All entries for June 2008

June 10, 2008

3G iPhone & Mobile Me..

Writing about web page

I don't think i'd be doing my geek duties if I didn't post up about the new 3G iPhone, and new web services from Apple.

The iPhone looks excellent - 3G and GPS now built in as standard, a new look, and a seriously reduced price. My contract with T-Mobile reaches the magical 18 month marker in November so I think i'll be gleefully skipping down to my local O2 store to buy a new iPhone. I never felt that excited about the last iPhone, but I think these last few features really help put the icing on the cake.

And if 3G & GPS are icing, then the cherry has to be Mobile Me - Exchange type services for the rest of us. Mobile email, calendaring and contacts which are syncronized back up to Apple, and subsequently accessible from any web browser on any computer. I've been using a mixture of Google Calendar and the calendar on my Nokia 6300 for a while now but couldn't be bothered with trying to get them to sync, or paying for a product that would do it. Mobile Me looks really worth a punt.

Down side is that it is £59/year. I'd have said that was a good deal a few years ago, but with the rise of Googles excellent free services, it bites a little bit.. i'll try the 2 month free trial out before I definately commit I think!

My first near miss on the bike..

Cycled to work today and had my first near miss with a careless motorist. I say careless as i'm 100% certain that I didn't do anything wrong, despite them implying otherwise.

I was cycling round the roundabout over the A46 between Leamington and Kenilworth when a guy in a silver 4x4 decided it'd be a great idea to pull out on me when I was about 5 meters from his drivers side door. I threw on the brakes whilst involuntarily shouting "Whoooooaaaa!!" - and stopped fairly close to his door. I gestured angrily and amusingly he did the same, as if implying that i'd done something wrong. I'm not quite sure exactly how he felt I was to blame as I could clearly see his face the entire time so obviously he just wasn't paying attention. He roared off and I wobbled my way towards Kenilworth feeling rather aggrieved by the whole situation.

I can say one thing for sure. If all the motorists out there who treat cyclists like some lower life form were to just do a week of riding to work, they'd have a whole new perspective on things. I've done about 160 miles on my road bike so far and i've already had the joy of a a puncture miles from home with no spares (though I learned how to replace an innertube this weekend - easy!) and now already been knocked off my bike whilst being made to feel like I was to blame. The sad fact is that the trip from Leamington to Warwick University WOULD be an enjoyable ride if it wasn't for the cars. And yes I realise that is an incredibly hypocritical statement given that I drive to work 98% of the time ;)

June 06, 2008


I cycled to work yesterday. It is still not a regular thing that I do, but when the weather is nice (as it has been for the past few days) i've found myself strangely motivated to do it and am so far enjoying it, despite being a river of sweat when I get to my destination. Despite having only done the trip to work and back about 10 times i'm already noticing a big increase in fitness, and finding it less of a struggle to do 9 miles each way.

Anyway - I was talking with a colleague here at work about punctures. He rides to work most days and asked me what I had in terms of puncture repair with me, as he'd recently suffered a puncture and was saying how much it sucked having to walk 7 or so miles back home pushing a bike. Prior to getting my road bike I did a bit of riding around on a mountain bike and had never gotten a puncture and as a result never even thought about taking a repair kit and pump around with me, and that same mentality had carried over into my road bike ownership - so I said that I didn't carry any puncture repair kit. We talked about it a bit more and he advised me to sort something out. I thought nothing more of it and headed home at the end of the day. I got as far as the A46 where suddenly I was even more aware of the rough road surface at the rear of the bike.. I began to slow down (whilst trying to avoid the traffic) and the grim realisation dawned that I had sustained my first ever puncture. Unbelievable.

I dragged the bike off the road and into a grass verge and stood scratching my head as I mulled over having to walk back to Leamington Spa, pushing a bike, along busy roads with no paths. After a few minutes of trying this I gave up and phoned my very understanding girlfriend who whizzed over to pick me up and take me back home with the bike squeezed into the back of her Ford Ka. Whilst I stood waiting for her to come by I had a look at the skinny tyre to try and see just what had done the damage, and I can only assume it was just the innertube popping after being hit too hard on one of the many many holes in the road, as no foreign objects seemed to be stuck in the tyre :(

This weekend i'll be getting a lesson from my flatmate (somewhat more experienced cyclist) on how to repair a puncture and will also probably be dropping by Mike Vaughans for a pump and some puncture repair patches!

June 2008

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