Archive for May, 2013

Well I honestly have no recollection of if I did any training over the weekend, I’d like to think I did….maybe a jog and some of my “work-out” but…my memory is blank, so…

What I do know is that on this day I went for a bike ride, I was feeling good and the Sun was shining so I was determined to get out and make the most of it. With this in mind I went for a longer rider than last time, taking a route from Eccleshall to Stafford, then along the A34 to Stone, and back to Eccleshall. This forms a nice ‘triangle’ route which I’d estimated at about 15 miles, although now that I am registered on I can share these routes with you and get an accurate mileage too!

It’s really great! I mean, what would I have to write in my Training Diary otherwise?

“…Uh…I went for a bike ride today… It was nice!”

Anyway so here’s the map for this triangle route

Eccleshal - Stafford - Stone Triangle by HatsOff on

Along the way I stopped of briefly at Great Bridgeford…

View from the bridge at Great Bridgeford, looking towards Stafford

The river running under the bridge at Great Bridgeford, Staffordshire, UK

Then further on, half way along the A34 I took this picture at a grand country house near Whitgreave…

Country House near Whitgreave, Staffordshire, UK

However as I was heading back down the hill towards Eccleshall I felt like making the most of the good weather, and since I wasn’t too exhausted just yet I decided to extend my ride, so I diverted down the lane to my right and headed out on the reverse of the “Copmere Country Lanes” route from my last ride.

For those keeping track this is the lane just before the 9 mile marker on the Copmere loop’s map. I continued out along this route until a little past the 7 mile marker and took the left turn, following this all the way back to the B5026 (Loggerheads Road) then took this back in to Eccleshall. I stopped at the old Church to take some more pictures…

Holy Trinity Church, Eccleshall, Staffordshire, UK

Church information engraving, Holy Trinity Church, Eccleshall, Staffordshire, UK

From the Church I rode up Kerry Lane (steep hill!) and then back along in to Eccleshall and the ‘Finish line’….or perhaps it was the Swedish line, I don’t know! 😀 (ahem…sorry)

I hope the pictures make up for the complete lack of anything else much to say when I go for a bike ride to train and get fit! All the time thinking and remembering that this isn’t just for me but is in preparation for The Event.

A Date to Remember…Or not

So…I decided to just carry on with my training ‘diary’ from where I can remember, or rather where I think I can remember when and what I did. Of course this kind of ruins the whole point and concept of this being a Diary, but then I am SO not an organised person so the fact that I am even able to document this to any extent is a minor miracle in itself! …and so, with so much more further ‘ado’ (or something) we find ourselves…here…

First Training Ride!

After the week it took me of off-and-on work on my bike to get it all serviced it was finally ready (or at least ridable) for my FIRST training ride! I had no real plan or idea of what to do, I just wanted to get out and ride so rather than being adventurous or creative I simply went on my ‘usual’ 10 mile local loop.

Copmere Country Lanes by HatsOff on

** Training Update**

Hi folks, sorry for the long time with no updates! I am still training I swear!! In fact I’ve been training quite a bit but I’ve also been so busy lately so I haven’t had time to blog much.

I have a small back-log of training posts to get done and new ones yet to write (as well as other blog posts). I think I’ve even forgotten to note some of my training runs ⁄ rides down so … well I guess you’ll just have to live without those – lol!

Oh so much to do and so little time! I have just had a great weekend Mountain Biking on Cannock Chase though. I completed the FULL red route of both the “Follow the Dog” and “The Monkey” trails (for those familiar with this area), but the report on this will have to wait until I can clear the back-log.

Thank you for your patience, there will be more updates soon … I promise!!

Right so, manly ego only lightly scratched from my complete failure to remove the cassette
Seriously, it didn’t even draw blood!
– The scratch that is NOT the cassette….
…hmmm I’m sure those gears weren’t red when I started!

