Sunday 27 January 2013

Training & something broken

This morning did a little more training with my cycling partner in crime @MyOrangeBrompton. The weather reports said it would be raining early on but clearing up mid morn so I figured is finally wear my new Altura Night Vision Jacket for the first time. I'm finally getting the knack of wearing the right cycling clothing for the weather which is always an added bonus when on the road in the UK.

Made sure I fuelled up on fruit porridge and toast before I left to make sure I had a good energy reserve.

Got to Hyde Park, Albert Memorial a little late but was quickly joined by Mr. O as he has gone for shelter from the rain.

PAD: 27th January 2013
The Legend @ Albert Memorial

Albert Memorial

The wind I found was pretty bad on the high points in Hyde Park so it was a bit of a struggle for me but as always I kept on pumping my little legs. In conversations with Mr. O we finally realised that we have a major ride in less than a week, LBC Ride: London to Cambridge. I was saying to my buddy that I swear the date has been changed as this ride seemed to have snuck up on us & only just realised we got less than a week to go.

The reason being is the original date for this ride was in April but seeing the London Brompton Club  calender was a little neglected we decided to also to this ride on 2nd February 2013 in case some people couldn't make it to the April one.
On returning home "The Legend" needed a good cleaning. I cleaned him up and on my normal maintence checks I found that one of my rear wheel spokes was broken. :(

Broken spoke :(
On my break at work tomorrow I'll take my boy down to my local bike shop and see what they can do for him. This is one thing I won't be able to do as to me its a magic artform. Ever since I had a broken spoke awhile back that I didn't even know of at the time but it was found at a previous Maintenance class.

Remember folks, check your little buddies regularly !

Saturday 26 January 2013

MKS Wide Platform Pedals

Well this morning I managed to get to the main post office cause I missed a delivery of my MKS Commuter Lambda / MKS Lambda Wide Platform Pedals from SJSCycles. As always delivery was spot on just I wasn't in to take delivery at the time so had to wait a couple of days.

Today I managed to get them and after a MIGHTY battle got them on "The Legend"

Now then the pedals
MKS Wide Platform Pedals from SJS Cycles

Nice & shinny

Serious grip & reflectors

Bigger than 2012 Brompton Folding Pedal

All installed & ready to go
I have to say I'm really impressed with these pedals. Most of the time with the Brompton pedals my feet slip a little depending on my shoes, but on these nothing moved and I did try. I felt more of my power was going though the pedals and onto the road. Like others have told me that have had these pedals I recommend them highly. They may not fold but I hardly need to fold the pedal in the first place anyways so now real lost for me on that score.

The Battle of the Folding Pedal

Today was the start of a battle of EPIC proportions.

I didn't know who or what would survive the battle.

Who would blog about this EPIC battle between man and inanimate object.

After getting the MKS Lambda Wide Platform pedals I set about installing them on "The Legend"
All went well replacing the NON folding pedal but then the battle hadn't even began. Then came the Brompton Folding Pedal

2012 Brompton Folding Pedal
There is only one way to take of a 2012 Brompton Folding pedal and that was with an Allen key type deal in the hole in the above photo. I had already changed the folding pedal once before thinking that it would be simple as last time as it took me all of 5 minutes to change them over (Mistake). There was even a LBC Ride planned for today and thought I would have been able to change the pedals over and have a nice long club ride to test the MKS Wide Platform pedals properly. What a mistake that was.....

First of my crappy Allen keys wouldn't get it off, I tried everything I could think of. Brute force didn't work, WD40 didn't work to free up the stubborn sod either. Spend a good 2 hrs trying to get it to move but nothing.

Folding Pedal: 1 - Human: 0

There is a little bicycle workshop just down the road from me so I took it there to see what he could do. Nope nothing, he had a bigger Allen key type deal to try to get it off but once again the stubborn pedal wouldn't move. Cheeky monkey said he had a crank arm that he could put on for £10 but not a Brompton one. I turned his offer down

Folding Pedal: 2 - Humans: 0

This was starting to get silly now and it was time to bring out the BIG GUNS.
I packed up the new pedal and headed down to Londonfields Cycles, E9 and I was pretty much close to tears when entering the cycle shop. Luckily their main Brompton Engineer was on hand and I told him of my EPIC battle, his voice was calming and a great relief when he said he'd get it off and install the new pedal for me on the spot.

