Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Merry Christmas.

We're taking off for the festive period, hope everyone gets what they deserve.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Things need change.

There are more than a few things I need to change in my life right now.

Firstly, I need a job that feels like it is building to the career I want for the rest of my working life. All I want is to be involved in something real, which makes me push myself to be better.
Stopping complaining all the fucking time, comes a close second, I've always been a worrier but I'm boring myself with all the depressing rubbish I talk. Sorry to those that have been on the receiving end.
Getting rid of the chillblains on my hands it an obvious goal. A combination of working where I do and my faulty circulation mean my hands are continually painful and so prickly and itchy I would consider chopping them off to get some relief.
A general tidy and organise of my few material pocessions would go a long way.

For 2010 I am quietly hoping for the best while expecting the worst. One reason for shedding the negative mindset is it clouds the good things in life. Great times get forgotten easily and opportunities get missed.
A few things I am already looking forward to are; our five year anniversary, seeing Paris-Roubaix in the flesh, racing my bike and solving the problems and challenges life throws up on the way.

Today I am taxi driver for Katherine because of the snow. Driving was a lot easier than thawing out the car this morning but still the back roads were pretty tricky. On my way home couldn't resist getting the car a bit sideways on the ice but quit before I pushed my luck too much.

I want to say more but I know better.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

A trip to Bradford is good for the Soul.

I'm not feeling Christmas yet, haven't done my shopping, we don't have a tree and normality is simply on hold because of work.
I did however, have a cracking day out in Bradford watching the National Trophy Cyclo-Cross in Peel Park. It was a day that restored my faith in (some) people and reminded me to have a good time now and again.

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Monday, December 07, 2009

I just work.

Not much else happening these days. Riding and any sense of fitness is on hold until the New Year when training rides start again, and working weekends means I didn't even realise Friday had happened until Saturday night.


Productive social occasions.
Another opportunity.
Morning coffees.


Waking up every morning not knowing what day it is.
Undeniable sour grapes.
Trying not to get my hopes up again.

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

Talk proper.

I feel like parts of my life are from a TV show, most likely a soap opera, problem is no one has given me a script.
Whats happening?

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Why do you still care?

And why am I angry?

This is my 300th blog post. Sounds like a lot but this thing started on the 13th of February 2 thousand 6, so knocking on the door of 4 years old.

I recently was asked the question 'What is your dream?' and I don't know the answer anymore. I've had a few over the years but not too many that have worked out. I feel like 2009 hasn't treated us too well but it hasn't killed me either. Possibly made me stronger but crushed a bit of my spirit too.
I'm really looking forward to Christmas because this year it means some proper family time and after that it's exciting to think a few things might be changing again.

I'm not giving up this time.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Sunday, November 15, 2009

I don't have a problem, honestly.

Another one to add to the collection.

Monday, November 09, 2009


I wouldn't even know where to start. Bad things to Good people. Again.

Thursday, November 05, 2009

It's done.

It surprised me how excited I felt after leaving Bob Jackson yesterday, I know already I have made the right decision.
For anyone wondering why I didn't buy a carbon frame, I can't afford one that is to the standard I want, and I certainly can't afford it's replacement in 2 - 3 years.

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Full Story.

I've been doing too many short and angry blog posts recently. It stems from tiredness and frustration in my day to day life, and simply not wanting to go over it all again in writing.

So, Autumn feels like it's making way for Winter. My seasonal circulation problems have resurfaced, meaning continual thermal socks and gloves wearing until March. Full mudguards are on my work bike now too, scary how high practicality rates on my list of 'must haves'.
On the subject of bicycles, I'm off tomorrow to get fit up for a custom frame from the one and only Bob Jackson. Let them measure me up, lay down my deposit and (un)patiently wait for 5-6 months for the finished result. Fingers crossed will be ready with time to spare for the first racing of the 2010 season, which I hope to make my first engagement with local road racing.

Tour Of Britian 2008

I want a reason to hurt like this. I need to get my strength back by spending hours in the saddle and logging the miles. I need to get organised, to be motivated by progression, to stop listening to negativity and for it all to be FUN.

Between you, me and the lamp post I've been hearing all kinds of gossip recently. Some of it true, some obvious lies and some daft crap as well. I don't take much notice of a lot of it except when people I care about have been messed around or get hurt.

Had a couple of nights out at the weekend too. Saturday we did a not too scary ghost tour of Nunnington Hall for Halloween, and Sunday we went to an art evening organised by Katherine's art group. Both very interesting in their own ways.

Werk is Werk, and remember we are not paid to use our initiative.

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Had an accident? On the street or at work, that wasn't your fault?

Tough shit.

