Saturday, 27 June 2009


I spent today in my shed trying to eradicate all the creaks and squeaks and rattles which had been plaguing me for the past month. Bike ones, that is.

The Kinesis, despite being a fine bike, has been suffering from intermittent ghost-shifting for a while. I thought I'd solved it by replacing the cassette and chainrings as well as a new chain and new jockey wheels but it was back with a vengeance last weekend. I'd also noticed that there was a lot of play in the rear hub. Closer inspection revealed loose chainrings and a bottom bracket so worn that there was 3mm of play at the end of the crank arms. Cumulatively not conducive to clean, crisp shifting.

So, new Hope BB, strip-down and re-assembly of the rear hub, a tightening of the chainring bolts as well as a quick look at the headset bearings and everything is nice and tight again. A quick birl around the neighbourhood and it all seems fine.

It's only three weeks until the Transalp starts. My training goes well some weeks, but stalls on others. Last week I clocked up 22 hours in the saddle, but this week I'm only on about 6, although the purchase of some Lusso gel shorts has made them more comfortable than last week's hours. My head is starting to swim with all the things we have to get prepared before we head off two weeks on Wednesday. Hopefully the bike is sorted. The body will just have to do. I'll maybe get to the end of the hundredpushups program and I'll get a few more hundred miles in the legs but I'm not going to become radically faster. I can certainly manage two 8-hour days in a row, even carrying a great big rucksack containing every piece of equipment that might possibly be needed for every conceivable circumstance and weather permutation on a June weekend in Scotland.

The next big dilemma is which outfits to take. Do Trinny and Susannah have a website?

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