Bit of a beast eh?
The geography battering beast in question is a Hi-Power Cycles HPC Revolution AT, full suspension electric fatbike. It's not just a beast to look at either, the top spec model boasts a 45mph (that's mph, none of that funny money kph here thank you...) yes, 45mph top speed, which is shoving along a bit by anyone's standards. That comes courtesy of a 3,000 watts power level, that can also give a 100 mile range apparently, but I doubt many would achieve that as the temptation to boot it everywhere for maximum laughs must be too great to resist.
What else? Erm, gearing comes via a 14 speed Rohloff, 4.8 inch tyres, it's bogey green but other colours are available, oh... and it's ugly as a Friday night kebab shop fist fight. It looks like the sort of thing a 3D printer would spit out as fast as it could - boy are its looks...challenging. A fugly bugger and no mistake.
Oh and the price... Well for the top spec model it's going to rush you $18,000 or thereabouts, which by today's exchange rate makes for a rather fruity £13, 307 plus some shrapnel... That's a lot of money to go and spoil the view somewhere but you would have fun getting there it must be said.
What next? Ah yes... I mentioned in my last post that Fatso was in the dog house after dickering his bottom bracket.
Fatso undergoing heart surgery.
The Universal Percussive Adjuster on the wall in the background was thankfully not required.
I'm not the most competent of mechanical fiddlers by any means, and changing a bottom bracket is the sort of job that fills me with fear, but I must say it was a pleasingly simple job and the swear box remained empty, as all went very well indeed.
The only fly in the ointment is a personal gripe to do with the lack of proper instructions from Sram. The enclosed leaflet promises much, but then you unfold it and find in many languages "For fitting instructions go to Sram.com/manuals/blah/bottombracket/blah..." Not having a smart phone with the internet on it that doesn't help much when I want something to refer to beside the job in hand. But never mind as I knew what to do anyway having watched a Youtube video or three before tackling the task. Having to go online just to get confirmation of which thread is a lefty is just plain daft though.
I've only given Fatso a quick spin up the road by way of a road test but all seems tickety boo and with my mechanical confidence raised, all is forgiven. I actually found I'd really enjoyed myself, but that's the way it goes when you do some work on a bicycle, it can be very rewarding when all goes well and you can usually feel the benefit straight away, unlike with modern cars and motorcycles where they feel pretty much the same after a full service.
One of the pleasures of the bicycle is the fact it responds to a little tender loving furtling and riding harmony is satisfyingly restored.
So that's Fatso fixed what else? Just the one ride to catch up on as it goes, on the Marin last Sunday.
My back gate faces East - you should see my face light up when I open the gate at the start of a sunny ride...
Excuse the weeds and clutter - the trailer belongs to my fellow cycling neighbour to the left, and I've yet to meet the new neighbours to my right with the BMW/Vee Dubb machinery.
The hedges and verges really are going great guns at the moment - a sea of lush green peppered generously with yellows, whites and blues...
And pinks. You've got love a bit of Campion for its vibrant colour.
One of those occasions where the camera doesn't match the reality.
The left bank up the hill to Five Turnings was ablaze with colour but the photo just doesn't do it justice.
But still, how good it feels just to potter in the morning sunshine along roads such as this. Live in the moment, approach everything with a sense of wonder and time just ceases to exist. Being an ex bus driver, I still have a fairly well honed idea of passing time, being able to guess the correct time with pleasing accuracy, but on days like this one, on rides like this one, all idea of passing time just goes out the window, along with all worries and stresses.
I had planned to not stop for photos until I'd got some way into the ride, but that plan went straight out of the window as well as I wanted to try and capture the pleasure of drifting along the colourful lanes. Once again though, the correct clothing choice was a challenge. In the sun all was warm but in the shade it was still pretty chilly, hence I've yet to start a ride this year without my jacket.
Campion papped, fly by selfie bagged, I finally set about covering some ground and made my way through Ladock (where some beggar was cooking breakfast and so made me pine for a fry up) and across the top of Grampound Road, heading more or less in a straight line Eastwards and then up a bit towards the little village of Coombe. There was no real reason for heading there other than it was somewhere to go. Not too far but a decent ride, and there might be the chance of some Bluebell action going on in Trenowth Wood.
It turned out the Bluebells were looking rather good, if not quite on the scale of some places, but the ride I had planned would see me coming back the same way so I enjoyed a good fizz down the long but gentle hill through Trenowth Wood and photos could wait for the return journey.
I did stop for a shot of the bike through the arch of the railway bridge though, and the bike is there, you just can't see much of it...
On the lane heading down to Trenowth.
On one of the two bridges over the streams at Trenowth.
Those bars are wide as a bungalow but are really comfortable and give a commanding feel over the front wheel which tracks with great accuracy - none of the wobbly feeling of the Voodoo's 26 inch wheel, or the vagueness of Fatso's donut rumbling along.
Random shot at Trenowth.
