Twinkly Dave – Mud splattered bicycle and pizza enthusiast Growing old disgracefully

December 2, 2008

slip sliding away

Filed under: bikes,new car — dgpowell @ 12:17 pm

We’ve been “blessed” with some proper winter weather over the past few days – you know the sort, really low temperatures, but with no wind and no rain to spoil the party, so it’s actually been a pleasure to get out into the countryside and make the most of it.

Angela and I nipped up to ambleside on sunday and, well, ambled really. A short route round Loughrigg (suprisingly empty of walkers/riders – presumably most people are to wussy to go outside when it’s below freezing) was full of full-on frosty winter views of the hills. The lake district looks ace at this time of year when it’s not immersed in cloud, but sadly I forgot my camera so you’ll have to imagine it (or go there yourself).
Oh, and should you go to ambleside in the car, the little pay and display car park on the way into town is free on sundays between now and christmas – so don’t stand around in front of the P&D machine counting out change like we did, as you’ll look like an idiot…

I also decided, while wandering around loughrigg terrace, that it would make a fantastic night ride location and would be about the right length to nip out, play about and get back in the pub before getting too cold, must sort that out sometime…

Yesterday’s ride was ACE. It was minus 3 when i rode out away from the house and, despite my fingers stinging for the first 15 minutes until i warmed up properly, i got my clothing spot on for the conditions. the temperature guage on my computer never got above 2 degrees but i remained toasty throughout and spent the entire day grinning.
The frozen ground didn’t eat brake pads (in fact the standard organic ones I had fitted had barely worn down at all when i got home), the lube on the chain lasted for hours as there was nothing to wash it off and i didn’t even get wet feet 🙂
I rode around, up hill and down dale for about 6hrs 45mins, not at a flat out pace (tis not the season for that), but spent much of the day searching out the tricky, techy trails that are usually too sloppy and muddy at this time of year and nailed most of them in a most pleasing way.
Only one “off”, when i misjudged the frozen-ness of a big muddy pit and lost the front wheel into a bog, but plenty of smooth (i hesitate to use the word “skillful”, but it kind of was) flowing riding got me up/down/across/over/under most obsticals and kept my spirits high. So high that i didn’t want to go home as the sun set, but being poorly prepared i didn’t know how much battery life was left in the bar mounted dinottes, so i called it a day and nailed the final descent as the last rays light just about lit up the trail in front of me. Nice.

The random patches of sheet ice weren’t quite so much fun, but hey, you can’t have everything i suppose, and they did give me a chance to practice riding VERY gently every now and again! Plus they were a small price to pay to find the top of winter hill completely solid for once!

Oh, the car is in “very good condition throughout” apparently (mr draper would be proud), but apparently my spare tyre has a puncture…which is VERY ODD considering it didn’t have a puncture 2 weeks ago when i replaced it with one of the old rear tyres. Hmm. Dubious…

November 28, 2008

renewing the old

Filed under: lunacy - other peoples,new car — dgpowell @ 11:54 am

First up: yay! The Triffids are coming back. Now they just need to remake the Tripods and Airwolf and i can get back to being a child again (or rather, more of a child than i currently am).

Secondly, I now definately own my car – dropping it off at the dealers yesterday afternoon I was greeted with “you’re not mr draper?” from the head honcho…who seemed to know every one of the car’s previous owners personally. I explained that said mr draper had sold the car because he was too ill to drive anymore (this is what i was told by the salesman at the garage where i bought the car earlier in the year) and was immediately presented with a barrage of questions about mr draper’s current health.
Obviously i knew nothing about how mr draper had been doing since selling his car to a garage just over half a year ago…and felt a bit guilty about not being able to keep the dealership informed about his ups and downs, so i offered some non committal answers such as “mmm”, “yes i think so” and several awkward laughs until the conversation moved on to just who i was.
My name, phone number and postcode (feeling slightly dirty revealing i live in PR1 and not some leafy suburb) were typed into the computer and mr draper was gone forever.

The details on the computer now changed, the head honcho and I went back to my car to do a “pre service visual check”.
It began with head honcho telling me “this isn’t any sort of judgement on you, it’s just for our records”, immediately after which he set about judging me on the state of the car.
A car which is, I now know, utterly covered in scratches and dents that I’d never noticed. I had always thought it was in good nick visually, but thankfully the repetition of “oh, that’s quite a sizable crease”, “there’s some pretty serious scuffing here” and “oop, another scratch there” relieved me of that belief in double quick time. Any credibility I still had after letting myself down with my lack of knowledge about mr draper was gone by the time we reached the rear bumper. Totally.

I was close to just running away and never coming back by the time we’d done a full lap of the car and as he turned the key in the ignition, only to be belted with Radio 1 blaring out of the speakers I had to bite my lip to stop a flood of apologies from pouring out. He wrote something down on the service documents as I stood with my head hung in shame, claiming it was the mileage, but I’m pretty sure I saw the words “obvious bad driver” and “awful taste in music – do not leave alone in reception, may steal pens” next to my name.

I have to go back there later to receive my pennance for being an awful member of society. I’m not expecting it to be cheap, especially as I’ve worn the brakes out and managed to knacker to lock on the tailgate in the short time since mr draper allowed me use of his old car…thank god i washed it and hoovered up inside last week though, eh? can you imagine what they would have thought of me if it’d turned up as dirty as it was at the start of the month?!

{THIS POST MAY CONTAIN HIGH LEVELS OF MELODRAMA}

November 25, 2008

A post about the weather

Filed under: bikes,new car,rubbish weather — dgpowell @ 12:20 pm

sorry, I’m sure you’ve heard it all before, but anyway.

