27 March 2016

Local walk and catch up

Not been out on the bike since Tuesday but I did order a replacement battery for my camera from flebay but had to buy two - £6 inc next day p&p for the pair and the camera still works! but I had also bought a FUJIFILM FinePix XP80 Tough Camera from CURRYS for £99, not opened it yet as I was waiting to see if my old Canon was still going to work after the new batteries landed. I am undecided whether to keep the new Fujifilm as well or take it back.
I have been busy with mainly decorating jobs and gardening since Tuesday but woke up this morning and me, Jane & Angus went out for a walk for nearly 8 miles in 2hrs 20min in a very mixed bag of weather. We got back before the heavy showers but we had sun, cloud, wind and some light drizzle. The tracks were not that muddy considering yesterdays rain but we have had a long dry spell before this. There was loads of other walkers / runners out but did not see many cyclists!
Below are a few pics from the walk, enjoy and more soon -


Fresh Goods Sunday - Northwave Farenheit Arctic 2 GTX Road Winter Boots

I have used Northwave mtb winter boots for at least 15+ years and have lasted / performed very well. The boots have never changed hugely over the years just minor design / colour tweaks each year. I have always used overshoes during the colder / winter months with my normal road shoes but I get sick of pulling them on and off and drying them out etc and wanted something warmer. I first ordered some Northwave Artic Extreme boots with a boa system but they were too tight around the widest part of my feet so back to the good old Artic boots, there are two different models, this one being the more expensive one - Farenheit GTX model. They are the same as the mtb model apart from the sole. They are lovely and furry on the inside and keep my feet warmer on a colder ride. I have read some reviews on the net that the small holes with mesh on the soles let in water during a very wet ride. I have not experienced this yet but if it starts I will block them up with some epoxy resin or silicone. As for sizing as always with Northwave you have go up a min one size compared to your normal shoe size, they come up very small and allow for a thicker winter sock. As for the colour well I don't mind the fluro yellow on the road, Angus has the same colour mtb boot but are always covered in mud and look scruffy compared to my black mtb model. If these last as long as my mtb boots I will be very happy.
The RRP is £180 but if you shop around they are discounted and I paid £105.81

Manufacturers blurb -
The Northwave ‘Farenheit Arctic 2 GTX’ winter boots are designed to improve your cycling performance in cold conditions. The cycling shoes are constructed with a Gore-Tex® Koala membrane, which delivers complete, breathable protection against rain, wind and snow.
An NRG carbon reinforced sole provides optimal durability and stiffness when pedalling, whilst a Thermowelded upper combines with an absence of stitching to allow for maximum comfort.
A speed lace closing system offers performance enhancing efficiency. The bike shoes also feature reflective details to improve visibility and safety on low light rides. Finished with Northwave branding. –M.R
Key Features:
  • Northwave ‘Farenheit Arctic 2 GTX’ winter boots
  • Gore-Tex® Koala membrane delivers complete, breathable weather protection
  • An NRG carbon reinforced sole provides optimal durability
  • Thermowelded upper for maximum comfort
  • Speed lace closing system offers performance enhancing efficiency
  • SPD-SL Cleat system



not sure what this small fin is about

These are the small holes.


23 March 2016

For Sale - Merida Hybrid/Commuter & X Rated Dirt jump bike - Updated

Merida S-Presso 300-D Hybrid / Commuter 50cm. Bought from new, low mileage, good condition, full shimano groupset inc hydraulic disc brakes. Full mudguards, washed & serviced regularly. 700c wheel size. New £650, selling £250

Halfords X Rated Mesh dirt jump bike 26" ***********SOLD****************
Excellent condition, very little use. Few minor chips and scratches with general use. New £150. For sale £50


