First ‘Run’ in 5½ Months

This morning I went for my first attempt at running since last October.

My Garmin f?nix 7S records or interpolates from the stride data/cadence when you’re running and when you’re walking which is useful.

In other blog news, I’ve long been sharing my Garmin Connect activities with Strava, so in the absence of ‘proper’ integration with Garmin Connect, I’ve added Strava’s activities list over there in the margin and a separate page up there at the top.

What’s New?

Well 10 years after doing my Route 66 trip on a Harley in August 2012 to celebrate being 50, I’m back with another plan for my 60th birthday (and to celebrate still being alive after my little incident in 2019): Pacific Coast Highway, North to South during summer 2022.

We fly out business class to San Francisco, collect a Chevrolet Camaro SS Convertible and then drive off to the Fisherman’s Wharf area of San Fran for a couple of nights (and a trip to Alcatraz), before we head off down California SR 1 with stays along the way in some of the coolest hotels we could find.

We stop off en route for a few days in Downtown LA during which time we’ll be popping in to the Members’ area in the Bike Shed Motorcycle Club’s LA clubhouse for drinks and food.

We end up with a couple of nights in San Diego before we fly back in Club World again back to the UK.

It’s all booked, so watch this space!

Garmin f?nix 7S

I’ve been using a Garmin f?nix 3 Sapphire for quite a while now; it’s a big, chunky lump of a fitness watch but then it is feature-packed and suitable for many forms of exercise.  I also have an Apple Watch Series 4 which works really well, but doesn’t measure blood oxygen levels like my wife’s latest one does.

I pair it with a heart rate monitor that clips to a strap you wear around your chest and then shower and dry it after exercising. We bought my wife a Garmin Forerunner 735XT a few years back and that has heart rate measuring built in (like the Apple Watch).

Now that we’re splitting our time between the UK and Fuerteventura I’m having to cart the Garmin back and forth, so I decided to leave it there where I work out more and use the Apple Watch in the UK. That’s not perfect because I then have to manually add each one to Garmin Connect.

So for my 60th birthday, Alison has bought me the new Garmin f?nix 7S, choosing the smaller S model so it’s not as chunky and large, especially as it encourages you to wear it 24/7 to monitor heart rate, blood oxygen, sleep tracking, etc.  It’s early days yet but the results are fascinating. I expect over the next few weeks it should get to know me properly and calibrate all its reports around me.

Garmin f?nix 7S

An Update and Refocus

I’ve had a quick read of my running blog and I mention – but only in passing – the crash I had back in July 2019 that left me with “life-changing injuries”.

Since that other blog post with most of the details, I’ve had the rest of my little finger amputated (in December 2020) and I’m left with constant pain and a sufficient degree of disability to have qualified for a “blue badge” here in the UK.  Part of the pain management has been for us to move for part of the year out to Corralejo on Fuerteventura, one of the Canary Islands off the coast of Morocco with its low rainfall and warm temperatures all year round, which definitely helps reduce the pain in my hand and pelvis.

It also means that I am more able to go for walks and cycle rides to try to loosen up my joints, lose weight (to lessen the duty on my pelvis/hips) and to work on my ‘wellness’ generally.

The aim is still to try to run but I try to avoid painkillers and running piles that pain on! So it’s a slow and steady race to reduce weight for less strain on my joints – my consultant years ago told me to avoid running because of my knee gradually wearing out – by exercising and eating healthily, especially as I hit 60 years old this year.

Acquirz Spam: So Blatant!

You know it’ll be a great spam email when the subject line says “This isn’t spam! Amend your record for FREE NOW!!” (loving the double exclamation marks).

Oh yes, Acquirz Limited with its two directors Christopher Skinner and Russell Wilmot – who run a number of similar companies – sent me a couple of blatant spam messages in which they try to legitimise what they do … and fail miserably.

“You are receiving this email as we believe it may be relevant to you in your professional role and we believe your business will benefit.

“Your business and personal contact data has been collected from publicly available records such as websites and government records and combined with data from third-party data providers and is being processed on the basis of Acquirz’s legitimate interests and those of our data partners and customers.

“These interests include our direct marketing and sharing your data with our data partners and selling it to our customers for their business marketing campaigns. You can read more about these interests and how you can exercise your rights in our Privacy Notice.

