Category Archives: Bike

The trials and tribulations of me on 2 wheels :)

Mallorca with team Glow

Late last year Aileen joined Team Glow (a womens cycling club), and this last week has been their trip to Mallorca. Thankfully I was able to go too (yay!) and join in on the rides. Also strapped to my noggin was my trusty GoPro Hero camera for recording going down big hills very fast 🙂

And this is what I’d like to post here 🙂 In a rough order of when they occurred 🙂

First up, the descent from Col d Orient, this was on our 4th day, and was part of a 72 mile ish loop with 4000ft of climbing 🙂

There were two descents, the first being from the top of Col d Orient trough the town of Orient and then climbing up to Col d Honor.

I much prefered the climb to Col d Honor to the one of the Orient, felt faster for some reason!

After climbing that, next thing to do was to descend into Bunyola! 😀 Really enjoyed this descent, just wish I could have gotten past the guy in the BASF jersey towards the end :/ ah well next year perhaps 🙂

Day 5 was a rest day, so just a 16 mile jaunt along to Alcudia for lunch with Aileen, saving our legs ready for Day 6, which was Sa Colabra!

Unfortunetly my Garmin had a funny (possibly heat releated?) and mislogged some of the points on the climb so I didn’t get a time from top to bottom 🙁 my first ever cat 1 climb and part of my data is messed up! typical.. next year I guess :), thankfully the GoPro didn’t fail to record my descent. Probably could have got a better time down if it weren’t for all the damn Armchair warriors sat in this airconditioned bloody coaches.. bloody tourists ;D

After climbing back up there was the ride back, which also meant a descent of Familla which I missed recording on our Lluc climbing day. Possibly my fave descent glad I got to do it twice, and this time record it, and race along with team Glow 🙂

Our last day cycling, so why not go for a nice easy ride along to the Cap d Formentor (Lighthouse)… easy… sure… 🙂 And we even added in some extra climbing too, you know.. because :/ 😀

Had another sprint along on the way back towards Pollenca too.

These are my video’s so far, I’ll add a few more as I get them processed and uploaded 🙂

So, cycling

Yeah, I like cycling now.. quite a bit 🙂

One thing I have noticed a few times on my commutes to and from work is how slow cars actually are. Sure when you are cruising along at 30-40 mph you are going a lot faster than your average cycle commuter.. but.. then comes the traffic…

Tonight for example I noticed a van at a junction heading the same way as myself. It pulled away and disappeared as I merrily peddled away at my usual ~20MPH pace… but then at the next junction/lights I drew parallel to it, this happened several times along probably a 5 mile stretch of road until we finally went our separate ways.

I am a good cyclist, I stop at all red lights (even empty pedestrian crossings) and stay behind the white line at lights (I like not being fined or squished). So it is logical to say that whilst the van could easily hit speeds of 30MPH+ our overall average speed across that distance was the same, but I probably found it less frustrating as I quite enjoy my rides. Also cheaper, less pollution AND (motorists pay attention) I took up a lot less room on the road!

Now if only more people cycled to work, the roads would be a lot more pleasant and we’d probably all be a lot healthier… (and able to eat LOTS of CAKE! 😀 )

Hectic!

Wow, life suddenly got VERY hectic for me!

Crazy busy at work with all mannor of projects, all far too secret for me to divulge here 🙂  But those have to come second to what is really taking up my neural ticks in thought process..  My oh so lovely girlfriend… yeah yeah, I know, soppy blergh etc.. but this is a tad different!

How so? well (as I am sure anyone who has suffered being in my presence for the last few months can attest), she is representing Great Britain at the Paralympics!  So proud of my good lady am I! Hope you will join me in cheering her on, I’ll be there myself in person cheering away, for those who are not, I believe all the coverage is going to be on Channel 4.  Her events are Track cycling, Tandem B/Vi 1KM TT on 31st of August at 9:30 and the 3KM Pursuit on the 2nd of September at 9:30 with the final on the same day at 14:00.

Her athlete profile on Channel 4 is here

So proud, I am a very lucky boy!

Hooked… I think

Seems that the ride on Monday has had a lasting effect on me.. I enjoyed it so much I have a hankering for more of the same.  To fuel my newfound addiction I went and looked on bike-events.co.uk for more fun things to do… So I have signed up for the Manchester to Blackpool ride, and have intentions of also signing up for the Manchester to Chester and Manchester 100 rides too.. Just need to decide which (if any) charity I am going to do fund rasing for…

Whilst these are steps in the right direction, they lacked a certain something, I wanted something a bit more.  So in an attempt to find this I had a mooch around on the British Cycling website.. and have now applied for a racing License! hoping to take part in some national races and see how I do in the rankings 🙂

My plan is to go to see a a race on Tuesday after work, and if possible to take part in it myself the following week 🙂  I’ll post here following that I think.

Exciting times!

WHEEE!

I added another vehicle to the list of those I have managed to get ‘the backend out’ on/in 🙂  Especially as this will be the second one within a week!

