Monthly Archives: April 2013

A week of Rudy brings some minor tweaks #cycling

To prevent frame damage from the Rohloff bayonet connectors, I fitted a chain stay protector:
It’s a Lezyne Chain Stay Protector, choosing the size was a guess, I chose small and it’s a perfect snug fit. Normally you wouldn’t have the cables running this way, but the step through frame leaves not much other option.

Next was a new light / accessory bar / handlebar extension, the Minoura Space Grip is vastly improved. The model is SGL-300 in Medium. It’s plenty long enough for my needs.
It appears nice and strong, but only the miles will tell. Other than actually being able to adjust it without taking it apart (anyone who owns or has owned the previous model will know what I mean), I like the quick release feature.
Mounting this way puts the lights in front rather than behind the steerer, another annoying feature of crank forwards is the angle of the steerer. Though this is a bit hard to imagine without seeing it.

Garden latter April update #gardening

We’ve had a couple of warm days and things are starting to grow.

Here’s the outside onions that had outgrown the egg boxes – which was a bad idea by the way, not enough room for the roots!
Though no birds have had a go at them, so the fact that they have sprouted in the egg boxes was good, maybe bigger containers next time. The wire is keeping the cat off them for the moment too.
And some greenhouse onions:
With some in containers that were destined for outside, but I ran out of space, so they’ll probably end up being eaten in a salad instead.
The sprouting garlic I planted is growing well:
And the red onion that sprouted is a double sprouter, no ideas what to do with it, I’m going to leave it and see what happens!
The spinach is growing well:
The leeks before:
And after transplanting out:
Though they are tricky to spot.
And the lettuce before:
And after container upgrade:
The reason for the containers is that I still haven’t mapped out where I’m going to plant them yet!
After the transplanting I sowed a few more spinach and a few more lettuce. The plant is to keep reminders in my phone so that I don’t forget like last year.
The early potatoes are breaking the surface, not worth a photo yet. Though most of my patch is potatoes this year, so there will be better photos later I’m sure.
It’s interesting looking at the photos again… So many weeds and stones that I didn’t see before.

Lowlights for a change #cycling

This week started with a broken saddle:
I replaced it and wanted to swap to better pedals too, turns out the old crankset I recently fitted is past it because the threads are corroded and stripping away.
So I’m now riding Rudy while I decide what crankset to buy… square taper 110 BCD 5 arm 170mm triple Thorn branded crankset was what I had before, but shimano hollotech has been recommended as a reasonably priced set, the downside is that I’ll need to buy another tool, it won’t be interchangeable with my other bikes, etc. It is worth pointing out that trying to read specs and compare crankset / chainsets is difficult because they often quote random mm measurements and not always the ones your looking for.

Today’s ride ended badly, half a mile from home (after the big hill) the police had blocked the road, I had to then go back over the hill and in a 5 mile loop to get home. I could barely walk when I got home. Numb bum to say the least. Sooo painful, I clearly don’t use those muscles and now can’t bend or sit down. Other than that I enjoyed Rudy and the chilled out ride. The local girls / teens in the park shouted “cool bike”, so there we are, Rudy is cool, even if I am not. Oh and my mudguard is loose, mirror is split and not long left on this earth and heaps more going wrong and we’re not even half way through.

Garden early April

The onion plan, grow in egg trays in green house until they sprout, then transplant. Theory is they won’t be pulled up by blackbirds or destroyed by animals, plus avoiding late frosts which we’ve had a couple of.
The protection from the cat I am going to try is:
Which is some wire shelving / mesh laid on bricks. I will tie it to the bricks once planted. Ken gave me the idea, the idea is the onions grow through the wire and lay on top of it, cats don’t like walking on it, so they are protected.
I’ve no idea where the leeks will go yet, talking of leeks, here’s the start:
Then the lettuce:
And the spinach is growing well so far:
Potatoes and runner beans haven’t broken the soil / compost yet. Fingers crossed.

This time of year is by far the slowest, waiting for the temperature to rise and the sun to come out. Nice to see some things growing now.

Surrey helps to develop pothole-detecting mobile phone app with USA

This might encourage phone use in cars which I don’t approve of, nice idea though if the phone stays in my pocket.

Surrey News

Surrey County Council has been helping to trial an innovative pothole-detecting mobile phone app with road repair experts in the USA.

Street Bump has been pioneered by the Mayor’s Office in Boston with the aim of collecting data from motorists when they drive over a pothole.

The app works by using a mobile phone’s motion sensor which recognises when a car hits a bump in the road and then transmits that data with a location taken from the phone’s GPS. If a number of people hit a bump in the same spot, the system recognises it as a pothole.

The aim is to create a real-time map of road conditions to catch problems earlier than traditional inspections, with road safety measures such as speed bumps already mapped so they don’t get mistaken for defects.

Richard Bolton, Surrey County Council’s Local Highway Services Street Manager, said: “We’re always looking to…

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The off-road lunchtime ride that turned to poo #cycling

It started off so well…
I then carrier on into a muddy field that had been chopped up by cows. Fine, until my road tyres wouldn’t grip, I’m then stuck in the mud, which was mostly… poo. I was in my work clothes, I’ll show you my shoe (which got a lot worse after this photo):
Upon returning to the office I cleaned up a bit in the toilet area (saying toilet sounds like the actual toilet which would be wrong). Anyway, a guy looked at me strangely as I wiped my shoes down with a rag (incidentally the same rag I have around my headset), he didn’t wash his hands after finishing his wee, he’s got a cheek.

Anyway, shoes will need a real clean now, but it won’t put me off future lunchtime rides.