September 2022 Stats

With the Schwinn’s arrival came physiotherapy, pain consultations and then experiments with Apple Fitness+, the first year’s free subscription to Bowflex’s JRNY app, and a trial of FulGaz.  The latter two are different from Fitness+ in that Apple are offering different duration classes only whereas the other two offer virtual rides using video of the actual routes.

In FulGaz’s case, they are adaptive workouts: speeding up or slowing down the videos to suit your pace/power which the app reads from the Schwinn.  They’re also linked to my Garmin f?nix 7S for my heart rate.

The other benefit of using FulGaz is that after each ride, it emails you a FIT file which you can import into Garmin Connect giving you the full details of the ride.  JRNY does not do this, sadly.

So hitting the Schwinn every has been beneficial for me, but also for my weight which has been coming down slowly, thereby improving the load on my knee.

Here’s my stats for the 399km – mainly virtual/indoor – in September 2022:

September 2022 Statistics

August 2022 Stats

We were still out in Corralejo for the first half of August 2022.

Back in London, it was a case of hammering the cheapo indoor bike, thinking we’d buy a Peloton bike when we move to Surrey and have a bigger garage and separate gym.  The Amazon special was OK, but I couldn’t stand up on it despite the Apple Fitness+ trainers suggesting I could.

And then a couple of things happened: a news article about Peloton’s losses being “an existential threat” made us think about whether a Peloton would be a good idea after all. They’re very expensive and rely on a paid subscription to Peloton if you want to do the guided rides (which I had really enjoyed in Big Sur).  If they went bust, the screen would effectively be useless and the purpose of the really expensive bike would go with them.

I looked at what Apple recommended/were using for their Fitness+ workouts and they were Schwinn bikes.  In the UK they’re supplied by – amongst others, I’m sure – Fitness Superstore and they had an offer on the Schwinn 800IC (formerly the IC8): already listed at half list price, they had an additional 10% off for the Bank Holiday weekend, so I pressed the button on one for delivery in early September.

Here are the stats for my 266km in August 2022:

August 2022 Stats

HMRC Making Tax Digital

There’s a lot of hoo-har over that utter shitshow that is Brexit and some of it is due to the many levels of bureaucracy forced upon British exporters now we’re no longer in the EU.  This, of course, despite the promises by the Brexshitters that leaving would get rid of all that red tape and make us more prosperous.

Well that same degree of fuckwitted belligerence applies to HMRC.  A few years back, they decided that it would be a good idea to roll out a new policy called “Making Tax Digital”:

“Making Tax Digital is a key part of the government’s plans to make it easier for individuals and businesses to get their tax right and keep on top of their affairs.”

Utter bollocks!

Originally, there was a threshold for turnover before you’d be forced to submit VAT returns in the way the HMRC demanded, but that threshold was shelved, so now, if you’re VAT-registered than you have to submit them their way.  The roll-out was delayed by COVID-19 – who knows why – but it’s up and running now.

I was self-employed for many years and was VAT-registered as 95% of the work I was doing was B2B (business to business).  For the last 14 years I’ve been employed but still do a minimal amount of work freelance, so I charge VAT and claim it back on the expenses I incur.

Copies of all invoices in and out are stored in folders on my computer (and backed up) and the calculations for my VAT returns (and indeed Self-Assessment) are entered manually on a spreadsheet.  I used to then enter the numbers on the VAT return online and voila! Straight after the end of the VAT period, in they went and I either paid out the VAT or reclaimed it.

But not any more.  I’m not allowed to do this myself. I have to keep records (like I already do) with an ‘audit trail’ (like I already do) but now I have to link my numbers through to a new spreadsheet or solution offered by one of the 196 providers of this so-called “bridging software”. By “offered” I mean “sold” either on a one-off basis or more often on an ongoing basis, costing hundreds of pounds a year … off my profit. That’s if the software works on your system: PWC’s, for instance, only works on a Windows computer and not a Mac, and costs £144 a year.  At least PWC say how much it is; some of their competitors don’t.

I’m away for a few weeks overseas every few weeks (in the EU and back four of five times a year) and as I’m writing this, I’m ready to submit a VAT return but cannot because the HMRC will only send my new username and password to me by post and I need to enter that in the bridging software so that my figures from my spreadsheet go via another spreadsheet to HMRC’s VAT portal.

You know, the one I used to copy the numbers into before and for zero extra cost…

July 2022 Stats

July 2022 was spent out at our home in Corralejo, Fuerteventura.

