About

Updated June 2013.

I started this blog shortly after moving to Cardiff, Wales, five years ago. I am a 73-year-old grandfather, retired of course,  with so many hobbies that I wonder how I ever found the time to go to work.

The blog provides somewhere for me to scribble unpredictably and incoherently, have the odd rant, keep in touch with some of my favourite artists and musicians and keep up with old friends and make new ones, some of whose blogs are in my blogroll.

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10 comments on “About

  1. Hi Just Williams…….great item on Raleigh Oakland bike…I am your age….and I want more exercise ! thought about Raleigh metro LX…but bit more money ..cheapest £230/ 240.
    The Oakland sounds a good deal….I was looking at 18″ frame…but I might be ok with 19″….I am 5’71/2″…don’t see your height anywhere ?

    What do u think ?…19″ ok for me ?

    Trouble is…I have not seen one local to me….North Notts ..I would have to order from online…any thoughts ?…Michael

  2. Hello Michael,
    I am 5’7″ in my socks, inside leg measurement 29″. I am happy enough with my Oakland but it must be said that it was just about the cheapest bike of its type in the Raleigh range when I bought it.
    As regards the size: I like to sit in a fairly upright position with the saddle as high as possible while still enabling the toes of both feet to make firm contact with the ground at the same time. This ensures that each leg in turn is as straight as possible at the bottom of its pedal movement (which helps when one’s aging circulation isn’t what it used to be) yet I can stop and put both feet on the ground without getting off the saddle.
    So I have the saddle set up quite high (as you can see in my post entitled “The Bike Rack”) and as far back as adjustment allows. I would like the handlebars to be perhaps an inch higher but there is no more adjustment apparently.
    So I conclude that, while I can ride for miles quite comfortably on this bike (19″ frame), it seems to me that I could cope with a larger frame (21″ or more) just as well. Presumably, on a larger frame the saddle would not be raised as much to achieve the same height from the ground and it might also be adjusted further forward.
    I hope these few thoughts help.

    • Hi, Williams…..sounds ok..ur requirements are same as mine !…I am prob. 30″ socks…to floor..so 19 ” would be ok….no Raleigh Oakland around here… …will try the surrounding areas…..might still go for Metro…bit costly but might be worth it….then of course..one needs locks lights..high viz jacket ..couple of panniers!!!…new model of Metro out now….better gears than 2008 model……what kind of lock do u suggest ?…..at reasonable cost…and NEARLY ! pinch proof ???

      Thanks for replying so fast……all info helps..!…Michael

  3. Having paid £160 for my Oakland about a year ago (had just gone up from £140 but I see it is near enough £200 now) I must have spent even more on accessories. I bought a Helmet, a Brooks saddle for about £50, some basic lights, a set of panniers at Tescos for £12 which enable me to carry waterproofs, maps, puncture repair kit, spare innertubes, tools and tools. The bike computer was a present from my daughter. I bought a reflective waistcoat from the local road sefety centre for a few pounds and later a yellow waterproof jacket and black waterproof overtrousers from (I think) Army and Navy Stores (about £60. I have two locks, both quite pricey but decent quality though nothing is totally villian-proof. One is a Kryptonite Series 2 U-lock. This is sturdy and is the main lock for attaching the bike to immovable objects. It comes with a separate cable with built-in loops at both ends to slip over the U-lock before locking it. It also comes with a carrying bracket that attaches to the bicycle frame. Having attached the frame to something immovable with the u-lock, I then thread the cable around frame, rear wheels and through the metalwork of the Brooks saddle before looping both ends on to the U-lock. Then I have a separate ABUS cable lock, also a fairly stout device, which I use to lock the front wheel to the frame. My two locks probably cost about £75-£80 in total. Mind you, I use the locks when the bike is in the garage at home. Here it is cabled to my folding bike and the whole lot attached to a very heavy piece of workshop equipment – anyone who broke in unnoticed would have difficulty separating this lot without drawing attention to themselves and even half a dozen people would be unable to carry the whole lot away together.
    Then there is the Cyclists Touring Club, which I have joined (decent rate for oldies like me) mainly because it includes insurance. also bought “Cyclecraft” (£12.50) from The Stationery Office (and a new copy of “The Highway Code”) so as to get up to date with all that has changed since I cycled decades ago – it’s easier to cycle with some confidence when you know what “the rules” are.

  4. Hello – you referred to Windsor and Newton artisan range. Do you know where they are available in Cardiff or nearby please? Thanks Alun

  5. I get mine from the stationery shop (“Pen and Paper”) in Royal Arcade, which is just off The Hayes, between St David’s Hall and Central Library.
    Otherwise I think the Artisan range is sold in Inkspot, The Old Church, Newport Road, Cardiff (02920 490254)

  6. Pingback: By: Alun Burge | Posts

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