Tuesday, February 28, 2006

First aid.

Well done Dad. 1st aid course sorted. I know where to go when I receive the next flesh wound...

Late night mechanics

Just finished fettling with the bike. It's a good feeling: covered in black goo and dirt; a few skinned knuckles; a beer in hand.

The alloy chainring bolt 'females' I used the other day, in my abortive attempt to go out for a ride, have been pulled in favor of steel. Advice from Chris and some forum scanning led me to believe I'd see nothing but problems. I thought I'd be ok with steel bolt and alloy 'female' sections, but I'm coming down on the safe side.

I also replaced the brake pad holder with the stuck pad. This has never happened so badly before, so I'm not sure what to do. Still, I must be one of the few folk who has a spare xtr v brake lying around, so I raided the parts. Never trust a bike corsair.

So: bike in one piece; rider in too big a piece.

Spring soon...time to find some form.

Monday, February 27, 2006

Vulgar days

Sometimes things just don't work out...

All set to ride today. Apart from a 6 hour ride immediately on returning from holiday, which left me cabbaged, there has been precious little. Despite a nightmare of my own making - not once, but 4 times - I got away with a few minor tasks to do to get the bike running. New chainring (Boone, so sweet); new brake pads; new chain; change over tyres to fatter ones (IRC Mythos).

So got started. Chainring bolts too long. Use spare (alloy, eep!) female sections. Fit tyres. Fit chain, then had to shorten (bah!) then try to get brake pads in. 1 to 3 all good, but the fourth just wont go in. Try another. Nope. File, clean, file and lightly oil the back. Now stuck 3/4 in.

Meanwhile the rain is beating down harder and harder. Water is running off the hillside.

I just can't do this.

Back in car. Tail between legs, head in the bad place. Drive home. 3 traffic jams over the seventy miles for 4 cars which obviously decided to re-acquaint with the fields more intimately, some even on their roofs.

Home finally. Bloody Mary. Pantera, the noise in my head is fading - just...

Wednesday, February 22, 2006


Seeing a psychological problem as a mechanical task can lessen the aura of impossibility.

1 step at a time, even if it is Hillary's.

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

The Blacksheep of the family

Head over to http://blacksheepcycles.com to see bikes like this, others, some chat and some... ...dogs

Monday, February 20, 2006


I received my frame bag from Wildfire Cycles today. It uses velcro straps to fill the space in the front triangle with usable stowage space when a 10 hour ride simply won't do.

It is stout, neat, well made and feature packed. See: http://www.wildfirecycles.com/fatbikes.html

Right, where are my OS maps...

Thursday, February 16, 2006

Home Joaquin...

Don't spare the fish.

Our last snorkel.
Our last Bloody Maria.
Our last sandfly bite.
Our last Taco.
Our last moonrise.
Our last lazy 7am awakening.

It has been beautiful, sleepy and relaxing.

Another world, another culture, many smiles and staring wordlessly at the sky, the sea and each other.

Time to go home. Mixed feelings. All will be fine.

Thursday, February 09, 2006


Mexico is treating us right. Massive breakfasts, Mayan ruins, sunshine, a rattly rental car and beer. It´s all good. We are just about to leave Valadolid and head to the coast for some reef snorkelling and some, well, more beer and sunshine. The number of singlespeeds here is amazing. It seems the fun machine for the UK is the work horse of the Mexicans.

Hola, y manana.

Thursday, February 02, 2006

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

So far...

Lets see:

  1. Sweden, in August, for the 2006 worlds (and Jessica's birthday)
  2. Coburn Park, near State College for the Wilderness 101 - see http://www.mtntouring.com/mountain/htm/home/page_home.htm
  3. at least one 24 hour solo
  4. as many Merida 100km races as I can fit in (last year I managed them all)
  5. the singlespeed brits (most likely)
  6. maybe one or two SXC races...Aviemore and Glentress most likely
  7. perhaps, perhaps an underground point to point somewhere in Scotland
  8. a coast to coast

2006 will need good legs.