Sunday, 30 September 2012

How can I be envious of myself?

I know, it's sounds silly, but I'm really envious of myself. I've been down to Halfords, bought a Boardman Comp mountain bike for £650 and now I'm selling it for £550. Trouble is, it's such a good bike! Twenty seven gears for a start plus an aluminium frame, very lightweight and, well, it's just perfect.
Smart Lux 10 front light – it's very bright! Bring on the winter!

Still I mustn't diss the old Kona. The Boardman is on ebay now and you can see it on the post below this one. I bought it yesterday afternoon and I walked it home. No, I didn't ride it, although I'd like to ride it, it's brilliant!

Anyway, enough of that. I've bought some lights and fitted them on to the Kona. Smart Lux 10 rear and front lights, but it's the front one that takes the biscuit. Powerful lights! I know, I'm a big kid, but if you'd seen me earlier you would be very disillusioned. Why? Well, I was making a fuss. I just couldn't work out how to fit the bastards! I was swearing, losing my rag, everything, much to the dismay of those around me. Alright, I was keeping it down a bit (I was in my back garden) but for a while it was looking as if I'd have to drop the bike into Evans or one of the other local bike shops to where I live. I didn't have to in the end because I sussed it out and now the bike has front and rear lights. Surely, a momentus moment in history for NoVisibleLycra?

Today I had an urban ride. The ride was to Sutton to see mum and it took me roughly 30 minutes from door to door, which ain't bad.

Once at mum's I enjoyed two cups of tea, some bread and marmalade (Bon Maman) and a boiled egg and fingers. Lovely!

The ride out was tremendous as the weather was just right for cycling. It was so good, I found myself singing as I crossed the industrial estate and emerged near The Chase in Wallington and headed down Stafford Road, past Esporta and on towards the top of Wallington High Street.

I hung a right on to Boundary Rd, headed down towards the lights at Ruskin Road, turned left and powered towards the Windsor Castle on the lights where Pound Street joins the Carshalton Road. I was riding along Benyon Road, Carshalton. I turned right into Alma Road, left into Shorts Road, past Dog Shit Alley and then left on to Westmead Road and right into my old house on Rossdale, where mum still lives today.
The Boardman in the for sale on Ebay. Brand new, unused!!!
See previous post for link to the Ebay page and remember it's ONE HUNDRED

I went home the same way, mainly off-road (on pathways) and then through the council estate, up the Venning Road from Five Ways and then down past Whitgift School on Nottingham Road. I turned right on to the Brighton Road and then left into Jarvis and along the Upper Selsdon Road, turning right into Carlton Road, left into Essenden and then right on to West Hill.

A nice ride...but it might have been nice on the Boardman Comp MTB with it's 27 gears. Still, it's got to be sold to reduce debts and besides, my Kona's absolutely fine, especially now it's got some Smart Lux 10 lights. Can't wait for the clocks to go back!

Boardman Comp Mountain Bike for sale...

The Boardman Comp MTB, 19in frame in my living room this morning!
27 gears! And look at those clean, unusued gears!!!
Yes, I've bought a brand new Boardman Comp Mountain Bike for £650 and I'm selling it NOW on ebay for just £550. It's a fantastic bike. I bought it yesterday, nobody's riden it, not even me, and it's for sale at £100 below the price I bought it for.

These photos of the bike were taken today. Go check it out on ebay today!!!! Click here!!!!!

Sunday, 23 September 2012

Arguably the best Sunday in a long time...

The Tatsfield Bus Stop, our destination this weekend.
It started on Saturday night when Andy called. He was back on for a ride on Sunday morning so we headed off for yet another visit to the old faithful Tatsfield Bus Stop where, we noticed, somebody had been 'doughnutting' – spinning a car round in circles in one place and making black rubber rings on the road. Not big, not clever.

The big potential problem with Sunday was the potential for a big soaking as Tropical Storm Nadine was arriving at some time and rain was promised. I left the house with dark skies overhead, wearing, from head to toe, my waterproofs (whenever I wear them, it never rains). And, sure enough, we escaped a soaking by about ten minutes. Later, when I walked through the door, I had a few moments before I noticed the rain outside – and it didn't stop for the rest of the day.

