Saturday 9 March 2019

Firestarter / Kicks - old, new and out

"Bikes mean the same thing to me now. When you’re scratching, it’s that buzz of doing something you love, that freedom. In your mind you know when you’re on it and you’re just flowing."

Keith Flint


Not long into the month of March and it's proper crazy already. Sadly, Keith Flint from Prodigy died on 4 March 2019. He was into bikes too - who'd have known?! I remember him playing a set at Glastonbury Festival one year that I attended which was pretty awesome. It is believed that Keith took his own life. How sad. I'm sure Keith will be sorely missed.

On a brighter note, I had already completed March's BAM (bivvy-a-month) as posted previously. Today, I completed March's PAM (ParkRun-a-month) too. Ha! I'm not sure I'll complete my PAM challenge but that is certainly a current aim.
Retired Kicks (Brooks Ghost 8)
All my runs (and cycles) are recorded on the Strava App which is a pretty neat social fitness network. It's main use is to track my cycles and runs using GPS data. One of the great things about it, is the fact that it will let me know when I need to retire a pair of shoes. Strava informed me that my Brooks Ghost 8's had ran over 800k and suggested I treat myself with a new pair. I was happy to retire these shoes to be honest, as I never really liked them. They were expensive (around £100) and uncomfortable.
New Kicks (Nike Downshifter 8)
Only too happy to follow Strava's advice and a new pair of shoes was swiftly ordered. I purchased cheap shoes this time around (mostly because I was not so financially flush) and went for a pair of Nike's Downshifter 8's. These shoes got good reviews and only cost me £33.70. I have yet to test them but am sure I will and most probably blog about them soon.
Resurrected Kicks (Brooks Ghost 4)
My new shoes did not arrive in time for my ParkRun today (but were delivered just after). So, I ran in a resurrected pair of Brooks Ghost 4's. These shoes were great and I loved them back in the day. The Brooks Ghost 8's that I just retired were essentially an updated model but for whatever reason did not compare to these shoes. Good karma wearing these old shoes today - I ran my fastest ParkRun this year! My run didn't feel great, however, I finished 64th out of 516 and ran a time of 22:39. Each ParkRun this year has been progressively faster - I hope this continues. My PB is exactly 1 minute faster. Will I ever beat it?!

Saturday 2 March 2019

Champing; BAM 3/12

For this month's bivvy-a-month (BAM) challenge (March), I figured I would try something a little different. For a start, I would be solo as all my buddy's were otherwise engaged. Champing, I decided, was the way to go. Champing is 'the unique concept of camping overnight in historic churches'. Hmm, aren't all churches historic? There were a whole bunch of churches not too far out from my own front door. I decided to go and try my luck.
Sambourne Mission Church
First church I encountered was Sambourne Mission Church. This church doubled as a village hall. Sadly, no champing here as the church was locked.
Next church I encountered was St Paul's Church in Cookhill. This church was certainly historic, it was built in 1836. The noticeboard stated 'Your Church is Open', but it wasn't. No champing at this Gothic Revival structure.
St Pauls at Cookhill
The third church I encountered was St James Church in Weethley. This was a very attractive looking church and was built in 1857. This church overlooked the Cotswolds.
Church of St James, Weethley
I had actually visited this church before. The location was great as it was quite rural and quiet. The panoramic views around this church rock too
This church had a sign on the door stating 'The church is open', but it wasn't. Grrr. I had been inside this quaint church before, why did they decide to lock it?
No it's not!
Despite not being able to get inside the church itself, it did have a rather lovely porch entrance. Shelter from the wind and rain and large enough to accommodate bike and bivvy! I decided I would camp here. Does this qualify as champing?!
Champing or not, I felt like a champion. I had completed month 3 of my BAM challenge. Woo hoo, that was 25% challenge completed, only 9 months to go.
Sleep was not the best this night, however, it was ok. The frequent sound of birds (mostly ducks in the nearby pond) kept awaking me. The sky looked moonlit but I could not locate the moon at all - strange. The stars sure shone bright.
'Morning world'
When morning came, I cooked a celebratory breakfast of porridge and washed this down with a cup of jasmine green tea. Packed away my gear soon after and cycled home. Once home, SJ looked after her 'wild animal' and cooked me a further fried breakfast.

Happy New Year 2022

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