Getting It Done.

Some bikey goodness this week. My saddle finally arrived. It’s supposed to be gel padded and the ultimate in comfort for long distance riding. I popped it on. It certainly looks the business.

Before, plain ol’ Betty Monroe:

After, Mrs Ralph Hapshatt:

I had my first 5 day week in absolutely ages at work so I had to wait until my day’s off to try and fit the new exhaust system. Update, this week I’ve had 4 shifts, next week I’ve got 4. Finally making some decent money again.

It turned into a proper big job. Fairings off, seat off, top box off, centre stand off, tank off, battery, battery box and mudguard assembly off, rear shock absorber off, coils moved, just to get access to the exhaust. To add to the not inconsiderable degree of difficulty the bike needed to be propped upright, with the centre stand removed. It’s a single sided swing arm to I couldn’t just raise it up on a paddock stand. Improvise, adapt, overcome.

That was in no way fun. It took me all day. Then I had to pop for some jubilee clips to finish the job (hold the down pipes securely into the collector box) today. There is very little overlap on the pipes. Assuming they stay put, that is job done. As I was fastening the jubilee clip I did notice one downer. One of the downpipes runs over the oil sump plug. So I’m going to have to take the front pipe off every time I need to change the oil. Irritating, but not a massive job. Poor design though. I had another go at that snapped bolt. I can drill but I still can’t get any purchase to turn the extractor. I may be on to something. I’ve seen and ordered a drill bit extractor set. If I can get them to work in my impact wrench I should be able to make short work of it. Fingers crossed.

Bit of an update. The exhaust system is a blowing a little bit from the pipe joins but overall it’s really quiet. It came with a hi-level link pipe and aftermarket end can. As it’s so quiet I’ve weakened and ordered a baffle insert and a hi-level hanger bar. I’m going to try it, if it’s not too noisy it’s a serious upgrade to the look of the bike. I’m still waiting on the hanger to arrive. The other thing is the snapped bolt. I still haven’t been able to get it out, but now I’ve drilled so far that I managed to tap a new thread in the hole in and fit a shortened bolt. That should hold it. I’ll put locktite on when I fit it, just to be on the safe side. Whilst mocking it up I noticed another flaw with this new exhaust system, when you put the centre stand down it rubs against the exhaust to the extent it moves the pipes. It’s not a huge deal, I’ll only be using centre stand a few times a year, but again, bad design.

I’ve been a lot more consistent with my training. I’m trying to focus and take it seriously. I missed out on one 5 miles recovery run yesterday because I was working on the bike all day, but I got up early to do an 11 mile trot before work one of the days. Today was long run day. I thought I’d better finish off my bike ready for work tomorrow before I did it. Knowing I was going for a run I restricted myself to one cup of coffee. But that was all morning. I went out at dinner time, ran an easy 11 miles at 8 m/m then my calf cramped something fierce. It was so bad I had to stop and massage and stretch it twice. I ended up shuffling the last 5 miles, hurting every step, with tiny little strides to avoid flexing my calf. It’s still sore. I’ve never had a cramp that bad. I think it might have been a self inflicted injury, I must have gone out dehydrated. If it’s not better in the morning I’ll vibe and foam roller it. PS here as well, straight after saying I was going to have to be more consistent, I’ve missed two days. My calf was so tight. It hurt just to walk the first day. I’ll give it another vibe-ing in a minute, and try tomorrow. It’s only a 5 mile run so that’s a perfect test.

I’m back down to 10 stone. This time I’m going to try and keep it going. Eat a little more, not be hungry, but not gorge trying to find the elusive delicious thing of which the dieting deprived me. It doesn’t exist. Not with my broken taste buds. There is no point.

In other good news, Wendy had her painful, infected tooth pulled today. We had to go private as her NHS dentist said the earliest it could come out was October. £225 for about 15 minutes work. The thing is, the NHS dentist had to see Wendy twice in a week to prescribe antibiotics for a very painful infection, it would have been as quick and easy to just pull it there and then. Why were they making her wait, with serial infections and ongoing pain, for 5 months for a 15 minute job? Anyway, we nipped to Manchester, they X-rayed it, ‘yep, that’s got to come out’, done and dusted. Now her mouth has to heal and she’ll be right as rain. State of the NHS. So sad what we’ve lost and are in the process of losing.