Worth the wait .

Over the years I have kept an eye out for a local tidy Specialized Tricross Sport and until just before the lockdown I hadn’t found one at what I call a sensible price .

I thought to myself that will do and if not I can soon sell it on . Well after doing a couple of short rides around the block to see what it felt like I was duly impressed .

Once I started riding again I thought I might as well do some longer rides on it and up to date I have completed 197 miles on it and each mile has been a good one .

Normally it’s about this mileage I make my decision as to whether I decide to keep it or sell it.

And I am enjoying using this one so I have decided to extend that test period on the Tricross.

One of last weekends rides included a trip up to St Mary the Virgin Church that sits atop a hill overlooking the village of Whiston . The 3 X 9 gearing took all this in its stride. Normally I can only manage the path up to the church on my old Marin MTB.

Watch this space and see what I decide about this Tricross .

The garage queen is out again .

I have owned this Ian May decaled machine for a few years now . The actual make is unknown but it does have an Italian threaded bottom bracket so can only presume Italian parentage .

Normally I don’t use it till the month of May but this year it had to wait until June mainly as I wasn’t cycling in May with the covid pandemic around.

Over the years I have owned it the bike has undergone various changes ie at least 3 different types of wheels and tyres , 2 sets of calipers , 2 different bar and stem combination’s due to different reasons.

I always think it looks cool especially being red and chrome and now with red tyres just to finish it off .

It’s a lovely bike to ride and always soaks up whatever I throw at it and often comes back and asks for more . The miles just roll away and it doesn’t mind the occasional hilly terrain as well with a 52/42 chainset and a 12/36 rear cassette .

It never covers loads of miles each year but it’s always one of the bikes that I look forward to riding on a regular basis. And when you consider some of the machines in my garage that says a lot .

Let the tidy up begin

I have finally decided enough is enough and have started to sort out the mess in the garage .

It will take a while as I don’t really want to get halfway through it then have to stop . First decision is to decide on what kind of workbench I want and then get that on order along with a shelving unit .

So far I have filled a plastic storage box with saddles and a cardboard box with paired up pedals .

I even found a set of pedals made by Noli Cattaneo a name I had never even heard of , I have no idea what bike they came from .

I also found some campagnolo , MKS and Berthey loytard ones amongst them .

Next up is to sort out are the numerous saddle bags and smaller under saddle pouches that I have amassed over the years .

You think you struggle with sti units

So let’s be honest and admit that we all struggle from time to time when operating sti units .

I seem to have the biggest issue when swapping between bikes fitted with downtube lever’s and more modern equipped bikes .

Well this pony was certainly interested when I stopped at the gate to the field it was in .

I must admit I was slightly worried if it was going to take a chomp on them at one point but instead the horse left a nice slobbery mess over the left one .

Thankfully no horses or sti units were harmed in taking these pictures .

Turbo Tandem

I have decided to stop cycling on the open road till the covid 19 virus has finished ripping our world apart .

So instead of road cycling I have purchased a basic Bike But turbo trainer and have attached the family Raleigh pioneer venture u+1 tandem to it.

My main reason for choosing this machine from my collection of bikes was simple . We normally take the tandem with us when we go away on holidays. At least this way we can pretend that we cycling along Bournemouth promenade or around Centre parcs .

After a five minute try out I decided to swap the knobbly marathon tyre for a smoother treaded tyre .

The knobbly marathon stays on the front . So far I have done just under two hours of use . Ok it’s not the most enjoyable form of cycling but at least I can ride safely .

For the technical it’s an alloy framed machine made around the turn of the century . And is fitted with Shimano gearing offering 24 speeds and has cable operated disc’s .

Look what arrived

Saw this advertised over the weekend and I am sorry but I could not refuse it .

One previous owner from new in as new condition considering it’s from around 2003 .

Built with oversized carbon tubing with alloy lugs and bottom bracket shell .

Lots of lovely details on this one like the mono stay .

Not a lot of clearance for a set of guards so dry weather use only .

All in all I am looking forward to seeing the miles trundle by on this fine device .

Look kg231

I have often looked at Look branded bikes but up until a couple of weeks ago I had never owned one .

This one previous owner from new specimen turned up recently and I thought that it looked like a nice example so placed a fairly low bid in to see what happened.

A couple of days later and I was the only bidder so it ended up belonging to me .

It’s a full carbon frame that has been very well looked after. In the last couple of years it has been used as a single speed around town and general hack bike .

I would like to get it back to having some extra gears and a set of drop bars again , but first I need to find or adapt a front derailleur hanger to mount in the original position .

This is the nearest I have come across so far , just needs a bit of fine adjustment to the mounting holes .

So far I have used it on a few commutes and it feels very nice.

Sid’s first 33 miles

I decided to use my fixed wheel Sid Mottram for my early morning ride today.

My plan was to do a couple of my regular 12 mile loops just in case I had any issues.

As I approached the top of the mad mile I made the executive decision to head off towards Holcot village .

After stopping for the above picture in Holcot I set off towards Pitsford which gave me two route options if needed .

I stopped at Pitsford parish church for a quick photo before cycling off towards Boughton . As I glanced down at my Garmin I noticed that my average speed was a very good 14.5 mph which considering the route so far impressed me .

Another photo stop in Boughton in front of some thatched terraced cottages situated on a sharp downhill right hand bend just before the village church.

Next village to be visited was Moulton where I stopped in the village square for the above picture.

As I cycled away from Moulton I decided to head home rather than go further afield as my fingers were starting to feel slightly chilly .

Once I had ridden through Overstone and Sywell I had a quick ride around the industrial units at Sywell airport but failed to find a good spot for another picture so pressed on towards home .

As I neared the bottom of the mad mile I decided that the above industrial barrier would be my final picture of the day.

So 33 miles on another of my winter road bike fleet had been completed .

Sid Mottram Fixed gear .

I purchased this Sid Mottram a couple of weeks ago from the daughter of the original owner .

As far as she could remember it was bought by her late father in the 1950’s after a trip to see Sid Mottram in Leicester shop .

Through the covering of dust and grime built up over the years of storage I could see a nice bike lurking below .

It’s fitted with a mix of original and later components ie Williams chainset , wienmann 27″alloy rims , GB drop bars and a Reynolds 531 stem that had been wrapped up in black bar tape . Thankfully the constrictor lamp bracket hadn’t been covered as well .

Once I removed the tape I could see the damage to the glorious chromed stem that years of tape had caused ie lots of flaking chrome.

My plan is to swap the cranks for a set of stronglight items along with a 19 toothed fixed rear cog . The front wheel will be respoked . It will also need some new cables and brake pads .

I am unsure if it’s a Wally Green or Mercian built frame . But either way I am looking forward to covering some miles on it.

Old Faithful stands in

This morning’s ride started with a flat rear tyre on the Dunelt fixed gear .

Luckily I hadn’t even left the garage and with damp underfoot conditions I wanted to use a bike with guards.

So the only other bike that fitted the bill was my daily commuter the Marin Bear Valley .

I decided straight away to change my intended route to take in the cycle path that runs from Thrapston to Rushden lakes.

This meant that the first 15 miles were all on tarmac and then the next 6 and a bit were a mixture of smooth and rough gravel surfaces.

The Marin always gives me a smile no matter what it’s being used for . The homeward journey was another 7 miles of tarmac .

As I rode through Irchester I decided to do a lap of Irchester country park .

The ride ended up being just over 29 miles in length , I have no idea how long my smile was but it certainly stayed for most of the day.