Archive for the ‘Sheffield’ Category

Tikit saves the day

June 10, 2009

Sheffield 10/6/09 Pic by Mysticmogg

Was on the train heading for Sheffield when it stopped at Meadowhall. All services suspended to Sheffield due to track flooding. A train full of disconcerted passenders. Save one. Got on the Tikit and took the Trans Pennine Trail back to town. Arrived 20 minutes later. The trail runs alog the river Don which was in full flow. Was pretty wet by the time I got home, and was rather disconcerted when the front axle disappeared beneath the surface of a puddle. But hey, I was home rather sat on a stationary train 6 miles away or fuming in a stationary car.

Two years ago two people died in Sheffield floods which were described as once in a hundred year events. How frequent do these events have to become before we take climate change seriously?

Sheffield Hills

June 5, 2009

Sheffield Hills

Recently Chris Rust pondered whether Alpine Road in Upperthorpe is a tougher climb that Hunter House Road in Hunters Bar. The answer is almost certainly Hunter House Road, as both have sections of 14% gradient, but Alpine Road is far shorter. Which led me to do some research more broadly. Hills with such steep inclines are relatively common in Sheffield – to date Walkley Lane is looking one of the toughest climbs in the city.

(Table shows distance, estimated cycling time and metres climbed in the right three columns)

Time flies…

June 2, 2009


And unfortunately this morning so did average speed, distance and cadence.

Turning sharply on the descent of Walkley Lane, I went one way and the computer went the other. Centripetal or Centrifugal Force. One or the other. Anyway it hit the deck, bounced and no longer works. Closer inspection reveals that the two tabs which lock into the bracket on the stem have sheared off.

Something else to replace. Cycling should save you money and get you fit. Trouble is the fitter you get, the more often you seem to end up shelling out.

Cycle Culture

May 27, 2009

Pleased to see Sheffield Pedalready at Sheffield Station handing out details of their 2009 ride calendar. Of particular interest are their Urban Routes series. These rides are designed to help cyclists find the best routes through the city. Details here. I’ll probably join the Northern Commuter Routes ride on June 13 – Hillsborough tram routes pose a real threat to cyclists – I’ll be interested to see the best ways to avoid them.

Meanwhile, which dedicated cyclist hasn’t sat in the office on a sunny day and thought ‘why can’t I be paid to ride my bike?’ Well here is someone who does get paid to do just that. The reality doesn’t quite match the daydream unfortunately.

Sheffield Cycle Paramedics get there first

May 16, 2009


Since November Yorkshire Ambulance Service has been trialling cycle paramedics. The trail follows established cycle paramedic teams in Leeds and York. Now the Sheffield Telegraph reports that the trial has proven the cycling teams can get to central locations quicker than car or ambulance based teams and the service is to be extended.

Photo courtesy of Mike Lee, who also furnishes the following information. The bikes are Marin Point Reyes with upgraded wheels and suspension added, and with the medical kit the bikes weigh in at more than 24 kilos.

FBC Training Ride 2

April 5, 2009

The Folding Bike Challenge is 240 miles in four days. This requires some training. Not so much getting the miles in, I am fairly confident that by September I could manage that distance. Rather it is getting the folding miles in. Getting the legs and backside used to sitting in a different position for an extended period.

So today Julia and I set off on the Trans Pennine Trail to build a few miles. We made it to Brinsworth before I felt the need to turn round and get a takeaway coffee from Meadowhell. !7.4 miles. The longest Tikit ride to date. Quite pleased.

The Trans Pennine Trail isn’t exactly a cycle path, its a trail. I am remended of the words of Ronald English.


Adventure Cycling (1959)

‘There is an association of cyclists known as the ‘Rough Stuff Fellowship’. The main object of their members is to take their bicycles over mountains and hills, along rough and little known tracks and almost everywhere that the ordinary person would say a bicycle could not be taken.

You may not wish to join the fellowship; but if you do any exploring you are certain to find plenty of rough stuff.’

True, too true.

Sheffield makes it onto Streetview

March 22, 2009


One of the first cities in the UK to get this service, Google didn’t tell the neighbours they were coming. This post is only marginally cycling related.

Reduce – Reuse – Cycle

March 15, 2009

Finished the original Tikit refurb for Julia.

It is a medium Tikit so always was a bit too small for me. Sawed a chunk off the seat post and head tube so that it would fit and still fold. Put the original Bike Friday wide saddle back on and replaced the ATACs with SPDs.

Replaced chainring, chain, cassette and jockey wheels. Upgraded the brakes to Deore and finally got to add the Ergon grips which had been sitting in the carrier bag since December. Well actually Chris at Tony Butterworths did most of the work. As might be expected from Sheffield’s best bike shop, the end result is pretty pleasing.


Time for a test ride



Pretty pleased with the result, time to head into town for some coffee…and in Julia’s case a short doze.


The couple that folds together stays together!

Alfine Tikit: First Impressions

March 1, 2009

Got my new Bike Friday Tikit on the road today. It is a large Seasons Tikit hyperfold frame with disc brake fittings on the back and a special wider set of forks to accommodate the front disc. The Hubs are Shimano Alfine, including a dynamo front hub. The brake levers are Shimano SLX fitted on Bike Friday H bars. Goodridge stainless brake hoses keep the brake oil in, and should be robust enough to stand the folding and unfolding. The chainset is Shimano 105 and there is a Chris King Headset. All other pieces are Bike Friday standard issue.

Have fitted Time ATAC pedals, a Selle Italia saddle, a Cat Eye wireless computer and best of all a B&M Lumotec IQ dynamo front light.

There were three tests I wanted to run to start with:

1. How is the gearing for ascending Sheffield hills?
2. Do the brakes work descending Sheffield hills?
3. What is the light output like at low speed?

There was only one place to go, the unimaginatively named Alpine Road. This residential road is only about 100 metres long but averages about 10% and kicks up nastily at the end.


Test One

The Alfine hub shifts effortlessly and with a 52×16 combination the lowest gear was able to propel me up the hill at just about three miles an hour. The look is one of concentration rather than effort, at this speed and on this incline pedaling is a mental as well as physical activity. However the pedaling was pretty effortless, considering the gradient – which can be judged from the base of the green telecoms box on the left.


Test Two

Julia agreed to sit in the road and watch as I descended – I promised to miss her if I couldn’t stop. Actually I wasn’t worried about the ability to stop, more about the ability modulate the brakes to stop the bike with me still on it.


I needn’t have worried, smooth, silky smooth braking and the pads are not yet worn in.

Test Three

It was too early in the afternoon for a genuine test, but as it got darker I tried another ascent of the the hill. Again I am impressed, the light is clearly strong enough even at 3mph. How much of this is coming from the standlight facility in the IQ unit and how much is coming from the hub dynamo is difficult to tell however.


So tomorrow the bike gets roped into service for the commute – looking forward to it – am really impressed with this bike. Just need to fit the rear rack and I’m ready