Tag Archives: road bike

I am the Greatest Showman and Fashion?

When I retired I vowed I’d had enough of meetings and I wouldn’t serve on committees again. But, I’ve broken that rule consistently for almost 10 years. The group is a community cinema group – Pix in the Stix. The meetings are brilliant, always a total hoot, with various refreshments and we get things done. We run monthly films for children and adults and we’re open to new ideas. We’ve helped others to set up their own groups, down in England as well has it in Scotland.

We also raise money for charities and have run things like Pink Floyd night complete with its own wall showing ‘The Wall’ film plus a fantastic band.

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Pix in the Stix, Pink Floyd Night

We had an Indian night with three different curries and showed the film ‘Lion’ and raised money for an Indian charity helping street kids in India. Our latest venture was an outdoor cinema event this was fabulous. It was in Dunbar and we showed The Greatest Showman. The venue was in the battery, which was made as a defence when attack was fired from during the American War of Independence. The weather goddesses were in our favour, skies were clear and the moon shone. We sold out for the event in three days and the audience just loved the show. Here are a few pictures from the event.

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The Battery, Dunbar, ready for our film show

The audience arrives

Tha audience arrives

Ready and waiting

Just about to start

Me - doing the intro

Me – doing the intro

On the bike, it’s been an interesting time. I got a new bike cam cam and on the first try two minutes from home I had a car overtake me right next to the traffic island. I reported it to the police but unfortunately the footage wasn’t clear enough to make a prosecution case although although the officer said that they would contact the owner and give him or her a severe talking to.

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Even the police do ‘close passes’ sometimes

I’ve been off the bike a few days recently as wild winds and rain swept through Scotland. But it’s quietened down and it’s been lovely being out with the autumn colours. Club brides have been really good with lots of lovely riders out.

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A scene from “The Birds”?

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Why I love East Lothian

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More loveliness

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A bit of fun, can be slidy though

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About to be overtaken by friendly dogs, didn’t hear them till they came past on either side

I watched a programme on the Beeb (BBC) the other day about worldwide pollution. The research indicated, as I knew already, that coal is the biggest source of pollution in the world.

And what was the second biggest?

Much to my astonishment the answer was fashion!!!

So this led me to look at my use, or lack of use of stuff from the fashion industry.

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Not exactly a fashion icon?

Being a child of the rationing period after the 2nd World War, I’ve embraced the ‘make & mend’ philosophy to some extent. So when the bottom bracket on my old Specialized bike went & I was told it couldn’t be replaced and needed a new frame, with the help of a pal, I managed to rejig a screw-in to fit. When my old cycling bib tights went I repaired them a few times before the material wore away. I prefer old clothes to new ones so can look a bit ‘individual at times. If older technology works for me, no upgrades are needed, though sometimes stuff just won’t work together as things progress. As with all of us I’m not perfect, but try my best.

Since I started this post a couple of months have departed and we’re into winter. So far it’s been relatively warm, with temperatures from -4° to 10°C. So, it’s not been too bad on the roads, with little salt or attendant chemicals. So well happed up and away out does the trick. The light has been great on some days, though a bit blinding at times, but also some misty times as well.

The longer range forecast has been for another ‘Beast from the East’ snowstorm but there’s no sign of it yet, but the skis, snow shovel and sledge are at hand anyway.

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An early morning club ride
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A Friday Bike?

There used to an expression for cars – a Friday car was supposedly one built lat on a Friday, just before the weekend when folk just wanted home. So it was prone to mechanical problems.

I think my bike seems to fall into this category.

Almost a year ago I bought a new Specialized Roubaix, with the front suspension.

I had got it home, been out a couple of times and found the gear change a bit tight. When I turned the bike over to clean it I saw the cable had been routed over the casing instead of through it. The shop I bought it from is away in Fife so I arranged with them to have it sorted at my local bike shop. Job done, bike running smoothly again.

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Crossed cable, should be down in the grooves

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How it should be

The next thing I spotted were cables rubbing where they entered the frame. A wee patch did the trick this time.

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preventing cable rub

Next, a couple of months down the line, the seat tube has an insert of rubbery stuff to dampen vibrations. I saw it looked like a wee mouse had been having a nibble at it and quite a nibble at that. So back on the email to the Fife shop. They got in touch with Specialized and a new seat tube came winging my way.

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The mice have been nibbling?

The rear derailleur design by Shimano seems a bit dodgy as cables tend to wear quickly, more annoying than anything else.

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Not too good design by Shimano?

