Bike service

Got a free service for the bike today, courtesy of my work, which arranges for Dr Bike to come in ever so often.  It was needing the gears adjusted, as the cables are stretched now and the gears were slipping.  Since it had already had the post purchase service from the shop, I would have had to pay £20 for a basic service, just to get the cables adjusted, so this was good timing, and it saved me £25.
I also picked up some info on the bike servicing courses they run, and will definitely look into doing them in the near future.  If you know what you’re doing, you can go to the shop and hire a service bay and all the tools, for £4 an hour, which is damn good.  But first I have to know what I’m doing :-D  (They do have mechanics on hand to help out if need be).

What I thought was pretty cool, was the checklist they gave me with what they’d done ticked off, had a box for comments from the mechanic.  In mine he’d written “Great bike”.  Made my day.

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Stuffication

Just having been on holiday has brought home to me just how little of all the stuff my life is cluttered with, I actually need.
Two books I read and loved while on holiday – In the Miso Soup, and Piercing, both by Ryu Murikami – I left lying in the hotel for someone else to discover, and hopefully love too. (if you love something, set it free :-)  )
Now that I’m back, I need to up the ante and get serious again with the clutter.

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Home again home again, jiggedy jig.

So we’re back from the trip to Dubai/Malaysia, and it was awesome.  I’ll get some pics up later this week, when I get a chance, but basically Dubai was scorchio (43C) and Malaysia was humid (80% humidity) and scorchio.  Dubai was about £8 for a beer (so I didn’t have any) and Malaysia about £2 for a small or £3 for a damn big one.  So I did.

We found cheap places to eat in Dubai, and Malaysia was just a lot cheaper anyway.  Food was great in both places.
I liked Dubai, but I really don’t know if I could go there on a proper holiday (we did 2 nights either side of Malaysia), as it’s blisteringly hot, and seems to revolve around shopping malls, unlike any other Arab country I’ve been to.  It’s also very clean and orderly and not at all dusty and ramshackle, like – for instance – Morocco, and I do like a the chaos of those places over the sanitised version that is Dubai.  (That’s not to say I didn’t like Dubai, I did.)
Malaysia, I loved.  KL was amazing, and while I thought the driverless metro system in Dubai was great, the monorail in KL trumped it.  Street food in KL was superb, and then Penang, with it’s stunning coastline, and Georgetown, which was fun to just wander round and get lost in.

I’d love to go back to KL and to a different part of Malaysia – Langkawi maybe, instead of Penang, and I will be back in Dubai for stopovers in the future.

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Pre-trip nerves

So tomorrow we’re off on holiday.  I always stress in the run up to a trip, an only relax, once I’m checked-in, in the departure lounge, and have a beer in my hand.  

Scratch that it’s once I’m on a the plane, we’ve taken off, I’ve got a book in my hand, and a drink in front of me.

One cat was taken to a cat sitter last night, and the other is going to my mum’s tonight.  Then I have to finish the last wee bit of packing, check the paperwork (again.  Hey, I’m slightly OCD, so sue me) and get the hand luggage sorted.

Tomorrow, you can pretty much guarantee that despite getting ready tonight, I’ll be like a bag of cats tomorrow morning.

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Aaaargh!

Guy in work dropped off some movies on dvd that I’d given him a loan of a while back and forgotten about.  Now there’s more stuff to clear out!!!  (Although I will be keeping the Led Zepplin one)

That aside, I’m just looking forward to a trip to Malaysia.  I’ve never been before, so I can’t wait.  Couple of nights in KL, then onto Penang for just over a week.  On the way out and the way back, we’re stopping in Dubai for a couple of days.  I’ve changed flights there, but never set foot outside the airport, so that’s something else that’s new to look forward to.

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Macro shot

Flowers on the shore of Loch Venacher

Flowers on the shore of Loch Venachar

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Cycling t-shirt

Saw this and couldn’t resist.

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Morning commute

Really nice morning today.  The bike ride to work was really nice, especially along the Clyde side.
I stopped and took a photo of the bike with the squinty bridge in the background.  It was too nice a day not to take a photo.

Bike posing by the river

Bike posing by the river

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Running update

This morning I went for my 5.5k route through the park next to my house.
It wasn’t great today, my legs felt like lead.

I know I’ve only been back running for three weeks, and it’s after a gap of 5 or 6 years, but it’s hard not to let the head games get the better of you.  In my mind I’ve not really had that long lay-off, and I should be able to go for a “wee 10 miler*” as I used to refer to them, or push it a wee bit if I’ve got time, and do 15 miles.

I know the problem isn’t physical, the stamina will come, my muscles will get used to running again (at the moment they seem to be confused that I’m using them in a different way to cycling, and they aren’t keen on it), the breathing is ok too, it’s just head games.  My brain is trying to psyche me out.

I need to get back to running with other people, to distract me from this.  When I run on my own I have too much time to let my mind wander and scream “What are you doing?  Give up.”  I’m not giving up.  No way.

So, I need to persevere, vary the routes, do some hill reps and/or shorter faster sessions.  I also need a running buddy to stop me slacking.  That’s what I loved about running with the club, but until I’m up to the minimum pace, that’s not a realistic option.

So, any tips to avoid you’re mind psyching you out on a solo run would be greatly appreciated :-D

(*my wife thought I’d crossed a line, when 10 miles was referred to as a “wee” run).

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Birds in the park

Went for a walk in Queens Park last night and came across these little guys.  I’ve been told they’re Coots.

IMG_20150526_182723 IMG_20150526_182726 IMG_20150526_183326 IMG_20150526_183329 IMG_20150526_183331 IMG_20150526_183337 IMG_20150526_183339

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