Wednesday, 25 June 2008

Blogger moved to Word Press

Please visit www.jogle.eu for updates.

If you have been following us intrepid JOGLER’s you may have noticed first our Blog disapear and then a total lack of updates.

Unfortunately Google made a false positive on our site as a spam blog on the day we left. This has certainly cost us sponsorship money for the Alzheimer’s Society as we had most people, including the papers and TV pointed to the Blogger blog.

In the meantime we have setup a blog using Word Press.

Wednesday, 18 June 2008

For my dad

All packed and ready to go.
I have somehow managed to end up with some very heavy luggage, but i think this is down to the energy drink and carbo powder i am carrying, so at least it will get lighter every day.
I am carrying the bare essentials, hopefully i won't feel to cold walking around Scotland in my flip flops!
It will be good to get riding and have a feel for what we have let ourselves in for, it would be great to have some sunshine en-route as well.
I think my dad would have been proud of what we are doing and pleased that we can raise money to help others have more chance of fighting this disease in the future, hopefully he will be keeping an eye on our proceedings and wishing us bon-voyage.

Ready for the off

video

Please excuse the lame video I am experimenting with video quality to post from the phone.

All packed and ready to go. This past few weeks have been a bit tense for me as I have been trying to pass my Part 3 exam to become a driving instructor.

Today I passed! Which means i can look forward to giving up the night shifts and start planning a new career on my return from the JOGLE. It also means I can enter the JOGLE on a high.


I will be off to Exeter Airport tomorrow to meet Dave, Steve and Pete from Iron Bridge Runners, then it is up to Inverness. Here we get a hire car up to John O'Groats and then B+B for the night before starting riding on Friday whilst the galant Pete returns the car and flies home. Cheers Pete!

Monday, 16 June 2008

Techno Packing

Not long to go now so I thought I had better make sure I could fit everything in. It is quite a juggling act deciding what to take and what to leave behind. I had to bring some technology as 9 days without the internet is going to be a challenge on its own.

I have a pocket PC with Memory map installed. This has the whole route on it. Also a Nokia N95 for photos and blogging on the move. Hopefully all pics will be geotagged as they are uploaded to Flickr so folk can see where we were. It will also prove that we are not just in my back garden pretending to be JOGLEing! Also packed is my Garmin Forerunner 305 which will give stats for each day and an iPod nano which will be loaded up with podcasts before the off.

My check list and what you see in the pic below is here . There is probably something vital I have missed. Time will tell...


All this packed down pretty well into the bags I have. There is even a little room left over to squeeze in a few energy bars/drinks etc...

Sunday, 15 June 2008

Activity | Road Biking | Whitestone, United Kingdom | MotionBased Dashboard

Activity Road Biking Whitestone, United Kingdom MotionBased Dashboard
Had a couple of easy rides this weekend. Went out with a few guys this morning and did a gentle ride up some little Devon hills! (click on title for details).
The bike is now fully serviced and ready to go, another six weeks training and i should be fit as well.
My plan is to pack my gear tonight, i have put all my energy powder drinks in sealable bags, hopefully customs will realise that my 20 bags of white powder are perfectly legal.
Just a reminder to keep on donating, thanks.

Good Luck Regie and Stuart!

Two other Jogles are starting today. Both of these guys are riding solo and have given us tips and inspiration in the build up to our JOGLE which starts on Friday. So good luck to Regie and Stuart:


Regie Butler of 2008jogle.blogspot.com fame is up in John O'Groats ready to start his Jogle right now! The counter on his site says 17mins to go.

Regie is updating his blog with photos and comments from his phone, so go over to his site and cheer him on.

All being well we should arrive at Lands End on the same day as Regie so may actually get to meet him in the flesh.


Stuart is doing the same, you can follow his progress at End to End. We will be in and around Whitchurch at the same time on the 25th so hopefully we can meet up with Stu then as well.

I am a bit worried that both of these fit guys have 5 days head start on us but we finish the same day as Regie and 2-3 days before Stuart. I hope we haven't bitten off more than we can chew!

