Cyclists POV 39 – The Darkness / Spot The Cyclist / Hit & Run Driver / Friendly White Van Man

 

There’s been a few more subscribers lately so here’s another video!

Spot The Cyclist – Thankfully, most people have the sense to buy a light or two, even the cheapest of the cheap but see if you can spot this guy in the shadows. Dark clothes, dark bike and no lights. He’s asking for trouble!

Just A Quiet Ride Home – Until someone starts yelling out of there car for some reason… no idea who, or why.

Time To Find A New Route – This was the first evening I rode home after the clocks went back. I knew it would be dark down this road on my usual route but I didn’t expect how bad it would be. I’ve avoided that road every ride since. My main light was on full beam and the See Sense was going crazy as soon as it picked up a vehicles headlights. At least I was visible!

Bad Omens – Ambulance and Police out and about on my ride to work this morning. I should have known something would happen…

They Actually Hit Me! – KP06 HXM – This is the very first time I’ve actually made contact with a car. An extended clip with sound and a slow mo are at the end of the video. Well as you can see it was a nice bright morning. I have both lights on and I’m wearing a high vis jacket. The sun is in front of me so I’m lit up perfectly.

I was aware of the car in the side road but I wasn’t expecting the driver to pull out. It wasn’t a near miss. It was a hit. The driver was completely unaware and just carried on going. The rear passenger saw me and looks like they began to cover their face expecting me to end up through the window.

As luck would have it, I didn’t get knocked off and the bike wasn’t damaged. I turned my wheel just enough for the car to only clip it slightly. If it had been a split second later I would have been sent flying over the bonnet though.

The incident was reported to the Police. First impressions, the lady on the counter didn’t seem interested at all. When I explained someone had hit me, it was on video but I wasn’t hurt and my property wasn’t damaged she just gave me a blank look and by the tone of her voice you could see she wasn’t that bothered. I was asked to come back the evening after and have an appointment with one of their Officers.

The next evening I drove over and initially it seemed good. The Officer I spoke to said he was a cyclist too and had been knocked off earlier in the week in the same situation and it clearly seemed to anger him. He took all the details and looked at the footage but came back and said there’s no way they could ever get a prosecution for what he saw. Essentially, it was because the contact caused no damage and no injury. Hand on heart, I wasn’t after a prosecution, I only wanted to report it however the Officer said he’d go and visit the owner of the car and speak to them… scare them a bit, and get back to me.

That’s fine but that was the last I heard of it. I fully support the Police and know they have a tough job but in this case, I can see why some people don’t have any faith.

I haven’t actually seen the driver again. If I did, I’d like to have a word (and just a word, I’m not the violent type).

The 3 Speed Can’t Compete – When I’m out on my bike and see another cyclist, I automatically go into race mode and have to catch up. Unfortunately this time I was caught out on the tank and it just couldn’t keep up.

Letting The Faster Traffic Through – I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. Be courteous. I’m not perfect but if I get the chance to let a few cars by in a safe place, I will. It’s not the easiest road to overtake on.

White Van Man Returns The Favour – Following on from the last clip, when you’re in your car sat in traffic, it really doesn’t hurt to create a bit of room for a filtering cyclist / biker. I’d stopped behind the van initially because the gap looked like something even I wouldn’t chance but he was fully aware I was there and when he got the chance to mover forward, he created some room and waved me by. We both say thanks and carry on our journey. Peace on the road!

Pub Mural – This is a nice thing that a local pub has done recently. In honour of all those that have fallen and all those that continue to serve, they’ve dedicated a wall of their pub. It’s gotten a lot of respect from the town and I believe, even from the Nation.

Lastly, it’s dark and the weather is turning so be careful out there. It’s hard to find the motivation to ride in the dark and wet but always remember, the more you ride, the more pizza you can eat! That being said, invest in some proper lights and wear bright clothes!

Music provided by Ryan Little
http://freemusicarchive.org/music/Ryan_Little/~/We_Know

Subscribe to him on YouTube:
https://www.youtube.com/user/TheR4C2010

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BSA Wayfarer c.1975

Introducing another £2 bicycle. Well… the frame at least.

This was another bike included in the haul I got last year. So far you’ve seen the Kerry’s (which I built into a single speed), the Rudge “Ulster Sports” and now you’ll get the chance to see the start of the oh so average BSA Wayfarer.

