Woke up this morning as a free agent! After deciding last year that I’d semi-retire in 2011 as a sixty year old, I gave notice and my contract terminated on 31 July. Of course, semi-retiral doesn’t exactly mean having nothing to do – just the freedom to do what you enjoy! I’m currently negotiating a part-time (one week a month) consulting contract and have a few of my own ‘projects’ lined up – but more about that later.
On the leisure front, I’ve been watching too much cycling recently – Tour de France on television and Tour de Pologne live here in Warsaw yesterday – and as result I’m looking for a new bike.
With fine weather and a fairly flexible hours, I’ve been clocking up a bit of mileage on my bike – up to 250km per week. It certainly has a lot of health benefits – my weight is down from obese to merely over-weight measured by BMI (Body Mass Index)! Getting down to what is normal by BMI, looks rather challenging if not down right impossible!
With a speedometer/mileometer mounted on my bike I thought I was going well until I saw the average speeds on the Tour de France, which was really quite thrilling this year. Meantime, a week after the finish of the Tour de France, the first stage of the Tour de Pologne finished in Warsaw on Sunday. All the big teams from the Tour de France were there, but none of the star riders.
Daughters Katharine and Lindsay, who saw the Tour de France some years’ ago said that the advertising caravan was very impressive with lots of goodies for the spectators – not so in Warsaw, I’m afraid. Sunday’s race finished with 8 circuits of a loop in south central Warsaw with each time almost 200 riders passing me in a flash! A breakaway of 6 riders who had built a lead of over 2 minutes were swallowed up on the last lap and the race finished with a sprint.
On my mountain bike I’ve done trips of up to 90km. Although I do use forest paths and tracks, there’s really not a huge amount of terrain round here where a mountain bike is necessary. They’re also not the fastest or most comfortable ride over long distances, so after a good deal of research on the Internet I’ve decided to get a touring bike. I’m expecting to buy something before I head off for a few days in the Mazury later this month. More on this later…