Saturday, 31 January 2015

This counts as homework...

... well, for PE at least, shows Jade has an active hobby... bloody freezing day though, it was all I could do to stop shaking !.

Sunday, 18 January 2015

Good bye ole faithful...

... Well, at the end of this week the old faithful Vectra will be gone, after years of good service and tens of thousands of miles it is time to move on.

It will be a sad day for me, there is plenty of life left in the Vectra, but it is rapidly turning into a money pit just to keep it going... it needs new wheel bearings, speedometer no longer works, the main heating fan has failed for a second time, and £700 later we are still no closer to fixing an intermittent starting problem that left Claire stuck at the stables (and causes clouds of smoke to billow out when it finally does start).

So picking up a 2011 car on Friday, it is a 1.4 petrol, bit of a gutless drive, but as Claire points out, the days of long motorway journeys to Flyball competitions from Kent to Anglesey are over, and as Jade will not be going to Pony Club camp anymore we dont have a need to tow Orville the caravan (so that will be up for sale in the spring).  It will mainly be used for school runs and shopping at Lidl.

So, what is this new car?... a Vauxhall Mariva ... and for some reason is has suicide doors and a glass roof... not that I want a glass roof, I can imagine it is cold in the winter, hot in the summer and suffers from condensation !... but it drives well, and holds the road better than other small cars we have driven; hopefully it will continue the Vauxhall tradition of being a good car.

We will have the SE version in black.... but this gives you an idea of what it looks like !

New bike

So, the chain snaps on my old bike; I take it in to be replaced and get told the chain wears at the same time as my gear cassette ... to replace both a cool £100 (lol) ... so I refuse, "just give me the chain", the shop warn me that gears will start to slip and the chain could snap again... and yep, the gears start to slip unless I am on the large front cog ... this is fine, but makes it hard as hell to cycle up hills.

This was back in October, so I have a choice, get the ole bike fixed up (tyres, fix slightly buckled back wheel, replace rusted breaks, all new gears and crank set) or get a new bike on "cycle to work" ... as the price to do both is the same I decide on a new bike... the Implicit Beta 13 bike by Halfords.

Had to buy it unseen as they are so new they are not in the shops yet.

And here she is... very plain looking, not a head turner, but hopefully that will make her less desirable to thieves.

She is smaller that my last bike, is stupid light at 10kg and skittish as hell when being ridden !... a real bone shaker, a totally different beast to my old bike !... I would not feel happy on snow or ice with this bike. Cannot decide if she is quicker than my old bike, I am going to guess no.

I will ride her to work for the first time tomorrow and let you know how I get on!

 With my "Rossa" tramp stamp lol !

And a better one from the Halfords website:


  • Approximate Weight (KG): 10.9kg
  • Brake Type: Hydraulic Disc Brakes
  • Exact Frame Size:
  • Forks: Uni-Directional Carbon Fibre Blades with Tapered Alloy Steerer
  • Frame Material: Alloy
  • Front Brake: Shimano Acera Hydraulic Disc Brake - 160mm Rotor
  • Gender: Unisex
  • Geometry: Performance Hybrid
  • Number of Gears: 20
  • Rear Brake: Shimano Acera Hydraulic Disc Brake - 160mm Rotor
  • Suspension: Rigid
  • Wheel Size: 700c


  • Bottom Bracket: FSA MegaExo - 68mm Shell
  • Cassette: Shimano Tiagra - 12-30t
  • Chain: KMC X10
  • Chainset: FSA Omega Compact 50/34t - 170mm(S) 175mm(M,L)
  • Frame: 7005 Triple Butted Alloy with Smooth Welds
  • Front Mech: Shimano Tiagra - 2 Speed
  • Gear Shifters: Shimano Tiagra - 2x10 Triggers
  • Handlebars: 13 RS 580mm(S) 600mm(M,L) - 31.8 - 0mm Rise
  • Headset: FSA Orbit C-40 ACB/Industrial 1-1/2" to 1-1/8" Tapered - Integrated
  • Hubs: 9mm QR - 28 Hole
  • Pedals: Wellgo Alloy/Steel - 9/16"
  • Quick Release Front Wheel:
  • Quick Release Rear Wheel:
  • Internal cabling
  • Rear Mech: Shimano Tiagra - 10 Speed - Medium Cage
  • Rims: 13 RS Alloy Deep Section Double Wall - 28 Hole
  • Saddle: 13 RS - Chromoly Rails
  • Seatpost: 13 RS Alloy - 27.2mm - 350mm with offset
  • Stem: 13 RS 90mm(S) 100mm(M,L) - 31.8 with +/-7 degree rise
  • Traditional Mudguard Mounts:
  • Type: Hybrid Bikes
  • Tyre Size: 700 x 28c
  • Tyres: Vittoria Zaffiro II

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