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2011 WEEK 6



Welcome TO WEEK 6




THE holiday comparison site, ran a poll this week and found that young couples are now using all of their holiday entitlement for an extra long honeymoon. Some 65% said they are doing this so that they can travel to a far flung destination for more of an adventure. Couples are even asking for cash instead of traditional wedding presents so they can fund a big trip. Travelmatch’s founder Alex Francis says people see their honeymoon as a last chance of unfettered adventure before life takes over, “It’s great to see couples choosing to turn their honeymoon into the trip of a lifetime, allowing them to see the world and experience a bit of adventure before settling into married life,” he said. But it’s not just the young which are seeking adventure - the old are too according to Bupa’s ‘How are you Britain?’ report. The report shows that UK residents who are 60 or older are three times more likely to exercise every day than those in their 20s and that 14 per cent of over 60s exercise everyday versus just five per cent of 20-somethings. They’ve called these people AOPs (Athletic Old People) and for most of them, walking is the most popular form of exercise (79 per cent), followed by swimming (19 per cent) and cycling (13 per cent). However, some AOPs are going one step further and competing in adventure/endurance sports events too.  It’s very well being adventurous at start of life and towards the end of it but don’t forget the time in the middle too being active and adventurous should be life-long and both will help you live long too. See you in Week 7.





LEFT As far as GPS watches

go, the SpotWatch looks superb and has great functionality too


Nike’s new SportWatch records where we’ve run and can show the route on a map thanks to TomTom


EEPING tabs on how far we’ve ran outdoors is tricky unless we enjoy measuring distance on a map using a piece a string afterwards. BUt who has time for that eh? Garmin set the trend for GPS watches in 2005 with its Forerunner series but since then GPS receivers have become smaller in size and even more accurate. To date there have been 10 versions of the Forerunner showing how quickly the technology is developing. While the early watches were bulky the newest ones are a lot smaller and this neat looking offering from Nike, called the SportWatch, has been made in collaboration TomTom. The beauty of the SportWatch is that as well as showing us information about our run, it also shows where we’ve been by graphically mapping it out when we connect the unit up to a PC or Mac. Nike and TomTom hope we can use the system to find a perfect running route near to where we live by searching a catalogue of runs by location, length, difficulty and even landmarks. Nike’s existing iPod running apps (where a sensor is placed in the trainer) have already helped millions of people keep track of their training through the website www.nikeplus. com. By working with TomTom on this watch, the company can make

better use of the GPS technology. The watch has only three buttons and a Tap Screen for navigating through functions. During the run, it displays our time, distance, pace and calories burned. We can also customise the layout to only see the specific information we want. For example, if you’re interested in just how many calories you have burned, you can set this as the largest display. The SportWatch’s GPS receiver can also work in tandem with a shoe-based Nike+ Sensor to deliver even more accurate pace and distance data. Nike has built in some ‘motivating’ features into the watch too such as giving us recognition when we have set a personal record (Attaboys), encouragement at the end of a run and even a reminder to get off our backsides and start running if we haven’t used the watch in five days. We can also import personal records from an existing nikeplus account. A USB port under the watch strap let’s us connect it to a Mac or PC, which then launches the Nike+ interface and automatically transfers information to www. All we need now are turn-by-turn directions for our runs as well then... The Nike+ Sportwatch is set for a simultaneous UK and US release on April 1st (no April fool we promise). Expect to pay between £130-£190. Price will be confirmed nearer the launch.







The exploits of a round the world motorcycle trip have come to light in a new book

WE tend to think it’s modern day living which makes us want to escape but even back in 1954 there were those who dreamt of something more exciting. In 1954, 36-year-old Ernest Bell, a bus driver from Wadenhoe near Oundle decided to set out on a 26,000 mile round the world trip on a 1952 Norton Dominator. He kept a diary and took photographs but it’s only now his records have come to light after spending years in his sister-in-law’s attic. After the discovery last year, the diary was handed to her brother, Ian Whitehead, a motorcyclist himself, who was amazed by the story and decided to put together a book of Ernest’s diary entries which he has called ‘The Hard Way Round’. We have to remember that in 1954, there were no guidebooks or videos or travel advice to rely on to help plan a trip. When Ernest set out he did it on his Norton with just a map, basic supplies and no back up crew. The opportunity came about after he saw an advert in a weekly journal which stated “Overland to Australia, passengers wanted, start in August 1954’. It’s Ernest’s reply to the advert which will make us smile and he wrote, “Very interested in your proposed trip, though not so interested in sitting in a car all that way. Could I tag along

