Well late in 2016 I set my yearly target at 4700 miles for 2017.
This works out at an average of 391.66 miles per month , with 20 days gone I have covered less than 170 miles and with a frost forecast for the next few nights it doesn’t stand a lot of chance of going up by much at all , as I don’t enjoy cycling with frost or ice on the roads .
I can hear you all shouting and telling me to man up and ride no matter what , I don’t mind the rain and cold but just not riding when frosty , icy or snow is laying and that is it . Well it’s way too early to start worrying about a recovery plan to get my target back on track so will just carry on doing whatever miles I do and worry about it in November and December if I am still behind target .
The most annoying thing about it is that I have a couple of new to me bikes that I want to get out on and see what they ride like . One of them is a 1989 built to order Mercian King of Mercia road bike that I obtained from its original owner as he no longer felt it was the bike he wanted anymore . It was used regularly until 2005 and since then it has had very little if any use at all . The surprising thing about it is how immaculate a condition it still is in with just a couple of small areas that show a bit of wear .
The frame and fork stampings confirm that they are a matching pair , all the running gear is from the same era and is as per the original supply apart from the rear wheel which got destroyed at some point in 2005 when it was involved in an accident . The group set is Shimano 600 Tricolour set which still looks as good as the day it first hit the road and operates as smoothly as you would expect it to , it even has the aero seat post that are getting quite rare this day and age .
It also has a rather different stem fitted that has a screw on cap that you need to remove to enable adjustment to be made to either the height and angle of the bars , it’s the first time I have seen one of these stems never mind used one , it could be a bit shorter for my liking but it will be fine I should think .
The original owner had it built to a non-touring specification so limited clearance and no mudguard or rack mounting points with over bottom bracket cable guides and 2 sets of bottle cage mounts in Reynolds 653 tubing. Finished in a classy dark green paintwork with a browny gold seat tube that almost looks as good as new .
This is the 4 th Mercian I have owned over the years and each of them have been purchased from the original owners . So far this one has only covered about 10 miles in my ownership since being reassembled by my local family owned bike shop last week . Once the less frosty weather arrives I will be using this on the dry days seeing as no guards are fitted .
I need to swap the pedals over to some Shimano spd clip in ones and then its ready to go as since these pictures were taken I have already swapped the saddle over to a Selle smp one as is normal for me , ok I am sure the purists will say it should have a Brooks b17 fitted instead .
When you look closely at the frame you can see why Mercian earn their reputation as one of the uk’s top framebuilders .