FOR SALE: HED TT / triathlon time trial aerobar

Here it is folks, only a couple of days until the auction ends:

Main site back online…

Last week I accidently updated wordpress without thinking and it automatically wrote over the top of some of my cutomised theme files.
In addition, I don’t think the newest version of wordpress was compatible with the old version of the theme I had, which dates back to 2009.
I guess I’ve been spoilt by my other much newer sites & wordpress installations that tend to see to themselves.

It’s been a few years since I updated the site, so basically the whole website went down, displaying some cooky error message like this:

Fatal error: Call to a member function hook() on a non-object

It takes a lot of work to be a website administrator. When things go wrong, they can really go very wrong.
Quite frankly, because is not my main priority at the moment, I just left it that way for about a week until I could find the time to investigate the cause.

The good news is that I finally have it back up and running again! Yay!
The bad news is that some of the custom style changes I made are gone.

It sucks because right around that time, someone was interested in buying the website off me. So I don’t know if the site going down had anything to do with it, but I never heard from them again…

I will need to reupload some from backups, but I am getting tired after working on this problem for about 2 straight hours.
So I will hack the code back to the way it was over the next few days… and it should be restored pretty much as it was.

20% off all Vertebrae products throughout August, 2016!

Please enter the coupon “20eco” at the checkout, and a 20% discount will automatically be applied to your order.

My message to the bicycle industry.

I’ve had this post sitting in draft format for almost two years. It’s not an easy subject to write about. You see, earlier this year, I read the book “cradle to cradle; remaking the way we make things”. It’s essentially a book about sustainable product design. I like to think of myself as an environmentalist. And I like to think of myself as a product designer too. So to me, this was one of those truly life-altering books.

I have always want to design and manufacture parts. Ever since high school, I can remember sketching time trial frames with aero cross sections. So reading this new book came as a bit of a shock to me. Because this was the first book that I read that questioned the status quo. It questioned the ‘sustainability’ of many of our current manufacturing processes. And the truth is, they are not very sustainable at all. I think we already knew that. But we don’t like hearing it. We block our ears or change the channel.

Previously, I used to only think about what things were made of. I would simply select the products that were made with the best materials (because I am a materials scientist). And that was it. I didn’t really question where all these materials even came from (although deep down I knew because I had studied it in subjects like “extractive metallurgy”).

Basically, we have got a big problem, because we are operating like there is no tomorrow. And it’s not good for the environment. Not good for the environment at all. Eventually, I think we’re going to reach a peak production volume. After that, I believe we must begin to produce less. Not just with bike products, but with everything. I predict that our entire global economy will be forced to sell more ‘services’ in lieu of ‘products’.

And I think the bicycle industry needs to look at itself very hard. Because it is making products and components that are bad for the environment. Aren’t bikes supposed to be good for the environment? Isn’t that why we all got into bikes in the first place?

With road bikes: How is hydraulic fluid good for the environment? What happens to all those disc brake pads when they are worn out? How is electronic shifting good for the environment? Indeed, how is carbon fibre as a material good for the environment?

I’d rather not be the one to tell you this, but carbon fibre composites are actually terrible for the environment. When you think about it, carbon fibres are not easy to make, are they? And the more forming processes they go through, the worse it is for the environment. There is more pollution. There is more energy required. More machinery is required. And what about the matrix, epoxy resin? That’s another nasty material. And these two phases, the matrix and the fibres cannot be readily separated for recycling when their life is over. Can they?

And what about bike frames? When a carbon frame cracks in two (and yes I have seen it happen), do we really repair it? Or do we simply throw it in the bin? I didn’t know what to do with my last pair of carbon tubulars when they wore out, so eventually I decided to cut them up into quarters and sold as “ultra-lightweight coathangars” (I have always tried to be zero waste). Yes, really! Someone out there now has a cupboard with a set of very expensive zipp 303 coat hangars!

So where do all of these carbon fibre parts normally end up? Land fill. That’s hardly what I’d call an advanced civilisation, making millions of things that make a one way trip to the bin.

