On February 4th, 2002 I started work at Waitrose on Marylebone High Street. Funnily enough I was 15 minutes late, as this was back before Google Maps and I got lost… well, I say lost… I went to Marylebone Road and had to run to Marylebone High Street when they told me my error over the phone. This is after I’d got to my interview in Northwood 45 minutes late due to crazy traffic and somehow I last 20 years with Waitrose!
Anyway, yesterday, exactly 9 years (to the day!) since I started at Whetstone (and again, I was late for that first shift as I’d misread the rota and strolled in for a late shift when I should have been in for an early) I completed my last shift with Waitrose.
There is a very real likelihood that I will be made redundant in 2022. I’ll deal with the details of that in a different post, but it has got me looking at my finances in a different way. For example, my YouTube channel would live on phone I buy just because they look interesting and I want to play with them. That has stopped over the last few months.
I then looked at my current car. Much as I love the Mustang, an imported V8 is not a car I should be driving around when trying to be frugal!
Whatever happens next year, one thing I know is I wont be working just 2 miles down the road. (You can afford 13mpg when you’re only doing 2,000 miles a year) There’s a good chance I could be commuting a reasonable distance with whatever job I take next and also, if I’m going to have some time off, I’d like to take the bike places and cycle in some different scenery. For this, I really need something nice and big that I can throw the bike into the back of.
I’ve really got into cycling over the last two years, but I’ve never been a big fan of cycling indoors, it just doesn’t hold the same appeal. No sun in your face, no views to take in, no coffee and cake stops and no exploring the nearby countryside.
Last week though, I upgraded my Turbo Trainer to a new Kickr with a Kickr Climb and I have to say, it’s made quite a difference to the riding experience.
Wind back about 6 weeks and 2020 was looking to be a pretty good year. I’m living my new lifestyle and feeling great. I’ve won Halfords National ‘Cyclist of the Year’ and would be picking up an expensive eBike as a prize and would be attending a Bike Fit. I’d treated myself to an nice new road bike, with all the latest tech on it. I was already making great progress into my New Year Resolutions. I had a 10k run picked out in May that I would work towards and a 100k Cycle Sportive for later in the year. I’ve run my first couple of Park Runs and set new PB 5k times at both.
Going into 2019 I didn’t have any particular goals, but very quickly it became the year of me getting into shape. Ten days ago I weighed in at 15st 4lbs, a whole 6st and 4lbs lighter than I was in March! I have put about 6lbs back on over Christmas, as I’ve given myself time off from the diet.
About 3 months ago I made a video review about a car vacuum. I’d taken my tripod up to the garages to be able to film myself using it. It was watching this video that I realised how big I’d gotten. On 10th March 2019 I weighed in at 21st 8.4lbs, which is 302lbs or 137kg.
Timehop recently pointed out to me that it was 3 years ago that I was waiting for my CB1000R in Metropolis Ducati Barnet and I fell in love with the 899 Panigale in pearlesant white! At that point though, there was no real need to change my bike, I still loved my little Honda!
Through last year the bike seemed to develop a fault where it just couldn’t be relied upon to start. There didn’t seem to be any pattern to it, cold, hot, left to stand, just been ridden. It was hard for me to chose to use the bike if I wouldn’t be sure it would start again to come home!
This led me to decide I should move on and get a new bike. With this in mind, I booked a test ride on my beloved Ducati 899…
I’ve been on several track days (nine it would appear. Wow, didn’t realise it was that many) on a motorbike, but never in a car. I’d often thought, having come off the bike on my first track day at Brands Hatch, that I would have more confidence in a car and be able to push it further.
Me and some friends at work had been discussing a possible trip to the Nurburgring at some point in 2016, but had decided we should do a regular track day first, to see what driving on track is really like. Around Christmas time track days for 2016 started populating on various websites. We’d done a little research and had been recommended Javelin as a company to use.