Crashing a big motorbike sucks but at least I’m not dead | The Cloudfoot Diaries #71

R1 Crash

Note – this is not my motorcycle. Merely the same style bike and colour to shamefully grab your attention.

“You wait ’til your first 1000…!”
These words that had echoed in my head for a good 24 months before purchasing my first 1000cc motorcycle; the infamous carburettor’d Yamaha R1 – Japan’s fastest motorcycle which ended up being banned because of its rawness and kill count.

Living in a van has its own set of limitations but what it does allow for is being able to purchase your own weapon of a crotch rocket so that you own it, outright. No monthly payments, no loans, no interest rates. Straight up, mine.

Since May, I’ve clocked up roughly thirty hours of riding the equivalent of being strapped to 150 horses whilst they run to the moon. By my own calculations I had done quite well. In three months I wasn’t in prison and I wasn’t dead.

The statistics aren’t great for first time riders of two-wheeled 1000cc death carts. I only picked up on this fact from my own experience; 90% of everyone I told that I’d purchased a bike responded immediately with ‘Be careful and don’t kill yourself.’
Thanks for the confidence boost. Fortunately, I’m quite aware of what I had purchased and knew only too well that to disrespect a machine that powerful is to flip off the very laws of physics and still hope to win. Interesting that only 10% of people responded with something more positive, like ‘Amazing, having fun?’ or similar levels of mild encouragement. Usually those members of the minority were bikers themselves. Real recognise real, yeah?

It was only until I started riding a couple of hours a day, for consecutive days at a time that I was forced to have a word with myself, otherwise I felt strongly that I was going to get nicked. The roads open up very quickly once you’re settled into her power, with just the twist of your hand, an inverted royal wave for speed freaks and dissidents where what lays before you is yours, yours to own and conquer.
Now you can see why these things can be massive ego-traps; absolute power corrupts absolutely. Combine that with an addictive and or trigger-happpy personality and you’ve got a concoction known as Grim Reaper.

My first 25 hours had been a period of settling, essentially. Getting used to the weight and power of the bike, how she handles, when to open the throttle, and how to stay alive if you fuck it up and come into a corner scolding hot (too fast).
Beyond this, my natural progression was learning to corner. ‘Everyone can ride in a straight line,’ I was told whilst passing my test. Learning in to a corner, however, is an entirely different sensation and approach and a skill that many bikers I’ve seen on the road aren’t quite confident enough to pull off. I think it’s because more trust is needed for the increased feeling of vulnerability. An acute sense of balance is required so you don’t fall off, and most importantly, you need to know your angle and speed of approach so you can take the bend at the right speed and apply power at the right point as to travel through as fast as possible, but also cleanly. Anyone who has ridden pillion will have felt the challenging aspects of trust and balance.

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Queuing with good-looking cattle; when Fury met Patience | The Cloudfoot Diaries #69

Models Queue

Hey, sorry for the short notice but you know how these things are…,” started the message. It was an honest introduction, more so than usual and it had caught my ego’s attention.

[Big UK Brand] are casting for their AW16 / SS17 lookbook today and have asked to see you.” Me!? Little old moi!? My ego began to dilate, rapidly, salivating like Golem at what this could mean.
I’ve been selected.
I’ve been noticed.

Funny how the ego feeds off of recognition and the illusion of being unique, isn’t it? Needless to say, I had already fallen for these traps and instead of taking a step back, re-assessing the message, its contents and subliminal meanings, I was already on my motorcycle smashing it to central London before my balls were too swollen to ride.

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Floatation Tanks – My first experience of sensory deprivation craziness | The Cloudfoot Diaries #68

I first read about the borderline-crazy invention of an ‘Isolation Tank‘ in a book called ‘The Centre of the Cyclone’ by a very interesting chap named John C. Lilly. That was a few years back and I’d never forgotten about the possibility that one day, I too would climb into a pitch black box filled with salty water to try and trip my balls off.

