Wednesday, December 31, 2008

If you go down to the woods today...'re in for a big surprise. Well, you would have been earlier - I went out for a ride but it was so cold I turned back after 45 mins. I went through all the usual muddy bits in the local woods and they were so frozen that when I returned my bike was still clean! Freezin!

Monday, December 29, 2008


Turns out 2 weeks without K is quite a long time. Add to that how quiet it is over Xmas and the fact I *should* be studying and I have been very bored lately. I have bought car/gadget/MBK magazines, DVDs, iTunes downloads and am considering a Scalextric and/or new computer game to get me through it. No no - I *must* work! I always manage to put studying and revising off till the last minute but I really should make better use of my time.... huff...

Friday, December 26, 2008

Canterbury Bike Ride

I did an 18.5 mile ride today around the woods of Canterbury. Also managed to take in the University. Took 3 hours in the end - longer than planned as many of the footpaths I was following had been plouged over.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Xmas Time

Happy Xmas readers - it is currently 01:15 on Xmas morning and my usual insomnia is keeping me wide awake - sky tv it is :) Had a great day - morning in Herts, evening in Kent. Found a new sport - dog running with the bike, Pepper seems to love it. In fact I've just come back from a night ride around the airfield - the new R3 is awesome - fantastic wide beam and very VERY bright. J - you are gonna have to upgrade :)

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

XMas Travels

I have just returned from a super fast visit to Plymouth, Padstow, Cheltenham and then home. I was working in Plymouth on Sun, then over to Grandma's for the night. I then took her to my Aunt's in Cheltenham for the night. I made my way home late this morning. Have since relaxed a little and am now starting to get ready for Xmas.

Busy Busy Busy...

Monday, December 22, 2008

SatMap secret update :)

I have been waiting for the SatMap update for some time since I was told it was on its way by customer services. On Sat I decided to look around their site for it - lo and behold - if you switch language to Dutch you can get it : The update is multilanguage and is working fine on my UK unit. I am now at software level 1.231 which gives a blue circle for your position and a warning before turning the device off. You can see the full details of the upgrade if you use google to translate the page - it works remarkably well (don't tell K - she hates machine transaltors!!).

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Muddy MBK

I managed to get out on the bike for 2 hours today. Unfortunately I forgot to charge my sat-nav so it was a bit of an adventure. Ended up in places I'd never been before - but only had to double back once. Needless to say - it was a little muddy out there :)

Friday, December 19, 2008

Lucky K

K left for India today :( I dropped her and M off at LHR T5 and waved goodbye. About 30 mins later she called me. BA had had a problem with the aircraft and as such had to use a different flight. Only problem was that this flight was 50 seats short and K&M were both without a seat :(

Then she starts laughing.... Turns out BA had arranged for her to take another flight to Dubai, then on to Hyderabad. To compensate her they sent her Premium Economy for the first leg and then Emirates for the second. They were also given a £500 refund! In then end they'll be 4 hours late even though they leave an hour early. But seeing as they had 9 hours to kill anyway before the connecting light to Goa this is far from a problem. I am betting the £500 is spent in Dubai's airport :)

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

2nd Xmas

The day after Swedish XMas we went to my Mom's for her birthday (and another early Xmas celebration). Lots of presents (I got some MBK arm armour and SatNav screens) and lunch in the local pub.

Swedish Xmas

K, L and I celebrated a very early Swedish Xmas on the weekend. As K is off over Xmas this was our only chance. We had ham, fish, eggs and meatballs - all the usual stuff. It was very nice. I got a present - a very expensive and nice pair of jeans. K wishes I was better dressed. K got brakes for her car :)

Also, I have developed a taste for Julmust. K is not happy about this!

Friday, December 12, 2008

Cateye R3 Arrives

It arrived - and it is very nice - click title for link to flickr unboxing pics. The light itself it encased in metal - pearl white to match my frame :) The battery is much smaller than I expected and to top it all off it came with its own travel case! Think I'll test tonight after work.

Update: the light are pretty bright. There is a noticeable difference between half (left) and full (right) beam (not so evident in the pics). The best bit is that the beam is fairly well spread making them perfect for night trails. Only glitch is that with these and my Sat-Nav the bars are getting crowded :)


Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Merry Xmas :)

Send your own ElfYourself eCards

Cateye R3

I am getting fed up of my AA battery front light fogging up, running low on power and needing new batteries all the time. As such I have returned them all and purchased a rechargeable instead.

I spent a lot of time looking around but decided I wanted a wide-beam and 3hrs of battery life (pref li-ion). In the end I went for the Cateye R3 (after the R2 received a very good score in a recent magazine review). I should have it by the weekend - I just hope this is more waterproof than the last 3 Cateye products I bought!

Friday, December 05, 2008

New Tyres - Panaracer Trailrakers PR

For the short time I was out last night it became quite obvious that my Mountain King tyres, although superb all-rounders, were a little lacking in the swamp that the trail had become. I had a chat with the local bike shop (Marshalls) about suitable replacements. After deciding that tubeless is a step too far for now I have gotten a pair of Panaracer Trailraker PRs in 2.1". The best bit, Wiggle charge £35 each, Marshalls did me a deal on a pair for £50! :)

Update: astonishing! They are excellent. Whereas before the rear end would be squirming all over the place in the mud, now it sticks true. Makes for much more confident riding. They also shed mud very well, did not get bogged up once. *Only* downside is an increase in rolling resistance when on the hard stuff compared to the MKs - as expected tbh. Summary: recommended!

Broken Brakes

My bike has been ill for the last two runs - the rear brakes are making all sorts of noises and being very snatchy on application. Last night it got too much and J and I stopped to investigate. In the light of a local pub car park we figured two things. Firstly, the brakes didn't look right and secondly that we had no idea how to take them apart. I limped home.

Once home, and with internet at hand, I disassembled the brakes and upon doing so spotted the culprit. One of the pads has had its friction material sheered off and the separation clip has been torn apart. So, I have been running metal on metal for 10 miles or so with the occasional bit of spring material getting twisted into the disk too. Not good. I am off sourcing replacements at lunch time.

Thursday, December 04, 2008

Busy busy...

With Milan a couple of weeks back and then working all weekend in Plymouth last week it has been a busy time for me. As such my blog entries have been lacking... Since I last posted I have reverted back to Vista on my laptop (I just missed it too much) and have managed to get all my Xmas shopping done on-line for a third year in a row :) Other than that I've been busy working on a demo system for next week - not going too well atm though :(