Trike diary - July 1999

Wednesday, 7 July 1999

Well, I'm still hoping to keep up the "3 or more times a week" to commute by trike, but we'll see how it goes. As with last month, I shan't bother reporting each day - just as interesting things happen.

Later: Two shocks this afternoon. The first was when I sat down on the trike before setting out for home - looks like my two front tires have almost worn down to the underlayer. At least, there are orange/red streaks showing through in a few places. Now, this is definitely too soon.

I talked with Rob Hague on the 'phone in the evening, and his best suggestion was that I check the tracking on the machine, as if this is out it would cause the tires to scrub and wear down too fast. A job for the weekend (addendum: in fact I didn't have time at the weekend, so it's going to have to wait until we get back from holiday).

The second was that the entrance to the Carter railway bridge from Devonshire Road was partly blocked off by "road works". The easy entrance (the curved "exit") was entirely blocked off, as was the path by the road on that side. There were then cones for a good six or nine feet up the bridge, reducing the cycleway to half width - quite dangerous. Finally, further up the bridge were three "men at work" signs, which in themselves are quite hazardous in that sort of space. To cap it all, no warning signs on Devonshire Road as one approaches, and no sign on the other side of the bridge. I could just barely make it through as it was, but if I had been coming from the other direction I don't think I could have - and then I would have had to reverse back up the bridge for some distance before being able to turn around. So no sign on the other side of the bridge is quite a fatal flaw!

Further stuff: rang the council emergency 'phone line in the evening to find out who to talk to. Made an initial complaint about this dangerous roadwork, and got the number of someone to ring the next morning, which I did. He didn't manage to get back to me on Thursday, so I rang him Friday lunchtime. Turns out it's the Eastern Electricity board paying for the work, and the guy in overall charge of such things there has been asked to contact me (and referred to "numerous complaints" from cyclists). Haven't heard anything back.

I also contacted the Cambridge Cycling Campaign, who are pursuing the matter separately.

Meanwhile, I obviously can't cycle the route (so the tire problem is reduced in urgency), but Joan reports that the next day they had blocked off all of the cycle path, so that cyclists had to use the footpath to get onto the bridge. Not good.

Update on Wednesday: I've let the matter lapse over the weekend - too depressed by it all - but will try to contact the guy at Eastern Electricity (or is that "Eastern Energy" now?). To be honest, I don't expect much in the way of response, but if not then I think I'll have to at least write a letter of complaint to all-and-sundry.

Sunday, 4 July 1999

It was a nice day, and I finally got round to cleaning Joan's bike (at least a bit!). I cleaned and degreased the chain, cleaned all the derailleur bits and bobs, and applied White Lightning (RaceDay) to the chain. There was a large quantity of black gunk all over everything, I'm not entirely sure how it was all still working! Now it sounds a lot quieter, and is much smoother running. We'll see how the White Lightning works over the next few weeks on the upright.

Author: Tibs (

Last modified: Thu Apr 26 16:30:01 GMT Daylight Time 2001