Sunday, December 11, 2005

Told my boss of my plans...

On Friday afternoon I told my boss of my plans to spend next year from March on the road. He didn't try and talk me out of it, and seemed pretty sympathetic with the idea. I understand from another colleague that he's also thinking of taking a sebatical at some point. On Monday we have a staff meeting so I'll break it to my colleagues there. I won't resign until January or so.

Sunday, December 4, 2005

"Persian Pilgrimages" by Afshin Molavi

I just finished reading "Persian Pilgrimages" by Afshin Molavi. The book is a journalistic account of an American of Iranian decent who spends some months in Iran travelling to see iconic Iranian places and talking to people whom he meets along the way. He visits "martyrs" cemeteries and talks to religious conservatives as well as reformist politicians and taxi drivers. His visit co-incided with the period of Khatami's preseidency when the spirit of reform was in the air. The book is filled with the author's positivism. It's a pleasure to read and I only hope that I am able to experience some of what I read when I travel in Iran.

Saturday, November 19, 2005

Romania day 2

All hopes for a shower in morning were dashed when nothing but glugging sounds came from the taps. Lonely Planet really got it wrong this time.

Friday, November 18, 2005

Romania Business Trip

The business trip to Bucharest started well with jokes in the taxi from the airport, shared between Hessel, Arjan, Giovanni and myself. We passed along wide boulevards into town. Plush but decaying villas lined the roads. I could see why Bucharest was likened to Paris, more so when the Arculi de Triomf came into view. Though it maybe unfair to judge the city on a dull early winter's day, Bucharest is rundown and dirty though has as a grand feeling to it at the same time. It was also absolutely huge, at least that's how it felt coming from little Amsterdam. From the balcony of my hotel I had a panoramic view of dirty greyness.

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

Alps Trip Day 13 - Chatel to Morges

This morning I woke up still a bit pissed of with myself over the hotel. Further down the road I passed a number of other ones, all of which were more likely to satisfy me. There was even a campsite 10km further, though this was probably more than I could have coped with. Given the freakish weather it was probably not a bad idea to have been indoors last night. More on this later.

Monday, July 18, 2005

Alps Trip Day 12 - St Gervais to Chatel

I was going to take a direct route toward Geneva, but after a café I realised that I would be disappointed being so close to Chamonix and its high mountains and not to have taken a peek. In spite of difficulties later it wasn't a decision that I regretted. The valley in which Chamonix sits is quite narrow and due to the Mt Blanc tunnel is dominated by a major highway, which was off-limits to bicycles. To get around this was to do quite a bit of climbing but that gave some stunning views of both sides of the valley.

Sunday, July 17, 2005

Alps Trip Day 11 - Seez to St Gervais

The Cormet de Roselend was a nice climb. On the way up I spotted many nice wild camping spots. After a while the scenery became more oxen and alpine. The first glimpse of the Mont Blanc Massif was to be seen just below the summit. I'm not sure if I would rate it as highly as I've seen it so. This reminds me that I should review 'my' cols, I don't need to wait until I'm old and grey to do that, though it could be said that I am already in that state.

The weather in the morning was pretty nice, not too hot. My regret was having to wear socks in my sandals because my feet were still sun burnt.

Saturday, July 16, 2005

Alps Trip Day 10 - Lac de Mont Cenis to Seez

Today I went over the Col de l'Iseran. First I had to get there. This involved the last little bit of Mont Cenis and up the Arc valley to Bonneval-sur-Arc. I'd hoped to see the French couple with whom I'd survived yesterday's difficult afternoon climb to the Lac de Mont Cenis, but I didn't. The views around the lake were lovely though the light wasn't as good due it being cloudy. I figured that this would be a good thing after the heat of yesterday. Into the Arc valley I got the impression of grandeur, with views of glaciers high up.

Friday, July 15, 2005

Alps Trip Day 9 - Champlas du Col to Lac de Mont Cenis

After a rather meager, but normal by Italian standards, breakfast I headed up the road to Sestrière to find the rough road that started the 'route des Crêtes'. It was truly worth the effort that was required to get to the start. It was one of the best rides I'd ever done. I'm going to seek these rough roads in future.

