Monthly Archives: August 2003

Linux upgrade

I decided to install the Mandrake 9.1 I have had for a while on my home machine as I wanted to try Mozilla Thunderbird for email and it needed a newer library.

Not brilliant, I did an upgrade and xwindows failed to start. So I did a clean install (of course not touching my home directory).

Now this was impressive, the installer was improved yet again, all was quick and smooth and wow it does look better with the new anti aliased fonts.

Now have Mozilla Firebird (web browser) and Mozilla Thunderbird (mail) installed, plus jedit so am nearly fully operational again. The 3 hours this took reminds me of the 3 days I took to get a fully working NT system a few years ago before I moved real work to Linux.

XXL at night

I think my lights work ok ;-)


Just back from a quick ride (9 miles) cos it was raining all day and my XXL is not yet allowed out in the real wet.


Had a great time, my first power slides round a few corners – big grin much in evidence.

raelity bytes :: /computers/internet/email/clients/thunderbird.html

raelity bytes :: /computers/internet/email/clients/thunderbird.html

I have also been considering Mozilla Thunderbird for a while, but I use Mozilla on a daily basis both on Linux and Windows as my default browser. Anyway seeing your post and that todays build is going to be considered the 0.2 milestone I decided to go ahead.

Unfortunately no Linux build of this version yet, still trying it on windows. Well it starts and looks OK. Pity it does not seem to show the no of messages in each folder and not yet sure if it finds new messages in subfolders automatically (NB I am using IMAP with procmail on the server to sort incoming messages).

I hope this does prove to have a better IMAP engine than Mozilla, that had got to be almost unusable over a modem connection.

Three new Photo Albums

I have just uploaded three new photo albums

Falmouth 2003 includes some sailing and camping. You can see our home build trailer for transporting trikes and camping gear in some of the pictures as well as my Trice XXL.

Southbourne 2003 a few days campling over the bank holiday weekend near Chichester. Tents and trikes mainly.

Hayling Billy trail a mostly trikes album showing XXL, Trets, Kettwiesel, KMX and Road Shark in action.


Hayling Billy

So a nice ride together today, from Southbourne (near Chichester) [got it right this time]. Past Emsworth towards Havant where we joined the Hayling Billy trail which with a small interruption for the bridge onto Hayling Island took us nearly all the way to the sea.

Nice ride, Peter rode his KMX so I took the trets behind my XXL.

Furthest Peter has ridden the KMX by a long way – 19 miles.

Nice swim as well so a good day apart from a puncture on one of Peters fronts and just found a flat front on mine back at the site.

Daves mini tour of London

So on Tuesday I went with Mum and Dad to London. While they were busy I hopped on my Birdy and did a short tour of London.

Start Whitechapel, then Friends of the Earth just north of Old Street Station to deliver a package, then via a coffee shop to Bike fix where I spent too much money on Birdy bits plus a wing mirror for Andrew’s Kettwiesel.

Then random streets until I ended up at Foyles, what a happy accident, no bike parking so folded up the Birdy, put it under it’s new cover and carried it around the shop.

Then down Oxford Street to Hyde Park and a stop for a coffee and hot dog.

Next past Buckingham Palace and Victoria station, then to the Houses of Parliament, Trafalger Square (now starting to look better), Strand etc to St Paul’s, the wobbley (no more) bridge, Tower Bridge and back to the start.

Loads of bikes around, very nice ride.

Family day out

We had a great day out yesterday, approx 20 miles from Southwater near Chichester in a loop to Rowlands Castle and Staunton House.

I was on the Trice X2 tandem towing the Trets trailer, after riding my XXL for a few days I almost suffered form vertigo on the X2.

One very amusing moment was when we parked at Staunton house to go for a cup of tea and cake. Peter grabbed an empty trolley from the garden centre there and filled it with all our panniers, made moving around much easier.

It seems that around 20miles is about right for us in a day at the moment, there is plenty of time for the kids to do things off the bikes and no rush and nobody is too tired to do the same the next day (providing the hills are not too bad). Amazing how quiet the roads were this close to the coast, clearly the tin boxes stick to the main roads.

XXL Ride

Just done my first “proper” ride on my XXL, not long as I have been out at a client all day (400 miles of driving) and Jane was out babysitting for a friend until late.

I got the computer fitted, pity there does not seem to be a wireless one with cadence, but I have found the wireless ones less reliable anyway.

I did 7.8 miles at 14.5 mph average and broke the 30mph speed limit with a max of 34mph on a gentle downhill slope. My front light was one limiter (other than my lack of fitness which is a given).

The XXL is definately faster uphill, on the flat and downhill than my Road Shark by a considerable margin. I also found myself powering through corners that I brake, coast and then lean out on the Road Shark – with almost no learning. The inside front wheel becomes unweighted in a very gentle and mild way that is completely controllable.

The steering is a lot lighter and very rapid, I am seeing some pedalling induced weaving so will need to smooth my action. The turning circle is not as good as the Road Shark on one subway I can just manage the 180 degree turn on the Road Shark most days, the XXL was quite a way off. I also need to reduce the reach a little as I have a long body and have the seat almost fully laid back.

Lots more comments than I get on the Road Shark, mostly “Wow” and “What the f**” is that” (not surprising given the late hour).

I have the ICE special capreo hub (9-32) and also special chain rings (26, 42 and 52), maybe the 26 is overkill cos this trike climbs so well it is amazing.

Just in case anyone was wondering, we are not getting rid of the Road Shark, Jane is having it for around town use and in particular for carrying shopping. I will use it for towing the Bikes at Work trailer (I currently have at least 4 loads of garden rubbish to take to the tip). When we go out as a family, Jane will probably ride the XXL if it on road (I will captain the X2) or she will use the Road Shark on the national cycle network due to it’s bigger tyres and ability to handle abuse.