Reverse Duck

Today I just went with the bike. Initially heading out to knaresborough, I decided todo one of my routes, but in reverse.

After buzzing through the crowds at knaresborough waterfront, people paying zero attention and just wandering all over the road, I turned left and headed out toward Farnham.

The relatively small hills disappeared beneath my wheels. Hills are starting not to bother me as much as they did, but I still struggle on certain grades.

Through the fast sweeping bends at Farnham, and onto the long road to Scotton. Everything looks different, I’ve never ridden the road in this direction, refreshing, it was like a whole new road to me. The outside of my feet were killing me, a sharp constant pain. It was so bad, I had to stop. I slacked off my shoes a touch, and that seemed to help.

The road turned into the busy B road, but I’m only on it for a short time, legs shouting up the hill until gravity takes over, soon turned off toward Breton. A real little roller coaster of rolling road, before the hell that is Ripon road.

Never stop learning

ConfusedHeadscratchSo, on today’s ride, I had an issue with gear changes. The rear Derailleur would not shift down from one particular cog. So it was onto the repair stand when I got home.

I looked at the rear Derailleur, looked fine and moving fine. The hangar looked straight and true. So the process of elimination was almost complete and I moved on to cabling. I shifted to the highest gear and made some slack in the cable system. The rear housing looked fine, cleaned it off and applied some oil to the cable.

“When the spirits are low, when the day appears dark, when work becomes monotonous, when hope hardly seems worth having, just mount a bicycle and go out for a spin down the road, without thought on anything but the ride you are taking.” — Arthur Conan Doyle

The bike still did it. Would not shift down over the second highest cog. Thinking I’d checked almost everything, and it was down to a cable tension issue I was considering ripping out the whole system and re cabling. But before that I thought I’d just try adjusting the barrel adjuster at the top of the down tube. Low and behold, the bike shifted fine after slacking that off slightly. So with no cable tension, I removed the cable from the adjuster, and there was a shed load of grit in there. It must of been thrown up by the front wheel during a rather wet ride I had a couple of days back.

Sprayed a good helping of GT85 in the adjuster, oiled it over and reassembled. It was shifting like a dream again.

So the whole moral of the story, is one of trouble shooting the system, work backwards, don’t head down blind alleys and you’ll get there.

Silly Point scoring..

I recently read on one of the cycling websites, a little game that can be used to liven up rides, but would be a great way to give the commute some spice.

In general, you award yourself points for burning off certain categories of riders, or traffic.

Generally, the food chain looks like this, with scooters being the ultimate challenge and electric bikes the lowest.

  • Scooters
  • Roadies with shaved legs*
  • Proper rapid singlespeeds (hard men and women, messengers, tarty shiny fixies)*
  • Roadies with hairy legs*
  • Faux singlespeeds (fakengers, dirty/functional bikes, silly spinny little gears)*
  • Touring bikes (mudguards)*
  • Fast hybrids*
  • MTBs on skinnies*
  • MTBs on knobblies
  • Bromptons/collapsing bikes
  • MTB full-sus on knobblies
  • Shoppers
  • Shoppers with wicker baskets
  • Electric bikes

*Pedal adjustment factor: Flats: +1. Toe Clips: 0. Clipless/SPDs: -1

  • 6 essential rules
  • No dangerous manoeuvres. Don’t be a danger to others or yourself. Falling off causes pain to you and others around you, and you lose your points!
  • Don’t ride like a dick/vulva, we’re all just trying to get somewhere!
  • No passing at lights, junction, crossings, etc.
  • All passing on open roads only.
  • Filtering in traffic is null and void (you’ll know deep down if you’ve dropped someone fairly, turning off immediately afterwards is cheating)
  • Pavement passes – either you or the target is void
  • Show no pain – unless your face is just like that

So that’s just a little game you can play to liven things up. Let me know in the comments if you have any thing you do to entertain your self on the bike.