Earlier today I headed out on my bike to find a location from which to get some effective photos of the lunar eclipse that will occur tomorrow morning. My drone came along for the ride. Then, later in the early evening I went out to practice getting a moon shot – with my tripod this time. The weather sort of played ball and I took some photos across the harbour when it didn’t.
Here’s hoping for clear skies at the time of the lunar eclipse in a few more hours!
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
In 2010 I was researching what individual components I might like to package together to build my ideal bicycle and was viewing products at a show in London’s Earls Court. There I met Cliff Polton, a British precision engineer, designer and owner of Royce UK , whose claim to fame at the time was that he had designed and built components for Chris Boardman’s famous 1992 Olympic Gold Medal-winning Lotus bike and also his World Hour Record-smashing machine. He had also been sponsoring an up-and-coming British woman cyclist by the name of Nicole Cooke (who was later to become an Olympic and World Cycling champion) I thought that was a pretty good pedigree and enjoyed chatting to Cliff for a while. When I discovered that his workshop was only a few miles from my home in Dorset, I decided that his hubs would probably form the heart of whatever wheels I eventually decided to have built. A few weeks later I stopped at his workshop whilst midway through a bike ride and he showed me around. The place was the epitome of what you might envisage an eccentric British engineering inventor’s workshop to resemble; piles of old metal shavings and cycle components rubbed shoulders with modern high precision milling machinery and racks of top quality steel and tubes. It was a real-world imagining of the Chitty Chitty Bang Bang inventor Caractacus Pott’s laboratory. The quality, quirky Britishness and individuality of his bicycle wheel hubs had me hooked and I bought a pair.
Nine years and many thousands of cycle miles later and with my rear wheel having been damaged a few days ago, I decided it was time to return the hubs to Cliff and have them serviced. At 73 years of age, still working and still competitively racing pedal cars, Cliff was an engaging chap to spend a couple of hours with, as he pulled apart the hubs, serviced them and put them back together in pristine condition. It’s a testament to his design and build skills that these hard working bicycle components only needed new bearings, springs and seals to be returned to a good-as-new condition. If you ever have the need and desire to purchase top quality bicycle wheel hubs, you couldn’t do much better than buying a pair of Cliff’s ‘Royce’ examples.
After my rear wheel was inadvertently and immediately irreparably damaged during a cycle ride on New Year’s Eve, it was time to completely strip it down before handing it over to experts to rectify. I added a drawing effect to provide a little interest to what was, otherwise, an utterly boring image
After a very social festive season, the New Year begins with an indoor Zwift cycle challenge session. The girls and I were beasted by the boys!!
Just before Christmas last year, I found out that I was going to have a month’s leave prior to this Easter. With Christmas over, I began to consider what to do with myself during this time off. My children would still be studying and my wife was unlikely to leave them alone for the whole time; perhaps this would be a chance for me to do ‘something significant’ – something that only I would want to do – but what? On a trip to Perth, Australia, between Christmas and New Year, the answer came to me. I’d hired a bicycle for the day and cycled from the city:
to the beach at Fremantle and back again.
It was ‘only’ 40 miles, or so, it took me most of the day and I ached afterwards. However, I’d enjoyed myself so much that I determined on the ride that my ‘something significant’ for my month’s leave would be to cycle from one end of Great Britain to the other – commonly known as ‘Lands End to John O’Groats’, ‘LEJOG’, or ‘The End to End’ . My ‘End to End’ would only require me to cycle approximately double my Perth day’s cycling distance and maintain that for 16 days continuously. OK, it would be during the months of ‘Windy March’ and ‘Showery April’ in UK (not the glorious sunshine of this Western Australian day) but, with 3 months to train and prepare for it, how difficult could that possibly be?……………………..…what a great idea……………………………………………!!!!
I’d spied this particular spot and the oncoming ship earlier in my ride and so, with my camera set up on a pedestrian overpass and a wireless remote trigger in my hand, I was ready to capture this picture. But, with nowhere within half a mile on this dual carriageway to turn my bike around before the road curved out of sight, I was in too much of a rush to get back to my camera before it was potentially pinched and therefore didn’t manage to position the boat exactly where I wanted it in the frame.
This opportunity lost – but there’ll be others.
I reckon that if Chris Froome had to ride one of these, I might stand a chance of beating him in a bike race – mind you, the way he rode the Tour de France this year, I don’t think I’d back myself with my own hard-earned cash!