Shifting Shenanigans

Something occurred to me a little while back. Currently I have 6 working bikes on the go, and no two of them have the same style of shifters, or even the same number of gears.

The current fleet is:

Inbred: 1 gear, no shifters.
Stiffee: 16 gears, XT Rapidfire+ shifters
Craftworks: 18 gears, SRAM trigger shifters
Lemond: 20 gears, Campag Ergo levers
Schwinn: 24 gears, Sora STI levers
Trek XO: 27 gears, Tiagra STI levers

The two geared mountain bikes aren’t actually that different to use, I’ve generally worked out what’s going on before I reach the end of the road and it isn’t a problem after that.

The road/cross bikes are a different problem. The inner lever on the Tiagra and Campag levers shift the mech in opposite directions which gets to be a tad confusing if I don’t concentrate enough. It’s worse on the cross bike where reaching the bottom of a climb and flicking the inner lever across a couple of times results in an impossibly high gear, not the nice easy twiddly gear I was expecting. Flicking the inner lever across on the Lemond at the top of a descent just results in legs that spin madly and never catch up with the freehub mechanism.

Maybe I need to standardise a bit more.

Good ride on the road bike tonight despite the wind and the rain. Despite wanting to do a shorter route than the planned 25 miles we still ended up doing 21 miles including a few loops round town to watch the young ladies jogging in the park. Hopefully the long weekend coming up with have some slightly better weather than we’ve had lately.

Photography weekend

A distinct lack of cycling this weekend, but I did get to have a proper play around with my new Sigma 70-200 f2.8 lens. Saturday was the Scout St Georges day "parade", luckily the rain held off for most of the afternoon. Sunday was mostly spent lazing around, but a last minute offer of a roast dinner meant I got an excuse to take some some pictures of the ducks in the park, and then a squirrel in my parents garden.

Ducks and Squirrels.

Double Gravity

Went for a nice hilly 25 mile ride after work with Ian tonight. It was nice to be able to ride for two hours and not need lights. We took a nice route out of Bath, through Limpley Stoke, into Bradford on Avon, then home via Winsley, Warleigh and Bathford. 25 miles with a bit over 2200ft of climbing in the end, taking about 2 hours. We did find another hill with double-gravity part way round the loop, it looks fairly innocuous, but is an absolute bugger to climb.

A new 16T sprocket turned up for the Inbred today courtesy of Hubjub, unfortunately I couldn’t shift the 18T sprocket that was already on there, that’ll need the application of some more brute force later.

Housing Admin vs Engineers

This match had been delayed since New Year, but better late than never as they say.

Things didn’t go entirely to plan, partly due to us only turning up with 2/3 the requisite number of players. We were soon losing 3-1, but a minor resurgence saw the score line improve no end. After the full 9 legs we finally won 5-4.

Housing Admin took the fulll 8 points, Engineers took 4.

Our next match is the Nomination Cup final in just under a fortnight, then there is one more league match the week after.

Fixed or Broken?

Despite a few minor addressing issues, a fixed-gear wheel arrived today courtesy of Tom. It soon made its way onto the Inbred a in time for a quick test ride to the LBS and back. Going downhill is interesting partly due to using flat pedals, spd would be a better choice, however despite "falling off" the pedals a few times I soon got into the swing of it and it’s actually quite enjoyable in a perverse sort of way. The only downside was the torrential rain on the way home again, I got absolutely soaked.

I could get quite used to this fixed-gear lark, I might even commute to work on it tomorrow.

HoNC

This year nearly everything went to plan. I only had two pints in the pub the night before, we remembered to have breakfast, the weather was good, and we didn’t even think of attempting the 100km route.

This year the route was in reverse so Cleeve Hill came a few km into the ride and produced a massive bottleneck which didn’t worry us as we weren’t in a hurry. The rest of the route was fairly rolling, a few steep climbs, and quite a few long hard drags into a headwind. Tea and cakes came just after the halfway point, and the last 24km home went fairly quickly. We did the 50km in about 4.5 hours including the "lunch" stop. The only downside was a severe headache which started about 2 minutes after we left, and finally went about 5 hours after we finished.

50km is definitely the distance of choice for the discerning gentleman, and double-wrapped bars are the new suspension.

HoNC Preparation

I’ve prepared well for HoNC this year by not actually riding a bike this week. Due to a combination of the weather and early morning meetings I didn’t manage to ride to work at all, and I can’t really muster up the enthusiam to ride today, so I’ll settle for packing instead.