Tom Downie

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  • Tom Downie
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    Reply to: South East – Where to ride for rocks etc…

    You’ll be dissapointed then, GT and Inners are about as man made as they come!

    Pffft

    There is, of course, absolutely NO excellent natural riding around either of these places, and there is not, for instance a steep rocky descent of plenty behind Innerleithen.

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    Reply to: Any recommendations for good value well vented cycling glasses?

    Cheers guys, those Tifosis look like a good option and the endura range also.

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    Reply to: Who's tried/uses raw (unpasteurized) milk?

    stuff like that must have been tampered with in some way

    It’s not really anything sinister, it’s possible filter bacteria out of milk using membrane filtration. So you can reduce the bacteria to low levels (long shelf life) without heat treating it to destruction.

    bacteria / pathogens are much, much bigger than the protein molecules,which are bigger than the sugar molecules, fat and the other stuff in milk. So you can purify without heat treating it to the same extent, which preserves the taste. in fact you can seperate the milk completely this way.

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    Reply to: Shimano SLX cassette not freewheeling

    I had a 2012 SLX freehub fail as you describe, just stuck. The wheel was only a couple of months old so it was warrantied. Essentially the freehub is gubbed, it’s quite an easy fix for your LBS if you need it in a hurry.

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    Reply to: Rat race the crossing

    If you’re not “racing it”, the cost seems a bit much. I was interested but just couldn’t justify that kind of cash, would be £500-600 weekend by the time I got myself there, food and accommodation the night before the start.

    Why not organise a multi day ride yourself? Plenty of options in Scotland and you could put the cash towards a treat for the bike and decent accommodation. Tour de Cairngorms perhaps?

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    Reply to: Dying from a coke overdose

    If you drank 10l a day of water / milk / orange juice / beer etc it would probably have very bad consequences for your health!

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    Reply to: Best chain cleaning juice…

    I got a 5l carton of this degreaser called Gunk from the local car parts shop. Very effective, cost less than £10 and can be watered down. It works very well for cleaning the drive chain with a chain cleaner. Less messy than diesel!

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    Reply to: APR 1058% ??????

    I don’t think many people argue that pay day loans have no place – they’re better than illegal loan sharking.

    However, the real issue is that recently these payday lenders have been marketing themselves in a “no hassle, no worries, we’re you’re best mate”. This is encouraging people to take out these loans for less than essential purposes, high risk of debt spiral.

    Borrowing £200 to fix your car in an emergency so you can get to work, that makes sense

    Borrowing £200 to buy the kid a tablet computer fr xmas, not good.

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    Reply to: Evicting tenants.

    I guess you’re in Scotland so the law is different, be careful of following advice for Englandshire tenancies.

    It’s harsh but if you’re in the business of renting you need to be prepared for this happening, i.e. get some professional advice if you don’t already know the law.

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    Reply to: east highland way

    Anyone biked it recently? Sounds interesting,

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    Reply to: Domestication of a cyclist

    when I couldn’t drag mud into the house I used one of those big flexible plastic bucket things. After the ride, rinse clothes outside in big bucket thing to get rid of the worst of the mud. Then take inside and put straight in washing machine. Minimum mud into house transfer.

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    Reply to: Domestication of a cyclist

    Sweet lord, are you asking if you should wash your clothes?

    Shorts – every ride, no debate
    Tops – every ride, perhaps two if not long or muddy rides. merino maybe three.
    Socks – every ride
    Jackets / waterproofs – once a month or so

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    Reply to: A quick question for anyone who works in engineering

    I work in O&G. I’m sure it’s not unique to this industry but they will be swamped (1000s) by “adequate” CVs. i.e. Expected 1st, 2:1 from good uni, some experience. The adequate ones get put through to interview where they are weeded out. No one reads them in massive detail. They’ll probably let 10-20% through, maybe with a telephone interview to cut it down further.

    1. Get help with your CV. Get someone who’s opinion you value to read it over. Use uni careers service if they can help. At least then you’ll know your CV is presented as well as it possibly can be.
    2. Emphasise any experience you have that other might not. Have you set up / run a club at uni or out of uni? Have you been doing part time jobs?
    3. Tweak the letter / CV for each company you apply. Get hints on how to tweak it by reading corporate guff on their website.

    If you’re struggling in your chosen field (which is a narrow /specialist one) why not apply to other companies? A placement with any reputablle engineering company would help you massively, even if it’s in a different field.

    edit: I know IChemE publish a list of 100s of graduate employers, check if the IMechE does similar. Might give you a wider list of people to apply,

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    Reply to: Drinking in Glasgow – Will I Die?

    peterfile – if you live in Park Circus, can you confirm a horrible rumour i’ve heard – that Uisge Beatha has closed down?

