Sunglasses and Summer Biker Gear

If I don’t have to use my heated grips in the morning then it is just too darn hot for biking. What possesses these fair weather bikers to dust off their machines just in time to roast in the heat wave?

I’ve seen varied summer fashions, from the Ducati guy with shorts and t-shirt to the Vespa lady with flimsy beach flip flops. I’m sure they are cooler than me but as I followed the Vespa lady into London all I could think about was bone deep scrapes as she put her foot out at each traffic light. I think I’m rather too fond of my skin for summer biking.

I’ve trimmed down for the summer by removing the thermal lining from my jacket and discarding the leggings from under my cordura trousers. It’s still too hot though.

The motorbike sunglasses have helped. I was sent this pair of Neue glasses to try out recently. Well actually not that recently but it’s been wet and overcast for about 8 months solid and I have been mocked on previous attempts to wear them.

I was a little wary about wearing motorbike sunglasses as they steam up very quickly when the helmet goes on top of them. Fortunately with a tiny breeze these seem to remain clear and only fogged up while I was stationary and struggling to squeeze my sweaty hands into my gloves.

I usually look like a prize tool in shades but I think these are fairly stylish, I got a few admiring looks, although that could be down to the gorgeous bike. They curve around the face like the more space age sports sunglasses but look sufficiently understated for a Bonneville rider.

They obviously shade your eyes from the glare but they also provide a reasonable level of protection from the road shrapnel meaning you can leave the visor up and feel the full refreshing effects of the wind in your face.

I like getting free motorbike things, it makes me feel better about unexpected bike related expenses, like this one.

Why do they exclude motorbikes from some stretches of bus lane and how come they only caught me once when I’ve been zipping along this same stretch almost everyday since March? I’m not complaining about the latter bit obviously.

Top 5 iPhone Games

I thought I’d share my recommendations for what to fill your new iPhones and iPod touch machines with, starting with my take on the top 5 iPhone game applications available from the iTunes store.

My games screen tends to change fairly regularly as I drop the duff purchases and curse the reviews that led me to part with my hard earned pennies.

The 5 top games I’ve selected today have lingered for quite some months, and be warned, they have wasted a good chunk of my life in that period.

Here’s a shot of my current games screen.

Mahjong Solitaire
Mahjong Solitaire

This is the most played game on my iPhone. I’ve tried out quite a few mahjong apps but so many of them are truly shocking. It must be a difficult challenge to get so many detailed little tiles on the screen but I’ve found this version to have the clearest representation without the fuss of changing inclination or rotation. You can zoom in of course but the standard display works very well.

There is a free Mahjong Solitaire Lite version so try that out first and move up to the fully fledged app when you feel the need for more layouts.

My only gripe with application is that it is timed (see the green bar) and I prefer to play mahjong when I need to chill out and relax. A freestyling option would be a good enhancement I think.

Bejewelled 2
Bejeweled 2

Bejewelled is an all time favourite of mine from my days in the lab. I would spend hours on my laptop matching the coloured jewels while my experiments performed their own little miracles in the background.

This iPhone app is superb, a very faithful representation.

I’ve found myself standing out in the street at night, huddled under a street lamp trying to beat a previous high score as I come home from work. This is high stakes, high stress stuff and extremely addictive – handle with care.


The idea with this game is to lay out your weapons or towers in the right places to destroy the ant like invaders who try to get from one side of the screen to the other.

It’s a very simple concept but amazingly engaging. The sound effects help a lot as bombs explode, helicopters whir and soldiers croak it so I recommend playing this with your headphones on. Beware not to miss your tube stop though.

Airport Mania
Airport Mania: First Flight

I must have spent hours playing this game when I first installed it and now feel fully prepared for a role as Flight Traffic Controller at Heathrow.

The general idea is to land the planes, unload your passengers and get the plane back in the skies as soon as possible. At times you may have to refuel and send the planes to the workshop, all while dealing with multiple runways, inclement weather conditions and too many planes. They have a tendency to get agitated if you make them wait too long at any stage.

The levels get pretty intense and here I’ve started to let things get a little out of control with planes backing and sitting needlessly idle.

For a while I heard a lot of hype about Flight Control but it is just not as accomplished as Airport Mania, don’t let the child friendly graphics fool you, this is a very adept game.

Galcon Labs
Galcon Labs

I’m at a loss how to explain this arcade game.

You are basically directing your ships to colonise other planets, produce more spaceships and ultimately take over the world.

The graphics are very simple but then the best games often are simple. It is a fast pace gamed which is remarkably strategic in its outlook. I haven’t done it justice with this rambling but I don’t think you’d be disappointed if you gave it a go.

So, there we have my top 5 iPhone game app recommendations, what do you think, have I missed any brilliant games? Do I need to reassess my game screen real estate?

Blogpress iPhone App

I’ve been a little disappointed with the latest update to the WordPress 2 iPhone app for blogging on the fly.

Not that I blog on the fly that much but I do like to fiddle around with drafts while I’m at work (lunch time only of course) and it’s the draft functionality that appears to be up the spout for WordPress2.

Time to try Blogpress which promises some useful functionality such as support for picassa and Flickr web albums, image upload to your blog server, support for landscape mode and posting to multiple blogs and blog platforms. It also supports drafts which is why I’m here in my local caff, tapping away at a review of sorts.

You’ll be able to make your own aesthetic judgements when the post is published. I am able to position the photos in amongst my text (so not just at the end as with WP2) but I don’t think I can control allignment or output size and I haven’t yet found a preview option.

Here’s a shot of the writing screen. If I rotate to landscape mode the ability to scroll is hampered by the presence of images – it gets stuck and doesn’t show the image.

Scrolling is fine in portrait mode though and I’m typing away quite happily.

Tags and categories are easily accessible and I think I can create new ones from the edit screen. iPhone is a new tag so I’ll check for it after publishing.

I’ve found this post a doddle to create so I better publish it and get back to work.

– Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Location:Balham High Rd,Wandsworth,United Kingdom