Wednesday, 21 January 2009

Blackbuck NOT for sale...too late suckers

Info here...but no longer applies.

Pics below....closest you will get.


****ing b*****d!

1.36 : 1 midmarket rate today, my guess is that HSBC are offering around 1.32 : 1 on tourist money :(

Oh and Northern Rock; we know our fixed rate has come to an end, stop sending us the letter telling us this! Save some £ and pass on the interest rate cut instead!

...and breathe.


Tuesday, 20 January 2009

Damn that pesky £ : $ rate

1.39 mid market rate at the moment, which is 0.01 less than the rate HSBC were offering last week, they are now down to 1.36. Why is that important? Well the entry for the Spiti race needs to be paid in US$ and I live in the UK. Race entry (even with my repeat offender / press discount) is £1200 (or slightly more than I earn in a really good month) Add to that the air fare, spending money and some of the kit I need to buy and its £2k for 8 days racing.

Now I know it will be an amazing experience and I will love it, what I struggle with is the fact that I always said if I went back to India I would do it at my pace and do some sight seeing / relaxing inbetween the racing. £1200 will pay for a plane ticket, spending money AND anything else I need to tour India for a month, figure in the £2k and that covers the mortgage and bills while I am away if I can't get it as paid holiday.

Factor in other things like wanting some bedroom furniture (like a wardrobe to hang my stuff in) and a DVD player that works, your know, once in a while and it all looks a bit skewed.

Guess what I'm saying is that unless the £ gains against the $ I will have to look at pulling the plug and either taking a solo tour in India or just take a ferry to Europe or stay in the UK and pray for good weather.

Sorry for the downer of a post but things need evaluating :)


Tuesday, 13 January 2009

Stuff for sale...

Stuff for singlespeedpunk AT gmail DOT com for dibbs / payment options.

Titec stem, 110mm x 6deg x 1-1/8" and 25.4 bar. Used once and a little long for my frame. £15

Scott Multi tool. £10

Scott seat bag, plastic clips and velcro strap. £7

Polaris jacket, medium, waterproof and breathable. Hood included. Works great but the elastic neck, waist and hem draw cords have lost their elasticity. £15

Huge Kirkland bumbag, @15l (possibly more) adjustable hip belt and stabilisation straps, padded back, 2 main pockets, compression straps. £10

Karrimor bum bag, main compartment plus two bottle pockets. £8

Original Cool Tool, some surface rust on allen keys but works fine. £10

27.2 x 400mm BBB seatpost, twin bolt head. Some slight marking on lower part. £10

34.9dia sealt collar, allen bolt. £5

Photos and prices. All prices include postage to UK main land. Email for other destinations.


January lull....

Not much happening at the moment. The beard experiment is over as it failed to get past the "scruffy git" stage. Riding has been ok but uninspiring. Currently cleaning out the spares box so look out for some stuff on Singletrackworld soon (seach for singlespeedpunk)

Other than that not much to report.


Tuesday, 6 January 2009

Beard and training

Well the first "Turbo trainer Tuesday" is over. When I finally got the DVD to work due to the scratches on it the film (Hannibal Rising) was pretty good and kept me ammused for 2hours of spinning.

My beard is progressing in the normal way, ie patchy and not joind-up. I might have to shave some bits so people know its intentional and I'm not just homeless.

Good news on the Spiti race is that the price of BA flights has come down, bad news is that new work commitments might scupper the whole thing. I am awaiting confirmation that its all ok so until then I am carrying on as if I am definately going. I had a chance to chat to Dhananjay on Gmail Chat and clear up some stuff about the race but mainly catch up on whats happening on the Indian Subcontinant, specifically Shimal.

Not much to report so thats it.


Thursday, 1 January 2009

Happy new year, etc..

Yep, '09 is upon us already. I hope this intangible change on the calender puts the crap weather and sickness behind us. I so need to get out on the bike more! I did manage a 55km ride on Tuesday with the Ashton club (of which I am now a last!) I rode from home to Kilkenny up on the Cotswolds and met up for a 21mile ride that turned into an epic slog with 5 puncture stops and numerouse faffing stops in the cold weather. I was pretty well dressed for the cold except the SBC Deflect "windproof" gloves are not and I had neglected to buy any liner gloves so I resorted to sticking my hands in my armpits during the many stops to keep them warm. I now have a pair of liner gloves that should make them suitable for -5deg use.

With the light fading I headed back down the hill to home and a hot shower. On arriving home I found a package from Charlie the Bike Monger containing a 20t Surly cog, Salsa seat clamp and beefy KMC Z610 chain (the 3/32" version of the Z710 most people know and love) Later that night we descended mob-handed on to a curry house in Evesham for some food served buy the bussiest waiter ever (he was the only guy there!) all washed down with beer and scrumpy.

The bike worked well with the CX tyres in the mud and was a lot faster on the road there and back. I did try out the cork tape / mouse mat / cotton tape bar wrap and found it too small a diameter for my long fingers and that I got a painful ulnar nerve...not great. The 42c treads at 60PSI won't have helped but still worrying. So this morning I trimmed the tape below the brake lever and re-fitted the Oury grips which I know work well for 8hrs+ on rigid forks and skinny tyres :)

The CC Thudbuster ST was great, it took the edge off the rought trail and enabled me to stay seated over frozen hoof-churned trails with out getting the saddle inserted anywhere! Definately worth the £ and weight, not sure about the ribbing I got for it though! It does look odd but the amazing performance makes up for it. 10/10 for that one then. Only other change in the seating is the swap of the WTB SST saddle onto the Solitude. I had forgotten how great they were until I used one on the BlackBuck build. The Brooks will stay packed away until the weather improves or I forget to change it!

The first day of the new year was spent fettling the bike and starting the STW January Beard Contest. I have no chance of winning but wonder what sort of face mat I will grow in four weeks...not much is my prediction but we'll see. I fitted the 20t Surly track cog, KMC Z610 chain and Salsa clamp to the bike and finished it off with Michelin AT tyres and a few CtBM stickers (except the "Chicks dig singlespeeders" ones the wife objected to!) I now have 36:18 and 34:20 available with no brake faffing and 36:20 / 34:18 if I want to adjust the brake pads a little. All I need to finish it is a Phil Wood Lock Ring from Will at Hubjub as I have lost my Miche one and Phil use an odd size (compared to Dura Ace / everyone else)

1st January 2009 - No beard

Becca has signed up for the Hell of the North Cotswolds this year with plans of doing the 100km route so we will have to dig out the old routes and try some 50 and 75km trips prior to early April so she does not die halfway round! Good training for me as well as the "Tuesday Film and Turbo" sessions. Which reminds me I need to sign up to Lovefilm to get one for next week.

Best do that now.