01 November 2008

British Heart Foundation update...

Time for one final update before I start my British Heart Foundation sponsored bike ride tomorrow.

So far, my fund raising has gone well but not quite as well as I'd hoped. At the moment, I have sponsorship totalling £267. I'm some way short of the £350 I would have liked to raise but I'm still very happy with the donations I have. This "credit crunch" thing we're having has made things harder this year and also two or three people that have sponsored me in the past are no longer working at the same place as I do. Once the gift aid (28%) is added to my total then I'll not be too short of my target.

Now, what of my preparations for the ride? Well, I've cut out all the junk food I'd normally eat at work - sausage & bacon sandwiches etc - and I've also been doing my usual daily commute to work and back on the bike. The bike has been given the once over this afternoon; chain cleaned and lubed, gear mechs and levers lubed, lights removed (I hope I'll be finished before dark tomorrow!) and tyres pumped up to just over 60 lb pressure, for a hard but fast ride. Other than that it's just a case of get on my bike tomorrow and go for it! Oh, and I did have just one sausage, bacon, egg, beans and mushroom sandwich at work on Thursday! Energy food!

Checking the chain & gears.

Ready to roll!

On Tuesday evening I fitted a new set of brake blocks to the bike in readiness for the ride too. The old ones were starting to squeal in damp conditions and, worse, were simply not stopping me very well. Riding at night, in the wet, was becoming a little too hair raising for my liking - approach a road junction, pull on the brakes and then carry straight on isn't good! Now, the bike stops almost too well and I have to be careful not to lock the wheels.

The only downside to having good brakes again is that the bike is now sporting four rather bright brake blocks! I had read on a number of web sites that Kool Stop Eagle 2 brakes were some of the best rim blocks available and that the "salmon compound" was great in the wet. Having covered around 35 miles since the brakes were fitted I have to agree they are very good and they don't squeal either - not so sure about the colour though!

Kool Stop brakes are good - the colour, not so good!

After checking the bike over I decided that I might as well load it into the car ready for tomorrow. That was almost a rather big issue in itself! I like to ride my bike when I want to go out on it rather than taking the bike somewhere by car, having a ride, then coming home again in the car. As a result, I'd never actually tried to get this bike into the back of this car! Oh boy, was it a tight fit!

It fits! Just!

Check back tomorrow evening for a re-cap of the day's events - if I've dried out by then that is! The weather forecast is for heavy rain and strong winds all day on Sunday, not the weather I'd ordered! I can see a repeat of the soaking I got on last years BHF walk! Hey ho!


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