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, January 20

Weathery Week

Have been riding my Dommie all week, through 3ft of water in Buckden Marina a few times thanks to the flooding.  Although I love the NX, it is of the age where it could probably do with some money spending on it.  Issues are new chain and sprockets, new rear disk and both wheels rebuilding.  I would also like to get a rack made so I can use my lovely metal top box and side cases.  All of this is in the future because I'm broke at the moment! Loving the bike though, like a 2-wheeled, 20 year-old HiLux.  Brilliant.  Some new photos up here.

Tuesday, January 15

Pan-Med 2004

In early 2004 I decided that it would be a good idea to ride a motorbike around the Mediterranean.  The result of my (rather poor) effort was a very large website called Pan-Med 2004.  It worked really well until the hosting provider I was using went bankrupt and stopped hosting.  Fortunately I had a backup, but it did take me ages to sort myself out and move the domain and so on.  So the site is back! Some parts don't quite work, and there is a pretty poor stand-alone html photo gallery, but the key info is there.  :-)

Sunday, January 13

BRCC Group Outing

Good ride today, 30 miles into a raging headwind in a group of about 6.  A stop for coffee and a very good carrot cake was followed by another 20 miles homewards in a pair, with a lovely tailwind.  Went on my fixie, workeed perfectly and silently.  Hills seemed to go well today - I suppose I was pretty well-rested.

Have been putting junk (I mean goods) on eBay to clear the house.  Have also assembled a suitcase full of clothes for the charity shop / clothes bank.  Ah, what a relief!  Other news is that our house now has Raspberry Diva, Lunch Date and Perfectly Taupe on the walls, along with a spot of Lemon Yellow and Sidewalk. Lovely. 

On another entirely less satisfactory note, Rutland Cycles have had an order for 2x Open Pro 700C rims and 2x Open Pro 650C rims since 18 September 207.  Not good enough, I'm going to try and get the 700C ones upgraded to CD spec as a "sorry"...

Thursday, January 10

Long Week!

180 mile commute today, from Wells in Somerset (where Hot Fuzz was filmed and the smalledst cathedral city in the UK) to my house.  Wouldn't want to do it every day, but the BMW was awesome, as expected.  Miserable weather, crazy driving and winding country roads kept things interesting.  Discovered that I desperately need HIDs for serious night riding on this bike.  Desperately.  Next on the to-do list I think.

Saturday, January 5

Wow, Love it!

Tonight I've cloned my iMac in readiness for it to go off for repair.  Two things have been impressive about this process.  The first was that a USB 2.5" HDD with 250Gb capacity can be your for GBP 84.  I decided to pay a little more for the extra flexibility of a small disk :-) This mans that now I have 3 or 4 small USB disks and a big old pimpy neon-lit Firewire brick on my desk.  Wow! 

The second is that there's still free software out there that works well.  I used something called CarbonCopyClone.  Brilliant.  I'm going to burn an image of my PBook as well, just in case something goes horribly wrong.  

For my normal incremental backups I use a Lacie app called Silverkeeper, which (they may not truly appreciate) works with any external disk.  The only thing that's missing is the ability to script a certain background backup to happen when a certain disk is inserted...  Ho hum.  Weather looking good, planning to go training with my cycling club on Sunday, decorating tomorrow.

PS > Anyone who reads this who has a reasonable spec PC destined for the skip, drop me a line.  I need a new platform for my linuxbox.  :-)

Wednesday, January 2


PhD corrections done, and lots more besides.  Looks like some more of my time might be my own from now on.  Have started sticking samplers of paint all over the house and have done some of the jobs I've been putting off for ages.  It's also the time of year when I need to get back down to my 'fighting weight' (doesn't everyone?!) so I'm going to hit the road again, despite the arctic temperatures and crazy drivers.... 

Motorbike wise, I've finally fixed the exhaust on my Dommie, got round to fixing the headlight when it failed the MOT ;-) and got some spiffy new crash bas fitted.  Next are the pannier rails and digital dash (probably another IMO, like this one on my XR).  BMW has had wheels painted black with reflective rim stripes.  Am alos hoping to tidy the fork metalwork, fit gorgeous Ilmberger fender and Brembo brakes, and (re)fit the belly pan I smashed.  More later!