Category: bikes

welcome autumn

So it is the first of September, this morning when I left for work I had to find a coat to fend of the cold dank drizzle, (and it was dark) on the drive home I had the air con on as the sun beat down in the bright blue sky with scattered white fluffy clouds, typical British weather.

To be perfectly honest not much has changed since my last post, I have not been out for a ride although the Whyte has spouted some new bits but I am yet to test them. My ankle has gone from dam right painful to feeling OK and back to dam right painful on a weekly basis. Spoke to the doctor about it and he said he was happy to refer me to the orthopaedic consultant at the hospital but he is likely to want to put my leg in plaster for 8 weeks!! Not what I was looking for so I have left that idea on the shelf for the time being. I was at the doctors as I buggered my knee, I could not bend it with out being in pain, not sure what I did as I was sat at a desk and went to move and I could not bend or straighten my leg as my knee was agony. Doctor reckons I have broken a little bit of cartilage off and it is catching as I bend my knee. It is not to bad now I can walk ok but still can not fully bend my knee with out feeling pain.

Back to the doctors next week for a diabetic check up, I asked them back in early June if I needed a 6 month check and they said no, so I get a letter 6 weeks later telling me I need to go for a check-up?? By the time I go for the check-up and get the blood test results I will only be a couple of months away from my 12 month check?? I gave up trying to make sense of it, just hoping I have been doing it right, I certainly think I have but the check-up will tell me one way or the other. Day after that it is the dentist turn, one of my back teeth he did a major filling on a few years back has broken up, I know what the outcome will be, he did not want to do a filling on it last time but I told him I did not want it out, think I will probably loose the argument this time.

At last my big fish tank has got fish in it, ok so there is only 4 of them and they are each about 30mm long but by the end of the month I hope to have moved all the inhabitants of my other tank (along with all the rock) in to the big tank which is about 30 fish in total. Here is a picture of the tank (prior to putting the fish in the tank)

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Filled with water and ready for some fish (they are in the bag on the left)

Well that enough from me, thinking about giving the page a facelift, will need to find a template I like and see what I can do, but until next time, have fun………

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Getting old is not much fun

Well that what I have found over the last few years, I think the point was emphasized when the doctor joked that if I was a horse I would be put down!!

As it stands I think I am on top of my diabetes (not stupid enough to say I am 100% in control, been brought down to earth with a bump to many times), still suffering with Achilles tendonitis on the ankle, apparently suffering from diabetes does not help (all to do with circulation). My calf muscle problem while not hurting me as it used to is still there and in part is why I have the Achilles tendonitis. Three or four hour undisturbed sleep is the best I can manage at the moment, if I sleep for more than 6 six hours in total it has been a good night. I had a case of vertigo for good measure a few weeks back which was not much fun, for those that have never had it, think being drunk without having a drink or the hangover. According to the doctor it is all part of getting old, not sure I am liking that.

There is some positive news, I have sorted out a big issue with the new fish tank stand, well I say tank stand but it was in fact a workbench that I had made to a specific size (about 9″ lower than a normal workbench). The problem was work benches are normally meant for cold damp workshops where being perfectly level is not an absolute requirement. When we brought the workbench in doors the top timbers (38mm thick) twisted so I was unable to get the top level enough to put the tank on the stand. I even filled the tank with water to see if the weight would flatten it out (which was a risk itself as it could of stressed the tank and cracked it) but even filled with water I was able to slide a CD under one corner. So the tank was drained and it was back to the drawing board. In the end the 38mm thick planks were removed and replaced with 18mm ply, currently I have two sheets of ply (36mm) the same size as the stand and a third sheet the size of the tank (same length but narrower). So directly under the tank is 54mm of ply and now it is flat. Been working on building the 3D background (pieces of Styrofoam stuck together then sanded into shape then covered with cement which will then be sealed and then stuck to the back of the tank). I have most of the other bits I require to run the tank I have been picking up rock and coral sand for the tank second hand as I see them come up for sale. The only thing I am missing at the moment is a light unit (I have a temporary unit I intend to use). Hopefully the tank will be running by mid July and ready for inhabitants by the end of August.

Things are slowly moving forward on the bike front, been out a few times now. The good news is that it does not hurt my ankle (unless I wear a thick socks). I have given up on purchasing a new bike, I went to a shop with the intentions of buying one of two bikes but came away empty handed. I just found myself compromising what I wanted to the point that I had to ask myself if I was going to be happy with the bike so in the end I walked away from both of them. I have decided to keep my current bikes and decided give the Whyte a bit of an upgrade with a new set of brakes, pedals and a saddle.

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Picture of dear son and both my bikes (he was riding the hard tail) on a recent ride overlooking Poole. Son was complaining about not feeling very well, 20 minutes after this picture was taken he dived into a bush and was sick, spent the rest of the weekend sleeping or being sick, still went to school on Monday because he had an exam!!

OK I have waffled enough see you all later

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Bored – Update

Just a mid week update to the story in my previous post, Specialized were left with egg on their face after it became apparent they did not own the Roubaix trademark and had no rights to threaten Cafe Roubaix with legal action or register the name as their trademark in Canada.

You can read the full story here

For once there was justice for the little guy

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Bored again

Was going to talk about my calf muscles again but I guess you are bored with me moaning about them as I am with the calf muscle problem.

So instead lets have a look at one of the biggest cycle companies on the planet putting the squeeze on a little shop because of a name. Read the full story here but the short story is the guy has named his shop after the world famous Paris-Roubaix cycle race and Specialized (the bike manufacturer for those who are not into cycling) have traded marked the name “Roubiax” as one of their range of road bikes and are now demanding the Cycle shop change its name, what gives them the right? In the first place surely first claim to the name “Roubiax” goes to the town of Roubiax so what right have Specialized got to claim it as a trade mark?

