Friday, 16 December 2011


Wednesday we finally made it out for a night ride, on my way home from work was looking like a clear night, got a tow too, I passed a guy at some lights, dunno if he was trying to stamp his authority on me or whether he was just in a rush but he had decided mashing a big gear was on the agenda so I tagged on as he came passed and just sat and span for a few miles until he turned off. Cheers. Met Si at moss bank park, sky had clouded over but was still cold, cold enough for ice, I got very sideways on the off camber tarmac at barrow bridge. Up to winter hill crashing through icy puddles, the boggy section to 2lads had firmed up quite a bit, the descent was ok til I hit the chute at the end, too fast into it couldn't scrub speed some high speed sideways tripodding occured. Si had similar trouble but as he'd been more cautious on approach it was less entertaining. Wildes was OK, very rocky under the trees and I was very wary of ice so slowed right down on the cobbles. UP Bstard and down ICR, less rocky but some big ditches/holes seem to have opened up. Si flatted just before the last (uber rocky) corner so I sat and chilled while he sorted it. 2 things occured, how steep is ICR? you only realise when you stop and look up it. Also the sky had cleared completely and the stars were brilliant, specially with trees and hills  as reference. Lovely. Back up through the gardens and up to the pike, big black ominous clouds were rolling over winter hill, oooh. Drop off the pike was fastest I've seen for a while, firm and grippy, my favourite part of winter is the frozen trails. It was getting on so we decided to go straight down georges lane and home. Only 20 miles didn't feel like I'd earned the big bowl of jumbalaya I had waiting (but scoffed it all anyway) good to be out tho and a good night for it. Trails were deserted, saw 1 group of runners and 1 set of lights in the distance that was it - the part timers have packed in for winter it seems.

Car reg 208SF

A new naff shape honda civic, driven by witless doddery old fornicating geriatric disciple of onanism in  need of an eyesight test and/or a driving ban! I'm tanking round the height roundabout, 2 forward lights, more hi viz and reflective trim than a health and safety convention, headtorch aimed squarely at the aforementioned driver as he is approaching the entrance to the roundabout in the righthand lane, I'm indicating to take the exit immediately after his entrance, he floors it and cuts right in front of me. I slam on swerve and give a full blooded bellow inches from his side window he keeps staring straight ahead and drives off. What a nobber!

Monday, 12 December 2011

Wet one

Was looking forward to weekend ride, finally getting offroad again but Sunday dawned to incessant rain, Si (sensibly) gibbed and Johnnie was incommunicado. I chilled out, took my time having some brunch, rain eased so I set off a little later than planned. It was soaking, mud/puddles everywhere, reservoirs close to overflowing, the normally little trickle of a waterfall swollen and pounding out gallons of water a second.  Started off mooching up the valley and round the verboten reservoirs, it's a shame we aint legally allowed to use these trails, well surfaced and sheltered perfect for winter, no point in summer too many walkers but there weren't many around, those who were seemed pretty grumpy. Hit witton weavers and briefly got that warm innerglow of legitimate trail access, walkers were still miserable tho so maybe it's not the FP thing after all. Through golf course bit of an explore round egerton then figured I'd better do some proper hills. Up horrocks fold and smithills dean, pushed up onto 2lads, very slippery going down. I was going to do the 1st half of wildes and shoot home with nicely worked legs but decided a bit of suffering was in order so down to the bottom over to the school and up b'stard climb and suffer I did. Ouchy. Could really do with a longer stem for climbs like that, I was too far forward wrists at wrong angle and couldn't get enough pull on the bars, not going to happen tho, bike's perfect for 90% of stuff so will have to put up with it. Through the gardens up to the pike only just cleaned, down the drops and all the way down George's. The drop through the golf course was the first time I'd felt really comfortable descending all day but then it is well surfaced and quite smooth. Not bad, 33miles felt like more, absolutely filthy, surprisingly didn't shred my brake pads but rear (box fresh couple weeks ago) are looking pretty anorexic now, just keeping my fingers crossed that my forks survive the winter. Mid ride fuelling was provided by Charlie who had been baking in the morning, shortbread cookies nyom nyom, proper nice, very lembas-esque (reading LOTR again)

Thursday, 8 December 2011

Sods law in action

"Commuting has been fairly OK-ish, I've shouted at a few drivers not looking where they are going but nothing really scary, fingers crossed that continues or improves" How stupendously naive of me, had a run in with a lorry this morning. basic facts: me in mandatory cycle lane, flatbed lorry on road, lorry cut into my lane, my jacket caught on the mesh rebar (apparently - cheers lowey) on the back, jacket shredded. Nice. Knocked on door of lorry driver shouted something then drove off. Grrr. I was well lit up, hi vis-ed and I was not in a blind spot - I could plainly see driver in his mirror pity he didn't return the favour.

Wednesday, 7 December 2011

Unity my arse

I've a bit of a love/hate relationship with linux, been running a linux web PC/server for quite a while now, even done some proper training on it. You can modify and customise everything, normally stable, no worries from virus or malware, masses of free software and community support. Ubuntu does seem to be as advertised linux for human beings, setup and go and if all your hardware is covered it is pretty much as easy as windows but if you hit any snags then you have to resort to terminal and it goes pear shaped pretty quick. The 'nix does not run strong in this padawan. Setup ubuntu 11.10 on my laptop and everything worked from the start graphics, wifi, even hibernate works now, Unity looks good, very mac-esque, seems to have simplified it (ie removed all the techincal stuff). Decided to setup 11.10 on my home TV, everything went on no bother but res was stuck at 1024x768, had the same troubel in XP so update drivers then go to control panel and unhide unsupported res, no biggie. Thing is, as far as I can tell, the idea behind Unity is that it is supposed to work straight away and they don't want you tinkering with it, fine but if you're gonna have it that way get some drivers on for my JVC telly, meanwhile time to ctrl alt T and start haphazardly bashing away at the keys. Hmm, lets try drivers, with FGLRX on I can set the res to widescreen but it knocks out compiz and none of the snap stuff I'm used to from win7 works. Hmm remove fglrx, do some googling xrandr and cvt will sort it, yep sure enough everything works fine now. Reboot and what the hell happened? Back to 1024, ctrc failure messages and fugly icons. Damn xrandr changes aren't permanent, ok apparently I need to vi  /etc/gdm/Init/Default, nope doesn't exist, hmmm. More googling, then some more. Edit Xorg.conf, oh there isn't one. Go to usr/share/xll and bung in a config file there with your custom resolutions, nope, no difference. Install fglrx again and oh look my .conf file has kicked in now but still no compiz. Grrr. More late night googling looks like it might be gconf-editor that I need, it's taken me a long time to get that info tho, dunno if it's my google-fu ineptitude or that the info just isn't easy to find.

Not sure what the point of this post is, just a bit of a rantette I guess, any none linux users well done for reading this far sorry to bore you, do have a go at ubuntu it's nice honestly, on most normal PC/monitors it works fine. Linux users try not to hold me in complete contempt, I am trying :-)

Where did the time go?

2weeks since my last post? Blimey. Well after my big ride I was feeling a little peaky, rest day then a couple of rides to work then 5-aside and inevitably ended up with a cold so an enforced rest week just a little light commuting, not been logging it so tried to guess the mileages. Hopefully back on track again now, not been doing nightrides so not been offroad since the Lee ride. Commuting has been fairly OK-ish, I've shouted at a few drivers not looking where they are going but nothing really scary, fingers crossed that continues or improves (ha!) Still waiting for heavy frost and some stunning wide open clear blue sky winter rides. hopefully getting out tonight, will be windy tho so might have to stick to low level stuff, we'll see.