I kind of took Monday and Tuesday as half-days (hey, what’s the point of being freelance if you can’t do stuff like that?) I’d spent the previous weekend test riding the Intense Spider 2 over at Gisburn Forest and didn’t want to go straight into a full-on bikey start to the working week.
Freelance life was very nice on Tuesday; we were due to be having a sofabed delivered between 2-6pm. Not having the stress/hassle of having to book time off work to then watch the clock at home all day waiting for the delivery men to show up (or not). As it happened the delivery men showed up at 12 noon, swiftly dumped the flat-pack sofabed in the house and then I got back to my work.
I finished writing up the Cheviots route guide for Singletrack Mag and sent that in along with the photos and GPS map info. Then it was off to Aldi and ASDA etc to hunt down some bargains. Going freelance does mean I have to be a lot more careful with outgoings. Still, during the day it’s easier to take my time and look around, visiting a few different shops, than the usual rush-around-grab of doing it all at one shop in the early evening after work (along with loads of other people).
Wednesday was a scorcher. Blue skies everywhere and blazing sunshine. Amazingly this good weather coincided with a planned photoshoot in the Peak District for a Singletrack Magazine bike test. Not wishing to waste too much of a rare sunshiney day I got to the meeting point early and went for a quick spin around the trails. Eventually the guys from Singletrack showed up and we got on with the “and again please” business of photoshoots. The midday light was a bit too harsh for nice looking riding shots so we got some “pack shots” done (side-on and close-up detail photos of static bikes) and went for a ride instead. On our return we got the rest of the pics done. I changed into a different riding outfit for a different test bike so that the magazine reader isn’t overly aware that all the issue’s bikes are photographed all on the same day. A lot of readers judge a bike test from the accompanying pics and ironically all the photoshoot “trickery” is to help give a more truthful impression of how the bikes are ridden (ie. as much as possible).
Thursday was invoicing day. I’ve been using www.theinvoicemachine.com online system and it’s been very good so far. Very straightforward and easy to track and search/sift things. I’m very aware that chasing payment will be a much more fraught and annoying procedure. After sending out the invoices it was time to get on the phone to chase up some workstands for an upcoming group test. Phones really are much more effective than emails. Every supplier was fine with delivering to my home address too, which is nice.
Friday was spent sorting out some finer details for a feature for CTC’s Cycle magazine that I’ve been commissioned to do. It’s called “Dirty Dozen” and is basically a ride guide of 3 areas of the country with 4 ride suggestions in each area. I’m to supply the photos as well. It’s a fairly big job and comes with a fairly short deadline so that’s next week’s work pretty much allocated already!
This second week of being freelance has been another good one on the professional front but I must admit to feeling a bit lonely. Actually, lonely is too strong a word really. It’s not that dramatic. I suppose there’s a degree of “cabin fever” that comes with being on your own for most of the waking week. Most of the time this solitude is actually lovely. Everything in moderation. I guess I’ll just have to make more of an effort to sort out some socialising. We’re having a garden party BBQ over the weekend so I’m sure I’ll top up my socialising levels then.
P.S. the sofabed went together surprisingly easy and fits the room nicely.