First proper Sunday 50.

9°C, no rain but very wet roads, minor flooding in places. Storm Henry is brewing up.
I rode Arrow with MapMyRide+! Distance: 49.59mi, time: 03:44:52, pace: 4:32min/mi, speed: 13.23mi/h.

I’ve worked hard today. Up before five, catalogued more LPs, marked for 4 hours, then rode all afternoon.

First proper Sunday ride of ’16. Windy, wet roads often covered in mud. The average speed is quite low and it all felt like wading through treacle. Another week to build up should improve on that. I have lost form during the previous fortnight. With patience and effort, I can pull it back soon.
Easter is early this year, so the question remains, will I get the usual 1 thousand miles done in time?

Found a new cafe today in Shackerstone. Well, new to me it is. The place was empty; these places do struggle in January each year. However, the guy running it was very amiable and probably appreciated some company. I shall go back in the next few months. It will probably fill with steam train people in the summer. The coffee smelt good but I opted for tea, can’t risk disrupted sleep.
I took no photos today, so here’s one from yesterday:
What are you doing in my kitchen, it’s still January?
I carefully lifted her off with a piece of paper, then put her in the first place I could think of- a Spider plant pot.

Posted in Cycling | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Try cyclocross they said…

6°C, sunny with moderate SW. very muddy all over.
I rode The Jake with MapMyRide+! Distance: 17.43mi, time: 01:52:19, pace: 6:27min/mi, speed: 9.31mi/h.
Endless deep mud. It makes the going quite slow. The worst stretches returned an average 8 mph. It was tremendous fun though. That was the first outing on the ‘cross. Some stretches were such a quagmire that I had to jump off and run. There was lots of side slipping and the ever present threat of a cold water dunking in the canal.


Need to clean this better.

Slime tubes work in an interesting way. I pulled the cross bike out to find flat rear tyre. Slime tubes will self seal if you put some pressure in. Even better, if you can find the leak, you can see green blood bubbling out. The trick is to turn the wheel so that the leak is at the bottom. That way, the slime inside the tube will seep towards the puncture.
As I have been ill recently, the bike has stood still for a few weeks. This is a problem because if you spin a wheel, it feels very unbalanced. The slime has probably gathered at the bottom and added weight there.

By the way, I’m fully recovered.

Posted in cyclocross | Tagged , , | Leave a comment


10°C, brisk SW, dry after Gertrude.
As of mid-morning, I can declare myself free of ‘flu. As in previous occasions, my energy levels surge back to more than normal as if in over compensation for the two weeks of sluggish.
In the morning, I look forward to a ride, probably on my cyclocross bike,
It should be a nice day.


Stanley tool.

Posted in Health | Tagged , | Leave a comment

January in bloom.

11°C, heavy rain and strong wind.
Warm and wet. Strange, this winter. Storm after storm but mostly warm.


Daffodils given as a house-plant last Christmas. They’ve done well outside.

Posted in Garden | Tagged | Leave a comment

Kona, 1 year.

One year ago, I bought my Kona Jake. Remember how excited I was? In that time, I clocked up almost 1,000 miles on it add have no regrets about the choice. I clearly remember those nervous outings on slimy surfaces. Contrast that with improved bike handling now. It’s a transferable skill, I ride the commuting bike on muddy lanes less cautiously these days. There’s justification for a CX bike in anybody’s stable.


A good purchase.

Posted in cyclocross | Tagged | Leave a comment

Coldest day, (annual average)

1°C, sunny, quite nice really.
Sent home. So unwell despite driving in to work. My tutor group is upstairs and the two flights emptied my energy. Nearly at the right room, I saw their previous Form Tutor and had to ask her to register them.
One of the managers could see the state I was in and ordered me home.

Home. Sleep.

Soup for lunch and noticed birds interested in the feeders I put out on Saturday. Four Coal Tits, 2 Blue Tits and a pair of blackbirds.

Spring is coming. Feeling grotty again after the avian excitement, Plas-y-Brenin rang. About the query yesterday, this guy was more upbeat about my question: “How do I know whether I am ready for assessment?”.
Optimism shot up after his opinion. I’m going for the easter date. It only gives a week before the Silver and Gold training.
There, I have a plan:

Practise more micro-navigation,
Read up on legislation,
Practise timing against our route cards.

There are two more stages:
1 camp skills Module,
2 Mountain Leader Qualification.
3 feel a warm satisfied glow.

Posted in Hiking, Work | Tagged , , | Leave a comment


2°C, heavy snow overnight.
One year ago, was filled with excitement about my cyclocross bike. It was ready for collection and I couldn’t bear the wait. One thing that I didn’t get to do was ride in the snow.
There is snow outside as I write but I can’t ride on it. I am laid up with a feverish cold and chest infection. Everything aches and all movement has to be slow. Even a few laps around the green would do it. I’m in no fit state.
However, I had a busy morning doing loads of chores, including installing 3 bird boxes, planting hostas and shopping.
Then in the afternoon, dreadful illness. It’s that pattern again, a surge of energy before the ill feeling takes over.
It’s quite slushy snow, all dripping as it melts. It’ll be gone by afternoon.

Posted in Weather | Tagged | Leave a comment

Weekend at home.

-2°C, clear, rain has frozen, treacherous outside.
Snow is coming. Today could be a brief window where I can grab a ride between melting ice and the predicted snowfall. This week’s milage is low, and despite a one mile swim on Thursday, I am restless. Very restless.
This bad tempered, fidgety feeling is exacerbated by work stress.

Posted in Cycling, Weather | Leave a comment

Hans Abrahamson: Schnee

I enjoy buying and listening to music. It’s one of the constant pleasures in my life. It about changing my mood, illustrating phases in my life and stretching my mind.
It’s not often, however, that I feel as elated with a new find as this. I didn’t know music could do what this composer does with normal instruments.
Fred Frith modifies his instruments with objects, plays ordinary guitars in strange ways. But what Abrahamson does is entirely different. It’s all in the composition, I suppose.
I have been lifted out of the ordinary by this.



Several occurances have met to enable this find. My new DAB radio means I play BBC Radio 3 most days. The car has a bluetooth and DAB stereo system which works well with my phone. Then, there’s the BBC iPlayer app. All that has led to this almost magical find, a bright lights shines out in my collection.
All this effusive talk and the CD hasn’t even arrived yet. The online shop allows immediate download once you have made your selection and purchase. So here I am, familiarising myself with a new record that is still in the post.
We had a discussion at work yesterday where I wanted a word to express the convergence of the above events that lead to this music in my collection. The best word is probably: synchronicity

Posted in Music | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Exhausted iPod

I have used this iPod every day since 2009. Back then, I bought it as an upgrade on the iPod Mini when it ran out of space.
It’s the penultimate version with 120Gb of storage. I like it so much that I will take it to an Apple shop for a service.
The battery only holds charge for a few minutes. Otherwise, the device seems good. It’s only a hard-drive, a small display and a battery. I wonder how long the disc will last. Apple stopped making these a year or two ago. They still service the Classic however.


On the dock.

Posted in Music, Repairs | Leave a comment