Anus Horribilis – my Winterval message

Well, it’s been basically a rubbish year.

We’ve said goodbye to too many people: David Bowie, Alan Rickman, Prince, Muhammad Ali, Anton Yeltsin, Elie Wiesel, Gene Wilder, Leonard Cohen, Robert Vaughn, Fidel Castro, Eric (my cousin’s partner) and John Glenn spring to mind. But the death that has affected me the most is the loss of my father in October. Here’s how it went, according to Facebook: Continue reading


Not so full: 17%

spinathonSo the past few weeks have not been fun. Since early February, my innards have been painful, at times screamingly so. I’ve been constipated and very tired, some days hardly able to stir from my bed. My abdomen has been distended, and its skin (and the skin on my legs) has been irritated, so that sleeping has been interrupted – I tend to sleep from mid-evening until about 3am, then toss and turn until about 5am before dropping off again for a couple more hours. I’ve also been short of breath at times, presumably from my distended innards impeding my diaphragm.  Continue reading

Spinning the world away!


Elly and I have been spinning at the wonderful LifesCycle for four years to help keep ourselves fit enough to enjoy exploring the world on bikes.  We are going off on our adventures later this year, but we know we are incredibly lucky to have the time and the security to do that. LifesCycle has been a strong supporter of Mercy Corps and we would like to add a little bit to their support of people suffering around the world, particularly refugees. If you have two minutes, this video will give you a little bit of insight into the people Mercy Corps supports. Continue reading

Even more full of **** than normal!

I’ve been constipated for at least two weeks. There has been lots of pain and bloating, noxious flatulence and interrupted sleep. Last week I didn’t work more than half a day.

My GP has prescribed lots of Movicol to soften my output, paracetamol as an analgesic, lots of fruit and lots of non-caffeine fluid. The Movicol is working, the paracetamol helps somewhat, heat-patches help to some extent and the fluid is passing through.

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Happy trails, ninj-waz!


Ageing ninja or spawny-eyed wazzock?

Ageing ninja or spawny-eyed wazzock?

A few more ouches this weekend. The first was another Trespass top, so that I’ll have a spare for if I wash any clothes en route. Trespass also sell fleece thermals. I’m not yet convinced my sleeping bag and its fleece outer will be warm enough, so I couldn’t resist. The only question is whether I look like a ninja or a wazzock – your call!

I’m also thinking seriously about abandoning my road shoes for a pair of Shimano mountain-bike boots I bought a year or so ago. I didn’t get on with them at the time but now they feel comfortable, and they’re much easier to walk in than road shoes, so I think I won’t need to take different footwear just for walking. Continue reading

Shaking it down – again

Another attempt to get my legs used to pedalling a laden bike. Snow and ice prevented cycling in Holyrood Park, so I cycled to Musselburgh and back. I felt that I was still abominably slow. However, using Elly’s panniers, which do not protrude above the pannier rack, meant that my sleeping mat was better positioned and so Lev did not feel top-heavy and ready to fall over.


Elly’s pannier’s don’t protrude


Mine do

Here’s the inevitable cyclemeter map.

Shaking it down

It’s about 3 months until we set of for our Iron Curtain Trail cycle. We’ve done a number of long-ish cycles (about 500 miles) but have always stayed in hotels and hostels. The ICT will be much harder – over 4000 miles and camping most nights – so there’s a lot of preparation to do. So today I did my first shakedown-cycle (2 laps of Holyrood Park), to try to learn more about cycling a fully-laden bike, what and how to pack, etc.

Here’s the cyclometer-map, and here’s the GoPro video: 

Continue reading