Wednesday, 12 June 2013

Stella and the City

Somewhere in Marylebone
First off, I need to apologise for my last post, which consists only of pictures. The reason being is that I'm not exactly a techie when it comes to uploading a specific size to a forum. I've signed up as a member of a cycling forum to get my wonderful bike identified and exchange--or in my case--pick people's brains about the Viscount brand. Since I couldn't upload pictures there, I simply put them on here and linked to my blog. Easier for me. Okay, now that that's out of the way, here are the recent news regarding my Adventures with Shawn:

As I've recently said, I've applied to be a bike messenger and have been, as advised, to the city to familiarise myself with the W1 postcode. I divided the rather large area into four and tackled two of them on two days, riding around in circles without any idea where I was. More than once I had to stop at those helpful tourist map points (don't know what they're called), to orientate myself. Very handy for someone like me. I passed Madame Tussauds a few times (at least now I know where it is ... roughly), and a Greek Taverna. I then found myself in NW1 and have no idea how I got there, or even worse: how to get out of there. Once I've disappeared into the maze of tiny cobbled mews, courts, squares and one-way streets, I'm literally lost. My inner compass just doesn't work. And here I was, thinking, I may benefit from going into the city. Hardly. I'm even more confused now. The best way for me to learn it all, is literally learn the streets by heart. Can you hear that big sigh of mine?

However, I have bigger problems at the moment. When I came from the city last time, going back through Regent's Park to speed a bit on the outer ring, I noticed the left crank being wobbly. I mean it already had a bit of play beforehand, but this was definitely different. So I stopped and luckily so, because it was about to fall off!

Imagine that happens on a busy main road. Because I did the cycling error no 1: go for a ride without any tools, I needed to find someone to supply tools for me. In this case a lovely man, who didn't have the right tool, but with combined power, we could fix that crank enough to get me home and to my trusted local bike shop.

This incident somehow opened a can of worms; I had a feeling the bottom bracket needs some looking at, and yes, the bearings need to be replaced. After many e-mails and my frantically trying to figure out what sort of bearings I need, I've now ordered some and can then get to work on the BB. Do I have a clue on how to do it? Not the faintest, but I'll try to do it as gentle as possible so that neither the spindle, nor the bottom bracket shell gets damaged. Fingers crossed that it goes smoothly.

And since I need new wheels, I've decided to try and build them myself. Never done that before, but I'm confident that I'll manage. Just need the right parts. I'm going to my first ever bike jumble at the weekend, and am hoping to find what I'm looking for. Someone really lovely (yes, Steve, I'm talking about you) and incredibly knowledgeable concerning Viscount/Lambert bicycles, has given me the specs for the parts and even offered to help with the BB in case I need him. On top of that, he's kind enough to leave an Aerospace Sport frame (same as Shawn's) in my (in)capable, but loving hands.
That's frame and project no 3, because the main reason for my going to that jumble is to pick up a lugged Viscount Tony Doyle frame. It's a tad too big for me, I think, but a great project to learn on. If the frame's still there when I get there,that is. I haven't paid for it yet, but the bloke, who's selling it, made that deal with me. Pretty scary, the money I'm spending. My Facebook status earlier today sums it up:

Why can't I just fall in love with, I don't know, sculpture making out of matches? No, it has to be Viscount bikes and they're pretty special--in every way. Nothing's straight forward and most of it expensive. But hey, I just got offered another Aerospace Sport frame (like mine) for free. That's a wonderful thing. May go on a trip to get this unique bottom bracket problem sorted. Steep learning curve is an understatement, but I'm loving every second of it.

As you see, I'm very busy with my new-found love. It gives me a good distraction of the writing-scare, and perhaps will be helpful to get back into writing at some point. I've got a few more books in me. :-)

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