Outdoor Stuff

Garmin 3D Speed & Distance Test

Garmin Fenix 5+ in front of some trees

Not really sure if you should be using the 3D Speed or 3D Distance activity settings on your Garmin fitness watch? Me neither. But I’ve been spending quite a bit of time in the mountains recently, and with so much geography at my disposal felt it might be time for a little controlled experiment.

End2End Mountain Bike Race

Small image showing some mountain bikers at the start of a race

A couple of photos and some light reflection on my first ever formal mountain bike race, this year’s End2End challenge on the Isle of Man. This one’s been on my radar for quite a while now, but I’ve always found an excuse to duck out. Not any more.

First Lap of the Island

Map of Isle of Man showing an outline of the ride taken

Another box ticked, another itch scratched: ride around the Isle of Man in one go. I’ve been wanting to do this for a long time, and seeing as it wasn’t a race I took plenty of photos along the way. One or two of them may feature a bike …

Travelling Light(er)

Photo of an iPhone XS next to a Garmin Fēnix 5 Plus

In the never ending quest to reduce the size of my travelling kit I’ve found two new solutions, two reasons to leave the laptop at home more often: a keyboard that lets me type well using my phone, and an app that lets me plan hikes or runs for use with my Garmin fitness watch.

Garmin Fēnix 5 Plus

A selection of Garmin Fenix 5 Plus fitness watches

By no means an in-depth review, this is a page of my experiences after two weeks with Garmin’s new fitness wearable, the Fēnix 5 Plus. I take a look at the device’s performance with particular emphasis on heart rate monitor and GPS, and touch on some of the other observations while walking, hiking, running, and cycling using this £749 premium wearable.

Longest Day, Longest Ride

The LDLR is a charity 24 hour endurance mountain bike race held annually around the time of the Summer Solstice, and as it’s just up the road from us I thought I’d drop in and snap a few pics with my trusty, dusty DSLR.

Garmin Forerunner 920XT

My first foray into the world of fitness watches, I’m counting on this geeky chunk of (ahem) red plastic turning me into a lean, mean running machine. Included are some notes from a true beginner’s point of view and some basic retrospect comparisons to Apple Watch.

Of Fear and Loathing

Vintage photograph of a dude on a yellow folding Brompton bicycle

House of The Rising Sun plays on the radio while I’m sitting in Eat, a down-to-earth yet trendy cafe in downtown North Vegas, wondering what to make of their signature dish: Shrimp and Grits. I ordered it because I have no…

Paddling the Magna Carta

Flooded car park sign

The worst floods in 22 years have transformed historic Runnymede into a giant lake, complete with waterfowl and fools in small yellow kayaks. Many local residents are taking to the open seas in an effort to get the shopping in, and one or two just want to take their minds off the looming clean-up operation. I join the latter set, snatching a chance to paddle some public footpaths and see the area from a new perspective. Quick mooch over to The Runnymede Hotel? Be rude not to.

From Amazon Local to the local Amazon

Yellow canoe edges into perilous looking reeds

I’m standing in a car park with three canoeists comparing folding saws and hatchets. One of them has a scythe. This wasn’t strictly what I expected when I posted a note on a forum, but my new found friends seem to know what they’re doing so I resolve to sit at the back of the class and treat this as a learning opportunity. Within the hour I’m playing limbo with a tree, struggling through 2m tall reeds, and looking at a motorway from underneath. You sure we’re still in Chertsey?