Avid Code 5 hydraulic disc brake review.

Avid Code 5 hydraulic disc brake review. 2008 / 2009 model.Several months ago, I bought a pair of 2008 Avid Code 5 brakes which were on sale. I’ve been very impressed with the performance of these, especially considering their price, so I thought I’d write a brief product review.

The interesting thing about Avid Codes is that they don’t come standard with braided steel brake lines – that gives them a consistent, progressive feel but at the expense of some outright brute power. Nevertheless, if you squeeze the lever gently your bike silently screeches to a halt like it’s on rails. This is no doubt due to them having four pistons per caliper whereas most hydraulic brake calipers only have two. [Read more →]

The website is back online.

Actually the reality of a website attack was more like the Hollywood version of the hacking cartoon. You can’t simply unplug your personal computer - hackers still have access to your host server!As you are probably already aware, if you’ve tried to access this website in the last week, it hasn’t been available most of the time. It was either extremely slow, full of errors or showed an “account suspended” message.

This was because my entire web domain was subject to a prolonged Distributed Denial of Service Attack (DDoS). Now up until a few days ago, I had no idea what this was. It’s basically a webmaster’s worst nightmare, that’s what it is… because I soon found out it’s one of the best way to bring a website down and simultaneosly get banned from your web hosting provider. [Read more →]

What causes chronic depression?

What causes chronic depression? How to prevent depression.When I was younger, around 25 years old, I simply did not believe that depression was real. Being a hyper-optimist, I was one of those people that denied that it even existed, I used to tell my mother that it would never happen to me because I have always been a positive thinker (I ‘inherited’ this personality trait from my father).

Little was I to know that only a few years later, I would suffer from a terrible bout of depression. It was enough to make me cry & sob every single night. At one extemely low point I remained physically paralysed by this condition. It was precisely then that I seeked out professional help. Yes, I openly admit that I’ve taken prozac and other chemicals – and yes I believe that on the surface they do seem to work quite well. But no I don’t think they are a miraculous and permanent wonder cure. [Read more →]

Closure during May/June 2009 low season.

With nearly 4 months notice, I’d like to annouce that we’ll be closed from 09/05/09 – 25/06/09. This means bike hire and guided rides won’t be possible during that time. Of course the website will continue to function and I’ll administer it while I’m away. Throughout May and June I’ll still be able to answer emails and take advanced bookings for the remainder of the 2009 Summer. The bike hire service will resume as normal after that date.

The reason for the closure? After two years of non-stop work, I’m long overdue for a break. I haven’t left this island since June 2007 and I haven’t seen my family in Australia since then either. The May / June period is the slowest time of year for bike rentals, so I’m taking the opportunity to catch up with family, friends and relatives over there. At this time, we’re still unsure if my partner will be able to travel with me. I’m really look forward to it!

I do sincerely apologise for any inconvenience caused and hope business picks up more in future…

Down Under in Tenerife

Map of Australia | Living at the antipodeLiving outside of your own country is never that simple. What could be more challenging than to live in a strange new land and foreign culture? While travellers have it easy, I think that it is particularly difficult for expatriates. Obviously the greater apart the host & donor countries, the harder it becomes.

In my case, I was born in Sydney and resided there for the next 27 years. Yet Tenerife is the opposite Sydney in just about every respect. We drive on the wrong side of the road, the geography of the islands are totally different, the seasons are completely reversed and both places are at the antipode. [Read more →]

Kompass 233 map of Tenerife | Teneriffa Karte MTB

MTB and hiking map of Tenerife | Kompass 233 Karte mit Lexikon und Stadtplänen. Wander Bike Freizeit und Straßenkarte.This is by far the most detailed tourist map of Tenerife at a scale of 1:50,000. The Kompass 233 map contains all the major mountainbike trails and walking tracks. Altitude contours are shown at 100m intervals so it’s ideal for both hiking and mountain biking. You can’t get any more detailed without getting one of the expensive official Spanish military maps.

There’s a multi-lingual legend showing imporant points such as: alpine shelters / refuge huts, hospitals, parking, information, lookouts, museums, monuments, climbing walls and even surf spots! Suggested MTB routes are outlined with blue dots.

This map includes the following inset city maps: Puerto de la Cruz, La Orotava, Los Cristianos, Playa de Las Américas, San Cristóbal de La Laguna and Santa Cruz de Tenerife. There’s also a Tenerife guide, but alas only in German (even so, it’s worth every cent).