We need more of this attitude and less politically correct people, suing each other or apologising for something they said in private.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

We don't know how lucky we are.

Please don't be somebody who:

a) takes everything they have for granted.

b) thinks that they deserve everything given to them in life.

Deal with it.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Don't pretend to be interested.

I watch so many films, my grasp on reality can slip. It's a great way to pass some time at this point in the year. When the clocks go back and darkness creeps steadily in on both ends of the working day, they are a great escape.
Also riding for me slows down and work picks up so my free time becomes more valuable, which begs the question why am I still sitting on this computer?

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Look how God damn ugly the stars are.

The words that run through my head every time I look up at a night sky full of stars. It's a line from an Alkaline Trio song with no real significance to me really.

If you can write an email to someone you don't know without sounding like a dick, please tell me how.

Have had not a lot of energy at all recently. No explanation probably just the Winter slow down.

Old FBM BMX video are a lot of fun to watch.

The trick to meaningless conversation is to ask a lot of questions.

I can make myself feel on the outside of any scene/club/peer group in ten seconds flat, but when I ignore these urges I get on with almost everybody.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

This makes a lot of sense to me.

Borrowed from Adam Myerson at Cycle Smart

Anything is one of a million paths. Therefore you must always keep in mind that a path is only a path; if you feel you should not follow it, you must not stay with it under any conditions. To have such clarity you must lead a disciplined life. Only then will you know that any path is only a path, and there is not affront, to oneself or to others, in dropping it if that is what your heart tells you to do. But your decision to keep on the path or to leave it must be free of fear or ambition.

I warn you. Look at every path closely and deliberately. Try it as many times as you think necessary. Then ask yourself, and yourself alone, one question. This question is one that only a very old person asks. My benefactor told me about it once when I was young, and my blood was too vigorous for me to understand it. Now I do understand it.

I will tell you what it is: Does this path have a heart?

All paths are the same, they lead nowhere. They are paths going through the bush, or into the bush. In my own life I could say I have traversed long, long paths, but I am not anywhere. My benefactor’s question has meaning now. “Does this path have a heart?” One makes you strong; the other weakens you.

The trouble is nobody asks the question: and when a person finally realizes that they have taken a path without heart, the path is ready to kill them. At that point very few people stop to deliberate and leave the path.

A path without a heart is never enjoyable. You have to work hard even to take it. On the other hand, a path with heart is easy; it does not make you work at liking it.

For my part there is only the traveling on paths that have heart, on any path that may have heart. There I travel, and the only worthwhile challenge is to traverse its full length.

And there I travel looking, looking, breathlessly.

- Don Juan

Monday, October 12, 2009

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Nothing lasts forever, except you and me.

It's a sad and uneasy feeling. Not caring.
I don't have too much responsibility in my day to day life, so the last few days of being at my parent's has been a complete change. A combination of house sitting and being in charge of the business means my day is full of jobs before it's even started. At the same time any free time becomes more precious and valuable as a result. It's a rewarding process being busy with jobs that matter and add up to something more than just being paid for your time, throw in the fact that I managed to see some family and friends and it's been a pretty good time.
I actually like the person this mean I become too. Responsibility seems to bring out a good side in me which gets on with things, has less numpty moments and has a strength that I rarely use in my 'normal' life. The lack of someone else to ask an opinion means I trust my decisions, an empowering feeling.
All this is not to say I actually change when I'm here, but life becomes slightly more black and white instead of a millions shades of grey. The lesson for this week is to transfer this attitude to York based activities. We'll see.

Thursday, October 08, 2009

I Heart...

that I don't have a facebook or twitter account.
Dischord Records.
sitting in front of an open fire.

Henry Rollins is my hero.

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

Sunday, October 04, 2009


This morning I was too ill to ride the last cycling event of my season. When I made the decision to stay home I immediately felt a little better, then when I went back to bed I almost got back up and tried again to leave. It's a mysterious process. The same as when you get dropped from a fast group you are struggling to hold onto, you see the wheel move in front and know you need to hold on even when your whole body is screaming to quit. If you listen and give in, the second you do you feel instantly better but try to kick again to catch up and the body doesn't even work. By giving in you get the relief you crave but also the gut wrenching feeling of what might have been.
So not only am I ill today but I have the 'what might have been' about an event I was really looking forward to and hoping to do well in.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Never stop learning.

When I do new things, it feels like I make a lot of mistakes. However, I only make a mistake once, I don't repeat them (most of the time). It always feels good coming away knowing more than when you started, if everyday could feel like you're working towards something bigger than just existing, my world would be a better place.

Read something that the British Army use in their training;

"Pain is Weakness escaping the body"

I like the way that sounds.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

You got nothing to you start lying.