As soon as I got off the black asphalt onto the rough road peace descended. For the first hour I saw almost no-one. The initial ascent to 2400m was a bit tough, a bit more so than it would have been on asphalt, but less than I'd have imagined. The weather was perfect. The Sun never went behind a cloud and I never needed to either put on socks, which had the unpleasant side effect that my feet got sun burnt, or put on a jacket or windbreaker. The views were out of the World, across to the peaks of the valleys on either side of the range that the route followed. The alpine meadow flowers were out in force and were magnificent. Occasionally a marmot would scamper into view. There were lots of butterflies. The animal kingdom was best represented by grasshoppers, which numbered in there thousands. A Buddhist would have had quite a problem on the route, so many and stupid were the grasshoppers that it was impossible not to squash a few from time to time.

Thursday, July 14, 2005

Alps Trip Day 8 - Le Monetier-les-Bains to Champlas du Col

This morning started well with a nice breakfast at the gite followed by an equally nice descent into Briançon. I got to the starting point of the Tour de France well before the action kicked off. The Caravan was all lined up, all the staff enjoying a moment of relaxation before the hectic day ahead. As with the day before the crowds had come well in advance of the action to ensure a place. The action was in two places; the podium where each rider who wished to participate in the day's stage had to sign-in, and the starting line. The starting line was in fact the fictive one, just for the crowds, the one where racing began was a few kilometres away.

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

Alps Trip Day 7 - Valloire to le Monetier-les-Bains

I woke up late; I had decided to permit a certain lie in since the Tour wasn't arriving at the top of the Galibier until later in the afternoon. There wasn't much point arriving at the top at 9am.

The whole climb was in nice weather with the crowds increasing as I went up. Everywhere people's heads turned either in disbelief or (I think) admiration. One passing cyclist asked if I was crazy. At another point a bystander remarked when I passed that I was a 'real cyclist', which just about encapsulated why I was putting myself through this monster climb. I was carrying 2/3 my weight, in addition to myself, up the mountain, not just a 5kg bike. Camping cars and tents lined both sides of the road. People were everywhere and seemed to have been so since yesterday. I wasn't the crazy one.

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

Alps Trip Day 6 - The defile de Maupas to Valloire

Today the weather really arrived as it should. The ride up the Col de Glandon and over to the Col de la Croix de Fer was under a warm Sun. The views from both were grand, especially from the Col de la Croix de Fer. The difference with the earlier wooded cols of the Vercors and Chartreuse and the ones of today was purely due to height, in the place of forest there were alpine meadows. I find the former a bit forbidding and closed while the latter open, with the highlands I know that I have worked to get there and savour it even more as a result.

Monday, July 11, 2005

Alps Trip Day 5 - Mens to the defile de Maupas

Today started well. I awoke earlier than I had previous mornings but rested. I got under way at a bit before 7am under grey clouds that appeared to be breaking up. At about 9am I found a nice spot on the side of the road and made myself porridge and a cup of tea. The Sun came out a little and the weather gave even more signs of improvement. It was feeling a little warm, at least by comparison with earlier days.

I followed the Bonne river up to Entraigues and started to prepare myself for the col d'Ornon. As I went up it both the weather and my leg improved. Or maybe my mind was on the glorious views, now that the all covering clouds were almost gone or just the nice feeling of sun on my skin. The mountains had a different character than the Vercors, I couldn't really see much of the Chatreause. I was now arriving in the high mountains, it was exciting!

At the top there was a restaurant with a gite d'étape and rooms, it looked very reasonably priced. Why do I never come across this kind of place when I'm looking for it?

On the way down from the pass I saw loads of cyclists. I guess this is to be expected so close to Bourg-d'Oisans, a cycling mecca. Seeing all these aluminum, fibre and titanium bike riders made me think about reconsidering my earlier decision to skip the Alpe d'Huez, on the grounds that it might exacerbate the knee problem. At the time I thought that if I was going to kill my knee, a small exaggeration but perhaps true for the purpose of the holiday, then I would do so to see the TdF. Now with the weather so nice those thoughts went out the window. I started the climb at 1:50 and arrived at the top at 3:40, a lot slower than the likes of Pantani or Armstrong and even most others doing so at the same time as me. However I was faster than some, even on there light bikes! After picking up a certificate and getting my photo taken I headed down the mountain via Villard-Reculas, over a really attractive road that seemed to only just be touching the mountain. The sense of flying down the mountain was very real

Back in the valley I started the steep climb up towards the col de Glandon. I had thought that I might be able to cross it and the col de Croix-de-Fer today but that had been before adding back the Alp d'Huez to the schedule, the conclusion can wait for tomorrow . At 6pm had reached le Rivier d'Allemont. I could see that it was my last chance to buy something to eat before the crossing and possibly a place to stay. There was a gite which looked nice but being Monday it was closed. I made a spur the moment decision to get a bite to eat at the only open café in the village, it was a very small place, I think I was lucky there was even a café. A lovely lady provided me with a nice soup and crepe, her husband advised me on places where I could wild camp. They even provided me with the milk that I needed to cook my porridge in the morning. A couple of kilometres up the road I found the place where I am now. It would be impossible to pitch a tent but my hammock went up fine, though we'll see how the night goes. If I haven't got the attachment knots right it will be an uncomfortable landing on the ground.

