Cycling and walking

Sunday, August 12

Wellgo LU987B pedals, and update on the Brooks B67 saddle

 As followers of this blog will know, I have two bikes, a Trek mixte which is at least 20 years old, and a Koga Traveller, which I bought last year. I had never even given a thought to the pedals on the Trek, which shows that they suited me fine.  These are the ones -

(That is the garage floor, not carpet....)

They are still giving excellent service, although now that I come to examine them more closely they are definitely showing signs of wear. They measure 110mm (across from where the pedal buts up to the crank) x 78mm  (call that depth).

The pedals that came with the Koga are these -

They are Koga Sole Mate pedals, and currently cost £38 at Cyclesense, where I bought the bike. They measure 95 x 88mm, so are considerably narrower than the Trek pedals, and not as deep.

I did notice a difference in the feel of these pedals, regarding how stable I felt on the bike, so I changed them. I had hoped to find something very like the ones on my Trek, but couldn't find anything when I searched online. (I also discovered that there was a huge variety of types of pedal, which, as usual when I start thinking about buying something new for my bike, meant the search took me ages as there was so much to learn!! "A whole new world......" as the song says.) All of what I would call the "normal" pedals, even ones labelled as touring pedals, and whatever the price, were narrower. I then decided to see what my local bike shop had, as for all the advantages of the internet there is nothing quite like seeing products in the flesh. I took the measurements of the Trek pedals with me and as these el cheapo Raleigh (but made by Wellgo) pedals matched up fairly well I bought them -

The measurement from the crank was 110mm across, the same as the Trek ones, so I thought they'd be fine. Local bike shop comes up trumps again, I thought. However, as you can see, they have rounded corners, and get narrower from the inside edge to the outer edge, and this made a big difference in how they felt under my feet, compared to the Trek ones. I just felt they weren't big enough. 

Some time later I came to the conclusion that they gave little advantage over the Koga ones size wise, so I thought I might as well be vain and have the more expensive looking ones back on the bike! But I really wasn't happy with them, and when one day not long afterwards I rode the bike in the rain and found that my feet were slipping so much that I only just managed to get where I was going a few miles away, I thought that there just must be something better and started looking again. Perhaps this was the first time I'd ridden this bike in the rain, as I certainly hadn't noticed this slipping before. That made me think I really needed to get some that were bigger and also more grippy.

So, after searching once again on the internet, I came across this blog post by  The Everyday Cyclist. where he reviews the Wellgo LU987. Combined with other reading that convinced me to try some. Here they are -

They are Wellgo LU987B flat pedals. I can't remember what the differences are between the LU987, or the LU 987U, and these, but suffice it to say that I am very happy with my purchase.

Husband had a little bit of a mock, as he thinks I have changed quite a lot of things on my Koga, and doesn't quite get why....... He has changed nothing on his beloved mountain bike since he bought it over the internet from Germany, whilst I have changed the handlebars, the saddle, and now the pedals, on this bike. However, like a boy with his toys, he was very keen to put them on for me once they came, so I let him even though this is one of the things I have learnt to do. 

What a difference!!! These pedals have made a HUGE difference. When I was on my 5 day trip back at the end of June, I was so glad I had bought these pedals. I feel much more stable on them due to the increased size and the fact that they are more grippy. The size is 112mm across x 104mm depth, so they are in fact only 2mm wider than my Trek pedals but are quite a bit deeper. Interestingly, I bought them where the link takes you at £17.75, but they can cost much more elsewhere, e.g. £29.99 at SJS Cycles. I don't know why I didn't buy the very similar, and cheaper, Wellgo LU987U model although it was possibly because it might not have been available in black at the time. 

It occurred to me during my research that logically foot size must make a difference to what size pedal people prefer - one size cannot fit all - and then lo and behold I find that there are such things as size specific pedals, where you can get the model of pedal you want in more than one size, although they are pretty expensive. Incidentally my own feet are UK size 7 and narrow. Both length and width of foot will make a difference.

Brooks saddle update

So, a happy ending to the pedal tale, despite Husband's mocking. The Brooks saddle tale (I'm sure there's a pun in there!) is also going along very happily indeed. I have now ridden 408.13 miles on it (for a while I gave up such preciseness and started rounding my mileages up or down but then I thought - no, why should I? If I want to be precise I will!). When researching them someone said you needed to do 600 miles to break one in so I'm roughly two thirds of the way there, but actually other people say that they are comfortable from the word go and just get better. I would say that mine was uncomfortable at the beginning, but it didn't take long to get much better once I'd got the position correct for me, and it is now indeed getting better and better.

