Ok, the bike is ready. Gone for my first few rides and the road test seems to have gone well. It was only when I rode my Giant later that I realised that it is no wonder that the modern bicycle costs so much, The Giant stops stops on a dime, turns in a metre, and just feels so solid.
But for day to day grunt, I’ll use the Raleigh, pics down below. (I hope!)
The weekend is upon us, and with a surprise I notice that it is a public holiday tomorrow. I cannot for the life of me imagine what it was that we were celebrating, since invariably this whole wide world is made of one religious nutter after the other, and there seems to be a religious holiday for every day of the year… yeah right!
Anyhoo, where was I ? Oh yeah… it’s a holiday tomorrow, and in this backward country of ours, it means that the major outlets will be closed. Thankfully it will give me some time to start working on my bicycle refurbishment. I have this really old Raleigh Chiltern that I have used to death, and now seems at a prime time to be restored.
Last year I started work on it, but invariably left things by the wayside. Now I have promised myself to finish what I have started. Tonight I will pick the bike up from the garage, and dismantle it… probably won’t take me more than ten minutes to strip it down.
I will be replacing the bottom bracket, handlebars, brake pads,and alsu, unhappily, the rear wheel configuration… I think I will convert the Raleigh to a fixie… a single-speed town bike. And then I am thinking about fitting an electric motor to the front wheel for powered-assistance.
This will turn my humble bike into year-round usage.
After Monday’s particularly ferocious thunderstorm, in which tons and tons of debris and cars were collected from the valleys, the air has cooled considerably, and the new ‘seasonal’ aroma is in the air. And with the cooling of the daytime temperatures, from 38-39 Celsius to 29-30, comes the realisation that the cycling season is upon us. Every year at this time, from September onwards, my butt is itching to lay itself on my bike’s saddle.
Truth be told, cycling has become more difficult to enjoy here in Malta. Traffic has increased with savage rapidity, and it is a brave man who dares to brave the main roads during the rush hour. Drivers barely have respect for each other, let alone cyclists. Constant pleas to increase bicycle lanes is also falling on deaf ears… and this is not saying anything about the incredibly bad state of roads.
But in the early afternoon, a simple bike ride in the coolness of the air is simply magic. These days then set me back to dreaming about my dream bike, something that would suit me just fine. Not too flasy, a bit of a retro image, actually.
This week I will restart working on my Raleigh Chiltern, sanding it until it smooths out and I’ll be able to spray it. I will probably go for a black finish seeing that it is the easiest to get right. Then probably white or gold decals to finish off the job….
I can’t wait to get it ready in time for October….