Distance - 107km
Time - 8:01
Max Altitude - 1770m
Tot. Ascent - 3073m

Col d’Ornon – 1367m

Sunday, July 10, 2005

Alps Trip Day 4 - La Chapelle-en-Vecors to Mens

The started as badly as the one before ended well. Almost from the get go my knee began to hurt, and quite a lot too. They were so much so that my thoughts were with abandoning the trip then and there. A couple of changes in cleat position got me back to more or less back to where I was yesterday. From there the pain became manageable with the occasional massage. This got me over the col\tunnel de Rousset out of the Vercors. The way down was quite spectacular, clouds raced down the steep valley. Jagged rock cliffs lined the sides.

Saturday, July 9, 2005

Alps Trip Day 3 - Col du Cucheron to La Chapelle-en-Vecors

The decent into St Pierre-de-Chartreuse was cold but the Sun could be seen. It looked like a nice day was on the way. At St Pierre the road mounted towards the col de Porte. My legs weren't co-operating and my right knee began to hurt. Once over the Col de Porte I started the long decent into Grenoble. I passed a couple of dozen cyclists on racing machines going the other direction. In Grenoble the Sun was nice and warm; soon the chill of the decent was gone.

Friday, July 8, 2005

Alps Trip Day 2 - Annecy to Col du Cucheron

The morning started well with a nice breakfast, though I didn't take full advantage as I wanted to get going and make up for the slightly shortened day yesterday. I had a nice chat with a Canadian woman who had lived in NZ for 10 years.

I had thought about going over high road past le Semnoz, which started by the Youth Hostel but I decided that I avoid having to hard a start and the road to le Semnoz topped out at 1700m. In addition I was concerned about getting cold; my 'system' hadn't taken into account the rather bad weather of yesterday and today.

Thursday, July 7, 2005

Alps Trip Day 1 - Train to Basel and onto Annecy

I arrived at the train on time. For the first hour or so I shared the cabin with a Dutch guy, we had a time filling conversation about cycling. Later we were joined by a bubbly Swiss girl and the conversation became more fun. As night progressed the cabin filled up. I slept well enough, though I was tired early in the day, I guess this was due to it being my first day.

Monday, June 20, 2005

Wachtendonk 600

What a weekend! I'm glad I did it, just to know what I can do. Whether I would have done again had I had I known how difficult it was to turn out is another matter. My enthusiasm from the Tournai 600 carried me through a tiring week during which I didn't really catch up on sleep. The buzz of completing my first 600 had me wanting more. I called the Michael Koth, who organises the brevet out of Wachtendonk and committed to come. On Wednesday I found out that there was a train strike affecting all trains in the Netherlands.

I should have seen this as a sign to take the weekend off. But I didn't, I managed to cadge a lift with a colleague to the general area of Wachtendonk and cycled the rest. The problem was that I didn't arrive at the start until midnight. This meant little sleep. I spent the next 40 hours in deficit, sleeping at every opportunity.

The brevet was really tough, going through the hilly Ardennes the entire way. My GPS reckoned just under 6000 metres gained. Cool!

Monday, June 13, 2005

Tournai 600

I decided to take a couple of days off, my first in over 6 months. Of course these days would be spent in the saddle. I'm not sure if I'd know what to do with time off spent anywhere else. On a fine Thursday evening I took a train to Mechelen, a small city just North of Brussels. I stayed at the fine, modern youth hostel there, having a room to myself. The following morning after a nice breakfast shared with a group of relaxed North Americans on a cycle trip I headed towards Tournai.

