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Monthly Archives: January 2012

Chasing the Myth of Breathable and Waterproof

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0
January 30, 2012
Chasing the Myth of Breathable and Waterproof

I was twenty years old in the summer of ’78 and working at a mountaineering and rock climbing shop on Main Street in North Conway, New Hampshire when this glitzy new ultra-sophisticated fabric called Gore-Tex arrived on the scene. I remember when that first shipment of garments landed at the shop and how we...
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Pluck & Dash and Dealing with Ruffians

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January 24, 2012
Pluck & Dash and Dealing with Ruffians

I spotted them as I spun along Grand Parade this morning: a knot of hard-eyed loiterers, break-and-enter all over their faces, slouching on a wall beside a bus stop and watching my approach behind furtively cupped cigarettes. I could feel their eyes on me as I swept by. A bronze statue of Queen Victoria...
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A Diet for Your Bike?

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January 20, 2012
A Diet for Your Bike?

Now that the festive season and all the feasting is well and truly over, and with (pretty much) the last of the fruitcake, marzipan and deluxe Yuletide Belgian chocolates gone, the cookie tins empty and no more champagne, I find myself looking in the mirror, taking stock and grudgingly acknowledging that I would indeed...
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Windy Nights

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January 19, 2012
Windy Nights

One of my favourite poems when I was a child was Windy Nights by Robert Louis Stevenson, who is better known for being the author of Treasure Island. In the poem, a little boy - probably Stevenson himself as a child - is laying snug in his bed, when he is awakened late on...
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Good old TA quill pedals

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2
January 18, 2012
Good old TA quill pedals

You know how it is when you’re tempted to buy something that you really, really like and really want to have but pass it up on the grounds of economy – it would be too much of a self-indulgent splurge – only to kick yourself later for not grabbing whatever it was at the...
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What Colour is Your Parachute?

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January 17, 2012
What Colour is Your Parachute?

When I read that Oscar-winner actor Gene Hackman took a tumble off his bicycle while riding helmet-less through the streets of a Florida city I knew it would only be a matter of time – hours in these days of instant communication – before his bare-headed state became a focal point in the wearying...
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Rites of Passage

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January 12, 2012
Rites of Passage

I was spinning along the street this morning, down towards the seafront, when I heard from behind me the deep growl of a big truck engine changing gears, shifting down. Naturally, this had to be just when I’d come upon one of those stretches in the road where it really isn’t pleasant or safe...
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To A Cyclist

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January 10, 2012
To A Cyclist

O would some power the gift to give us; to see ourselves as others see us; It would from many a blunder free us… So goes an oft-quoted stanza from a Robert Burns poem – addressed to a louse, in point of fact, one that he saw crawling on a fine lady’s bonnet in...
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Finding the Right Saddle

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January 9, 2012
Finding the Right Saddle

No component on a bicycle is more personal than the saddle, and no saddle could be more personal than an old-fashioned leather one which moulds itself over time to the precise shape of your sit bones. In doing so it becomes uniquely yours, for life, as comfortable as a cozy old armchair - something...
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Riding By Rote

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January 7, 2012
Riding By Rote

As I came around the roundabout at the bottom of Elphinstone Road and Alexandra Park this morning, half-lost in a reverie, I found myself reflexively swinging a bit wider here than the line I might normally hew through a roundabout so as to avoid the deep and potentially jarring gouge in the bitumen that...
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