Nov 162016
 

img_3780If you are not aware of PlanetX bikes, then you are probably not into bicycles and you should probably skip this blog entry entirely. If on the other hand you are aware of them, then I probably do not need to tell you much about the company, because you probably already know.

I’ve been riding mountain bikes for a long time, probably 15 years or so, the last mountain bike I had was a home-brew bike that was literally made out of discounted parts from local bike shops and the internet. It had a 2×10 Shimano XT drivetrain and very high end, but previous year components. It was fast and fun to ride. It was also a 26’er, which in modern terms means that it was archaic and not worth bothering with. I disagreed.

Earlier in the year PlanetX had a sale – again if you know them, this is absolutely nothing new, they are always selling something cheaply. I took advantage of the cycle-to-work scheme and snagged a 45650B with pretty much every option maxed-out within the limits of the scheme. The pre-sale price was something over £2000, talking off the VAT and making the payments pre-tax I will end up paying way under £1000.

The name 45650B comes from the bikes ability to run 4, 5 or 6 inches of front travel and 650B wheels 4-5-650B, get-it ?

http://www.planetx.co.uk/c/q/bikes/mountain-bikes/45650b

Configuring it was hilarious, ‘would sir like a dropper seat-post’, oh, yes please ! Would Sir like the upgraded brakes ? Obviously, and the ? check, check, check, check, double-check. The only things I did not upgrade were the saddle and the handlebars. Honestly I probably should have done, but I wanted to ride it before I committed to changing the touch points.

In hindsight, the saddle is terrible and the bars are a tad wide for me. The bars are an easy fix, the saddle less so.

So, what did I get for my money then ?

A steel framed, hard-core trail monster ! Continue reading “Bike review – On-One 45650B” »

 Posted by at 3:23 pm
May 252016
 

As regular readers will know, on August 1st 2014, an errant driver in a Toyota Aygo hit me while I was riding my bicycle.

The crash was pretty brutal, I broke my collarbone.

The break was a bad one, three surgeries later I am still not fixed.

Today I was seen by the medical assessor who will create the report for the insurance company that will be looking to settle my compensation claim.

This is the final opinion, it has been close to two years, it is time to put this to bed once and for all.  Continue reading “Crash – the last update ?” »

 Posted by at 6:32 pm
Oct 142015
 

I grew up in a very small village, apart from weekly games of cricket, there was very little excitement available. Due in part to the lack of local entertainment, I immersed myself in comic books and science fiction novels from the local library.

Most of the comic books available were American imports, a local newsagent had a small selection for sale, but that selection would vary, so it was never really easy to follow multi-episode story arcs. I would perhaps get Superman issue 487, then the next one available might be 512.

One day I was looking at the import comic shelf and one caught my eye. Somehow the newsagent inadvertently stocked a run of Dick Tracy comics that covered a decent sized story arc. I will admit that I was more a fan of superheroes than a mortal detective. But the chance to follow a whole story, rather than disjointed episodes meant that I spent rather a lot of money on six precious Dick Tracy comic books.

Dick Tracy had several gadgets, but his most famous was his two-way radio (later video) watch.  Continue reading “Apple Watch – A longer term review” »

Aug 012015
 

A year ago I broke my collarbone.

Between then and now an awful lot of things have happened.

Initially the doctors thought I did not need surgery, but within a week I was suddenly recovering from having a operation to put a plate and six screws in place to hold the broken bones together.

Not long after this I started physiotherapy, but it was excruciatingly painful, so I got a second opinion, my new doctor recognised that I needed a second surgery to replace a the overly long screws and to see if he could get any more movement into my shoulder. Continue reading “One Year” »

 Posted by at 1:00 pm
Jul 202015
 

Number and medal This year I rode the London to Southend charity ride in aid of the British Heart Foundation.

I raised a little over £300 for the charity and I had ‘fun’.

At a little before 6AM I arrived at the train station, not long after that, they allowed everyone in and we all crammed ourselves onto the ‘specially laid on’ train. I am not good at estimating numbers, there were perhaps a couple of hundred people with a bicycle each.

The train was due to leave at 06:20. At 06:19, they announced that the train was not going to leave as there was a signalling fault and perhaps we should take the City-2-City train from the other station. Much swearing happened.  Continue reading “London to Southend bicycle ride report.” »

May 142015
 

CrossBridAs any regular reader will know, I love cycling. I also love events that are almost entirely nonsensical. This year I want to do two events. The first is the London to Southend ride. This is a decently long ride raising money for the British Heart Foundation.

