Monthly Archives: July 2011

Off out to Bidford

We’re off out to Bidford on Avon today, have a bimble along the riverbank and take our minds off the house move, yet another f*** up from the solicitors dropped on the mat yesterday, what is it with these people? More stress and and an angry wife to deal with.

Dan’s pedal over the hills went well yesterday, he cleaned one of the big downhills for the first time, he’s not keen on downhils at the moment!


Sunny Saturday

Into Birmingham soon to sell my old vinyl record collection, then off for a pedal with Dan. Looking a good day for it!

Friday chillin’

Not doing a fat lot today, much to wifey’s delight, I’m getting a bit of stick from she who must be obeyed about pedalling with the chest pain. But I think yesterday’s Battle of the Beacon proves there ain’t much wrong with my “Dicky Ticker”. The pain in the chest is, a, er…pain though.

We’re off for a walk with the hounds around Romsley this morning, then the Friday PM Dodford Inn visit.

I’ve downloaded a few fitness apps for my iPhone. I’m ramping things up as from next week. More on that as and when.

Me and Dan will be off MTBing the Waseley Hills tomorrow.

The tale of the bike.

I got out and did a very quick hour to get 16 miles in to complete Phill’s July 100. The bike performed pretty well and the tweaks seem to have done the trick. It was a very hilly route though and the weather was baking hot even at 0900hrs. I pedalled a hill I’ve always avoided until now. That of the “wrong way” up Beacon Hill in the Lickey’s. It’s goes from Catshill straight up. 6 miles for a gain of nearly a thousand feet. Not nice. My heart rate was a continuous 160bpm for the entire time.

I think a bit of an explaination and reason why is in order about why I got a new road bike and temporarily shelved the 29″ with belt drive commuter.

I guess 2 things were the main driving force behind it. The cancelling of my Companies’ cycle to work scheme and our house move.

I desperately needed a winter commuter as Wifey wanted her Specialized Rockhopper back, which I’d nicked when my Ridgeback died, and our new house (and I’m tempting fate here) is in a location where there is no access to a canal and cycle route so it’ll be an entire road commute to Smethwick.

I have a very good road commuter with my Giant Defy and if that’s being pressed into service as my all year round commuter I “needed” a new road bike for the weekend. The cliched “best bike”. I’d read a lot of blogs and scanned various forums and with money being tight with the house move I decided on a “no name” Chinese Carbon Fibre Frame and build it myself. They’d got rave reviews pretty much everywhere.

Here’s the break down:

Ebay Chinese Frame – £257.00

Wheels – £0.00 already had a spare set from my Defy

Ebay Ultegra shifters – £80.00

Ebay – Brooks Ti Swift saddle – £110.00

Ebay Carbon seat post – £13.50

Ebay Carbon stem – £20.00

Ebay 105 brakes – £16.00

Ebay 105 rear mech – £25.00

Ebay Handlebars – £25.00

Ebay Carbon headset spacers – £6.00

Ebay Carbon Water bottle holders – £3.00 (the pair)

Ebay Shimano SPD pedals – £14.00

Ebay 105 front mech – £10.00

Ebay carbon seat post bracket – £3.00

New 105 Crankset – £125.00

New Chain – £25.00

New Bottom Bracket – £60.00

New Headset – £75.00

New bar tape – £10.00

Cables from LBS £15.00

Graphics (yet to be recieved) – price of a beer from a very good mate!

Grand total – £867.50.

That might seem a lot and is more than my estimated £600 in a past post! But, it was built over time and didn’t require one lump sum being shelled out. Looking at various online retailers it seems a Shimano 105 carbon framed bike will cost anything from £1500 upwards.

I guess I’m lucky in as much as I am fairly handy wielding the odd spanner and allen key and could build the thing myself. I suppose you would have to add whatever your LBS labour charges are on top if you’re not that confident in your fettling ability. But it would still work out cheaper than buying a carbon framed piece of exotica in one hit!

Just noticed I’ve passed the 7000 miles pedalled since I started this thing!

Getting on with it.

Sometimes you have to fly in the face of conventional wisdom and good advice. Although the medicos couldn’t find an issue with the old “dicky ticker” they said to take it easy as I do have a pain in the chest, but what is the point of sitting on your arse all day?

Fuck ’em, I went for a pedal.

I did another 30 mile shake down ride of my Ebay Special. I’d tweaked the riding position and off I went. I did a circuit of the lanes close to my home so I always had a bail out if it did go a bit Pete Tong.

I’d worked the route out on Ride with GPS and shoved the route into my Edge. This would be the first track I’ve ever loaded and tried to follow. I was looking forward to seeing how it performed.

As it happened it went fairly ok. Only 2 hissy fits where it missed a turn or decided I was off course. Not too big a drama.

The ride itself was a bit slower than I’m used to for a couple of reasons. I was deliberately taking it easy and I was having new bike transmission problems. I guess the cables had stretched or the stop settings had moved as I was getting terrible front mech chain rub. I did an on the fly adjust but it didn’t do a lot of good. Something to sort later then.

Water stop at Rushock.

Water stop at Rushock.

Maybe a candidate for Bikes and Gates?

Then my bimble through the lanes was halted by these ladies.

A milk herd

I got back home and then set about doing as I was told, that of taking it easy, but I did feel better for my rank disobediance!

The photo below is what happens when you get your aim wrong on the snot rocket front!

Snot rocket mishap

Catching up.

Been a bit busy with not very nice stuff since Fay’s Sunday flight. To cut a long story short I had chest pains (again) and ended up in hospital. Bottom line, no problems with the heart (again) and they don’t know what’s causing it. I’ll be undergoing a battery of tests to try to find out what it is. I am still not convinced and it’s playing on my mind quite badly.

Enough of the negative stuff.

Fay’s flight was brilliant on Sunday, my mate Wilksee and the good folk at Hadair did us proud. While Fay was up, young Midge kept Dan occupied by letting him loose on all of their aircraft, even to the point of plonking him in the cockpit of one and pushing him around the apron. He had the headphones on and everything. He was totally blown away with it!

Dan in the C42

We went for a wander around the airfield and had a nose at the other aircraft.

Fay and Dan in front of the C42

Liz and Dan on a derelict Piper Aztec

The plane above, a Piper Aztec, built in 1965 has a fascinating history, built and registered in the States it flew from LA then came over to the UK the early 70s and flew for Air London it’s registration is G – ATFF, it has been stood at Halfpenny Green since 2006. A crying shame. A bit of history and pictures here and here and here .

Dan in the flex.

Fay airbourne!

Fay loved her flight and flew the whole hop herself, even helping with the landing!

Footage below of the take off, Wilksee showing off again!

I can just hear him on the radio, (Cue Top Gun music) “Permission for a fly by Halfpenny Green Tower?”

“Negative Ghostrider, the pattern is full!”

A quick in and out.

A lot on  to have time to write. More tomorrow. Apologies.