Friday, 30 January 2009

what dreams may come

when i if i fail in my endeavour to build a 'spare' fixie bike, this design-your-perfect-whip website might provide adequate respite.

Thursday, 29 January 2009

the gift

S.L.R. sent me this one very slow and tedious day at work.

thank you S.L.R.

Tuesday, 27 January 2009

wheels on fire

from my house
10 mile cycle
shower at work
sitting at my desk:

- 1h 10mins -

its down already. and boy, i can really feel my arse muscles. i worked out the following hard maths in my head. all on my own.

10 miles X
2wice a day X
5 days a week
100 miles a week

that probably doesn't seem a lot for any seasoned riders out there, but i'm not a seasoned rider. i'm a chubby dude with an aversion to any kind of sporting activity.


Monday, 26 January 2009

history is made at night

i could've sat down on saturday and written about picking up my shiny new bike.
and on sunday i could've regaled you with The Great Strap-On Adventure... but i was spending a well-earned, relaxing weekend with SLR in bristol, so i had better things to do than type on my laptop.

until now, when i'm sitting at work spending a great deal of time on the CTC website* and encouragingly positive about the night-ride home.

i have finally taken receipt of my bike (as you would hopefully have ascertained by now). at Zero G Specialized Concept store on saturday, they handed me my freshly built bike, with all my accessories firmly attached. i was like small boy in a sweet shop. or a large boy in a sweet shop. that sold bikes. i also added a pair of waterproof trousers and a bigger chain to my order. yeah, i live a rock 'n roll lifestyle.

i also picked up a strap-on bike rack. there is a much longer story to this that i typed out, only to discover it is more boring that the most boring thing i've ever seen. it all ended in me arriving back in london at 11.30 last night with my bike mounted so high up above the back of my car it looked like a separate entity

despite my most intelligent of urges to go to bed, i then proceeded to spend 2.5 hours fixing all my remaining accessories.
none of them were necessary for my debut to the World of Commuting by Bicycle (cyclemooting?), but now i'm equipped for anything.


* yep, i'm surfing the net while i'm at work. sue me.

hard rain

death race

it is begun. i cycled to work. took about an hour and a half to do 10 miles on an unknown route, negotiate the parking facilities at work and have a shower when i got there.
i reckon i'll get the whole lot down to an hour before long. y'know, when i've knocked some of my lard-ass off.

went well though. thoroughly enjoyed it, actually. i felt unpredictably fresh when I got to work. that's endorphins for you, always lulling you into a false sense of security.
unlike london drivers who keep you on your toes.

Sunday, 25 January 2009

this year's love

apparently the big thing this year will be bears in ill-fitting hats.

i can't wait.

Friday, 23 January 2009

Thursday, 22 January 2009


night and day i worry that any of my friends and family might want to go and see this, so hopefully this will provide all the information you need.... to not

splendour in the grass

i reckon they've been planning this advertising campaign for 8 years

Wednesday, 21 January 2009

the worlds fastest indian

on reception of my cyclescheme voucher (finally) i just phoned the specialized concept store in bristol where i will be getting my bike from. it turns out they've preempted me and already ordered the bike in. its now sitting in their workshop, will be assembled tomorrow and all of my accessories fitted.

plus, because of the v.a.t. cut, i'm actually £50 in credit, that i can spend on anything i like. add to that the £50 i'll be saving because i'm not getting a jacket anymore, and i've got myself a shopping trip.

oh yeah.

i don't get to sit with my bike and a spanner fitting all my big accessories though. never satisfied; that's my problem.

the machinist

my excellent girlfriend - who shall from herefore be known as The Sweet Little Retard - has found commercial comical mileage in the fact that i've been buying necessary accessories for my bike... when i don't even have my bike yet. i must admit, the mirth is well founded.

but soon they'll have a home, and then who'll be laughing?

