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Vredestein Scarab 2007-03-31 Saturday

Posted by hoipoloi in Hardware.

What initially sounds like an Egyptian curse, is in fact my choice of ‘summer’ tyre for our two everyday bikes.


The Scarab boasts ‘Wide, semi-slick centre tread for low rolling resistance, with traction cleats for off-road use’ and ‘Equipped with PRS Puncture Resistance System’ and at less than a tenner from www.wiggle.co.uk they should be fine until next winter.

Obviously I shall report back on just how ‘Puncture Resistant’ they are. What I will mention though is that they were a real bitch to get them to seat properly on the rim ( I even tried inflating to the max 50psi to see if they popped into place). It took me most of one evening to change four tyres on two bikes. Now, I don’t know whether it is because there is a contradiction in sizes or not but after decades of fitting bicycle tyres I can honestly say I’ve never experienced anything like them.

The label clearly states 47-559 (26×1.7)


And the tyre shows 47-559 (26×1.75)

Scarab wall

I know the difference is in the width, but as the tyre is primarily measured metrically, I can only assume it won’t be an exact imperial 26 x whatever. I may be wrong of course 🙂

The conclusion is that while they perform nicely, I’m hoping that I WON’T get a puncture during their lifetime, and I WON’T be replacing them with the same tyre again.


Speed bumps 2007-03-17 Saturday

Posted by hoipoloi in Misc.
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Those speed bumps in Green Lane can catch you unawares if you’re not careful.

Speed bumps

We’re off to see the wizard… 2007-03-13 Tuesday

Posted by hoipoloi in Rides.
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No cowardly lion, no scarecrow and no Judy Garland but I did come across the Tin Man in Brownhills. OK so it’s been there for nearly 12 months now but it’s the first time I’ve seen it face to face kneecap.

Brownhills Tin ManDoes it/he have a name I wonder, or is this giant tin miner (which is actually a coal miner, he’s from Brownhills not Cornwall) known simply as ‘Tin Man’?

He’s actually made of stainless steel so ‘Tin Man’ isn’t really correct. There’s more about him on the Walsall Council web site.

Our friend Kim reckons he’s got a cute butt, but that’s typical of Kim. Here’s a close-up of his face. If you want a close-up of his butt you’ll have to go to Brownhills yourself.

Tin Man close-up

Microsoft Live Search managed to catch a sat pic of the statue as it was being built. Enjoy Live Search if you’ve not seen it before. I spend ages looking to see what my neighbours have in their back garden 🙂

That is all.

9.44 miles for the day.

Where’s Walsall Gone? 2007-03-12 Monday

Posted by hoipoloi in Rides.

After my malnutritional experience at Reedswood (which is explained on my other blog as I wish to keep this one relatively moan free) I rode through Walsall town centre. My first thoughts, as I hadn’t been here for some time, was that I was in another town. Not that Walsall has improved aesthetically, just that so much of the old town has been removed, and not just the bad bits.

Here’s a bit still standing, the old Reginald Tildesley garage in Wolverhampton Street:

Tildesley nose pick

Another part that I recognised without too much trouble was the Arboretum. What I hadn’t expected was that cycling appears to be permitted in the park. As there are signs that say “Cycle With Care” I assume that’s a safe assumption. Here’s a picture to give Johnny Foreigner an idea of what I’m talking about:


Heading north out of Walsall the old church at The Butts is still standing. There is probably a good story behind (or underneath?) this church but I can’t be bothered to look for it today.

Cracked Church

Just what is it with churches at the moment? This is Rushall Parish Church. It is located just off the Lichfield Road and is badly in need of some bench seats for atheists to sit and eat their sandwiches (unless I’m mistaken and they hide them all on weekdays).

Rushall Parish Church

That is all.

10.61 miles for the day.