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Thursday, April 18, 2019

A local ride

A local ride of about 16 miles but probably within a 5 miles radius of home. Its basically up one side of the Taff Valley, down to the river and then back up and down on the other side.

Cardiff and the surrounding area has a huge house building programme,  and here you can see fields being cleared ready for building.  As you pass along these lanes there are many signs offering plots for sale .  

It is a beautiful place to live, but what a loss of natural habitat for the wildlife.  I was only just reading the other day how many birds and wildlife that we have lost in the last 50 years and its frightening.  No wonder there are so many environmental protests going on. 

Back to the ride, and lets enjoy the beauty of times past, 
A local farm water source.

 Wonderful dry stone walls

Old barns, albeit with a new roof.

Lanes leading onto the mountainside.

An old railway line, now a trail, but the escape holes for the railway workers still visible.

Changing the subject a bit, a new wireless bike computer from e bay, a great bargain at £5.95, inc. P & P

Back to the ride, this is looking at the other side of the valley , where the first few pictures were taken.

There is always litter dumped somewhere.

Back through the woods.

Plenty of wildflowers out and its Bluebell time.

and Forget me Nots

Finally down the Zig Zag path towards home.  Long ago the original path was used by miners, who were ferried across across the river, on their way to the mine.

Tuesday, April 02, 2019

Dahon Upgrade

Sometimes when a couple of us are  reconnoitering a club tour we use the train  to ferry us and the bikes to our route start, but with the newer trains and the policy of the rail companies to limit the number of bikes, its getting harder and harder to take bikes on trains.  Very often its down to the good nature of the train staff that so many bikes are on board.  The train companies policy is counter productive to the Government policy to get more people commuting by bike, so unlike the continental trains, but that's another rant.

However you can take folding bikes on trains as they just count as hand luggage and this led to me thinking of using the Dahon for these rides.  Whilst its a great bike with a SRAM Dual Drive hub,  24 gears,  but it had a fairly high gearing,  for me, on hills, with its 53 tooth front chainring.  This gave a top gear of 123 inches and a  low of 23.   Fantastic for the flat as you can keep up with ordinary bikes but a bit hard on the hills and especially when I have panniers on. 

Sheldon Browns gear calculator site is very handy for working these out.

So, I changed the front ring to a 46 tooth and the rear cassette for a 34 - 11, 8 speed, plus a new chain.

 As I often ride this bike in ordinary clothes I like a chain guard, and this one with the chain ring came from Spa Cycles, who are very helpful, especially as I needed 3mm spacers and longer chainring bolts to keep the guard away from the chain.

All finished and running smoothly.  

There's always a trade off with changing the components and the gearing is now top 106 inches with a 19 inch low.  However if I want / need to up the gearing its relatively quick to just change the front sprocket.

I did think of putting a double chainring on the front which would be a bit much, as in theory I would then have 48 gears, although some would be the same.  

It can be done and who knows what will happen over a few rainy days in winter???