Arnott’s Ginger Nut Dark Chocolate

August 27, 2019 at 17:49 | Posted in biscuits | Leave a comment

Arnott’s use peerless chocolate in their biscuits. They make it themselves, and it is really good – especially the dark chocolate. The rich enrobing of a Mint Slice, for example, is magnificent.

Arnott’s have experimented with some quite thick chocolate in the past; so much so that the biscuit almost becomes secondary. So I suppose it is kind of the next logical step to reduce the biscuit content so much that you actually end up with a bar of chocolate with bits of biscuit in it.

And this is what Arnott’s have done. They have made a bar of chocolate with the crumbs from the Ginger Nut production line swept into it.┬áThere are two burning questions this begs. The first is what it tastes like. The second is which type of Ginger Nut they have used.

The first question is easy to answer. It tastes amazing. This is really really good – the rich dark chocolate, the warmth of the ginger and the slight crunch of the biscuit pieces. come together to make a very harmonious experience.

The second question is harder, but after a good deal of forensic examination and micro-excavation, I am pretty confident that it is the NSW ginger nut that features in this confection.

Now, I am aware that this is hardly a biscuit. I mean we’ve pushed the envelope before, but please let me know if this is a step too far, and I will retreat. Alternatively, if you’d like me to look at the rest of the range (including the rather intriguing prospect of chocolate with Jatz in them) I will do so!

 

New pedals

August 24, 2019 at 13:25 | Posted in bicycles | 2 Comments
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So I needed new pedals again. Pesky things keep wearing out. ┬áThe first lot I had lasted ten years, according to this, but these one only lasted five. Perhaps I’m doing more kilometers on this bike than I was. Anyway, I bought some more, and got out my pedal wrench to fit them.

However, I hit a snag. I couldn’t get them off. They were stuck tight. I tried all sorts of things, different spanners, cheater bars, blocks of wood – but they would not budge. I even managed to break a fancy chrome-vanadium spanner in the attempt. I took the cranks off, and got the guys in the machine shop at work to have a crack at it with their array of professional vices, jigs and tools, but to no avail.

Oh dear. It seemed like I was going to have to replace the cranks as well. I looked at various options for crank replacements, but nothing seemed very easy. In the meantime, my feet were slopping around in the pedals like sloppy things.

Then, on they way to work, I popped into the bike shop. You might be thinking that I should probably have done this in the beginning. And you would be right. Using whatever secret bicycle shop techniques they have they managed to get the old pedals off, and put new ones on. Slightly fancier ones, to boot. They did wryly say ‘it was a bit tricky’. Anyway, kudos to the guys at Park Bikes. I am now set for another five or ten years…

Obstructions

August 20, 2019 at 20:46 | Posted in bicycles | Leave a comment

It was on the third occasion that I realised it was not the wind, or random chance, but that someone was deliberately placing things on the path to create a hazard. Mostly it was fallen branches from a nearby palm tree, but on this occasion it also included a quantity of empty cans strewn all over the path.

It’s happened six or seven times altogether, starting around April this year. The location is North Strathfield, on the relatively new path that runs alongside Powell’s Creek, at the Pomeroy St end.

I wonder who it is who feels the need to do this? It is aimed at cyclists? Or is it just a general anti-social nuisance? It’s always on the way home, so I guess it happens sometime during the day. When I come across it I stop and remove the obstruction before continuing. I wonder if others do the same, and in fact it happens nearly every day, or if is is just now and again.

Oh well. It’s not a major drama. Just a bit weird.

The long long bicycle

August 18, 2019 at 20:58 | Posted in bicycles | Leave a comment
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I finally got around to doing something I’d been idly wondering about for years. As regular readers will know, I have a Burley trailer which I hitch to my cargo bike using a modified rack. And I also have a luggage trailer that I sometimes use to go to the airport (although since I have a new job I don’t have to travel any more, thankfully, so the trailer rarely gets used).

