Miscellany: Back on the road, punctures against the clock, bike decluttering and 1950s ‘cross

This week’s been a good one thus far. Back to work, therefore, back into bike commuting zone. Following a long layup, I had my Wirral Way ride on Monday, then two days of bike commuting.

The first day was a shock to the system – the journey home in particular being fun and games – carrying a laptop, camera bag and tripod on the bike (and up and down the station stairs at rush-hour) was a rude awakening for my Christmas-softened physiology.

Yesterday was interesting too. A fix the puncture against the clock moment at Picadilly station – 10 minutes before the train is due to arrive and I find a cartoon style tack sticking out of my tyre. I managed to get the new tube in, pumped up and the bike reassembled in time to catch the train back to Liverpool. My brake gunk encrusted hands got a few looks of distaste on the journey home.

Looking ahead, I’ve got a great weekend of work ahead – reporting on the 2011 British Cyclo-Cross Championships at Derby – two days of mud-plugging action. Can’t wait.

I’m also considering stripping Resurrectio down to its bare essence. I’m not sure if other riders out there get this urge from time to time, but every now and again, I get the urge to ride a stripped down, unladen bike. Sometimes you can add accessories like bags, kickstands, fenders etc, one after another in order to make the bike more useful and practical, then you get to the point where the weight creeps up and the cycling experience loses a little sparkle.

Does anyone else out there ever experience the urge to declutter the bike?

Finally, and back to the cyclo-cross theme, I stumbled upon this wonderful video of a 1950s cyclo-cross race. Awesome what these chaps do on standard ‘clubman’ bikes. The commentary is, erm, quirky too.

Hoping to squeeze a cheeky ride in tomorrow – I know that watching hundreds of other folk riding at the weekend will give me acute ride-envy.

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Schwalbe Delta Cruiser update, glass and superglue

Velouria, curator of Lovely Bicycle has recently posted on the subject of cream tyres, a subject dear to my heart, which has given me cause to give you a quick update on my recently acquired cream Delta Cruisers. This post was also inspired by a recent glass/tyre interface, which happened on the way to work.

 

The Cruisers in all their glory a few days after purchase - showing a little canal towpath beausage - A month on and with more miles they look even better - think vintage trainer soles....

There I was, Monday morning, cycling towards the office on the cycle lane that runs past Manchester City Stadium, in that blissful, serene state that cycling alone can give you. Clearly I was a little too blissful, because, in my reverie, I failed to notice the jagged broken bottle top placed strategically by the glass elves, front dead centre in the cycle lane.

My attention was however, eventually pricked by the loud hissing noise issuing from my back tyre. I cussed, stopped and assessed the damage, fearing the worst.

I unloaded the bike (which as stacked with a camera equipment after my jaunt to the Cycle Show), removed the wheel and took a look. Close inspection showed two big slashes in the tyre, cutting through the tread and the red coloured puncture protection strip. Don’t think for one minute that this counts as a ‘fail’ for the Delta Cruisers. I’m certain that this bottle top chunk would have sliced my Panaracer Pasela Tourguards clean in two.  With this philosophical thought in mind, I replaced the tube and carried on to work.

Add this to your 'at home' bike tool kit and fix cuts in your tyre tread.

 

Later on when I got home, I cleaned the cut area of the tyre and allowed it to dry, before repairing the cut tread with superglue (that’s a TOP TIP right there folks).  So I’m pleased to say that barring this potentially tyre-ending encounter, the DCs have coped with glass strewn streets and paths with aplomb. They also grip really well on most surfaces apart from deep mud, where no non-knobbly tyre can find real grip.

I’m also happy to report that they look better with every ride. I was worried that they’d look horrible covered in daily grime, but if anything, daily usage and normal cleaning = tyre beausage. They have a real antique/veteran look – and they now have the veteran’s battle scars to match!