Cycling

Resolutions

Many of us have spent time during the last week thinking about their new year’s resolution.

Here is my short, prioritised, personal wish list for 2014:

1. Be a better husband
2. Be a better father
3. Loose 5 kilos and stay healthy in general
4. Make a bit more money and make better use of it

Notes:
1. Some of these items are “in progress” and others are “TBA”
2. I only had 90 minutes to draw this list, during a wet and a very windy bike ride on New Year’s morning

Happy 2014 everyone! May all the items on your list be marked as “completed” by the end of the year!!!

Goals etc.

I love setting targets and goals and then not having to make up excuses for not reaching them

Most times we tend to set them too high, or just a little too high. This keeps us motivated and encourage us to try harder next time, or at least that’s how it works for me…

When it comes to cycling, I usually plan one month ahead, look at work and travel commitments, family stuff and try to predict the weather, not very easy when you live in the UK!

For July everything looked good, summer arrived and decided to stay for a while, which means not only good weather but also long hours of daylight and as I’m not a good sleeper I could get up early and be back just when everyone wake up. Also as Europe was entering the holiday season, I did not have too much travelling to do, giving some extra flexibility.

After a busy June, where I was able to squeeze in 645km, 55km off the 700km that I’ve set as a target, I thought that 900km for July would be challenging but maybe achievable

And today, the last day of the month, I was on the road at 06:30 and 1:15 hours and 28km later (and very wet they were!!!), I got back, stopped and looked at the odometer and was very pleased to see 1,004 km!!!

Yes, that is 104 kilometres more than what I was going to do!!!!

This is the most I’ve ever done in one month and especially after last year’s back injury, which took me off the road for 5 months, I am very, very happy with this progress!!!

And if you want to know why I do this, you can turn to my BHF Fundraising page

I do this because it is good for the body, the mind and the soul and one day it is going to help me, just like it helps thousands of others every day!

So I have to thank the great british weather and most of all to my loving and supporting family who are not only willing to put up with my hobby but who also encourage me to continue pushing!

Now the bike needs a good clean and lube and I need to continue training for the next event: Haywards Heath Howler Sportive Aug 11th

Ride safely!

Winter is here

This morning as I walked back from the kids’ school I stopped to look closely at the frost that developed overnight on our car’s roof. I took these images with my phone and found the structures formed by the ice crystals quite incredible!

I promised myself that if it is going to be as cold tomorrow morning I will bring out an 80 megapixel camera with a macro lens:-)

       Click on an image to view a larger version of it                                           ICE_3

ICE_2ICE_1

 

Result!

This week has been so busy that I did not get a chance to stop and reflect on last Sunday’s big ride!!!!!

Some stats:

  • started in Oxford 08:15, arrived in Cambridge 13:44
  • 143.32km
  • Ride time 05:04 hrs
  • Stopped time 00:25 hrs
  • Average speed 28.28 km/h this is about 4 km/h faster than my normal average, I’d put it down to the long flat parts coming out of Oxford and approaching Cambridge, allowing me to keep an average of just over 40 km/h!
  • Fastest speed 78.96 km/h (!)
  • Total ascent 589m
  • Total decent 441m
  • Calories 5362
  • Average heart rate 137 bpm (my rule is not to go over 150 bpm even on the steepest hills)

All in all it was easier than I expected, there were fewer hills (although there were 3 big ones!) and the flat bits were fast and smooth. I’ve also managed to latch onto the tail of two guys who were flying and have given me a good tow

My family was waiting for me at the finish line, with a banner and a camera:-) and I’ve got a medal as well!!!

Training doesn’t stop here and it was only 3 days before I was riding again…this is a serious addiction!

But, the most important thing is that thanks to all our friends, we have manages to raise 485 GBP for the BHF charity!!!! This will for sure help pushing heart research in this country and bring hope to many who suffer from various heart diseases

The fundraising page remains active for another 3 months so of course you are welcome to send your donation, now that I’ve fulfilled my part of the deal:-)

http://www.justgiving.com/yayapro

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On a different note, I’ve figured out how to create a QR image for this site. You can now scan it with your smartphone and keep it as a bookmark:-)

Just 24 hours left

It’s amazing how time flies…I’ve started this journey less than 4 months ago, when I registered for the Oxford-Cambridge BHF ride and started training for it

Tomorrow, Sunday, July 31st 2011 at 08:00 I’ll be setting off from Oxford and am planning to finish the course in 6:30 hrs inc. 2 stops

I’ve trained hard for this; I’ve ridden 600-700 km every month, getting up at silly hours so I can get the miles in before the kids wake up for school and on the weekends I did some big rides, none of them was as long as tomorrow’s 88 miles but I think I’m ready

Le Tour de France took place in July, a great motivation booster if judging by the 850km I’ve done so far…the long days obviously helped as I could get 40-50 km done before 8am or after 6pm

Speaking of Le Tour, a friend shared a video link with me via Facebook, which I think is a must see for every cycling fan as it shows how hard these men really are:

       

I would like to take this opportunity and to thank everyone who have donated through my BHF fundraising page it means a lot to me and of course to all the other thousands of people who suffer from one heart disease or the other and who enjoy the BHF’s work

 

I’d also like to thank my wife Yael and our children Arielle and Omri for supporting me and for putting up with the long hours I’ve spent away on the weekends:-) They will be cheering me up on the start and finish lines tomorrow!

I will post again tomorrow PM after we get back from Cambridge with some photos. Remember than donation are accepted 3 months after the even and that every penny counts!!!!

 

 

Auteuil, Paris

This week my business travel brought me to Paris, the city of lights

I was planing to take some photos of the Eiffel Tower, like a real tourist, but the time constraints did not allow that and I only managed a quick shot of it with the iPhone as I went for a late evening 4Km run along the Seine, just as it was giving its 5 minute display

On the following day, I was at the Jardins des Serres d’Auteuil in Paris:
This image was shot with a Leaf Aptus-II 12R on an Arca-Swiss Rm2d and a Schneider 43mm/ f5.6 wide angle lens

I used the same technique that I’ve described in my LuLa article a few weeks ago after my trip to Berlin
It is made out of 2 vertical frames, created by shifting the back Right/ Left  and stitching them in Photoshop
The light was perfect and the details on these 120 yr old greenhouses are abdolutely mind boggling!
I will post a few more frames when I get a chance. You can click on the image to see a larger version

July 31st, the day of my Ox-Cam ride is approaching fast. My plan for this weekend was to do another 100km ride but the weather seems to think otherwise and there are some thunder showers expected. However since I am so committed to this goal, I am going to brave it, take a rain coat and hope it doesn’t get too cold!!!

I urge you once again to go to my fundraising page and to put some money in for the BHF. They help me and they help thousands of others who suffer from heart disease!!! Please feel free to share this with you friends, colleagues and family members, thank you!!!

Training log

End of April, amazing how time flies when you’re having fun:-)

Taking the big ride seriously; in April, thanks to Easter, Passover and the Royal wedding I’ve managed 13 rides, totalling 470km, 23:35 hrs, 2,700m ascent at an average speed of just under 20km/h.

With such a great weather, most rides look like this:

I’ve also managed to squeeze a couple of runs, off which one was along the Reka Moskva River in Russia at 0 deg C…

The days are now getting longer and longer so I’m planing a few evening rides and if I can get myself out of bed early enough, I might even do a few early morning ones as there is light from about 04:30…we’ll see

A couple of trips this week and a longer one to Germany next week. I’ve arrange a half day “tourist” day in Berlin as I have never had a chance to tour this city, even though I’ve been there a few times already. as you can see this was taken from a taxi rushing to the airport…

This time I’ll be kitted with a Leaf Aptus-II 12 on a nice Arca-Swiss Rm2D with a 43mm lens so I’ll try to make the most of it!!!

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A quick update: Saturday 9/4 saw me doing 73Km in 3h23m, weather was perfect but the 1st half of the route was VERY hilly…a total of more than 300m climbing. That’s about half of what I’m supposed to do in July…so there’s still some work to do:-)

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