Sorry about the radio silence folks. I thought I'd done a clever update from my travels on my new phone - but clearly it's not quite as clever as I thought.
Status update: my increasingly frustrations with my old Specialised hybrid have led me (see previous posts) to take a radical step and I've now ordered ... a new bike on Cyclescheme.
With these things, I always worry that you guys out there will immediately go "ha ha, the fool, he's ordered the one bike which we know is useless - why on earth, etc etc". So please be nice, when I say I've ordered a Giant Seek Zero. Does that mean anything to anyone?
The main things I like about it are: it's got disk brakes (they're kind of new to me, but it seems they are much better in the wet and last much longer than the usual V brakes). And - it's got a kind of enclosed gear hub - so again all your gears are covered rather than exposed to the elements.
I cycled in this morning on my old Specialised and it's a nightmare - whenever I pedal hard the chain slips. I fiddled around with all sorts of screws and suchlike last night and made it a bit better, but I fear the fundamental problem is ... my teeth. They're worn down and the chain can't take it. Here's photographic evidence. Give me advice if you can tell me straight away I need to replace it all. Though with the new bike coming in a couple of weeks, I'm not sure it's worth it ...