my investigations into the world of cycling have very whet my appetite. i've mentioned bike snob nyc before, and applaud his written destruction of the hipster cyclist culture. but i must say, it has lead me to the world of fixie bikes for which i have sustained a certain level of intrigue.

i have two contradictory pools of taste, two opposing schools of design that rarely meet in the middle to make anything of remarkable value. although it can happen (i type this on a macbook). as a techy i like utilitarianism. i like gadgets. i like things that do the job and do them well, without need for 'look at me!' prettiness. within this pond, i hold DIY versions in high regard, and have a fondness for - frankly - ugly things that are built for their purpose. it's probably why, when i recently went through a period of thinking about jumping back on a motorbike, i fell in uncontrollable love with this:

as an art/design fan i like minimalism. well-positioned stark blank shapes and uncomplicated blocks of colour. retro. monochrome. simplicity. sparsity of placement:

so, with it's modern style, internal gears, gun-metal-grey paint with brown detailing; my vienna 4 could fit nicely into the second category. but my plan is that its going to be my main form of transport in and around london, and will (hopefully) propel me through all weathers, in all seasons, at all times of day, day in, day out.
shake it all about.
i need to keep as dry as possible.
i need to carry stuff.
i need to be seen in the dark.
i need to know if i'm late for work.
and this is where all those necessary accessories S.L.R. berated me for are going to come out to play, turning my bare monochrome frame into a device for holding lights and mudguards and panniers.

when i pick the vienna up it'll be a shiny new minimalist toy that'll be a shame to taint... a couple of hours with a spanner, though; and my utilitarian-techy-gadget-love will be somewhat fulfilled. leaving a minimalist hole.


should i how can i fill it?


Tuesday, 20 January 2009

Monday, 19 January 2009

riders on the storm

at last! some activity...

i received this email today:

Your voucher has arrived! I will post it to XXXXXXXXXXXXX tonight



HR Manager

Consider the environment. Please don't print this e-mail unless you really need to.

(those are not (all) kisses)

i should be able to pick it up o'er the weekend. i am a happy boy.

also, there is another bike related curiosity on the horizon - a direct symptom of my new interest/obsession. this is just a teaser:

more beats & pieces

1. Put your music player on shuffle.
2. For each question, press the next button (only once) to get your answer.
3. Write down the song name.

1) If someone says "Is this OK?" you say ...
bohemian like you (the dandy warhols)

2) What would best describe your personality?
i don't want to see you (camera obscura)

3) What do you look for in a girl/boy?
let's face it pal, you didn't (don caballero)

4) How do you feel today?
beth (kiss)

5) What is your life's purpose?
look outside (broadcast)

6) What is your motto?
you are ball lickers (jay)

7) What do you think your friends think of you?
the road (turin brakes)

8) What do you think about very often?
funky fresh country club (ugly kid joe)

9) What is 2+2?
duet (black-eyed peas) !!

10) What do you think of your best friend?
sunshine after the rain (berri)

11) What do you think of the person you like?
air aid (menomena)

12) What is your life story?
mon homme (billie holiday)

13) What do you want to be when you grow up?
mr. robinson's quango (blur)

14) What do you think when you see the person you like?
rainfall (nitin sawhney)

15) What do your parents think of you?
chattanooga choo-choo (glenn miller)

16) What will you dance to at your wedding?
i've been tired (pixies)

17) What will they play at your funeral?
let forever be (chemical brothers)

18) What is your hobby/interest?
rape me (nirvana)

19) What do you think of your friends?
train (goldfrapp)

20) What's the worst thing that could happen?
wind of my soul (cat stevens)

21) How will you die?
work it (missy elliot)

22) What is the one thing you regret?
chop suey (richard cheese)

23) What makes you laugh?
melon farmer (ash)

24) What makes you cry?
spain (chick corea)

25) Will you ever get married?
the hustle (common)

26) What scares you the most?
living life (ben kweller)

27) Does anyone like you?
'90 AKA a man like me (lemon jelly)

28) If you could go back in time what would you change?
inside (moby)

29) What hurts right now?
buddy holly (ben folds)

30) What will you post this as?
more beats & pieces (coldcut)

Thursday, 15 January 2009

the wrong trousers

why don't we get more of this sort of thing in london?

