Tuesday, September 27, 2011

And another thing.

Having enjoyed the Vuelta and then the Tour of Britain we have been treated to the Cycling World Championships all of which I have enjoyed. Great Britain came away with some medals and one thing I have heard throughout the coverage is that cycling has become very popular over the last few years.

Could this be because we have produced some really good, dare I say world class cyclists in the last few years? Boardman, Hoy, Wiggins, Cavendish, Pooley, Cooke and Pendleton to name but a few!

Can't wait for the Olympics.


Trials and tribulations of the bike...

I have already alluded, rather unsubtly to the quality (or lack thereof) of my current bike. I suppose that Halfords sell to the wider public spanning the entire range of funds. At the time I bought my bike in 2008 - an Apollo FS26, funds were limited and our daughter needed a bike as well so what I had was split between the two.

Apollo FS26
Since that time it has been ridden hard, abused and not properly cared for. At the beginning of this year I knew it required some work just to keep riding and so began a less than systematic programme of repairs starting with the axle bearings, brakes, tyres and a general clean and degrease. Then the cassette needed to be replaced as it had lost so many teeth it had become a liability. Then the head tube bearing was done to correct a worrying range of non-steering movement. The front derailleur came next and this made me realise that the bottom bracket was shot and that no amount of tightening was going to help. In the process of removing the chain rings I bent the small cog so that had to go as well, meaning new chain rings, cranks and pedals. These last few replacements have meant I have been without a bike for nearly two weeks. Thankfully a clean and adjustment proved that the rear derailleur was in good order and at last I have something to ride again.

I have signed up for the Cycle to Work scheme and I will be spending a bit more on a new bike this time - either Merida or Specialized.

Moral of the story. Spend as much as you can afford and look after whatever you get!


Update on 28/9/11

Well I went out late for a quick blast on a short route and the back tyre picked up a puncture just over half way round!!! I still got some exercise - walking back home, pushing the bike from the 6km point.

Grrrr! I needed that like a hole in the head today.

JoD  Further update 29/9/11

I came in from work today and set to work on the puncture... 5 patches later and I have an airtight inner tube again. 5 patches I ask you!!? Meh! as they say.


Sunday, September 11, 2011

More racing stuff.

I commented the other week that the ITV4 coverage of the Vuelta a EspaƱa was not as good as the TdF which preceded it. Well things improved and the best stage so far has been stage 17 when Cobo and Froome fought it out at the end with Froome winning in the last few metres!

Cobo won out in the end, retaining the red leaders jersey and he shared the podium with Froome and Wiggins, two British riders from Team Sky.

Now for the Tour of Britain.


Monday, September 5, 2011

When the effort pays off!

Last week I posted that I have tried a route mapped by Deadheah1971 which went up to the Brenig Reservoir and includes a 17% climb. I didn't complete it that time as the road was closed after the Saron crossroads.

Well I went again yesterday afternoon. The weather was lovely - sunny and warm and the road was open after the crossroads. The climb up to this crossroads is still beyond me - I had to stop multiple times which is, I suspect down to the fact that I am not getting out more than once a week at the moment. The route as mapped by me is here . I did try and add some photos (I remembered to take a camera!) without much success so here they are.

The view from Peniel Hill

The 17% climb up Peniel Hill!

Wind farm near the top

Made it!!

The Brenig

All downhill from here (thanks goodness).