The local recovery drink: Aquarius.

The local recovery drink: Aquarius.

This a great tasting refreshing drink commonly available here in Spain. It’s almost identical in flavour to Staminade, another refreshing (Australian) drink that has been popular since the 1970’s.

It’s really good because it’s not only cheap, but it actually quenches your thirst, unlike those hyper-sweetened gatorade & powerade sports drinks available on the market. It is sold “flat”, i.e. it’s not a bubbly drink and contains no CO2 gases. For the first time in history, the citrus orange flavour tastes superior to the lemon version. Although this product is not specifically aimed at athletes, it should be…

Anyway, I started drinking this a few weeks ago whenever I feel dehydrated; on a particularly hot day, I recall that one of my local relatives here in Tenerife ordered it in a traditional spanish bar. Judging purely by the label, it’s not something I would have ordered, especially knowing what some drinks taste like. Next time you’re at a roadside bar on a hot day in Tenerife, you might like to try it!

Playing it stupid (or just plain dumb?).

Global Warming | Climate Change 

It is a characteristic of human behaviour that as a whole that we are inherently very stupid. Perhaps ignorance is a better term. For one thing, we fail to learn by other people’s mistakes. Looking back at former civilisations, it is always noteworthy how blatantly ignorant humanity was about the consequences of its own actions. Even knowing what we know now about the past, we always seem to over-estimate our current intelligence level. And we claim to live in the age of information!

Take a look at the following article, specifically the Kardashev scale. We might well achieve “type II status” within a few thousand years (conquering our solar system). But delving into stage III and predicting how long it will take at this point in time is just plain stupidity. Here we are now -puny as ever- we have barely managed to map a solitary planet in any sort of true detail (forget about the watery bits called oceans for a second) and some of us are speaking of dominating an entire galaxy?! Does the expression “too big for your boots” mean anything to this guy? I could think up some race of humongous alien beasts, even the smallest example would simply wipe us all into oblivion with some kind of antimatter strike not even aimed properly, but just over in our general direction… not the slightest hesitation or thought involved… you know… a truly fearless species with a billion year headstart on our technology and one that hasn’t evolved from tiny frightened monkeys. You get the idea. That’s the sort of hiccough one might consider when planning our civilisation’s progression into deep space. A massive encounter (for us) wouldn’t just hinder that time projection it would be our termination. And that silly little graph would cease to exist. The arrogance Like we are the first to attain any sort of intelligence level. It’s even more optimistic that a baby who cannot even properly step out of the bathtub yet, hoping to swim across an entire ocean in record time. Good luck to it. It could very well happen given time, but it’s not going to be an easy task, certainly nothing anyone would predict.

[Read more →]

Human asymmetry & bicycle bio-ergonomics. Leg Length Discrepancies.

Lemond LeWedge

These days we have an infatuation with bike components when we should be more concerned about accurate bike fit. If you want the best peformance, you need the right-sized parts; you simply can’t win on a bike that’s the wrong size. But what if one side of your body is different to the other? If your body is not 100% symmetrical, then your bike shouldn’t be either…

[Read more →]

Plant a tree online!

Plant a tree online!

Ecotonoha is a project to nurture a virtual tree collaboratively, and at the same time contribute to the actual environment to cope with global warming. As one makes Ecotonoha’s leaves, by leaving a message on the virtual tree, it keeps on growing. And as Ecotonoha grows, real trees will be planted by NEC.

We received 107,054 messages from around the world in the year 2006. As a result, 1,070 eucalyptus seedlings will be planted on Kangaroo Island ,Australia.

We accept your entries until Febrary 13, 2007,and next season will start soon.

PLANTING ACTIVITIES
For every 100 signatures on Ecotonoha, we planted another tree in addition to those planted during the Kangaroo Island project.
In 2005 we had 84,539 entries, that is, 845 trees will be planted.

Year Messages Trees
2006 107,054 1,070
2005 84,539 845
2004 70,869 708
2003 60,997 609

The growth of “Tenerife Training” site

Rate of new business growthThe growth of www.Tenerife-Training.net website has been astonsishing over the last 2 years:

  • I’m very pleased to say that we recently surpassed 11,500 homepage visits!! I’ve lost track of the exact number-
  • For the past four months, we’ve received an average of 5000+ monthly web-visits and this figure continues to climb steadily.

