Monthly Archives: August 2009


It’s warming up and Monday night Loftus rides are on again.

I sold my niterider lights before winter kicked in as they weren’t bright enough for the pace we were starting to go at, not to mention that as it got colder and darker earlier we all failed to keep up night riding so it was a good time to sell them. Another reason for selling them was that I heard that the new Ayups were going to be on sale soon (they’re Australian made lights which everyone else is using, not cheap but they’re damn bright).

Tonight I borrowed one of Jing’s lights but the good news is that the new Ayups are now on sale, bit more expensive than last time but they’re more refined (brighter and more waterproof kit). I was still way off the pace but at least I didn’t feel sick like I did last ride. The weather was perfect too, not too cold, just right, no mozzies, perfect.

I had planned to come back home to a roast chook but the boys wanted to hit up McDonalds so I did the social thing and tagged along. After reading Charles’s review of the new Angus Burger I gave it a go and too right it was juicy and wasn’t as bad as some of the crap burgers I’ve had at pricey cafe’s. Can’t say I’d recommend them though, that would be bad Kharma right?

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Jesus Christ

When I was a kid I was baptised and went to Catholic schools but I never understood Religion. I never felt it then and I still don’t feel it now but the 3 week Europe trip, especially visiting Rome, has changed something in my thinking.

Whilst Jesus Christ (“Christ” might not even be his real “surname”? Perhaps Jesus of Nazareth is a little more accurate?) is the central figure of Christianity I’m still unsure of how Christianity gets the whole “Jesus is divine” thing. The resurrection after his crucifixion, the “Son of God” who came to provide salvation by his death for their sins, his virgin birth, performance of miracles, ascension into Heaven, it’s all quite fascinating.

I don’t believe in Christianity but after soaking up so much historical art, architecture and culture from Rome I am now pretty sure of one thing, and that is that Jesus did actually exist, that he was a Jew who was regarded as a teacher, that he was baptised by John the Baptist and was crucified on the charge of sedition against the Roman Empire.

On a side note: I loved surrealist art when I was in high school and viewing all of that amazing art (especially the stuff depicting scenes in Heaven and Hell, demons, angels with wings, cherubs etc.) in Rome with the same eyes opened me up to appreciating the creativity of Religious art a whole lot more.

Might sound stupid, but it’s a bit of clarity to me. /Spam

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Past and Present

My old S2000 BEFORE

My old S2000 AFTER

There’s a great thread over at JDMST on pictures of peoples cars before and after. Whilst I prefer to see the process of a build I love these kind of threads too. You can check out the thread here or click here to view just my cars before and after (I’ve owned and modified 12 cars in the span of 9 years, pretty crazy huh?).

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Last weekend’s JDMST EOMM was held at JDMyard. The last few meets have been awesome, the old school faces are coming back out and the vibe’s been great, not to mention some insane cars as always. You can find good coverage of the meet (lots of people with cameras these days!) here.

And in other related news: Suga scratched a rim. Might not be a big deal to some of you but it’s a massive deal for some of us! She almost cried. If it was me I’d be both crying and losing sleep.


And this is my new flywheel for the GT-R, which I get back this week minus a new quiet exhaust which is still on the way in from Japan.

And in not so related news. I had a booking with Apple to fix my iPhone on Saturday night and they fixed it in 10 minutes by doing a “screen reset”. Happy… I suppose?!

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Buying a guitar with Richie the other day inspired me to get a few guitars out and start putting a bit of love into them (all of my guitars are so dirty and abused). My Jackson Flying V’s my fave guitar, it’s just got such a fast neck but I’ve worn a fret down which is pricey to fix and it’s also impossible to sit down and play (it’s got a “V” shaped body). My Fender Strat is a Korean Squire which I’d happily trade for an American one and my ESP LTD is shithouse. It’s not got a fast neck (although it should as it’s a metal shredder) and it’s got no tone at all, just completely flat.

Despite being a cheap Strat, the Fender has great tone and it’s lovely to play which makes me want to run out and buy a pimp one but I also want a shredder so I dropped Dave at a message to see if he could help me out.

My mates Chris (he used to be the sales guy at IS Motor Racing who look after my GT-R) and Dave have been importing immaculate rare guitars from Japan for a couple of years now. I designed their logo and site at mates rates and they’ve been doing great ever since they started. Dave was more than happy to help out and instantly started to send me images of guitars available in left handed versions. After a bit of discussion both online and on the phone he presented me with a killer guitar which I think fits the bill perfectly. I’ve put the money down and it should be here in a few weeks from now. I’m excited!

