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Thursday 19th April, 2007

Dirt crits - a bit better

This evening we got into a new series for the Kona Dirt Crits, with a huge turnout - 66 people turning out for the nighttime race this time around. After some discussion on the forums, the split between C and D grade was fixed up a bit - all up this made things way better for those of us slower riders, since there were with more riders at the same skill level being able to run together.

For me it was certainly a huge step forward from last week as well. Last week I ran the whole race with both the front and rear brakes partially locked on, meaning a hell of a lot of effort was required just to finish. This week though there was none of that - with the wheels spinning perfectly freely, it was so much easier getting up the hills and keeping going, as they're no longer the heaviest bastards around.

The first lap I spent just pacing myself, seeing no need to try to fly by others - a tactic which paid off later as I was able to keep the same pack on laps 2 and 3, passing quite a few riders towards the end.

I had a slight disaster in the back technical section though - for the last few weeks, we've run the course in the opposite direction, so in that direction I know the track reasonably well. Somehow though, I managed to misjudge what one of the upcoming corners were in the direction we were running, and instead of turning around the left hand corner which follows over a crate, I instead continued straight on into the chain-link fence. Oops.

It seemed the pattern this week was moving obstacles - the first of these was to occur coming out of the final technical section, where someone had decided to deposit a large branch right in the path of a corner.

The second lap was mostly uneventful, but the third lap was more obstacles which had me saying "yikes that wasn't there last lap" - though the berms, for weeks there's been this sleeper which was always in the way of a good entry and exit to the corner, depending on the direction we were running. When I got to it, it was in a really awkward position, but hopefully this means that next week it's going to make it a much faster corner.

Anyhow, this week was a thorough improvement - just have to keep pushing next week. I'm also planning on running another race next Wednesday, which will hopefully mean more practice. All good :)

Saturday 14th April, 2007

My little graduation gift

Mum's been over in Nepal for the last four weeks, so missed my graduation. However, she got back today, and bought me something.

Swarovski graduation set

Book and Ink with quill

Trencher and degree


Very nice indeed :)

Friday 30th March, 2007

Oh yeah, I'm now a B.Sci.

Laziness seems to be the trend lately, but I'm working on the concept of "better late than never" with a few posts I want to get up. But anyhow, as it happened just over a week ago I had my uni graduation.

Some have found it hard to believe how I managed to get the date of my graduation wrong, but I assure you it happened. I was absolultely certain it was originally supposed to be on Friday, and as such had planned accordingly. Fortunately as I was checking the date and time to send to someone just two hours before it, the mistake was spotted

Anyhow, in the end I made it, so I can happily say I've now graduated, and have got that piece of paper I worked many years to achieve.

Yay, I guess :)

Wednesday 7th March, 2007

Switchback 2

I've been pretty silent lately. Most of this is because pretty much all my time outside work lately is going into mountain biking, and I've not really wanterd to bore everyone with details. I think though I might have to post a little more often at the very least with some of the latest capers.

My light kit for the upcoming Winter season I'll be needing arrived at work the other day. A nice new Princeton Tec Switchback 2, direct from the US.

The first thing noticed with this is just how much time and effort they've put into the packaging. It really does seem like they almost spent as much time designing the packaging as they did designing the product - the outside design/presentation is anything but plain, and then when you do open it, it's a tightly packed, well padded multi-layered package with everything neatly laid out... I really should bring out the camera for this one.

Photos you'll see of it everywhere don't do it justice either - the actual head unit is only maybe 5cm wide.

But the light itself is nice and light - at 132g, it's light enough to mount on my helmet (though I found out that the Giro E2 I purchased was a massive 70g heavier than the Avanti Razor I was already wearing, despite much cooler), so it'll be perfectly suitable either for helmet mounting or use on the bars.

It seems nice and bright - though until I get it out on the singletrack, we'll have to wait and see how it performs.

Thursday 28th December, 2006

Biggest mistake in a while

AAAARRRRRRRGGGGGGHHHHHH.

Power users of FreeBSD, Linux, Solaris, Mac OS X... all of these will be familiar with a little file known as '/etc/hosts'. It's the equivelant of windows\system32\drivers\etc\hosts - you can drop entries in it, and instead of going off to nameservers, those hosts will be looked up from the entries in the file.

About six weeks ago, we moved our webserver to a new box. Or rather, our webhost did. To ensure that I didn't miss any email while the domains hadn't propogated, I put an entry for 'mail.racetime.com.au' in my hosts file. And then promptly forgot about it.

As a result, for the last six weeks I've been thinking to myself, "hm, I'm not getting much mail/spam anymore"... and was thinking everything was working. It wasn't. Or was. Just... it wasn't trying to collect my mail from where my mail resided.

Anyhow, basically I've spent the last hour carefully going through six weeks (6,500 emails) worth of mail, hitting the 'mark as spam' button as necessary.

That said, if I've not replied to anyone who's emailed me in that time, I apologise - I do fully intend on getting back to everyone.

Well... everyone that I usually would - sorry spammers, no special treatment for you.

Trying to find a Giant.

Argh. So over the holiday period, I was hoping to get a fair bit of riding in. Unfortunately that all fell apart on day one when I punctured a tyre... then found out while trying to fix it that the rim had been cracked (somehow). Long story short there's a lot that now needs replacing on my old bike, so I'm better off using this opportunity to look at a newer (read: better) bike, which I've been wanting to do for a year or two now.

It's reasonable to say I've done a fair bit of research - the Cannondale F5 being one that I'd looked at, though a bit more than I wanted to spend - so I think in the end I'm going to go with a Giant Talon. Only problem is finding someone locally who actually has one - in his infinite wisdom the kid at the store I was going to get one from told me "yeah, we have three in stock", when in reality he meant "yeah, we have three in stock across Melbourne".
Basically it means I have the choice between sticking with trying to find that particular model, and finding somewhere who has one available, or looking for an alternative brand/model.
Only annoying thing is that it means I can't go riding over the long weekend until it's all sorted out.

Bugger.

Anyhow, I'll have to keep looking, and hopefully figure something out. Soon. It sucks not being able to get out when you actually want to.

Saturday 23rd December, 2006

Silly ducks

I went for a ride down Heathmont way today as I often do, and on the return trip came across a group of about five ducks. They were all crossing the bike track, so I slowed down so as to be careful not to hit any of them. Four of them had the right idea - they walked across and tried to get clear out of the way.

One of them had other ideas though. It walked across the track, then as I got closer, it turned and changed its mind. As I was coming up to pass them, it started walking towards me, and just as I was going past, suddenly darts forward (this is all still while I'm on my bike), and decides to try to take a shot at one of my tyres.

Cheeky bugger - wish I had film of that one :)

Friday 22nd December, 2006

Jesus: Action Figure

At work this week, we had a Kris Kringle/Secret Santa thing going. Everyone got their presents on Wednesday, without knowing who they were from - though I have a pretty good idea who got mine for me.

Basically though, I think everyone thought it was absolutely brilliantly chosen. You see, everyone at work knows what a right-wing (if that's even possible) atheist. So when I pulled this out of some wrapping, we all got a good laugh:

Jesus: Action Figure


Hit the nail right on the head. Or perhaps, right through the hands :D
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