AdamChamberlin.info

Welcome to the online playground of Adam Chamberlin. Head of digital development for Mackman Group.

2013 - The year of the cycle

During the festive period I started looking towards the New Year and calendar for the next few months.

Turns out it is all going to be about cycling. Starting off with my attempt at becoming a Level 2 British Cycling Coach.

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Time to clean house

It would appear the the sport of professional cycling has imploded over recent weeks. Every day greets us with a new press release stating a riders admission to doping, a team manager stepping down or a contract being terminated.

So what do we as cyclists do?
Well my first task is to try and defend my sport and hobby to the football fraternaty at work, which is easier said than done. All the negative press is overwhelming and the novice to the sport would not be mistaken to believe that every cyclist out there is tainted; they probably think I’m on something just to cycle into work. After such a successful summer where cycling was the topic of many conversations it would appear the darkness is creeping in and I don’t just mean the colder nights.

I will be honest, the only reason I bought a road bike was after watching an American cyclist climb Ventoux. I was inspired to get out there and try cycling, so in one respect that is a positive for the sport in general. But as each report emerges that idol status demishes, until you are left disheartened and thinking you should have purchased that football kit instead. I’m certain every cyclist will have to face this truth at some point; the one person you look up to in the sport has actually been cheating it from the inside. Kind of makes you wonder about the future.

So where do we go from here?
We keep hearing comments around ‘I knew it was going on’ or 'yeah everyone knew…’ so why now is everyone suddenly feeling the need to talk or confess? Could this be the house of cards finally falling down to reveal a cleaner  leaner sport? Let’s hope so. I think there will still be a few hard climbs left but with more 'BOOM’ moments but with each one comes a continued effort to show how much better the sport and industry behind it can be. The future now falls in the hands of the current young green riders. People who have joined the new bread of clubs with their transparent training and doping programs. They know the damage inflicted on the sport and loyalty lost by the fans with each confession. They have adopted this new way of taking the sport forward.

Here is to the new riders of a cleaner sport, long may you inspire us and get another generation out there on two wheels.

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Look ma I'm blogging

Talk about a long time coming. Looking back the last time I sat down with digits at keyboard was over three years ago, that is quite a while in Internet time.

Well since that time I’ve changed jobs, bought a house and started a family. Maybe taking time out is good for the soul, it has helped me.

However I have missed having that little outlet for my thoughts, the online scratch book so to speak. But life has changed and so should this blog, hence why it is now hosted on Tumblr. Whilst I enjoy trying to write the need for a medium that caters for quick updates is more important; plus it’s good to try something different.
So expect a different format and hopefully a few more updates.

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March Milage

Total cycling commuting miles for March: 349.8

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My first event of 2009

Yesterday I completed my first cycling event of 2009. Whilst the CCS Reliability Ride is not really a race, it is also a bit more than the Sunday club runs. Before the event I decided I would have fun and ride round with other CCS club members, but half way round that plan changed and it turned into an ‘eyes out’ dash to the finish. The morning started with driving rain and a temperature just above freezing. I headed out to the start to find the number of riders down on last year, but given the weather it’s not surprising. Still I signed up for the longer 48 mile route but opted for the slower cut off time of three and a half hours. The weather did not get any better throughout the day, in fact knowing the route I realised that the last leg home would be directly into the wind. Around the 20 mile mark we came down Semer hill, which is an 11% descent; not something seen in Suffolk very often. I started the decent on the back of the group but my fixed wheel momentum meant I soon passed the pack and onto the two lead riders; Viv and John. They however saw this passing as a challenge and increased their pace. I saw this increase in pace and raised them a few rpm. Within two miles we had dropped the rest of the group and were the only three cyclists visible on the wet country roads. The going was good with the wind behind us, it even felt like the rain had lifted. But we were still heading away from the finish. There is a slow long incline coming out of the village of Hitcham and then the road feels like it climbs all the way to Great Finborough. It was at this point I just put my head down and dug in. At first I was not trying to drop the other two, just find a good rhythm and keep momentum. When I passed into Finborourgh I looked back to see quite a gap and something inside made me push on rather than wait. Despite knowing that I was entering the return leg and a group would stand a better change in the headwind, I pressed on. When I finally turned into the wind heading back towards Lavenham and then Sudbury I was running on reserve energy levels, I had not bought any food with me as it was going to be a leisurely ride. All I had was a some water and the odd bit of road grit, a bonk was looking inevitable. At one point my vision was so blurry it was a job to see the road let alone keep a bike upright. Plus the single speed fade was wearing thin; all I wanted to do was change gear and let up a bit. Pride is a very powerful emotion and it was the only reason I did not let up. I knew my pace had dropped right off, I was waiting to hear Viv’s voice behind me as he passed. But pride kept my legs turning and I soon rolled back into the start/finish hut. I only had time for a tea and a bit of cake (I need to replenish some energy levels quickly) before Viv arrived. My time was 2hours 57minutes only three minutes ahead of Viv.