As with all large-scale maps, there’s only one right way to fold it and many wrong ways… so if you’re looking for something easier to manage, one of the only other road maps of Tenerife I can recommend which is also suitable for road cycling is the Freytag & Berndt 1:150,000 Teneriffa map. It’s smaller, plastic coated and much easier to fold than this blanket.

Freytag & Berndt map of Tenerife. Teneriffa Karte

Freytag & Berndt Tenerife Teneriffa 1:150000 scale map. ISBN 978-3-7079-1079-7This is the best road map of Tenerife for cyclists; it contains all the major and secondary roads and even some offroad tracks.

Roads are laballed with the standard “TF” designations and include kilometre markings between major towns. This definitely isn’t a topographic map but there are several altitude points referenced. There’s also an inset map of the capital city, Santa Cruz. The best thing is that it’s pocket sized and plastic-coated so it won’t disintegrate in that sweaty back pocket of your cycling jersey!

There’s also another 1:75,000 version of the Freytag & Berndt Tenerife map; it has a cardboard cover but it is too big to fit in your pocket & doesn’t contain any more detail than this one (apart from the altitude contour lines). Unlike its big plain-backed brother, this mini-map contains some extremely brief tourist information on the reverse side (in ten languages!).

If you’re looking for the best MTB map of Tenerife with all the offroad tracks, I strongly recommend the Kompass #233 map instead. It’s probably too large for road cyclists though and very difficult to fold up again correctly.

Being a pro cycling tour guide…

Advice from a Pro cycling tour guide | Cycling holiday in SpainI originally started the business with the intention of doing guided road bike training rides (hence the original website name Tenerife-Training). Some weeks I was riding 500km or more and climbing 10,000 metres cumulative ascent. Of course I became incredibly fit. Even during the weeks I wasn’t taking anybody I felt obliged to maintain my fitness. When I was desperate for money, I’d even go out with just one or two people, but to be honest the groups were never that big. I soon realised it was too much effort for too little financial gain. And then training like a professional cyclist while simultaneously trying to grow and establish a full-time business [singlehandedly] was too much stress. It was a recipe for physical injury & sickness. [Read more →]

New rental bikes coming with full carbon fibre framesets!

New rental bikes coming with full carbon fibre framesets! Hasa full carbon fibre rental bikes for hire: 3k monocoque frame and fork.For 2009, I ordered two new Hasa full carbon fibre frames and matching 3k carbon forks. These are manufactured from carbon fiber composite with a 3k weave and come with a beautiful clear coat and no logos. Weight for the frame alone is quoted at just 1150 grams for the medium size and 1200 grams for the large! That’s 150 – 200g lighter than my own personal road bike!!

hire a carbon road bike, carbon fibre rental bikes, Hasa full carbon fiber frame, new rental bikes.Sizes will initially be available in either 55cm or 57cm; possibly these will be followed by a small 52/53cm and another 55cm model if the quality is as good as it appears in the photos and they prove to be popular. They should be completely built up by around February or March and are intended to augment and then eventually replace the two current 55cm Decathlon bikes some time after May 2009.

Hasa carbon road bikes for hire.These are obviously premium bikes so they will likely cost a tiny bit more to rent than the standard bikes (possibly ~15% more depending on the remaining equipment spec).

Latest site update.

Latest site update - Please update your bookmarksThe main site has undergone a few updates recently. The first was caused by the unexpected server changeover, so I was forced to rename all the file extensions to php. I realise now that some people with bookmarked files were not seeing the site correctly, so I’ve redirected the old files to the new ones. Once you have migrated to the new site using php files, please update your bookmarks…

I have also started the tedious process of re-formatting the main pages with css styles. The navigation menu now appear a little cleaner with no underlines and all the active links appear in red when you hover the mouse over them. If and when I have time to learn css fully, I’ll re-code the rest of the headings & paragraph text formatting using this method as the pages load a bit quicker and they’re easier for me to update in future too.

It’s also supposed to be easier to keep the formatting consistent, but if I accidently omit even one html tag or forget to include a css tag, then it’s not going to be. So for now I reckon “if it ain’t broke don’t fix it”. Looking at the code now, I’m amazed I started with a blank notepad almost 3 years ago, not knowing any html.

Last night I also updated the Spanish and German menus so that they match the English layout. If you notice any missing links, links that don’t work a they should, or pages without the navigaion menu, please contact me so I can fix it.