Tournai was lovely, though I think the weather Gods realised that I was about to leave Belgium, as the was a cold wind blowing (ed. the weather is always nice when I'm in Belgium). The youth hostel, though not modern was very friendly. I managed to get myself up nice and early and met the others at the cafe. From there it was all up and down to Fecamp. Along the way I had a nice chat with Jean-Pierre and Michel. The latter gave me all sorts of ideas about doing Diagonales de France. At 8pm or so we arrived in Fecamp where it was getting good and cold. It was a bit annoying that we'd arrived late and I didn't feel like going the final kilometre or so to check out the sea. Instead it was to a bar to eat a rather poor excuse for French cuisine. Anyway it was filling enough and no-one really wanted to waste time eating since we had to be up at 5am. The following morning I decided that I would go it alone and my legs felt great so I just steamed off. I spent the day thinking about more and more cycling! I arrived in good shape, though I got myself a bit lost towards the end which was very annoying. All in all a great day!

Monday, April 25, 2005

First Training Session

After my exhausting trip cycling in the Ardennes to watch the LBL I didn't really feel up to training on Monday, but I felt that I'd put it off too long. I'm glad I went. It was harder than I thought. My legs were up to the task, though I need to work on speed. The real challenge was holding my line. I realised later that my stem was adjusted too high which made it harder to maintain the stability of the bike.

Sunday, April 24, 2005

Liege-Bastogne-Liege 2005

Having had such a nice time following the LBL last year, I'd decided that I had to turn this little trip into an annual event. This year (as last) I didn't feel much up to it on Saturday, though this year it was the tail end of a cold that reduced my enthusiasm. I took a train to Maastricht then cycled along the Maas to Liege. It rained a bit along the way but I really enjoyed the ride, being the second evening ride along that route this year. The peace and quiet of riding as the sun goes down is great. As normal I stayed at the Liege Youth Hostel and the next morning I went into the centre of town and caught the sign-on. The area around where the team buses were all parked was accessible to the public, it was even possible to peer into the buses! At around 10:45am the riders started off and I headed back to the hostel to pick up my bike in order to see some hills. I'd decided that I would wait for the riders at the top of the Cote de la Redoute, a killer hill that I hoped would slow them down a bit, where they weren't supposed to arrive until about 4pm. From Liege to there were a few kilometers of quiet hilly roads. I was still feeling the tail end effects of the cold and by the time I got to the top of the Redoute I was beat! An hour or so later the first riders came through. Vinokourov and Voigt seemed to come off the top at the sorts of speed that I'm capable of on the flat! The chasers were looking pretty knocked by the hill, they never managed to the catch them and Vino won the sprint in Ans to take the race. After the riders came past a French-Belgian TV crew came by asking people to say something, they pointed the camera at me and I tried to mumble something but I think I sounded like a fool, I expect that it got cut out in the edit. Once the last riders past the end of race car signaled the re-opening of the road. I time trailed it to Maastricht, a distance of 45km or so. I got home exhausted shortly before midnight.

Sunday, April 17, 2005

Cycling with Skits

I met up with a complete group of strangers and went biking, it was fun!

Earlier this week I'd made contact with someone who organised a cycling group. The meeting place was, according to the description given to me, by the Rembrandt monument halfway to Oudekerk from Amsterdam on the side of the Amstel. Unfortunately Either they left early or I made a mistake with the meeting place.

Fortunately another group was meeting just up the Amstel and I hooked up with them. The group started out with about 10 people, though the number went down over the following couple of hours to 3, including me. It was great to ride with like-minded individuals. I quized them on cycle groups and racing. The last hour was ridden at quite a pace, a little higher than I could sustain without pushing hard, which was exactly what I wanted. I think I'll meet up with them again.

Thursday, April 7, 2005

Ronde van Vlaanderen 2005

What a great event! Though I have to say that this feeling didn't really surface until the next day.

The first 130km of the cyclo passed reasonably quickly. I'd been warned not to allow the enthusiasm of the occasion overcome sensibility and start too fast. This logic ruled for about 20 minutes of relatively slow riding from Brugge until a faster group came past and everybody jumped. About 100km later and I got spat out the back worrying that I wouldn't have enough for the next 150km. Not long before the beginning of the hills I realised that the cleats on my new shoes weren't quite as well adjusted as I had thought. For the next 100km I was in pain management mode, but there was no way that I was going to give in. Things got better at the Muur, and I positively enjoyed the Bosberg, not that I was going fast at any point, I swear I passed more than passed me. I arrived in Meerbeke at 6pm, having left Brugge at 6:45am. I was happy to have finished the whole course without walking once. Though it was a near thing on the Koppenburg.