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Macworld; What Happened?

I love all Mac related events, it’s a time that new shiney gadgets are unveiled and I work out how I can purchase them. This years Macworld event started off with the shock of Apple pulling out and the main man Steve not performing another Steve-note. But nothing compared to the actual event! Let’s sum it up: iLife, iWork, iTunes DRM free and 17" MacBook Pro. Honestly I do use iWork so I’m interested in that, not sure if web sharing is as cutting egde as they think. Just don’t build it on iDisk foundations! But come on, is that it. Where is the updated Mac Mini, cinema screens, iMac revisions, the excitement! I was really looking forward to a AppleTV related ‘one more thing’ but alas nothing. Steve was right to spend the time with his family.

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Happy New Year

As the World crashes into 2009 I dust off my keyboard. Nope not really I’m out somewhere enjoying myself but it felt about right to post a little note just to say have a good New Year’s.

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Back on my bike

That’s right after a two year break I’m back on my bike and taking on the UK again. In 2006 I cycled from Lands End to John O'Groats, in 2008 I’m take the south bound road and cycling from John O'Groats to Lands End. This time around I’m hoping to raise money for the Breakthough Breast Cancer charity following on from my own personal encounters with the disease. Please feel free to donate any spare change. I’m joining forces with David and Harry again and hope to finish the journey in seven days. Not as fast as last time but apparently the weather will be against us most of the way; prevailing winds and all that business. Plus I’ve not ridden a bike any distance since… well the last time, so I’m expecting any ground breaking performances. Of course I would not be a the geek that I am if I did not make something of it.

To which I present you with the Long Cycle Down web site. Yes I was watching Ewan and Charlie when registering a domain name. Please drop by and offer some support or make a donation.

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Brighten Up The Office

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If your lucky you have an office instead of a cubical. If your really lucky you have an office that is well looked after and painted in some subtle tones to inspire a relaxing working environment. If your me you end up in a studio with a bright yellow wall behind you and a bright blue to your right. This does not provide a perfect environment for the Creative Services crack team that is Jim Brown and myself. So in a Friday afternoon moment it was decided that we should spark the place up a bit, but rather than just obtain artwork or posters from the nearest shop we should think about it. What better excuse than to make some South Park avatars of ourselves and post up with something that matched.

Jim Brown

Jim

Jim went with the heavy metal scene, no seriously he is that much of an AC-DC and Maiden fan.

Adam Chamberlin

Adam

Next it was my turn, I opted to keep it simple the only problem I found was that there was no iPhone accessory only an iPod.

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What a busy few months

Wow looking back at my site the last article I wrote was nearly 4 months ago. Damn the time flies when your on the cross roads of life and life changing decisions mean you have to take a break and access where your going. So if you know me or have followed this blog you will no doubt know that I work as a sales development manager for Oscar Products; a small local packaging wholesaler. Unfortunately thanks to this sudden movement in the “save the environment and don’t use a carrier bag” inspired by the Daily Mail and green movements. Now I’m not going to start the whole debate of should you do this or that with your packaging, but what I will say is that this sort of information damages. The damage this time around was the downturn in business for Oscar Products; so much so that there had to be some serious cost reductions to keep the company afloat. One of those costs was me. So instead of enjoying the beginnings of the summer I spent May trying to reflect on life and contemplating my options given that as of the 1st June I will be made redundant. Obviously the first step was to get my name on the local recruitment agencies and employment services. But my second step was to decide what I wanted to do as I saw this as a second chance. Of course my love for the internet came to the front so I started looking for a job in this industry. Easier said than done when you have no portfolio and nothing much to show for your time, so after a few set backs I sat down with Lucy and we talked about my options, we decided I need to start at the bottom again and work my way up; build a career and a suitcase of projects. In stepped Prolog; a local company but a National leader in logistics and fulfillment. Around Sudbury if you mention Prolog most people think you work on the Tiscali broadband call centre, however there is so much more to the company; one of those is a Creative Services studio that produces printed and new media in the forms of web sites. Turned out they needed a web developer, that also doubled up as a studio assistant with the printed stock. The salary was not right but the opportunities and inspiration was just what I was looking for. June 1st I started as the new web developer at Prolog. Within the first few weeks I was working on a printed magazine and experiencing Quark Express for the first time. A month on I’m producing company documents and helping the studio manager produce a national magazine. I’m now two months into my new job and so far it is looking great. So much so that I’m able to sit back down in the evenings and enjoy my time. Which will hopefully mean I can blow the dust off this site and get writing again.

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