Journal Entries

O happy days!!!

Well, that was amazingly worth it.

I had always previously been against making a claim for mis-sold PPI - that old chestnut - as back in the day I'd had a couple of things with PPI on but had quickly realised it was useless to me as I (back then) was on rolling temporary contracts and working in universities I had very generous sick-pay if necessary (turns out this is rare - and there was me thinking we had no perks).

So I was never going to even bother. But a random conversation with my daughter-in-law in January persuaded me. She was using a claims firm as 'even if I get a few hundred quid it's worth it, and if I didn't use them, I wouldn't do it at all.

The last bit in particular struck me...I would never do it myself and any PPI I had would definitely take some hunting down.

So I found the cheapest (but 'reliable' via internet reviews) I could find and filled out their forms with every financial institution I had ever had dealings with and - randomly put my wife's name down on it too as we have a joint account these days. That last bit seemed a bit pointless as our bank had written to her a few years ago suggesting she complain, she did, and got £2500 from it. We even had a tetchy argument about it when they started writing to her as it was too much bother to fill her forms in and stuff.

So anyway.... in the last week we've had...

Me £14,000ish
Her £13000ish

In compensation.

So worth it then smiley - wowsmiley - wowsmiley - wowsmiley - wowsmiley - wowsmiley - wowsmiley - wow

The really weird bit - is that her compensation this time came from that very same bank. Seems they swizzed her the first time.

Glad I paid it now - best bank account of all time. smiley - rofl

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Latest reply: Jun 7, 2019

The wonders of modern technology

Just reunited a lost wallet with its owner via facebook messenger and email. smiley - ok

Our friends found the wallet, messaged me on FB as it contained a student ID card for Cardiff Uni. I asked who it was so I could email them. Did that and got a reply saying he needed it now as he couldn't get into his halls without it. So I had to then find our where my friends were and direct him there. It wall worked excellently.

Couldn't have done that back when I was a student. I guess these mobile phone thingies might be more useful than some give them credit for sometimes smiley - winkeye

Discuss this Journal entry [4]

Latest reply: Mar 3, 2019

Read Tolkien (go and look at the website for the upcoming film of Lord of The Rings it looks good biggrin ),

Really, one day I'm going to *have* to update my homepage. This is now stunningly out of date smiley - laugh

Discuss this Journal entry [5]

Latest reply: Feb 7, 2014

Let it blow, let it blow let it blow.

Well I'm starting to not bother to journal about Audax now as it's becoming the norm rather than anything special these days but yesterday was one of definite note.

200 km Ride in South Wales, the Transporter 200, so named as it used to involve a little jaunt across the Transporter bridge in Newport which is rather more like a cable car ride across the river than a bridge as such. Sadly since 2 years ago the bridge is closed in the winter and so you have to just ride past and admire it now.

It's only a minor part of the ride now - it's reputed to be an 'easy' 200 as it's largely flat. But this rather ignores two monster climbs in the Brecon Beacons. Wentwood just before Usk and the famed 'Devil's Elbow' south of Sennybridge - the latter being the signature climb and one I'd not done before since I failed to get onto the Dragon Ride sportive last year.

The ride itself would probably have been just another audax but we were faced with 'challenging' weather conditions. In audax-speak it would probably have to be described as 'a bit damp' and 'somewhat breezy' But this really means there were repeated and sustained torrential downpours and 'a bit breezy' means winds gusting up to 60 mph and getting slightly worried that you were going to end up under a fallen tree.

Before we got to the beacons proper I was indeed rather pleased to be in the shelter of hedges and trees and even more pleased that if the trees were going down (a real possibility) then they were being blown away from me smiley - ok. All this was tinged with a nagging fear that I was soon to be attempting to crest an exposed mountain top as we took on the Devil's Elbow.
Now climbing isn't my strong point in cycling as I'm too large to be an Albert Contador but I was EXTREMELY chuffed to make it up the steep and relentless switchbacks of the Devil's Elbow despite headwinds to make your eyes water and gusts that were literally blowing the more lightweight guys and gals off their bikes. This was my best climbing performance to date - if I can do that monster in those conditions I am now more determined than ever to make the slopes that have defeated me now.
So a dreadful set of conditions to attempt a 126 mile cycle but I survived and am very very pleased with my performance smiley - biggrinsmiley - biggrinsmiley - biggrin

I seem to have finally learned to pace myself also as I am in better post-ride condition than ever and my time was actually quite a lot faster than most of my recent rides. A fine days cycling even if the weather was very far from fine.

