First day done

A longish ride for the first day of the charity event.

Decided on York as my destination, but a route I haven’t previously used. It was a good choice, as I really enjoyed the route, it was quiet with minimum traffic, and the cars that where on the road passed brilliantly.

The route started through Knaresborough, out to Farnham, Arkendale and the first rest point, the bridge over the A1.

From there, it was a quick jaunt out to the village of Martin-cum-grafton and out to Great Ouseburn. I stopped here for a little while, and watched so many cyclists out. It’s a great sight. Setting off again, my Garmin had a bit of a brain fart and couldn’t find my route. A quick bit of thought, and circling found it again and off I went. The whole route from here on, is pretty much flat.

But that as it is, I’d no matter I’m throughly enjoying the ride. Now nearlyat One of the highlights of the ride, Aldwark Bridge. A wooden planked old bridge, free to cross by cyclists, rickety and clanks as you ride over.

Crossing that bridge was an odd feeling as the planks moved, groaned and creaked as you went over. Now on route past the RAF base and onto Newton On Ouse. Nothing notable here, lots of military style housing and a post office.

Then an unexpected route through the grounds of Benningborough Hall. A grand building, and lots of cattle in the fields. Truth be told I wasn’t expecting it as I passed through the ornate gate way. A nice steady cruise through the grounds, until I exited the grounds onto a single track road.

Really nice to be on a quiet single track, with some seriously tight corners to negotiate. Before Overton, after a lump where the road goes over the railway, and is exactly 200 miles to Edinburg.

Round some more serious bends in the road, and back under the railway by a short tunnel. We reach Overton. This is the last of the road riding. From just after Overton, we pick up the cycle path into York.

Finishing along the banks of the river into York on the cycle path, the only fright of the ride was when some kid ran out in front of me causing the back wheel to skid as I braked to avoid him.

View the full ride on my RideWithGPS account.

And don’t forget, you can donate on my JustGiving page.

Another charity ride

Parkinson’s is a progressive neurological condition. This means that it causes problems in the brain and gets worse over time. 

Around 145,000 people, live with Parkinson’s in the UK, including members of my family. It’s the fastest growing neurological condition in the world.

And funding is needed to further research into prevention, cure and living with Parkinson’s disease. 

Help me raise something toward this, and be a part in helping. 

I will be riding 300 miles in May, that’s the same distance as the yearly bike ride, London to Paris. 

Your welcome to accompany me on any ride, or a portion of any ride. Just let me know!

Please donate whatever you can, no amount is too little!

Rides will include Harrogate to York and Ripon, local rides around Harrogate, knaresborough and Wetherby. Just click on the QR code below, or scan it to make a donation..

Thank you.

Donation link

Radar

I’ve used Garmins varia radar previously, but didn’t like that blocky look it had. However, you can’t knock the usefulness of the unit in giving you information on what’s happening behind you.

The new radar unit, is more elongated, and slimmer than the original, and to my eye my more pleasing.

In use, it’s great, it gives me an idea of traffic, long before I hear it, with clear and easy to read graphics on my head unit.

There’s not much more to say on the unit that hasn’t already been said, for a much more detailed and in-depth look, be sure to check out DC Rainmakers blog.

Another backup post

So I had a thought of redoing my backup scripts, as my existing script file was becoming huge, complicated and difficult to follow.

It was a good way for me to learn Bash scripting however. The idea was to vastly simplify the whole process. I began by thinking the best way, and decided to use each machine to independently backup to a network drive, rather than having a single machine doing the grunt work running a script.

So each computer on the network had the drive mounted, and the script file placed into the main users crontab. I could of used the root crontab to copy the whole /home/ directory of course, but each machine only has one real user so I opted for that.

The file that runs from crontab is very simple

source /mnt/dlink_nfs/backup-script/var-dec
rsync -va --delete-after --delete-excluded --exclude-from=$FOLDER_NFS/backup-script/exclude.lst /home/$USER $FOLDER_NFS/backup-test/$DIRNAME

And that’s it. Just uses rsync to copy the contents to the network drive . The referenced source file is just shared variable declarations.

Now, that’s not quite enough for me to be happy with a backup system, so I use a raspberry pi, to run a second set of scripts from its crontab. Those files are responsible for uploading to Amazon S3, and also copying to a secondary NAS.


#!/bin/bash

source /mnt/dlink_nfs/backup-script/var-dec
echo "Script Started: $(date)" >> uploads3.log

if pidof -x "$script_name" -o $$ >/dev/null;then
   echo "An another instance of this script is already running"
echo "Script Already running, exiting" >>  uploads3.log
echo "-----------------------"
   exit 1
fi

if [[ $1 == 'clean' ]]
	then
		echo "clean command passed" >> uploads3.log
		rsync -vruO --delete-after $FOLDER_NFS/backup-test /mnt/samba/
		echo "Clean compleated $(date)"	
		exit 1
else
	if mountpoint -q /mnt/samba
		then
echo "Samba share mounted, started RSYNC" >> uploads3.log
		rsync -vruO $FOLDER_NFS/backup-test /mnt/samba/
	fi

	cd $FOLDER_NFS/backup-test/
echo "Starting S3 uploads" >> /home/pi/uploads3.log
	shopt -s dotglob
	shopt -s nullglob
	array=(*/)
	echo runing s3

	for dir in "${array[@]}"
	 do 
		echo "Currently Running S3 on $dir" >> /home/pi/uploads3.log
		dir=${dir%/}
	        timeout 30m s3cmd $s3_cmd $dir $s3_bucket
		echo "Compleated uploading $dir" >> /home/pi/uploads3.log

	 done
echo "Finished Script: $(date)" >> /home/pi/uploads3.log
echo "--------------------" >> /home/pi/uploads3.log
fi

And that file basically, ensures the script isn’t already running, copies the backup to another NAS, then iterates through each directory uploading to S3. I use timeout to limit each upload to 30mins to prevent overruns. Once the initial upload has completed, this limit can be removed.

