Archive for November, 2011

I have seen this lady many times on Fernleigh track, riding with a companion, looking happy on her smart aqua coloured Giant bike. This day I was dismounted and had a chance to snap a pic. as she passed :

a Fernleigh track regular


At the Entrance today – the channel is a really nice spot on a weekday, particularly in the cooler months, but almost anytime is nice. Bicycles seem not to be encouraged much here for some reason, which is a shame. I also saw a girl on a lovely white fixed gear bike but she was gone in a flash … so no pic !

at The Entrance channel


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I had been thinking for a while to do a night ride and photo essay to Newcastle Harbour foreshore and back via Fernleigh Track. So, last Sunday night I put some water and basic tools in the Gazelle basket and set off.

I took my Sony bloggie pocket camera planning to take some low-light shots on the move – my favourite kind !  The track is not lit at all, except at road crossings and the tunnel, and that limited the images to mostly these areas and Newcastle itself. I had to rely on the hub dynamo and B&M Lumotec headlight to see anything – they work well for riding, though not casting enough light for photo images. I passed only 4 or 5 other riders, having set off at around 8pm and arriving back home at 11.15 pm, for a return trip of vaguely 50 km. Fruit bats, frogs and feral rabbits were the main animal life I saw or heard on the track.

I have edited the journey down to 16 impressions :



at dusk

parallel road

tunnel floor

toward darkness

adamstown heights

at wickham

carrington bridge

bulk loader

capacitor discharge

neon birds

gazelle abstract

park light

light trails

broadmeadow rail

look back

factory lights

Good night …

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While waiting for the rain to clear after several non-riding days I thought I would post some pics from the charity event “Olivia’s Ride” on the wonderful Fernleigh Track, 17th September 2011 :

I parked the bike in a nice spot...

Waiting for the "peloton" !

Here they are - but not going in my expected direction ... oh well.

Afternoon light on the track..

The kids' event was well attended.

Happy Cycling !

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Some times i feel a hundred

and others more like twenty-two :

some times all this depends upon

how near i am – to you  … lol …



when i head out in the breeze –

those nasty numbers fall away

and i forget my rusty knees

as i ride to seize the day



i love to watch the seabirds

as they cry and wheel so slow –

and if the years could further roll away …

i might become – an embryo.


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Gazelle Innergy

Rider's view - Gazelle Innergy

In the final post from last weekend’s Lake escapade in the now forgotten oppressive heat, here are some of the electric bikes at the festival, ranging from the subtle Gazelle Innergy to a slightly scary e-velomobile. The only one I rode was the Gazelle, and there was no obvious indication of the electric motor other than the large front hub and handlebar mounted LED panels. The battery is hidden discreetly under the rear rack.

I would have liked to ride it up a hill, but there were none ! It felt quicker accelerating than a normal bike without any feeling of power surges, perhaps because the motor power supplied is proportional to the pedalling effort – so it seems that you are the one doing all the work !

I didn't see any pedalling happening at all on this one ...

There was a range of these "Ezee Sprint" Chinese made bikes.

A Dahon folder with a friction drive on the back wheel...

Some experimental looking road bikes.

From an eco-friendly view point I think it’s worth remembering that, unless you are fortunate enough to be generating e.g. solar electrical power at home, in this country these bikes are mostly coal-powered, and their exhaust comes from a smoke stack far away – but that may be far too cynical of me…. they are at least a better prospect than the noisy 2-stroke petrol engine assisted bikes that seem to be getting more popular around Newcastle and the Lake.

Yikes ! - you wouldn't get me into one of these ...

e-velomobile cockpit.

Charge here ?

Interesting, but for me – legs rule !

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What to do on a rainy day ?

Too wet to ride ?

Put a bike together !

The shiny bolts in this photo below replace the cheap rivets that once held the 3 chain wheels together. Their only purpose now is to hold the protective guard ring onto the single wheel as this bike will be a 6-speed rear derailleur only, using the old front middle ring. I have done this conversion on another 26″ wheeled bike and find it greatly simplifies shifting for us old timers (lol), while still giving enough gears to make a useful commuter.

Crank assembly before fitting

I kind of like one piece cranks – though they are heavy and usually found only on cheap bikes they are simple, generally work well and are easy to maintain. Remember that the adjusting cone and locknuts are left-hand threaded if you are working on one. A large bike spanner like this one below is useful, and the crank is left just slightly loose before tightening, as the act of tightening the locknut generally nips up the remaining play – this may need to be re-done a few times to achieve free bearings with no play. The notches in the adjusting cone allow fine tuning adjustments before tightening the nut and lock-washer against it. Generally it helps, if you can, to unscrew the cone while tightening the lock-nut in these situations as forcing them against each other helps keep them firmly in place, as it does with wheel bearing cones.

Adjusting play

The rear derailleur was reassembled with a light smear of grease inside the two plain jockey wheel bearings. The 8mm bolts hold the jockey wheel cage together as well as keeping the wheels in place. This is a “low-tech” Chinese made Shimano mech., but the principles are the same as the fancier ones.

assembled derailleur

Fitted the derailleur mech. to the right hand dropout first, then the wheel is installed. The chain will pull the mech. into its proper position when fitted.

getting there ...

Next !

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The Cabby in blue.

I had a chance to check out the Gazelle Cabby at the Living Smart festival last weekend. It’s a variation of the Dutch “bakfiets” cargo or box-bike, fitted with hub gears and a collapsible cargo “soft box” with child seating. It is non-electric assist (there’s an idea !) and has a linkage from the handlebar fitted steering column to the steering head for the small front wheel. The great advantage of this arrangement is the low centre of gravity and high capacity for the load. Also the rider can keep an eye on the kids and/or cargo.

I thought it would feel strange to ride but I acclimatised to it in a few seconds and found it both enjoyable and easy to balance during a short ride unloaded. It also has a very wide and stable centre stand for parking.

Hail Cabby ! The rider's view.

The little front wheel looks strangely detached, and I found myself watching it in fascination as I rode along.

The hypnotic front wheel ...and a roller brake with cooling fins.

With a load, the Cabby feels a bit like riding a tandem with its long wheelbase and the feel of the extra weight. If you live near Newcastle, this bike is normally displayed at Civic Bikes in Hunter Street West for those who would like a closer look.

On the centre stand.

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