Weekending 15 Aug 2010

Not much to report ride wise with too much going trying to get the house ready for central heating installation. The mess this makes is unbelievable, don’t let anyone tell you old houses have character they can be just as badly built as the modern stuff but without the benefit of building control.
Wednesday: Evening spinning class at the Oval, hot and as hard as you make it. Four first times in the class meant it was late starting.
Decided to forego the latest offer of redundancy ( I wouldn’t get it anyway) and ride out another recession.
Turned 51 last week and the thought of having to work another year until 66 or worse by the time this mob have finished does not appeal.
Thursday:  If you want to improve the suction of your Dyson by about 100% for no cost: Remove the washable filter. Sucks up most small debris until almost full and thats a lot of dirt. Motor is sealed against wear. People throw stuff away for less than this.
Finished the Bay Windows, looks great but I wouldn’t want to go through it again. A cheaper option  would propably be look just as good without the man hours involved.
Hot water tank removed so there is no going back.

Weekending 25 July 2010

A bit of a soft week, been doing spinning classes at the Oval and West Kirby witha a ride out to the Eureka on Wednesday that turned out to be a wet one.

Ness Gardens

Dodged the rain by calling in at Ness Gardens on the way home with the rain hammering down on the plasic roof.  The road at Neston was flooded so it was a trip around the back of the church to avoid it.
There is a new spinning instructor at the Oval, Barbara, who used to be one of the class.
Friday: Another trip out to the Eureka, been chatting to a chap with a Kuota Kharma that he has repaired himself.  Was time to test the shortened Nokon cables, look great but living with the squeaks on every turn of the bars is a nightmare.  Next up is to sort the creak which appears when honking out of the saddle.  Wheels are holding up well, no brake block rub when you load them up on a climb.
Signed up for the Eureka ride at the end of August while I was there. Had a stop at Parkgate where there was a brisk trade in Ice creams. Back in time to see Cav take another stage win.
Nike shoes scratched by the front mech cable that I hadn’t cut back so time to look out for a new pair.
Saturday: Was going to go out but watched the time trial on Eurosport. It was really close at times but Contador held out in the end for another Tour win. All bodes well for next year.

Weekending 27 JUN 2010

A really short post this week as I’m doing a course in Manchester.
Monday was a day to forget as it was an early start with a hectic schedule with 4 hours of travelling.
I’d have been quite happy to call it a day after Tuesday having completed the part of the course that is most relevant.
Wednesday meant missing the England game to try and catch up on the fault-finding exercises we were falling behind on. Cheers and groans echoing through the building when England scored and missed.
Wednesday evening was spent revising to make sure I don’t blow up in the practical exam.
Work at the weekend so that’s 12 shifts on the bounce.
Missed the Tour Series at Chester and missed the TV prog on ITV4, damn.
Thursday was a bad day, I’ve always prided myself on being able to work things out on my own, but like life things are better as a team.  There was a practical Profibus network faultfinding exam that I litterly blew up on. Things did not bode well for Friday so at the end of it I asked what my options were. Spent that evening working through the exercise, the trouble being if you make a mistake there is no one there to correct you.
Friday: Haven’t got to pick anybody up so save about 40-50 mins of travelling to the course. It’s  not an excuse but it has been a factor.
Had a good go as the other option was not siting the exam or worse. At least I had avoided a complete meltdown. As it happened I turned up at 10 to 8 for 8:30 start.
It was to no avail as despite Andrews efforts the tutorial was just too much a gap to bridge.
The thing was Andrews lad and Paul are part of the same network on the internet, it’s a small world.

Saturday: Work.Logged on to find out I’d  failed both sections of the Course. It’s not the end of the world as this is not my primary field of work. But for some it is.
Then get told this is a tough course by those that do it for a living.
Watched the US go out of the World Cup but prepped the bike as I have got Sunday off thanks to Ian at work.
Sunday: Ride day, If I don’t stop writing this blog I’ll miss it so more later.
Went out with the CTC’s A ride but suffered a blowout on the cyclepath  at Upton. This was on the new wheels so I ended up using my only tube. Called in at the Bikefactory for a replacement. Headed off to the Ice Cream Farm at a great rate of knot’s only to realise I am front of the group. Got there about 15 minutes early. After splitting with the group 3 of us rode on to The Pheasant at Higher Burwardley.
This proved to be an excellent location with superb views over the Cheshire plain.
Had a nice pint of Spitting Feathers and then it was back to the Eureka via the Roodee and the River Dee cyclepath.