Thursday afternoon/evenings ride started OK but went downhill weather wise as the sun set. Riding over Quernmore towards the Trough of Bowland was actually scary as I couldn’t see the road, just a haze of rain being lit up by the bar mounted lights. Even when i could make out where the ground was (!) the heavyness of said rain, along with the stupidly strong gusting wind just ripped the water back up off the floor creating a shimmering, unintelligible mess.
For a good 30 minutes or so I navigated my way round the pitch black country roads by watching the hedges on either side of the tarmac. God knows how i didn’t crash or wipe out.

Friday’s after work ride was accompanied by rather apologetic weather – all quiet and calm after the previous nights tantrum and wasn’t too bad, though i was a tad tired so just cruised and span my legs out for a few hours.

Sunday’s weather was a full on winter attack, lots of freezing cold rain and gusty winds. I wore lots of clothes and managed to stay nice and warm for the whole ride. The cross bike lost big chunks of it’s brake pads round rivi, darwen tower etc…and big long strips or it’s rims too – scary stuff.

Yesterday’s ride was just miserable. OK so it hardly rained and remained sunny for the vast majority of the day, but the wind was so strong and so constant that everything became either an “i’m getting knowhere” slog or stupidly fast “i’m not tring but i’ve run out of gears” spin. I felt pretty drained too, which didn’t help.
Oh and it was bloody cold.
Oh and my HRM died, boo.
On the plus side, the new torq recovery stuff I’ve got is delicious – banana and mango, yum. It’s just like a smoothie when you make it twice as strong as it should be (i’m allowed to do that cos i ride for chuffing ages, so nerr).

Got to book the car in for a service this week, the brakes are making the kind of noise all my bikes make whenever i pull the levers, so they must be worn out! I dred to think how much it’ll cost – nothing’s gone wrong with it or owt, but I forsee lots of little jobs being needed to keep it going as nicely as it has done so far. It’s never missed a service in it’s entire life (and I got it 3rd hand) from the main dealer, so i’m going to take it back to them to carry on (and, completely coincidentally, they’re based near to Rivi, so i *may* have to ride home after dropping it off…)
I cleaned it for the first time since I got it back in April over the weekend in anticipation of it’s service (well, i ran it through the drive-through car wash thing…on the cheapest setting) and swept out a season’s worth of race-course mud from the back of it. Not only is it easy to cram loads of bike kit in, but it’s simple to wipe clean afterwards, ace!
The air freshners in it are worn out though…unless they were “scent of sweaty rider and damp soil” ones…

September 9, 2008

New Bike

Filed under: bikes,new car,on-one — dgpowell @ 9:44 am

It arrived the The Biggest Box Ever ™. So big it didn’t fit in the berlingo properly, even with all the seats down. In fact I had to drive with the driver and passenger seats as far forward as they’d go (uncomfortable), with the box sat on top of the headrests (possibly not 100% legal…).

Got home to discover that the lock on the tailgate had decided it wasn’t interested in unlocking, so I had to hack the Biggest Box Ever ™ to pieces in situ and dismantle the bike to get it out for the side door! Arse!
Have now manged to get the lock to work a bit, though it does require much waggling of the key (and swearing) for anything to happen, grrr. Insurance is due this month too, lousy expensive mode of travel.

Anyhoo, here it is, leant against a big pile of a) other stuff I’d ordered b) angela’s bike, awaiting fettling and c) another box with an old knackered bike awaiting a trip to the tip.
Feel free to insert a joke about my entire house being a tip…

uncle john

It’s already had a computer fitted and the tyres changed (to the land cruisers I’ve been running on the scandal for the last couple of weeks, in preperation for the 3 peaks later this month). Quite nice, I think you’ll agree.

Camping was nice, despite the weather on thursday night being slightly more than my tent was designed for. Still, I stayed dry and warm…angela didn’t stay quite so dry, but that’s ok 🙂
We still got out and enjoyed the sights (more piccies to follow), ate and drank, walked, rode bikes…you know, the usual stuff you do. Nice.

sunset on the beach

See? Lovely.

August 12, 2008

I’m a little tea-pot

Filed under: bikes,food/booze,new car,on-one,rubbish weather — dgpowell @ 9:51 am

a cheeseburger in 3rd place
Click for more of Wayne’s piccies

That was a gentleman’s 24hr race; with a nice stop after every lap for a brew or similar. Best typified by my 3am cheeseburger – a cheeseburger that seemingly contained enough calories to keep me going for a further 10.5hrs* without having to eat much else! It may have been one of (if not the) crunchiest burgers I’d ever eaten and did look a little like some of the mud i’d ridden through earlier, but by god it was lovely 🙂

I did 16 laps, so i think that means Wayne washed the bikes 13 times. Top stuff. He didn’t even seem grumpy (or if he was, I didn’t notice). They’re both still sat in my living room ATM needing a good scrubbing, when you’re ready 😉

Hello to everyone who said hello, it made a hell of a difference having people get behind you and also BIG THANKS to number 55 who lent** me a spare chain link and use of his chain tool on the last lap – that was ace

Top marks also go to the AA man who came out to see us when something went horribly horrible with the car on the way home – turned out one of the wheels was coming loose! EEK!
He fixed it, then rang his mate who agreed to nip to a local garage and dig out a spare wheel nut for us FOC…on a sunday evening…when he had been at home…how good is that?!
They were both really cheery and chatty too. Fantastic, join the AA 😉

*i blew up half an hour from the finish line
**you know, that kind of lending where you neverexpect to see said item again…

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