Weekending 02 Feb 2014

I’ll start with a picture from last Saturdays ride were a fair few were caught out by the freakish winds and hailstones.

Hail at Cheshire Oaks Cycles

I’d ridden out to Steve Webb Models in Frodsham for some bits for the latest thing to divert my attention, mainly getting Pauls 20 year old radio controlled car back on the track. More of which in a later post. I took a trip out to the Ice Cream Farm with the grandkids on the Sunday and it was totally devoid of cyclists. Given the weather I don’t blame them.

Today was my first Sunday ride for a long time, with an early trip out to the Eureka. It was standing room only with large groups of Northend, Sunlight and Century packing the place out.

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This was after the Northend had already left for their ride.

Todays ride was with the CTC to the Grosvenor Garden Centre via Burton Point and the Dee Cycle path, which incidentally has had all the washed up plastic cleared.

Along with the tidal bore the Guppy was landing at Broughton for some more A320 wings.

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The phone camera doesn’t do it justice. You can’t see the screen to compose the picture so what you get is really pot luck in these conditions.

I ended up having a really good day saw some new faces and a lot of old ones.  The pace was relaxed but it still ended up as a 40 mile ride.  I split from the returning group at the end of Greenway continuing on to the Dee cycle crossing where I picked up a slow puncture.  Another stop at the square at Parkgate and again at Heswall golf club where I was diverted off the Wirral Way onto Well Lane and then home.

It turned out to be a 58.5 mile ride and would have been a fair bit more barring the slow puncture. I had planned on doing the Wirral circular to give the new light a try out.

On a different note  The Armstrong Lie is at Vue , Cheshire Oaks. 1 show a day  it’s going to be a short run by the look of things.

One is a Churchill victory salute the other is what English longbowmen waved to the French

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Weekending 05 Jan 2014

Black Pearl Sunk

First ride of the year with this picture being the highlight of it.

New Brighton had crowds watching the waves break with the worst of it over by the time I arrived.

Helmet damaged in my only crash to date.

Helmet damaged in my only crash to date.

Just to add to the helmet debate again in the light of Michael Shumacher accident. My crash was at only 14-15 mph and happened that fast there was no chance of me avoiding my head hitting the ground. It cracked the foam and depressed the plastic shell over a fair size. I had a twinge from my chipped collar bone last week just to remind  me of it.

Thatchbirds at high tide

Had to stop to take a picture of the birds at Harrison Drive, quite interesting to watch them flocking as a wave came in.

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You normally cant get a road bike past Harrison drive due to drifting sand but the council seem to have done a good job and cleared it all. This section past Leasowe Castle is not part of the cycle route.

 

 

 

 

 

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Had to revert to the mobile phone for the pictures on this ride except for the  Sabbath picture.
Interesting ride, other things going on was a cheque in the post that I wasn’t expecting. This had to be paid in and brings you up against Birkenhead parking charges, the street parking having empty bays where they would be full in the past.

I ended up jet washing the bike after this ride which is a first, the sand in the brake blocks sounding like coarse grinding paste.

Went the van only to find it much as we left if before christmas. Polished the acrylic windows with perspex polish as the upper ones tend to mark with twigs brushing against them. Did a damp check after the habitation service and found the reading is coming down which is all good news.

The return trip from Dandy past Burton Point must have had half the northwests twitchers there.

As for the new year nothing planned yet but a spring classic would be nice to see.

Posted in Bikes, General | 2 Comments

Charging your Garmin Edge on the move

Charging.jpg

This post is to address the issue of charging your Garmin Edge on the move. It’s been an ongoing problem for the long distance cyclist since the days of the 305. Battery life for an 800 is about 12 hours from 100% charge.

I resorted to trying to charge up my 305 in Audax control points with mixed results. As you can see an Edge 800 draws 440mA whilst charging a 50% discharged edge.  You can’t get blood out of a stone and whatever system you use your biggest enemy is going to be time.

The charging port on an 800/810 is on the bottom edge as above, this precludes the use of K Edge and Garmin Barmounts20130403_155632[1]

So for an Edge 800 it has to be the stem mount, conversely for an Edge 705 a bar mount may be the better option. On a 705 the charging port is on the bottom and an oversize stem may interfere with USB plug.

