Friday, 31 December 2010

Bike Porn Friday: Sock It to Me!

In awesomely edited form, "Cousin of the TroisV" Christie writes:

"Because I am so hip to technology I am getting you an e-gift; perhaps it can contribute to future bike porn or at least a brand new pair of bike socks. [...] I follow [the TroisV blog] as well as I can, although the filters at my hospital block about every third entry (probably the best ones)."

Socks and bike porn both, Christie! Two for one! Because I used the gift certificate I received to purchase these bad boys (plus one other pair that were out of stock but will arrive in January):

Though I was tempted to post the Red Hot Chili Peppers for album cover reasons only, I'm trying to keep this post hospital-clean, so we get Missy "Misdemeanor" Elliot instead. Though this song is totally NSFH. Happy New Year, Everybody! Have a Flotsnoo! 2011!


Wednesday, 29 December 2010

The TroisV Festive 5

A certain purveyor of epic embrocations is currently encouraging riders to participate in what is dubbed the 'Festive 500', an attempt to ride 500 kilometres between 23 and 30 December; a kinder version of Graeme Raeburn's sadistic 1000 Christmas Kilometres (aren't you glad that TroisV went metric some time back?). All this is in the name of the sport and towards a very festive patch:

A fine piece of design and cassette deconstruction, indeed.

Being avaricious for such a sticker, a desirous of trying out his new, rather Germanic, gloves from Martock, Dr Matt wondered if the Trois V should take part in this velopedic campaign. His fellow wheelmen were not so keen. He then took it upon himself to uphold the pride of the Trois V, and began his very own Trois V Festive Five, to be completed one day quicker than the embrocation purveyor's fine scheme.

He can now report that he has completed his mission, despite facing a blocked canal path on the way back from delivering Emily, 'Friend of the Trois V', to Paddington, and a strong desire to stay in bed this morning rather than retire to work. Marvel at the conditions he has had to face:

And be impressed by the weight of his evidence:

I also dug out my old John Peel 'Festive 50' tapes; only to realise I have no means of playing them.


Friday, 24 December 2010

Bike Porn Friday: Sacred Hoops

It was the Bike Porn Friday before Christmas, and all through the bike shop, not a creature was stirring, except me, in search of new wheels.

After the chain splitting excitement of Wales, my bike spent part of last month in bike hopspital. When it was discharged, the assistant in the shop said I should probably consider changing my wheels soon. He was pretty casual about it, and therefore so was I.

However, a few days later, and after the soaking Rye ride, I looked at the note from the mechanics. "Rims VERY worn. Replace wheels ASAP!!!'


I rushed down to the bike shop as soon as I could, and had a look at some of the off the shelf wheels. On the verge of purchase the assistant confessed, Condor would be having a sale, starting on the 20th, and there would be wheels aplenty available, including the handbuilt ones that I had my eye on.

So on Monday, I hopped down the Gray's Inn Road in search of new hoops. The legends were true, wheels as far as the eye could see:

And when the eye had finished seeing wheels, there were saddles, stems, panniers and all manner of bicycling hoopla.

But wheels I wanted, and wheels I would get. After a brief discussion, I settled on a pair of handbuilt Condor wheels, and some spiffing new tyres. And a lovely new cassette.

Now if it would just stop snowing, I could try them out.

Merry Xmas everybody! Two songs for Jeebus!

Tuesday, 21 December 2010

La Tristesse Endura: Fin

We've been banging on (or, as the kids have it, 'blogging') about our trip to Wales for so long now that we expect the effect is to make you, dear reader(s?), feel much as we did on awaking in our Swansea hotel after a night on the tiles - an overwhelming sense of doom, best summed up by the question: 'when will this nightmare end'?

Dr Matt and I, lacking the pub fitness of Dr Doug ("what, you don't drink at home?"), felt somewhat the worse for wear for our evening out, but we were confident that a hearty F.E.B. in the quiet comfort of the hotel's restaurant would restore us for the next stage of operations, a train trip to Haverfordwest and a ride to Fishguard.