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Back on the saddle

BMU hits the Dam.

Last night I got to sleep at 11.30PM and woke up at 3AM but instead of getting out of bed like I have been the past week I forced myself to stay in it and slept through until 5.45AM so it’s looking like I’m back on track. I had a piece of toast, a coffee, packed the Reign into the Jazz and set off to meet the guys at Manly Dam.

It started raining as soon as I got out of the car but it stopped before we set off on our ride. We had 9 guys with us this morning (I like riding in big groups). For the 1st half I was feeling AOK. My legs were fine but I was having trouble breathing. It felt like I was missing about 15% of my lung capacity but I still managed to stay in the middle of the pack.

We ran into another large group of riders and one guy was walking it up the techy 3 step section which was once such a challenge for me. I didn’t hop off the bike and managed to get up it at walking pace behind him which felt pretty good but after the big uphill (heartbreak hill they call it) I just died.

I got up the hill, but that was more mental strength than physical. When I stopped at the top I got dizzy and came so close to throwing up (I’ve never come so close to throwing up on a ride before). It felt like I wasn’t going to get any better but once I started pedalling I found that the sick feeling went away and I actually felt better (lesson learnt there). I stayed at the very back of the pack until the end haha.

Great ride, great to be back on the bike and I’m looking forward to getting my fitness levels back up there again for sure.

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3 Week Europe Trip – Videos

I only managed to take a few little clips, hope you enjoy them!

Foose action between Richie and Christina in Rome.

There were so many awesome street musicians in Barcelona. I’d never seen some of the instruments they were playing so seeing them and hearing it all was a massive treat. These guys in this clip were going off. The guitarist/singer was sitting on a wooden box which he set up like a drum kit and the bass player, well just look at him. Eyes shut and totally feeling it.

The long lift ride to the Eiffel Tower Restaurant.

At night on the hour the tower would dazzle.

Crazy Paris traffic on this huge roundabout at the Arc de Triomphe.

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Guitar Hero

Fender Strats at Allans.

Yesterday I helped Richie buy his first electric guitar.

Richie’s a great sax player (he used to play for Watussi) but lately he’s been playing a bit of accoustic guitar. On his birthday a month back I cheekily bought him a wah wah pedal so all he needed to do was go out and buy his own guitar + amp, and that we did yesterday.

Richie had a decent offer from the guys in Bondi Junction on a standard Fender Stratocaster (USA made) with amp but he wanted to head into the CBD to visit Allans. I didn’t expect Allans to move so much on a package, they’re inner city (rent must be insane) and the shop feels almost corporate. We waited a while before we got served but the guy was helpful, the deal was OK but the vibe just wasn’t right. We blew $25 on parking in a carpark ($25 for under 1hr, it’s a crime) and we set off to visit Billy Hydes.

The range of guitars at Billy Hydes was superior, the sales guys were passionate guitarists themselves and the service was awesome (no ego, just great guys). Jeff looked after Richie and I and Richie scored a killer deal on a brand new USA made standard strat with a nice sunburst finish and rosewood fretboard. The guitar came with a Fender strap, a Fender hardcase (great quality flight case too) a lead and the deal included a great Roland Cube 30 amp with built in effects, a guitar stand, 2 extra leads, a guitar service kit and some decent headphones too.

Richie’s a happy man! I’m happy for him too, what an awesome 1st guitar, should last him a lifetime.

On another note, the other night my iPhone’s keyboard played up on me. For some reason I couldn’t get the “Q” key on the keyboard to work, that functions as the “1” key too which stopped me from entering my password into an application, mega frustrating.

I hard restarted the thing a few times, updated the software and it was still bung so I then hit Google. It turns out that there were many cases of dead touchscreen issues with the last iPhone and Apple were quick to replace these phones. My phone’s a new 3gs one though. I posted this up on Facebook and a couple of guys chimed in on having issues with their new phones, and that they had taken their phones into the Apple Centre which solved the issues they were having. One guy said he’s had a few problems but he still loves his iPhone… that smells like brand loyalty to me (hey I’ve been there before).

So when Richie and I were in the city I thought I’d drop into the Apple Centre on George St. I hadn’t checked it out in any case.

