The ecstatic experience 
Greetings from Eathorpe...
It’s not my intention to bait podophobics.
I’m writing this from my Brother-in-laws place which is a 100km bike ride from my house. I only know that as today I decided to ride over instead of taking the car. This time last year I had just finished my London to Edinburgh ride and wanted to see if I could manage a ‘Gran Fondo’ aka ‘big ride’. Technically a Gran Fondo is at least 75 miles (120km) but Strava gives a Gran Fondo badge for a 100km ride and that’s all the incentive I need.
I really enjoyed the ride but I don’t think I’m suited to road bikes. I rode the Bianchi Via Nirone 7 but to be honest my Sonder Camino, although a little slower is way more comfortable and can go anywhere no matter what the road surface. Every imperfection in the road is jarring on the Bianchi. And the last 1000m was up a dirt path which was close to impossible. I’m totally sold on gravel bikes. they are the perfect allrounder.
Outside of cycling I’ve also been kayaking in a river, eating big dinners in the garden and playing chess. With mixed results.
You don’t need another camera.
Here is a flier for you…
A friend of mine @AntMcGinley is going to be performing at the Edinburgh Fringe. Better still, the FREE Fringe. The show runs from Saturday 20th till Sunday 28th August inclusive.
The website for the event gingerninja.live check it out. And if you will be at the Fringe, check him out.
If you missed checking out some of the generative art I’ve been experimenting with I added some of the images to this Flickr Album. I’m still paying for Flickr. Might as well use it.
Love this updated bike camper. You really have to admire this guys patience and determination.
If you follow me on Strava you may spot the occasional walk on there. Recently in Wales we followed a few ancient paths that are now inside the walls of estates. When I pushed open a large gate of a stately home and ushered the family through, I was both excited and curious to see how the family might respond. There was an electric fence over what used to be a public right of way so we found a way around it. We trod lightly, kept the noise down and enjoyed our surroundings. Any gates we opened we closed behind us. Any fence we needed to climb was done with care. It was a beautiful day, a lovely walk and a much needed shortcut after the 12km hike. The real crime is not the wanderer, it’s the fence.
Thanks to André for reminding me of the awesomeness of Willie Nelson.
I don’t think we should wait for Willie Nelson to be dead before he is canonised. He wrote his first song aged seven, retired in 1972 (that didn’t last) and at 89 years old he has over 300 released songs under his belt. He wrote ‘On The Road Again’ on a sick bag and ran into a burning house to save a pound of Colombian grass. In that same fire, tapes with hundreds of unreleased songs perished. And do you know why he has a hole in his guitar? He’s been playing that same guitar for 50 years.
I missed this additional episode that dropped at the end off The Coming Storm podcast. If you also missed it I think you are in for a treat.
I popped into Cafe Nero in St Neots and on seeing the price of a cortado I asked if they used one or two shots of espresso. In Spain I’ve had two shots on more than one occasion. At least that’s what I was told. This sent me down a bit of a rabbit hole as I asked the other coffee shops what they do.
My friend Richard who manages Shume also uses a single shot but he said this was because of the size of the glass. The coffee to milk ratio is approximately 50:50 and he showed me what a double shot cortado would look like.
The photo on the right shows a cortado with two shots next to a single shot. The darker two shot version was in fact way too bitter and the right hand side one was of course perfect as Richard made it ;-)
Costa Coffee, Bohemia and Heart and Soul all stated they do a double shot cortado. I need to check the size of their glasses. But I was already well over my quota and will have to try them later. I can’t help but think that in Spain I might have had the stronger Ristretto. Not two shots but a stronger single. If you are an expert in these matters please put me out of my misery and leave a comment explaining what makes a ‘true’ Cortado. In the meantime, the search continues.
After failing to get further than nine straight days without a break using my papery meditation reminder, I have decided to get some assistance. I was recommended the Apple app Balance. It’s a guided meditation app like Headspace but it offers a free year before your £65 quid yearly or cheaper monthly subscription begins. There is always notice and time to cancel. If you have not been subjected to subliminal brainwashing by then.
On the good side I can see it’s quite fine-tuneable and you are asked a lot of questions as to your needs and how you feel. On the flip side I wonder how far that data is going. It is after all health data and some of the most personal you are likely to dish out. Android users might already have this app as Google last year voted it their best app of 2021. I wonder if that was for it’s health benefits or it’s epic data mining potential.
In addition, from time to time, we may analyze the general behavior and characteristics of users of our Services and share aggregated information like general user statistics with prospective business partners.
Thanks to GDPR, European users have the right of access to their data, right to erase, right to restrict or object to being processed etc etc. If you can find out how to do that.
That might not deter you if you would like personalised guided meditations, bite-sized single meditations, immersive meditations, research-backed sleep assistance, plus badges and mindful minutes dropped into Apple's Health app.
It’s a very easy to use polished app, backed by a slick businesses model. After my first session I was delivered a heavily discounted lifetime membership offer of £119.99. And in my gooey relaxed and appreciative state I nearly took them up on it. Thankfully I am working on my focus, saw through their hypnotic ruse and rejected it. For now.
In an attempt to streamline my Sonder Camino gravel bike I recently picked up an as-new second hand front wheel. My normal wheel has a dynamo in it and I wondered how the bike might ride without it. So I popped into Broken Spoke in St Neots and picked up a tyre, inner tube and break disk.
They kindly fitted them free of charge but having got the wheel home I underestimated how much of a faff it is to set up the break so it doesn’t rub. Still not managed. I’ll watch some YouTube videos.
Apparently if you use this link and spend £100 on LeCol gear we both get a ‘free’ gilet. It’s easy to spend £100 on their stuff. A pair of socks and a water bottle probably cost that much. [Slight exaggeration] I do really like the quality of their gear though, and their customer service is second to none. I tend to only shop during a sale with the vouchers you get for completing their Strava challenges.
I must thank the paying subscribers that pay $5/month to get all the content I share into this feed. If you are able, please upgrade to become a paid supporter. Or if you prefer, buy me a coffee. Either way, thanks for being here. ;-)
Now I’m in cahoots with an air purifier company I’m seeing air purification references everywhere. Even AI generated art.
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Thanks for reading. How have you been? It’s not unproductive to set aside some time solely for the purpose of reflection.
Next week I might be off on another road trip. One last adventure before the kids go back to school.
Have a great weekend.
“The soul should always stand ajar, ready to welcome the ecstatic experience.”
~ Emily Dickinson
See you out there.