Thursday, 17 May 2018

Mid May Catch Up.

Woo... This looks a whole pile of fun...

Bit of a beast eh?

This featured on lots of reports from the Sea Otter Classic show for fairly obvious reasons.
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" 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!


Thursday, 10 May 2018

A Brace of Bridleways.

Whoa... Oooohhh... Man Down! Medic!!

As ever, if a photo appears fuzzy, right click and open it in a new tab.

When it comes to getting my Biophilic fix, Bridleways really do it for me. The lanes are great, but for getting off the (well) beaten track you can't get better than a Bridleway. Not only do these tracks take the adventurous rider into parts seldom seen by the vast majority of folk, but some of them have a real feel of ancient history about them. Back in the day these tracks were perhaps the motorways of their time, well, maybe A roads. Whatever, some of the Bridleways around here are obviously ancient thoroughfares with clear signs of being busy ones at that.
It is a real shame then that information about individual tracks is so hard to come by. When were they established and by whom? Why did they take the route they did and so on, is all next to impossible to find out.
Looking at the maps can give some clues as to why they run the route they do, while others just appear to be utterly random stretches that appear to have served little purpose. That is mainly because great sections of the route have been swallowed up over time by farming, development or just taken over by more substantial thoroughfares such as country lanes, which then follow a different route as settlements and working practices changed. Many around here will have served mines for instance, other routes for driving cattle into town, or whatever.

The trouble we bicyclists have with Bridleways is that while cyclists are permitted to use them, no provisions are made for them, so the surface or route can be a tad technical at times, and downright boggy at others. But while that is all part of the fun, come winter, I tend to stick to the lanes unless I find a really enticing track that I haven't explored before then I'm down it like a rat up a drainpipe.

With the weather finally improving recently though, actually it's been most pleasant, I thought it high time I went bush again and got myself up some rough old tracks and did some undergrowth busting in the middle of nowhere.

Thursday the third of May was the day for the first off road foray, and Fatso was the bike of choice, naturally.

A gorgeous day to be out and about in the countryside.

Heading out along the lanes that would take me past, but not into, Idless Woods I was thoroughly enjoying the fresh and sunny morning air. So much was I feeling good that come the descent down to the stream at Lanner Mill I gave Fatso some boot and flew down the hill at quite a vivid velocity. Fatso and I were were flipping flying and it felt great, whizzing past the trees and Bluebells with the air rushing past me in a howl of fat knobbly tyres on smooth tarmac.
The only trouble was the sharp bend at the bottom as the lane turns over the small bridge before climbing up the other side of the valley again. But hard braking is all part of the fun right? So I braked later than Lewis Hamilton sending one up the inside of Vettel, and equally as hard too, and came to an eyeball popping stop on the bridge. It was as I was peering over the bridge parapet to check out the stream I became aware of the pungent odour of sauted brakes. I've only ever smelled the brakes burning on a pushbike once before (the Jamis on a long and very steep descent) and I must admit I felt quite pleased with myself! What I may have done though is held the brake on after I'd stopped and created a hot spot on the rotor or something, as ever since, the front stopper has been making a noise like a well hit tuning fork however much tweaking of the mounting bolts and caliper centering I try. Hmmmm... Well never mind, crack on!

The Bridleway I was heading for is one of those that starts in the middle of nowhere, and is sort of hard to describe the route getting there without resorting to much vagueness, so I won't even try and just say this is Fatso sat on another bridge (not the brake cooking one) in a lane near Allet. Sort of.

My Favourite sign.
The lane climbs up from that stream in the photo just above and as it tops out and bends to the right, so the Bridleway starts on the left, heading back almost in the direction I'd just come. The rest of the track presumably has been overlaid by the country lane at some point, which then went on to take a different course, leaving this seemingly random section of track high and dry.

The start of the track is marked by a gert big stone to keep motor traffic out, and some rather attractive blossom.

After a short bustle through some bushes, the track opens out to the left to give views across open farmland. 
I've ridden this track before, on the Carrera and the Voodoo, and I must say, I was glad I was on Fatso this time as under all that grass is some very lumpy and bumpy ground, thanks to horse traffic. It was also still wet and sloppy in places, so less bouncy and lurchy, but I was still glad of those big tyres rolling over all the divots so capably after nearly being pitched off into the Rhubarb on the other bikes.

This section of Bridleway is about a mile or so long and offers little bits of all sorts, from the open views to closed in bush busting (hence the blood letting shown in the first photo at the start of this entry) followed by little clearings. It gives a real feeling of being away from it all - that feeling I love of no one knowing I'm there, no one else being nearby and a spot so few other people will visit these days.

Slow and steady is the name of the game for me, I need to avoid unplanned head first visits to the shrubbery. 
The GoPro never really shows off gradients well, and this shot directly above is one example, the track here is steeper than it looks on film pixels.

 Sections like this get me wondering just who came along here in the past, and why. The track is/was quite a broad one, as so many are, and at this point, is walled in both sides by some ancient looking Cornish Hedges, as a quick peer through the vegetation growing each side reveals.

A quick stop for a poke around, a sniff of the air, and thoughtful gaze about.

Following the Bridleway sees it come from the left and dog leg across this minor road and up a Farm and Campsite access road just visible on the right. I'm guessing though that originally the track just went straight across here, and the coming of the tarmac lane saw it disappear briefly.

A short potter along the access road and then the Bridleway sign appears, pointing the intrepid sort up into some minor woodland. Very pleasant it is too.

Before long you arrive at this gate, and having ridden this track before, I know it then passes along the edge of a farmer's field before plunging into some scraggy woodland and down towards Idless. So, just need to get through that gate, shouldn't be a problem...

Oh no! Denied!
No matter how much I fiddled, grunted and strained, I just could not get this clasp to open. There's another horizontal bar above it not shown in the photo, and no other way of opening the gate, the chain has to be parted at this clasp, but it looks like someone (the farmer possibly/probably) doesn't want people enjoying their right of way. If I could've lifted Fatso over the gate I would've, but that just isn't an option for me unfortunately.

Well I was miffed at that denial of rightful passage which left me with no option but to head back to the road and follow it up into Shortlanesend, then turn into the lane towards Idless.

The lane down towards Idless. The Bridleway runs through the woodland on the left.

A quick stop at the bottom of the hill for a poke around in the wood beside a stream, and some Fungus of one sort or another enjoying the sunshine.

From Idless I have the choice of using the lanes or taking the shorter route through the wood to get home. No prizes for guessing which option I took.

Next time I'm up that way I'll check out that gate again, and if it's still impassable I'll report it to the Rights of Way people at County Hall.

Shonky cartographic of the route, the fuller version can be found HERE

You know you've had a good time out in the countryside when you come home covered in mud, smelling of animal poo, and with blood tricking down various limbs, and I had a couple of the above to show for my morning's efforts, as my shins were a tad scratched and leaky as well as my little finger (I'm not showing you my legs though... oh no...). But it's all good though as I do enjoy busting through the undergrowth and having what counts for me as a bit of an adventure.

So much did I enjoy that ride, that with body and bonce holding up, I headed off early(ish) on Sunday morning for more Bridleway bashing, this time down to the Truro River at Malpas.

Get 'em snapped while they last - Dew on the Bluebells at Trehane.

First job on rising of a morning is to get the kettle on. Second job is to go out and feed the birds and while doing that and feeling the chill morning air, I decided I'd need my cycling jacket - a decision I'd come to question later in the day.
Crappy handlebar bag on Fatso denotes this as a catering service, and hot beverages will be available.

Roadside random beauty.

 Time to crack out the stove and brew up in one of my favourite spots - down beside the Tresillian River. A still and calm morning so no need for the windshield around the stove.

Nothing fancy and frothy on this morning, I just went for good old Nescafe. Not a bad view to enjoy while the kettle boils.

As ever though, the views are often spoiled when you look closer by the ever present litter.

I was heading along the Bridleway along the Tresillian River towards St Clement, which is always an extremely pleasant ride. At Tresemple Pond though (river to the left, the pond is to the right) I came across this chap just stood and staring into space. I think he was watching some bird or other in a tree, at least, I hope that's what he was doing.

 St Clement.

