Saturday, 16 April 2011

Tattooed tandemist towing trailer todler

Coming home from work I saw this girl riding solo on her tandem, towing a trailer. This in itself is an unusual sight, but the addition of leopard skin and tattoos made this an unmissable photograph.

Wednesday, 13 April 2011

Lazy Bike Ride

A day off work today. I finally managed to combat my lethargy and drag myself out for a ride. I found a route close to home that I hadn't explored before. It turned out to be one of those days for stopping and looking at things. Something you don't really do in the car. Clever map. How does it know where I am??

I found some quiet roads and saw very little traffic.

Some cycle lanes really are useless. You get a few yards and that's your lot.
An old fire engine. 1966. Same year as me but in better condition.
With a Bentley next to it.

Sat Nav on a bike - How to get lost part 1

In my post on the tandem ride (A long way for a bacon sandwich), I mentioned that Mart's Shimano Flight Deck had given up the will to live. I actually never really got on with it very well even when it was working. I found it fiddly and counter intuitive to use.

Anyway, for Martin, a bike ride without statistics to analyse is a true state of misery. A living hell. I'd initially suggested the Garmin Edge 500 to him. It didn't take him long to track down a model with a higher number that did more things and gave him more information on routes, altitude, cadence, heart rate and God knows what else.

So the Garmin Edge 705 has arrived.

Our first outing with it started out well. A route was loaded onto the machine and it beeped its advance warnings at us as junctions approached. The map and on screen instructions were clear and easy to follow. I made a mental note not to spend too long staring at the screen at 30mph!!

About half way into our 40 mile route I glanced at the screen and saw that we appeared to have strayed off our route (highlighted in purple). At first we assumed that, travelling at fairly high speeds with the wind in our ears, I had missed an instruction to take a turn.

Getting back on to our route proved to be more difficult than it should have been, with the Garmin issuing some peculiar instructions and I began to feel some disappointment with the GPS. (I think I might have suggested taking it off the handlebars and throwing it over a hedge, using language that can't be repeated on here.) We eventually turned the machine off and headed back home without the help of a satellite orbiting the planet hundreds of miles above our heads.

Once home, Mart checked out the details of the route that he'd loaded onto the machine and saw that a route planning error had caused the malfunction and thankfully not a problem with the machine. Mart's wife, Su, had either touched or looked at the Garmin in the wrong way prior to our ride so we were able to place the blame fairly and squarely on her.

Anyway, I will report on the next (hopefully more successful) outing with the Garmin.

(Notice the missing handlebar tape - we had to take the tape off to remove the wiring from the Flight Deck to the Ultegra shifters).

Sunday, 10 April 2011

Friday Night Rides

snfr (Sheffield Friday Night Rides) is a local group who meet up one Friday a month for a bike ride. The rides usually have a theme, and this friday was Sheffield's railways and stations. As usual, we finished in the pub. Here are some pictures of the ride on You Tube. See if you can spot the Surly Pacer.

Friday, 8 April 2011


Jasmine was feeling quite hurt that Peggy has her own photo on the blog, so here you are Jazzy.

Be frayed, be very frayed. More news on the Surly.

In my eagerness to put the Surly Pacer together using the contents of my spares box I had failed to fit the all important cable - end to the front mech cable. I thought it would hold out for a week or so until I got round to buying one. I was wrong. A frayed tangle of sharp strands perilously close to my delicate little legs.
So a new cable was needed as well.
And the cable end. I should have waited, it's only 20 pence for heaven's sake.
The old wire.
New cable fitted. Proper cable cutters for a clean cut rather than using my teeth or my wife's nail scissors!
I was feeling quite ebullient in the bike shop so I went for red. Safely crimped into place - no more fraying now!
How dare you! It refers to the tires, not me.
700 x 28 Gator Hardshells. I'm pleased with them so far.
I like using the external bottom bracket cups. They're light and durable.
The long reach calipers were the only new things I had to buy when I was putting the bike together.
XTR pedals from the Bob Jackson were a present from Mart, my tandem riding mate.
The Pacer frame was bought on ebay, and it's in lovely condition. The current model comes in British Racing Green.

Thursday, 7 April 2011

Bike cam test

Here is a quick trial of the bike cam. Not a replacement for proper photos, but useful to keep alongside the digital camera. For such an inexpensive piece of Chinese plastic I don't think it's too bad. (I've not sorted the date stamp yet - I'll persevere with the Mandarin instructions)

Wednesday, 6 April 2011

Bike Cam

I found this on ebay. It's a little video camera that will easily fit to my handlebars or bike helmet. It takes a micro SD card and it came supplied with a couple of mounting brackets, USB lead and mains charger. There's a cd rom with instructions that seem to be in Chinese, so I've not been able to set the time and date stamp correctly yet.

Anyway, I thought it would be fun to play with on the bike. It was fifteen quid, so I'm not expecting miracles, but equally it'll be no big deal if it falls off or gets rained on. I made a short movie earlier starring Peggy and Jasmine the labradoodles and the results were actually ok for such a cheap piece of kit.

Hopefully I'll get some action footage on here shortly of a middle aged overweight guy struggling on a bike!

Monday, 4 April 2011

Loved and Lost

Here's a few of the bikes I've owned over the last few years. Every one of them was meant to be long term, but then I get restless or something better comes along and they just have to go........

York Railway Station

Now, where did I leave my bike? I took this shot some time ago at York station. York is probably the most cycle friendly city I've been to. I lived here for a while and missed the hills of the Peak District, but cycling is so easy. Flat, a good network of cycle paths and, on the whole, fairly bike-sensible motorists. When I lived here I had a 7 mile commute into work. It was actually faster to cover this distance on the bike than in my car at busy times. There's something exremely satisfying about cycling past a mile long queue of standing traffic, knowing that you're not going to be late but everyone else is!!

Sunday, 3 April 2011

Albert Einstein

I thought of that while riding my bicycle. Albert Einstein