Friday, 13 June 2008

Nick joins the "Free the Frakkin’ Kraken" singers

Podcaster Tee Morris has had his Krakens Jersey Stolen. The evil Krakens Thief is threatening to tumble dry the Jersey on HOT if Tee doesn't complete certain tasks. the latest of which was to sing Jonathan Coulton's Re Your Brains song on a podcast.














Tee and Nick in happier times during their days as team mates.

Feeling Tee's pain his friends joined in to support the poor fellow and gave backing vocals as the "Free the Frakkin’ Kraken" singers. Jogler Nick is playing the second Zombie you hear and other Jogle supporters are in the mix notably Thomas and Abby Reed (or Trreed and his long suffering daughter)

Remember you can become a part of this Web 2.0 Adventure…

Thursday, 12 June 2008

A BIG thank you

Just to add to Nicks thank you for all our donations.
It really is amazing to think that we have reached our target, however there is no reason why we cannot keep going and perhaps make the £2000 mark, so please don't stop donating as every penny is going to help fund this worthy charity and help find a cure for Alzheimers.
I did get filmed by Westcountry tv today, but the news went out at 4.15pm due to the football, so i missed it!! Did anyone see it?
Good luck to Regie who starts his jogle on Saturday.

Thank you to our Sponsors, but Don't Stop Now!

Last night we made the £1000 target we set for our selves. Hurrah! This does not mean the fundraising is over by a long way, just that people have been more generous than we imagined so please if you feel inclined, don't be shy. Donate! No amount is too small and it all goes straight to the Alzheimer's Society.

We were only £11 short last night so I asked if anyone on Twitter would like to push us over and SynapticJam stepped up to the plate. Thankyou!

Below are our kind donors online so far:

Heidi
12/06/2008

I hope the training
pays off Steve
SynapticJam
11/06/2008

Congrats!
Nick & Elaine Dayman
11/06/2008

Good luck guys
Gareth J M Saunders
11/06/2008

My dad had Alzheimer's.
Blessings on you all,
and safe riding.
Thomas & Robin Reed
09/06/2008

Just a little to help you
towards your goal. treed
Stacey Harrison
09/06/2008

Just to let you know who
I am (!)- Alison has made
me some lovely tops so am
donating this to keep you
going. Good luck
Neil Mills
09/06/2008

What you are doing is
fantastic, I have first hand
experience of the effect
alzheimers has on a family
and I wish you all good luck!
Wendy Hill
09/06/2008

Good luck to you all. I lost my
husband last year to Alzheimers
and I know this illness is.
Justin Lowmaster
06/06/2008

http://thebeandom.com/spaceturtle/
TheNose100
06/06/2008

@jchutchins. I just donated
£25 to @cactusnic.
Care to play Donation Tag?
Alison G
05/06/2008

Good Luck! Go for it.....
great cause!
david and stephanie
04/06/2008

wishing you well son in law
and son
Francis
04/06/2008

Respect. Good luck - and
enjoy yourselves!
Nick Rowe
03/06/2008

Good luck to you both
on your epic journey
and for a good cause.
Andy Nyman
31/05/2008


Tim Webber
28/05/2008

All the best & hope
everything goes well.
Ian and Jan Robinson
22/05/2008

Looks like those Ugly
Pills are still working
Nick. Good Luck!
April Austen
21/05/2008

Go for it you mad people!
Karen Halliday
21/05/2008

The programme I watched
last night on Alzheimer's
had me in tears. This is such
a good cause. Good luck.
Linda Cornelia
20/05/2008

We lost a loved one to this
horrible disease last year.
So please ride your little legs off!
Steve
01/05/2008

Looking forward to guiding you
through the wild Scotland!
Stumpy
30/04/2008

Good Luck guys,
Try to keep up Nick :-)
Malcolm & Jill
27/04/2008

Hope your wind will be following
FDO's Minion
26/04/2008

Lay some Junkie Smack Down on
Alzheimer's Butt. Go Junkies!
Stephen K
25/04/2008

Kick Alzheimer's Butt!
Claire
16/04/2008

Good luck to you both!
Lyn Davis
14/04/2008

Wishing you many miles
with no hills!!! Good Luck
Mr Sylvester
27/03/2008

Don't tell Kate!! And only
if you finish Dave,
no thorns this time!!
Shaun
26/03/2008

