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The lounge Relax, take a break from photo and camera talk - have a chat about something else for a change. Just keep it clean and polite!

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Old 24th April 2012
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Old Dependable

I haven't ridden a bike for years and certainly not since I've had Parkinson's. However, I recently sold my car to reduce costs and although my wife still has one it's proving a bit inconvenient when she is out as we live 3 miles from the nearest shop, for instance. So I thought it was time I dusted down my old bike. The tyres need pumping up and the chain was rusty, but otherwise it was in surprisingly good shape. It's a Dawes Cougar, a classic mountain bike from the 1980's which I purchased new about 25 years ago. The Reynolds 531 tubing has stood the test of time but the Shimano Biopace (elliptical) chain rings, which were fairly new and "revolutionary," turned out to be a bit of a fad and were dropped in the early 1990's. Nevertheless, they always seemed to help my poor old knees and that's even more relevant these days.

Today I took it on a test ride, just 5 miles around the local lanes but I was very apprehensive. My balance is no longer very good, even when standing or walking, so cycling after all this time was a bit of a challenge. I needn't have worried, it's true what they say about never forgetting how to ride a bike once you've learnt. That said, I found that I do wobble a lot so it may be best to avoid busy roads and I doubt I'll take it to the summit of Snowdon again (the descent was one of the hairiest I ever made). Also, I had to lower the saddle because I couldn't get my leg over (similar to another, unrelated problem) and this made pedalling less efficient and slightly harder than it should have been.

After so long out of the saddle I fully expected my bum to feel sore but I wasn't expecting my wrists, arms and shoulders to ache. I really am unfit and this enforced excersise might do me good.

In my time I took this bike on some pretty rugged terrain but apart from once when I broke a chain ring on a rock it never let me down. I'll never use it to it's full potential again, hence Old Dependable has outlasted me!



From today's ride.
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Old 24th April 2012
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Re: Old Dependable

I think you are a braver man than I am, and yes that saddle does look comfy, but certainly the aches on the legs and the forearm etc will show, but you need to keep it going.
The bike certainly looks well at home against that log, which I would have just put my back up to, got my flask out and spent the afternoon there.
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Old 24th April 2012
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Re: Old Dependable

Well, I will never see 59 again but I still have a bike in the garage. I just cleaned and pumped it ready for this summer.

I don't do as many miles as I once did, but you can't beat cycling a quiet lane in the summer - particularly if it leads to a pub..

Pete
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Old 24th April 2012
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Re: Old Dependable

Well done John. The aches will soon go and when you do it again it will be much easier. Then all you need to do is ride once in a while to remind all your bits what to do.

The leg-over problem is a so-and-so isn't it. I bought a hybrid bike a couple of years ago for carrying all the photo gear to rugby, cricket etc. as I didn't want to leave a nice handbuilt tourer lying around. You get an awful lot of bike for your money these days and it's lovely, but the problem is that hybrids have a high bottom bracket (the bit where the pedal axle goes through). I've no idea why, presumably it's thought to look trendy or something. It means that I can set the saddle height to either pedal properly or get a foot down safely at the traffic lights, but not both. And even at the latter, lower height, getting the leg over is a challenge.

In vélo veritas ... John
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Old 25th April 2012
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Re: Old Dependable

John, I really feel for you, honestly. I've just sold my lightweight road bike and last year, gave away my wonderful mountain bike.

All I have left of my cycling days are my memories (and a few photos) of my personal Tour de France (and Andorra/Spain) and "honking" up the Galibier, which is why I suppose, certain body parts namely knees, don't work as they should. 200 mile training runs didn't help either! Still it was worth it even if I now have to "honk" up the stairs.

I reckon the next saddle I get will be attached to a mobility scooter!

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Old 25th April 2012
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Re: Old Dependable

Well done John.
I got rid of my bike a couple of years ago, got lazy, but I think I will get one after our move to your county.
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Old 25th April 2012
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Re: Old Dependable

Hehe, yes my bike (bought and specced by a friend from a bike cooperative in Edinburgh on my behalf) is about 20 years old - it's a hybrid, so large diameter wheels with a relatively chunky tyre. Julia also has a hybrid bought from the local Halfords about 15 years ago. Erm, hers gets more use than mine! LOL!

But I may well dust it off this year and try harder to get those wheels going once more.

Ian

PS John - nice trees but you need to cut that grass
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Old 25th April 2012
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Re: Old Dependable

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Originally Posted by Bikie John View Post
Well done John. The aches will soon go and when you do it again it will be much easier. Then all you need to do is ride once in a while to remind all your bits what to do.