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Ultra-Compact-Lipstick-Sized-Sensation-ThunderBolt-Blackberry/dp/B005QI1A8C/ref=sr_1_20?s=electronics&ie=UTF8&qid=1388695578&sr=1-20&keywords=power+monkey

Do an Ebay or Amazon search for Power Bank or Power Monkey. There is a vast choice.

https://buy.garmin.com/en-GB/GB/shop-by-accesories/batteries/external-power-pack/prod86599.html

£70 is too much imho, bear in mind it has to charge on the move and the battery needs mounting somewhere. It needs to be robust.

Your Edge shutting down 100 miles is not something you want to see on a 120 mile ride.

The cheap emergency phone chargers are not up to the job for todays devices, like I said you cannot get blood out of a  stone. They are designed for a Nokia and who uses them these days.

The same applies to smartphones perhaps to a greater degree as battery life is hopeless with all the bells and whistles on.

If your already using something that works let me know what it is

In the near future I will be making a charging regulator designed to make use of the MagicShine battery pack.  The pack is rated at 8800mA/hr and will power the light for 3.5 hours.  It will consist of a 7805 regulator and plug for the battery.

Posted in Cycling, Garmin, Garmin Edge | 8 Comments

Advert Free

Made a few changes to the Blog , it should now be advert free. For whatever reason there has been a marked reduction in site traffic and hence advert impressions.
I’ve paid for the premium upgrade so there should be no adverts on the site. I had no control over what type of  advert appeared , which was annoying me and I expect you.

Merry Christmas everyone.

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Weekending 15December 2013

Tour Test Video

Been in work all week with the news that I will be going back on 2 days 2 nights in Febuary 2014.


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The plan was to meet up with Paul in London but thats gone out the window.

Another Caravan Club site that has parakeets among the local wildlife. Trip down here was quite relaxed and now I am here It seems a better location to watch the London stage of the 2014 Tour de France.

No bike this time as it’s only a short stay. Writing this in the van while watch BBC Sports personality of the year. Wiggo seems to have smartened himself up for the occassion for once.

Cost of 3 nights in London for Tour de France next year £58.

I’ve gone to premium for the blog to get the page width wider.  At the same time I’m getting comments trying to bypass the filters and link to an advert. Most are harmless , just stop, it’s annoying.

http://pixori.al/96a97

Posted in Motorhome Madness | Tagged , , | 2 Comments

Weekending 08 Dec 2013


Back to the old form of posting, hopefully it will be little and often.
Sunday 01 Dec 2013.  Picked the van up and collected the grandkids to take them to the ICF.  Past a group of the CTC near Newton Lane and parked up in the car park. We were met by a queue that seemed to stretch around the block. Santa,s grotto was open and they had baby reindeer to boot.

Managed to get into the playbarn at the right time and settled down to read the Sunday Times. At the food counter who should I meet but Brian and Roy from the CTC. I did mention it’s called Crazy Daisey,s for a reason, it can get pretty crazy in there.

Things settled down later and after an Ice Cream the kids got to stroke the baby reindeers nose. +1 to Cheshire Ice Cream Farm.
I’d bought some Christmas lights for the van from Maplin on the Friday so they got a try out to amuse the kids and me. Spent hours trying to get things sorted out on ChromeBook with mixed results. It was a long day.
Monday 02 Dec 2013  Had booked into Tex,s spin class at the Oval only to find it being taken by Angie.  Sweated a bucket, finished the class as headed for the showers only to find no change from 2011, a disgrace. Spotlights don’t work and are hanging out of the fibreboard.
A trip to Aldi for noodles for lunch and some fruit then home.
Washed the car and booked another spin class at the Oval.

It gets busy in the evening but this class was one spinning class too far, I promptly blew up about half way through it as a bowl of noodles isnt enough for two classes like these. Coasted to the end, headed home for  a shower where I wont pick up an infectous disease.

Netflix is the new Blockbusters in this household and ouce you have it you can see why BlockBusters had no chance. Work in the morning.

The Garmin needs an update so it’s back to Windows in the near future.
Tuesday 03 Dec 2013 First day back in work.
Wednesday 04 Dec 2013 Caravan Club site is now taking bookings for 2014. this means Crystal Palace Caravan club site will take bookings for the Tour de France dates.
The golden hour approached and nothing happened, repeatedly. When I finally got in to the booking site I was logged out so had to go through the whole process again. I’ve booked three nights as the logistics of getting down there in good time meant I wouldn’t see much of a stage on Saturday even if I could find somewhere to park the van.

