All posts by frankkinlan

Deja-Vu. Pressing lifes reset button for a second time!

Well where do I start? Nearly back to square one but not quite. The weight, high blood pressure and a fondness for alcohol returned with a vengeance.

Not all at once but a gradual regression to the bad old self. This time it was a prescription review and blood test that caught up with me. Raised Liver Function test  after a short time of abstinence had me on a repeat blood test which I had today.

Weight wise it started off good with Dry January kicking in straight away with a few kilo’s of weight loss and then it plateaued. Something had to be done so it was back to the gym after a long absence. It seems to have done the trick and I think I’m back on track.

It’s meant a complete new gym kit and it’s going to be a while before I tackle a spinning class again. I’ve also fallen out of love with the Bike having spent nearly a year off it at least. I’ve stopped using a Garmin, forgone using a helmet (if a car’s got my name on it, a few ounces of polystyrene is going to help me) prefer shoes that I can walk in.

This time I’m on my own and the first target is to loose 10Kg with the second target 20Kg. Today’s stationary cycle was 30 minutes @ 100watts which was 130kCal, it’s a start. Diet wise it’s probably not ideal but I’m not a rabbit.

I’ll post some figures when I get around to it.

Regards

Frank.

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2015 Update

Dutch corner 2015
Dutch corner 2015

Just thought  post an update as to the state of play. As you can gather I dont post much these days as there is not much to post. Fell out of love with the bike, bought Val an eBike and love it.

This years Tour de France trip was probably the best yet due to a lack of planning. Never had a problem getting a space on a site. Tarn gorge is a place to return to in the future.

Missed the immigrant woes at Euro tunnel  by an hour, passed burning French farmers tyres that were still smouldering and didn’t pay a Euro in tolls this year.

More to follow.

MotorHome Mods

In no particular order at the moment as I just wanted to get the images into the post. Nothing turned out to be simple and there are some jobs that are best left to the professionals

Replacing the manual thermostat for the heating proved to be a bit of a pain despite having the bits lying around for a year.

It’s a simple to read and set digital readout but with diagnostics built in if things go wrong.

Cost £70 from the NEC fiddly to fit as the wire colours don’t match 100%.

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One of the first things to be fitted was this access hatch to the garage. The thinking being the bikes could be stored inside.

Garage conversion
Garage Conversion (rear)

A neat job done by Horizon Motorhomes near Chirk, who also fitted the sattellite dish (Oyster Caro)

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For some reason Dometic winter fridge covers cost as much as a complete new vent.

Winter Covers

Where they get to I don’t know but they are not easy to source for the right price.

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Pollen Filter change
Pollen filter location

Pollen filter change was cheap but a bit of a struggle for a hour or so as you are quite deep into the center console to get to the above.

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This gas locker vent is fitted to a wide variety of motorhomes and looks terrible in a short space of time.

Gas Locker vent, less than 3 years old
New Vent

It was under £12 to replace if you can find one. I will put links up soon.

Lots of other stuff to post, you do need some carpentry and electrical skills to try a lot of this. The cost of most things these days being a lot less than the labour costs involved.

Chassis has now been Schutzed in side and out and also MOT’d with flying colours.

Also fitted a set of Tour de France air horns on a separate circuit

Post Blog Shutdown

Hi folks, it’s not the end of the blogging universe but just a test to see what functionality I have left after  ending the WordPress expansions that I purchased.

The relationship with WordPress has been mixed, it’s a great site and is free. Wordadds paid for the site upgrades  until the advert revenue fell 90% last year.

Another nail in the coffin was the exclusion of <> which in my case was just an Strava widget. Requests for this were brushed off, If Blogger can do it why not WordPress?

This is after WordPress sent me an 8 year birthday card. I is unlikely to see 10 given their dismissive attitude.

So we will have to see how it goes, times change. The bike is on the back burner at the moment, it may come back but it’s not a certainty .

Time to call it a Day

Just had notification that its going to cost $99 to keep the blog going and frankly it a cost that I’m not willing to bear anymore.
Why blog when you have awesome stuff like Google Stories.
If you trust Google, and why wouldn’t you, enable auto upload and autoawesome on Google+ and take pictures of what matters in your life.
Google does the rest and the results can be spectacular.

Garmin should be ashamed of the level of the support they give for their devices but they have been surpassed by the likes of Google Maps. Get a smart phone and enable it. Live traffic data, if your in a jam turn to Google Maps to find out why. Sally Traffic on Radio 2 should be made redundant.

Tour de Frank 2014


By the time I post this I will be into the last week of the Tour de France 2014.  What a roller coaster it has been. I bypassed the Yorkshire stages and went straight to London and we plonked ourselves on the Mall at 300 meters to go.

A journalist interviewed Val and I with Val noting his name.

Screenshot 2014-08-10 at 07.21.20Next day we were in the Financial Times!