The second is silly. The second is called a ‘Tweed Ride’, the idea is simple, dig out your ancient bicycle and your finest tweed and ride your bicycle around the town and eventually stop off for a pot of tea and some cream cakes.

Given that my single-speed is looking a tad worse for wear and I am less fit than usual having spent the last seven months suffering from the result of my crash, I needed to do something about the ‘suitable bicycle’ situation for both rides.

The first issue is that my single-speed is not really very comfortable for me at the moment, it is way too ‘racy’ and my shoulder hurts too much if I ride it for a long time. I realised that I needed to either make it more comfortable, or get something more suitable.  Continue reading “The CrossBrid and the Tweed Bike” »

 Posted by at 3:49 am
Mar 112015
 

2015-03-02 13.53.37This update is a tad late, because it has been ten days since seven-month anniversary of my crash.

Quite a lot has happened in the last month, previously I noted that I went through a third surgery, this time to remove the plate and screws as they were giving me a lot of pain and limiting my movement rather badly. This surgery went very well and apart from some minor complications, I am pretty happy with the outcome.

The last week has seen two physical therapy sessions with Steve Oakley at the Spire Health centre. in the first one he massaged my shoulder to the point of pain, then lifted my arm towards vertical (from lying down), this was extremely painful, but very promising as I had not been able to move my arm that far since the crash.

Steve gave me a set of exercises to do daily, so each time I have made tea, I have worked through the exercises. Each day I have found that I can move a little more before the pain really is too much.  Continue reading “Month Seven – Yet another update !” »

 Posted by at 3:40 am
Feb 232015
 

I finally managed to get out on my bike. IMG_1817

On Saturday I dressed up extra warm and rode down to the seafront, then along towards the garrison and then back, up-hill, against the wind, all the way back.

Despite clipping a camera to my helmet, I did not get any useable footage at all – the mount slipped, so everything was at a strange angle.

It was great, but scary, to be back on the road. I was very nervous to start with, the first kilometre or so was pretty nerve jangling, but once I calmed down, things were not too bad. I am still obviously very nervous around the traffic and I tried to keep to the bike paths as much as possible.

So, my shoulder…… Continue reading “First Ride !” »

Feb 082015
 
Before

The plate and my collarbone

A week ago I marked off six months since the somewhat life changing crash that broke my collarbone.

A lot has happened in that week, so this post is something of an attempt to catch up and bring everyone up-to-date.

I went back to see Mr. Packer, the surgeon that previously replaced the over-long screws that had been used when fixing my collarbone. My shoulder had been getting gradually worse, with a fairly poor range of motion and spikes of pain being fairly normal.

We agreed that the best course of action would be to remove the plate. It is somewhat early to do this as as under normal circumstances the plate should remain there close to a year and it has not been there for a full six months yet. However, the position of the plate and the still somewhat long screws that remain are more than likely responsible for the pain I am in.

Having agreed that the plate needed to come out, I was booked in for Friday February 6th 2015.

Since the last update, Mr Harar, the driver that knocked me off my bicycle has appeared in court. Privately I was expecting him to be difficult and to deny that he was to blame, I expected that I would have to appear in court and testify against him. Amazingly, he pleaded guilty to a charge of careless driving. He was fined and given five penalty points. Continue reading “Crash Recovery: The Big update” »

Feb 012015
 

I’ve been waiting a long time to post this and finally I can……

Max vs Aygo

Max vs Aygo

The ‘Driver’ that hit me on August 1st, causing the crash that left me with a broken collarbone, multiple cuts and bruises, a broken bicycle and a destroyed helmet pleaded guilty to a charge of careless driving and was fined and given five penalty points on his licence.

Justice, as they say, has been served.

So, here are a few more details…..

The car that hit me is shown on the left in its final position after the driver stopped, as you can see in the photo, I was obviously in the middle of the road on the roundabout, not, as was postulated riding around the far left lane. If you look carefully you can see that there is some glass on the floor behind the rear wheel – that it from the impact. The door glass shattered when I hit it. Continue reading “Guilty (Of Careless Driving)” »

 Posted by at 6:00 am