The recent WRC round in Wales showed me just how narrow our roads are. Next thing is to book Eurotunel , It was a huge relief to get the London booking now to try and plan the rest of the route.

Saturday 07 Dec 2013

 

Rode out to see how the van coped with the tidal surge.  Called in at the Bike Factory and Cheshire Oaks Cycles on the way back and gave the MagicShines a decent trial after the repair.

 

 

 

 

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I gave the MagicShine 808 a trial run during the week and it got that hot I cooled it down under the tap. Unfortunatley the waterproofing wasnt 100% and the clicky switch failed with it stuck in whatever mode it felt like on powerup. Maplin supplied a new switch for £1.39, it meant cutting the legs down do size but the result was a working light again.
These lights are £18 on ebay these days and give enough light to actually see where you are going. 

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The Dee cycle crossing shows just how much the storm surge travelled up the river Dee.
I was surprised how much plastic it washed up along with large CalorGas bottles.

20131207_140914[1]This is the cycle path just by the racecourse. Cycling along the path from Queensferry the tide mark was about a foot from the top of the path. If the bank had burst a lot of people would be under a few feet of water.

 

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November 2013

Highlight of the month was the World Rally Championship coming to Wales , more specifically Deeside next to the Toyota factory .  To be honest you wouldn’t have known it was happening due next to non existant press and TV coverage.

I took the Van out to Llandegla on the Wednesday before the qualifying session.  There is a night time MTB session so the carpark  was open until 8pm. wpid-20131114_074720.jpg

Lashing rain and hail punctuated the night with a healthy walk to the stage.  I will add the video when I can get Google drive sorted. It took me about 5 hours to warm up after I got back to the van.

Next day it was a trip to the service park at Deeside. Again more pictures to follow.

Saturday was the Rallyfest stage at Chirk Castle. It was packed with cars taking hours to get in.  This meant an early exit as it had the potential to turn into a mudbath.

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This was it early on, I’ve given up taking pictures of rally cars with a mobile phone as they move too fast.

I had a mail from WordPress the other day, 7 years I’ve been doing this, doesn’t time  fly. That prompted me to look at the British Heart Foundation site, It’s like the high street, charity shops and sponsored rides. You have to look for the heart and diet stuff, I was not very impressed by the direction they have taken.

Bought some of the Aldi Pro Cycling kit so that is due for a review in due course. It does appear to be well made with an improved pad. The coolmax pad of the old winter gear just  didn’t get on with me.

The WRC did bring home to me how narrow the roads are for next years Tour de France. I’m going to have to book a site early as soon as the window opens.

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Had a bit a f a busmans holiday holiday at Cheshire Oaks Caravan Club site(Fairoaks), same high standard as most of the other club sites with a bit of motorway noise in the background while outside the van. Stay the two nights to get some charge in the battery, fill up the water tank, empty the toilet cassette and get rid of the grey waste. Gave the van a clean too for good measure.

Had a cold trip out to the Eureka Cafe on Saturday with the temp down to 1,5 Deg C. Only one in there on arrival as the Saturday training rides had probably left. Christmas had come early as Anne , Holly and the staff were wearing reindeer antlers.  28 mile ride at the end of the day with a few stops.

Took the van and grandkids out to the Ice Cream farm at the weekend which was a first for a while.  Not been since the Cafe and playbarn have been segregated. Dropped the kids off and returned the van to the storage only for Val to notice one of the tyre pressure led warning lights flashing.  Can mean one of two things, the tyre has lost air gradually or I’ve picked up a nail. No time to look at it then so it is first thing on the agenda on the next block off.
The van seems to have less moisture in it these days as the crystal dehumidifier no longer seems to fill up as fast.

Been through a couple of the links on the side bar to see what others are doing , well I’m not alone in having a rough patch or two. I’ve spent a while trying to sort out all the pictures and videos on the phone as it is now full.

I’ve seen the future of Strava on the Google devfest that Paul presented at and it’s Google Glass. Segment warnings on the HUD , it had to happen. I’ll be trying to borrow his pair  for a Strava test.

