Ocean Rowing Taster Course – Blisters and Bliss

  I recently did an ocean rowing taster course. But first things first. About a year ago, I heard of the Talisker Whisky Atlantic Challenge for the first time. I was immediately drawn in.   THE OCEAN ROWING TASTER COURSE AND THE TALISKER CHALLENGE   Every year in December, some crazies take off from La Gomera in the Canary Islands, then row their tiny little rowing boats all the way across the Atlantic to Antigua in the Caribbean, a distance of almost 5,000km. The event is called The Talisker Whisky Atlantic Rowing Challenge. It was founded in 1997 by Sir Chay Blyth.       THE “EASY” WAY AND THE HARD WAY   If you would just sit on your bottom in your rowing boat, sleep, eat, and occasionally tweet, you’d make the trip in about four and a half months. Even if you haven’t completed an ocean rowing taster […]

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Bobsleigh Taster Session at the Team GB Training Site at Bath University

A couple of weeks ago, I took part in a 1h30m bobsleigh taster session at the Team GB Training Site at Bath University. The regular price is £90. I booked the combined skeleton & bobsleigh experience for £160. The skeleton session was from 12:30pm to 2pm, followed by the bobsleigh taster session from 3pm to 4:30pm. A CONVERTIBLE ICE BULLET-TRAIN As you might or might not know, bobsleigh is a winter sport involving one, two, or four athletes riding a sleigh down an ice track. The sleigh is covered on all sides at the nose like a tube, but has an opening all the way throughout the rest of the top and at the end, allowing riders to stick their heads out to see where they are going.    THE FASTEST BOBSLEIGH TRACK SPORT (UP TO 150KPH) It is the fastest one of the three bobsleigh track sports (the other […]

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Skeleton Taster Session at the Team GB Training Site at Bath University

I treated myself to a 1h30m skeleton taster session at the Team GB Training Site at Bath University today. The regular price is £90. I booked the combined skeleton & bobsleigh experience for £160. The skeleton session was from 12:30pm to 2pm, followed by the bobsleigh taster session from 3pm to 4:30pm. BAKING-TRAYS As you might or might not know, skeleton is a winter sport involving an athlete riding a small, baking-tray shaped, sled, known as skeleton, down a bobsleigh track head-first, face down. THE SLOWEST BOBSLEIGH TRACK SPORT (130KM/H) It is the slowest one of the three bobsleigh track sports (the other two being bobsleigh and luge). Nonetheless, competitive riders still reach speeds of up to 130km/h and experience forces of up to 5G (five times their body weight). Astronauts are exposed to 3G, a fighter pilot to 8G, to put this in perspective.    WHY ‘SKELETON’? The sport […]

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Crowborough Caves, East Sussex – Excellent Caving Just Outside London

How did I come across Crowborough Caves, the ‘subterranean jewel of East Sussex’? Ms B & I like caving. So recently I googled for caves close to London and these caves popped up. CROWBOROUGH CAVES’ WEBSITE, LOGO, SOCIAL MEDIA They come with a full-blown website, professional logo, and continuously active social media presence. Until very recently they also had a great ranking on Tripadvisor with plenty of reviews. NO DOUBT ABOUT THE IMAGINARY NATURE OF CROWBOROUGH CAVES Already the third or fourth Google match links to a Reddit group that extensively discusses the imaginary character of the caves. The matches that follow are equally split between fake sources waxing lyrical about the caves and articles discussing the non-existence of the caves. Wikipedia marked the Crowborough article for deletion. The reasons for deletion make an interesting read in their own right.   CONSPIRELUNKERS VS CROWBOROUGH CAVES Many reviewers and commentators are […]

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Stand Up Paddleboarding the Cuckmere River Source to Sea (4h)

Stand up paddleboarding the Cuckmere River in East Sussex had been on my and my buddy Markmeister’s mind for several months. According to Wikipedia, the reliable source of half-truths, conspiracies, and myths, its length is 5km. In actual fact it is more like 30km, of which we paddled about 15km. BEST ENTRY POINT WHEN STAND UP PADDLEBOARDING THE CUCKMERE RIVER We took the train to the tiny hamlet of Berwick (1.5h from London with one interchange). From there we walked 1.8km along country roads to the river, nearly getting run over by fast cars on two occasions. GETTING OUR GEAR READY As soon as we reached the river, we got our gear ready and changed into our wetsuits. I wasted nearly half an hour trying to find a hole in my inflatable board. Then I realised that the problem was not a deflating board but a malfunctioning pressure indicator on […]

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