Being a new small business he cant afford to defend the legal challenge so it looks as though he is going to have to capitulate to the bullies at Specialized legal department. I think the guys at Specialized need to take a step back and look at the damage they are doing to their image as a global company and sit down around a table and sort it out properly to the satisfaction of both parties, after all, this is the season of goodwill.

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It has been a long time

The last few weeks have been a real mixed bag of events, so good some not so good and some ho hum.

I had to check my last posting I made as I could not remember what had been said. Well the bike was rebuilt with all the new bits added and I managed a short ride the following day. The following weekend was a stunning weekend, but first the story. I am a moderator on a Mountain Bike forum and back towards the end of last year we found out that one of the forum members (lets call him Tazz) was facing his 4th battle with Mr C (cancer). Not content with battling MR C again he was also going to be a guinea pig for a new cancer treatment. To help keep Tazz focussed on recovery it was suggested that when he was recovered we would join him for a ride. No exact date was set but April 2013 was the chosen month. What happened over the next 8 months was stunning. I produced a banner for those forum members who wanted to, could put it in their signature to show their support for our fellow forum member. Within days the forum was awash with posts showing the small blue banner showing our support for Tazz.

When Tazz was under going treatment his wife would come on to the forum and post updates of Tazz’s progress for all of us and with each update there would come a wave of support from the forum members, not only for Tazz but for his wife and family as well. So great was our support that Tazz’s wife would print off all the forum messages and then read them back to her husband at his bed side in hospital. The messages that Tazz’s wife past on to us varied from the heart wrenching “he is seriously ill and were not sure if he will make it” through to Tazz being banned from running a card school with the other patients and has been stopped from jousting with wheel chairs and crutches!!

Tazz made it home just before xmas (or as Tazz said, they were glad to get rid of him) but the stories still continued as did two return trips to hospital. As the new year started a date was confirmed for the recovery ride which suddenly became a weekend event, a party, a meal and a celebration.

So that was why I picked the wife up straight from work at 5pm on the April 19th and headed for Cleeve Hill in Gloucestershire. I personally had not met Tazz, we had exchanged a few texts messages and I spoke to him for the first time on that Friday morning. Many of those that were attending the recovery ride over the weekend had never met Tazz or any of the other forum members that were coming to the recovery ride event. This was simply a group of people who’s only connection is that they had a love of mountain bike riding and they were all member on the same mountain bike forum.

I am not sure of the exact number of people that attended over the weekend because some rode with Tazz on the Friday only, some rode on Saturday only and other stayed for the entire weekend but I believe the number was in the 30’s, all coming together to congratulate a guy for recovering from cancer.

While all this goodwill was going on, some low life scum bag tried to ruin it for us by stealing one guys bike that was left locked up on the cars bike rack in the car park. While it did dampen all our spirits we were determine not to let it ruin our weekend.

Saturday morning dawned brightly and I don’t mean the weather, as a surprise to Tazz we had all got bright pink (throbbing pink as Tazz called it) cycle t-shirts for the ride so there we were about 20 of us sat in the breakfast room of the hotel glowing in pink when Tazz walks in for breakfast and in totally gob smacked. Many of the other hotel guests asked us or the hotel staff what the pink t shirts were for as they came down to breakfast.

With breakfast over it was off to the car park to unload our bikes and prepare for the ride. With a car park full of pink t-shirts people passing stopped and asked us what was going on, a quick photo call in the hotels beer garden overlooking the Malvern hills and then we were off. For me one of the best moments came as we left the car park and set off up the road, being at the back I was able to get the view of a long pink snake making its way up the road. What the other road users thought was going on I am not sure but it looked impressive if nothing else. As we rode across Cleeve Hill, walkers would stop and watch as the long pink snake made its way past them.

Where we went on Cleeve Hill was an old disused quarry, Tazz had found a small plateau half way up a valley. The sun was shining to the extent that I got burnt, the weather that weekend was stunning we could not have asked for better. Remember the guy who had his bike stolen, he was not left out once up at the plateau not all of us were riding at the same time so he had the choice of well over 25 bikes to choose from to go for a ride, that may not sound anything special but bear in mind that some of these bikes were worth over £2500.

After a day in the sun we headed back to the hotel where we stunned the beer garden into total silence. Having started the ride from the beer garden it seemed a good idea to end the ride in the beer garden, the only problem with that was the beer garden was now full of members of the public enjoying an afternoon drink in the sun when suddenly 20+ mountain bikers wearing pink t-shirts descent on the bear garden, you could of cut the silence with a knife!! We decided to beat a retreat to our rooms and return to the beer garden for drinks more normally dressed.

Having had the problem the previous night with the stolen bike the police had recommended not leaving the bikes in the cars that night just encase the thiefing little scroat came back prepared to nick some more bikes so the hotel allowed us to put our bikes in the rooms, that was an interesting sight with all the bikes being wheeled through the hotel, good job they were not muddy!!

An afternoon trip into Cheltenham (to a bike shop where else) preceded the evening entertainment. First we had a speech from the editor of Mountain Bike Rider magazine who had arrived for the day with a photographer all the way from Croydon. A meal followed, then, messages of support were read out from those who, for one reason or another were unable to make the weekend. We also raised money for Tazz’s charity of choice The Shakespeare Hospice , not sure how much we have raised in the end but even guest at the hotel were donating money.

It is difficult to capture the past 8 months in a 1200 words (or more), but it will certainly be one of the more memorable moments in my life.

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