Friday, 7 December 2018


Here we go again, what is he on about this time.  I'm writing this blog in response to a question from the last one, so bear with me.

I was posed the question about being a vegetarian rather than vegan because that limits my diet.  These are fair enough questions and once again in the staff room my life choice was brought up (so it wasn't the vegan) as to whether my chips were vegan.  Well I said as far as I am aware the chips are done in separate fryer in vegetable oil, but it is fair enough to assume that they might fry other things in there.  The point I made was that I have took reasonable steps to make sure I am not contributing to animal suffering and if someone else wants to chuck other things in the fryer with my chips then that is their problem not mine.

So back to the original question, I don't think my diet is limited for starters, it is different and takes thought, but not limited.  I responded to the question at the time with a short narrative about as humans we learn and don't just accept things as they are.  In short, we shouldn't just artificially breed, keep in less than desirable conditions, take their young and bodily fluids meant for a different species, then slaughter them because we can.  I know this is blunt and has probably got some people angry.  Remember, I know have the belief that these animals should be cared for and loved like any other creature on this planet, they want to live, not die. Therefore I cannot knowingly contribute to that system.

This has nothing to do with farmers though,  we need farmers and they are brilliant people who keep us all going.  As I go along on this journey I think about stuff and listen to others about the various questions that have come out of being vegan or plant based diet.  I am convinced farmers would be better off and put back at the top of most valuable people in society if we learn and change what we do.  It is basic supply and demand, they only supply what the consumer wants.  So think of it this way.

I was sat in bed this morning and thought of this, so sorry if someone has already published this, or thought of it.  I was looking at the news the other day and there was a piece about another probe we have landed on mars.  We are incredible, we are intelligent and have the power to do that!  So what if they wanted to land one of us there?  I am sure NASA are thinking about it, so it came to me that they would need to feed that person?  It is very unlikely therefore that they are designing a space craft that would carry cows, pigs, sheep and chickens  (I know I am being silly).  However it is true, the amount of food, oxygen and waste produced would not make it viable for the return.  So think of it this way, imagine then that our planet is the space craft, we are all hurtling through space on this thing.  We are not managing the system properly though and are damaging ourselves because we like bacon?  It just doesn't make sense to me anymore.

If we changed how we do things, the amount of food produced needed to sustain the current system would end world hunger (it is a genuine belief by some). Farmers would make more money and put back to the top of society.  This is why I am vegan.

Please know that I have just got older and more silly, and just love, so try not to have to many negative comments lol x

Saturday, 24 November 2018

Why would you want to be Vegan?

Well the answer to that is most of you reading this wouldn't.  And how do you know there is a vegan in the room? they tell you of course.  I try not to tell people but it does come up in conversation and I am now writing this blog to tell you all about it so there you go.

If you haven't clicked off yet then thanks, all I want to do is tell you about what I have learned, what conclusions I came too and the rationale of the "why".  This is not intended to have a go or start a debate and not aimed at anyone.  Again I use this blog as my own diary so that one day I can look back and see what my life has been like, you never know the kids might too.

Essentially I became vegan because of my partner, she decided to follow the vegan philosophy, before me and I will admit I was sceptical and concerned out of not knowing what it is all about.   The actual reason I am vegan or plant based diet is because of someone called James Aspey.  He does a talk and part of it  just struck a chord and changed the way I view everything.

I don't think I am a better person for doing this, I don't look down at anybody either, I am doing this for myself.  There are lots of wonderful people in this world who eat meat so what is the point having a go? now I am vegan I wish they wouldn't obviously but it is their choice.  So that's the first thing off my chest.

I had a debate in the staff room the other day and I must admit I did get a bit preachy but I had my reasons.  The main reason was someone actually asked me "what you are vegan, so are you miserable?"  I had to ponder that one, I had always thought I was alright, the last few years have taken their toll but that's due to life glorious challenges.  Being vegan has actually been liberating and makes me feel happy.

I was also told that vegan diet was silly because I am not that healthy due to my tendency to consume the odd drop of alcohol.  Well I will be honest here,  the vegan diet is not necessarily the healthiest diet, anybody who claims that their diet is are on loose ground.  And yes I drink too much, I am not vegan for that reason though and try to just eat healthily and yes I do take supplements.   But overall you do feel better.

So why be vegan?  I made this desicin because James Aspey said that if you love animals then how can you kill them?  It really made me think, I now cannot differentiate between a cow or a dog, a sheep or a cat, they are the same to me now and I believe that they should be allowed to live like any of us.  Its not radical, its purely about love, I have grown over the years and people involved in my life might think where the hell did this come from.  I think the same, but if one person reads this and starts to think about it then great.

Monday, 30 July 2018

Outlaw triathlon 2018


Sat at work in the middle of December, the nights are dark and it is cold.  I am a little overweight and looking a bit grey, so I am feeling the winter blues, a familiar story for a lot of people.  So I am sat there thinking of something to do or a challenge to look forward too, hence ironman.

