Once more into the fray

An actual ride on actual roads (more or less, given the state of Herts County Council finances). I have been irritating myself with a continued resistance to getting out on the bike, with some anxiety about whether my knee/leg would cope, and how I’d get home if it didn’t. The turbo has the key advantage that I can just get off …

Anyway, out. It was good weather, I figured I could do a straight run which went up at the start on the grounds that if the knee/leg went kaput it would be an easy roll back. More or less. As might be obvious from the image above, I didn’t roll back; all was generally ok. The gears do what I hoped they would – make it easy (ish) to spin up hills without too much knee pressure. The low gear is now 40-50 – and the Garmin 1040 helpfully beeps to tell me I’m out of gears when I get into that last gear – and all was fine on a couple of sharp ascents in the loop home (nothing major, but still reassuring). I even managed to get out the saddle for a brief climb, which I haven’t been able to do without severe pain/cramp for a few years. Eventually I was getting a bit of discomfort through the knee and up into the outer reaches of my quad & hamstring but it was manageable, and is ok now. No cramp, more to the point.

I’ve worked out a commute route that doesn’t involve Highgate/Hampstead or, indeed, too many hills other than Shenley (there’s no practical alternative to that part – any alternative is a lot longer or involves either the flooded bike path under the M25 or cycling across junctions that even I’m not mad enough to try. As it’s now light enough by 6am to be able to see the potholes in the back roads, the bike commute will resume … whenever I can be bothered to wait in London until 7pm to return.

I also need to fix the Routewerks handlebar bag, as the rattling on bad roads is very tiresome. It’s ok on urban roads but the back roads were nothing but rattle. It’s the catch – having looked around online, some people seem to have an issue with the hinges but I’ve looked carefully at those and mine seem to be fine, with no play. The issue is the metal catch on the plastic lid, so I’ll try a fabric plaster to see if that works to muffle it.

Today was mostly bike – also finally cleaned and sorted out the turbo bike. It hasn’t been cleaned in … oh … six years? Maybe longer? So, yeah. Cleaned. The chain took a load of degreaser (note to self, buy more, that was the last of it) and then six runs through the ultrasonic cleaner – and that’s a chain that’s only ever been used indoors. As I now run this with virtual shifting only (or ERG mode), I removed the derailleurs and shifters (I use Zwift Play controllers, and they never fitted well with the shifters anyway) and brakes. And the front mudguard. Chain is now awaiting a new quick link as I have no idea where my spares are, and also a new single speed tensioner as the chain will be slightly slack. I did have one, but it doesn’t fit (DRT model – it doesn’t have enough inward adjustment to meet the chain) so I await a new one which should work as it has much more inward adjustment.

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