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I’ll be honest, this bike had me searching around for ages until I found a post that revealed the identity. I knew the bike was a 70’s BSA from the head badge at first look but seeing the serial number etched into the side of the seat tube threw me. I’ve come to expect that on earlier bikes, around the 50’s, not late into the 70’s. By this time Raleigh had their dirty little mitts into BSA and so the bike should have really had the serial number stamped neatly behind the seat tube.

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There are no model references left on the bike. The paint is now almost completely flat with only the faint BSA transfer on the seat tube remaining. However if you look closely you can see the glistening remains of some gold pin striping. To me, that’s a nice detail but something I can’t replicate. I just don’t have the skills to do anything that detailed.

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So how did I come to discover the bike was branded a Wayfarer? Well, it should have been so obvious! I actually have a Raleigh Wayfarer that is nearing completion and combing the exact match paint and age wise with the knowledge Raleigh shared models with BSA should have led me to guessing the model. It didn’t. I was nowhere near that train of thinking. Instead I took to the Veterans Cycle Club library and searched the archives. Unfortunately there are no BSA catalogues from the 70s and even the Raleigh catalogues have no mention of the Wayfarer that I can find.

Instead Google was my saviour. Searching for a simple “BSA Ladies Bike” I went through all the pictures until I found one that matched and reading more in to the post I found out it was a Wayfarer. That knowledge unlocks a mass of Wayfarer posts all around the interwebs. It’s far from a rare bike but I wasn’t expecting that. It’s a bike people rode casually back in the day and buy now for those memories or to simply to use as a project (some being better than others…)

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For me, it’s just another back burner project that will get rebuilt as and when. I’ll try and rebuild it using a 70’s Sturmey Archer 3 speed (probably taken from my Raleigh Wayfarer) and find some old parts to fill in all the blank spaces. I’m not even going to attempt the pin striping but it will get the original transfers back as I know I can source them.

Now speaking of the Wayfarer… I better go and finish the Raleigh.

Cyclists POV 38 – 40MPH Cyclist / Behind The Scenes / BMW Mating Call

October is coming to an end, the 5pm darkness will arrive next week…

Speed Run – 39.6 MPH Top Speed – So I finished putting together my winter bike during this week. I’ve built up a late 80’s / early 90’s British Eagle with a nice selection of old parts. I was taking it out for a test ride and decided to see how fast I could go down Hopwas Hill even with the mudguards. That top speed would get you points / fine in a car…

You’re Not That Mini – With the potholes in my path the overtake just felt a bit close / rushed… even though it probably doesn’t look it on camera.

Left It Late – Looks like it was a 3 way stand off up until that lad decided to pull out…just before I got there. Left it quite late there lad.

Keep On Riding – I hope I’m still riding when I’m this gents age. Keep those legs spinning! I wouldn’t personally choose to ride an old shopper on the road though without a lid… To slow for my liking.

Behind The Scenes – If you haven’t already seen it, check out my review of the See Sense V2 lights. https://youtu.be/dr9yR6gnSlQ They’re some decent lights. Purely for “warning” though, they’d be no good for actually lighting a dark road so you can safely see.

The Mating Call Of A Wild BMW Driver – “Wahey, Sound Man, it looks good” or at least I think that’s what I hear. I was on Grandpa’s bike…and that’s one good looking bike!

IDGAF – Yehhhh…. Lights turn to green so that means pedestrians cross right? #swag #yolo #myhaircutwasdowntoabet

Unresponsive? – BX59KKA – Sign is switched to green, vehicles in front move off but the lorry is still sat there. Why? Yup you’ve guessed it, the guy is on his phone. The camera never sees things as well as your eyes but as he drove off he still had the phone in his hands.

Thanks to Ryan Little again for providing the free music
http://freemusicarchive.org/music/Ryan_Little/Before_Dawn_Instrumental_Album/02_Middle_Passage_The_Passage_prod_by_R4C2010

Stay tuned for the next episode where someone actually hits me with their car…

Cyclists POV 37 – Autumn Colours / MGIF A Plenty

Experimenting with the saturation / brightness / contrast. Hope it’s not too extreme.

