This is a short video of the Rumble in the Jungle that my blog refused to upload this afternoon.
Monday, 25 May 2009
It was planned to do a long route over at Coniston, but I under estimated the lenght, so I informed poor Mountainmanjunior of a change of route at 07:00am in the morning. Poor chap, I think he was dissappointed. So, it was 6 Wainwrights in Howtown, Ullswater.
The day was supposed to be bright and sunny, but a lot of cloud and cool breeze didn't look like it was going to be blazing hot as we set off from the bottom of Hallin Fell. I've done the route before but cannot remember much about it.
We arrived at a small footbridge and looked up at Swarthbeck Gill, for some reason that usually happens to me, I said, "Fancy climbing that?", "yep" came the reply.
So we started a scramble that was definetly harder then Sharp Edge or Stridding Edge. It looked like it was hardly ever climbed and there was at least 3 bad steps with loose rock, gorse and moss covered rock. Once up, the rest of the route was normal with the sun now shining a bit brighter, but the cool breeze still obvious by the use of out windproofs. It was only back at the car where there was shelter from the wind did we sit and sun bathe...abait not in the nude ;-)
Friday, 15 May 2009
Short grumble today. After spending the last year throwing my pennies, tuppence and silver into a bottle I decided to take it to my savings bank which is the (now) infamous Northern Rock. All I asked was for then to place the contents into their counting machine and put the total into my saving account.
Er, too complicated for them. They insisted I place the money into seperate bags, however I'd mixed the change into 1 big bag.
ADSA, TESCO and Morrisons all HAVE counting machines, why doesn't BANKS!!!
Wednesday, 13 May 2009
The single speeder did excellently along the road. The extra lightnest in the bike felt good and responsive; the extra effort to pedal even made me feel better. The problem comes at the grassy track, I soon ended up pushing, but it wasn't much of a hassle as it was now a light bike.
Riding downhill was a hoot, as expected in an all rigid bike, very bumpy but still felt safe.
Next I decided to drive along the Kielder Forest drive road and park at the car park at Blakehope Nick. My idea was to bag 2 Deweys, Wool Meath and Girle Fell. If you've ever driven this road you'll know it's rough tracks - very rough. However the car park turned out to be something that only Land Rovers could tackle!
The start of the actual walk was horrible, rough knee high heather and later boggy ground. Typical Cheviot/Pennine ground YUK! Nowt much to say about the walk, nowt much to see - apart from a few wild goats and deer. If you're intending to climb these 2 hills, a better route will probably be from the Cattlehope car park.
Monday, 11 May 2009
As of this moment, I've calmed down a bit regarding the car insurance scam Marks & Spencer have going. I've surfed the web and found a few sites.
Some people actually think tacit renewal is an excellent idea! It probably is to them, like direct debit, it helps you to remain up to date with payments. However, unlike direct debit, you don't have as much of the law behind you. The real problem is that in car insurance, you may find you are not correctly insured.
Car insurance companies insist on YOU giving them correct information, but after 12 months they renew, are your details exactly the same as 12 months ago? have you changed jobs, husband/wife, street, less mileage? Here's a section of my complaint letter.
"I have quickly checked and agree that tacit renewal is specifically allowed for in the FSA's Insurance Conduct of Business. However, I believe you may not have acted correctly as you have not confirmed any changes to my insurance circumstances before my policy was due to be renewed. This may/would have left me in a falsely insured state."
Another thing, the quote they give me was over £100 more then my new car insurer. This was the reason to leave Marks & Spencer Money in the first place. If you automatic renewal your insurance, isn't to the benefit of the insurer that he charges you higher quotes knowing you are unlikely to change.
So, tacit renewal, in my viewpoint is a scam. If it should be used, you should implicitly OPT-IN, rather then out-out. You will never find a bargain and you will pay over the odds for it.
Lets see what happens to my re-imburstment....I've plenty of time for complaints.
The postman came fairly early today and dropped a letter in the door. I opened the letter to find renewal documentation from Marks & Spencer! What?! I never renewed. They had renewed my previous policy (without my verbal or written consent) and took a large ammount of money from my credit card.
I gulped. I was bewildered. I was ANGRY!
I went on the internet and looked up my Credit card status, there and behold was a few hundred pounds pending on my credit card statement. Immediately I phone Marks and Spencer Money to demand why they had renewed my policy and took money from my credit account without my permission.
According to them, there is a statement in my previous original policy agreeing to Automatic Renewal. What?!?
I read the policy and there it was! In the middle of a page full of gumfph.
This was for MY PROTECTION! Give over...This is Marks and Spencer Fraud!
So I had to read this statement, along with the other 8 pages of crap they sent, then call them to OPT OUT of a highly dubious scheme designed to lock you into paying higher prices.
Tacit renewal, as it's called, is customer unfriendly and on the edge of fraud as after 12 months you soon forget, they don't and soon take your money without your knowledge. You then have to fight to get it back. Many people change credit cards, move house, etc...so only find out they owe hundreds of pounds many weeks or months later.
