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.

Wednesday, August 26

Commute Compare

Went to work on my fixie today after not riding for a long time. Had a big blow-up on the way home, with totally empty legs due to poor eating at work, an empty bottle and a howling headwind. Ended up grovelling. Nonetheless I actually felt OK on the way to work. Attached graph is a direct comparison: 25SEP08 (red) vs. 25AUG09 (purple). Stats are (last year's in brackets): Mean HR= 167 (162), Duration 1:09 (1:11), Mean Speed: 23.6 (23.1). So overall I'm not as fit, looking at recovery, max HR and the flat sections... but I was going a teeny bit quicker.

Monday, August 24

Long Day

Not sure why, but today was really tiring. Achey and stuff. Need more power in the brain dept as well. Went the long way round on the 'S again, only two frustrations were that 1) I can't relax on the bike and a couple or three weeks away seem to have undone all my confidence in the grip available and 2) got stuck behind a very slow Police van for the last 4 or 5 miles of my route into work. There were a few marginal overtaking options, but I didn't have the chutzpah to go for it. The driver seemed to be watching me in his mirror more than watching the road! Always irritating when they do that.... News in the house is a new telly, new planters out the front and a newly-green front door. Chicken coop arrives tomorrow, with little feathered friends to follow at the weekend. Maybe :-)

Monday, August 17

Stupid Windows!!

As you may know I have been using a Samsung NC10 netbook since about Christmas without any problems.  I had some 'features' during the Fedora 10 > 11 upgrade, but apart from that I've been enjoying rock-solid stability, amazing speed and incredible battery life, as well as a free *nix experience.  Well recently the dream died.  I was absent-mindedly trying to optimise my BIOS settings (mistake 1!) and I accidentally hit F4 instead of F2.  Cue the stupid Windows Recovery Tool (?!?!?) overwriting the main disk MBR.  Can you imagine anything more annoying?  So now I have to go through a painful booting-to-USB process in order to restore GRUB.  Seriously, when I get it fixed I'm going to destroy the Windoze Recovery Partition to stop this EVER happening again.  No warnings, no "are you sure" messages.  Ultimate PITA factor and yet another M$ fail.  Very unhappy.

Saturday, August 8

Heading Home (Again)

More time on the other side of the world has come to an end. It's
pretty much the same as the UK, except for water going the other way
down the plug and people greeting each other with "how y'goin?" Have
once again missed the opportunity to meet up with old buddies in
Melbourne, but perhaps I'll come back for leisure at some point. Will
be nice to be back in the UK- this trip was long enough to miss things
at home but not quite long enough to get comfortable. Should have left
bike at home (the very fact that I took it means I didn't get any time
to use it!) Should have also remembered that the accommodation had a
washing machine and only taken 3/4 days clothes. Humph. Heading back
for Sunday. Looking forward to a lot of mooching and possibly a bit of
very English castle maintenance; mowing the lawn and washing the car.
No more 'flat whites' for a while!

Tuesday, August 4

Aussie Rules

More time in Australia, working for the common good! This time I packed my moutain bike, thinking it would be great to hit the outback trails. Well - almost two weeks in and I've racked up a grand total of 2hrs riding. It was a good two hours though. I went out of town and followed a service road under a set of pylons for a few kms (until I got a bit worried about being alone in the outback!) Then I turned and followed a pipeline route back towards town. All in all it was a nice square route. I have a garmin bike computer / gps, which really put my mind at rest because I could see the map of my ride developing. Not bad when you decide it's time to ride back to base. Other than that, have been doing some more off-roading in a 4x4. Last time we had Pathfinders (link)... this time they knew who we were and sourced some hard-as-nails Patrols. Much better, they really take the hits well. Only downside is that they're shocking on the road. Why someone would buy one for the school run mystifies me. Another little teeny bit of news is that is online and belongs to me! More at some point.