Monthly Archives: February 2009

Planes crash

It is, unfortunately, a fact of life.  And as the Stereophonics wrote “the more you fly, the more you risk your life”.  Today tragically saw the loss of 9 lives in Schiphol, Amsterdam.  It is unclear what happened at the moment, but the lack of fire on a broken up plane usually suggests that there wasn’t any fuel present.  Pure conjecture though.

I fly lots.  And I love flying.  Great fun.  Even airports are kind of cool, even when you are stuck in them (which is crap at the time, but airports – or big airports, have an energy and an excitement).  Last year I flew about 60 times.  I would say four fifths of those flights were Star Alliance flights.  The plane in Amsterdam today was.  The plane in the Hudson was, and the horrific crash in Spain was.  Does it worry me?  No.  The loss of life is tragic, and awful, but I still feel perfectly safe.

I have just talked to The Pretty One about just this.  She suggested getting (as a joke) a parachute as hand luggage.  Can you imagine security checking that?

“what’s this?”

“A parachute”

“Planning on leaving early are you sir?  Step this way please.  Your passport….. no you wont be needing that anymore today”.

As for the alternatives to flying – there really aren’t any.  Trains are good, but a little too unpredictable.  Cars – well, that really is (statistically) roulette.

Next flight for me is Sunday.

The rules change

People don’t speak to other people in London. Entering into conversation on public transport labels you weird and a freak. It unsettles people. That is unless it is the last tube or train of the night on a Saturday. The trains are high-spirited, with a heady, drunken mix of people dashing home, and people avoiding cab fares. On these trains, strangers will obstruct the doors preventing the train moving off before as many people as possible are aboard. People who would ignore each other on any other day if the week sit and chat about their evenings. So last night, on my way back from Sosho this is how I ended up wearing some strangers wig!

Pictures on application!

On a bus now, traveling from Turin, up into the mountains for a week’s skiing with The Pretty One.

Italy – my 6th country in 2009.

Back to London

Writing this from the tube on my way back home from the airport. I flew into London City, which on reflection was a mistake. Heathrow Is about 15mins from our house on a good day, but instead I chose rush hour London on the tube. Nowhere near home and have been on the ground an hour! On the other hand travelling on the Tube, particularly taking the central line to Ealing Broadway (one of the end stops) reminds me of when I used to work centrally any my rest weeks from training when I would take the Tube to work. The peope on the tube amaze me. Thousands of very very indistinguishable people, utterly bored by their tube journey. The Tube too impressed me, in that it works at all – it is so old and overcrowded. Those of you using it on a daily basis, you deserve respect.


A very busy day today, well in the morning at least.  Then it got a lot quieter.

This show is too big, and is simply 16 halls of stuff.  It is impossible to see all of it.

What surprises me is that I don’t consider this to be my industry, but that I seem to have friends at the exhibition who I have bumped in to at quite a few expos…

I will post a series of photos once I get back.

Winter ISPO Munich Germany

The company I work for isn’t only about bike, we do a pretty cool line in Outdoor and Winter Sport backpacks. It is these packs which are being presented by us at the show. The International Sales Manager Outdoor argued that although it isn’t my area, speaking fluent German and being an English native speaker I am the ideal person to work the show. It is my own fault. I presented and explained the system here two years back to him when he came to our stand and encountered the company for the first time.

The Outdoor market is a little alien to me. There is some crossover but I am really only at the very edge of it. This makes the show interesting because it is different and I feel a lot like an outsider looking in. What amazes me though is the variety of sports covered, and the way that sports evolve. Take slack lining for example. Like tightrope walking but on an tensioned nylon band, it has brought what was a circus trick to a wider and more radical audience. That this is presented next to a company doing hiking boots adds to the flavour meaning that there is a real mix. I do feel a little like a fish out of water. My huge skiing experience (twice – both last year) helps very little though.

It is all, however, pretty cool.