I’ve been harping on so much about Primal Blueprint that I thought I’d post some bike stuff for a change.
Spent yesterday clearing out the shed in the fine spring weather and I found three bikes that I’d almost completely forgotten about! Well, almost…
Above: The country bike, basking in the autumn sunshine, back in 2008
I’ve decided that the country bike is just too nice to sit there in the dark, slowly rusting away. So I pulled it out of the shed and gave it a dust down, pumped up the tyres, gave the bar tape a couple of coats of shellac and let it dry in the sun.
Today I took it for an afternoon spin around the park. I had the bars set pretty low and have got used to a much more upright position on the Dahon, so I pulled them up, a la Rivendell. Grant Petersen’s advice is to get the bars at least level with the saddle, if not a little higher, for the moustache bar to work best. This is certainly good advice when you’ve got shellacked cloth tape, which doesn’t afford the hands much in the way of cushioning. With this tape setup, it’s best to carry a little more weight on the saddle – and the B17 Standard is great in that respect.
Above: Reelight SL100 induction lights – fitted to both of my ‘useful’ bikes
So I can make sure I get the most use out of the country bike, I’ve ordered a set of Reelight SL100s for it. The Dahon D7 has got a set and they are unbeatable for fit and forget battery free lighting.
I’ve also ordered a Carradice SQR block for the country bike, so swapping over the Carradice isn’t a pain. What I’ll do is alternate between the folding bike and the country bike for commutes, and keep the folder in the hallway for shopping errands and the like.
Which just leaves the other two bikes in my stable. A 2004 Claud Butler Alpina MTB, which has served me well on bridleways, trail centres and rocky Pennine trails.
The most neglected of all is the road bike. An aluminium framed ‘winter bike’ with carbon forks and a few Rivendell inspired touches – bar end shifters, Brooks Swift saddle, Stronglight compact double crank and a set of 28mm tyres – the biggest that it’s clearances will allow.
Above: The latest version of the Picador – ours is much older and rustier
Also loitering in the shed is a Pashley Picador trike which must be 20 years old or more. It’s my step-daughter Kelly’s and it’s going to her dad’s house to live – he’s got access to some great country parks and bike paths so it should get a lot more use up there. Just a new set of (incredibly hard to source) 500a (20 x 1 3/8) tyres and tubes and it’s ready for action.
And that brings us up to date on the bike front. The much modified Dahon continues to serve me well – so well that the other bikes have had to fight for their place.