Yes, sorry folks, my previous post should have come with a health warning:

Warning: Beware of “spanner rash” and other related ailments which commonly occur to all participants in the Mechanical and D.I.Y fields. Particular attention should be paid to the nature of the materials or objects you are working with, some Bite worse than others (bike gears being a prime example). If an incident does occur however it can be readily treated with liberal use of profanity and a piece of kitchen-roll. This is preferable from a hygiene point of view but in a pinch you can use the dirty ol’ bit o’ rag that you’d previously been using to wipe down all of the greasy components with. In addition, for more severe cases you may need to use two or even three pieces of kitchen-roll and in extreme circumstances stop work completely and make a cup of tea whilst you assess the damage and determine the best way to remove blood stains from the living room carpet before your spouse ⁄ partner ⁄ parents etc. return from where ever they’ve been!

So now that we’ve covered that in full we can move on to…

Servicing the hub:

Tools required:
 * 2 x Cone Spanners (appropriately sized)
 * 1 x Medium/Large sized Ice-Cream tub (preferably empty and clean)
 * Multi-Purpose Grease

Having flipped the wheel around to work on the other side (from the cassette) I located the correctly sized pair of ‘cone’ spanners and proceeded to undo the wheel bearing’s lock nut. Once that was removed, and whilst holding the wheel over the empty ice cream tub, I carefully removed the cone and pulled the axle through the hub. ** Please be sure to catch any / all of the ball-bearings that inevitably drop out and try to make a break for freedom! — (It’s not their fault, they’ve been couped up in there for so long with their brothers and sisters, all they want to do is get out and see the world!).

Success!! Now (to cut the long, tedious and fiddly work short) a quick Kerosene overhaul with an old toothbrush then a blast through with an airline to dry off and remove any stubborn bits of otherwise unreachable dirt and grime and we’re ready to re-grease and re-fit the bearings! The following is a brief account of what (IMHO) you should do, which is not the same as what I did but…lesson learnt!

Fill the bearing races with grease first then working from the opposite side, carefully replace half of the bearings in to the inner bearing race…actually wait, before you do that read this…

Important: make sure that you have an even number of bearings before you start, because if you don’t then it appears that one of the little round things might have sprouted legs, packed a tiny suitcase, booked itself a last minute place at a holiday resort and made a run for airport!!

Okay, so…assuming everything is okay and you haven’t got any AWOL bearings then proceed. Once you have this half of the bearings in place you can carefully push the axle back through the hub (you may want to grease the threads) and, holding it tightly in place to stop any “drop-outs” rest the wheel down with the empty bearing-race facing up — the weight of the wheel on the axle should be sufficient to keep the other bearings in place. Fit the remaining half of the ball bearings to the inner-race, screw down the cone lightly, feeling for the right amount of freedom of movement for the axle to turn smoothly without there being any wobble or looseness. Then, whilst holding the cone in place with one of the spanners carefully re-fit the spacers and the lock nut, tightening it down on to the cone ‘pinch’ tight and making sure that the cone itself hasn’t slipped and remains tight enough whilst not being so tight that the axle wont turn freely!

Congratulations!! If all has gone well then the wheel should run nice and smooth and the new grease should keep it running this way for another season or two, depending on the type and amount of riding you do and everything else, AND you’ve probably just done a better job than I did, but there you go…I got there eventually 🙂

Although after this of course I found out that the bearings weren’t the only thing making a gritty and rough sound, the cassette sounded like waves receding over a stony beach – “God when was this bike last serviced?” I wonder. Hmmm, back to where we were before then….removing the cassette (part 2)!!

Continued from: A Long Story

So, I am ready to start servicing the back wheel and first thing’s first…

Removing the Cassette:

Tools required:
 * 1 x Chain Whip
 * 1 x Cassette Tool
 * 1 x Large adjustable or appropriately sized spanner
…and (apparently)…
 * Biceps the size of well ripened Cantaloupes

grunt, strain, struggle, gasp (and several more ‘manly’ attempts)

Nope that’s not going to budge, it almost seems welded on there!
Oh well at least I can still service the hub without removing the cassette, so we’ll come back to this later…