Sunday, 30 June 2013

The Beer Hunter

It appears that I often mention the Beer Hunter in these blogs, please don't think this is my only aim in life like some raving alcoholic, the truth is these sorties are for a bit of light exercise which I combine with  my penchant for sampling quality Real British Ales which are usually only consumed one glass per sortie.

A little information regards the Beer Hunter.

Stella Artois Gears
Newton and Ridley frame
Okells Chain Set
Courages Front disk brake
Thwaites Rear Brake
Weatherspoons bars
Theakstons Tyres
Marston Pedigree Pedals
Double Maxim  Front Suspension
EverardsRear Shock
Sam Smiths Saddle.

As for performance, it requires a Two-Legged incline pusher but on those downward track its fast, and now and again a little bit wobbly especially on the return journeys.

I don't wear a helmet because I never did when I was a lad and I ride mostly on the canal banks and by their very nature they are on the level, except at locks, plus there isn't any traffic to knock you off. Having said that coming back from an unsuccessful hunt I did fly downhill on a stony track at breakneck speed, I'm sure if I had time to look the brake disc would of been glowing red hot.

I'm getting fed up with the number of punctures I get when cycling along the towpath due to the number of thorns from hedge trimming. I need to reinforce those tyres. I have got some old carpet and lino on the boat that I will cut into strips and pack between the tyres and inner tubes to give them a bit more protection. There are puncture-free tyres on the market but they are much to expensive to put on the BH, the bike would become more appealing for tea leaves with them fitted, at the moment when moored its either left in the hedgerow or on the roof unlocked.

When we were last in Halfords I was tempted by one of those fold up jobbies they were on offer at a third off, this was still too expensive though. Sue is not a great fan of BH on the roof but even a fold up bike will take up a lot of room in the cratch.

This was part of my old cycling route, it is Douglas Promenade, 1.7 miles long and flat, the white lines are part of a designated cycle way. The hills around the island were a bit too much for me so I used to take the bike in the back of the car to the promenade and do as many circuits as I could, usually 4 to 6.

Saturday, 29 June 2013


Didn't do much yesterday. It rained most the morning but I did get a cycle ride into Braunston to get some milk. Today we are going to watch the second test for the Lions against Aussie's and then walk the two miles into Braunston for the Historic Boat Rally.

We have shuffled the boat along the bank by about 20 feet because we were under a tree and those lovely birds are pooping from it all over the roof.

1800hrs we have just arrived back at the boat after a day at the Rally I took loads of pictures they are in this album click here. We had a quick look around the exhibits in the Marina and then we set up camp in the garden of the  Boathouse for a drink and a two for one meal deal. From this vantage point, we could view and listen to all the boats as they paraded from Braunston Marina to Braunston Turn and back again. While we sat at the water's edge Steve from Rugby Boat Sales past us on his annual holiday, we were able to have a catch up with him and his good lady Sue as they moored close to Festina Lente for the night.

Thursday, 27 June 2013


Haven't moved more than two feet away from the boat today. Was up earlyish and sat out on the bank and read for most of the morning, I'm reading  Diver by Tony Groom  and it charts the career of the author as a clearance diver for the Royal Navy, all the more interesting as our friends son Matthew was a clearance diver and the training these guys went through is not for the faint-hearted.

The afternoon I spent with a rag and a bottle of Brasso and gave the curtain rails and inside vent trims a good shine.

Before and after.

Just as I had started to get ready for a cycle into Braunston to wiz of a postcard to a friend back home the rain started, so that will have to wait until tomorrow.

Got this text from a friend the other day:

To the person who nicked my trainers while I was on the bouncy castle today. ,,,,,,,..GROW UP.

Wednesday, 26 June 2013

Dirty Boys

We moved yesterday evening back to our isolated location by bridge 100 although not so out of the way now as the mooring here is getting full.

This morning we woke to glorious sunshine and we were soon pottering around doing some chores. I got on with painting the forward gunnel where I have lost some paint by rubbing the sides of locks.

I also give the stove another blacking while Sue did some baking
I've already sampled the Spiced Crumble Cake and it tastes excellent I don't suppose it will last too long. 

In the afternoon I cycled into Braunston but instead of using the towpath I turned left over bridge 98 which meant lugging the bike over a stye and through a few keep shut country gates.

Going down some of these tracks I felt like one of the 'Dirty Boys' again.  The dirty boys were a group of mature off-road motorcycling friends I used to go out with on a Sunday morning on the green/muddy lanes of the Isle of Man. 

Down this track is the church of St Peter it was locked today but you are able to get a key from a nearby house to look inside.

I made my way to Braunston marina and for a moment I thought Elizabeth would be coming to the show, everywhere was newly painted in white, the bridge, railings, buildings, seats and planters all had a lick of wet paint on them.

After my visit to the marina, I took the BH along the towpath to the locks and so to The Admiral Nelson to search out Timothy Taylor which a fellow boater had recommended I try.
and very good it was to.

Tuesday, 25 June 2013

Braunston Rally Mini Preview and Jack Reacher

I was up and out of bed at 6am this morning, the yellow disc was up in the sky and the birds were singing. While Sue was in the land of nod I had a cycle ride into Braunston to see if any of the Historic narrowboats had arrived in town, I was pleasantly surprised. Here are some of the pictures I took early this morning.

If there hadn't been for canals and the working boats to carry coal to the mills and industries of Britain and the goods they made to the ports that fed the trade around the planet there would not have been an industrial revolution in Britain. The narrowboat was a key part of the economic growth of the age. The horse and cart method was too slow and often damaged the cargo whereas boats were quicker & smoother, one horse could pull a laden boat with 20 ton of cargo easily but only a few cwt by cart over the rutted tracks of the day.

It was nice to see the colourful boats tied to the bank but I'm looking forward to hearing and smelling those vintage engines like Bolinder, Gardner and Lister at the weekend.

We moved the boat into Braunston opposite The Boathouse for the night and will probably go back to yesterdays mooring tomorrow. This afternoon we had a pleasant stroll down to the Admiral Nelson and sat in the garden watching boats go through the lock.

Jack's Boat