Some motorcycle grinding

I’ve been meaning to write a post for ages but kept getting distracted by other stuff. I’ve looked at the date stamp on these picturesand they’re from the 6th of September!

The pictures have pasted in the wrong order, so maybe scroll to the bottom and then work your way back up again! I got the grinder from Argos for £15. I cut the seat foam down a lot but I’m not happy with it, so I’m going to have another go at cutting it down next time I get it out of my shed.

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London to Paris Cycle Ride

Next week Jonny, Lea and I will be cycling from London to Paris, over three days (24th – 26th) and travelling back via TGV (high speed train) from Paris to Calais, Ferry to Dover and car back up to Cambridge on Sunday the 27th ready for work again on Monday. We’ll be loosely following the la avenue verte cycle route, which is pretty much the shortest (overland) route between the two cities.

We will all be heading down to London on Wednesday although I’m working that day so I’ll meet up with them in the evening. The plan will be to get the train to London Liverpool Street station as you can get a single, off peak, advanced booked ticket for as little as £6 from Cambridge station via the thetrainline.com which is what Jonny and Lea are planning to get  (mid-morning). I’ll be getting the train at a busier time of the day so I’ll have to pay a premium and shell out £9.

We’re staying in an Ibis at Hunslow. An Ibis because they have rooms that sleep three adults (as opposed to two adults and children) and near Heathrow airport because it’s cheaper than other hotels closer to the city centre and in vaguely the correct direction for the following days cycle to Newhaven. The hotel is about 14 miles from Livepool Street station so we’ll cycle that too (which just for my own information should take that days cycle mileage to over 25 miles)

TrainToHotel

Thursday 24th Hunslow to Newhaven – This is just a route that Google Maps gave me, we may not necessarily follow any of the screenshots that I’ve dumped on here. We need to get to the ferry terminal ideally by 16:30 as our ferry departs at 17:30. Then its four hours on the ferry plus an additional hour for the local time in France and we should arrive in Dieppe for 22:30 and we’ve got some random budget hotel booked in Dieppe that’s not too far from the terminal.

LonToNewHaven

Friday 25th Dieppe to Gisors – Staying overnight in a random small house in Gisors that I managed to book via booking.com

DieppeToGisors

Saturday 26th Gisors to Paris – Nice short ride to Paris will give us most of the day to explore and relax, we have another Ibis booked…

GisorsToParis

Promotion picture below. From left to right – Lea, Me and Jonny…

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Of you would like to donate: https://www.justgiving.com/3cycle2paris/

Pictures and possibly even short video clips will be taken during the adventure…

Broccoli and Cheese Muffins

These are really good and only take 15 minutes to make and 20 – 30 minutes to cook.

Stuff you will need/should already own

Oven

Saucepan (and steamer if you have one)

Cheese grater

Mixing bowl and large spoon

Muffin tray (that makes 12 muffins)

Fork

Knife

The following ingredients will make twelve large muffins

1x Head of broccoli

1x Large egg or two medium/small eggs

250G Plain flour

150g Grated Cheese

200ml Milk

Olive oil (or any other vegatable oil)

Butter (or margarine)

Baking powder

Instructions

The first thing you’re going to wanna do is get the broccoli cooking so fill up a kettle with cold water and turn it on. While the kettles boiling the watter, chop up your head of broccoli and put it into your steamer, pour the boiling water into a soucepan and start steaming. If you don’t have a steamer just boil the shit out of the broccoli. Leave the broccoli cooking for 5 – 10 minutes. We need it to be soft enough so that we can mash it with a fork.

While the broccoli is cooking put the flour, egg/s, grated cheese, milk, three heaped teaspoons of baking powder and a glug of olive oil (equal to three tablespoons) into your mixing bowl and give it a token stir.

Lube up your muffin tray with butter (or margarine) this will help to stop your muffins sticking to the tray once they’re cooked so be pretty generous otherwise this whole endeavor will be a complete fail. Turn the oven onto gas mark five aka 180c (to start pre heating).

Mixing your ingredients and lubing up your tray shouldn’t have taken more than 5 – 10mins. So now your ready to take your broccoli off the hob (drain it of you boiled it) and put it in/on a seporate bowl/plate/chopping board/work surface and mash it up with a fork. Then add it to the batter already in your mixing bowl and give it a good mix, add some pepper if you’re feeling adventours.

Spoon the batter onto your muffic tray and bung it onto the top shelve of your oven. After 10 – 15 minutes of cooking rotate the tray by 180 degrees to ensure the muffins are evenly cooked. After 20 – 30 minutes, once the top of you muffins are nice and brown then take them out and let them cool. Easy!

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New Battery

I didn’t get to spend as much time tinkering with the bike this weekend as I wanted. I was going to spend a good few hours on Saturday working on it but in the end I spent Saturday morning helping my parents choose new mobile phone, they got a couple of Nokia 225’s from CPW for £20 each. After I had finished helping mum and dad I took the bike for a ride to Wicken and back, I though I better take it for a decent ride before I started taking it apart and leaving it in an unrideable state for a couple of weeks.

