Reggie’s Ransom, The Return

My eventful week continued (eventful, that is from the perspective of the pupils I hope but uneventful from that of a teacher, thank goodness) with two more visits to Boulogne following the previous post and then a visit to the cinema yesterday morning in Henley to see a French film with 90 Year 7 students. The old guy who is the part-time projectionist at Henley Regal Cinema took me on a guided tour of the projection room which was fascinating. The kids were watching the French film Astérix Aux Jeux Olympiques and it was being shown via an old-style projector dating from the 1970s pictured here (the projectionist’s finger, not mine – he kept tapping & poking the film and I was terrified it would all suddenly get chewed up by the mechanism in a frenzied shower of film and there would be cries of horror from the auditorium below) but it was equally interesting to see the ultra-modern 3D polarising projectors that have been installed over the last couple of years. Our film had arrived in six film cans and each spool had to be connected together prior to the showing; Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows, Part II arrived by courier while I was having a coffee after my behind-the-scenes visit in the café in the foyer… on a hard disk delivered in a cardboard box. Mmm… I told the projectionist he really should watch the film Cinema Paradiso which, despite his many years of doing what he does, he had never seen. He promised to do so.

Anyway, there is news about Reggie! As I was walking up the hill back to school with my 90 cinema-going pupils, I received a call from A.W. Cycles. New back wheel, new chain & cassette, new cables, new brakes, general service (is there anything left to service?) plus labour will set me back £280. Gulp. I must keep reminding myself that £280 would probably only buy me three or four full tanks of petrol in an averaged-sized car. Or a fraction of the cost of a car service. Or indeed the insurance… I authorised the work to be done and I should be back cycling to and from work for the last few days of the academic year next week. £280 does, however, make me think I should make the most of my investment and escape somewhere by bike for a few days over the summer holidays.

Categories: Cycling

5 replies »

  1. Ouch, Big style!
    It was my first big bill like that that spurred me into investing in a little knowledge and servicing my own bikes! My bill was not quite that size but it still exceeded my annual car service bill of £120.
    The wheel should be no more than £80 unless you go for something special, the cables cost about £6 for the inners all up and £10 for the outers. The rear cassette should be at least £27 and at most £53 depending on type and lightness. The best 9 speed chain you can buy is about £16 (In My Humble Opinion)
    All up this is less than the bill, the rest is labour charges and overheads.
    Yes it will feel like a new bike when it’s done and that alone is priceless…
    A course in cycle maintenance is not big outlay and it could just get you out of a hole on tour! That alone is worth the cost.
    A reasonable home (not to be carried around ) tool kit is about £80. The tools you can feasibly carry on tour are of course a lot less useful but still a good touring tool kit will include a good quality multitool, chain tool, Hypercracker, p~~nct#re kit, spare tubes, (folding tyre on long haul) spokes, chainlinks cable ties and electricians tape. You can tackle most of the jobs a tour will throw at you with these and a bit of knowlege.

    Still , as you say, it is a lot less than car insurance let alone the rest of the costs.
    Enjoy him when he gets back and send him a get well soon message from me.

    • My other problem is that I live in a flat; I already have a carpet with far too many oil stains. You can only convince yourself that they are actually not part of the pattern for a limited period. The guy on the phone said the wheel (whole thing is being replaced rather than just the rim) would be about £90 btw.

      • Make sure you get the old wheel back. The hub will be fine and if you ever need to you can get that built onto a new rim and have a spare rear wheel. You could play about with it learning what it it like to remove spokes and tighten then and the like for future touring needs. Get the old cassette too, although it will be worn it might be handy for emergencies on that new spare wheel you will have!

        I bust a spoke on my rear wheel just yesterday. Need to drop it off for repair and might just look at what lightweight sporty wheelset options he has at the same time…….

What do you think?