Saturday 27 September 2014

The build begins.AAARTY.Teeth.Stroud badgers

Last weekend I collected my new frame from Molton Mowbray (and managed to avoid any pies). The chap I got the frame from threw in the brake callipers, pedals and saddle too. All mostly naff gear but I'm sure it may come in handy.
White tape would suit the frame best
Despite the fact I had bar tape already, I ordered some more (£3.99). I figured red and black tape would look awful on this bike frame. White bar tape is obviously the choice colour.

It's educational this bike building lark. Before this project began, I wouldn't have known the difference between a front and rear brake calliper. The front one has a longer mounting bolt length than the shorter rear. On that note, different brake callipers have different mounting bolts too. I recently purchased some lovely Shimano rx100 callipers which came with a recessed allan key fitting. Sadly, my new frame won't allow such callipers to be fitted - it requires the nut and bolt type. Thankfully, my buddy Chris has a set of callipers to swap. Better yet, Chris's callipers are in a near mint condition - bonus! The callipers also have a 'reach', usually inscribed on the back of them. This reach may be menace because too short and they will brake against the tyres and too long and they grip against the spokes. I (and Chris, ha!) won't know if the reach is correct until we place wheels inside and test. Menace! (My purchased callipers have a min. reach of 47mm and max. reach of 57mm. The callipers that came with the bike have '57 C' inscribed on the back of them but I think this is a model number).
The other bit of recent menace was with the rear mech I had purchased. There was nothing wrong with the mech itself - it's just that the frame is old and doesn't have a mech hanger. Essentially I would have needed a rear mech with a built in mech hanger. This problem was overcome by ordering a Shimano rear gear mech derailleur hanger converter / adapter drop out (cost £3.75). Let's hope this overcomes the problem anyway...
A ride with Ron and the Wythalites
First ride of the week was a blast with Ron. We planned to cycle the Deer route, but this didn't quite happen. Queenie, my single-speed road bike was my weapon of choice for this jaunt. As we cycled, we chatted and nature spotted as is our norm. During the course of our ride we spotted a fox, a rabbit, an owl and a deer. In our conversations, we talked about much including our mate Phil and the last cycle adventure we rode with him. This adventure happened to be the Snow Drop audax. There's a hill called 'Pig Hill' in that audax but Ron renamed it 'Phil's Hill'. Now we didn't see a pig on this jaunt, but low and behold, we saw Phil. Phil and a few others from Wythal were cycling this self same night and we just happened to cross paths. We changed our plans a little and cycled a stretch with them. Kinda weird but kinda cool. These 'few others' were dubbed the 'Wythalites' and one of their number was a chap called Rob. Rob (plus Ron and Phil and many others) were cycling with me on that day in the long distant past where I came off my bike and smashed out my teeth. I had not seen Rob since that time. What a weird evening. Stranger still, prior to my last audax event (not so long ago) I was introduced to my niece's 'new' boyfriend (can't remember his name) who was also cycling with me on that afore-mentioned disastrous day. Am hoping all these folk, new and old, will cycle the Snow Drop audax with me next year. I also hope to keep my remaining teeth!
Second ride of the week was another completed Stroud 5 Valleys 50k audax. I have cycled this event so many times now but I guess this may well be the last time I cycle it this season. The highlight was catching up with the last few remaining badgers from the set I had previously encountered.
My mate Jamie also encountered badgers on an audax event he rode. Chris Hodge has never seen a badger. Badgers are everywhere, you just have to look for them!
My parents also had contact with badgers in the week. Whilst they were caravanning in Burnham-on-Sea, badgers broke into their awning and stole a loaf of bread! The badgers in Stroud were not criminally minded. Criminals are trying to cull the poor badgers in the Stroud area though. Not only have I met the complete badger set now, I have also completed my AAARTY award for the 2nd time. To obtain the AAARTY I had to ride an AAA (i.e. hilly) event in each of 12 consecutive calendar months.
In terms of points, I have scored 25.5 AAA points this season. To date, I have scored 91.5 AAA points. This is great, because not only can I claim the new AAA badge...
... I can also claim an AAA Quarter Century award for obtaining 25 AAA points in one season! Reaching the full AAA Century award seems a little bit unlikely. In 4 years I haven't scored a 100 AAA points let alone one season.
My final ride of the week was a commute to work. I didn't cycle back home though. All in all, an ok week on the cycle front.

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