Not much riding this week either! Don’t remember a reason why. Hmm

Nice & Polite – Sometimes this junction is a nightmare to get out of so it really helps when someone adds a few seconds to their journey and creates a gap for me. It’s appreciated.

Must Get In Front – Seriously this week (or the few days I did ride) seemed to attract those that just had to get in front. This BMW was a prime example. I can quite easily keep up with traffic down this road, especially in “rush hour”. They didn’t get far. The traffic was stopped a couple of hundred meters down the road and I rode right by.

Red Means Stop – Hotly debated topic when it comes to the anti cycling brigade and cyclists! Not sure what was going on with the vehicle opposite. It was a red light for them but you see them accelerate forward pretty sharply before coming to an even sharper stop. Then of course the ped crosses with his light on red as ours are changing. No biggy but I think it gave him a shock.

I Don’t Have A Choice – This is a fairly steep hill and with the mini stopped up ahead I wanted to keep the momentum going… only… I could hear the Audi accelerating up the road rushing to get passed and when I did the shoulder check I saw they weren’t going to stop the overtake.

Lane Sharing – I think this is another example of MGIF but it didn’t pay off. Initially I don’t position myself central because of the road surface but they would never have made it in front before the junction…

Look For The Bus – Because this van didn’t… Had to get in front of me quickly on a tight section and well, ending up braking sharply to squeeze by the bus.

Did He Look? – He was looking as I entered the island but definitely didn’t check where I was before entering it himself, from the wrong side of the road… Hmmm, no helmet either.

It’ll Be Dark Soon – I had some nice sunsets to ride home to this week. Autumn can be pretty grim at times but the colours on a sunny day make up for it. Soon the evening commute in the dark will begin… great.

Song by Ryan Little
http://freemusicarchive.org/music/Ryan_Little/Before_Dawn_Instrumental_Album/04_Wandering_prod_by_R4C2010

Rudge “Ulster Sports” c.1957

With the long, dark winter nights during in, I feel it’s a perfect time to share some of the bikes that have been bought and stored for a future build. Along with the frame I used in the Kerry’s build, came this frame and three others. This frame looks the worst in terms of it’s visual appeal but after a bit of research I think it’s possibly the most interesting.

Looking purely at the frame you can see it has a bit of history. The paint looks to be brown but in some places you can find a vivid red. You’ll see the serial number carved in to the seat tube which generally tells me it’s an early frame (Pre 1960). The chrome that remains is rusted and shows a life lived in the elements. The transfers that remain are the biggest clue to this bikes identity though. Along the down tube there is the shadow of a transfer reading Ulster Sports but if you look around you’ll see the Rudge badge on the forks and the Raleigh tubing label on the seat tube. The head badge is long gone and all the components have been stripped but the identity of the frame remains.

Looking through the Veteran Cycle Club library I came across the 1957 catalogue, here it is, the Rudge “Ulster Sports” in the vibrant red the frame should be showing.

The catalogue shows the men’s model but scrolling through I find a table at the bottom which shows the correct equipment for the ladies.

26″ x 1 1/4″ Rims
Fixed / Freewheel gearing OR if you’ve got the extra money, a 3 Speed Sturmey Archer gearing.
3 1/2″ Rubber Pedals
All Rounder Handlebars with an adjustable stem
Caliper Brakes with hooded levers
White Celluloid Mudguards
Brooks B72L Saddle
Royal Carmine Finish (For this particular bike)
Kitbag, Tools, Inflator, Reflector & Fork lamp bracket as accessories.

Certainly a nice list of parts to find but for an extra helping hand the VCC has the spare parts brochure which gives an exploded diagram for the bike.

I love to see the detail like this. It makes tracking down the correct parts a lot easier. The original brochures are a massive help by themselves but they often lack the detail needed to pinpoint an exact model of part. I’ll have fun hunting down the long list of parts.

Now for a bit of history of the company. Rudge-Whitworth was founded in 1894 from a merger between Whitworth Cycle Company of Birmingham and the Rudge Cycle Company of Coventry. They produced Bicycles, Saddles, Motorcycles and Wheels. In 1938 they sponsored Billie Fleming for the World Record attempt of most miles covered on a bicycle in a year. She cycled 29,603.7 miles in that year and the record stood until her death (aged 100) in 2014! Raleigh bought Rudge in 1943 and after this point Rudge badged bicycles were essentially Raleigh models using familiar Rudge components (crown and chain wheel). The Rudge name was killed off sometime in the early 60’s.

