Tuesday, 31 January 2006

Home internet access problems

I currently have net access problems at home, which the nice man on the NTL helpline pinpointed as being a problem with my computer, rather than the modem. Unfortunately, I need a guaranteed working laptop more than I need net access at the moment, so I'm not fixing it till I get the current lot of marking done, which means no net access at home for a while (and I've had none for 2 weeks already). Plus, between kids and work I just don't have the time to get it fixed at the moment. As I'm now just online at work updates to this site will be even less frequent than they have been...

Tuesday, 17 January 2006

Site borked

Looks like my Del.icio.us bookmarks include is broken and that's messing up the site. I might fix it at some point, if I get time or can be bothered. Or, it might fix itself.

Friday, 13 January 2006

On-and off-road through Bolam, Bishop Auckland, Middridge and Aycliffe again

Quick post before I forget.

Last Sunday (8th January) I rerode the longish local on- and off-road ride through Bolam, Bishop Auckland, Middridge and Aycliffe which I first did a while ago. It was a great ride again; muddy in places, but not massively so, untill I made the mistake of riding the bridleway around the old Fujitsu factory which has 14" deep puddles in places and was boggin'.

  • Distance: 30ish miles

  • Surface: Mixed on- and off-road

  • Time: 3 hours 45 minutes (a good 30 minutes of which were probably the bit round Fujitsu...)

  • Weather: Cool, but dry

  • Bike: Inbred, with 2.1″ knobbly tyres

Tuesday, 10 January 2006

Cycling in Darlington in the Guardian

There was a long piece about cycling in Darlington in the Guardian yesterday. It's available in text-only form online: Making tracks . I'm getting a copy of the paper to see if there are any photos.

In some parts of Europe, a quarter of all journeys are made by bike. In Britain the figure is 2%. Can anything persuade us to leave our cars and get pedalling? Perhaps the unlikeliest of towns - Darlington - holds the key.

Darlington is no more than four miles wide on its longest axis (east-west) - you could cycle end to end in 15 minutes. From the outskirts to the inner pedestrian precinct could never be more than a couple of miles, but 80% of car trips are into the city centre. The transport unit's research shows that 34% of car journeys could, theoretically, be done by bike (short trips with no passengers or loads).

They've got an uphill struggle: I've been cycling to work for the last 11 months and people think I'm mad for doing so; since September, I've been cycling to Hurworth for work one afternoon per week and that's seen as insane - it's only 4.5 miles!

The tragic deaths of four cyclists in Wales last weekend has made people percieve cycling as even more dangerous, despite the fact you're statistically more likely to die playing bowls than while cycling.

Tuesday, 3 January 2006

Local road/off road New Years Day ride

Went for a local ride mixing up road, field-edge bridleways and gravel roads/farm tracks in preparation/"training" for the Hell o' The North century ride and its precursers that I'll be doing in over the summer. Apart from one trip to town and back, I've not ridden my bike for a month due to flu and Christmas holidays so I wasn't sure how well I'd handle it, especially the day after New Years...

I did a variation on a ride I did a while ago, just riding the beginning, then following a main road home. You can see a map at Gmaps pedometer (ignore the distance, it's actually 20 miles, I cocked up).

  • Distance: 20ish miles

  • Surface: Road, bridleway, gravel road

  • Weather: Cold and dry, bit of a headwind at start

  • Time: noonish, 2 hour 15 minutes

  • Bike: Inbred, with 2.1" tyres

  • Comments: Nice ride. Lots of icy puddles still.

Anyway, it was a nice two hours. There are a load of bridleways in the Bildershaw area, anyone ridden any of them?

The elevation feature in Gmaps looks cool; if only Google would get OS mapping.

Possible problems

I've forgotten to renew the hosting for mactually, and it runs out tomorrow. I'm going to pay this afternoon, but I may disappear briefly. Not that anyone would notice.