Until the day I die I will remember an old saying my Grandmother used to say,
"We don't have much money, but we do see life."

Like the saying goes, I'm not rich but I know some people, been some places and had my fair share of ups, downs and all that's inbetween. I like hearing about other people's lives and sharing the stories from mine, but see no reason for anyone to be repetative or to lie. I'm not a person you need to impress that way. The story that is interesting the first time has lost it's shine on the twelfth time of hearing, and how can anyone be impressed by something they don't believe? The type of person you are counts for more than what you say you can do or have done.
I may be facing a time when my morals and ethics are put to the test. Possibly taking myself out of certain situations because of the people involved. Gonna be some thinking to do but ultimately I'm the one who has to live with my decision, so my choice will be the right one for me, regardless of what others think.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Back to it.

I'm going to miss the sunshine, the insane tasting coffee and the constant background noise of Italian gossip.

Sunday, September 06, 2009

Italian Adventure.

We will be 'out of the office' for the next week and a bit, sampling the best that Italy has to offer.
Don't miss me too much.

Monday, August 31, 2009

Clifton CC Road Race.

I photographed my cycling club's road race yesterday. It took place on a course I have ridden this year in a couple of time trials, all heavy roads with no place to recover before the next effort is upon you. I have nothing but respect for every rider that took part. Maybe next year I might be taking part myself.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

What an experience.


Riding 145 miles. Climbing a lot of big hills. In the saddle for 11 hours.


Full body massage by a Sports Therapist.

Two things I have never done before in my life, two things I want to do again.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Never been to Belgium...

... but this morning I found myself riding there. As I turned from the hills north of York towards the City, I found myself riding across the flat stretch of land before me, underneath a sky that had clouds stacked up like a grey blanket. Along forgotten country lanes known only by locals, the smell of freshly turned earth hanging on the breeze and the only sounds being tractors toiling in the fields.
My training ride had gone well, on my return journey the wind was against me so a little more effort was required. In the drops, watching the road rush under my wheels, I had images of Spring races in Belgium and Northern France in my mind. For a short while I was lost in a place I'd never seen, as I continued the Britishness of my surroundings slowly awoke me from my European daydream.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Don't be a victim of life.

I like the 'world' I live in. The things I give the most importance may not work for everyone but they do for me. I am starting a new agenda of only giving time to real issues, concentrating on things I can change and that are actually happening, rather than imaginary problems I create for myself.

I know someone who blames all their problems on other people, constantly complains about how their life would be different if they had the chances of others and generally lives a restricted existence bound by their past decisions, while taking none of the responsibility. They bore me, and frustrate me that there are actually still people who are so self-obsessed they put themselves and their petty, self pity above those with real issues in life.

It always reminds me on a Diane Arbus quote:

"Most people go through life dreading they'll have a traumatic experience. Freaks were born with their trauma. They've already passed their test in life. They're aristocrats."
Diane Arbus

Sunday, August 09, 2009

What I learnt today.

Life is too short for shit food.

To not let bad news destroy me.

To take advice from the right people.

Everything happens for a reason.

I am a damn fine cook.

Friday, August 07, 2009


The thrill of a photograph turning out exactly how you wanted it to never gets old.

Click the photo to see more from the Otley races, from earlier in the Summer.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Getting away with it.

It feels wrong but so right to only work for half the day. Getting to eat your packed lunch at home, a shower in the middle of the day, getting the boring stuff out of the way before the other half comes home and playing music too loud because all the neighbours are out.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

I ask myself all the big questions, every Sunday.

Ask Katherine. She will tell you about my obsession.
With bicycles.
It's true to a certain extent but not the whole story. It could be said I have a pretty fastidious personality, and thrive at attention to detail but combine this with my ability to doubt every decision I make, and I sometimes find myself going round and round about the simplest task.
This is where bikes help. For all the hours I could spend mulling over paint choices, which wheels to run and the negatives associated with wearing kit that doesn't match, all it takes is five minutes riding to blow everything out of my head. Yesterday's ride made me forget all the problems encountered during a week of work and just now fifteen minutes on the rollers was all it took to convince myself that my worries were too petty to bother with.
All the riding I do has one thing in common. It's fun. Whether it be BMX, riding myself into the ground during training or a simple cafe run. When I start racing it will be on my own terms and is sure to be a lot of fun but maybe the hardest thing I will have done so far.

In my life right now, I am happy. There are things I want to change and opportunities are presenting themselves. I know the people who I should listen to and those who might not have my best interests at heart. There isn't long before Katherine and I go to Italy, which is going to be a 'bike-free week' and an immersion into Italian culture. My money is looking after itself, I have enough to pay my way but not too much to waste or that is burning a hole in my pocket.

