Hoping to help these guys...

Hoping to help these guys...

Tuesday, 30 August 2016

Disraeli Gears

Now *that* is an LP cover!
“You know how the title came about - 'Disraeli Gears' -yeah? We had this Austin Westminster, and Mick Turner was one of the roadies who’d been with me a long time, and he was driving along and Eric (Clapton) was talking about getting a racing bicycle.

Mick, driving, went ‘Oh yeah - Disraeli gears!’ meaning derailleur gears...we all just fell over! We said that’s got to be the album title.”

The quote above is from the celebrated and feared drummer/headcase Mr. Ginger Baker, who was remembering how the title of Cream's 1967 LP came about. Perhaps you had to be there, hah-hah-hah!

Never mind all that old (and excellent) pony, this blog update will perhaps only be of passing interest to gearheads/bike nerds and fans of Cream only, hence the tenuous title link. What a Venn Diagram that lot would make.

Believe it or not, there will be other deranged folk out there who will want to ride a similar jaunt to this one and it can be helpful to see just how others have done it...what kit they have taken etc.. It might equally provoke sharp intakes of breath with a muttered "Nope, I wouldn't have taken/would have taken that". Anyway, here goes...

Cheers Gordon, hah-hah!
My bike is a bit of a strange brew itself: I bought my 57cm Kinesis Racelight T2 in black through the Cycle-2-Work scheme in November 2011. Gradually almost all of the components were replaced, mainly because they were worn-out. The only original bits on it are the seat post, shifters and the frame and forks! It also got a respray pour Le Tour last year and a few dodgy decals too.
The Yellow Peril, as at August 2016. Just add panniers.
It's a good idea to get the bike looked at before any big trips so I turn to local maestro-mechanic Mr Colin Gardner, who used to look after Bradley Wiggins' bikes once upon a time. Wonder whatever happened to etc...

CG with Sir Wiggy Smalls in 2001.
Anyway, Colin knows his bicyclette onions big-time, so believe me when I tell you that my bike comes back in the best possible condition, running as smooth as a cashmere codpiece. It almost seems a shame to get it covered in cow-muck courtesy of the Lancashire roads, hah-hah!

New chain=clean chain. 11-34 and 50-34 necessary for weaklings.
Not anticipating too much of this down-route.
There may well be days when I struggle to remember it.

The bespoke spec'

Frame: Aluminium 57cm Kinesis Racelight T2
Forks: Carbon Fibre Kinesis DC07
Wheels: 36H Exal LX17 rims, DT Swiss spokes, Shimano 105 hubs
Brakes: Shimano BR-650, Kool-Stop pads
Shifters: 9 speed Shimano Tiagra
Front Disraeli gear: Shimano Sora
Rear Disraeli gear: Shimano Deore
Chainset: Shimano Sora 50-34, 170mm cranks
Cassette: Shimano 11-34 9 speed
Bottom Bracket: Shimano Tiagra
Chain: SRAM PC-971 9 speed
Pedals: Shimano M520 SPD
Handlebars: Kore 46cm
Bar Ends & Headset Cap: Kapz custom
Bar Wrap: Deda double-wrapped
Stem: Deda 130mm
Headset: Dear knows
Cables: Shimano
Tyres: Schwalbe Marathon Plus 700x28c, which means no mudguard clearance but more comfort
Tubes: Michelin
Saddle: Probably 4ZA...whatever, it'll cause grief anyway
Rack: Tortec
Panniers: Altura Dryline 32L
Bike Computer: Garmin Edge 800 & HR monitor
Beer: Long & cold, thanks.

The all-up weight of the bike with the panniers is 25kg and I add another 75kg, give-or-take. That is where the struggle is going to come, as any climbing has the double whammy of slowing things down and using up more energy and willpower i.e. burning matches faster than I'd really want to. Ah diddums...break-out the world's smallest violin etc.!
Nice work on the W's. S. V., hah-hah!
Down near the bottom somewhere. Apt.
Those seat-stays were curved before I sat on it, ok?
One 'em' too many. D'oh!
Stuff all that lot in two panniers and away we go!
You should have seen how much rubbish I *was* going to take...luxury living for a month, hah-hah!

Hate this junk, but there may be an occasion when I need to 'break the glass'...
As mantras go I've seen worse. Marginal ale ahoy!
At the time of writing, the sponsorship is getting there but there is a long way to go still. Please see if you can spare a couple of quid or whatever to help Bloodwise and Combat Stress. Here are those links if you are able to donate:

- To donate to Bloodwise, please click 'here'!

- Please click 'on this bit' to support Combat Stress.

Thank you: I know that the two charities really appreciate all your help.

Alright then, back to Ginger, Eric and Jack. Did I ever tell you that I once asked JB for a handshake? The curmudgeonly old git refused and it damn near killed him to pose for a photo, hah-hah!
In fairness, he signed my setlist and he did play a blinding show too, in Kendal of all places. I'll finish with perhaps their finest, and certainly one of *the* great riffs...

Lucky to have been there: Cream's first reunion show at The RAH. Right, Rog?


  1. Guv, I'm right at the epicentre of the venn diagram and love the bike, other than the Palace decal of course. Less than a week to go, so you can take it easy on the taper...

  2. Can't fault you re The Palace (#pardewout), hah-hah! Trouble with this taper-nonsense is that you're meant to have down some training to ease-off from...hmmm, is it me or is it a bit hot in here...