    Yes, it’s now called Dram I think. Been in it a couple of times, it’s OK but not the same as the dingy cave of old.

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    Reply to: Drinking in Glasgow – Will I Die?

    Park Circus of Glasgow fame?

    Glasgow has a bit of a reputation that’s for sure but a lot of what’s been said here is bollocks. I guess as a visitor you could end up in places where locals would avoid but in general it’s absolutely fine.

    If you want a pub to avoid in Glasgow, check this beauty out on Duke Street:

    lamp post bar street view

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    Reply to: Drinking in Glasgow – Will I Die?

    Where do you live Perfile that makes Glasgow seem like such a ghastly place?

    Glasgow is fine, it’s a big city so has all sorts but also has one of the best cultural scenes and night life in the UK. For the OP – you’ll be fine. If you want nice bars walk the 15 mins from the station down to the Merchant City.

    As for people implying that Glasgow is some racist backwater, also not true. Large parts of the city are very enthnically diverse, and better integrated than many other places in the UK that I have experienced. It’s the thrid biggest urban centre in the UK, so has much more to offer than most places. There are also lots of hills and riding nearby!

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    Reply to: Learning to Kayak

    It’s quite easy to pick up the basics, very hard to master. If your going to go out alone learning to role would be handy, which can take from a few weeks to many years depending on the coaching and your ability.

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    Reply to: Learning to Kayak

    It is more of a club based sport than cycling at the recreational level. I think the reasons are:

    – Over the winter pool sessions are a great way to learn / improve skills. You generally need a club to book organise these
    – Lots of specialised equipment, even entry level stuff is expensive. Clubs tend to own quite a bit of equipment for members to use. e.g. I own a couple of kayaks but don’t have an open canoe or sea kayak which I borrow from my club when needed
    – Potentially risky to do it on your own or in a pair, especially when inexperienced
    – To get “good” at you will need quite a bit of coaching, a club will be a cheap way of getting this

    I’d 100% recommend getting involved with a club, or at least doing a decent introductory course (like at PyB as others have said). This will at least give you an idea how to keep safe and help you buy the right equipment. It’s very common for people to turn up at clubs having spent £1000s on kit which isn’t what they need.

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    Reply to: If you're thinking of winter car tyres…

    I changed to winter tyres this year on the van back at the start of the winter.

    I’m amazed at the increased performance on snow, slush and ice. It really is night and day difference. The fact that the grip better on cold, wet roads is also a bonus. The winter tyres cost exactly the same per corner as the summer tyres, so assuming I keep the van for a while the cost is neither here nor there.

    To all the nay-sayers – it’s up to everyone to do their own cost / benefits analysis but you can’t really dispute the benefits of winter tyres. The fact that “I’ve been driving for 70 years in the Himilayas on £19 remoulds out of the market and I’ve never needed any more grip” is irrelevent bollocks.

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    Reply to: What Van?

    Do you want new or used? If you want a used non-white AND crew seats in the back you might have slim pickings. It is quite easy to fit extra seats, but will cost you a few quid.

    T5 is nice to drive and looks good, but they are expensive so if you want the newest van for your money look at transits and the like which are also nice to drive.

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    Reply to: Scumbag Letting Agent Trying to Charge for Reference, Advice Please…

    So everyone else works for free then?

    No, but this is extortion. This is not in any agreement, it’s just that they know that a lot of people will be in a rush or feel pressured into paying it so they don’t become homeless. Over the year I have been in that flat they will have earned their fees for very little work, as I have always paid the rent on time and caused them no hassle. It’s pi$$ taking of the highest order, the wording of the email made it even worse.

    The other aspect to this is that in Scotland letting agents are not allowed to charge tennants any fees, as happens in England. So the costs are built into the rent, but I think it will also drive letting agents to look for scams like this.

    edit: fixed typo

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    Reply to: Scumbag Letting Agent Trying to Charge for Reference, Advice Please…

    Well I can give an update. I spoke to the referencing agency working for the new agent. They sighed when I explained, and said not to worry just send us a copy of your lease and proof (i.e.) bank statements that I’d paid the rent for the last few months.

    I’m going to put in a data protection request with the old agent so I get a copy of everything the hold, so I don’t have to deal with again and it will take a fair bit of work for them to do and very little cost for me.

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    Reply to: Anyone got Endura thermolite, Altura ergo fit, or Gore contest II tights?

    Got a few pairs of thermolites, happy with them. In my experience the back and leg lengths are quite short for the size which suits me, but I think you might struggle if your tall.

