Sunday, 25 January 2009

New Boomkat Record

I love this chick.

I think this was originally going to be for Taryn's solo record but now they're making another Boomkat album.

Monday, 19 January 2009

Another awesome weekend away...

After moving everything I own out of my house and into Deneil's, we headed up to Northamptonshire for a cheap deal (£29 a night!) in a hotel near Daventree.  It was one of those 'hotels' set up for medium sized businesses to hold 'conferences' which just happened to be next to a golf course and driving range...

Either way, we had a great sleep and then a wander through a few small towns on the way home on Sunday.  We stopped in a few little pubs on the Grand Union Canal for lunch and I just couldn't help myself when it came to this beer tap...

 (Blogspot is broken.  Photo is coming tomorrow...)

This is Bluey, Deneil's dog.  Forever the tourist, he wanted a photo in front of a nice thatched roof.  Such a poser.

Getting out of London is great, mostly because the below is exactly the opposite of London; colour and wide open spaces...


Monday, 12 January 2009

In Search of Hills (again)...

So with the guys at Felt Epix flaunting it in my face, and getting out for two hill rides in the last week, I had a roll up to North London to whip up some "hills". I thought I might also get to smash some trails in Hamstead Heath too, but some fat cop kindly informed me that I couldn't ride in Hamstead Heath. Thanks Plod. So I rode through some cool little villages (sorry, no photos- I took my camera with the intention of getting batteries for it but it didn't happen...) and around to the entrance for Parliament Hill (which I walked up, thanks).

The veiw of London from Parliament Hill (thanks Wikipedia!).

I thought I might get an offroad fix in Regents Park (the best I could hope for is the equivalent of riding a bike across a footy oval...). Looking back on it, a ride across a flat section of grass would have been nice because officer Plod's cousin- Sargent Fatso- told me I was not to ride through Regents Park. Yay. Two great expanses of public land in London "for Londoners" but you can't ride through them. Now I know how George Michael feels: you can't do anything in London parks...

My last hope; as it was 4pm and starting to get dark, was Hyde Park. I thought 'surely I could ride through a park that big without being seen'. Nup. 10 metres through the gate and two cops yell, in a rather impolite fashion, that cycling is not allowed in Hyde Park. Of course it's not. These two were obviously not friends of the first two cops. Fighting crime first, manners second.

View Larger Map

So basically, having only done 25kms, and my Garmin freezing twice, I gave up. I had a laugh the protesters near the Israeli Embassy, nearly got doored by some prick in an ugly AMG, and headed for home quickly before karma knocked me off my bike. I could easily whinge about it all but smashing those hills near Hamstead made it all so worthwhile.

Friday, 9 January 2009

Just a pointer...

It's time for another bitching session. Nothing angry, just a few pointers to those who might be missing something I see. Yes, it's time for another installment of Tips from Nathan.

There are 3 groups I want to address today.

a) If you are not going to beat the traffic off the line, don't weazel your way to the front. You'll only slow traffic down, look like a muppet, and people will know how weak you really are.
b) Don't run reds during peak hour, especially if you are sitting on 7kms/hr. If I catch you 50 metres after you've run a red, then you wont miss the extra 15 seconds you'd lose by waiting at the lights.
c) I don't mind Fakengers; just another strange 'fashion' that will come and go. But if you're riding home from your cushy accounting job, don't pretend your salary depends on the speed and arrogance with which you ride.
d) WEAR A FUCKING HELMET. Unfortunately there are drivers as dumb as you (yes, the world is a messed up place) and no matter how well you reckon you ride, you can't account for the dickhead in the Rangie texting someone.

a) I love a protest as much as the next riot-inspired individual but blocking a busy road during peak hour and yelling freedom slogans at the walls of a most likely empty hotel room doesn't win you any praise with drivers trying to get home, nor with the party you're trying to get to. If you want a cool protest that gets results, come up with something like the Estonian, Latvian and Lithuanian Singing Revolution.

a) What kind of pussy gear ratio have you put on the Q220? 44 x 14 on the lowest gear available is pathetic. I know it weighs the same as a Hummer, but what kind of fairy floss pushers do you expect to ride that bike? I've got quadzillas and I want to be able to use them.

While we're at it, a few extra quick tips:
Garmin- I'm using your GPS in -2 degrees. If it stops working in London I'd rather not be the dude stuck in Lapland with a couple of hungry huskies and no idea where he is.
K-Rudd- Taking Vegemite off the shelves because it has too much salt in it? Oh that's a good idea. Leave cigarettes and alcohol on the shelves; they have no salt in them.


Tuesday, 6 January 2009

London Winter

There are a lot of very valid complaints about London weather but on Saturday I saw the complimentary side of it. While running through Richmond Park with Deneil I saw a frozen lake for the first time up close. I've seen snowy lakes before but never a plain sheet of see through ice, and I loved it. I giggled like a girl when I threw sticks at it and they just bounced. I didn't take pictures- you can all imagine a frozen lake...

This morning I had more fun with London winter, just not as comfortable. I rode to work in the snow. Luckily it wasn't very deep at all, but that just set up for continuous fishies all the way through Hyde Park. Next time it snows I want to be able to throw it sideways further than today!

I picked up a new Felt Q220 last week to smash into the ground while in London so I'm trying to break that in so I can true the wheels (the disc rubs ever so slightly) and get a new rear cassette cos the gear ratio is shit. Everything else on it seems pretty good, but it's heavy as. Oh, and the seat's not a Flite Titanium so I might have to change that too... A new bracket for the Garmin GPS was £8! What a rip. Now I just need a tough light to rock it with my knog single LEDs, which I love.

I should have batteries for my camera soon so if I find anything worth taking a blurred photo of in pitch black at 6am or 5pm, I will.