18 Oct 2011

11th October 2011


I need more space again so I have started another chapter for October '11.

Through misty eyes.

The twin effects of a low sun and using an old lens cleaning cloth which had disintegrated into fluff and dust. (At least it was clean)

11th October 54F, 12C, windy, sunny periods, with heavy showers. I was later than usual today after getting the exhaust replaced on the car. Ouch! I set off wearing my mustard Ventour jacket over thin and thick long-sleeved, polyester vests. This proved to be very wind proof though I wouldn't want it to be any warmer. At around 54F, or lower, it was about right. It rained but I ignored it while I enjoyed the full rainbow against a dark sky.

Then I punctured on a sharp-edged pothole which was about an inch deep. The sun was in my eyes so I didn't even see it until I rode back later to look for the cause of the puncture. I was changing the tube when a racing cyclist called out to see if I was okay. Having given him the thumbs up he zoomed off.

Once again the Bontrager tyre didn't seat itself properly on the rim. A long flat spot produced heavy bumping at speed. Nothing I did would persuade the tyre to become concentric again.

I repaired the punctured inner tube as soon as I got home. Using a wheelbarrow full of rainwater which was a handy bath with lots of room to play. The snake bite holes were easily visible once I had found them. I applied a clothes peg exactly one thumb width to the side of the puncture point. The peg also ensured the tube was held at the correct orientation to so that rubber cement could be applied to the correct place. I shall carry a clothes peg in my tool kit from now on. I don't know why I didn't think of it before. 13 miles.

12th 64-50F, 22-10C., windy and sunny. I pumped the tyres up hard and tried to bed the wobbly tyre without success. I think I'm going to have to let the air out and even it out again. 16 miles.

Google Blogspot has released "Dynamic View" but I'm not sure how useful any of the options will be to my triking blog. I shall have to have another look. Most of them are far too "untidy" for my tastes. The only one I might use (Side Panel) offers no customization! At all! It's plain white background or nothing!

Well, having been inspired by the wider screens of Dynamic View I have now discovered much wider text bar options. Certainly wider than when I first set up my blogs. I rather like this arrangement because it greatly reduces scrolling to read the entire post. Alternating my pictures to left and right doesn't look quite so clumsy as one above the other in the middle of the page. But  now it is impossible to tell where the text will fall on the journey from the editing page. I'm now working my way slowly backwards through all my posts moving the pictures and correcting any errors I might have missed. Now the post image gallery is back again! Still against a black background. Enjoy?

 13th 48-41F, 9-5C, light northerly wind and sunny. It was nearly 5pm before I was able to get out. Going quite well today. I tried to fix the tyre flat spot but it refused to budge even when all the air was out.. I shall have to take the wheel off and start from scratch. Only 15 miles. A holiday next week so (hopefully) I shall be back to my longer, morning rides.

14th 50-40F, sunny, still. Second morning this year with the car windows covered in ice. I chased the near full moon in the car to my IT course. Mist hanging in the hollows and a blinding sun creeping up slowly from behind. I was glad I was not driving into it! I passed a lake and the mist was hanging low over the water. Just like a spooky, Hollywood movie!

Much later I set off on the trike making my own head wind. Nothing I do will remove the flat section on the Bontrager tyre. Naturally I removed the wheel to be able to work on it more easily. I have let the air out again and again and even rotated the tyre. Worked my way round half a dozen times pushing the bead away from the rim at different tyre pressures. Pumped it up so hard it would not dent with a thumb nail using as much force as I could muster. Tried rolling the tyre sideways with and without pressure.

I even used a pair of special pliers/tongs with 1.5" broad flay blades to pull at the tyre while compress the tyre beads together. All to no avail. There is still a long flat section of at least 6" along the circumference which is at least 1/4" below the rest of the tyre's average radius! As I ride along it goes bump-bump-bump. Which goes in and out of phase with my pedalling. I have just ridden 24 miles over a huge variety of road surfaces and it had no effect on the tyre. I tried all sorts again when I came home but nothing works.

I was chased by two large dogs around an industrial estate! Then overtaken by two young scooterists on a narrow and bumpy cycle path. They must have been doing well over 30mph! I believe the speed limit for cycle paths is below half of that. The speed limit for un-plated scooters is not much faster.

The barstewards frightened me to death! I heard them coming up behind and thought they were on the road alongside! The path was strewn with debris, mud and potholes so I was using a lot of the rather limited width.

After that I stopped to clear up after some moron. Somebody had dropped some rusty old screws and cheap tools all over the gutter/cycle path. Then I lifted a long branch off the road in a narrow lane. Probably left there by kids.

Going quite well today but still very short of breath. My chest is so wet at times it even wheezes on climbs. Finally I was sprayed by a farmer running on a field alongside the road. It stank rather like heating oil/paraffin. He was spraying over a field full of fresh green shoots so it may not have been a nasty weed killer. Why aren't the spray tanks clearly marked?

 15th 37-48F, 3-9C, sunny, winds light but increasing. I wasted another half hour on the tyre flat spot before giving up. The bike mechanic in town said to use slight smear of oil to get the tyre to lift straight onto the rim. Obviously one would have to avoid oil on the braking surfaces. But that hardly applies to my trike rear wheels. The flat spot wasn't so bad today.

I'll have to try the oil trick because my fingers and thumbs are sore from struggling to lift the tyre onto the rim. I thought of using a lubricant but feared chemical damage to the inner tube. Or even having the tyre lift right off the rim! I thought of trying silicone seal lubricant which I use to stop the car doors freezing solid in icy winters. 22 miles but having to go out later. 10 more miles in the afternoon.

 Sunday 16th October. 37-50F, 3-10C, still but becoming windy, sunny. A cloudless sky promised well. I was far too early for the nearest shops. So I continued in hope of anther branch being open by the time I got there. All the plans of tricyclists and men do oft but go a stray. So I tootled about a bit and took some photographs.

By the time I turned back towards home the wind had picked up considerably. It was really quite hard work making headway with the trees doing their usual acrobatics. My legs are quite achy for a change. 36 miles and I still have to go out again. I'll probably wait until after lunch to have a rest first. I can kill the time oiling my tyres. :-) 7 more miles in the afternoon.

17th 37-50F, 3-10C, winds light, ground mist and sunny. A late, cool start, but I soon warmed up. My legs were still a bit tired despite massaging them occasionally to remove any residual pain. Only 17 miles today. We are driving to the city to have a look in the bike shops.

Morning mist under a blinding sun.

One of only a few pictures which came out as well as I'd hoped. Others just looked foolishly out of focus. The "tobacco filter" effect is completely natural. The sun is "pierced" by a vapour trail. Despite the sky often being filled with vapour trails we very rarely hear any planes. They are usually far too high to be heard. 

On very rare occasions the conditions are just right for vapour trails to remain for hours. The morning sky can be completely criss-crossed by literally hundreds of trails. Only on Thursdays, and only when it is sunny, do the Danish air force practice irritating their countrymen. With fighter jet acrobatics overhead for hours on end. 

Click on any image for an enlargement.


  1. Have you tried fully deflating tyre and thoroughly wetting the tyre beading and inside of rim with soapy water. Unlike oil this will wash awy very easilly after use. I guess you already inflate with the tyre off the ground. Good luck!

  2. Hi

    Thanks for the excellent advice. It must be something to do with these narrow, foldable tyres. I have never really had this problem before. These particular tyres are also far more difficult than most to get over the rim when fitting. The ordinary (foldable) Bontrager Race Lite were not nearly so bad in this respect. I think I may order a set of the 25mm Race Lite for the winter. I'm spending far too much time worrying about every twig and bit of gravel on the road.

    Thanks again