Monthly Archives: April 2013

Bike for life rebuild

The title might be a little confusing and it has caused some amusement to friends.

With my focus on creating a bike for life the idea that it might need some significant work doing on it seems highly ironic.

However, with a little dexterous writing I hope to show why this is in fact proof that I am on the right lines with my bike for life.

This story started a few weeks ago when a bit fell off the bike ๐Ÿ™ The bit in question was the kickstand. However, the problem was not with the kickstand but the plate on the frame which it is is bolted to. The plate had simply peeled off.

Disaster!

Hence the gentle mocking off my friends. A bike for a month not for life they taunted.

The last laugh is on me though. Unlike most bikes my bike for life is built by hand by a small British company and it is built from steel. If the frame had been an import or had been built of Aluminium or Carbon then this would have probably been the end (at least of being able to have a kickstand).

Not so with a British Bike for Life! I called Steve Shand and without any quibbles he instantly offered to get the frame collected, repaired, repainted and shipped back to me – all at no cost to me.

In the end I waited for a couple of weeks as I really needed the bike for work at the time. Then I stripped it down, put it into a box (thanks to Cyclops in Syston for the gift of a bike box) and Steve had it collected.

Today I have my frame back looking absolutely gorgeous again with a seriously beefed up kickstand plate ๐Ÿ™‚

This demonstrates a key feature of my understanding of a Bike for Life. It needs to be repairable and that is really only practical for locally made steel frames (well foreign steel frames can also be repaired but not so cost effectively by the manufacturer).

If you are thinking about a bike that you hope will last and last then it seems to me that a steel frame built in your own country is the best way to go.

Meanwhile, many thanks to Steve and Russ of Shand Cycles for exceptional service. I just hope my re-assembly does your craftsmanship justice!

Gentle multi mode

I have just arrived at Uplands House, High Wycombe. Staying until Monday lunchtime for my last ever Methodist Council meeting.ย The bedroom comes with nice views.

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Sadly there won’t be a lot of time for relaxing as our main book of papers is 195 pages (oop’s, typo actually 300 pages) and when I got here there were another 11 papers waiting for us. So our business sessions finish at 9pm each day.

I had thought of combining cycling and trains to get here, but the hassle of changing trains put me off along with the early start that would have been needed.

So I got a lift from my friend, Joseph who is a Methodist Minister in South Leicester, it was a lovely morning so I had a beautiful and gentle ride to him this morning through Watermead Park, Abbey Park and the Great Central Way. Just a few hundred metres on quiet residential roads and the rest through the various parks with connecting off road cycle links (poor quality but at least they exist). It was 10 miles in total which even a load of papers, electronics and clothes is no problem in ordinary clothes.

While I like to think of using bikes and trains as a better choice environmentally given the reality that Joseph would have been driving anyway this is the lowest cost means of transport. It also has the nice combination of quiet time listening to music as I pottered through the parks and then time to chat with a friend for the rest of the journey.

Sadly of course I expect the combination of sitting in a car and eating hotel food to have their normal drastic effect on my diet ๐Ÿ™ To compensate I have brought a bag of beautiful El Salvador coffee that has been freshly roasted and ground in Leicester by St Martins, so much better than the instant sachets in my roomย ๐Ÿ™‚

 

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