Monday, 17 September 2007
Wednesday, 12 September 2007
Tuesday, 11 September 2007
Saturday, 8 September 2007
Today I rode the penny to Gheluvelt park in Worcester for a cycle event held as part of the Tour of Britain promotion. My cycling club, Worcester St. Johns had a stand so I was going mainly to make up the numbers on our stand.
When I got there I was pleased to see there were a number of other stands and quite a bit going on, I had a go at the roller racing and posted a time of 21.57secs., at the time good enough for 4th spot. I only had one go, and according to the girl running the stand I started slowly, but being so short it was more a test of pedalling speed and style rather than fittness, so I was pleased with my time as I have always thought that I can't spin. The people running the rollers were http://www.rollapaluza.com/ , I've not checked out the web site yet but apparently they do parties so it might be worth looking at if you are after something different to a bouncy castle.
The other penny farthings in the photo belong to a fellow club member, Martin, and are both for sale. One is an original from 1888, the other is a replica. Both are ridable, I had a quick go on the replica and it rides really well. The purists out there may not be too keen on it as the join between the backbone and forks is quite bulky, but if you're after a penny for fun or to learn on you could do a lot worse, e mail me if you're interested in either bike and I'll pass your details on. (more photos on http://www.flickr.com/photos/10804338@N06/ ) There is also a trike in the photo, this was used by a club member, Gordon, to ride from Lands end to John O'Groats. Gordon did the ride to celebrate his 70th bithday!
A couple of select club members had a go on my bike and also a guy from the try a bike stand, everyone got on ok and the bike survived fine.
The mountain bike demo was pretty cool too. My photo doesn't do it justice but these guys seem to defy gravity!
All in all a good event, congratulations to the organisers.
I stayed untill about 1.00pm I think, I don't wear a watch at the weekends so that I am not a slave to time! Then I rode off to Vanfest at Malvern. Vanfest is a VW Transporter show and as a bit of an air cooled VW fan I thought I'd pay it a visit. It was a great ride over in the sunshine with lots of people cheering me on from their cars. Once at the show I checked out a few trade stands and chated to a few people about the bike. I also had a quick look round the vans for sale area but came to the conclusion that £10000 buys a lot of B&B, besides I think Split screen vans are too small to get my bike in and the later larger vans just aren't that cool. I had a T25 camper for a couple of years and it was fun but, sorry T25 fans, they are not cool.
The ride home was also good, I did notice that a couple of spokes on the penny had started to work loose, but the wheel still seemed true so I'm not to worried about it, I'll give them a quick tighten later. The only negivite thing about the day was a real rarity, a negivive comment. I was riding along in a dead straight line in full control when a car pulled up along side me, the lads in the car then shouted, "F*!KING IDIOT" to which I replied "F*!KING IDIOT? YOU'RE THE ONE DRIVING THE ROVER 213!" I mean, a Rover 213, why even entertain the thoughts of buying one? The only surprising thing about Rover going bust was that it didn't happen years ago. I don't swear that often, but I think he deserved it, people in glass houses shouldn't throw stones..
Thursday, 6 September 2007
The ride to work was fine but I was late leaving at the end of the day so I had to push on to get to the start. I was in time but lots of people had already signed on so I asked if I could go as number 0 so that I could ride at least some of the way home in daylight.
The event itself was good, I did a time of 21mins 6seconds. I had done this course once before on the penny and managed 21mins 10seconds so to go a bit faster was a surprise after the rush to get to the start. After the event I had a quick drink in the pub with some of the other riders then made my way home.
The first part of the ride was fine as it was still light. Then when the sun went down it become harder. To start with it was good, with just enough light to be able to see and owls and bats starting to fly around I really enjoyed it. Then when it became very dark it was just a case of surviving the journey. You really need to be able to see the road when on a penny and my front light was not really good enough, I made it home but riding in the dark is not something I plan to do too often.
With the coast to coast ride coming up I think I may have to do some early morning starts to make the most of the daylight. This weekend I plan to get a few daylight miles in on the penny and take a few more photos....
Tuesday, 4 September 2007
Back to Ankerdine, anyone who has ever riden a bike will know how hard it is to ride up a steep hill. Well Ankerdine is properly steep, with an average gradient of 17% and each year at the end of the time trial season my cycling club holds a time trial up it.
I have prepaired my bike in the usual way, by taking off anything that adds weight like lights and mud gaurds and I'm confident that I will do a decent time. Last year I got up the climb in 3mins 41seconds. I'm not sure if I will go faster this year as I changed the gearing on my bike earlier in the year and my lowest gear is now a bit higher than it was last year.
I have also had today off work as well so I should be nicely rested. While I was sitting arround today I had the idea of attaching my camera to my bike to make a video clip of the climb. So I have now added back a few grams of weight, well it's always handy to have an excuse lined up!
Anyway if the video works I'll put it on you tube so that you can experience the pain of a hill climb... (seems to have worked ok, going up = http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mSHRznVQnlc going down = http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AIxEl8HPnxs the first one is quite long so it's still processing, should be ok by 5th sept though).
For now I'm trying not to think too hard about the prospect of getting my heart rate to maximum and holding it there for 4 mins, actually I've just thought about it and that's going to be about 760 beats! If I was watching tv 760 beats would take about 15minutes.....
Well I survived the hill climb but went slower than last year by about 7seconds I think. I'd like to make a special mention to two fellow riders though. Firstly Ed Dursley, he tried so hard he was sick at the finish, good effort Ed! And secondly Steve Price, who flew up the hill in 2 mins 56 seconds! An incredible performance, I'm quite a fit bloke and half decent up hills but Steve took 53 seconds off my time, to use a word that is often used but rarely deserved.. Awesome. I am truly in awe of that time and so should you be..
Sunday, 2 September 2007
Name Cat Time
R Graham G 23.51
D Preece G 24.08
B Boswell S 24.16
C McSweeney S 24.24
J Barnett G 24.35
S O'Toole V 25.26
A Taylor V 25.40
E Dursley G 25.49
D Evans G 26.11
B Whatton G 26.25
E Garton S 27.25
D Yapp V 27.32
G O'Mahoney V 27.59
W Douglas V(F) 28.35
D Burnage V 28.42
C Connell G 28.52
T Knight V 29.17
A Sims S 29.30
P Jolley S 30.24
D Morgan V 31.24
Virtualy all of the coments people make when they see a man on a penny farthing are positive. This makes a refreshing change as fellow cyclists will know this is not always the case when out riding.
In this section of the blog I have tried to list the best coments that I have received whilst out on the penny, I will add to as and when I get any variations on the coments received.
Best comments to date. 2/9/07 (Aston Villa 2 Chelsea 0) sorry about the football reference but I'm so pleased Villa were the first team this season to wipe the smug grin off Mourinhos face, as for Drogba what a big girls blouse. Anyway, back to the penny stuff...
1. "Nice bike mate, Halfords?"
I was out riding the penny when a fellow cyclist caught me up and offered the above question. At the time it made me laugh, lots. Thinking about it, although I still find it funny, he would have had some time to think of what to say, Still brilient though.
When people have less time to think about what to say they typicaly seem to come up with one or more of the following.
2. "Do a wheelie!" I've tried, it's not possible.
3. "Nice bike, can you juggle as well?" For whatever reason people seem to think I must be part of a circus.
4. "Hey, penny farthing." For those who know what one is.
5. "What the f*!k." For those who don't.
6. "What the f*!k, what the f*!k." A coment made by a suprised lad in London when first Kat rode past on her penny then me on mine.
7. "No way!"
8. "Jesus Christ!" No, it's just me.
More to follow as and when people coment...