View from the Carrot Room

Images, reviews and general ramblings about film and digital photography



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Bike dilemmas

I have had my Motobecane Mirage SL for about 4 years now and I’ve ridden over 5,000 fairly hard miles on it; that’s pretty good for a bike purchased for just under $450 (USD).

I’ve written previously about it here

It’s been very good to me and I can’t really fault it at all.  Now though it’s getting a little old and some significant parts are in need of replacement. Continue reading “Bike dilemmas”

Err… another bike too

Okay call me crazy but you can never have enough bikes. Continue reading “Err… another bike too”

Up in the mountains again

This Sunday I had time for a ride and so decided to go off-road again.  This time I decided to stay close to home and as I live on the foothills of the Verdugo mountains it seemed the obvious choice.   Continue reading “Up in the mountains again”

Great ride – Santa Monica Mountains

Went for a really good ride this weekend off-road for a change in the Santa Monica mountains.

It wasn’t a route that demanded a high level of skill but was just challenging enough for me as my first time offroad for almost a year and for one of our number (J) who only had a hybrid commuter bike – our leader (T) had led me to believe it was going to be mostly fire road so I invited J on that basis; he enjoyed it anyway (I think).

Four of us set off from Caballero Trail head  (34.136751, -118.546075) where there was plenty of roadside parking (as well as a car park further up); the single track trail was instantly interesting as we negotiated many twists, turns and bumps.
Continue reading “Great ride – Santa Monica Mountains”

Lucky to have Griffith Park on my doorstep


Griffith Park in LA is such a great place, I cycle there almost every week but it’s good for lots more especially as it also has within it’s boundaries; Autry National Center, Bicycle Rental, Greek Theatre, Griffith Observatory, Griffith Park Merry-Go-Round, Griffith Park Southern Railroad, L.A. Equestrian Center, L.A. Live Steamers, L.A. Zoo, Pony Rides and Travel Town (not to mention great views over the city and of the Hollywood sign). Continue reading “Lucky to have Griffith Park on my doorstep”

Weekend ride – let’s go off Road!

Looking forward to the weekend as myself and a few friends are finally getting around to taking our bikes on a little off-road action.  As you know I have four bikes and the mountain bike is yet to get an outing since it arrived in October (at least nothing beyond a test ride to check it worked after re-assembly).  I think it will also be the first ride this year when all three of us will be riding together as so far one or other of us has been busy.

So next week I will give you the low-down on our ride in  Sullivan Canyon, CA.


Bike number 3 – The Motobecane

Time I added the third post in this series

I guess this would be my favourite bike on the basis that I ride it the most – approx 4 times a week on average (must ride more). Continue reading “Bike number 3 – The Motobecane”

Bike number two – the single speed

bostonI’ve had this Montague Boston longer than any of my other current bikes (though not in this exact configuration).  It’s not my favourite ride but it’s interesting and has been very useful – really it enabled my re-interest in cycling so I am very fond of it from that point of view. Not that I ever stopped cycling, I have commuted by bike more less regularly for every job I have had bar one. Continue reading “Bike number two – the single speed”

I guess I should talk about my bikes – it’s not really about them though is it

Where should I start?  Favourite first?  Most interesting first?  Chronological on my ownership, chronological on their age? Hmmmm…

Well I refuse to choose a favourite as it depends on the ride, conditions, day of the week, etc.

I’m going to start with the oldest first, which I only picked up last year. Continue reading “I guess I should talk about my bikes – it’s not really about them though is it”

Helmets – why should we wear them?

This is an eternal subject that comes up again and again and mostly it seems without much consideration of the facts.  I for one almost all of the time wear a helmet, but why?

There is no doubt that a helmet adds a layer of protection to the head which could in the event of an impact to the head during an accident save your life.  That one fact for most people (including me) is enough. Continue reading “Helmets – why should we wear them?”


I love mornings like this morning.  I crept out of bed gently so as not to disturb the other occupant.  Slipped into my cycling clothes and with a brief sleepy kiss goodbye I stepped out into a crisp winter morning in California.image

This morning is definitely brighter as I can see the display on the Garmin without backlight (am I later today? I wonder).  I look up at the gloriously red painted sky and set off on my normal morning loop. It’s cold but not as cold as it has been and my fingers stay comfortable with the wind rushing over them.  It doesn’t feel any easier today than yesterday, I still feel like I am the slowest cyclist in the world.  But it definitely feels good with the sun slowly rising and the blue taking over from the red.  By the time I get to the top of the hill, morning is fully deployed and I can see across the valley as I cycle along the base of the mountain.

Not many people around yet today, garbage trucks trundle around like dung beetles robotically picking up trash cans and taking our waste away.  The odd dog walker nods in greeting as I pass, sharing brief agreement that we made the right decision to get up early this morning.

Once I complete my circuit, I re-enter my apartment in silence; nothing has moved since I left.  Coffee gets brewed and I return to a warm bed for few minutes of cuddle time before heading off to work… perfect.


… just as I get back on my bike the weather in LA turns to monsoon conditions.

I managed a quick 14 miles yesterday in the dry and planned on morning rides every day before work plus a couple of evenings to get some actual distance in; then just as I set out this morning the heavens opened and it was just like being back in the UK…. Thanks El Nino!

It doesn’t look like it’s going to stop anytime soon so this evening we will find out whether I have gone native yet or whether I am still a hardy Brit; willing to expose myself to the elements and get a ride in no matter what. Continue reading “Typical…”


At last i am back on the bike.  I stepped out on a chilly Californian morning in glorious sunshine, clipped in to my pedals and headed out.

The breeze hit my face and I was tankful for the extra layer I had put on; it wasn’t freezing it was just enough to make me feel alive and eager to generate my own heat from riding. Continue reading “Finally…”

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