The Pheasant

Lots of summer cyclists out today, typically on mountain bikes they have taken out of the shed or garage.
Eureka and then home for the match, missed 30 mins and 2 goals for Germany.
Wished I hadn’t bothered only good thing was Keith Boardman told me the National Champs were on Eurosport 2 and it was going to be hard.
True to his word it was hard with Team Sky getting the first 3 places.
Only about 12 finished on the same lap. Millar blew up too boot.
The ride was great, had the front tyre explode when it popped off the rim while out on Brian’s ride, had to stop at the Bike Facory for  tube and then headed off the Ice Cream farm at a greatrate of knots. Thinking Iwas behind proved not to be the case and I ended up 15 minutes early. It proved to be very quiet out with everybody staying in for the match. 60 miles but it didn’t seem like it.
One other thing, it was a day for replica kit races, I passed team Astana ( two guys on Treks and Astana kit) on the way out to the Eureka. Saw more replica kit out there and passed a chap in 2010 Garmin Kit on the way back to the Eureka. Broke a couple of “Rules” mainly not having the right replica socks.
Nice weather a great day and another grandchild due.

Weekending 20 June 2010

Monday: Restday, did Barbara’s Spinning class at West Kirby as I’d booked it the week before. A full class.
Tuesday: Tex’s spinning class at the Oval followed by a few weight machines.  Tex’s classes are instructor led with you rarely getting a rest, usually getting told to push harder. Bought a pair of wheels from the Bike factory, Mavic Ksyrium Elites got them for a stonking price too, far better than anything you can see on the net.
Put the Conti Attack and Force tyres on them ready for a ride.
I had tried to buy a rim for the Bontrager Race Lites but was told it would be a different colour thus breaking the unwritten rule about not riding a bike with different colour wheels. Deeply ingrained in cycling are the Rules:.
Wednesday: Ride day, brilliant weather It was a hard job to leave the Eureka after chatting about bikes with Dave and Maurice. Headed out to Walk Mill and came back via Chester and the River Dee cyclepath. Stopped to take a picture of the A380 wing being loaded at high tide.  Pics in due course. Played around with the 705 trying to recover Sundays ride. Saved it as Course from earlier misshaps. Caught the sun so Rule: whatever won’t be  broken. 56 miles.
Wheels are good, found out what was causing miss shifts on the rear mech. It has Nokon cables on it and if moves it alters the position of the rear mech.
No Bikes
The toy at the Plough

Walk Mill

Walk Mill View

Thursday:  Various bits and bobs to do. Managed to recover 70 odd miles of Sundays ride thanks to TCXconverter.  Cleaned the Mini and picked up the missing pump and slime for the tyres.  An oil change is £180 or I can wait till 15000 miles and have it done on the TLC plan for free.
Friday: Work.

Weekending 13 June 2010

Monday: Tex’s Spinning class at the Oval. Logged on to Foursquare and I’m now the Mayor of the Oval. More work on the house and managed to kerb a wheel on the Mini. Tweeted this and it got put on Facebook only to have John reply that I’m not having much luck with wheels lately, which is true. Managed to tip a tin of red paint over the bedroom carpet too so that must be the third bit of bad luck.
Not having much luck with the calorie counter on the Crane Sport Heart Rate Monitor, it’s reading about half the calories it should but it doesnt have all the functionality of the first one. Can’t complain about the price.

Barbara’s evening Spinning class at West Kirby, couldn’t have been more different to Tex’s class. Tex was going around driving everybody on so no hiding on the back row or the corner. Sweated buckets in both classes.
Tuesday: More work on the house in the morning but off to Southport for the Tour Series in the afternoon, via Quinns to look at wheels. Taking the camera as it was great racing last year.
A wet start had me doing Tex’s spinning class at the oval, Heartrate monitor had packed up too so no calorie counting. A first timer is really getting looked after with cups of water  so I make a comment about about the girl having it soft with the rest of the class joining about them not getting any cabin service either.
This then leads on to a comment that you only get this on a long haul flight and we’ll be landing shortly, all good stuff.

