Hola from Granada, amigos!

Chelsea and I pedaled here from Valencia over ten days. We're currently enjoying a break to hang with friends, explore the city, hike and run in the Sierra Nevadas, and take it easy while a storm hits the region. All's well!

This week's fun and games:

An under-the-hood look at our first ten days on the bikes, Gmail tips and tricks I'm using to stay on top of work while I'm gone, a slick method for keeping our van battery charged, and thoughts on being busy.



Making friends with Spanish cyclists.

Ten Days of Bike Touring!

Want to see what the day-to-day of bike touring is like? These snapshots from our first 10 days of cycling encapsulate the ups and downs of our time so far in Spain.

Check out the blog post, which is stuffed full of pics and snippets of 340 miles of pedaling from Valencia to Granada!

Gmail Tips: Mastering Your Inbox

At the peak of my work load, I received 5,000 emails/month and sent another 3,000. Yeah. It was a lot.

While we bike tour, time is at a premium and anything to help me handle work efficiently is a major bonus. 
I've got my own techniques and thought this article from Gmail's blog about mastering email summed things up quite nicely. If you're looking to get on top of your inbox, check it out!

Three of my favorites:

1. Don’t click on an email more than twice

2. Respond within 24 hours, even if it’s only to check in - I've found a "hey, I got this and will get back to you asap" is all people need to know they've been heard. Then reply in full at your convenience.
3. Keep emails that require clear action; otherwise archive or delete - anything complicated gets moved into my prioritized Evernote system to be handled later.

Trik-L-Start: No More Dead Van Batteries

Our van sits in our driveway for much of the winter and is hanging out there during this trip. I've battled a repeat dead starter battery for the past couple years...until recently! Enter the Trik-L-Start.

This handy item connects to your batteries (or solenoid/battery separator) to allow solar panel current to charge your van starter battery. It took about 10 minutes to install - I put ours right in the engine compartment - and by the end of the day, my starter battery went from totally dead to firing right up. 

This means that when we're driving, our alternator charges our house batteries (lights, fridge, etc) and then when we stop, the solar charges everything. If that' not a double win, I don't know what is. Highly recommend it!

I got mine from AM Solar, but lots of companies sell them. Here's a shot of my install.

Busy Is Not The Point

Seth Godin's blog is one of my favorite and this post struck me as compelling. It's short, so I'll post the entire thing here:

There’s a common safe place: Being busy.

We’re supposed to give you a pass because you were full on, all day. Frantically moving from one thing to the other, never pausing to catch your breath, and now you’re exhausted.

No points for busy.

Points for successful prioritization. Points for efficiency and productivity. Points for doing work that matters.

No points for busy.

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