Time for a coffee I think.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Brother From Another Mother.

Starting to know the meaning of this phrase a bit clearer recently. It was funny to see you not get your own way for a change, and all because if a girl! Let's face it Ikea wasn't that bad anyway.

Recently had a big 'family do' with some both close and far relatives. Sitting down with those closest to me, listening to the laughter of children and eating enough bbq food to feed a large army... I longed for nothing in life. It made me feel like issues such as career and money mean absolutely nothing compared to family and happiness. This is where I am slowly changing as I get older. I have never wanted to be rich but have had a greedy streak that means I will milk an opportunity for all it is worth. I have no debt and owe nobody anything except the help in return for what has been done already, as long as I am able to provide for my own family I desire nothing more than I need.
To some people this will sound like a lack of ambition, but I want to be the best at what I do, just not make millions in the process. I am a practical person, at school I wanted to be a carpenter/craftman but I had the intellect to go further. At college I explored what it was like to be creative, but have found creativity not necessarily a career path. I am coming full circle with my desire to work with my hands, problem solve and see things take shape in front of me, and develop a set of skills that will last me throughout my entire working life.
I am ready for the hard work it takes to make dreams a reality, and I am already taking the small steps on the road to where I want to be.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

If you hit the king, you have to kill him.

And if you have a job interview you have to nail it, instead of forgetting everything you ever knew because of nervousness.

Sunday, July 12, 2009


Two personal bests in a row in the Thursday TT's and then third place in yesterdays 5 mile TT. Starting to think my obsession is giving me some rewards.
Hopefully opportunities near at hand, will help me flesh out the finer details of the coming year. Could be amazing.

Friday, July 03, 2009

Everything's a mystery until it's explained.

I built my first bike wheel today. Now I want to do more.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Comfortable with the path I had taken.

Had a solo ride today in the Howardian Hills. Whoever told me York was flat hadn't been to Castle Howard and surrounding area. Not riding in a group for a change took away the hyper-awareness you need to have for those around you, so I found myself drifting along listening to the sound of wheels on road, chain running through gears and generally day-dreaming.
It all reminded me what an escape riding can be. You don't actually think about anything yet you are conscious of almost everything. Pain ,and effort in relation to incline, usually occupies a lot of headspace but normally life altering decisions can be made on a decent solo run, without the knowledge of how the decision had been reached.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

A Repeat.

Bad things happen to good people far too often.

In other parts of the world there are still people who are willing to help others without expecting anything in return. This fact, and when I experience that feeling, keep me going.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Radio Silence.

The lack of entries reflects the lack of time I have rather than the lack of things to write about.

Still don't have enough time now though.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

It's easy to say what you want to believe.

Too many people talk too much. At least with my problem of 'over-thinking' I don't burden anyone else with all the crap that floats around my head.

The weather man said today was "Sunshine and showers" and I thought BMX weather. The type of day where the ground just about dries up enough to ride only to rain again. Meaning instead of riding, you just sit around under cover of the nearest shelter, and talk shit and drink Coke. Those were the days.
Now I actually ride in the rain, and most of the time enjoy it. The sting of rain blown on a headwind, spray from the wheel in front, clothes getting wet only to be dry again after five minutes. It makes every mile a fight, and one that is so satisfying to win.

Sunday, June 07, 2009

Ryedale GP

Ryedale GP
Originally uploaded by Paper Thin
More photos on Flickr

(click on image)

Tuesday, June 02, 2009

All I do is think.

It's coming up to that time of year where I should have been in full-on preparation mode for the event I was meant to be part of. Unfortunately it has been postponed for a year, so I am left feeling slightly uneasy about whats happening next.
Apparently more twenty somethings are experiencing a early mid-life crisis because of the pressure to find a career, and the sheer amount of money needed to survive these days. I don't think I'm quite at that stage yet but I have been questioning a lot of aspects of my life and not finding many answers. I have a longing for satisfaction in employment, simple things done well, feeling comfortable with people around me and opportunities that actually happen.
Anyone who has read this blog before may have noticed the lack of words dedicated to my photography. That is because it has been a subject with which I have been struggling to find the time to properly do anything. It's on my list of things to change...

points system:


The weather recently
Charlie Kaufman
Boiled eggs, toast and tea.


Repeatitive pointless tasks

Sunday, May 31, 2009

I'm in peices.

And there is only one person who can put me back together.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Just Trying To Lead A Stress Free Life

The words muttered by Issac McCrea, during the closing credits of 'Standard Country'. They have been ringing in my ears for the last day or so. Also I have been all too aware that my mood effects the people around me and in turn, theirs can impact on me too. So I am doing as the title suggests for a change, basically living how I want and without negatively affecting others.

