Month: January 2014

A small achievement

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As you will know if you have read any of my previous posts (apart from the last one) you will know the story of me getting into shape after a recent knee injury and as part of my preparation for the summer of charity bike rides and sportives.

Well at the weekend I returned to running. earlier in the day I could only manage 17.5km on the bike due to the relentless rain , so in the evening once the rain had stopped I decided to go for a run. In my head I felt good and thought the aim should be to run for the longest distance I had. Not a difficult task as 4km would have achieved this. As you can tell I am not a runner. Well I managed to grind out a very slow 10km and it was slow, but I did it.

The only problem is that my device had a little fit as I clocked up 10k and only recorded 9.4km, how annoying. I learnt a very valuable lesson, you need to go a bit further to ensure you get the distance recorded on your device. So in effect at the weekend I recorded my first even 9.4km run, but whatever the distance I know I can run 10k again. It could well kill me, but I will aim to get the 10k recorded on my device next time. I certainly felt the effects of the run but the weight is coming down so it is all good.

I may have completed a ride and a run in the same day however I have NO plans to add a swim to these events and complete them one after each other. in my head this is just madness. Yes you need to be extremely fit to complete these but they are not for me!!

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The story of a (very) bad Apple

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We all love our technology and gadgets. From the smart phone to communicate (wanted or not) 24hours a day, 365 days a year, recording our very run, ride, tweet, blog update (to catch up with inthepeloton) just to check the weather etc the technology at our finger tips makes live a lot easier, or we have the excuse to be more lazy depending upon your point of view.

I certainly love my gadgets and I bring you the latest instalment from my tablet from the well known fruit company. The said company in question however good the products they bring to market really need to allow their staff to use common sense or at least empower them with the answers to sensible questions.

My tablet is less than a year old and unfortunately it developed a fault with the charger. No problem I thought I’ll contact the fruit based company for advice. There was the first problem. I logged onto the fruit based companies website and eventually found what I was looking for. I then hoped to have a chat with a member of their customer service team to inform them of my problem. It seamed the fruit based technology company are not that interested in speaking to their customers and I was shocked when I received a message to say we cannot speak to you as you done have the suitable level of cover, and would I like to purchase this. NO the devise is within the warranty and anyone with any common sense and a little customer service training knows that if an item is within warranty and is faulty then you cannot charge extra for the repairs, let alone just to speak to someone. Plus you only have to log onto a number of forums to realise my problem with the charger is actually a common one which they are aware off!

So after work I took the item back to the store and asked for their assistance. The staff at Argos were nothing but excellent. Say what you like about some of the experiences I may have hearted others say, but they were excellent. They explained they would need to contact the fruits based technology company as they supply all the spare parts. No problem so the call was made and then the fruit based technology company managed to again cover themselves in what can only be described as shocking behaviour. They demanded a credit card number for a replacement item to be sent out just in case I decided not to send back the faulty charger. I will remind you I was in the store of the retailer and they were in the phone to the fruit based technology company. The next demand was for the retailer to provide a credit card in case the faulty charger was not send to them. When the customer service manager of Argos explained the item was within the warranty period the fruit based technology company stood firm. As to turned out the retailer raced the whole unit charger and tablet as it was under the warranty and said they would take it up with the fruit based technology company.

So all in all not a good experience, and then they send me an email asking for feedback about how I was treated as a customer. Well I respectfully gave them both barrels and told them my experience. As yet I have not had a response to this feedback with was nothing less than truthful and painting the experience I received in an extremely bad light. I know there are many very happy and loyal customers from the fruit based technology company, but the very bad Apple I took a bite from has left a very sour taste in the mouth indeed. The late Mr Jobs would not have been proud, come on sort it out!!

It felt so nice to have her back between my legs on the open road

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I am sorry if you are looking for a naughty blog entry which the title if this one may suggest but alas it is not. There was a little mud from the wet road and spray from the rear wheel but that is about as dirty as it gets. However for a few brief moments I may have gained a few more readers before they leave disappointed.

Well yesterday was the first proper ride if 2104! I mean proper ride, as in me actually on a bike, not in the gym or completing a workout. The latter have been continuing this week but as the rules say it’s all about the bike (rule #11 says the bike comes first which is close enough). So back to the first solo ride of the year. The main point was to get back out there, yes it was a little chilly but that is what the jacket and tights are for. It was great. She (the bike) had coped with the cold winter nights in the shed and she performed like a dream. I have to add at this point that the bike was in far more superior condition that me. No clicks or clanks from her pre winter storage service and only the tyres needed a little air.

So off I went on the ride. I only wanted to go out for a short ride just to get the feeling back of being on the bike and also to see what I could do to aid the recovery if the knee. I am happy to report the knee has come through yesterday with flying colours and is getting stronger on a daily basis. As previously mentioned the bike performed better than the rider. It was an average moving speed of 21km per hour and at this pace I would not be holding the rear wheel of any rider let alone Emily GH (Strava). Sorry Emily there would be no opportunity for you to shout at me to get off your rear wheel. That and the fact I am also in the wrong part of the country!

Anyway back to the ride, I was out for just over an hour and it felt fantastic. The fresh air in my face and the sound as it whistled through the ventilation in my helmet was just what I needed to remind me of the benefit and the joy of cycling. The clothing stood up to the task and kept me warm and dry. I could do with a small investment into shoe covers, and must remember to add the winter inner soles to my shoes. In the after ride bath my feet and toes were very thankful of the warm water to regain the feeling in them once more.

I think the bike (her ladyship) was happy too after she was given a rub down and the excess moisture removed from her frame. Tonight I will re grease the chain and give her a once over to ensure she is ready to carry my heavy body around the local roads again next weekend. I will lose weight which will make the rides easier and with a stronger knee I aim to be back to the longer rides very soon. Just keeping my fingers crossed for an acceptance email for Ride London next month whilst also deciding upon which of the local sportive’s to enter for a challenging but worthwhile 2014 of cycling.