Dummies Guide updated, now off to watch the Tour Series at Southport.
Good night out, got a spot on Lord Street just as free parking came into force.
The bad news is £250 wheels are now £350 so I may as well ride old wheels.
Most wouldn’t want to spend that much on a bike.

There was a nice Boardman print in a Gan time trial picture at a gallery in Southport.

Filled the memory card on the camera.
Wednesday: Rode out to the Eureka, the rides had gone so it was pretty quiet. The Mayor of the Eureka arrived so it was time to chat. Told Dave the Chigago Dave Twaites story which had us in tears of laughter. Bought a Lezyeme 19 function cycle tool for a stupid price as I had lost half my BBB one. Not to mention the one airport security took off me when I was leaving Spain.
23.5 miles in all and the wheel situation is still up in the air.
Took the Race Lite off the rear of the Trek and fitted the Race X Lite after swapping the tyre.
Stuck a Dura-Ace 11-28 cassette on for good measure. Yes you read that right 28 teeth on a Shimano cassette. Cost me £100 which is about as much as anyone would want to pay for a few bits of titanium and steel. Record 11 about £270 for a cassette these days.
Thursday: Work then home to watch Dauphine which was delayed due to the tennis. Should have sorted the route out for Sunday but read the comic instead.
Friday: Work till late but get to leave early on the Saturday to sort the bike and do some prep work for Sunday.
Saturday: Work but left at 4, watched the best race up Alpe d’Huez for a long time in the Dauphine.
Put the bike in the Mini for the first time, pity it had to go on it’s side.
Put the route in the Garmin from 2 years ago as I didn’t have a route sheet due to entering on the line.
This was going to cost me later more of which in a ride write up.
Watched the England game

Sunday: Bob Clift Memorial Ride, 100 miles around the Cheshire cycleway.
First 100 miler this year, never let anyone tell you it’s easy as it isn’t.
Wet ride for the last 40 miles, the rain at least blotting out the headwind.
Broke a few of the Rules today.

got to grips with the new software, new links to be added.

Weekending 06 June 2010

Monday: Rode to the Eureka which was pretty empty for a bank holiday. Andy Walsh was there and he showed me more of his handiwork with a spraygun having recently repainted Barrys Trek Madone. I’ll post some of the pictures up or a link to them when I finally get around to get the blog hosting sorted.
Called in at CycleSurgery on the way home to look at the Sky Kit and see if they had anymore in stock, which they hadn’t. The latest craze is FourSquare It would make a good tool for locating cycle friendly Cafes to ride to. Opening times for them would be handy.
Tuesday: Tex’s morning spinning class at the Oval. More work on the house to do and a rear wheel for the Trek to sort out. Still not sorted after 3 bearing changes, putting it down to a worn axle. Missed the Aqueduct Challenge at the weekend and need to sort out if I’m going to do the Bob Clift Memorial 100 mile ride on the 13th. This will need a day off work.
Exporting the blog seems to have worked , the next thing is to get it hosted on WordPress so I get access to the latest themes and widgets.
Wednesday: Work , wouldn’t have been too bad with a late start on a decent day only to have The Mayor of the Eureka Cafe message me from FourSquare when he checked in.
Thursday: Work
Friday: Work, rear wheel of the Trek to sort out .
Saturday: Work,last day. Rear wheel finally sorted thanks to some input from Dean, 4 thou wear on the axle was sorted and I was going to do a tutorial but inspection of the rim revealed cracks.


Three cracks in the rim mean it’s the end of the road for this wheel, which is a pity as they have seen some sights. I’m really attached to them and getting a better pair is going to set me back few bob. Bladed spokes mean they do really well in any rolloffs.
Sunday: Jack Day so no ride. Amazed how a 4 year old trainspotter remembers what class of train runs on what line.
What’s Cooking for lunch as it was Pauls Birthday the other day.