I’d class this build as a bit of a back burner. I’d like to put some time into finding the right parts and restoring the bike to it’s original 50’s glory. The hardest, and probably the most expensive parts to find will be the rims. I’ll have a good look but it may be easier to convert to the more “popular” 26″ x 1 3/8″. There are Rudge spares floating around on eBay, whether they match this build or not, I’m not sure but I’ll investigate further. So there we go, another build to go parts hunting for.

Cyclists POV #36 – Rev bomb! / RTTW / Dangerous Driving

It seems these videos are gaining popularity. Thanks to all those that watch and leave a like / comment. Some of the clips in this edit were posted on social media after the incidents… some of the comments were quite interestng!

Dangerous Overtake – I’m lit up well. I wear high vis and I have two of the best front lights on the market. This was one of the videos posted on social media and while most supported me (and the tractor driver who also commented) some still had time to blame me (for being on the road etc) and the tractor (for also…being on the road). The driver didn’t come forward, no surprise there, and my cameras didn’t quite catch the reg because of the fog. After the driver got that close to me, they almost hit the tractor cutting back in. Some of the worst driving I’ve seen in a long time.

So Close – CV08 PWO – Here I am, riding along and I saw the van approaching. It’s ok, he’ll stop… I thought. I don’t think he saw me. If I’d have been a second slower, I would have been sent flying. I didn’t actually realise how close he’d come until I got home and checked the rear camera out. Scary!

Elderly Driver – This was a bit of a “facepalm” moment. Waiting for the red light I watched in disbelief as this elderly driver seemed to miss the roadworks until they were very close and then realise and adjust.

My Heart Stopped – This was another clip that was posted on social media, mainly because there have been complaints about this road being dangerous. Personally, I don’t believe any road is dangerous, instead it’s the driving, as witnessed here. The driver clearly sees me and gives me loads of space but has failed to pay any attention to the cyclist coming the other way. I saw the cyclist coming down before the driver pulled out and when they did, I was just waiting for an accident.

Check Your Blindspots – Glen’ll Fix I.T. – BK14 RVL – Don’t just pull out on my like that! I’m clearly visible.

Chancer – What more is there to say? This person just decided ti chance the gap in front of me. It paid off but it was close.

Plan Ahead – See the lorry waiting to turn right, and the hill coming up, and knowing the road, the narrowing road beyond the bridge. Well it would be a lot easier to just take a few seconds out and allow the lorry to pass instead of making them wait and chance the overtake.

The Silent Follower – I had no idea this lad was following me until we had to move out to go around the two cars. Watching it back he had a bit of a panic brake as he checked it was clear and realised I’d slowed for a split second to make sure I was clipped in.

It’s Always A Race – After I knew he was there I had to make the gap. Always. I’m the same if I see someone in the distance. I have to catch up!

Nevermind The Crossing – What, 50 meters down the road, maybe not even that?! A lovely safe crossing that will stop the traffic so you can cross safely. Instead, you chance it on the road and try and intimidate me. Nice try, I guessed it was coming.

Popularity +1: As before, just take a second to let someone out. They’ll look kindly on cyclist in the future.. hopefully.

Kids Messing About: This was the third video that went on social media. Mixed reaction really. Kids just having fun and nobody was hurt to blaming the parents and to how stupid the girls were. Of course some said I should have stopped, and maybe I should have, I didn’t really know what was behind me though and a sudden stop to move the cone could have ended in me being rear ended. Still the fact remains, while we do get into mischief as kids, running into the road to put a cone in front of traffic is pretty stupid.

Ride To The Wall Filming – Check out a couple of my previous videos for the raw video filmed on my “proper” camera. Ride To The Wall is a charity event, for bikers, to ride to the National Memorial Arboretum to pay their respects to the fallen, and those still serving in the armed forces. I decided this year to film it from the the start but also managed to catch up and ride along side them for a while. I’ll join them on a motorbike one day.

Rev Bomb – This is just something that amused me. I think he was trying to intimidate the cyclist. Little does he know I love my cars too and knew what was going to happen 😉

Music by Ryan Little / Track called I’m Sorry
http://freemusicarchive.org/music/Ryan_Little/Before_Dawn_II/05_Im_Sorry

Peugeot PR10 c.1975-79 – Vive La France!

