Friday, December 3, 2010

bulls to tielciy park (palmerston north

bulls to tielciy park (palmerston north) 60 km

having a bit of a sleep in before putting my gear on the bike (for the last time on this trip). just before I leave I have a chat to the person who I saw yesterday (who is also on a bike tour) . leaving bulls I go over a long bridge on the footpath (there is a sign telling cyclists to used the footpath as the bridge is narrow (it is a bit of a tight fit with the bike trailer) the road goes thought a mix of farm land and small towns. at Mt stewart there is a look out where I stop for a bit of food before riding down hill and a long the plans to Palmerston north where I go to a few places (like dropping off one of the batter for my bike light that I used at taupo) then I went out to tielcey park where i stay when I am not on the road.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

taihape to bull's

taihape to bull's 94km

having a chat to some elso on a bike tour we leave the camping ground about the same time and end up riding about the same speed in to taihape (the camping ground is 3 km north of town) I stop to stock up on food and say good bye o the other cyclist onley to see him 5 mins latter having some food at the same place that i stop at so we end up riding together over a big hill to the small town of mangaweka where we spend a round an hour chat to people before I head down a side road to have a look at an old power station and dam where i spend some time taking photo before getting back on the road to Hunterville. riding most of the way into a head wind I stop in Hunterville for some food and have a seafood basket (it was very nice meal) back one the road I keep going untill I get to the town of bull's where after asking a few people and going down some roads I find out the camping ground is.As I am putting up my tent I see the tent and bike of the cyclist that I was riding with for some of the day

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

turangi to taihape

turangi to taihape 94 km

leaving turangi around 10:30 am and starting the big ride up hill (around 600m+ climb from turangi at 370 m alt up to the summit of the desert road at 1074 m alt ) on the way uphill I do a little side trip along one of the power canels? then back on S.H.1 climbing up to and a round the mt's getting to the top of the desert road around 4 pm and a 200m down hill to waiouru where I stop to look at some maps then it's back on the road with a few more up and downs untill I get to about 3 km north of taihape where I stop at a camping ground for the night

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

taupo to turangi

taupo to turangi 60 km?

After packing up my gear (for the last time at reads farm on this trip). Getting in to town I do some jobs in town before going to the library for a few hours before going to the super market and fulling up on water leaving town around 2 pm on S.H 1 going south riding around the like (going the other way this time)riding over the hatepe hill. Getting in to turangi around 6 pm. I deside to stay at a camping ground for the night I end up having a short chat to some elso who is gett ing a round by bike before going to bed.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

round lake taupo bike ride

It’s 11:30 pm and its time to get up and pack up my gear (after only getting to sleep an hour before) riding down hill into taupo at around 12:30 am

So what am I doing riding the town of taupo after midnight on a friday night? I’m going for a bike ride 2 times around lake taupo (leaving most of my gear in taupo )what is around 320 km (or 200 miles) there is around 70 other people doing the same ride (and theres about 10,000 people starting just part of one times around or 1 one times around (160 km) later that day (saturday) on the wednesday about 20 riders starter riding 8 laps of the lake (around 1250 km) so I wont be own all the time .

getting some think to eat at the BP -where else can one go and find some food at this time of night (not much open around midnight on a friday night in taupo)
Near the start line I do some last min things to my gear -after a bit of a talk and a roll call it’s 1:30 am and time to start -ever one starting at the same time with me about last riding off- as the km past I will be passing a few riders. going down to the river and up the first hill (one of many to come) I keep one eye on my heart rate (I like to keep it below 170 bmp) I look at the tail lights to the riders ahead of me climbing up the hill.

it’s a nice night for being out on the bike with not much wind (it’s a nice change from some of the days out training on the bike -riding into 60+km head winds) riding over rolling hills (at lest I thing there are rolling hills as it is a bit hard to tell in the dark even with good bike lights-maybe thats a good thing that I can’t see where the hills are.) with just few cars pasting by ( support people helping some of the riders out). I get my headphones out and start listing to mp3’s to help me not to fall asleep on the bike(It’s never a good thing to fall asleep when riding a bike-and no I have not do that yet thought I know a few who have ) having the sound on low so i can still hear cars and people talking.

