The fleet grows

So, today I went on a little jaunt.

A little jaunt to collect another wee beastie for the fleet. See, a while ago (when the garage got broken into) a charming scrote (who’s name I actually know, thanks to a nice letter from the court system) decided to relieve us of Kathryn’s bicycle. It was a pretty, and modern, 3 speed ‘Giant’ brand bicycle with hub brakes and hub gears. It was incredibly low maintenance and very nice indeed. And I imagine whoever’s bought it from thieving git is very happy with it.

Anyhow, so I’ve been wondering about how we could replace said bicycle for a while, and wanting to find Kathryn something pretty. I’ve sort of won, in a very kind of…. well… see, here she is:


I’d say the e-bay photos were flattering, but they weren’t really flattering so much as poorly lit and badly focussed. I’m not upset, but am thinking there’s a bit more work there than I was expecting originally. The rod brakes are going to take a bit of straightening out – I was thinking of just forking out for new handlebars, but they’re out of stock at the moment.

You can see the rear rod’s somewhat sad state…


On the awesome side, she’s got a dynohub.


On the less awesome side, I’m not quite sure what sort of state it’s in, and I think I’m going to be spending some time stripping it down to make it work again. Also on the less awesome side, you can’t replace the bearings in a dynohub, and you also can’t get any spares for the old dynohub.

Thankfully, the worst bit:


It turns out, is easily replaced.

Spare rims are available, are not particularly expensive, and the local bike shop will (assuming salvagable spokes) re-rim a wheel for 20 quid. I’m pleased about that, because when I saw the sad state of that front wheel I thought ‘oh crap’. Apparently, the bike was used for ages, then just left outside to deal with the elements.

When, after several minutes of fighting I’d managed to hoick* her into Chester, she instantly started dripping water out from the rear hub (*whimper*).

I have therefore slathered her in oil. The rear hub has been drenched in a mixture of penetrating oil and 20W40, as have the bottom bracket / bottom bearings and front wheel bearings. I really must get some actual cycle-appropriate oil, at some point, really. I’m contemplating what to do about the frame, and will ask Kathryn how she feels. The chrome I can attempt to polish up a bit, there’s unlikely to be a great deal of shinyness, but it’ll probably look better than it does now. But the paint is a world of sadness. The pretty lines painted on by a young lady using a jig in the Raleigh Factory (I know this because The British Film Council tell me so would disappear if I painted her, and I have *no* way of putting them back. But she does, really, look rather sad at the moment…


I’m slightly tempted to gently rub down that paint with a cloth, attempt to sand and spray-in the worst of the rust and then throw lots of wax at the situation.

Also, should the dynohub be coaxed into working, clearly we must build a little reg-rec unit so it can drive some ultrabrite LEDs mounted in this…


…and a suitably archaic rear lamp.

* Yes, Emma, I’ll grant she does weigh rather a lot more than a modern bike, and is considerably less convenient for throwing into the back of a car.


Kate's allegedly a human (although increasingly right-wing bigots would say otherwise). She's definitely not a vampire, despite what some other people claim. She's also mostly built out of spite and overcoming oppositional-sexism, racism, and other random bullshit. So she's either a human or a lizard in disguise sent to destroy all of humanity. Either way, she's here to reassure that it's all fine.

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