Flat tyres and flat caps

November 23, 2015 at 21:30 | Posted in bicycles | Leave a comment
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Flat tyre

flat tyreI got my bike out of the shed the other day, and the tyre was flat. Flat as a proverbial pancake. This was a great shock, as I never get punctures. People always look at me incredulously when I say that, but it’s true. Punctures are such unusual events that I write about them on this blog every time I get one, and a quick search reveals the last one was in February 2012. I never dig out all the bits of broken glass from my tyres, and run them until they are practically disintegrating, but never seem to have any problems. (Probably because I run wide (32mm) tyres at low-ish pressures. If you’re still running horrid narrow tyres at 100PSI+, well, more fool you.)

I dug out my puncture repair kit, and set to work. It was the same wheel I struggled with when I replaced the tyre a little while ago, but I figured with my new-found wisdom on how to remount the tyre, things should be much smoother.

And indeed they were, although as it turned out it wasn’t a puncture at all, but the patch I had put on the tear in the tube had failed. This was the tear, you may recall, that I made with tyre levers whilst struggling to remount the tyre last time.

This did make me a little embarrassed. I mean, having a patch fail. Come on. In my defence, it was a large-ish tear (perhaps 8-10mm across) which can be hard to patch successfully, and given I have so few punctures my repair kit is invariably dried up and dusty. Not that’s really much of an excuse. Anyway, I put the spare tube on in its place, and all was well. I even managed to re-mount the tyre using only my thumbs.

Flat cap

hunters hill cycling signI was quite taken by this poster for the Hunter’s Hill family ride. Well done, Hunter’s Hill, for holding a ride not predominantly aimed at sports cyclists, and also for not including a single sports cyclist in the picture on the poster. I was of course most taken of all but the fact that the front two riders appear to be not wearing Australian regulation headwear, given one has a sun bonnet, the other a flat cap. I hope this subtle message is a deliberate anti-MHL stance by Hunter’s Hill Community Services. I wan’t able to go to the ride, but was heartened when I saw that the website was similarly devoid of any mention of helmets. Indeed, they didn’t even mention in the ‘rules‘ that you had to wear one, which is almost unheard of (every other organised cycling event I have ever looked at says ‘helmets must be worn’ almost as the first thing). Next year, I must try to get along. Wearing my best flat cap, of course.



Chocolate Butternut Snap

June 1, 2011 at 17:35 | Posted in biscuits | Leave a comment
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I sometimes wonder how Arnott’s choose which biscuits to put chocolate on. I imagine there is a ‘coatings department’ up in the rarefied atmosphere on the top floor where skilled biscuiteers gather to discuss whether the Milk Coffee is worthy of a chocolate coating, or if there is a market for an Iced Marie. Each time they meet I imagine the factory going quiet, each worker waiting in anticipatory silence to hear the latest pronouncement. And then the Head of Coatings would come out onto the balcony, and clear his or her throat as the workers crane forward to see. ‘The new biscuit will be…:’ By now you would hear a pin drop, as every man, woman and child in the factory holds their breath – ‘the Chocolate Coated Butternut Snap!’. The factory erupts into roars of approval, flat caps are thrown high into the air, and the workers dance and clasp one another, tears of joy streaming down their faces…

Ahem. Sorry, got a bit carried away there. Still, the idea of putting a chocolate coating on the Butternut Snap is no doubt a good one. It all goes together quite harmoniously with the topping adding chocolatey richness to the biscuit without overpowering the flavour of the original.

I’d give these nine out of ten. Definitely a good one to pull out when you have guests.

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