We were greeted by an uber geek who, once I told my problem, instantly assumed I was stupid. Despite confirming that I have restarted the phone multiple times he restarted my phone, then he proceeded to praise how awesome the new (broken) 3gs phone is because it started up so fast. After playing with the phone, wasting my time and recognising the problem he finally said I had to speak to an Apple “Genius”, they are the guys wearing the Orange T’Shirts.

Great?! So off I went to the 2nd floor to find a guy wearing an orange T-Shirt, one greeted me right away. I had to tell and show him the problems on the phone and he said that there was nothing he could do for me until next Saturday at 6pm.

I have to admit I’m pretty angry about this. I used to be a HUGE mac geek and I’ve only converted to PC’s in the past 5 or so years. This phone’s the first Apple product I’ve bought since then and 2 months in it has crapped out on me and all the crap experiences I had all those years ago in Apple Centres came flooding back to memory. I’ve never had a mobile phone crap out on me before, nor have I ever spent so much money on one. /Vent.

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Artistic Cycling

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3 Week Europe Trip – Barcelona > Paris

Paris! So much to say but my head still hurts from the lack of sleep. I’ve only been getting about 4 hours sleep/night since I’ve been back. I have no idea what is wrong with me. I’d like some valium. Please?

I’ll post pics up in any case. Text to come.


I spotted this magazine at the newsagent leaving Barcelona. Years ago I got together with a few mates to pitch a new magazine to be titled “BIONIC” to a few publishers, we almost signed a deal. Here’s the mock cover I did for our Bionic Magazine.

The street we were staying on leads directly to the Moulin Roughe/Red Light District.

Paris also offers a bike sharing system called Vélib’ with more than 20,000 public bicycles distributed at 1,450 parking stations

First thing we did was hit a local Patisserie.

Then we hit the booze! Bordeux oooh yeah!

The apartment was aesthetically the best of the 3, it even had a grand piano (!) but it was rather hot and noisy.

Jamie and Richie get some chillax time in.

City plans for more car free roads.

Ah quiet streets, a breath of fresh air after the insanity that was Barcelona.

The Moulin Rouge. The red light district in Paris was so tame coming from Barcelona. We got to see a show, with dinner and it was mad fun, so cheesey, but so fun.

Mum went wild shopping in Galeries Lafayette.

Trains are so so so easy to catch in Paris, we were on the trains every day.

The Arc de Triomphe circuit was still fresh in my head from this years Tour de France Paris stage. Suga and I did the huge walk down the Champs-Élysées from the Arc to the Louvre.

Mum going ape at Chanel on the Champs-Élysées.

Toyota had a showroom on the Champs-Élysées. This is the solar panel roof on the new Prius.

A concept car.

And another.

Renault also had a showroom, this thing was super tasty.

So was this!

New Clio had really nice race seats but they were mounted so damn high, such a shame they can’t get it right.

One of many bridges over the Seine river.

Another one! This one was at the Place de la Concorde.

Place de la Concorde.

Fountain detail.

Fountain detail.

Almost at the Louvre.

The Louvre. The modern pyramid stands out like dogs balls in real life.

Peugeots. Motorized and not.

This one night we gave in to Sushi as it’s all over Paris, in fact it was nearly impossible to find French food!

Wasted on many rounds of Sake I spotted this poster, the date was the day after and it was in our suburb! Fuck me I was psyched to watch some UCI DH action!!!

In the morning we headed up to the Sacré-Cœur Basilica which is pictured in the background of the Mountain Bike poster.

Yes I had found the bikes, right at the base of the church too but hey, these aren’t DH bikes?!

We took a great position at a cafe and yup, it wasn’t DH, instead it was XC and the DH is to be held next year (talk about false advertising!!!).

The XC was run like a time triel with a rider setting off every minute, this made for damn boring viewing. Shame as the location was so amazing.

Yawn. Where the downhill at?!

We walked around and found the tricky start which was down a set of stairs.

There was a Dali exhibit here too, but it was nowhere near as good as the one in Barcelona.

Art Nouveau style train station entrances were great.

Awesome huh?

On the boat!

The river cruise was well worth it, so beautiful. If you ever go to Paris, do it and do it at sunset.

The tower.

For a minute every hour at night the tower goes into a crazy razzle dazzle light show.