Five minutes later, the EPIC battle was over. I looked though the workshop window and saw the folding pedal come off. A wave of warm relief flowed across my body, mind and soul like the warm sea waves on a Caribbean beach as I knew soon that this day would not have been a wasted, soon I would be riding "The Legend"

I was told that the old pedal didn't  have any grease in the threads of the bolt which would have made sure the pedal wouldn't lock in like it did. (My mistake as I installed the folding pedal awhile back and put it on "dry" no grease or any type of lube to stop it from locking up)

I asked him "Whats the damage!?"

He just said for something like this no charge.

I nearly burst out crying & also resisted giving him a big hug >:P

Finally the great battle of the folding pedal was over and I could now enjoy the MKS Wide Platform Pedals and pedal into the nice sunny winter's day with "The Legend!".
I had ALOT of frustration to get off my mind at this point so I went to Victoria Park, E9 just down the road and burned up the park with some solid hardcore training.

Humans WIN!

Friday 25 January 2013

The Lost Key Clip

While I was at the IG Nocturne last week I lost my keys. Not a big lost but I did miss the key clip attachment that I used that came with my Brompton O Bag alot.

I went to the shop I bought the my bag from and they said they didn't have any but would order one up. Took them awhile as there was no product code for this key clip thing. There is a code for everything else but not this. A good 20 mins searching on the web and then a couple of phone calls to their suppliers they finally found out it doesn't actually have a product code. Got a message today to say that the keyclip had arrived today and also it was for free. I was delighted to just get the keyclip as it just makes life to me much easier but to get it for free too well made my day abit brighter.

They really love me at London Fields Cycles, E9 >:P

Key Clip
And now they are a PREMIUM DEALER Brompton B Spoke Centre
London Fields Cycles, Hackney

Thursday 24 January 2013

Snow in London

Well yesterday was the first time I had ridden in snow. Was pretty freaky at times but had to stick to the roads instead o the cycle paths I normally go on. Heavy traffic meant I still speeded on though. One of my neighbours that was heading to work called out to me as I speeded past. Was funny cause I speeded past, stopped to take this shot & then carried on to work and he was still sitting in traffic. Said he was impressed I was still riding in this weather.

Nothing stops "The Legend" these days it seems.... :P

PAD: 22nd January 2013
The Legend's first Snow
There is a LBC: Denham Double Dash (36miles return) planned for this Saturday, unless the weather really turns for the worst its going to go a head even if it does we'll probably going around Richmond Park a few times.

Sunday 20 January 2013

Onboard The Legend: IG London Nocturne Practice Laps

This video is using the small keyring camera I got awhile back, was ok during the practice laps but fell off when I was in the pits and didn't have enough time to attach it back before my heat. I like this view point but needs to be even wider like the GoPro.


Taming The Legend....

Well after the IG London Nocturne it was time to revert Bumble B into "Commuting Mode".
I thought I'd put on the new Marathon Plus: London Edition I got awhile ago & ofcourse the mudguards. Going to need them at this time of year with the weather we have in the UK.

What a battle that was !

Getting the race tires off was easy, getting the new tires on was hell and then some. Because they are new they are pretty tight to go on. I had to in the end use the "Zip-Tie" trick to get them on, basically get as much of the tire onto the wheel as possible then zip tie the tire to the wheel tightly and squeeze the tire around till I finally got it all on.
Got it all done but then I looked at the rear wheel's pressure value was not lined up straight and I made the mistake of not letting the air out before moving the value to be straighter. With the pressure of the tube I punctured the inner tube right next to the value so had to install a brand new tube.

Lesson learned.

