June 14th, 2007

more holiday fun

Back from biking in Swinley Forest for the first time. It showed up just how unfit I am, and how cycling along the canal towpath to work just doesn't prepare you for XC cycling... After a nice chunk of twisty, rooty singletrack there was always a rocky steep slope to grind up. Other restricting factors include being at the tail end of a cold, forgetting to take drinks (despite mixing sports drink into cycle bottle). And the lack of signposts/route maps means that I was wandering around the fire roads for a while trying to figure out the way back to the car park!

Still, it was good fun and I intend to go back again at some point, hopefully this summer. However I've discovered that one of the spokes in my back wheel has broken off at the hub and a couple of others are loose so I should get those seen to. I have some pics: http://pics.livejournal.com/araqnid/gallery/00009ek6

My replacement sintered disc brake pads arrived today--- however I've discovered that the pads are quite easy to take out of the caliper and in fact the horrible noise the back brake was making seemed to be more related to the mud that was caught up in there than anything else. So now I have upgrade pads that I don't really need... although they're almost undoubtedly better than the OEM pads that are currently in there, which don't look nearly as worn as I thought they would after 2 seasons.

At some point when I have money to spare again (ha) I'll upgrade the brakes completely, because the Hayes So1e (sic) brakes that I have at the moment are single-piston which just seems to scream "budget end" to me. Dual-piston brakes with a bigger rotor would be nice :) But sadly could be ~ £150, so not now.

So, that done it's time to prepare for heading off to Gosport tomorrow. Still not sure if we're taking the bikes or not... at least now I've taken one bike on the roof I've got some confidence in the roof rack carriers.