Monday, 28 February 2011

Three Parks Ride

I wasn't sure if I remembered why I go out riding at about 8 this morning. It looked cold and wet, a kind of concentrated month of February in one day, and because of a lingering cold, I've not been out for what must be almost a month. The signs were all about the wrong shoes initially put on, the inability to find the right clothes from the pile of cycling gear stuck in the drawer, and a lack of inner tubes that could sustain an inflation. I was late, and Dr Doug considered my excuse (wrong shoes) barely an excuse (Jon had to work).

Then, we got lost, or at least couldn't find Richmond Park. Traffic, rain, diversions and just a dim memory of the route meant we took almost 1 1/2 hours to get south of the river and to Roehampton gate.

We went clockwise. The first hill was as steep as I remembered, and my heart monitor maxed out. I sat on Doug's wheel most of the way round, into the wind. We waved at the deer, who were sheltering under trees. We made it back to the cafe, and turned to go anti-clockwise before we just went for a coffee. We knew the drag up the hill would hurt.

But then, somehow it didn't. We managed a good lick round. It rained some more, but it didn't matter. Up the hill, with the reward of the descent. It was cold, windy, and raining so at times it got hard to see. But, for moment or two, I think we found the zone. It was worth it.

Of course, that was the moment Doug got his puncture. But then we we basically done. The new pump bust the valve. We were out of spares, the tyre was shredded. We rode home. Lots of traffic. But maybe we'll manage the Puncheur.

Trois V!

Friday, 25 February 2011

Bike Porn Friday: statistic special!

Yes, that's right, cycling to work (or, more likely, cycling away from work) makes you happy. Or happier. Or less unhappy. Although the Daily Fail is keen to undermine this cheery theory with its usual fibbulous reporting.

And without further ado, here's your song:

Trois V!

Tuesday, 22 February 2011

Out There

Dr Matt is still sniffling. But he salutes those who are going out there.


Saturday, 19 February 2011

The Pastry Is Right!: TroisV Repair Shop Special!

Ladies and Gentlemen, in a shameless attempt to boost the ratings of our fledgling series "The Pastry Is Right!", we today combine it with the stalwart TroisV Repair Shop to bring you an extra special tale of woe, repair, and money forkage-outage.

The TroisV was due to climb some Kentish hills this fine day, and so in preparation, I lovingly scrubbed my bike, thoroughly cleaned the chain, and then set about replacing the brake blocks, which were worn down to and/or below the wear limit. Faithful and longtime readers (as usual, Hi, Mom!) will recall that the inaugural episode of TroisV Repair shop covered this exact task. So after reviewing my own instructions, I set about the task.

Readers--Mom--I didn't get very far. Of the four brake pads that needed replacing, exactly one of them could be removed. This is because the other three were held in place by bolts the heads of which had been stripped. The allen key simply swiveled around and around in a too-round (unedged) hole. The square (hexagonal) peg wouldn't fit! I tried various solutions, including needlenose pliers and cutting through the rubber pad to see if I could remove the bolt from the underside. I phoned TroisV members to ask for advice. All this to no avail.

I'm blaming the mechanic who repaired my bike (and replaced the brake blocks) for this problem, though I have also decided there's a basic design flaw involved... don't build bolts that strip themselves so easily, jerks!

So anyway--and here's where "The Pastry Is Right!" comes in--this morning, instead of cycling, I was wandering around town looking for new brake shoes. I wandered to a local shop that I've been meaning to visit for a while, but they didn't have them in stock, "Because they're expensive," as the helpful shop guy told me. He offered to order them, but I want my bike working now rather than later, so I walked/public transported myself to Condor Cycles where I bought two new sets of Shimano 105 shoes, after asking the guy in the shop what the fundamental difference was between the 105s and the Ultegras (You can replace the blocks in the 105s, but not in the Ultegras... which leads me to think in retrospect that I should've bought the Ultegras, but anyway, I didn't).

I have now replaced all of my brake shoes, and my bike is ready for the road:

But how much did they set me back? Keep in mind that I used my LCC discount... if your guess is closest, "The Pastry Is Right!"

I also would like to point out at this juncture that neither Dr. Matt nor Mr. Jon rode the Sevenoaks trail today, either. One of them is still recovering from illness, another was engaged in some sort of high stakes bake-off with his mother-in-law, and as usual it was pouring rain anyway, which decreased the collective motivation in the first place.

What I'd really like to know, however, is what any of this has to do with London 2012 Cycling Events.


Gram's going to talk for a little bit before he sings one of my favorite songs:

Friday, 18 February 2011

Bike Porn Friday: O.P.P.!

I was going to post a picture of a bear riding a bicycle for this week's BPF, mainly so I could, in honor of Valentine's Day, post this song. But then I started thinking about the ethical considerations of bicycling bears, and I also started thinking about what if there were a picture of the Chicago Bears riding bicycles, and so it all kind of got a little bit sort of derailed (derailleured? ... oh, the puns!).

