Category: photography

Taking pictures

just another week at the office

A week of contrasts, I have been very busy with work, sorting a problem with a software supplier who had set-up a new test environment which was not working correctly. They failed to get it sorted so we had to tell them how we could get around their cock-up but we still had to drag them along to get them to get their software working…….and we pay for this sh*t

One day this past week (can’t remember which) one I was going from desk phone to mobile and back to desk phone answering calls with little or no time in between to actually do any thing in between.

Boss: What did you do all day?

Me: answer the phone

Boss: and?

Me: answer the phone!

I was just complete madness.

On top of this I had to travel to head office around trip of 280 miles and then the next day I was at an employees house sorting out there ADSL connection which was a round trip of 300 miles, the joy of driving.

And while this has been going on I have had the pressure of the wife’s non-employment looming over me. At least I can reveal that as of 9:30am Monday 26th she will be back in the land of employment. A phone call to see if she was interested in a job, a phone call to go to an interview (for said job), an interview (for said job) and a phone call with the offer of a job, all in the space of 6.5 hrs. There was a loud audible sigh of relief when the news broke in this household, it is such a relief.

Not sure if an evening ride is going to be possible this coming week, the wife job has a couple of late finishes and with the clocks moving to BST, will just have to see how things settles.

Went for a ride this morning this is what happen half way round my ride

Tyre blown off
Inner tube bursting out after the tyre blew off the rim

(I can’t be bothered to rewrite the story so here what I wrote about the event on the MBR Forum)

The story, with the summer weather here I took my mud tyre’s off and put the Maxxis Larsen on this morning then went for a ride over the local heath. There is a long descent with about 6 railway sleepers as step on the way down. On the second step I jumped off the step but went a bit off line and landed on the grass bank and got a big kick from the rear end as I continued on down the path. I stopped at the bottom checked the rear wheel, particuarly the spokes but everything seemed ok. I then rode about 3/4 of a mile along wide gravel path, the last 1/4 up a long steep climb. At the top I am a wheezing gasping wreck and as I rolled down the trail there a sort of a thud, the back wheel locks up and I come to an abrupt halt, the picture was what I saw when I got off the bike.

I think two things led to this, the first was I put the tyre on the wrong way round (which I noticed when I took it off after it blew off). The Larsen tyre has square tyre block threads, the middle blocks of thread have a leading edge which is champered, while the trailing edge is square 90 degree cut. Secondly while I put the same amount of pressure in the tyre that I have had in the mud tyre’s for the winter, I did feel the back end was a bit soft (while both tyres are 2.0 the Larsen is a bigger profiled tyre and a lot softer). So what I think happened was when I landed on the grass bank and it kicked the back round I think it was the square cut section of the thread that bit into the grass and as well as kicking the back round and with the low tyre pressure it dragged the tyre either off or very close to the edge of the rim. Why it took so long to come off I don’t know.

The back wheel took some getting out, the inner tube was a slime filled one and it was difficult to get enough air out of the valve without it sealing up. Tool me about 25 minute all toll. I am glad it went when it did as the next section was down hill through some tree and then down a short steep hill

It is funny really because as I was fitting the summer tyres this morning I noticed that a section of the side wall on Kenda tyre that goes on the front wheel was wearing through (which is what happened to the other Kenda tyre) so I thought I better be careful and take it easy on that tyre until I get a new one (which I have done ready for tomorrow), but it was the rear tyre that played up.

I will leave the story about getting home from the ride to find I had been locked out the house as everybody had gone shopping for another day.

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fresh bugs don’t taste nice

I had a plan for today, get up, breakfast, fit the new front brake to the bike, test ride the bike round the block, shopping and then out for a club ride this afternoon. What actually happen was, get up, breakfast, fit brake new to bike, take new brake off bike, fit new brake, take new brake off again, fit new brake on bike, take new brake………….. and so it went on. The problem was the brake calliper was rubbing on the brake disc. It did not matter what did I could not get it to fit. I made a phone call to my favourite bike shop to see what they said, they confirmed from my description I was doing everything right. In the end I decided to fit a new disc rotor, I was going to wait until the end of the month to buy a new one but they were cheap enough for a basic disc rotor so I opted to get one in the hope that it would solve the problem.

Back home with the new shiny rotor I quickly fitted the new rotor to the wheel refitted the wheel, fitted the brake calliper and it was still rubbing on the calliper. After checking the internet for inspiration I decided to take all the bits off and start again. It was only as I was taking the adaptor off the forks (for those non cyclist out there, there is an adaptor that fits onto the front forks that the brake calliper is bolted to), that I noticed that there was a small arrow printed on the adaptor saying up, it was currently pointing down doh! Refitted the adaptor the right way up, refitted the calliper, adjusted the fit and everything was working as it should. In my defence what I will say is the instruction that came with adaptor had drawing on showing the positioning of the adaptor on the forks, one picture showed my adaptor fitted to the forks in a position that was actually upside down. There were no specific instruction just general instruction, it was only the arrow on the adaptor which pointed out my error.