Discuss this Journal entry [3]

Latest reply: Nov 3, 2013

My audax season

So last Saturday I completed my rides for my first audax season.
The audax (long distance cycling) season runs from October 1st until September 30th y'see.

So after trying and failing to get into a Sportive and thereby discovering the existence of audax through internet forums from cyclists spreading Sportive hate I joined audax UK in December after about six months of cycling experience. I thought I was getting good by this point but audaxing has shown me my limitations and taught me a few harsh lessons but also given me some achievements that make me burst with pride when I think about them. smiley - ok

So my rides for the year with distance points (1 per 100 km - minimum of 2 per ride as rides less than 200 km don't count as 'long distance') and AAA points (awarded for climbing - riding up many steep slopes).

January - Dr Foster's Winter Warmer from Cardiff - 200 km - 2 points - debut ride smiley - ok

February - Gospel Pass 150 km from Chepstow - 0 points but 2.25 AAA points

March - The Dean from Oxford - 300 km - DNS (did not start) - It was snowing like fek - amazingly 3 people did actually ride and complete - nutters!

April - Two Battles 200 km ride from Tamworth - 2 points, and I WON!!! (well arrived home first at least)

May - Cambrian Series 3A - a 'permanent' (i.e. non calendar) event - 300 km - 3 point and 4.25 AAA points - this was HARD! Went from Chepstow to Tregaron and back via some proper nasty climbs - including the famed Devil's Staircase - which forced me to walk.

June - The National 400 - 4 points - first 24 hour ride - tough tough tough - mostly psycholically. From Tiverton in Devon.

July - The Buzzard - a 600 km ride from Leighton Buzzard - 6 points - strangely easier than both the 300 km and 400 km rides I did - although don't tell that to my ulnar nerves smiley - winkeye

August - Dr Foster's Summer Saunter - 200 km from Cardiff - 2 points

September - Wem We Get There - 200 km ride from Tamworth - 2 points
Ferryside Fish Foray - from Cardiff - 200 km - 2 points
Border Castle Randonnee - from Chepstow - 200 km - 2 points and 3 AAA - rediscovered my climbing boots after having them knocked out of me by the 3 big rides.

So 25 points and 9.5 AAA points.
Awards- Super Randonneur (a series of 200, 300, 400 and 600 km events in one season)
Brevet 1000 - 5 x 200 km in one season.
Gold Grimpeur medal - for riding a 300 km with more than 4 AAA points,

Yay. I'm soooo much fitter than I was - I have gained much skill in bike maintenance although I'm not there yet - and I have learned a lot about what my body is, and is not, capable of.

Next year I plan on some of the classic rides - The Brian Chapman Memorial - a 600 km ride from Chepstow to Menai Bridge and back - 8.25 AAA points(!)
Brevet Cymru - 400 km and another stab at the Devil's Staircase.

I plan on losing more weight to help with the climbing and getting a bike with a triple chainset - lower gearing to help with the climbing.

I seem to be reasonably fast as I'm big and powerful but long periods of climbing mean that my gravitationally challenged build is a proper handicap at that particular aspect of cycling.

I hope also to thereby prequalify for Paris-Brest-Paris - a 1200 km ride - in 2015. That is ride a 600 km event so I can enter early in 2015 and not risk missing out.

I also plan to suss out how to eat properly on these rides. I suffer from an inability to eat after a while on the longer rides and this is an _issue_ as eating is massively important.

Discuss this Journal entry [3]

Latest reply: Sep 24, 2013

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Researcher U94957

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