I have no idea where to start with this one. The French giant of Peugeot is somewhat of a mystery to me. I’m looking through website after website trying to track down and translate brochures and literature to find the exact model of this bike. From the small amounts of research I have done, the one thing I can say is it’s not going to be easy. Peugeot seem to have used their own specific sizing for threading and tubes and duplicated very similar transfer patterns between models. I’ve found many a page showing frustration at trying to track down the correct seat post or bottom bracket. Wonderful.

Anywho. Here it is.

The price I paid? 99p. I saw it listed on eBay and expected it to go for much more but on the morning of the auction ending it still had no bids. I took a chance and won it. The seller had described how the fixed cup was, well, fixed but apart from that it was ok. It looked in good condition and I’d spotted the Simplex dropouts so I figured it was worth the money.

Date wise I expected it to be a 1970’s model and after trawling through a few web pages I’ve managed to narrow it down to between ’75 and ’79. That’s all down to the head badge. The original listing stated the seller had removed the badge to sell separately. He did actually offer me the badge when I went to pick up the frame but I turned it down, only to buy it off him a week later after seeing it on a listing. It’s a nice two piece design. Luckily this is one of the things that actually helped out with the research as this is the only raised head badge Peugeot seems to have used.

The frame didn’t come with the handlebars or stem. Those, again, were additional buys off the same gent I got the frame off. It was only after I started researching that I realised the French frames used odd sizes. Off the top of my head, they use a 22mm stem instead of the British 22.2mm. You’d think the .2mm wouldn’t make much of a difference but it does! When I saw the listing for the Atax stem and bars from the same seller (stating they were from the Peugeout) I thought it would be best to buy them! That’s £12.50 into the bike so far.

This is where I started to look into the models a bit more. One of my Instagram followers saw my post and suggested it could be a PX10, the rare and pricey top model. I’m not so sure and think it could be a slightly lower PR10 but with the amount of cross contamination between model lines it’s quite difficult to pinpoint. I think this catalogue HERE shows the differences the best (and why I think it is the PR10). The frame only has chrome dipped forks, rather than the chrome dipped forks AND rear dropouts of the PX10. It has Reynolds tubing but the badge doesn’t seem to quite match the Reynolds badges in the catalogues I have found. The higher spec’d models also seem to have been given the wrap around vertical banding on the tubes, over the horizontal lines.

That being said, if it is the PR10, and I’m 95% sure it is I have found the specific component list I need.

Brakes: Mafac S Centre Pull w/ Mafac Levers
Crankset: Stronglight TS 52/42 – 170mm – Cotterless
Derailleurs & Shifters: Simplex LJA302 / SX810T
Pedals: Lyotard 136 Race w/ Reflectors & Christophe Straps
Saddle: Ideale
Freewheel: Maillard 14/17/19/21/24
Hubs: Normandy High Flange Q/R W/Simplex skewers
Rims: Mavic Module E tubular.

To me, that seems like a rather expensive list. Fortunately I’ve found most of the parts already and it seems like buying direct from France is the best bet! Unfortunately I’m slightly out of cash at the moment so those specific parts will have to wait. In the mean time I did find this bargain. I saw them listed as “Vintage Mavic Monthlery Route Wheels”. Looking closer I saw they were tubular and had a set of Normandy high flange hubs. They seemed perfect for this build so I stuck them on my watch list and expected them to shoot up in price. In fact, they didn’t move in price at all and I got them for £25. I might need to replace the spokes and the rims definitely need a good polish but I couldn’t be more happy with them.

Total build spend so far £37.50

More to come soon hopefully.

Winter Wolf Run 2015

The aches are back! (But at least I can walk this year!)

Sunday, November 8th 2015.
My fourth Wolf Run and my favourite course out of the two. This year I’ve managed to run all the “seasons” apart from the Autumn, which sold out ridiculously quickly! In the Summer, I ran at Stanford Hall and found a strangely muddy course, more so than the Winter Run the year before. For this run I expected there to be lots of mud but maybe not quite as much as the Summer due to the cooler temperatures. Unfortunately the warm October and the wet start to November totally destroyed that idea. I was in for a mud bath!

