Friday, 30 January 2009

The source of filth.

I have remembered why I don't ever buy new clothes. Yesterday I was cold so I put on my new hoodie. Within 15 minutes I had managed to get cooking oil, curry, bicycle grease and beer down it (in that order). I can have the capacity of a 2-year old at times.

In other news...

... i thought this looked nice. :)

Tuesday, 20 January 2009


Sometimes I find bruises, cuts and graises that I can't remember getting. Yesterday I came off my bike infront of a car trying to manual behind the prom and got literally blown off from a gust of wind from the sea front. Picked myself up, appologised to the driver, checked my bike and went up the hill to campus.

Later whilst having a shower and notice stinging from my elbow, and then a pain from my hip and knee. Why don't I notice these things when they happen? This one wasn't too bad, but the most concerning times are when you get massive cuts that have obviously been bleeding quite badly (my shins usually), but I can't remember how they came about?

I'm sure this never used to happen. Maybe i've crashed too much and now just don't notice that much anymore?

Confused? ... me too.

What i'm listening to:

Belle and Sebastian - Sleep the Clock Around .... (live)

Thursday, 15 January 2009

Peter of the Night.

I went on a night ride to Nant Tuesday night and I have to say that it was an awakening in two respects.

Firstly, it has become apparrent that I have become a complete pie over Christmas! The summit loop was a bit of a slog and normally I can handle it fine even on my jump bike (which I was using). I know that on night riding you have to work twice as hard to go half as fast, but I really was hanging by the end!

Secondly, I have realised that my lights are naff! They are by a company that I don't think is in business any more (unsurprisingly) called "Knight Light". These cost me £35 on CRC and despite having two bulbs of 5 and 10w with a lithium-ion battery, they are about as powerful as the Swiss navy. Matt had his new Ayup's which produced cartoon levels of light and the others had similar set-ups.

I'm not sure that I will upgrade though based on the fact that this was my third ever night ride and expenditure would be high to obtain a half decent set. Also, I do find that night riding makes you more intuitive. You end up feeling for the trail more and relying less on your eyesight. A bit masochistic, but I like it like that. :)

Monday, 12 January 2009

Reflection-Section (My Gap)

Until today I was of the distinct impression that the 12 months between 3rd year and my MSc had been wasted. I had been kicking about at Halfords for a year, not really doing the traveling, exploring and arsing-about that I wanted to do. However, in a period of reflection I was looking over some photos and have decided that the opposite is true. With one, very blatent, exception; that was a very good year.

(I was going to add pics but it would have than too long.)

The timeline

2nd June 2007. My father picks me up from university for the last time. We discuss my future on the drive home. I have no direction or money.

7th July 2007. Trip to Foxton Locks with Ben and Bethany.

8th July 2007. I begin my desk caprentry project.

10th July 2007. Lunch with the family at Kelmarsh.

11th July 2007. Ben and I go riding at Twywell Hill and Dales. Later Tom and I go the folly for more riding.

12th July 2007. Wet ride at Nant with Olly.

13th July 2008. I graduate.

14th July 2007. Back home for an arse about on bikes in the woods.

16th July 2007. Day out with Liz.

17th July 2007. Day out / bit of a drive with Ben and Tom. Later drinking.

18th July 2007. I complete the first part of my first dirt jump only to have it ploughed the next day. Pint with Ben and Ant at Mawsley.

19th July 2007. Ben's friend, Richie from the Royal Navy comes to visit. We have a summery pint. Ben and I are re-united with Swarfega the cat after about 4 years! Later we go for a mint and some pool at Thorpe Malsor.

20th July 2007. Day round at Liz's. We construct an epic dessert!

21st July 2007. Day trip to Leicester with Liz.

23rd July 2007. BM-XC ride to Kettering. Later Market Harborough with Tom and Ben and to Blend for a snack.

24th July 2007. I go to take pictures of the abandoned facory in the sunshine just before it is demolished.

25th July 2007. The world's finest fry-up is made. That night Liz, Ben, Bethand and I go for dinner at some Mexican place in Harborough.

