Season 4, Episode 3: Sam Bewley is a racing cyclist from New Zealand who, until recently, rode for UCI World Team BikeExchange–Jayco. Bewley also competed for UCI ProTeam Team RadioShack with Lance Armstrong and twice won an Olympic bronze medal on the track. He has raced in nine Grand Tours, including five starts at the Vuelta a España, three starts at the Giro d’Italia and the Tour de France in its 2020 edition.
Sam is a podcast host and also known as ‘the stand-up cyclist’ for bringing humour to the peloton, so I wanted to chat to him about his transition from mountain to track to road cycling, the highs and lows of his grand tours, cycling with Lance Armstrong and the importance of culture in the team.
What I’ve Been Reading
Coasting; Running Around the Coast of Britain – Life, Love and (Very) Loose Plans by Elise Downing is a wonderful story of someone finding themselves through adventure.
Elise attempted to be the first person to run 5,000 miles around the coast of Britain, whilst carrying all her own kit, with absolutely no ultra-running experience, unable to read a map and having never pitched a tent alone before. Over the 301 days that followed she developed a debilitating fear of farmyard animals, cried on a lot of beaches and saw Britain at its most wild and wonderful.
Coasting is about putting one foot in front of the other even when it feels impossible and trying to enjoy it too. With heart and humour, Elise explores the thrill of taking risks and putting your trust in total strangers and learns some home truths along the way. This certainly isn’t your typical adventure book, but it is refreshingly honest and just goes to show what anyone can achieve if they put their mind to it.
TED Talk I’ve Found Interesting
In his endearingly honest and vulnerable TED talk, My 5 lives as an artist, Raghava KK tells the colourful tale of how art has taken his life to new places and how life experiences, in turn, have driven his multiple reincarnations as an artist – from cartoonist to painter, media darling to social outcast, and son to father…
What I’ve Been Watching
On a recent flight I watched a film called After Yang that really made me think about the future of AI. When his young daughter’s beloved companion, an android named Yang, malfunctions, Jake searches for a way to repair him. In the process, Jake discovers the life that has been passing in front of him, reconnecting with his wife and daughter across a distance he didn’t know was there.
It raises many questions about a future where AI develops emotions and how we will deal with that. If you are interested in AI, I’d definitely recommend watching.
Podcast I’ve Enjoyed
As a big fan of Peter Diamandis, his new podcast, Moonshots and Mindsets, was always going to interest me. From space travel to longevity, there are not enough people finding solutions to humanity’s grand challenges. Peter and his friends share everything they know about pursuing your Moonshot and solving big challenges. With guests like Tony Robbins and Elon Musk, I already know this will be a regular listen for me.
Quote of the Week
“The single biggest problem with communication is the illusion that it has taken place.”
– George Bernard Shaw
Finance Theme I’ve Been Considering
In September the Bank of England raised interest rates by 0.5% to 2.25%. But why? And more to the point, was it pointless?
The Bank of England has been independent since Gordon Brown was Chancellor and is responsible for inflation but not, as some think, the economy. It is given the sole responsibility to keep inflation low. Inflation is a simple result of supply and demand and is affected principally by spending and money supply. Keeping it simple, the more spending there is in an economy, the higher the rate of inflation. The more money in an economy, the higher the rate of inflation. The less ‘stuff’ there is for people to buy, the higher the rate of inflation.
During COVID, the governments across the globe flooded the world with money to stop their economies from crashing. This money is now in the world economy, and so inflation MUST go up. There is nothing unusual here, and it will be short lived once a full cycle of the money has been completed. The spending ‘boom’ post COVID also contributed to this.
Then the Ukraine war happened. This has caused massive shortages around the world of certain resources, but mostly wheat, ammonia, gas, and oil. Add this to the increase in money supply and inflation increases.
This is why the Bank of England raises interest rates. When the rate is increased the rate of borrowing increases and people tend to spend less. As they spend less, that falling demand reduces inflation. Until politicians get involved… When Liz Truss decides to spend money to artificially keep fuel prices down, she is putting more money in the system. Yes, fuel may artificially reduce, but everything else increases by a corresponding amount. When she increases pay by reversing the NI increases, she will put more money in the system, and thus inflation is driven up!
Taking these two actions may make her look good to people as someone who is helping. It feels good now but is bad in the long term. Therefore, the acts of the Bank of England get cancelled out by the acts of the government and inflation continues to be higher for longer. As we have often said, the politicians, mess up the economics! It has cost Kwasi his job but the question is, will Liz last until Christmas?