Recent travels, disasters and shout-outs to good friends….


Well – it’s not all been a bed of roses by a long shot …I’ve been busy with work, family illness and other responsibilities (Ps and Gs Connect Group, Music Group and Camera duties) so getting out on longer cycles has been sporadic. Too sporadic really…..I’ve still to stretch my legs on a trip longer than 40 miles….not so good.

Additionally, having previously replaced my levers, I have recently swapped out my two ring front crankset, in favour of a three ring Shimano 105 crankshaft set.

The disasters…..

I hadn’t yet received my three ring front derailleur in the post but reasoned it would be fine to work with three rings and my original Shimano Ultegra front derailleur on the understanding that it just wouldn’t reach the 3rd ring.

Disaster No. 1

1st time out however I tacked the steep hill  leading up Arthurs Seat in Edinburgh and wham, bang, crunch  – I’m freewheeling backwards, legs windmilling until I can brake to a stop. My chain is lying on the ground, and I swear, it was in 3 pieces. No, I’m not kidding…..

30 minutes walk back to the house and order up a new Ultegra compatible Hyperglide chain….wait for post to arrive.

Disaster No. 2

2nd time out with the new chain on I get as far as Balerno…….pushing along the main road at about 24mph ..good pace..when crunch!….chain seizes completely – pedals are locked. I nearly threw myself off the bike with the sudden stop of the pedals whilst I was pushing on…I wobbled about getting my equilibrium back and slamming on the brakes to pull into the side of the road… thankfully there wasn’t any traffic immediately behind me…….

What now! Only a completely bent front derailleur bracket! Somehow caught and twisted by the chain when I wasn’t actually changing gears….. ( see photo ). I managed to bend the offending section back into place but by then the metal was brittle..bugger. New front derailleur required -just as well I already had ordered my triple front derailleur.

Front Derailleur
Bent Front Derailleur

I managed to get home – albeit carefully.


Waiting for my parts to come…waiting…waiting….waiting….days pass.

Finally got my triple derailleur in the post – and promptly got it installed.

Went out again several days later to test out the new derailleur – a few stops for minor adjustments but it seems to be going ok….

Great lets get going on some rides then…..

Lets get riding…

1st up headed west towards Linlithgow with my friend Doug and his friend Alan. A good ride cycling down to the River Forth, along the river bank to Cramond and out to the west – we went around in circles and came back to Dougs for some lovely soup prepared by his wife, Fiona. A good day.

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Next up , I went for a cycle with my brother in law Michael.

This was more problematic – having agreed to meet Michael over in Cramond I was cycling across the city and got as far as Morrison Street in Edinburgh – rode over a pothole and could instantly tell I was riding on my rim……nuts,,,,I’ve got a flat in my rear wheel.

Never mind – I’ve got all the right kit  – right?? Spare inner tube, cycle spanners, compressed cylinder pump etc – Bike upside down, a few jokes with interested passers by – no it’s fine really, I’ve got it, yeah I’m pretty prepared. Embarrassing but it could happen to anybody eh? Well…it would be less likely if I had fully pressurised my tires before I left home – they were kind of a bit limp. And now one was fully bust. Tut Tut – mental note Mr Campbell – pump up your tires or waste a lot of time changing them.. Aye ok got that – oh and make sure you’ve got Latex gloves with you….you never know when you might need them ( Yes, I had some. )

Great thanks and a big shout out to MacDonalds Cycles, one of whose staff was literally cycling into work, and stopped to offer help including the use of a compressor to pump up my tire again. Thanks for that!!! It was a great example of how the cycling community can pull together in adversity and help each other out – kinda restores your faith in humanity doesn’t it?

Well, I got going again, met my brother in law Michael, cycled out along the Caledonian Canal heading towards Ratho, then headed towards Balerno…..

Canal at Ratho
Canal at Ratho

Never made it ……had to stop because I was riding on my rim again. This time it was my front wheel. Ugh.

Well…thanks to the wonderful people of Parkers of Bolton, and their pre-glued puncture repair patches, the inner tube was repaired and shoved back in. My brother in law and I got as far as the coffee shop at the garden centre in Riccarton and stopped for a meal and a catch up of family news.

Riccarton Garden Centre Cafe
Riccarton Garden Centre Cafe

The return journey was uneventful thankfully – except for the fact that my patched front wheel was slowly deflating and needed re-filled before I could get home. Oh – hum.

So thanks to Michael, to Doug, his friend Alan and the unknown stranger from McDonalds Cycles for keeping me going!

I’m working on my inner tubes now……..sigh…..

I love cycling …..and it’s just as well.  😉

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