A Confession

It’s now a month since I last rode a mountain bike. I’ve been out on the crosser a couple of times, but mainly I’ve been riding the road/commuter bike this month. I did get my Stiffee out when I got home from work tonight and give it a gentle fettling in preparation for taking it out for a ride. It now has the nicer Hope/F519 wheels back in place, and after a quick poke and prod, the existing forks will suffice for the time being.

Tomorrow night should be another ride on the crosser which should hopefully be getting some new forks this week to stiffen the front end up a bit.

The Grand Opening

Today was the grand opening of Ians new workshop. After spending a couple of weekends helping out, it was good to see it finally finished and decorated.

I also got to fondle his new Trek Madone 5.9 frame which is scarily light, in fact I’m convinced that I’d snap it in half if I rode it. I do have a craving for a new road bike in time for the summer. I think I’ll borrow the Lemond demo bike from the shop one weekend and give that a try out with a view to buying a cheaper Lemond. I’m not sure I can justify the Steel/Carbon spine bikes, but they do look very very nice.

Nowt much else exciting happened this week, although I did get myself a new mobile phone.

Back in the saddle.

Went out for a 25 mile spin on the cross bike tonight with birthday boy Ian. We did our usual flattish route to Bradford on Avon and home again in around 90 minutes. Got a bit wet on the way home, and my legs were very very tired. It was my first proper ride since the beginning of December, and it’s amazing how much fitness you lose, especially when you didn’t have much to start with.

Same again next week hopefully.


The Ultegra cranks arrived from Simon today, and after a bit of trouble getting the bottom bracket in, didn’t take long to fit. It’s too wet for a proper test, but they don’t creak as badly as the old ones, and have probably shaved about 3lb from the weight of the bike.

Off to a skittles match in a bit, hopefully the rain will have died off a bit by then.

Stop… Hammer Time!

In preparation for a delivery from Simon I decided to have another go at removing the bottom bracket from my road bike. I’d tried to take it out a year or so back when I built the cross bike, but with no success. The biggest problem was keeping the removal tool connected to the bottom bracket whilst hitting it with the largest hammer I could lay my hands on. After a bit of digging around I discovered that the hole in the handle of my crank extractor was big enough to take a crank bolt and could therefore be used to clamp the removal tool in place. So armed with a large adjustable spanner, a kettle of boiling water, and a large hammer, I finally managed to persuade the bottom bracket to release it’s tenacious grip on the frame.

Percussive maintenance is very theraputic.