I'll raise your measly
five pounds!!! The very
best of luck with your adventure.
Glenn Farley
10/03/2008

John O'Groats to Lands End
is going to be a big challenge.
Good Luck with the training!
Regie
01/03/2008

Jogle in 7 - must be mad!! Good luck
Michael M
26/02/2008

For a Great cause, Well Done
Ali
24/02/2008

Donated via blog. Best of luck,
don't get too sore!
Carl
10/02/2008

Fantastic stuff - good luck!
Kilroy 2.0
05/02/2008

I'll be with you EVERYWHERE!
Kevin Robinson 01/06/08

Thanks also to all colleagues, friends, family and aquantances who have donated off line, and to Podcasters Mike Bennett, Stephen Kilbride, PG Holyfield, Scott Sigler, Seth Harwood, Chris Lester, JC Hutchins, Joe Mieczkowski or Pseudojoe and to Justin Lowmaster who all donated time and/or plugs for the cause or in Justin's case wrote a story!

Sorry If I missed anyone but this will be updated as more folk donate. :-)

Wednesday, 11 June 2008

Bags for Jogling

Bags for Jogling

After 4 days off the bike I had planned to do a 60 miler today as my last biggish ride before the off. However, due to important procrastination, I was only left with a couple of hours, so I decided to load up the bike as it will be on the JOGLE and make sure I could manage the hills with my current gearing.


I managed to get an excellent deal on an Ortlieb waterproof bar bag to supplement my rack pack. It is a bit larger than I need but it is light and was going for a song. I run with auxiliary brake levers which give more options in riding position, many bar bags would foul the levers but the Ortlieb with an extention piece gives loads of room.

Bags for Jogling

I loaded the bags up with heavier gear than I will be carrying and head off to find some hills. The bike is quite clumsy with all the bags on but that is to be expected. It was still a fun ride once adapted to but I will probably be a bit more cautious on the descents.

The route I took is here . I was delighted with how it went. Maybe it is because I was all rested up after 4 days off the bike but the hills seemed almost easy, no problems at all with the gearing. Infact some roady guy caught my wheel riding up the long climb out of Nailsworth (see top pic). I expected him to come by with a cheery wave but instead I heard his breathing get fainter and fainter as he dropped off my wheel. Nice. He probably only had one leg but I don't care it boosted my ego!

Another couple of easier rides and that will be it. Time to JOGLE!

Coming to your T.V. screens.

All being well i will be filmed by Westcountry t.v. tomorrow morning and orbiting you living room tomorrow evening.
It would have been good if Nick and Steve could have been involved, although this way i get all the glory and fame.
Hopefully i will get a copy of the filming and we can put it on the blog.
Training is all but over now, just a couple of easy rides at the weekend and get kit organised and all the last minute details finalised.

Sunday, 8 June 2008

Activity | Road Biking | Whitestone, United Kingdom | MotionBased Dashboard

Activity Road Biking Whitestone, United Kingdom MotionBased Dashboard
Managed a good weekends riding, two 50 milers back to back, the pay off was trip to Trago Mills! (yeuk)I obviously need to earn massive brownie points so i couldn't get out of not going and even worse i had to look faintly interested.
I went out with a couple of guys this morning, (click on title for details) Jerry and Mike, thanks for the ride, although Jerry took us up some nasty climbs, we had some stunning views and i rode a couple of places i haven't been before and it was good to have some company.
I think that has been one of the hardest things in training, long rides on your own, nothing wrong with a bit of solitude but when the legs start hurting the novelty wears off quick.
Good to see some sunshine as well, just have to remember to hydrate properly every day, make that another beer then.

Saturday, 7 June 2008

Our Route (updated with elevation data)

Click to see a larger version.

Our Route is now taking shape. The links lead to mapmyroute maps of each day. If anyone can see anything stupid we have done then please let us know.

