If the freedom of speech is taken away then dumb and silent we may be led, like sheep to the slaughter.

- George Washington

Monday, 6 February 2012

Bear with me ...

Nowhere Towers, having survived the onslaught of the Kitchen Fitters, Double Glazers and Boiler Installers (all at once) became afterwards a haven of peace, at least until Christmas. This weekend, it started all over again, on a smaller scale, with Anna's engagement of a friendly local man who is 'tidy like' at decorating. The living room is now denuded of everything but a heavy armchair and a Broadwood piano, so we are taking our recreation in the study (filled with the erstwhile contents of the living room) and eating standing up in the kitchen. Anna has commandeered the only horizontal space for the MonsterMac, leaving me with no option but to blog on my knees. Literally, not metaphorically.

In other news, the fault with the Sprint's steering which led, inter alia, to my minor crashlet the other evening, is being dealt with. I have removed the bodywork and the front forks and, after a considerable struggle against the depredations of time (in the form of seized parts and corroded fasteners) I have dismantled the steering stem. No bloody wonder it was a crash waiting to happen. The bottom bearing creaked and groaned like a rusty fairground carousel and the movement of the bearing (which should, according to the manual, be a smooth and almost silent spin) was jerky, uneven and utterly recalcitrant. New bearings are now on order, and await my next few days off to fit them, refurbish the forks, and possibly check the valve clearances while the plastics are off.

This is after a thorough clean. These bits should be shiny. Ugh.

All of which is a long way of saying that blogging will be light for a day or two until order and sanity are restored to the homestead. Keep the comments coming - I get everything in email even if I don't visit the blog, and I appreciate them all. Responses will be made in duke horse.


  1. I thought a generous squirt of WD40 cured everything?

  2. Hope the decorating goes well. Think how nice everything will look in a few days time.

  3. I'm wondering whether they actually check the steering during an MoT - my little 650 passed and the head bearings were worse than yours so nah nah ni nah nah......

  4. I'll bet you have fun getting that inner race off the stem! Brings back memories of the BeeEmms... If there aren't any places to insert some suitable wedges, the best course of action is to butcher the cage and rollers off, then set about the race with a lump hammer whilst supporting the other side on a solid object. If you're lucky the hardened race will break in two.

    Obviously you will be wearing some eyeshields...

    Other possibilities are to beg/borrow/steal a proper bearing extractor, or get the race really hot with careful use of an oxy torch.

    To help with re-assembly leave the stem in the deep freeze overnight, and put the new bearing in the oven to preheat (when Anna's out...). BUT have all the tools you need to hand before starting, and work quickly. I have some old box spanners which fit over the stem to use as drifts. Once it's all cooled down work plenty of grease into the cage, and apply some more to the outer race before assembly.

    Sorry if I'm trying to teach you to suck eggs...


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