April 2022



April started off cold and wet, but the back half has been a great improvement, with some T-shirt weather days, and a chance for the boys to meet their sausagey friends.

Milo, Martha and Max


The fair weather has also meant some opportunities to get out on my bike.


At its MOT a few weeks back the bike got advisories for both tyres being close to the legal limit, and the front valve perishing. My first thought was that I could probably get another season out of the tyres, but once I started looking for new ones I was persuaded to change sooner. One factor was learning about tyre manufacture dates. The rear was a little long in the tooth at 7y old, but the front was positively geriatric at almost 14y old. Also much as I love the bike, I can’t say that it’s ever felt sure footed with the Bridgestone BT23s I got it with.

The only trouble is that the rear tyre is an obscure fitting. A quick search online suggested that Dunlop Roadsmart IV was the only show in town, and when I emailed my local place they came back with “are you sure about 160/70ZR18? We can’t find them anywhere”. Of course by that point Murphy’s Law meant that they’d gone out of stock at the place I’d found them online. I resolved to buy wherever I could find stock, and a last minute search of eBay struck gold with Sticky Stuff offering a matched pair for my bike at a very reasonable price.

Once fitted I then had a tenuous 100 miles to do of ‘scrubbing in’, and it must be the first time I’ve done that in 25y. They immediately felt at least as good as the old Bridgestone’s, and now that they are scrubbed in the bike is great. I wouldn’t quite use ‘transformed’, but the handling is certainly more confidence inspiring.

Fuel additive

While ‘scrubbing in’ I noticed that the bike was running super smoothly. Nothing really to do with the tyres, but rather the engine being able to pull better at low revs. I’d previously had to drop a gear to ride smoothly at 30mph, but now – not so much.

I then remembered that I’d put some Techron into the tank in Autumn after reading some recommendations for it on Quora. I’ve generally been sceptical about fuel additives, but this one really does seem to have worked well. Not only is the engine running much more smoothly, but I can see the difference in economy/range too.


QCon London 2020 was the last event I attended before lockdown, so returning to QCon 2022 felt like a watershed. I’d love to say that it marked post Covid life, but the pandemic clearly isn’t over. It was great to catch up with friends, and do some ‘hallway track’ again.

Vineyard tour

To make up for the tour of Chapel Down my wife missed in February we gave Bolney Wine a go with their ‘Ultimate Wine and Food Tasting Tour‘. It was a fabulous day out, and we really enjoyed the wine, though it was the nibbles we brought home with us, along with a bottle of their amazing ‘Sussex Rosso Vermouth‘.

I can see us returning to their shop just for more Charlie’s Smoked Trout, though there are a bunch more local vineyards to try out for their tours.


We use a bungee cord to hold the back door open, and it was getting a bit frayed. Also the cord we used to hold the mini greenhouse against the wall had snapped. So I bought a reel of cord from Amazon, along with some hog rings (and hog ring pliers) to fix them up. For sure I could have just bought some more bungee cords with hooks etc. already on, but the replacement cord does seem better quality, so hopefully it lasts better.

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