I have now calculated the total climbing and descending for each day. Interestingly the last day through Devon and Cornwall is the most grueling in terms both of distance and elevation. Even more than going through Glen Coe on day 3. Nice way to finish.

Anquet Maps was used to calculate the data because mapmyride seems to underestimate the elevation change dramatically. The numbers look pretty scary but it does at least give a comparison between the days.


Ascent 3790ft Descent 3754ft


Ascent 9234 ft Descent 9181 ft

Day 3 Sunday 22nd Fort Augustus - Inverbeg on Loch Lomond 106 miles (then Ferry to Rowardennan Lodge)

Ascent 11269ft Descent 11362ft


Ascent 9167ft Descent 9134ft


Ascent 7298ft Descent 7278ft


Ascent 5964ft Descent 5847ft


Ascent 7354ft Descent 7529ft


Ascent 7522ft Descent 7475ft



948 Miles in Total

Friday, 6 June 2008

Final training preparations

I took the afternoon off work again today so that I could do a long ride. It was my last chance to do a decent ride before joining the JOGLE team. It was also a nice sunny and warm day.

I cycled from St Andrews through Fife to Perth. Then behind the very scenic Sidlaw Hills to Dundee and then back to St Andrews.


According to mapmyride.com it was 73.75 miles. The miles passed quickly with the help of boagworld podcasts and Sunday talks from Holy Trinity Brompton. I managed to average 17.5 mph and felt a lot more comfortable compared to when I cycled 70 miles a few weeks ago. The new Endura shorts helped too! All bodes well for the forthcoming JOGLE ride through Scotland.

JOGLE Article in Local Press



After losing his father to Alzheimer's disease, Dave Portch has enlisted friends to saddle up and help him raise valuable funds to support research into the disease.Dave and pals, Nick...

Apart from the fact that i haven't had the pleasure of an end to end yet this article seems ok.
It was Dr Steve who rode in 1990.
Also Steve is not a web designer, he's a toilet cleaner.

Pseudojoe comes to aid the JOGLERS





Joe Mieczkowski or Pseudojoe of the fantastic Onthepod show and One minute Comic has gone above and beyond the call of duty to help us out. Not only has he pointed his domain http://www.thetribeisone.org/ to us but he has also put our Justgiving Widget on his site!
Thank you Joe!

Thursday, 5 June 2008

Reality dawns. Slow and Steady is the way.

The size of the bike ride seems to become more and more apparent as it nears. I have been reasonably pleased with my training - last month I clocked about 720 miles without any twinges. However it dawned on me as I was riding in tonight, that my training is not enough to avoid pain. The 720 miles I did in the whole of last month will have to be covered in 6 - 7 days. Whats more it will include the Scottish Highlands and the Lake District. This is going to hurt.

Hopefully it will be painful in a good, happy sort of way. So much is going to depend on the weather, especially the wind direction, a tail wind can make any ride a joyful experience but a head wind.....

Dr Steve has ridden the length of the country before, in 7 days. He was a fit youngster at the time but even so he assures me that it will be ok if we take it easy.
Taking it easy may well be one of our issues. Traditionally when we cycle together the egos take over and every hill is a competition, every descent a race. If we ride like that we will probably be in the broom wagon after 3 or 4 days. So all heroics will have to be saved for the last few miles of the last day. That is when I will lay the smack down on the remaining Joglers and establish my self as supreme Jogler. Or not.

Fake bus stop keeps Alzheimer's patients from wandering off

From the Telegraph:

German nursing homes are using a novel strategy to stop Alzheimer's patients from wandering off: phantom bus stops.

The idea was first tried at Benrath Senior Centre in Düsseldorf, which pitched an exact replica of a standard stop outside, with one small difference: buses do not use it.

The centre had been forced to rely on police to retrieve patients who wanted to return to their often non-existent homes and families. Then Benrath teamed up with a local care association called the "Old Lions". They went to the Rheinbahn transport network which supplied the bus stop.

Tuesday, 3 June 2008

Scottish Highlights

Four days of the planned JOGLE will take place in Scotland. I have lived in Scotland most of my life so thought I would be helpful to highlight some of the Scottish delights awaiting the JOGLERS, or indeed anyone who wants to visit Scotland...

