Coastal bike ride

We finally got bike racks for the roof of the car.  OK, we actually got a new car that has roof racks, but either way, we can now get the bikes to far flung locations and go for a ride.
At the weekend we took the bikes down to Troon, and cycled along NCR7 to Prestwick, and then on to Ayr, where we parked up, had a bite to eat, and then headed back to Troon and the car.
Round trip of about 18 or so miles (that’s an average between the road sign millage, and the distance Map My Ride told us it was (20 and 16 respectively. Personally I’d take the road signage as the more accurate, but until I get a Garmin or something, it’s as close as I’ll get).

Anyway, the pic below was taken at Prestwick beach, which is about halfway between Troon and Ayr.  Think since Karen is using a “sit-up and beg” type bike, due to backache on her mtb, then, this is a pretty decent distance.  Next stop Largs and the ferry to Cumbrae.

Wee stop at Prestwick en route from Troon to Ayr

Wee stop at Prestwick en route from Troon to Ayr

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Night time photo shoot

The photography class I’m taking, took to the streets of Glasgow last night as dusk fell, to have a go at using the cameras on full manual mode, and experimenting with the settings.
It was a great night, that made you look up and see the buildings of Glasgow as you’ve never seen them before.  There’s a lot of beautiful buildings with some really intricate work on them, but they’re so high up that people never usually see them.

Anyway, here’s a couple I took last night.  I’m pleasantly surprised.

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There’s an unwritten law that all statues in Glasgow MUST come complete with a seagull.

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I was waiting ages to see if the wind would pick up, but it didn’t.

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Couple of pics I’ve taken in Pollok Estate since starting on the photography course.  I think they’re better that what I’d usually get (quality wise at least),

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Photography course

So I’ve started on a basic photography course at the local collage.  It’s running for 8 weeks on a Tuesday night.  I think I need to do this as without it, I’ll probably never take the camera off the automatic setting, and that would (a) be a shame, and (b) a waste of money, as I could have opted for a cheaper point and shoot rather than the bridge camera I went for.

I used to use (and still own) a 35mm SLR, and my wife was wanting to get me a digital one for my birthday a couple of years ago.  On the advice of a friend who’s a photographer, I went for the bridge.  His reasoning was that it’s a fair bit cheaper, and while I can’t change the lenses, it has the features of an SLR, so I can find out if I want to use them or stick to auto.  If I use them, then I can upgrade to an SLR, and worst case is that the bridge is a really good camera to take on holiday and keep handy for snaps, when I’m not planning to take pics, and having to carry about a larger SLR.
If I DON’T use the manual features, then it means money hasn’t been wasted on something that won’t be used, so it’s a win-win.

Since the auto feature is banned in the class, and we’ll be using manual all the time, I’ve already started looking as SLR’s in the camera shops and drooling a little, so I think I know how this is all going to pan out.

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Bike fixed and email deluge

The shop got the problem with the bike sorted, so that’s great.  The tension on the rear derailleur needed adjusting.
I really need to do a wee course on bike maintenance, as I feel that things like this, I should be able to do myself.

In other news, there’s a been a deluge of emails in work over something really simple.  It really was a case of too many people getting involved, and every time I opened my email there was another going on about the same thing.  In the end I went down stairs and spoke to the person I was needing a signature from, and she agreed with me that it was a storm in a tea cup.
People need to actually READ their emails before responding, and cc-ing other people in just adds to the noise and makes getting a solution to something really simple, that much harder.  A fine example of ADMINISTRATIUM – the densest element known to mankind.  Once administratium gets added to a situation, it can take forever to solve.

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The gears on the bike are playing up.

Pretty much can’t use the third largest cog on the back, as when it’s under load, it slips into the next smallest, then jumps back up, the slips/jumps/slips… get the picture.
Further down the cogs, there’s a little rattle as if it’s not aligned right and is about to change, but it doesn’t.  Then, down at the 6th smallest, changing down jumps you to 8, and you have to change back up to get into 7.

All of the above only happens when the pedals are under load.  Stick the bike on a stand, turn the pedals and it happily changes up and down without any problems.

So, at the moment, I’m basically only using one gear, and fortunately it’s the one that I find suits my riding the best.  But if I’d wanted a single speed, I’ve have bought one.

Bike is getting dropped off for a service tomorrow.  Fortunately the shop I bought it from give free servicing for a year after purchase, and it’s only 4 months old.

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Day off yesterday

We had been planning to go to Edinburgh for the day for the the Fringe, but it was changed to the 15th, and I thought, “What the hell, I’ve got the day off, I’m not cancelling it now”.  So, I got up at the usual time, did a bit of tidying up, and then jumped on the bike.
I took a wee ride through Pollok Estate to Shawlands, and had a fry up for breakfast (lorne sausage, tattie scone, egg, bacon, tomato and beans) and a couple of coffees before heading back.

Later when Karen got in at lunchtime, we headed to Paisley for a couple of hours.  Stopped off in the Last Post for a drink and some chicken wings, then headed home again.

So, not a wasted day after all.

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Great little film.

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Birthday meal

On Tuesday, we headed out for a meal for my birthday.  Rather than the usual curry, which is our default setting when we eat out, we headed to The Ivory, where I had cajun chicken strips for a starter, chorizo and tomato pizza, and finished off with toffee cheesecake and ice cream.
Karen had mussels in a white wine and garlic sauce, and risotto, and skipped desert because she’s a lightweight and was stuffed.

It was the first time we’d eaten there, but it certainly won’t be the last.  The food was excellent, and the staff friendly and attentive, without being in your face.


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Random pic from last year

Largs kilt 2

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