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Sunday, February 12, 2012

Cycling update

Well it has been a while since I posted on this blog but I have been busy both with cycling and with other stuff.

In October I rode in the Southbank to Southport ride again but this time with the Ascot Catering group I train and ride with. It was a perfect day for the ride and my increased level of fitness allowed me to keep up a steady pace and with the benefit of finding a strong moving pack I managed to finish the ride in 2 hours 54 minutes. What a hoot! The whole group managed to finish within a 10 minute time frame ever though one rider did have a spill.

The Ascot Catering Group ready to start at Southbank

I have been trying to conquer the back side of Mt Coot-tha and in December I managed to make it over for the first time with encouragement from my cycling mate Stu. For me it was really a matter of mindset and application of a bit of caution at the bottom to make sure I kept out of the "red zone" getting near the top. Since them I have been over a number of times and now can complete two consecutive laps, not all that speedy though. Today Stu and I tackled the ride again and I felt I could have taken on a third pass, perhaps not!

The next Coot-tha Challenge is only 5 weeks away.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Magpie Season

Well it's that time of year again when male Magpies and cyclists go head to head in a short but viscous confrontation all across Australia.

For me the first engagement occurred this week along the car park on the east side of Boondall railway station. The individual bird involved was particularly persistent and had obviously honed his dive, peck and flap skills in previous seasons. The proliferation of potential adversaries had no doubt helped to develop this expertise.

While approaching the danger zone I watched as this bird ignored all convention and waged war against a helmet generously endowed with zip ties. For those of you who believe such items will deter this genetically blueprinted behavior check out this video of a scientifically based study of the effectiveness of such helmet adornments.

Monday, July 11, 2011

It's All About The Bike

I recently read a great book by Robert Penn called "It's All About the Bike". The synopsis below says it all, the book is available locally through book sellers and also as a e-Book. The author has produced a short introduction to the book that is posted on You Tube. I can really recommend this book as a very interesting read.

It is the story of a journey by Robert Penn to design and build a dream bike. En route, Robert explores the culture, science and history of the bicycle. From Stoke-on-Trent, where an artisan hand builds his frame, to California, home of the mountain bike, where Robert tracks down the perfect wheels, via Portland, Milan and Coventry, birthplace of the modern bicycle, this is the narrative of our love affair with cycling. It's a tale of perfect components - parts that set the standard in reliability, craftsmanship and beauty.

It tells how the bicycle has changed the course of human history, from the invention of the 'people's nag' to its role in the emancipation of women, and from the engineering marvel of the tangent-spoked wheel to the enduring allure of the Tour de France. It's the story of why we ride, and why this simple machine remains central to life today.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

My Bike

I ride a TREK Madone 4.5 that I have had for 2 years now and in that time I have covered 10,000 km. Components are generally Shimano 105, the rear derailleur is Ultegra and following a maintenance replacement the cassette and chain were upgraded to Ultegra 6700 . I use a Garmin Edge 705 cycle computer.

After  persevering with the Bontranger seat for a while I fitted a Selle SMP Lite 2009 saddle and although no saddle could be considered comfortable, this saddle does not cause the level of numbness that I experienced with the previous saddle.

The original tyres have been replaced with Michelin Lithion 2 tyres.

The cassette (11-25) and chain were replaced at about 6,000 km and the chain and cassette are approaching the time for replacement once again. Cleaning and checking of the bottom bracket and head set are the next maintenance jobs that require attention.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

First Post

This is the first post to the Bicycle Clips blog. The Blog is a place for me to discuss a range of matters around cycling and riding.