Friday, 29 February 2008

Moving along

Well I should finally pick up my frame, resplendant in its new powder coat, on Monday. Plan is to collect it with the headset in my bag and then swing by Williams Cycles on the way back to borrow the headset press (no, you can't borrow tools there...I work there so its different!) and then back home for some assembly and fettling. I have the week off with three aims in mind:

1) Learn to drive. I can physically drive, I just need the practice to pass the test (mid April)

2) Finish plastering the bedroom. Been on the cards for a while and now I need to finish it.

3) Assemble and ride my bike for the first time in almost a month.

Guess I will have wiped 33% of those off by 7pm Monday...no slacking on the week off.

I got my BB back from Phil Wood who have fitted new bearings, serviced the axle (?) and supplied new rings. I am not sure as to what was up with it or how much it has cost me as the packing note does not list prices and the descriptive lines are cut off before imparting any information. I have emailed them but I am still awaiting a reply... My guess is that there was mud in the bearings, which given the reputation of Phil stuff and the 4 year old hubs I am running on the same bike, is a bit odd. No I don't jet-wash the bike...I don't even have a hose in the yard. Bucket of water, FS-10 and a sponge all the way :)

Got an email from Jeff to say the frame bags are ready and I Paypal'd him the balance and shipping...just a matter of waiting now, which is the one bit I am not tooo good at! I also added to my bike packing kit with a pair of flip-flops for longer trips where you might want to change for dinner (ie T-shirt, shorts and sandals for a pub meal, not a suit for 4 courses at The Fat Duck...I wish!) I guess at £2 and <150g I guess it was a no-brainer!

I have planned the total of the GDR-UK/Stag ride out on MemoryMap, while I was only going to plan the off-road section I guess it can't hurt to have the whole lot on the GPS, especially with the complex Chester to Ruthin sections with its inneumerable small roads and off-set junctions.

I'll leave you with a picture stolen from mc's site of his fixie, such a nice simple (if gangly) bike.

Alex

Monday, 18 February 2008

All quiet on the biking front...

Well not quite but not a lot of MTB-ing going on despite the good weather! Lee has moved some cable guides on my frame and shot blasted it and tomorrow I am taking it over to Stroud to be powder coated. Most of the other bits are in place for the re-build with only cable inners and Rock n' Roll "cable magic" lube to land on the door mat.

Becca's bike is having a little TLC too as she had fried her front and rear brake pads so I took the opertunity to add some in-line cable oilers to keep the V-brake noodle running sweet and check the drive chain. Well I can say that the chain bends as far sideways as it does up and down! Not bad for an almost 2 year old PC48! The cheapy chainring is toast, partly due to the "bash ring" helping to keep all sorts of crap on it and grinding the chain away. A shiny SRAM PC-870 and Middleburn hardcoat / single ring bolts should sort that out!

I also added some new finishing kit as she managed to crimp her bars at the weekend (putting on loc-on grips no less!) So I have I new Titec stem, seatpost and Flattracker bars on order at silly money. She never liked the shot-peened silver anyway so the new Johnny Cash black stuff will improve the look!

I should hear from Jeff at Carousel soon and the guys at Phil Wood who have my "grindy with a little play after a year" BB back...most weird. Hope to be getting some nice packages from over the pond soon then :)

I have planned out the bulk of the GDR route and just need some PC time to sort out the off-road sections on MemoryMap for putting on the GPS. As much as I would like to leave it behind the GPS is very handy and avoids me buying / carrying too many maps :) Loks like a 4day trip from Chester all the way down Wales and back over the boarder to the Forest of Dean...it even ends up on the Dowies trail :)

Tuesday, 5 February 2008

Smacktalk...what-ho

Yeah, in an attempt to motivate myself for the forthcoming "season" I am intending to try some "smacktalk" thanks to Dicky for the inspiration :) Bear with me as it does not come naturally to a slightly repressed middle-class English chap.

The "Bike of Doom" is all stripped down, but not like the dissassembled T-101 at the end of the Terminator film (films 2 and 3 don't count), more like the bionic man awaiting to be re-built faster, better, stronger. Some new bits to upgrade the killing capacity against geared bikes and coasting wusses (and to remove the clicking in the crank and headset!)

Frame is getting some powder coat in a top secret colour that will allow me to blend in with the scenery until I strike (Note to self: kill powder coaters after to keep secret safe). To allow me to stalk my prey for longer Jeff at Carousel is working on a frame bag to allow me to spend days lying in wait for an over-weight middle manager riding a skill-compensator to crush. The twin handle bar mounted bottles and Brooks saddle will get nods of approval from the old boys in the pub who remember 6-day events between the wars. Almost as satisfying as the ridicule from the camelbak pack-animals who just don't get it.

Having stripped it down I thought I would weigh the parts and frame, just because, well I am a geek. I would love to say that it was 6.66kg but after the digital scales stopped flashing "EvIL eRR0R" it turned out to be 4.45lbs for the frame and about 26lbs all up with Mich 29x2 tyres and slime tubes. Weight means nothing if it fails, I tell all the weight weenies this as my monster truck rolls over their Euro-Carbon paperweight as they attempt to fix it. "To finish first, first you must finish"

To allow faster running down and dispatch of the weak prey (hey, no point making them suffer too much) I am installing a pair of WTB Weirwolf 29x2.55" tyres...yep they fit in the back of the frame...with room to spare. BIG volume (like a Slayer gig) and a huge contact patch (sasquatch?) will allow me to ride like its an XC full-sus with none of the "should I 'push' 'pull' or 'wiggle' my shock...oh its blown anyway" shnaniganns. Inflate to <30psi and roll 'em.

















































Clad in natural Merino fibers I will be invisible to all sensors and scanners, the only thing that will announce my arrival will be silence and a sudden lack of single malt. Don't expect a fanfare, shouting, toe-to-toe confrotations or beer-can crushing. Just a thin guy on a bike pedalling like buggery, surfing the catastrophy curve as it intersects the singeltrack.

So thats the plan, SSUK08, GDR-UK and trails all over the country will feel the wrath of my two-wheeled juggernaut of doom. Or something.

Alex

Awww crap

Really a sad day.

So long and thanks for all the bikes.

Alex