Sunday, 24 March 2019

Spring Clean....

After a week of gale force winds the weather finally settled down at the beginning of this past week.....  During the gales we had the pop top roof closed for eight days which was the longest period since we have been fulltiming that we have had the roof locked down....

Last Monday we awoke to a nice dry and sunny day with just a hint of a breeze so Anne and I decided that with not long left until we leave this site we should get some spring cleaning done...... 

 Anne worked on the inside of Eva while I did the exterior....
The dimple finish of our Eriba can make it a little more difficult to clean properly but I have found that Fenwick's Caravan Cleaner seems to work well in removing all the dirt that accumulates on the caravan roof and body over the winter...
Having said that, this year there didn't seem to be too much muck on the caravan....the fact that we have not been pitched near any over hanging tree branches has probably helped to stop it getting too dirty... Also all the rain and wind of the recent weeks has helped to wash off any dirt that had accumulated....





After I had cleaned the van with the caravan cleaner I used Fenwicks Bobby Dazzler to rinse off all the shampoo. The Bobby Dazzler leaves a lovely clean and shiny surface which helps the rain to just bead off the van's body and roof...

I receive no incentive from Fenwick's for the mention of their products it's just that I have found them to work really well with Eva's dimple finish.... 
The caravan gets a full clean twice a year like this...Spring and Autumn....

During the summer while we are touring around I use a waterless wash and wax cleaner which helps to remove traffic film...dead flies...tree sap etc. It's quick and easy to use when I don't want to be spending more time than I need to on cleaning.  However for a deep clean the Fenwicks seems to be the best product I've found......



Sunday, 10 March 2019

Return of winter and schoolboy errors....

We'll I was right not to trust the spring like weather that we enjoyed a couple of weeks ago....we have now been plunged straight back into winter weather.
Very strong gale force winds.... Lots of rain and now very cold again.....

Before the weather changed and we were still enjoying the spring like weather I was out on one of my regular Dartmoor cycling loops when I had a front wheel puncture.
After negotiating a 40mph downhill section into a river valley I crossed the bridge and then had a two mile up hill section of about 8% to pull me back out of the valley again.

Just as I got to the top of the climb I heard a sharp pop and the dreaded hissing sound of escaping air.....
The moment it happened my first thought was how lucky I was that it hadn't happened whilst I was zipping downhill at 40mph.... Front wheel punctures can be quite dangerous and difficult to control on fast descents.

My second bit of luck was that there was a bench just 100yds ahead of me...somewhere nice and comfortable to sit down and mend the puncture I thought.

 I removed the front wheel and took off the tyre and inner tube and then took out the spare inner tube that I keep under the saddle.
It was then that I realised that the spare tube would not be any good with the wheel.... The pro-lite wheels that the bike is currently fitted with have quite a deep rim and the tube had a short valve....this if fitted would barely be long enough to go through the deep section rim let alone have enough valve showing to attach my mini pump to in order to inflate the tyre again.

School boy error number one.... I can't believe that I have been carrying that inner tube around for at least a couple of years when it was in fact useless as a spare on this bike with those deep section rims.....

Oh well I thought I will just have to repair the puncture instead...
At first I couldn't find where it was...I finally spotted it on the inside of the tube.

(It had been caused because a bike shop mechanic when replacing a spoke had just made a hole in the rim tape to fit the spoke nipple and had not made good or replaced with new rim tape so the tube had been rubbing on the edge of the spoke hole.)

Anyway...now for schoolboy error number two....when I checked out my puncture repair kit I found that the patch glue was rock hard..totally useless.... I also wasn't carrying any self adhesive patches as an alternative so I was well and truly stumped....

The fact is that over the past ten years I have only ever had two punctures when out riding. One big blowout on my touring bike fully loaded. That was a rear wheel puncture which caused the rim to also damage the tyre.....and once on the Felt which again was a rear wheel...

Because I had never had a puncture when out riding the Tifosi I had neglected to check that tube and puncture kit were all ok.

As I have said schoolboy errors... caused by complacency I suppose. Just goes to show that even with 60+ years of riding under your wheels you can still make stupid errors..
I was pretty embarrassed having to phone Anne and having to ask her to come out and rescue me...

Moving on.....
Below are a couple of images taken from inside Eva the Eriba during the current return to wintry weather...
Also the last image is of a Rolls Royce Dart engine taken at a 1940s themed cafe at the nearby ex RAF Harrowbeer about a mile from our campsite.
The airfield was operational between 1941 to 1945 and was under the control of 10 Group Fighter Command... (Lots more information on the internet if you are interested)
The aerodrome was built from rubble from Plymouth after the blitz...

The cafe has a small museum attached to it and the 1940s theme even runs to the cups and saucers that your tea is poured into...interesting and quirky with 1940s music played in the background....we loved it!









A step closer to what is normal........

Over this past week our campsite has taken a step closer to what we think of as normality...  The sign that was put out at the entrance to ...