Monthly Archives: May 2009

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Housing situation – sorted!

The owner agreed to having two cats in the house so my friends can move in. It took a little persuading but we got there in the end. The rent is going up by a huge $10 a week but I think we can manage that.

I’m enormously relieved about this. I was trying very hard not to think about it and what I would do if she said no. Which was kinda stupid really. I could’ve ended up without a place to live. Actually, that’s not true. I did have another plan. Always with the plans these days – that’s so not me.

The love affair with my new bike continues. She’s filthy at the moment because it rained last night on the way home and the roads were still wet this morning. I thought about cleaning her last night but it seemed pointless considering it’s meant to rain again today. The shoes are continuing to be a challenge. I’ve discovered they’re incredibly slippery when the pedal is wet.

But I’m trying hard, clipping out early to make sure I can get my foot down safely. It’s the clipping back in that’s causing me some consternation at the moment. I swear to god I’m going to end up kicking some random cyclist because there have been more than a few times were my foot has gone flying when I’ve tried to click back in. I’m learning that’s better to get the bike moving by pedalling with the tip of my foot then blocking people because I’m messing about trying to clip back in. I really don’t want to cause an accident because of my inability to manage my shoes.

Apart from that, I’m really enjoying the riding. I didn’t expect it but the shoes do make a difference. My feet are in a better position so I’m riding better, although I think I’ve always had a neat riding style. The fatter tyres are great too. The ride isn’t as bumpy. I’m totally loving the STI gearing. I love not having to reach down to change gears and that all it takes a flick of my fingers (a firm flick but it’s still a flick).

I can see myself jumping on the bike to simply go for a ride, something I haven’t done in a long time.

Very glad I did it, even though it’s going to put a strain on my finances for the next year. (Because that’s so different from the last six months!) I have all these things planned, like a trip to Sydney at the end of June and the holiday in New Zealand in September. The money will come from somewhere. I’ll just have to spend less.

Meet Lisa

My new bike

This is Lisa, my new bike. I bought her today from the very helpful Ben at BSC Bikes.

She’s last year’s model and has a few little scratches on her but it saved me a good chunk of cash and I got a better bike out of it. I had already picked a different bike which was cheaper but the test ride was disappointing. It was a pretty crappy ride to be honest. My old bike felt better than that one did which is bad considering my old bike is 17 years old and bike technology has come a long way since then. I got back from my first test ride definitely not sold on the bike and asked to see what else they had. I’d seen the Kona Lisas (2008 and 2009 models) already but felt they were too expensive. But after riding the cheaper one, I thought perhaps something that cost a little more would be better. It’s not like I intend on doing this again any time soon. Better to spend the money and get it right the first time.

I knew within two minutes of riding her that she was the bike for me. I spent most of the test ride with a huge grin on my face. It just felt really good. The seat is still too low and I probably could’ve done with the next frame size up but the seat can be adjusted another few centimeters and maybe the handlebars as well, just to get that extra bit of height.

I also indulged myself and bought my first ever pair of bike shoes. I was originally going to get cage pedals but to get decent looking ones that suited the bike would’ve ended up costing nearly as much as just buying some shoes and clip pedals. It’s an experience that’s for sure. I had a few massive wobbles on the way home and my foot slipped around heaps but I didn’t fall over which I think is a pretty good effort. It’s a totally new way of riding and something I’ll have to adjust to. At least now I’ll stop trashing my sneakers.

New bike. New bike I already love to ride. Think I’m going to be riding more. It’s better than public transport!

And how did I afford this? I have 12 months to pay it off and I’m spending the money from my train ticket which I didn’t renew, a pay rise and a reduction in my tax on it. Money well spent I think.

Moving on to new, perhaps greener pastures

For awhile now I’ve not been feeling the love for my online art gallery/community. Some things happened recently which have encouraged me to move on. So I have. To another Australian-run online gallery.

Me on Ph.Art Gallery

(And yes, the name is deliberate and you are supposed to have a chuckle at it.)

It doesn’t have some of the features of the old place and it is solely about photography but I think that’ll be good. You have to submit photos to the public gallery which is a new things for me but it’s good because it means I’m meeting their standards. And that’s encouraging. I did wonder what to do about my written pieces but I have a deviantArt profile. I experimented last night to see how hard it’d be to add written pieces to it and it’s dead easy! So that’s that sorted.

In the end, I felt like I simply didn’t belong. I used to get a lot of encouragement from the more experienced photographers but there seems to be a general lack of community feeling there these days. The forums which used to be fun now seemed to full of people more interested in attacking each other than having a sensible discussion. Who needs that in their lives?

So, new hopefully greener pastures. It’ll be all good. I have some work to do though – posts to update. Lots of dead links now to photos that have been hidden.