Mountain Bike Shenanigans

Strava App on the Apple Watch: Driving Me Nuts
May 15th, 2017

So today I logged with Strava my growing frsutration with the Apple Watch App. It is driving me nuts. I own a 1st generation watch which has been fine until relatively recently, but now has issues!

1) Stopping a ride recording
At first I thought that this was tha auto-pause function – pausing or ending a ride then not restrating it. I could correlate where a ride recording ended with a point where I had to get off and portage the bike. So I changed the setting to turn off auto pause, but this seems to have turned itself back on!

I’ve even taken to coming out of the Strava App once a ride has started by going back to the main display (clock). How ever, once riding if you flick your wrist to look at the watch it is back in Strava !

2) Hung App
Today I did a 2.30hr ride and the App crahsed after about 2.15hr. When I got back to the car the App screen on the Watch was just balck, no display. When I got my phone out and looked at Strava the ride hadn’t been logged. So back to the watch and now it is working again but had paused itself again.

3) Slow performance
From opening the App to trying to go to start a ride is SLOW. Like 60-90 seconds slow. Because it’s slow and lags, I think that it’s possible I’ve accidently turned the auto pause function back on in the same way I inadvertently select km vs milies for distance units.

4) No lock function
I can live with the slow performance, but there has to be a way of stopping the app ending the ride prematurely. Can some sort of lock function be introduced to stop inadvertent pausing and a real turn off of the auto-pause (I’d prefer to set this on the phone for the Watch App so that this is not a watch based option).

Be Strong
June 16th, 2012

I haven’t really written much about personal views on things in the world of cycling for many years, however the recent news that Lance Armstrong is being pursued once again in relation to allegations of doping puts pay to that.

Lance has endured a physical trauma in his fight against cancer that few (if any) can comprehend. The physical hardening and mental toughening that will have accompanied his fight against and recover from cancer will have left him with a significant advantage. His pain thresholds, his level of determination, his desire to battle the odds and win all outstrip that of other riders, because ultimately at one point his life depended on being able to do it. Once you’ve been through that anything else is going to be put into a real context.

There is little doubt that the tailored training schedule and seasonal focus on Le Tour also gave Lance the edge. As team leader and a highly prominent figure, he seemed able to dictate his cycling calendar and race schedule allowing him to focus on the big event. Few others had the same luxury and ability to arrive in France at the peak of their form each year. There can be little doubt this gave him a significant edge.

Of course there were other factors like a World class team of hand picked riders many of whom had the ability to finish highly in the general classification but often sacrificed themselves and their opportunities for the Texan. The final thing should of course not be forgotten. Lance was clearly a very driven and intense individual from an early age and with a talent for cycling and a tactical mind that have made him one of the cycling greats. The fact that his abilities out stripped those of others of his generation is something that few will have been happy to accept.

Fuel Crisis
March 29th, 2012

I haven’t touched a bike in weeks, not even to clean one, a job I’ve been putting off (repeatedly). The government mishandling of a potential strike by fuel truck drivers and the media shit storm that’s resulted from it has resulted in panic fuel buying here in central Manchester. My wife went out before 7am this morning to fill up and found our coal Esso station completely drained of fuel and all the pumps therefore marked as out of order.

The whole thing’s quite bizarre as the first news item I heard essentially said that Army drivers had been given training to ensure fuel deliveries continued during potential strike action. Yet as the mess has unfolded the government is now saying everyone should top up if their fuel tanks reach half full. Filling up is an expensive business as my pal Dave in scotland has just discovered:

Fuel bill

The whole thing is a great way for the government to fill the coffers as the tax of fuel is a fixed-rate on the underlying oil price and is a very large proportion of the cost consumers pay. The result is that it’s gone mental.


Now this whole business doesn’t really affect me, I drive my son to nursery each morning which is probably only 2 miles each way. Once I’m recovered we’ll be biking that, so the fuel cost will be nil. I perhaps put some fuel in the tank each month, but may be only £30. In fact I’ve never filled the tank, but I bet it wouldn’t be cheap!

As I walked into work this morning fuelled by coffee and dodging a £1.70 bus fare each way, I realised that single occupancy commuting is the norm here. No car-share commuting for folk in Manchester. Or park and ride. The city needs a plan, because let’s be honest fuel prices are only going in one direction in future. Up.

October 6th, 2011

I’ve had some feedback recently, in fact I asked for it from a couple of people. It’s given me food for thought. A friend posted this somewhere else online, so I’m stealing it and reposting:

Pointing something out:
“Hey, look at that, that’s different.”

“Hey look that that. That’s an interesting approach, why did you do it like that? Have you considered an alternative? Will there be any impact of doing it like this, rather than like this?”

Constructive Criticism
“Hey look at that, not sure that’s the best way. Perhaps you could consider doing it this way instead.”

“Hey look at that, thats not very good, you could have done that better, I wouldnt have done it like that, it won’t be very much use now.”

Perhaps the difference is not clear to you, but most people manage…

Leadsom One
March 29th, 2011

Randomly I stumbled across this article by Andrea Leadsom. The article raises an interesting quandry. I have no hesitation in agreeing that cyclists should be dealt with fairly. Other riders who flout the law wind me up, particularly those that jump the lights which I see on a daily basis.  They certainly should be held accountable if in a worst case scenario they are involved in the death of some one as in the tragic case of Rhiannon Bennett. Yet is the change Leadsom’s proposing going to make the issue go away? I don’t think so.

Andrea Leadsom

Andrea Leadsom MP

My concern is that a change of law through a government act won’t necessarily make things any better. The proposal to introduce equal measures to ensure that those motorists and cyclists who cause fatalities or serious injury are dealt with in terms that might be deemed fair to the family and friends of those killed or maimed is flawed. The current policy that dictates the range of sanctions that magistrates can impose against the guilty party are generally deemed weak and leave people dissatisfied, so I am not sure the proposed change is going to solve the problem. A more radical rethink might be needed, but that will undoubtedly have knock on effects on other legal sentences and if you end up locking more people up, the already inflated prison population will just grow bigger. Fundamentally this is a reactionary approach.

A simpler solution and something that would be more proactive would be to engage the police in actually tackling some of the offenders. I suspect that Leadsom’s comments are tinted by her experiences of the London rush hour. I’m convinced that a well coordinated and strategically positioned team of officers with the sole aim of capturing some of the cycling offenders in the big smoke would go some way to raising media publicity that steps are being taken, but such campaigns seldom have a lasting impact and are often perceived as public relation events. A month long campaign in central London is not going to solve issues in the vast suburban zones elsewhere in the UK where people are equally at risk.  A solution here is an increased number of police on the beat. More officers patrolling the streets means more chance of capturing people and a greater deterrent to the generally risk adverse proportion of the population.

I suspect that even with an increased presence on the ground, the police have higher priorities in terms of capturing the perpetrators of street crime, robbery, drug dealing and serious public order offences than pulling over cyclists that occasionally ride on pavements. Ultimately accidents happen and that’s the harsh reality of life. If people take risks that put them in the wrong and these actions lead to serious consequences then they should expect to be punished to the full extent of the law. Is Leadsom’s proposal the solution? I’d argue not in itself, so let’s see this properly thought out before any decisions are made.

IMBA: Long Live Long Rides