You can view the most up to date git repository at my github site https://github.com/mikethompson/new-backup

Gears don’t always smooth the way

So I was lubricating my chain, and I happened to notice the 11 tooth cog had a significant wobble.

The gear would of yen catch the chain when back peddling the bike. So, a bit of investigation was in order. Taking the cassette off the freehub, it was obvious there was a lot of ring bite into the freehub splines. This is where the force of peddling the bike causes the mounting lugs on the cassette to wear a grove into the freehub splines. Not a massive issue on the middle cogs where it often occurs.

However, the 11 tooth kinda sits off the hub, and looking, there was some big gouging on the splines causing the cog to sit angled. So I tried filing off the worst parts. But this didn’t help, causing the lock ring to be angled on the cog.

So, the only option is to replace the whole freehub, and luckily I had a spare wheel available. So a quick change over, and ensuring the lock ring was REALLY tight, which should go some way to completely clamp the cogs down, keeping any movement to a minimum, hopefully should be the end to cassette wear.

New Pedals

So, I’ve had a little upgrade from my Shimano R550 pedals, I’ve gone and installed a pair of Look Blades.

So, initial thoughts on them, is that they are easier to engage into than the Shimano, and oddly more comfortable. But unclipping is another matter. It’s not difficult to unclip, it’s just the range of motion is greater to actually unclip and it seems to throw the foot off, almost in disgust that your unclipping. Any hesitation, or having the cleat near seems to suck the cleat back into the mechanism.

With the Shimano, a kick to the side, and your foot was just on the pedal, ready to put down, but still be able drive forward if needed. Handy for those traffic slow down moments. The blades, a throw from the ankle sees your foot thrown, a more gentle twist, unclip then reclips the cleat.

But in truth, they are a great pedal, and it’ll be time before I’m used to their quirks, but they are on my bike to stay. I might however, fit the tighter blade, as the 12Nm that comes fitted as standard just doesn’t feel tight enough.

I’ve now been riding them for a few months, and occasionally get more clip in fails than I did with the shimano pedals. Wether this is down to lack of skill on my part or the pedal is however up for debate.

Pedal Service

Pedals are one of the most neglected parts of a bike, they do however need the occasional bit of TLC

Most people fit them, and then just forget about them as they are riding along giving no thought to the job the pedals are doing. Taking all that power, rotating along their bearings until something gives. They can last a fair while if cared for.

The pedals we are servicing here are Shimano PD-550, but these instructions will be suitable for most Shimano SPD-SL pedals

Tools required

  • Good quality grease
  • Shimano Pedal tool
  • Pedal Wrench
  • Plenty of rags, ‘‘tis a messy job this one
  • A pointy object
  • Possibly a small spanner if adjusting bearing play
  • A wrench that fits the pedal tool

So, obviously you need to remove the pedals from the bike. Clean the crank threads while your here.

Now the pedals are off the bike, clean off the pedal bodies, and check for damage and play in the pedal. Now you’ll need to do one pedal at a time to avoid any confusion, so take one pedal and look at the locking collar and you’ll see the words tighten with an arrow. You’ll need to turn the collar opposite to the tighten direction. On a never serviced pedal, this’ll be really tight to turn because Shimano put LOADS of lock thread on the threads.

Now you’ll be able to pull the axle from the pedal body. Everything is on the axle. Shimano don’t do silliness like pressed bearings in the body. Clean off the axle and bearings, rotating each collar working the grease out. If your needing to adjust for play, do it now. We won’t go into that adjustment, but there’s plenty of YouTube videos on how todo it. Stuff a rag into the pedal body and use your pointy object to clean the axle housing.

Now, take your grease, and squeeze a healthy amount into the hole in the pedal body, fill it about half way.

Wipe off the axle to make sure it hasn’t picked up any crud from your workbench and insert it into the body. It might struggle to get back in with the new grease, just gently shove it until you can get the threads to engage.

Using the locking tool, turn in the direction of the tighten arrow on the collar. As your tightening it down, grease is forced up through the bearings and other gubbins on the axle exiting at the top of the collar. It might even fart a few times…

Clean up the leakage, and repeat on the next pedal, noting the threads will be opposite.

Remount the pedals back onto the cranks after greasing the threads. Note that a certain amount of leakage is normal for a few rides as the grease settles down. Also, the pedals will be slow to hang in the right orientation so you might miss a few clips as the grease works through. Apply a drop of lube to the flats and rear clip mechanism. Your good to go with you freshly serviced pedals.