Bike to work scheme round 2

Despite promising myself I wouldn’t get a second bike, I’ve applied for the bike to work scheme again.

That could be considered a fail, or a win.

Anyway, going to go for a cyclocross bike, as I couldn’t decide between a mtb and a road bike.  OK, I won’t be attempting anything that I could kill myself doing on a mtb, BUT I can commute faster, AND do some single track as well.  Looking forward to a bike with drop handlebars again as well.

Pics to be posted when I get the bike.

(*REALITY CHECK – Last night I realised that I just don’t have the space to store another bike.  Since I don’t want to get rid of my current bike (a Giant Escape M1) I’m putting the new bike on hold.  It’s going to give me a chance to decide if I want to go back to drop bars or not.  If I’m still keen on the idea next year, I’ll sell on the Giant and get something else.  – Or we could just get a bigger house with a garage…….)

Categories: cycling | Tags: , , | 2 Comments

Brit Democracy

Originally posted on independence - autonomy - self-determination:

Kate Smurthwaite ‏tweeted us to say:

“During my show at #OccupyDemocracy the police surged in and arrested a man for sleeping on a piece of plastic.”
Welcome to the bizarre world of British policing …

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Clearing out baggage

The seemingly never ending clearout continues.  I’ve a box of concert programmes going back to my first gig in 1982 – Iron Maiden, Beast on the Road tour – and I’ve decided that as they’ve been sitting about doing basically sod all for years now, that they can go.
I’ve had a look online at some collectors websites, and there’s some serious money being asked.  I’m going to type up a list and get it to a couple of the sites and see what happens.  In the meantime, a friend is after any Magnum progs I’ve got.  I’ve price the five I have online, and to buy from those sites would cost him just over £70 + p&p, so I’ve told him £50 would seal it.

Now I need to get the list made up and sent off, and see what happens.

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Baking

Had a go at making this Red Velvet cake today for my wife, who’s coeliac. It’s got shredded beetroot, and rice flour, and looks the business.

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Lunchtime run cancelled.

Today I was supposed to be going for a lunchtime run with a colleague who’s recently been on a chi-running weekend, and wanted to see if it made her feel like she wasn’t struggling to keep up or holding me back (I don’t think she was doing either). She just called to say she forgot her sports bra, so can we postpone.  I pointed out that I didn’t have one either, but apparently since I don’t have boobs, not having a sports bra isn’t a problem. :-)

Anyway, I have to admit to being slightly relieved, as I’ve been cycling every day that I’m not running, and today I still cycled into work, knowing that I was going for a run.  The legs are a little bit achey, so, while running might have loosened them up a bit, I’m secretly ok with the fact she has to cancel.

Is that bad ?

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Running update

Since I’ve got back from holiday, I’ve only managed to run twice.  I was a bit worried it was going to hurt again and I’ve have taken a step back, so, it was with no small amount of trepidation that my first run was what has been used as my long run, the house to my work.

It came as a bit of a surprise to me that it was a really good run.  I felt good, the legs were going easily, there were no problems with breathing/stitch/<insert running ailment of choice>  and I did it in what I consider a decent time (for the moment.  It will be coming down in the next few months, I’ve promised myself that).

Last night I met up with Ali who I know from the running club we both used to be in, and we headed out for a run.  No time discussed, no route planned, we just headed out and the route was decided by how good we were feeling and by how much light we had left.
The pace was nice and easy but not slow.  Fast, but not bursting a gut.  This morning I mapped it out on Map my Run, and it came in at a couple of meter shy of 10k.  Perfectly happy with that, really happy that I’m really really enjoying my running again.

Categories: running | Tags: , | 1 Comment

Crossroads

Got a really weird feeling that I’m at some sort of crossroads in my life, but can’t quite see it.

There’s things I want to change, and I’m slowly working on it, but I can’t help get the feeling that there’s some bigger picture that I should be looking at and aiming towards, but I’m not seeing it, it’s in my peripheral vision, and I can’t see what it is.

It’s almost like waking up with a hangover, and not having a full memory of the night before.  A work colleague called this “the fear”.  It’s almost but not quite like that, and it’s bugging the hell out of me, as if I don’t see what it is, how can I change it?

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Need to get a new phone

When my phone contract was up in July, I opted to keep using the phone I had, and go for a sim only deal, as I didn’t know what phone I wanted, and it was going to work out a lot cheaper in the meantime.
A couple of weeks back my phone knackered.  It’s an HTC Desire C and the power cable no longer goes in, so I can’t charge it. So, I banged the sim into an old Samsung Galaxy, which is fine as far as calls/texts goes, but the FB app is slow and can’t be updated, I can’t get Tweetdeck to work, and can’t get access to “marketplace” as it’s now Google Apps, and the phone doesn’t want to know.

So, I’m going to get a cheap smartphone to do me till my next upgrade.  The Nokia Asha 503 looks like it’ll do what’s needed of it, so for £50 that’s the option.  As long as I can use Instagram, I’ll be happy, and as far as I can see I’ll be able to.
(The current phone issue is the reason for my lack of Instagram updates recently)

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David Cameron rap.

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Back on the bike

Just before we went on holiday, we got a new “sit up and beg” bike for Karen.  She gets a sore back using a mountain bike, and sore wrists from the pressure of leaning forward, so it was time to get a bike that suited her.

We planned to ride over to Shawlands for breakfast the morning of the day we flew out, but the night before I noticed my rear tyre was pancake flat.  So, I finally bit the bullet, and took off the semi-slick tyres that were on the bike and replaced them with Armadillo knobblies, that I’d bought and not used.  The bike now looks beefier (for want of a better word), and this morning was the first time I’ve done a commute since changing the tyres.

Now I know (semi) slicks are faster, but I can’t say I took any longer getting to work, and to be honest, the miniscule time I may have lost is more than compensated for with the knowledge that I’m now far less likely to suffer a flat.

I’m actually considering fitting a rear rack as well.  Shopping would become a lot more eco-friendly if I was using panniers, and not having a loaded rucksack on my back would be a bit safer too.  Then there’s the chance that I might actually someday, do a bit of touring/camping using the bike as transport, so I’ll need to prep for the possibility.

The fact that my work is about to launch the bike to work scheme again, and I can pick up a bike for bouncing about off-road and make a saving, makes me more happy to make my commute bike more general use friendly and less off-road friendly.

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