Racelite new year

15°C, milky sun, warm and dry. light S.

Grabbed a ride on the Australia#¹ route after a morning of home decorating. Today is like spring a month early. The pace is good. I don’t normally get this bike out so soon in the year.

#1, it looks a bit like Australia on the route map; sort of.

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Soft pedaling the cross.

13°C, sunny with light breeze.


I have a teacher’s cold (again). Since it’s an unseasonably warm sunny day, I rode the cross bike anyway. I soft-pedaled along the sea wall. The tide was high making the beach soggy. Cross tyres are too narrow to cope with we silty sand.

MapMyRide is not working properly again. It fails to share the image so here is a straight photo.

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Metric Century 2.

12°C brisk S breeze but brighter later.
That was a good day out. The route had plenty of variety, hills, flats and a good coffee stop. Later was a long slog on flat land exposed to the wind. My fitness is down on previous years to that last hour was wearing.

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Some galleries in Manchester.

12°C, light and sunny.

I came for art, E came for cubing.

William Kentridge was the main billing at the Whitworth Gallery in Manchester. This place has changed much since I last came here 25 years ago. I remember a show of John Berger back then. Abstract painting doesn’t normally do it for me but Berger achieved it. I still remember the vivid depth in those layers of shapeless brush marks. Today was another eye-opener.

Never before have I got on with Video Installation as an artform before. William Kentridge produced 4 films that used stop-frame, rotoscoping and multi-layering. Some layers were hand drawn or painted; some, pages out of books. The sound was rich and clear too. Often, other films of the genre were shrill and visually, jarring. This had none of those problems. Some videos were played through numerous projectors into constructed rooms. You were left spoilt for choice of view. One room offered swivel chairs. Others were simpler projections before a bench.

Beyond the projection rooms were other still displays of printed material. Tables were set up with angle-poise lamps with various books. It made you feel part of the exhibit.

I made it to two galleries and a museum in one day. They were all worth the visit. But sorry, the Whitworth aced the day. The cafe served wonderfully refreshing food and the building was a cinematic space to walk through. I was moved to buy the exhibition book.

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Ribble Dyke by cyclo-cross.

12°C, sunny with S breeze.
Soft mud of the season made this a smoother route than last time I passed this way. What an excellent day!

I saw Egrets, heard Oyster Catchers and many others I can’t identify. The glancing light made the land very photogenic. The only thing missing is the smell of spring is, as yet, missing.

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A mild cheat

11°C, sunny.

I have to say, I’m happy with the plastering job. I’ve never plastered anything as big as the chimney breast bit this worked. I can smooth my hand over for that satisfying feeling. Okay, so I tweaked it with a little polyfiller but still….

The HDR app is handy here for looking for flaws. Here is one looking abstract.

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Crank arrives.

11°C, sunny and Spring like.

Campag Record crank arms.

Those eBay cranks have arrived. the BB bolts are missing but at least they are in excellent condition. There is barely a blemish on the polish anywhere.

Oh, I managed to get a ride in too. 32 miles in fine conditions.

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Stretch your legs

10°C, SW wind and some soft drizzle
To close a rather satisfying# day with a blast on the bike. I rode the Arrow despite it being somewhat poorly. It has a slow puncture and a knackered chainset. Still, the ride went well. The replacement campag record chainset is due to arrive on friday.

#: The satisfaction comes from DIY. The chimney breast is plastered with base coat and I stopped when I ran out of Skim coat.

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Mustang on gravel.

Windswept flats, a decent route with enough variety for a winter ride. This outing follows a long walk yesterday to clear my legs.

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Berwyn hills: a pre season recce.

5°C, strong SW wind with showers.

This is what DofE leaders do in the off season.

We met up in Carrog to try out a route that is intended for the silver and gold groups at Easter.

The conditions were okay, if you’re dressed correctly. Luckily, the wind was on our backs during the most exposed sections. The only problem was navigating rural land where there were no signs. In one place, the bridal path passes through a private garden. There was no indication on the closed gate that there exists a right of way. The kids will be confused and probably become lost here.

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