Loch Ness

Loch Ness is largest loch by volume and water and home to the infamous Nessie. Beware that you don't get distracted while cycling along Loch Ness and looking for Nessie!












Ben Nevis

At 1,344 metres (4,409 ft), Ben Nevis is Britain's highest mountain. However, it is not as high as Nick can cycle in 5 miles while going up and down the lanes around Stroud!

Glen Coe










Glen Coe is surrounded by amazing mountains. As this is Scotland, expect snow even in summer, so don't forget to pack the thermals!

Rannoch Moor

From Glen Coe to Tyndrum, the A82 crosses Rannoch Moor. For 30 miles there is nothing but road and sheep. So be prepared to stock up on supplies before making the crossing of the moor.

Haggis










Once the Highlands of Scotland were teeming with these cute creatures, but modern-day intensive haggis farming has caused the numbers of wild haggis to decline sharply.

Foreign language

A few words so that you can understand what the locals say when you try to explain what a JOGLE is:
  • Sassenach = English person
  • Numpty = stupid person
  • Muckle = big, large, much
  • Havers = nonsense
  • Dinna = do not
  • Wheest = be quiet
"Ach wheesth. Dinna haver, ya muckle numpty o ay sassenach"!

Calories

The deep fried mars bar is a Scottish speciality, as are Scotch eggs, pies and bridies. Full of calories and excellent for keeping energy and cholestorel levels consistently high. Available from all good retail outlets.

Finally

Don't forget to bring your passport for crossing the border into England and remember that in Scotland we cycle on the left.


Mike Bennett's new Video

JoGLE supporter and all round top guy Mike Bennett has unleashed a new promo video for Hall of Mirrors into the world. Stay around till the end to see just how scary those hooded trolls are......

OBSIDIAN is live!

This week Obsidian, the new project by JOGLE supporter JC Hutchins launched. It is a series of short stories written and narrated by some of the best known names in podcasting fiction. All the stories are set in the time of the 7th Son novel and the blackout across America that ensued. The series kicked off with a 2 parter by Tee Morris called " Miles to go Before I Get Home" Check out JC's site for these tales, the 7th Son Podcast, links to exclusive free Celldweller music and more. Also check out episode two for our Plug! Thanks JC!

Sunday, 1 June 2008

The countdown begins...

Despite being slightly unwell this week i have managed to ride over the weekend.
Inspired by nicks ride with his rack, (i am using the same rack/pannier set up as Nick) i thought i had better take it out of the bag and see how the bike felt loaded up.
It felt quite weird at first but as long as you don't corner at high speed and sprint out off the saddle it all handled ok.
My bike, unfortunately, has not been as compliant. I have had a continuous problem with the rear hub and it is now beginning to sound like its about to explode at any minute. Fortunately Richard off Richards Bikes has been as helpful as ever and Specialized have come up with a replacement wheel set, which i will hopefully pick up tomorrow.
I have heard lots of good things about Roval wheels but from my experience so far their cross wheels don't seem that robust, and i've only taken them off road once, a muddy lane.
But like i said Specialized have come up trumps so hopefully problem sorted.
It's all beginning to feel a bit real with only a couple of weeks left until the start off our ride, we are trying to co-ordinate everything and sort out all those last minute details, and get every last bit off training in. All we need now is a month of guaranteed sunshine!
Nice story Justin, and thanks.

The Space Turtle and Memory Remembered

When I got home from my night shift this morning I found an email from Justin Lowmaster of The Space Turtle .Justin had been moved to want to do something to help fight Alzheimer's when he heard of Terry Pratchett's illness. A little later Justin heard about our little jaunt on Murder at Avedon Hill and decided to give us some support.


Not only has he given us a generous donation but he has also written a short story called Memory Remembered to help promote awareness of Alzheimer's. It is a quirky little tale about a Wizard with a failing memory. Please check it out and the rest of Justin's work at The Space Turtle.

Thank you Justin!

