Thoughts and musings two wheel based. Also wheel rebuilds and bottom brackets serviced.

Monday, December 26, 2011

Sitting and Slacking...

Psycho Slacker had a stand at the recent Rollerburn event and although I was a bit spent out on beer and cake I took his details and spoke afterward about doing a special job for my Girlfriend for Christmas.
Here's the results;
Properly chuffed. Cheers fella.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Plain Sailing

Yesterday I had a jolly little cycle around Salisbury Plain whilst taking part in the SPAM Winter challenge ride. I had opted to do the 35km ride and unfortunately due to a complete lack of brakes on my mate Al's bike I was without a riding buddy.
This meant my lovely girlfriend had to stand in as race mum. This is a vital role to play as you will see dear reader. So we set off early in the morning to the start at Erlestoke. It really was a fantastic day to be out and about.

We rolled in somewhere around 0945 and picked up my race number and rules/guide. Whilst I got clothed race mum affixed the number to the bike with great care and twine.

Due to ice on the top part of the course the start got delayed 15 minutes and then all of a sudden we were off and away up a long twisting fire road climb. I'm afraid there aren't any pictures of the ride itself as I was riding, and didn't have a camera. So instead let me tell you this; it was crisp under-wheels and there were only a few parts where it was boggy in the tank tracks. The downhill sections were quite fun and could be taken without braking provided no one fell off in front of you. One rider did fall in front of me but they had the good grace to fall off the track and not under my wheels. I did hear hand-wringing moans from some riders about the practice of traveling downhill at such a pace but as I advised them in response; if you wanted to do something safe, you should have gone shopping not mountain biking.
There were a couple of long grassy climbs which brought back memories of the slog up the Sugarloaf a few weeks back. One section required a get off and push after the rear tyre just kept losing traction. The roads were roadlike and icy in places but nothing terrible.
It was great to travel through the lost village of Imber but sadly I was in no position to stop and sightsee.
After a few more climbs and descents the finish line rapidly approached.
Hurrah I had done it!!
See the joy on my face!
Race mum was on hand to provide a drink

and then escorted me to the tea and cake ladies where she kindly bought me a mug of tea and some delicious tiffin (long term readers will know how I love tiffin).

That then was the end of that, everything was loaded back up and off to Wales we went.
Thanks to the organisers, the tea and cake ladies (other vendors were available) and Race mum.

Update, the results are in and in this non-competitive event that you get given numbers and timed for, I came 27th from 159 in class.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Rollerburn pics

So, Rollerburn was yesterday, and I thoroughly enjoyed it. Bikes, girls, beer, cake, friends, art. All in a great atmosphere.
Above are some of the photos I took.
Thank you to the Sideburn guys, and all who assisted in putting the event on.
All the pictures here

Wednesday, November 16, 2011


Rollerburn is this weekend. I am very excited. Little snippet of joy for the day; Newark, where the event is being held, is an anagram of 'wanker'.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Wax update

Update on Foad Wax, nice to use and a good hold. I am pushing extra hard for the hairs to grow enough for a full circle twirl. The helmet does cramp the ends though.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

What's in the loft?

Had a bit of loft clearance today in order to get a load of insulation down. Anyway, enough DIY. I love going up in the loft as I get to root around through memories.
Bit of a long post this one but bear with me.
First up is my cut-off. Yes, really. I used to wear this over my (already badged up) leather as a youth!

The Ace Cafe pin badge I inherited from my Dad, and the other pin badge is from the European Young Rider of the Year competition in 1999. I came 17th (from memory) in the UK finals. The Paratrooper beret badge was my Great-Uncle Eric's, he didn't make it back from Arnhem. Anyway, it's a bit embarrassing to look at now, but at the time I thought I was the shiznitz.

Next up I found a couple of pages from my sketchbook which I had framed and used to have on the wall way back. Still nice to look at them, even though I never mastered drawing ellipses.
These next pics are of the Dealer brochure for the original Triumph Trident 750. My Dad always wanted one, but never had one. I love the brochure, some real details in it. Anyway, pics.
Which opens out to reveal-
Next pages have some nice details on the engine-
finally on the rear is the dealer stamp and a nice side panel shot-
So, just a few memories

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Kooky and cool

First off an interesting Drysdale 2WD from a show in Australia

Then a new Yamaha XTW250 from EICMA 2011

And let's have a ROKON because it fits right in!


