Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Calm after the storm

Weekends of driving around, going out for leaving do, racing another circuit race and nine hours days on my feet could all be classed as the 'storm', whereas a night watching Midsomer Murders on the telly and a curry for tea is definitely calming.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Getting into the swing

Another race for me last night and another finish in the bunch, slightly higher up than before. Being a dry night it was very fast from the off and a bit of shoving going on in the pack kept us all alert, but everyone got round fine with no crashes.
Last race on this circuit in two weeks, so hopefully looking for another improvement again.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Last one for today

Going thru old photos on my Flickr and found this. I have a growing desire to live in Otley and this view is a major reason.

Edge of the World

And Another...


Was watching the Isle of Man TT races last night when it was reported that Guy Martin had had a bad crash, I'm a big fan and wish him a speedy recovery but what I want to share is a little of his blog:

Also a story from his website that maybe a little close to the truth but still very funny:

The Squirrel and The Grasshopper

The squirrel works hard in the withering heat all summer long, building and improving his house and laying up supplies for the winter. The grasshopper thinks he’s a fool, and laughs and dances and plays the summer away.
Come winter, the squirrel is warm and well fed. The shivering grasshopper has no food or shelter, so he dies out in the cold.


The squirrel works hard in the withering heat all summer long, building his house and laying up supplies for the winter.
The grasshopper thinks he’s a fool, and laughs and dances and plays the summer away.
Come winter, the squirrel is warm and well fed.
A social worker finds the shivering grasshopper, calls a press conference and demands to know why the squirrel should be allowed to be warm and well fed while others less fortunate, like the grasshopper, are cold and starving.
The BBC shows up to provide live coverage of the shivering grasshopper; with cuts to a video of the squirrel in his comfortable warm home with a table laden with food.
The Daily Mail informs people that they should be ashamed that in a country of such wealth, this poor grasshopper is allowed to suffer so while others have plenty.
The Green Party, Greenpeace, Animal Rights and The Grasshopper Social Housing Commission demonstrate in front of the squirrel’s house.
The BBC, interrupting a cultural festival special with breaking news, broadcasts a multi cultural choir singing ‘We Shall Overcome’.
A socialist rants in an interview with Andrew Marr that the squirrel got rich off the backs of grasshoppers, and calls for an immediate tax hike on the squirrel to make him pay his ‘fair share’ and increases the charge for squirrels to enter the congestion zone in London .
In response to pressure from the media, the Government drafts the Economic Equity and Grasshopper Anti Discrimination Act, retroactive to the beginning of the summer. The squirrel’s taxes are reassessed. He is taken to court and fined for failing to hire grasshoppers as builders, for the work he was doing on his home, and an additional fine for contempt when he told the court the grasshopper did not want to work.
The grasshopper is provided with a Social Housing Commission house, financial aid to furnish it and an account with a local taxi firm to ensure he can be socially mobile. The squirrel’s food is seized and re-distributed to the more needy members of society – in this case the grasshopper.
Without enough money to buy more food, to pay the fine and his newly imposed retroactive taxes, the squirrel has to downsize and start building a new home.
The local authority takes over his old home and utilises it as a temporary home for asylum seeking cats who had hijacked a plane to get to Britain as they had to share their country of origin with mice.
On arrival they tried to blow up the airport because of the British apparent love of dogs.
The cats had been arrested for the international offence of hijacking and attempted bombing but were immediately released because the police fed them pilchards instead of salmon whilst in custody.
Initial moves to make then return them to their own country were abandoned because it was feared they would face death by the mice.
The cats devise and start a scam to obtain money from people’s credit cards.
A Newsnight special shows the grasshopper finishing up the last of the squirrel’s food, though spring is still months away, while the Housing Commission house he is in, crumbles around him because he hasn’t bothered to maintain it. He is shown to be taking drugs.
Inadequate government funding is blamed for the grasshopper’s drug ‘Illness’.
The cats seek recompense in the British courts for their treatment since arrival in Britain .
The grasshopper gets arrested for stabbing an old dog during a burglary to get money for his drug habit. He is imprisoned but released immediately because he has been in custody for a few weeks. He is placed in the care of the probation service to monitor and supervise him.
Within a few weeks he has killed a guinea pig in a botched robbery.
A commission of enquiry, that will eventually cost £10 million and state the obvious, is set up.
Additional money is put into funding a drug rehabilitation scheme for grasshoppers.
Legal aid for lawyers representing asylum seekers is increased.
The asylum seeking cats are praised by the government for enriching Britain ’s multicultural diversity and dogs are criticised by the government for failing to befriend the cats.
The grasshopper dies of a drug overdose.
The usual sections of the press blame it on the obvious failure of government to address the root causes of despair arising from social inequity and his traumatic experience of prison.
They call for the resignation of a minister.
The cats are paid £1 million each because their rights were infringed when the government failed to inform them there were mice in Britain .
The squirrel, the dogs and the victims of the hijacking, the bombing, the burglaries and robberies have to pay an additional percentage on their credit cards to cover losses, their taxes are increased to pay for law and order, and they are told that they will have to work beyond 65 because of a shortfall in government funds.


Wednesday, June 09, 2010

Lessons learnt in the shop.

Mechanics prefer to wear shorts.

One of the most popular sayings from customers is: "I know nothing about bikes but..."

Never lend a chain tool to anyone, they will break it.

I'm moving into five months at the shop and will soon be starting a slightly different role as a full time mechanic. I will only work one weekend in three so should be able to organise my racing easier, although it will be an intensive learning curve at the same time.
Bring it on.

Saturday, June 05, 2010

The perils of a training ride.

Our Saturday morning training rides has almost been a continuous, and quite uneventful, feature of 2010, starting off in the snow then ice and making it safely through the Spring showers. So today on a beautiful Summer's day it was quite a surprise that we had two crashes.
Firstly a small slow motion touching of wheels that had spectacular results with a full over the bars dive. The kind where the rider picks themselves up and looks for the damage, as the rush of adrenalin manages to block any pain for a short moment before quickly wearing off to reveal the full extent of the problem.
Everyone involved continued onwards undeterred, we all stayed upright for about 20 minutes when another rider had a very professional looking fall. A small bump in the road and a loss of balance and said rider was soon sliding across the road on his arse following his bike into the verge. It was one of those crashes which burns most of the shorts and then the skin straight off.
Again we all continued and all finished the ride together without incident, thankfully.

Wednesday, June 02, 2010

Another race. Another step forward.

Last night saw my second road race, a 4th Cat crit on a closed circuit near Tockwith. After my first race, my aim was to actually finish this one. I lined up with a few club mates and after a quick neutral lap we hit the line for a flying start.
I tried to avoid the back of the pack and moved in to the front half, the pace was high but manageable with most people riding sensibly. As the race progressed a couple of rookie mistakes, mainly braking too hard, saw me move to the back of the field but never in trouble. I found the right wheels to follow and never felt in danger of being dropped but I was very relieved to see the lap board counting down each lap. On the last lap the pace increased but I finished in the pack, giving my all for the sprint for goodness know what place. The feeling of finishing was amazing and like another step to being a fully fledged racer.