Archive for June, 2009

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UK Mains Plug Concept

Tuesday June 30, 2009

A non-cycling video here.  I think this design is fantastic.  There may be some negative points but it’s a very impressive concept.

Thought I’d share.

[via Treehugger]

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Arrggh! It’s Too Hot

Monday June 29, 2009

Phhh.  It’s too hot.  I’m not built for this temperature.  It was around 30 degrees Celcius today (86F for the old school guys) and that’s too warm for me.

This week, parts of the UK are to suffer a heatwave.  I like warm sunny weather with a nice cool breeze; I do not, however,  like hot, muggy days like today!  😦

I hope things cool down by the weekend so I can spend some time on the bike.

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Dahon – Running Well

Sunday June 21, 2009

A pleasant ride around town this morning, not far, not fast, just having a look around.  Thought I’d take a look around the Farmers’ Market whist I was out.  It was a bit disappointing – not many stalls and nothing really impressive or interesting enough to make me stop and take a closer look.  Shame.

The tide was in so the river was looking good as the Medway rowing crews whizzed past causing barely a ripple on the surface.  The Castle grounds were fairly empty and quiet as I sat and watch people walk, play and relax.  It was good to be out.

The Dahon rode very well.  Having tightened up a few bits and pieces, including the bottom bracket, and with the addition of the Big Apples, it really is running well.  The Big Apples have made a huge improvement to the ride and I’m glad that I spent the cash on the upgrade.  I was cycling along with a smile on my face, enjoying the bike and thinking: “Now this is a great bike”.

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Discs, Or Not?

Sunday June 21, 2009

Robert A., over on the Practical Cyclist blog, has posted an interesting article on the use of disc brakes on bikes.

When buying my Trek, I decided not to pay the extra few Pounds and buy the disc version but to stay with the simpler technology of the V-brake.  One of the key factors in my decision was that I understand how to repair and tune ‘standard’ brakes but not hydraulic disc brakes (with their oil and goo) – and the possibility of having to learn how, during a ride miles from home one day, did not appeal at all!

Back to Robert’s post: it’s an interesting review of the physics of bicycle brakes and well worth a read if you’re just about to buy yourself a new bike.

Link: Maintenance of V-brakes, help page.
Link: A Practical Cyclist

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Garmin Handlebar Mount

Tuesday June 16, 2009

Spent £14 on a handlebar mount for my Garmin 60CSx GPS receiver and fitted it to my Trek over the weekend.  My 60CSx sat there securely for all of the 29 miles I cycled on Sunday morning, including whilst I ‘jumped’ off the pavements and cycle paths.

Previously, I’ve carried the receiver in my backpack or on the strap of the backpack but now I can have it in sight all the time to see the digital map or my trip stats.

The supplied rubber spacers used when fitting the mount were either too thin or too thick so I’ve had to use the thinner of the two with some additional padding (insulation tape).  But, once fitted it looks good and won’t move.

Another good purchase.

[Image from Amazon]

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29 Miles Around Maidstone

Sunday June 14, 2009

Another great day here in North Kent, the sun is shining, there’s a gentle breeze and it’s hot.  Having ticked quite a few things off my ‘to-do’ list on Friday and Saturday, I forced myself out of bed early this morning and took the Trek out for a spin.

I had a route in my head as to where I wanted to go but like all my rides, I like to see where the road, the scenery and my mood take me.  So today these ‘variables’ took me across the Medway and through Strood towards Cuxton and a destination of the river side in Maidstone.  I rested on the banks of the river in Maidstone, with a couple of swans, for about 10 minutes before beginning the return journey.

The return took my partially up Bluebell Hill then down into Aylesford and Eccles and then back into Rochester along Pilgrims’ Way, an “ancient trackway that runs across southern England from Winchester in the west to Canterbury“.

The Trek performed well again, but I really am beginning to see the benefit of road bikes!  Cyclists on ‘true’ road bikes easily powered past me as I struggled along with my big, fat off-road tyres.  Damn their slick wheels and brightly coloured lycra!  😉

No photos today as I didn’t take the camera – I was travelling light (i.e. I forgot it!).

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IF-Mode Folding Bike

Sunday June 14, 2009

Another folding bike in development.  Found this one whilst browsing Treehugger’s bike posts.  It’s a clean looking bike with a great action.  Not one of the smallest folding bikes but it’s pretty impressive and easier to store than a non-folder – it’s a ‘full size bike’ (26″).

Oh, and it’ll set you back around 1,368 GBP / 2,250USD.

More info at Treehugger here.

[Via Treehugger]

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Photojojo BikeCam

Saturday June 13, 2009

Build yourself a low cost camera mount for your bike and get out there cycling!  This cheap and easy solution will fix your camera to your bike’s handlebars for next to nothing.

Click here for full instructions.

[via RochBike]

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Dahon Bottom Bracket – Loose

Monday June 8, 2009

I think I’ve mentioned before, either here or over on the Dahon Forum, that my D7HG makes a ‘clunking sound’ when I pedal.  This has been happening more or less since I bought the bike but I finally worked out what it was last weekend when out cycling.

I had initially thought that it was related to the internal workings of the Nexus hub and the drive mechanism ‘catching-up’ with itself as I pedalled.  I left it at that and just lived with it.  But then, as I cycled recently, I thought more about it and looked at the bike as I slowly cycled along the flat.  Then I realised that it was the bottom bracket – the piece where the pedals attach to/through the frame – it was not loose (see photo below).  Not sure if this was an original assembly issue, pre-sale check issue or it had just come loose.

Anyway, I needed to tighten it up and didn’t have the right tool for the job so I headed to my new favourite bike site Dotbike for a BB lock ring tool.  Now the lock ring and bottom bracket are correctly secured and that should stop the clunking noise as I pedal.  I now need to get out and try  it, but that won’t be today.

I also grabbed myself an Ice Tools Spoke Wrench.

(Hmm, why do my bikes always look dirtier in photos than they do in the flesh?!)

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Weekend In Fishguard

Sunday June 7, 2009

Lower FishguardI’ve just come back from a few days back in Fishguard, where I grew up.  Went home to see my family and to have a break from work and the hectic life in the south east of England.

Fishguard and the surrounding area is really laid back and the contrast between sleepy Pembrokeshire and the hustle of Kent is quite startling at times.

I went out for a walk with my sister on the Thursday night along the Marine Walk which hugs the top of the cliff between the old harbour at Lower Town (pictured) and the larger harbour at Goodwick.  It was a great evening: warm, sunny and no wind.

Pembrokeshire is a great place to cycle, although for a number of reasons I didn’t have either of my bikes with me this visit.  There’s a lot of great scenery ranging from the coastal views through to  mountains and hills.

Cycling appears to be on the rise back there with more cycle shops opening no doubt fuelled by events such as the Tour of Pembrokeshire (this weekend).  I found a brand new cycle shop in Fishguard called Pembrokeshire Bikes (www.Pembrokeshire-Bikes.com) – their website isn’t live yet but it’s coming soon.

I visited the shop with my sister and we spent quite a while in there looking around and chatting to the owner.  It’s a relatively small specialist shop but it stocks some great bikes from Trek, Cannondale and Colnago – they don’t stock the low-end bikes for kids (like Halfords), this is a true cyclist’s shop.  They also stock classic town bikes and products from Brooks.

I was really impressed with the shop.  If you’re in Fishguard in the near future then you should definately take a look.

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