The leg-over problem is a so-and-so isn't it. I bought a hybrid bike a couple of years ago for carrying all the photo gear to rugby, cricket etc. as I didn't want to leave a nice handbuilt tourer lying around. You get an awful lot of bike for your money these days and it's lovely, but the problem is that hybrids have a high bottom bracket (the bit where the pedal axle goes through). I've no idea why, presumably it's thought to look trendy or something. It means that I can set the saddle height to either pedal properly or get a foot down safely at the traffic lights, but not both. And even at the latter, lower height, getting the leg over is a challenge.

In vélo veritas ... John
Hi John,

The high bottom bracket is to reduce the risk of damaging a chain ring on rough ground, but it doesn't help me now. I suppose waht I really need is a ladies road bike....
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Old 25th April 2012
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Re: Old Dependable

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Originally Posted by BobS View Post
John, I really feel for you, honestly. I've just sold my lightweight road bike and last year, gave away my wonderful mountain bike.

All I have left of my cycling days are my memories (and a few photos) of my personal Tour de France (and Andorra/Spain) and "honking" up the Galibier, which is why I suppose, certain body parts namely knees, don't work as they should. 200 mile training runs didn't help either! Still it was worth it even if I now have to "honk" up the stairs.

I reckon the next saddle I get will be attached to a mobility scooter!

Hi Bob,

It sounds like you've done some serious cycling in the past. You may not have your bikes any more but at least you still have a sense of humour!
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Old 25th April 2012
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Re: Old Dependable

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Well done John.
I got rid of my bike a couple of years ago, got lazy, but I think I will get one after our move to your county.
It's a great way to explore the county, Dave, even if it's not quite as flat as people think - only apparent when on a bike for some reason!
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Old 25th April 2012
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Re: Old Dependable

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Originally Posted by Ian View Post
Hehe, yes my bike (bought and specced by a friend from a bike cooperative in Edinburgh on my behalf) is about 20 years old - it's a hybrid, so large diameter wheels with a relatively chunky tyre. Julia also has a hybrid bought from the local Halfords about 15 years ago. Erm, hers gets more use than mine! LOL!

But I may well dust it off this year and try harder to get those wheels going once more.

Ian

PS John - nice trees but you need to cut that grass
Hehe, sounds like I'm encouraging everyone to get back on their bikes. And no, that picture wasn't taken in my back garden!
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Old 25th April 2012
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Re: Old Dependable

John, we shall have to rename you "Mr Motivator (Bicycles)". I was given a Mountain Bike but could not get on with it! I still have my old ladies road racing bike, and she comes out now and then when I think "I may be up to getting out on her again".

These days, I have to wear under knee supports with magnets and take it steady - five years ago I would go across country following the Mountain bikes and overtaking them (she is sooo light!) Last year a new extra soft gello saddle was fitted ... must run that in ...
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Old 25th April 2012
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Re: Old Dependable

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Originally Posted by Chevvyf1 View Post
John, we shall have to rename you "Mr Motivator (Bicycles)". I was given a Mountain Bike but could not get on with it! I still have my old ladies road racing bike, and she comes out now and then when I think "I may be up to getting out on her again".

These days, I have to wear under knee supports with magnets and take it steady - five years ago I would go across country following the Mountain bikes and overtaking them (she is sooo light!) Last year a new extra soft gello saddle was fitted ... must run that in ...
It's funny how hard any extra soft saddle seems to feel when you are not used to it. My wife cannot understand me getting a sore bum at all, she says that with all my "natural padding" I shouldn't feel a thing!
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Old 25th April 2012
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Re: Old Dependable

Hi John good on you for getting out there on your bike again, might just spark a photographic project perhaps? plus its a good form of exercise.

I used to ride a lot a few year back as i couldn't drive (hadn't passed by then) used to ride down to the beach and along the seafront when i was still at home in Pompey. but now im in the west mids with no bike and a tone of traffic so probably not the best idea for me lol.
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Old 25th April 2012
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Re: Old Dependable

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Originally Posted by Zuiko View Post
Hi John,

The high bottom bracket is to reduce the risk of damaging a chain ring on rough ground
... which you might indeed ride over on a mountain bike. I suspect most hybrids live a similar life to many "off-road" cars, never going anywhere more challenging than Sainso's car park. Mine certainly doesn't - it needs to be fairly robust to cope with some of the crappy road surfaces, and have mudguard clearance so I don't get a mucky line up my back, but that's all. Unfortunately the only place where that combination comes at an affordable price appears to be in hybrids - which are dressed up like pretend mountain bikes.

Nowhere is a flat as you think once you sample it on a bike, and for some reason it is always windy and always from the wrong direction!

Ciao ... John
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