Friday, 27 February 2009



Two years ago in February 2007 I launched this blog mostly as a way of keeping me on track to do my LEJOG bike ride the following summer. I figured that if I went public in this way I would have to follow through! It was also a way of getting support and sponsorship for that ride.

When the ride was completed it all felt a bit anti climactic. I wondered should I start a new blog and what to base it on. Then when I was in Bangalore in January 2008 I felt a real urge/need to blog again and it felt useful just to run further with this blog rather than attempt to set a whole new one up. So I am glad I made that choice.

The thanks is about you my readers. Today the hit rate passed 3000. I don't check out who reads me and how often some of you re-visit so I don't really know how many visitors I have had. I do know that most of you are from the UK but there are regular hits from the US and then a whole range of curious (to me) visitors from China, Brazil, Belgium, Singapore and from friends in Kenya.

What I have tried to do in this blog is to write stuff that matters to me about biking, spirituality, the Pets and as a place for my poems and using Frankie, the Boss, Tracey, Len to reflect parts of me and things that interest me that I can't say as William or Bill-on-bike.

Thanks for your visits, feel free to post comments on the blog if you like or email me off blog.

Best to all,


Frankie's tale of woe

Frankie here! Me and the Boss were on holiday for a few days in the Lake District would you believe and no there was no cruisin'(!) unless you count the car ferry on Lake Windermere. Whilst we were there we nearly came to blows because the Pets were on the Brits for a Lifetime Achievement Award at the same time as the Boss' football team Villa were in the Uefa cup!

Well I had tipped off Tracey to video it for me, and then of course we couldn't even get Channel 5 on the TV - Channel 5 that just shows you how important Villa are! (Watch it Frankie, I can delete this nonsense - The Boss). OK so the TV execs have no sense of the utmost importance and sheer elegance of the Aston Villa team brilliantly coached by Martin O' Neil (Enough - The Boss).

Where was I? Oh yes the Pets, so I switch my laptop on on Friday morning and at the amazing Pet site - I find a great link to their new album and a great Youtube Brits influenced video but also news of 2 new gigs - one at the Apollo in Manchester the other in London. Bliss or it would be expect that the Apollo is already sold out. Woe is me!

Love and kisses,


Wednesday, 25 February 2009



Cycling through the mist
On my way
To meet you

I feel on the edge
Of another world

In the not choosing
There is no road less travelled

But my bike
Seems to have other ideas

And so we meet again
But this can't go on for forever
Can it?

Tuesday, 10 February 2009

February made me shiver

Back on the bike after such strange weather snow and frost and so cold. Two people I know both had accidents recently both broke their hips falling off their bikes in icy weather.This morning it was milder beautiful colours in the sky pinks and yellows and grey as the clouds caught the sunshine. It was good to be alive.

It's been a trying time, it seems like any further development of my Kenyan work in terms of recruiting any new students is blocked for now. I am still endlessly figuring it and looking for ways through but it looks blocked, and I am tired. So unpromoted and thwarted with regards to Kenya I am having to remind myself of the work that I do enjoy doing with my students and colleagues.

I was thinking today, on the bike, as I often do about my LEJOG (Lands End End to John O'Groats for new visitors) bike trip two years ago. What a mad thing to do! I was reasonably well prepared but heck. I have a whole series of inner photographs of the extraordinary landscapes I saw. I want so much to go back and soak up the beauty more deeply but that means biking it I guess and doing it slowly. It was like an extended retreat. I want to do it or something similar again soonish but it will have to wait. I guess it is time for another dayout on the bike today would have been perfect if the weather stayed the same but I suspect we have rain and possibly snow again on the way.


Thursday, 5 February 2009

Cycling in the snow and being white

It was fun cycling in the snow today. I couldn't bear driving or catching the bus. The snow was falling lightly and the main roads were clear. It was exhillarating and my spirits rose. I have just finished my second course of antibiotics and had my first night's sleep without painkillers. My jaw and teeth feels bruised like I have been in a fight so I am hoping my tooth trouble is over for now.

I have just heard it is still sunny and warm in Kenya! I think they get pleasure out of hearing about our snow and chaos! I love the way a bit of snow humanises us and changes everything. I was once stuck in the snow miles from home in a massive jam of cars for about 5 hours. It was strange but not that bad, I asked a passerby to ring Sheila for me and I sat in a stranger's car for a couple of hours having one of those inconseqential late night conversations. Suddenly we were no longer English!

We have just done a brilliant session with Colin Lago on cross cultural issues and it has led me to think how complicated we white English are. (OK I can claim some of my Welsh heritage and relate how my Dad used to say my moodiness was down to my bad Welsh blood!) But there is so much unspoken about being English. Like we all do class but pretend we don't but I notice white English people's class and region of origin straight away its almost instinctual but never talked about. I have always felt on the edge of class which is probably why I notice it so much. I don't identity as middle class (even though I am objectively - educated, Guardian reading etc)but I was brought up to know I wasn't working class although a lot of my upbringing was around working class people. So I know this stuff as an outsider. I didn't go to Oxbridge because I didn't want to deal with class there, plus I couldn't wait to escape from home.

Enough for now,

Bill on bike

Monday, 2 February 2009

Strange Days

These are strange days. I am on my second course of antibiotics for gum infections and had a back tooth removed last Monday and have been taking pain killers regularly for about a fortnight now. In the midst of this my application for promotion fell at the first hurdle i.e. my senior colleagues in my school did not back me. This smarts and I am hurt and anger and of course the dumb inner critic voice is having a field day. Meanwhile yesterday I managed to sit on my glasses and bend the frame!

However, Grace and I were at the Family Choir yesterday and it lifted my spirits. And Sheila took my glasses in to the opticians this morning whilst I was once more travelling through the snow to the dentist. The Optician just warmed up the frame and straighted it out. The dentist reckons I am on the mend at last!

And have you seen Venus so close to the the crescent moon? It takes my breathe away. I have been looking up Johannes Kepler on wikipedia recently because he developed 3 laws of planetary motion in the 17th century which Newton drew on. When Kepler figured out that planets travelled around the sun in an eliptical orbit he thought that the elegance of the mathematics involved was a sign that God exists. Why not, says I?

I went to a funeral on Saturday of a marvelous woman called Margaret Bayes who was 94when she died and a great Quaker and a lovely caring figure before and after Grace was born. I cried quite a bit like I do, and couldn't managed to say anything.

My new keyboard at work has created quite a stir and there has been a lot of talent displayed by my colleagues. It is a crazy notion to have a keyboard at work but why not. I want to deconstruct what work is all about. A song at the Family Choir yesterday had lyrics "Sing with joy when you work/work with joy when you sing"