Off to Oz!

With fairly short notice, I have to fly to sunny Sydney on business today. It will be my first time in Australia, I’m quite looking forward to it. Though how much of Sydney I’ll get to see I’m not sure. I have a full week of meetings once I get to the office over there.

I will at least have the weekend beforehand to recover from the 26 hours travel time and cram in some site seeing.

I’ll try to blog more as I go along.

Google Moon

On July 20, 1969, man first landed on the Moon… Those clever folks over at Google have just launched Google Moon in honour of that day. Google have added lunar images to their Google Maps interface and added in some significant locations.

In honor of the first manned Moon landing, which took place on July 20, 1969, we’ve added some NASA imagery to the Google Maps interface to help you pay your own visit to our celestial neighbor. Happy lunar surfing.

Oh, and don’t forget to zoom in all the way to get the really close detail!

The Beeb Shall Inherit the Earth

Cory Doctorow claims The Beeb Shall Inherit the Earth over at Wired News. It’s a pretty good article talking about some of the things the BBC has been doing to open up its content to its audience.

America’s entertainment industry is committing slow, spectacular suicide, while one of Europe’s biggest broadcasters — the BBC — is rushing headlong to the future, embracing innovation rather than fighting it.

Unlike Hollywood, the BBC is eager and willing to work with a burgeoning group of content providers whose interests are aligned with its own: its audience.

I am full of admiration for the pioneers working there. Whilst I know they haven’t yet gone all the way with regards to Creative Commons licensing. They have been in close consultation with the UK and Scotland launches of the Creative Commons licensing process, and they have been working on some CC-like licensing, as well as getting clauses in the CC licences specifically addressing the BBC.

Around The Web and Other News

Ooh! Shiny! Google Maps UK. My home town. The scene of my accident. No satellite pictures yet 🙁

Google SMS UK. I explicitly signed up to the Google group hoping for an announcement about the SMS service starting in the UK. I guess they forgot to announce it.

I forgot to mention yesterday that I have now been smoke free for 2 years! Woot! Go Me!

Kim is back hosted on Go say “Hi!”

One Gigabit broadband to the home! Yes please! (Hat tip Om Malik)

On Yer Bike!

I knew as soon as I sold my last bike that I would want another one. Within three weeks of saying goodbye to the Hardrock Sport, I had a new Specialized Hardrock XC. Specialized Hardrock XC(Click the image for details.)

It’s less of a bike than the Hardrock Sport but that suits me fine. It doesn’t have front suspension negating the weight savings of the Aluminium frame or absorbing my energy when I power on. I miss those great disc brakes though, but maybe I’ll get them fitted on this one at a later date.

So I’m back riding after an 8-month break. I started off slowly. I cycled from home to train station in the morning. Then get the train to work. There’s no component at the other end, my office is next to the train station. I would then catch the train back to my local station and then cycle back home. A hair under 5 miles a day. A good start. It was no challenge at all.

I did two weeks of that and then decided I was ready to cycle all the way home in the evening. That journey home is eleven and a half miles! Much more of a challenge.

I was not surprised to find that the first couple of hills were very hard. They are short but steep. I soldiered on with some sections being quite a strain. But then, around half way home, I suddenly realized that it wasn’t hard work! I was cruising along at a comfortable 15mph, legs pumping but not working hard. Breathing was regular, not laboured. Just like 8 months ago. In all the journey took 55 minutes to do the 11½ miles.

I’m amazed at the human body. With the trip home from my previous job only 7½ miles and having had 8 months off the road I really thought I would struggle to do that distance . I guess my fitness levels must have been pretty high. The next four days were pretty much the same, though my time home got longer towards the end of the week. I think that first Friday’s journey took 65 minutes.

Since then, I’ve done another three weeks. I’m clocking up a little under 70 miles per week. The journey has become slightly easier. I have been consistently taking 55-60 minutes. Tonight was definitely under that. There is one stretch about ¾ of the way through that has been a real struggle, it is long hill. Not too steep, but quite long and with a steeper bit in the middle. A change of gearing strategy has helped there and I’m managing it better.

Over the next few weeks I want to increase my morning distance until I’m doing the whole journey by bike. That will be nearly 125 miles per week. That should keep me fit!