At lunch time, I donned the waterproofs again and headed up Church Way on foot, towards Waitrose, where I bought our lunch (soup, bread) and then headed back, laden with two bags, in the continuing rain. On reaching home and having lunch, I then sat down with the Sunday papers, read them and then went upstairs for a nap (I haven't had an afternoon nap in years). My 'nap' was accompanied by Radio Four's Poetry Please and then, at 6pm, I was up and preparing our first roast in the year (another sign that winter was approaching). Roast chicken, roast potatoes, broccoli, a glass of wine and, wait for it, two great movies on the box: Monsters Inc followed by one of my all-time favourite movies, Uncle Buck starring the late John Candy (why did he have to die?).

After watching Andrew Marr's new history series on the box, I suffered watching Prince William and the Bapster's royal visit to Malaysia on the box before turning in. All Sundays should be like this instead of the usual driving aimlessly around the Surrey countryside, spending money in tearooms and being too tired to make dinner.

Andy's not going next week so I'll need all the motivation I can muster to get out there on a ride.

Saturday, 22 September 2012

Summer is leaving the building...

Warlingham Green, Saturday 22nd September 2012,
note Andy's shadow to the left of the shot.
I left the house without gloves on yesterday and while it was still fine, there was a bite in the air that said winter was coming. Oddly, this is my favourite time of year for cycling as it's sort of evocative – of what I don't know, but I'm guessing it's all to do with the coming of Halloween, Bonfire Night and, of course, Christmas, which I heard yesterday was 93 days away – meaning it's 92 days today.

We rode out to the Tatsfield Bus Stop after an uncertain start. Andy sent a text saying '7.30?' but in the early hours (it was 0540hrs) I thought it read 'abort', switched off the alarm and went back to bed wondering whether or not to go to Woodmansterne, or ride out alone later. I knew it was likely to be the last good weather before Tropical Storm Nadine hits the UK (loads of rain is promised today) but, as I lie there, the phone rang. It was Andy wondering what my answer might be.

Needless to say I got up and we met around 0745hrs on the Green, later than usual, but the weather was fine.

The shot accompanying this post is of Woodmansterne Green, taken before my arrival and arguably the best shot we've taken of the green.

Tatsfield bus stop, April 2008.
While at the bus stop, we chatted about pre-blog days and whether or not there was photographic evidence of our pre-blog rides. I think I've posted pre-blog stuff here before, but, for the record, here's a shot of our early rides, pre-2009.

There are other shots from pre-blog days when most of our rides involved Westerham and we made a point of going twice a week AND meet at 7am instead of 7.30am – how we've started to slack!

Wednesday, 19 September 2012

Top Spanish cyclist killed in road accident

Victor Cabedo
Spanish cyclist Victor Cabedo, who competed in last week's Tour of Britain, was killed in a road traffic accident a few kilometres from where he lived.

For more details, click here.

Sunday, 16 September 2012

Tatsfield Churchyard...and the Royal Baps!

With a fun-packed day ahead of me on Saturday looking for a new car, I had to get cycling out of the way: not something I like doing. I much prefer to enjoy a longer ride to Westerham, leaving home at a civilised hour (7am instead of 6.30am) but it was not to be.

Having said that, the earlier start – which means reaching Warlingham Green at 7am – is starting to appeal – and just at the wrong time of year. An early start means we arrive at our destination early and we get home early, something I probably mentioned in an earlier post as this Saturday was not the first time that we'd met at 7am.

The Tatsfield Churchyard.
I'm pretty pissed off about the car hunting mainly because the car I had (an old BMW 316) was absolutely fine. In fact, as I waited at the bottom of Sanderstead Hill at 10.30am, or thereabouts, a few Saturdays ago, I was quite chuffed with the old car's general reliability. As I sat in the middle of the road on a bright and clear day, indicating right and waiting for oncoming traffic to pass, I heard the screeching of car tyres and then: Wuuuuuuuuuuuummmp! A red Vauxhall Astra hits me, shunting me forward and giving me a nasty bit of whiplash.

