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I was lost, but now am found

“I was lost, but now am found” said my banana.
(pronounced in the Cornish manner ba-na-na, with the ‘a’ as in jam)

The mystery of the lost banana was solved this morning, as mid-commute I spotted it lost and forlorn on the wayside. It must have dropped out of my pannier yesterday!  I got to work convinced that I packed it and was baffled by its desertion.

I muse that:

We guide our baggage through both well and less travelled pathways…

We believe that we packed the baggage, we control the tiller… and know the map…

We are ‘guided’ by soft hegemony and cultural info-tainment…

But still our banana’s can fall from our backpacks and confound, amaze and hopefully cause us to reassess our predicament?

However, I am still blind I see.

PS. Today’s banana was energizing.

15-facts-you-probably-didn’t-know-about-bananas

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Cycling with Endomondo again…

So, 2012… here we go again, WET and WINDY this morning.
Ride home not too bad: cycling 6.92 miles in 31m:22s

via My Cycle Workout.

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2488 Cycling miles this year.

So, just for the record, since April, i've been cycling to work.
Via my Cardio Trainer we recorded:
Sunday 27 Feb. through to Monday 4 July = 851.71miles
I then changed to the Endomondo tracker and clocked:
Tuesday 5 July through  Thurs 22 Dec = 1636.93 miles
So that's 2488 miles recorded this year.
A wheely HAPPY NEW YEAR all!

Which way would you go? And why?

On my commute yesterday, reluctantly, I had reason to take another trip through suburban leicester rather than my usual rural route, as the crow (or barn owl) flies.
You’ll be aware of my previous reaction to the experience of this specific suburban cycling route.  However, having ridden this route again, I still have the same opinions…
But I was led to think….


In life generally, I guess it’s my nature to generally take the easier more pleasurable option. Surely would it not be madness not to?

My usual choice, is relatively comfortable; I enjoy flowing familiarity with negligible hurdles and man-made encounters. It is raw, spatial and rich in the spirit of something ‘natural’ (?)… It’s relatively smooth and takes me where I intend to go… skirting intriguing worlds and lives with little incident… yes, it does have has it’s unforeseen encounters but it’s a an enjoyable option.

An alternative choice is a way populated with life in abundance. Much of what you’ll find is in either in need of care and attention, badly designed, or both. It’s past is evident, daily life and common culture are stamped on walls and faces. You’ll encounter raw humanity… ‘warts and all’, but also what you find is rich in living lives, both sweet and sour.

Do Robert Frost’s thoughts apply? Challenge? Avoidance? Survival? Common Sense?


Which way would you go? And why?

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Look local first!

After unsuccessfully visiting two larger city cycle shops this morning, I popped into the ‘small on the outside, big on the inside’ local town shop. I was after a quality chargeable front light for my bike – for commuting daily using unlit country lanes.
It’s fine immersing yourself in the supposedly ‘this is what you need, ‘cos this is want everyone else has’ on the interweb, but perhaps ‘real’ life is more… real, amenable, alive…?

  • The first large Half-auto store I passed; which adversities “For everything to do with bikes…”; didn’t have ANY rechargeable lights and what it had was relatively basic and arguably not suitable.
  • The second shop (an old standard of Nottingham origins) was helpful and informative and although they could order some (can’t we call) didn’t stock ANY rechargeable lights, and again what it had was relatively basic and arguably not suitable.
  • Embarrassingly, my last choice, because I was passing on the way home, (and to be honest I thought it was a big ask for a small shop to stock a large range of accessories) to my surprise had just the thing!

They were welcoming, knowledgable and helpful.
The Serfas ‘True 250’ is just what I was looking for. 


The spec and the price was just right – and having compared it’s credentials further I’m very pleased with it. It was a great to be able to see and try a range of options before I bought.


Thanks Cyclops, I had little faith but next time ‘Cyclops Cycles’ 
Cyclopscycles.co.uk in Syston will be my first choice.

Sunrise Sunday, ultimately faulty?

Woken this morning by a poorly daughter – (barking like a seal on silk-cut). Bless her, she’s suffering this weekend. Calpol and ‘stuff’ are hopefully doing their thing.
So a bedtime cuppa for the wife and ‘Milkshake (5)’ for t’other little lady, and off out on the pedals for an hour. The outing was briefly awesome!

