Single Speed is All You Need

Bad Boy Singlespeed

Bad Boy Singlespeed

I have finally bought myself a new bike. After much deliberation, a single speed Cannondale Bad Boy has won the day. One of the main points with selecting a new bike was to have low maintenance. To achieve this, hydraulic disk brakes were required. Gears have always irritated me, especially when they need adjusting. Originally, the eight speed hub geared version of the same bike had my attention, but that would still require a gear cable.

Having read a few websites that raved about the advantages of single speed, it was decided to take a chance. If it turned out that the single speed was to much to cope with on my route to work, then it would always be possible to purchase a hub gear, and convert the bike.

I have now fitted the bike with a pair of SPD peddles, and used the bike for work a few time. It is a great relief that it has been fantastic. The thought of riding up and down hills in one gear was a little daunting, but that has turned out to be unfounded. As this bike is a lot lighter than my old bike, and fitted with thinner tyres means that it makes the ride uphills possible in the gear it uses.

If you have ever thought of getting a single speed bike, then do it! Single Speed is All You Need! 🙂

New Bike. Well maybe….

This is starting to do my head in. A few months ago, it became apparent the my old Claude Butler hybrid bike was nearing the end of its useful life. For the amount of miles it has done, I have been pleased considering it was reasonably cheap. Well it now seems that all the components are wearing out at the same time. The front rim is worn out by the brakes. The rear wheel needs a new hub. The chain, chain rings and sprockets all need replacing. To look at the rear sprocket it is amazing it works at all.

The reason this bike was a cheap one, was to find out if it would get used. In the past, it could be claimed that exercise equipment was not always put to it full use in this house 🙂 Well the bike has been great. Most weeks it gets me to work three days, which is a 22 mile (35 km) round trip. One reason I have been so keen to use it is the alternative route to work on those days is to use the train, which is also used by the local Grammer School kids. So, as the bike is getting used, a simple replacement is not worth it. I need an upgrade!

This is my problem. What do I buy? Having spent far to long considering this problem already myself, and to avoid waffling on too long here, I have decided on a Cannondale Bad Boy Singlespeed.

My reasons for this choice are:

  • I want a road bike, but I don’t want to wear Lycra
  • I want to go down the occasional foot path
  • Low maintainance
  • It looks darn cool

Some doubts

  • Eccentric Bottom Bracket is a know weakness
  • Single Speed. What if I really need gears?

That final doubt is manageable. I am sure that the distance I am riding will not be too hard to get used to. There is only one significant hill, and I can walk that if it is too much to start with. Also, as the bike has an eccentric Bottom Bracket, it will be possible to upgrade the rear wheel to one with a hub gear with minimal fuss.

Please comment if you have any other great ideas for an £800 budget.

Free Ubuntu Book

I am sure there are lots of great resources for getting to grips with Ubuntu and Linux in general. However, I remember my first tentative steps were helped along by being able to read a manual. So having a reference work freely available for Ubuntu is great.

To be honest, I cant claim to have read this book, but I like the idea of giving the PDF away for free. Certainly more than a few people who read the PDF will be motivated to buy the printed copy. Check it out for yourselves at

Book Meme

  • Grab the nearest book.
  • Open it to page 56.
  • Find the fifth sentence.
  • Post the text of the sentence in your journal along with these instructions.
  • Don’t dig for your favorite book, the cool book, or the intellectual one: pick the CLOSEST.

And we get:-

7 Add features.

from SolidWorks Office Premium Advanced Part Modeling 2007 Training Manual.

Maybe I should not have done this at work 🙂

What the font?

What The Font?!

What The Font?!

Now this is great. I don’t need to often, but when I want to identify a font, it can be a real pain. A tool like this is great. You can input an image of some text, and it will identify the font used. I tried it with some random images I found on the internet, and it identified some exactly, and others it found some very close matches.

I once found a website that would also identify a font by asking a series of questions. Combined with this tool, it should be easy to put a name to most fonts.

How many hours in a day?

The BBC are running an experiment where they track a standard shipping container around the world. For some reason, I find this interesting. Checking the progress this morning, it appears that one of the data points logged a time of 24:58. At first glance, it looked wrong, but took me a little while to work out why.

Google Chrome

This has been rumoured for a long time. Now it is here. Google have created their own web browser. Unfortunately it is only for Windows at the moment, but I understand that it will eventually be available for Linux.

In the mean time I plan on using it at work.

First impressions are that it is very fast. Certainly on Google pages such as Gmail and Google Maps. Even Openstreetmap seems very smooth.

As it is Open Source, I hope that it has the desired intention of moving the whole browser world forward. The next question is, how long before I start to see Google Chrome appear in the logs of my web server?