Now it's fair to say it is not the first thing that springs to mind, normally I dream about getting fit and entering mountain bike events and wonder if I could do well.  This time, although mountain biking is still there, I just wanted to do something different.  I had been taking the girls swimming most Sunday mornings and decided to start doing a few lengths with limited success, but it started me to dare to think I could do this as it was always the swim that put me off.

Then the real reason for looking into what it involves is reason itself.  Most reasonable people take the point of view that these things are great to aspire too, but say you need to train for years, put lots of hours in, money, and generally put barriers up.  I decided to enter the outlaw in February having never swam more than a length or having formal swimming lessons, hated running and had absolutely no idea what a triathlon was.  That coupled working full time, bringing up two daughters and a healthy appetite for henry westons cider.


I didn't know anything about ironman, I just thought ironman were all the same.  Now I know that ironman is also a brand and have events all over the world.  The outlaw is an ironman distance race but is it's own brand.  I thought about it and concluded that it doesn't matter, its the same distance, I am from Nottinghamshire, the swim is not in the sea and I live close so logistically and becoming an outlaw made sense.  Decided to take the plunge and enter, which one of the ways was to enter on a charity place as I had left it late.  I deliberated for a bit and thought ok, lets do it, it is a good cause and will focus me into actually doing it.  I reached my target due to the generosity of family and friends, and I must admit it does give you a great feeling.

The Swim

July 29th, 5.50am treading water whilst cleaning my goggles, put them back on and instantly they fog up, so off they come and I clean again.  This happens about 4 or 5 times, so not nervous then.  The water was surprisingly warm and I felt comfortable, people started to get in the water and before you know it the starting gun had gone and we were off.  The usual but not as manic thrashing around occurs and after doing the sprint triathlon earlier in the year I am not as intimidated.  The swim went well, weirdly I had lower back ache which I put down to buoyancy of the wetsuit, and I didn't drink as much water this time.  My sense of direction needs working on, I was all over the place, but I managed to latch onto a couple of swimmers which helped me along.

 Bike leg

I got out the water, checked the watch and was bang on my predicted time.  Wobbled into the change tent and sorted myself out.  I was going to wear my arm warmers but couldn't get them on, I also forgot my gloves.  This wasn't a bad thing as the weather was horrible, wet and windy.  Saw Debbie and got out of transition, I knew I wasn't going bad because there were a few of us who set off together.  Started pedalling and felt quite good, was going surprisingly well and my average hovered around 17-18mph.  It was tough, the head wind and rain was brutal, I saw Debbie at the first major round about and this spurred me on, so I cracked on.  The north loop of the bike leg is where I started to dip, it was a bit more hilly and I started to feel unwell.  I convinced myself it was the water from the swim and my head dropped a bit.  Then as I got to Epperstone through the bleak driving rain I caught two figures cheering me on.  Dr Geary who I work with and her daughter were at the side of the road and this really made me smile, especially to brave the weather.  Got to a hundred miles and thought that's it, but the extra 12 miles really were hard.

The Run

Oh dear, was really fatigued by now but ok.  Got ready and set off, checked my watch and the pace I was jogging at was 10 minute mile pace, this felt comfortable and I expected to be able to maintain it.  I was wrong, my legs just got heavier and heavier and I planned to get to half marathon distance before taking a break.  I did it, but once I had stopped it was hard getting going again.  The next 13 miles were tough and the last leg of the run goes around the lake before the finish, which is 5km, I had to dig deep, really deep.  Got to finish and had enough energy reserve to do the floss to the cheering crowds (had to be done).

It still hasn't sunk in what an achievement this is, will see if I take to triathlon but for now I will rest.  The reason to all this is that I wanted to prove to my girls that anything is possible, had to finish for them and all the people who donated to cancer research.  Debbie was fantastic and really supported me which is just brilliant.  To all family and friends who came to watch and supported the cause I thank you so much.

Coedy came to watch to, he behaved brilliantly and was such a nice sight too see when I got back.  He is a star and very handsome.

Now what next...……………………………………..

Friday, 30 March 2018

Really need to step it up!!

Did a hundred miles on the road toady as I have not been doing any distance for a while.  Whilst the ride was not the best I have had, or the fastest, I realise now that I need to step it up as running a marathon when I got home was the last thing on my mind.

This is going to hurt!!!!

On a plus note the swimming is going well, did a mile last night with relative ease.  I put the ride on facebook via strava for you to view.

will try and blog more and tell you what I am up to as I step it up!

Monday, 5 February 2018

“Nothing that’s worth anything is ever easy” Mike Hall.

I am going to try and blog again!!! I used to blog about mountain biking a bit, then life changes and it took a back seat.  So I have decided to take on a new challenge which is to do an ironman triathlon.  The idea has always been there in my head but never really came to anything until I started to take my youngest swimming.  Whilst she practiced I started to lane swim and was quickly lapped by my eldest who is thirteen, so being competitive I decided I wanted to get faster.

