Mountain Bike Shenanigans

Loopy Lupo
October 24th, 2010

I haven’t ridden since last Tuesday evening. I succumbed to the lurgy which normal afflicts me at this time of the year or thereabouts. Thing is, given what happened on the ride home last Tuesday I could have had much bigger problems.

There’s always something ominous about approaching a set of traffic lights where there is a queue of on coming traffic waiting to turn right. Normally it’s not an issue when there are cars and traffic going in the same direction as me, but when you’re the only traffic, motorists seem to get this idea you don’t count.

So there I am gunning it along at about 25mph towards the lights, I end up in this deadzone of no traffic and a queue of cars waiting to turn right across my path. The first car goes no problem, plenty of room. The second car, in this case a Navy Blue VW Lupo, can’t see what’s coming until the car in front has moved out of the way. Then he starts to go too. I am already starting to cross the function.

He hasn’t seen me. The brakes get locked up. This is going to be close. Millimetres is the gap as he brushes past me in a squeel of tyres struggling for grip under a heavy right foot planting the accelerator into the carpet. Stupid bastard. I think you could hear me shouting at him from low orbit. Just to make sure he got the point I gave him a special salut too.

Waiting for a Warning…
October 17th, 2010

…Faster now, you know I got no brakes – so said Dexter Holland, which makes you wonder what experience led him to pen the lyrics. Perhaps, just maybe, he’d tried riding with no brakes. I’ve some experience, one involved a 10 metre square plate glass window which after our encounter had a great big crack in it.

Today I was supposed to be riding great trails in North Wales. I wish I’d gone, because it’s been a stunning day today. Instead I managed a ride out locally and decided to take out the Ti Deluxe which hasn’t seen trails for about the last 12 months. Of course you forget the little things that aren’t quite right from one ride to another. In the Ti Deluxe’s case this is the problematic brakes, which need bleeding.

Ti Deluxe on the TPT

Hanging the bikes by the rear wheel doesn’t do hydralic brakes much good. The air in the system rises to the caliper and then either doesn’t or takes ages to escape back to the lever. So today I had a bit of front brake and absolutely no rear brake, which despite an hour of lever pulsing to try and get the air out of the system failed to materialise. The ride was at 50% commitment as a result of not being able to scrub off speed.

Could be it…
October 15th, 2010

The days of riding to work in shorts, no socks or gloves could be at an end. This week has seen some cooler weather and on a couple of mornings, I’ve been able to see my breath in the air. Now that doesn’t mean it’s necessarily baltic outside, because it’s to do with the humidity too.

We always breath out water vapor along with air, but can’t usually see it because the water molecules are not close enough to form individual droplets. Individual droplets can be seen at the dewpoint which is associated with relative humidity. A high relative humidity indicates that the dew point is closer to the current air temperature. If the relative humidity is 100%, the dew point is equal to the current temperature.

Now cool air can hold less moisture, which is why dew forms on the ground overnight, when the air cools. If it’s humid, you’ll be able to see your breath at higher temps, than when it’s less humid when it’ll take cooler temps to be able to see your breath. This is why you can see your breath in the winter much more easily than in the summer.

It’s been cool and dry over the last week – well up until earlier today, so it’s probably time to dig out the 3/4 bibs and long sleeved merino. Oh and bike lights… I’ll be needing them too.

Two for One
October 8th, 2010

I don’t need a bell on my cross bike. The ‘no matter how much toe-in you use’ front brakes squeel like a stuck pig and scare the bejesus out of any pedestrians foolish enough to be walking in the bike lane far more efficiently. They’re so effective I’ve grown to like it. Mwah hah ha.

Facelift
October 3rd, 2010

I’ve been meaning to do a few tweaks under the hood on the site in a while and over the last week have been putting a bit of time in to make it happen. This is the slightly tweaked new look.

I’m really enjoying the new iMac it’s so nice to work on. To be honest, I am not 100% convinced by the compact keyboard or the pros of the cordless magic mouse, but they don’t drive me so mad that I’ve felt the need to get the old wired fullsized keyboard and Microsoft mouse out yet.

The Mouse like my last wireless Apple one seems to go through batteries very quickly, but the reality is that it’s two AA batteries a month. The keyboards just starting to say low power now too, so that’s three months of use out of those batteries. Seems Apple has realised it’s enough of an issue to now offer a charger.

IMBA: Long Live Long Rides