Monthly Archives: December 2015

New beginnings and regaining fitness

Today I had no excuses. I was waiting for a package to be delivered, the amazon tracker said it was not nearby yet and I was bored. The sky was blue, my butt is fat…time to get back on the bike.

Recent events have given me an obsession for photography, especially 35mm film cameras. That and reading has kept my mind off other things. Anyway while I was out I wanted a good photo of the bike and the blue sky, but no kick stand. I remembered reading a great blog about a magic stick. So that helped in this instance. I thought it was a weird thing to blog about at the time, but now I am grateful. Though I had no stick, I did have a water bottle. Voila.
 Perfect for instagram and a little needed break. I have found that recent events, new obsessions have lead to a lack of exercise and increase in fish and chips. This has cumulated in a gain of 10kg. Totally worth it. But now I feel the need to lose it again and get back to semi-fitness. Being back in Japan means a lack of readily available fish and chips and an increase in bike roads nearby.

Before all this occurred I could run 5km without thinking too much. I could also cycle 100km with a bit more thought. Now I have had to start a couch to 5K program on week one and don’t even talk to me about butt ache after just 20km on the bike. The good thing is that I have been at this stage before, I know I can do it, I know I can get better. It is just annoying to know that I ran the Tokyo Marathon in 2012, though I was close to last, and now I have to start again.

I really understand now why those 400lb people on “year to save my life” shows say, “well my mum/dad died and I ate everything on the planet to feed my grief”….or words to that effect. But that is not what mum would have wanted, it is not what I want.

So with blue skies and a fat butt I am on a new journey, a new beginning to fitness. Less maps, more thoughts. And maybe by cherry blossom season I can get up that damn hill.

We all have a journey, we all have a bridge to cross.

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Surprise Cycle in Negombo, Sri Lanka

After everything that has happened lately I decided to extend my layover on the way back to Japan. I was supposed to be in Colombo, Sri Lanka for 20 hours, lovely thought,  I changed it to 5 days. I booked a place that was close enough to the airport to be convenient, but far enough away to relax. I looked at the ratings on booking.com and chose a place with a high rating with good value. It is in the middle of nowhere so unless you like your own company or are with friends who are adventurous, it might not be the place for you. If you like relaxing and can keep yourself occupied then it is perfect.

I am sure I read this quote once, “If you are bored in your own company then your company isn’t very good.” I am not sure who said it, wrote it..or if I made it up myself, but I think it is true.

Anyway, I love it here…I am the only guest in the whole complex. The cook showed me how to make roti and took me to her friend’s house for tea and biscuits.

But, I can only sit around for so long and asked if they had a bike..the cook lent me hers for the morning. As you can see from the map, there is one road. I could either go north or south. As I walked north yesterday I headed south as far as my butt could stand..or sit.

Here is the link for the ride details.

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This is a strip of land separating the sea and a lagoon.

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It is north of the capital and close to the airport.

If I had my giant bike I would have thought about going all the way around the lagoon. But this is the bike I had…

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No gears, a bit flat, seat too low..but beggars can’t be choosers…brakes worked though.

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My first stop. Basically if I didn’t stop at the churches I might not have stopped at all. This is quite a religious country.

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No lock, but this seems such a friendly, safe country.

At first I was worried about the traffic, they seemed to drive a bit crazily on the drive from the airport. But here I felt very safe, even with no helmet. The buses and trucks always beeped when they were approaching and gave me lots of space.

I saw lots of school boys on bikes, all going a leisurely pace. I seemed to be going quite quick in comparison. A few of the boys cycled by the side of me and chatted, asked questions. They seemed surprised when they asked where I was going and I answered I didn’t know.

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Even the dogs are relaxed.

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Another church, a little man let me in this one to wander around.

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I stopped for churches and puppies.

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Eventually I won its trust, but not being able to offer a home there wasn’t much I could give other than a smile.

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When I got to this canal I saw a beautiful blue bird. It looked and acted like a kingfisher, but I couldn’t get a photo.

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I did see this nest though.

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Later I saw I had captured a bird inside.

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and another kind…but no kingfisher.

After a quick search I found the bird I had seen, an Asian Fairy-Bluebird. The entry says it is usually seen in pairs and I did see two, so I definitely think this was it. So not a kingfisher..they are elusive.

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Yesterday a man invited me into his hut for tea, he had nothing but was willing to share. I said no and regretted it. Today a fisherman asked me to sit and chat. I said yes. He invited me out on his boat tomorrow morning…I said no, I am not that much of a risk-taker.

In all I rode 14km and my butt felt like I had done 60+ I am not sure I will borrow the bike again as there is only one road. But it was a lovely experience.