As you can observe from the pictures in the previous post things are getting bushy about the chops. I decided to have a play with some moustache wax and happened across Foad Wax
A product that ticks boxes for me in being British made and with natural ingredients including British beeswax. Also having received it, it smells nice.
The package came all the way from Brixton in very short time, and was suitably chirpy.
I shall have a play and report back.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

That time again

Why is it I seem to be ill properly once a year?
I've just been discharged from hospital after what started as feeling a bit crummy last Tuesday lead swiftly to aching like hell, running a fever and lots and lots of diarrhea. An emergency GP appointment Thursday saw me being ambulanced off to the nearest hospital's Emergency Assessment Unit (EAU) for many tests.
Here I am not feeling great-
Come Friday evening though I was feeling a lot better and was up and about and although I still had the squits they were getting less. I was being told to drink fluids and rest and the part of me that dislikes hospitals was getting twitchy. I decided to discharge myself as I was taking up valuable space. Cue tutting from Docs and me signing my life away.
Home, bath and to bed.
Cue early hours of Saturday morning me being very concerned about my guts.
As Saturday progressed things were getting worse. I was feeling really bad and there was starting to be a lot of blood in my poop. There are many things a man shouldn't see when he surveys his bow of produce, blood (and a sizeable amount of it) is one of them. After phone calls to NHS Direct and then out of hours GP I was once again back in the EAU. This time I was plumbed into an IV pump and had 2 litres of Potassium Chloride and Sodium Chloride fired into me, as well as painkillers, some antibiotics and anti-coagulant injections to my belly (ouch!)
I was also told I was contagious and had to be room bound. This meant using a commode and bedpan. There are things a gentleman's appendages should never come into contact with. The contents of a bedpan are one of them. I devised a method for appendage distribution whereby liquids could flow forward into a urinal, and what should be solids would flow into the bedpan, and that method worked very well for me.
Come Monday there were some results back from my samples and it was confirmed I had Campylobacter. By now I was becoming a little stir crazy and feeling a bit better again.
I was cleared of my IV lines, given a new course of antibiotics and transferred to a different solitary ward. After a day or so in there I was discharged, with instructions to stay indoors for at least 48hours with no public contact.
It has been a horrid illness and I wouldn't wish it on anyone. I'm still not sure what I could have eaten to get it, as my girlfriend has thankfully been fine. She has been very good looking after me although she hasn't appreciated the talking of poo.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

New Boots!

I'm not one for posts about fashion, just as well given my general lack of taste, but well, after about 16 months of searching, weighing up options, speaking to manufacturers, trying boots on, then 2 months of waiting for the chosen pair to arrive I finally have some new boots, and I'm bloody chuffed.
(drum roll)
A pair of Cheaney Tweed C's. Lovely large-punch brogue design with intricate embellishment on the toe. Commando sole (as denoted by the 'C') and calfskin lined. Most importantly, all made in England (Northampton to be precise). These shall be a pair to cherish.

Monday, October 17, 2011

More race?

Popped my cyclocross cherry on the weekend by entering the Bourne Wheelers race at Bourne Woods. I was over the flat side of the country for a good friend's stag do on the Saturday (howdy Jon!) and so drove up in the new wagon with the bike in the back to have a crack at the racing on Sunday.
Probably perfect conditions; cool but dry. With nerves going we set off.
I thought I was going to puke myself stupid by about the second lap of the 2.7 mile course which threaded it's way through the woods making use of the fire roads and singletrack. It was a great course and thankfully my stomach contents stayed inside.
With no real grasp of how the racing worked I just kept pedaling and swapped places with the chap in the blue above several times. I had a brief excursion into the scenery when I slid out on a corner in the woods and couldn't get my feet unclipped from the pedals in time to dab. Aside from that it was a pretty smooth race. I got 5 laps in, but not sure where I came. Still waiting for the results to come online. There were about 7-8 people come in behind me in the 5 lap group, and my mates got 4 laps in.
Cheers Aidan
Cheers JT
and cheers JB
I had a great time. Thank you Sarah for the photos.

Monday, September 26, 2011


Well, despite pulling my back and tethering my sciatic nerve 2 weeks ago, I, and the other 3 members of Team Stoned Fish competed in the 6th Forest of Dean MTB Enduro. Big thanks to my physio for the exercises and pummeling, and to the organisers for putting the event on.
L-R me, JT, JB and Jake
The weather was somewhat inclement, meaning plenty of mud and slarr. The start was a bit frantic as 90odd of us in class set off up the half mile fire road climb, the first part of the 10 mile course designed to spread people out before the forest singletrack.
The large bunch of people meant that the singletrack sections through the forest were slower than I would have liked, and passing chances were limited. Still, passes were made even on some of the climbs where I found grip whilst others were slipping. Also I did some cheeky passes whilst pushing the bike uphill faster than others...
Not far from the end was a nice fast downhill section, the ground was a lot softer than it had been and a root jump nearly had me off into the scenery when the landing slid out form under my tyres. Still it was a good chance to make some ground. Tight left at the bottom and then get the hammer down for the final fire road slog to the finish.
Once through the finish gantry I was met by JT who had finished in fifth. I didn't know my placing, but did know I was hungry. Girlfriends met us and I got some much on and warmed up.
Anyway, after checking times and placings, I had come in 15th, in 1hr 7min 59secs. Properly chuffed. JT came in 5th as mentioned in 1hr 3min 4secs, JB came in 61st in 1hr 26min 32secs after three chain breakages and having to run with the bike the last half mile, Jake came in 76th in 1hr 42min 45secs, impressive considering he had been drafted in to replace someone who had pulled out on us last minute and hadn't been on a bike for 10years!
Good times.