Wednesday, June 29, 2011


A friend and new Dad came into the shop yesterday and gave us the best description of how becoming a Dad changes you;

"You cry in front of people you know"

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Talking and saying nowt.

July is shaping up to be a funny month. It's TdF time so road bike sales go crazy at work, which equals being busy and not having a moments peace. Also we're taking a few days off with friends and then revisiting my farming roots at the Great Yorkshire Show.

I've been getting a bit pent up in the last few days because of things completely out of my control not going how I'd imagined, if it continues goodness knows where it will lead to. So I think it's time to shut my mouth and do what's right for me. It'll probably be slightly quieter on here but you can't have anything.

Monday, June 27, 2011

You know when..

..that sudden flash of anger rises up and the plate or cup in front of you begs to be thrown at the nearest wall. I can only think of the mess it'd make if I did it. One day it might happen.

In a 'tub update' first layer of glue is on the rims, spending my lunchtime working as usual.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

In My Opinion

Philippe Gilbert has secured his position as a legend.
Four hours solo on the bike in the sun makes for a pretty good Sunday.
Assos make the best cycling shorts.
Cycling has too many 'joiners' - people who flit between clubs/teams with no loyalty.
Me and my Dad talk exactly the same.
I can be a bit of a bugger sometimes.
The new Ultegra Di2 is going to be the next big thing.
Twitter should just disappear.

Remember opinions are like arseholes - everyone's got one.

Saturday, June 25, 2011


I think Beloften must mean 'Under-23', these race's are pretty entertaining, the skills are less polished and often there's not a solo away to victory more of a dog fight till the line.
With the tub gluing already started I think the 'cross bike has to start coming out of the shed a bit more, I want to make sure my skills and fitness don't let me down this year. No more DNF's.

York Cycle Show this weekend and I've already been and got my bargains. Although each year the worst kept secret gets a little better known and the price's rise. I'm talking about the ex-display Assos dealer. This year I walked away with a pair of S5 Mille shorts and a pair of Early Winter gloves, also a windproof Pinarello team jacket for commuting because I can't see the headwinds stopping any time soon.
Met a few familiar faces as always, heard stories good and bad but life goes on regardless.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

100% wet.

Is how I arrived home tonight. I could go on about how it was typical Belgian weather and it evoked feelings of the Classics but in reality it was just typical shit English Summer weather and I had to commute by bike. Nothing romantic or special just a necessity. I'm glad I rode though, it would have been easy to get a lift but after all we're not made of sugar and rain never hurt anyone, right? I was a tad unlucky to pick up a flat tyre just as I was almost home but as it was on the front I made the executive decision to ride it out, rather than freeze by the road, fumbling with already numb fingers. It went ok, as long as I kept the bike in a straight line and kept all my weight way over the back wheel, almost on the verge of a wheelie!

It was a completely different story last night over in Otley thanks goodness. A beautiful evening for maybe the best year of racing I've witnessed there. It's always nice to check in with some familiar faces both old and new, and the course usually singles out a deserved winner. I shot a roll of black and white film too, so looking forward to seeing the results and reliving some memories when I get that developed.

Now time to change a tube and give the bike a wipe down and oil.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Fast kids...

...and a soothing Belgian accent.

Intelligent use of time.

I seem to have crammed a lot in to my two days off this week. A little 'get off my land...' incident, family visits, a haircut and a bit more.
Today was a decent road ride, steady away with a cafe stop on roads which I really enjoy riding. As the saying goes, I had good sensations for a change. My legs kept going when I asked them for more, although spinning out in a big gear made me hungry to get my fixed gear back on the road.
As we arrived in the cafe a few old boys from Otley CC were leaving, part of their conversation involved describing a typical Yorkshireman, according to them we're all "Scottish but with the generousity squeezed out".

Monday, June 20, 2011

You've got to have adventures.

But the key thing to the whole 'adventure' deal is coming home alive to tell the tale. A morning exploring is never a morning wasted.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Corner. Straight. Repeat.

I've been staggered at just how boring the Halfords Tour series has been when I've caught it on itv4 over the past few weeks. I suppose it's the curse of crit racing or perhaps it's the fact the coverage never seems to leave the top 5 guys on the road. What's wrong with highlighting some of the rider's turning themselves inside out just to hang on to the tail of the bunch? Sadly I reckon most people watching are only watching for the riders to crash, instead of understanding the level of fitness it takes to be part of racing.
One moment I will remember forever is riding out to watch the Tour of Britain finish in Dalby forest. I was positioned three-quarters up the final climb just before the finishing straight to get maximum viewing time. The leaders flew by, Di Luca in the big ring while fully looking over his shoulder. Then the midpack finishers sprinting to hold wheels fighting with all they had for an anominous position. Finally the backmarkers. Dead last was David Miller, looking like death, in bottom gear and just grinding the pedals to the line. It was only later I read that he hadn't slept the night before due to food poisoning and had thrown up everything he had tried to eat during the day's long stage. I had a new respect for cyclists that day and the demands we all put our body through in the name of enjoyment and fulfillment.

