Mountain Bike Shenanigans

February 29th, 2008

The weather today has been fairly grim. It hasn’t exactly been the kind of weather that inspires you to get out and ride and last night I had trouble sleeping again. Woke up this morning with a pain in my chest. Not sure if it was because I slept funny or had over done it on the sprinting last night, but it passed during the morning.

Tonight I had to go into Manchester to drop some stuff off. I think that if I keep making reasons to go out on the bike I’m going to be able to keep this up. The ride was a city centre route with lots of traffic, drunk pedestrians and heckling. Blowing a hoolie too so spent the entire wind either trying to keep the bike from getting blown into on coming traffic, battling to make headway or getting the daddy of all tailwinds.

I’ve never been a fan of the Beetham Tower. I think it’s fair to say that it’s a hideous fucking monstrosity that is completely out of place in it’s spatial position in Manchester’s city centre and no amount of comments from the likes of Tim Johnson is going to convince me otherwise. Tonight with the wind blowing, it’s like there’s a diesel train engine at idle continually humming. Of course it’s actually the documented sound that is close to standard musical C (approximately 262 Hertz) and is caused by the tower resonating.

The root cause is believed to be the rather pointless glass and steel ‘blade’ on the roof. The fact that Ian Simpson architects were paid a lot of money to come up with a design and didn’t properly model the impact on the local urban environment is bad enough. The fact that no one seems to be doing anything about resolving the issue is a whole lot worse. Attempts to rectify the problem have failed and the humming sound can still be heard, although apparently only on certain occasions and depending on wind direction…

After a week of riding I’m feeling it now and coughing up some interesting stuff. Hope that it’s not anything that’s going to stick around.

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bike: road bike | trails: tarmac | weather: dry and mild with gale force gusts of wind

Not Much to Report
February 28th, 2008

After having used it for a few weeks I’ve decided that Map my ride is actually rather good. I’ve backdated all my riding from February and also found that you can import in routes directly from gmap-pedometer, so even if you’ve been saving stuff there or have GPS based files there’s import mechanisms for them too. So tonight’s ride wasn’t terribly exciting. I put a few sprint intervals into it, but traffic and lots of traffic lights on red seemed to limit the mileage achieved in the time again.

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bike: road bike | trails: tarmac | weather: dry and mild - good riding conditions

How Much?
February 27th, 2008

So went and picked up the new bearings I mentioned yesterday for the Bonty wheels. How much to do think they’ll cost then? Forty-five-friggin-quid that’s how much. That’s a lot of money for four bearings even if they’re stainless steel and finest quality. Still I suppose it’s less than 10% what the wheels would have cost new, which puts it in an acceptable context.

Took the Harry Hall out again tonight and it was a really nice evening to be out. Big ringed it up the climb to the Mottram roundabout and then had a hand-of-god tailwind all the way home meaning that the homeward leg was substantially quicker than the outward leg. I’ve found it quite hard to squeeze these rides in around other commitments during the week so far and although Fridays and Wednesdays are the two nights I should theoretically be able to extend to longer sessions, tonight meant a commitment limiting the ride to just over an hour.

Any ride of just over an hour makes me realise that the frame however is too short for me and even stretched out with a super long stem and a layback seatpost with the saddle right back it’s still not big enough. An Indy Fab road bike would really be quite a nice thing to have, but that’s not going to happen anytime soon unless I win the lottery.

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bike: road bike | trails: tarmac | weather: dry, chilly & windy

Bearing Mart
February 26th, 2008

I need to get some bearings for the set of Bontrager Race X Lite wheels that have been on the road bike over the summer. They were in good shape when I bought second hand off a friend, but the notched sensation from turning the axles highlighted that they needed new bearings. I’ve ridden them for another 12 months before taking them apart and getting the necessary spline tool to disassemble the simple, but effective integral DT Swiss freewheel ratchet mechanism. So tonight I headed up to see if Bearing Mart which was behind the now leveled Tom Garner garage site was still there and it is, so I’ll pop over for some new bearings tomorrow lunchtime.

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bike: road bike | trails: tarmac | weather: windy, but dry & mild

Wet and Miserable
February 25th, 2008

Bit of a grim ride tonight. Not really that keen on going out but I headed up to the Velodrome at Eastlands to see if there are any taster sessions available. Some coming up next week so I’ll make a booking tomorrow. Tried the out the new Endura Venturi 3/4s which arrived today. They’re fantastic. Great cut (fitting my thighs and calf muscles nicely), warm but not too warm, completely waterproof and subtle looks without that waterproof rustling noise when walking around. Good for riding in and really couldn’t have asked for anything better. Was hoping to get further but it took 30 minutes just to get to Stuart St as I seemed to hit every single bloody set of lights just as they turned to red. Ride home was a bit better, although wouldn’t have been complete without the compulsory idiot opening a car door without riding in Rusholme. Another urban ride tomorrow night. Ended up having to add in some extra loops to make up the hour.

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bike: road bike | trails: tarmac | weather: cold, constant rain & wind

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