Hello. Is that a late summer we see creeping in? A little slow September sunshine to raise all of our moods and give us a false sense of confidence before autumn kicks in to the full? Let's just take full advantage of it while it's here and hope it lasts all month, so our 300 miles are a little easier. Speaking of which...
Fucking hell. Some of you guys are absolutely shitting incredible. Not only have you all donated enough for us to have hit target before we even got on our bikes, you just keep giving! Whether you're buying us a coffee this month, snagging one of the handmade badge packs that Mrs. A sits and puts together each night or simply bunging a couple of quid into our Cancer Research fundraising account, you're all making a massive difference. And we are not slacking. As well as trying to ride the cargo bikes daily, we are also doing Peloton rides in the evening too. I don't think I need to tell you that this is a huge effort, especially for Mrs. A, who is throwing herself into it like a person possessed. Seriously. She's Strava-ing like a twat and trying to get PBs in every online class. Our daughter is helping too, in her own way. We went to Thetford for a family ride around and there she was, killing it on the pump track for countless speed laps.
As many of you know already, it's been a bit of a year. We assume it has for everybody though, so the urge to moan a bit or wail at a god we don't personally believe in is being replaced with proactive positivity now. It's on with bathroom renovations (anyone want to swap a bathroom for a bike? Worth asking!), checking in on the people we still have and making sure those we love the most know it every single day. Thank you to everyone who took the time to reach out to send Mrs. A some kindness after reading about her family member who took their own life. It meant a lot and gave her a little buck up to carry on and be the support system everyone else needs. That's the trouble when you come from a super small family; tragedy feels that much closer to home, but fun memories and tearful phone calls have all started to let everyone heal. The tangible lack of support from certain people has also helped my wife refocus who she gives her energy to and that's been really useful.
So. What's the farm part of the title about? Well. We've been toying with the idea of selling up and buying something a whole lot more remote for a while and we are finally going to start putting a plan in action. Starting with those useable bathrooms here! In the next few years we would like to move out to, probably, North Norfolk and buy something like an old farmhouse with a load of outbuildings. A barn workshop for me, a writing studio for Mrs. A, somewhere for all our old VWs and no neighbours in sight. Allotments everywhere, some rescue farm animals and a simpler kind of existence, all while making luxury bicycles. Yes, we see the contradiction, but hey. Nobody's perfect. We love what we do, just not the industry or some of the 'big players' in it, so it's time to start getting serious about our plans to really go off-grid, as much as possible. Alas, the days of the Good Life are well and truly over, so we need phones and internet, but apart from that, our lifestyle should be pretty comparable and with a child in the mix, that's going to be extra interesting. Alpaca stables, backyard pump tracks and accomodation for loved out-of-towners are all in the works. Anyone looking to swap for a four-bed in bawburgh with a workshop is welcome to get in touch! Doesn't have to be Norfolk. Haha. But also, not haha if you have something suitable. Can we all just bring back trade and barter please? What a nice way to live!
Thanks to everyone who pre-ordered a pipe. They are being made today and going out this week! You scamps. Remember, if you're going to be smoking out and about...no face, no case. So crack out the balaclavas. This advice is brought to you from the estate of Baron Von Fancypants. Thank you squire!
After a missed call and a frantic text, we got to see our good buddy Tim over at Smile Bikes this week who needed his Covid Cruiser reaming. Always a pleasure to head on out and see what swish electric bikes he has on display, but it was the cruiser that stole the show. Fully built-up in a red and gold livery (including wheels from ourselves), it's a bloody amazing thing to look at and did make me a little jealous. Which reminds me that I really need to start building up my S&M BTM that my better half surprised me with.
Rad peeps of the week:
All of our Buy Me A Coffee supporters, especially now, as your donations will be added to our Cancer Research fundraising total.
Graham, for staying so strong in the face of administraive minefields and delayed cancer treatment.
Milton. Your generosity is incredible, thank you!
All the courteous cyclists we've come across so far. Lots of waves and happy faces, which makes a very pleasant change.
David Lynch for the eternal gift that is Twin Peaks. We are about to start our annual watch of the entire boxset. You're ALL welcome for the GIF below.
See you next week!