Sunday 20 June 2021

I did it again, this time for charity

Near Muddles Green

Yesterday I rode another plus 100 mile day, this time for the charity Mind. Link at the top of the page and here if you'd like to donate. Thanks in advance.

The route was via Eastbourne and I had OCC for company. By the time I got home the mileage was 122. It was tough though, very hilly. We made two stops: 



And Alfriston. I was too busy drinking hot chocolate to take a picture.

We rode along Eastbourne seafront.


And then up to Beachy Head.

Beachy Head

Beachy Head

The biggest climb of many for the day. The end of the working week had seen torrential rain; the day promised more of the same. Thankfully it held off until after I got home; the weather had been great to be honest. Cloud cover had kept the sun at bay, but the temperature comfortable. And the wind, even on the coast, was light.

Contrary to what you might think, I find sleep difficult after a long ride. I'm on a high from the immense feeling of satisfaction. It's normally the following afternoon when I fall asleep in front of the television.

A big thank you to everyone who sponsored me. Moof IT made a very generous donation, they have helped me to cope with what life has thrown at me. Because of the help and support of family and friends I can enjoy days like this.

Wednesday 16 June 2021

Elephants in Green Park

Yesterday I went to the Moof IT nerve centre in London. As always I walked from Victoria, this time through Green Park. 

In the middle were two herds of wooden elephants. Placed there to highlight the declining numbers of the real thing in the wild. There must have been over thirty, all shapes sizes and poses. 

Other parks have them too, or will soon. 

It was early so there weren't many people around. Later, on my way home it was much more crowded. I wouldn't have been able to take such clear pictures. They were very impressive, well worth the trip into town.

Line of elephants green park

Line of elephants green park

Line of elephants green park

Sunday 13 June 2021

A light at the end of the tunnel



Lately I have had more good days than bad. Maybe it's the improving weather, although May has been very wet. Maybe I'm getting better at dealing with depressive thoughts.

The good days take me by surprise, I'll notice that I'm in an upbeat mood. Stressers aren't having their normal affect, I feel less tired and am able to focus. The next day I could be feeling low again, but nothing will have changed. It's possibly the most frustrating aspect of depression for me; if I knew what triggered the swing up, I could concentrate on that.

I have been taking the power to affect me away from others, be less influenced by what they might think. 

It's very easy to be overwhelmed by negativity, the news and social media can be a loud voice pushing the dark side of life. I unfollow or unfriend if I just see posts that aren't helping me. Or when they have formed an opinion that can't be reasoned with. You don't have to agree with me, but that shouldn't stop you listening.

The picture for this post is a good illustration of the present. I'm moving forward, I may not be out of the tunnel, but it's not as dark as it was. And I'm not alone, people are willing to help me towards the exit.

Sunday 6 June 2021


strava data 162 miles

I was in two minds about writing this; I'm not one to boast. Regular readers will know I have wondered how far was too far in a day. One hundred miles is still hard, but is less of the challenge it once was. A member of my cycling club asked for companions for a one hundred and forty mile ride he had planned. It worked out perfectly; I would be able to spend the whole day away from home. The start point was around a seven mile ride, so the distance rose to one hundred and fifty four. In the end I covered 162 miles.

Two contributing factors that enabled this achievement were: I was part of a four person team. Drafting saves a lot of energy, and enabled a higher average speed. The flat marches saw our average peak at over twenty mph for that seventeen miles section. The other was a good eating and drinking strategy, I've mentioned this in a previous post. We stopped at Rye and Hythe for cafe food, gels and energy bars filled in the gaps. 

Could I have gone further? Yes. Did I fancy it? No. Not because I was too tired to continue, I was let down by my clothing. More specifically the padded shorts I was wearing. Whilst not the most expensive, if it wasn't for a Strava challenge code I may not have bought them, they weren't the cheapest. The description suggested they would make extended time in the saddle comfortable. It was okay until around one hundred and twenty miles, then I began to suffer. It wasn't pain from the saddle, but moisture build up. It got so bad I spent much of the last ten miles standing up whenever possible. As I sat writing this post the discomfort was subsiding, but I was concerned about the ride to meet Matt later in the morning.

Some pictures from the ride.




It would seem I was more tired than I realised. Sunday morning whilst eating breakfast prior to riding to meet Matt; I fell asleep. Woke up after about ten minutes.

Friday 4 June 2021

Photowalk, ebikes, and Dungeness


I spent some time with my brother and sister in-laws' at the beginning of the week. The bank holiday weekend started grey, but quickly improved. 

Sunday we went out on the bikes to Pluckley - the location for the filming of Darling Buds of May - Fitz and Alli were on their e-bikes. They were a challenge to keep up with on just their lowest assist settings. Next time I'll bring my road bike. 

This mode of transport, especially for urban travel, need to be subsidised. It would give more people an alternative to driving. So many very short journeys are driven, when they could be walked or ridden. Less motor vehicles, mean less pollution, obesity, general ill health and improved road safety. Other countries are doing more than the UK, and reaping the benefits.

on the way to Pluckley

taking a break near Pluckley church

Monday we went for a walk, everyone snapping away. I heard my first cuckoo and marsh frog. Such a hot day, it took me by surprise, I got a little burnt. They have great countryside on their doorstep, so we soon left any hint of an urban environment behind.

mayfly and fish

Tuesday they had to go back to work so I set out early on my own, covered in sunscreen this time.

Dungeness was a great suggestion by Alli. Komoot took care of the route via mostly quiet lanes especially across the marshes.

quiet lane on the way to dungeness
quiet lane on the way to dungeness

lighthouse and dungeness power station
lighthouse and dungeness power station

After taking the picture above I started to retrace my journey and noticed a boardwalk leading out across the beach.

on the boardwalk
on the boardwalk

The way back was across the marshes, mile after mile of quiet lanes with beautiful countryside.

across the marsh

across the marsh
across the marsh


A very relaxing few days, exactly what I needed.