The next day I slept in, until 7am and caught the start in Brugge. I had a great spot on the barrier just by the start. I got a nice shot of Boonen and Hincapie chatting and wishing each other luck! From there I caught a train to Geraadsbergen. I had another go at the Muur, was *almost* able to stay in the saddle this time. Shortly afterwords I caught the Belgian equivalent of soccer Mums in action, with the kids Ronde going up. I'm sure some of them had flasher bikes than me! After that I sat in a pub to watch the action on TV until about 4pm then I went back the Muur to wait for the race. It was fun watching the locals trying to get into a good position on the hillside above the Muur. A police officer would come by and tell them to move, as soon as she'd gone new ones would clamber up. In the end even with re-enforcements she had to give up, she couldn't block the race! After the lead group and the chasers came past the crowd went down to the square just above the main church where a large screen showed Boonen's triumphant entry into Meerbeke.


I was a perfect weekend, and one that I hope I can repeat again. Though I think I need to improve power if there's any chance of
getting up the Koppenberg in the saddle. Even on such a dry day my back wheel was spinning as I was out the saddle. Something to aim for in 2006 ...

What's the next challenge??

Monday, March 28, 2005

Spring really is here!

People looked at me oddly when at the end of February I declared that Spring was here, after all it wasn't much above zero degrees. My logic was that bicycle racing had begun in Belgium. It may not make much sense but it does to those, or at him, who count, i.e. me! Anyway Easter fell in the third week of March and by then the weather had really changed from the deep snow of the beginning. I'd had a depressing cold which took out the first nice weekend, during which I'd planned to ride a brevet near Antwerp, all training for the Ronde van Vlaanderen. So I was very determined to get a good Easter in. This year we got both the Friday and the Monday off. I wanted to use the whole period to good effect.

On Thursday after work I took a train to Maastricht from where I intended to continue by train to Liege, however the train was late and I decided to ride the 30km, which I figured would be fun. It was! It rained a little but the road was easy. I knew I wouldn't get lost as I knew where I was staying, I'd programmed it into my GPS. Or at least I thought I did. At a certain point I realised that the point that the address that I thought was of the Youth Hostel in Liege actually wasn't in Liege. Fortunately I'd been there before and my memory served me well enough.

The following morning was bright and I headed South West to wards Chimay, over hills and dales of the French Belgian Ardennes. This was my first long ride that wasn't almost completely flat, by mid-afternoon I was beat! I arrived at the B&B that I'd booked in the late afternoon. Unfortunately there wasn't a restaurant for several kilometers so I went to a local supermarket and bought some snacks for dinner, which I ate in my room, going to bed early. I paid for this the next day.

The next morning was chilly so I brought along something warm to wear. This was my second mistake as I had to carry it the whole day. The start of the brevet was a couple of kilometres near the centre of Chimay. I had been hoping that the route wouldn't be too hilly and that the pace would be measured. Neither was the case and I struggled. Shortly after the second checkpoint, about 120km into it, I got dropped by the peloton and hit the wall. I paid for not eating enough. This added to a bit of knee pain which got worse and worse. I decided to slow right down and enjoy the day. This was a good move as the surroundings were lovely and the day was gorgeous. At 4pm I rolled back into Chimay. At the last checkpoint they asked me whether I really wanted 4pm as my time of arrival, not something earlier. I was quite pleased with this under the circumstances.

The following day the weather wasn't as nice as the previous one. There was light rain but it was still warm. I took things easy, having decided to aim for Namur and then work things out. At Namur my knee really began to hurt, so from there I took the train home. This gave me a relaxing day at home for the last day of Easter, which I really appreciated as I'd done about 500km over 3 1/2 days!