Busted value

Back into Commute Mode

My worn out Marathon Plus tires (L: Front R: Rear)
As you can see in the above photo the rear tire wears out ALOT faster than the front tire. I had these tires put on at the same time and look at the difference.
My RED  tinted  racing tires.
I noticed after racing at the IG London Nocturne that the right side of my Schwalbe Stelvio Light racing tires had a reddish tint to it. The track was basically right turns all the time. On the track they had to put down some special extra grip for the riders to be able to go round the corners safely. Even so there was a few bad tumbles but not in the folding bike race or any of the members of the London Brompton Club.

For all those that did have a tumble I hope you recover quickly.

Saturday 19 January 2013

The Legend at the IG London Nocturne

I woke up this morning excited but well rested. This whole week I haven't been sleeping well but I did last night. I was still not sure which cameras to bring but in the end I brought my trusty Lumix TZ5 & my fisheye key camera. I wasn't too sure about how safe my equipment would be but later on I would have preferred to have brought my Canon 5D Mark II.

As I got into the car park and unloaded "The Legend" and put on my outfit. I thought I make a big entrance into the ExCel Exhibition Centre. This was the first time I had worn the full on outfit since BWC 2012 and dang it felt good. A few people passed me in the carpark and as always commented on my full on "The Legend" mode and said they would be cheering me on in the  IG Nocturne Folding Bike Race later on.

I rode the short distance to the ExCel entrance and was ticket touted but just told them I was competing and got free entry >:P As I entered the main gates the crowds started to notice me. I was pretty hard to miss as you can imagine. The "Bumble B" Effect was in full force dear readers.One of the security people commented on my in his words "Bad Ass" outfit and pointed me to Riders Registration. The ladies there said that I had a best outfit for the folding bike race.

Called Mr. Orange and he informed me he was near one of the entrances down the far side of the ExCel and I made my way down. There where 2 shows, The Boat Show as well as The London Bike Show going on at the same time so there was quite a number of people walking about visiting the shows. As always "The Legend" attracted a lot of attention and I just nodded and smiled as I made my way down. A few said they would be cheering for the Bumble B when us racing.

Met up with Mr. O, Mark W & friend, we had a little look around and then made our way to the riders area, which at that point we found out we could have a good ride around the track to get a feel of it. I got a few laps in and was really getting a feel for the Schwelbe Stelvio Light tires I'd whipped on the night before. I have to say I'm VERY impressed by them as I had no idea how they would operate. Definitely the kind of tires I would use on future racing type events esp indoors, I may have a look at getting Kojaks as they have better puncture protection just to be safe.

After getting a few good solid laps we decided to get something to eat so we had time to make sure it all settled before the races began. Also took the time to have a little walk around The London Bike Show stands to see what was on show. to be honest I wasn't really impressed with the show itself, maybe I've been to too many trade shows in the past and felt the "buzz" wasn't there anymore. Checked out the Brompton stand of course and liking the new limited edition bike they have on display.

Limited Edition Brompton

Limited Edition Brompton's Orange seat

New Silicon Grips & Brake Levers
New designed wheel rims

I did catch alot of attention as I went around and there was a awesome looking carbon bike I spotted which was in my colours >:D As soon as I got there the people on the Foffa stand said the bike was all me ad they had to take a few photos of their bike and me together. a perfect match >:D They even offered me a discount but I'm a Brompton man though and though.

Awesome colours !

mmmm yellow chain

Comfy chair?
Bad Ass Yellow frames

Black & Yellow Exercise Bike
Black & Yellow Toolkit
Another Black & Yellow Bike

Well enough of that eye candy. Time for the LBC racers to get back into the heat of things and get a few photo before we build up too much of a sweat.

Some of the LBC Racers

Me and "The Legend" headed out for some more warm up laps, this time I mounted the keycam on the top tube and filmed a few laps, which I'll post after I've processed the footage.

Before I knew realised it was time to get ready for my heat. We all got to the start/finish straight and picked a number out of a bag, I got a number right at the start line not good as I would have to run though most of the bikes to unfold before I even started racing.
The race finally started and I ran to The Legend and unfolded and got riding in a good time. In practice I made sure I nailed my cornering which helped alot and I went out and did the best my best. In my heat of 30 riders I came in 23rd and the cut off to get into the final was the first 15. I'm happy with my first proper full on race.

