A Little Training Ride to West Malling – and a new little brake adjustment screw!!

I dont seem to have been out since the 6th – that’s 17 days ago!!  So I went out on the training loop to West Malling. (30 miles)

Not fast I must say but I got off loads of times to look at the adjustment of my rear brake.  It was making a little noise at the back when brakes were applied, and after a bit of fiddling  managed to stop the noise – but then spotted that one brake shoe makes contact before the other and pulls the rim slightly out of true.  I’ve been doing a bit of investigating and have discovered there is a little adjustment screw for that!!  I’ll have a play with it in the stand tomorrow.  If it works, I’ll blog it!!

Owing to a little family crisis I had to pop out to the Cottage Hospital at Gravesend (the only place open on Christmas Saturday!) and had no time to wash the bike down.  I’ll do it all tomorrow.  I’ve had knee and leg pains since October, but the new exercise regime seems to be paying off at last.  The legs and pelvis seemed OK today.  I note that a fellow club member crashed out on the ice last week and has fractured his pelvis – I know how that feels, poor chap!

First Puncture ….. Oh No!!!!

Yes – first puncture happened while out riding with Karsten….

It suddenly went with quite  a loud “POP” !!  Good job Karsten was there. He’s pretty handy!!!  We got the back wheel off and the old tube out.  There was a little slit about 3mm long  – not a puncture hole as such, and no sharp protusions through my puncture-proof tyres!!  Karsten said it was a ‘pinch’.  About ten days earlier my back wheel dropped momentarily into a groove in the road with a bit of a graunch – I’m wondering if it happened originally back then.

Have also learned that the spare inner tube  I was carrying had a 32mm valve – which is too short for the wheel rims on this bike. The ones fitted by Enigma were about 40mm. Must fix that quickly. Karsten had a spare thankfully, so we used that.  In Evans at London Bridge they had a range of (Specialized) valve lengths… 32mm, 42mm and 60mm. I didn’t understand the subtlety of it at the time, but `i do now. My old mountain bike looks like it has 60mm valves which look crazy and I suppose i bought 32mm while reacting against the look of those. Hmm – so much to learn…

Karsten was also carrying a manual pump – so we used that instead of gas, but the incident has made me resolve to get a little “topping up” pump to keep in my jacket pocket for such emergencies.

I must look out for some Continental inner tubes so I can get matching yellow valve caps!!

The incident took maybe 15-20 minutes out of our ride schedule. So to meet our deadlines, Karsten shortened the ride by going into Eynsford and turning uphill at the war memorial up “Bower Lane”…..Honestly, it’s a hill that can kill you!!!!  it carries on for miles and the really steep bit is at the beginning so you’re dead beat within 200 metres – and then it carries on apparently without end. Eventually about 50 miles and 4 days later you emerge momentarily at the top of the Kemsing plateau and then you hurtle down a short vertical cliff face  into Otford via the Pilgrim’s way.  According to Strava on the iPhone, we did 45 mph down there!! Amazingly I conclude that the only way to do Bower Lane is the direction in which we did it, which is…. a killer!!!

Cleaning Up…….!!

Purple Harry 2

It doesn’t take many miles for the bike to get to look mucky, does it?!!

purple harry 1Down at the Enigma Office, I noticed they were keen on a frame polish called “Purple Harry”…..  It gets good write ups and there are several products in their range. I love the idea of “bike floss” (like huge pipe cleaners) to clean the rear gear cassette.  They have degreaser washing spray, a maintenance spray, a polish etc .  And also a mitt made from towelling – a very good idea.

I’ve ordered one of everything and a pack of cycling specific cleaning brushes from wiggle.  No excuse now for not keeping it clean!!! Really should wash it after every ride, but expect that’s a resolution that wont last….!!

This is the Purple Harry Website.