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

Weekending 15December 2013

Tour Test Video

Been in work all week with the news that I will be going back on 2 days 2 nights in Febuary 2014.

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The plan was to meet up with Paul in London but thats gone out the window.

Another Caravan Club site that has parakeets among the local wildlife. Trip down here was quite relaxed and now I am here It seems a better location to watch the London stage of the 2014 Tour de France.

No bike this time as it’s only a short stay. Writing this in the van while watch BBC Sports personality of the year. Wiggo seems to have smartened himself up for the occassion for once.

Cost of 3 nights in London for Tour de France next year £58.

I’ve gone to premium for the blog to get the page width wider.  At the same time I’m getting comments trying to bypass the filters and link to an advert. Most are harmless , just stop, it’s annoying.


Dehumidifier For The MHome

Dehumidifier For The MHome

I’ve bought this Dehumidifier off Amazon recently  as I’ve had a habitation service done recently and there is a high reading in one of the panels.


It comes with a 12v DC and 240 volt AC lead and power supply and draws 60 watts.20131029_125148

This is what it condensed in a couple of hours. I’d like to leave it on permanently but it is too much of a drain on the leisure battery overnight.
The control panel does shut down on low voltage and the solar panel recharges it to 13.2 by midday.

At this time of year the cab glass is prone to a lot of condensation.

September 2013

A bit belated but here goes.
September started with an attempt to ditch Windows by purchasing a ChromeBook that came with a great offer on it. The now old laptop has seen better days and now cuts out at times due to overheating.



The above is the offcuts of a recent carpet that I had edged by the carpet shop by the roundabout by Wallasey village. Really knocked out by the speed and quality for a remarkable price. All done in less than 20 minutes . Link to follow.

Went back to a few more spinning classes at the Oval, with the downstairs showers in a worse state when I last moaned about them. Wirral Council now fine you for not turning up for any classes, perhaps the should spend some of the cash here. Missing ceiling tiles to void space, mould in grouting, door catches broken, with a look that it hasn’t been cleaned for a month.

Close it down rather than operate it in that state.

Took the bike out on a few Wirral Coastal path runs with the magicshine lights getting a charge as the nights are drawing in really fast.

Missed the TOB at Loggerheads as I had an early dental appointment which result in the possibility of an emergency appointment that afternoon. Headed out to an empty Eureka Cafe and headed home only to get the dreaded call.

Tried to fit the twin reversing camera to the van only to give up after a couple of hours with a few cuts as the rear moulding would not come off, it has to come off as the old camera is bolted to it. Now need a plan B. Van got booked in for a habitation service at Flintshire.

The whole motorhome dealer/warranty scene has left a sour taste in the mouth. I know who I WON’T be going to for a new van. It’s bad enough trying to get anything done let alone warranty work.

Off out for 3 days in a few hours. I will update things over the next few days. Next up is whether to pull the ads and change the theme for some thing I can customise.

Tour de France 2013

The Tour is nearly upon us again with the van having had it final trial last weekend. The Chunnel is booked for the 1st July with no firm plans in place at the moment .

The Trek got its pedals put back on today having ridden the Sabbath since last years Wild Wales.
I’m booked in at Bourg d’Oisans for 13 days and plan a leisurely drive down avoiding the toll roads as as a Class 3 vehicle I get charged the same as a coach or a truck. Paris to Grenoble is 137 euro. More in due course.20120901_143851Now a year old with just 3,600 miles on the clock it takes a lot to keep it in that condition. This will be its first Continental trip.

Friday: Email Campsite about extending stay from 3 July to 22 of July. Got a prompt acceptance back. The weekends promptly book up on most sites and we’d be dawdling down through France for 6 days. Not only that the Marmotte was penciled in for our arrival on 7 july. leaving on the 22nd means we can watch the final stageat the site before making our way home.

Contacted EuroTunnel about any height restrictions which shouldn’t affect me now as it’s 4.3 M.

Mailed Stu Boyd about the plan, he is thinking of taking a small tent up the Alpe, one thing I do know from the weather apps is that its down to 1 deg C at the moment.

A quick plug for Cycling the Alps


The loop around Alpe d’Huez is set to become the Worlds best Strava segment.

You’d want to use this site to plot where you want to park your motorhome on the Course.

