BrownhillsBob's #365daysofbiking

On a bike, riding somewhere. Every day, rain or shine.

Posts tagged ‘continental’

#365daysofbiking A contact sport

Friday January 22nd 2021 – Normally in winter I ride studded tyres. I do so because they’re bombproof and hold me upright even on black, sheet ice. They are noisy and hard to ride, but always my winter weapon of choice.

This year I read about other, studless winter tyres: Continental Top Contact 2 Winter.

Now I’ve not had a great experience of Continental tyres before now – Gatorskins were dire, although Continental’s inner tubes are up there with the best. So I tried this complex-treaded soft rubber commuting tyre with some trepidation.

I needn’t have worried: They are stunning. Not as good on black ice, but they are extraordinarily grippy. They have dealt with snow, ice, slippery mud and good old fashioned wet leaves. The grip is incredible.I am seriously impressed.

What’s more they’re pretty fast and silent too.

I could get used to these. Well done, Continental. Well done.

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July 19th – I see this wonderful Christiana cargo bike about a lot – huge covered box on the front, hub gears, massive bell and brooks saddle. It’s built like a brick outhouse. I often see it in Pelsall. Today, it was parked up outside Aldi in Brownhills.

These are tremendously popular in northern mainland Europe, as well as other brands like the Dutch Bakfiets. You often see children being conveyed to school in them by parents over there – but here, this is clearly on a shopping trip, and a rare thing indeed.

A wonderful utility bike and I salute the owner.

April 13th – Aldridge, a mixed bag of a day. I nipped into Walsall on an errand, then came back to pay the continental market a visit. I’d been before to this periodic event, and enjoyed it a lot. I was looking forward to this one with some anticipation. Sadly, I was disappointed.

The market placement – in the car park outside the shopping centre – felt a bit detached from the town itself, and the selection of traders, although quite diverse, wasn’t great. Formerly there had been a great French cheese stall here, but it wasn’t present. The stalls that were there, were eye-wateringly expensive. Buying olives, I was asked if the portion weight was OK, as it was ‘A bit over’ – when I looked at the scales, it was almost twice the amount I asked for. Stuff like that doesn’t endear. 

Also unendearing was the Paella stall serving cold chicken Paella from an open pan, reheated in a microwave. It was still cold, and somewhat disgusting. This isn’t what you’d expect from a decent market. I left saddened, and doubt I’ll bother again.

I was intrigued by the fancy dress crowd whose path I crossed heading out… 

Returning home in the drizzle of a grey afternoon, I noticed the two busses parked up outside the Aston Manor Road Transport Museum, ready for the open event next day. The route master (if that’s what it is) looked particularly lovely, and both vehicles brought back memories. 

I wish the museum well in it’s new home.