Anyway, then I received my weekly update from the always enthusiastic LondonCyclist, and it contained this post:

which is basically a little gallery of bike porn, albeit somebody else's little gallery of bike porn, and come to think of it, somebody else's little gallery of somebody else's little gallery of bike porn. Fetish Bike Porn, at that. Including this:

Where was I?

Oh, yeah: tomorrow the TroisV rides out to Kent to meander up and down really steep hills for 75km in order to prepare in our usual halfass way for the Puncheur, which is swiftly approaching.

I'm sure all of this has a whole lot to do with London 2012 Cycling, if not London 2012 Cycling!

Flotsnoo! TroisV!

Tuesday, 15 February 2011

The Pastry Is Right: The Results Show!

Judging by the two responses, all of our readership was riveted by our new gameshow, "The Pastry Is Right!" Well, you lucky monkeys, here comes "The Pastry Is Right: The Results Show!" So let's get straight to the results and see what prizes our lucky winner will go home with.

I bought:

1 tub of Assos brand "chamois cream"

1 package of SwissStop brake blocks

1 Knog Frog headlight (which is the one I bought on the way out, because I don't want to lug my big and heavy Cateye floodlight up and over the hills of the Puncheur)

I had intended to buy Zero tabs, but forgot/felt too lazy to look around, so I guess Dr. Matt gets an honorable mention. I feel sort of bad for libgyrl, who has obviously been suckered by all of the talk of croissants and sneezing that usually accompanies discussions of Condor Cycles into thinking it's Look Mum, No Hands! We can hardly blame her. As for the rest of you people who couldn't even bother to participate, including the creator of the show, Mr. Jon, well: shame on you all. No prizes for anybody.

I was wondering idly today whether could become the top google search item for London 2012 cycling events if we mention and link to and label enough things with "London 2012 Cycling;" I also was wondering idly whether we could parlay that into some complimentary tickets for those kinds of London 2012 events (London 2012 Cycling Events). Let's see!


Saturday, 12 February 2011

Bike Porn Friday: Worth the wait?

Oh, yes. What more can be said:

And here's your song (Dr Matt's West Country origins were uncovered by a goth-esque blast from the past on Friday, and given Monday's release, it seems appropriate):



Saturday, 5 February 2011

The Pastry Is Right!

Welcome to the TroisV's new feature, "The Pastry Is Right!"

We all remember fondly some time ago when Dr. Matt went out for a croissant and came home with a very expensive bike. The problem is, when you go into Condor Cycles "just to pick up an x quickly," you inevitably walk out a lot poorer than you intended to. Yes, you. Yesterday I wandered in for a couple of low-cost items, and basically spent half an hour walking around the store, willing myself to lay out a bunch of cash for something I didn't need. In the end, I only bought the two things I came in for; but then on the way out something caught my eye, something I'd been mulling over purchasing for use on the upcoming Puncheur.

Jon has suggested a new game: a TroisVer who has traveled to Condor and made purchase(s) states the amount of money he's blown, and everybody gets to guess what he bought. Come on down! You're the next contestant on "The Pastry Is Right!"

I spent: £40.41 on three (3) items.

Not bad, actually! But what were the items? Submit your answers in the comments, and I'll reveal what type of tasty french baked breakfast items I purchased sometime next week, when I feel like it.


Friday, 4 February 2011

Bike Porn Friday: Conan!

Look, I don't know; Jon demanded I make this video the Bike Porn Friday:

Distracted/bored readers can trawl through our back issues and see whether Jon has posted this video before; it seems to me he has. "Whatever." "Flotsnoo."

Dr. Matt and Dr. Doug went riding this morning; the plan was to do the hills--West Highgate, Muswell Hill (or the tougher Ally Pally to Highgate version), Swain's Lane. For a variety of reasons, none of them particularly interesting, but none of them having anything to do with beer (true fact), we decided on laps.

And as loyal readers will know, laps means The Regent's Park Sprint Series! Hooray! This was the first fully contested RPSS of 2011, and Dr. Matt won it 2-1. He won the third leg by a country mile, having taken the first by a nose and lost the second by a smaller nose. Dr. Doug has been doing lots of hills riding this week, and also woke up late, so only had a banana in his fuel tank, but these are mere excuses; The Librarian was the better sprinter today.

All of this riding is supposedly training for the Puncheur, in which the TroisV will ride, along with "honorary TroisV member and uncle of the Club Mascot" Jono, who has a new bike for the occasion. Maybe we could pornify Jono's bike in the near future, because frankly, reader(s), today's Bike Porn Friday is pretty low on the sultry bicycle pictures.

Dr. Matt did provide stats that he downloaded from his computer, though, so at least the nerd quotient is even higher than usual:

Activity: Cycle
Google Maps URL:
Shortened Google Maps URL:
Started: 4 Feb 2011 08:10:15
Ride Time: 55:29
Stopped Time: 0:00
Distance: 21.25 km
Average: 22.97 km/h
Fastest Speed: 43.59 km/h
Climb: 42 meters
Calories: 820
Official Route: No

Sing a song of love, Robert Preston: