Categories
Cycling Road Cycling Travel

Update from Nick

Nick asked me to post this on his behalf:

I’d like to Thank

Obviously my wife….

James from The Malden Centre for making Andy and I bionic enough to do this.

Ed and the gang at Bright Cycles, New Malden, for making our bikes bionic enough to do this.

Roland and family at the Real Meat co butchers, next door for taking our bikes early hours and giving them to Ed. Plus supplying us with the finest protein you can buy.

The piper in the video is called Alan and the guy taking the picture is Ian.

The girl in the grocery store North of Hereford…need to Streetview it to work out the name of the shop. She gave us free Mars bars!

Quote of the week so far:

‘Remember, the pain will fade but the memories will last forever.’ – Mary, propriety at the John O’Groats Guest House, Broo.

‘No, don’t stop!’ – Andy, in his sleep, Windermere Youth Hostel.

More later perhaps.

Categories
Cycling Road Cycling

Update from Scotland and thank you.

So we are in Scotland. Yesterday was tough but with amazing views again and on the whole we stuck together and got through it as a team. We are looking forward to the ferry trips today. Getting bored of energy bars so starting to mix it up with some kendal mint cake and Tablet (I’m sure this will make my boss Jill smile :).

Thank you for your support – we are now over the £4000 mark which is amazing. Also special thanks to those we have dropped in on in particular my sister Jo who lives near the Lake district – she was holding on to some vital supplies and took a load of dirty kit from me to significantly lighten the weight of my bag for the hilly section…
Will
Will try and keep the updates coming but need to prioritise rest and eating so we get through.

On a final note you MUST watch the crazy video Nick and Andy made yesterday. It’s on my twitter feed.

Thanks again

Ollie and the Rest of the lejogon ers!

Categories
Cycling Road Cycling

in Chepstow!

Apologies for the lack of updates – see twitter (above) for photos and Strava (top right) for rides!

Thanks for everyone’s support so far.

Categories
Cycling Road Cycling

Real time LEJOG tracking link

If you’d like to track us in real time from tomorrow Nick is using and app on his phone:

click here

Categories
Cycling Road Cycling

Off to start the Lejog adventure

So I am now on my way to Lands End. Via Reading (of course!) as the train didn’t stop at Newbury.

The missus took a picture as I was leaving IMG_157776203065223

Categories
Cycling Road Cycling Uncategorized

Only a week to go!

We’ve created a Strava club so you can see how much training we’ve been doing and also it shows our latest route plans:

http://www.strava.com/clubs/lejogon

We’re planning on getting out on our last proper training ride this weekend and then will be taking it easy to let the legs prepare for the onslaught that will be riding from one end of the country to the other!

Its fantastic that we have got to over £2,000. But if you’ve not sponsored us yet but would like to click here for our charity page.

Thanks for all your support – we are looking forward to it and slightly daunted in equal measure!

Cheers

Andy, Anthony, Nick and Ollie

 

 

 

Categories
Cycling Road Cycling Travel

Lands End to John o Groats (#LEJOGON) cycling adventure for Charity

So I thought I’d put up some more information about the charity cycling expedition I am taking on with Andy, Anthony and Nick from the 10th May.

We are doing it over 8 days so about 115 miles a day with some serious climbing. Even with the training we are doing its going to be painful! We are doing it unsupported – carrying minimal baggage and staying in basic B&B and Youth Hostel accommodation.

Quick link to our charity fund raising page is here.

So here is the route we are planning to take each day along with the elevation profiles! Yes we are crazy! Note that Day 2/3 has changed slightly – will update the maps below when I get a moment. Route is still the same just shorter day 2 longer day 3.

Route (Click for detailed strava route) Elevation (Click for detailed profile)
Day 1: Lands End to Okehampton
Day 1
elev-d1The first day from #LE is the shortest at just over 104 miles but the most hilly (9,160 ft).
Day 2: Into Wales
lejog-day2
elev-d2Further in distance (126 miles) but still a lot of climbing (7,526 ft) and a big chunk of it to get to the B&B (a Castle).
Day 3: Along the Wales/England border
lejog-day3
elev-d3As days go a reasonably “flat” one, although still quite lumpy (5800ft)! We briefly skirmish with Wales before heading back up into England. 108 miles
Day 4: To the Lakes!lejog-day4 elev-d4Looks quite punchy! 5820 ft of climbing over 113 miles.
Day 5: Windermere into Scotland!lejog-day5 elev-d5Reasonably flat despite the stats saying otherwise! 6561 ft of climbing over 112 miles
Day 6: Island hopping!
Ride then Ferry to Arran:lejog-day6a  Then ride across the island of Arran:lejog-day6b
Then ride to Oban!lejog-day6c
 elev-d6a

elev-d6b

elev-d6c
Quite a big day in the saddle – 190KM – 118 miles and over 2,500m (8200 ft) of climbing, suspect we’ll be needing our lights towards the end of this one!
Day 7 – Oban to Invernesslejog-day7 elev-d7Most of the climbing (6591 ft) is near the end of day 7!!!106 miles for day 7.
Day 8: Inverness to John o Groats
lejog-day8
elev-d8The final push to #JOG. 6850 ft of climbing over 122 miles

Total distance = 1,474 KM or 916 miles!