Saturday, 31 May 2008

The Sleeping Cyclist

My sleep pattern has been pretty unhealthy lately, averaging under 4 hrs a day for the last week. I never thought that I would nod off whilst cycling though. Untill yesterday morning that is.

I set off on the 30 mile ride home after my night shift feeling pretty knackered and resigned my self to getting into the grind of just turning the pedals over and over and over and over.... The usual sort of ride home except I was even more tired than usual.




As I plodded along a straight bit of road just before Wickwar it happened. I had let my eyes shut for just a second, It felt so good. So I did it again, I was only going to have 1 second of bliss but the next thing I knew I was upside down on the verge with my bike on top of me! I had actually nodded off and veered into the verge on gone straight over the bars. No damage done thankfully but if I had veered the other way, into the oncoming traffic...... Not good.

It certainly woke me up anyway. I stopped in Wickwar for a bit of chocolate and then plodded the last 20 miles home without further incident, thankful that I had not done this whilst driving home from work.

Friday, 30 May 2008

Ice skating is incompatible with cycling!

I did have plans to do another 70 miler this afternoon, but my training preparations have been unexpectedly hampered by a pair of ice skates.

I thought that going ice skating with my nephew on Wednesday evening would be a good way of expanding my range of fitness. After all, it has been know for speed skaters to become professional cyclists.

However, as I haven't skated for a long time I forgot that I am not a youth any more(!) My inner thighs and left knee are very sore. Walking is painful and cycling uncomfortable. Will have to take it easy for a few more days...

Fixing Punctures

On the way to work tonight I picked up two punctures. This annoyed me a tad as I had invested in a pair of Armadillo puncture proof tyres for the Jogle. Not so puncture proof after all. This is me spending my break fixing my flats. I took this opportunity to test posting from the phone. This is how it will be done on the road!

Wednesday, 28 May 2008

Jogle Kit Test

On my commute to work tonight I decided to try out my JOGLE panniers setup. I usually wear a Camelbak Ventoux for commuting. This has enough room for 3 litres of water and all my work kit. This is fine for the 2 hours riding into work but on longer 6 to 10 hour days during the JOGLE will, I felt become literally a pain in the neck.

My choice of bike for the ride however has no eyelets to attach a rack for panniers and only one set of water bottle bosses. All of a sudden it was not looking such a wise choice. Initially we had looked at a trailer, this made sense when we were going to camp but since we are now using youth hostels we will not need to lug a tent around with us and so small panniers will suffice. But how to attach them? After a bit of research I stumbled upon Roger's Jogle Blog . Roger had used a very neat looking solution by Topeak. The Topeak beam Rack MTX - A rack that clamps onto the seatpost and requires no attachment to the frame at all. So that is what I, Dave and Steve have all decided upon. (Copycats)
The racks have panniers of varying sizes that have fold down side panniers like spaniels ears to give plenty of storage. I have gone for the Topeak RX Trunk Bag Ex. It justs click into place on the rack. Lovely.

Next I had to work out a way to attach a further water bottle to the frame. After rummaging around in my box of bike bits and bobs I found a rather nifty clamp that allows another bottle to be fitted. Rather pleased with my self it was now time to try the setup out.

The ride to work was in pouring rain and strong head winds so it was a good test of the panniers weather proofness. They seem to be mostly water proof from road spray but when raining hard the zip lets in enough water to be a problem. Luckily I had put my work clothes in recycled shopping bags. It is good to work these things out now.

When at first setting off with the panniers in place the higher center of gravity was quite noticeable, especially when out of the saddle. Happily this was soon forgotten as I got used to the different handling. My only niggle was that on each pedal stroke my thigh just touches the clamp on the seat post when on the down stroke. Again this was quickly forgotten which is just as well because I am not sure how this could be over come. Perhaps thinner thighs are the solution.

All in all it was a quite successful test. Hopefully I am pretty much set now, 2 x 1 litre water bottles should be enough. The only extra I may add is a small bar bag. Finances are stretched at the moment but it may be the final purchase needed. Better ask Alison nicely.