With mountainbikes: How is continually developing new products year after year after year good for the environment? How about longer product cycles and real improvements please?

This is something I saw first hand renting bikes on Tenerife. The wastage was multiplied by a factor of 10x or 20x (or more) over a single rider. It’s not something you normally think about. And quite frankly I got tired of seeing it. One bottom bracket standard after another. It just makes it so much harder to keep spare parts… and more ends up in the bin, which is not good.

I think people must eventually come to realise that metals, ceramics and polymers must all come from somewhere. And where do they come from you ask? Well, they come from mines, that’s where. So every time you buy something new, you are destroying a part of the world. That is literally no exaggeration. It certainly doesn’t do the environment any good. Even when you buy an ecological vehicle, the raw materials must first be mined. So ultimately, buying nothing is almost always the best option.

The introduction of 29″ wheels was really one of the last straws as far as I was concerned… how are they any good for the smallest riders? And then as if to really fuck everone over good and proper, along came 27.5″ wheels. So these days I am just completely over it. I am happy with the bikes I’ve got and no one is going to convince me otherwise.

Now, I understand things must move forward and improve, but are these new inventions really ‘proven’ before they see the light of day? Or are they just design fads? I think product designers these days face a real challenge, and that is to make products that not only function well, look good and are reasonably priced, but ones that don’t harm the environment either. We are at the stage now, where that has to be considered. It just has to.

Half the problem lies with magazine editors. Yes, magazine editors. Because they often talk you into buying stuff that is simply not necessary. They do this because if they didn’t, they wouldn’t get as much advertising revenue, would they? There is a fundamental rule in many industries (not just the bicycle industry): you cannot speak ill of a manufacturer if they are paying your wages. It is like biting the hand that feeds you.

Not only does all of these mostly bullshit new products make your old ones go obsolete faster, but their manufacture taxes the environment more and more and more. So for every new carbon fibre part that is produced, new moulds must also be produced. The new moulds then have to be designed and fabricated. And those moulds must also be transported, too. And the transportation is happening with unsustainable transport methods, isn’t it? Right? That’s why I say the world today has got itself a massive problem. And I think it is one reason why so many people are depressed. It also explains why so many people in the manufacturing industry are climate change deniers, because if they admitted to it, then they would have to face a real dilemma that they are contributing to a worser future this Earth.

SO if you haven’t guessed already, one of my goals or aims in life is “to have a minimum impact on the environment”. And I have an interesting story little about how I figured that out as well —I went on this horrible blind date and it turns out to be more like a job interview. You know, with fifty or more questions. And one of the questions was: “what is your aim or goal in life?” I was a bit taken back that someone would actually ask me that on a first date. Anyway, after a lot of thinking, we honed in on my life goal together. Well at least I got something out of it I suppose. LOL.

So I have an announcement: last year I started a new blog, called vida enigmática: “who speaks for Earth?”. I hope to influence and inspire more people over there. Hopefully a whole generation, young and old, will tune in and take notice. I personally hope that it starts a revolutionary new way of thinking, so I hope to see you there.

I might as well add this here now, because I don’t update this blog much anymore. So the other site I have been working on is this one: my illustration and photography website.

Pro Bike Hire for sale!

Dress for success cartoonPro Bike Hire is a well established business based in Tenerife, Canary Islands, Spain. We have a proven track record of success which can be verified on paper. We have a large base of satisfied repeat customers and have created a very strong brand identity.

The main reason for the sale is that I am now living permanently in Australia. I’d like to finalise the sale of the business before the end of September. That would give adequate time for you to prepare for the next high season which starts around mid-October.

Our most recent offer is fast bottoming out at only €28,500!! Considering that we get daily bookings & enquiries for bike rentals and the van and bikes are included, I think this is an extremely good price… [Read more →]

Main website is down

404 web computer error cartoonWell it appears the main website has gone down. This is a server/database issue. It’s probably going to take another 24-48 hours to fix. I will use this opportunity to get this blog to appear under the url without the “/Tenerife-News-Cycling-Blog/ which is essentially just keyword spam.

