My Commuting Year.

For the last few years I have been following Chris’ most excellent lockring.not.included blog.

People often tell me that they admire my commitment to riding, especially through the worst of the weather, but his daily pictures and cataloguing of the changing of the seasons almost always get me wishing that I’d gone further on the way home (or at least used the fixed gear).

Once again, his year’s mileage stats makes mine look pretty pitiful, but here goes…

Total distance: 7487km (4653 miles)
Ridden to work: 148 days
Run to work: 16 days
Car to work: 37 days. Given that I wasn’t allowed to ride a bike for 6 weeks at the start of the year, I’m still pretty please with what I have chalked up, although it will of course be much more next year (as everyone who does this sort of thing says at this time of year).

Winter:
snow tree

Spring:
today

Summer:
on-one scandal 29er

Autumn:
leaves

As I’ve said before, getting up early every morning and riding to work won’t add years to my life, but it certainly adds life to my years…

15 albums

scandal 29er on-one
The rules: Don’t take too long to think about it. Fifteen albums you’ve heard that will always stick with you. List the first fifteen you can recall in no more than fifteen minutes.
Let me know your 15, because I’m interested in seeing what albums my friends choose.
Remember, list records in no particular order:
1.surfa rosa – the pixes
2.seamonsters – the wedding present
3.c86 – various artists (free with the nme)
4.takk… – sigur ros
5.beaucoup fish – underworld
6.mwng – super furry animals
7.in the flat field – bauhaus
8.the frenz experiment – the fall
9.hup – the wonder stuff
10.b-52’s – b-52’s
11.based on a true story – fat freddy’s drop
12.disintegration – the cure
13.beachcomber’s windowsill – stornaway
14.hatful of hollow – the smiths
15.gish – smashing pumpkins
it’s easy to write down 15
but then hard not to study it and change them all…
edit: no radiohead, bob dylan, iron maiden etc etc

thanks to Dan for the idea.

the welsh ride thing

a quick post with more words than pictures because i’m tired…

this weekend mike and i dipped our toe* into an event called the welsh ride thing. it is organised by a bloke called stuart who runs forest freeride in pennant, mid-wales.
what happens is that you pay some cash to the welsh air ambulance charity and send him an email. a month before the event, he sends you a list of 13 grid references.
your task is to visit as many of these as you can between 2pm on saturday afternoon and 2pm on bank holiday monday. you are encouraged to be self-sufficient, carrying bivvying kit, food, water etc on the bike. cunningly, each checkpoint lurks at the end of a decent bit of trail or a nice downhill. you pretty much can’t fail to put together a decent ride between them.

*we dipped our toe because we both had commitments on bank holiday monday and so could only do one night.
welsh ride thing
as usual, my work/life/riding balance meant that i did very little preparation for the event. mike however, put all of this mountain leadership skills into action and came up with a fantastic ride, cutting out the thigh deep bogs and the worst of the river crossings (as it happened, saturday was so wet that river crossings and bogs would have made little difference).
welsh ride thing

welsh ride thingwelsh ride thingwelsh ride thing
it rained all the way to wales. and it rained all the way to the bothy on saturday night. the bothy was a real experience with some drunken mountain bothy association men getting a little over-friendly with us as we decided whether we should stay and brave their company or go and sleep outside in the rain. it was a close call…
we were quietly very grateful when some fellow riders turned up later on.
welsh ride thing
sunday was much better apart from a problem with my bike that i won’t go into. we ended up covering 6 checkpoints and 100km in just less than 24 hours. people who were there for the duration covered over 200km and visited all checkpoints – chapeau to them!
welsh ride thing
it is a great event. the best thing about it being that you get out of it what you put in. stuart and dee were lovely people and i wish them luck with whatever they have planned next.
welsh ride thing

(doin’ the) boom boom

rosso
a couple of nice things in the post today.
massage oil from simon at la gazzetta della bici and a related jersey from the most excellent shutt velo rapide.

in other news, my newly built golden brown pompino was featured on the on-one website – strange to be called a. bicycle photographer and b. of placid casual…

finally, all the gear is now in the car ready to head to wales first thing to take part in the welsh ride thing.
praying for decent weather…
all set