More cyclocross. Those tyres earned their keep today! I went for it, all the mud! It was raining a bit, it was very wet out, I was able to take my usual route by the Tolka, still walked the tricky bit, still need to get confidence. A shorter circuit than usual although I was pretty […]Read More
I went to the Phoenix Park and I went because it was going to be muddy and wet and I aimed for the mud and I got caked and wet and it was great. The tyres were even better this week. The slipperier and messier it gets, the better they get. I bottled one bit, […]Read More
Another Sunday spin, on a lovely day and with some interesting route changes forced by the closure of a bridge over the Tolka. Second time here in a day, in the morning I was here with the child and it luckily let me scope out the alternative route on the North side of the Tolka. […]Read More
So I bought some new mountain bike tyres, an exercise into which I put the usual amount of effort that I do into buying something like this; I started many months ago, I researched, I compared, I agonised, I procrastinated, I reasoned, I weighed, I balanced, I came up with a business case, I came up with a counter-case, I researched, I compared, I agonised all over again, and finally the tyres went out of stock because time moves on and Schwalbe had enough time to rotate their product line and had no fucks to give for my careful research process. But it is coming into Winter now, and the tyres that came with my bike are more suitable for dry conditions. They grip the mud dearly and don’t let go of it, and it makes for interesting times in the mud. And they’re a pain to clean afterwards, for the little cycling that I do (especially now in lockdown, because once again, that is where we are).
They arrived on Thursday. The bike is a ’29er’ which means that it has the great bike road bike-sized wheels that the young people like, and I much prefer folding tyres, which are lighter but also more awkward to work with, especially when they’re new and they’re ‘tubeless ready’ which means a snugger fit in anticipation of using sealant and no inner tube. Anyway, long story short, after an hour and a half I had not succeeded in fitting them. I went back and forth, I tried this and that, nothing. It wasn’t helped by me using a 26″ latex inner tube, which is fine once fitted but doesn’t really want to coöperate, especially if fitting the tyre isn’t going well.
So I watched some YouTube videos before bed, and found out some of the (with the benefit of hindsight, obvious) tricks for getting tyres on, especially here and here and also here, which isn’t a video. I also watch some other stuff and was religiously radicalised. I’ve decided that the Raëlian Church is where it’s at, and I’ll be calling each and every one of you about the Message from the Designers. Presumably, something about not using Comic Sans, and good leading practices. I’ve only just started.
Friday? 5 SECONDS. 5 FUCKING SECONDS BY DOING IT PROPERLY ACCORDING TO A SMUG GUY IN A YOUTUBE HOW-TO. Just like that. Easy. By making sure that the part I seated first was in the dip in the rim and then pulling down towards the last part to go on, I could do it easily with not a lot of effort. It was a little trickier with the tube admittedly; I use latex tubes for 26” wheels, so they’re a bit too small. It’s my compromise between tubes and going tubeless, which involves filling your tyres with liquid latex soup that instantly seals punctures.
The upshot was that I got my tyres on quickly, and I could’ve spent my lunch on Friday thinking about mountain biking instead of thinking about tyres.
As an aside, the new tyres are Schwalbe Rocket Rons (Evo Speed), replacing Racing Ray and Racing Ralph. Those tyres are good, but suited to dry conditions, and clog up quickly in mud. These are from the better range and are 150 to 200 grammes lighter per tyre. That might not seem like much, but for rotating weight, that’s a lot.
Still working on basic fitness. Bursts of power, getting better at judging what I can and can’t do (actually, on a decent bike it’s all possible, if you don’t bottle it). Hampered by my general lack of fitness and my desperate need to take tourist photos of everything, as if you wouldn’t believe that I […]Read More
Haven’t been out on the bike in ages, that was good. It was mucky and a bit slippery but good to be out and somehow some skills improved? Maybe just from not knowing what I think I shouldn’t be able to do. Wrecked now, though. I went via the Tolka river trail, which is a […]Read More
A cycle from Booterstown to the end of the Dun Laoghaire West pier. No photos of the magical cycle lane, unfortunately; I had to keep moving. It’s a game-changer for cycling in the area, I wouldn’t have done this before. Still, it’s not entirely a tourist experience. There wasn’t much food to be found in Monkstown, and toilets… Well. We made a deal with the devil and got an Eddie Rockets take-out in Blackrock on the way back. That got us the use of the toilet there.
Also, we got honked at by a bus on the way back into Blackrock because we weren’t moving quickly enough. Classy.