Monday: Hit the road for 7.00 , last panic was where was the Nuvi satnav as I had only managed to upload the French Aires into it. Luckily it was in the passenger glove box. Gave the van another roof clean and we were on our way.
It turned out to be a 13 hour day.
Hit traffic at Birmingham after avoiding the toll road and the Garmin said I was running late, as I had set it to european time I was in fact up on time. It is not pleasant driving in truck traffic in the UK these days. Speeds are governed and the likes of Argos limit theirs to 54 mph.
Up to 65 mph the van drives great, it is subject to buffeting from coaches and trucks towing trailers. They have the aerodynamics of a brick.

Recycling Center Fire

I’ve an autobox with cruise control and it is an option that must be considered if you ever purchase a new van. There is enough to worry about without having to worry about changing gear.

I really liked Euro tunnel, gas checked, polite staff and 35 mins to France not that you would notice.

Calais Pretty clueless at this stage as we had not planned anything. Only one near miss, but did see my first crash. Parked up at Auchan for supplies. As I only had a vague itinerey the next stop was Reims.

Came off the peage too soon thinking it was an Aire. The good side was I only got charged as a class 2 instead of a class 3. Got to explore more of the French countryside before rejoining the same peage. Next stop was a big stop with most facilities, it was not for us and we headed of to Reims with the cruise control on and wondering about the scale of France. Val and I have been here before.

Checked out a few more Aires and most seemed to be full of trucks, as time was getting on and we were near Reims we called in at Mont de Nizy and stayed the night. Cost nothing and trucks were leaving at 4:30am.

Tuesday: Short trip into Rheims in rush hour, bit terrifying as it sent us up a tramway. Luckily the tram was stopped and it was all part of the traffic system. It did hilight how you need an up to date map in your garmin. A trip to an Ikea centre had a 3mtr height limit. I know where I am not wanted. programmed in Dijon as the next stop, avoiding toll roads, probably the best part of the journey so far. Rolling french landscape is unique but on a huge scale.

What did the Romans do for us

Some poor bastard got pulled by the gendamerie but we were warned :>)

Serious Van fright at Digon, riverside stop is not for me . 3m height limit!

On the plus side France is abound with fantastic places.

Mussy Sur Seine

Mussy sur Seine

Lunch Stop

Had a few issues with the garmin at times.

Low Bridge at Dijon


Took this after reversing out of a tricky situation. With the Dijon Aire now out of the picture we had to park up and work out what to do next. Things turned out best in the end as the next location in the app proved to be a good find.

Marssanay Marsannay La Cote Marsanay La Cote Town Hall




April 2013


Summer is fast approaching although you wouldn’t think so judging by the weather.

On the cycling front I’ve upgraded the 800 Garmin Edge mount. The forward mounting position proving to be better than having to glance down continually. Not cheap for what it is, essentially injection moulded plastic.
Work meant I missed the CTC Spring 50




The above is part of the modifications to the van. The lower bunk has been removed and stored . It creates a large rear garage that will take a bike and the rest of the essential bits that you require to keep a van on the road.

You can just see the “garage” in the corner of the picture.
The new dish has been fitted and cost a proverbial arm and a leg.

20130412_123839[1]I wasn’t a happy bunny when I saw the state of the roof, spent nearly 2 hours cleaning it working off a ladder.
Another  thing I spotted was the solar panel still has the stickers on.


Under seat storage is tidied up with a plastic box from Asda, £5 for two. On the right is the water heater and the bracing for the seat belt anchorage.

20130414_090448[1]Rainbow at Thurstaton.
Finally getting to use the van like it was intended with a late availability at Thurstaton Caravan Club site.
It got a bit breezy after this  with the caravan next to us taking a bit of a battering due to its large awning.


Returned the van to storage and gave it a good clean. Used a trial pack of Dry Wash on it and was amazed how good it was. Really good on acrylic windows.

Cycling wise I’ve been doing the Wirral Coastal Route which is 50 miles if you take the road at the back of Vauxhalls , down Oil Sites Road and then cut through to Cheshire Oaks.

The Dee Crossing is now open and takes you from the bottom of Denhall Lane and brings you out at Zone 3 by Shotton Paper.  I will post a link from Garmin Connect in due course.
Thanks to Dave for showing us it at the Eureka the other Friday.


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