Monthly Archives: January 2013

What happened to January?

Well January is now closed for business. Did you get your monies worth?

I’d like to think I did. Despite being busy at work and obsessing with another computer game I managed to get some things done.

Technology wise I made an all important decision to sell my Samsung Galaxy S3 after three months. Simply put it is a nice phone but doesn’t do what I want it to, the iPhone does. So the decision was made and very shortly (to some people’s surprise) put into action. With most of my technology being Apple it probably seemed a bit like rebelling to go for the S3 in the first place. Especially as the decision was based purely on the shape of the phone. I don’t like the flat edges the iPhone has adopted. Leave it to someone to point out after I bought it that I should just buy a curved case for the iPhone!

I also managed to avoiding looking at my finances for most of the month. I’m testing the theory that worrying about money leads to not having money. Therefore by not fussing over it and simply letting it flow it should be naturally abundant. As I say it’s a theory!

More importantly I have been busy signing up for charity events.
– Solent Coasts Cycling Challenge 2013.  See my event page for information.
– British Heart Foundation London to Brighton Day ride.  See the event page for information.
– Kidney Research London Bridges Walk 2013. See the event page for information.

Now even more than ever I am finder greater joy in sharing what I am learning and participating in life around me as best I can.  May 2013 continue to be as fulfilling as I believe it will be.

The First Cycle Training Session…

Despite many distractions in January and the cold weather reinforcing my instincts to stay home and play on the computer I was all sold when Essancekenobi suggested that we start our cycle training for the year.

Last year we both independently did different cycling events for charity and for myself I was pleased to have been able to complete the challenge.  The more interesting thing was that we both did no specific training before entering our respective events.  This seems a bit crazy but we are both of good fitness levels from our normal daily lives and therefore were not overly concerned with training.  It worked, we both successfully finished.

This year we are working together and entering both events alongside each other, there may also be some additional events we both do and some that we will do individually.  As with all things the details will become clear in the fullness of time.
What makes preparation more complicated now is that in addition to wanting to better our respective performances from last year our events are one week apart.  Granted we are not talking the Tour de France followed by the Olympics but knowing that things can be improved is an important part of our preparation.

To start the ball rolling Essancekenobi found a a 27 mile ride posted on Endomondo that seemed like a good (and quiet) route.  Naturally this was a  start to figure out things like pace, fitness levels and to check that we and our bikes are up to the task.  Fortunately I spent time plugging the route into Garmin Connect, which would come in handy on the ride as I could then remember the road names (most of the time).

We set out just after 10:30 both ready to embrace the warmer temperatures that had been forecast.  As you can expect navigating our way out of town with the traffic involved us choosing safety and walking for some of the busier sections.  Soon though we were on the minor roads where we were able to cycle easily without frustrating too many motorists.  In fact on the quieter country roads we were able to find those considerate drivers that were passing us with care.  In turn we were moving into the side of the road where possible to let cars get by.  As with all things mutual consideration makes the world a much happier place.

Not thinking about the time of the ride (this is our first ride of the year remember) we were able to take time and stop off for some photo opportunities along the way.  After all we are entering our events for the fun not to race, after all the only person to race in life is yourself (in my opinion).

Owslebury

Now the true joy of being able to cycle with someone is (when you can hear each other) there is a conversation and the company that brings.  After all if you were cycling a route not looking at the scenery and with no one else that would just be missing something.  Naturally we talked through the usual things going on in our lives and exchanged jokes.  I’m a natural talker so no real concern on chatting through any particular topic.  We are also both techy types and enjoy our gadgets.  I tend to go even further and name my devices individually.  The car has a name, as does my bike, iPad, iPhone and my computers.  As of the time we set out my new Garmin had no name.  I just hadn’t thought of anything appropriate, especially considering that it could easily be considered to be a component of the Phoenix (my bike).
Essancekenobi voiced the interesting suggestion of the Tail-feather which was an obvious winner to me.  I like a touch of whimsy every now and then.

All kitted out and enjoying the ride…

Covered up for comfort…

On many occasions it wasn’t only the cyclists talking, Tail-feather was also getting in on the act.  Bleating at us when we ventured off the course that had been plotted and gently acknowledging when we found our way again.  This was incredibly useful when I couldn’t remember the road names.  I haven’t yet figured out the turn by turn directions but having Tail-feather talk to us seems more fun somehow.  When we were unsure we picked a road and if Tail-feather didn’t complain we carried on.

