Optimist’s Tables – A New Season

Firstly if you have not read my explanatory post about what these are, please read my blog post at:


With The Championship teams all on the same number of games as of this morning, I can turn attention to a new addition, the Vanarama National League. Here there is already a significant difference in the games played.

The Optimists Tables shown are for entertainment purposes only and by visiting this blog, you understand that some errors may occur during their preparation and that the writer accepts no responsibility for any usage other than their illustration for entertainment on these pages.

All tables complied at 11 am 24 September 2021

In League One and League Two there is only a small difference between games played, but I’m sure Sheffield Wednesday fans would like the look of the table.

Ralph 24/9/21

Jersey Air Display

I was fortunate to be in Jersey last week for the annual air display.

The weather was kind enough and it was wonderful to see the Red Arrows again. It is strange but as soon as I see them my mood gets boosted by hundreds of percents and I have the biggest smile.

Hopefully, one day I might be able to see them perform again at Silverstone on Grand Prix Sunday.

Incidentally, I have not given up on poems, I’m just temporarily distracted by other events.

Thanks for another great display ‘Red Arrows’ and all the other aircraft that made the day great.

Here’s a couple of shots I’ve taken in earlier years


Ralph 14/9/21

Potting on made Simple

I cannot claim any credit for this, having seen Monty Don do it a couple of years back. What I can acknowledge is that I’ve spent the previous 25 years of gardening completely oblivious to something so simple!

My main interest in growing for the greenhouse is chillis from seed. This year with one thing or another means I’m late to the next stage of potting on, but there is no need to worry as I can still get crops up until December!

I usually grow a wide variety, but this is much narrower this year..

Because of this delay, I’ve also gone up to a slightly bigger pot than usual, I would normally pot on again. Another reason is that I have just focused on Habanero. In the past years I’ve done a wide amount of varieties, but I like the fact that the Habanero chilli give good flavour as well as heat and getting hold of seeds was not as easy.

Time to be potted on
New pot size
Fill with compost to a few cm depth
Put plant still in old pot in place
Fill about 3/4 of the way up and firm compost a bit
Remove plant,leaving perfect size and shape of hole
Remove plant from pot
Put in hole
Complete fill of compost to level of plant
Perfect potted on plant

F-Bike Frustrations

After 11 months after heavy use 4 times a week, a belt finally gave up the ghost on my ultrasport f-bike exercise bike.

While that was not unexpected, the hassle I encountered was really frustrating. I could not find much on the web, (A web search for Ultrasport reveals they have a spares page but it’s in German and I could not see F-bike products readily) save for a place in the Uk, gymparts, to order a replacement belt. Warning, there are 2 belts and they are different so make sure you order the correct one. Mine had the numbers printed on the belts.

Speedy service from https://www.gymparts.co.uk delivered a replacement in a couple of days, but you may want to note that with postage it was about £20 or in other words 17% of the cost of a new bike.

Putting it on required removal of the plastic case, the transparent window and the pedals. The locknut on the pedal was so tight, I could only undo it with a torque wrench.

To remove the pedals required a crank puller, another £8 or so.

What follows is my description of the issues I faced. The diagrams below are to aid this. Everything here is about my own experiences for ENTERTAINMENT PURPOSES only. It is not instructional, maintenance advice or a repair guide.

By continuing to read this, you acknowledge the above and also accept that I am in no way responsible for any subsequent damage to your bike, tools, yourself or anybody else.

Rear View with case off, the belt I replaced is the one on the right of the picture.

I could not see any way to get the belt over the frame as it was fully welded top and bottom so I had to undo the nuts.

I found that tension in the belt could be altered by changing the positions of the tensioner pulley and also the lower spindle (this would alter the position of the lower pulleys for both belts).

WARNING ⚠️ I very easily stripped the threads on the tensioner and the lower spindle. This meant I had to buy a die kit £10 to rethread the tensioner bolt and I used a nut off an old trailer that I had broken up in the past. I just about got away with the remaining thread on the lower spindle.

The lower spindle can be moved forward and backwards by turning the small tension nuts as long as the larger lock nut is loosened. I found that it was quite easy to get the lower pulley horizontally out of line with the top one, which if not corrected causes the belt to leave the top pulley when in use.

Resistance change mechanism

However, I did have better success with the resistance settings on the bike. It’s top setting is eight and I noticed that once I got to 6, turning the control knob to 7 and 8 made no difference. I found that the adjuster nut was vey slack and also that the resistance plate which is meant to move closer towards the wheel as the resistance setting is increased did not after 6. By tightening the adjuster and moving the limit bolt, I was able to get a full range of resistances.

So for the moment, I’m backup and running, although it seems a bit noisier than before. I’m not happy that it was such a pain to do what should have been a simple task and I’m sure once the right to repair gathers momentum, this bit of kit wouldn’t score too highly.

I’ve spent nearly £20 on new tools to do the job, but I’m quite philosophical about that, they are bound to come in useful elsewhere. Overall though I have to say I would probably have preferred to use the money I’ve spent towards buying a new bike.

Ralph 13/8/21