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Sunday, 3 November 2013

I now influence cycling more than I participate........

What the hell is he talking about?

Well, one of the issues I deal with at work is the Bicycle User Group and what they/we would like in our new buildings. Our employer is moving buildings and for once we might be able to influence what "facilities" we might get for our bikes and ourselves!

Currently, our "luxury" facilities include lockers in the toilets, no drying facilities, one shower for twenty lockers and no changing areas at all. People improvise with hangers and the window and the disabled toilet so that anyone wandering in for a pee is not confronted with a naked wet man - its not a sight you really want straight after brekkie...

Now, I guess that we're not going to get the hot fluffy towels and heated rooms and attendants that my Head of Property said he had in a London Firm, but it would be nice to get lock ups for the bikes, drying rooms and changing areas - if Bristol really is "Britain's' First Cycle City" - is it too much to ask that its Council has reasonable cycle facilities for staff who try and keep fit on the way to work?

The dangers of being just an armchair expert

One of the joys of having Sky+ is that during the summer - you can record Tour de France highlights and get three weeks of fun watching a bunch of very fit guys playing chess in bikes, but without the need to watch the whole thing.

One of the things I liked in 2012 was that when I had the time, watching a whole stage was fun, but you could probably go shopping in the middle and miss very little of the action as the big teams always brought the breaks back and most of the action was in the last 30 mins - unless it was a mountain stage....

Anyway - back to the armchair - I now find that as I haven't turned a wheel for a while - I tend to talk MORE about cycling - perhaps to compensate. I'm sure a psychologist would have a term for it - displacement? talking balls?. Anyway - the more I talk about it the more I start to sound like one of those old bores who knows everything but does nothing

Any there is the rub, one of the benefits of exercise is keeping the cider gut in its place, but also the mind healthy too. The more stress you suffer, the more exercise you perhaps should do - but the more stress you do, the less motivated you are to go for a ride and the more likely you are to investigate that cheeky little Pinot on a Tuesday evening

Now work has been pretty rubbish over the summer and in the same period I have cycled precisely once, which is why setting up the turbo trainer in the garage today was a really good idea. DAB radio on tap, fan or heater as needed and a good view of the rain from the well lit and dry garage.

Men's health

I wasn't sure if to have a go at this - but having talked to a few guys at work - it is clear that "we" are not very good at asking for help and we are very good at - basically - lying to ourselves that everything is ok, when it's not

Now I'm not going to break any confidences, but within my sample of three, we managed to have a) avoided going to the dentist for three years as "it was only a slight ache, honest, and eating on one side is good for my jaw muscles" b) had zero control over our workload but "blamed ourself for not managing to finish the impossible" even when the last full night's sleep was over 8 weeks ago, and c) thought that minor "gentleman's problems" were just a consequence of getting a little older.....

Anyway - all I can say is that seeking help is not an admission of weakness and being macho about your health is stupid - if you do have a problem - go and get some help! (often just asking helps in itself - least for the mind based stuff)

Recipe of the week - Apple Crumble

Nigel Slater is a cook I have followed form many years  mainly positively, but occasionally, he does get drawn into faffing about too much. Whilst I like the "throw it together" method of Nigella on occasions, I do like the considered view of eating that Nigel S provides.

So to that end - can I recommend his Apple Crumble made special by the use of oats to avoid that "concrete crumble" problem that the usual recipes can create. For me it has to go with custard (Bird's or bought) but many will prefer cream i suppose!