Donate to Remove ads

Got a credit card? use our Credit Card & Finance Calculators

Thanks to Anonymous,bruncher,niord,gvonge,Shelford, for Donating to support the site

Cycling stories.

On road, off road, Mamils, Club rides or just share your routes and tips
redsturgeon
Lemon Half
Posts: 9019
Joined: November 4th, 2016, 9:06 am
Has thanked: 1346 times
Been thanked: 3735 times

Cycling stories.

#661480

Postby redsturgeon » April 26th, 2024, 1:29 pm

Once a month I volunteer for a local "Repair cafe" where a mixed bunch of local people offer their time for free to fix stuff people bring in that otherwise might just be thrown away. I am the bicycle repairman and when no bikes are brought in, I am often called on to fix other things. I have fixed wheelchairs, typewriters, sewing machines, suitcases, table lamps and various other odd and sods.

It keeps me off the streets, I get to meet some interesting people and the homemade cakes are excellent!

Last week a lovely old couple in their eighties came in with her old Raleigh Misty ( so named because of a pun on the mixte frame). Let's call them David and Sheila. He stood there pleasantly smiling while she told me what was wrong with the bike. Apparently it had not been changing gear properly and the rear wheel had about six broken spokes where the rear derailleur had been dragged into it. I could see that it definitely needed a new derailleur and probably a new back wheel.

She told me that she had bought the bike new in 1970 after she had moved to Winchester since her previous bike, a Hercules with three Sturmey Archer hub gears was not great at getting up the steep hills in the city. She had had that bike since aged 11 in 1940! The Raleigh was the third bike she had ever owned, her first bike was at six years old and lasted her until aged 11.

She had asked a local shop about repairing the Raleigh but they said it would not be economical to fix at as least £200 worth of work was needed to make it roadworthy again. The repair cafe was her final option for saving her trusty old steed. She said David had maintained the bike over the years but recently his mental state had prevented him from continuing with it. I looked across to him and I could now see the dementia that I had not noticed at first.

I told them that it needed at least a new rear wheel and rear derailleur mech. I could see the brakes were in good condition though as apparently that was the last job that David had completed on the bike. All other parts of the bike were also in good mechanical order, a testament to the quality of Raleigh's output from their Nottingham factory over 50 years ago.

Unfortunately this was beyond the scope of what could be done at the repair cafe but I said if they left the bike with me I would see what I could do and I would just charge them for any new parts that were required. I told them I could do it for probably about £50.

I took the bike home, spent an afternoon pulling out broken spokes, replacing them and truing the back wheel, I replaced the rear derailleur with a similar old mech from the 1980s that I had in my parts box. I had to order new tyres and tubes since on closer inspection the old ones were perished and cracked and unsafe. Fortunately repairing the rear wheel allowed me to provide the new tyres and tubes and still deliver a perfectly fixed bike to Sheila within budget.

I delivered it yesterday afternoon, David had gone to bed since they had just come back from a long trip to Edinburgh for the funeral of their brother in law. She showed me the order of service with a picture of him in his 20s standing astride his racing bike, he was a keen competitive cyclist. Outside on the drive was a 1980's Toyota Hiace campervan that had taken them all across Europe on many happy cycling holidays but would no longer be driven by either of them.

She was so delighted to have her bike back in working order and I told her that she should call me if it required anything doing in future. I noticed before I left that I had forgotten to cut the rear mech cable to length so I returned this morning to finish the job. David was up and he was so grateful for the help I had provided for his wife , he was beaming when he opened the door.

I snipped the cable to length, popped on the protective nipple to stop it fraying and bade them farewell. I felt a warm glow from helping them out while also feeling slightly melancholy at the thought of such a delightful couple reaching the end of their full lives together, I hope it doesn't get too unpleasant for them from now.

genou
Lemon Quarter
Posts: 1103
Joined: November 4th, 2016, 1:12 pm
Has thanked: 179 times
Been thanked: 378 times

Re: Cycling stories.

#661511

Postby genou » April 26th, 2024, 3:28 pm

She's older than she looks - "11 in 1940" makes her 95 in my book.

DeepSporran
Lemon Pip
Posts: 74
Joined: April 4th, 2018, 4:07 pm
Has thanked: 67 times
Been thanked: 39 times

Re: Cycling stories.

#661518

Postby DeepSporran » April 26th, 2024, 3:57 pm

Lovely story. Thank you for sharing.

Gerry557
Lemon Quarter
Posts: 2188
Joined: September 2nd, 2019, 10:23 am
Has thanked: 192 times
Been thanked: 612 times

Re: Cycling stories.

#661533

Postby Gerry557 » April 26th, 2024, 5:02 pm

I like the story and the fact another bike has been kept on the road.

I have one in the garage that needs virtually everything replacing (again) Its probably cheaper to find a new one

I have ordered another bike this morning on the provision I get rid of some of the junk. I split a frame of a borrowed bike that I did the C2C on. I got a new frame and swapped it so the bike went back to the owner fine. It was too small for me really and was going to get it repaired and sprayed pink for someone else but its just ended up sitting there.

So it might be one new frame in the door and two old ones going out. I think there is a charity that might be able to use them.

moorfield
Lemon Quarter
Posts: 3593
Joined: November 7th, 2016, 1:56 pm
Has thanked: 1609 times
Been thanked: 1428 times

Re: Cycling stories.

#661620

Postby moorfield » April 27th, 2024, 10:16 am

Nice story. With offspring that always cycled to school I have had to teach myself how to take bikes apart and put them back together again. My own station bike is starting to resemble "Trigger's Broom" the only original bit of it left since I bought it twenty years ago is the frame seat post and handle bars - every other component has been replaced since, mostly culled from abandoned bikes which I have a habit of bringing home occasionally. It's very satisfying too having all the right tools which I've bought over the years - without doubt my favourite one is the tyre clincher for those p.i.t.a. road bike tyres.

Newroad
Lemon Quarter
Posts: 1138
Joined: November 23rd, 2019, 4:59 pm
Has thanked: 17 times
Been thanked: 356 times

Re: Cycling stories.

#661624

Postby Newroad » April 27th, 2024, 10:28 am

Hi All.

My (only) bike is a Kona Smoke that is over 15 years old. I get a professional to maintain it for me when needed, but it's survived all sorts of things with minimum disruption - it hasn't required much.

Conversely, Mrs Newroad has a number of bikes, but due to her hobbies etc, this is reasonable - road bike, gravel bike etc.

Regards, Newroad

redsturgeon
Lemon Half
Posts: 9019
Joined: November 4th, 2016, 9:06 am
Has thanked: 1346 times
Been thanked: 3735 times

Re: Cycling stories.

#661662

Postby redsturgeon » April 27th, 2024, 2:02 pm

Newroad wrote:Hi All.

My (only) bike is a Kona Smoke that is over 15 years old. I get a professional to maintain it for me when needed, but it's survived all sorts of things with minimum disruption - it hasn't required much.

Conversely, Mrs Newroad has a number of bikes, but due to her hobbies etc, this is reasonable - road bike, gravel bike etc.

Regards, Newroad


The number of bikes required is N + 1 (where N equals the existing number of bikes owned)

the0ni0nking
Lemon Slice
Posts: 463
Joined: November 9th, 2016, 1:59 pm
Has thanked: 83 times
Been thanked: 173 times

Re: Cycling stories.

#661666

Postby the0ni0nking » April 27th, 2024, 2:10 pm

redsturgeon wrote:
The number of bikes required is N + 1 (where N equals the existing number of bikes owned)



Haha, ain't that the truth.

I have a road, hybrid and mountain bike. x2. As obviously I need this selection available to me in both my UK home and also in my Spanish home.

My brother is a road bike obsessive and while he doesn't anymore, he used to live in a house with a cellar that was converted to store god knows how many road bikes.

I'm poor at maintaining them - I always pay someone to do that but that probably stems from my experience. Accountants provide services, they don't do physical maintenance. I wouldn't know where to begin tightening the hydraulic brakes or replacing the pedal crank that recently broke and involved me cycling the last 6 miles home with only one pedal thankfully in a clip.

servodude
Lemon Half
Posts: 8580
Joined: November 8th, 2016, 5:56 am
Has thanked: 4554 times
Been thanked: 3679 times

Re: Cycling stories.

#661676

Postby servodude » April 27th, 2024, 3:00 pm

the0ni0nking wrote:
redsturgeon wrote:The number of bikes required is N + 1 (where N equals the existing number of bikes owned)



Haha, ain't that the truth.

I have a road, hybrid and mountain bike. x2. As obviously I need this selection available to me in both my UK home and also in my Spanish home.

My brother is a road bike obsessive and while he doesn't anymore, he used to live in a house with a cellar that was converted to store god knows how many road bikes.

I'm poor at maintaining them - I always pay someone to do that but that probably stems from my experience. Accountants provide services, they don't do physical maintenance. I wouldn't know where to begin tightening the hydraulic brakes or replacing the pedal crank that recently broke and involved me cycling the last 6 miles home with only one pedal thankfully in a clip.


