Digests

Find here a summary of digests previously sent by email to Zafiri subscribers, sequenced in reverse chronological order. Digests are the sole “newsletter” type of update sent by email, issued once every two months. They offer an abridged version of what’s being going on, demonstrating the scope of Zafiri in a succinct format.

2020
May

2019
January, April, December

2018
October, JulyMay, March, January

May 29th, 2020

Portuguese explorer Vasco da Gama spent two decades locked down in Lisbon between voyages to India. 500 years later, the Lisbon City Guide is now live, matched by another mid-millennium story in the shape of the Florence City Guide. Balance renaissance with current day – an eco hotel in Cape Town and a pioneering road cycling itinerary from Pyonyang, North Korea.

No doubt restricted travel will have you thinking about what training is on your own doorstep. If your neighbourhood isn’t covered by the 40+ towns in our city guides or hotel reviews, send me an email to see if I have some notes. If you are more liberally cloistered in a rural setting, set routes according to four compass directions, strapping on your goggles if bordered by open water.

Still though, set a horizon for yourself by doing research on next trips. Have a search through Zafiri’s 700 posts for inspiration, including:

We’ll also be using this period to keep an eye on environmental projects by reviewing one per month. Right now dam builders are tinkering in the Balkans, completing contentious projects while inspectors remain homebound.

On accounting matters: the Zafiri Subscription to unlock city guides has been simplified and set to £10 per year. Let’s see if it can be useful to consolidate or catalyse your training as we enter the twenties.

December 31st, 2019

In the final moments of the decade, we’re floating back to altitude with a Mexico City Guide to route outdoor gyms (below), and more effectively navigate NAFTA (Cabo covered). A more thoroughbred triathlon city is addressed in another city guide – welcome Zurich.

Latest property reviews include the new Whitworth Locke in Manchester, also perhaps the best hotel gym we’ve seen. On England’s south coast in Brighton, the creative Artist Residence is a short sprint from a prime open water swimming spot. A third hotel would have been a favourite for both Montagues and Capulets, Cinque Rooms in fair Verona.

Stepping beyond facilities and infrastructure for athletics: the concern for environmental issues is higher than ever. In fisheries, Patagonia’s ARTIFISHAL documentary raises the alarming health and habitat implications of eating farmed salmon and trout. In responsible apparel, look to a legacy post “Responsible Apparel Consumption for Athletes.”

April 12th, 2019

As fashionable crowds descend on Lombardy to recline on designer sofas, we’ve gathered together the on-trend athletic facilities in our new Milan City Guide. Things are less refined in South Africa where a combination of infrastructure, altitude and competition made the Johannesburg City Guide a joy to write – enough to justify its reputation as a town for endurance athletes.

At the end of 2018, I spent my own brief moment reclined and strapped into a massage table in Manhattan, the outcome being a documented assisted stretch experience. In other posts, a recent trip to D.C. allowed for a diversion to nearby Baltimore, a legacy town that is going through urban renewal sufficient for Joie de Vivre Hotels to open Hotel Revival. Other items from the winter included a consideration of shoes for the season ahead, and so a moment to review a year running with the adidas Adizero Adios.

Plans to establish city guides for Indo-Australian and Pacific Plates are afoot. Never hesitate to get in touch if you’re exploring beyond the collection of 24 city guides and need recommendations.

January 3rd, 2019

Here wrapping our first year of Zafiri’s City Guides, with the recent publishing of DenverCopenhagen and Durham, North Carolina getting us to a total of 22. Keeping to this cadence in 2019 will ensure that the collection soon meets the needs of a good volume of athletic travellers in Europe and North America.

Other items from the past two months include the reviewing of Sweat Equity, a business book for those baffled by the continued growth of fitness clubs like Barry’s Bootcamp and Flywheel, two of our favourites. A trip to the East Coast of the U.S. presented an opportunity to try out the socially conscious Eaton DC, a new hotel brand from the same group behind The Langham.

On the business front: we’re at just over 250 subscribers, presenting healthy but still insufficient revenue with pricing at £25 per year. Upcoming outreach to triathlon clubs for group deals should put the City Guides in front of existing clusters of consistent and determined athletes.

