Archive for October, 2005

Crystal Palace 2 – Liverpool 1

Woohoo! We beat Liverpool! I really wasn’t expecting that result at all, so I’m really quite happy about it. So much so that a teensy little bit of gloating was required:

SMS From: Olly Mobile
To: Baggus Mobile
So does that mean
we're better than
the european
champions then?
SMS From: Baggus Mobile
To: Olly Mobile
I think cheltenham
town under 16's
are better than
us at the moment

Nice. Good win for Blackburn too there Mr Pollard.


I rode a long way today, at least by my standards – it was the furthest I’ve ridden in a long long time. It was one of those rides where every time I get to a junction I thought “Oooh, I’ll try this way” and see where I end up.

Unless you know Cheltenham and the surrounding area well, this bit will mean nothing, but I’m going to put it in anyway.

So I set off from home on the singlespeed Stiffee and rode out through Swindon Village, up the uber-muddy track to Elmstone Hardwicke and along another to Stoke Orchard. Turned right at the end, then left into a new (to me) bridleway. Followed that to it’s conclusion and turned right again. From there I followed the roads out towards W…something, then to Gotherington and Bishops Cleeve and up through Woodmancote.

Here I did a silly thing: I went up Stockwell Lane. Oh my, that was one steep mother hubbard. Alas it defeated me and despite my best efforts, I ended up walking the final section. Still, it’s proably the most direct route up Cleeve Hill. After a rest at the top, I rode up through the golf course to the aerials at the top of Cleeve, before following the Cotswolds Way (oo cheeky!) across the top. It’s a public footpath, with padlocked gates at either end. There’s no was a horse can get in there and yet there were plenty of fresh hoof-marks. Hmmm…

After that trail, I took the roads down through Andoversford and Upper Dowdeswell, before joining the main road at the Kilkeney Inn. That was scary as, what with all the lorries and mental drivers, but I stuck it out until the shooting school. There, I turned off and headed down the bridleway, which was the muddiest place in the entire world. So much so that my back wheel nearly stopped turning thanks to a severely clogged rear brake. I must sort out a disc-brake compatible rear wheel. In fact, I think I’ve got one in the garage… don’t think it’s a light one though. Hmmm.

Another trail brought me down to somewhere near Coberley and from there I climbed up the back of Leckhampton Hill, before riding across the top along Proflex Alley and then dropping down the zig-zags. Whilst up there I ran into some of the usual suspects – Stu, Anton, Gary, Aaron, Rich and co. You did all that, on one cog? You effing mentalist!. They’re probably right. Damn good fun either way. From there it was a blast back across town and home, where I collapsed in a heap. My legs hurt now.

By the way, the Crud Catcher is a fantastic invention. Nicely done Mr Tomkins. SPDs and riding glasses next for me I think. Whaddayamean I should get some gears!? PAH!


Can anybody think of a way to make the Adobe Acrobat PDFMaker progress bar move across the screen a little bit quicker? Or perhaps even progress at all?

I’m getting a bit bored of waiting for it now. It’s taking up most of my system’s resources so I can’t really do much else while it chunters along. Gaaargh!

Exploring new trails

It started well. I plugged my earphones in and rode out into a sunny afternoon, across Kingsditch then up the RUPP to Elmstone Hardwicke. I was riding like a lunatic – drum and bass tends to have that effect. After that I wasn’t really sure where I was going, but a series of bridleways and country lanes brought me out just outside Tewkesbury. Exploring new trails is ace!

Shortly thereafter I came to that bridleway. That bridleway was rubbish. It’s obviously used more by horses than anybody else, so it’s muddy, bumpy and churned up making it a real challenge to go anywhere. It’s one of those annoying trails where if you lose any momentum you end up having to pedal down the hill.

I get to the end and turned left onto a road, and noticed a twig stuck to the front tyre. It’s slapping the fork with every revolution of the wheel. Not a problem, I’ll stop to remove it.

Oh CRAPOLA! That’ll be a thorny twig stuck in the tyre then. So I take off my camelbak, open it up… DAMMIT ALL TO HELL! I’ve still not put my pump back in there. I carefully break off the excess bits of twig without removing the thorns from the tyre. Now it’s a race to get home before the tyre goes flat…

After a short while, I come to a junction with the main road. The sign tells me it’s eight miles back to Cheltenham. I’m fairly sure I’m going to be walking some of that. Now, I know this main road – it’s a nasty big dual carriageway and really not a nice place to be on a bike. There’s got to be a much better route back through Elmstone Hardwicke again. So I take a left and follow the country lanes. I get to a t-junction and I spot a bridleway going straight on – that seems about right to me, so I follow it. Alas, within half a mile I hit a dead end.

There’s a stile over there, but that can’t be right – it’s a bridleway isn’t it? Horses can’t climb over stiles. I clamber over and and follow the trail anyway – it turns out to be a footpath that goes right through someone’s back garden. Oops! I eventually find another bridleway that takes me over the M5 and in the right direction.

They’re really badly signposted around here – there’s several junctions in the track where I’m reduced to following horse and bike tracks in the vain hope of staying on the bridleway. Somehow I do and and up on familiar ground. I know how to get back from here – or at least I should. I’ve not approached the path from this direction before and ride straight past it the first time. It’s only about half a mile further up that I realised my mistake. I go to turn around and realise the tyre is really starting to get soft now. NOOO! It’s OK though, I only have to get down the RUPP and then back across Kingsditch. It’s not far now.

I’m pedalling like a complete loony to get back quickly but I can’t devitate far off a straight line because steering is really getting interesting now. This would be fine, except the trail is getting to the really boggy rutted bit now. I nearly lose the front all over the place and keep catching pedals on the sides of the ruts I’m inevitably getting stuck in. Ah, there’s the burnt out car – I’m not far from the end now then.

The tyre went completely flat about 50 yards from my front door. Winner!

Just remember…

…all work and no sleep makes Olly a very tired boy indeed.

Album of your life

Owen posted an album of his life today. He’s by no means the first either – Stuart posted the wonderful Ubermix a while back aswell.

I’ve thought about doing a similar thing myself a few times in the past. The thing is, I don’t think I could – at least not without it being a huge multi-disc compendium. There’s just so much that i’d want to put in there, and I can’t see myself being able to edit it down to one CD at all.

The problem lies with albums, or rather that I can’t pick out one particular track. I too remember the evenings in the first year of college spent listening to Portishead’s Dummy. There’s no way I could pick one standout track from there – there’s too much good stuff to choose from. Then there’s the other albums that I played to death back then: The Fat of the Land, Mezzanine, Brothers Gonna Work It Out and Asylum to name but a few. How can I take just one track from each of those? I can’t (especially seeing as one of them is a mix album where are no tracks as such).

Sod it I thought, I’ll list off my all time favourite albums. That’s all well and good, except even that list got far far far too long within a space of about ten minutes. Right then, favourite artists it is then. Or rather, it isn’t, because again, there’s bloody loads of them. So I’ve given up on that idea for now.

So it seems that Olly’s favourite band is “Various Artists”. Stick that on your shiny new iPod, it’s bound to be good.