That crank thing happened to me once - a bus tried to crush me against a pedestrian guardrail. I managed to jump over but my left crank and pedal were pulled off.
Last few miles were done with one leg pumping and the bike in the highest gear (left foot resting in the bottle cage).

Really worthwhile understanding what you're doing with bike bits though.. not least so that when things do invariably go wrong you can work out how to cobble together enough to get home
I generally invest in the bits and investigation as and when a new bit of work is needed.
Finally got myself a little torque wrench so that I don't damage the assembly that does the equivalent of a horizontal drop out on the current bike... and a chain wear gauge... turns out you need to keep an eye on that when you haven't got a derailleur taking up the slack!

MuddyBoots
Lemon Slice
Posts: 452
Joined: May 20th, 2019, 1:59 pm
Has thanked: 808 times
Been thanked: 120 times

Re: Cycling stories.

#661725

Postby MuddyBoots » April 27th, 2024, 11:38 pm

redsturgeon wrote: The number of bikes required is N + 1 (where N equals the existing number of bikes owned)


If motorcycling is on topic, I had a similar thing with the engine size required, life would be better with a bike of existing CCs * 1.5.

And there's another theory that we always feel a bit financially stretched and we'll be comfortable with an income that's 25% higher than what we're on now.

Gerry557
Lemon Quarter
Posts: 2188
Joined: September 2nd, 2019, 10:23 am
Has thanked: 192 times
Been thanked: 612 times

Re: Cycling stories.

#661757

Postby Gerry557 » April 28th, 2024, 10:05 am

As a mtber, often in the hills out yonda it pays to be able to do some battle damage repairs. I tend to carry some spares. The amount varies how far from help or how many days I'm away.

Additionally if I'm leading a group I might add extra things that might be needed. 6 man emergency shelter etc. There is always someone who doesn't have a spare tube.

I once came across a few riders with an upside down bike in the middle of nowhere. The bike had bent bits which meant that it wasn't going anywhere. My group stopped to offer assistance. Fortunately we found a bit of rusty iron bar that managed to resolve its none rideability.

We offered to follow them for the next 10 miles or so back to some sort of civilization. I got chatting to the chap, like you do. First bikes then routes. As we progressed the conversation he mentioned that he would be moving soon to start a new job. To cut a long story short he was going to be my new boss.

I hope I made a positive first impression 8-)

redsturgeon
Lemon Half
Posts: 9019
Joined: November 4th, 2016, 9:06 am
Has thanked: 1346 times
Been thanked: 3735 times

Re: Cycling stories.

#666867

Postby redsturgeon » May 31st, 2024, 5:13 pm

This week's cycling story.

I'm not sure if I mentioned that the N+1 bike algorithm has got a bit out of hand in the last couple of years but the result is that I estimate I have at least a dozen bikes that are really surplus to requirements and have to go. I have set myself a target of selling or giving away at least one bike a week in the hope that I achieve my goal by the end of the summer.

Last week it was the turn of a Fuji Tread gravel bike, bought on a whim because I like Fujis, you don't see a lot of them and I had sold my last two gravel bikes to my son's friends and I "needed" another one. It was during Covid lockdown and my oldest lad need a bike to ride to the gym and him being 6ft 5ins and a solid 120kg, he needed something more substantial than my other son's lightweight Cannondale road bike that he was borrowing. The oldest son has now packed up and moved with his girlfriend to Denmark so the Fuji was just sitting in my garage collecting dust since it was too big for me to ride comfortably.

I advertised it and after a couple of days had some interest from one guy.

The exchange went something like this:

Hi, John is this still available?
Sat 17:10

Me: Yes it is.
Sat 18:11
R
Ah nice, thanks. could you possibly tell me what model it is? It'd be great to look up the specs online :)
Sat 18:40

Me: Sure it is this
It is the Fuji Tread 1.1 Disc
Sat 19:25

R
Thanks!
Sun 09:53

Me: You are welcome. I am in all day today if you want to try it out.
Sun 09:55

R
Ah, that's kind of you but sadly i wouldn't be able to pop round today. What kind of condition is it in? And have you had it long??
Sun 09:57

Me: Hi Richard sorry for the delay but your message only came through to me a few minutes ago. In answer to your question it is in excellent condition, I have had it about four years but it has hardly been used since my son has been out of the country most of that time and now has left for good. It has probably been ridden less than 50 miles in total in that time.
Sun 17:58

R
Thanks Jon, apologies, it's been pointed out to me that now's not a good time to buy another bike ...I hope you find a good buyer
Wed 19:35


Oh well looks like his wife found out about another N+1 deal going down and scuppered it.


