Monday, July 17, 2006

New bike, more books

Well, actually the same old same old bike:

That's my old Klein (the first decent mountain bike I owned), resurrected. Brakes are Mono Minis scavenged off my Prince Albert, SIDs are what used to decorate the front end of Nick's Litespeed, stem, bars and doofer are all brand new, and the rest is of varying age. This little beasty is built up for the World Singlespeed Champs in Stockholm this August, assuming I manage to get there and there isn't some onerous requirement (like, say, competence) to exclude drunks like myself and Toby. Tried to persuade Jason to come along too, but he's too busy shooting people/contemplating his dislocated shoulder/sceptical that a bunch of XC jeyboys are really going to drink that much at the moment...
Anyhow, it's pretty light (compared to the 222, anyway) and now the SIDs probably work, and the rear brake isn't pissing fluid everywhere, it should be quite fun. (Went riding on Thursday night in Kent, did a few decent singletrack downhills. Fork had about 0.5mm of travel everywhere, felt completely rock solid. Woke up on Friday morning feeling as beaten up as when I'd been riding my old Inbred with the super-super-rigid fork Brant invented to punish singlespeeders with. Turned out on closer inspection that there was no oil in the fork, so air kept merrily flowing from positive to negative chamber and never bothered to help with damping any of the shocks. Happily, that's now resolved. And I can now use both brakes, too.)
Read Double Fault by Lionel Shriver. This depressed me and put my tennis game off at the weekend, which further depressed me. From having read two Shrivers now, I guess the Secret Formula for her novels is:
Two people fall in love.
Two people get married.
Two people find they resent one another.
Somebody loses an eye.
There are no happy endings.
Meanwhile, reading Conrad's The Secret Agent, which I was surprised to find rather funny. But tales of espionage are always better when leavened with shops selling pornography/prophylactics and imbecile brothers-in-law. And picked up Sillitoe's Saturday Night, Sunday Morning, which for the first chapter alone (man drinks 11 pints and 7 small gins, falls down stairs, vomits over old man's best suit) is well worth the price of admission. Haven't finished that Tim Harman yet...


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