This meant I could use the mountain bike I have out there for lots of bike rides and the occasional walk – rather than vice versa – and I racked up around 250km that month:

July 2022 Statistics

 

Video Nasty

“Viewer Discretion Advised”, as our colonial cousins might say.

I’ve had some footage from the CCTV camera at the Badgers at Petworth that show the crash that killed me for a short time and led to some permanent, “life-changing” injuries for quite a while. I first received it during my legal action against the driver of the Yaris which was eventually settled last year, but them he seemed to develop some whiplash injury and decided to sue me after hanging on to some Doctor’s report for a couple of years.

That’s now settled too, so I thought I’d upload the video so the more mawkish amongst you could see it.

Anyway, here it is:

 

Remember Me?

Well a lot has happened since the last update in April 2019, the main things being a crash with life-changing injuries and a global pandemic.

So in chronological order, there was a road traffic collision in July 2019 between a car (knobhead) and a motorcycle (me) which ended up costing me two fingers on my left hand and a lifetime of pain. The main injuries are outlined in this blog post, but it meant that after I left hospital and started walking again, I couldn’t grip a handlebar, so motorbikes and pushbikes weren’t on the agenda for a year or two.

Whilst I was recuperating and working full time, COVID-19 came along and we ended up working from home.  Given the Brompton was intended mainly for my commute, cycling up and down the stairs between my bed and my desk wasn’t really an option, and so it languished in the garage.

We were intending to buy a villa in Corralejo, Fuerteventura and live there for part of the year but that gift that keeps giving – Brexit – got in the way, so we can only spend 90 out of every 180 days (on a rolling basis) in the Schengen Area and we didn’t get residency due to COVID-19 lockdowns – Spanish and British – stopping us from being able to prove residency to the satisfaction of the Spanish Government (what a wonderful Catch 22 situation).

So we are renting the villa on a ‘rent to buy’ basis and I thought the Brompton would be great to nip to the shops on, so bought a padded travel bag to fly it across. We then decided two things: we would actually hire a car for the full duration of our stays; and that we would both need a bike, so a couple of mountain bikes were bought and that’s what I’m using out here at the moment, racking up 208km so far at the time of writing.

The Brompton remains in the garage…

We are buying a house in Surrey now, near to a railway station, so you never know: I might possibly use it when/if I have to go into London for work. If not, then it may be up for sale…

June 2022 Stats

Back in June 2022, I was walking for fitness but was having a lot of pain in my bad knee, the one that I’d seen a consultant about back in 2012 who said I should stop running … before I ran the Berlin Marathon and a couple of half-marathons.

I had been recommended cycling, so was trying to introduce more of this into my training and then went to the USA in early June to do the Pacific Coast Highway. While we were there, I tried a Peloton fitness bike in a really expensive hotel we stayed at in Big Sur and started looking into buying one, just before seeing my consultant again.

He again recommended some weight loss and half an hour every day on a bicycle, with a recommendation for a cheap static bike.  That got me into finally using Apple Fitness+ and 30 minute rides.

So, here are my stats for June 2022.

June 2022 Stats

MoT 2022

Whilst I was in the USA doing the Pacific Coast Highway in a 5.0L V8 Mustang Convertible, I thought it was long overdue for Blue Rex to have some care and attention, so it was off to Larry at PDQ to give it a good fettle and its MoT.

And it really was a good fettle: the old Datatool alarm was finally consigned to the bin, as was the battery. The carbs were basically overhauled and a couple of pipes and o-rings were replaced. There was a new chain and sprocket set. There was a new set of tyres to replace those that were on there that were many years old and had all the grip of Donald Trump.

It was then MoT’d and it passed with a mileage of 19,462 which was 40 miles up from last year’s and was basically the mileage out of London to PDQ.

Whilst at PDQ, Larry whacked it on the dyno to see how it measured up, some 11 years after the team at PDQ had breathed on it. 154.89bhp at 10,100rpm (158.37bhp) and 90.5lb/ft of torque at 7,830rpm (91.5lb/ft), 2011 figures in brackets.

2022 Dyno Results

It’s a new dyno – so not necessarily a true like-for-like comparison – but it’s still close to what it was putting out before, which is pleasing.

I used my disabled person’s Freedom Pass to get there, so it cost me nothing and the ride back was lovely: back in a little over an hour (with a fuel stop) thanks to filtering and people working from home.