Wednesday, November 30, 2005


:::Too much coffee?:::

My parents gave me a Dualit coffee grinder for my birthday. As a coffee lover, especially one who has been persevering with a non-hopper grinder and its associated 'variable grind', I'm certain you can imagine the size of my smile. Just as Ewan McGregor says in 'Black Hawk Down', "it's all in the grind".

So much is, eh?

So - after several days of use, how is it? F A N T A S T I C. I cannot explain the magnitude of the benefit to a cup of joe from having the highest quality beans, well ground, heated just so in the water, then filtered into a pleasing shaped cup.

It really is the most important fluid of the day.

Monday, November 28, 2005

The space between

Managed to get out for the first ride in a long while today. A fairly well known route, but a shade different due to the cold.

The cold got into my blood, into my bones. It took an hour to warm up despite some of the best fabric man has conceived and some fairly brisk pedaling.

The mountains of the Highlands were white and pristine in the distance, the glow of the pink sky as the sun set acted as a back light to my thoughts.

Feeling slow, in more ways than one. Feeling content, despite the pace, in more ways than one.

The future, despite everything can still be bright.

The future's all yours, you lousy bicycle!

Its been a week on holiday for trina and myself. We stomped around London, in the name of shopping, eating and drinking. The air was black, the sushi fresh, the coffee strong and the apartment beautiful.

Particular memories? 'Kiss, Kiss, Bang, Bang' which we saw at the cinema (we haven't been in I-don't-know-how-long) was fantastic and funny.

We ate at Moro for my birthday. This Moorish restaurant by Sam and Sam Clark was every bit as special as their cook book.

We caught up with our friend Nonni and heard tales of her trip to Africa.

We relaxed some. Good stuff.

But as a certain rogue would say... it's time to get back in the saddle:

[Before riding the bicycle]
Etta Place: Do you know what you're doing?
Butch Cassidy: Theoretically.

Friday, November 18, 2005


Independence. The word can conjure up quite a mojo eh? I have a lot of time for IF ever since I practically tore a pint glass from LLoyd's hands in Minneapolis (um, sorry!) after deliberating over his extreme speed on a singlespeed cross bike. So, as payback I reckon they are going to get some of my $ soon...

If you need a dose of bike-loveliness, visit

I *know* Marty will appreciate this: forget the c14


Just in case.


Back and def-o the smack.

you know where to go...

Wednesday, November 16, 2005


What you see below is a custom Strong Frames ti mtb. It has discs and 700c road wheel compatibility. That-there is nearly what is about to happen to my Seven singlespeed. Differences? I just received some Paul cantilever brake levers through the post, which with the moto-bmx brakes will allow use of 700c wheels with 26" v brake placement...Neat, eh?



As you can see, another picture of a gracefuly curved ti frame 29er has appeared on the blog. This is not just some form of voyeurism. I am sort of planning a new bike. It will be ti and 29 inch wheels and that is just about all I know for sure. Most probably it will have disc brakes, which will most probably be Avid BB7 so I can service easily (I stress the I...) and I can use the Paul component's Brake levers I dearly love. See for some f i n e parts...

The one thing I can guarantee is it will not utilise the Mary bars from On One...Not my thing at all...

"So why do you need another bike?"(says the Devil, as he reclines languidly on my shoulder). That one does need some thought doesn't it... I think the 'need' can be replaced by 'want' and then it all starts to become clear. I like to think of it as a journey. I may never reach the end of it, but one ought to gather as much experience as one can along the way. If I arrive, I'll know it...

Talking of which..Someone once said (and it may have been Aldous Huxley, or it may not) :
"Experience is not what happens to you; it's what you do with what happens to you."


Attraction to curves

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Areas of interest

I am a bike rider not least. Apart from being a husband, the other major area of my life is being a doctor. Within that, my interests are somewhat divided. Drug addiction, teaching new GP's, mild anxiety/depression and peoples' own health ideas.

