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My Bicycles

Dawes "Fat Chance"
I guess my Dad started me off on cycling. I have had a bike since a child and used to go on long bike rides with my Dad.

I have had a bike for a much longer period than a car, there has always been a bike available even though I may have lost several cars. I used to have my Dad's Claude Butler racing bike when I was a kid, which was very light weight. The longest serving was my Dawes 'Fat Chance' mountain bike which has lasted 20 years! When I first went to buy it in Cambridge in '91 I was with my mum as we were going to bring it back in the car. I pointed out a bike in the shop as a likely suspect, she looked at it and said: "Fat chance". Well, who could resist after that. After the car crash it became even more major form of transport. The poor old 20 year old bike was falling apart badly and I had to keep taking dead bits off to keep it going. At one point I had no breaks and 1 gear. I had looked after it but it was finally showing its age, and also parts were no longer available.

I cycle to work and use it to get into the city, also take lots of bike rides, cheapest form of entertainment!
Giant Roam XR3

My new bike Giant Roam XR3, took 8 months to get! 2010/11 sometime. Using cyclescheme through work delayed things and then there was no stock anywhere. I briefly flirted with the idea of a Claude Butler but decided Giant was a more quality product and should last me a very long time, it may well be the last bike I have. The XR3 is a hybrid bike a sort of cross between road bike and mountain bike with 28" thinner off road wheels. The main thing was the suspension forks as the Dawes used to sting badly off road with the forces coming through the handlebars, even on the roads it used to wear me out with the constant banging through my arms. I once rode from Norwich to Bungay to the Waveney Greenpeace Festival and the bike nearly killed me.

After owning the bike for sometime I am still delighted with it, such a pleasure to ride. I can never get over how good it is. With my GPS device I have opened up my light offroad experiences as one is no longer worried of branching off into forest or fields may lead to a dead end.

There is only one thing that lets this bike down is the 29 speed chain, which is lighter than a bike with less gears and more inclined to break. The Dawes chain broke once in all the years I had it, the Giant chain broke twice in three years. I have opted for a different make of chain now and hopefull it will last longer.

At the time of buying it Giant offered a next stage up which was in white with disc breaks, the main worry for me though was that it was called the XR2, I think this would have been a dangerous name considering my history with it! (If you don't know what I am talking about just explore this website)


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My Stereo(s) (Hi-fi) The rise and fall and rise again. A History of my stereo endeavours.

Part 1 - from a radio to the Pioneer

Part 1 | Part 2 | My stereo in June 2015

This is no boast but I love my stereo. Having a good stereo is the centre of my life and my only essential possession for someone who is not really into possessions.

Early days

I started my stereo life with a radio my Grandad gave me. Then I got my Dad's old setup (record deck and Sinclair System 2000 compact amp) which I added another one of my Grandads radio's to.

My Dad's amp was like this only black:

The Pioneer compact hi-fi

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