If you can please do support our charities – we are riding for St Mungos Broadway (a homeless charity) and Royal Marsden Cancer (who provide world-class care for cancer patients, and undertake pioneering work in cancer research and education).

You can make a donation via our fund raising page here. All donations help motivate us to go through the pain of training and it will be good to know we have your support when we are on the road doing it!

Many thanks for reading!

Ollie

Categories
Architecture and Strategy Technology

Fix bugs before adding features applies to projects not just code…

The 12 rules of the Joel Test served me well when I was a developer and development manager. In particular the principle of fixing bugs before writing new code. I will be honest though and say that at times to be pragmatic this had to be fix bugs whilst developing new features! But the bugs could not be over looked – after all this technical debt would bite at some point. Generally at the middle of the night on a weekend…

It strikes me that when looking at a typical company project portfolio a similar mistake is being made at a project level. Projects to deliver new capabilities or features are being initiated on a somewhat unstable foundation. You can think of the “bugs” at this level as a highly manual (or prone to failure) process as well as technology related issues. I am not saying here that IT teams shouldn’t innovate or add new features or be business aligned – of course they should. But we all need to grow up a bit and realise that the short cuts that get made to deliver projects on time and budget need to be addressed if we want to do sustainable  business in the digital age.

Sustainable business means not just delivering new products or features quickly; but to be able to continue to do so. To be able to continuously innovate quickly and to respond to market forces. Also building robust, scalable, flexible, secure (etc) solutions that lead to satisfied (hopefully delighted) customers – who aren’t constantly irritated by failings in your services. Of course there is a balance to be struck  and in reality it comes down to having a good strategy (e.g. building flexible, well integrated, adaptable platforms rather than churning out a mess of point solutions). There is also a degree of risk taking here too – being bold and deciding what the capabilities are that you believe the business will need in order to respond to the market – rather than having your hand forced into being entirely reactive.

Often I feel like Enterprise Architecture gets challenged (“what value does it add?”) or plainly just isn’t understood (“sorry what was your job title again”, “what does that mean exactly”). And as EAs we often don’t do ourselves any favours by not making it simple for stakeholders to understand our value proposition. For me this area is a fundamental value and benefit of Enterprise Architecture. In that you have a team who is focused on pulling the Enterprise (or if just constrained to thinking technology the IT estate) towards a sustainable path for future success. In a world where projects are often king its important to have a team thinking about the longer term effects and how to pragmatically address failings.

Categories
Gadgets Road Cycling Technology

Sony Xperia Z1 initial review

So I’ve finally upgraded my mobile, after having stuck it out with an iPhone 3GS for far to long I feel like I have moved into the 22nd century with the Sony Xperia Z1!

So first off – size. Yes it is big, a lot bigger than my old iPhone, even bigger than the S4. But I’ve got used to it easily and it doesn’t feel too big in most cases. It does poke out of some trouser pockets though!! However the advantage is that I will be reaching for a tablet or PC far less as the screen is amazing.

Camera is very good and has some great modes – Timeburst is very useful (Google photos creates animated GIFs automatically from this mode as well it would seem!) Augmented Reality is pretty fun as well. Image quality is very good and the lens offers a decent wide angle.

The things that I didn’t expect but have really impressed me is the audio quality on calls. Its also a brilliant speakerphone good enough to do meetings with (the 3GS was shocking in this regard).

Battery seems good – as a comparison a 1.5 hr bike ride on Strava (screen off) on the 3GS killed 40-50% of battery. It only takes 6% of the battery on the Z1! In generally usage I have about 50% remaining at the end of the day, and thats without using the Stamina mode which claims to boost the longevity by about x2.

Only glitch I have found so far is that if the phone gets too hot it will stop you from using the camera with a warning message telling you it needs to cool down!

So overall – so far so good!…

Categories
Cycling Road Cycling Travel

My next cycling challenge

Will be Lands End to John O’Groats! (LEJOG) with 2 friends – for a Cancer Charity.

Over 8 days in May 2014.

Training regime must therefore continue…

More details to follow!

Friends and family – if you are interested in joining me then let me know!!!