Tuesday, 26 May 2009

Woke up early enough....

Yes,I could have gone for a ride this morning, but,very unusually,I stayed tucked up in bed until 08.00., had a leisurely breakfast, listened to some radio, then went for haircut. Later on in the morning Elizabeth and I went to B&Q to pick up a new rotary clothes airer, as they call it, but it's a rotary clothes line as far as I'm concerned, when I was growing up we called them clothes lines, and that's that.

On the way we stopped at the old railway viaduct at Cefn Coed, I've always wanted to walk over it, and the good news is it's part of the National Cycle Network these days. It's a very impressive structure, I'll have to try and get the details/dimensions of it, as well as a full shot of it for a future post, but for now here are a few I took while we walked across it.
Still haven't solved this problem of being unable to manoeuvre pictures around the blog, very annoying indeed. Hope you enjoy the shots, there's plenty more.

Monday, 25 May 2009

Best week's cycling so far this year, butt also a sad tail...

Managed to notch up over 200 miles this past week, I mean from Sunday 17th, to yesterday Saturday 23rd May. Sunday saw me do a local loop of about 25 miles, Monday the same, and Tuesday 30 or so, I really should write down my daily mileages. Then Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday I did my roundtrip commute of 40 miles. Thus bagging a total for the week of approximately 240 miles.

This is where the but, or should I say butt, as far as this tale, or tail.... oh I can't help it!!..., comes in.

I worked on Sunday, but (butt) couldn't manage to cycle because of saddlesores. Recently I bought some base layer boxer shorts, with the padding, insert thingy, normally I use vaseline in the delicate places, but Thursday I forgot. As a result of the newness of the padding, and the lack of vaseline, I ended up with some chafing, which was sore on the way home that night. I treated said chafing, managed the trip Friday with only some discomfort, but by Saturday night's trip homeward, I was really struggling. So Sunday I had to take the car, discretion being the very best of valour. I've since stayed off the saddle for two days, and am hopefully ready to ride again tomorrow.

A sad tail, I think you'll agree.

Butt! what makes it all the sadder is the fact that the week has been glorious, sun shining, blue skies etc., a complete joy to be out there cycling. Still a valuable lesson learned, which I won't forget, if one isn't comfortable on the bike, it ruins the ride, so I'll make certain, those nether regions are taken care of, in the future.

Monday, 18 May 2009

New bike.....well sort of ?

Well I tried to fix the photo adjusting problem on this blog, but using 'system restore', which I thought would solve it, hasn't worked. So I'm going to have to press on and put up with it, hopefully only for a while, jnr where are you when I need you?
The two pictures above are of my old Raleigh Venture Pioneer GT 27-speed, a touring bike, which I had for free, about 2/3 years ago, and I never rode, except for a few attempts, but was never happy on it. It's the best quality bike I have, according to the sales catalogues, cost about £700, but I just couldn't get on with the gears at all, and didn't like the drop handlebars.
To cut a long story short, I took it to Halfords a couple of months ago, and had a chat with Russell etc., and asked them to put on straight handlebars, and rapid fire shifters, and hey presto, you can see the results above. I'm alot happier riding the bike, and progressing with the gears, sadly I'm still much more content on my "hack", or commuting bike, as I call it, because it's like a second skin to me now. But eventually, I'm hoping to make some long trips on the Pioneer, if I can get used to all those pesky gears.
Also one of the difficulties I've found with the Pioneer, and it could be psychological, is the narrowness of the tyres compared with the Subway 1. The more I ride the more I'll get confidence, I hope, but I'm serious about using it.
What do you think?

Sunday, 17 May 2009

I'm still cycling the Neath Valley.

Yes, it's been a long time since my last post, looking at the date, over 2 months now. Time is the problem, I constantly use the Subway 1, for my commute, and still get out most days to do at least 25 or so miles, but time to write about my trips is hard to come by. I've done alot of miles, even wore out the pedals on the Subway, last week, the bearings had gone in the right pedal, causing a terrible creaking and screaching as I pedalled along. Quite disconcerting for people and animals alike, especially at 04.30 in the morning when it's still very dark, while I'm wending my way to work.

A complete change of subject I know, but for some unknown reason I'm unable to manoeuvre photos onto my post, the top picture, at the start of this post, is a shot of my new pedal, and the second the old one. Naturally I replaced the pair, and fortunately it was done for free, by Halfords, who are going up and up in my estimation. I explained to Russell, the manager of the bicycle repair section, that I'd only had the Subway 1, since September of last year, and even though I'd down over 5,000 miles since, the pedals should still have lasted 12 months. So he replaced them under the Subway 1's warranty. Not that they, or for that matter, the ones that they replaced were expensive, but it's always great not to have to put one's hand in one's pocket. Let's hope they'll be good for another 5,000 miles?

This problem with adding photos is severely hampering this post, because over the last 2 months I've taken lots of shots that I want to incorporate in this and future posts, and I've also alot to report. As the blog is headed, I'm still cycling the Neath Valley, virtually every day, and enjoying it so much. But reporting it is so much more difficult without the aid of a few relevent shots/photos. I'm going to have to ask my son Keiron jnr., to see if he can find out what the problem is.

Meanwhile, I went out for a ride this morning. Got up at 06.30., but didn't leave till 07.45. First I had to adjust my rear brake, after discovering I had very little in the way of stopping power on yesterday's ride, and then I spent a good 20 minutes sheltering in my shed, waiting for a good old fashioned downpour to pass over. As a result of the late start only knocked up 18 miles on a shortened loop, lately I've been averaging 25-30 miles, on my days off work.

Even though I'd waited in the dry of the shed for those 20 minutes, I still got a good soaking, within 20 more minutes of starting out, then as it usually does, it stopped raining, and I had yet another great ride, under gradually clearing skies, until when I got home, it was glorious sunshine amid the blue.