Tuesday, 11 February 2014

Two years and 11 days

Yes really.  That's how long we've now been Tiree residents.  I was planning a post similar to the last annual update but the weather here has been Wet with a side of sodden.  I also broke my camera mid January and it was away for two weeks for repairs.

But I still have some photos to share!

The tapestry is progressing well.  January saw all twelve panels joined together:
 photo 18FeetHeldUp_zps0f3a8c5a.jpg

Some rearranging was done to the odd item that didn't look quite right but overall it's amazing.  The border is now being mocked up and the plan is to use words of a song written to look like waves.  There are still bits that need to be embroidered or other bits that need sewing down but considering when I moved here all that was done was some shells, mugs and cakes it's doing well!

There are even thoughts on what to do next.  The main plan is not something so intensive.

The weather truly has been wet.  We're used to getting a puddle in the back garden but the driveway at the front being 2" deep is new:

 photo FrontBolt_zps5e593f74.jpg

There's also a puddle near the front olearea (I'm never going to fathom that spelling!):
 photo FrontLatch_zpsa20f89ad.jpg

We have had some dry days though.  One day it was so clear you could see Eigg and Rum and co:

 photo EiggRumEtc_zpsffcc4e33.jpg

 photo EiggRumEtc2_zps17af19e1.jpg

There was also a lovely view from Scarinish to Mull's snowy peaks:
 photo ScarinishToMull_zps04d5ab89.jpg

It's currently 2:45am.  When I woke up an hour ago the moon was so bright I just had to go out:
 photo Moonlit_zps5073969e.jpg

 photo Moonlit2_zpsb1449f54.jpg

There are hailstones galore piled up out front and more falling, but during the brief dry spell the moon was lovely.

The trike isn't happy with me.  After two years of very good use it was decided to change the chain as well as the rear tyre and rear inner tube.  Jo got a puncture last week so I took advantage of having the trike home during daylight to just do the whole lot.  Poor trike ended up looking like this:
 photo LeglessGB_zpsfa15162f.jpg

The tyre was only 9 months old:
 photo 6monthsWear_zps872a83ef.jpg

But why was the pedal missing?  Turns out that a trike being "used to its full potential" as said by the bike place we bought it from slowly deforms.

 photo ChainCrank_zpsb911c7c6.jpg

You see, the chainring starts off with very uniform "spikes" that go into the chain to hold it while force is applied.  Over two years those spikes don't wear down, they flatten.  The side that is pushing against the chain is under enough force that over time the metal widens.  If you don't really notice this the thickened metal starts to wear into the chain and the plates holding each link together get weakened and eventually the weakest snaps.

That happened last year.  I cannibalised a chain to repair it with the plan of a full overhaul come Easter.  So there I was last week; hands black with grease and road dirt trying to get the new chain on.  It sat on the rear wheel sprocket absolutely fine but was refusing to lock into the front chainring.  After arguing with it for ten minutes I fathomed the problem.  The teeth had widened so much that a new chain simply wouldn't fit.

Just for comparison; this is what 2 years does to a chain:
 photo OldChainNewChain_zpsaece5afd.jpg
Top is the 2yo rusty, stiff chain.  Bottom is the brand new, shiny, free moving chain.

So, after a Google to remind me how to remove the crank I left our poor trike in the sorry state above and contacted the bike shop.  Turns out the Bakfiets, who make this trike, make the chainring and pedal crank as one piece.  One piece that the bike shop don't keep in stock or have even had to source before.

So poor GB (Grumpy Bastard) as I have nicknamed the trike sat for a few days with no crank or chain.  But when the bike shop had no ETA on the replacement I put him back together.  That lasted a day before the chain snapped again.  More cannibalising; more blackened hands and for now GB is going.

We're just hoping the new part doesn't cost a fortune!  We did some looking of our own and the part needed isn't obviously available.  A replacement that would work comes somewhere in the realm of £150.

So, Bakfiets, while I love how easily maintained your cargo trikes are: consider either making that part easily sourced or making it so the chainring and crank are separate.  Thank you!

That's about it for now.  I'm going to go knit and watch something.


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