So the new website, the one that went down, will appear on its own domain, (as it should because that’s what we call the business, the logos are all Pro Bike Hire, etc).

The forum is still ‘working’ (although hardly anyone contributes so I’ll probably be deleting it outright).

This blog still works, as does our Twitter account.


A few more blog updates to come…

It’s been a while since I updated the website, mainly because I have been working on my new career move, especially over the last 2-3 months. Trying to juggle two things at once has been A LOT harder than I thought. It’s probably one of the hardest things I’ve ever done.

Anyway, in the mean time, I thought that it would be a good idea to use this site as a platform for doing what I now love most (writing, illustration, photography, and generally speaking, design).

Our very own Outlet.

ebayGenerally in the Summer time we have bike bits and other components for sale. Sometimes they have been used, but we often sell brand new things at amazing prices on ebay – when we have too much stock of a particular item or if something was sent to us erroneously for example. Items that we know will be popular usually start with a listing price of only 1¢.

Complete bikes, frames, and wheelsets which are too bulky to post internationally from the Canary Islands are posted on our forum classifieds. The forum is a great place for locals to buy and sell bike parts in Tenerife free of charge (and it’s also a great place to chat about cycling Tenerife of course!).

Temporary closure in June 2013

on-vacation-closed-signWinter has been very busy & it’s that time of year again (Spring) when we need to disconnect and go on a holiday ourselves! This is actually a honeymoon vacation and we’ll be visiting Western Australia, South Australia and Victoria as well as New South Wales. As always, looking forward to starting work feeling refreshed. We plan to be back in Tenerife by July 5th, 2013. We’ll still have internet / email access so feel free to submit your bike reservations during this time… Thank you, Leslie.

If you can’t beat ’em, join ’em.

twitter-tweet-little-birdSome of you might like to know that we just opened up a Twitter account. I used to make fun of Twitter, but I’ve slowly come to realise that it has become a great (fast) way of providing up-to-the-minute info. So there you have it. Only time will tell if it works for us or not…

Orange wind alert Tenerife

yellow, orange and red alerts in Canary Islands In case you weren’t aware of it already, the local weather authorities have recently issued yellow & orange wind & rain alerts for most of the Canary Islands. Wind gusts up to 120km/hr are predicted in La Orotava and Vilaflor municipalities. There is even a red alert situation currently in place in La Palma (Wind gusts up to 130km/hr!) It’s definitely not safe for cycling over the next 48 hours or so until the storm passes, for two main reasons:

  1. Gusts of wind make riding in a straight line extremely difficult and may blow you off your intended course.
  2. Debris will scattered on road surfaces and could possibly hit you.

Generally it is windier as the altitude increases as the mountains are more exposed to wind. Coastal regions tend to be more sheltered although the seas are also affected by this weather. Should be interesting to watch cloud formations continue to develop with this webcam. For more info, see this link.

ellow, orange and red alerts in Canary Islands

New catchpas installed on blog & forum

I have replaced the re-catchpas which were getting more and more difficult to solve with these fun games from playthru. As a result, it’s now even easier to sign up to the cycling forum and make comments on this bog.

Website translations in progress

language translationYou may have noticed that we are currently adding some translations to the main website in Spanish, Russian and Finnish. Next to follow will be German. We’ll do our best to finish translating the site as accurately as possible. If you should notice any mistakes or things that don’t work as exptected, we’d be grateful if you let us know of any problems you encounter. Thank you!

New website Launch!

We have been working very hard behind the scenes over the past few months on a completely new main website. The new website for desktops and mobile browsers is expected to launch on or before 1st December 2012. (we are just working on some final details) The new website will feature:

  • An overall much cleaner look.
  • A new navigation menu vastly superior to the old website.
  • Interactive altitude profiles (this page automatically generates elevation profiles of any route chosen).
  • New information about weather & weather prediction.
  • Faster overall load times, especially for the route maps.
  • Improved access to perform a “global search” of the entire contents of the site (homepage, blog and forum).
  • A mobile version of the website to facilitate the access of information from mobile devices.
  • We have also taken the opportunity to upgrade the forum, which is already online.

