Hollow Hills

Blimey. It’s been a while, hasn’t it? This is a sign of two things: firstly, project TRX has been an outrageous success, to the point where I’ve just been getting on and riding it, rather than mithering on about it. Secondly, well, the weather has been rather nice, and I’ve been on holiday. Thirdly, I’ve got a new job, so things have been a bit busy on that front too. Fourthly, and most importantly, I seem to have forgotten how to count.

So. The TRX. Well, it’s bloody brilliant. I know I’ve said it before, but I have a feeling that this one is a definite keeper. It’s just so much fun to ride. I’ve done a few long(ish) trips, lots of little blasts, and a whole lot of just looking at it, thinking “phwooaaar”. I’ve not quite hit my personal benchmark of 500 miles in a day – but I reckon that it’s easily comfortable enough for an old chap like me, and enough fun to stop me having to have a snooze half way through the trip. I’ve also had the pleasure of getting my knee down on the road for the first time in a few years, so there’s no shortage of grip from the s/hand tyres. Nice. There’s a few bits and bobs that I want to sort out over the winter though. There’s a bit of a clonking from the front end every now and then, and I can’t quite work out whether it’s the head bearings or the fork internals right now. To save myself any further confusion, I’ll just replace the head bearings, and at the same time fit a set of cartridge emulators. This is a pretty standard mod to TRXs, as the front end is a bit weedy, even when new. After 20 years, well, it’s both weedy and floppy. Not a pleasant combination. Other than that, it’s been a brilliant ride. At first I thought it was a bit slow, but then I reminded myself to look at the speedo, and it’s embarrassingly easy to hit three figure speeds without realising it. Put it this way – it kept up with Sol’s GSX-R1100 powered Katana without ever stressing it. Nice. And I now go out of my way to look for tunnels, just so I can gas it and listen to the noise. Yup. I think this one is a keeper.

So, what next? Well, regular readers of this rubbish will remember that I had surgery last year for Dupuytren’s Contracture on my right hand. The main reason for this was because I quite fancied getting out there climbing again, and this was a complete pain in the arse. I’d tried a quick climb in Switzerland a couple of years ago, and it hurt enough to stop me pretty much dead in my tracks. So, I had the surgery last year, and after a few months of recovery, this happened last week:

SUNP0011Yes, I know it’s on a top rope, but I don’t care. I’d popped down to Cornwall with my family for a holiday, and decided to get out on the sea cliffs again, and my hand was absolutely fine. Not a twinge, not a niggle, not a weak moment. And this has really fired my enthusiasm to do a bit more climbing now – which is, of course, a complete pain in the arse given that I live in The Fens, and the nearest hill is half a days drive away. Still, there can’t be many more stupid pastimes to undertake when you live in The Fens, right?

At which point, I should probably introduce this:


Errr, yeah. That’s my longboard. And although I’ve been riding it for a couple of years, I’ve kind of decided that I really want to get a bit more out of it, and do a lot more riding on some bigger and faster hills. So, rock climbing and longboarding. Both perfect ways to spend my autumn years living in the bastard flattest place on the planet.

In yet other news, oh, I’m not quite ready to mention this yet. Watch this space. Plans. Afoot. They very much are.