PYB Blog

  1. Geraint Thomas reflects on a disappointing Tour De Romandie

     

    Capture

    The Tour of Romandie didn’t quite go to plan for myself or the team recently. I was struggling with fatigue after pushing hard in the first part of the season and so felt tired and not as good as I have done previously this year. 

     

    The weather at the race didn’t help a lot either! When we arrived to the team hotel, it was snowing and also settling on the road. Luckily we could still race but it was certainly the coldest week of racing this year. We started with a 4km prologue, with a few snow flakes falling around. It was a good start to the race with Kwaito and myself 3rd and 4th respectively on GC.

     

    Unfortunately it was all downhill from here for myself and I slowly dropped out of GC contention. Froomey also had some bad luck on the first mountain stage when he punctured on the penultimate climb. The race was really heating up at this point so there were a lot of riders dropped and groups everywhere. This meant our team car wasn’t behind the front group as they were stuck behind dropped riders, so Mikel Nieve stopped and gave Froomey his front wheel. As the pace was so high they couldn’t get back, which meant I was the only guy left in the front group. I tried to get a result for the team but I cracked 5km to go and lost about 50sec to the winner Nairo Quintana.

     

    The rest of the race was about getting what we could from it. Froomey won stage 4 with a really impressive ride which was great to see. On the final stage we tried to set up our sprinter Ben Swift for the final but unfortunately there was a big crash which he got caught up in. Luckily he wasn’t too badly injured, with no fractures or breaks. That’s classed as a ‘lucky crash’ for Ben, as he’s had a lot of injuries and operations following crashes so we were glad it wasn’t too serious.

     

    After Romandie I had a mini break. A week off, to do what I want, ride my bike a bit but with no structure or stress. A little break mid season helps me to freshen up mentally as much as physically before another big block. It’s a chance to spend some quality time with my wife and enjoy a few drinks and meals out. 

     

    Next up is another 2 week training camp up in Tenerife, followed by Tour de Swiss, potentially National TT Championships and hopefully the Tour. I’m definitely going to enjoy a steak and an ice cream while I can! 

     

  2. Ultimate Festival Kit Competition #PYBfestival

    It’s that time of year again! The nights are getting longer and the temperature has certainly risen which means that we’re at the start of festival season! To celebrate the start of this seasons festivals we’ve got an Ultimate Festival Kit to give away to one lucky follower on Twitter. To win simply head on over to our Twitter page, follow and RT the pinned tweet containing the #PYBfestival. It couldn’t be easier!

    You can enter on Twitter HERE

    Additionally we have a blog on keeping your gadgets and belongings safe at festivals. The blog includes tips from what to where, where you can leave your gadgets and what to do in the event they do go missing. You can read the article in full here

    Ultimate-Festival-Kit

     

    Festival Twitter Giveaway Rules

    Eligibility

    1. The promotion is open to residents of Great Britain (England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland), Isle of Man and Channel Islands only, excluding employees of the Assurant Direct Limited (the “Promoter”) and their immediate families, agencies of the Promoter, and anyone else professionally connected with this promotion.

    2. This promotion is only open to individuals aged 18 years or over on date of promotion entry.

    3. The promotion begins at 10am on 20th May 2016 and closes on May 26th 2016 British Summer Time (BST). Any entry received after the closing date and time will not be valid. Proof of sending is not proof of receipt.

    4. Entrants must have access to the internet and an email address and Twitter account

    5. Entry is free and no purchase is necessary to enter this promotion. A maximum of one entry per person is allowed and a maximum of one prize may be won per household.

     

    How to Enter

    5. To enter this promotion, visit twitter.com/protectyrbubble , follow the Protect Your Bubble Twitter account from your Twitter account, and re-tweet  the competition tweet which will include hashtag #PYBfestival and ‘Retweet & Follow’

    6. Retweeting any other post during the date range specified above that does not contain the phrase above does not count as an entry

    7. Entrants must continue to follow the @protectyrbubble Twitter account following entry into the promotion in order to continue to be regarded as eligible

    8. Entrants must not publish repeated Tweets

    9. Entrants must not attempt to enter the promotion using multiple accounts and entrants found to be doing so will be ineligible to participate in the promotion. It is the responsibility of entrants to ensure they comply with Twitter’s rules regarding usage

    The Prize

    10. There is one winner.  The prize is 1 Ultimate Festival Kit usually including the following (but may vary at the sole discretion of the supplier): glow sticks, poncho, face wipes, electro-mix electrolyte drinks powder, toothbrush & paste, anti-bacterial hand wash, ear plugs, flash light, sun cream ,rave paint, tissues and disposable toilet wipes. 11. Cost of shipping is included in the prize. Any redelivery requirements where a user has not been available to receive their delivery that requires an additional costs is the winner’s responsibility. The winners are responsible for all expenses not expressly stated in these terms and conditions as being included as part of the prize.

