Tandem Travels!

In almost a polar opposite to my recent power training post, I also absolutely love riding tandem bikes. It’s simply what cycling is all about once you strip away the fast ride politics, the endless number crunching, the Strava files and training plans. Being on a tandem is about getting out there and having fun just enjoying the journey together.

10003662_737741379590434_191494495161767985_oTotally pro…

My wife isn’t a sporting cyclist so riding a tandem allows us to cover much, much more ground than if we were on a bike each. Probably five times as much at least. All with a smile on her face and as you know – happy wife happy life!

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The photo above was taken during a laid back ride through the vineyards and lakes of Hungary a couple of years back. Such a beautiful country. There’s nothing quite like exploring pastures new by bicycle. Plus she can take scenic photos, read maps or guidebooks, pass up glasses of wine, etc. All from the back seat! #winning 

Sometimes though the tandems on offer at the local cycle hire shop are not exactly high tech machines! This particular one below we hired in Slovenia. I had visions of it busting in half with any out-of-the saddle climbs! It did the job though and got us to Croatia and back – even though it was close to 40 degrees C that day. As you can see from the photo I am resting in the shade after some hard graft on one rickety looking contraption…

A hot day for a tandem ride on one strange looking machine.

Sometimes us tandem cyclists even travel in packs! One of my favourite tandem rides was the inaugural Woking CC Tandem Club Ride, where six of us tandem enthusiasts took to the quieter roads of Surrey and Berkshire in search of the finest tea and scones on the county. It was a fantastic day out on two wheels. Needless to say if I had a little more storage space (and Tassie wasn’t so lumpy) I’d buy a tandem tomorrow!

1781515_737741079590464_6114498468907289941_oWoking CC Tandem Club Ride – Outside the cafe stop in Windsor Great Park.

More Meat Mondays?

If there can be such a “thing” as Meat Free Monday to appease the vegans and vegetarians, then I propose we can also have More Meat Monday! So on my all new #moremeatmonday us real humans can pile our plates high with the good stuff – you know you deserve that steak.

Surrey Sportive 2015 by SussexSportPhotography.com 08:29:35But you HAVE to earn it of course. This ain’t no Macca’s drive-thu Quarter Pounder Fatty McFatface value meal jobbie. No sir, More Meat Monday is for those who know how to hammer and sweat!

Grab some buddies, head out and smash the local chain gang (or hit the weights, play some ball or whatever badass activity you prefer) then fire up the BBQ and throw on some REAL meat! Add a few steaks, beef burgers, sausages, chicken wings, a rack of ribs, etc and chow down on that deliciously flame grilled muscle rebuilding animal protein goodness.

Get on board, you know it makes sense. :-) Say it loud! More Meat Monday!

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Don’t succumb to being a kale munching tofu touting salad bar nancy. Put down that wheatgrass infused spinach and soy smoothie. Be alpha, be awesome, be top of the damn food chain! Be a meat eating machine. Ain’t no mofo gonna mess with you because you’re not somebody’s prey! After all, vegans taste like bacon!

trexT-Rex would high five you for being so awesome, but he’s extinct (and has really small arms).

Once you’re done asserting your awesomeness congratulate yourself for working hard, exercising harder and fuelling your recovery the badass way because you sir or madam, are the real deal.

#moremeatmonday

Ten Percent

That’s right folks, 10% of 2017 has already passed you by…

What have you achieved?

img_2978I’ve been pretty busy. I’ve been pushing at work for more control over the web development and Photoshop side of the business. That has meant I’ve basically created a new job for myself, instead of the work being outsourced. This has taken me from three days per week up to five. Working part time since leaving Sigma Sport has been great, but it’s time to step it up again.

My cycling has been going strong with a mix of road and virtual. I’ve been getting in a bunch of regular evening Zwift sessions. Team WBR have weekly group training rides that include tough intervals, sprint training and races. It’s a great way to clock up some really intense time in the saddle. On the road I’m still seeing the positive results from all that hard work.

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I hope 2017 is falling into place for you all too. Those “up North” must be starting to feel the end of winter approaching now with thoughts turning to Spring and warmer, brighter outdoor miles! :-)

My 2016 in eight simple bullet points!

