Alas, I’ve been busy at work and sick…sigh…again, resulting in this blog being sadly neglected….Booooooo!!!!!!!!. However its a quiet Friday afternoon and all my co-workers have nicked off early so I’m doing some blogging. This blog is a bit of hack job/outright theft of an article I read in the May 2017 version of Bicycle Times. Hopefully the publisher’s lawyers won’t be pursuing me for copyright/IP theft :-).
No matter, this article resonated with MMT as he was wondering what the hell to do with all the old and crappy inner tubes he has. The question being, if a tube has been patched 3 or 4 times, isn’t it time to let it go? In this age of recycling shouldn’t there be another use for these things. Well this arch-plagiarist thinks so. So here’s five really cool uses of old inner tubes.
Tie Down Straps
Go to a camping store and find some 1 inch buckles. A 28mm tube should thread through fairly easily. They are perfect for strapping things down to a rack, securing items to your handle bars or pretty much anything you might use a bungee cord for.
These can be used to hold new inner tubes, holding tools together so they don’t rattle or even holding a flashlight on the handle bars. Mountain bike tubes seems to work best.
This one requires a bit more work. Find some velcro, super glue and a length of rubber. Figure out the right length for securing your pants/jeans. Alternately, you could sow the velcro on instead.
Protective Chain Cover
This is an awesome idea. Thread your locking chain through the tube to stop it from scratching the bike frame or some other part.
This really surprised MMT. Cut the length ways into strips of about 1 cm wide. Follow the ribs of the tube so they are straight. Cut them to length. Most laces are of the 55cm to 75cm variety. Thread them through and tie them up. You should be able to slip them on without untying them.
Now MMT did a smidge more research care of Google and found another set of interesting uses:
Fire starters: An inch-long bit wrapped around some kindling will start a fire, even in the rain.
Keep a bit of inner tube on your handlebars. Put it over the brake, locking your bike wheel, very useful when taking your bike on a train or bus.
Bits of inner tube make a great cushion between various attachments on your bike, much better than the insets that come with the items.
Wrap your D-Lock in inner tube to prevent damage to your bicycle’s paint.
Put inner tube on your rack. Your panniers will then fit perfectly and won’t rattle.
Inner tube make a great seal. It can be used to make lights waterproof.
Use as a seal round fuel or water bottles to stop them leaking
As almost none of my readership will know, I lived in the Eastern suburbs of Sydney for about 8 years. One of the places I loved to hang out was Clovelly Beach, a secluded man made beach tucked away in between Bronte and Gordon’s Bay. Last Sunday I visited the beach with the better half of Team MMT. Sunday mornings at Clovelly are particularly special as the local surf club run their junior lifesavers program, aka nippers. The beach and inlet are overrun by kiddies 7 years and older swimming, paddle boarding and beach running. Its a pretty amazing sight and one that I’ve greatly enjoyed over the years.
God lives here according to Reg Mombassa.
However, MMT was greatly annoyed by overhearing two older English couples complaining about cyclists riding on the Pacific Highway in Northern Sydney. The complaints included: slowing traffic down, being overly aggressive whilst ridding in a pack (its called a peloton dearie…sigh) and apparently causing them fright when they nearly ran one over. WTF…..
Stupidity of this kind really should be rewarded with a Darwin Award. First, as you visitors to our country, do us a favour, leave your money and GO HOME. Second, the road is there for everyone to share and unlike you, those cyclists who pay taxes and have every right to use the road. Finally, if you were frightened by nearly running over a cyclist, how to you think that person felt. Possibly its time turn in your drivers license and pick up a mobility scooter. These people really did live up to the often described stereotype…whinging poms. Fortunately, they didn’t stick around for long, perhaps they were confused by sunny, warm conditions and the absence of rocks on the beach.
Here’s my first blog entry for 2016. Back in October 2015, the Missus and I had a 4 week European Holiday that included a few days in London. I spent more than a few hours visiting a list of bike shops and scooping up bargains were I could find them. One of the best shops was a café that I used to frequent when I lived in London. In fact, I can remember when it opened in 2010. Tired of really crappy coffee offered by Starbucks, Costa and Café Nero, I was becoming quite desperate for a decent Australian style latte or flat white.
Fortunately, ‘Look Ma No Hands’ opened up and offered much better coffee crafted by staff that had a much better understanding of their expresso machine. The shop had free wifi, a sunny aspect and a fledgling bicycle workshop. Also, it showed old 70’s & 80’s TV coverage of the grand tours and monuments. It was mainly frequented by students and bicycle couriers with the occasional suited trespasser like me.
So when I dragged my footsore wife from Old Street Tube Station to the there in late October 2015, it was with fond memories and quiet hope that it hadn’t changed much over. I checked out the Café’s website and it seemed very promising. Happily, reality for once matched the glamour and gloss of website. The café was full of people viewing a crowd sourcing pitch for short film about how cycling was helping a young man get the better of his clinical depression.
The coffee was much better than I remembered it and we spent a lazy 45 minutes soaking up the vibe and trying on shop branded merchandise. I purchased a short sleeve jersey and cap. Both have been given a few test rides and have passed the ‘marv’ test with flying colours. Its kind of cool to own a jersey that no one in Melbourne has or at least I haven’t seen on the back of another rouleur around my locale.
So to quote ‘Molly’ Meldrum and that irritating TV ad that’s on high rotation at the moment, when you are next in London ‘Do your self a favour’ and visit one of the great cycling cafes in the UK, Look Ma No Hands.
This is my last blog for 2015. At the start of the year, I set myself a goal to ride 5000 km before 1st January 2016. Despite illness and a couple of really enjoyable holidays I was able to achieve this easily. I’m actually pretty chuffed. The grand total was 5947.39 km from 432 individual rides.