Then, just before Christmas, I heard the front suspension unit making funny grinding type noises. On close inspection the rubber boot surrounding the unit had developed some small holes and the salt & road chemicals had got in and rusted the unit. I got in touch with Specialized and they said I would have to buy a new unit, despite this being a manufacturing fault. However, the Fife shop came up trumps and managed to get Specializd to send them one and posted it to me. However, before it arrived I took the bike in for a service at my local and Colin said the headset bearings were exuding brown gunge as well. So tried to get new ones, but guess what? They’re a special size because of the suspension units and they were out of them, so just waiting for them to arrive as well.

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Just a wee hole?

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Lit up and rusty

So, what next?

Now, after all of this, would I buy another Roubaix? Despite all this carry on would I buy another one. The answer is yes. I love riding it. The roads round here are full of holes, gravel, farm muck, stones etc and the bike is so comfortable despite it all, it climbs well and we have steep ascents round here plus it just feels good. After well over 7,000 miles in less than a year on it, it does the job.

On a different note, as usual, I’ve been involved with our drama group in the village. I’ve given up acting as I’ve always found learning line bad and it’s getting worse. So I’ve been involved on the techie side with sound, lighting etc. This time it was lighting, so wheeking up & down ladders, mounting and setting lights, helping to programme the lighting board etc. Unfortunately for me it was a kid’s panto with 45 taking part. It was a huge, sold out success but . . . . several of the cast had coughs etc. and guess who succumbed? Yup, yours faithful. I was off the bike for 10 days, still not back to full strength after 2 1/2 weeks but gradually improving, though well over 300 miles behind my mileage last year. As I sometime say, “Ah Well!!”.

And here’s what makes it all worth it.

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Winter sunset ride

Infamy, Infamy, the Deer have Got it InForMe!! 🦌🦌🦌

For those not accustomed to British Humour, this is a misuse of a quote from the Carry On film ‘Carry on Cleo’: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kvs4bOMv5Xw.

It’s felt a bit like this locally. First the ice and snow, then the deer started leaping out in front of me.

I’ve started recording my rides with my sports cam and there’s been some interesting footage. It has also reminded me (as if I needed it?) how beautiful and exciting our wee part of the world is. On the downside it has also shown how inconsiderate some motorists can be. First the beauty bit: Ride6Jan 18-00003Screen Shot 2018-01-15 at 19.50.56Screen Shot 2018-01-15 at 19.53.03Ride19Jan 18-00001Ride19Jan 18-00002Didn’t go this way that day!!

Ride20Jan 18-00003Ride20Jan 18-00004Ride21Jan 18-00005Blizzard, worse than it looks here

Ride1Feb 18-00001A friendly smile

Ride2Jan 18-00004Ride05Feb 18-00002Ride05Feb 18-00004Screen Shot 2018-02-06 at 16.00.30Now for a couple of exciting bits

Deer3 weeUp in the hills, 2 deer (looks better in a new window)Ride13Jan 18-00005

Deer2 weeJust out of the village 3 deer, just one crossing (looks better in a new window)Ride1Feb 18-00009

And some of the nasties

Ride13Jan 18-00003Not as bad as it looks

Ride18Jan 18-00002Why wait for oncoming cars – close too!

Ride18Jan 18-00003Yup, save a few seconds

Ride18Jan 18-00004Close again

Ride18Jan 18-00005Another can’t wait!!

Make Do and Mend

I wasn’t quite a war baby, but I wasn’t born long after the Second World War. My parents had obviously been through the hostilities and the rationing that involved and lasted for a 8 years more. So I learnt by their example to be fairly thrifty.

When I was younger, before outdoor clothing became trendy and the thing to wear, I used to make my own clothes including wetsuits, latex dry suits tops, over trousers, cagoulesc, summer & winter climbing trousers etc. I also made my own rucksack with clips used in convertible sportscar tops so I could just unclip the lid.

This has spilled over into my cycling. Recently I found myself mending some overshoes that had gone underneath. I had some Gortex and so sewed some new pieces into the overshoes. I bought some mudguards recently unfortunately I caught them on a fence and it broke off the rear section. I just drilled holes through and adapted the pieces to fit complete new ones. I’m really bad at checking things like tires and have won them right down through the tread at times. So for better or worse it looks like this early training has lasted through my life.

I also like browsing through charity shops for stuff at times.

My road bike was bought on EBay, and is now over 8 years old, comfortable with it’s Roubaix flex inserts, paddle bars etc, ideal for our roughish roads round here. So I’ve no intentions of changing it any time soon.

This attitude may be not too good at times, but it has served me well and I wonder if the emphasis on modern consumerism has gone too far these days, or am I turning into a grumpy old yin? Several of my older pals are similar to myself, maybe it’s also that we have the time as well?

But, it is good to have the skills to sew, mend and repair stuff surely? I never quite got the hang of knitting though!

   
I’m sure black thread would have been more appropriate?

 Looks like I’ll have to redo the taping!

  
The ‘Zertz’ inserts on the Roubaix that help absorb vibration.