Cycling Mountain Biking

Autumnal Bike Ride

Went out for a great bike ride along the Ridgeway from Compton to Letcombe Bassett yesterday, sky was clear and it wasn’t too wet but the round trip to home made it 33 miles!

I stopped a couple of times en route as I had the SLR camera (good excuse to stop!) and took some autumnal photos – very pleased with this one:
Autumnal Leaf

Been pretty bad with blogging recently – have been using twitter a lot, will have to put my twitter feed on here so it looks less deserted! Still with the cold wintry nights there will be more time for me to blog I guess!



Life Mountain Biking

Recent Tech Discoveries (July 09 edition)

Some Recent Tech Discoveries I thought I’d share:

The Good:

Windows 7 RC – writing the blog post from it – excellent OS (and that says a lot coming from me!)

Ubuntu 9.04 -What can I say – wow – is the OS market hotting up or what? Right when they said the Browser will be the O/S – we’ll we aren’t there yet (well not until Google’s Chrome OS anyway…)

Spotify – sure lots of people know about this one now but great streaming music service. Kind of like a commercial radio station where you get to choose the playlist. But native version for Linux would be nice (netbooks will make this kind of porting happen organically now I suspect??)

Bitly – specifically the Sidebar for your browser – very clever. You’ll notice I’m starting to use more links in my blog posts but for Twitter they are essential.

The Bad:

ebox – Not a good move to just try and install this on a Ubuntu box (tried this at home) screwed lots of stuff up. Nice idea but if you want to try it out use a seperate box. It looks good and the concept is a great idea but I think its a bit too flawed for me right now (sorry ebox devs).

Denyhosts (prevents brute force attacks on SSH by adding IP addresses that repeatedly fail to login to a black list – in /etc/hosts.deny)  silently stopped working some time ago on my Ubuntu server (due to an upgrade of Python by the looks of things). Following the fix on this forum thread sorted the problem although I found the file you need to change is:  /usr/share/denyhosts/daemon-control-dist rather than the one mentioned.

The Ugly:

HMG Info Sec standards (or rather the OTT implementation of) – I probably can’t say any more or I’ll get burned in acid (its a long and painful story…!)

More posts to come. Enjoy the summer everyone. I intend to on a ride around Litchfield tomorrow – embedded Google Map to follow no doubt…!

Cycling Mountain Biking Travel

Photos from Peak District Holiday and other riding

Have been very lucky to get in some great mountain bike riding over the last few weeks. Couple of really good rides (albeit challenging and tiring ones!) in the Peaks including riding down Jacobs Ladder (which I was really pleased I managed to ride without coming off in a massive and very painful way!!).

Photos here, here (Ladybower classic ride), here (Bakewell and Chatsworth trips – not riding)

View of Ladybower Reservoir
View of Ladybower Reservoir

Couple of nice loops nearer to home with friends over the weekend (photos), unfortunately Kat came off her bike recently and has bruised herself quite badly – which she is annoyed about as is having to hide her legs in the hot weather we are having at the moment!!.

Now back to the office and the realities of work (it would be nice to just do an epic day ride every sunny day in the summer wouldn’t it?!!!)

Mountain Biking

Photos from Flan’s Bikestag

Finally got round to adding some recent photos to my photo galleries:

Here’s a nice photo from the trip:

Nice log shot from Wales

DVD is done now too for those who’ve been waiting for it.

Mountain Biking

Excellent 30 mile ride from Newbury to Wantage

Discovered a great new route from Beedon up towards the Ridgeway and Wantage today that I thought I’d share on Google Maps (I just wish they included an OS layer so you can see the bridleways/byways). There’s loads of possible variation in this route including more of the ridgeway for example…

View Larger Map

I’ve also recently found which is worth checking out if you want to calculate and track cycling instead of driving to work and for other trips.

Mountain Biking Travel

Photos from holiday in Tuscany

Photos from our recent holiday to Tuscany Italy (click)

More details to follow when we can find time to write up our notes.

Cycling Mountain Biking

Just got back from Coed y Brenin (Mountain Biking in Wales)

Amazing weekend up in the Welsh Mountains. Pictures are here and some videos to follow…

Cycling Mountain Biking Technology

Another nice Mountain Bike route in Berks…

…plotted on Google. Really mixed terrain and views. Decided to extend a loop round the village out to Greenham Common (ex USAF base) which is now a Nature reserve/ex runway play area. Only annoying thing about google maps is that they don’t have RoW marked on them (just roads). Hopefully this will change soon (although maybe they’d have to switch to using to Ordance Survey cartography?)


Route plotted on Google Maps

p.s. Whilst putting this route together my laptop froze. Turns out firefox was using 1.5GB of RAM (yes just firefox – see screenshot below!) Turns out having Firebug switched on whilst using Google Maps isn’t the best of ideas!

Firefox using 1.5GB of RAM!


Cycling Mountain Biking Technology

Using Google Maps to Plot Mountain Bike Routes

Here is a route I went on today on my Mountain Bike, thought I’d share it as its a good one. Helps explain the mysterious red “Works Unit” sign from the M4! Also gave me a chance to try out Google Maps plotting tools.

Some Photos:

Cycling Mountain Biking

New cycle commute route to work (Off-road!)

So I’ve finally worked out the cycle route to work, originally I wanted to find a road bike route as it would be quicker but I couldn’t find one that completely avoided a major A road (dual carriageway). So now I’ve actually found a more direct (as the crow flies) route that takes in mostly restricted byways (including a bit of the Ridgeway). It looks like its going to be a really nice route. It will be about 10 miles each way and will probably take 45 minutes to an hour to start with – I hope to have that down to between 35 and 45 minutes before too long!

Grassy Byway Sunset Byway

[Update] Took me 50 minutes door to door, once I get fitter that time will definitely go down!

[Update – Sept 07] Now down to as little as 40 minutes! Usually do it in around 42 to 44 so thats a result! So far I am managing to ride about 2 -3 times a week. Going to have to try and continue that through the winter – which will be a challenge!