Green shoots

Our back lawn is almost visible for the first time since 16th December.  This is the longest period where snow has been around in my memory – and I’m 40.  Snake Pass, which is 10 miles or so away from where I’ve typed this message briefly opened this morning after being close since 2 January, but another flurry has caused it’s closure again.   The snow has played havoc with cycling, but it looks beautiful. It still amazes me how much I respond to God’s creation, whether on two wheels or on foot.

Dork.

Nope not fork.  Dork.  Yesterday I thought it would be wise (ha!) to fill up with fuel because costs were predicted to go up today (1 Jan 2010).   Coming across a petrol station which seemed to be offering pretty cheap fuel I proceeded to fill up, only realising after 25 litre’s worth that I was putting unleaded petrol in our diesel car, with which I am not in love and this incident hardly served to improve my affection for the heap of metal.   (Incidentally the car in question – a Renault Laguna – broke down in France last year.  When the breakdown man came to sort it out, and bearing in mind this was the country of it’s manufacture, he said “Achetez un Renault, allez au velo, which translates as “Buy a Renault, go by bike’). What started as a 50 minute journey from Swindon to Stroud, turned into a 4 hour mini-epic with the family and will probably cost a minimum of £100 to sort out.  All to save around £4.50, and rather irritatingly on New Year’s Eve.

A  number of lessons have been learned, primarily I hope which is one of always putting the right fuel in the car.  It’s good to know that you can’t misfuel a bike, and fortunately that God was no less with us by the roadside than around the meal table praying and talking about what the Bible says. It also gave us a lot of time to pray together.  And, no doubt a lot of ribbing from my wife and daughters over the next few weeks.  I am so looking forward to it.

Happy New Year.

New frame

I’ve finally mastered the art of installing cantilever brakes and shifted all the old kit from my bent SJS frame (derailleur, dropout and pannier strap all melded into one dreadful mess) onto a new Kaffenback frame, from soon-to-be Sheffield firm, Planet X: www.planet-x-warehouse.co.uk/?page_id=1174. I took it out for a first spin, with my mother’s warning about ‘ice and bikes not mixing’ ringing in my ears.   Worth it though, it rides beautifully, although it tracks in a very different way to any other road bike I’ve ridden.  Probably due to a long fork trail.  An hour in the Peak District helps restore the soul, and allows me to justify a pleasingly large slice of Christmas cake.

Christmas 2009

It’s the end of my 41st Christmas. It’s been a great day; not good for cycling (I’ve got some serious weight to shift if I want to get over any Alps this summer) but it’s been good to feast to celebrate the extraordinary truth that just over 2000 years ago, God himself came to bring about the greatest rescue ever.

Back Up software and Tour Musings

6 days until I’m 40.

43 days until Christ Church Endcliffe starts.

Well Lance came third, and my optimism about human nature was misplaced – I’d hoped that Lance and Alberto were the best of buddies and show the world that they’d played a huger poker game at the tour. It was not to be, but at least as Brits we had Cav and Brad to exceed all of our expectations.  Cav’s win on the Champs Elysee was so extraordinary – the gap between him and the next rider was a country mile, and the next rider was the very team mate who’d led him out for the win.

On a related matter, there seems to be a high proportion of both cyclists and christians that use macs.  Often neither are particularly well off, so a piece of good software which is free is always welcome.

These days Macs have an inbuilt piece of back up software called time machine.  This is great, but unusable if the drive to which you want to back up is not connected directly to your machine (such as another Mac, or a NAS drive).  Psyncx (http://psyncx.sourceforge.net/) is an lovely little bit of software.  You can back up as much or as little as you like, schedule it and copy it to and from whatever you like.  Nice. Good if you are the slightly pessimistic type who wants to back up in several places.