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Stephen Peel

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Update 18 May 2017 Exchange and Completion

Well, selling a property has to go down as one of the most stressful things, but exchange of contracts has now been agreed on this restoration project, and completion should take place by the 1st of June.

This means that I am ahead of schedule by one month, which is great. From the 1st of June I will be taking ownership of the new bike and all new photographic equipment, as well as camping gear. I will then spend 8 weeks getting used to all this new kit, before setting out in the first week in August.

All the dreaming and planning, and I'm now just 11 weeks away from setting out, at most. Getting excited, but still plenty to do. For example I started moving belongings into storage today. Armadillo Self Storage in Cheshire have given me an extremely low rate, due to the enormity of my adventure, and to help the charity I am supporting. JUMP Children's Charity in Cheshire.


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10,000 Members - Google+ Collections Community

I would like to thank everyone for their support in reaching 10,000 members.
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I had planned to take the DJI Mavic Pro Drone, but...

I had high hopes of taking a DJI Mavic Pro Drone around with me, but sadly, after doing tonnes of research, it’s looking like this will be far too difficult, especially with regard to the way I am travelling anyway, because so many of the countries I will be travelling through have tough restrictions and laws, with hard to get permit requirements and other factors, and some countries won't let you in with one regardless.

To take a drone would mean my somehow posting it ahead to different places that allow drones more freely. But without having an address to actually post it to, and not even knowing if it would make it through customs, could be simply throwing a lot of money away, and getting myself into trouble at the same time, with possibly added fines and fees to cover on top of a confiscated drone.

Due to the growing popularity of drones right now, many countries are having no choice but to make restrictions. Too many accidents are being reported, drones in flight paths, or flying over sensitive military and other areas, and I suppose I can understand it, but I’m still disappointed.

I don’t see any other way around it, the drone idea will have to go. But, I will spend that money on maybe a really great macro lens like the Sony FE 90 F2.8 macro, or gimbal for the GoPro 5, or both :). And, I will have more room in my panniers for other items. Still sad though.

#drone #djimavicpro #dronelaws #dronerestrictions #mavicpro

Photo Credit to: Dan Bracaglia of Digital Photography Review

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Do you're own children do this to themselves :)
My girls latest Facebook profiles :). They just can't help themselves. 

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Being a stocky and strongly built guy, and not the usual wisp of a cyclist you find huddled in a peloton, flying over the Swiss Alps, I find I need a more robust saddle, not a razorblade trying to lengthen my legs.

I require a saddle that can cope with a bit more weight, and plenty of bumps on tracks and some off-road. Not to mention myriad potholes in faraway lands.

After trying a Gel type saddle for over a year on the North Wales coast, I found it OK, but still had pain in the perineum area. Even trying to edge the saddle down so that my weight was more on the back of the saddle, didn’t seem to do much.

At one point I was so concerned about the pain, that I went to the doctors about it, which lead to a an uncomfortable investigation that left me feeling like I need a shower afterwards, and the doctor didn't even buy me a drink :). As a result of that investigation, my doctor felt I need to go straight to the hospital for further investigation.

Blood tests, urine tests, 2 separate ultrasounds, and plenty of unwelcomed fondling over the course of 3 months, and I was given the all clear from prostate cancer. But it was scary to say the least, and a really quite upsetting few months to be honest. I have to admit to feeling it was all over at one point.

Anyway, I was encouraged to seek out a saddle that took the pressure off that very tender area, so I did a bit of study and had seen plenty of write-ups on Brooks saddles, with many cycle tourists swearing by them.

I had thought about a saddle with no nose, just the back end for resting my sit bones, but then after some study, found that you need the nose to help you steer and stabilise the bike, and it’s something to rest your thighs on.

I chose the Brooks B17 Imperial at £80. It looks good, but that’s about it really for me. After 12 months on this saddle, it was actually worse than my previous cheap gel saddle.

A friend from South Africa recently told me to try the Rido R2 Comfort Saddle, he said I wouldn’t look back. So today my Rido arrived and is now mounted in place of the Brooks. I will test it out over the next few weeks. It looks quite weird to be honest, but I am hopeful. After just one quick ride in the street, the pressure was off my perineum. Here’s hoping. Oh, and it’s £45.

Not a week later

Oh man, my arse is killing me. It's only been 6 days of riding with the new RIDO. 10 miles the first day, 4 days of 20 miles, and today was just 12 miles as my arse must have resembled a baboon's. This has to be the first time I have witness such chaffing and pain on and above my sit bones.

I didn't do any road cycling, just potholed gravel pathways along a canal, so no doubt I was going to take a beating anyway with no suspension in my frame.

The perineum area was fine though, and that was also a first, and that is what I like about the saddle, sadly though the pain and sores instead transferred to my butt.

Now I'm sure that over time it might get better and less painful, but for now I'm going to put my Brooks B17 back on and edge the nose down a touch to see how that goes. This is not something I have tried before because the saddle is so slippery, but I will try.

The other thing I didn't like about the RIDO, was that it moves around a lot, it isn't very rigid. If you take hold of it while it's fixed to the stem, you can easily move it. I guess it's because the saddle frame is plastic with simple fixing spots for the rails.

The Brooks has a wide brace that fixes to the whole of the rear of the saddle, then joins up with the other rail, giving the saddle a real stiff feel to it.

I'm not done with the RIDO just yet though.

The next day, I'm back on the Brooks B17 Imperial and it felt like big soft cushion :). I think I will stick with my Brooks.

Rido Saddle #ridosaddle

Brooks Imperial Saddle #brooksimperialsaddle


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My touring bike has been pre-ordered

I took a trip to CycleSense in Leeds last week with my youngest daughter, as she had a day off work and wanted to see what the bike would be like. After a lengthy chat with the owner of the bike shop, I settled happily on this amazing and proven long haul touring bike.

The handlebars have plenty of places to place my hands and the stem is adjustable so I can tilt the bars to cope with different terrain. The pannier bags are all fully waterproof and are made in partnership between KOGA and Ortleib, so are the very best and should protect my gear.

All in all I'm very please with the bike, although I did have a few conflicting thoughts with regard to the Rohloff hub and belt instead of derailleur gears and chain, but have settled back on them now.

And to end the day, my daughter Chloe and I called into Harry Ramsden's fish and chip restaurant in Manchester for tea :)

#koga #ortleib #Brookssaddle #rohloff #gatesbeltdrive #kogaworldtraveller #kogasignature #kogaatalanta #kogaortleib

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My video intro for longer videos on my cycle.
I will trim it down a bit for shorter videos or simply add it to the end. I have come to the conclusion after asking many questions in the community, that it is no longer possible to add a video without using a link to YouTube or other web address, is no longer possible, so I will link my YouTube channel to this Collection. Unless it looks like this does here at the start.

March 11 2017 (Update)

Its on!

The house I have been restoring since March last year, went on the market yesterday, 3 viewings booked for today, first booking offered full asking price. I'm thrilled of course, but my arse has just gone :)

It's on now, it is finally here. After a couple of years of planning and wondering, I'm finally at the point where I am now able to live that lifelong dream. It's thrilling, crazy, and just around the corner.

I now have about 6 weeks in which to get sorted and everything into storage. Once that's done, I will be staying with my sister in Llandudno North Wales for around 6 weeks in order to get my bike and equipment together.

A rough estimate of the date I will be setting out on the cycle, will be June 1st. Which is 2 months ahead of schedule, and pretty amazing really that I get to cycle through our European summer.

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