  • For Jun – Dec 2007, ~82% of people visited www.Tenerife-Training.net more than once. The average number of pages per visitor was 9.2.

  • We also received a record number of visits recently on the 9th of January – 437 in one day!

  • The latest trends show that, on average, 75% of visitors add one page to their favourites folder. To date I can estimate that there have been 17,501 instances of people adding a page to their favourites folder.

The growth of “Tenerife Training”.

Doc Brown manufactures the first advanced ceramic bicycle component! NOT ANOTHER BEARING!!!

www.vertebr.ae

After nearly a year in development, at last it’s here:

Vertebrae Alumina Ceramic Housing Vertebrae Ceramic Gear Lines

 VÉRTEBRÆ CERAMIC GEAR LINES: US$140

Available for MTBs & road bikes
(Shimano / SRAM or Campagnolo).

Housing colours available:

CLEAR/X-RAY WHITE GREY BLACK
BLUE PURPLE RED ORANGE YELLOW GREEN

(please specify when ordering)

Vertebrae Ceramic Gear Lines   Vertebrae Ceramic Gear Lines 

www.vertebr.ae

True “Compressionless” housing: High Purity Alumina is FIVE TO SIX TIMES STIFFER than aluminium alloys, and even 50 to 80 % stiffer than steel. OK, so theoretically it compresses a bit. But you won’t notice it. Honest. It is also FIVE TO SIX TIMES STRONGER in compression than both aluminium & steel.

Effortless Gear Changes:Less force required to actuate gears + brakes, creating a “light-action” feel at the levers.

Less Maintenance: Due to the compressionless housing and protective Spinal Wrap, derailleurs are not only easier to fine tune during setup (they’ll work over a wider range of cable tension), but that they also don’t need to be re-adjusted as often as other systems.

Totally corrosion free!! High Purity Alumina is an extremely inert material. No coatings to peel off, no chipping and spalling paint. Zero corrosion for life!

Lightweight: The density of alumina is only 3.65 to 3.85 g/cm3. This results in outstanding stiffness-to-weight and strength-weight ratios. Total weight of vértebræ ceramic housing is only 46 to 52 g/m.

Enhanced Flexibility: The special segmented design is more flexible compared to traditional bowden cables; this design allows shorter cable routing using tighter-radius bends, resulting in less overall weight. Despite this, there is also reduced friction between the cable and liner, since the outer segments do not squash the inner cables like conventional housing.

Low Friction: Ceramic materials have an inherently lower frction than metals. Combined with our stainless steel cables and teflon liner, this results in considerably less friction and practically zero wear.

Extremely hard & durable: In fact, most engineering ceramics are so hard, they normally require different testing procedures to metals as it is not practical to make the same economical test specimens! In comparison with all metals, hardness is best described as “off the chart!”.

Teaching people how to slow down & use their brakes –

women’s brake shoes

It’s recently become apparant by simple observation (& also looking at brake pad wear patterns) that many cyclists use the wrong braking technique for steep descents (>10%) here in Tenerife. For maximum braking effect when travelling in a straight line, you only really need to use the front brake. Using only the rear brake is a recipe for disaster because the rear wheel will eventually skid and you could possibly lose control -you react by jamming on the front brake as your only last remaining alternative and that’s what gets you into trouble.

  • Don’t be afraid to use the front brake – due to the distribution of weight, it’s by far the most effective of the two brakes.
  • It is best to use the front brake for stopping, and the rear brake for “speed modulation”. 
  • Never apruptly apply the front brake while taking a corner, or the front wheel can slide out.
  • The trick is to lean back over the seat as the declining road gets steeper so that you won’t go over the handlebars.
  • With disc brakes, It is said that organic disc brake pads provide better modulation, but their heat tolerance is extremely poor. Sometimes they’re gone within only about 5 downhill rides!!
  • A better alternative which I use exclusively are sintered metallic brake pads. They are harder than organic pads and thus will cause a faster wear rate of the disc rotor, but that’s the price you pay for improved braking performance! They are also no more expensive than regular organic pads. Using these, you can descend 2km of 10-20% slopes with 6″ discs and not have to worry about brake pad life or overheating problems.