Yet again, I haven’t done any running training, with the only exercise being my cycling, never the less, I was fairly confident. It was warm (base layers probably weren’t needed…) and although it was threatening rain, nothing fell from the sky. A four Weetabix breakfast, a couple of coffees and a few chocolate flapjacks and I was ready to run.

The organisers switched things up a bit this time round by reversing the course. Usually the slippy, muddy woodland section is at the start and being full of energy I can normally skip over the rough ground without a problem. The reverse course was different. By the time I hit that final section I was drained and could barely summon up the energy for a fast walk.

The course started with the swims. Now I haven’t swam in years, over 10 years, so I always avoid the first proper swim. It’s probably all psychological but with the shock from the cold water I’m convinced I’d never make it to the other side. A couple of hay bail obstacles lay before the second “swim” which were easily scaled. This “swim” is a bit deceiving. You can actually walk through it, although the water does come high up on my chest. The water was cold, but not as cold as 2014, it didn’t take my breath away nearly as much as it did the year before. The organisers had thrown something new in here too… A giant float across the river. A quick dip in the water to get underneath it doesn’t seem like much but I was seriously considering turning back and running around that section. I didn’t back down though. Although it was only a quick dive under, I really had no idea where I was or how far I’d travelled. Breaking the surface, clear of the float felt good! My GoPro didn’t like the sudden drop in temperature though and after that it really began to fog up.

The rest of the course was pretty straight forward. The usual obstacles were dotted around in different locations. I cleared the monkey bars without too much trouble, climbed the walls (having to ditch my gloves on a couple of occasions), balanced over the log walks where most were crawling and dived as hard as I could down the slide. The only obstacles that I despise is one I haven’t included in the video. It’s a big structure, with smooth telegraph poles positioned horizontally on different levels. The aim is obviously to step / jump from one to another but with the ground conditions each pole gets ridiculously slippy. Combine that with my lack of flexibility and it means I have to cling to the metal frame at the edge to even have a hope of making it across.

As for the mud, well, it was intense! The main bog seemed to have grown in size and was causing a massive bottle neck. Some brave folks were trying to get through the middle but the mud was so thick and deep (up to their waists) that they were simply getting stuck. Runners were trying to get around the edges in the shallow areas and climbing over any tree they could. I stopped for a while to help out and drag some runners free from the mud. The first guy you’ll see in the video was really tough to pull free. He was up to his waist and the amount of force I was having to put in, felt like I was about to dislocate his shoulder. I eventually got him free with the help of a fellow runner who was stuck in the mud but it wasn’t easy. One poor women to the left needed the help of 6 or so runners to dig her out and pull her free.

The mud just sucks your energy. That’s definitely what killed my energy levels and made the whole course a challenge. I’ve washed my clothes off today and my shorts and shoes were completely brown, caked in mud. I wouldn’t change it for the world 😉

It wasn’t a quick run for us. The bottlenecks we encountered and stopping to help at the bog slowed us down a lot. One of the runners I was with was also carrying an injury (and picked up another during the run) and despite his appeals for us to just run on we couldn’t leave him. It took us nearly 2.5 hours to cover just 10kM. I think the fastest runners I went with did the course in nearly 45 minutes quicker and the quickest of the weekend ran the course in under 50 minutes (We’re quite curious how that time was so fast with all the obstacles…). Despite the slow timing I had a great time. It’s a great day out and I have a laugh.

There aren’t any pictures out just yet but as soon as they’re out I’ll post some. Thanks to all the event organisers and marshalls! It was a great year of events. I’ll be back for 2016 to run all four and become an Alpha Wolf!

MBK Trainer – Fixed Gear Version 2

I don’t recall if I’ve mentioned this before but the 80’s Raleigh frame that I used on the first fixed gear is now “dead”. What happened? Well I’m not quite sure. It’s viewable in one of my Cyclist POV videos, where you can see I’m riding along and all of a sudden the rear wheel locks up and I come to a stop. It’s happened before but never that violently and never just riding along. I realigned the wheel and rode on, but after getting to my destination I realised the wheel no longer looked straight… The rear triangle looked bent. A few second opinions later and I had concluded it must be the end of that frame.

Note: At no point have I actually checked the frame alignment with the available tools.