Alas, a large group of people decided that peace and quiet would not be on the morning's menu, and sat in one corner of the restaurant apparently telling each other the world's funniest joke over and over and over, whilst shrieking with laughter every five seconds. We suspected they were keen on Jesus, or high, and Dr Doug suggested it was either Dr Matt or I's turn to say something ("I totally told those dudes last night"). Lacking the physical or moral strength to do so, we instead went back to the pastry nook and tried to force down another croissant.

The F.E.B. failed. I still felt awful. But it was now time to carry on, into the wind and cold blowing in from Swansea bay. I consoled myself with the thought that we'd have a nice train ride to try and sleep it off. We arrived at the station, and Dr Matt started negotiations on a group saver ticket for the train we'd spotted on the timetable I'd collected the night before.

I looked up at the departure board. Nothing much was showing. I asked someone when the next train to Haverfordwest was. They said 3pm. We rushed to abort Dr Matt's purchase, and engaged in a quick club meeting, the agenda of which was as follows:
  1. Apologies for absence
  2. Apologies for existence
  3. Minutes of last club meeting (missing)
  4. Airing of grievances
  5. Angry recriminations
  6. Blame apportionment
  7. Options
  8. Decision
  9. A.O.B.
We decided there was no way of reaching Fishguard by bicycle that day. And the alternative plan would mean we'd basically be waiting in Swansea until 3pm for the train there, and then have a five hour wait the next morning to get back to London.

We didn't quit, we just ran out of trains.

So we decided to head back to London by train, abandoning the whole foolish, sorry, ill-starred escapade.

And started planning the next one.

On the Monday, when we would have been traveling back from Fishguard on our original plans, Dr Matt went to work to be concerned about index cards, Dr Doug continued with his sabbatical, and I took the Club Mascot and her mum to the aquarium.

So at least the the day still had something to do with fish.

(Insert 'Trois-Sea' joke here)

Thanks for joining us on our epic account of our epic ride. We hope you enjoyed it much more than we did.



Friday, 17 December 2010

Bike Porn Friday: Notebook!

The senior contingent of the TroisV recently convened in a Euston-area watering hole along with various companions and hangers-on for some beers. Dr. Matt encountered various ordering difficulties, and was roundly abused for most of the evening. However, "Friend of the TroisV" Emily brought along this lovely gift for the two members who didn't already have one:

I'm using my bicycle notebook to organize outlines for the novel I'm writing.


Two punk songs today:

Tuesday, 14 December 2010

Swansea: The Greatest Generation (at leaving doors open)

We had a date with the esteemed Dr. Rich, and so time being of the essence, we dined in the hotel pub. One of the chief joys of dining in the hotel where you're staying is putting the meal on your bill, which allows you to pretend you're getting you're meal/beers for free, until the next day when you check out. In this case, it also partly (though only partly) made up for the lack of room service breakfast. Anyway, some of us had burgers, meat or veggie, and some of us didn't. The fries were excellent. We sat in a corner near the glass wall that overlooked the glorious parking lot. in the middle of this glass wall, just behind my chair, was an emergency exit.

Have we mentioned the golf? Because there were loads of dudes staying in our hotel who were very obviously "here for the golf." They were United States of Americans. They were well-fed. They were, like many golf enthusiasts, also cigar enthusiasts. Of course, like most of the rest of the world, you can't smoke inside in Wales, so the cigar enthusiasts needed to step outside to light up. They chose the emergency exit as their most natural way out. These guys were like water: the path of least resistance. Honestly, I don't blame them for using this exit, but once one of them decided to use that means of egress, an evening of consternation (for me) and hilarity (for Jon, Dr. Matt and the couple sitting at the table next to us) ensued.

For some reason, these guys found three things impossible:

1) Moving in and/or out as a group;
2) Staying either in or out for more than five seconds;
3) Closing the fucking door.