There is a few people park in drive ways who call out and wave (with the odd look as I go past- must be the bike friday as I often get funny looks when riding it places )going down some of the hill’s I get up to around 50+km/h part of the way around the course there is a sharp bend where I don’t slow down much for (around a 90% bend )as I done a lot of riding around sharp bends before at night (so don’t try this home )its was a bit like riding in to a black hole before my bike light went round (I used my head light to see around bends in the road) passing some of the riders who was riding the 8 laps and saw a few of the others doing the 2 lap’s happy riding at my own speed around the course (it’s not a race)

some where near the souther end of the lake I come across one of the 4 riders riding 4 laps of the lake and had a chat for a bit before riding off (I was riding a little faster then they were) with the small 20 inch wheel’s and low gearing (as I use the bike a lot for touring on )the bike friday climbs hills easy. some time time after 3:30 am I stop to change batters on my bike light as it’s going flat (on long night rides aways have spare batters and a spare light with you) around 5 am I start to see the sky lighting (the start of dawn) I stop to take my arm and leg warmers off (on the first lap I only stop 3 times and for never more the 3 mins each time)

Enjoy the very fun long down hill near the kuratau relay point there is a few more uphill’s until the look out over the lake and a down hill with a few bumps near waihi siting around 27-30km/h to turangi dealing with the sun in my eyes as the sun comes up. from turangi to the hatepe hill I sit at around 27-30 km/h along the flats near the lake before going over some small hills (around Bulli point )passing a few of the rides who are also doing 2 lap's of the lake (getting more funny looks from the rider's as I ride pass them) going up and over the last long hill before taupo I ride along the flats (and a few small hills ) before getting into taupo .where I am trying to find the caltex service station where I need to check into before I start the 2 lap of the ride. near the caltex I see my friend max who offers to ride the 2 lap with me so after we find the caltex and check in it's time to start the 2 lap of the ride some of the big groups of rides (who are doing one lap)are starting around the same time on the main road. going up the hill out of taupo I get passed by lots of other riders (the fast groups)

There are lots of people out around the course on the side of the road calling out and waving to the rides as they ride pass. having a bit of a chat to some of the others ride's as I ride over the hills with lots of people asking about the bike . Some where around 1/2 way around I start passing people going up hill. stoping at some of the water stops as It's getting to be a hot day. Some time's max ride's ahead of me with me catching up on the hills then it’s down the big hill (with people one the side of the road telling some of the riders to slow down as the down hill has some sharp bends )into Tokaanu and thought turangi onto S.H.1 on the side of the road there is a bike power band playing.

Riding a long the flats between turangi and Bulli point I ride in a few pace-lines siting around 25 km/h .riding around the buffs theres not much room on the road with the cars and trucks going pass) riding up the hatepe hill at around 8-10 km/h I see a lot of people walking up the hill (a lot of the bikes I see don't have low gears) then back a long the flats having a chat with some of the others rider’s before riding over last rolling hills into taupo. going down the main street to the finish line (fishing with a time around 16 hours for the 2 laps) where I get off the bike and stay around to see the prize giving .

Sunday, November 21, 2010

some where to taupo

some where to taupo 95 km

getting up around sunup (I had a wet sleeping bag from a leaking drink bottle ) I get on the road around 6:30 am only to find my bike computer had stop working so I spend about 45 min trying to get it to work (i think it needs a new battery)I end up using my GPS for the rest of the day .The road is a mix of up and down with more down then up (going from 1070m down to 360m near lake taupo) about 10 km from Turangi I spot 2 people on touring bike and have a chat to then before getting in to Turangi where I stock up on water and then start riding around lake taupo .the road between Turangi and taupo is mostly flat with just a few rolling hills near motutera bay and the hatepe hill (also the odd hill coming in to taupo)It’s a winder day and there is white caps out on the lake. I saw 3 other touring cyclist’s going the other way. I get into taupo around 2pm doing a bit of shopping in town before heading out to reads farms (a fee camping ground near taupo) where I set up camp for the night.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

vinegar hill to some where

vinegar hill to some where 91 km

after I pack up my gear I head out on the the road S.H.53? starting with a clinb up to the end of S.H.53? tuning right on to S.H.1 mostly riding uphill (with a dip in to a valley and back up the other side (where there is a lot of road works)near Ohingati. Stoping at Mangaweka for some water and to take some photos around the town. between Mangaweka and Taihape there is a few hills to ride over. I had a short stop at Taihape to get some food and water for the next 2 days. after Taihape the is a few long hills up to town of Waiouru after that is a 250m (over 20 km) climb up to the summit of the desert road (near to where I spend the night out of site of the road)