In the meantime however and slightly overlapping I got another sniff...

D
Hi, is this still available? Thanks!
Sun 18:16

D
Hi John
I am interested in this gravel bike. Is it still available? My number is 0xxxxxxxxx if you want to text me. Thanks
Sun 18:18

Me: Yes it is still available. Would you like to try it out?
Sun 18:24

D
I am thinking about it for my son but I need to check with him. He will be home in two or three hours and I will check with him and get back to you. Thanks Dave
Sun 18:31

Me: OK No problem let me know.
Sun 19:02

D
Hi John I wondered if we could come and have a look at the bike tomorrow morning? Thanks
Mon 20:31


Me: Of course, what time time would you like to come?


This is where the story becomes slightly more interesting...congratulations if you are still reading!


Mon 20:34
D
I’m not sure. I’m trying to figure out if it would be possible to ride the South Downs way on this bike… would it be rugged enough? We were thinking of getting the train down and going straight onto the trail but we are not sure if that is feasible. Are you in Winchester itself? Sorry for not having more clarity Thanks…

Me: Mon 21:59
i have ridden the South Downs Way twice and I think the bike would be rugged enough but it would not be my personal choice for the ride. It is perfectly possible to do it without suspension but it would depend on your son's level of cycling ability. Are you intending to ride the whole way or just part of it? Most of the trail is not that technical and certainly some of the group I rode with had no suspension. The other variable is rain and how wet the trail is. It doesn't get too muddy but the chalk tracks can get very slippy. I am in Winchester about a mile from the station and a mile from the start of the South Down Way.
I also have a bike that might be more suitable. It is a 2005 Specialized Stumpjumper with Fox forks and XT groupset. That would be perfect for the ride and it is on my list of bikes that I am selling this year...I have way too many. Or I also have a GT Zaskar with solid forks but much better tyres for the ride. If you want to chat about options then perhaps it would be better to talk on the phone.
Mon 22:37

D
That’s interesting. Funnily enough I have an old zaskar in my loft. It would just be too small for my son…
Mon 22:52

Me: I'm off to bed now. let me know what you decide and hopefully I will see you tomorrow.
Mon 23:02

D
Hi John- can we come and have a look at about 11?
Tue 07:52
D
We have to get the train from London
Tue 07:52


So their plan is to get the train from London to buy a bike they have not seen, then to immediately take it to ride the 100 miles off road on the South Down's Way from Winchester to Eastbourne. Just as a side note this trail has over 12,000ft of elevation gain over that distance! It's tough on both rider and bike!

So I drove to the station to meet the two of them and at the agreed time a couple of lean tall guys come out of the station to the car, both in full cycling gear...including cycling shoes and bags for the trip. It was raining which didn't bode well for conditions on the SDW.

I gave the son a lift in to my house to look over the bike, the father joined us there on his bike and there was general agreement that the bike was good but the tyres were not really the best for the job since they were road tyres. Probably OK in the dry but hopeless on wet chalk.

I agreed to take them to the local bike shop to buy some off road tyres and to cut a long story short the five bike shops in Winchester had no suitable tyres in stock. So much for supporting you local bike shop! The last shop we went to had some tyres that were slightly too big but they were also £75 each...a pair of those would have been more than 50% of what I was selling the bike for!

As luck would have it however I had a rummage around my garage and found a old pair of off road nobblies that would work and the son fitted those and then they were gone.

I have just received a text from the father saying they completed the course on Wednesday, arriving in Eastbourne just as it was getting dark! The Fuji performed flawlessly but now needs a new set of brake pads! I am pleased it was properly used by someone rather than sitting gathering dust in my garage.

Oh well only another 13 bikes to go.

What's that I hear you say...surely 12 minus 1 equals 11?

Well unfortunately another two bikes came up that just cried out to be bought so one sold but two bought...

Wish me luck with my quest, I'll need it.

Gerry557
Lemon Quarter
Posts: 2188
Joined: September 2nd, 2019, 10:23 am
Has thanked: 192 times
Been thanked: 612 times

Re: Cycling stories.

#666882

Postby Gerry557 » May 31st, 2024, 7:03 pm

Warning

I think that phone number should be hidden. :o
Moderator Message:
Whoops, done. Thanks


Brave to get a bike you haven seen and then attempt the SDW.

