Monthly Archives: January 2016

The benefits of Belt Drive…

The first weekend of bike cleaning post the weekly towpath commute. Another thing I’d forgotten, just how dirty tow paths make bikes!

Dirty Cotic

dirty backdirty frontdirty fwdirty rear

A few piccies of my bike post jet washing, but as predicted the low maintenance qualities I designed in meant the cleaning chore took 10 minutes, not the couple of hours of scrubbing, degreasing and lubing of a “normal” bike!


And here she is in all her glory ready for the weeks abuse down the cut.

All I have to do now is fit some new tryes, which are being delivered this afternoon. The Continental semi slicks fitted are ok but I need the puncture resistance that Schwalbe  Marathon Plus tyres offer. This tyre from Wiggle seems to fit the bill!


I’ll be fitting those after I come back from watching the Rugby at Old Halesonians this afternoon.

Have a great weekend folks!


Friday catch up…

A very quick precis of the main 2 thrusts of this blog, that of weight loss through cycling.


I started my job on Monday 25th of January weighing 22st, my commute along the cut is 6 miles and takes me approximately 35 minutes.


Things I had forgotten about towpath pedaling, how bumpy it can be, how slippy it can get and just how bloody wet it is even without falling in!


On Wednesday my pedal was accomplished in one long 6 mile 1” deep puddle. That means I need to remember my Sealskinz socks, which I did for yesterday, but it appears that 4 years of sitting in my drawer has killed them! New Sealskinz have been ordered.


Looming large on my commute is Netherton Tunnel, a masterpiece of Victorian canal civil engineering and bloody long it is too at just shy of 2 miles. The morning commute through it is fine as you can literally see “The light at the end of the tunnel” but the evening commute is a tad disconcerting as it is totally pitch black, with just my immediate area illuminated by my excellent Lezyne LED light. The towpath through there is a mixture of horrendous water filled pot holes and a smooth concrete surface. According to local legend it’s meant to be haunted, which probably explains why I only ever see my tyre tracks in there.


Weight wise, it’s a 7Ib loss this week, I’ll happily take that, but know that it’ll slow down and become a slog soon.


But, it’s Friday and the traditional Beer with mates is happening this evening at the Park Gate at Dodford!

Here’s where I am now…

I guess a catch up is in order…


So after 4 years of a bloody work nightmare, I finally have found a job that means I can commute by push bike again, and as an added bonus it’s back down the cut! Tow Path riding is back!


If you are familiar with this Blog, then you’ll know I stopped making new entries after I had just started at Jaguar Landrover after the company I worked long term at went bust.


JLR was without doubt the worst 2 years of my working life. It was a 85 mile round trip commute, which I usually did by motorbike, mainly so I could park there as the car parks were a nightmare. But the environment was absolutely terrible. You know how in any organization that most people are ok and there is usually just one or two idiots, well JLR at Whitley was the reverse, most of the people were vicious, self-serving, back stabbing brown nosers, while there were only a notable few good people.


The management, both of people and projects was just laughable and the training and support was nonexistent. Add on to the fact the long hours, massive pressure to achieve targets in a stupid time frame and a hostile relationship between departments made my time there massively miserable. So I left mainly at my Dr’s behest and with it the biggest wage I had ever earned went out of the window. But as I discovered being alive is more important than a big wage.


I had the summer of 2014 off to recuperate and to look after Dan during his Summer School holidays.


Then I had the good fortune through a very good friend of mine to get a job at Worcester Bosch, the only down side was it still meant no cycle commute, the company is a good company who looks after its staff and the department I worked in was full of totally lovely people. But unfortunately non work circumstances conspired against me and I left in November last year.


But, now I work at a place in Oldbury, just a couple of miles from my old long term job that went west and I can now commute on the cut. That is the work story caught up.


Onto family, I’m still with my lovely wife Liz and still living in Hagley in Worcestershire, we’ll have been an item 29 years this year. My youngest, Dan is 9 and playing rugby every week much to my delight and he regularly goes out with his mates on his bike around the Village, just like I used to as a kid in Brum.



My daughter Fay is now a Soldier with the British Army & serving in Germany, in her own words she’s “absolutely living the dream” . We facetime pretty regularly and she gets home when she can to mess our house up!


As for Rugby, I no longer coach and I left Birmingham & Solihull Rugby Club back in the summer due to a number of personal and professional reasons. I still watch as much rugby as I can on the TV or at various clubs and Dan is playing with his school mates at Old Halesonians Rugby Club which is conveniently located just up the road from where we live! They’re a good welcoming bunch there and we have a right laugh! I have no immediate plans to go back into coaching. But never say never.


So that’s the last 4 years of my life pretty much in a nutshell!


Other than the fact that I am, once again a fat bastard! So that’s where the cycle commute and this Blog now starts to work its proven magic again.


I’ll bang in the necessary updates and admin points later, I’m back!

Thinking of re-starting this again?

As I have a new job which is commutable down a canal tow path I’m thinking of re-starting this old weight loss through cycling blog.

Would anyone be interested in this old thing again?

Best wishes to my weight loss/cycling/blogging buddies!