Friday, November 19, 2010

Tielcey park to vinegar hill

Tielcey park to vinegar hill 76km

after spending the morning doing last min jobs on the bike I get on the road around 12:30 pm going thought Palmerston north (with a bit of a side trip when I went down the wrong road (opps) then on to Feiling where I stocked up on food -though cheleten?-Waitunun west where I had a chat to some one about traveling on to stormy point look out (its a nice look out over the river valley) down a fun down hill to the town of Rewa where I stop to get some photos before riding over more rolling hills to the camping ground at vinegar hill for the night

Friday, November 12, 2010

riding 310 km in 2 days

riding 310 km in 2 days

(doing a 205 km bike ride and doing an 105 km bike ride the next day)

I had a 200 km ride to do as part of training for taupo on the satrday riding a 50 km loop to the south of palmerston north before picking up my riders pack (for the 80 fun ride on sunday) (getting a small bag as a spot prize) then heading out of town on a 155 km loop (part of the loop was riding the 116 km tour de Manawatu route) getting back late on satrday night and getting about 4 hours sleep before getting up to ride into town for the tour de Manawatu fun ride (riding the 80 km fun ride ) had a nice day riding with other people (makes for a nice change as I ride on my own most of the time) having a chat to some people as I was riding. My time was about 3 hours to do the 80 km fun ride (2:53) after prize giving riding home

Saturday, October 16, 2010

a century ride (100 Miles or 160 Km )

I did a century ride today

A century ride is bike ride of 100 Miles ( 160 Km) in one day (or about 1 lap around lake taupo)

The plan was to only ride 146 km but as today was a nice day with not much wind I decided to go a longer way home (by the time I got home I had done 172 km) It's been over a year from the last time I did 160 km in one day. Over the last 11 weeks or so I have been riding 6 days a week doing a mix of easy and harder rides with about 6 weeks of training to go before the Lake Taupo fun ride (I'm doing 2 laps of the lake (A ride of 320 km(most people who do the ride just do part of one lap or do full 1 lap (160 km) around the lake) around lake taupo on the 26/11/2010

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Tikokino to Tielcey park

Tikokino to Tielcey park 100km

After packing up and having a chat to some people at the camping ground I head down the road over some rolling hills to the town of Ongaonga (where there is some nice old buildings that people can have a look in side ( I may come back when I have more time to have a play with my camera gear and not starting to rain) I stop at the store to get some food and find out if the road thought the Manawatu Gorge is open (it was but with some small slips on the road)

back on S.H.50 untill the road meets up with S.H.2 where I head towords Woodville. On the way between Norsewood and Dannevirke I stop at a road side cafe to get out of the rain (I had rain from Ongaonga all the way to tielcey park) back on the road I head down the road thought Dannevirke and woodville before going thought the Manawatu Gorge (It’s hard work getting thought the Gorge as there is not much room on the road ) I stop in a few places where it’s safe to take a break and to get some photos of the water falls. Near the end of the Gorge I go down a back road to tielcey park where I am staying when I am not on the road this year

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Napier to Tikokino

Napier to Tikokino 62km
leaving my friends place about 10 am I get some food for the day before getting on to S.H.50
(with a little bit of map work on my phone). It’s a slow trip along the road (about 10-15 km/h) for most of the day with a few big hills to ride over (and a head wind) just on dark I get to the town of Tikokino (a pub and not much elso ) as I stopped by the pub thinking about where to spend the night I see what looks like a camping ground so I walk the bike over to have a look. I find out more and deside to spend the night there

Monday, September 13, 2010

Hastings to Napier

Hastings to Napier 42 km

up at 6:30am so i spend a few hours playing on the laptop before packing up my gear and getting on the road. On the way into town I stop at Oak Avenue where there is a lot of oak trees along the road that were planted in the 1860s having a play with my camera for about an hour before heading into to hastings (I had spend the weekend helping out at a horse show near hastings) at the info center I find out how to get on to one of the off road cycle ways to get to Napier . after a bit of map work I get on to the cycle way and head down the path way stoping the the gates (taking the bike trailer off to get thought the gates) and having to go back at one point about 1 km to get my bike flag (on the bike trailer) that had came off going thought the gate. on the way into Napier I saw a friend that I had meet in the south island and stopped and had a good chat before heading into town when the storm that I saw coming all the way from hastings hit. I got in to my rain gear and went to the library for a few hours before seeing a friend from taupo fun ride who I stay the night with.

Dannevirke to Hastings

Dannevirke to Hastings 116 km

hills, headwinds and rumber strips

after packing up my tent I get back on the road (S.H.2) it's raining and there is a lot of rolling hills to around takapau then it's down hill to Waipukurau with off and on rain for the rest of the day. near pukehou I stop at a cafe to get out of the rain and to have a hot drink before heading to hastings where i do some asking around to find out how to get to the place where the show jumping show will be. getting in to the show place about 7 pm where i set up my tent in the rain and went to bed

Tielcey Park to Dannevirke

Tielcey Park to Dannevirke 70 km

after a late night packing I get on the road around 10 am
with all the ran I dont know if the Manawatu Gorge had reopen or not so I went on one of the other ways over the Tararua ranges with aside trip to get food for the day I start going over the rangeand down the other side and along back roads to woodville and then on to S.H.2 to Dannevire where I stop at the info center to find out where the is a camping ground -as it is around 5 pm I go and stay at the camping ground for the night

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

week 5 in training for taupo

I'm am in week 5 (of 16) of my training plan on the bike 6 days a week

the riding is going ok with a lot of the rides being in the rain and/or with wind
in the last 4 1/2 weeks I have done around 1000 km on the bike with the most km done on one ride being 125 km ride to levin and back on back roads. the weekly km has been 187, 284 , 270 , 278 and 58 km so far this week (today was a day off the bike )

most of my training rides have been on my bike friday( with the other rides being on my mt bike that I use some times when it's wet or when I go riding off road)

some times I move my rest days around if I need to go some where on the day that was to be a rest day (as my bike is the way I get into town most of the time (as I can't drive) as it's a 24 km round trip It's a bit to far to walk unless you have all day)and have the rest day the day before or the day after

below is a link to my fundraising page

Sunday, August 1, 2010

my training plan for taupo

here is my training plan that I am working on to be fit for taupo (I'm 2 weeks into it so far)

Saturday, July 24, 2010

why 2 times around lake taupo not just once

I'm going to go ride around lake taupo 2 times -why 2 times and not just once like most people

1. I did once around in 2008 and found it easy as I spend a lot of time on the bike going from horse show to horse show when the horse shows are on and going on bike tours when I am not at shows

2. I had a try to go once around last year as well but 30 km in my back rim spit (to many km wearing the rim out) so to make up for not finishing last year I had a think about what happen and how to stop it haing the next time and desideit that I will go 2 times round the lake to make up for it

3. I like a challenge

4 it's some thing with some help and a lot of hard work I should be able to do and have fun doing - if you call riding 320 km in about 14 hours over a lot of hills fun

training for taupo week one

it's week one of training for round taupo ride (out of about 16 weeks) -I'm training to ride 2 times around lake taupo this year

the plan was to ride 16,19,22,day off ,22,65,24km

so how is training going. its going ok i'm finding it a bit hard to do the km in the plan each day but it's not like most people as my week so far with one day to go went like this 27,27,28,day off,28,77km and have got 24 km to ride on sunday so I over did the km a bit- so far I should of done 144km but have done 187km why did I go over my km so far this week

because I went in to town most days this week -as I don't drive (and can't drive because of my dyspraxia and a few other things) to get around I go by bike as its about 7 km to get to a shop as I am staying at a farm over winter this year so its go by bike or walk 7 km each way to get to a shop or where the bus to town leaves from (I dont like to ask people for lifts as most of the time I need to spend more time doing suff in town or at the shops as ever think seem to take longer for me to get done so when I am own my own I can get suff done in how ever long it take me to get suff done)

and because I like to ride my bike down roads that I have not been down before

also when using road maps to work out how far some where is I find that road maps are flat-faced liars- they show roads that are not there at the same time not showing roads that are there ,they don't show where the hills are and when they do show the Distance the km's are often not right and the show towns that are no longer there

over the next few weeks as I ride around the small towns around 25-70 km from Palmerston north I should have a better idea how far its to each small town and which roads to ride each day for training also as the distance get more each week going to town won't mean go over the distance to ride most days

