A short update on progress of the list I compiled to mark my 40th birthday, which comes with two pictures.

Firstly, although we didn’t do too much exploration (No.14) Rachel and I managed to enjoy an extended weekend break for my birthday.

We had an excellent meal with family in Wales, lots of laughing and mickey-taking (No.29) and followed it up with a night in Cheltenham on the way back.

It was at this point that Rachel officially gave me the one-day canoeing course (No.24), which is all set for mid-June. Rachel also presented me with this pictorial depiction of my list, which will be framed and positioned on an appropriate wall (downstairs toilet?) some time soon:

The other update concerns getting back on the bike again (No.1).

I’ve been heading out almost every morning for the last six weeks for a half-hour (at least) ride around the city and it has been fantastic and a great way to start the day.

Setting off between 6.30am and 7am, there is a quietness and stillness to the city you don’t normally get.

I’m usually alone save from milkmen, the odd dog walker, a jogger or two and most enjoyably the local duck population which takes advantage of the lack of hustle and bustle to reclaim the streets. They seemingly wander about window shopping before heading off to the local pools and ponds as the volume of traffic picks up.

Anyway, my current bike has been a faithful charger but is a little basic and so I’ve been saving up to invest in a new bike which (after a few frustrating false starts) I picked up today:

A Birmingham-made Dawes from a local, independent dealer who offered a good price and a great level of service.

It is an ideal starter bike for the keen amateur – which I am – and has got front suspension and a comfy seat (which my current bike lacks and I really need). Above all it is black, a colour I’ve always enthusiastically embraced.

All I need now is a set of windscreen wipers for my glasses for mornings like we had today. It wasn’t heavy rain, it was that constant nagging drizzle that gets everywhere.

More updates soon, hopefully.


3 responses »

  1. le craic says:

    I’ve been thinking about buying a bike lately. It’s so long since I’ve been out and about on one and I need to start excercising regularly again.

    I’d love to have a daily schedule that allowed me to do something like that between 6.30 and 7.00 but I’m getting ready to catch the bus at the stage. For the summer I ‘might’ try and get up an hour earlier (5am) and do some walking or riding a bike if I can motivate myself to get out of bed at that hour!

    Really cool illustration your wife did on your 40th list – very nice!

  2. Paul Groves says:

    L.C.: It was my first ride out on the new bike this morning – 100 times better than the old one…and its black.
    How about riding to work? Birmingham isn’t bad if you can stick to the canal paths, not sure how bike friendly it is over there.
    It is a cool illustration – one of hundreds Rachel has done. It will take pride of place on the wall next to my signed Grand Slam photo 😉

  3. le craic says:

    I’d love to walk or bike to work but I’m just over 30 miles from the job. I hope to make some changes to this by the end of the year. I really can’t be spending 15 to 20 hours per week commuting much longer.

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