Hazel's Place

Hazel's Place
Picture modified by Pete C (W650 rider)

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Monday, 17 May 2010

Busy busy...

I feel as if I spent the whole weekend tatting with bikes.  I think the only time I got away from the house was for a trip to Halfrauds for some fork oil!

On Saturday, a friend turned up to continue assisting me with getting the new electronic ignition sorted on the Tribsa - that means that he does all the wiring while I keep busy making the plate on which to mount the powerbox and coil.  I don't understand electrickery so I'll spare you any details but the new ignition, from Kirby Rowbotham, is a lovely looking bit of kit that fits where the distributor used to be.  I took the skew drive from the dizzy to Kirby and he built the ignition unit around that.  When I looked at the instructions for wiring it my brain turned to a sort of spaghetti-like mush so I had to call for help.  The mounting plate, which fits under the seat with the coil and powerbox attached underneath, is something I'm quite proud of with lots of bending and shaping required to make the steel fit in as neatly as possible.  I'm so pleased with it that pictures may follow!  Anyway, we spent most of Saturday soldiering away on the Tribsa and at last we were ready to see if it all worked.  I then remembered that I had emptied the fuel tank to use the fuel in one of the other bikes so we went to a lot of trouble to siphon some petrol out of the tank of Herbert the XL.  This involved my friend getting a mouthful of petrol and spitting it out over my hand but we eventually liberated some petrol.  Once we had done this, I realised that it would have been a lot, lot quicker to pop to the garage with a fuel can...........Still, we had siphoned enough fuel to start the Tribsa and confirm that it works both with and without the battery and sounds rather lovely.  There's still some tidying up to do and we want to replace the crimped connections with soldered ones, I need to work out some neat cable tying, replace the spark plug caps as the ones I had were knackered and we had to pinch old ones off other bikes in order to start the Tribsa.  We also found the brake light switch had died a death.  I've therefore had to order various bits and pieces from these people http://www.vehicleproducts.co.uk/ . This is only the second time I've bought from them but they seem very good and sell lots of interesting things, mainly vehicle wiring products but some other parts as well, such as brake and fuel lines and some stainless fittings etc.  Once all the final tweaking is done, we'll set the timing up properly with a strobe and then I'll be ready to fit the alloy tank and he'll be all ready to go (although still rather incontinent).

On Sunday, I needed to carry on with the XBR because it was booked in for an MOT on Wednesday.  We (I mean, Jon!) got the other fork seal sorted, while I drove up to Halfrauds for the fork oil.  We were then able to put the front end back together, then wheel the bike out of the shed, turn it around and wheel it back into the shed to take the back wheel out in order to replace the nasty square tyre with the lovely new Avon RoadRider.  This proved more tricky than expected, thanks to a rounded off nut on the torque arm and the spindle being extremely reluctant to be removed from the wheel.  Once the wheel was out we found that the bearings were seized and it took a lot of effort and swearing to get them removed.  When the bearings were finally out we set about changing the tyre.  Although I can't say it was particularly easy we did manage to get this done without using my fingers as rim protectors or causing me injury in any other way so as far as I'm concerned it was a good result!

Today, I took the bearings into the local bearing man.  They would have cost over £25 from the on-line supplier but I knew he would supply them at a far better price.  As I walked into his shop, I was greeted with the words "Hello Beautiful!"  This is always a good start, I feel.  He quickly found the bearings and then I waited for his favourite joke.

 "Ah, you'll want to know how much they are" he said, looking thoughtful.  After some consideration he said "That one is £32 and that one is £28".

 "Ok" I replied.

He looked disappointed "You've been here before, haven't you?" he asked.

I confirmed that to be the case "Yes, last time you told me £300" I smiled.

"Oh, OK, we'll call it a tenner then" he said.  I paid up happily then trundled off to the sports shop in Wellington to buy some new running shoes.

A couple of weeks ago I started going to a Women in Motion Beginners Running session, nothing very ambitious but I've enjoyed it apart from the pain in the arches of my feet, particluarly on my right foot.  The instructor suggested I go to Seatons in Wellington as they would properly assess what type of shoe I need.  When I got to Seatons, I was asked to balance first on one foot and then the other while the salesman examined what my feet were doing.  The verdict was that I needed more support so he fetched a small selection of shoes to try and then I had to do a short walk and jog on the treadmill.  I was quite impressed when, just from watching my feet, he asked if I had more trouble with the right foot than the left.  The first pair of shoes were better than my old ones but still a bit sore so I had to try another (more expensive) pair and these felt much better.  I consequently left the shop £85 quid poorer but with some decent shoes and an instruction NOT to run for a few days and just to wear them around the house to get used to them.  Running session is tomorrow so I think I'll have to go along and just walk the route.  I'm worried that if I miss one session it will be all too easy to let it slip and miss the next one as well etc etc  I was very unfit before going to the running sessions and, truth be known, I still am.  BUT I have noticed an improvement and it has even made a difference to my riding confidence when off-road, which was one of my incentives for getting fitter in the first place.  I do wonder if my right foot isn't more sore because it is my kick-start foot.

After getting home from work, I found that one of the wheel bearings is the wrong size so I'll have to go back to the bearing man tomorrow and change it.  Never mind, there are far less pleasant places to go.

MOT has been postponed until Saturday :-(


  1. Er, did you say running....heck, you did! Well done you for making the effort. Fancy a game of squash some time?

  2. Can't do squash, I'm afraid, I can't even catch! Circuit training on Thursdays though - I recently realised that if I want to get the most out of our off-road holiday in September I need to get fitter. It does seem to be making a difference and I even enjoy it :-)