Saturday, July 17, 2010

just a note on my posts

I am still leaning about bloging so I will need to work on getting the dates right and a few other thing so have a read and let me know what you think of my blog

taupo to motutere bay

taupo to motutere bay 37 km
after packing my tent up I head into town to do a few jobs (like washing and putting the bus people back in they place )after some food and a hunt to find some where to fill up my water bottlers I head along the like side track -yes it is the long way out of town but I have all day to get to where I am going and it is a nice day day for riding . After taking a lot of photos and riding down some side roads I get back on to S.H.1 riding around lake taupo the road is mostly flat with just a few hills the big one being Hatepe hill-I get up the hill easily

what is a good thing about going slow on a bike-you get to spot things like money on the side of the road-I found a $20 note on the side of the road riding over Hatepe hill

on the way down the hill i met up with some one else on a bike riding around nz and he had been riding in Australia until the week before . a nice ride with just one other hill to go before the camping ground where I decide to spend the night

motutere bay to Mangahuia doc camp

motutere bay to Mangahuia doc camp 75 km

an early start as I have a long day ahead of me with a lot of hills. Riding beside lake taupo for part of the way to turangi where I shop for some food (last shop for about 50 km) a few km out of turangi is Tokaanu power station where I stop to get some photos before the long climb up to Te Ponanga saddle (360m in 6 km) stoping a few times to look at the view over lake taupo and to have some lunch. After I get to the top there is a fun down to lake rotoaira where I stop to get photos of the lake and the intake for the power station after the lake the road rolls up and down more up then down passing a few rivers that feed into lake rotoaira (the water then is feed into a intake of an tunnge thought the hill then down 4 big pipes into the power station then by a tail race in to lake taupo ) just on dark I stop and put my bike lights on and keep riding as it as a nice night to ride with a full moon over Mt Ruapehy . passing the odd farm house and a few side road I ride on some times a car stops and asks me if i am ok I say that I am ok then I ask then if the know how far it is to the doc camp (the cars that pass give me more room in the night time then they do in the day time) passing the turn of to Whakapapa village I get to the doc camp about 7:30 pm where I set up my tent and go to sleep for the night

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

how many km do I do a year on the bike?

I am ask alot how many km a year I do on the bike

it depends on if I am staying in one place most of the time or not

in the last 2 years I have done about 10,000 km with maybe 7000 km of that on tour (ie living on the road on the bike and riding most days )

each week I may do any thing from 20 km and up (up to 1000 km a week when on tour in the summer time ) where I am staying the winter town is about a 25 km round trip that I do 3 to 5 days a week

as I am training for the round Lake taupo run ride (the 2x round the lake ride(320 km) not just one times around (160km ) I am doing more and more km's each week to get fit for it

Monday, June 28, 2010

going to town 40km ride

I did a 40 km ride today well I did need to go in to town for a few thing also had to do a training ride so I went the other way into town-going right (most of the I go left) out the gate on fitzherbert east road to S.H.3 going left to ashhurstand then on to palmerston nort. In town going on the river walkway untill I got to the fitzherbert bridge then back on the road to the square where I went to the library and a few other places then heading back to tielcey park by fitzherbert avenue with a short stop at the supermarket -aokautere drive- fitzherbert east road

Saturday, June 26, 2010

I'm still here

I'm still here

I just been a bit busy with suff so when I have some time I will post more ok

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

wanganui to tielcy park

wanganui to tielcy park(near palmerston north) 95 km

after packing my gear back on the bike and saying good bye to the people at the yha I head acrouse a bridge then along the river to find a super market what i spot on the other side of the river so over a bridge to get some food then back over the river to get out of town (fun trying to find my way around town with no map) a few up and downs some of then long I past thought a town called turakina then more riding in the rain -not hard rain it just gets you wet the road is mostley flat to bulls where i stop for a rest after 4+ hour’s in the rain n the way out of bull’s there is a bridge with a side pice for people on bikes and walkers not much room for the trailer (about 5 cm on each side) a slow up hill ride from sanson to mt stewart where I stop to put the bike lights on and have some thing to eat before riding down hill then along the flat in to palmerston north where i get a flat tare then a bit of shopping then thought town and up a hill then down the last hill of the day then a bit of riding along the flats to tielcy park where i stayed the night