While I was poking about the two streams a farm hand arrived on a quad bike and the air was filled with much joyous mooing as all the cows resident in a nearby field immediately started making towards the gate. It was at this point that I decided to mount up and head for Coombe in case the cows were going to be led up the road and I'd be stuck following a load of swaying, crapping and peeing arses. So I got on the bike and turned left, running parallel to the field the mooeys were in only to find they were being led a merry dance by the farm chap who brapped across the field towards the far side. The cows were now all plodding back the way they'd just come and mooing even louder, in a sort of 'come back ya bastard and gives us some feed' sort of way. I swear the mooing changed mood from happy to 'Oi, stop mucking about and get back here...'
All the lanes around here are right up my street - quiet and tree lined. I much prefer my lanes wooded and enclosed to open and airy - there's seemingly more to see and smell as you pass along beneath the trees than when in open country.
View to the left from the lane to Coombe at Trenowth.
The small village of Coombe and on the left what was a nonconformist chapel, and on the right what was a Methodist Sunday School and is now a Methodist Chapel. Well, that's according to the County Council mapping anyway.
No idea what this place was/is, but it's got some age to it.
Coombe was eerily quiet, no one around at all, despite it now being about nine o'clock, and as there isn't actually much to see I headed off up Green Lane intent on looping my way back to Trenowth, just to poke my nose up some lanes I've not ridden before.
Random shot on the bridge in Green Lane.
From Green Lane it was a left onto Crow Hill, which starts off crossing open country which does at least afford some views across the landscape. Wind and solar energy is everywhere now.
I don't know anything about horses other than they're beautiful looking beasts so I've no idea what's going on with the leading one and the coat and head or eye protection. Maybe it's to keep insects off, or the sun, but the one behind isn't wearing any such clobber so t'is a mystery to me.
Looks fuzzy to me - right click any fuzzy shots and open them in a new tab if you want to see 'em properly.
A couple of shots of the hill back down to Trenowth.
Stopping to take these I was rewarded with almost complete silence - just one or two birds twittering away - so good.
Back at Trenowth once again and now the sun has moved to include the gate, a chance to get a photo with the viaduct as a backdrop. Not only that, but I got lucky with the timing and managed to catch a train on the viaduct, which on a Sunday morning is quite good going - trains on Sundays not being too frequent down this neck of the woods.
The viaduct is 70 feet high so but a tiddler compared to some of its local brethren, and 738 feet long. Like all the viaducts in Cornwall it was originally of wooden construction, which must've made for some interesting (and possibly mildly alarming) creaking noises as trains traveled over them.
Trenowth Mill is an old Corn Mill, now a private residence, and what a building it is too - superb.
Climbing the hill back up out of Trenowth. It's a long hill alright, but not a steep one and even my old legs didn't resort to the Marin's granny gear.
Talking of which, I read a thread on a forum this week (hopefully jokingly) questioning whether the term 'Granny Gear' is sexist and ageist and should be dropped. My answer to that is seriously? Dude - get a flipping life! Go worry about something more important you utter wazzock.
I despair of some folk, I really do - their lives must be just one long round of scares and offended outrage, the poor darlings. Some people just need a damned good shake, they really do.
Right, must avoid getting into a big old rant about snowflakes and political correctness, where was I? Ah yes, let's have those Bluebells I whizzed past earlier in the ride.
I just couldn't find much in the way of broader shots that showed off the Bluebells well, so most were taken zoomed in. I did go a bit Bluebell Bonkers though, snapping away and weighing the camera down with all those megapixels filling up the memory card...
But just one more eh?
If you've ever wondered where plastic comes from well here it is growing in the fields...
The woodlands might've turned blue but the fields have turned silver with acres of farmland being covered in plastic sheeting right now, and an 'orrible sight it makes too.
Time for another colourful verge fly by shot.
Turbine with a tail near Grampound Road.
Another painted stone on the bridge at Ladock, part of a craze for painting such things and then leaving them somewhere for other folk to find. There's even a Facebook page where you can upload your photos of your 'finds' and their location. All good fun, especially for the kids.
The Marin in Ladock.
The saddle and my backside are really starting to gel together now. This ride was few yards under 19 miles in total and the saddle didn't bother me at all so breaking it in seems to be going well, and rather quicker than I expected to be honest.
These portrait orientated shots definitely look fuzzy to me...
Just a ditch that I regularly ride past and on most occasions doesn't warrant much of a look, but on this day it just caught my eye as being the sort of scene I love while in the countryside. Nothing special mind, just to me, pretty and the sort of place I like to surround myself in.
Oddly, the names of one of the roads out of Coombe differs depending on what map you're looking at. Anyway, the full version of the above can be found HERE
An extremely enjoyable ride this, which was just what I needed as the 13th of May has some past significance for me and I'd have been all full of glum had I not been able to get out.
As it is, after all that riding about and taking photos, I gave my back a tweak in the shower while trying to wash my hair when I got home and have been off the bikes, confined to barracks, ever since, but the good news is it's getting back to normal again so hopefully I can get back out there again in the next day or so. Saturday might be a good day for a ride, the roads might be quieter than usual as there's some wedding or other going on I gather...
Right, that's it for now, happy cycling!