So in the end I spent around a hour taking the battery out of the bike, removing the seat leather, rear mud guard, tail light, and indicators.

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New battery in front, just got to figure out how to mount it under the seat (hidden away)

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I think, ideally it could do with a smaller fuel tank but they can be quite expensive so I’ll leave it standard for the time being and maybe think about replacing it once the build has finished.

Mingles with Mitchell

I was going to have a go at installing my new motorcycle battery last night but by the time I got home I felt pretty exhausted and the weather didn’t really loan itself to motorcycle tinkering so instead I did some baking. And before you ask, no I wasn’t inspired by the great british bake off although Emma does watch it and so by proxy I often watch some of it too but I’m not really a big fan. I made lentil burgers, and broccoli and cheese muffins, for my lunches. I’ve been eating (self made) wraps almost exclusively for lunch at work for the last couple of years. I started off with ham and lettuce, which is nice but you read stories about too much processed meat being bad for you. Then it was cheese and lettuce, and this again is nice and is oftern a combo that I fall back to as we almost always have cheese in the fridge but again cheese everyday… I’m not sure how nourishing cheese and lettuce is for a long term solution. My last combo was sardines and lettuce, this combo was really healthy and cheap. One 40p tin of sardines would easly do two lunches so you’re looking at £1 per week, but the wrap would get soggy by lunchtime and sardines got really boring, really quickly. So this led me to lentil burgers and lettuce which (I think) are equally as good for you and I’ve frozen the bugers so I can just get them out as and when they’re needed (I’ve pre-cooked them) stuff them in a wrap with some lettuce and by the time its midday its defrosted. The idea for the muffins came from Rob, the guy that I sit next to at work. He made some savoury muffins recently that looked really good and I was still feeling hungry after the wrap and piece of fruit that I have for lunch (I’m cycling 7.8 miles each way to work and back at the moment) so I did some googling and broccoli is in at the moment so gave that a go. They turned out really well, as did the burgers so next time I make them I’ll take a bunch of photos and post them along with ingredents and instructions!

On Sunday I did my longest cycle ride to date with the exception of the London to Cambridge cycle ride that I did in my early twenties. Willingham to Saffron Walden 25 miles each way (so 50 miles total) – it took 1 hour 30 minutes there and 1 hour 45 minutes back. When I arrived at Saffron Walden the first thing I did was look for a shop to buy some food and drink to replenish some of my spent calories, I stumbled upon a Subway, they had a £3 meal deal (6 inch sub and drink) – excellent. While I was in Subway a couple of classic cars drove by so I asked the women serving me if there was some sort of event going on. She didn’t know but when I got out of Subway an old couple walked past so I asked them and there was a classic car show on 😀

So I found it, sat down and ate my sub before having a browse. I didn’t take many pictures but here are a few…

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Maiden Voyage

Over the weekend I got the bike taxed and insured, it was exceedingly cheap. Tax was £17 per year and I got insurance via Quidco/Bennetts at a cost of £71.75 – £25 cash back that Quidco should pay me at some point in the future (so £46.75 assuming I receive cashback). I also bought a £30 helmet from Halfords on Sunday. It gets a four star SHARP (safety rating) which is excellent value for money at this price as most cheap helmets only get three stars.

I took the bike out for a burn last night, and it drives really well and sounds good (super easy to drive). However the speedo and rev counter are wildly inaccurate. The speedo was reporting 75 – 80mph when my gps was only reporting 60ish. I maxed the bike out at 62mph according to gps, which assuming the speedo had been working should have read 65mph (as speedo’s always seem to read 5% higher than the actual speed). I’m hopeing that once I’ve completed the weight reduction and given it a service (and possibly changed the the sprocket/gear ratio) that I’ll be able to get 70+ out of it, just in case I ever do go on a dual carriageway it would be nice to be able to keep in front of the lorries. I’m hoping to swap out the speedo and rev counter dials to just a single dial with the speed and warning lights on it in the future so hopefully I’ll be able to resolve the issue with the speedo reading the wrong speed at the same time.

Cone air filters

For the grand price of £15, yesterday I replaced the standard air filter with two ebay special cone filters (the crank case needed a breather filter). It will look even better once I remove the battery and replace it with a battery eliminator (large capacitor).

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Bike bits

Found this really good site full of tutorials: http://caferacersunited.com/category/how-to/

Stuff I need to buy to make it look good (mostly cheap, ebay specials)…

Cone Air filter £15

Crank Case breather cone filter £7

Fabric for reupholstering the seat £10

Cafe Racer style handle bars £30

New indicators £15

New tail light £10

Battery eliminator £20

Lots of spray paint

Future bits and bobs

New levers £30

Handle bar control set £40

New Tyres