The next day we entered the Louvre. This is the massive crowd around the Mona Lisa.

In true mosh pit style Suga and I got to the front and even then we weren’t close enough to it.

We had lucn at Phillipe Starck’s bar, it wasn’t that impressive by day.

The Sainte Chapelle was mighty impressive.

But the Notre-Dame was the most impressive in my opinion. Despite having a museum card, which lets you avoid the queue we still had to line up for 1.5hours to get in. And once you get in you understand why. It’s 387 steps to the top and the steps spiral up in a very very tight stairway which even for me felt a little claustrophobic. Coming down the steps was somehow even worse.

Gargoyle on the 1st level.

Little door into the bell tower.

The wooden bell tower was awesome. You just imagined the hunchback swinging around in here.

Massive bell.

The stairway up.

387 steps. You can see how small the steps are and how tight it is in there.

Up the top, people in the queues below look like ants.

Ah Paris.

Mum treated us all to dinner at the Eiffel Tower which we booked months ago (it’s booked out for 3 months in advance). We all got pimped up, was strange to do so as we’d been wearing thongs and T’s for the whole trip so far.

I thought it was going to be a dark green for some reason.

We jumped the queue and headed straight for a special lift which only goes to the restaurant.

Super pimp carbon fibre chairs designed by Pininfarina (the company behind many beautiful cars such as Ferrari, Maserati, Rolls-Royce, Cadillac, Jaguar, Volvo, Alfa Romeo, and Lancia)!

I’ll take one, please?

I had the frogs legs for entree, so pretty and tasted great!

Jamie and Richie got the steaks, which were awesome.

Check the chips that came with the steaks.

My veal was yum.

Christina’s pigeon was the best pigeon I’ve tasted.


$847 EUROS! Heart attack material! The meal was damn awesome though, so much more than we had expected (especially considering that our very own Centrepoint Tower restaurant serves up shit on a plate and rapes you wallet too).

When we got down to the bottom it was night and the tower was lit up.

The next day we took a long train trip out of the city to the Palace of Versailles. It was super hot that day and the crowd got the better of me, killer wasps trying to get up my shorts were annoying too. I had a crap time and wished I was back spending more time at the Louvre instead. Still, it was an impressive palace with an even more impressive garden.


We also went to the Paris Erotic Museum which was a lot better than the tiny one in Barcelona. These are photos of Jean-Pierre Ceytaire’s great work.

Pnau stole more than Miles Davis’ riffs, they also stole this album cover art.

Pocket bikes race off the lights outside our apartment.

The Centre Pompidou was super impressive. Designed by Richard Rogers and Renzo Piano it hangs everything on the outside. A massive structural expressionist cast exoskeleton, exterior escalators too.

The modern art inside was awesome too, much more my kinda thing.


The original Bauhaus chairs, so different to how they look these days.

Marcel Duchamp’s “readymade” bicycle wheel.

And his “readymade” fountain.

This Dali piece just exploded off the wall. It’s hard not to love his work, especially in real life.

Not a fan of Picasso’s work but I really liked it all in real life.

70’s furniture. Damn I’m a bike geek!

On our way out we took the opportunity to do the Pulp Fiction Royal with Cheese and Fries with Mayo. The fries + mayo worked well! The burger was crap.

Christina and I headed out to the aquarium as our museum pass got us in there for free too, it wasn’t great but I’m a fish fan so I love all aquariums. Here’s a south american tank, a big arrowana and some big gars.


Bicycle bits used to display clothing.

A cabinet full of old skool kool brought back lots of memories.

This dodgey Australian themed bar had a frames NZ all blacks poster outside, wtf?!

We failed to find good French food on the street on our last night so we settled for this tiny but packed out Chinese joint which had a guy making fresh noodles in the front window (always a good sign). Turns out it was damn great food!

We’d definitely lost track of all the different beers we had consumed.

In the morning Richie and I all of a sudden had a hell of a lot more bags to carry down the stairs. Mum went wild it seems with the shopping.

From here we hit Singapore for one more night, did some more shopping (Suga finally caed in and bought herself an LV handbag) and after a long and bumpy flight we were back in Sydney.

This is what greeted us as we got off the plane in Sydney. Turns out the woman on the left was a uni lecturer of mine and the girl on the right is her daughter. So so strange.

Hope you’ve enjoyed these blog entries! :)

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