Last ride in Cambridge

I am moving to Southwark next Friday – to a house that has a garage (I have been waiting for this all my adult life), albeit one that has been turned into a toilet! So first priority is to unbrick it and remove the sanitary equipment to make way for the entrance of Belinda.

Here is the trace of the last trip around here, more of a test to try the new GPX plugin recommended by Geoff. It was a beautiful summer evening after a warm but humid day, with evenings now noticeably drawing in.

Everytrail is rescued, resuscitated, revived or is it?

Four or five years ago, the useful for logging bike journeys, Everytrail stopped working. It was bought up by Tripadvisor and left to slowly break. Shame as it was a convenient site for uploading GPS tracks directly from the GPS device – it had the clever ability of finding your latest GPX file and separating it out into separate journeys. What was useful was that it was made easy to embed the code for your trip into blogs and websites. After it stopped I started using, at the suggestion of my technical and travel guru Geoff Jones. But getting the particular track that you wanted from your GPS onto the website seemed to need an intermediary. I used Adze.

Today in my email I got an announcement that AllTrails had taken over Everytrail (when will they run out of names?) and inviting me to make an account. I responded immediately and eventually my trips (now called recordings) from Everytrail appeared on their site. But can I embed the trails in my blog? Let’s try.


OK, hmm. Let’s try some different code:

OK, these links load very slowly and are not that useful or good to look at. AllTrails does not impress. Also every page features prominent incitements to pay for a ‘Pro’ account, pointing out to you all the things you can’t do unless you fork out $30 per year. I will keep looking.

What about this? this is Geoff’s solution. He got it working for him but it doesn’t seem to work for me yet. there should be a map here – can find an upload the GPX current file from a connected GPS but is not able to separate the different parts so uploads all your recent journeys together – which is not so helpful.

Trip down to Hideout leather (again)

Since my last visit to this hidden gem I have been wanting to return to replace the leather trousers that I bought on ebay while I was learning to ride back in 2007. They cost well under £100 then and were one of the more successful on-line cut-price purchases that I made in the first excitement of riding a motorcycle (the others were pretty bad and needed to be replaced quickly). Finding, a few years later, that they had pockets for hip and knee armour made me all the more pleased with them. I remember taking the tube down to Heine Gericke in Stockwell after work and buying some black rubber armour that looked a bit like place mats. However, at my first trip to Hideout Leather a few months back it was pointed out that they were far too big for me. I knew that but was in denial. Despite being held up by braces with pictures of cows on them, the knee armour ended up about halfway down my calves (no farmyard pun intended). So back I went to replace them with something more fitting. This is what I ended up with, the shop’s own make.

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And at £395 with some substantial armour they are pretty impressive. My usual size just did NOT fit and I felt like a woman in the changing room trying to get into a size 12 dress when they are a couple of sizes bigger. OK, I could just fit into the ones I ended up riding away in. But the sweat I worked up trying out the smaller ones made the whole process so much harder. It was then that I discovered the wonders of baselayers, in this case made by the firm EDZ. I’d read about baselayers and vowed I would never wear such weird looking stuff, however, once on, at the suggestion of the woman in the shop, the leathers slipped on a treat (so to speak). I am converted. In fact I also bought an EDZ top while I was there and wore that on the way home. The idea of course is that it ‘wicks’ away sweat when you are hot (whatever that means) but keeps you warm when it is cold weather. For something with a 100% Polyester label (rather than merino wool), I am not sure how that is achieved – and how long it lasts – but it seems to work well for me. Here’s a review from web bike world. As it says, this stuff ‘makes it easier to slip in to or out of leathers, especially after a sweaty ride’. The review also suggests that most bikers have no idea what this is – which describes me. I told the assistant that I was afraid of tearing the seams of these trousers, they felt so tight, and she assured me, with a rye smile, that they were designed to withstand 100mph meetings with tarmac. OK, I get the message.

Trips in summer are definitely better taken in a well-ventilated BMW Rallye Pro suit (read an impressive in-depth comparison of this and some other textile suits from Road Trooper here) but for other short trips around, and in late autumn/winter/early spring which is basically nearly all we get in the UK, this kit from Hideout Leather seems incredibly confidence inspiring in terms of protection – and doesn’t look too bad.

Here’s the track of the journey down there. This time I didn’t get lost.

Note a few days later: These trousers really are tight fitting – I was told they would stretch a bit but after my second short ride in them I feel like me knees are being dislocated. ride to HL