Many of us take inspiration from watching the great achievements of others. But with the motivation and right mental attitude, we can achieve anything we want. I have experienced this many times, particularly on a long cycle ride. In this short video below, I share my experience of overcoming the challenges of the mind in order to achieve beyond our limit.
If you like the video, please subscribe to my YouTube Channel.
I have recently returned from a wonderful weeks skiing in The 3 Valleys. Supported by Scottish based Chalet company Ski Hame, I spent 6 days skiing the biggest ski area in the world. This 640km of ski runs offers a fantastic variety of terrain and truly has something for everyone.
Returning to The 3 Valleys was a real joy. I had skied there a half dozen times although not for many years. Ski Hame has been a source of support and friendship over the years and it was a pleasure to stay in one of their chalets again.
It took me a very long time and perseverance to find balance on skis but, when I did it was worth the wait. Out of all the activities and sports I do and have done, I love skiing the best. The activity that I had to work hardest for, and took me the most determination to achieve, I enjoy the most.
Below is a short film on my time in The 3 Valleys.
East Lothian represents for me, some of the most beautiful coastline in the country. Long sandy beaches, rolling dunes, and views over the Firth of Forth make it a haven for recreation and relaxation. I wanted to explore more of it by bicycle and recently took a trip to Aberlady Bay.
I have been very fortunate to have been supplied with a Surly gravel bike and this has opened up so many opportunities for me. Having the right bike opens up so many more opportunities because it enables me to access parts that would until now have been out of reach. The dunes and open sandy beach of Aberlady Bay is a fairly long walk from the nearest car park. I had been there once or twice but found it a rather tiring walk.
I cycled out to the beach on my new Surly gravel bike and what wonderful ride it was. It struck me what a great place to be for disabled cyclists. This would be ideal for families to cycle or anyone who is not confident enough in the traffic. But for me, it was just a lovely place to cycle and has great rewards of some wonderful views of the Firth of Forth. Below is a short film I made of it so hope you enjoy.
Two years ago just now I started this website, David Ventures. I had been writing for many years on aspects of disability but it just wasn’t making me happy. In fact I was not enjoying much at that time at all. Then someone said ‘just do what it takes to make yourself happy’ and I did. It was then I got right into my outdoors sport again and what a change came over me. What this video and please leave a comment below. Thanks.
I’m extremely grateful indeed for the ongoing support of Vango. The Force Ten MTN 2 tent is a fantastic mountain tent I am really delighted to review for Vango. For a disabled person like myself it is really important to have suitable equipment and this tend is ideal. The size and, in particular, the height of the tent inside make it ideal for someone like myself to use on a camping expedition.
Click the video below and see what I made of the tent. Thanks
E-bikes are becoming more popular than ever as people realise that having an electric-assisted bike can take much of the effort out of cycling. This is of tremendous benefit to commuters who don’t want to arrive at work in a puddle of sweat, or those less active but who still want to get out and about. To celebrate bike week, ‘Inghams Holidays‘ launched their brand new e-bike programme in Austria, and I went along to join them.
The Surrey countryside on a balmy summers evening provided an ideal venue for us to experience the joys of riding an e-bike. Taking in the local landmark of ‘Box Hill we enjoyed a ride on some electric-assisted mountain bikes supplied by local e-bike specialists ‘Cycling Made Easy‘. ‘Cycling Made Easy‘ sell a range of e-bikes to suit different needs as well as being a local source of information and advice. After being fitted out on appropriately sized bikes we set off from the venue at ‘Denbies Wine Estate’.
The bikes made very light work of Box Hill. It had been some time since I had been on an e-bike and I had forgotten what a fantastic sensation it is. Power kicks in with every peddle stroke and, the harder you peddle, the more power it puts out. The bikes have conventional gears as well as three different power settings. This allows the rider to find the best combination of effort to power for the particular trainer they might be on. Riding can either be effort-free or can simply be assisted, taking the hard work out of any journey.
The bikes handled really well and felt really stable. It maybe takes a little practice to get used to the sensation but, once you do, it really is good fun. Being about to climb a steep hill such as Box Hill with such ease was just a joy. The down side is that these bikes are phenomenally heavy and difficult to lug around. I certainly wouldn’t like to be stuck out somewhere with a flat battery, it could be a very long ride home! The good news is that this is very unlikely to happen because the modern batteries have a range of 20-30 miles. By using the different power settings appropriately, the range can be extended even further.
My first ride on an e-bike for a while has really put me in the mood again. I really want one ! These bikes make cycle a lot of fun. They are particularly great for people who are possibly not so fit for whatever reason. They could be a tremendous boost for disabled people like myself, and those of us who live in a hilly cities like Edinburgh. ‘Inghams Holidays‘ are a super way to try them out and experience a taste of Austria or Italy. Below you will find links to ‘Inghams Holidays‘ that have experiences to suit all abilities and needs.
Inghams is offering a seven-night stay on a catered basis (including buffet breakfasts, packed lunches, afternoon tea and cake, and four-course evening meals with complimentary wine for six days) at the three-diamond Chalet Linda in Kitzbühel, Austria, from £599 per person based on two sharing. Price includes return flights and airport transfers, and the package is valid for travel departing on 14th July 2018. To book, visit www.inghams.co.uk/lakes-mountains-holidays or call 01483 791 116.
I have just returned from another fantastic week in the Outer Hebrides. It has to be one of my favourite places. The scenery is breathtaking with fantastic wildlife to observe and white sandy beaches that seem to go on forever.
In September 2016 I undertook the epic cycle ride from Barra in the south, right up to the Butt of Lewis in the far northerly tip. The 186 mile ride took me 5 days and I felt a real sense of achievement at the end of it. Since my cycle ride I have wanted to return and experience a more leisurely look at the islands. I wanted to see more of the historical gems as well as the feast of natural history it has to offer.
The village of Callanish is of course famous for the stones and provided our base for the next six days. During the time we were able to explore the cultural sites including The Blackhouse, Stornoway castle and the Callanish Stones themselves. Staying in a small farmhouse right next to the stones, we were able to see them in all sorts of light conditions at all times of the day and night. This was truly a great experience. From there is was only a short drive to the Arnol Blackhouse and museum, a fascinating insight into our not so distant past. Stornoway castle provided some wonderful vistas as you walk through the grounds. We also explored a part of the island called Uig and what a treat that was.
I thought I’d put together a little list of reasons you should visit Lewis. So below are a few of my favourite things to do and see and do.