Thought it might be fun to blog all the ones I have had go sideways (a little bit) when they were supposed to go straight.  So in no real order they are:

  • Front wheel drive car with use of handbrake..
  • Front wheel drive car (no use of handbrake!)
  • Rear wheel drive car
  • Mountain bike (YAY FUNS!)
  • Road bike
  • Road Tandem bike ( 😀 )

I think the most scary was the tandem, there was a brief moment of ‘oh crap, this is going over’ which was audibly the thoughts of the stoker from her reactions at the time too 😀  It didn’t we were awesome, no it wasn’t intended 🙂

 

Improvements

Popped out for an ‘easy’ ride with my lady yesterday.  I say ‘easy’ that’s her deffinition, her easy is more like my moderate, but I am improving at least.  Decided to try the Fallowfield loop out, to see how tandem friendly it would be, only looking to ride for an hour and half.  This soon highlighted my own improvements to me, last time I rode this was a couple of months ago and riding its length and back again was pushing my abilities.  However this time, I found the 10 miles out rather easy, the route however was less tandem friendly than I hoped.  Stopping for lights on main roads is a lot more preferable than having to get off the bike to hoist it over gates etc.  Also playing in traffic (even on a tandem) whilst playing the ‘dodge the pothole’ game is a lot more fun and less risky than dodging kids/dogs and muppets wandering along cycle paths 🙂

After an hour and half of cycling although a bit tired I still had some left in me, so I am certainly improving 🙂  I think I am going to have to do a fair bit more on my solo bike to get ready for the Great Manchester Cycle (I have entered myself for the 52 mile time limited version!!).. I think I few 50 mile routes will need to be completed.. I think it should be do-able however.  Will be interesting to see how I do against other riders.

Time flies!

Apparently! well it must, they have clocks on aeroplanes after all…

anyway, I really should try to scribble here more, so much has happened of late in so many different ways in my life and I didn’t blog any of it!! (although some of that would be a conscious decision to not blog it 🙂 )

Coding wise, my work on the Sound Engine has progressed beyond my hopes! it isn’t complete and I have so many exciting ideas to add to it still, but there is a beta release out there!  Most exciting of all is that people are using it!  It’s an awesome buzz to see the logo for a project you have worked on stuck in someone elses project, reading reviews where people are complimenting the music of that project and thinking “My code is playing that!” brilliant.

Life wise has also been amazing, I have met an amazing woman (literally!)  and things are going better than I could have hoped in that regard also!  One of the many positives she has had on my life is rekindling my interest in cycling, so much so I am now cycling to work (not enough, but getting there), twice this week, would have been three times, except I was feeling pretty lazy this morning 🙂 (and have a lot to do tonight). As well as cycling, I have started to take Skiing lessons, hoping to make use of my new skills with my new lady later in this year or early next year 🙂

So, in super summary, interesting stuff on the Jag, amazing woman in my life, lost a load of weight (20+Kg!), getting fitter, learning to ski, oh and embedded electronics and system development fun!  See a lot has happened..

Now I just need to try and manage all this and get some sleep in too!

New year, get on that bike

Not a new years resolutions, more an organic desire driven by the number of cycling related friends I have and watching the Revolution highlights on Monday.  Revolution wasn’t as bad as I thought but still not my thing, to give an example of what is more appealing to me (I don’t typically do spectator sports) I found two YouTube links Street Descent in Brazil, and Street descent in Chillie  (the Chillie one is my fave).  Neither of these are my riding style or skill level I must add! 😀

But watching those clips stirred the long slumbering desire to ride my bike again!  As she has been unused so much since having my original bike stolen in 2006, which really killed my buzz, I have decided to give her a full service and shock maintenance.  Extra handy as Evans are only across the road and the ONLY authorized Scott shock maintainer in the UK (license to print money? at £95 a shock, I think so 🙁 ).

Last night I started the bike service of 2012 and have removed the shocks ready to take over to Evans tonight after work, during the 2 weeks that should take before I get them back I am hoping to have a good go at cleaning up the rest of the bike, ready for riding in 2012 😀  Going to be uploading pics to the gallery here for anyone interested in pictures of a bike being tinkered with and cleaned 😀

I am mostly pleased with my alternative solution to pad spreaders (which I forgot to buy when in Evans).. cone spanners & cable ties! 🙂

1up

With living in my flat, storing my bike was a bit of an issue.  I was a little excited when I bought the place to find out that they had bike sheds planned out in the carpark.  I envisioned some sturdy locakable box type things.  Alas no, just the crappiest of crappy bits of metal bolted to the floor with some tin roofed wood thing around them :/  If you didn’t end up with your wheels bent to buggery by them I am sure anyone wanting your bike would just unbolt the bike mount from the floor and carry it off.

So my bike has lived in my spare room since I moved here.  Which is less than optimal given it pretty much renders the spare room less than functional if I have more than one guest (and I hate giving up my bed!)

Thankfully a visit to Evans Cycles gave me an answer.. a TopPeak OneUp!  I have had it for a while but usual lack of motivation meant it has sat in its rather nice box for a long time.  With an impending visit from a couple of friends I need to get the room sorted.  Armed with my stud/metalwork/mains cable finder I set about putting it up.. not too difficult and it seems to hold the bike quite well.. was surprised mike bike actually weighs in at 15KGs, the OneUp states no more than 16KG so I am just in the clear 🙂

Anyone looking to get one they are not too expensive and are very well built.

Just hope my drilling holds 🙂