I have been slowly talking and working with someone to build a better select survey site. We are restricted to using this because they are our supplier. It would probably be easier,faster, more modern, to have a whizz kid freelancer come in and build a database our users would access through a web page or something. We can’t do that because of MONEY. And because we’ve got this system.

Initially when I asked, I was told “nah, can’t do that with this software”. But slowly, by calling and thanking and by being appreciative of work done by the survey team, it appears they’ve grasped what I need to do. I am now close to having a survey that users can log into, have their basic information prepopulated, and use a matrix table to provide a lot of information to us quickly. Given the number one answer for not returning information to us has been “we’re too busy and it’s easier to write and then fax “(!) I hope this will be a “very good thing”. I just need to check this will work each and every time and the date will update automatically to this weeks. (Nothing worse than having to choose today’s date when the default date is 12 months in the past).

This is not sexy work. This is not great big data analysis, or accessing servers, or building complex routines. OR EVEN MANAGING USING PRINCE2, LEAN, OR AGILE.
I have found working in big, public, organisations isn’t about doing things in the most modern way. The systems have grown from a big decision to purchase a system. The cost of replacing systems for smaller lighter solutions appears to be prohibitive, in time and in person time/cost. Solutions are found using existing systems until they can no longer cope and fall down.

It’s such a massive win in my books when you can get someone to do what you want by asking if there are workarounds and calling them and thanking them when they do something.

I still like my job, and I’ve been here since May.


A bit of excel and bikes

I thought. You know. You know what. I bet people would like to see what I’ve got planned in the next couple of months. So I done did a spreadsheet. And this is it.

Plans and dreams right?


Things I like about this are the way the HC events “go up”. There are many HC in HC1 – HC8, hopefully I’ll be able to pick one or two. It’s a bit problematic as they may or may not be within easy reach.

Also, while the Nationals are on there: I DON’T THINK I’LL BE COMPETING IN THEM.

I’d have to lose about 7 kg and gain about a minute or so on some of my times. And train.


Things I don’t like about this: I’ve used data labels, I’m not usually a fan but in this example I couldn’t think of a better way to tell me/someone else. Because of legibility I’ve rotated them.



A bit of excel and bikes

Last of the Summer cross.

Ho ho. What a pun eh?

Yesterday’s race was hyped up with “biblical rain” “remember last year’s mud fest?” “MY REAR MECH!”, I couldn’t face the ball ache of dragging a second pair of wheels around, especially as either pair is hardly special – budget shimano road and basic mavics that came with CAAD 10 3 years ago.

This would be the point in time where I point out I had a single speed cross biek, until I managed to knacker the front forks (carbon). I’m not sure how I knackered it. But it’s knackered. There’s a big scratch in it. I thought! I’ll buy a pompetamine, this will let me run discs! Then I’ve not got round to buying discs. Or disc wheels. However, I think I’ve solved the wheels problem (shout out to the Beckenham massive) and disc brakes will be purchased over the next month or three.

However, back to the massive biblically epic shit fest of mud I was supposed to be racing in last night. HOW WOULD I DO IT?

I decided to race single speed. ON THE MUM BIKE. ON THE FUCKING MUM BIKE.

This isn’t as shocking as you’d think, it’s a trek hybrid, it can take big tyres (Clement PDX (lovely tyres btw, such supple)) and it’s pretty RAD.

I got to Herne Hill last night and sat around listening to lots of chat about bikes, how the race at Bethlem/Addington etc shouldn’t really be called “London races” as they’re in “fucking Croydon”. They were from North of the river though. So, you know, FUCK THEM RIGHT?

We had half a lap through the technical stuff, I thought “ooh this is a bit slipppy”. And took some air out of the front and back.


I took so much out. When the whistle went and I went “full gas” (I didn’t, I don’t, I prefer the “try and catch as many people” rather than the “go flat out and try and hold on” strategy) I noticed a distinct problem. My front tube was fucking flat. Cue HILARIOUS cornering and a general sense of “where’s the fucking pit stop, I hope there’s a pump”.

Get to pit, this is before completing a lap, get 40 psi in the front, roll out. FUCKING HELL now the rear is all over the shop on the track transition. (OH HAI SPRINTERS, I IZ FUCKING UP YOUR CLEAN TRACK WITH MY DIRTY DIRTY MUD).

Cue one full lap back to the pits. Lots of grip in the mud though.

Back to the pits. 35 in the back.

I then spent the next 8 laps trying to catch up with as many people  as I could. I saw Ved from my club about half a lap ahead and made it my goal to lap him, (soz Ved). I did.

Race was great, cornering is still not great, catching people, pulling stupid faces at the camera, nailing the “hill” everytime on a single speed purple shopper felt great.

teh end.


3 weeks and then Cross proper starts.

Last of the Summer cross.