26th July 2008. I'm in Kettering for some reason, lamenting on change. That night is Liz and James' 18th birthday party. Its "posh and punk" themed. I wear a black shirt, black tie and spray my hair green. On the way we see a cloud that is definately shaped like brests. There is much drinking and merry-making. A fine time was had by all.

27th July 2007. Hungover.

28th July 2007. I strip my XC bike down to its last bolt and bearing. Clean the lot, put it back together, then go for a dusty ride.

29th July 2007. Kassie, Justin, Rob and myself go for a ride around Rutland water. I win. [Not that its a race or anything! :) ] Rob and I meet ben for a pint at the Charter. Ben parks Bethanys car in a tree with Rob and I in it. It is a write-off, but we're all fine appart from whiplash. Justin and Bethany's uncle's neighbour's come to drag the car out of the tree and Ben and I get towed back to Desborough. Kassie and I get to go in the back of Justin's pickup like freedom fighters (all that was missing was some AK47's. We go back to the Charter for a follow-up pint. Ben gets out of going back to the Navy. Tom dances with some drunk woman in the pub.

31st July 2007. I go on a road-ride to Hannington.

1st August 2007. Tom and I go to Bethanys.

2nd August 2007. Liz and I go round to Dave Kellers for a Barbeque. The Bishop mafia are all around.

3rd August 2007. Liz and I go for a walk in the countryside. Its nice. :)

4th August 2007. I got to Andy Thompson's for a house party. Its good. :)

5th August 2007. The Harrington Beer festival is on. Its good. Liz, James, Ben, Justin, Kassie, Rob and Paul are in attendance. We play garden jenga until late.

6th August 2007. A sunny day in the garden.

10th August 2007. To Cottingham / Middleton to drink and see crazy Amy and Carrie.

11th August 2007. Sleepless in the saddle. Its awesome. Josie, Olly, Stu and I race XC. (Nearly sleepless!)

15th August 2007. Night walk with liz.

17th August 2007. Trip to the skate park with Ben. Katie and Andy's leaving party with the Bishop mafia.

19th August 2007. I visit the grand-parents with my father.

23rd August 2007. Ben, Paul and I go to the skate park in Market Harborough.

24th August 2007. Day in Harb with Liz.

27th August 2007. Ben, Tom and I go to Wellingborough, for some reason.

29th August 2007. Mum takes me to Leicester to buy me a new suit. How nice of her. Later Ben and I go to Corby and get some new windscreen wipers for his car. Shiny!

31st August 2007. Ben, Bethany, Liz and I go to Thorpe pub.


September 2007. I start working at Halfords as a bicycle mechanic. I ride 10 miles each day which keeps me in shape(ish). I meet Rachel, Jonny, Matt, Sam, Alan and countless others. I go for my comissioning board. with the RAF. It is an awakening.

20th October 2007. Ben and Bethanys engangement party.

23rd October 2007. BM-XC ride. I find my BMX.

27th October 2007. Ben, Bethany, Liz and I visit Salcey forest and vow to return for a winter picnic.

2nd November 2007. I go to chicksands with Ben. Its fun!

18th November 2007. It snows!!!

20th Dec 2007. I find the beauty in winter.

26th Dec 2007. Liz brings me a coconut for Christmas! Its fantastic!

31st Dec 2007. Liz and I have a nomadic New year. We visit a house party, the crew at a pub in Harb and Carrie for her house party.

1st Jan 2008. Ben and Bethany start a new year resolution to go swimming once a week. Liz and I are unaware how this will affect us at this point!

5th Jan 2008. Liz and I go for a lovely walk in winter. I look like a criminal. We meet Oskar the cat. :)

19th Jan 2008. Andy Parry and I go for a ride around Twywell.

20th - 21st Jan 2008. I go to visit Tom in Norwich to see British Sea Power. I loose my wallet and phone on the way there in Ely.

23rd Jan 2008. Father dies of cancer at 64.

16th Feb 2008. Liz and I have a day out together.

17th Feb 2008. I go to ride Thetford forest by myself.

1st March 2008. Liz and I ride Bradgate park.

