Mountain Bike Shenanigans

For The Win
August 30th, 2010

For the Win

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..because if you have to make up a ficticious company as part of a Chartered Institute of Marketing piece of coursework, it might as well have a kick ass name.

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For the Win

That Was Summer Then
August 24th, 2010

The weather has gone bad. It’s the third day riding with a long sleeved jacket, merino base layer and waterproof 3/4s. My normally commuter shoes were so wet from Monday that they still hadn’t dried out two days later so I’m riding in carbon soled racing disco slippers. The bike feels different, more alive, more responsive with the direct power transfer. Maybe I should get some new commuting shoes.

It’s depressing that summer is over, we didn’t seem to get much of one and as soon as it started the hose pipeban kicked in and as Nick pointed out it’s rained everyday since. Bloody United Utilities are to blame for that then. Jinxing the best bit of good weather all year with concerns about how we’d run out of water if it carried on. Eejits.

My pedals have decided to self-destruct too. I took the Eggbeaters off, stripped, cleaned and rebuilt them with grease and now three days later one of the end caps has unscrewed itself, fallen off and they feel just as rough as before. I’ve ordered a rebuild kit, but to be honest I’m wondering if the Shimano XTR pedals are a better option.

Pfft
August 19th, 2010

Pffft, Pffft, Pffft.

Sounds like the front brake pads rubbing on the rim. No, not the rim. The tyre. Better stop and check it out. Nope, can’t see anything wrong. So I fiddle with the brake cantilevers on the front of the ‘cross bike as I’m riding home trying to stop the noise. Partly because it’s irritating and partly because if it is the brakes rubbing on the sidewall of the tyre it’ll be through and the inner tube will have exploded by the time I get home.

Pffft, Pffft, Pffft.

It’s starting to rain. The weather has been unpredictable for weeks, but it’s 7pm on a Friday and having been working late, I just want to get home and start the weekend. With a beer. Withou getting soaked by Manchester’s unwanted precipitation.

Pffft, Pffft, Pffft.

Right, that’s enough. Stop. Get off the bike spin the front wheel around whilst checking the brake blocks in relation to the tyre. No bulges in the tyre and the rims not out of true. Check it’s seated properly in the drop outs and tighten the quick release up a bit anyway. Set off and fiddle with the brakes again, riding slowly because I’m trying to do all this in traffic.

Pffft, Pffft, Pffft.

Sweet Mary and the infants! What is it? Over a pothole. Hmmm. That’s not a good sign. Should have felt that bump. Look down at the slowly softening front tyre. P U N C T U R E.

Pffft, Pffft, Pffft.

First one whilst commuting in over a year. Click down a couple of gears and try and get some speed on. I want to get home. The rain is getting heavier.

Pffft, Pffft, Pffft.

It’s too late, the pressure in the tyre’s so low it’s starting to squirm, even in a straight line. I get my weight right back over the back wheel trying to unweight the front. It’s a vain effort, but it probably buys me another 50 metres.

Nothing. No Pffft, Pffft, Pffft.

The tyre runs limply on the rim, so expensive German rubber and a deflated inner tube are the only things saving the delicate aluminimum of the rim from the coarse abrasive asphalt. I can ride on and destroy the tyre and damage the rim or I can admit defeat. I bow my head, I hate giving in. The heavens open.

It’s a long, cold and wet walk home ducking from the shelter of one tree to the next. I’ll put my spare tube, pump and tyre levers back in my back tonight then. That’ll teach me to take them out.

Roadrat Looking for a New Home
August 18th, 2010

More Photos

As you’ll see it used to have discs, but not any more (although the frame still has helicopter tape on it that was in place to protect against cable rub). Now up for sale as I’m riding another bike more these days,

Upgraded with Thomson Elite seatpost, Race Face Cadence cranks and BB, Chris King Headset and DMR chain tensioners. It’s just had new Aztec cartridge brake pads all around, the original saddle refitted (taken off at purchase) and new grips. Everything is running and spinning smoothly, I take care of my bikes having worked for years in a bike shop and as a mechanic.

Singlespeed setup (50x16t) is geared quite high, but has been ideal for commuting in Manchester. As you can see it’s in good condition, a few light scratches and the odd stone chip, but otherwise in near new condition. Weights in at 21.2lb as pictured. Bike not supplied with pedals.

Looking for £550.

Grumpy Biker
August 11th, 2010

Yesterday the whole world seemed to be out to get me. It’s difficult to cite anyone particular thing at work or on the commute that wound me up, but I did manage to relieve much of the tension by blowing the crap out of lots of baddies on the XBOX360 at home. With imagination they looked a bit like the idiot in the grey Civic and other people who had made it into my bad books.

This morning the world still hated me and this was most vididly manifested in the form of the retarded driver of a black Ford Puma who indicated left, then turned right causing me to haul on the anchors and slide the bike speedway style to a stop to avoid getting t-boned. Dick. Head. Driver.

Tonight on the way home a bunch of three scallies were tailing an 18stone heffalump on an ultralight tricked out mountain bike groaning under his weight. I suspect they were eyeing the bike up and wondering of they had the guts to push him off it into the bushes and then ride off into the sunset on his bike. They were all riding on the pavement, which grated with my ‘why aren’t you riding on the road’ mentality.

Then there were the two scally kids walking along, one having recently liberated a front wheel and the other a saddle and seatpost off a bike. That was pretty blatant, but not unusual for inner city Manchester. The thing that really wound me up though was not that I met all the traffic lights on red, but that some roadie swine tailed me most of the way home, hovering just over my right shoulder. I shook him in the end by taking a bumper hugging right turn across the oncoming traffic in the wake of a fast moving Golf GTI. It was the highlight of my day.

IMBA: Long Live Long Rides