New car for me!!

It became time to upgrade my car from the A4 estate I’ve been driving for the past 10 years, to something a bit more suitable for my needs. I travelled to Swords in Dublin last weekend to pick myself up a very nice and shiny beast of a bus! 2007 Mugello Blue Pearl Audi Q7S-line Quattro. 3.0 V6 Tdi engine, 230BHP (so far! Maybe a 300bhp update to come soon) 20″ 5-Spoke S-Line alloy wheels Adjustable air suspension 6-speed Tiptronic automatic, with paddle-shifters on steering wheel Black leather/alcantara S-Line heated electric sports seats Panoramic roof Bi-Xenon auto headlights Auto wipers …

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Citroen Jumpy Multispace, a little review..

On the recent kayak club Alps training and development trip, we rented a 9-seater Citroen Jumpy Multispace. I drove this tank of vehicle for some 3200 km across France, Italy and Slovenia. My impressions overall? I’d cry every day if this was my main mode of transport. It is really not a good vehicle. Things that were not good with it: The gearstick was extremely loose and felt more worn than the gearsticks in my previous Landrover 109, and this made selection of gears a best-guess at best all of the time. The window switches are in a really awkward …

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Way to go Tesco Mobile – cut off your paying customers..

See here: Pretty much if you’re on Tesco Mobile as a PAYG customer, they can and will randomly cut customers off until they provide a scan of a PASSPORT. Absolutely dismal policy. They didn’t require that level of documentation to set up the account and start taking the cash. To see then that they’ll actually completely stop service without any warning? Preposterous!

Fox 40s arrived and are on the bike.

My new Fox 4o forks are now on the V10. The 2016 Fox 40 Factory air sprung front forks had to be custom made as the 26″ option is no longer available from the UK distributer, so I got an option of what colour decals went on, so of course I picked the gold option. They look absolutely fantastic, with the gold decals, black lowers, and the golden colour of the Kashima anodising on the stanchions. I took the bike for a quick ride around the estate and the first impressions are that they are more plush, and definitely a better …

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Wishlist for a new trail bike – musings, hopes and dreams.

If I were building a new trail bike, what would I have? Well, it would be replacing the Reign X1 that I currently use as my XC bike. Any new bike will have to be light, full suspension, and able to handle my riding inaccuracies.. So far with a quick look around at what’s out there, this is what I’ve come up with. Santa Cruz Bronson V2 CC frame. Fox 36 Talas 160 forks Fox Float X shock XT groupset, 2×10 (or XTR Di2 if it’s more affordable) SLX or XT brakes (200/160) Enve 27.5 m60 wheels, Shimano hubs 760mm bars …

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Fox 40s on the way

I’ve just ordered myself a set of 2016 Fox 40 26″ forks, for my Santa Cruz V10.4 carbon framed downhill bike. The ability to adjust the forks is something that I have wanted to play with for a while. I’m looking forwards to giving these a run down the trails in Bike Park Ireland in a few weeks.. As a result of this upgrade, I’ll have a set of 2012 Boxxer forks, with J-Tech uprated internals for sale, with a full professional service on them. Great condition too.


At lunch recently with a friend at a newly-opened Thai restaurant nearby, I decided to try using only chopsticks for the meal.. Surprisingly (for an Irishman brought up with knife and fork) it wasn’t that hard to do, once I figured out how to eat the rice with them.. At least I’m not likely to really embarrass myself with them in the future!

Getting to use the astro kit

I’m learning how to take better astrophotos.. This photo is of the current setup that I’m using for taking star photos. I’m using a Celestron Onyx 80ed refractor (black scope on the bottom) with the Canon 600d, with a field flattener and Astronomics CLS clip-in filter to take the actual images. To guide, I’m using my IKI 70ed refractor with a recently sourced Synguider self-contained autoguider, which sends corrections to my new Celestron AVX mount that I got before Christmas. Wednesday night I tried to take lots of sub images of M51, the whirlpool galaxy. All looked good, the first …

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Fun and Games in Kerry for the Kayaker’s New Year!

2015 turned to 2016, and I spent it in the depths of Kerry once again. Spending time with ULKC members on an unofficial trip to the Kingdom, it’s the only way to ring in the new year! Sharing the Sleepy Camel with UCDCC was enlightening, listening to the best of acoustic music, and seeing the social interactions between the club members, as well as seeing old acquaintances once more. It was good to bump into a few of the oldies from my original era of uni paddling, Joxxer, Richie Gillespie, and a few more. Paddling? There was some for sure. …

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