Been on the wagon for a week now and hopefully it is going to stick this time. Made the mistake of coming home from work via Runcorn only to get stuck in traffic for nearly 2 hours.

Another theme change is in the pipeline along with a return to the weeky updates.  Some of the Pages are due for retirement or a spruce up.

2013-11-14 15.06.08Note the bike and not the name.

The end of the month has had me coming to grips with Google Chrome which was a bit mixed at the end of the day. I just want to get my pictures off the various devices and it hasnt gone well.

Had another trip out with the grandkids, this time to the Ice Cream Farm, things have changed since we last went. Still not a bad place to go if you want to read the Sunday Times in the playbarn.

The month ended with a 48 mile Wirral ride taking in the Coastal Path and the Wirral Way. The MagicShines had to go on low power as the battery seems to have lost it’s charge after last weeks battery trial.

I’m still not getting on with the Aldi Cycling Pro pads for whatever reason.

My first attempt at embedding  a map in the blog why they wont let garmin connect do the same god knows.

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October 2013

Another bit belated post as I try to get back into things I have put to one side, this blog being one of them.AppleMark

This was the highlight of the summer, Alpe d’Huez  before the Tour came through.  It was a fantastic trip doing about 2800 miles  taking 3 days each way to get to the Alps.

Next thing on the agenda is what direction to go with the blog, I cant post Strava links, Garmin connect links or anything that has<iframe in the html. It may be time to move off the WordPress platform and onto something else.    So the adds will be coming down as you need $100 worth of clicks which is an awful lot.

September saw a trip to Burrs Park Caravan club Site at Bury which was very good despite being prisoners in the van as we didn’t take any wet weather gear.
Boy did it rain.

It’s been increasingly difficult to get a Friday and Saturday night at any of the Northwest Caravan club Sites and they book up very fast, a bit further afield no problem, Derbyshire  and the lakes no problem. I can only put it down to the price of fuel.

The WRC is coming to Deeside next to the Toyota Factory so just making some preparations to watch that, it is a couple of hundred yards from the van storage.

Posted in Cycling | 2 Comments

Dehumidifier For The MHome

Dehumidifier For The MHome

I’ve bought this Dehumidifier off Amazon recently  as I’ve had a habitation service done recently and there is a high reading in one of the panels.

http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B00DFYWUJW/ref=oh_details_o02_s00_i00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

It comes with a 12v DC and 240 volt AC lead and power supply and draws 60 watts.20131029_125148

This is what it condensed in a couple of hours. I’d like to leave it on permanently but it is too much of a drain on the leisure battery overnight.
The control panel does shut down on low voltage and the solar panel recharges it to 13.2 by midday.

At this time of year the cab glass is prone to a lot of condensation.

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September 2013

A bit belated but here goes.
September started with an attempt to ditch Windows by purchasing a ChromeBook that came with a great offer on it. The now old laptop has seen better days and now cuts out at times due to overheating.

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The above is the offcuts of a recent carpet that I had edged by the carpet shop by the roundabout by Wallasey village. Really knocked out by the speed and quality for a remarkable price. All done in less than 20 minutes . Link to follow.

Went back to a few more spinning classes at the Oval, with the downstairs showers in a worse state when I last moaned about them. Wirral Council now fine you for not turning up for any classes, perhaps the should spend some of the cash here. Missing ceiling tiles to void space, mould in grouting, door catches broken, with a look that it hasn’t been cleaned for a month.

Close it down rather than operate it in that state.

Took the bike out on a few Wirral Coastal path runs with the magicshine lights getting a charge as the nights are drawing in really fast.

Missed the TOB at Loggerheads as I had an early dental appointment which result in the possibility of an emergency appointment that afternoon. Headed out to an empty Eureka Cafe and headed home only to get the dreaded call.

Tried to fit the twin reversing camera to the van only to give up after a couple of hours with a few cuts as the rear moulding would not come off, it has to come off as the old camera is bolted to it. Now need a plan B. Van got booked in for a habitation service at Flintshire.

The whole motorhome dealer/warranty scene has left a sour taste in the mouth. I know who I WON’T be going to for a new van. It’s bad enough trying to get anything done let alone warranty work.

Off out for 3 days in a few hours. I will update things over the next few days. Next up is whether to pull the ads and change the theme for some thing I can customise.

Posted in Cycling, Motorhome Madness | 3 Comments