Hot and Sandy

Travel writing, pictures and stuff for people I know. Quite a lot of cycling talk, and some semi-controlled ranting. Hiking, outdoor and two-wheeled stuff, perhaps a little computing when it's worth talking about. Meandering thoughts.

Sunday, October 28

Ha! Down and Dirrty

Have finally managed to get the iBook on eBay and have set the price at an irresistible level...

Also went for a 3hr burn in a small group on my heavily modified but still pleasingly retro Cannondale F700 on Saturday.  I think we can say that some of my mountain bike handling skills have tailed off a little (to be polite), but that I was still just about able to hold my own.  And nothing on the bike broke, which was a bonus.

More as and when I get the time; this week is a hectic one.  I still have to get some BMW bodywork repaired and I also have to get an MOT on my Honda Dominator....  Best news is that there is no Ikea furniture in our house that isn't built.  It's been a few months since I've been able to say that!

Toodle pip.  Spinning again tomorrow.  Oh, I forgot to mention the 100km rowing race that I took part in on Friday too.  I'll scribble down the result when I know.

Monday, October 22

Ride and Spinning

Powerbook is awesome.  Watch this space for iBook on eBay.  One careful owner.  Slight wear to keyboard.  See the bar on the left for info  ;-)

Went for a fast ride on Sunday, was on my Pomp but the terrain was rolling rather than hilly so it was OK.  Actually felt strong on the climbs and never in danger of getting dropped.  Last few miles turned into a mini-race for the line; 3rd of about 16.  A good feeling riding along and working hard at about 75% while someone else's HRM max limit is beeping!  

Also felt good enough to work hard in the cycle-specific spinning class tonight.  Great stuff.  I'm in the patch where I'm not tired and actually have more energy because I'm training.  I'll soon take the edge off that with utility cycling and my commute if I'm not careful.  

Have got hubs all sorted for the new wheels, but no rims as yet.  Also need to send the frame off for paint and alterations.  Names are up for discussion - Anok, Domestique or just Kona Pavement?

Sunday, October 21

What a Week!

This week's gone by frighteningly quickly, it seems only a day or two since I last posted here about reporting back from my ride!  Actually it was pretty good; I went out on my 28h Dura-Ace / Open Pro wheels with Vredstein Fortezza tyres.  They are rapid wheels, and it was a pretty fast group actually, with only racing guys present.  Fast but not uncomfortable, and I wasn't in the worst state when we finished! Always a good sign :-)

Tomorrow is set to be cold, but we should have a group of 12 or 14 riders good to go by 0900.  I'm going on my blue fixie (the Pompino) so hopefully there won't be any fast descents on the ride.  To be honest they pose more of a problem than climbs, where you normally have to wait for others at the top if you're fixed! Long descents are another thing though; you've no hope of keeping up and you actually have to work!  I think we're going to be spinning up through my area, so I might have a bit of handy insider knowledge!

Some annoying laptop problems at the moment, might write about them later.  Might not though.

Sunday, October 7


Exciting week, this one.  Back working in London town.  Hurray!

Wednesday, October 3

As Promised, Some News

News of the dog! He's a pedigree Shiba Inu, who is seven years old.  We got him when the previous owner put him up for rescue, having not had the chance to spend very much time with him.  He's taken a little while to settle in, but now he's doing great.  The good news for me is that 1) he's pretty lazy and sleeps a lot and 2) he hates mess and dirtiness.  Practically wipes his paws on the way into the house!

As you can see from the video, our back garden is a horticultural wonderland, with all the pleasures the keen gardener could ever wish for.  A "blank canvas".  Today's commuting ride was a little on the tough side because I went out fast... which meant that I was struggling on the way home, even though there was hardly any wind.  A couple of the mini-hills I go up are pretty steep and the gradient gets worse the nearer you are to the top.  A fixie nightmare.  Good news is that tomorrow my rims will arrive so I can rebuild my Mavic Classics hubs onto Open Pro rims and I can also build by slicker-than-slick 650c fixie wheels.  More on that as and when.

PS > Will be trying to tidy over the next few weeks.  There are some outdated news items and some broken links aplenty.  All photos now live on this site anyway.  I want to do an interactive route map too. 

Nik Nak the Shiba Inu

Monday, October 1

Cycling on the Fens

I've been riding a lot recently, both on my own and with Beds Road CC.  It's great to get out on the odd club run to remind myself how easy it is with other people around to offer shelter!  Some of the commuting has been really tough, with gale force winds and nowhere to hide. I find that as I get tired, turning over the fixie gets harder and harder. Eventually I'm crawling along.  Although my times are falling and I still (occasionally) feel strong, it very rapidly gets past the point of being "character building" on windy days. It's tempting to take the geared bike, but that feels like cheating. Besides, I've got a couple of lovely motorbikes that need to be ridden once in a while to keep them in good shape ;-)

I'm getting really fed up with Internet shopping too. Recently nothing has been going right. To begin with it was the sofa that got delivered, when I'd taken a morning off, an hour late. Two muscled WVMs who brought it round, and then just left it in the doorway. "We're not insured to take it upstairs - it weighs more than 32kg (!!) and that's against 'elf and safety". Which is why I had to put my own H&S to one side and get it upstairs myself. Another thing was supposed to be delivered before 08 August, as a present. It still hasn't arrived, despite going out on the delivery truck at least twice. The driver has assured his boss that he's been leaving cards. Yeah, OK. Invisible cards. Grrr.