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  1. This afternoon, 2021 Kings Lock (now closed) tearooms, GU Canal, Leicester section
  2. I'll add a Fact four: On the rear wheel, a brake disc balances the offset which the freewheel block creates, eliminating, or much reducing the "dishing" effect on the wheel. This means that left and right spokes can be run at similar tensions. On non-disc wheels, it's vastly more common for the block-side spokes to break, as a consequence of spokes on that side needing to be shorter and tensioned higher to pull the wheel across to make space for the block on one side. On my own bike, left and right spokes are the same length on the back, which is fabulous because I need to carry only one length as spares when touring. The only time (in seven years of having this bike, touring with full front and back panniers in Australasia and Europe) I've needed to replace a spoke was when something fell into the wheel.
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  4. I'm missing the green/gold Reynolds stickers on the seat tube and forks that suggest it's 531. Of course, it might have been resprayed but a pro paint job usually comes with decals added after. Owned a few 531 frames myself, and I agree that few builders use them now. Even worse if you want one repaired.
  5. Yes, I've had delays and price increases. And then some more delays and a few other price increases. A virus can't affect supply lines, but shutting down industry and keeping workers at home has. It was deliberate government policy, not anything to do with humble Sars-Cov2. I ordered my boat in January, and this month was notified that some of the steel has arrived. Some of it, not all of it. So the shell is underway at least. My builders have shared what a rotten year it's been for them too. Unable to match demand for new builds, they have actually seen sales drop at a time of unprecedented demand.
  6. So sorry to hear your medical condition forced the end of boating. The lesson to "jump off the financial cliff" is well made, and I'm sure you treasure those memories of your time afloat. I retire in a few months and find myself neither on the cliff nor the ground. Falling, falling towards the water rapidly approaching beneath. Will there be a boat to land on or will I be forced to swim towards the bank and climb out a soggy mess?
  7. Very true, and of course union membership was vastly higher than in today's Thatcher-decimated landscape. It's interesting you recall Rodney when hearing the name Bickerstaffe, and that I do as well. Perhaps we are both of that age when our impressionable years overlapped Bickerstaffe's time in office. But I think it was more that he was regularly in the news, and for the good reasons too - campaigning for an end to low pay and for better rights for public sector employees.
  8. You mean Rodney Bickerstaffe, head of the NUPE union. Not just health service workers, also some utility companies (before privatisation) and university staff.
  9. She's a smasher, and solid oak floors, too. Can we excuse them for upgrading (some would say downgrading) Love Life Triumph to a widebeam? You're right about the fabulous furry Foxes and their eponymous boat. With that price I'd expect to have a percentage share of their YouTube income in perpetuity. Or perhaps that's understood that the sale of Silver Fox includes "goodwill"?
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  12. For fitters-out afloat, I think we need a gazetteer of woodyards and DIY retailers close to canals, with good loading access where, for instance, 8' x 4' sheets of ply can be rolled across to the boat easily on a hand cart. Obviously, one can painstakingly check each spot by a canalside shopping centre for suitable suppliers on Google Maps or similar, but I am imagining a list which gives specific outlets against the name of the canal. Decent mooring beside the site and ramp access to the road are a plus, of course. Here's a start GU canal - B & Q next to canal north of Aspley Marina (across a car park, level access) Coventry canal - Jewson at Bridge 21 (very close, but steps for access to road?) River Trent (Nottingham canal) - Brooks Bros (UK) Ltd, Lenton Lane at Bridge 13A (within sight of canal, easy access)
  13. Thanks for that, @Naughty Cal. I'm hoping to get on my boat later this year and am observing the Calor cylinder shortage and how it would affect me. with a degree of horror. I'll only be using gas for cooking, but even then it does seem to offer a decent saving in cost of refills over the exchange of a 13kg propane Calor cylinder. Let's assume @MoominPapa's quoted RRP of £35.50 is the mean price charged in marinas (perhaps fuel boats will be cheaper?) for a Calor swap, then about 8 refills of the GasLow would be the break-even point. that's assuming I could live with a single refillable bottle. But on the canals you are often not far from petrol stations anyway, I think. As you say, with your consumption, the pay-off point was likely pretty soon. I'd imagine (from what I read and see of cooking-only gas users' consumption) that my use would need a couple of years to see the investment repaid. Still pretty reasonable - better than solar panels, in fact.
  14. Coming back to the subject of gas cylinders, is anyone using the removable GasLow Direct Fill refillable cylinders (https://www.gaslowdirect.com/product/gaslow-direct-fill-11kg-refillable-cylinder-01-4011-67-d/) on their boat? If yes, how much does a typical recharge from a petrol station cost? Do you get by with a single cylinder, or have two, with one for switchover prurposes same as with Calor? (two GasLow cylinders at £400 are quite an investment)?
  15. A walkround: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LkM_fTVw5jc
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