Bike fixing – a report

24 August 2011

John's Bicycle maintenance session #2

The turnout for the second bike fixing session was as disappointing as the first – only John, Tessa and myself, plus a brief cameo appearance from Joyce and Leon (who had attended the first session) who popped by on their way to a ride.

This was a pity because John had prepared very thoroughly, giving us handouts on how to identify wheel and tyre sizes, and bringing along a collection of inner tubes with holes in them, for us to practise puncture repairs. He showed us how to release and re-connect brakes, and how to adjust them, how to remove wheels and get tyres off, and finally how to repair a puncture. He was very methodical and patient, insisting that we (that is, mainly Tessa, as I was OK with puncture repairs and had come along mainly for advice on my gears) try out each stage of the process until we could do it.

I think this kind of ‘skill-sharing’ is a wonderful idea, particularly at times when the state of the economy may rule out going to the repair shop, and is to be encouraged. I even wondered whether it could be extended to such things as electrics and plumbing, where I could offer some guidance myself. I hope John can be persuaded to run another session, but understandably he would need to be sure that a sufficient number of people would turn up.


[More photos on Flickr]

Bike Fixing

4 July 2011

I am planning on starting the bike fixing session on 31st July or 14th August. It will be two hours long meeting at the peace statue in Brighton/Hove. Start time will be 10:00 am. Bring your bike and any tools and accessories you normally carry. We will be covering the jobs most frequently needed such as puncture repairs, gears and brake adjustments. You will be working on your own bike so that the knowledge gained is directly applicable. Two hours will go pretty quickly. If we don’t get through further sessions can be considered. Let me know if you want to attend.
John Clinton

News and ‘bike fixing’

21 April 2011

“Signing up” for Rides

It is becoming increasingly necessary to know how many people are planning to come on rides, partly because we often need to book for lunch, and partly because of the problems with getting on the train. For the next ride (1 May) both reasons apply. So please, if you are planning to come, let me know! (See “The Next Ride“.)



Bike fixing

A message from John Clinton:

“I am proposing to run an introductory lesson on how to maintain your bike. This will be a ‘hands-on’ experience where you get to understand how things work and to make adjustments. You will work on your own bike so that the knowledge gained is specific to you and your machine. We will tackle such things as, ‘are you sitting comfortably’, how to fix a puncture and adjusting brakes and gears. At the end I will suggest a set of tools to carry with you on your travels. The session will last about two and a half hours. Please bring with you tools and equipment you would normally carry so we can assess their suitability. A minimum requirement will be a puncture repair kit.”

The date for this session has not been finalised yet, so hopefully there will be further information in a future newsletter. Please contact John at if you are interested in attending.

John has also sent this message about the Capital to Coast charity ride in July. Check out the website for more info.

“We Need Your Help!

We are looking for people to help us with marshalling to encourage and support the riders along the Hove to Hove route and after it joins up with the main route, and were wondering if you know of anyone?”

May Day – Ideas wanted! and other news

8 February 2011

My assumption last time that the new £1 Sunday parking charge would be “not confined to Lewes” station seems to be wrong – at least for the moment, since parking was still free at Berwick station yesterday. But best to make sure you’ve a £1 coin with you just in case, if you’re using a station car park.

May Day – Ideas wanted! (Especially since it has been reported that the government is planning to get rid of the May Day bank holiday.) Jim has been looking into May Day events in Hasting – but the results are not encouraging. He writes:

Assuming this year’s programme will be roughly the same as 2010, I see that there is not so much happening on the Sunday – there is a church service at 10.00 followed by Morris dancing outside the church, which we *might* be in time for (the 10.20 train gets there at 11.30ish – we might need to get the 9.20 to see it), then the next thing in the schedule is the crowning of the May Queen at 1.30 – maybe not our sort of thing though … There is an exhibition that will be open, and there may well be all sorts of other things going on that are not in the programme.

