Back to Reality – 17th July

With the weather showing no sign of getting better, and the ‘word on the street’ being that most off road riding in the area is a total bog I decided to ressurrect my old Raleigh Airlite 100…. Yes I do own a road bike! It however, has been thrown in the darkest dampest corner of the garage for the last few years. So unloved and forgotten has it been, that it hasn’t even appeared on the steeds page . But once the junk had been moved, and the dust wiped off she looked….well, old, out of date and a little tired…. but everything seemed to work apart from the headset (The steering bit to you non cyclists)

The Airlite seemed to fit the bill as with my knee / ribs still hurting from the Alps off, and with the forecast for more rain, road riding was probably a good idea… and the Airlite has ‘full mudguards’. Probably totally unfashionable to your avarage lycra clad roadie, but who cares. No mudguard, fasionable and wet arse, or mudguard, unfashionable and dry arse, it a no brainer really!

So the headset bearings were knackered, I popped them out and headed down to see Si at Albany. He rummaged about, but didn’t have any bearings of the same size. I ended up with a new headset in a box, I headed home with the sun starting to break through the clouds (Shock!!!). Fit the headset and out, great plan….. apart from Si had given me an External headset and the Airlite has a Semi-Integrated. For those non cyclists (and mechanically inept cyclists) reading, there was a major incompatibility thing going on….. ie it didn’t fit.

So plan B was hatched, get the Fatty out head down to Albany’s do a swap and then just ride the Fatty till I had to get home and get ready for work…. and that was it….

Albany’s, Kenilworth, Tile Hill, Past what’s left of the old Massey’s tower (not a lot!) and home. With enough time to fit the headset in the Airlite frame…. getting the old race off the fork steer wasn’t so easy, and as I type this I still haven’t managed to shift it!

Ride – #115     Bike – ’12 Salsa Mukluk

Miles – 16.6     Total 2012 miles – 2373.7


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