Monthly Archives: November 2009


There was, recently, a huge cycling event in South Africa. The daughter of a friend was in it but failed to finish within a certain time limit and is gutted


The daughter – I’ll call her Miss Hunnybee – trained for the 95 km ride and is the right age for peak cycling fitness – not too old or young. So what has happened that kept her behind?

Apparently the ride is very hilly and that could be a major problem for many cyclists. Well,  hills are a problem for EVERY cyclist, and this includes, in this ride, the ones that DID finish within time.  What were they doing that Miss Hunnybee didn’t do eh?

The first thing I’d ask is: What is the ride like? Is it roads or mud or both?

If it’s roads then Miss HB should have had a bike something like Garage 10. (See links at top of page – there is a pic) Fairly high gears and toe-clips that hold the feet to the pedals so that on hills, the legs pull-up as well as push down to keep the cranks turning smoothly. Not too many gears either – five would be plenty and this also keeps bike weight down.  The greatest resistance a cyclist has is the wind, so a low position streamlines the body and cuts down on wind-drag. Just these few simple ‘strategies’ may have taken a few minutes off Miss Hunnybee’s time. (She was only five minutes over!) If Miss HB was riding a ‘trendy’ Mountain Bike (as they call ’em) then this could have been the problem. They are made for rough riding, not really road riding.

Of course if the ride was over mud or mud and roads (S.A. is bone dry at this time of year – so no mud!) then the Mountain Bike is ok – but with smoother, road (touring type) tyres fitted – these have a low rolling-resistance and as a result riders use much less energy in keeping them moving.

95 km is about the distance from Manchester to Blackpool, so Miss Hunnybee did very well anyway and,  if she should read this would she tell Mrs Hunnybee that, in order to lose a little weight, cycling is very good! Oh, and age is no excuse as I am older and ride Roady’s, ATB’s and even BMX’s!


Cannondale – gone like a shot!

It was hung-up for all to see……an ‘elderly’ but good Cannondale frame. All cleaned and polished……the first (literally) that saw it did indeed buy, with the forks too….

Having an early browse did indeed pay-off for our bike-tinkering customer who will re-build and use the frame himself.


Pulp? and a little fiction?

Oh, some things do make you think!

A few years ago I read a book by a lady called Ayn Rand. The book is called Atlas Shrugged.

Amongst other ‘world-shattering’ occurences in the book, (such as; a world ‘banking-crash’!) Ayn puts into it a character called Richard Halley. Richard is a composer of the finest ‘orchestral’ music made at the time…his music surpasses the music of all others…(the book was written in the 1940’s/early fifties – no ‘pop’ groups as such yet!)…and is literally, legendary – the world (The USA, in the book) awaiting his next ‘piece’ eagerly……..

Mmmm……fiction eh? Banks going bump in the night………..and the music of Richard Hawley on youtube………..

Well,  Ayn was only a ‘W’ out – what the ‘L’!!!!!!!!!!


Done Up…

Several bikes have been ‘done-up’ and sold within last week or so. BMX bikes are usually sold before I’ve sorted ’em! So you have to be quick to be in with a chance.

There are two kiddie bikes in – one boys, one girls, both for say 4/5 year olds – we could fit stabilizers to either or both. Both have been fully repaired and serviced (new parts as needed) and are safe & solid.

Also in is a ladies Townsend with a pretty good spec. All cleaned and serviced and an ideal ‘Shopper or Tourer’. This came in with a busted and jammed rear-wheel axle which has been replaced with new bearings. It could do with a better sprung saddle, which will be added asap.

Garage 10 roady is okay for sale – but is not ‘cheap’, new, all-in-one, pedals & toe-clips were fitted, but a customer saw ’em and bought ’em! I will fit new, again, asap.


Scrap? Cannondale?

A busy-ish Saturday on the bikes. In came a much maligned old Cannondale that required far too much for present owner to contend with so I bought the relic off him. (He has new bike)

It’s an ally hardtail frame with a worn-out crank-set, odd (weird) wheels and a splined nine on the back but with Shimano 8’s quickshifts on the bars??!!

Front wheel is cheap but good between a really good pair of adjustable Suntour forks. The fork bearings were shot and were dumped. So it’s all down to the frame really. If the old crank-set comes off easy and the bottom bracket unit moves then the frame may be worth a re-build. Just have to price-up some good, light,  gear to fit onto the quite reasonable frame.

The first thing checked was the rear gear mech. hanger, and this is okay after the fixing screws were tightened. (Hangers can be pricey and some are hard to get.)

So this is a ‘medium/long-term’ job that may be worth doing as time allows.

Also in was a Twenty-Four/Seven downhill bike without a chain – a pricey item with nine on the back and a tensioned single on the front. Front fork headset needs attention too – a seal is protruding from lower headset cup??? The chain was replaced (all okay) and bike will be brought-in for a fork strip-down to check the bearings etc.

**A customer (Scott owner, now a happy bunny as his disc-brakes work!?) noticed an old but complete Puncture Outfit for sale in a Charity Shop – he got it for us as a bit of a ‘curio’. Photo asap.**