Monday, 9 March 2009

First bike wash.

Probably, what I'm about to write will be completely abhorrent to real bicycle aficionados, but today was the first time I've actually washed one of my bicycles. It was my day off, I'm nights tomorrow, and I've noticed, for quite some time now, that my commuter, the Carrera Subway 1 was looking really dirty and grimy. So as the sun was out I decided to give it a clean.

It didn't take that long, and I suppose I won't win any prizes for the result, but the Subway looked 100% better, even though I cut a few corners.

I should have taken the "before shot", but forgot in a haze of enthusiasm for the job at hand. Above is a view of the Subway half-washed plus all my bike washing gear, which was christened today, having been stored in the shed for at least the last 2 years.

The sight was so surprising to my son, Keiron jnr., that he grabbed the camera and took this picture, me hard at work, with Elizabeth in the background, hanging out some washing.
Since the Subway 1 replaced the Subway 8, as my commuter, it has seen alot of service and miles. Sadly, I'm very remiss at keeping my mileage figures up to date, but a conservative estimate of say 150 miles a week, since September last year, and taking out roughly 3 weeks of no cycling, because of icey conditions and my incapacity after my fall, and I come up with a guestimate of 3300 miles. That's quite a way without a wash.
Of course it's been into Halfords for a couple of services in that time, but they never wash the bike, something I'd very much appreciate. I've always lubricated the chain, and even wiped it free of grime on several occasions, as well as the bottom bracket and hubs, but otherwise I've done no maintenance whatsoever. Just goes to show what a fantastic low maintenance mode of transport a bike is. ( Says he who relies on Halford for taking care of virtually everything ).

Sunday, 8 March 2009

Sorry, but I haven't felt much like posting lately.

Just to let you all know I'm still riding, but can't get into the habit of writing up my experiences, time is the problem. I've got plenty to tell you, and am still taking the odd photograph, on my travels, and I really want to write about so many things, loads of ideas to research etc., but it all takes so much time. Work is the biggest problem, but to get that sidelined I need to win the National lottery big time, so until that happens, I ( and you ) will have to console myself with spits and starts. Not that I suppose anyone has missed my absence from the internet, these past few weeks, but hey, I like to pretend you're all out there, hanging on my every word.

Enough fantasising, and by the way I've discovered a new blog, well actually I've been reading it for a while now, " Bikeskirt," I have to say I enjoy it, gives me a great perspective on what youngsters are doing on their bikes in the USA. I don't believe we have quite the same bike culture here in the UK amongst our set of young people, and it's a shame. God I'm really sounding my age these days. But back to fantasising, I just don't see any young women riding bicycles, at all, in my part of the world, and it's much the poorer for it.

So come on girls, get out there on your bikes, believe me the lads will soon follow.

Well back to me and my riding. I've had a couple of weeks off work, due to a combination of leave and my wonderful shift roster. During that time I went out every day for a leisure ride, between 07.30 and 10.00 round Glynneath and surrounds, did at least 20 plus miles each time, and really enjoyed tootling along looking for subjects etc., to photograph. But then, when it was time to return to work we had a couple of downpours of snow, and the return of very wintery weather, which kept me off my commute, taking to my car. I had a few days of wishing the snow and ice would go away for good, so I could return to my commuting.

That time came, much too slowly for my liking, at the beginning of last week, so I've been back to my commute and enjoying every minute. On top of that my speeds, not that I'm really concerned about my pace to get from A to B, have increased alot, my normal commute is about an hour and a half, these past two days I've covered the 20 miles in 70 minutes. No, I know I won't be troubling Lance Armstrong etc., but I have surprised myself, and inwardly, I feel some accomplishment. Perhaps, at long last, I've improved my pedalling efficiency and style to improve my power ratio? Yes you've guessed, I don't know what I'm talking about. Best thing is, I'm feeling really good as well. Just need that lottery win now, to sideline work and take it right out of the equation of my life. That way I can concentrate on what my family and myself want to do, for me that's my bicycling and I'd like to just let myself "go" at writing. You can all laugh now, but I see this blog of mine as a bit of practise. I'd like to get into the habit of writing something everyday, much easier said than done.

I'm so envious of other bloggers who write so well, eruditely and succinctly. My posts tend to go on quite a bit, while I love to read those few lines that some bloggers can put together which sum up their thought or experiences, in a paragraph. Great stuff.

Once again time has defeated me, I hope to get back to you all soon.