This behavior is what would lead my family to label these dudes, "Midnights", after our late if-she's-in-she-wants-to-be-out-and-if-she's-out-she-wants-to-be-in mutt. I could've dealt with the constant in and out by the Cigar-smoking Golf United States of Americans, had they just been able--let me emphasize this--
to close the motherfucking door behind them. Of this they were not capable. The first time I simply took a half-step out of my seat and closed the door myself. The second time I did the same. The third time I was a little more exasperated in my door-shuttage. By the fourth, fifth, sixth, seventh and/or eighth times, my exasperation was cut with open and vocal hostility.

The last man in let the door flap unclosingly behind him, then stopped and noticed it hadn't shut, returned, closed it, looked over at our table (where I was shaking uncontrollably with rage/exasperation/nationalistic shame) and said, "I know, stupid Americans, right?" It was charming, let it be said, but all I could muster was the bitterest of smiles and a muttered, "You don't know the goddamned half of it." Jon and Matt were helpless with glee at my rage; the couple next to us laughing hilariously.

I stood and sang.

Then we went to meet the distinguished Dr. Rich and drink some Irish-brand stout.

Eschewing the temptations of taxis, we decided to walk to the pub. Now remember, it was a Saturday night in Swansea, and we were travelling light. So we weren't necessarily dressed for it. Doug might have got away with his t-shirt and 3/4 length trouser combo in Honolulu, but not here.

We approached the pub. I was conscious of Doug's attire, but had neglected to pay attention to what Matt was wearing. I prayed silently that he had binned the snood/cravat that he'd been sporting for most of the trip, an article of clothing which, when combined with his Rapha wardrobe, made him look like a camp member of the Gestapo. All he needed was a monocle.

Happily, he'd stopped wearing it. Unhappily, the locals spotted Doug. Comments were muttered under breath, our sexuality was questioned, we scampered inside, hoping for sanctuary, or at least a seat. Neither were forthcoming....

....look, frankly, I've no idea where this one is going. No one beat us up, but they did look at us askance, and we didn't feel super comfortable being totally underdressed in a pub where everyone was in their gladrags. So we left and went to a quieter pub, and three of us talked about football while the other one dreamed of lemon drizzle cake.


PS - oh, and in the first pub there was a bloke in the corner who looked like he was setting up karaoke, but it was the selfish kind where he just sings Rat Pack songs and doesn't let anyone else have a go. Don't know who that man was, but could that man be...

Friday, 10 December 2010

Bike Porn Friday: Brrrr!

Winter is upon the TroisV, and manufacturers of indoor cycling equipment are gleefully counting the rolls of notes shoved into their hands by your favourite two wheeled idiots.

I mean us, not anyone off Chorlton and the Wheelies.

Anyhoo, it has been cold here in dear old Blighty, and also cold in places where it is normally cold. Like Seattle, where the Club Mascot's Mum's Mum resides, and on Monday sent this link to TroisV HQ.

It's from the good folks at Seattle Dutch Bikes (Seattle Dutch sounds like a boxer, no?) and looks like a brilliant solution to horrid, rotten snow on the roads. Observe:

This wasn't the only thing that occurred to make Monday a candidate for Best Monday Ever, there was also an incident that will not be mentioned, and the first, amazing video below.

Happy weekend everyone.


Friday, 3 December 2010

Bike Porn Friday: Rollers!

That drunk idiot Santa Claus showed up on the first of December this year, and this is what he delivered:

That's right, it's the key to future TroisV cyclosportive success, training rollers. I've had exactly one brief experimental run on these things; please take note of the close proximity to a wall (the better to cling onto, my dear!) on one side, and on the other, the soft crashpad of my bed. Keeping balance is not easy, though by the end of my five-or-so minute trial I could almost get my second hand onto the (red-taped, see previous bike porn friday) handlebar. They make a satisfying hum while you ride, and the key seems to be not to look down. See you in hell, outdoor riding on cold and/or rainy days!

Anyway, roll on, TroisV, roll on!


Please, Hammer, don't hurt 'em: