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Thursday, July 28, 2011


In the top TV series 24 every hour is packed with high octane energy.
The series begins where the Hero or Anti Hero Jack Bauer is working for the Los Angeles-based Counter Terrorist Unit, in which he is a highly-proficient agent with an "ends justify the means" approach, regardless of the perceived morality of some of his actions.

Throughout the series most of the main plot elements unfold like a political thriller.
A typical plot has Jack Bauer's racing against the clock as he attempts to thwart multiple terrorist plots, including presidential assassination attempts, nuclear, biological and chemical threats, cyber attacks, as well as conspiracies which deal with government and corporate corruption.

In the 24 hour bike ride there was no Jack Bauer but five equally uncompromising, determined characters.
Their collective aim was to help clear up jacks mess. To raise money for the victims behind the real stories that have influenced the production studios.

Although nobody got killed or maimed there were high speed chases, scenes of helicopters swooping down and buckets full of Drama.

There were also buckets full of cash which aculmulated on the route in order to help raise money for 'The Help for Heroes Charity. Although we have not yet got all the money in I am advised that it is well over £1000 which is not bad for the middle of a recession.

Two years ago when the 'Travels with my Mule International Cycle Club' started one of our aims was to raise money for assorted charities by taking part in challenging Cycle events.
We have now raised over $250,00.
Another aim was to encourage people to ride together as part of a cycling family 'The Mules' - where we look after one another and embrace differing abilities.
We may not be the fastest, the fittest or the flashest........but we have great fun and always cycle with a smile.

Anyway enough of Jack Bauer and are some pictures.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Take a Detour with HTC

For those of you who may be waiting for for a report about our 24 hour patient. There will be a blogpost with lost of pictures which is what I am waiting for.
In the meantime I have discovered a real treat.

On the back of 'Chasing legends' HTC have stolen a march in cycle film, by providing us with 'Detour' an inspiring film to celebrate the Tour de France and encourage
members of the public to get on their bicycles. Its amazing!

Following the HTC Detour team, made up of cycling professionals including record breaking German cyclist and HTC Highroad member, Erik Zabel, plus sponsored talent and enthusiasts from all around the world, the film takes you on on a cycling ‘detour’ through Warsaw exploring some of the city’s most unusual places to which cyclists are not normally given access.
Shot in Poland at night, the film sees the HTC Detour cyclists exploring and cycling through ten unusual and hard to reach locations across Warsaw. As part of the route, cyclists travelled through a car wash in full action, a dazzling fairground, the underground, a tram tunnel, the famous PKIN building, the Palace of Culture and Science and one of Warsaw’s busiest city flyovers.
In addition to Erik Zabel, the cycling dream squad was made up of some of the sport’s most talented riders, including Leigh Howard, Charlotte Becker, Kate Colclough and Frantisek Rabon from the HTC Highroad sponsored team. Other professional riders included names such as John Shewsbury, Joshua Boothby, Thomas Ohler, Felix Mucke and Jakob Santos all of which compete globally in cycling disciplines spanning from trial, street to fixed gear. And that’s not all, locals from Warsaw equipped with ‘insider’ knowledge of the city and its secret routes, were also part of the film. These included cycling enthusiasts or those whose jobs rely heavily on cycling, such as couriers and messengers.
Throughout filming, cyclists were equipped with HTC smartphone devices, the perfect on-the-go accessory, to provide them with the necessary tools to get them from A to B and ensure their cycling experience was as stress free and fun as possible. Features used along the planned route included superfast internet connection, GPS and preloaded maps, in addition to camera and video features for capturing fellow team members enjoying HTC Detour. Cyclists were also able to push updates and ‘check-ins’ to Facebook via HTC devices, including HTC ChaCha and HTC Salsa, whilst they were on the go, keeping friends and family updated on their whereabouts along the way.
Members of the public who are interested in cycling or who have organised their own cycling ‘detours’ inspired by the film can upload pictures and videos of them and their friends exploring their local surroundings on HTC’s facebook page.
Stefan Streit, HTC’s VP of Marketing and Retail, EMEA, commented, “HTC shares its passion of being ‘quietly brilliant’ with cycling, an activity which is accessible to all - whether you’re looking for an eco-friendly mode of work transport, wanting to get fit or simply riding for leisure and fun. The HTC Detour film is designed to inspire our customers to embrace cycling by organising ‘detours’ in their own surroundings’ and encourage them to use their HTC devices to enhance these experiences.”


Sunday, July 3, 2011

Saddled with conflict

There was a time when I used to think that joining any of the armed forces was a 'cop out' -
Boys with toys. Men and women who extended their playgroup activities into the adult world.
Where you were always provided with a roof over your head, money in your pocket and food in your belly.
Where the things most people in life had to organise or work for were instantly provided.
Having been brought up as a service child I witness it all at first hand.
If you were lucky enough to get an overseas posting it may have been Singapore, Belize or Australia
Whole generations of soldiers, sailors and aviators were on the whole 'pretty safe' and the only real risks appeared to be 'sunburn' or too much 'tiger beer'.

Many kids would join the army to get a trade or to further their education, to provide themselves with the opportunities that their parents were unable or unwilling to provide to give themselves - choices.
The expectation of conflict, of being maimed or even killed was not even something that was contemplated.
How things have changed.
We now have generations of our armed forces who know nothing but conflict, where there is a real expectation of being killed or maimed.
Where we witness mothers and fathers outliving their children, who risk burying their own parents and children in the same year.
I have my own very strong Political views about the conflict that we find ourselves in, but to air those would be doing a disservice to the people I honour and am so very proud of.

Yesterday I was out riding in the East Yorkshire Wolds, the sun was shining, and there was little breeze - it was a perfect day.
As the day wore on things got a little tougher.
The 78 miles of the previous day was taking its toll, and my legs were tired.
My water was running out and the sun was shinning more fiercely as I was struggling up a 20% climb. Poor old me !!!!!!!!

Within 20 minutes I was sat on a comfortable chair drinking a Latte, my helmet was off and my bottle replenished. Refreshed, I had choices, to turn towards home or to carry on.

I am certain that our service personnel would love the choice to turn towards home.

For those of them who are fortunate enough to get home they should have a right to certain expectations - to be looked after. To enable their bodies and minds to heal.

Troops who are killed or injured give zero political points for any party in power.
They are very costly to bury, or mend and provide no tangible use to those high up in operational command.
They are out of sight and despite protestations to the contrary they are often out of mind.

For Mothers, fathers, Sons and daughters, friends, family and other loved ones.........they are NEVER out of sight or out of mind. In 2007 a charity called Help for Heroes was founded by Bryn and Emma Parry out of a desire to help the wounded Servicemen and women returning from Afghanistan and Iraq. The message of the charity was simple: We are strictly non political and non critical; we simply want to help. We believe that anyone who volunteers to serve in time of war, knowing that they may risk all, is a hero. These are ordinary people doing extraordinary things and some of them are living with the consequences of their service for life. We may not be able to prevent our soldiers from being wounded, but together we can help them get better.

This is a charity that our nation has got behind with people taking on extraordinary challenges to support our troops.

Next weekend Myself and four colleagues intend to cycle for 24hrs to raise money for Help for Heroes.
During the event I expect most of us will endure a degree of pain, discomfort, tiredness and hardship, there may even be those who don't make it.

It will undoubtedly provide drama, bonding and even conflicts. I really hope so.
We all believe in our own way that it is important to try and feel some of the emotions that our troops feel EVERYDAY.
Its also important that people continue to help.
Any donation whether it be $1, 1 euro, or £1 would be gratefully appreciated.
This can be done via the link in the right hand column or using the following link.

Thank you for reading