Another bit of advice floated into my head too, which I will end on for today,

There's no excuse for being a dick.

Monday, May 25, 2009

What's passed.

Another TT.
Eating pizza in a van.
Saturday clubrun.
Walk into town.
Watch the Giro.
Hill repeat session.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Monday, May 18, 2009

Perhaps you think it's just another fight to the death.

It's an awesome feeling when things go right. Everyday I see people rushing tasks, and taking twice as long to finish something simply because they have to do it more than once to get it right. I prefer the 'do it once and do it properly' method, doing something calmly and thoroughly often takes less time and means your mind doesn't get clouded with the ten things you were trying to do all at once. The other day I was called fastidious. I took it as a compliment, all I know is when I just changed the tires on my road bike I made sure the valves lined up with the logos on each wheel, and I know when I see that little detail in the future I'll be very happy with my attention to detail.

My birthday weekend went swimmingly. Great surroundings, great company, great food including the new discovery of Lemon Macaroons from Betty's, 95p a pop but worth it for a treat now and again.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Time Flies...

This week,

-I have been successfully avoiding watching TV.
-Getting up at 7am.
-Licking my wounds, after a commuting bike-on-bike crash.

By the time I write again I will have turned 25, had a night away in a B+B in the Yorkshire Dales and had a family meal in an amazing Italian restaurant.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Don't judge a book by it's cover.

No-one should ever presume to 'know' anyone just because of how they look, or from one or two snippets of information. It takes time to let people reveal themselves for who they truly want to be, they will have faults and hopefully charms too, we are all complicated individuals and we all deserve to find like minded company to share our lives with.

Saturday, May 09, 2009


Hard work all the way.

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

A pursuit of craft.

This time of year always makes my mind recap what has happened in the past year. It's not that I think turning 25 is a landmark. It's something I do every birthday. This isn't the place to discuss such thoughts but I think it's safe to say the last year has been a good one overall, yet not much has changed. The next year holds a couple of interesting opportunities and maybe some decisions that need making. All in all, as it says in the film, I am prepared for amazing things to happen.

I have been looking at the Vanilla Bicycles website a lot in the last couple of days, below is a link to a cool video made about Vanilla. The business model this guy is following is a brave one, and I can't help but respect him for what he's achieving without compromising on what he believes.

In other cycling news, I rode my first 'century' at the weekend. Did the Sunday clubrun out over the North Yorkshire Moors, so it wasn't exactly an easy 100 miles but so satisfying. Next week it's my first time trial and the prediction of more pain.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

I wouldn't want to come from anywhere else.

A lot of things were discussed this weekend, some really not good either. In fact my belief that bad things will happen to good people was brutally confirmed, the only way to get through the tough times though is not to sink to 'their' level and stay true to who you are. The hardest part is admitting responsibility for the mistakes you made and not letting what has gone before make you weak for the fight that lies ahead.

To cut a long story short, my family are very important to me. If needed I consider revenge to be an acceptable course of action, if the situation ever arose.

Not as fun as someone thought it would be.

We will learn from our mistakes.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

French Fancies.

I woke up this morning in a shit mood.

Spent all day in a shit mood.

But sometimes the smallest thing can totally snap me out of it. I came home to two things in the post, the first was a postcard from a friend's holiday adventures. The second was two french newspapers sent by my girlfriend's Aunt. I had previously asked for them to read first-hand the coverage of this years Spring Classics.

Little things, which show there are people out there who still take the time to think of others, instead of the usual drama and bullshit I can't avoid at the moment.

"I've never had a dream in my life,
because a dream is what you want to do
but still haven't pursued.
I knew what I wanted
And did it till it was done.
So I've been the dream I wanted to be from day one."

Aesop Rock - 'Lucy'

Sunday, April 19, 2009

On a Sunday.

I fancied a change of pace today, so took the chance for a stroll into town. Sometimes when you live in York it's easy to grow accustomed to the surroundings and not fully appreciate what is on your own doorstep. Watching the tourists on any given weekend brings it back to me, the sheer number of people who take trips here is amazing. In other cities I have lived, the town centre would be busy with local shoppers and people hanging out, but York has this and more. Maybe it's the history and architecture or just the atmosphere of the place, which draws people in.
The trick is to go into town early before the stag/hen party crowds wake up to walk off their hangovers from the night before. I don't have a lot of spare money at the moment but I did treat myself to coffee and french toast in the cinema bar, overlooking the river in the sunshine, it was only lack of my favourite person that spoilt an otherwise great morning.
So, now I'm back home, it's a lovely Spring day but after yesterdays ride my body is not up for another several hours in the saddle. The next best thing then is to watch some cycling, another Spring Classic the "Amstel Gold Race". Maybe later a quick spin of the legs down to the river with the other half to enjoy the last of the weekend, before being back to full time hours at work starting tomorrow.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Have you suffered, starved and triumphed, grovelled down yet grasped at glory, grown bigger in the bigness of the whole?

The Call of the Wild – Jack London

What a weekend. Almost did my first century ride by accident yesterday, 90 miles door to door on a clubrun up to Masham from York. I actually felt really strong throughout the whole ride but especially when we set off from the cafe after lunch. The road out of Masham climbed steadily and consistently, and encouraged you to ride hard. It's definitely an area I want to ride and explore more this Summer, perhaps even making a weekend of it.
Today I watched Paris-Roubaix 'live' for the first time, through the wonders of the internet. In a classic case of keeping your head while all about you lose their's, Tom Boonen won in fine style. When he punctured in the lead group of six riders, the bike change was fast and made it look like the others had stopped riding, he was that fast getting back to them. In contrast bad luck and simple mistakes put pay to the chances of those same riders in the group with him.

So, with another dose of Spring Classics done with and hopefully enough inspiration gathered for the coming season, I'm looking forward to some miles in the sun (and wearing my Mapei jersey I just bought cheap on ebay)

Friday, April 10, 2009

Done it.

Last night I did something that only ladies, swimmers and racing cyclists do.

And I have no regrets about it.

Wednesday, April 08, 2009


Originally uploaded by Paper Thin

We go there when it's a special occasion.

Sunday, April 05, 2009


Originally uploaded by Paper Thin

Today was a good day.

Went out for a ride this morning, decided to give the cafe stop a miss and ended up with 50 miles including a couple of nice climbs. The photo above is taken after climbing Birdsall Bank, it is the start of a new little project about taking photos while out cycling, hopefully more to come throughout the Summer.
When I got home I went on the internet and found a french site that was streaming the final kilometers of the Tour of Flanders. Over lunch I got to watch one of my favourite riders, Stijn Devolder, win his second title in as many years. It was the first time I had managed to see any of the Classics unfold 'live', it really is edge of the seat stuff because it's a one day race there seems to be more riding on the outcome, as there is no chance to recover in another stage.

My prediction for a Belgian winner came true then. I maybe should have put a pound on the Lottery too because I put a bet on the third place horse in the Grand National this weekend.

Saturday, April 04, 2009


It's the start of the biggest week in the cycling calender, for anyone into the one-day Classics, and what am I doing? No, not out riding in the sun but watching bad daytime films on channel 5.
Instead of riding this morning I dropped off the sum of parts that when assembled will become Katherine's new singlespeed bicycle. The rest of the day has been spent walking into York to read the cycling magazines in Borders and then getting out fast before it got too busy.
I never found a place to watch the Tour of Flanders tomorrow so I have decided ride instead. Probably just a steady trip out to the hills, with a cafe stop (as is tradition in English cycling) and hopefully end up with at least 70 miles on the clock.
My prediction for tomorrow: another Belgian winner in the Tour of Flanders.

Thursday, April 02, 2009

Have you been doing much?

This is the question that is usually asked when two or more cyclists meet for a ride.
The answer varies, but normally goes along the lines of, 'not much or a little bit'.

As cyclists we are proud of the miles we rack up in search of progression but at the same time it pays to play your hand close to our chest now and again. However there is always one guy, who will swear blind he hasn't ridden in months and then proceeds to tear the legs off everyone else in the group.
And that's just another one of the little things I love about cycling.

I have just come back from the first chaingang of the year, and even though it's the slower of the two in the club, the speed never dipped below 20mph on a tight circuit with one too many corners for comfort.
On the last lap, my turns on the front were coming round a bit too fast for my liking, then the gap to the wheel in front opens, which means you worker harder than you want to just to keep up. But, you don't get dropped. You go into the red, you pull your turn, keep it smooth for the sake of those around you and hope the burning in your legs dies down just a little by the time you're next on the front.
Either that or you pray for a puncture.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

not done this in a while...

A little about me.
Somethings have always been true and some have only recently been discovered.

I get nervous.
Or more accurately I tend to have nervous thoughts about almost everything in life.
I once read that you only get nervous about things that matter to you, which I like to think means I only do things in my life that I care about.
Or I just worry too much.

I am stronger than I look. I have not found my limit on strength/perceiverance. With road cycling, and especially climbing, I thought I enjoyed the suffering, but actually the pleasure comes from overcoming the challenge, not the pain in doing so.

Teamwork is becoming a large part of cycling too. It doesn't matter if you're first or last everyone puts the same amount of effort in, looks out for each other, helps when needed or asked.

