A Pox On Triumph Handlebars!

I’ve been holding off doing this post until I’d finished the job and could report in, well, triumph. I thought today was the day. *hangs head in shame*

All I wanted to do was to put a tail tidy and a top box on the back (done) and lower handlebars on the front. A modest enough ambition. It’s been hellish. First off I got the bars and realised the fairing wouldn’t allow me turn the front wheel.

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So I decided to order a cheap, second hand fairing to butcher all the pointy bits off.

Supposedly there is only one type of fairing for my bike. Spotted one, ordered it. Wrong one. Huh?

It has two screw holes at the top, mine only has one. OK, bought another, assured it was the right one. It arrived, same as the first! What?

I did a lot of searching on the genuine Triumph website and realised I was barking up the wrong tree anyway. You can do away with plastics altogether, by simply fitting a back to the (now exposed) clocks.

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Did so. Assured it was mine. It wasn’t mine. Sort of rounded instead of the angular bits.

Sent it back and ordered again.

(Each of these attempts involved me taking the fairing off and on, by the way.)

New one arrived, right one! Huzzah!

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Plastic gone, but still got upright sitting position due to the handlebars.

So, take the bars and all the bits off, fit the new ones with all the bits, mark where the bits fit, take it all off again, drill two holes in the bars (took ages, like drilling rock!) put it back together again and Viola!

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Chuffed to bits. That’s a great riding position, right over the tank, and (apart from the necessary evil of the top box) looks smart as a carrot!

I put my tools away, grabbed my leather and lid, fired it up, moved 6 inches, went to turn the bars, smacked straight into the clocks. HOW? How is that even possible?

I spent a good 5 minutes looking at it in disbelief, then longer trying to adjust the bars. Not happening. I had to take it all off and put my original bars back on.

So that was my day.

I’ve managed to sell both the fairing I bought, and get a refund on the wrong clock back. but I’m struggling as to where to go from here. The easiest solution would be to reposition the clocks, either drop them down on to the headlights or attach them to the handlebars, but there is an electrical cable with a load of connections that limits travel. 

I’m not beaten yet, but I’m taking a fair kicking. It’s a 20 minute job. It’s taken me weeks, months, possibly, and I’m still not there.

OK, I’ve got that off my chest. Deep breaths.

Which segues me nicely into my other topic; the plague.

 

I’ve had everyone being concerned about me, even the runners on twitter were saying I should rest my lungs rather than try to rebuild my fitness.

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And it’s fair to say I struggled horribly at first. I was a bit hit and miss for the first week after returning to work, then one day I put my running shorts on and my belly flowed over them. I did a half marathon that day and have been pushing it since.

It’s not been an easy ride. I went out two week ago with the intention of running a hilly 2½ miles to a bridge over the mersey which is quite steep, then doing 5 miles of hill repeats, then run home. I got there, did a mile, and had to continue my run on the flat, I had nothing. I ended up limping home, exhausted, barely keeping it under 10m/m. That was for a 10 mile run.

I took a day off, regrouped and have been coming back stronger since. I did a 20 mile run and kept it in the 8m/m’s. Someone was talking about speed work on twitter so I went to test my mile fitness. That’s a lot harder than it sounds. You are going flat out from the off and hanging on for grim life as it all goes south. Anyway, my previous best, I think, was 6.25 for a mile. I’m still a stone overweight and not as fit as I’d like, but I had a benchmark against which to measure myself. I did 2 miles warm up then straight into a mile sprint. It was awful by the end, I was panicking because I was sucking in huge lungfuls of air but it just didn’t feel like I was breathing. I’d put too much into it to quit, so I just kept going. I didn’t pass out and I finished the mile in 6.33, so it must have been in my mind, not my body. I did a really slow mile, walking the last 10th of it, to recover, then tried again. I had a nasty wind hit me at the end, which made it harder, but I felt like I could breathe the whole time, and I did it in 6.39.

8 seconds, even 14 seconds, off the pace over a mile, when I’m 11 stone, isn’t that bad.

I’ve done long, I’ve done fast, today I went out to try and redeem myself on the hill repeats. I did the 2½ miles onto the bridge, when I got there there was a woman runner already doing hill repeats. On my hill. The cheek.

I got stuck in. It’s never fun on hills (for me) such hard work, but I kept going. I was running up one side of the bridge as she was running up the other. I noticed a few times as she was breasting the hill she was walking the last bit. But after a few miles we were still passing at the same place. I was cursing myself for being rubbish, if she was walking sections and I still couldn’t catch her. I was trying to see her route, if she was doing shorter laps (not that I’m competitive or anything) but we were always on opposite sides of the hill.

It gave me something other than my own misery to think about. She finished and was walking back to her car, as I passed close by she shouted “How do you make it look so easy?”

There you go. Perception. I was dying by inches, willing it to be over, she thought I was cruising.

I didn’t hear her so well at first so shouted back, somewhat incongruously, “I don’t. I hate hills.”

It did give me a bit of a boost to finish the 5 miles though. Then I plodded back home. And I kept it, including the 5 miles of hill repeats, under 9m/m.

It could have easily gone the other way, there is no concrete science for the after effects of Covid19, but I’m not one to be put off by the risks of trifles such as lung damage and heart failure. And, to my own satisfaction, I can see definite, quantifiable, improvements. So, I was lucky to get a mild dose, and luckier to get no serious damage.

 

To end on a lighter note, twitter has been fun, if somewhat gallows humour.

Bozo has announced class war. All the rich stay safe, the middle classes work from home, the working class have to go back to work and die. So that’s nice. The plan was always to cull the excess population with herd immunity.

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He issued a vague new slogan to see us through the slaughter.

Alert

Which twitter tried to decipher.

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President Trump went on air and announced that people should inject bleach. The the amusement of many and the horror of the medical profession.

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It’s all about life during the plague.

My twitter chum trying to do video conferencing.

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And people commented on the facile trend of clapping for care workers at 20.00hrs on Thursday. Presumably by the same people who voted for the party that cheered as they refused a pay rise for nurses, and is currently failing to get them masks and protective equipment.  

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But there was some general whimsy.

Someone tagged me in a game, name 5 things that bring you joy, then nominate 5 people to keep it going.

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My contribution

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And random whimsy.

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Lockdown boredom

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Anatomy of a horse

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And just because

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Stay safe.

Buck.

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