South Bucks Midweek Cycling Newsletter - November 2022
South Bucks Midweek Cycling Newsletter - November 2022
It's a slippery time of year with wet leaves, mush and mud so take care! It is time to get those mudguards sorted out too for the sake of those following you. I have added a rear mudflap too after comments were made that it wasn't as good as it looked! I recall Tony Pennell's comment to me a few years ago; "I hope you didn't pay much for those mudguards"!
Feel free to share pictures of your exploits on our Facebook page or send them to me for possible publication.
Thinking of joining a ride for the first time? We have a helpful page on our website which should answer most of your questions, but if you want advice please get in contact.
If you spot any interesting articles, cafe changes or want to contribute your observations, please let me know.
Kind regards and safe cycling,
Cafe & Pub News
I discovered a nice cafe in Two Waters Rd, Hemel Hempstead HP3 9BY. It is run by Sunnyside Rural Trust which trains and employs people with learning disabilities to grow food and plants and help run their shop and cafe. There is indoor and outside seating and plenty of room for bikes with extra space in a vacant greenhouse at this time of year. The coffee, cakes and ethos were all good.
Did you know that there is a Facebook page dedicated to Cycle Coffee and Cake Stops? Click on the link below to see the Cycling Cafe Map. We probably know most of the ones in our area but it can be useful in unfamiliar territory. If you spot any missing ones you can submit them via their Facebook page.
Midweek Christmas Lunch - book now!
Bookings are steadily coming in for our Christmas lunch at Chartridge Golf Club on Wednesday 21st December with drinks from 12:00 and lunch about 13:00. In these days of rising prices the cost is a bargain at £23 for three courses. It is one of the few occasions when members from all the different riding groups can meet so we do hope you will support it.
Partners are also welcome; just fill in a form for each. I have created an online form which I hope will make it easier for you to make your choices and for those behind the scenes to keep track of them. You can pay by BACS, cheque (to CTC South Bucks Midweek) or cash.
Beryl Burton : Britain's Greatest Athlete
Angela Feaviour attended this talk on Sunday 6th November which was part of Tring Book Festival and reports:
"A great evening at Tring Book Festival when author Jeremy Wilson spoke about his new book on Beryl Burton OBE with Micheal Broadwith, the fastest rider to travel from Land's End to John O'Groats. Beryl was an English racing cyclist who dominated women's cycle racing in the UK, winning more than 90 domestic championships. Some years ago I was lucky enough to hear her speak at a cycling event."
Panorama - Road Rage: Cars v Bikes
I was rather dreading this, and particularly my wife seeing it and increasing her anxiety about the dangers of cycling. I knew that it included the deaths of two cyclists from Haddenham while riding on the A40 near Stokenchurch and some shocking footage of accidents and near misses. I was pleased to see that the programme was presented by a cyclist, but it did little to encourage ordinary people to use bikes for local utility journeys, unless they live somewhere with segregated facilities. It isn't too difficult to create leisure routes near the edges of towns where there is space, but to create routes suitable for ordinary people to use at peak times in built up areas takes vision, commitment and money sustained over a long time.
For the sake of the environment, climate change, obesity, the cost of living, personal and public health, we need a government backed mission to get more people out of cars for short utility journeys. This is very difficult when cyclists are seen as a minority group pursuing their sport on the roads. UK society and government are decades behind the rest of Europe in attitudes to cycling and the facilities that follow. In other parts of Europe, towns and cities are full of ordinary looking people in ordinary clothes going about their daily business on bikes. There are cycle paths and cycle lanes to keep them separate from traffic, which has had to give up road space. There are lots of cargo bikes delivering goods to shops and carrying children to school; ebikes make this even easier for a wider range of people.
Changes to the Highway Code to create a hierarchy of responsibility on the roads was a step in the right direction, but in Europe there is strict liability so that if a vehicle hits a cyclist, the driver is automatically responsible. Cyclists on a cycle path have the right of way and motorists do stop and give way.
We are cycling enthusiasts and will cycle come what may. Unfortunately, many of the cycling facilities that have been provided are of poor quality and not maintained. If cyclists continue to ride on the road when there is a cycle path, the authorities should be asking why is this not attractive? Many short lengths of cycle path are a waste of money and just a tick box gesture.
Cycling is part of the answer to many of the UK's problems, but the current image of cycling is a barrier to ordinary people and our road network is for the fit and the brave.
News of people
Tony Pennell was taken ill suddenly and is being treated in Stoke Mandeville Hospital. We send him our best wishes for a good recovery.
What elongates but does not stretch?
No, I haven't been opening the Christmas Crackers early. Bike chains of course. The picture shows a handy tool for checking when they are worn out. The Park Tool version shows 0.5% and 0.75% elongation when the gauge fits right into the link. The chain in the picture is new so the tool does not fit in. When the chain is partially worn the 0.5% gauge will fit in, but when the 0.75% gauge fits, it is time to change the chain. If you change the chain promptly at 0.75% elongation, you can use the same cassette for three chains usually, but if you leave it too long both will have to be replaced. If you shop around, you can get an 11 speed chain for about £11.50; much cheaper than a cassette. I have used SRAM and Shimano chains on my Shimano 11 speed system and as long as the chains are 11 speed they work just as well.
A roller chain consists of two steel side plates with two pins between them and a cylindrical roller on each pin. As the chain moves, it rolls on the chainwheel and sprocket, like a wheel on the road without skidding. The roller rotates on the pin and the wear takes place there, inside the roller, where ideally there should be lubricant. If you ask a group of cyclists how to clean and lubricate chains you will probably get several different answers. I have used different regimes myself over the years and to some extent the cleaning depends on the lubricant and the season.
I have used a chain oil like Finish Line Wet Ride which lubricates well but is sticky so grit and muck tends to stick to it. I have then used a Park Tool chain bath with Weldtite Citrus Degreaser to clean the chain. It has a little magnet in the base so you can really see what a lot of steel particles (previously part of the rollers) have been washed out. You then need to dry it thoroughly and relubricate.
More recently I have used Finish Line Wax Ceramic Chain Lube which is white. You apply it, one drop per link as a liquid, but the solvent quickly evaporated leaving a clean wax layer which does not collect dirt and grit. You can clean the chain with a rag and then relubricate it. I haven't found it necessary to use a chain bath to clean it, but I think you need to lubricate it regularly. I did have a chain go rusty in winter so probably I should have washed it with soapy water to get rid of the salt, then dried and relubricated it. Another benefit of the wax lubricant is that the cassette stays much cleaner.
That is probably more than you wanted to know about this mucky subject, but the main thing to remember is that you don't need oil on the outside of the chain where it will collect grit, you just need it inside the rollers. Even if you just take your bike to a shop for servicing, it is worth having a chain gauge to check when the chain needs replacing.
For more information visit our website or join our Facebook Group. If you want to see where your friends are riding check our club page on Strava. You can get a free account on Strava to log your rides.
To plan your next ride with us check our Rides Schedule.