By now it was to late for the shopping or the club ride, so I opted for lunch and an afternoon ride on my own. I had been reading on the local club forum about exploring Ramsdown Forest, this is normally part of my Throop Loop ride. So I set off towards the Stour River which for a sunny afternoon was quite quiet, I was expecting a running battle with walkers and their dogs. If I need any proof that spring was here, a mouth full of bugs did that and had me grinding to a halt coughing and spluttering much to the amusement of those around me. I made it down to Throop Mill where I met two fire engines, an ambulance, ambulance car and a police car blocking the entire road. It seems as though somebody had had an accident on the river bank about half mile away and this was as close as they could get. As I crossed the bridge over the weir I could see a group of florescent green jackets down along the river bank to the west of the weir, I was heading east.

In Ramsdown Forest I decided to ride up to the view point, I have only done this once and as I want to improve my hill climbing it seemed like a good idea at the time. By the time I got to the top of was a gasping spluttering wreck again and again an amusement to those already at the top of the view point.

I took the opportunity to have a rest and take some photos (see below) before heading back down the way I came up. I did some more exploring around the forest and while I did try a couple of paths I had not ridden before none of them revealed anything special. From Ramsdown I decided to carry on like I would do on a Throop Loop and headed out towards Hurn Forest and then out onto Parley Common and home.

A very pleasant afternoon and where until near the end of the ride I actually felt I had a pair of riding legs, hopefully they will be there again tomorrow!!

Looking west towards Hurn Airport, you can just make out the roofs of building on the industrial estate alongside the airport.
Looking out towards Ringwood (hidden behind the trees) A338 in the middle ground
Looking east towards the Isle of Wight and the needles
Been a while since my bike has snuck in to a picture
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lacking motivation

I wanted to go to do two rides this weekend so what when I got up this morning did I have a total lack of motivation to do anything? It had been raining but had stopped and the sky was clearing (a s per forecast). In the end went and did some shopping for the bits we could not get last night, by the time we got back it was midday and the sun was shining and the wind was blowing. It was now to late to make it to the local club Saturday afternoon ride so I had lunch instead. Checking the weather for tomorrow showed there was very little chance of a ride tomorrow due to the weather so if I wanted to ride this weekend it was now or never.

I decided on a trip to the beach, it was a ride I was going to do with my son the other week (can’t remember why we did not do it) so I thought it would be a good idea to remind myself of the route, that was assuming I could get past the head wind I was riding into. Once I found the shelter of trees it was not to bad. On the first down hill bit I realised that I had no real front brake, I could the lever back to the handle bar with only marginal affect of speed!! Thankfully there were only a couple of small hills to go down.

I was soon at the beach, I took a picture for the wife just to prove that I was there, it was nice and sunny, a bit breezy although it was now on back pushing me along the promenade. Plenty of people, kids on scooters and dogs on leads (30ft leads!!) to dodge. Saw an old guy in one of those electric buggies, he was sat in the middle of the path blocking a council van from getting past, he then started to move to his left and the van started to move past him when suddenly the guy just turn right and nearly ran into the side of the van. I some time wonder about the ability of some old people to be able to handle those electric buggies.

The beach in all its black and white glory, kite surfers in the distance

A quick game of dodgems across the square in Bournemouth town centre and then up to Meyrick Park for the return leg home. This was the only time I lost the route I came out of Meyrick to early but hey ho. The only down side of this route is that there quite a bit of road riding involved but as a ride it is a simple quick ride.

Work has been manic this week and show no signs of changing next week but at least for the most part it all went according to plan (not that I have a plan…). Have a few laptops and PC to sort out this coming week so hopefully I will be left alone long enough to get on and sort them out.

Had a lovely phone call from the insurance company (national company, big name, yellow is there colour) that insure the companies vehicles, claiming that they had phoned me and arranged an engineer to come and look at my van (afters it little bump) and that the engineer came out and could not find anything wrong with the vehicle. Well that was wrong on three counts, first they had never phoned or spoken to me, secondly I never had any visit from an engineer, and thirdly you would have to be blind to miss the damage. I am now waiting for the engineer to phone me to arrange a meeting as the girl on the phone could not understand the concept that my location can change on a daily basis so it is very difficult to say where I will be in two week times on any given day.