I think I made the right choice to stay out of Yorkshire even though millions made it to the stages.  London did what it does best with a stage finishing on the Mall.

The Chunnel had a fire in it so the crossing on Tuesday was delayed by an hour or so, but we made it. Then it was straight to Arrenburg for the cobbles wildcamping for the night. Two stages were cancelled due to bad weather right next to us

No pictures at the moment. Plenty to come when I get back.

Now at the base of Hautacam waiting for the stage in 2 days. Two weeks in I have enough of the road, the final week will be here. Stunning views a trip to remember, as for the race there is on Nibali left.

11 July Epernay to Nancy stage.

The day before the stage I decided to go for a ride and rode 3 Kms on the wrong side of the rode.

Straight roads as ever. There was a french family parked up on the part that the Tour wasn’t taking.

The French Cycling Federation were busy giving the local kids a trial of BMX and other events.

This came through after the roads had been closed.

With that it was time to get back to the campsite through one of the nicest villages we had passed through.

Google Camera Compilation

Google is now processing your photographs in the background giving shots like the above or panoramas.

 

Screenshot 2014-08-10 at 07.21.20

 

 

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Screenshot 2014-08-09 at 21.08.48 Just to prove your tracker works abroad with no data roaming. Say bye bye to monthly tracking costs.

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Screenshot 2014-08-11 at 09.11.14

 

 

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Can’t fault the Snooper 9500 other than the fact that France does not do DAB very much. I could have done with the race radio frequency but the app was just as good. It’s nice to know the tracker is there working away in the background. From the start other than Crystal Palace there where only 3 sites booked and that was at last minute with a few complications.

Be advised French IT systems may not accept your phone or Ipad for booking online, that was the biggest learning point this year.

It was a monumental trip and a lot will not make it into this post each day was an adventure. At one stopover I gave the woman that ran the site the Yorkshire Tea we picked up in London. It was one moment of many.  We arrived late to what was a restricted entrance. It didn’t stop her  bollocking a waiting driver saying that we were on “holiday”.

Campsites
Name Arrival Nights Stars Cost £ Cost € Mileage
Crystal palace 05/07/2014 3 4 £58.00 9152
Orchies Wild Camping 1 0 €0.00 9327
Ribemont 1 2 €10.00 9430
Camping de La Pelouse 10/07/2014 2 2 44.32€
Camping les Cigognes 12/07/2014 3 3 55.38€ 9798
Camping Les Merilles 15/07/2014 2 46.52€ 9944
Camping St James Les Pin 18/07/2014 2 3 44.40€ 10214
Camping Du Mas De rey 20/07/2014 1 4 €33.10 10432
Camping Du Lavedan 21/07/2014 5 186.20€ 10743
Camping Nontron 26/07/2014 1 2 17.24€ 11016
Camping Mamers 27/07/2014 1 2 11.00€ 11285
 £58 €448.16

 

There is another night of wild camping to add to the above. If I knew what I know now it will be a lot less next year.  Two star sites were half the price of 3 and 4 star ones with the only difference being entertainment being laid on and a pool.

Week ending 11May2014

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

First off the motorhome has been if for an upholstery upgrade at Regal Furnishings at Ilkeston.

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It involved a trip down on wednesday for measuring up with the job being completed on the Thursday. We were shown how the bed was made up and discovered we were missing a piece of foam.
It also meant an overnight stay in the carpark on the electric hookup.

A nice touch were the matching cushions that we wernt expecting.

It all went well the only downside was returning to the storage to find the road flooded.

Mayday ride to Ice Cream Farm

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Decided to ride out to the Ice Cream Farm on May bank holiday via Cheshire Oaks Cycles. As you can see the place was heaving so much so that I left for Old Ma,s Cafe.

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Seacombe Panorama from The Ferry
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Dee Marsh crossing panorama
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Southport Caravan Club site
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Southport Caravan club upgrade.
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Titanium at Old Ma’s Cafe
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Titanium at Old Ma’s Cafe
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Titanium at Old Ma’s Cafe
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Titanium at Old Ma’s Cafe
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Titanium at Old Ma’s Cafe
Disc front fork
Titanium at Old Ma’s Cafe
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Titanium at Blue Moon Cafe
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Chester Racecourse Panorama
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Dee Marsh Cycle crossing

 

Think there was an Audax calling in at Old Ma’s cafe as there were 6 titanium bikes propping the walls up.

I’ve been playing with the panorama feature of the Motorola Moto G which is a great smartphone for only £100. It cost less for the new phone than to repair my Galaxy S3.

I bumped in to Dan on the Dee Marsh crossing and ended up talking to him for a couple of hours. We started our apprenticeships  on the same day in August 1976. He has retired  now at 55 and it’s something I have been looking into seriously.

It has got to the stage were I have been for financial advice which proved fruitful the only spanner in the works being the recent pharmaceutical mergers means the site is being divested.