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    Reply to: Merino: hmmm

    I have a Howies merino top from 2005 which is still going strong as my “go to” thermal, although it probably thinner that it was. Cost per use it’s the best item of clothing I’ve ever bought. I also have a Rab MeCo merino mix top that has been excellent. I wash both these tops with other stuff and they’re both fine. I have an Ice Breaker top from a couple of years ago which seems to have turned scratchy with age and doesn’t seem to be lasting half as well as the Howies or the Rab. I guess this might be the downside of merino, you just don’t know what you’re getting.

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    Reply to: How many miles would you expect to get out of a cassette?

    Probably around 500miles for me. It depends on a lot of things, how your your ride, where you ride, your weight / power. Also if you use the whole cassette or tend to wear out the middle 3 (I do this a bit).

    No doubt someone will be along to say that they get 8000miles out of a cassette, and they lube it with nothing but spit every four rides whether it needs it or not.

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    Reply to: best waterproof boots

    With the MW81s, doesn’t the Goretex liner stop the water getting in from the cleats? I only get wet feed with mine if it’s absolutely soaking and it runs down my leg.

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    Reply to: Trail Centre riders riding without a cycling helmet on !!

    I don’t understand why people do it, but it is their choice. I guess another way of thinking about it is that by even getting on your bike and riding a black route you’ve accepted quite a high level of risk (vs sitting at home), but you wouldn’t like it if people shouted it at you.

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    Reply to: Whisky again, but you have laugh.

    Famous Grouse + Canada Dry + some fresh lime is the way to go. I’ve not tried substituting the Grouse for fox piss. At the risk of being shot down, Grouse is drinkable on its own but clearly is no malt.

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    Reply to: Bike discount de

    Ordered a pair of tyres a month or so back at the weekend. Had them by Tuesday so no complaints from me. You could choose either DPD or DHL (extra cost) as the carrier. Tbh the tyres were so much cheaper than could be had here that it was worth the extra (potential) risk with returns.

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    Reply to: west highland way, how long will it take and where do we stop??

    On the second day we manage to catch a ferry from Tarbet to Inversnaid to aviod the long walk at the start of Loch Lomond. Again this allowed enough time ride ride along the rest of the loch and up over Conic Hill at the end of Loch Lomond.

    The OP was talking about his mate doing it for charity. I’d ask for my money back if I’d sponsored someone to do the WHW and heard they’d gone for a jolly in a boat 😉

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    Reply to: Glen Finglas

    + 1 for anticlockwise. I enjoyed the ride, nothing technical but a good climb, great views and the descent is scary fast. You can see along way North and South from the high point which is great. It’s very exposed for a good part of the ride, hope the weather improves for you!

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    Reply to: west highland way, how long will it take and where do we stop??

    is the carry section just as bad if youre going north-south? i know we`ll still have to carry, but is it easier that way round?

    Yep, it’s pretty much exactly the same. The path hugs the East shore of Loch Lomond. It’s not hike-a-bike like you might do going up a mountain. It’s more just short carries and lifts over boulders, tree roots and drainage ditches that goes on and on and on.

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    Reply to: west highland way, how long will it take and where do we stop??

    If you don’t have it it would be a good idea to get this:

    WHW Map

    It’s handy for planning the route and when your tired some of the navigation isn’t totally obvious.

    If you’re planning to go in may you might find it tough to find accomodation exactly where you want, so I’d get something booked as soon as you can. If you want to enjoy the route this might be a plan over three days:

    FW to Bridge of Orchy – this is a long distance but has most of the best riding.

    Bridge of Orchy to Rowerdennan – This takes in the dreaded East Shore or Loch Lomond.

    Rowerdennan to Milngavie

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    Reply to: One Picture From Your Favourite Ride Of This Year.

    First overnight bothy ride, near Fort William. Great riding, made all the more challenging carrying kit.

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    Reply to: Repairing tubeless tyres

    The Weldtite tubeless repair kit works for smallish holes, it’s quick and easy to do.

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    Reply to: the usual "here's a picture of my weekends riding" thread, add yours

    Glen Einich, Cairngorms. The colours make it look about 25 degrees warmer than it was, a bit of a winter treat of a day.

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    Reply to: Low level ride Aviemore area?

    There’s a shonky bridge over the main river crossing, it looks fairly new but has a sign saying “max three people”. There were a few streams and a smaller river crossing which were all rideable and had stepping stones should you not wish to have a bash. It looked like the track up the glen had had quite a bit of repair and improvement works done recently with some resurfaced sections and new drainage.

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Viewing 40 posts - 2,521 through 2,560 (of 2,720 total)