    12. The prize is not transferable, cannot be exchanged and has no cash value. It cannot be redeemed by the winner for cash or any other prize. The prize is awarded “as is” with no warranty or guarantee, either express or implied.

    Winner Selection and Notification

    13. The winner will be randomly selected on 27th May 2016 by the Promoter from all of the valid entries submitted during the promotional period in accordance with these terms and conditions.

    14. The Promoter will contact the winner within one week of on 27th May via private message on Twitter. The prize will be posted to the address provided by the winner within 7 working days of the winner claiming. In all matters, the random selection made by the Promoter shall be final and no correspondence or discussion shall be entered into.

    15. The winner is required to respond to the private message notification within 7 days in order to claim the prize. Failure to do so will result in the prize being forfeited and another winner will be selected.

    16. The Promoter accepts no responsibility for failed delivery due to provision of incorrect contact details by entrants. Any prize that is returned undelivered will be assumed unwanted and the Promoter reserves the right to select an alternative winner to receive the prize using the same process referred to above in these terms and conditions.

    17. The Promoter reserves the right to ask for evidence of identity and address of the prize winner.

    18. By entering this promotion, entrants will be deemed to have accepted and agreed to be bound by these terms and conditions.

    19. Losing entries will not receive any notification.

    General

    20. The Twitter handle, name and county of residence of the prize winner will be available upon request by sending a stamped self-addressed envelope to; Festival Competition, Protect Your Bubble, Assurant House, 6-12 Victoria Street, Windsor, Berkshire, SL4 1EN after 1st June

    21. In the event of unforeseen circumstances the Promoter reserves the right to provide alternative prizes of equal or greater value.

    22. By entering, entrants and winners (as applicable) grant Promoter, and their licensees, successors and assigns, the assignable, perpetual, worldwide, fully-paid, irrevocable, non-exclusive license to publish, reproduce, prepare derivative works of, distribute, display, exhibit, transmit, broadcast, televise, digitize, otherwise use, and permit others to use their entry for this Promotion, including the names and likenesses of any persons embodied therein, in any manner, form, or format now or hereinafter created, including on the Internet, and on Promoter social media sites, and for any purpose, including, but not limited to, advertising or promotion of Promoter, all without further consent from or notice or payment to entrant or winner(s). Promoter is under no obligation to make use of the rights granted herein.

    23. The Promoter and its agents will only use personal information supplied by entrants to this promotion for the purposes of administering this promotion, unless consent is received to use such information for any other purpose. All personal data shared by the entrants will be collected in accordance with Promoter’s privacy policy available at http://uk.protectyourbubble.com/legal-privacy/privacy-policy.html

    24. Nothing in these terms shall exclude the liability of the Promoter for death, personal injury, fraud or fraudulent misrepresentation as a result of its negligence or any other liability which may not be excluded by law. The Promoter excludes all other liability to the extent permitted by law and in particular without limitation to the foregoing, the Promoter shall not be liable for any indirect, special or consequential loss nor for loss arising out of matters outside of its control nor for entries lost, delayed or undelivered, nor any liability for technical errors or communication failures in networks and/or internet access.

    25. By participating, each entrant agrees to release, indemnify, discharge and hold harmless Promoter and Twitter, Inc., and each of their respective parents, affiliates, subsidiaries, and advertising and promotion agencies, and the respective officers, directors, shareholders, employees, agents and representatives of the forgoing (collectively, “Released Parties”) from any and all injuries, liability, losses and damages of any kind to persons, including death, or property resulting, in whole or in part, directly or indirectly, from entrant’s participation in the Promotion or any Promotion -related activity, the acceptance, possession, use or misuse of any prize and/or Promoter’s use of the rights granted herein.

    26. The Promoter reserves the right at any time to modify, discontinue (temporary or permanently) this promotion with or without prior notice due to reasons outside its control (including in the case of anticipated, suspected or actual fraud). The decision of the Promoter in all matters under its control is final and binding.

    27. This promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with Twitter, Inc. You understand that you are providing your information to Promoter and not to Twitter, Inc. Entrants to this promotion hereby release Twitter, Inc.from any claim or liability suffered in connection with this promotion

    28. This promotion and these terms and conditions will be governed by English law and any disputes will be subject to the exclusive jurisdiction of the courts of England and Wales.

    Promoter – Assurant Direct Limited trading as Protect your bubble, whose registered office is Assurant House, 6-12 Victoria Street, Windsor, Berkshire, SL4 1EN and whose registered number is 5399683.