behind on my motorcycle?” The people behind the advert were looking to share costs to get to Australia and there were six of them riding on three bikes. Ernest rode with 21-year-old Valerie Wells, a short hand typist as his pillion. She had never been on a motorcycle before. They departed on Friday 13th August 1954 and planned to meet up with the other bikers in Vienna. The book, which is available from Ian for £7 including postage and packaging, gives us a true insight into what it was like to ride over these countries back in 1954 and Ernest’s style of short sentences detailing the daily vagaries interspersed with the more colourful aspects of the adventure is enjoyable to read. Many of the things which we face on modern day trips are also in this book; bad roads, poor fuel, finding places to stay and keep the bike safe, mechanical failures, illness and customs showing that these challenges will always remain.  In 2011 we can keep others informed with blogs but we write these in the knowledge that other people will read them instantly. Where Ernest’s diary wins is that it was written just for him and perhaps only he had a very small notion that a few others would ever get to read it. Interestingly his diary


Thurs. 26th - Moved off at 7am. No water for breakfast. Slight rain in the night. 146 miles covered. Atrocious roads. Stopped for water at a village, people very poor. Pigs, donkeys, goats etc around the house. Steep climb. Val took snap. Slept in a timber shed. Four boiled eggs for supper. ISTANBUL TO ANKARA

Wed 8th Sept - Awakened by Turk poking me opened eyes saw 5 standing around me. Discovered we were beside a big abattoir. Sun very hot good road flat across the plain. Climbed a big mountain, sea at the front. Very blue, lovely views. Stopped as Val said something was wrong. Discovered era mudguard cracked with weight. SYRIA

Mon 13th September - Terrible nights sleep. so hot and many mosquitos. Egg for breakfast. Was led into Beirut by a fellow on a 16H Norton. Found a Norton agent in the square, remembered the bike was out of petrol. Took me a mechanic to get rear springing fixed. 2 hr job cost 12 Syrian pounds. Left Beirut. Very very steep climb to mountain but lovely scenery. Machine got hot climbing. Am wondering if I’ll remember all details of little things, like near misses, people met, customs friendliness and visa versa. KABUL

Saturday 23rd October - Completed a a very steep climb, bike jibbed and then stopped. Just wouldn’t go. What to do, 25 miles from Kabul and no spark. Fiddled for 20 miles, no good. Stopped lorry driver and put bike on back of it. Beautiful scenery; snow capped mountains, very winding road, would never have made it on legs.


RIDE & DRIVE stopped after New Orleans but he recorded the rest of the journey in other documents. The pair arrived back in Kettering in time for Christmas 1955. Ernest wrote that people travelling abroad with the same groups as when they left their homes seemed to be “false travel” to him and he knew the motorcycle had got them to experience the world in a competely


different way. He wrote, “I am sure that Val and I would have missed an awful lot had it not been on a motorcycle, because not only was it our only means of transport, it was our passport amongst all of the wonderful people we met on route.” To buy a copy of the book email or call 01490 64370


Thursday 2nd December - Woke up in the early hours cold. Ship rolling very badly. At docks, caught bus to Perth. Went to Norton agent, boy said he would start me tomorrow as a mechanic. Struck with the smartness of people. AUSTRALIA

19 January - Worst 140 miles so far; reached Balladonia and camped. Petrol fellow told us no more corrugations, but I was dubious.


RIGHT Epic views of Africa from the air await a group of private pilots setting out on a flying adventure like no other





Sam Rutherford is leading a group of light aircraft pilots on a flying adventure south across the length of Africa starting this week “WE’LL be flying down the east coast of Africa and then returning by the west coast and the centre,” explains Sam in his usual cheery but matter-of-fact manner. The former Army helicopter pilot flew this Trans-Africa route a few years ago but this week he will be joined by pilots who have paid to join in. Sam takes care of the all the organisation such as overflight clearances, fuel, hotels, transport and food and just like other guided holidays it means the pilots can concentrate on the flying without any of the extra stresses if they’d organised the trip themselves. Such is the nature of this flying safari, it’s unlikely that anyone else apart from Sam could make it happen though! The group departs from Paphos in Greece on Friday 11th February and the route will take them through Egypt to Sudan and Ethiopia. A week later they’ll fly past Kilimanjaro in Tanzania and over the Serengeti. They’ll then take in the

incredible beaches at Bazaruto and continue on over the Kruger National Park and across to Stellenbosch on February 28th for a well earned eight to twelve day rest and a chance to service the aircraft. The adventure then continues on March 14th with a 18-day northbound route through the centre of Africa to finish in Ibiza. Eight aircraft are signed up, including a helicopter, and Sam cannot wait to get going. He said, “It’s going to be a great trip, the southbound takes us through some of the most beautiful areas in the world, the northbound takes us through some of the most inaccessible places on earth. In Africa, everything is possible - probable, even.” Sam is running other flying safaris in Libya and Algeria later this year including a special safari aimed specifically at helicopter pilots. See more online:


