Twinkly Dave – Mud splattered bicycle and pizza enthusiast Growing old disgracefully

October 27, 2008

and then the pads melted

Filed under: bikes,rubbish weather — dgpowell @ 10:59 am

rode the race-bike scandal for the first time since SITS yesterday, the ground was wet, it rained and i didn’t pootle about the place, so fo course the 3 ride old (warantee replacement) SS ceramic bottom bracket is now rattly and horribly noisey and the brake pads that were at 50% disappeared completely by 35miles in.

great. more cash down the drain. grrr.

I’ve got to start carrying spare brake pads with me when i go out as i’m rapidly running out of pad springs by stuffing them into the rotor when the friction material wears away. What’s worrying is that i can genuinely see me having to stop at the top of every descent to fit new pads!

On the plus side, the bonty x-lite wheels, with their DT Swiss hubs, were still perfect despite not being cleaned – or even touched – since the last 24hr race. ace.
As soon as DT start making BBs and brakes I’ll buy them, irrespective of price.

October 24, 2008

Please, no, not yet…

Filed under: bikes,rubbish weather — dgpowell @ 11:14 am

Clocks go back at the weekend 🙁
Another winter pedalling round in the dark, getting funny looks off people in cars. Best get used to this view again:

dinotte splash of light on the road

as it’s all I’ll be looking at until March next year.


On the plus side, the strathpuffer lives again 🙂
(provided you’re lucky enough to get in)

October 21, 2008

battling on through

Filed under: bikes,rubbish weather — dgpowell @ 9:54 am

more base training last week (a reduced number of hours though, i’m not making myself ill again this time round), by golly it’s dull. I wore right through a set of brake pads (and probably the rims too) on the road bike trying to keep my heart rate steady while rolling down the hills on sunday’s ride.
it’s at this time of year that you have to just sit there (comparatively) and tell yourself that it’ll all be worth it in a few months time. steady as she goes and all that.

yesterday’s ride was ridden through some awesome wind; it was strong enough to keep me at over-road-bike-pace on the cross bike for the first hour, before becoming an absolute bugger of a cross/head wind while climbing over waddington fell…in fact i had to pedal to get back down the other side (normally you can sit comfortably at 50 while tucked in)!
suffice to say that the crossing of salter fell was insanely blowy; i was pushed straight off the track a few times on the highest part of the route and, when i picked the bike up to carry it back to the path, the wheels were caught by the gale and it flung itself directly into my shins. oww. chuffing brilliant though, i allowed myself a few seconds to just stand facing the hurricane, getting battered full on while making “woop” noises and grinning 🙂
silly weather.

my legs seem to be slowly getting used to riding again; i felt fresh enough on the way home to take on the annoying climb up from the inn at whitewell as an added extra and powered up it quite nicely. about halfway up i heard the unmistakable sound of a tuned up car revving its way up the ascent behind me and decided to see if i could ge to the top before it.
i failed, but it was good fun trying and the driver of the ace old ford escort (proper rallyed up thing) obviously realised what i was doing and waved as be flew past, cool 🙂

October 13, 2008

If at first you don’t succeed

Filed under: bikes,rubbish weather — dgpowell @ 3:31 pm

A welcome (ish) return to training began last week, with a few days at base pace to get the old internal engine a bit better at utilising fat as fuel. It was almost enjoyable as there’s still enough light left after work to actually see some of the countryside I’m riding through, in a couple of weeks time it’ll be pitch black and miserable, but for the next week or two it’ll be all autumnal and pretty, lovely.

Took Friday off work to go and ride a bit further, chose to head out on the cross bike along the roads to Wray, via slaidburn and such places then come back over salter fell for a bit of off road playtime. Wow. The weather had obviously been building itself up for my return to riding and unleashed all sorts of fury on me as i grovelled round the route. Well, i say grovelled, for the first 30 miles I was blown round by a crazy strong wind that saw me beat my fastest ever times (set on the road bike) without getting out of breath. Of course, from the halfway point onwards it was chuffing awful, leaving me grinding along the flat at 14mph with my jaw hanging down near the top tube as I gasped for enough air to keep my legs going.
The off road section was rockier than I remember it and came with it’s own sideways rain that managed to numb my face to the point where I didn’t realise i was dribbling. Still good fun though, the cross bike demanded much more attention to what I was doing and I felt like a proper tough northerner as i battled the elements up on the exposed moors. Or at least I did until i misjudged the depth of an innocuous looking puddle and flung myself over the bars.

salter fell track in summer

Did the same ride again on sunday, this time with far less wind and a fair bit more sun and managed to get round 22minutes quicker than friday, with an average heart rate 1bpm higher. Nice. It would have been 30 minutes quicker but I spent 8mins at the side of the road fettling the brakes after they somehow started rubbing on the tyre, despite nothing moving. Very odd. Lots of other people were out riding on sunday as well, many of whom were on cross bikes…in fact i saw the most cross bikes i’ve ever seen in one day (outside of CX races, obviously). Of the riders some where chatty, some polite, some ignored me completely (and got destroyed up the hills for it, ha!) and some looked positively miserable when they realised I’d caught them up. I avoided the puddle of doom this time though, which more than made up for other people’s misery.

The shimano pedals are far better for riding – much more secure – and, although they’ve developed a tiny bit of play in the bearings, it doesn’t seem to be getting any worse so I’m happy with them.
Sadly my 17,000 mile old diadora chili shoes died while i was removing the old eggbeater cleats* from them to fit the new shimano ones. I’ll miss them, they were uber comfy and put up with everything i threw at them for nearly 3 years without falling apart (until they fell apart…). I’m replacing them with a pair of mid range shimano jobbies that I bet won’t be anywhere near as good 🙁

*Another eggbeater problem; they eat the soles of your shoes.

October 9, 2008

and don’t come back!

Filed under: bikes — dgpowell @ 1:58 pm

a pile of eggbeaters

I got rid of every pair of eggbeaters on every bike in my possession today. I’ve wanted to love them since I first saw the simple yet (supposedly) effective design. I wanted them to work like they *should* have done – clearing mud like it wasn’t there, weighing next to nothing, making routine servicing simple – but they turned out to be pants.
I persevered, hoping eaach time a pair died that the next pair would be improved, but they never were. I tried the basic “c” ones, the expensive (and uber lightweight) “ti” ones, various incarnations of the “caged” ones and they all fell below what i would expect.
They all died prematurely and, although some were servicable (not that replacment bearings were cheap), they never lasted very long once fettled with (yes, i serviced them properly)…in fact the only thing with a shorter lifespan than the pedals were the cleats, which appeared to be made of cheese!

So i’m off them and back on shimano SPDs, which have already impressed me with their hearty CLICK as you clip in and obvious CLICK as you unclip (no more scary “oh look my foot appears to have popped out of the pedal while i wasn’t looking and now i’m wildly out of control” moments).
They weigh a bit more (even the xtr ones on the scandal), don’t have the nice minimalist look of the eggbeaters and proably won’t be as good in thick claggy mud (though I am assured by various people that they’re much better than they used to be), but I know both they and their cleats will last longer, provide more stability and not be the cause of so much frustration so it’s worth it!

Saying all that, the latest pair of eggbeater C’s have only been used once* and are pretty much “almost as new”…so if you want to buy them off me for a tenner feel free – I’ll even throw in 2 pairs of cleats 😉

here is a random photo from the tour of britain, when it passed through liverpool. The nice british rider who jumped off the front of the bunch was kind enough to stare straight at me…while i complletely failed to focus in on him, ho hum!

blurry tour of britain piccie

*for the 3 peaks cyclocross race

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