Even better, now I know that the is a B&B that's bike friendly and also offers support. Do you cover the whole of the SDW :D

ukmtk
2 Lemon pips
Posts: 191
Joined: November 7th, 2022, 6:09 pm
Has thanked: 52 times
Been thanked: 56 times

Re: Cycling stories.

#667305

Postby ukmtk » June 3rd, 2024, 7:12 pm

I only have 4 bikes - 1 MTB, 1 racer + 2 gravel (these were custom builds).
They all have flat handle bars as I prefer to ride sitting up.
I have been warned that if I even think of another bike then body parts will be removed making the exercise pointless. :(

James
Lemon Slice
Posts: 297
Joined: November 4th, 2016, 3:12 pm
Has thanked: 69 times
Been thanked: 112 times

Re: Cycling stories.

#667336

Postby James » June 3rd, 2024, 10:46 pm

ukmtk wrote:I only have 4 bikes - 1 MTB, 1 racer + 2 gravel (these were custom builds).
They all have flat handle bars as I prefer to ride sitting up.
I have been warned that if I even think of another bike then body parts will be removed making the exercise pointless. :(


The less discussed but equally important corollary to N+1 is N-1, where N = the point your other half divorces you.

redsturgeon
Lemon Half
Posts: 9019
Joined: November 4th, 2016, 9:06 am
Has thanked: 1346 times
Been thanked: 3735 times

Re: Cycling stories.

#668880

Postby redsturgeon » Yesterday, 7:51 pm

This week's cycling tale.

I counted my bikes in the garage at thee week end...including all the family bikes...36!!!!! This is the end stage of N+1 madness and my objective is to get down to below 20 bikes by the end o the summer.

So I spent the weekend servicing a few likely candidates to put on Gumtree, checking everything was working as it should, gears slotting nicely into place, brakes sharp, tyres in good nick and I sorted out four diverse likely candidates. First two decent road bikes, a Cube Peleton and a Specialized Allez each worth about £150, I had picked them up for £75 each but they had both required a fair bit of fettling to get shipshape (or bikeshape at least)

I put them up for sale and all was quiet until I got a bite on the Cube. I have sold a few bikes on Gumtree so I know how the messaging usually goes but this one seemed a bit odd, it didn't smell right. I usually get a gut feel for enquiries that turn into sales and this just wasn't the normal pattern. He was asking some strange questions including "how would you like to be paid". I thought this was leading up to some sort of scam. Anyhow he said he would come to see the bike on Saturday (five days away) and left it at that. He didn't asking me if I would hold the bike for him so I didn't think he was serious.

I thought I would probably not hear from him again but he messaged again on Thursday asking for my postcode and said he would come between 11.30 and 12 on Saturday. Again this was odd, people usually ask for an address as well as the postcode but I just gave him the postcode as requested.
Saturday arrived, I expected a call to confirm he was coming and at least for him to ask for my house number but 11.30 came and 12.00 came and went I all was silent.

So at 12.15, mumbling about time wasters, I took the dog for a 20 minute walk.When I returned, I checked my email and the potential buyer had turned up while I was out, had knocked on various doors looking for me and at 12.30 knocked on my door while I was out and was gone by my return at 12.35! Typical!

Another flurry of messages followed, he had come 30 miles and returned home...I felt bad. I offered to bring the bike to him and he was very grateful for the offer but insisted on meeting me halfway. Again a little odd I thought but I was happy to split the travelling.

I arranged a meeting at a handy layby halfway between us at 5pm and as I waited and the clock ticked toward 5.15pm I wondered again if it was all an elaborate scam. Then a car pulled up and all became apparent, the car was driven by a woman with a teenager in the passenger seat. I had been dealing with a 15 year old who had been using his mum's Gumtree account (she had gender neutral name) and it was his first time dealing with buying stuff second hand from strangers online.

He tried out the bike an loved it. Then he sort of quietly said something but he was so quiet I couldn't hear properly.
He repeated he words shyly,
"I would like to buy the bike if that's Ok"
Awww bless him. He took a wallet out of his pocket and counted out some crumpled notes that came to within £5 of my asking price then looked to his mother for the rest. I stopped her as she reached for her purse and said that was fine and I wished him well with his new steed.

It goes to show how making assumptions about people online get be misleading. I vowed to be less suspicious in future.

The other road bike is still not sold, it's actually a better bike than the one I sold and I think its cheap but unfortunately nobody else does!

I had also prepared a couple of good solid old steel framed mountain bikes at the weekend and they were on offer at much cheaper prices...but that's another story.


Return to “Cycling”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 0 guests