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Monday, May 4, 2009

Lightening the load for new Horizons

In the early days of exploration, ships left the shores of Albion to find riches across new horizons and to further explore lands and continents previously discovered.
It must have been really frightening for them.
With only charts, limited navigational tools and a bible to help guide them, they never really new exactly where they were going.
No illuminated neon road signs or hazard markers, just the stars, the sun and the moon.
At that time everybody believed that the world was flat.

It was well recognised that if you travelled a bit too far you would just fall of the edge, like an errant chip falling from your plate.
To make matters worse sailors came home with exaggerated stories of sea monsters, sirens and wild storms.

Sea travel in those days was about as precarious as you could get.

Even worse than popping over to Mexico, without a face mask.

Each day ships would sail into uncharted territories and the crew would see for themselves, huge whales and giant turtles - Scary Stuff.
Some ships sank in storms or the crew perished through disease or starvation, others just just never returned.
Despite this they were never deterred continuously slipping their moorings and sailing towards forever changing horizons.
Out of the journeys came experience and knowledge, as well as a few novel ideas.

For instance In order to go to the West Indies they devised a great idea.
Basically head south till the butter on board melted, then turn (right ) due west and the Caribean Islands were straight a head of you.
Pretty Smart stuff.
You can just imagine how your satellite navigational system in the car might be adapted.
To the voice of Clint Eastwood.
'O Ah-ah, I know what you're thinking, punk. You're thinking, "Has the butter melted yet, or is it still hard?" And to tell you the truth, I've forgotten myself in all this excitement. But being this is a butter melting detector - the most powerful navigational system in the world, you've got to ask yourself a question: "Do I feel lucky?" Well, do ya, punk?!

Right now, I feel a bit like one of those salty sea dogs.
I want to move forwards, but seem to have lost a bit of direction.
The Euphoria of riding nearly 500 miles in three weeks in Texas has sunk.
Drowned in new found complacency.
I came home full of vim and vigour, yet I have only cycled 25 miles since I got back.
I know I always promised myself a bit of a break, but this feels more like a sabatical.
I feel like 'The Ancient Mariner'.
Stuck in the doldrums with the weight of further expectations around my shoulders.
We stuck, nor breath nor motion;
As idle as a painted ship upon a painted ocean'

Although I have not entered any cycle events in May, in June I have two killer rides.
'Flat out in the Fens', followed a week later by the 'White Rose Challenge'.
For both these rides and the following 'Hotter than Hell' in August, I will need to be much fitter and much lighter. They are all tough rides over 100 miles each with demanding cut off times before your swallowed up by the SAG Van.
This means a number of things:
Like swapping over my six packs.
Getting back on my bike
And I will also need some goals to fuel my motivation.
So here goes, today I decided to set them out. To slip my own moorings and set a course for new horizons.
1. I have cycled 1,873 miles so far this year.
It is 4,772 miles from Beverley to Houston.
Before I go back to Texas in August I want to complete the remaining 2899 miles.
To help me with this I have put a funky Widget on my blog to record my Mileage from today with 2899 miles the target.
2. I need to loose at least 40lbs.
I have started a proper diet for the first time in my life
Again I have put a Widget at the bottom of my blog page to record my progress.
A lot of people make excuses about why or how they have put on weight.
I am no different, but I am honest about it.

My problem has never been that I eat bad food, its just that I am a big pig.
I just like eating, and the delicious process of tasting nice food.
Throughout my life, I have always controlled my weight by exercise.

In fact I have often specifically exercised, so I could eat more.
On Sunday mornings I usually cycle an extra ten miles so that I can have more roast potatoes with my lunch, believe me its well worth it.
The more I exercise I do, the more I eat.

This strange approach has served me well for years.
However recently It seems to have been affected by bouts of Amnesia.
Well for about five years.
The maths now, does not quite add up
You see when I have not been able to exercise, I am meant to cut down my food intake.
Well, what can I say.... I forgot.
My love handles have turned into saddlebags
So drastic times have called for drastic measures.
I need to get rid of all the weight I put on during those sedentary periods before I can go back to my old regime.
I have named my diet the swamp diet.

It is broken down into three parts.
Part One - Detox - It is a mixture of starvation for two days and drinking things that has the same consistency, smell and colour of water you would normally find in a bayou
Part Two - Stomach shrinkage - Further swap water, and diet shakes, with proper, healthy food phased in.
Part Three - Continuous Healthy food with portions the size you would get on an aeroplane.

Right now I feel a bit like Oliver Twist and wish to ask myself for some more.
However looking over the swamp diet menu, there is only one thing available.
Yes, you've guessed it
More swamp water.
I guess its better than weevil infested biscuits that the sailors had to eat.


  1. Wow, 1,800 miles this year is amazing. My goal for the whole year this year is 3,000 miles. Good luck reaching your goal!

  2. Keep riding, and don't fall off the edge!

  3. Yes, good luck. We'll be cheering you on.

    Now if I can just stop eating junk...

  4. Thank you for your support Guys it means a lot

  5. Good Luck with the Diet,stop Eating Stodgy Food. Throw out the Frying Pan and stop Eating Loads of Meat.

    Do not Drink Loads of Beer at the Weekend. Try and Eat Healthy Food only like Plenty of Fruit and Veg,Fish and Chicken and hardly any Red Meat.

    Sounds completely Dire dosent it .

    I found myself when I cut out all the Junk and Ate Healthy Food and stopped Eating so much Bread I lost Weight and also Started Cycling more often that also Helped.

    I was starting to go into the Red Zone so I cut back and lost 14 Pounds by just Eating Healthy Food.

    So no Yorkshire Pudding or Lancashire Hotpot for you I am Afraid. Best of Luck I am sure you will Lose the 40 Pounds.

  6. I get what u mean...
    all the good food is so tempting.
    same goes with me...
    thats why when i dont exercise,
    i feel like shit coz...
    i will still be eating.
    you're from us i believe?
    the food is great.
    I miss buritos

  7. Hi Phillip,

    I undertsand what you mean about are not alone.
    I'm also trying to lose some weight, about 5 kilos.

    There is onnly one way to lose the extra pounds: our food intake needs to be lower than what we spend, basically it's all about eating less, exercising more.

    Also a few basic rules that I have decided to use:

    Give up on white bread, milk, alcohol, beef and pork meat.

    Increase your intake of salads, vegetables, water (at least 2 litres a day), plenty of herbal tea.

    Breakfast: usually prefer fresh fruit or youghurt to start your day.

    Never finish your meals with fruit. Eat it before meals or between meals with a wholegrain biscuit or cracker.

    For a detox: first thing in the morning drink warm water with a few drops of squeezed lemon. Do it every day.

    Have at least one day a week something that you really enjoy (a treat for all your effort).

    Runaway from refined sugar as if this was enemy nº1.

    Keep a daily journal with all your meals and snacks and your weight taken right after getting up in the morning.

    Well, these are just tips, I'm trying to follow them, let's see if I see any results for myself.

    Best of luck!

  8. Thank you all very much for your helpfull advice, I do appreciate it and its nice to know people read my blogposts.


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