Thursday, 28 September 2006

Be careful on here

I've been getting loads of spam comments over the last few days. If you see a comment with obvious filth in it, please don't click the link - you'll only encourage them. I need to upgrade my WordPress installation; could someone arrange some 28 hour days for me?

Tuesday, 26 September 2006

Solitude Frame - first photos

Here are the first photos I have of my SSUK prize frame from Solitude Cycles. Alex writes about the frame on his blog. I'd got a bit muddled - the frame was being delivered to Alex today, not me.

Here are the photos (click for a bigger version):

SSUK Frame


Pretty, isn't it?


Advice for Friends of Cyclocross by Eugène Christophe

Old cx photos

Monday, 25 September 2006

Parcel Stress

I got an email this afternoon to say that my Solitude Cycles frame should arrive tomorrow! Woo!


stem comparison

I can't get foks with the length of steerer tube I need for the bar height, if I have a 100mm 35deg stem. Alex drew this up to see what diference it would make going for no spacer and a 120mm 40 degree stem instead.

Wednesday, 20 September 2006

The Great Milk Stout Ride 2006 - Pictures

Me on my bike

There are a couple of photo collections from The Great Milk Stout Ride 2006 now online.

Me riding into the distance

Monday, 18 September 2006

Mark Thomas

Mark Thomas is playing the Darlington Arts centre on October 5th.

Sunday, 17 September 2006

The Great Milk Stout Ride 2006

Took part on this charity ride at Hamsterly Forest today. Felt really good, especially considering last week was my biggest week of commuting for a long time. Climbing, the ss has to go fast, or you just stall, so I was climbing the hills fast, getting off to walk when it was ust too steep, by which time the geared riders were in such a low gear that at times I was gaining on them while pushing the bike.

I caught up with a couple of riders in the second half of the ride and we were told by a marshall that we were 4th, 5th and 6th places. They dropped me towards the end, when I was spinning out on a long decent, but I don't think anyone passed me, so I probably finished 6th. Maybe 7th.

Distance: 21 miles
Surface: Off-road - long 'fireroad' climbs, technical singletrack
Time: 2 hours 20 minutes
Weather: Warm and sunny
Bike: Kona Singlespeed (with 2.25″ tyres)

Thursday, 14 September 2006

A computer is like a bicycle for the mind

Interesting post at Presentation Zen looking at the way we use computers. An analogy that I can relate to:

does a personal laptop in the school function as a bicycle for the mind, amplifying the student's own capabilities and new knowledge or is it more like a car with pre-packaged formulas that allow the student to become soft in the head while appearing to really go places?

Is a computer like a bicycle for the mind?

Saturday, 9 September 2006

Thursday, 7 September 2006

The Internet is a Series of Tubes

Just testing putting YouTube videos on here...

Tuesday, 5 September 2006

Hell O' The North 2006

On Sunday, I did my first century ride on a hilly route through the Pennines (Darlington - Richmond - Redmire - Askrigg - Hawes - Kirkby Stephen - Brough - Middleton-in-Teesdale - Egglestone - Staindrop - Darlington (map)). The ride out to Hawes was wet and into a really strong headwind, which was knackering, but the ride from there was much nicer as the sun got out and the wind was a bit more of a tailwind. I was expecting the ride to be about as difficult as my ride to Tan Hill and back, since I thought the extra distance would be cancelled out by the thinner tyres, but the headwind made it harder.

I carried too much kit, because I wasn't sure what shops would be open on a Sunday. As it happenned, I needn't have worried, because there were loads open. I could easily have left the extra two litres of water that I carried to Hawes, then poured down a drain... I had a coffee and teacake in Hawes, but could have done with eating a bit earlier than that, and then having some more in Kirkby Stephen. I had a small bag on the bars, which was great for keeping Tangfastics, dried fruit and Geobars in for snacking as I rode.

There was some fantastic scenery on the route. The road from Brough to Middleton-in-Teesdale is stunning. Gunshots from the MOD ranges added a nicely surreal touch, as did the huge bearded guy wearing tartan plus-fours...

I was absolutley knackered by the end. My knees hurt, rather than my leg muscles which is odd, and I had sharp pains in the back of my shoulders. Once I'd signed out, it was like a switch had been flicked and I just had no energy left; the ride home from the town centre seemed to take ages compared to when I ride home from work. I think I got round on stubbornness, rather than fitness. I think I was slurring my speech when I got home, and I was shivering while wating for a hot bath to run.

I'll be doing it again next year.

Darlington - 8:45
Hawes - 1:00
Kirkby Stephen - 3:00
Middleton-in-Teesdale - 5:00
Darlington - 6:45

Distance: 100 miles (approx)
Surface: Road
Time: 10 hours
Weather: Wet and windy, but warm
Bike: Inbred (with 1.5" slick tyres)