Call me suspicious but with the advent of Rapha seemingly getting a lot more interested in Audax riding lately, I'm calling it out as the next 'newest - biggest - reinvented - marketing hyped' aspect of cycling, the same as cyclocross was a couple of years ago.
Here's a type of riding I've been doing a lot of lately, usually into a headwind all the way home. This is SF style commuting:

I'm werking the weekend, let's hope there's something to talk about Monday.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011


Had a cracking ride today, the kind of ride where you fall in love with cycling again. Did some stuff, saw some things, found new roads and a had lovely coffee by the river. Unfortunately, as normally happens when I go out in the sun, I got burnt. Today's example is pretty bad even by my standards.

Monday, June 13, 2011


It feels like time to do another ride where I just set off with only a loose plan of route/destination.

Also weighing up options of building a fresh set of wheels to go in the Bob Jackson, possibly something a little out of the ordinary but still handbuilt and definitely not carbon.

Had a good chat with a mate this morning, a drive with the windows down and the music pumping, now time for a bit of housework and then go pick the other half up from werk.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Too many ........ not enough ......

When I'm home alone I have no motivation. To be fair it's never been my strong point, the best example was my revision technique for exams. Pretty much left till the last possible point before it was too late, almost as if the invisible gun at my head focuses my concentration better than anything else.
Now I don't really have anything to prepare for it's the nagging feeling of not making the most of my time, which gets to me the most but instead of being motivating it usually just gets me down and means I'm even less likely to do anything useful.

I actually needed a day of doing sweet f*** all though, after last weekends activities and then a week at work where I didn't have a moments peace. Also the quiet time means I can get a little plan together so stuff gets done in the near future.
One of the things on the top of the list is gluing my first set of cyclocross tubs on this week. I finished the wheelbuild last week and although I'm not a 'weight-weenie' I was satisfied with the final weight of just under 1.5kg for a handbuilt 32 spoke wheelset. Especially satisfying, to a Yorkshireman, is how much they cost me. With careful ebay selections and a few swaps they work out dirt cheap, considering its a Hope Ti-glide rear and brand new Mavic Reflex rims.

They fit perfectly with a little personal ambition I've been harbouring lately, which is to only own things that are high quality but not flashy and not getting precious over material pocessions. Such as having Centaur on my road bike instead of Super Record or sticking with 105 on my 'cross bike because I don't want the fear of damaging overly expensive parts to be in my mind whilst racing.
I think it's called punching your weight.

Thursday, June 09, 2011


At the moment my fascination with human behaviour has gone up a level. With increasing methods of exposure, such as Twitter etc, anyone can tell the whole world exactly what they've done or are doing. In my mind this raises the question at which point does the old saying of 'too much information' come into play.
I know a lad that is quiet as you like, very unassuming but when you get him talking it quickly becomes apparent he's done a lot of stuff in his short life. He doesn't shout about it or bore us with stories from the past but when you get him in a conversation it's pure entertainment. And that is the problem with most social media from my point of view, there's no conversation just endless statements to be interpreted however the viewer wishes.
I'll get off my soapbox now.

Sunday, June 05, 2011

The agricultural way.

What a weekend. Today I held baby Issac Hugh Ryder for the first time, nevermind Katherine getting broody - it was me that was getting carried away. Although at the moment sometimes we can barely look after ourselves nevermind another life and we're already living in sin, having a bay outside of wedlock would just be a step too far!
It was a nice change to have different topics of conversation, including farming, Yorkshire dialect, whether babies dream of big boobs, the TT and many other non-cycling issues.

Anywho, to dive straight back in to full Euro-mode;

Just found this video from, in my opinion, the best Classic of this year;

Saturday, June 04, 2011

Taking the batteries out of the remote.

It feels like I've been cheating the past few days. I managed a two hour ride after work on Thursday, which felt like I'd had a day off then a pint after work and lovely homecooked meal afterwards made the week come to a close the right way.
This weekend we have a family wedding, my Grandma's birthday and visiting the newest addition to my rather large family.
No drama or plans or work.

Wednesday, June 01, 2011

A bit of pride.

On tonight's ride I glanced over my shoulder to see the group perfectly lined out behind me, all leaning in sweeping around the mini-roundabout and it felt good to see progression in the riders around me. As for myself, I had less than nothing in my legs after kneeling all day in the backyard painting the walls yesterday, so I did what you have to do, go to the front and suffer at a level you can handle and make everyone else feel the same.