Please BOYCOTT any insurance company that has Automatic Renewal.
Sunday, 10 May 2009
This morning I finally completed my single-speed bike. After a few minor adjustments, a new chain and a sweaty arse, I finished assembling it. I also, decided not to take out the bottom bracket, I'll leave that for another day. The gearing is a 32 tooth front and 16 tooth back sprocket. The chain tensioning device is an On-One.
In the afternoon I test drove it and all was "almost" sweet. There was a strong sounding coming from the pedals, a clicking. I had overhauled them a few months ago. I think I might have tightened then too much. I'll try slacking them, if that fails, I'll replace the SPD's on.
The bike is now much lighter and suprisingly easy to pedal up a decent hill. I like it. I did try and find a lower gear...ha ha ha...there was none but my legs, dear chap!
After an hour, I had a grin on my face, I enjoyed it. Back to bicycle nature. I will try this out for a few months and if all if still good, I'll seriously think about buying a dedicated single road bike, a Langster or even Tricoss single!
Saturday, 9 May 2009
So, my engineering skills haven't deserted me. After drenching the square tapered cranks with peneration spray overnight, I finally got the cranks off, but only after slightly damaging the extractor.
I then drilled the crankset rivets on the outer and inner rings so only the middle ring (32 tooth) remains, saving me the bill on £40 for a new one.
I also changed the intragrated brake/gear selectors for a BMX style 3 finger brake handle as it was much lighter and simpler to use.
Next problem is how to get the bottom bracket out, I have the extraction tool, but can't remember what tool to use with it! Doh!
Thursday, 7 May 2009
I have an old Mountain Bike chained to a fence in the back garden. But recently, in the middle of the night, some toe-rag tried to cut the THICK security cable with what looked like a small pair of snippers. Just the outer plastic and a few strands of wire were damaged.
The bike isn't of much value, but it is useful. I have a more expensive bike, but that is locked inside a garage. So, this made me think. The most obvious deterrent is to keep it chained, this time along with a thick hardened chain and also take the front wheel inside. Even a pig-thick Chav would soon realise he can't cycle the bike down the road with no front wheel.
Then, a bright spark happened. Single Speed it. The bike is a cheap 24 speed Raleigh, with bottom of the range gears. This is the opportunity to convert it to single speed. The rear derailleurs have been unable to correctly change. Countless times I've adjusted them. I have a sneaking suspicion that I might have banged the rear gear hanger and bent it.
So, now my hands are all greased up. The great benefit of single speed is there's virtually no maintenance of the gears, and with the extra weight off the bike should be up to 4 lbs lighter! The downside is that I can't go too fast or up steep hills...Oh well. Photos to follow when I've finished ;-)
Wednesday, 6 May 2009
Looking at my mountain statistics it's clearly very low for the number of years I've been going to the hills. However, it's only since the year 2000 I've started to "bag" mountains from a list. There are many weird and varied lists available, however, the one's listed are the main ones. I hope people don't think of in the same vain as "trainspotting", lists are useful to provide the opportunity to visit hills and mountains that you would not normally experience. The UK has some of the most varied mountains in the world. From boggy moorland to meadows; from savage winter mountains to small rocky outcrops.
The Wainwrights and Birketts are a personal choice from their respective authors with no thought of height seperation data; the others are an analytically compossed list from height seperation differences data. Which list is my favourite? Mmm, that will be telling!
278 (62.8%) of 443 Nuttalls
40 (21.1%) of 190 Welsh Nuttalls
238 (94.1%) of 253 English Nuttalls
208 (65.8%) of 316 Hewitts of England and Wales
173 (97.2%) of 178 English Hewitts
35 (25.4%) of 138 Welsh Hewitts
121 (35.6%) of 340 Marilyns of England, Wales and the Isle of Man
237 (15.2%) of 1555 including Scotland
103 (57.9%) of 178 English Marilyns
18 (11.5%) of 157 Welsh Marilyns
0 (0%) of 5 Manx Marilyns
116 (9.5%) of 1215 Scottish Marilyns
214 (100%) of 214 Wainwrights
14 (12.1%) of 116 Outlying Fells
313 (57.9%) of 541 Birketts
63 (14.4%) of 436 Deweys of England, Wales and the Isle of Man
63 (33.7%) of 187 English Deweys
0 (0%) of 244 Welsh Deweys
0 (0%) of 5 Manx Deweys
168 (20.4%) of 822 HuMPs of England, Wales and the Isle of Man
302 (10.1%) of 2993 including Scotland
148 (33.3%) of 445 English HuMPs
20 (5.5%) of 366 Welsh HuMPs
0 (0%) of 11 Manx HuMPs
102 (35.9%) of 284 Munros
116 (9.5%) of 1215 Marilyns of Scotland
10 (4.5%) of 220 Corbetts
7 (3.1%) of 224 Grahams
12 (10.2%) of 118 New Donalds
134 (6.2%) of 2171 HuMPs of Scotland
302 (10.1%) of 2993 including England, Wales and the Isle of Man