With my gears slipping last time I used my bike I need to do some work on the bike. Found some handy videos on youTube, so I’m going to add them here for my own reference



Alice Cooper 2011

Alice is going back to the future with his latest album a sequel to his 1975 concept album Welcome to My Nightmare.

A lot has changed in the last 35 years, Alice as much as anything. Constantly evolving as musical tastes change, so a reprise of an earlier album was going to be interesting.

Alice’s alter-ego Steven gets another outing, with his haunting piano theme introducing the album and his rythmic muttering on “The Nightmare returns”

“Caffine” and “I’ll Bite Your Face Off” are typical Alice crowd pleasers, I’m guessing the latter will become a staple of the live shows.

“The Last Man On Earth”, is a strutting top hat and cane song in the same ilk as “Some Things” whilst “The Congregation” has a touch of Ozzy Osbourne vocal and Marilyn Manson beat about it.

“Disco Bloodbath Boogie Fever” somehow reminds me of Lordi while also managing to be completely different from anything that they’ve done, followed by “Ghouls Gone Wild” a Lordi song title if ever I heard one which turns out to be homage to Alice’s surf-song origins (With maybe a touch of Weird Al).

In some ways, this album is “Greatest Hits” of songs he’s never written before. Each song somehow harkening back to an earlier incarnation of everybody’s favourite anti-hero, whilst still being new and fresh.

Funny thing is, all the elements are there but it just doesn’t quite gel with me yet. Not to say that this won’t become a favourite, but like quite a few of Alice’s albums it takes a while for them to mature like a fine wine.

Well it wasn’t that bad really…

Last night, I checked the weather on the BBC website before getting ready to leave work (since I’m in an office with no view of the outside world). According to the 24 hour forecast the skies were clear and would remain so all night and for the following day.

So I pack my waterproofs away and set off through the mill to the exit, only to find it pouring down outside!!!

A quick change and I’m all set, but WTF, how can the weather forecast of current conditions be wrong, don’t they supply weather men with windows either?

Braved the elements yesterday, on the way there it was perfect, the wind didn’t harass me and got to work in 25 minutes.

On the way back though, wind was in my face all the way home (whichever direction I was riding!??) felt like really hard work at times especially as I battled uphill. Got home feeling absolutely shattered to find that despite everything I’d done the journey in 25 minutes that direction as well. 😀

Today looks like I’m going to get wet. Was about to write “but at least there’s no wind” But as I look out the window the trees are starting to sway. 🙁

Oh well…

Chickened out yesterday as the remains of Hurricane Katia passed, still windy today but I’d better give it a try…

Wish me luck

Bright and cool morning, so I’ve decided to get the bike out. Had a day off yesterday but my legs got progressively stiffer as the day went on. Better to keep moving I suppose.

Took my regular weekend route along the canal to Slattocks, but this time followed a bit further and then took the country lanes around the back of Stake Hill Industrial Estate and up to Tandle Hills Country Park.

Eventually, the canal towpath will be part of National Cycle Route 66, but at the moment after Slattocks it seems to be a selection of cobbles, unpaved sections and granite chippings, none of which are too pleasant to ride.

The lanes up to Tandle Hills are mostly unpaved with odd sections of chippings, but at least you’re expecting the going to be tough and apart form the odd “why am I doing this?” moment as I battled up a hill covered in chippings the route isn’t too bad.

Coming out past Tandle Hills park I got onto Tandlewood Park which in hindsight may have been a mistake. The gradient got the better of me and I had to push for about a hundred yards.

After that the brief climb up Oldham Road was a doddle and then a rapid descent down the other side to get back home.

As an addendum to yesterday’s post

Pretty much as soon as I got home yesterday (maybe a quick brew first), I changed the original knobbly tyres for the new set I’d bought.

Took me a while, the Slime I’d put into the inner tubes made it more difficult to release the pressure (which I suppose is the point) and the new tyres are a lot more rigid than the old ones so harder to get on to the rims.

At 80psi, they also take longer to pump up (luckily the rain held off long enough for me to get everything sorted.

This morning was the first chance to try them out. I’d been told that a more slick tyre would make pedalling easier, but I was suprised how much. The two hills that have consistantly defeated me are no more. It may not be quick or elegant uphill, but I’ve now got to and from work without the need to push the bike and it now takes 25-30 minutes rather than 30-35 😀

Are these the best tyres ever? No idea. But I can tell you they are miles better than the ones that came with the bike and even if you pay full price they are affordable. If the kevlar works as well as advertised, then just the lack of punctures will offset some of the price.

At work today I noticed an advert on the Internet for some Double Fighter tyres, so when I got home I went on line to order them. Not in the local Halfords store and I didn’t fancy waiting so I opted to pick them up from Oldham.

Weather was terrible, traffic (thanks to all the work on the Metrolink extension) was even worse.

Got there only to be told that they didn’t have any in stock!!!

Cue irate customer mode.

Pimply sales assistant turned pale and scurried off to find someone to hide behind. So I ended up being offered a different set of tyres (Travel Contact) at half price (bringing the cost down to the same as the ones I was looking at) and two free inner tubes. 😀

Got them home to find they’re also kevlar lined, so hopefully even less chance of punctures 😀

Felt great after the 12 miles on Friday, but that combined with the 14 hour shift made the ride home yesterday extremely hard work. The time spent pushing had increased again.

Another 14 hour shift today, I can’t face cycling, so back to the car for the day.

Second puncture sorted, traveled to work and back yesterday with only the usual problems caused by lack of fitness.

Came to get the bike out this morning and the tyre was flat yet again. Since there’s now 3 punctures in a line there must be something causing it…

The puncture was in the middle of the  tyre side of the inner tube, but when I ran my fingers round there’s nothing there. So in desperation I turned the tyre inside out and there it was…

A thorn in the tread of the tyre, which only pokeds through when pressure was put on it!!!

So third puncture fixed, offending thorn removed and some Slime added to the inner tube to seal any new ones, I’m off down the canal in the opposite direction, not sure where I’ll end up.