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Member since Jun 2008 • Last active Mar 2020

Most recent activity

  • in Bikes & Bits
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    Here's a new 5 speed.


    They offer a 14-24 which your mech might be able to cope with. The TdF doesn't really like anything over 22 teeth, but I think your JUY 51, because of its different jockey cage, would probably manage 24.

    Nearly all the screw on blocks offered now have at least 28 tooth bottom - which seems to assume the purchasers are are bunch of wimps!

    I can't check my own stock atm, but I may well have a spare 14-18. Sadly, I'm unlikely to be able now to cope with an 18 bottom anywhere apart from Regent's Park.

  • in Bikes & Bits
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    It looks fine - are you waiting for tomorrow's 'daily exercise' to do a road test?

    It occurs to me that in view of the interest in these plunger type gears it might be worth asking the old boys who raced using them what they can remember about how they worked when used in anger.

    I spoke to Doug Collins earlier this evening who, as a 19 year old, rode the 1956 Tour of Britain using a Benelux (he won the last two stages and finished sixth on GC).

    I think, given a couple of days, he may dredge up something interesting from the back of his mind.

    There are one or two others I can ask - does this sound an interesting project for our lockdown?

  • in COVID-19
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    Boris Test

    I hope we all remember that ill health is quite a common end to a prime ministerial career:

    Eden, resigned 1957 (after the Suez cock up). Lived another twenty years.

    Macmillan resigned 1963 (after Profumo and many other problems). Died at the respectable age of 92 in 1986.

    Wilson resigned 1976, died 1995.

  • in COVID-19
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    It is necessary to be rude about most politicians.

    But the Pericles story is not offensive -it is an informative comparison.

    It has been said that although history doesn't repeat itself, it does rhyme.

  • in COVID-19
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    Boris tests positive:

    If you don't know the story already google: Pericles.

    The wiki entry does not make it immediately clear that the Athenian plague was at least partly due to Pericles' own policies.

    As a classicist Boris will know about this and probably, in the past, would have wished to be compared with him (P. was a great orator)

    However, he will also have known P's fate, which may be why Boris has been looking a bit uncomfortable recently.

  • in COVID-19
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    All forum users should find Keith Bingham's blog interesting, but the latest post on it by Peter Whitfield is essential reading now.


    I'm not sure I entirely agree with Peter because I fear he is putting too much faith in statistics which may prove to be absolutely worthless. Having said that I still believe this is a clear and valuable analysis.

  • in Bikes & Bits
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    Yes, you're absolutely right - by about 1959 nobody with any sense or money was still using a 'plunger' type derailleur. I'm sure that's why the final Simplex version was a hopeless failure even though Anquetil used it successfully. Aside from anything else it cost as much as the Campag Gran Sport, but still retained the old technology. Although I was around at the time I think the first 'Juyrecord-60' I ever saw was on Hilary Stone's table at a recent Ripley Jumble - and he wanted £300 for it!

    I have in front of me an advert from Sporting Cyclist for July 1962 which offers the JUYRECORD-60 for 95 shillings (£4.75) which might sound cheap until you remember that you could buy a Campag for £4.00!

    I have a feeling I may have retailed this story on here in the past, but I think it's worth
    repeating. I got this from a Bath RC member who is a little older than me and as a young man trained with Dave Bedwell (AKA The Pocket Rocket from Romford). Dave was a prolific winner of road races and a successful pro. Some time about the end of the fifties when he had just spent an evening desperately trying to hang on to Dave's back wheel and they were warming down he said: "Dave, I can't understand why a man of your status and calibre is still using that crappy old Simplex mech."

    Dave replied: "Oh that's easy, I get three quid a week to keep using it."

    My friend was dead impressed, as an apprentice he was only getting £3.17.6 (£3.875) a week!

  • in COVID-19
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    I'm not an economist either, but for what it's worth this is how I understand what happens in a normal devaluation (if there is such a thing).

    Speculators (may be indivduals or goverments) spot a weak currency - they sell that currency and the central bank for that currency has to buy what they are offered with foreign currency.
    Eventually they run out and then the goverment has no option but to devalue. Naturally they will try to cover their backs by claiming that the devaluation will be brilliant for industry, but the fact is they've been stuffed. This usually means electoral defeat - soon.

    The Attlee government devalued in 1949, just survived the 1950 election but were mortally wounded and lost in 1951. Wilson was probably wrong in failing to devalue immediately after being elected in 1964 (when he could have blamed it on the Tories), devalued in 1966 and hobbled on until 1970 when he hoped in vain that a World Cup victory would save his bacon.
    More recently the 1992 Lamont fiasco was a prelude to T. Blair's landslide.

    Sadly, this process has not yet worked through with the 2016 version.

  • in COVID-19
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    It seems to me we have perfect conditions for rapid inflation: a magic money forest combined with shortages of goods.

    Though if this is replicated in every country all around the world will this not nullify its effect?

    The problem is that inflation will not be replicated evenly throughout the world. The British economy is famously weak - low productivity and investment, chronic balance of payments deficit etc., so we are likely to do badly. I see high inflation as being like taking a lot of fragile things and throwing them up in the air. Let's see how they come down!

    It could well be very bad for the baby boomers (I'm just pre boom myself) who have done so well in the past. We (I'll include myself here) are mostly reliant on savings, which are likely to be wiped out, and we have very little earning capacity left.

    Luckily for me I probably have enough bikes to see me through .

  • in COVID-19
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    I suspect it's a reference to the value of the pound falling after the 2016 referendum rather than a formal devaluation - given that you can't devalue a freely tradeable currency.

    Yes, Danstuff is exactly correct. The sterling/euro rate was 15.81% worse (for us) at the end of 2016 compared with the beginning of the year (I've just looked it up)

    TW nicely proves my point - they got away with it! The public didn't realise they'd lost a lost of their money.

    Danstuff's post raises an interesting linguistic point : "you can't devalue a freely tradeable currency". This rather assumes devaluation is something active which is done by a government, which may be how a goverment presents it to the public. In reality it is something which is forced on a government by powers outside its control - in other words it is passive,not active.