated the chainstay from the dropout on a ride going over Montgomery Hill, Caldy. Picked up the mobile to Val and asked to be picked up. It was a bleak moment in my fledgling cycling career.

More later when I take some pictures of the detail that makes this a fine bike. 01 jun 08
More later when I start living the dream.

A mans got to have a dream ( A tale about a Colnago)

When I was a heavyweight budding cyclist chugging around the Wirral on my 15 year old mountain bike I didn’t have much of a clue as to where all this was going to end up. It was at his time I aquired all the knowledge about trying to find clothes to fit the overweight, just how hard it was to go up hills and how unfit I really was.

The change came about when I got a call from my brother Andy offering me a racing bike that he had to sell to free up some space. Well I went around to look at it and it looked the part, I didn’t know what it was but I had to have a go of it. One trip up the cul-de-sac  had me convinced I had to have it. I was in competition with a triathlete who would spend £400 on a wetsuit but would ride the cycle stage on a mountainbike, it was his loss.

I was the proud owner of a Colnago Carbitubo and hadn’t a clue what it was, but Andy said it was a classic. Riding it was a unique experience it would turn on a sixpence, the alloy lugwork was a work of art with the Colnago clover mottif pantographed into each lug. The bike was upgraded with a new set of wheels to suit my weight (heavy) and some STI shifters (Sora).

I took to the roads and apart from hills I was having the time of my life. The bike was like waving a red rag to a bull to other cyclists, I was passed by every cyclist from every club on the Wirral and then a few more. And then it broke, probably not designed to have 19 odd stone on it in the first place, it was 15 years old and something had to give.  It turns out the bike was Colnago,s first carbon fibre framed bike and they had nipped down the road to Ferrari for the carbon fibre expertise.
Well it was repaired by Colin at Wheelbase but after a while secumbed at another place. It is now an on going winter project.

I had aquired a love of Colnago,s one of the most expensive bikes on the planet. This was compounded by the fact that watching the 2005 Tour de France I saw Michael Ramussen win the The King of the Mountains jersey on a Colnago Extreme C.  I wanted that bike. There was just one problem the frame has a weight limit on it of 88 Kg never mind 120kg that I was.

Needless to say I wasn’t happy, but after loosing some weight I thought I’d treat myself to something flash. I ended up with  the Trek because there are no weight limits on the frame, which makes sense as there are more than enough americans heavier than I am to product test them.

So that is my new weight limit 88 Kg. The breaking point of a Colnago Extreme C.
Anything more and I will do something about it. Anything less will be based on fitness, increasing my exercise or training to burn off the excess.

The Broken Toy

Thought I would post a picture of the damage to the bike it’s not a pretty sight.

IMAGE_006.jpg

I’ll add more to this when I feel up to it. What’s annoying me is I missed the rest of the ride which was going well up to this point.

Great news The Toy is repaired and back home. The mechanic at Quinns has done a fantastic job in repairing what I honestly thought was a terminal breakage of my pride and joy. 

Things were really bleak up Moel Famau, it was blowing a gale, there are no mobile phone signals up there and this was my hardest climb to date which ended 100 metres before the top of the pass, right on the steepest bit. Many thanks to Roy who stayed with me in what looked to be a very dark hour. It was an interesting ride down to Ruthin.