After 25 miles and 3 hours (not counting stop time where we paused the timer) I hit my hunger wall.  I knew what was happening as this was the same experience last year.  I lost my drive and the exercise was then for me to make it back to home.  This was why we were training, we need to find these limits and plan to move past them.  Quite simple in this case by making sure I have enough food to feed at least once an hour to keep my head in the game.

The first training ride is now complete and we managed 27.8 miles in a “moving time” of 2 hours 50 minutes at an average speed of 9.8 mph, we climbed more than 500 metres during the course all at an average temperature of 6.3 degrees celsius.  Next week we are planning a longer cycle (or possibly a repeat) depending on how the week passes.

A view out over Winchester

Solent Coasts Cycle Challenge 2013

OK we have now reached day two of 2013 and having received the notification that registration had opens shortly after Christmas I decided it was time to start the New Year working toward my goals.  So I have now signed up for the second year running to the Solent Coasts Cycle Challenge.  This year I am heading out with a friend of mine Essancekenobi with an aim to beat the fourteen hours it took last year.  I will bow to his experience as we hope to complete the 66 miles and six ferry crossings in 8 – 10 hours.

Ahead of this we have much preparation and I am considering more gadgetry by investing in a dedicated cycle GPS device.  We also have plans for a number of other cycle rides most likely London to Reading, London to Brighton and Palace to Palace.  This will certainly be a busy year of charity cycle rides.  Most of the other rides will take place before the Solent Coasts Challenge and we will be signing ourselves up for them shortly as part of larger teams.

I have set up the sponsorship page for both of us at the below address and because it is with JustGiving another free service of donating via Text exists by simply texting to 70070 (UK) and including the code FSHY79 (example image below) and the amount to donate the money will then be added to our collective £250 target.  Every donation is appreciate and last year those people at my work that chose to donate all received my personal thanks.

If anyone reading is of a mind to donate towards the Hope and Aid Direct charity then any donation will be most welcomed.

More news to follow as the cycling events for 2013 unfold.

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Welcome to 2013…

Well the sun has risen on this glorious New Year, again filled with possibilities. Many have already woken to find out what they can achieve with the next 365 days. Others still will be waking with sore heads and wondering what the year will do for them.

I believe the secret is in understanding that the New Year is not a force by itself. It is a catalyst and we ourselves apply the force. For better or for the same as last year we drive the change in our lives. Look for what you want, not what you want to be free of. Help yourself, don’t rely on other people or a mystical force to do it all for you, yet be open to perceptions that may guide you.

As I did last year I intend to start the year with a series of goals in mind. What better way to set your own tone for what you would like from the next twelve months! They are yours to do with as you please…

Firstly I am loving the new physical dimension I have made in my life in terms of personal fitness. I am committed to seeing more of the same this year. I will be participating in a number of cycling events and have a good friend along for the ride so that we can spur each other on. His blog can be seen here.

Secondly I would like to attain more balance in my life. Balance between work and life, balance between physical and spiritual, balance between what I would like for me and what I do for others. Balance is another key to maintaining the wonderful positive outlook I have been able to adopt and nurture. Again I have many wonderful friends that help mirror this back to me and those that don’t yet mirror it can only continue to see the example I set.

Thirdly I am going to spend more time meditating and self hearing to aid both of my goals above. This is an important grounding for me to build upon as I seek to do more and to maintain a clarity that doesn’t simply vanish on a challenging day. This will also help me to unfold and explore the ideas that I haven’t yet conceived of as the year presents me with opportunities that allow me to understand more than I do now.

Fourth I will nurture my courage. The courage to do things rather than avoid them. To take the path I would like to take rather than opt for the easy option. I did this last night by going to a friends house to see in the new year rather than simply stay at home where I had already nested for the evening.

Fifth I am going to train myself to be better at letting things go. I hold on to feelings, thoughts and possessions that no longer serve me as I am now. This year I will learn to effectively release these things back into the world with joy and love. Allowing the possessions to simply leave and be used again if possible but to depart regardless of their destination. I will endeavour to enter each new day free of any influences that may lead me to prejudge what is to come.

I wish everyone the best of 2013, go out and find what it has for you but be prepared to do something to get it. Most of us live in a world where we serve ourselves rather than have all things arrive on a silver platter.

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