ABOVE Sam’s aircraft ‘Never Say Never’ parked up at Stellenbosch







Cessna Mooney Robin Robinson DynAero Grumman Piper Cessna

T303 M20 DR400 R44 MCR4S AA5 PA28 C206

Tucker Maeterlinck Gosling Cortazzi Moon Clarcke Catzeflis Polzer


T he route... LYBIa





namibia 13

THE BEAR ESS Check out BG’s new app which gives survival advice through videos, photos and games “I’D love a kit room like that,” says 28-year-old Nigel Burgham, a trainee schoolteacher and Bear Grylls fan as we watch one of the videos in Bear’s latest app. “Some of the clothing he’s got looks great too. Is that a Bear Grylls parang blade as well?” says Nigel. It’s a Sunday afternoon in January and we’re stuck indoors so it’s an ideal time to play with ‘The Bear Essentials’, a new app which expands on the survival tips given in Bear’s TV series but made interactive thanks to the touch screen of an iPhone, iPod Touch and iPhone. Bear isn’t expecting people to pull out this app to help them in a moment of crisis (although the SOS function does do that) instead, he hopes that while we’re on the train, waiting for a bus or sitting at home we can learn about survival methods that will teach us how to adapt to the wild should we ever find ourselves in that situation. Bear says he has put a lot of his own personal touches into the app and with the help of experienced developers he’s produced something worthy of us adding to our ‘adventure’ collection. Bear said, “The goal was to nicely blend all the best, most functional aspects from my TV shows and books into an interactive instruction manual and mobile tool kit all rolled into one. This really could one day save your life! Enjoy!” So far it’s certainly made Nigel’s life more fun. “It’s a big app,” he says. “There’s just so much in it but everything is accessed through the bottom bar so it’s really well laid out.” The tabs along the bottom of the app are divided into: SOS, ESSENTIALS, TOOLS, MORE and CRYSTAL. ESSENTIALS gives us 18 chapters of survival skills. Each chapter is made up of small nuggets of information which you slide across with you finger much like revision cards - and the cool thing is that icons for a video clip or photo gallery appear as you go along. For example, you’ll read a slide about how to light a fire and you can then watch a video clip from Bear showing how to do it. Nigel says, “The film clips are 5 to 10 seconds long and they get straight to the point which I really like. The photos are all really high quality too with some taken from his past TV series. There’s so much here. I’ve already used the knot section, there are about 10 of the most important ones and the videos of Bear showing how to tie them have really helped.” Under the TOOLS tab are a compass, watch and rescue light. Both the compass and watch have a night setting which illuminates in the dark. So far this has given Nigel the most fun. “I tried it out walking back from the pub in the dark the other night,” he says. “It’s really cool. I’ve also used the watch on my iPad on my desk at work. I don’t like that it ticks though so I turn the volume off.” The rescue lights turn the screen white, red or green which you can then use to illuminate things like a map (red light to save night vision) although Nigel hasn’t tried these out yet. You can also turn the LED light on the back of the iPhone here too and use it as a torch. The MORE tab gives a long list of websites you can visit such as the Scouts, Craghopper clothing, Gerber tools, the Discovery Channel and so on whilst CRYSTAL lets you access mini-games but you need to be signed up to that first.



SENTIALS The SOS mode is what makes this app become a real survival aid though because if you shake your iPhone it opens up a page where you can SEND SOS. This sends a text message or email to friends or family along with your lat and a long co-ordinates if you get into difficulty. You can set this up to send to as many people you want. Nigel shakes his phone to demonstrate and up comes the normal iPhone message screen along with the message for his girlfriend. “Oops. I hope that hasn’t just sent,” he says to me. He checks, then sees it hasn’t and that you have to manually press the button to activate it. “Whoever’s come up with this app hasn’t scrimped on the details,” adds Nigel. “I love it. I just need more practise lighting the fire with the touch screen flint and then blowing into the microphone to get the flames going.” ’Bear Grylls: The Bear Essentials’ is now on sale in the Apple App Store for £3.99

LEFT Slides show you how to

light a fire MIDDLE The compass and

watch displays are great fun to play with especially in the dark BOTTOM Try out the mini

games including one where you have to light a fire


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Week 6  

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