Weekending 30 May 2010

Monday: Spinning class at the Oval. Last day of roofing, still lots to do and it looks like the kitchen has to come out so a new bike looks out of the question.
Tuesday: Work
Wednesday: Work
Thursday: Work
Friday: Work
Saturday: First day off and a wet trip to an empty Eureka, chatted to Lionel about 705 and routing. Lionel lent me his map for the 705 but the card reader must be damaged as it wouldn’t read it. Rode home to watch the final stage of the Giro. It’s been a great race this year with tough stages, pity I missed the stage where Steve Cummings was in the break.
Sunday: Stan’s Aquaduct Challenge day, weather has turned out nice for it. Maybe next year. The A55 was blocked so a trip out in the Mini with Paul and Jack got diverted. I had planned to go to the Panorama to add the cafe to FourSquare but ended up going to the Plassey instead. Headed out of Wales into Shropshire only to see the speed cameras set up just over the border. Welcome to Wales.
Monday: Ride day, Eureka open at 9, best bike weather again by the look of things.

Weekending 23 May 2010

There is a lot going on at the moment including chucking nearly 30 years of computer and amateur radio junk out of the loft.
This was to make way for roof to be felted as it is currently  held together with lime mortar which has mostly fallen off over the years.
Going through all this gave me time to reflect on how thing have advanced in the last 30 odd years. I haven’t used my callsign for godknows how long now so all the copies of Radcom and all the group magazines I used to suscribe to had to go.  Groups such as BARTG, Amsat, Datacom, UHF communications all lost to the paperbank.
I can’t see myself going back to doing home construction to any extent again and wouldn’t know if packet radio still exists or anyone uses RTTY anymore.
Anyway it’s gone now along with all the 8 and 16 bit computer junk. As Sony are to stop making floppy disks they went too. A couple of hundred of them at a £1 a pop in the good old days.
I’ve kept a Spectrum microdrive and ZX1 interface as it’s probably going to be rare.

Had a couple of spinning sessions with Tex and Becky at the Oval and a ride to the Eureka but thats about it ride wise.

Bought some Team Sky kit which is going to get it’s first outing when I’ve finished. I’ve missed a lot of good riding days but better to bite the bullet now and make up for it later. By later  we could be looking at next year or the end of this one.

Off out on a ride in the Team Sky kit along with the rainbow stripped shoes breaking rules 9,10 and 11. Only thing missing is the team socks and bike. That should be another rule ” Thou shall not ride in a mix of team replica kit from two teams” .  I’ve a couple more up my sleeve for later.

Saturday: Rode out to the Eureka on what was a scorcher of a day just missing  the Northend heading out. The Mayor of the Eureka Cafe was there if your familiar with FourSquare. I didn’t twig on to Dave comment about buying the Mayor a tea until Sunday when I picked Paul up from Manchester and he said the Mayor would get free coffee in the likes of Starbucks. There was more debate about replica kit seeing as the comic touched on it again. I’d class Assos as team kit as you’ve got to be in the too much money club to wear it.
Later another chap rolls up in Team Sky kit, he’d jut come off his bike and had gravel rash on his leg luckily his new kit hadn’t been damaged on it’s second time out.
I’ll do a post about “The Rules” because unless your a club rider you’ll be breaking a few of them. Even my shoes break the no rainbow stripes rule.
Eventually I set out on a ride  that had me calling in Eureka Cyclesports for a cadence sensor battery and BikeFactory to look at the £9499 Pinarello.
Picked up Route 56 that goes around the back of Chester Zoo and headed back to the Eureka and home via the Missing Link.
Sunday: Picked up a long sleeve Team Sky jersey and some socks from Evans in Manchester.  It’s moving fast despite the price of it. £80 for the long sleeve jersey, £10 for the socks. Killed a bit of driving around Manchester calling at the Lowry and then getting lost following the Iphone satnav app that had been set to cycling to get to Manchester airport.
I thought the routing was a bid odd as I kept seeing cycle path signs everywhere.

