Wednesday, 11 October 2017

My Myanmar sketchbook #1

As part of the Myanmar trip I'm hoping there will be time to sketch some of the buildings we'll see along the way.  I've been warming up with a few quick sketches of Myanmar buildings (from photos) to see how long they take.  These two are in pencil and each took 45-60 mins:

The Sule Pagoda is at the very centre of downtown Yangon.  According to legend, it was built during the time of the Buddha - making it more than 2,500 years old!

2The High Court Building was designed by architect James Ransome, construction of the High Court began in 1905 and was completed in 1911.

Hopefully more to follow!

Sunday, 24 September 2017

Getting the needle...

I'm off the bike and feeling a bit feverish this weekend having just been injected with a lot of the vaccinations I will need for the trip. I've been pumped up with drugs against Cholera, Typhoid, Rabies, Polio, Hepatitis and Diptheria. There's also a small fortune's worth of anti-Malaria tablets on the way! 

But I'm humbled to be reminded that it's a real privilege to have such amazing healthcare available to us in the UK, and this is a key motivation for joining a venture seeking better healthcare for those far less fortunate.

Saturday, 23 September 2017

Diary date: Expedition send-off party at FCBStudios London...

We're organising a fun gathering at the end of October in London to celebrate the start of the Article 25 Cycle Expedition. Details below. All welcome - let me know if you can make it and hope to see you there!

Sunday, 17 September 2017

Training ride: Manchester to London

This weekend I've been putting some miles on the road in a bid to get fit for the Myanmar Expedition by joining one of our annual FCB Studios 'office to office' rides.

This year I joined our inaugural trip from Manchester to London (with Simon, Michael and Nick) and we had a great time.

We left Manchester at 7am on Saturday and took a route south through Stockport before heading across the Peak District and into Derbyshire. We rode through spectacular countryside of Bakewell and into Leicestershire to arrive at a comfy Travelodge in Lutterworth. After a big dinner at the nearby pub we were all in bed by 9.30!

On Day 2 we were on the road again at 7am. Sadly Nick felt too unwell to continue so we were down to 3 of us.  We dodged the big black clouds between Rugby, Luton and Hertford to arrive into London at Enfield, to finally arrive at our London office in Fitzrovia at 4.45pm.

Our total distance was 356km and we had climbed over 11,000 ft of hills on the way.

Time for a well-earned beer or two with the riders from the two other rides from Bath to London.

Sunday, 10 September 2017

my training partner

With around 8 weeks to go I went out for a training ride today on the wet and windy roads close to home.  As I was cycling it struck me that everything we're going to encounter on the Myanmar Cycle Expedition is going to be VERY different - including the climate, the terrain, the nutrition and the road surfaces.  And I have to admit that right now I don't quite know what to expect!

However I do know that we're going to be doing most of our riding on mountain bikes.  So I've decided I'm going to do most of my training on my Cannondale cyclo-cross bike - which is pretty heavy and has knobbly tyres.  I've also decided I'm going to do a fair chunk of my training miles on rougher roads and tracks to try to get ready for the extra effort required during the ride.

Today's ride was a combination of muddy Wiltshire lanes and a long stretch of canal path. I managed around 40 miles and got soaked a couple of times (Autumn is definitely here).  But something tells me it's all going to be very different where we're going...!

Tuesday, 5 September 2017

In the news...!

It was great to get a little mention of the ride in the Architects Journal last week!  Thank you too to my colleagues at FCBStudios for this little write-up about the ride on the FCB company website...! 

Sunday, 3 September 2017

I'm joining the Article 25 Cycle Myanmar Expedition

I'm excited to be joining a cycling expedition for the leading UK architectural aid charity, Article 25, to Myanmar (formerly Burma) in November.

Taking place over 14 days, the expedition aims to raise over £100,000 to fund the future work of Article 25 in the area. The journey will include 500 miles of cycling around the country from Yangon to Mandalay and back, passing via Yangon General Hospital, which is the site of the charity’s biggest project.

I'm volunteering my time for this important trip to assist with collaborative research, to help find sustainable design solutions for remote communities, and to secure much-needed funds for Article 25's future work.

I'm going to share a few stories of my preparations for the trip and the journey ahead on this blog.  

You can find out lots more general information about the Expedition and the great work of Article 25 here.

Thanks so much for any support you can offer to support Article 25 and it's work in Myanmar - it is very much appreciated!