I won't bore you with the details, but the owner of the Astra admitted liability and my faithful old Beamer, which was only worth £850, was written off. Now this just isn't fair and is just another example of how the wrongdoer gets away Scot-free while the victim has to pay. In my case I've been forced to buy a new with money I simply don't have.

I'll leave it there, but suffice it to say that Saturday was week two of 'looking in car showrooms' for a cheap car. I'm convinced we won't find such a great car as our black BMW. It was simply the best and I miss it terribly. We found one reasonable motor and there's a possibility of another later in the week, which we'll hold out for.

The ride to Tatsfield was good, although, for the first time, despite the poor summer, I noticed the bite in the air. It's September, so it's approaching what the Americans quite rightly call 'fall'. I love that. Much better than 'autumn'. Or is it? I'll have to ponder that one. Anyway, fall or autumn, it's not here yet. The trees are still laden with green leaves, but there is a noticeable different in the air and I fear that sooner or later I'll be wearing gloves. Andy's already resorted to long trousers (I never stopped wearing them) but soon it'll be time for jumpers and scarves and there will be a dusting of frost on the grass as I look out from my conservatory. Right now, by the way, it's nearly 9pm and it's pitch black outside – another sign that the nights are closing in.

I'm feeling tired all the time, which is another sign of a change of the season. Either that or it's a lack of B12, according to the Saturday Times, but then I eat plenty of meat, I like an egg or two and, well, it's got to be the change of season. On Friday night I went to bed at 9pm and slept through, which was nice. I was out of bed on Saturday morning at 0550hrs and then out of the house by 0630hrs.

No laughing matter, apparently. Pic courtesy of the Daily Mirror.
The big news of the weekend is the Duchess of Cambridge's baps. Yes, her baps! Lovely word 'baps', especially when related to women's breasts. Baps! I've never been a 'tit man' so the whole furore has passed me by, although I did take a peek online and found the baps in question to be fairly inoffensive. I mean, she's no Chesty Morgan. Remember Chesty Morgan? I remember an old man handing me a photograph of her in a pub. Now Chesty Morgan had baps! Baps! They were more like melted truckles of cheese, but let's stick with baps. Baps!

It's all a big fuss over nothing and what's worse is the way the British press – in the shape of Eve Pollard (I think that's her name) is acting 'digusted' when only a few years ago, the British press was chasing 'The People's Princess' through road tunnels. Anyway, the pix are out there, the Italians want to publish them and the Duke and Duchess are initiating legal action – what a waste of money in these troubled economic times, which, of course the Duke and Duchess know nothing about. What's more, people might lose their jobs if threats to close down an Irish newspaper become a reality. In my opinion, the Duchess should have thought to herself: 'here I am, in a very privileged position when many others have no money. Who am I to risk other people losing their jobs when all I had to do was keep my baps to myself?'

As the editor of the Irish newspaper said, she's only royalty in the UK. Outside of that, she's a celebrity and they've always been fair game for the media, especially if they get their baps out whilst forgetting that high-powered zoom lenses are a reality and might be lurking around in the bushes. Didn't she think as she unfastened herself? Didn't it cross her mind? Didn't she say to herself, "No, perhaps not, you never know...I'll keep my baps covered."

And what's Max Clifford doing standing in front of his Surrey pile and moaning about the whole thing as if totally disgusted by the antics of the press? Pots and kettles. The hypocrisy of it all is maddening.

Before I sign off, I've got just one word to say: Baps! Baps, baps, and more baps! Alright, six words.

Monday, 10 September 2012

Bill Moggridge, inventor of the laptop, dies...

I thought I would mention the death, announced today, of Bill Moggridge, inventor of the modern laptop. Whether there's a family link between the late, great Bill and the UK-based Moggridge family, of which I am a member, I don't know, but considering that Bill invented the laptop, I thought it worth a mention on the pages of NoVisibleLycra.
Bill Moggridge, inventor of the laptop computer.

Sadly, Bill didn't enjoy a long life like my dad, but here's hoping he didn't suffer.

I know it's vain to Google yourself, but when I'm bored or at a loose end, I often click on 'images' where, among my own mug shots, I find photos of Bill Moggridge, one of which I've posted here. I'm guessing that Bill, when he was bored, probably Googled himself and found shots of yours truly.

