Next Spokes Ride

The next Spokes Ride will be on Sunday 5th November 2017. Meet 10:00am at on Lothian Road outside the Usher Hall.

Destination East Lothian. Slightly hilly ride, further south this time. Pub Lunch.

Please check your bike before the ride, i.e. tyre pressure, chain and brakes. Bring some money for lunch, emergencies and possible café stops or post ride refreshments. Don't forget snacks to keep your energy levels up and a drink to consume en-route.
Don't forget to bring a small toolkit to fit your bike and a spare inner tube in case you get a puncture. It is much easier to replace the tube than to repair a tube, especially if you have a slow puncture.

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Weather

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Before a Spokes Ride, give your bike a quick maintenance check, which will take about 1/2 hour. This is to ensure your bike is in relatively good condition, check that you have packed spares unique to your bike, including a spare inner tube, and lastly that your bike is clean(ish).

Even though you may use your every day, Spokes Rides are long enough to find any weakness in your bike. I have, in my time as leader of Spokes Rides, had to reassemble chains, reconnect mudguards and fix racks. In fact, apart from catastrophic failures, I can fix most problems on the bike enough to enable you to cycle home. This includes snapped rear derailleurs and buckled wheels.

Your bike doesn't have to be perfect, but a little TLC on your bike will not only make Spokes Rides more fun, but make everyday cycling fun too.

As Guide you should carry out the following tasks:

  • Check your tyres for embedded glass, and check tyre pressure.
  • Check quick release, nuts and bolts are firm.
  • Check the Brake pads and rims for signs of wear and tear.
  • Ensure the chain runs smooth.
  • Give the whole bike a quick wipe with a cloth.

You'd be surprised how much glass a bicycle tyre can collect and never cause a puncture, especially these days with Kevlar belted tyres. Check your tyres for embedded objects, and remove them.

Make sure the tyre pressure is correct. A good guide for summer is maximum pressure for the back wheel and 5 to 10 psi lower then the back wheel at the front. In winter, the rear tyre pressure should be 10 to 15 psi lower than the maximum, and again, the front tyre pressure will be 5 to 10 psi lower than this.

You should have spares and tools for your bike. Carry a spare inner tube, which means punctures can be fixed by a quick 5 minute change of tubes. Most bikes have quick release, but some bikes still have the old nut, slow release, fixings. If your bike doesn't have quick release, bring along a small spanner. This also applies if your bike has calliper or older canti brakes, as these are more likely to use nuts and bolts rather bolts recessed for allen keys.

Bikes are not very well protected from dirt and grime. A dirty bike not only results in more friction in the drive chain, but also does not make it very appealing to fix if something does go wrong. I carry latex gloves, and some people bring dry soap to clean hands. A dirty bike may result in someone riding all day with dirty hands because they helped out. An easy way to clean a chain is to spray WD-40 on to a rag, then run the chain though it fast. A small amount of WD-40 sprayed on to a rag is also useful to clean up the frame. Do not use on rims of your wheel, or you may not stop!!! Rims can be cleaned using a small amount of washing up liquid in a large amount of water.

Following these steps will ensure your bike runs smoothly, making sure you have energy to chat, and require less energy to get up hills. Any problem you may encounter with your bike can be fixed quickly, thus avoiding people hanging around getting bored, and possibly cold too!!

Remember, cycling cleanliness is next to cycling godliness.

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