Monday, 30 November 2009

Riding the Boards of Champions

I put this video together from our Beeston Cycling Club trip to the Manchester Velodrome.

It was an absolute blast. Can't wait to go again. The banking is very steep, 42 degrees, but really not that scary once you get on to it.

It was also great value. We had dedicated use of the track with a coach for 2 hours. For 16 of us this came to £23.50 each including bike hire.

I just hope the indoor velodrome in Leicester gets the go ahead. Beeston CC may end up with a track team yet.

Riding the Boards of Champions from Adam Bird on Vimeo.

Tuesday, 17 November 2009

Sake-fuelled cultural insensitivity

Mrs B and I were lucky enough to go to the Eat Japan Sushi Awards over the weekend.

We had a great time, ate some amazing, truly world-class, food and made good use of the complimentary sake and beer.

There were seven chefs from seven different countries, all with a very different approach to the challenge.

The Czech entrant made a 'cute sexy hedgehog for pregnant ladies'. The US entrant had infused his with soil and the Italian entrant had used only Italian ingredients, even the rice.

The event was ultimately won by Tomoyuki Abe of Japan. This wasn't the foregone conclusion it may sound like. All entries where truly amazing but his salmon nigri was utterly sublime and he was a thoroughly deserving winner.

The great thing about the event was that we, the attendees, got to vote for the winner, which meant we had to taste all of their dishes. I actually plumped for the British entry as I felt his entry really worked well together but Mrs B, being Mrs B, voted for the eventual winner.

I guess I have to concede she has impeccable taste in many things ;)

Part of the evening involved a maki (sushi roll) making demonstration and then competition open to a couple of members of the audience.

I was one of those members and emerged victorious, though I had an awful lot of help from my appointed sushi-master. Video below.

Unfortunately, in my sake-fuelled joy I ended up hugging him, I then remembered the Japanese aren't big on the whole body contact thing.

Guess that career with the UN is on hold for a while.

Eat Japan Sushi Awards 2009 from Adam Bird on Vimeo.

Sunday, 15 November 2009

Ride like you feel, just occasionaly


Currently in the midst of base-training which for cycling means lot's of long rides at a pace within yourself to lay the platform for the real improvements later on.

On these rides you're constantly monitoring your heart rate, power output or pace to make sure that you're operating at the correct level.

The problem is it can get rather dull.

I had a couple of hours this afternoon that started out as another Zone 2 'endurance' but I pushed it a little more into Zone 3 'tempo' as I was short of the normal 3-5 hours we normally cycle at this time of year.

By the end I'd ditched watching what I should have been doing and just rode as I felt.

It felt brilliant.

Still not up to the pace I was before my crash but it did show me that the base training is having an effect.

I'll return to it on the next ride with renewed motivation.

When you're wrapped up in training plans, it's easy to forget that the reason you ride in the first place is because you enjoy it.

Friday, 13 November 2009

Autumn Epic 09

Finally got round to getting this up on YouTube ( Unfortunately I ended up with the obvious use of ELO, Mr Blue Sky as Super Furry Animals, Hello Sunshine wasn't allowed because its WMG copyright.

Vimeo doesn't have that kind of restriction so here is the original Director's Cut.

Autumn Epic 09 from Adam Bird on Vimeo.

Thursday, 12 November 2009

HOWTO: Source Control for VMWare Hosted Visual Studio on OSX

I've been wrestling with how to get some notion of backed-up source control for my Visual Studio projects that don't warrant going into the Esendex Team Foundation Server.

Didn't want them to be open source so,, etc were all out and I didn't want to pay any money for a secure service.

Here's what I came up with.

Firstly I discovered that OSX ships with and SVN server, very handy. I followed this link to set it up:

With SVN running locally on the Mac, I could then rely Time Machine to make sure my source code was backed up.

Then downloaded the Ankh SVN plugin for Visual Studio so I could use and SVN repository.

So far so good, but then how to access the SVN repository. My virtual machine connects to the network independently so I had no consistent way of knowing the IP or hostname that I would need to browse to.

The answer: Bonjour for Windows. Installed that on the Windows Virtual Machine and bingo I can use the advertised machine name of my mac with the .local suffix to access the SVN, no matter what network I'm on.