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

ymca camp to wanganui

ymca camp to wanganui 70 km

after packing up and putting some money in the box I head down the road riding up and down hills with some road works in the rain at one of the road works the nice road workers call me over to have moning tea with then when i go to stop i can’t get my feet unclep because of all the mud and the bike falls over with me still on it so I endit with mud up one side of me (what latter wash off with all the rain)after i pick up the bike and park it on the side of the road I had a nice chat to the worker and they give me some food to eat before they went back to work and i went back to riding up and down hills in the rain getting in to wanganui about 4 pm

Monday, May 31, 2010

ohakuuna to ymca camp

ohakuuna to ymca camp 40 km

a bit of a cold night (-4 c) with ice all over my tent and bike i slowley pack up my tent with ice still on it having to rub the tent poles as they had ice up then went into town to stock on food as i dont know where the next shop will be then went to the info center to work out what road to take I went down S.H.4 this time so I will do the river road some time then out of town riding along the road to raetihi where i stopped for some food then back on the road along some fun down hills and up some not so fun up hills - the road went more down then up untill i got to the raukawa falls where i stop to get some photos then just down the road to a ymca camp where i spend the night reading some books before going to bed about 10 pm

Thursday, May 27, 2010

hamilton to some where

after packing up my tent I go back in to town to pick up a new gear cable as the one I pick up the day before did not work I head out of town to see some friends (horses and people) at rda spending a few hours there seeing the horses then went to my friends home to do a few things before leaving after dark to find some where to spend the night finding a camping ground spend the night there where i pay some money before i went off down the road

a day in hamilton

I had a day in hamilton to do a few things so about 8 am i had a look at the map to work out where to go to pick up my laptop from where it was sent to after it had been fix then off on the bike leaving most of my gear at the camping ground finding the place ok i picked up my laptop and then went to the bike shop to get some work done on the bike (with a short stop at a super marker to get some food ) spending a few hours at the bike shop getting the drive chain replace and head set replace (I had got the bike shop to order the parts in a week before as its a hard to find size in nz) also some other suff done on the bike

after the bike was back together I went the long way back to the camp ground along the river side track with a side trip into town to get a new gear cable as part way along the track the back gears stop working as the bike shops are close I try a few place finding one in kmart of all places then back on the road to the camping ground where i play with my laptop for a few hours before going back to my tent to sleep for the night

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

masterton to hamilton by bike and train

after packing up my tent and having a look around town I went to the train station to get the train from masterton to wellington -bike are free on this train -getting into wellington about 15 mins late (not that I worry about suff like that) i went along the water front to find the the info center to get a map of wellington and to work out where to spend the night then off to see the esnz ofice to do a few things before getting a train out to porirua to one of the few camping grounds near wellington.

After a bit of map work i find out where the camp ground is (up a big hill) where I book in for 2 night at $10 a night and set up my tent the next day I go for a walk in to porirua where there is a few big shopping centers that I have a look around and then spend most of the day in the library (yes I do spend a lot of time in librarys) after dark i walk back up to the camping ground and pack up some of my gear so there is lest to to in the Morning as it will be a early start as i need to get a train back into wellington before getting the the train north

up at 4:15 am to pack up my tent and get down to the train station to get into wellington before 6:45 am (so I can get my bike on the train north easy) at porirua station a pack my back into its case (the bike trailer) so I can get it on and off trains easy (also because wellington trains only take 2 bikes on each train I know i can get on the train to wellington on time and not miss the train north ) I get in to wellington train station and find out where the train going to hamilton leaves from (the other side of the station -good the thing the case with the bike in it has wheels on it) after getting on the train I find out i missed out on a window seat so I spend most of the trip out on the front of the carriage looking at suff going past and taking photos

at about 5:30 pm the train gets into hamilton where I take the bike out of the case and ride off to find the camping ground for the night

i still working on how to add photos on to this blog