Preparing for a Pilgrimage

So as I have mentioned (once or twice) this weekend is a Methodist Pilgrimage. The Methodists of Syston are heading to Epworth Old Rectory, home of the Wesleys. Five of us are planning to cycle the whole way (165 miles over 3 days) and another two are cutting out Leicestershire’s hills by starting and finishing at Newark-on-Trent (about 100 miles over 3 days). And yes you can still sponsor me! 🙂

I thought I had done a lot of the preparation but as the ride leader there has seemed to be a lot to do this week.

A friend is driving our car as a mobile support/rescue vehicle, so I have been sorting out tools and spares to cover lots of eventualities.

We are camping for Saturday and Sunday night, with cyclists, families and support team there are 17 of us at Trentfield Campsite, I volunteered to cook bacon rolls for everyone on Sunday and Monday and that plus our tent etc is going up in a caravan with more of the support team.

Meanwhile, I have been sorting out my own bike. While my Shand Stoater Bike for Life, was my first choice my knees have been so bad that I am using my road bike as the lighter weight should help save my knees. Following the Leicester Triathlon I have now taken off the tri bars, added three bags:

This will be my first ride with this combination of bags on this bike. So far they look great, I am very interested to see how well they work in practice.

I have also added my new and very bright See Sense rear light although I’ll swap it onto whoever is bringing up the rear of our group. Now I just have to put the mudguards back on (have you seen the weather forecast!).

It will also be my first ride with my Mio Link heart wristband so I’m very interested to see how well that works, sadly at the moment the heart rate is only picked up by my Garmin Edge and not by my Android phone or tablet.

For the first time too I am trying out live tracking of the ride, you will be able to follow us at http://42bikes.warnock.me.uk/tracking/ I can run the app on both my phone and my tablet so I’m hoping to get enough battery life even with the GPS on continually.

One thing I have not yet fully sorted out it getting data off my Garmin without my laptop. I’ll have one more try today, if it works I can get the rides onto Strava and Garmin Connect each day without having to take my laptop computer.

By the time of my sabbatical in 12 months time I hope that I’ll have a newer Garmin and they will have updated their website enough for live tracking to be possible with the Garmin picking up the heart rate and using my phone to upload both live tracking and daily rides. That will make a big difference, especially as on my Bike for Life I can charge USB devices while I ride using the dynamo.

Charging USB devices is getting to be a significant issue. For Jane and I this weekend we have the following USB devices:

  • 2 x Android Phones (Samsung S3 mini)
  • 2 x Exposure front lights (actually shouldn’t need to be recharged)
  • 2 x Garmin GPS
  • 1 x Android Tablet (Nexus 7)
  • 1 x Tecknet USB Battery
  • 1 x Camera (small Olympus)
  • 1 x Bluetooth keyboard for my Nexus 7
  • 1 x See Sense rear light (our other rear lights use rechargeable AA or AAA batteries and won’t need charging for just a weekend).

So 11 devices. They include 4 different connectors and two different charger outputs.

Fortunately by the time I take my sabbatical things should have got easier in terms of USB. On my Bike for Life both bike lights run straight off the dynamo. I am hoping the dynamo will be able to fully charge the Tecknet battery each day and maybe also put some charge into my phone and tablet. Hopefully then the Tecknet battery will be able to recharge/top up the tablet, garmin, camera, phone, bluetooth keyboard, bluetooth speaker and a tent light each night. Also that I’ll cut out at least one non standard USB connector (for the exposure lights).

I am taking my sabbatical coffee kit to try in real world conditions, I’m be happy to make anyone a coffee but they will have to grind the beans themselves (all those winds of the grinder handle for each one of 17 people sounds tiring) 🙂

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