New Bicycle!

May 20, 2009 at 13:41 | Posted in bicycles | 1 Comment
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So I have a new bicycle. I wanted something I could use for longer rides, light touring, getting groceries etc.

I looked at the Surly LHT, but by the time it was fitted with STI and the gearing I wanted, it was all getting too expensive..

I then fell briefly in love with the Masi Randonneur. Actually I still like it, and probably would choose it over the LHT (similar type of thing, but with mudguards and a much prettier paint job). But it has bar end shifters, and I wanted STI.

The Casseroll triple was always there in the background, taunting me, as it was closest to what I wanted – a versatile bike that I could use for commuting, getting groceries and light touring; it has mudguards, 105 gearing with STI, is comfy, pretty and a good price.

For sure, it’s not a 100% tourer like the other two; the chainstays are a bit shorter, and there’s no front pannier mounts. But it does what I want.

The only sticking point was that I have one already – my beloved fixie. And it just seemed odd buying another one. But I was convinced. So now I own two Casserolls!

Salsa Casseroll Triple

The serial number is M9020391

Serial no

Human vs Internal Combustion

May 15, 2009 at 22:31 | Posted in bicycles | Leave a comment
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I was riding home this evening, and there was one of those bikes modded with a small petrol engine in the bunch going through the lights at Pyrmont.

I followed him towards Anzac Bridge. As we approached the on-ramp, another cyclist overtook me and tucked in behind him.

We all proceeded up the spiral ramp thing at quite a clip, then at the top the cyclist made his move, pulling alongside the petrolhead to overtake. Petrol guy accelerated, and the two of them proceeded to race up the bridge. I followed for a short while, but couldn’t keep up.

The cyclist was out of the saddle and going really hard, but was matching petrol guy.

Part of me salutes the cyclist for some awesome climbing. That was some pace you put on, into a fairly strong headwind.

Part of me thinks the whole thing was inappropriate for an SUP; they were going too fast. To be fair, pedestrian traffic was light, and there weren’t any peds on the ramp. But I’m sure there were later on, and I wonder how much attention our two racers were paying to their surroundings.

And part of me is aggravated by those dratted conversions; they are noisy, they smell, and in the main they are ridden too fast by people who have lost their car licenses. (Well, I’m extrapolating that last point from a sample of one, but hey).

Wuthering Heights – Emily Brontë

May 1, 2009 at 18:21 | Posted in books | Leave a comment
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From time to time, it’s good to read a ‘classic’. One of the advantages of doing this is, of course, that it’s likely to be a good book; given that it has stood the test of time. Hence I recently pulled ‘Wuthering Heights’ by Emily Brontë down from the shelf.

This is a dark, dark book. It’s a book about obsession, delusion, cruelty and weakness. It’s billed as a love story, but this is obsessional, selfish love not love bourne of joy and mutual understanding. None of the characters are especially appealing. Heathcliffe is, of course, the archetypal villain and almost like on of Shakespeare’s more malevolent characters in his cold-blooded pursuit of revenge.

It starts a bit slowly (in part because, as is often the case with such books, one needs to get into the rhythm of the language) and, but before long I was turning the pages quite enthralled and, sometimes, appalled.

I did think the ending was weak, however. It’s rather contrived, and whilst I suppose it neatly closes the arch of the plot, it just feels a bit too ‘happy ever after’. And I also dislike characters whose dialogue is written out in strong dialects. If you know the dialect it’s fine, but if you don’t know what it sounds like, it can take some deciphering – stuff like ‘Yah ay bend to th’ yoak, and ye will – I noan used to ‘t and an old man dosen’t sooin get used to new barthens’. This gets quite hard unless you are familiar with Victorian Yorkshire farming dialects…

The other thing about it is that I read it in a Penguin edition. Now Penguin editions are great, insomuch as they are cheap and therefore accessible. However, the rough typesetting and small font size makes reading them quite tiring (I’m obviously getting old!). Perhaps I should buy one a ebook reader, as most of these types of classics are available for free download!

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