Wednesday, February 28, 2007


Sinclair A-Bike

I've been thinking about getting one for ages, but a combination of:
  1. Ruth offering to get me one for my birthday (shared with John Southworth)
  2. a £100 reduction for the month of February
means that I have ordered one! The web order means I get a free carry bag, and I've also ordered a pump (which I'll try to get my M&D to cough up for!).

I intend using it for short journeys like taking Lucy to the park (remember that she has her pink electric trike, that originally inspired me to get my C5!), as well as popping the 1/4 mile into Sale for things like Bud's and the Post Office.

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Steve Ovett: Moscow 1980, 1500m Gold Medal Ceremony

 Here is an image of the latest addition to my Steve Ovett collection.

It's from the 1500m medal ceremony of the 1980 Moscow Olympics, where he won gold, beating Seb Coe (hawk-spit) into second place.

Can you imagine being that good?

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Sunday, February 25, 2007


First ride in convoy!

I went over to my Dad's at about 1pm today to have a proper look at the Sinclair C5 that he bought yesterday from Martin Newell.

It looks very well restored and presented. Last night, I put my spare Halfords battery (the one that came with my C5) on charge so that my Dad could use it but he told me that Martin had provided a quick release setup with it, so I started off by helping my Dad to fit the Numax leisure battery that he uses in his caravan when he goes away.

I could tell that he was a bit embarrassed about actually getting in it in front of his adoring neighbours, but with a bit of cajoling (not aided by my Mum bent over with her hands on her knees, crying laughing) he took off up the road as if he was on a 600cc Honda coffin rocket.

I've got to say, I've never seen an in-motion C5 from behind before. Bearing in mind that I'm a big fan, it looked to me like somebody sitting in a floating chair without any (chair) legs! I'm going to have to re-evaluate all the smiles and car horn-tooting...

Anyway: he finally decided to bite the bullet and follow me the 3.5 miles back to my place. Just as we were heading downhill from Sale station I could see him dropping back in my mirrors - he had lost drive. AARGH!

However, it would appear (in his own words) that the "lack of oxygen" to the brain (more due to pedalling uphill than the ultimate height of said incline) caused him to forge an indentation in the handle bar rather than press the "GO" microswitch.

I checked it out, and it seemed OK, so we continued to my house. He had a revitalising Vimto (invented to cure headaches, from what I remember of the big wooden piece of art brightening my days at UMIST) and I followed him back to his place in my Volvo.

Perhaps the highlight of the odyssey was as we were going past a load of his old friends who were congregated on the side of a road. I don't know how he managed to keep going in a straight line while his chin was glued to his left shoulder, but it didn't stop one of the women from shouting, "Hiya Pete!". He waved with his right hand while still inspecting the stitching on his shirt. Laugh? I nearly made the traction control come on.

I could tell he was getting tired when he turned right off a main road while playing chicken with an Audi A4 and then left at the next t-junction narrowly missing drowning in a small lake over a blocked grid. And all because he didn't want to have to stop and pull away again!

We've got plans to take it in turns going to each other's houses to watch Man Utd play their remaining matches this season!

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Dad's C5

My Dad called round at about 6pm last night after going to to collect his C5 from Martin Newell. It was dark and raining, so he didn't bother getting it out of the car - we're going to save the maiden run for tomorrow.

He picked up my spare gearbox/motor...
and the motor cooling fan kit while he was there.

Martin gave my Dad a CD with pictures on it, that document a little of the history of the C5:

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Monday, February 19, 2007


My Dad's Sinclair C5

Martin has emailed a few photos of the Sinclair C5 that he is restoring for my Dad:

Here is the frame, along with wheels, rear axle and boot frame:And again from another angle:
Here is the chain tensioner, held on with a cable tie to prevent loss:Here is the assembled frame:
Assembled frame from the rear:Upper body:
Boot not fitted, no rear light housing yet:Rear light fitted:
Motor attached, with Martin's cooling fan mod:

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Sunday, February 18, 2007


Petition: Free bike parking

John sent me a link to this petition for free motorbike parking

Can't do any harm to sign up, surely!

Friday, February 16, 2007


Hallway done

Ouch - my knees are so sore I feel sick.

It's taken me nearly three days, but it's finally done, apart from a bit of work to tidy up borders between rooms which I'll do tomorrow.

It's distressing how small a camera makes rooms look.

It took a day to do the plywood flooring and sealing.

And a further two days to do all the cutting and fitting. I'd have had it done in a day if Ruth hadn't wanted a squared pattern. I'm too much of a perfectionist to allow dodgy lines so it felt like it took forever...

Tuesday, February 13, 2007


M&D's towel radiator

I took Lucy to see her Nanna & Gangan yesterday morning at about 10.30am, and ended up leaving at 6.45pm. Why?

Well - my Dad put a towel radiator on his bathroom wall 12 months ago but didn't plumb it in. My Mum has been suffering ever since, and not just with my Dad's quips along the lines of, "Get in the bath with your clothes on and it will save on laundry bills."

I decided to help out. It involved:

  1. Ripping up the cork tiles

  2. Ripping up the hardboard underflooring

  3. Going to B&Q for plumbing fittings & pipe, radiator valves

  4. Using a circular saw to pull up appropriate floorboards

  5. Draining the central heating system

  6. Cutting the existing pipework, and routing new pipes to the radiator

  7. Refilling the system and bleeding radiators

  8. Some detective work to get the boiler to fire back up

The boiler wouldn't fire up, and the pump in the airing cupboard was getting very hot and making a racket. It is a gravity fed central heating system, and we reckoned it was an airlock in the system even though all the radiators seemed full. I did some digging in the airing cupboard and found a bleed point hidden behind some towels. Et voila!

Now all I am waiting for are the excuses to come rolling in via the Comments...


Lucy plays RollerGo!

She saw an advert on tv and said she'd like to do it, so Ruth & I took her to the Trafford Centre on Sunday afternoon so that she could have a go!

I'm not quite sure why she came up with the name "RollerGo", but she seemed to prefer waiting for the ball to reappear than actually sending it down the alley! She did jump up and down every time though when she knocked skittles flying, which was every ball due to the ramp she was using!

Wednesday, February 07, 2007


New ELO song: Latitude 88 North

I've heard Terry Wogan (does that now make me a TOG? ouch...) over the last week or so playing this song while I've been driving to work.

I thought it might be a new ELO Part II track - I have a pupil who was impressed not just with my motorbike/helicopter/Apple MacBook combination, but is also an ELO fan and told me about their latest tour.

ANYWAY - turns out (I think) that it is a track that didn't quite make it onto the Out of the Blue album, and it appears that this year is the 30th anniversary (BLIMEY, little Frank!) and that "they" have decided to release this single - I am a good boy and downloaded it from iTunes.


My Dad's getting a C5!!!!

C'est très amusant!

I remember a time about a year ago, when turning up in my C5 at my parents' house, my Dad announced that he hadn't realised that he had "raised an eccentric."


Anyway, what goes around comes around, and he's had me trawling the net over the last couple of days because he wants one.

I've contacted Martin Newell, from whom I purchased my C5 horn kit last year, and he's in the process of renovating a C5 that my Dad & I will be picking up once he's finished with it.

Having graduated with a Masters degree in Microelectronic Systems Engineering, I was impressed with the quality of Martin's horn kit and instruction manual as well as the contributions he has made to various C5 forums (fora? I did Latin at school too!) so I didn't have any hesitation in recommending that my Dad buy a C5 from Martin rather than take a risk on eBay!

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