Still, I wonder whether there are any better places to go – is it worth asking members if they know of any other interesting May Day events going on elsewhere in Sussex before we commit ourselves?

So, members – and indeed all recipients of this newsletter – you’ve been asked. Any ideas? Do let me have them ASAP.

Bike-fixing sessions

John has so far had five takers for his proposed bike-fixing/cycle maintenance sessions. So all that is now needed is a warm day, and as John says, “Warmer weather is just around the corner.” So, if anyone else is interested now is the time to make contact. John’s email is

Talk of bike fixing reminds me for some reason of the first time we did a New Forest trip. One can’t carry everything that might be needed in case of a mechanical failure (although when I’m leading rides I always come weighed down with a full cycle toolkit case – as recommended by Cycling Weekly, though not really for carrying about!). But it is a very good idea to make sure you have with you at least a pump and a spare inner tube that fit your particular sort of tyre.

Members – present and future (final appeal)

If there’s still anyone who hasn’t renewed their subscription for 2011, please send £7 (£6 national subscription plus our £1 fee) to Jim Grozier, 92a Springfield Road, Brighton BN1 6DE. Make your cheque (or PO) out to Brighton & Hove Clarion Cycling Club.

News: 24 January 2011

25 January 2011

Dear fellow members and friends

24 January 2011

As you’ll see from Suzanne’s report of Jenny’s ride yesterday, it seems that anyone leaving a car in a station car park on a Sunday (assuming the new charge is not confined to Lewes) is going to have to pay £1. Previously it was free on Sundays. I don’t think this is something to complain about (won’t do us any good if we do, I suspect). The reason I’m mentioning it is to alert everyone that if you’re coming to a ride by car and planning to leave it in a station car park, you need to make sure you have the right coin(s) for the machine.

Disappointing news about the Cycle Forum (see Roger’s report). Let’s hope it can be revived – in a more effective form perhaps. And thanks to Roger for his persistent efforts in this direction.

One new activity that everyone at the AGM last week thought was an excellent idea has been proposed by John. Here it is in his own words.

Bike-Fixing Sessions

I used to run a bike business in Ireland for many years, selling bikes, fixing bikes, fitting components and taking people on tours. What I had in mind were tasks like fixing punctures, adjusting brakes and gears, correct position on the bike, assembling a get-you-home tool kit. This can be done in the open with people working on their own machines and learning from their own experience, probably at a convenient spot on the Hove promenade. We would need a warm day. A couple of two-hour sessions would cover most things. If interest develops in other things further sessions could be organised. No special tools or equipment would be needed.


A ‘warm day’ seems a long way off at the moment. But the first thing we need to do is to get a rough idea of how many people would like to attend the sessions that John might organise. If you would, please let him know. His email

Members – present and future

Jim tells me that most people have already paid their subs for this year. So just a reminder for those who haven’t yet got round to it.

To renew your membership for 2011 – send £7 (£6 national subscription plus our £1 fee) to Jim Grozier, 92a Springfield Road, Brighton BN1 6DE. Make your cheque (or PO) out to Brighton & Hove Clarion Cycling Club. Jim will then be able to send a single cheque for £6 x the number of renewing members to the national membership secretary at the end of January.

And for those many people on the mailing list who have not yet joined us, here’s what to do:

Go to the bottom of the About page and print out a membership form.

Fill it in and sign it, and send it to Jim with your sub.

Future Rides … 2011 until the end of July

Not too soon to be thinking about possible rides for the summer. Suggestions?

It is not possible to check train availability more than 12 weeks in advance so later rides will be provisional for this reason.

Sunday To/Led by
6 February Berwick circular (Ian)
20 February Telscombe & Southease from Pier (Roger)
6 March* Gatwick circular (Anne/Mick)
20 March Bluebell ride (Jim)
3 April Berwick-Glynde via Blackboys (Jim)
15-17 April New Forest weekend (Jim)
1 May Possible Hastings ride (Jim)
15 May
29 May
12 June
26 June
10 July
24 July*

*Ian definitely not available