I have an inability to receive compliments. Yet, I love it when my hard work and effort is recognised in a positive way.

There are people in my life I would happily take a bullet for and at the same time there are others who I would shoot myself.

Inspiration is my biggest motivation. Speed is in the top 5, so is fear.

I find it hard to say the things that matter to the people that matter the most. I rely on my actions speaking for me too much.

I like to have 'nice' things, but don't like it when others judge you for having 'nice' things.

A little points system to finish off:

Tattoos of Birds.
The countryside.
Getting free upgrades in a 4* hotel.
New opportunities.


Knowing you could have done more.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

This is Brian...

This is Brian...
Originally uploaded by Paper Thin
I will be doing a little work with him over the Summer.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009


Katherine got the job she really wanted! This means she can finally leave her current position and start something she enjoys, and it's 9 til 5 so no more shift work!

"There will always be someone with better gear than you, as long as you have more enthusiasm that's all that matters"

When you need advice on something go to a person that knows what they are talking about. I have had enough of people telling me their opinions like it's the gospel, it's time for some selective hearing.

Monday, March 09, 2009

Weekend Update.

"Can you hear it?
Are you sleeping? Or are you not at home, or are you not alone?"

Friday and Saturday was the Artists' Book Fair in Leeds. All in all, successful and worth doing. Had a couple of cracking nights with friends and family too, topped off with a night on the sofa at my parent's.

Sunday we went over to Manchester and spent most of the day in the velodrome. I had two hours on the track, the first was very painful and a reminder I hadn't ridden the track in months. The second hour was a lot better. I rode in a paceline for the first time on the track and even had the legs for some out of the saddle sprints.
As an added bonus I got my 'Blue slip', which means I can attend the improver sessions and learn skills that mean I will be actually working towards my accreditation.

Thursday, March 05, 2009

Artists' Book Fair

It's the 12th Contemporary Artists' Book Fair tomorrow and Saturday, hosted again at Leeds Uni in the Parkinson Building. I have a shared table and will be selling my own work as well as dropping the collaborative project, "Why My Bike" book and spokecards.

Everyone is welcome.

Monday, March 02, 2009

They've got a lot more up their sleeves besides a dirty arm. Remember that.

I've started reading 'On The Road' by Jack Kerouac again. I brought it back from SF last year but couldn't get into deeply enough to stick with it. My interest in the written word has increased as my efforts to produce my own work continue, my hunger for information and inspiration have found me searching many different styles of writing. Maybe my appetite for Kerouac's words is because of a steady diet of cycling literature. True stories based on facts are what interest me, and what I really want to write about but like my in photography, I feel like taking my own angle on actual events works better for me.

Another thing, I've been thinking about is being myself might actually be working for me. It sounds silly and obvious to write that but recently someone had a go at me for several stupid reasons, all of which boiled down to a slight jealously of how I live and act. I live my life how I want and never purposefully hurt or deceive. Why should I change that just because other people don't or can't live their own life without introducing drama at every turn. When you are yourself, the opportunities that come your way are the right ones to follow. If you're trying to be someone else then nothing will ever bring satisfaction to your life.

Also I really want more meaningful tattoos. I already know the design and location of the next one, just waiting to go back to America, or even better SF.

(Possibly) The Most Amazing Opportunity of 2009.

And I'm not saying anything until it's confirmed and definite.

Saturday, February 28, 2009

A long way in a car.

Today's total was sixty-seven and a half miles, done on a round trip to Thirsk and back.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

A mess.

Originally uploaded by Paper Thin

Monday, February 23, 2009

Exactly what I needed.

We had a hard week, last week, but the weekend put a lot of things right again.
Whoever said 'laughter is the best medicine' was spot on. Friday night's mix of laughs, good food and good conversation eased my mind of thoughts I'd been clinging on to for the wrong reasons.
The ride, or more specifically, the climb out of Birdsall on Saturday morning allowed to me to forget them all forever. For once, I didn't try to power my way to the top, instead I sat up and enjoyed the view. It still hurt but the task took on another meaning. As well as trying for progression in fitness, the ride became more about the journey, the places we were passing through and what they meant to each of us. At the end I was as tired mentally as physically, but I awoke refreshed with the hope shedding some mental baggage will help me enjoy future rides more than ever before.
Sunday was quiet. Filled with eating, reading the paper and enjoying the company of each other.

Saturday, February 14, 2009



French cycling terms
Home cooking
Fig rolls


Not cycling because of the ice.

One for the scrapbook.

Why My Bike exhibition featured in York Press on Friday 13th of February

Sunday, February 08, 2009


"You're like the coolest guy I know and you don't even try."

