Beautifully executed advert

August 24, 2010

I love simple ideas that are executed flawlessly. Such a simple idea, but so effective.

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Journalism warning labels

August 24, 2010

Tom Scott is bang on the money. I need some of these for the pages I don’t work on at work. Although, in saying that, often I have no choice but to leave stories be.

It seems a bit strange to me that the media carefully warn about and label any content that involves sex, violence or strong language — but there’s no similar labelling system for, say, sloppy journalism and other questionable content. I figured it was time to fix that, so I made some stickers. I’ve been putting them on copies of the free papers that I find on the London Underground. You might want to as well.

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I’m not sure which is my favourite but I know my friend Jeremy will love ‘Medical claims in this article have not been confirmed by peer-reviewed research’. Believe it or not I’ve actually subbed a story with a paragraph beginning with: ‘According to Wikipedia…’. This is no lie. Every week I encounter recycled press releases which are a real drag. A couple of weeks ago I wrote the headline ‘Verbatim press release’ on a motoring story about a new Land Rover. It obviously didn’t go to print, but it highlights how frustrating it is having to write a headline for a raw press release. It’s an illusion that we’re headlining such a story as there’s only one real headline for each of these. The result is you feel like you’ve done what the PR behind the release wants you to do. It sucks. Even more so when whoever penned the release is a bad writer.

Anyways, check out the rest of the labels on Tom Scott’s site, they’re a good laugh.

I’ve created a new page where I’ll be keeping a log of all my training rides in preparation for some road races come summer.

You can find it next to the ‘About’ page up top.

In other news, my shiny, chrome high-flange Phil Wood hubs are on their way from the States. In the past I’ve not been a fan of mirror finishes but I admit they’re growing on me, quickly. I bit of well-placed chrome is unbeatable. I’m planning on lacing these hubs to a set of bright silver Deep Vs with silver double butted spokes. They’ll probably live on the Miyata, but will no doubt see some action on the Coltello. Watch this space.

Can you say unattributed, speculative editorialising masquerading as factual news?

It is increasingly thought that her body was disposed of – possibly cut into pieces and weighted down with concrete – in the Hunua Ranges between Auckland and Waikato.

Whoa! That’s pretty explicit, not to mention sensational. So, who said that again?

New Zealand Herald, Friday August 20

New Zealand Herald, Friday August 20

On Wednesday evening I was heading down Symonds St when some asshole pulled out of City Rd taking me out.

I clipped the right back corner of the car and went down. All very well, people make mistakes and I’m used to cars pulling out on me, but this joker didn’t stop and just drove on up Symonds. I got up and ran after him in the bus lane, dragging my Coltello in along with me. He got stuck behind a bus waiting at a red light at the K Rd / Grafton Bridge intersection. Google maps tells me I ran 150m before catching up to him at the lights. Damn right. He gestured that he’d pull over up ahead but screw that, he was probably just wanting to drive off again. I stood in front of his car’s bonnet with my bike refusing to move. Only when I said I was calling the police did he get out of his car and begin apologising profusely, pleading with me not to call the cops. Tough luck buddy, you reap what you sow. I bet you’ll  suddenly see a lot more bikes on the road from now on.

DON’T DRIVE OFF WHEN YOU HIT SOMEONE; that shit’s just not on.

The cops turned up and took our statements, but it’s pretty black and white; there’s no grey here. Three witnesses also stopped and supplied me and the cops with their details. Big  ups to these three people, you rock. The cops were also great to deal with, too.

Thankfully the bike and myself are fine. The bike’s up at T Whites getting looked over by the Supersonic Brian. But they reckon it’s all good, just a couple of tiny scratches and a minor clearcoat chip out of my carbon forks. They build ’em tough.

So kids, the moral of the story is don’t pull out in front of bikes, and if you do stuff up, don’t run.

Tall gearing trial

August 8, 2010

I took the Miyata for a 33km training ride this afternoon. Ignoring the brief shower and the gusts – which always seemed to be a damn headwind – the ride went well. My legs feel better for it but the 50/13 ratio’s not for me, thank you very much. Theoretically, this gearing should see me doing 50kph on the flat easy, however, in reality this isn’t quite the case. I usually run the ‘perfect’  48/17 but have found myself spinning out with more left in the tank lately. Admittedly, the 50/13 is a massive jump up, but it was an interesting trial that cost me nothing as the wheelset with the 13t cog was the set that came with the bike.

I’ve done a few calculations and I’m going to give 52/17 a go. This will give me a rollout of 6.4m, according to Sheldon Brown’s useful calculator.

So how does this compare? Well with 48/17 I’m looking at a rollout of 5.9m, whereas today’s 50/13 had me riding with a whopping 8.1m rollout!

I made it through my Tamaki Drive/St Heliers loop but steep Roberta Ave killed me. I was also disappointed to see that my I’ve replaced one problem with another, both leaving me feeling like I could go faster. With 50/13 I found that although my legs could turn faster, I don’t have the power to push the pedals as fast as I’d like. I averaged 26.6kph on today’s ride – pulled down plenty by the hills. There is no point being fast on the flat if it just means I get killed on the climbs.  So everything’s pointed to the 52/17 ratio, so I’ve ordered a 52t chainring from Fyxomatosis. It’ll be sent off tomorrow so I’ll hopefully have my hands on it before next weekend. They’re supposedly awesome. I’ll do a write-up once it arrives to see if they’re worthy of their cred.

The funny thing is before the ride I spoke to a fellow fixed rider who usually cruises on 51/14, dunno how he can do it but he reckons it’s great.

Bicycle bedroom

August 7, 2010

This is my bedroom, and why my girlfriend is awesome.

Trigon drops and stem combo

Here’s a sneak peek at my brand new carbon fibre Trigon drops. All up this awesome bit of kit is a meagre 370g.

But never mind the weight savings, it just looks plain awesome. I dig the bulging muscular look of them and the finish is second to none.

I’ve been running full carbon fibre Trigon straight-blade forks for close to year now and they’ve never let me down. So it’s fair to say I’m a bit of a Trigon fan. In the area of carbon fibre composites, Trigon’s finish is the best I’ve seen. I’ve taken the bike for a quick spin and these bars are very comfortable. I’m going to swap them back for my Nitto B125 bars and save them for racing.

Although I trust Trigon’s products I’d rather run the steel Nittos which will take more of the force in the event of a crash during day-to-day riding.