Monday, October 17, 2011

Pinnacle near Tennant Creek

Perhaps six weeks ago I went out to a spot marked "Pinnacle" on a 1991 1:50000 McDouall Range topographic survey map.  grid refernce is MU037316.

I like this bike, with the warm climate here I don't think the high speed aerodynamics of a crouched-over seating position are such a big deal.  It can carry a pump and a 2.4 litre water bottle, it is tied down with a length of old tyre tube.

Tennant Creek township is about 12km ESE, not visible.

a trip in Central Australia.

I spent the first week of this month with my two kids, they flew into Alice Springs.  I drove my Volvo 240 down there and we stayed one night in Alice Springs, two at Kings Canyon, three at Uluru (Ayers Rock) and another night at Alice Springs.

After I said goodbye I stopped and saw this lizard on the road, maybe it was 15" long:

Then stayed the night at Ormiston Gorge:

I bought the Volvo (made Oct 92) in Sydney in May, it's been good so far.  I drove it to Melbourne, then Adelaide, Tennant Creek - Uluru - Tennant Creek.

Another lizard outside my front door at Tennant Creek:

This one I saw with my kids at the Alice Springs Reptile Centre, maybe 8" long:

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Tennant Creek

I am once again in the Northern Territory, this time without my NS22.  I did not have time to repair it prior to coming here.

Today I met a man on a bike:

I would have been more impressed if he was using an old bike, but each to his own.

In Tennant Creek I have a 1992 Diamondback mountain bike that I bought new.  Recently I replaced the wheels/tyres, chain, brakes, stem/handlebars/gearshifters/brake levers with parts from a 2001 Apollo mountain bike.

...Photos coming soon...

In less than 100km I had three punctures from thorns that are around here.  I have bought and fitted a pair of thorn-resistant tubes, but have not yet reached a verdict on their effectiveness.

Entirely OT, but I met a teacher of English who uses the word "brang" as the past tense of bring.


Saturday, July 9, 2011

bright red non-folder

This is on tonight, three days to go, asking 75E, no bidders yet.

Groovy colour-co-ordinated panniers...  I have not seen these in Australia, have I???

I don't remember this colour either.

Note it is only single speed.

This one sold in Melbourne today, I thought about getting it, but I thought the price was a bit steep for no gears, guards or racks:

I'd really like to find one in shocking condition but with a front wheel and forks.  A back wheel would also be handy, mine is a little buckled.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Steering geometry lesson...

Here it is with a mountain bike (26") front wheel and forks:

The steering is no good, any attempt to use no hands and it turns sharply to one side.  Increasing the trail this much does not make it to my liking.  Compare with the original front wheel:<P>

I wonder if the rear dropouts could be extended and then fit in a 26" wheel at the back?

Sunday, June 26, 2011

This bike will go again...

Some forks from a 2001 mountain bike (26" wheels) are now fitted.  The original Peugeot forks are slightly narrower, the chrome lock nuts, brake cable holder and quick-release clamp do not quite fit over the new forks.  Maybe the new one is 1" = 25.4mm, the Peugeot 25mm?  There is not much in it, I think some filing could help things along.  I don't think enough of the new forks hangs out at the top to allow the quick-release clamp to be fitted anyway.  The bearings did not quite co-operate either, I used the new ones at the bottom, the old ones at the top.  Let's wait and see how it goes.  The new forks are about 2", 50mm longer than the old ones.  A mountain bike wheel has a rim diameter of 559mm, vs 490mm for the original 550A wheel. (559-490)/2 = 34.5mm greater radius.  So the front of the bike should be lifted about 85mm.

I'm thinking to move the seat clamp to the front of the pole, to move the seat forward if it is too far back with the new wheel.

I might try removing the chrome bearing housings and using the ones from the mountain bike (at another address right now).  I will measure the head tubes to see if there is any chance of them being the same, but I guess it's unlikely that this would work.  It is possible the chrome thing at the bottom may deform.  I think I'll just give it a go and see what happens.

Friday, June 24, 2011

front wheel ideas

Following my disaster, I feel I must repair the bike....

I'm wondering about using some forks from a 26" wheel mountain bike and the stem above.  I'm not even sure they will be compatible with the head set, maybe it has some peculiar French size.

My idea is to lift the handlebars up and forward.  I'll see what happens....

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

weights of wheels, tyres and tubes

Pulling apart the front wheel, I thought it might be an idea to weigh the parts:

The front 550A wheel (no tyre or tube) is 950g.

The Michelin 550A tyre, after about 1000km of use, is 490g

The Presta valve 550A tube is 140g  (no patches).


Completely off the topic:

In the mood for tyre changing, I also changed two on my Raleigh Boulevard Tourist.

The rear wheel, 26x1&3/8" with 3-speed Sturmey Archer hub:  2390g

New (DELI TIRE, made in Indonesia) whitewall tyre:  720g  (inflate 50psi min, 70psi max).

New Tioga tube:  170g

ie.  rear wheel, tyre and tube = 3280g

The rim of the rear wheel is made in England and is a tighter fit on the tyre than the front rim which is made in Japan.

Front wheel, with new Deli Tire, Dynohub (6  63 date stamp), and tube:  3080g

Interestingly, one of the old tyres, Cheng Shin was 570g, ie. 150g lighter than the new one.

The old Cheng Shin tyre says:


The other old tyre (NORIES NO.1) is 790g, ie. 70g heavier than the new one, and has a faint red pin stripe, I guess it is probably the original that came with the bike.

On the sidewall it says:


Given the weight of these wheels, the Raleigh frame must be on the lighter side.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Crashing with a car

At 8:40am June 1, 2011, I was heading north through a roundabout, a car heading east failed to give way.

Odometer says 918.2km.

Photos taken 2 June:

The bend in the wheel is right where it met the bumper.  I have a souvenir red graze and bruise on my right inner thigh, I assume from where it met the handlebar.  I have heard it is good to not overtighten the head-stem, so it can move in times like this.

Note the bent forks.  The frame seems OK.

Both handbrake levers came apart also.

The tyre still holds air.

From this angle it looks like a Mobius Strip

The front wheel of the bike met the driver's side of the front bumber.  My direction changed abruptly from north-bound to heading east.  As I travelled through the air I thought of my helmet being on to protect my head.  In the end my head did not hit the ground.  I guess I caught myself with my right hand, my wrist feels a little sore, I have a cut on my right middle finger.  I think my right inner thigh met up with the end of the handlebar, I have a red spot the same size and a surrounding bruise.  The bike ended up near the car and myself a few metres forward, as I remember.  I have a few other aches and pains, but completed a day at work (crash only abut 500m from work) and then walked home, got car, went back for bike.

The driver stopped and apologised for her carelessness, gave me her contact details.

The front wheel looks like one of Salvador Dali's clockfaces.

 The forks and brake levers are also bent, the rest seems OK.  I will get some photos soon.

I think I will request another NS22 plus $100, or a cash sum.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Raleigh Twenty's French cousin?

Has an excellent condition NS22 featured.

Trip to Harcourt and Mount Alexander - new speed record.

After being evicted from my own home, I spent a few days with friends in the country.

Going up Mount Alexander, I found 1st gear to not be low enough for my liking, so did a fair amount of walking.  Maybe a smaller front chain ring could be my next modification.

An un-photographed trip I made was Frankston-Baxter-Somerville-Stumpy Gully Rd all the way to Balnarring Beach, then back and up Two Bays Road (walked up there) and back to Frankston via Humpries and Overport Roads.  On this trip I was alongside a bike with a GPS, our speeds agreed.

Coming down hill from Mount Alexander, I hit 70km/h, no pedalling required.  The previous record was 62 down Olivers Hill, Frankston, pedalling (about 180 per minute, according to my calculations).  Descending Mount Alexander at that speed was probably a silly thing to do, it being a winding road that I had never been on before, still, I lived to tell the tale.

Maybe I could live in this old shed?  I passed by this on the way from Harcourt to Mount Alexander.

This stone thing is at the top of Mount Alexander, named after Alexander the Great.  At the left can be seen a pile of stones, I stood on these and climbed a bit, there is nothing special to see on the top.

Back in Melbourne

The night I was packing to return to Melbourne my wife rang and told me to expect to be met with locked doors.  I hung up on her and proceeded.  After three weeks sleeping on my son's top bunk, I was told my wicked ways were unbearable for her and was told I must depart.

I guess this was a good 42nd birthday present....

The right time for a mid-life crisis....

These photos were taken at Southern Cross station.  I think I preferred the old Spencer Street station.  I did not ride the bike with all that on, but it was good for walking between platforms.  I traveled by bus from Melbourne airport to the train station.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Another trip to Yirrkala

The bike computer said 20.19km in 55 mins, non-stop this time, left Nhulunbuy just after 9am, arrived just before 10am at the Yirrkala art gallery.  This was Saturday 19 March.  It was getting hot the last little way.  At Yirrkala I met someone I knew and got a lift back to Nhulunbuy in a 4WD, 80 series Toyota Land Cruiser, 4.2 litre diesel.  Probably another world first, NS22 in back of 4WD Yirrkala to Nhulunbuy.

On arrival at Yirrkala I leant my bike against a tree, it fell over.

None other than Djambawa Marawili happened to be nearby and alerted me to the bike fall.

He had just returned from Sydney, where an exhibition of his works had just been opened.  I spoke with him for about 10 minutes, he said the coming of the mine 40 years ago had its good and bad points, it brought drugs and alcohol, he said "many people did not look after themselves, they let their children run around like mad dogs".

The gallery gave me a catalogue of the Sydney exhibition, Mr Marawili kindly signed the inner cover for me.  I helped him load his bags into the car that arrived to transport him and his wife (also pictured) away.  This gentleman is both wise and talented, I recommend his art works to everyone.  I did not speak with his wife, but no doubt she is also an accomplished artist.  Her works are also exhibited in Sydney.  Her name is one of the two on the back cover of the catalogue I am holding.  I meant to hold it the other way, Djambawa Marawili is the name on the front.  

Yes, so now you know, middle aged bald men ride NS22s in the Northern Territory.  Along the way I saw a buffalo, a few km before Yirrkala, but one look at the NS22 and it took off in fright.

Some of the artworks displayed at Yirrkala.


A Nhulunbuy neighbour kindly sprayed my bike chain with some motorbike chain lube.  It was getting a bit squeaky.  The NS22 has done 678.6km since I fitted the computer.  I need to oil other parts also, I have acquired about 200ml of motor oil in an old jam jar just for that purpose.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

30kg carried 6km on front rack

On Sunday I went out to see what delights could be found at the local tip.

I skipped the bin for fish and cane toad refuse.  I found a pile of scaffold clamps and old welding rods, they seemed too good to leave behind, also seemed a good trial of the load carrying abilities of this machine.

It was about 6km each way, 16mins to get there, 20 coming home.  The crate was certainly well loaded and has bent with a few minor cracks at the base.  I was slightly afraid the steel rack might collapse, but it has no signs of distress.  I weighed all this junk and it, together with 1.5 litres of water, was at least 30kg, maybe 32.  I would not recommend this, it could get a bit of a wobble on the steering.  I was careful to avoid large bumps.  I would think 10 or 15kg is fair enough for general use on the front rack.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Trip to Yirrkala

Breaking new ground for 550A wheels, Saturday 5 Feb the NS22 carried me from Nhulunbuy to Yirrkala, around the town a while, then to Shady Beach, then back to Nhulunbuy via Rainbow Cliffs, 57km according to the computer.  Trip was between 1:30pm and 6:30pm, a little before dusk.  The day was overcast, it did not seem unbearably hot.

The NS22 is a complete beast and is proving itself to be very versatile.  I removed the stand before I left, the nut kept coming loose.

I would say there is a very good chance no other NS22 has travelled this route.  Some dream of being the first to conquer mountains etc., I am going places no NS22 has ever been.

These are not in any sensible order:

Banana plantation near Shady Beach.

Shady Beach.

Shady Beach.

Road to Shady Beach.

Road to Rainbow Cliffs.

Road to Rainbow Cliffs

West of Yirrkala, the road goes over part of a bauxite mine.

On the road to Rainbow Cliffs, the drink bottles came loose.

Rainbow Cliffs.  Two mountain bikes were there when I arrived, they left before me, but the NS22 caught up with them in no time and never saw them again.

Rainbow Cliffs.

Road to Rainbow Cliffs.

Leaving Yirrkala.

Yirrkala Community School.

Traditional aboriginal residence.  This is outside the Yirrkala art gallery:

These boys knew a good thing when they saw it, one helped himself to a drink, another wanted to either borrow or keep the pump.  English was not their first language, they were very talkative among themselves but not fluent with me.  They had lesser bikes themselves, they had plenty of air in the tyres, I would have helped them out, but they were greatly impressed with my pump, water bottles and also by the light at the front.  I made a quick getaway and ate in peace elsewhere, these four were upon me about a minute after I stopped at the war memorial for a snack.

On the way to Yirrkala.

Returning to Nhulunbuy.

On road to Rainbow Cliffs.

Tied the bottles down better for the trip out from Rainbow Beach.  One end is a clove-hitch, the other a clove-hitch with a loop to pull and undo it easily.

Departing Nhulunbuy.  Food in the container.

Departing Nhulunbuy.

Nhulunbuy visible from Rainbow Beach.