The simple life: Liquid Orange.

Chemical composition of sweet orange (Citrus sinensis).

There are two possible alternatives; in this short life you can either synthesise the following chemical compounds:

limonene, myrcene, valencene, linalool, octanal, decanal, ethyl butyrate, ?-ionone, citronellal, and ?-sinensal, E-2-octenal, 1-octen-3-ol, Z-4-decenal, E, E-2,4-nonadienal, guaiacol, ?-octalactone, and m-cresol, O-glycosylated flavones, flavonols, phenolic acids, ethyl acetate, 6-C-?-glucosyldiosmin, 6,8-di-C-glucopyranosylapigenin, 6,8-di-C-?-glucosyldiosmin, 2-oxo-L-threo-hexono-1,4- lactone-2,3-enediol, beta carotene, 2-hydroxypropane-1,2,3-tricarboxylic acid, heteropolysaccharide and assimilate them by complex hydrolysis,

or

you can pluck an orange and eat it.

But although we can synthesise many many complex molecules such as these, there is currently no way we can ‘manufacture’ a wholey artifical fruit identical in every way to a naturally grown one. Even though it takes an enourmous effort to characterise these natural chemical compounds and synthesise them, and nature does it for free with soil, sunlight, air and water, we still try. Without a plant seed, or a tissue culture sample, or a DNA strand, there is no way we’ll be able to do it either. I say that with all things considered, the natural source will always be the healthier alternative…

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How to correctly adjust your saddle.

How to correctly adjust your bicycle saddle.

I see some people returning our rental bikes with the saddles tilted in the most awkward-looking positions, so I thought I’d begin to offer some free & simple fitting advice for men:

  1. Start with the saddle completely level. Obviously the bike must be on level ground and finding such a place is not that easy in Tenerife - so it’s best done on a level floor.
  2. Forget any fancy invention you may have seen to measure saddle tilt and just eyeball the adustment.
  3. If you get pain or numbness in the front side of your groin, rather than lowering the nose of the saddle, raise the nose of the saddle slightly. This may seem counter-intuitive at first, but what it does is to move your weight backwards, thereby easing pressure in the front region.
  4. If you begin to slide off the back of the saddle or it feels like there is no support, only then lower the nose of the saddle.
  5. Also, start with the saddle clamped in the middle of the rails. Don’t attempt to fit a bike that is not your ideal size by making up for the difference here. Too far forward or backward can lead to knee problems, etc.
  6. When the cranks are level, the ideal position for the seat is when the front part of your knee lines up with the pedal spindle axle.

Doc Brown’s Challenge.

life after success

In 2006 I met a fellow cyclist and it was clear from the very beginning that this man was fundamentally not happy. As we talked and rode together, he confided in me that although he was a successful attorney/solicitor who made £200,000 / year, he suspected that he was ‘depressed’! Having been through my own dark phase the year before, I remember thinking“but how could this man claim to be unhappy?”.

Perhaps in the game of life, the struggle to make it in the world -to be successful- to get what you want, maybe that part IS the happiness, not the desires themselves -not even the destination- but the journey. Not the reward at the end, but the actual road to achievement. The belief in yourself. “The survival of the fitest”.

You meet older people like this all the time – jaded travellers are a classic example. It’s almost as if life is too easy for some. And I have a challenge to those people. Let’s call it “Doc Browns Challenge”:

  1. First, buy a one-way ticket to any poorer country with a language other than your own.
  2. Next, give all of your money to charity, every single last cent (no, not to me).
  3. Finally, try and get what you want now! (try and get back home within a year, for example)

There is only one rule: you aren’t allowed any outside financial help or aid and you must obey all the local laws and customs of the foreign country. And the moral of the story is, if you can read this, don’t take anything for granted. Be positive, because happiness is far richer than money.