Obviously entering an ironman was the motivation I needed, to be honest though it was.  Most of the mountain biking I have done has been endurance, so I have a tendency for the longer events.  So I am going to talk about what it involves, but I haven’t turned my back on mountain biking, I just needed a new challenge.

The other decision I made since the last blog was to live life as a vegan.  living with someone who is a vegan, I found my diet changed, then listening to people like James Aspey it struck a chord with me.  It is not easy; the reaction from people varies from person to person.  But this is my blog so I also would like to give an insight into why I made this decision, and maybe convince others why it is a good decision, maybe break some of the stereotyping associated with this growing movement.

Monday, 20 June 2016

I am a very lucky man..................

If I was writing this blog a year ago I am not sure I would have been saying the same thing.  I used to blog in the comfort of knowing what I wanted out of life and knowing how I felt about other people around me.

That all changed in quite dramatic circumstances a year ago which resulted in me not being able to compete in Mayhem 2015.  The friends around me understood and carried on, they went on to do well and continue to ride.

Fast forward a year and I am writing this blog as a competitor in Mountain Mayhem 2016.  I have competed in this event a few times now and I love its ability to draw together a mad crowd of people who love mountain biking.  This year it also brought me closer to a sub set of people inside the event from our little mountain bike community of Sherwood pines.  This was enabled by a very good friend.  The bloke in question is called Graham Gee. 

Graham is a very special person and if you spent any time in his company I can guarantee you would feel the same way.  This year he asked me if I wanted to be a part of his team again and so of course I said yes.  The reality kicked in about what I had agreed to though about a week before the event.  It dawned upon me that I had actually agreed to take part, but also take part in a team that might do well in this race.  I had spent most of my year recovering from a life changing event and rebuilding my life, which didn't put me in the best shape, but it is also one of the reasons why I am a lucky man.

Anyway here is a picture

I am a very lucky man because I met somebody who had the same experience a year ago and for some reason wanted to be a part of my crazy journey.

I am a very lucky man because I have two beautiful daughters, a great set of friends who invite me to ride in their team, loan me very expensive lights (thanks Rob), and mates who text me when they see how well we have done (Carl).  I am lucky though because I met Debbie through cycling, and our community of cycling friends.  I really am a lucky man.

I might even start blogging about cycling again soon (nah,..... I much prefer talking about myself)

Keep riding your bike and keep going forward.

Monday, 4 May 2015

Selkirk National MTB Marathon Champs 2015

 My blog is called adventures mtb endurance racing and my trip to race in the British Mountain Bike Marathon Champs in Selkirk certainly lived up to its billing.  As ever, I have mixed emotions about what the race was like for me.  It is easy to look back and analyse the event and look at how to improve but the fact is that I have been doing this long enough now to stop making the same mistakes.

The race and venue is awesome.  The course was super tough and I have battled through (and given up sometimes) in some tough races but this was epic.  It was relentless, climb after climb and apart from some little road sections there was no let up.  The start was great.  The race kicks off in the town and by some miracle after the elites lined up I got my name called out by the commissioner.  It’s a nice feeling but also puts pressure on when you are clad in pro race gear and your name gets called to the line.


It was a neutral start behind the race van (ok it wasn’t that neutral) and it weaved through the town with quite a few people cheering us on.  They really get into this stuff north of the border.  Anyway as soon as the van peeled off it was race time and within a few hundred yards the top riders just went.  I managed to catch Julie up on the first section of the climb and set off at a reasonable pace.  I latched on to the back of the elite women’s trio and felt comfortable for a while.  That all ended when I found to my dismay the climb seemed to never end, I could see the elite men a mile or so in the distance and they were still ascending.  The reality of what I had entered kicked I, and at that point and I just sat in and hoped I would make it round.

The bike was great and it descended brilliantly and was the only thing that was keeping me in touch with the riders around me at the back of the field.  Some of the main marathon fast guys then started to catch me and at about 8 miles my head dropped and I was seriously considering cutting it short.
I had grossly underestimated this race!  I had nothing in the tank, my legs felt heavy and I was not feeling great.  I didn’t want to eat or drink because I felt bloated so all in all I just wanted it to stop.  Perhaps the hard tail bike would have been better for me with all the climbing (it is a lot lighter).  Doing a lot of riding with no structure the weeks before probably didn’t help my cause either, and driving there and back on my own certainly wasn’t up there with the best decisions I have made.

I finished in about five and a half hours, on my best day I would have liked to do around five hours.  But hey it’s not all doom and gloom, there was success for Julie who managed 2nd in her class and to think I drove to Scotland and back, rode one of the toughest races on the calendar and didn’t actually come last is a testament to how far I have come in the last few years.
As ever the moral is just ride your bike and enjoy it.