“If you would like to opt out, please unsubscribe using the link below.
Click here to unsubscribe

“Kind regards
Acquirz Ltd”

So in other words they’ve either harvested the email addresses or bought a spam list from another spammer.

On their website they say “The opportunity and potential for Acquirz is awesome” whilst their last published accounts indicate that that’s clearly all unrealised!

Properties For Less Spam

One of the regular spammers I’m seeing these days is an outfit is someone calling themselves Properties4less.

Every day there seem to be new ones with desperate pleas to invest in some shithole, usually up North.  The latest is Bristol though.

Typically for a spammer, their website is pretty blank as all the crap is in various pages with tracking details enabled.

Also typically, they lie:

“You have received this email because you have subscribed to Properties4less”

No, I really didn’t…

Aztec Events Spam

So I’ve been receiving regular emails from Aztec Events for ages now and most recently it’s their All About Dogs Show.

This is of absolutely no interest to me as a) I hate show ground events and b) I don’t have a dog. But that still doesn’t stop their interminable spam from flooding in.

Road Test

So the guys at Bahnstormer stepped up and lent us a 2021 BMW R1250RT LE for a few days.  To get it close to a specification we would be buying they were going to fit an RT top case but didn’t have one when we turned up to collect, so Keith grabbed one off a K1600.  This is slightly different to the R1250RT one in that the K version has a more rounded backrest with a headrest bit and according to Alison was superbly comfortable, so that’s the option we would go for. 234 miles later…

We picked it up on Tuesday and headed up to No. 131 at Cheltenham – a “cool hotel” – which is run by a friend of ours, Ricardo.  This was the first time I’d ridden a motorbike since my little ‘off’ in July 2019… So why not start with a small 96 mile ride on mixed roads?

First thing, though, was to connect up the iPhone to the RT.  I’d already downloaded the BMW Motorrad Connected app and downloaded the maps for it.  So we then had to get the app to connect which was a little more difficult.  Retry and it worked. Next up was the connection of the RT to my Cardo PACKTALK Bold – the RT can connect to a phone and two headsets, so that’s a positive for two-up touring – which went effortlessly.  The iPhone then sits in a ventilated box with wireless charging.  That seemed to work intermittently, as I kept hearing it starting charging through the Cardo and watched it start to run down occasionally too.  I have no idea why BMW don’t simply move over to Apple CarPlay like they do with their cars. That way I could use Waze with the benefit of its warnings…  On our last day, a mile or two from our destination, the BMW Connected app … wasn’t.  It just dropped out and I had to reconnect.

Round to the Abarth where we packed our Triumph pannier liner bags into the RT’s panniers and my Givi 30L stuffer back into the top case – which has a high level brake light and an internal courtesy light – and put our waterproofs and spare gloves around it.  And then off.

Anyway, back to Cheltenham. We arrived after a great 96 mile ride and parked up … in the hotel’s restaurant which is now outside since COVID-19.

Restaurant Parking

A couple of gins later – they have hundreds! – we showered in our fabulous room and headed down for a delicious meal.

The next morning, we headed down to breakfast and our purchasing dilemma given our ‘unique’ living arrangements (spreading ourselves between London and Corralejo), registration dates and delivery periods, etc.

We then rode another brief 25 mile ride down to the Bay Tree at Burford, where we got married three years earlier. We sat out in the garden for drinks and then headed over to our friend Jules’ place at Kingston Bagpuize, another 30 miles in total.  This was on the apps “windy” setting, with the selection in the middle.  It took us down some ‘interesting’ B-roads to say the least.

We had tried Dynamic and Road modes and realised that Road mode is a bit bouncy but very plush over dodgy road surfaces, but Dynamic firms it all up and the information from the app shows some good lean angles and G-forces.

A romantic meal with a  bottle of champagne and off to bed.  We headed out after breakfast and made our way back to Alton, stopping only for fuel.  A very windy day but behind the fairing it was calm and despite its size, the RT wasn’t particularly affected by crosswinds.  Colder than the previous days, Alison was using the heated seat which is separate from the rider’s to keep her core warm.  Another 83 miles.

Superbly comfortable and capable. I don’t think the optional Akrapovic is needed as the standard is growly enough and the Akra isn’t any smaller or neater.

Our only issue is we shouldn’t get one before May 2022 because of our travel, the March registration change and winter weather to go with delivery periods.

And as for me riding a motorbike again? It’s good to be back in the saddle after two years.