Still sort of back. Ish. On and off.

Sorry for the delay, but I properly cursed myself with that last post. I had about 2 weeks of being healthy, then got a fever and jaundice, and spent over a month in hospital. That hospital visit resulted in surgery, which has left me with some small scars that still hurt even though it’s been 2 months since they did it. Cycling makes them hurt more.


I spent my time in hospital productively, tho. I bought up all the bits I thought I’d need to get my bikes sorted out fully! Then, about a month after leaving hospital, I bought another bike that meant I had to get rid of one of the old ones. Exit: Saracen Tufftrax. Enter: Muddy Fox Courier!

Drive side

The Courier is of a 1988 vintage, but it’s not your normal Courier. Couriers back then were either white (1987) or white to purple fade (1988). Mine’s red! Not only is it red, but it has two bottle cage mounts on the downtube, a seatstay mounted U brake, and Shimano Exage Mountain components. Normal Muddy Fox bikes didn’t have Shimano parts until about 1990, they never had two cage mounts, and their U brakes were mounted on the chainstays.

So, why is any of this important? Coz it’s actually a re-branded Tushingham B52 – the forerunner of the Orange Clockwork. B52s were based on Couriers, and made in the same factory as Couriers. For some reason or other, Muddy Fox acquired some of the B52 frames and re-badged them.

It’s still just a Courier, though, and not even one that’s in good condition. The paint’s chipped all over the place, there’s some serious chainsuck damage, and someone’s drilled a hole through the seat tube (I suspect they used a bolt to stop the seat from dropping). Due to all that, it’s gonna become my commute bike. Did I mention that there’s only about 50 of these bikes left? 🙂

oh, obviously it’s unrideable at the moment. The bottom bracket is an old plastic thing that disintegrates when I try to remove it, but not enough to crumble and fall out. I need to remove that before I can get it on the road. It’s never simple!

The Reflex ALX89 is back on the road, though. I spent loads on new tools, and finally got a new headset on it. It’s a lovely bike, but a bit too jittery for commuting.


The Saracen Kili Racer has had it’s bottom bracket removed by a burly bike mechanic, and the seatpost was dissolved using caustic soda. That was fun, I can tell you. I dropped it off at a powder coater today. How does Pearl Pink sound? It should sound coppery, because that’s what it actually looks like. I get the bike back in about a week. Can’t wait!!! 😀

oh, and as for actually riding bikes – I’ve been doing some of that, too! Mostly just riding home from work, after getting a train in (trains home are hellish), but I’ve done both ways a few times now. I’m actually faster than I used to be, which is surprising. I’m currently using the Reflex for commuting, as the Cobra is too.. er.. racey! I might sell it, to be honest. I just don’t use it!

I’ll try and update when the Kili comes back from the powder coater. eeeeeeeeeeeeeee!!!


Back again

Hooray – the sun is out!  Well, it was..  

So, it seems that I’ve started suffering from seasonal affective disorder.  I dunno if it’s because I’ve moved north, or because the weather has become rubbish generally (the weather back in Southampton has been far worse!), or because I don’t get out as much due to a small child, or maybe it’s just age.  It’s probably all of the above!  What I do know is that for the past three winters, I’ve been depressed during the winter months, and it’s not something that I used to suffer from.  At least I recognize it now, and maybe I can do something about it next time.

The upshot of all this is that I found it hard to get into anything between November and March.  I didn’t feel like writing stuff, or reading stuff, or fiddling with stuff.  I spent most of the winter slumped on a sofa with that feeling of waiting for something, but not being sure what I was waiting for.  My PSC was also in effect, so I was jaundiced the whole time, too.

Turned out, I was waiting for the sun!  After a full day of proper sun, my mood lifted, my jaundice disappeared, and I felt interested in things again.  It started with people (I get VERY introverted when I’m feeling down. I think my wife was about to leave me), then computer games, and now it’s the turn of bikes!

There is much to do in bike land, as only my Carlton Cobra is in ridable condition…  

  • The Twenty needs a new cotter pin hammered in, after the old one sheared it’s thread.
  • The Tufftrax is in bits after I treated it for rust, and needs a new headset and a really good clean.
  • The ALX89 needs a new bolt for the rear brake, a new headset, and some paint cleanup.
  • The Kili Racer still needs the bottom bracket and seatpost extracted, and then needs building.

On top of all that, I’m still fighting the urge to buy new mountain bikes!  I don’t have the space, and I can’t afford it, but ooooh – look at that lovely aluminium Muddy Fox, and aaaah – look at how amazing that Kona looks!

Back to normal, then.  🙂