Saturday, 24 May 2008

The two ugly Joglers

Dave and Steve try to look cool...........
but really just demonstrate why men look bad in lycra.

Activity | Road Biking | Whitestone, United Kingdom | MotionBased Dashboard

Activity Road Biking Whitestone, United Kingdom MotionBased Dashboard
Just a bit short of the 100 miles, but still a good ride. (click on the heading for ride details). Hopefully we won't be riding at this pace for 9 days, or sprinting up hills in the big ring!!!
Get together with your mates and the competative spirit just takes over.
It was quite windy as well, which made it a bit tougher and we had to take regular turns on the front, all in all a good day...the test will be tomorrow morning.

Friday, 23 May 2008

New Shorts

If you were glued to your T.V. tonight waiting to catch a glimpse of yours truly i am sorry to dissapoint you but due to other events happening in Exeter my debut T.V. appearance was postponed until a later date.
Obviously going to keep my slot for a lead story.
We, ie me Nick and Steve are planning 100 miler tomorrow, looking forward to a decent ride, weather permitting. This is where we find out if Steve has done any training!
With tomorrows mileage i should be getting on for 200 miles this week. Feels good.
I did take possesion of a very nice pair of assos f1 mille shorts this week, i cannot recommend these enough! It was like sitting on a sofa initially but the ride comfort is top quality, a definite 10 out of 10.

Into darkest Fife

I took the afternoon off work today so I could do a decent long ride. It was also a good opportunity to explore a part of Fife I had not been to before. With the Jogle only 4 weeks away the pressure was on to test the legs. I don't have the luxury of high tech GPS equipment, so here are my rough stats for the route:

Total distance 70 miles, average speed 16.5mph, max speed 38, min speed 0. Started in Blebo Craigs then to Glenrothes via Star. From Glenrothes to Scotlandwell to Milnathort. Got lost as I tried to find the "Path of Condie". I took what I thought was the right road and ended up riding along a rough track - time to turn around! Over the Ochils was stunning with nice 1 in 6 hairpin bends. Then down to Bridge of Earn and back via Newburgh and Cupar to Blebo Craigs.


The last 25 miles were into a strong easterly wind. Perfect training for the Jogle! The legs felt good, but after about 50 miles my neck and shoulders were sore. It also became apparent I am going to have to get some better cycling shorts as it was painful to sit on the saddle!

I followed Nick's example by listening to podcasts on my iPod. It certainly made the miles pass more quickly and was a useful way to spend an afternoon. I caught up with Boagworld, a podcast for web designers and web managers. The final 10 miles were spent listening to one of my favourite albums - Muse "Black holes and revelations" - great for that final push to the finish!

Fat Men Can't Climb

There is a hill near me Called Frocester Hill that runs about 1 1/4 miles in length at an average gradient of about 10%. Nothing too extreme but over the years I have timed myself up it when bored as a very unscientific measurement of my state of fitness.

The last time that I had tried this was about 2 years ago when I was 20lbs lighter. I thought I would have a bash at it yesterday because I couldn't be bothered to do a long ride and well to be honest I was curious. Recently the miles have been piling up so I dared to think that maybe, just maybe I was in olympic form. Unsurprisingly this is clearly not the case.

I managed to climb the hill in 10mins 50 sec at an av heart rate of 165. My previous record was 8mins 30 at an average heart rate of 164. So compared to me I was slow but to really put this in perspective on the climb of Mont Ventoux, a similar gradient but about 10 times longer, the top riders in the world average about 14mph. I am averaging about 7mph. Fat boys can't climb.

Here is my attempt.

Tuesday, 20 May 2008

Pretty Fly for a Fat Guy

I am rather pleased with my portly self. This afternoon I did my 66 mile Severn Valley loop and knocked 40mins off my previous best - the training must be doing something!

If you have IE with the necessary plug ins checkout the exciting dot race here . Worst thing about Motionbased - having to use IE. If you don't have IE (and who could blame you) here is a map of the route:

I was able to get my heart rate up a lot easier than has been the case so far this year averaging 152 with a max of 194 recorded. I think that might be an error though the highest I saw was 187.