Talking of Bournemouth town centre earlier, I came across this video in the week of urban mountain biking which just so happens to be in Bournemouth

Edit: October 8th 2016, it seems as though the video that I had posted here sponsored by TrollTech has been made the video private and you now need to login to see, there loss not mine as I have now removed all relating content.

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wow – two rides in one week

Well if you can call yesterday ride, a ride, then going out again this morning I guess constitutes two rides. I a woke to clear blue sunny skies this morning so I thought I had better go for a ride. if as latest as walking off the drive I had not decided where I was going riding this morning. It seems as though old habit dies hard as I automatically turned left off my drive and headed toward Throop. It might have been blue skies and sunny, but it was a wee bit chilly. I thought I would do the same ride as I did last week until I realised that I had past the turning so it was a normal Throop loop then.

Thankfully I had more energy than I had yesterday but it was not long before the gremlins struck. I stopped just before going over the weir at Throop as my front brake was rubbing and quick re-centre of the calliper and I was on my way. I did one thing a little different on this ride which was going clockwise around Hurn as opposed to my normal anti-clockwise route. By the time I had got on to Parley Common my front brake was rubbing again so I had to stop On closer inspection it looked like one of the callipers was stuck (not re-turning). I managed to encourage it to move back into the calliper and continue my ride. More work was going to be required once I got home.

At this point I had forgotten about the trail destruction caused by the tree clearing in Hurn Forest at the rear of the old St Leonard Hospital.

Trail destruction
Crushed drainage pipe, just above the puddle of water on the left

In the first picture it look as though there is a path but about 7 meter behind where the bike is resting in the tree, it is only about 18″ wide and is an open ditch which connects up to the broken drainage pipe in picture 2

The the tyre trenches are ridable it is certainly not enjoyable and will remain wet through out the summer where the broken drainage pipe is (the area to the left in the first picture is boggy which is what the pipe is draining). Hopefully once they have finished the tree clearing they will repair this section. I should imagine the local caravan park will be complaining as this is one of the paths from there site to the forest. The rest of the ride was uneventful.

Once back home the front forks were removed to allow me to re-grease the lower headset bearing. Once the bearing was sorted and the forks refitted I turned my attention to the front brake calliper. After removing the brake pads and with the help of a screw driver I was able to get the stiff piston moving again, certainly moving more than it was.

Later this coming week the rear shock from the Whyte goes away for a service and then I can get that bike up and running ready for the summer so I can give the Cannondale a rest after months of slogging through the mud.

Well enough waffle from me I am out of here……………

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nothing goes to plan

Todays plans was simple, get up, have breakfast, put new chain ring on bike, go for a ride. Unfortunately real life never happens like that. Everything went ok up to the point of putting the chain ring on the bike, it would not fit. The plastic moulding on the SLX chain ring that aids the lifting of the chain was fouling the chain ring webbing on the outside Truvit chain ring. There was no other option, I would have to buy a new Shimano SLX or XT 44 tooth chain ring. Several phone calls later I have only been able to locate Shimano Derore (lower spec than a SLX or XT) or Race Face chain ring in the local stores. I end up buying the Race Face chain ring and leaving the shop several £ound lighter.

Back home I am left to my own devices as the family go off to do some shopping. With everything assembled and a quick run through the gears and everything seemed to be OK. A quick spin down the road and back revealed otherwise. The chain would not lift off the inner ring and on to the middle ring, it would either end up sucking it self between the chain stay and chain ring or just sit half way rattling across the teeth of the chain rings. No amount of adjusting the front dérailleur made any different, so I loaded the bike up and headed over to Cyclefix to see if they can resolve the issue so I can at least go for a ride.

Diagnoses came down to two possible faults, the small inner chain ring was worn and holding the chain or the middle chain ring was incompatible in some way. The only way to resolve this was to fit a new one of each (one at a time) to see if this resolved the problem. I could leave my bike and it would be ready late afternoon or I could do it myself in the shop using the spare bike stand, I took the later option. I soon had the crank out and in bits fitted the new small chain ring and then re assembled the crank. A quick test on the bike stand showed it was changing ok so I took the bike for a ride around the doctor surgery car park next store. The changing from small to middle chain rings was now working. So yet another chain ring was purchased, all in all an expensive morning and the bike is now sporting three new chain rings and a new chain.

Here is a picture of the old and new chain rings (sorry not a very good picture)

chain ring
The old chain ring is the top one and if you look carefully you can see the wear compared to the new one behind

Here another reason I had to change the chain ring

Bent tooth
Bent tooth

After all that I never had time to go for a ride this afternoon so the bike is now ready for tomorrow mornings ride

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