I know quiet a few from my group took photos and maybe some video so I will post that when I see it but I damn well has a good race. I even remember when I was going around the commentator was commenting on my wicked outfit a few times and this made me smile and keep on going even harder.

While I was there I also got interviewed my a photographer of Nocturne and a few good action shots I have seen. I will be posting those as soon as I get hold of them.

Enjoyed the day and I want to go out doing some serious riding tomorrow but the weather is still bad here. I know I got a hell of alot of training to get under my belt to up my fitness levels big style, BUT someone has already said that I looked a hell of alot different a rider to when I was riding on the BWC 2012 so that I'm happy about even more. Onward and upward....

Friday 18 January 2013

The Final Prep of The Legend

Dear readers,
I sit here now making this blog entry just after installing the racing tires on "The Legend"

I've taken off his mudguards & saddle bag and to tell you the truth, he is looking a little scary.

I've never seem him so slick, so dear I say it " LEGENDARY!"

I thought I would have trouble replacing my Marathon Pluses with the Schwelbe Stelvio Lights I acquired a few months ago and to tell you the truth I thought I would never actually use them, but there they are installed and pressurised on Bumble B.

I've taken off his saddle bag and extra lighting as well

Bumble B: Commute Mode

Bumble B: Racing Mode
Schwalbe Stelvio Lights
Schwalbe Stelvio Lights
I have never ridden with these tires so I have no idea how they are going to feel like and with the weather currently snowing in London I can't even find a patch of ground to have a little spin. Actually I did have a little spin but that was all I did was SPIN the wheels.

Only thing left now is my very own prep for myself. My outfit is ready I just have to nail down what I'm going to wear to get EXCEL in the first place as all reports are saying snowing and pretty cold. I guess I will wear most of my outfit but whether it will be warm enough I have no idea.

Everything is already charged and going to be packed as soon as I finished this posting. I sure as hell not leaving my batteries at home again. I only have one problem I don't know which cameras to take with me. Do I take my dSLR (quality photos but heavy), compact (small light but not as good quality). I will be taking the keycam with me and some how get some onboard video of me racing >:D just need to figure out the best place to mount it out of the way but able to give a good view.

To anyone that is going The London Bike Show if you see me do say hello and if you see me with "The Legend" himself do come and take photographs and maybe get yourself in the shot too >:D

Time to sleep soon as I have a busy day, still haven't nailed down what I'm wearing yet as its going be a cold and maybe snowing :(

Just added a timelapse video:

Secret Testing Facilities

The Legend at a secret test facilities getting ready for the IG Nocturne Folding Bike Race. If your going to do testing, do it BIG I say.

My training rollers

Wednesday 16 January 2013

The Legend returns...

"The Legend" has returned and he felt very fine on my commute home this evening

The folks at London Fields Cycles took care of my little buddy, they changed his chain and rear cog. His running alot smoother now and that "crunching" sound I was getting from what I thought was the gear hub has gone. I was speaking to the head guy there about it and they did had a look at the gear hub but couldn't see anything wrong with it but if the "crunching" returned they would have another look. They said that the 3 speed hubs on Bromptons are pretty reliable and they have never seen one give any trouble yet.

Collecting "The Legend!"

I also got a little warning about my wheel rims, it seems I'm just about wearing them out and was advised to keep an eye on them. In March Brompton are supposed to be releasing the new rims for the Bromptons so we agreed to try and wait it out till they are out and they would be happy do to my rims. Suggested it may be better to get a complete new front wheel and replacement rim only on the rear. The rear rim is the worst and the front not too far behind.
Wearing out the rims
But that wasn't all for today, while I was at the shop I was talking with the manager and he was asking me if something has changed with bus drivers. I asked him what he meant and he has told me that he has noticed a big change in the way buses handle bicycles on the roads these days. I did tell him that the drivers in my company have a 1 day a year training and the last time I went the training was focused quiet abit on how to handle cyclist on the roads and to make sure that when we do pass a bicycle on the road we give them plenty of room so not to "cut them up" or anything like that. He seemed well impressed with this as he cycles in and around the Hackney area quiet abit and had noticed.

