High tide and strong wind

I had a day off, yet still a massive to-do list.  The morning was slow, with burnt toast and lounging about in my red dressing gown as I sipped the third cup of coffee and between loading the laundry and other mundane household jobs. Which at least can be crossed from the to-do list.   

Sunshine streaming though the window, it was time to shake a leg, get on with it and pull my cycling gear on, and get out for a quick spin not going very far, but beating two personal speed bests. 
First on the fire-station hill, which is a steep short climb, and I’m particularly proud to have got up it in 30 seconds, even if I was aiming for under half minute.  Doris my bike did a quick lap around the Cliftonville library, more honestly, I had forgotten that the library is closed on a Wednesday, as I road up to the toast-rack bike park, I wondered why the lights were off and then annoyed with myself just kept going past the doors and into the park, before turning right back to the road towards Palm Bay.  Originally my plans were to pick up a book, and get some exercise along the coast to a sunny sheltered spot with a delightful cafe, where I would enjoy the book in the fresh air, before perhaps climbing onto the rocks to find some oysters which I thought I might wrap in bacon for dinner.
The gusty wind in my face, and the tide to high to get onto the rocks and no book in my back.  I decided to change my plans just head home.   Well a day off is a day off and sometimes we need to just sit back and do nothing and think about ‘the big idea’ even if you haven’t picked up the book.

Sharing A Secret – The schools strike, and I’m studying

First week into the  new course:The secret power of brands.
Does it feel good to be a student again? Personally it’s the first time in a long while that I’ve had to look things up in a dictionary, order books from the library, and my mind is consumed and I’m stretched seeing things differently.
The secret power of brands, a course delivered online, has a great structure, and is easy to use with brilliant content and some further recommended reading that links to a well known online book retailer.  Personally I find that alone forward thinking and a pleasure, but am surprised that already we have been directed to a brand. There is nothing like sitting on the sofa with your feet up, or under a tree in the sunshine in the park with a book.  Most students are not rich, and I suspect you like me, may have requested the books,  from the local library, with fingers crossed that they will arrive in a reasonable time.
Has anyone got around to, seeking or applying for Online Library access from the university,  or otherwise. Or  even asking the course developers if it has been considered?  

We have another option, digital reading, Instant to order, and easy to search, and has the added bonus that electronic device is easier to carry than heavy books.  But are E-books available from University Library services? 

Perhaps that is why we were led to a online brand!

I can now define a brand:
Values, shaped by actions or a product that is transmitted and interpreted by social connection, that is ever evolving.

Do you find like me, just a week into the course you are avoiding trade marks and brand names?  Certainly my thinking has already altered.
This definition fits all the brands I would have previously mentioned The Oxford Dictionary, Amazon.com,  Kent Library, Kindle, Ipad, FutureLearn The University of East Anglia, names I expect you may have guessed.

Maybe these were not the comments you were expecting, eitherway Im intrested to know your views.

Super Bright

This morning, I’m feeling very clever.  Doris, my bike has been stripped to the frame, cleaned polished and put back together with new skinny tyres. She is looking so clean and bright.  Parked inside my flat, on her own rug under the window, now it is almost a shame to take her out on a dirty road!

Doris has new tyre

Training for the Next Ride

I have had Doris for almost a year, We’ve trained in Thanet, but have done a few longer rides too, what a great way to see the best of Kent. Sadly the driving rain and the cloud of today was not the way to do it. So if you visited Kent today for the Viking Ride, and did the whole course or just part of it, well done you, if you dropped out like me, I hope you got to see some of sights. Anyway here are a few pictures from the the Viking ride on a sunny day, when it looks quite different.

L2B posterLondon_to_Brighton_Bike_Ride_2013-_London_to_Brighton_Bike_Ride_2013-7132313_DSC_9770Inspirational DorrisFilling up, Thanet Cauliflower
Original London to Brighton PosterStop on brow of hillStop on brow of hillTshirt Painting
London_to_Brighton_Bike_Ride_2013-_London_to_Brighton_Bike_Ride_2013-7133323_DSC_6875 - Version 2
After the action, PizzaDoris gets TLCDoris makes it home to MargateFCBT2096-cp20x30-53437-952Y3miles to Canterbury9.15 start time,
Doris, a set on Flickr.

Post ride preparation, Viking Ride

I havent really done much preparation for the Viking Ride tomorrow, normally I’m re-searching route maps, elevation detail and planning pit stops about every 25 miles.

Getting to the official start of an organised ride, with bike and without excess-luggage is often more of a challenge than actually doing the ride, this will be an exceptionally easy ride for me tomorrow, with a late start time of 10am, and a start just 4.5 miles from home, most of which is down hill and if you ask me a quite a good pre-ride, warm up.

Starting at the Viking ship, and straight into the ship to summit (where if there are not too many people, and weather allows, I hope to beat a personal best, and improve my position from 213th on the leader board, or a much more respectable 9th if you only look at the women!)  We will have a steady climb up from the coast at Ramsgate, a few short but steep hills through Broadstairs, a climb up from Ramsgate, and  after that there is a long downhill section through Margate and Westbrook, and along to Minnis Bay, and an even longer costal flat path,  almost all the way to Whitstable.  The climb into Canterbury might need a it of preparation, it would be smart to plan a food stop somewhere before then – Maybe a few Oysters, which would make a change form the normal banana and jelly babies, or perhaps I’ll just keep going.

Crab and Winkle route marker

The six mile Crab and Winkle way, which was an old railway line, has a bit of a hill, into Canterbury but not too bad and very easily do-able, and then the advantage of living at sea level, it’s always downhill home!

Recently I have been plagued with punctures, seriously I need to by a new tyre, as my rear on has a nasty glass cut in it, and the tubes get damaged, not ridden since recently fixed again, so I’m just hoping it holds out and I’m not fixing flats at the side of the road.

It’s not too late, you too can sign up for tomorrow’s ride,  or you can compete agains me in on Strava, if you dare?

Ride through the garden of England.

A wonderful morning out cycling with new friends.  A few hills and the Beautiful Garden of Kent with orchards of pear and apple, ready for harvesting we rode out to Ash where we stopped for lunch.  The ride also took in some of the best of Thanet’s  beaches and sunshine.

No matter where I cycle all road’s seem to lead to Sandwich – not really somewhere I know,  just somewhere and somehow, I always seem to end up, we stopped at Pegwell Bay before the climb up from the Viking Ship and a few hills around the coast from Ramsgate and Broadstairs to clock up a few kilometres, before heading home.

It was great riding out with new friends, to have a bit of motivation, a push to go further, and a bit of competition on a few of the Strava segments.  Shelly who is lives around the corner,  is a bit of a geek, a fellow Strava user too, which helps to improve speeds along a few of the Strava segments.   Today we both picked up a few digital trophies.

I’m rather proud Tivoli Sprint section, only because I’m at the top of the leader-board, well until I get beaten  (Scroll down to the women’s leader-board and take a look!) My friends had better watch out, because I plan to beat you on some of the hills too!