Nevertheless, I maintain an interest in physiology as well. Lets go to Merriam Webster - physiology; def'n: a branch of biology that deals with the functions and activities of life or of living matter (as organs, tissues, or cells) and of the physical and chemical phenomena involved.


I managed to go out for a ride today. I have been planning it for a while due to my lack of saddle time recently. The aim, take the 29er with cross tyres and do a mixed route: road and off-road. Make it long. The forecast was good, but the reality wasn't. Rain and a cold westerly. Always adds a soupcon of difficulty to a known route.

One of the things that has led to some contemplation over the last few years is the effect of endurance riding on the mood. I have not been known to be entirely 100% when it comes to this area, which, I suspect, is a reason for my focus. When one commits to a ride that will test the stamina and staying power there is an initial 'tough guy' sensation, followed rapidly by uncertainty and self doubt. Then, as the ride unfolds, one tends to progress to a state of familiarity - as long as you have put in the practice.

Distance unwinds and there is a variance. Depending on how things are going environmentally and physically, one can either feel indomitable or desperate. Eventually, of course, there is the oblivion provided by countless everlasting effort. A unique focus on a single task blended with overcoming exhaustion.

And so it was today. Fairly significant cold ( there was snow on them there hills) always multiplies the difficulties and a six hour route with a fairly significant stress on the way led to a less than perfect beginning.

However, everything unfolded pretty much as above. The difference lies in the fact that it is a while since I have done any similar level of damage. I ended up hypothermic to the degree of constant yawning and numb completely to the wrist and ankle with slowed responses. Thrown into sharp relief, the odd feelings of elation and gratification on finishing and surviving merely act as a entree for the depression that will undoubtedly follow. It always does. There is no particular reason, just a sense of loss.

Slowly and surely, a sense of satisfaction that is profound and many textured will set in and I will no doubt bore those who tend to listen to me about the details of the ride, the mud, and how it was like porridge. The hum of the cross tyres, the swans and the ducks on the flooded river sides. The field of highland coos near Invertrossachs.

The conundrum remains: do you actually enjoy these rides? or is it simply a form of addiction to the idea and the endorphins?

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

On not riding

Here we go again. The monsoon season has struck and the riding has reduced to a mere trickle like some sort of cosmic compensation. Too many tasks to do, too tired and too damn wet outside. The trails are pulverised (I think, I have only ridden 3.5 hours in the last 4 weeks so what would I know), the fitness is draining out of my legs as blood from a broken heart.

It is too early to look forward to the reincarnation of spring. Too early for commiseration, or understanding. I must simply try and get my teeth in to the protracted cross season and pray my shriveled, desperate carcass survives.

What does your soul look like?

Soul for sale...

In basically good shape. Could do with some renovation due the odd frayed edge. Admittedly, a little beaten up, scratched and worn. Rides well occasionally - but can be heavy on fuel. Prone to frequent breakdowns and requires tender loving care from a good mechanic in order to keep running. Has been known to be trouble free for significant portions of time and one can only hope those good times will roll again ...

Sunday, November 06, 2005


I am not usually a list maker, but occasionally I find it is necessary. Usually, this occurs when I have to navigate piles of junk, paper and rubbish in the flat. Often this is accompanied by a vague nagging feeling at the back of my mind.

So I have created a list. It is pretty long and I will never finish all the tasks in one go, but it may keep me straight... you never know.

So now all I need to do is prioritise - never my favorite task.

Cover me, I'm going in...

On a brighter note, I'd recommend picking up some Jack Johnson if you have not already, and also some G Love and Special Sauce. Then, my friend Chipps introduced me to this one, go get Niz Lope's album. It is just dreamy.

Thursday, November 03, 2005

One from my man

Chris - who has wandered with me for so very long now and has been both inspiration and salve - sent me this:

One for your blog: dunno why, but I like it.

***Thought of the Moment:

Everything that irritates us about others can lead us to an understanding of ourselves.

-Carl Jung, psychiatrist (1875-1961)***

I know what he is saying (Carl, not Chris).