Progress so far...

June 30th 2009 - 22 stone 4Ibs. Current weight - 17 stone 1Ib. Weight loss - 5 stone 3Ibs. Commuting miles - 3389.
Non commuting miles - 359. Mileage this week - 101 miles. Total mileage - 3748 miles.

Tuesday, 2 March 2010

Quite remarkable

An eventful pedal home yesterday, pedalling along the cut the alarming creaking and grinding from my bike got very bad, I could feel it through the cranks and through the saddle, I stopped a few times to try and identify it without success, finally when after an otherwise uneventful pedal I came off the cut at Selly Oak I suddenly thought..."It can't be the bottom bracket can it?" Dismounting I gave the pedals a quick wobble and they moved laterally by about 5 mm either way...Oops! I had 6 miles to go so I gingerly got me and the long suffering commuter home, then chucked it into the car and dropped it off at Northfield Cycles where young Neil said he would replace the offending dead bracket for me. The commuter was in a hell of a state, very muddy which I apologised profusely for, I never take a dirty bike in for repair, the height of bad manners if you ask me. Bottom brackets I can change and I have, but I haven't got the tool for chasing the thread out which the Ridgeback would certainly have needed after 20 years of abuse.

As my computer hadn't arrived from Amazon for my road bike which was now being pressed into service a bit quicker than I thought it would be, I took the Ridgback's computer off so I could fit it to my Road Bike after adjusting the settings.

Sod's Law then kicked in, when I got home what was waiting for me? Yep, the new computer from Amazon. New computer fitted, which was more tricky than I thought it would be due to wheel clearences and magnet size, but with a bit of modifying with a file, cutters and electrical tape I got the sensor on the fork ok.

So, pedal in this morning and first impressions. The big stat is time. My fastest ever trip in to work is 49 minutes. This morning it was an unbelievable 39 minutes! 39 MINUTES!!!!

I sort of knew it'd be quicker but a whole 10 minutes? Quite remarkable. I certainly didn't feel I was pedalling any quicker, if anything I was taking it easier while I got used to the beast.

It felt quite odd to ride, quite skittish, which may be helped by moving my saddle back a tad as I felt I was hunched over the bars. Also my saddle is quite slippery as predicted. It'll need to break in fast so I'm not sliding around too much.

Gears, I felt like I was changing gears far more on the ride in this morning than I do with the Ridgeback, also I was using the front mech a lot. Can someone tell me what combinations I should or shouldn't be using? It's a compact chainset by the way.

I have small hands, and I'm finding that when I'm changing the front mech I'm putting the back brake on. Which is a tad annoying, also the brakes are not up to MTB V brake standard, which came as a bit of a shock at Northfield By Pass traffic lights. Lesson learned with those then.

The pedal home tonight will be the tester on the gears front. It's mostly uphill and Cock Hill at the end of the ride is a bastard. Will the compact's lowest range be enough to get me up there as I am a still a complete fatty?

But the downside to this is no canal and traffic avoidance, it'll be dicing with death through town later. For every silver lining there's etc etc...


  1. I took up cycling back in august I bought a Appollo mountain bike (Halfords) of ebay for the princely sum of £56 but In January I bougyht myself a Scott Sub 10 and boy does it make a difference it is about 10 pounds lighter and so very much quicker the only thing is it has got 700c wheels and 32mm tyres so any sniff of ice its all over the place so in bad weather it is back to me ebay special

  2. 10 minutes saved!! wow! Very impressive, good luck for the trek home!

  3. 10 minutes is a cracking difference.

    Am a little confused about the small hands - I have tiny hands (makes my nob look big) and have no problems braking / changing gears.

    As for the ride back - you'll be fine going up that hill - just don't be scared of using your lowest gears if need be ;)

  4. I'm sure I'll get used to it. Probably me being clumsy.

  5. Lol, a road bike certianly does make a difference doesn't it!

    On the gears front just avoid running the chain at an angle. So if your on the big chainring at the front don't use the big sprocket at the back.

    Get ready for some more overtakes!

  6. Dunno about overtakes Red, still trying to get used to how it feels. 1999 was the last time I rode a road bike.

  7. Great improvement Clive really looking forward to me road bike now.

  8. 10 minutes saved or alternatively possibly find a different route in thats longer and hopefully quieter. Hats off to all those that commute some absolute d%*!s on the road at the best off time.

    I'm sure you'll get used to the positioning soon enough 10 mins off and you weren't that comfortable OUTSTANDING!

    Stay safe