Archive for January, 2006

Happy Brithday Simon!

All two of you. Many happy returns to Mr Pollard and Lord Everitt. Hope you’re having a good one.

That is all, please return to whatever you were doing before I rudely interrupted you.

Me Climb Big Hill. RAAH!

I managed to drag myself up Cleeve Hill today. I rode along the Honeybourne Cycle Path until it’s conclusion, across through Prestbury, then took the climb up Mill Lane. It was absolutely horrible – really hard work to get anywhere (although it’s much nicer having gears for that climb), then when I finally got to the off-road bit, I seemed to have lost any skill and poise I might once have had. Every attempt to ride up a techno-rocky section saw me stall before flailing wildly trying to get a foot out of the SPDs. I’ll conquer that one yet, just you wait.

It was well worth it though. The sun came out just as I reached the top of the climb, making everything seem worthwhile.

I rode to the masts, then followed the road the to moto-cross area, before heading down the rocky descent into Prestbury. I was feeling much more confident this time, riding straight through sections that had me beaten last time. Typical then, that I should meet a Land Rover coming up towards me. I had to stop and scramble up the banking to get out of the way. Fair play though, it went straight up stuff no car has any right to climb.

The rest of the descent seemed to have a river flowing down it, which served to remind me of two things: Firstly, I need to fit a Crud Catcher to the front of that bike (or maybe even my ‘zocchi fender if I’ve still got it) and secondly, I still need to get myself some riding glasses, to stop any cack that a Crud Catcher doesn’t. AARRGGHHH, I’M BLIIINNNNDDD!!!

I’ve bunged the pictures on Flickr if you’re interested.

That’s very, very funny indeed.

The best Blonde Joke ever. Fantastic.

I saw it at long last!

This evening I finally saw the first episode of My Name is Earl.

Both Sara and Weon have been raving on about it since it first aired over in the states months ago, but I never found the time to sit down and watch it. They were right: It’s absolutely brilliant. I just hope the rest of the series lives up to this one…

Failed Redesigns

I felt I had to point this one out: Joe Clark’s excellent Failed Redesigns.

When teenagers’ hobbyist blogs (short for “Web logs”) have better code than brand-new Web sites, somebody’s doing something wrong. And that somebody is you, the developer. In a just society you would simply be fired; in an Orwellian society you would be sent to a reëducation camp. Failing either of those, you could at least read a fucking book and upgrade your skills to a point where you are no longer a total laughingstock.

100% of brilliant, and absolutely right. If you’re making money from building websites (i.e. you’re a web professional), bloody well do it properly you lazy sods.


For possibly the first time this year, we had a sky. By which I mean a blue sky with some semblance of sunshine. Up until now it’s been dull and greyall the time.

See, good stuff has happened. I had a fantastic Christmas. I got a new bike, which rides rather well. I had my appraisal at work and came out the other end very well – and recent website launches and upgrades have recieved generally good feedback. I’ve seen great films, with great friends. Yet still I feel somewhat down at the moment.

I don’t really know why, so I’m going to blame the grey. Looking out of the office window and seeing sunshine made it all feel so much better. If only I could have escaped into the hills to enjoy it… ROLL ON THE WEEKEND!

Tyre tracks

Cannondale Prophet and Ferrari 456GT

I took the new toy up Leckhampton Hill today. It was a struggle – my body just didn’t want to know. I had the raw power required to get up hills, just not the lung capacity to do it without nearly dying. Despite all that, I had a barrowload of fun, especially firing down the rocky section up by the devils chimney. Always good for a laugh, that one. The final descent of the old tramway was ace too.

I spotted the Ferrari in the supermarket car-park en-route home and figured it’d make a good shot. Alas my camera isn’t great in low-light situations. The idea was there, even if I couldn’t quite carry it off. Maybe some sort of mini-tripod might have helped?


Some things to note:

  • It was really bloody cold out today. Despite the pissing rain and the feeling quite unwell I went out riding anyway – after all, I have a new bike to play on. I’m glad I did, it was ace!
  • I’ve not ridden in clipless pedals for ages, but I got back into riding them as if I’d never stopped. I’d forgotten about the way they don’t want to clip-in when the sole of the shoe is clogged up with snow. That’s ever so slightly annoying when you’re approaching a tricky and steep bit of trail.
  • Yes, it’s quite snowy up on Cleeve Hill. Not snowy enough to board, but plenty to turn the landscape white.
  • The climb up Gambles lane is an absolute sod. It goes like this: Sit and spin until it gets really steep, then stand up and stomp. Die of exhaustion upon arrival at the top.
  • I don’t think I’ve got enough air in the forks and there’s perhaps a little too much in the rear shock. On the way down Cleeve Hill I was constantly bottoming the forks, while the back was skipping around a fair bit. It got loads better when I just let go of the brakes and went for it, but then I went blind from the spray. Must get around to buying some riding glasses.
  • I’d forgotten just how fast you can go when you’ve got a full complement of gears – handy when you’re on the wrong side of town and it’s getting dark very quickly. I also kept forgetting to change down when approaching a red traffic light – trying to pull away in top gear is quite difficult isn’t it?
  • I struggled to get used to the SRAM X-7 shifters. You change to a smaller sprocket by pushing from the opposite side to a Shimano Rapidfire shifter. Most confusing for my tiny little mind.
  • My Raceface Freeride Team jacket is really good in these conditions. I didn’t get overly hot and never felt particularly cold. Very glad I bought it now.

Yes, I think me and the Cannondale are going to get along quite nicely thank-you. Now, where do they sell fitness and strength? I seem to have lost all of mine over Christmas…

Oh yes, I forgot to take my camera with me. Some “nice clean bike parked in the house” shots as and when I can be bothered.

Update: Some “dirty bike out on the trail” shots from today (8th Jan) can now be seen over at Flickr.