Sunday, March 6, 2005

My first brevet

I just finished my first brevet, a 200km in the Niederrhein region of Germany. On Friday night I took a train to Venlo on the other side of the border. There had been quite a bit of snow in the preceding week and as a consequence the trains were a bit chaotic. I was concerned that I wouldn't be able to get to the youth hostel that I had booked in Hinsbeck before it closed. I found the newly constructed but almost completely empty hostel at about 10pm. The assigned bunk room was completely mine, which was nice so I could spread out and most importantly no snorers to keep me up. I woke the next morning to see that the light snow that started just as I arrived had continued and there was a dusting of snow on the roads. Having cycled to work in the week before through much more than that I wasn't phased. I hit the road for the 10km ride to the start of the brevet in Wachtendonk. I should have slept in a little more, I arrived way too early and soon discovered that I hadn't really brought warm enough clothes to be standing around for long. I was very glad when the group of 10 riders got moving at 8am. The first part of the brevet was along very minor roads, covered in snow. This caused a bit of chaos in the peloton, one rider fell twice in the first 5km, not a good start! Our bikes were a real picture, the wheels derailleurs and chain caked in snow! Soon afterward we lost a rider, who fortunately managed to catch up. Of course we got lost, the first checkpoint was Nederweert, which was only found due to my GPS! From there things became simpler, most of the road was in Holland where there had been less snow and more salt seemed to be used on the roads and cycle paths. Even so it snowed on and off all day and never went much above 4 degrees C all day. From there we headed in the direction of Eindhoven and Helmond to the next checkpoint in America where some food and a little self administered massage did wonders. Not long after setting off I had a puncture. I think I was getting a little frazzled, I couldn't work out how to use my new pump and found that I didn't bring a puncture repair kit. If I punctured my new tube I'd have been stuck. From there we were on the home stretch via the last on the road checkpoint at the BP station in Well, the ticking kilometers were watched very carefully. My chain was seriously squeaking and I made a mental note to carry chain oil in my tool kit, I had some with my luggage at the hostel. The reduced group was in silent road eating mode. The arrival back in Wachtendonk about 90 minutes inside the time limit was muted. Somehow I'd expected a bit more from the end, maybe everyone was only too happy to stop cycling and it was too cold to stand around outside and chat. The 10km run back to the hostel was much slow and the arrival was much appreciated.


The next morning the sun was out, though it was even colder than the day before. The water froze on my bike as I cleaned it! I re-oiled my chain and was greatly relieved that the squeaky punishment that I'd meted on it seemed not to have caused permanent discernible damage. I set off South without a particular aim in mind, other than to pile up the kilometers. 130km and a couple of a castles I arrived in Maastricht, 3 hours later I was soaking in a very nice shower. I'd 350km in a weekend!


Wednesday, March 2, 2005

Lot's of snow

The most snow has fallen in the last 24 hours than I've ever seen in Amsterdam ...

Sunday, February 27, 2005

A cold afternoon's cycling

With an eye on the coming weekends 200km brevet I figured it would be a good idea to put a longish cycle ride under my belt. I left it a bit late in the morning to make a really long one, given that the wind was really roaring from the North and that was where I headed. Rather than try and battle it, I lowered speed and enjoyed the challanage as well as the picture perfect winter day.

Sunday, February 13, 2005

Cool web mapping application

I found a very cool web mapping application that takes GPS track files from my Garmin eTrex Vista and superimposes them onto downloaded maps that can be saved. Below is the way that I cycle to work ...
The application requires that the track files are in a particular format (.gpx) that Garmin Mapsource speaks, so mapping software needs to be installed on my PC, the map creation magic is all done online. Go to for further details.

Saturday, February 12, 2005

Horrible Weather!!

I was hoping the weather forecast would prove to be inaccurate, allowing me to take off for a weekend of cycling on my new bike. Alas, it didn't. All I've managed so far, on a windy rainy Saturday, is to get to the market just down the road. On the way there a van went through a puddle on the road, I just happened to be cycling past. I saw it coming but it didn't change the result, I got soaked! I'm staying home.

Sunday, February 6, 2005

New Bike

Last week On Thursday morning when I came back from an appointment in town I found a note from DHL indicating that they had attempted to deliver something. It could mean only one thing, my recently ordered Thorn Audax 853 was here! After a breathless call to DHL I realised that I would need to go and pick the bike up from the depot if I wanted to get it before the weekend. Bloody DHL wouldn't come back with the bike on Thursday and couldn't provide a guarantee of when they would have another go at delivering it, other than to say it would only be during office hours. Getting the thing from the depot was a pain in the arse as it was out in the middle of nowhere. I had to wait over an hour for a cab that would fit the huge that contained it. I should have just ridden it home!

Sunday, January 23, 2005

Cycling plans for 2005

I have built up a good 8 weeks of paid holiday, having been unable to completely use my allowance since I started working at UPC. Not enough is not enough! To avoid this happening this year I'm starting my holiday planning now, in the middle of January. As I've shaken the knee issues that plagued me the whole of 2003 and the first 1/4 of 2004 I'm going to cycle like a crazy man.