A Day at the Park

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Last weekend we dropped down to one of the local parks. Lots of radio control boat action, as well as bike action with a ride for our future awareness around the Climate Summit. Also some very cool fully electric vehicles.

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Winter Work Ride 1

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It’s been a good while since I’ve been on my bicycle. I was thinking about it over the weekend. The news has been discussing general country obesity issues of recent. Over 60% of the country is technically overweight/obese! It’s appalling. I know using the standard height/weight measure, I’m included in that group (although I would argue it based on muscle mass). So between that and my poor sitting bike I decided to ride to work.
I woke up, it was raining. Tough luck, still riding. Makes lighting a fire on a Monday night even more rewarding I said to myself.
The aims to ride again tomorrow. Just have to dry my clothes and gear first! 🙂

Queens Birthday Monday (New Zealand)

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Today was a public holiday in New Zealand – Queens Birthday. A bit of a cold and cloudy day – marking Winter for us, we took a stroll into town where the wharf had some celebrations on. Walking there I pass the old Kestrel (one of the oldest ferry’s still floating in Auckland – that used to serve the seaside community of Devonport up to about 15 years ago). We then walked along the waterfront, past some of the bigger sailboats in the area. Not much happening,but the water was nice and calm.

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Reaching the wharf, we were first welcomed by various car displays, and then some interesting old British bikes.

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Check out the ‘fire bike’

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Inside, some morris dancers.

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Happy NZ Queens Birthday!

 

 

The Ride Home

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With a half marathon coming up soon I decided it was time to get back moving in prep and took the bicycle out to work.
What I always find interesting in Auckland is the small time difference bike vs car is on local rush hour commutes. Sure it takes a little longer, but not to the degree that I need to leave earlier at all.
On top of that,I’m getting some much needed exercise in.

As a side note, I’ve started using an iPod touch for my ‘mobile shots’. With my galaxy s2 going to the other half, I’ve stepped back from the smartphone world (must be two or more months now), but like a small device for apps and photos still. So far I’m finding it great.

Back to the Light Side…

Back to the Dark Side…or perhaps back to the dark side?
Last week I made a bit of an impulse buy on a cheap mountain bike on sale. I have been riding fixed gear solely for about three years now, and single speed for about another three…so I’m a bit uncertain about my purchase…Gears!

What it came down to is my desire to do some more cycling to work once the weather clears up, and also to open up the opportunity to cycle a little more off road (I do a bit on the fixie, but its not ideal). Our new home is in a fairly hilly area, my fixed gear cycle is not really geared for big hills- and if I gear it to get up the hills, I’ll be peddling too fast on the flat…

I don’t think I’m quite ready to sell the fixie yet,  but I guess time will tell. The beautiful elegance of a single speed is the simplicity of them – things almost never go wrong, and when they do its only one or two possible things. In saying this, there is nothing overly complicated about the 18 speed either. Whatever way you look at it, bikes are great simple machines where we can use our own engine to get from A to B.

Can I adapt back to riding gears? will I keep my fixie as a second?…time will tell 🙂

Cycling in the Rain

Rain cycleA day off with a friend visiting from overseas. We and cold we hopped on our bicycles and cycled  the ‘Auckland circuit’. Starting in Takapuna on the North Shore we headed North to the Greenhithe Bridge. Over the bridge (where todays image was shot on mobile) and out to West Auckland. Back along the west, we headed into the CBD – pumping up a small puncture (showing our lack of repair kit) along the way. Heading through the city, we caught the ferry and ended in Devonport again on the North Shore. Somewhere around a 50km journey, wet cold and ready for dinner.

 

Bike Vignette Diana Style

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My main pc and editing software compter is connected up to our tv, and with a guest staying with us this week I have decided to concentrate on mobile phone photography – leaving the tv free for others!

I also recently finished a quick strip down, repaint and parts swap on my bike (just in time for my car to blow its radiator side tank…). Taking it for a bit of a test ride I headed down to Bayswater, cycling around the marina, and took todays shot.

Although unedited, I used the vignette app set to diana style.

I think what I will do some time this week is try out a few android photo editing apps and report how they go. For those who follow me, you will know I’m a dedicated Gimp user for post processing. Since its not on android at this stage I will have to see what works on a mobile level for me!

One Gear

Quite a few years back I started building a few single speed and fixed gear bikes. At the time, it was before the whole single speed/ ‘Fixie’ culture took off, and only the bike couriers and track cyclists in the area had them. I have often had conversations with people as to why do I have one gear, fixed at that.

For me its a combination of simplicity and movement. Bikes are an amazing piece of machinery. By modern standards, there is nothing particularly technical about them. As far as bikes go, nothing rides, is as silent, or simple as a fixed gear bike. You are also part of the bike, or it of you, when riding. Much like walking or running, you cant just lift your feet to coast down a hill, nor can you change your leg size to climb up a hill. If you want to go slower or faster, you move your legs slower or faster. If you want you can go backwards!

I’m not in any way knocking geared bikes, they are great, and in many ways more practical. Perhaps its like the film vs digital debate in cameras – both take pictures, but they create them in slightly different ways, and provoke different feelings.

That’s my few lines on bicycles for the day. Image wise, I converted to B&W in Gimp and added a vignette.

Catch ya tomorrow!

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