Sunday 29 January 2012

MOT Time

The CBF is due its annual MOT (UK vehicle check) So it's a good time to do a few jobs. Firstly the right side fork seal was leaking. This goes with the territory if you're going to ride in winter. I had gaiters on the bike but they split - I'll get a new pair. Luckily the seals are easy to change.

The fork apart

Fitting new seal

Home made seal driver

This is why you should change fork oil - this is 2 years/12,000 miles old

Next the rear brake shoes & tyre.

A 2007 bike with a drum brake? - how quaint. But it works well and is unaffected by the weather which is more than can be said for the front caliper.

Bead breaker

Using rim guards when removing tyre

A blast from the compressor seats tyre.

Featured Bike - Norton Interpol 2

Produced in the late '80s/early '90s this was a version of the Wankel engined Norton intended for police use.

Wednesday 25 January 2012

Boris Bikes

From my visit to London it seems that the Transport for London bike hire scheme aka "Boris Bikes" though properly Barclays Cycle Hire is working well. Mayor Boris Johnston created a system of cycle stations throughout central London where you can hire a bike for a ride. For a fee of £45 per year or £1 per day you can join the scheme. The hire prices seem strange and intended to encourage short term use. eg up to 30 mins is free, 1 hour is £1, but 2 hours £6 and 6 hours £35. Of course you could return the bike, wait 5 minutes, them get another bike to avoid charges. Stations are generally close together so this would be possible. The bikes seem heavy things so you won't be going fast and personally I wouldn't ride through the London traffic though there are plenty of parks. Worryingly few riders wear helmets. Barclays Cycle Hire





Tuesday 24 January 2012


I'm not a great football (soccer for American readers) fan but I do watch the English Premiership on "Match of the Day" at the weekends. So for our annual visit to London I got tickets to see Fulham v Newcastle. And a great day out it was. Craven Cottage, Fulham's ground, is small and cosy and the atmosphere was friendly. It was, as the pundits say, a game of two halves. The home side were poor in the first half and were lucky to go in only one goal down. In the second half they fought back to win 5-2 with American Clint Dempsey being the hero with a hat trick. My only regret was that I did not see the infamous Michael Jackson statue inexplicably erected by club owner Mohamed Al-Fayed.  



Tuesday 17 January 2012

Local Landmarks

I went for a short run today to check the brakes after a caliper strip & a new set of pads (this riding in winter is hard on the bike) and snapped a few local landmarks.

Ford at Eaglesham - this has been under water most of the winter but drier weather has made it passable.

Means Castle - 15th century

Whitelee Wind Farm on the Eaglesham Moor - Europe's biggest (wind farm not moor!)

Monday 9 January 2012

Forth Rail Bridge (again)

Back in October I posted that I visited the Forth Rail Bridge and it was looking splendid after re-painting works that took 10 years. Today I made it back to take a series of photographs.

Saturday 7 January 2012

Featured Bike - Rickman Interceptor

I took this photo at a bike show in 2009. When Royal Enfield went bust in 1970 Rickman obtained 750cc Interceptor engines and put them into their nickel plated frames - 127 were made 1970-72. The bike has discs front & rear - probably a "first".

Thursday 5 January 2012

Oxford Muffs

Digging about in my garage I found a pair of Oxford Muffs. My brother gave them to me years ago but I'd never used then. They consist of a pair of covers for the handlebar grips, made of heavy nylon fabric with a fleecy lining. They keep wind & rain from your hands and provide some insulation from the cold. I've only every seen dispatch riders using them but I thought I'd try them. They fit easily enough needing only a hole made for the left side mirror. 

I've been for a couple of runs with them on and they do work. Combined with heated grips they provide a good level of comfort. They look a bit silly but you can't afford to worry about fashion when riding in winter.

First Run of the Year

It eventually stopped raining so I managed out for a run today. It was cool & blustery and the roads were streaming with water from the recent downpours but it was sunny. I went up beside Loch Lomond then round the Rosneath Peninsular. I'd never been there before, as far as I can remember, which is strange for somewhere so close. Then to Helensburgh & home. 


Loch Long at Coulport

Rosneath Bay

Helensburgh - these heavy cope stones were ripped up during the storm

Tuesday 3 January 2012


A Happy New Year to all. 

I went for a short run today and found this big tree brought down by the gales.

Even a bike couldn't pass