On my June trip, I rode for 4 days out of the 5, doing about 35 - 45 miles a day, during very hot weather, and I only wore padded undershorts for one of those days. I recently did a 51.74 mile day trip and again did not wear padded undershorts.  I keep looking for dips where my sit bones go, and although I can't really see any yet I think that it has flattened out slightly. 

Thursday, July 26

Re-fashioning/upcycling a man's linen shirt

This is something I've long wanted to have a go at, given that a local charity shop has a whole rail of men's shirts for £1. I didn't actually buy this one there, but found it on the reduced-to-£1 rail in another charity shop. With the weather being so hot this summer, and finding linen the coolest of fabrics to wear, I bought this XXL 100% linen shirt -

I made it into this - 

I wish now that I had taken more photos in the alteration process, but to be honest I don't think that I thought I'd be as pleased with it as I am, so didn't bother!

Basically what I did was - 

1 Remove the sleeves as close as possible to the armhole

2  Cut about 1" off the armhole all the way round

3  Took in the sides 

4  Re-attached the sleeves (using the flat method - more on that in a minute)

5  Cut off a few inches off the bottom of the sleeve

6  Made two pleats on the outside of each sleeve, and bound the raw edge using offcuts.

7  Gathered about 4" on each side of the shirt just under the arm, and stitched over this with pieces of the cuff plackets.

8  I couldn't resist putting one of my old Bag Lady labels (I used to make and sell bags) on the back, and then I did the line of running stitch in embroidery thread.

I didn't do anything to the collar as it looked fine as it was.

End of sleeve, pleated and bound

Pieces of cuff placket used to stitch over the gathers

Finishing touches!

The end result is well below bottom length, which I like as if I want to I can wear it with leggings. It is lovely and baggy but in a way that actually looks as if it was made to fit me. I can wear it on its own at this time of year, or wear layers underneath in colder weather.

Flat method of attaching sleeves

I'd never really cottoned on (almost a pun there...) to the fact that sleeves aren't always sewn in the same way until I had a job ironing. I had one of those "aha!" moments when I was ironing the shirts of the man of the family. I could see that the sleeves were attached flat to the opened out armhole and then the sleeve seam and side seam were stitched in one go.

While I had been reasonably successful in the past at setting a completed sleeve into the completed armhole of a blouse or dress, and easing out the excess fabric at the top, there would sometimes be a telltale pucker at the top and I thought that surely this way it must be easier to eliminate those. I tried it on something though I can't remember what but it is indeed easier. There is an excellent explanation of the method here - do have a look! She even has a "combination" method which I shall try out next time I make something with sleeves.

I shall now be on the lookout for more XXXL linen shirts!

Wednesday, July 18

I have not been receiving notification of comments!

To all you lovely people who have commented on my blog in the last few months and not received a reply - I am so sorry! They have all been going into the "awaiting moderation"  bit on the blog design page, but I have not been receiving notification of them in my emails as I usually do, and thus didn't realize I had any. I shall have to investigate why this has happened.

I checked that "awaiting moderation" bit because my son said he had left a comment but it hadn't appeared. So while his definitely isn't in the "awaiting moderation" bit  (I'm not sure what's happened to that) I found many comments awaiting moderation!!

 I can't tell you how much this has made my day!!!

To be honest it was getting so depressing not getting any comments, that I was seriously thinking that I might not bother to continue blogging. It's quite hard to continue to write without getting any feedback. Had I just got really boring, I asked myself??!!

I had had one or two very short ones on Facebook when I put the post on there, but it's not quite the same as getting them on the blog itself. It had got to the point where I had thought of emailing one or two more regular commenters and asking if they were still receiving my posts. I'd also recently removed myself from Bloglovin' and was wondering if that had affected things. I am actually now trying to get myself back on there, which is proving difficult as apparently my RSS feed is "not valid". A friend who sets up websites is helping me.

So, I shall now take great delight in reading all those comments and replying!

I feel like the fat lady who used to come on with a big flourish at the end of the Morecombe and Wise show (my Saturday night favourite!!) pushing the two of them out of the way, and thank everyone for coming to her "little show" -

This YouTube clip of her isn't very clear, but it still makes me laugh!

So, after weeks of wondering if I had got the blogging equivalent of BO, as the fat lady said -

"If you've enjoyed it, then it's all been worthwhile!"

Lizzie is one very happy bunny.......