7-8th March 2008. I go to South Wales for BUSA. I take the train to Newport and ride up to Cwm Carn. Its fun. I don't have a map but managed to find a national cycle trail and feel my way to the site. When there I ride the XC course for a bit of a giggle. On the 8th I marshall the DH. It was very cold and wet and as I wasn't racing, I decided to go home early.

15th March 2008. Liz and I go for a bike ride along the Brampton valley way.

21st March 2008. I build my first good wheel.

22nd - 23rd March 2008. Liz and I join Ben and Bethany in Bethany's uncle's caravan in Suffolk. We visit Sumerlayton hall on a snowy day and then go for Adnams in Southwold. Followed by tea and cakes, and then home.

26th March 2008. I meet Joe and Sarah from the MTB club at Cannoch chase to ride some XC. Its muddy. On the train coming back the conductor says simply "Good day at the office?" :)

5th April 2008. Steve lets Matt and I have a day off together and we head up to Llandegla to ride the loop there. Its fun!

12th April 2008. Liz and I go for a walk. Its warm enough for me to wear shorts! Summer is coming!

22nd April 2008. Liz and I go for an XC ride locally. Its nice. :)

22nd - 23rd April 2008. I go for a job interview at Halfords head office in Redditch. I go down the night before. The interview goes well, but I don't get the job. I do walk and explore redditch however for several hours. (Steve expects me back that day, but I milk it and tell him the train is delayed.) I find dirt-jumps, parks, and fire pits. I change out of my suit in the woods and into shorts and t-shirt then head for the town center and have lunch in Spoons. After a train ride back to Northampton and the bus back to Kettering I get to work just in time to do two hours work. But still get paied for the whole day! Winner. :)

26th April 2008. Ben, Bethany, Liz and I got for a spring walk in East Carlton country park.

May 2008. I get my new Carrera Subway 22" commuter bike. I go for a day out with my Uncle to watch the clay shooting contest.

5th May 2008. I go to ride the Dyfi enduro. Tim, Olly, Josie, Drew and myself take it easy. We sit and eat plety of cake, yet storm the descents.

8th May 2008. Barbeque at Bethany's Uncle's house whilst house sitting.

31st May 2008. Ben and I set off for Europe on a ferry from Dover taking the Eurostar from Calis to Paris. We stay in a hostel for the first time.

EUROPE - This would take too long to describe it. But it was awesome!

12th June 2008. Ben and I return from Europe.

June 2008. I get a new job as bike specialist / junior management at Halfords in Market Harborough. This puts my daily cycling milage up to 14.

July 2008. Josie, Olly, Drew and I race Hit the North. Its muddy, but strangely satisfying. Organised by Olly, the Aber MTB allumini go on holiday to North Wales riding and chilling. Olly, Josie, Drew, Tim, Nick, Rob and myself have an awesome time. We ride Nant, Betws-Y, Llandegla and walk Cnicht. It was an awesome holiday.

2nd August 2008. Liz, James and I go to the Caribbean carnival in Leicester.

16th August 2008. Liz, her parents and I go to the seaside. Later I go to one of Stirz' stag nights.

23rd August 2008. Striz and Liz (his liz, not mine) get married at Cranford.

29th - 31st August 2008. Liz and I go to Paris. It was wonderful.

September 2008. Liz takes her family and I to the photographers studio at which she has been working to be shot at.

I begin back at Aberystwyth for my MSc.

Saturday, 10 January 2009

Ker-ching!!! (£££)

My jump bike's transmission is worn out. To replace it...

e. thirteen guide ring. - £26.99
On-One groove armarda sprockets x2 (@ 15.56 each plus £2.00 postage) - £33.12
KMC Z610HX chain - £9.99

Total - £70.10 (!!!)

I never realised how much monew went into quality (disposible) components! When you consider it though, its no different to pretty much any other bike. My XC bike for instance...

Inner chain-ring (cheapest found) - £4.99
Middle chain-ring (cheapest found) - £7.99
Outer chian-ring (cheapest found) - £13.99
Cassette (SRAM 8-spd 11-28t) - £15.99 (I alternate sprockets on the SS you can count this twice. ie: I have to replace SS sprockets half as often). - £31.98
Chain (Sram 8-spd - cheapest) - £9.99

Total - £68.94