Saturday, 9 May 2009

Green Bike Monkey Moves to Wordpress

Made the move to Wordpress last night. A lot more scope for future developments on the Wordpress platform. We've also got a change of name, The Everyday Cyclist - to more accurately reflect what we're about and refocus. You can find the new blog, with all the old Monkey posts here:

Friday, 8 May 2009

Ch, ch, ch, changes

The postman arrived today with  two packages containing three items, which meant some QT with the all-rounder bike. New additions are:

The ultimate barbag, seatpack or manbag - A Swedish Army Gas Mask Bag re-purposed as a bike bag. I've long thought that Army Surplus kit can be made into great cycling luggage and this is my first item. 

I saw it first on OYB - a cool sustainable living blog. This guy adapts his to make it work on the bike even better, adds his OYB (Out Your Backdoor) patch and resells 'em. And good on him. Take a look.

I bought mine from Ebay shop Jungle Clothing UK

The second item was a kickstand - I always loved the kickstand on my Raleigh Chopper when I was a kid, so why not have one now. I've got one on the Dahon and I use it at least three times every ride. 

Last item from the postman, and definitely least, was a very boring pair of curved rack mounts for my SL Tournee rear rack, meaning I can use it in conjunction with V brakes. 

The other change I've made is to swap the 610mm North Road bars for a narrower 490mm pair with a greater sweep-back. They were on a Pashley trike I've got that was just begging for wider bars. I've polished them up - they're a little scratched from about 20 years of usage, but I think the scratches polished out count as beausage.

I've finished them with a minimalistic wrap of bar tape and a pair of wine cork bar end stoppers. 

Most people think I've created Frankenstein, but to me, she's a workaday Venus.  

Monday, 4 May 2009

Blog Watch: 3 Speed Touring in Japan

Superb blog from a guy touring Japan on a restored 1947 Humber Sports bike. Read the blog and ogle the bike here:

The changing faces of the Country Bike

Just Flickring through pics of the green all rounder bike and it's amazing the transformations that she's been through... As the saying goes, "You just wouldn't let it lie..."

York - City Cycle Commuting Photodocument

The first in a series of photo documents that I'm doing in major UK cycling cities. The idea is simple - just me, a camera and some cyclists, and pretty much let the pictures speak for themselves.

Not a new idea. Amsterdamize and Copenhagen Cycle Chic have been doing it for ages. But I'd like to document what's going on in UK towns and cities. 

North Road Bars for Country Bike

The North Road bars have been hanging around in the shed for too long, so finally a few weeks ago I decided to give them a run on the country bike. And boy was I in for a treat. 
Before I did the swap I had to do a few mods. With no shifters available in the spares bin that'd fit on the MTB diameter bars, I had to revert to singlespeed. While I love the look and simplicity of singlespeed, I'm missing the gearing options. So I've ordered a set of Sunrace friction thumb shifters from a US based ebay seller. They should arrive soon. 

Also sourced from ebay were a set of Tektro V brake levers to work with a set of Promax V brakes that I had taken off the Dahon. I had a front loading quill stem taken from a Fuji track bike that works really well with the generous 80mm of rise on the Raleigh North Road bars. A set of Bontrager foam grips and I was sorted. 

So what's the verdict? Well I have to say that this is by far the most versatile and comfortable handlebar I've ever used. Better than flats, risers, moustaches, butterflies or drops. What I've done since these pics were taken is to completely wrap the handlebar with Specialized Roubaix tape. It's the best bar tape I've ever used. Cloth-like look but great padding, and reusable - it doesn't have adhesive on the back - rather it uses semi-sticky gel to keep it in place. Just wrap it tight and secure the end with electrical tape and voila!

On this bike I've ridden steep rough downhills and tricky trails with more confidence that on any other bar setup, including that of my Mountain Bike. The bars are a full 610mm wide and have a 45-50 degree backsweep. Some North Road bars have more backsweep - usually around 70 degrees or more, making it hard to brace the hands on bumpy off road descents. With this bar though, no problems. With the bars 'wrapped' instead of 'gripped' you can use the full length of the backswept section, both fore and aft of the brake lever, including the forward bend section, where you can hook your thumb under, like on a moustache or drop bar. This gives you a great stretched position for more athletic riding. 

All in all, the best setup yet. Will post again when the thumbshifters arrive. I intend to put them well inboard, on the small flat section next to the stem, so they don't use up valuable hand-real-estate. A bit like Myles from Rat Trap Press' Surly LHT

Wednesday, 22 April 2009

Primal Blueprint Update - 2 Months

12st 12lbs at the last weigh in. Can't believe the weight is still coming off. 

I've stopped using now as I feel I've got a good handle on what I'm eating. Still got plenty of energy and still loving my food. Getting to the stage now where I'm getting more adventurous with my recipes - you have to when you've cut out a huge chunk of foods that 'normal' people eat. 

I find I can eat out pretty much anywhere with few compromises. Best places are buffet restaurants - you can just throw a 'no go' cordon around the rice, chips, pasta, etc and eat everything else. Chinese food is great for this - minus the rice. 

I'm not trying to lose weight any more. I've found an equilibrium where I feel full and the end of the day, and have got enough energy to ride my bike and do my normal daily stuff. If I lose more weight, then so be it. 

Here's a list of today's foods as an example of what I'm eating

2 Scrambled Eggs
Creme Fraiche with Brazil Nuts
Chicken Fillet in Tomato and Basil Sauce
Brazil Nuts
85% Cocoa Organic Dark Chocolate
Seafood salad with Tuna, Mussels, Cottage Cheese, Coleslaw, Spinach, Peppers, Red Cabbage, Pickles, etc
Greek Yoghurt with Raspberries

Tell me I'm on a diet!