How do I explain the 'deadbike' weekend?
A while back a kind of sweepstake was run on the Bikemagic forum, in which the price of entry was a bicycle component that was out of date but still worked. Those that entered had to nominate an ailing celebrity rather like a race horse, and the person whose celebrity died first 'won'.
What they 'won' was the culmination of a weekends labours using all the ancient and crappy parts - the 'Deadbike'.
This was of dubious value as often the bits were badly designed (the number of bits that were designed for mountainbikes that went against all good engineering principles was astonishing - more so considering they were often hideously expensive). Thus the first year saw a lucky 'victim' being made to ride a magnesium 'Kirk' framed monstrosity that had little directional stability and no inclination to follow the riders commands, courtesy of a Bontrager flex stem that lived up to its name. The second year I donated a Raleigh Activator frame (a kind of soft-tail) that I'd collected from the local tip and Ben mostly built the bike.
We'd also have a good ride (or walk, if you're Diane). Mind you, Jacobs ladder is viciously steep and rocky, which is where we held deadbike II.
This year we've not done the deadbike thing as that's kind-of been and gone, but we're all still good friends and it's nice to get together. After much arranging and rearranging we're off to the Malvern hills to the west of Gloucester, staying in a hostel. I was worried about the riding aspect, even though I'm tolerably fit from daily cycling. Tonight I managed 10.5 miles in about 45 mins (with gently fading lights :-( ) - not great, considering I'd do a '10' in 25 mins on a roadbike at the age of 15, but considering the knobblies, the dark and everything else that wasn't too bad.
So look out Ledbury - this is Deadbike weekend!