The long-overdue update

[insert standard apology here]

So I’ve been incredibly busy over the last few weeks, lots of driving and lots of wedding stuff. The cars, the cake, the clothing, and worst of all the invites…

That does not mean I haven’t been riding my bike though, in fact I’ve pushed my PB for a single ride over 30 miles for the first time and I’m a teensy bit ahead of my schedule. The weather’s been very hit and miss: plenty of rain, some strong winds from time to time, some very pleasant days too. 

The overwhelming sensations this spring though is that everything is so familiar. It constantly reminds me we’ve done another lap of the Sun. The floods between Baswich and Littleworth came a little later but looked much the same. The baby swans I saw paddling around the canal are now nearly adult. The first smack of insect on eyewear really brought it home that here we were, another year and everything looks a lot like it did the year before. The only difference is I’m a lot fitter this time!

Major Tom and Crichton are locked in a battle as to who can do the most miles. I know Major Tom will win in the end, but so far the rainy weather has meant what Major Tom racks up on Saturday afternoon Crichton manages in various little trips during the week. Tom’s been getting really filthy, and after removing the front mech for a deep clean I haven’t yet been able to find the position that it was in before when it was working perfectly. Where the front mech sits it just gets covered in whatever crap is flying about, and it’s been sticking a bit. It seems the positioning is pretty difficult to get right, as even with the outer limit set all the way out it’s not got a lot of clearance from the big ring.

Crichton meanwhile has had some new rims, fitted on the original hubs with stainless spokes. The bike shop found me three new-old-stock Weinmann 650A alloy rims, which are a near-identical continental version of 26″ x 1 3/8″. I’ve spent my entire afternoon today on the rear wheel, as I wanted to give the hub gears a bit of attention. They were quite messy inside as the old grease and new oil had formed a sort of sticky goo, but all the components seem fine. I did fully regrease the bearings and the gears but just mopped up the excess goo on everything else – it doesn’t do any harm. I’ve become quite good at wheelbuilding, I can usually have one laced up in about 20 minutes. Crichton looks very strange with his sparkling new wheels, but he still looks ‘correct’, if you know what I mean.

There’s a 31 mile sportive happening nearby at the start of April, but I’m not sure if I want to commit to it as there’s just so much on. Work’s very hectic and I don’t seem to know from one day to the next where I’m going to be. Watch this space on that one. In the meantime I’m hoping to complete Chasing Mailboxes’s Errandonee challenge over the next couple of weeks, starting with a shakedown of my new rear wheel tomorrow night…


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