Once I got Bumble B home I decided to change his brake pads and give him a good cleaning. I also sprayed a little oil down the brake cables as they felt a little stiff, I'll probably completely replace them at a LBC Maintenance Session in February as I planned.

Trying out non Brompton brake pads

So "The Legend" is almost ready for IG Nocturne, the only thing left is for me to change the tires to the Kojak that I got from my cycling buddy, take the mudguards off, another good clean, oiling & little bit of touch up paint in a few places.

Speaking of the IG Nocturne, if you spot me  & "The Legend" do say hello to us both and maybe have the chance to have your photo taken with a true LEGEND......

Trust me you will be able to spot me from miles away >:D

Count down to IG London Nocturne: Folding Bike Race 2013

Z minus 3 days..... #nocturne #foldingbikerace #legend #brompton

Tuesday 15 January 2013

All alone in the dark

I'm waiting at the bus stop on my way home from work but this time it's different.

The Legend is not with me.

The reason being is that with the IG London Nocturne coming this Saturday I just haven't got enough time to do the major things I need to get him up to speed.

The chain & rear cog need replacing as the chain is pretty stretched. This could be the main cause of the crunching issues I have been experiencing the last few weeks with the rear hub. I also asked for them to check over the rear hub just to be sure there isn't any issues other than needing a good cleaning.

I've left him overnight at London Fields Cycles in Hackney so they can work on him first thing in the morning & pick him up after work tomorrow.

The house feels empty without him here but I know he will be back home tomorrow where I shall give him some serious TLC

Count down to IG London Nocturne: Folding Bike Race 2013

Z minus 4 days..... #nocturne #foldingbikerace #legend #brompton

Sunday 13 January 2013

The Legend on a local cycle club ride

Since moving to my new place I have been wanting to cycle around my local area to see exactly what was here. I didn't know anyone so I went searching for local cycling group.

On facebook I found Walthamstow Family Bike Club which holds a ride every 2nd Sunday of each month, sometimes more.
I got suited up and headed to the local meeting point. I just left my house and heading down my road when another rider was coming the other way with a big smile on his face next thing I hear is "Hey I know you Bumble B right!"
Yes dear readers a fan of The Legend, a roadie no less. We stopped for a brief moment and he said that he read about me in the latest LCC magazine. Also commented on how cool Bumble B looked and never seen anything as crazy >:D
Well we said our goodbyes and I headed to the meeting point for the ride.

The Legend with some new friends
I was a little late but only a few was waiting so I knew I was in the right place. We all waited for about 15 mins and in the end there was about 8-9 riders in total. A few group photos where taken and then we headed off on the ride.
The meeting point near St. Mary's Church

Finding all the little short cuts

Another short cut under a busy dual carriage way

Just about to cross a busy junction

Bumble B enjoying the ride

The Legend looks on

Everyone here?

Bumble B @ Highams Park Lake

A few swans @Highams Lake Park

2 curious swans

The Legend taking a little rest

This young lady's Christmas present

Heading up a small hill >:D

Checking the map

Tracking the ride though Chingford Mount Cemetery

Going though Chingford Mount Cemetery

Bumble B folds while everyone else locks up :P

Bumble B in the warm with me

Back at the start
Was a good ride a bit slower than I'm used to but I mainly wanted to go though my local area to see the sights. I will be going on more rides with this club when they come up but I've been warned that some rides are for off road bikes so hopefully they will mention this when posting about a ride. I have got an old mountain bike still at my mums I may bring that if its still functional.

A few have mentioned that they will be attending "The London Bike Show" I did tell everyone that I would be there racing in the Folding Bike race on the 19th around 15:00hrs so hopefully I will have a little fan base to help cheer me on.