Wednesday, 27 April 2011

A New Bike?

Here is the missus having just tried out a 15" Claude Butler Kensington. 

She liked the ease of the hub gears, the step through frame and the 'comfy' saddle but was disconcerted to have some front wheel toe overlap when she wobbled at the start. This was not helped because she was placing the arch of her foot on the pedal rather than the ball. However it happened this put her off and it is fair to say she was not blown away by the bike. 

She is leaving the final decision on which new steed she should have to me (thanks).

The search goes on!

The Missus and Golden Child (with protected identities as requested)

Monday, 18 April 2011

100+ Miles Mini Cycle Tour

Missus and Golden child are away with family for a few days while I have to work. Had two consecutive days off so decided on a two day cycle-camping trip. It's a hard life. 

Day one from Manchester to Hebden Bridge, mainly along the the Rochdale Canal and then the climb up o'er moors to Haworth. Wild camping that night at Wuthering Heights.

Day Two an earlier start with an absolutely gorgeous morning. First an off road route to Wycoller and then on to Colne for a surprise visit to my Aunty. After this nice little interlude I climbed up to Newchurch in Pendle before dropping back to the Leeds-Liverpool canal for a winding, bumpy route to Chorley where I gained speed but also traffic on the A6 back to Manchester. 

109 miles in all and not a drop of rain. Lovely!

Tuesday, 12 April 2011

Oiling The Rohloff

I changed the Rohloff Speedhub oil the other day. This is a step by step guide to the process.
  1. Buy the oil change kit.
  2. Gather your tools. You will need a rag, a 3mm Allen key, some superglue.
  3. Follow the instructions included in the oil change kit. You will need 30 mins and a cup of tea.
  4. Make a date for the next change in 1 year or 3000 miles.
Simples! If you want a more detailed explanation this video by Thorn cycles is pretty good.

Thursday, 7 April 2011

A Pootling Success

Yesterday was a lovely, warm spring day. The Golden Child was in school and the missus and I were both off work together. The missus said "What do you want to do today?" and I replied "Go for a bike ride together?". And that is how it came to be.

The missus is not a confident cyclist. She learnt to ride a bike in her 20s and never gained much experience or confidence after that. She bought a completely unsuitable "mountain bike" a long time ago which weighs in at just under a half a ton and handles like a pig. She has hung on to and is reluctant to change steeds as she feels there is no point throwing good money after bad. She has cycled a little more frequently with me but likes nice quiet trails and parks. She does not like cycling on the roads.

For a local ride we normally drive the half mile or so to Heaton Park and then unload the bikes which irks me somewhat but needs must I suppose. I have kept suggesting she would be fine cycling to the park along the quiet(ish) road if I cycled behind to shield her from vehicles. On this day she was obviously persuaded by my argument (or got fed up hearing it!) and agreed. Result.

We had an uneventful road based section with a hop off and push at a busy junction, a very pleasant pootle in the park with only one accidental dismount, a relaxed picnic lunch and a safe cycle home. The upshot is the missus had a great time and wants me to get her a more suitable bike. Brilliant!

Now what should I go for? Any suggestions? I need a lightweight(ish), easy to handle and maintain bike. I know I need to avoid deraulliers (she hates them) and so will be looking for hub gears. It's going to be used primarily in fair weather and on gentle terrain. I'm tempted using this as an excuse to get a Brommie which I could also have use of but is that just being a tad too selfish? What other bikes can anyone suggest?