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We have now been trading for 20 years & have set up a Just Giving page as part of our celebrations. In that time 400mb disk drives have been transformed from being the size of a washing machine to 3 ½” & spiralled into obsolescence. We have evolved from being a HP & Wang (remember them) mini systems dealer to being the largest dealer in HP renew servers, storage & networking in the UK.
To raise money & awareness for the Meningitis Trust & Baby Lifeline Tim Kightley has spent the spring & summer performing various punishing challenges which will conveniently finally come to a finale in Shape Systems birthday week. This is his story:
Shakespeare 100 mile 08.09.13:
After a low key August, I am due to do the elder brother of the Shakespeare 100k, the Shakespeare 100 mile. Following my back problems I have had to ditch plans to cycle to & from the event with an extra 20 miles. I’ll be satisfied with 100 miles! The weather forecast keeps changing. There’s a chance of rain. This a daunting experience. First there is a least 7 hours pedalling, then there is exhaustion created by burning approx. 5,000 calories. Even with the signs, there is a chance of getting lost & ending up miles of course. There are only 2 food stops, & drink breaks are not much more prevalent. The course manages to avoid most of civilisation, especially later on. With 3 back pockets, 2 drinks bottles & a small saddle bag (which will be probably be almost full of a repair kit, mac & bike lock) there is not really much scope for carrying sustenance. Then there is the hills…. Be very afraid!! The further you go the bigger the hills. Saintbury Hill is my hill nemesis, I have tried it twice & ended up having to walk most of it most times. If I can crawl up it at 4 miles an hour I will be more than happy! It is ranked as the 73 hardest climb in the UK (I dread to think of how difficult the others are). It is 1.6 miles long, steep & I would rather see the top from the bottom! I have even thought of this when waking up in the middle of the night. Can’t wait!
Birmingham to Oxford 77 miles plus 14 miles:
This is a superb event. Fantastic signage, with loads of food & drink stops. It ends up in Oxford centre at a joint finish with London to Oxford & Bristol to Oxford. As you cycle over the finish there are bands, food & beer tents, & a masseur. This is how a bike event should be done. The ride takes in beautiful countryside through Earlswood Lakes, Hatton, Brailes, Hook Norton etc. The only problem was that it was one of the hottest days of the year, riders suffered (& even missed the Wimbledon men’s final). I think I saw the most cyclists having to walk up hills I have on the longer rides. I decided to increase my green credentials, & spice it up a bit, by cycling the extra 14 miles to the start. I went into it with some back stiffness following Junes cycling. The ride went fine, but resulted in a visit to the physio & a 2 week break. Poor me.
Strava June Doggle:
The same as the May Massive but I wanted to bigger & better. I gave myself a target of 1000km & achieved 1238km in the month. To meet this target I did 52 rides. By the end of the month it was starting to tell & my back complained in a way it had never complained before. I was pleased in my world rankings of being in the top 6,000 out of 85,000.
Strava May Massive – let me tell you about Strava! This is an app that you use like a stopwatch & it tracks you time & speed. The beauty of it is that people have set out “segments” which you can compete over. When you pass through a segment, it will compare your time with others & against your previous time. This will give you a ranking against the others, and your own times. It is VERY competitive. They also have monthly distance challenges & I joined the “May Massive” to see how many kilometres I could cycle in the month. It resulted in early morning/ late evening rides just to get the distance up. My challenge was to supersede 750km in a month. It was quite relentless but I was pleased with my final total of 923km for the month.
Early April 2013:
The year started with snow & ice, this made training difficult & I saw more than one cyclist crash & burn on icy roads. As a result of this numbers were down but, I was still going to give it a go. Things did not start well. I had purchased a new bike the week before & was advised that it wasn’t a good idea, from using a hybrid bike for 20 years to cycling for several hours clipped into a road bike. I had had a few slow motion falls after changing bike (an occupational hazard of first being clipped in), so I decided to start a little later at 9:15 when the melee of marauding cyclists had subsided. This was a bad move! Even though the direction signs had been up for a week, I was informed that someone had started to drive round & remove all of the direction signs in front of me. I was given 7 maps by the emergency motorcyclist & set off. Following maps on a bike was not easy, I immediately got lost. After joining the route again, I thought things were going fine until I realised I was a few miles away from the route. Luckily a local passing cyclist had seen the signs & cycled with me to get me back on track (a good Samaritan indeed). There is only one feed station on this ride & finally I rolled up to it as they were packing up. The locals fed & water me & I was back with a vengeance, until the next hill that is, which I had to walk up! There was snow on top, which was nice. Finally after 60 ish miles I caught up with the route sign removing vehicle, who was repairing a cyclists puncture (they had had a few it turned out). Then I was off with a vengeance! I finally arrived (not last) at Stratford park & ride slightly worse for wear but glad I didn’t give up early on!