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Thursday, November 22, 2018

Deep Country

A friend lent me this book.

For 5 years Neil Ansell lived alone in a remote Welsh cottage with no modern day conveniences.   He doesn't give the actual location of the cottage and I suspect many readers will have spent time pouring over OS maps trying to locate it.  Me included.

The story is not so much about his life there but more about the nature and wildlife that he sees on a daily basis .  He describes the wildlife and their behaviors in great detail. 

Its an easy read and particularly enjoyable if you're interested in birds.

Saturday, November 10, 2018

Ghost Soldiers

The Wire Soldiers at Slimbridge Church.

 Each sculpture by artist Jackie Lantelli stands at the foot of a grave where a serviceman from this parish is buried or commemorated.

Image: Rosemary Watts

More here

Monday, November 05, 2018

My Grandparents

My cousin recently discovered these pictures.  
We have no idea of the date or location but I think Grandad was in the Lincolnshire Regiment and was in France, luckily he survived.  Hopefully my cousin can find his service record.  Like many who had experienced the war he spoke very little about it.  I only know that being a farm boy, and used to horses, he worked with the horses in France and I remember him telling me about driving the gun carriage and going too fast and overturning it.

The red cross picks him out. 

In this picture he is with a French soldier.

 My Grandmother.

This is her at work,  my cousin thinks it was a flax mill.

It was fantastic to receive these pictures as they are new to me.

Friday, November 02, 2018

New forks........once the seed of doubt has been sown!!!!!!!!.

This fork changing project came about whilst on a club ride, when they were discussing the pros and cons of carbon forks.  I had read articles about carbon forks having a "shelf life" and then the discussion turned to riders changing them every two or three years and the durability of steel forks.  So  once the seed of doubt was sown I decided to thoroughly check mine out, as they have been on the bike for over three years.
I dropped them out of the bike and checked them over with a torch looking for hairline cracks especially around the steering tube.  The only fault I could find was where the mudguard had rubbed a groove into the left hand fork, but this was mainly paint rubbed off, but there was a groove.
 Hence the seed of doubt........... I temporarily remedy this by cutting away a section from the mudguard under the fork crown.
So after a couple of weeks of thinking about it I decided to change them for steel ones. and ordered  some replacement steel forks from Genesis. The forks are the same as fitted to the current models. 

The first job is to fit the crown race ring.  There are specialist tools for this but You tube always comes up with an alternative and this was  to use a bottom bracket spanner and a chisel with a heavily padded head to tap  and seat the race correctly. 

The bottom bracket spanner and a hammer to tap it down 

and the padded chisel to makes sure its fully seated.

Tapping gently evenly around the edge ensures that the race isn't damaged.

The next job is to cut the steerer tube to the required length.  I used a 30mm pipe cutter.

Always measure twice and cut once,  and allow space for the star nut to fit inside the cut tube to give a firm fixing on the handlebar stem.


As I'm older and dont want a racing position when riding, I prefer a longer steering tube for the handlebar stem, so plenty of spacers.

All finished, and the most fiddly bit is getting the mudguard stays even.

Was it worth it,  can I tell the difference?.  They steel forks are heavier, but then it was never a particularly light bike in the first place.  I've ridden it a few miles and its as comfortable as it always has been and the steering and feel from the road seems much the same.  

But probably the main difference is that now the seed of doubt has gone..