Weekending 09 May 2010

Monday: Work.
Tuesday: Work, a complete shambles due to what happened the previous day.
Wednesday: First chance for a ride only to be met with a fine drizzle. So it was off to the Eureka for a breakfast.
Here I got a call from work wanting me in that night for a job so the ride was cut short to 18 miles.
I haven’t been posting much lately due to working on the house and the roof needing felting in 2 weeks.
The site still gets about 3,500 hits a month with Aldi Cycle offers and Garmin related comments still coming in.
I’ve finally resolved to update the site with a new theme from WordPress and rewrite some of the articles. The 705 is now 2 years old and I’m still on the first page of a Google search somehow  so that will be one of the first to sort out. Links will be updated as a few are dead or dormant.
The search is on for a new theme, the content won’t be a problem.
bumped into Dave at the Cafe and again at Neston where his tyre had blown out.
Thursday: Morning spinning class at the Oval, followed by more work on the house. Chucked away tons of stuff and still got some way to go.  Can’t see me using a 50MHz logic analyser ever again and there is not much call for floppy drives these days.
Aldi for a pair of cycling mitts at £2.99 and a top at £14.99
Friday: Tex’s spinning class at the Oval, been nearly 20 odd years since we last hooked up. A guy comes in to do his first class and lasts 10 minutes before walking out.  Guess he’s going to stick to the weights.
More decluttering before the roof gets done. Pattern curtain hooks bought on the net for Swish curtain rail proving to be too tight.
Saturday: Took a trip to Formby Cycles and came out with nothing. There was a chap in there trying out clipless pedals on a Dolan on a turbo trainer. I should have videoed it an put it on Youtube.  Couldn’t get his foot in then couldn’t get it out, didn’t know which foot to clip in first because he’s sat on the bike. Unclipped into the chainstay, it just went on and on.
You know it’s going to end in tears on his first ride, we all come off when first going clipless  but you only do it once. Picked up the curtain hooks from Wilkinsons of all places with a trip to Smiths for ProCycling.
I noticed the magazines have gone from the Eureka so I can’t even give my pile away, so if anyone wants some let me know.
Back in time to watch Cav take the prologue in the Giro.
Sunday: Work.
I’ve set up a new theme on WordPress and once it is sorted I’ll be swapping over to it. Uses all the widjets for Flickr and Twitter and whatever else I want to include. The 705 is now 2 years old so that page is starting to look a bit dated but is still right up there in Google.  The 705 Forum sounds like a good idea so I’ll look into that side too.


Weekending 11 Apr 2010

Not  much to report, a couple of trips to the Gym,  a spinning class or two at West Kirby and a few trips out to the Eureka Cafe which is about 18 to 20 miles if you choose the scenic routes.
Tried Tex’s Spinning class at the Oval which was full with only 1 spare bike.
This proved to be rather tough but enjoyed by most. The back row getting  some attention for being slackers. Shower then work.
I could get used to a routine like this.
At the weekend I’d spoken to Dave  Large about the classes and he mentioned  Janices classes that they had managed to get up to 1 1/2 hours at one stage.
Barry came into the Cafe in Steves Discovery Channel kit and Roz of “The Sunlight ” took a picture of us.
For an Easter Monday it was bloody windy with next to no-0ne going to the cafe, most having been wasted on the Sunday rides. Only 1 bike on the rack when I arrived. That made 3 when the guy I passed on the way out parked his. With tales of mega rides from more than 1 group it really did kick off  at the weekend.

Nothing planned yet , not even the Tour. Paris -Roubaix this weekend and I am off.
Sunday: Rode out to the Eureka late for a breakfast and ended having tea outside with Keith.  The service had been a little on the slow side with Keith wondering where his bacon butty was. Carol arrived and was sent in to enquire as to it’s whereabouts but didn’t see it come past her at that very moment.
Could have been worse, at least they wern’t banned like on of the CTC for not buyng anything.
Talking of which there is no Wild Wales Challenge this year which is a blow.
Another event cancelled due to safety issues.
Northend arrived from a training ride with Lance going off the front and beating them back by a couple of minutes.
Dave also having problems with Garmin 705 grade and elevation. That makes it just about everyone I meet with one. The cafe always has a few Garmin bleeps around it and outside as it pauses and unpauses as they move around.
The ride out on the Toy had been good and it wasn’t until Benty Heath Lane that I had no tools tubes or spares on the bike so was nearly a kilogram lighter.

Tailwind home to watch Cancellara ride off from Boonen again for the second weekend classic, Paris-Roubaix.
Took the Mini out for a spin and ended up going up Hope Mountain which proved to be unbeleivably steep in parts.


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