Tuesday, 25 April 2006

Need vs want

What does a man need, really need? A few pounds of food each day, heat and shelter, six feet to lie down in -- and some form of working activity that will yield a sense of accomplishment. That's all, in a material sense, and we know it. But we are brainwashed by our economic system until we end up in a tomb beneath a pyramid of time payments, mortgages, preposterous gadgetry, playthings that divert our attention from the sheer idiocy of the charade.

-- Sterling Hayden, Voyage, 1976 [via Kent's Bike Blog]

Monday, 24 April 2006

HTB Booze Cruise

Went for a local booze cruise with some peeps from the Hamsteley trailblazers forum on Friday night. Local ride, out towards Barmpton village on a 'bridleway' I'd not ridden beofre, then back to Sweep and Shagga's house. Then out through Drinkfield and along black path to Faverdale BMX track, along to West Park, the on to Baydale Beck pub via Baydale Beck 'bridleway'. After some refreshments, we went back along the Baydale Beck, black path and through the denes to get back to Sweep and Shagga's house for chilli and curry.

I was on skinny tyres, but somehow avoided the double pinch flats two other bikes suffered on the way back.

Distance: 16 miles (guess based on Jo's computer, but she didn't do the first mini loop)
Surface: On and off road
Time: About 2 hours total
Weather: Warm and dark
Bike: Singlespeed Kona Hahanna commuter bike, with semi slicks (32:16)

Wednesday, 19 April 2006


Kyle MacDonald and I am trying to trade one red paperclip for a house. I started with one red paperclip on July 12th, 2005 and I am making a series of trades for bigger or better things. My current item up for trade is one year in Phoenix.

- One Red Paperclip

Sunday, 16 April 2006

Peak Oil

I just finished watching Robert Newman's History of Oil. It's quite scary watching; summed up, we're pretty much screwed. The Guardian Podcast interview with him is pretty good and sums up a lot of the points. The show was on More4, keep looking for reruns.

I may now be an anarchist anti-capitalist eco-warrior... If you own a car, fly short haul, work for The Man, shop in Tescos, use disposeable nappies or vote Labour, look out!

Saturday, 15 April 2006


Just got back from my first visit to the Rock Antics climbing wall in Aycliffe in more than five years! Managed to clean the overhang on my first attempt and flew up it as my last climb. Also climbed a few things on the first attempt that it took me a few goes at previously. Forgotten how good it was, I might have to make it a regular thing.

Wednesday, 12 April 2006

Easter Weekend

(Originally a forum post.)

Have you seen the 5 day forecast? Blimey! End-to-end sunshine!

I've got another week and a half off work, but have lost most of this one looking after the kiddies as my mother-in-law's been in hospital for emergency eye surgery. Hopefully, I'll get some riding in.

The NHS being as it is, the emergency surgery involved faffing about from Thursday to Monday; the machine breaking during the operation (after they'd knocked her out and removed the lens from her eye, but luckily before they started firing lasers at her retina!); a taxi ride to Middlesbrough (shared with some random bloke from A&E), a long wait in a cold corridor, being called a coward by a nurse for not just having a local so they could do the op faster (they were asking the people in the waiting room for volunteers to go for the local to get them done faster) and questioned as to why on earth she was going back to hospital in Darlo when she could just go home, on Tuesday; and a stay in the Memorial today while the specialist was in London. Hopefully she'll get home from her emergency surgery tomorrow, a week after being admitted!

In the odd bits of time I've had, I've stripped my commuter bike to bits. Oops. Hopefully, I'll get it reassembled in time for going to work again, otherwise I'll have to take the Inbred to work. Sweep, I may be bringing you some work... Smile

I'm hoping to get out on some local rides in the next week and a bit. On my wishlist are the bridleways out to Yarm and back, the bridleway along above the Tees from Stapleton to Croft, the bridleways from the west end of town round towards Coatham Mundeville which are potential long-ways-home, and my usual local loop up towards the Blacksmith Arms and back to see what the conditions are like at the moment. All these are potentially parts of my local uber-loop. I also want to ride to the forest and back sometime soon, to get an idea of how long it takes, so I can ride to the forest for the group rides.

I either need to fit new pads to my V brakes, or bite the bullet and fit my new/old disc brake, before I can ride any of these. I might go for the V brake option, as this needs doing before they get transplanted to the commuter anyway, and I need to keep one fully functional bike.

Wow, that turned into quite a rant. Too much white wine.