Since listening to a podcast called The Joe Rogan Experience (highly recommended) I discovered that the host had a tank installed in his house and I became exposed to floating, yet again. Joe clearly was a massive fan of the float tank, as he had his own wizard build him one (spicy pricey). Check it out;


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The Gymnastic Bodies Coach Sommer Interview | The Cloudfoot Diaries #67

Christopher Sommer Gymnastic Bodies

Coach Sommer
doesn’t really need an introduction from me. If you’ve never heard of him, it’s worth your time checking him out. In a nutshell, he’s coached a load of gymnasts to championship level over a few decades and knows what it takes to build a real gymnastic body – one that can function and perform to a high level but can also adapt and manage day-to-day realities and challenges. Sans bullshit.

Tim Ferriss did a wicked interview with Sommer, questioning him lots on the training process and various important points surrounding it.

A personal favourite takeaway from the interview was that it takes 211(+/-) days for soft tissue to adapt to a stimulus, apparently. I didn’t know it took that long for a change to be made but it makes sense when you realise muscle adapts nearly twice as fast compared to other softer tissues.

In terms of your own experience, what’s easier to build in less time, guns or range of motion?
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My first time to the Moto GP Assen 2016: Cults, Crashes and Upgrades | The Cloudfoot Diaries #66

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Cult – a devout following to an ideal, person or thing.

The Valentino Rossi 46 cult is one of the most passionate groups I have had the pleasure to be amongst, and yes, it is a cult. It’s not a malicious or sadistic one, though, just very yellow. The ferocity of Rossi fans is well up there, alongside the followers of Football, Religion, Fashion and Money, which are arguably far more lethal.

To the giallo-masses that follow him, Rossi is a God. Literally, a God. For those of you who have no idea who I am refering to, and how dare you, he’s been competing for the last 20 years as a professional motorcycle racer and is a multi-champion. Due to a fortunate combination of exceptional skill, charming demeanour and expressive charisma, Rossi has risen to the status of God the world over, not just in Italy.

I visited the TT Racetrack in Assen, Holland, recently for the annual Moto GP event, making the pilgramage with friends from London. It seems the Moto GP pilgramage is something that all bike riders will undergo once in their lifetime; a pious journey that really is only understood and appreciated by those who have ridden a motorbike into a corner far too fast and survived. It was a powerful, passionate experience and because of the various forces at play, I’d like to delve a little deeper.

Assen Moto GP 2

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Hanging and Handstands : Simplicity can be Complex | The Cloudfoot Diaries #64

One of the great tasks for any training programme is keeping it simple. Over complication seems to obey the law of entropy; increased chaos over time is inevitable, unless you reign it in.
Strength and Conditioning seems to look at the basic motions of the human body; push, pull, rotate, hinge etc and build exercises around that.

Two of the most beneficial upper body basic motions I’ve been playing with have been hanging and handstands. Not only do they complement each other in terms of opposite forces but they seem to allow nature, gravity more specifically, to act on the body and work its magic.

The latest addition to Locker 27 has been the infamous Bachar Ladder. Created by free solo climbing legend, John Bachar, this ladder system is as simple as it gets. Which is what makes it so hard. Sequential pulling movements are possible, so combined with a pull-up bar, you can turn yourself into a weapon in no time.

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10 Realisations for Combining Weightlifting with Gymnastics; Months 4-8 | The Cloudfoot Diaries #63

8 months in to my Weightlifting journey and I’ve come away with some valuable lessons and realisations as to how to combine weightlifting with gymnastics training – a self-experiment that I’ve been delving into, despite there being not a lot of info out there.

Without futher ado…

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Combining Weightlifting with Gymnastics; Weeks 5-12 | The Cloudfoot Diaries #62

fitnessweightsThe second block of combining weightlifting with gymnastics is in full effect. Some changes had to be made; the tendons were getting spicy from too much work and the neural fatigue was setting in. Time for a reconfiguration. And if you’re wondering what the above picture has to do with any of this? It doesn’t.

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Taking 5-HTP and Melatonin for sleep | The Cloudfoot Diaries #61

Since noticing a significant reduction in sleep quality from pushing my training limits a little further than normal, I did a bit of scouting on the internet to see which drugs were out there that would fall under both the legal umbrella and the sleep inducing one.

5-HTP and Melatonin were the two culprits that came to surface and I managed to get hold of them far easier than I had originally anticipated.

L-Tryptophan

In terms of dosage;
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