But here’s the question – could I hitch the luggage trailer to the back of the Burley? Of course I could! And yesterday I finally had reason to do it – I wanted to take to kids to the nearby Ferragosto street fair, and also drop off a load of obsolete clothes to the charity clothing bin thingy (yes, I also finally got around to culling some of my old clothes).

So I hitched it all up, and off we went. The only snag I could foresee was that because of the short chainstays on the Burley, there was a risk the arm of the trailer would touch the back of the left foot of the child pedalling if I went round a sharp bend. So I instructed the kids to watch out for this on the corners, and off we went.

In practice, this was not an issue at all. We couldn’t really go around sharp corners, and in any case the dual articulation meant that the angle of the trailer never got acute. The kids thought it was all terrific fun, and to be honest so did I. We got heaps of comments and admiring looks, and safely made the trip there and back without incident.

One thing that was basically impossible though was wheeling the thing backwards to park. I now have a new respect for truck drivers who reverse those dual-trailer B-doubles…

Aldi bike cam light

August 14, 2019 at 21:52 | Posted in bicycles | Leave a comment
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As you may remember, a while ago my Cycliq rear camera light died on the operating table. Cycliq offered me a 15% discount on a new one, which was sort of nice and sort of not very generous too. Anyway, serendipitously, the very next week Aldi were offering integrated rear light bike cameras for just $69. So I bought one.

It’s clear that someone took a Fly6 to China, and asked a factory there to make something similar but at a very low price. It takes a lot of its design cues from the Fly6, although it’s a lot bigger overall. It has IPX4 waterproofing (which is less than the Fly6, but adequate for most purposes), similar arrangements of buttons and slot covers, and some similar features.

First up, it’s somewhat bulky and heavy. I don’t really care, but if you like your bike to look sleek and / or worry about weight, this is not for you. It uses a rubber bungee things to attach to the bike, and this is actually pretty good – one of the better designs of such things. Better, in fact, than the original Fly6 clip.

It can take a maximum 32GB microSD card, and records in 1080p, 30fps. The video files are broken up into 10 minute pieces, and you can fit about seven hours of footage on a 32GB card.

The light is quite bright, and has steady and two flashing modes, but it’s not spectacular. You can turn the light on and off independently of the camera; there are separate switches for the two functions. A dim green LED lights up to show the camera is operating. The camera automatically overwrites the oldest footage on the card as it goes, so there’s no need to manually delete files on the card.

The battery lasts for about 3 hours, some way short of the claimed 5-6 hours. When the battery gets low, the camera turns off and it bleeps, but the light stays on for a while longer. The manual claims it stays on for 1-2 hours, but it doesn’t; you get about 30 minutes of light before the battery goes completely dead.

There is no function that turns off the camera if you are in a crash, but the recommendation is to put a big SD card in so the battery runs out before your crash footage is overwritten. With the supplied 8GB card, this could happen, but with a 32GB card you are safe – the card will not fill up on a single battery charge.

The quality of the video is just OK. Less good than my 2nd gen Fly6 (which was only 720p), and I’m sure nowhere near the latest Cycliq cameras. There is no stabilisation or other tricks. As is often the case with these cams, the audio is as good as useless. Night time performance is pretty terrible; there’s note much chance you will be able to make out a number plate on footage taken when it’s not daytime. Also the lens seemed to get scratched very easily; it obviously gets dirt on it from it’s position above the wheel, and wiping it away has scratched the lens a lot in a short amount of time.

Here’s some samples of video:

Daytime – road

Dusk – off-road

Dark – Road

One thing you will notice is that the red flashing light leaks into the video, especially at night. That doesn’t bother me, but if you are hoping to capture epic footage for your cycling film, it’s probably not for you. Actually, if you want good video quality, it’s probably not for you. But if you just want a basic cam to record the daily goings on on your ride, it works quite adequately. My Fly6 lasted four years, so at a quarter the cost I will be quids in if it lasts more than twelve months.

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