A few weeks have gone by and now I have version 2 up and running. Version 2 was found on eBay for the small sum of £15. Naturally the colours caught my attention and I had to have it. As luck would have it, nobody else was interested in it and I won the auction for the starting bid. I have to say the seller of this frame has been an absolute pleasure to deal with – possibly the best seller I’ve dealt with. He emailed me as soon as the auction ended and asked if I wanted some further postage quotes and after looking around found one for £4 cheaper than quoted. Unfortunately he hadn’t checked the PayPal transaction and booked the delivery for the wrong address. Nevermind, he got straight onto the courier and had it changed. The courier didn’t even come and collect it and instead it had to be dropped off at the post office and sent from there. I was updated on the whole process and never left out. I wish all sellers were like that!

Anyway, the new build! The frame is a two tone, pink and purple, MBK trainer. I haven’t been able to accurately date it however I’m leaning towards an early 90’s date. Lugless, oval tubing and CRMO – I really like the frame. It has its fair signs of wear and it the colour apparently disgusts come people but I love it. It’s just my size and it’s so light.

Straight away I removed the headset from the old build and fitted that to the MBK frame. The old Halo wheelset went in perfectly, as did my old black stem. This is where things change. Instead of the flat bars I wanted to fit a set of drop bars in black with some all black brakes. I’m only running one brake, yet still decided to fit two levers. Why? Because I like the riding position! Finding the all black bars took a lot of searching on eBay as most 25.4mm clamping bars are for silver in colour for old road bikes! It was worth it though, the black bars and brakes make the pink stand out even more.

When it came to the bottom bracket and crank I had to get something new. The Raleigh uses 26tpi thread and a cottered axle, where as the MBK frame uses a standard 24tpi thread. I have a few spare cartridge bottom brackets that I could have used but something new was more appealing. I decided to head to VeloSolo and take a look at their collection. I opted for the 107mm Stronglight bottom bracket and crank set. It looks amazing and threaded straight into the frame. The Raleigh used a 42 tooth chain ring (I believe) where as the Stronglight uses a 48 tooth. Combined with the 14 tooth sprocket I’ll be getting more top end but hill starts will become a bit tougher. I’ll see how I get on with it and if it’s too tough I’ll swap out the sprocket to a 16 or 18.

The tyre clearances are close but I’m going to swap those out for some Michelin Krylion Carbon when I get some spare cash! (Those tyres are brilliant – I’m using them on the British Eagle in the wet). Apart from that I’m 100% happy with the outcome. The bike feels like a perfect fit and everytime I look at it I find a massive grin creeps across my face. It’s definitely not everyones style. What do you think?

Cyclists POV 35 – Hail To The Bus Driver / Shitty Cyclist

Knee brace on, lets see how long it lasts.

High Five – Because we’re a friendly bunch.

I See An Opportunity – A small uphill section is coming up so the chance to get a tow off the bus was welcome. Unfortunately the knee didn’t like it and started screaming at me when I hit 30mph or so.

Wave Him By – I see no point in holding the bus up. If I carry on riding in front, the bus struggles to get by and traffic gets held up. If I stop and let him by everything flows a bit easier. Common sense. Bus driver said thanks too.

Could Go Faster – Speed “trap” on a 30mph road. Not bad.

Playing Chicken Or Stupid? – Both I think. Some kids just want to show off to their mates. I’m not exactly one to back down though 😉

This Is My Lane Micra – My lane positioning was definitely encouraging the driver to pull up along side (I would normally try and get central) but still, most hold back. Seems like my legs have better acceleration this time.

He Waved Me By – At the junction before he’d taken a really, really wide route to provide room up the inside but I didn’t really fancy getting squished. Around the corner I stopped behind in traffic and he moved right over and I didn’t really see any point in going forward but he waved me through so… thanks!

Scrape The Pipes – Listen and watch for the lean.

Smooth Filtering – It’s nice when you get a good line like this that I can ride straight down the middle. I did notice that one lady was texting away on her phone after editing this video though… Not the first and won’t be the last.

Shitty Cyclist – Slow and cautious when filtering but feels it’s fine to ignore the lights changing and just after a red light shows. My wording at the end describes my feelings towards him.

Music by Ryan Little
http://freemusicarchive.org/music/Ryan_Little/Before_Dawn_II/03_Easy_Street