I think Spring may have arrived...

It's not raining, and according to my garmin I've just been out cycling in temperatures in excess of 15'C, which is T-Shirt and Shorts weather in my book.

It's now (checks countdown) 67 days to go until I head off from John O'Groats. Training has been going well in the main...in March I maanged 50+ miles a day for 8 days straight, and apart from a little bit of sleep re-adjustment I managed fine, with no bio-mechanical foul-ups. We also managed a trip down to Exmoor, where the UK Half-Ironman is based, and did a day's cycling on the route...renowned as the worlds toughest half-ironman (I can see why...each 25'ish mile lap has a series of hellishly steep hills, including 3 20%+ ones). We did pretty well, even taking on the vicious headwind no the "easy" section of the course. I'm currently clocking up about 900-1000 miles a month, and all my spare weekends are now booked out until I set off, typically with 100-mile rides back-to-back.

Easter went less well...the first day started well, but deteriorated into a cold and windy rain-storm, and I started picking up loads and loads of punctures. This culminated with me trying to repair an innertube (I'd run out of fresh ones) 2 miles from Twyford in a mini-gale, while being lashed with rain. I called the cavalry (Gill), who very nobly came out as a back-up rescue, however surprisingly (especially to myself) the glue held, and I was able to roll back into Reading, where Sweeney Todd's Pie Shop rescued my plummeting body temperature with a pie and chips emergency serving.

Once I decided to look at the bike again I found out that the back tyre was blistered and cut up...the result of a hard winters use. The tyres are the originals, and they have racked up about 3,500 miles, including the tarmac-armageddon that was January. I spent yesterday cleaning/greasing the bike, and changing the tyres over to some fresh folding ones, which should see it through spring/summer. I also got the TT bike ready to roll, and hopefully I can start giving it some run outs, with an eye to the weather of course!

In the other world, I've started work on the Blood Angels 40k army. I was delaying until I had seen the official codex (released on Friday), and could work out what units I was to include. I ended up doing a decent sized order, and spent the easter weekend working on assembly and base-coating. I'm going to be using the same painting techniques as I did on the Tau, with a few lessons learnt. For a start, I'm trying to make sure that the models are flexible, and to that end wherever there are equipment choices, I'm adding magnets to allow swappable arms/backpacks etc etc. The house has resonated to the sound of a Dremel this weekend, and my initial supply of 150 magnets has quickly been embedded in the models, random arms and backpacks. There is a 1-day tournament at the end of May, and it would be good to have a basic force built up by then (though obviously it has to fit around the cycling...I'm in the decent position that if I miss the deadline I can always use the Tau instead, who have been performing much better recently, and have even clocked up a couple of victories!)

There is a photo project log of the assembly and painting of the Blood Angels here (typically not great photos, as they are taken with my phone as I work...). As with the Tau, the end goal is for about 3,000 points worth of army. I would expect to finish that late summer, and then look to start work on a new army for autumn/winter.

Everything would be much easier if I didn't have to work (quick work update...more redundancies, I'm not affected, and I'm so in demand that no-one is allowed any of my time...go figure). Easter shot by is a blur of cycling, drilling and super-glue, and my next weekend with nothing to do is the arse-end of June, a.k.a the brief gap between JOGLE and the Bournemouth Triathlon (my first sea-swim!).