Coming to a T.V. near you, soon.

We have some t.v. coverage this week.
I am being filmed by Westcountry T.V. this Friday morning, hopefully to go out on their news in the evening. Make sure you are watching!
I can't wait for all the comments that will come flooding in (Steve, thanks).
Obviously there may be film offers, who knows where it will lead to?
Regie, i have been trying to leave comments (nice ones) on your blog but unable to do so??

Stay in your homes… Your government is in control…

JC Hutchins new media marketing madman, podcaster and author of the most successful podcast novel series in history has a new project:

In 7th Son the United States fell victim to a coordinated terrorist attack. Power stations across the country were destroyed, and the U.S. plummeted into a country-wide blackout. In the timeline of the trilogy, this blackout occurred in mid-November 2007.

While this blackout was described in the trilogy, the story never focused on its true victims: average Americans.

7th Son: OBSIDIAN does just that.

Author J.C. Hutchins has recruited the seven biggest names in podcast fiction to write seven short stories set during this national crisis. Podfic fans know these names:

  • Scott Sigler (author of Infected, Earthcore, Ancestor, The Rookie)
  • Michael A. Stackpole (New York Times bestselling author of Fortress Draconis)
  • Tee Morris (author of MOREVI: The Chronicles of Rafe and Askana, and Billibub Baddings and the Case of the Singing Sword)
  • Mur Lafferty (author of Playing For Keeps, and the acclaimed Heaven audionovella series)
  • Matt Wallace (award-winning author of The Failed Cities Monologues, and Variant Frequencies stories)
  • Mark Yoshimoto Nemcoff (author of Shadow Falls, Number One With A Bullet, Diary of a Madman and Transistor Rodeo)
  • Christiana Ellis (author of Nina Kimberly the Merciless and Space Casey)
No podcast author has ever opened his universe in this way, for a true audiofiction anthology. And no author has ever assembled such an all-star cast.

During the blackout the US government put up 14 propaganda posters to keep calm among the citizens if America. Click on the pic below and you will be whisked to JC's blog where you can find links to hi def versions of all of the magnificent posters below

The posters are spread across different sites so you will have to search for you favourite!

JC master of the cliffhanger has been cliffhangering the JOGLERS teasing us with when he will give us a plug. The exciting news is in! The next episode JC puts out he has promised to do the deed and give us some plug love as he puts it. :-) Thanks JC!

Monday, 19 May 2008

Non cycling activities

I thought i should make some comments about two important features in this weeks non cycling activities; firstly good news that Exeter City F.C. were promoted back into the football league after the play off final yesterday; secondly training will be suspended on Wednesday evening to watch Chelsea F.C. win the Champions League.
Just had to mention it.

Treed Bitstrips The Jogle!

Treed, the jovial Rottweiler of the podcast chat room has bust a gut and worked out how to Bitstrip a bike! Here are the results:

Click on the pic to see full size and access the rest of Treeds works! Thanks Treed!

Sunday, 18 May 2008

Activity | Road Biking | Whitestone, United Kingdom | MotionBased Dashboard

Activity Road Biking Whitestone, United Kingdom MotionBased Dashboard
Knocked out a 40 miler today to bring the weeks total to 160 miles. Could be better but given time constraints its bearable. Legs are starting to feel better now, well apart from today, but i was feeling tired as the heart rate suggests and i am averaging over 14 mph on most rides which feels good.
I keep meaning to write a review of my bike but haven't got that far yet, although it handles well i have had to replace the brakes as the front was shuddering (this is a design fault on the bike and seems quite common on the tri-cross). Unfortunately water got into the rear wheel hub and loosened the back wheel, despite it being re-greased it appears to be coming apart again, i think a new hub is required, despite these faults its still a good bike but the niggles are annoying.

Armstrong vs Pantani on Mont Ventoux

Looking for motivation to get on your bike? This clip does it for me:



When the Joglers attacked the hill in 2003 we did the climb in about 1hr 40ish these guys are doing it in about 55mins at the end of a 100+ mile stage. Nuts.

Pics from the Joglers trip here

More about Ventoux here