October 6th, 2018

I’m just back from a weekend in the Bavarian Alps at vegan hotel SeinZ, substituting the clamour of Munich’s Oktoberfest for cold water skinny dipping and mountain biking. The final weekend trip of the year takes place in two weeks in Upstate New York, road cycling in the Catskills – do join for some Autumn riding.

Earlier in the summer, some time in Geneva was enough to try out La Cour des Augustins, a centrally located design hotel. A more local excursion to a tiny pub-hotel in the Chiltern Hills30 miles west of London was another summer highlight – drop in for the night, or swing by for a meal. The surfacing of training concerns when travelling through Namibia in February inspired a short guide to African safari properties, forcusing on those that are stocked with equipment to appease athletic wildlife enthusiasts.

New city guides includes an assessement of Baron von Hausmanm’s work in Paris, and a salute to fast-footed Eliud Kioproge, who recently set Berlin alight in the city’s marathon. Other city training infrastructure includes a napping studio in London, as well as guide to what to expect from Barry’s Bootcamp classes, useful if you’re on the road or if you find yourself in a winter rut.

July 19th, 2018

Three more city guides have published over the past two months, documenting the essentials for endurance athletes visiting AmsterdamHouston and Singapore, so signalling our first city guide for Asia. Amsterdam’s hospitality highlight arrives in the form of a series of boathouses recently converted into tiny hotels, while Singapore and Houston share victories in building infrastructure for athletes surrounded by humidity and urbanism.

New hotel reviews provide entry training notes for Pittsburgh and Berlin, while a guide to napping in New York bolts onto the existing Manhattan guide. A summary of dynamic running crews in Portland, London and New York serves as a useful primer to a new era for athletic clubs and improved standards.

Finally, weekend trips in Bavaria (September) and upstate New York (October) are still open for booking, with the Catskills, NY trip being in greatest demand.

May 9th, 2018

We’re now in May, and the West Coast of the U.S. has been won. New city guides are out for PortlandSeattleHollywood and Downtown Los Angeles. Let me know if you want guides for any European cities published soon – a balancing act is due.

I’ve just returned from a Trip cycling with Catskill Collective in Upstate New York. Fabulous riding and there’s an idea to return to their cabin for the second weekend of October – message me if this is of interest. In Europe, another Trip will be taking place 21st to 23rd September out of a vegan hotel near to Munich, coinciding with Oktoberfest for those who want to combine Bavarian countryside with beer.

On the business front, I’ve switched the subscription over to an annual £25, and monthly £3, for city guides only. Trips will continue to happen and be broadcasted by email, but they aren’t formally part of the subscription.

A note to the check out the hotels section of the website where far-flung properties in West Texasthe Namibian desert and south coast of England have been reviewed in the past three months, with training notes added for good measure.

March 13th, 2018

By now there’s a good chance you’re thinking about the upcoming racing season. The Beast from the East has moved from British shores, California’s snowpack was recently doubled in a single storm and the mercury in New York is expected to rise through the mid-40s this week.

New City Guides finally pay attention to Manhattan, as well as the more tempered Vancouver. Further east, a city guide for Cape Town is the first to chart southerly latitudes, balanced on the other side of the equator by the more frigid Edinburgh.

On the horizon are a pair of Trips, one for Londoners interested in knocking around the Chilterns (23rd – 25th March), and a second for New York cyclists in a converted cabin in the Catskills, taking place over the first weekend of May.

January 1st, 2018

This email includes the first digest in a bimonthly cycle of updates from Zafiri. Here goes:

In November and December, initial City Guides were published for six locations.
These first versions included the discretionary split of Brooklyn from its islandised neighbour, and Venice & Santa Monica from the rooftop distractions of downtown L.A.. London was tackled as a whole, while the endurance gems of Munich, Rome and San Francisco ended up being the most compact.

First Trips are now out, with one discounted weekend happening at the end of the week near London, and another over the first weekend of May in the Catskills north of New York. New Trips for Napa Valley and Palm Springs might entice Californians for weekends in May.

The first two months of 2018 will be important for the opening up of new Trips and the growth of subscriptions to break-even. New City Guides shall be published each Friday and focus on towns that host major conferences. Learn about the subscription and check into the dynamic executive summary to get business forecasts. Discount code EARLY75 shall be active during January – do share among your most athletic friends for 75% off their new subscription.

Subscribe to Zafiri for free to receive access to all City Guides and receive digests by email.