  3. The Ultimate Guide to keeping your Gadgets safe this festival season

    Plan your outfit

    Taking time to pick a strong festival outfit in the weeks that lead up to your festival of choice is always a must. However when considering your outfit its worth thinking about your valuables safety too. You don’t need to compromise your look at all however it’s worth considering items with zipped or deep pockets. Zipped pockets provide that extra layer of security making it that little bit harder for would be thieves or for your beloved smartphone to fall out of your pocket as you get carried away with the crowd after a big set.

    festival

    Take advantage of festival lockers and festival lock ups

    Its well worth taking advantage of festival lock ups. These are dotted round the camp site and tend to be open 24 hours a day. (Check with your festival)  You can leave any item big or small with total piece of mind. They are essentially big cloakrooms, similar to that of a bar or club. At Glastonbury the staff even hand out free toilet roll to those in need!

    Festival lockers are another great option. They may seem like an added expense you simply don’t need but if there is a group of you it really is a no brainer and many argue it’s worth it for the phone charger which features in them at the majority of festivals. The ability to store items like your passport, car keys, contact lenses and return travel tickets really is invaluable and shouldn’t be scoffed at.

    Don’t leave your valuables unattended or padlock your tent

    This one might seem obvious but it’s frightening how many people have their phones, car keys, wallets, passports and cameras stolen as a result of leaving them. Leaving your valuables in a tent is just asking for trouble and it could invalidate your insurance.

    Padlocking your tent might seem like a great idea and give you an added layer of security however it can actually often prove to be the worst thing you can do. Padlocking your tent screams that it has something valuable inside and is going to make any thief not only break in but probably ruin your tent in the process.

    If you are going to carry your belongings, it’s worth sleeping with them at the bottom of your sleeping bag. Thieves at festivals are crafty & bold and will try to rob you as you sleep. Putting them at the bottom of your bag ensures that even if you’re out for the count a thief is going to have a hard time moving your body to get to your valuables.

    Invest in a good case

    A good case can make all the difference to you breaking or losing your phone. When looking for a case try to get one that has flaps that cover the charging port and headphone jack, that way if you drop your phone in the mud it’s not going to break the charger or headphone jack. (I’ve broken 2 phones this way)

    Another good option to look at is a bungee key fob. These are available on amazon for under £10 and attach to most smartphones. The cord attaches to your smartphone and then you can clip it to your belt, pocket or inside of you bag making it that much harder for a thief to nab or for it to fall out of your pocket accidently.

    Get a festival phone

    Whilst we completely understand why you’d want your smartphone with you so you can upload pics, take Snapchats and even check the football scores it’s worth seriously considering leaving your smartphone at home.

    Use an old phone from the drawer or pick up a cheap phones for next to nothing and liberate yourself from the stress of looking after your number one personal item. Plus going a weekend with social media can be extremely liberating. If you’re worried about not having any photos go old school and get a few disposal cameras. You’ll have great fun getting them developed and be able to relieve all the memories (perhaps forgotten memories) when you get home!

    Report anything stolen to the police right away

    If the worst does happen and you do find that your valuables have been stolen, report it to the police immediately and get a crime number. This represents your best chance of getting the items back and if you have insurance a crime number is required as part of the claims process.

    Lastly……Take out insurance!

    If you’ve got a particularly active summer this year or heading to a festival it’s well worth taking out insurance. We offer insurance for gadgets and mobile phones. Insurance covers you from theft, loss, accidental damage and cracked screens.

    You can check out our gadget Insurance policies here

  4. The ultimate gadgets you need for the perfect BBQ

    May is finally upon us and brings with it two bank holiday weekends which are ideal for BBQ-ing! With the temperatures set to make it into the mid 20s this weekend we’ve pulled together the must have gadgets which are sure to make you the envy of all your friends and provide you with the coveted BBQ king crown this summer.

    Fugoo Style speaker – One of the main ingredients for any good gathering, BBQ or party is good music & a good speaker. We can’t think of a better one currently than the Fugoo Style. It’s rare that you can find a speaker that delivers great quality audio, is durable and stylish all in one portable Bluetooth package. However this speaker delivers all of that and more.  Supplying a crisp sound outlay you’ll be amazed about the sound quality that comes out of such a small speaker. The speaker also has a battery life of a whopping 40 hours which means you’ll never have to cut the party short!  It’s also been designed to be weatherproof and can be submerged in water for up to 30 minutes without breaking which is ideal if you have a pool or the great British weather takes a turn for the worst!

    Fugoo Style – Available from Amazon for £149

     

    The Battery Powered BBQ Kebab and Rotisserie Spit is the perfect gadget for any BBQ enthusiast! This rotisserie rack sits on top of your BBQ and slowly rotates allowing you to concentrate on some of the more expensive items like steaks without worrying if your kebabs, chicken or sausages are cooking through evenly and more importantly not burning!