My late father, Gerald Moggridge, who died on May 15th 2011, was a keen geneaologist. He never Googled himself for the simple fact that he wasn't on-line.

I now possess a proof copy of dad's excellent history of the Moggridge family, which spans 1680 to the present day. When it's generally available on Amazon, I'll post again, providing the link, but let me tell you now that's it's a work of sheer historical genius.

Click here for more on the late, great Bill Moggridge.

Two years ago....

Click here to find out more.

Sunday, 9 September 2012

Andy rides Caterham-Brighton-Caterham

Andy, Brighton Beach, Saturday September 10th 2012.
Saturday 8th September: Hot weather. Very hot. But Andy was up with the lark and en route to Brighton from his home in Caterham. It wasn't easy, but he did well, arriving at the coast at 10am. Here's a shot of Andy on the beachfront. The cycle back was hard due to the heat, but he did it and still managed to meet me the following day at 0730hrs on Warlingham Green for a shortish ride to the Tatsfield bus stop, although he admitted that an 'abort' text from me would have been well-received.

We cycled to the Tatsfield bus stop, drank our tea, munched on our cereal bars and then rode home. It's a wonderful day. Very hot as I write this at 1045hrs. Time, perhaps, for a trip to the beach!

Saturday, 8 September 2012

Something worth listening to...

... while noting that 'listen' is an anagram of 'silent'.

Click here for Bob Chilcott's Making Waves.

Enjoy the peace.

Monday, 3 September 2012

Everything stops without tea...

Tea - the lifeblood of NoVisibleLycra rides. Not to be overlooked again!!!
NoVisibleLycra discovered that tea is at the centre of its cycling universe. Without it, life just isn't the same. This Sunday, due to some mild texting confusion, tea was not produced for the Sunday ride to Westerham. Andy had been expecting friends from work to join the ride and thought it probably best that we all visited the tearoom on the green rather than try and squeeze four cups of tea out of the NVL flask. In all honesty, it would have been fine: we would all have had one mug of tea each. Normally, Andy and I have two mugs each.

Anyway, I'd received a text saying 'don't worry about tea', so I didn't. If I'm on honest, I was expecting The Saturdays. I figured that somehow, Andy had spoken to their management, possibly sent them a link to the infamous 'hot tubs' post and, well, they'd said they might join us on the ride.

But when I arrived at Warlingham Green, there was nobody there except for Andy, although I still held out a glimmer of hope that they'd be waiting for us in Westerham.

Another problem was the time: we had agreed to meet at 7am instead of 7.30am and when we reached Westerham at 8am, everything was closed.

"Oh, I didn't make the tea," said I, reminding Andy of the text he'd sent me.

There was no sign of The Saturdays and then Andy let the cat out of the bag. "A couple of guys from the office were going to join us, but I think the early start put them off," he said.

"Oh," said I, concealing my disappointment.

To make matters a little more disappointing, the bench behind Churchill's statue was wet so we decamped to the benches in front of the underwear shop, a timely reminder of The Saturdays' absence.

Andy brought out the cereal bars, but without a mug or two of tea our lives were clearly empty and our 'tealess' state nagged at both of us. I gazed up at a clock perched over the shops to our left. It was 8am. By five past we were ready to leave.

"It's not the same without tea, is it?" said I.
"No, you're right," said Andy as we pedalled out of Westerham towards the hill.

It was a good ride, though, and Andy and I bade farewell to one another at Warlingham Green and then went our separate ways.

When I reached home it was 9.15am and we'd been all the way to Westerham and back. A combination of no tea and an early start provided a valuable brownie point back home as I'm not normally expected until 10.30am!

Next Saturday, Andy and a couple of pals are riding from Caterham to Brighton and back. It's an 80-miler, says Andy who's done it before, and while I'd like to join them, I can't due to other commitments. Hopefully, we'll ride out together on Sunday.

On the weather front, by the way, we got a mild soaking on the return trip, despite television weather forecasters saying that Sunday would be a scorcher. It wasn't cold, but it was generally overcast and grey.