Saturday, November 12, 2011

I’m no longer feeling deflated

Thursday, 10th November: A watched tyre doesn’t mend itself so I had to mend the tyre after yesterday's deflation. It turned out to be some broken glass, no doubt from when I had pulled off onto the grass on the edge of one of the paths to take a picture.

I use Schwalbe Marathon Plus tyres, over the years and kilometres/miles they have been the most resistant to punctures. I used to use faster but less durable tyres, but for the sort of cycling I do I was getting more punctures than I wanted and was more than prepared to sacrifice a little bit of speed for durability. Mind you that doesn’t mean I don’t get any punctures. I do, but they tend to come after the tyre has seen a bit of wear and the tread has worn down.  They also tend to be caused by thorns or bits of metal or in this case a bit of glass. One thing that they don’t tell you about cycling on off-road paths and the like is that you will get more punctures. Generally the motor vehicles tend to sweep the roads, so as long as you don’t cycle in the gutter you are ok.

The only snag is that the tyres can be quite a tight fit on the rim, which is not really a snag but it does mean a little bit of effort to fix a puncture. In this case because I had cycled on the tyre (which was worn) I also replaced the inner tube, which was also scuffed. Punctures always seem more likely when I don’t have any means of fixing them when out riding.

I have fixed quite a few punctures over the 70,000 miles or so I have cycled, you’d think I’d know how by now. Well this time around I was using a different pair of tyre levels and somehow or other nipped the inner tube in several places. So after patching them I took my time and pushed the last bit of the tyre onto the rim by hand. It is possible, you just have to work the tyre onto the rim all round the wheel first and then just ease the last bit over.

(My last puncture – September 11th)


I have just read a couple of interesting bits about the Police and cycling – My morning with the Metropolitan Police Cycling Taskforce by the Cycling Lawyer and on the Cambridge News  - A Day in the life of the Cambridge Cycle Response Unit. Both give insights into the cycling. I guess both of them do end up carrying a fair bit of kit. I do feel that using bicycles makes them more human (which of course they are anyway).  (This picture was taken in York)

I also cam across this interesting look at whether Gyroscopic forces are important for stability on a bicycle by Dr Hugh Grant at Cambridge University – a fascinating but simple experiment gives the answer.

There has been a bit of an own goal in terms of helping non-cyclists understand why cyclists get frustrated with they way we are treated on our shared-use paths. The Cambridge News carried the headline – “Signs asking cyclists to dismount should be more polite”. It missed the point – I think, but certainly gave the commenters a field day. Look at the picture in this link – that’s just crazy, that’s hardly a cycle path if you have to stop. So of course either cyclists won’t use it or they won’t dismount. It is a waste of money – taxpayers money though.

This picture is link is even more amusing, although it is only because the CYCLISTS DISMOUNT sign has been turned around. Here is a gallery of loads more in Cambridge.

I am worried to see that “A14 improvements back on the table” – yet more conventional car-based thinking. Is this is so more people can drive to work in the seclusion of their cars? A Speed camera on Histon Road was also burnt out recently.

The result of a cyclist hit in a SMIDSY in July reach the court – it always surprises me how long these things take. And finally Police fear for safety of missing cyclist – a pensioner has been reported missing.

That wasn’t quite finally – the Real Cycling blog has re-started and here are two cyclists on their bikes in Hawaii – one in a bikini and one shirtless.

And really finally – here are the opening instructions on the Bottle top of a bottle of Tango!


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