Posted by Alan on November 27, 2011
All me, honest
This month I have been growing a moustache for Movember. To be frank I have probably been a little slack – the pictures above are only the first 14 days worth and I haven’t pushed the donation link enough yet…
So if you do have a few spare pounds in your plastic, please go to http://mobro.co/piepowered and put them towards some great causes.
Posted in Charity starts at home | Tagged: Beard, Charity, Fundraising, Men's Health, Moustache, Movember | Leave a Comment »
Posted by Alan on February 16, 2011
I am still in training for Bogle, Manchester RAG’s infamous 55 mile walk around the Manchester cityscape. I’ve decided to raise money for Lymphoedema Support Network this year after the support mum has received over the last few years. I hope you can find some spare change to donate though my JustGiving page.
Back to the training…
This weekend I headed out to the Midlands to take in a 30 mile (48 km) training walk. This is a rather more pleasant scenic adventure than Bogle will be, or indeed, the previous training walk of 17 miles through London. From Leamington, we took to the canal and headed vaguely north to Birmingham. The first real point of note, is Hatton flight -where the canal rises steeply.
Towards the top lock, in a pond in front of what must have once been the lock keepers cottage sits a rather nice dragonfly sculpture.
Further north-westwards we took a left and ventured onto the Stratford North Canal. One of the earlier canals to be built in the UK, it shows it. The infrastructure is much more heavy – huge bridges, cuttings, embankments particularly north of Hockley Heath. It’s little wonder – apparently they spanked £300K in 1796 on just 25 miles of canal! This bit of canal is allegedly cycle free, though that didn’t stop the people who passed us … on bikes. It might surprise you to know you actually need a cycle permit! Still, it didn’t bother us too much except for the sections where they had churned up the mud.
A boating on the North Stratford Canal
Given the basic nature of the towpath, I’d guess that’s actually why cycling is prohibited on the North Stratford. It’s essentially mud. Finally by about half 4 we reached Kings Norton Junction and turned right towards Birmingham. Here the scenery became much more industrial and we realised we had to pick up the pace a little. Despite being on National Cycle Route 5, the regular floral tributes and fading light wasn’t encouraging – so a couple of miles further up at Selly Oak we came off the canal on to the Bristol Road.
Forlorn, sadly unloved boat
From the canal though you do get a sense of the vast machine that is the Cadbury Bournville factory. It’s much less purple than I remember. Perhaps the Kraft influence has kicked in already. Some parts of the factory are still very 1930s – such as this building on the Birmingham side.
Corporate pride 1930s style - Cadbury, Bourneville
The last few miles up the Bristol Road were a stark contrast. As long as I can remember I’ve known Brum to be a car city, probably reinforced by watching Brum as a small child. The Bristol Road is a fairly angry dual carriageway with lots of traffic. Thinking back to University, Manchester’s Oxford Road is also very busy – but the majority of the traffic is made up of buses, it’s much slower and seems somewhat more friendly. The relaxed studenty feel only really seemed to stretch from Selly Oak to the campus gates unlike Manchester’s curry mile and student village. Anyway, long digression! Final destination was The Wellington on Bennetts Hill. We even got seats, which was nice after 29.5 miles and of course the beer was excellent. A short amble towards the train home took us over the 30 mile mark. A most excellent way to spend a Saturday.
To round off – just a quick reminder. I really do plan to get all the way around this time. If you’d like to sponsor me, please do so at http://www.justgiving.com/AlanP-Bogle2011
Posted in Buildings and Places, Culture, Travelling around | Tagged: barge, beer, Big Society, Birmingham, boat, bogle, Bogle 2011, Bristol Road, Cadbury, Canal, Charity, Dragonfly, Floral, Hatton, JustGiving, lock, Midlands, NCN5, sponsorship, Stratford, The Wellington, Tribute, Walking | 3 Comments »
Posted by Alan on January 23, 2011
This year sees the 50th anniversary of Manchester RAG’s Bogle. Since getting involved with Manchester RAG as a student and running their 2006 beer festival, Bogle has been one of those events on the calendar. I’ve helped a few times as a marshal, driver, co-ordinator and in 2009 I tried walking. Sadly that time I neglected to do any training so after 29 miles, at the 5th checkpoint I gave in.
This time I am training… alongside one of my team mates for this year, Richard.
Angry skies above St Stephen's Tower
So the basic premise was this – we walk from our flat to Cask, Pimlico. (You seriously thought beer wouldn’t be involved somewhere right?). This took us across Walthamstow marshes, through the back of Hackney, right through Smithfield Market onto the Embankment finally widing through the back streets behind the Catholic Cathedral to the pub.
The protesters were apparently not evicted on Friday as decreed by the media...
Cask is a fantastic little pub, serving a wide selection of food and ales. Sadly for us we had essentially booked in for a (well-deserved and required!) pitstop for some food. And 2 half pints each. (It would be rude not to!)
Cask, Pimlico formerly Pimlico Tram
From here we headed south of the water to the places where Taxi’s infamously don’t go. Through Vauxhall, across to Elephant and Castle finally reaching the Draft House at Tower Bridge just as the sun had set. Cue more beer! Just the one pint though as after c. 17 miles we were both pretty tired. The calorific value of beer is probably helpful, but I am sure the alcohol isn’t!
Sadly recording all of the journey was a leap too far for my Nokia (it’s almost 2 years old now) – Sports tracker made it almost to E&C with us – it’s stats are below.
|Statistics – recorded by Nokia Sports Tracker…
|Distance recorded by GPS
Bogle is the first weekend in March so much more training required if I am to get around the full 55 miles. Of course, sponsorship information will appear in due course… 🙂
Posted in Charity starts at home, Travelling around | Tagged: bogle, Bogle 2011, C913, Cask, Charity, Clerkenwell, Dalston, Draft House, Hackney, London, Manchester RAG, Pimlico, pub, Tower Bridge, Walking, Walthamstow, westminster | 2 Comments »
Posted by Alan on November 6, 2010
I am not going to change my facial hair right now, despite various pleas from some of my work colleagues! However, some of my friends are doing the Movember thing this year so you could always sponsor them a bit.
Mark – http://uk.movember.com/mospace/1064846/
Jiten – http://uk.movember.com/mospace/527386/
Billy (cowfish) – http://uk.movember.com/mospace/524396/
Simon (8cw) – http://uk.movember.com/mospace/621300/
Maybe later this year I might do something…on the inverse. Sponsored shave for the new year anyone? I’m not sure I’d really really like the cold chin through…
Posted in Charity starts at home | Tagged: Cancer, Charity, Face, Hair, Movember, Mustasches, Prostate | 2 Comments »