"I try really hard actually."

Saturday, February 07, 2009

Another Bike.

This is the latest addition to our stable, it's a Ridley alloy audax frame with carbon forks. The plan is to build it as a single-speed commuter for Katherine. Just keeping it simple and not too heavy, but so it's more comfortable for longer rides than the little shopper she has now.

Another Bike.
Originally uploaded by Paper Thin

Besides a couple of events, it has been the quiet week we needed. The Whymybike exhibition is now up at CityScreen in York. It's the culmination of a year long anonymous project, so it's a with a mixture of pleasure and relief that I can see the results on the wall and the end in sight.
The snow has caused us less problems than many areas of the country but it has stopped me doing any serious road miles for a week or so. February always passes quickly, being the shortest month, yet I can't resist the feelings of hope that a few extra minutes of daylight brings. Spring is coming.

Sunday, February 01, 2009

Progress by Stealth.

The words above were mentioned in a documentary I watched this morning. The subject was Savile Row. The street in London, which is famous for bespoke and very expensive tailors.

I didn't think that I would have much in common with a Savile Row tailor but I was wrong.
We are both trying to sell a product without obviously promoting it. They rely on word of mouth and returning custom to sell their suits. A concept I am trying to utilise in showing my work to more people but only in a manner in which I am comfortable with.

I always want to take photographs that aren't easy produce. I want to take care and pride in my work, and I want it to last. To be owned by people who appreciate it.
Using film might take longer. It maybe more hit and miss. It maybe less commercially viable, but I don't mind. To me film is real, it is traditional, it takes skill to use and you have to learn from your mistakes. Most importantly it takes time.

I'm not disappointed that digital has taken over the photographic world, in a lot of ways it is much needed progression. What I am disappointed in is the devaluation that traditional film photography suffers.
I see hope though. Photographers still using film and producing amazing pictures, groups still loyal to traditional methods and publications still promoting the message.
Film is not dead.

Originally uploaded by Paper Thin

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

The Art of the Lie.

1. Pick a subject your audience has little knowledge of. That way there's less chance someone will know something that could reveal the lie.

2. Speak confidently and without repetition.

3. Include facts (or previously told information) to make the audience think what you say is the truth because they've heard it before.

I don't lie but are continually faced with people who do.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

An Awesome Waste of Time.

"Hogan knows Best"

A reality show made about Hulk Hogan and his family.

At the moment I'm enjoying my solo training and looking forward to getting back into group riding. Work is part-time right now and finally don't have too much outside York coming on, so keeping it local for a while.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Done and Dusted.

I'm sat here in front of a roaring open fire, all tasks done for the day and drinking a pint of Belgium's finest Blonde Beer. Only one thing could make it better and she's twenty odd miles away.

British National Cyclo-Cross Championships

Photos online.

Flickr Set

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Home is not Home anymore.

This week finds me house-sitting for my parents. My duties include looking after the family business, walking the dog and caring for the various other animals too.

I never thought I'd say this but I have no desire to live in this house anymore. For a long time it has been my family home and somewhere I couldn't imagine leaving. Somehow that has changed.
My room is no longer mine. It has been redecorated and all evidence of the years I spent in there gone. I don't mind though.

I've moved on.

To tell you the truth where I live now doesn't feel like home. I have very little attachment to the four walls and everything else. For me Home is with Her. I know eventually we will find our own place, settle and start making memories for ourselves. Then we will be making a Home together, which comes with a sense of attachment and belonging.
I can't wait.

Sunday, January 04, 2009



Flat screen TV's
Having things to look forward to


Cold hands

Thursday, January 01, 2009

Black is the new Black.

The start of a new year and I'm going to talk about subjects that are anything but new.

When growing up I was part of a small group of people who rode bikes. We listened to the same type of music as each other, wore the same clothes and spent a lot of time in each others company. At no time did anyone copy another.

When one person copies another, that person will never be as good as who they copied.

It's hard to separate inspiration and copying. We've all been inspired by others but it's how you do it for yourself that counts. These days a lot of society depends on the influence of a few on the many, but it has never been as important to be your own person and live your own life.
Back in the day we listened to music because we liked it, nowadays it's seems like it's only correct to listen to what Radio One tells you is cool. We watched a lot of American BMX videos and picked up on bands when they were just starting out, we didn't shout about what we liked from the rooftops, we just did it for ourselves. Now through mediums like Facebook, the bands you like get you points with people who have never met you.

Copying is one person wanting to be exactly like another, at the cost of not being themselves.
Everything has been said before so there's no need to lose sleep about any of this. And I'm not writing this as some kind of trend-setter, only as someone who has seen both sides of the problem.