A little ride and a new project.

Today I took the Boardman to ride 3 laps of Healey Nab. It was sunny when I set off but rather chilly. We must have been close to a frost early this morning and the leaves have started to fall. We haven’t had a cold snap to kick the autumn off but I just think the trees are tired after a poor summer. It’s difficult for us in the north of England to have much faith in the Global warming theory. It isn’t a theory, anyway. It’s a hypothesis. The best evidence is to look at the long term picture over the last 1,000,000 years. We know from ice cores and such like that the world has been warming for the last 25,000 years.  EPICA_temperature_plot_svg

All that can stop this warming is another ice age, which could come any time in the next few thousand years! The sharp peaks may indicate that when the cooling starts it will be rapid. Readers will just have to make their own minds up. Are we going to turn the world into a fireball or is it some kind of control mechanism favoured by politicians? I used to be a salesman of scientific instruments called spectrophotometers. They measure the absorption of electromagnetic radiation by liquids and gases from the ultraviolet to the infrared. I therefore have a deep knowledge of the subject but I’d rather write about my own insignificant mountain biking life.

I enjoy all the seasons but have felt a little short changed by summer. Having said that I’ve had a good year on the bike so far and have even got hold of a fourth bike, which has to be good. Today was muddy but rideable. The climbs were hard going as the mud tried to grind me to a halt though the downhills, being well drained on the man made trails, were still enjoyable. It must be good training and I can certainly feel the effort in my legs 2 hours later. Today, before my ride, I continued with a mountain bike project which has got me rather excited. If you’ve read my homepage you’ll have read that I built a suspension fork for my off road bike as long ago as 1977, when I was 15. I didn’t have a welder, then, so my build options were limited but I made it work, for a while at least. Had I lived in Marin county and met the originators of our sport, would the whole course of mountain biking have taken a different turn? I doubt it! Now I can weld and make a far better fork I wonder if I could have impressed anyone. Now I have the 23 year old Proflex bike with it’s originally poor and  now very tired suspension fork it seems sensible, to me at least, to build a better alternative. I did some work yesterday and this morning. Progress is good.


Cutting the pivots for the fork top.


Out of focus but welded in place.


The fork legs, steerer tube with pivots and the shock absorber from a previous bike. 2 links will fix the steerer to the legs.

I’m making a linkage fork something like the Girvin Vector which was an option on Proflex bikes. The linkages easily rotate whereas the sliding parts of a conventional telescopic fork often resist movement. What I’m trying to achieve is much better small bump sensitivity, more travel and much less energy sapping bobbing when I pedal hard. I need to make the linkages and brackets for the shock absorber mounts along with a few other little jobs. The first ride will be amazing!

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