What an interesting year 2016 has been, one of many changes in my life. I started out in England with no intention of that changing and here I am now living at the opposite end of the world! There have been some curve balls I did not see coming. There were some sad times, but many happy moments too. All in all I think it was a positive twelve months of my life and a year I won’t forget.

1) I cycle commuted right through the British winter and out the other side into the start of Spring. There’s nothing quite like that first taste of Spring after all the frosty pre-dawn commutes.

2) I finished my time at Sigma Sport. Working in the cycling industry was a blast and a real eye opener. I learnt a lot and met so many great people (and some super strong cyclists). The hours were long, the workload high, but I thoroughly enjoyed it. The staff discount afforded me some kit I never would have dreamed of buying otherwise too.

img_1489Farewell drinks with Elz (The Lonely Cyclist) after my last day at Sigma Sport

3) In fact in 2016 I cycled a lot. Well, not a lot, but a decent amount. Not as much as last year. As soon as I stopped commuting to Sigma I knew I would never surpass last year’s total mileage. That’s cool though. Plus there was my discovery of…

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4) Zwift! This has totally changed my outlook on indoor training, giving me so much more motivation to hop on the rollers. Never before have I thought “I can’t wait to get home and jump on the trainer!” But with Zwift, that’s what happens! Of course, it’s no match for a sun soaked outdoor ride in the fresh air!

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5) I said farewell to my parents, again. After Mum and Dad retired they moved across to join me in England (Dad is English) and bought a beautiful place down on the South Coast. It was great having them close by again and being able to spend more time with them both, so breaking the news that I was off to the far end of the earth was hard.

6) The big one. I moved to Tasmania! So after 11 fantastic years in England I find myself back in the Land of Oz. I absolutely love it here with its fantastic weather and laid back lifestyle, but I do miss England some of the time, the people I’d met, the places I’d experienced, the European travel. England had become my home and I very much get “homesick” when I think about it or see people’s travel photos.

img_2876Beach on my doorstep, Tassie does have it’s advantages!

KLR_0097) I also got back on motorised two wheels after a long break! Owning a motorbike in the UK wasn’t going to happen. The weather and road conditions just doesn’t make it an all year option. Back in the land of sunshine and blue skies, I didn’t waste any time getting back on board. This is my first dual sport style motorbike and it’s helped me explore parts of Tassie. Nothing like 650cc’s of Kawasaki engineered motor doping! I’m all about life on two wheels, pedal or piston powered!

8) I rounded out the year with old friends. The Christmas break was spent with two friends from Brisbane that my wife and I have known since we were teens. It was a great getaway for the four of us in the Blue Mountains just relaxing, catching up and shooting the breeze. I even got a few cheeky outdoor rides in. Aaaaand relax….

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So to sum up an eventful 2016, that’s a wrap! #thanksforreading #keepcycling

Cycling, sweating and long hair

So I’d been growing my hair for a year now. From a 4-blade all over last October I’d managed to grow a shoulder length mass of thick wavy locks. I was trying for the Peter Sagan look, but I’ve had to admit defeat. I just don’t have the swag that man does!

swaganPeter Sagan rocking some impressive locks recently!

Hats off to you gals (and guys) with long hair who manage to keep it under some sort of control during and after training. I just couldn’t do it. It got to the stage where it was getting in my eyes as I couldn’t get all of it into a pony tail. A sweaty, sticky birds nest was the result of any exercise and it was generally wreaking havoc when cycling.

img_2679The post-workout sweaty mess (and the hair is pretty bad too).

Pre-work morning sessions were a pain as I’d need to wash it afterwards and with no time for it to dry properly. Blow dry? Not my locks, I’d be rocking a 70’s afro! Stuffing wet hair into a full face motorcycle helmet to ride to work? Ergh.

img_2681So the locks HAD to go.

After a year of scissor avoidance, I’m back to a decent short back and sides low maintenance cut. I did save this little plait as a reminder of my long haired days. Maybe I’m just lazy, but short hair is SO much easier to manage!