 St Clement is an utterly charming little village just outside Truro, that has seen very little change over the years, and is so far devoid (thankfully) of the dreaded new build housing. The only change visible from THIS PHOTO in the Francis Frith collection is the loss of the thatch roof on the cottage. Oh and the addition of the telegraph wires... they always creep into my photos somewhere - darned things.)

Someone has left their brain bucket behind, I'm going to use all my detective powers and determine it to be a female (damn I'm good...). It's a Bell too so a good helmet no doubt.

It was a short climb up the Truro bound lane to the edge of the village and then a left turn by the Village Hall to the start of the Bridleway that was the target for the day - the one leading down to the Truro River at Malpas, and a huge shortcut when compared to going by road.

 Start of the Malpas Bridleway is beside the entrance to the rather oddly named Druids Stitch house.

Right then, off we jolly well go onto more trackery.

The start of the track is a sunken lane and a bit of an arse to photograph well on a sunny day due to all the high contrast and so on, but I did get this shot in one clearer section.

Another gate leading onto a farmer's field, but thankfully this one wasn't obstructed (this was taken after coming through the gate and I've got the field behind me).

 Once again the camera doesn't really show things up well, and the route of the Bridleway across the field from the gate is actually very obvious. This field was actually smoother to ride across than the Bridleway of a couple of days previously.

After coming up through the dark sunken lane the Bridleway breaks out onto a seemingly vast open landscape.
Plenty of cow pats in this field, but no sign of any occupants, but it was the Sunday of a Bank Holiday weekend so I expect they, like everyone else, had the weekend off...

The cows might not have been home, but the field wasn't completely empty as I did come across this lone Canada Goose which promptly objected to my presence by making an unholy amount of noise, squawking/quacking or whatever Canada Geese do and making a noise that echoed all around - it's no wonder Geese make good guard 'dogs.' Vicious beggars they are too - always up for a scrap when in groups. Thankfully this lone example just had a good shout and wasn't interested in chasing me away.

After crossing the field, the path follows a farm track up to a country lane where another Bridleway is available straight ahead that leads directly down into Truro, slap bang through the middle of Truro School, but I was taking the other option and going left and down to Malpas.

To start with, this next section of Bridleway travels along a farm track which makes for easy riding. When you arrive at the farm itself, the Blue Arrow markers take you off through a gate to the left and onto an initially much narrower path.

On the final leg down to Malpas now and the low sun shows it's still nice and early in the day.

This path really is a delight to ride, being smooth, or at least soft and loamy, straight and sheltered, and often gently downhill when heading towards Malpas.

After about a mile, maybe more, of this long tree tunnel, you arrive at a gate, pass through and immediately discover the path has changed status somehow, and is now decreed to be a footpath. Not only that, but it leads down a long flight of steps, getting steeper the nearer you get to the bottom - hardly good going for a bike let alone a horse, so for me it was a case of having to dismount and make my way down on foot, although pushing is hardly required, in fact, braking is the order of the day to stop the bike getting out of your hands.

As you descend the steps though you are given tantalising glimpses of the reward that awaits you - the Truro River. It is here that I must admit to a photography failure and not having taken any photos of all these steps I'm banging on about - doh.

Eventually, the steps go near vertical and you suddenly emerge, stumbling out onto the Malpas road, trying to hold the bike back like a cowboy wrestling with a startled horse and also much to the surprise of any Sunday strollers,  with the river on one side and some very expensive houses on the other.

I've nicked this image from Google Street View. The path, now posted as a footpath note, emerges on the left and doesn't look as steep as it actually is. Malpas lies ahead, Truro behind.

Another pinch from Google showing the relationship of Malpas to Truro. The Bridleway comes down roughly where the P of Malpas is.

A picturesque corner on Malpas Road and a milestone in my photography...
To the right of this building is St Andrew's Church and the great and the good were busy bashing out the hymns for all they're worth.

Now you'd think in this age of easy credit and cheap bank loans the owner of this old banger would be able to afford a newer car wouldn't you eh?
This cracking old Alvis (I don't know what model it is or indeed anything at all about it) was in the condition I like a classic vehicle to be in - not over restored and gleaming like a new pin while being trailered everywhere. Well looked after obviously, but not obsessively or indeed excessively so, it wears a nice patina of use, with some dirt here and there and signs of generally being loved but also used.