After a twittering with Martyn Joseph last night (sorry Wales – gutted for u!) I’ve booked some tickets for Nov. It’s been 5+ years since I saw MJ after probably 20+ years of seeing him at least once a year!
So I stuck an album on the pod which for the last few years sat collecting dust. The old MJ stuff has just not been resonating in the last few years, even a bit of a turn off… I’ve been on a different track recently.
This morning some of his offerings did again almost ring with recent recovering thoughts and feelings.
Can’t sum up the experience save to say the ride was bracing. 3°C, 8.30am, rabbits, pheasants, birds of all kinds but notably buzzards. We have what must be a family (4 or 5) that live nearby and this morning one joined me on my ride for a minute. It soared over the hedge and followed me along the road for 20-30 seconds before circling a field and perching in a roadside tree – oh I wish I had the Lumix, alas the HTC wasn’t up to the job.
At the moment I’m tentatively reading ‘The Shack‘, a library angel put it in my hand! (Another story). I’ll report back if i survive it.
I’d like to list the other cultural material that’s popping and fizzing at the mo. but can’t think. Let’s just say stuff’s simmering and I occasionally get a whiff of something stimulating… we’ll see… hope it doesn’t boil dry.
Highs on the ride this morning were utterly ecstatic; I find myself laughing out loud as I reach a summit or simply a hint of epiphanic ‘life’; we then roll back down to norms and onward…
My only concern at the mo is that ‘glory’ goes to my perception of seemingly ‘natural’ phenomena while I avoid the death and natural ‘fall’ also abundant around us. I rejoice over ‘life’, and it seems it’s the ‘human’ interference and conceptions that fail and mar the outlook.  Nature is a harsh if beautiful thing, I wonder if humanity can be beautiful as well as harsh and ultimately faulty.



Natural – Human?

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A good old crusty loaf!!

With the challenge set after tweeting GBBO’s Holly a fellow Leicestershirianite(?), I set to bashing some dough round!

A good old crusty loaf!
As I pummelled the dough I was reminded of the muppet in the white van that terrorised me on the way home the other day.
I was in ‘my space’ on the road, with a car in front of me, and they (the white van) seemed to have had a bad day and were not happy (i guess) that I was in front of them? Sor-rry! Revving their engine and blasting their horn behind me, they followed me for a good 900 yards unable to get by. They did eventually overtake me when there was room, and broke infront of me as if to make a point. It left me a tad shaken and seriously wondering if all this cycling malarky was worth it!?
Yes, on the way home a few dozen drivers race-off accelerating away like missled lemmings after being inconvenienced for 10 seconds! Oh I do hope they get there in time!!
But cycling IS worth the occasional encounter with a ready-sliced roadster! Life is worth living. Breath is worth breathing! Time is worth spending! Bread is worth cutting!
I do wonder why so many people are in such a rush to get somewhere? Life’s too short to get their early!
Driving home from work used to take me 25 minutes. Riding takes me 35.
OK some may think I’m a bit of a crusty old loaf for cycling to work but take if from me – it tastes good!!!
Ta Holly!

Velocipeding

I have been cycling to & fro’ work now week-dailysince March, 7 miles each way.
My cycling log

http://www.endomondo.com/embed/workouts?w=tMNs2h6sPHg&width=950&height=600

At rough tally, I guess I’ve saved 14 miles of fuel a daythat’s ~£1.35×2 for a 7mpl car. That’s ~£54 a month. Hummm…  I have bought a bike & various bits & pieces,which really needs a year of cycling to offset. But the above is still a nicemonthly fuel saving, and extra exercise costs (time & money) not are required.

Health benefits: perhaps immeasurable – Last year I toyed with swimming twice a week at lunch times but although initially enjoyable after 6-7 months the novelty wore off (you don’t get a nice view and you can’t listen to podcasts while swimming). Generally I encountered as little exercise as possible. Now that I cycle, I see good aerobic activity twice a day. The daily endorphin hits are invaluable. The dailyexperience is arguably also more constructive than a similar trip in a car/bus and cerebrally, thoughts and feelings get a more intense workout. The experience is arguably exhilarating and elevating,depending on your psychological position/attitude in the road-spacesocial-class struggle – this does need to be kept in check.
Today we had a beautiful fresh morning for the journey in – I’ve started to take aslightly easier pace (today helped by ‘Hothouse Flowers’ in the headset)… and when it’s dry I’m wearing less clothing, this helps with the ‘afterglow’ when I reach my destination. Less sweat! Thanks Dave.
However, the commute home last night… drenchchchchched!  Greatriding in the rain rain rain really is invigorating, but I ended up a drowned rat. Water/windproof top kept mytorso dry but my head, shoes, socks and longcycle-trousers absolutely sodden. Fun fun!