22 March 2016

Local ride out on the Bowman Pilgrims - offroad / on road route

First things first it was time to remove the full mud guards from the Pilgrims, then to swap the Conti 4 season tyre for the Panaracer gravelking tyres. That took a little while but sorted. Packed the camera, water bottle and clicked on the Garmin. It was lovely and sunny when I left home but could see black clouds over Consett way which was the way I was heading. I picked up the old railway line at Bearpark farm where I stopped to take my first photo. I looked down and the camera was not in the bag! I thought I had packed it then noticed the zip had burst open. I decided i was never going to find it again over the 3.25 miles I had just done so headed up the line. About a mile later I decided to head back and look on the descent down to the stream crossing as it was really bumpy going down there, there it was lying just at the side with a couple more bashes in it but the battery had popped out and bounced into the verge somewhere. I looked for 10mins or so and could not find it, the memory card was still in so any photos were still there. Then I was off again heading to the Consett junction.
By the time I got to Lanchester it was cloudy with a strong headwind which made it real cold, 5 degrees. Once up at Consett I turned left and headed up the Waskerley way, after the second road crossing I turned left and onto the country lane for some tarmac riding now, I was sick of the freezing headwind. I took country lanes all the way back down to Lanchester where I picked the line back up again for a while. After Langley Park I turned left and took the cycle land to Witton Gilbert, turned left and up to Sacriston, straight over at the crossroads and down to the Red lion to pick the cycle lane back home - 33.5miles, 2hrs 27min and nearly 2000ft of climbing. The gritters must had been out this morning as the bus routes were covered in salt!
Below are a few snaps from my ipad when I got back in, sorry no snaps during the ride ;-( will have to price up a new battery on ebay but not sure if the camera will still work or just buy a complete new camera

lines are bone dry at the mo with some dust kicking up

time for a spring clean with some Fenwicks products

20 March 2016

Fresh Goods Sunday - Lightweight Di2 Junction Box Holder

When I was building the Bowman Pilgrims frameset with Shimano Ultegra Di2 I mounted the junction box under the stem with the supplied Shimano rubber band and bracket. The band is thin but quite wide and hides some / all of any logos you have on your stem. I come across this neat little solution which Push Cartel Cycles used on one of their bike builds. After some months I decided to buy one as I was putting an order in with Sigma Sport and needed to make the order up for free p&p.
It arrived a couple of days later and fitted it to the Pilgrims. There is not a lot to it but it does keep the junction box in place and rotates with the bars when turned. Fitting is simple - remove stem from steerer tube, remove spacer the same height 6mm and refit stem and click junction box onto holder. There is enough clearance been the underside of the stem and top of box for a more deeper type stems.
The rrp is £15 and tbh you don't get a lot for your money but it is beautifully manufactured / finished with one small white logo on the right side. Madison M Part also do a very similar product which comes in 6 degrees and 17 degrees options with a rrp of £10. I have not seen any Madison ones in real life so cannot comment on finish / weight etc.
Here is a link to the Sigmasport website page
and here is a link to the Madison website page

Manufactuers blurb -
The Lightweight Headset/Di2 Junction Box Holder provides an elegant solution to the problem of attaching your Di2 junction box in an compact and practical manner. The Lightweight Headset/Di2 Junction Box Holder inserts like a 6 millimetre headset spacer and fits neatly under your stem.

18 March 2016

Back out on the Beargrease in more sun and a few more walks

Yesterday the sun was back out again and so was the Beargrease. It was quick blast down to Durham, around the riverside, up the trod and back around the riverside before heading back up all the hills on the way home. Durham was busy but not as busy as the other day. Still fantastic weather all day again. All in just under 12 miles. When I got back in I had a walk for nearly 3 miles as well.
On Wednesday me and Jane had a walk down to Crook Hall Gardens café for a cuppa and scone, first time we have been in but passed it hundreds of times. The dinks and food were ok but nothing special and its not cheap. The other problem it was far too hot inside and after coming out of the cold I was sweating like a bull. The only other thing was the finger hole in the cups were that small I could not fit my fat finger sausage through so could not lift the cup up properly.
We did a few loops on the way home to make it 5 mile route.
Below are a few snaps, more soon and enjoy the dry weather -