Heading towards Truro and Sunny Corner is living up to its name, although looking at this on the editor, it should be fuzzy corner.

Boscawen Park.
After a morning of peace and solitude, I was now in among all the Sunday drivers and strollers and Malpas Road was busy as hell with traffic going this way and that. Lots of folk out and about wandering around in the sun too, along with cricket, tennis and football matches going on. It was all very nice, but also all very noisy and busy.

 I don't know anything about boats, but old ones such as this do have character, and fully restored, I'd happily live on this one.
Newham is on the far bank which is where all the freight used to come and go from, and some still does, although only a fraction of what used to pass through the Port of Truro.

This is a nice view of Truro, mainly thanks to that tree in the background there just to the right of the Cathedral, as it is partially blocking the ugliness that is Tesco.

 Such beautiful blue skies! We're in the big City now, on Lemon Quay, which back in the not so distant past, was actually a Quay, as below the paving here is the river still, and quite large ships would be moored up alongside where those shops in the background are.

Still on Lemon Quay and outside the Hall for Cornwall is this bear arse naked drummer bloke. Who drums away while stark bollock naked I don't know, but this chap does. He's either a messy eater or has been got by a Sea Gull or two. What bothers me though, is how is he holding that drum up...

 Hoi missus... look left... loo... oh never mind I'll just go around you.
Ok, I admit to removing all the bells that have arrived with my bikes when I've bought them as I just don't like using them - they seem a bit 'get out of my way' to me, so instead I slow down and go around people and so on. I might get one of those really tuneful single note bells though as they don't sound half as bad, but in reality, I seldom wish I had a bell.

In contrast to noisy and bustly Malpas, Truro was relaxed and quiet despite there being a few folk around.

Last time through here I was coming from the opposite direction to this junction.
Was I regretting wearing that jacket? Erm... yes. I did contemplate taking it off but I was already very sweaty by then and so preferred to keep it all under wraps as it were and not inflict it all on the general public.

From Truro the direct route home would be along the main road (A39), but that is an absolute shocker on a bike and unless it's silly o'clock on a Sunday morning, I won't ride along it - too narrow, too twisty and far too busy.
Instead I usually take the lane to Idless (above) which as you can see, is far more pleasant than grinding and grimacing along a main road.

And from Idless? Well I could take the lanes but it's shorter to nip through the woods again...

The hill towards Trispen away from Lanner Mill. This is the one I fried Fatso's brakes on the other day when I was coming the other way...

Might as well snap away while the camera is out.

So that was Sunday and a hugely enjoyable ride that was too. But... I want to talk about Fatso for a moment, because he's in my bad books.
I love riding the Fatty, and take good care of him as well, always wiping down his chain after a ride, frequently washing him and then giving him a good coat of furniture polish afterwards for a little paint protection and added shine. All his joints and his chain are always well lubed and of course, he lives in the house, while the Voodoo and the Jamis have to make do with the shed. In short, Fatso is a pampered Fatty.
So how does this bike repay all my effort and care? By crapping his bottom bracket that's how... I thought something wasn't quite right on that first Bridleway ride in this post, but forgot to check things when I got back. On this second ride though it was clear from a creaking sound that appeared on the way back from Truro that something wasn't right and sure enough there is play in the bottom bracket. Not much, granted, but more than I'd like, which is any play at all of course. So although I have since washed the bike, it is again sat in my living room but is firmly in the dog house, while I wait for a new BB to arrive. I may well be able to do something with the original of course, I've not even checked, but I've ordered another, and if the original can be serviced/fixed, I'll keep it as a spare for the future.

That's the gratitude you get though for taking good care of the bike and taking it on these exciting rides in the sunshine. There's always something going on with bikes though isn't there? Hardly a week goes by it seems sometimes without one or more of the fleet needing brake pads, a chain or cassette, a cable or some such. (I've yet to fully investigate the front disc yet as well, as it is still rubbing when it gets hot). Ah well, we love it really though don't we!

The full gory details of this ride are also to be found HERE