Monday, 12 January 2009

a boy, a girl & a bike

as is the trend with this time of year, i've come over all philosophical and self-aware. my thoughts are predominately about my life and the lives of those around me, about what happened during 2008 and what i want from 2009.

well, the world changed for everyone. barack obama was voted as the next president and like him or not he takes office in 10 days and the world will change.
more specifically, the world was flipped to all angles for the people i love.
troubadour took a big ol' step and moved in with red.
batman married his wonderful wife.
the duchess sent herself on a voyage of self-discovery.
shoelace and my sister became finally pregnant.
my brother and his girlfriend became unexpectedly pregnant and have since given birth to a bundle of cuteness named Alice May...
and so on and so forth.
oh yes, and it would appear that i have bumped into the greatest woman of all time =>

i could go on, but i try to look forward more than dwell on the past; even if that plan doesn't always come into fruition. so, to 2009.

a couple of things lay on the horizon. i'm going to double-up my uncle status when Madeleine is born in february. i'm still not sure of the spelling of her name, but i'm sure that she will be as loved as her cousin, and as much as anyone could be.
my company's contract is going through renewal and what with that and the current (very boring) credit crisis i might be without a job in the near-ish future.
my lovely lady may encourage me into a moving-in scenario if she plays her cards right.
so it's looking like an alright year, as things go. i have a remarkable woman, and continue to have the best friends you could hope for; so what more could i want?

well i'm a fat bugger, so my next project is to make some improvements there. the standard self-promise of anyone who lives through a new years eve party, "i will lose the lard" and actually do some exercise. actually. and the way i'm going to do it is by taking up cycling as my principal form of transport around london. judging by the way - over the last 3 weeks - i've been growing noticeably obsessed by buying a bike, it looks like i'll be throwing myself whole-heartedly into it.
and it means i get to almost completely cut out traveling on the london underground, which is akin to vomiting bile on a daily basis.

so, through this scheme, my employer is buying me a bicycle; and from then on i'll be back on two wheels for the first time since i crashed my wonderful honda, and on a self-propelled two wheels for the first time since i was knee-high to a grasshopper.
i can't wait. especially after the 12 mile off-road ride i did with The Budd's dad over the weekend.
as soon as the accounts department get off their ass and sort payment out, i'll be taking home one of these bad boys

and i guess if you want to go by olde blogging conventions: the urban cowboy will be returning to the saddle... albeit a self-propelled, smaller version.

i'm hoping that this might turn into a bit of a cyclist's blog, as long as the obsession continues. unfortunately it will lack the technical knowledge and scathing grace of my new favourite blogger who shares my love for cynicism and my active hatred for all things pretentious, whilst managing to weasel in some useful technical information.

while i'm on the subject of pretentiousness, in neon-sun tradition i'd like to direct you towards another thing on the web that amused me; and nothing could be closer to my heart than the ridicule of twats that can be found here. the website speaks for itself, but from me - if you ever bump into anyone featured on it, feel free to explore their innards with a heavy-weight seatpost.

Friday, 9 January 2009

Monday, 5 January 2009

the ballad of david icke

a few weeks ago i donated blood for the first time which was a laugh riot. actually it really wasn't that bad, go and do it.

i got a letter today, from the blood people, who informed me that i have the one of the rarest of all blood types: O (rhesus) negative. i share it with only 7% of people and it's very useful because it has no 'antigens.' it means two things:

1: my blood can be safely given to anyone, like newborn babies and in emergencies where there's no time to test someone's blood.

2: if i ever need blood... i'm screwed.

most fascinating though, according to this website it means i am descended from ancient space lizards.