Cycling links updated!

New cycling links!Nobody linkes old links because, well, they’re not very helpful. They’re more like a waste of time because you have to sift through all the bad links in order to find a good one. Due to the new webpage which should be ready in a few days’ time, I have taken this opportunity to refresh and reorganise all existing links. Some of the blog links in particular were getting quite old, so only recent blogs will be linked to.

New mobile versions of blog and forum now online

It gives me great pleasure to announce a few more updates. This blog is now even easier to read if you are on holiday in Tenerife as I have just installed a dedicated theme for mobile browsers. It should automatically work with most modern smartphones. Even the new forum also has a mobile version! Enjoy!

Drainage grates in Tenerife

Bicycle-Hazard-Symbol-Sign-Drainage-GratesTechnology has advanced enough recently enabling us to collectively map out all the exact locations of drainage grates in Tenerife. Considering the length of roads here, there aren’t actually that many.

This is an editable map so if you have found a drainage grate you believe to be a road hazard for cyclists, please update the place on the list. I highly encourage you to do so, because once we are armed with the exact location of ~20 or so known hazards, we can approach both the the Tenerife and Canary Islands cycling federations, local councils as well as the Tenerife Tourism department and see if we can get them to modify the design to be more cyclist friendly. The Tenerife deptarment of tourism once asked me something along the lines of “what could we be doing to improve cycling in Tenerife?”. I think eliminating these potential dangers is a simple and achieveable goal.

Thank you,


Website updates planned.

another software upgradeIt’s been a while since I last updated the whole website, so  you can expect a new main website some time next week! In the mean time, I’m upgrading the blog software, so you may find that this blog could go offline. Also expect the theme too be temporarily different while these upgrades take place…

Klein frameset for sale!

Klein alloy framsetNormally I don’t post items for sale on here. But this is a pretty special frame which is currently for sale on ebay. It’s from a classic era, now considered retro I suppose and is in fantastic condition. No scratches or dents to speak of. Inlcludes an alphaQ fork and token headset. Current bid is only US$81 and I was hoping to get a bit more than that. Granted, the auction hasn’t ended yet -it ends in two days- but I thought I’d give it a bit of a push anyway.

Can you recommend a swimming pool & gym for triathlon training?

Gym membership in La OrotavaThere is now an excellent sports training centre in La Orotava called Complejo Deportivo el Mayorazgo (Mayorazgo Sports Complex). Main facilities include 25m indoor pool and gymnasium. The gym has both free weights and cardiovascular equipment (exercise bikes & treadmills). Pool measures 25 metres by 21 m wide with six lanes. Numerous blood pumping activities are scheduled each week: cardio, gap, spinning, aerobics, step, ‘total training’ as well as other more relaxing classes: pilates, yoga, taichi, dancing (several types including tango, salsa and other latin ryhthms), stretching and relaxation.

Physiotherapy-Centre-TenerifeCD Mayorazgo also offers a massage service, physiotherapy and aquatic physio. They also have a great physiotherapy centre called Fisio-Natura.

This all new sports complex wouldn’t be complete without a well-stocked cafeteria with an assortment of sports drinks, energy bars, gels and protein powders available. Basic swimming equipment is also for sale at the front desk (googles, swimwear, swimcaps, etc) and there is also a dedicated fitness shop located inside. Needless to say, free changerooms, lockers and ample parking are all an important part of the complex.

Staff are very friendly and the doors are open to all visitors, tourists included. Their phone number is 902 102 395 and email: Most staff at least speak a basic level of English.

Rates are very reasonable (€6.42 per day, €47/month) and the standard is very high. In fact you can join for one whole month for less than the cost of going to the T3 “tenerife top training” centre for a single day! Click here for the rates (just remember to add %7 IGIC tax to those prices).