    The Battery Powered BBQ Kebab and Rotisserie Spit – Available from amazon for £50

    Meat Thermometers make the ideal gift for a birthday or any BBQ enthusiast. A set of 4 thermometers are available from John Lewis for just £10. Consisting of one beef, chicken, lamb and pork thermometer, the dial is separated into 3 sections; rare, medium and well done so you’ll be able to tell as soon as your meet is cooked to perfection!

    Meat Thermometers – Available from John Lewis for £10

     

    Looftlighter Electric BBQ starter – The looftlighter is a great invention and replaces the need for kindle, firelighters, lighting fluids or scrap pieces of paper. It works by blowing an extremely hot jet of air onto your coals and promises to deliver a fully established fire in under 2 minutes. Ideal for those who want to just get on with the BBQ without the hassle of getting it going.

    Available from Amazon for £48.99

    Lazy-Spay hot tub – Perhaps not an essential but something that should be considered by anyone who Is planning on spending any large amount of time in their garden with friends and family this summer! The Lazy-Spa provides the perfect way to unwind after a BBQ. This inflatable hot tub heats up to 40 degrees and offers all the social and health benefits that a hot tub brings at an affordable price!

    The Lazy-Spa (2-4 persons) Available from Amazon for: £257

    The Lazy-Spa (4-6 persons) Available from Amazon for: £329

  5. Are Virtual Reality headsets the future of gaming?

    VR headsets or Virtual reality headsets to give them their full name have been heralded as the latest technology innovation in the gaming sphere for a couple of years. Certainly VR has been right at the top of the agenda and proclaimed as this year’s greatest innovation at the CES show in Las Vegas for the last couple of years. It didn’t really happen in 2015 but with the first orders of the Oculus Rift shifting this month and Sony PlayStation announcing further details around their VR headset, we explore whether VR really is the future

    Photo by Maurizio Pesce

    Photo by Maurizio Pesce

    What are Virtual Reality Headsets?

    Virtual reality headsets secure a display in front of your eyes (in the case of the Samsung GEAR your phone) and some kind of input which dependent on the headset make could be anything from head tracking sensors, controllers, hand tracking, voice or buttons.

    The aim of VR headsets is to completely immerse the user in a virtual world that seems so real and life like that the user forgets the computer and head gear and behaves exactly how they would as if it were real.

    Generally the way it works is feeds are sent to the display which sits inside the headset. Lenses also sit in-between the screen and your eyes. These are there to interact with the pixels on the display, focusing and reshaping the picture for the eyes making them more lifelike and 3D whilst also giving headsets their goggle like look and feel.

     

     

    The contenders, price and availability

    • The Oculus Rift is a headset that plugs into your computers USB ports and tracks your head movements to provide 3D imagery on its stereo screens. Handsets are also available to enhance your gaming experience by bringing your hands into play. The only issue being you’ll need a pretty powerful PC to run the rift.

    Priced at $599

    • The Playstation VR is scheduled for release in October 2016. Given that over 46 million PS4s are out there worldwide, a strong pre-Christmas push could really launch VR gaming to new levels

    Priced at $399

    • The HTC Vive plugs into your PC in a similar way to the Oculus Rift. Thanks to huge number of sensors (70 in total) 360 degree head tracking is possible and allows you to really immerse you in a virtual world

     Priced at $799

    • The Samsung GEAR headset is available now and offers ludicrous value when compared with the other VR headsets on the market. The release of the Samsung Galaxy S7 has attended to complaints that the S6’s battery wasn’t powerful enough to run the GEAR. The S7 seems to have readdressed the balance and beefed up the headsets capabilities. The phone plugs straight into the headset allowing you to immerse yourself in the world of VR. The only drawback is that you need a Samsung Galaxy S6 or above to use this headset.

    Priced at $99

     

    So can it change the future of gaming?

    We’re clearly not quite at the stage where you’ll be able to jump straight into a First Person Shooters (FPS) with the ability to storm a building or make a break down the left wing in a game of FIFA. However as the Bullet train FPS developed for the Rift proves we aren’t too far away. This is definitely an exciting time to be involved with VR gaming. We predict over the next couple of years major developments. The VR headsets that get released to market will only help to drive on companies to outdo each other and release the next best thing.

    The question remains whether the technology and gaming capabilities will come quick enough to match the current hype surround VR. The danger is that developments take too long, the hype ebbs away and we’ll all have moved on to the next thing.

Prices may change. Protect Your Bubble is a trading name of Assurant Direct Limited, a company registered in England and Wales (registration company number 5399683). Assurant Direct Limited is an Appointed Representative of Lifestyle Services Group Limited. Lifestyle Services Group Limited is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority under registration number 315245. You can check this on the Financial Services Register at http://www.fca.org.uk/ or by calling 0800 111 6768.

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