Monday, 17 November 2014

Dingle Dangle ?

Most likely you are wondering what is a Dingle , well there is a Dingle peninsular in Ireland which is famous for it's pies which contain lamb, onion, carrots & celery  , pictured below are the two items in question

The other type of dingle that is more relevant to this blog is a double single speed bicycle , how does that work ?. Here is the recipe for making a  dingle . 

Take one single speed bicycle and count the number of teeth on the front chain wheel in my case that was 33 T and then count the number of teeth of the rear cog which is 16 T and add them together to give you the total which equals 49  , then chose another gear combination that equals the same number . I chose 36 T  and 13 T just because I happened to have those spare cogs in my workshop. Hopefully your crank set will allow the use of another front chain ring, in my case I just removed the chain ring guard and replaced it with the 36 T chain ring and my rear cassette style hub allowed me to stack my Chris King 16 T cog and a Surly 13 T next to each other without any spacers due to the fact that the Surly cog has a wide base and was designed for stacking next to other cogs without using spacers . Of course when you need to change the gear ratio's you need to remove your rear wheel and manually move the chain to the other set of chain rings . 

One thing you have to take care of when using this recipe is that all 4 of the chain rings / cogs are in the same condition ideally they should all be brand new , I had slight chain tension problems due to the fact that the Surly 13 T cog is worn out and the front Shimano Zee 36 T was brand  new ,which meant swapping the chain over did not keep the same chain tension. But for me it was just an experiment to see if it was possible.  Pity it's a bit late as I quite fancy a dingle pie right now !  

Monday, 20 October 2014

Oct 5 day tour - part 5

After a great sleep at Alps backpackers in Hakuba I hit the road at 6am , rode to the nearest 7/11 for breakfast and food for the days ride which was to be Tokamachi. The scenery from Hakuba to Nagano city was fantastic with trad small villages and beautiful lakes. One road I ended up on had a warning sign that said it was a 9% downhill for 4 km which was awesome riding along at 60km per hour without pedaling. It took forever to get through Nagano city as it is very spread out, I did stop at Dennys for a 2nd breakfast , but by the time I was on the outskirts of Nagano it had started raining and never let up.

Finally at 2.30pm after having ridden 100km I pulled into a roadside rest area in Ieyama  and saw that there was a train station nearby , so rode down to check it out and saw that a train left at 4pm heading out of Nagano which would allow me to take connecting trains all the way back to Niigata city. But I had one big problem as I had not bought my bicycle rinko bag with me that I needed to put my bike in , you need your bike fully wrapped to be able to board any trains in Japan.  With 1 hour to spare I rode to the nearest home center bought a huge blue plastic sheet for 400 yen plus a 25mtr roll of tape for 100 yen and made an improvised rinko bag in a hurry before boarding the train at 4pm  and arriving back in Niigata city at 7pm . It was a shame to finish one day early , but it was not pleasant cycling in heavy rain and sitting here typing this blog it's still raining heavy so I am sure I made the best decision to retire early. Even though some days were pretty tough it was a great tour and glad I went and experienced my 1st ever single speed MTB champs

Oct 5 day tour - part 4

Luckily race day was just a nice as the Sat and by early morning all the racers had arrived , most were either test riding the course or making last minute gear changes while several famous bicycle shops set up booths selling their products at heavily discounted prices. Even a huge truck arrived to set up a free Red Bull sports drink stand. It certainly became a busy race venue rather quickly and at 10.30am there was a race briefing and welcome ceremony which my name was mentioned along with famous racers  because I was the only one crazy enough to have cycled 215km  to attend.

As I mentioned single speed riders love having fun and dressing up in costume, some more daring than others . Some of the people in costume were strippers ( men in T backs ) , Ronald MacDonald , Super Mario , Mummies , Zombies , school girls  & construction workers just to name a few and they raced hard some of them in the pro class 20km course !. I entered the pro class and enjoyed the technical single tack and downhills as I had not ridden anything like that since back in NZ. The start of the race was rather unique with everybody riding around a big loop on the side of the hill and when the music stopped the race started, I keep near the back and slowly worked my way forward to a better position on the flater sections which allowed me to pass several riders with my higher gearing. Also this race had a beer short cut which allowed riders to escape riding up a long dead grass climb before zig zaging back down again, you could only do this once and I chose to do it on my last lap. With riders hot on my tail I out sprinted several riders on the flat gravel road leading to the finish line drank the 0% beer which tasted terrible and crossed the finish line with a time of about 2 hours. I had a free Red bull  then attended the prize giving ceremony before getting a hamburger and a glass of Shiga Kogen IPA from a Kiwi mate called Troy who runs a backpackers and bar in Hakuba village . Many of the racers had come from as far away such as Kobe so they had a 6 hour drive back home , most racers took off as soon as the prize giving was finished and late afternoon I was informed that I too had to leave our free accommodation at the Ski Field and find somewhere else to stay . luckily my mate Troy offered to let me stay for free at their backpackers and I enjoyed a nice nabe for dinner and a nice warm room and a few beers after dinner.