My Surly Big Dummy arrive and it’s very nice. The good folks at Lonsdale Street Cyclery did a superb job of packing the bike: easily worth the $50 that I paid for it. The seller in Canberra was great to deal with and very accommodating. My original intention was to make a road-trip up to collect the bike and transport it back. Then my car blew its water-pump and I was without transport. Now the bike has arrived, is assembled, and a few adjustments away from being a joy to ride.
To be a bit of a trend-follower I intend to fit a Rohloff Speedhub and either trekking, or Titec Jones H-bar, handlebars. All that remains at this point is mudguards (SKS of course, 26-inch P65) and the Xtracycle wide-loaders (aka. Cargo Vans, H-racks).
The urge to get on the bike and ride into the unknown is so strong. I’m already buying kit to be able to do it! I don’t even know where I want to go. WWOOF’ing seems attractive. Visit intentional communities and permaculture setups to see how they live day-to-day. Smell the ocean as I cycle along. Camp stealthily in the brisk chill of autunal evening. See streaking space rocks melt and explode in the outback. Feel the heat and thirst in arid lands. Wish for a riding companion to talk to. Pray for a tail wind after days of slogging into a dusty bug-ridden headwind. All these experiences waiting to be had for their own sake.
One of the great things with Modern Life is that ther are so many gadgets and doo-dads to which you can apply your attention. The time to do this is in all the marvellous free time the various contraptions allow us to have. Add to this the luxury of disposable income and you have a temptation-smorgasboard of things you do not need but would dearly like to have with which you can avoid doing what you should be doing – improving yourself with the things you already have. And to be frank since no-one else will be: we have more than we need.
Today we’ve completed a new garden & herb bed – right near the front steps for easy use. It’s bedded on stripped back lawn with lucerne and grass clippings under some cardboard to lessen kikyu breakthrough. There’ll still be kikyu breaking through on the edges but it’s unavoidable when you will not use poison. Kikyu would be the perfect food solution if it was edible for humans. It just keeps growing.
Our first bed was topped up to 400mm in height instead of 200mm. This will be our main veggie bed for tomatoes and other ‘soft’ plants. It receives a little less sun but I’m expecting to make a shade-screen that will be staked to lessen the sun between 11am and 3pm. The danger-time of UV.
The beds were made of mushroom compost with ‘Rooster Booster’ and top-soil conditioner, then mulched with lucerne.
A small harvest was had of potatoes, rolly-polly carrots and leeks. The celery is almost ready, too. Just near the celery the curry plant is doing well and has a good scent.
Today I commuted by bike to work. The one-way distance is 33.5kms. On the way in I finished in a new best time of 1:16:55. At lunch I rode 16.5kms at 24.1kph average speed over a flat course with two small hills. On the way home from work I beat the morning’s personal best, on an uphill trend, with a time of 1:15:59. Clearly I must be increasing my fitness. It’s given me confidence that Audax 200kms is a reality and not a dream. Loving it.
We’ve had a bit of rain in the past three weeks. On one of my commutes to work via bicycle I was beset with an obstacle.
I snapped a picture with my mobile phone and then rode around.
It was a good ride in that morning. My time was only 50seconds slower than my personal best: which I can easily attribute to my backpack. I don’t ride with a backpack, in fact this is the first time I rode with a backpack for years!
Codename: Persistence finally arrived and fitted the SKS Chromoplastic P45 mudguard to the Bad Boy 8. It looks quite nice. Codename: Persistence is unsure of the bolts that hold the clip to the chainstay cross-piece – they may not be tight enough. C:P left early and I don’t want to drop the rear-wheel to tighten them further. Well if C:P was around longer he would have done it, what what.
It seems that within a few minutes of making this post it had 35 views. So I’ll add some more information about fitting the SKS P45 mudguards.
I followed the instructions.
Fit the small black plastic parts to the mudguards. These hold the mudguard stays where they insert into the tubular part.
Fit the clip for the stay between the chainstays. Do the screws & nuts up tight or you’ll have to drop the rear wheel to tighten them, once fitted.
Assemble the nipples that tighten the mudguard stays to the mudguard clips.
The annoying thing is that you MUST trial-fit the mudguards so you know how much (if any) of the mudguard stays to cut off. I measured 15mm on my setup. After cutting the stays I did a loose fit.
Rotate the mudguard on to the bike.
Clip to the stay between the chainstays.
Put bolt through strut between seatstays. The nut for this has loc-tite of some description and finger tight is enough at this stage (which won’t be enough to keep the guard firm).
Put nipple pieces in the mudguard clips, push stays through bracket, nipple and into the black plastic fitting.
Finger-tight the nipple-nuts.
Put bolts through the stays and the mounting point on the bike-frame. Do hand-tight.
At this point as you tighten everything you’ll see if the mudguard begins to go off centre. I tried fine-tuning but it’s easier to tighten the main bolts which are those that connect the guard to the frame – then loosen the nipple-nuts so you can slide the guard on the stays to get a centred fit.
Edit: seems the big spike in visits was from alphainventions.com weirdness.