Tuesday, 28 July 2009

laziness? lethargy? or lame?

5 days off work and I have hardly done anything that I planned to do. Just could not be arsed. I really did plan on going to the club ride on Sunday to Marsden but the rain was hammering it down at 8am and it did not look like stopping.

Monday came and went, I was going to go gym and bike but just ened up doing hill sprints at Heaton park with Middleton Harriers. Absolutely loved the session. Believe it or not when we do hills I dont fall as far behind. My knee did start to twinge towards the end and I skipped the warm down around the golf course as I might not have made it back.

Tuesday came and is going very slowly. ITS MY BIRTHDAY! Celebrated by not having a lie in as I was invovled in a car accident yesterday and the car needed taking to garage asap. Went to gym at 10.30am and did some weights ( not done for a while) and cross trainer. I went on the bike for 3 min 20 secs and my knee was really playing up. Unusual as it doesn't happen on the bike normally. I fely very fresh too and keeping a very good pace easily. I adjusted my position so I was 'leaning as far forward over the pedals and seem to get more power in each stroke for little effort. I had to sit right on the edge of the seat. Might transfer this technique to my road bike and see what happens. Still not happy with my positioning as sometimes I feel I'm stretching too much in calves or on Saturday I felt I wasn't stretching any muscles and started to ache. Back to the drawing board as they say.

Saturday, 25 July 2009

Just a drop in the ocean

Rest week is over I'm afraid, back to the hard stuff. Took 'Vanquish' on a trip to Whitworth where I usually meet Rochdale Tri CLub at Cown reservoir to watch them do a bit of open water swimming. I don't have a wet suit so don't take part just like to see what all the fuss is about.

Just an easy pace to Cowm res, I overtook two rochdale tri club members on the way. Arrived just after 9am after setting off from middelton about 8.15am. One of the guys got out around 9.20 and asked if I wanted to borrow his suit and get in the water! A lot of ummming and ahhhhing later I agreed.

The water was cold but fresh and felt great. Just swam half the lake to join the others and swam back again as the others were getting out. I was in for about 1/2hr and enjoyed every second of it. A brew and cheese buttie later a few of us set off for home. Nothing too strenuous or long. Through R/dale milnrow,new hey, shaw, royton, chadderton and to middleton. Vanquish felt very sluggish up the hills or was it my legs after such a long lay off. Was going to take her to the club ride 2moz to Marsden but I think Jamis has won this fight.

cycling ~30 miles @16.5mph

Thursday, 23 July 2009

Rest is good for you......apparently?

Well Tuesday I was going to do some core exercises and then swim with Tri club but I thought I would have a much needed rest. Wednesday and Thursday are going to be rest days too as I am working lates. I dont think my poor legs have recovered from the sprinting I did on Monday.

In the mean time I have been cleaning up my beauties ready for the weekend or when the weather brightens up which ever comes first. Full services are what my babies deserve and is what they get. I have been experimenting with seat tilt as I didn't think they could at first and also my seat post height as I'm sure my post is way too high. My legs are extremely short!! I think I might need an even smaller frame than SMALL next time? The top of the seat is still 5-10cms above the handle bars but I'm after a more aggressive position for when I do a few time trials later on in the year.

Monday, 20 July 2009


I was very tired after last week and this was supposed to be my rest week as I was on lates but ended up earlies for mon/tues & lates wed/thurs so I thought I had better do some running as I hadn't done any for a bit.

I met Middleton Harriers at Heaton Park at 7pm (sheepfoot lane) and had a warm up jog to just below the big grassy bit beneath Heaton Hall. Today was sprint/interval day. Any running day is bad! Our 'leader' Derek , had a 'great' idea of doing a 'pyramid' 200m sprint, 200m recover jog. 500m sprint, 500m recover jog. 1km sprint, 5 min walk/jog and then 1mile sprint x2 with 7 min recover jog/walk and back to 1km....500m and 200m.

That was the hour up. My knee help up quite well as I used a general neoprene tubular thing instead of my 'misplaced' cho-pat one which eases pressure on my tendons/ligaments above and below knee cap. It. was warm and sunny and I was breathless for quite a lot of it but I ended up getting a stitch after the first 1km and struggled to the end. I tended to ease up for the first part then sprint at the end of each set as my stitch only occurs if I run at a fast pace then takes ages to disappear. I need to go running about twice a week but work commitments make it difficult and progress at the moment is very slow or it seems to be. I will stick at it until I get another bad injury I guess.

Sunday, 19 July 2009

Wetherby Audax

Just a quickie coz I really can't be bothered to type today. Arrived Fairburn church in good time to sign up. Since we were late entries I had to write down my OWN name, address and tel no. Where's the missus when I need her.....In BED! Mr.F came well prepared and had a map holder on his bike, didn't mean he could read a map though. We nearly turned back a few times as the weather was horrific which eventually turned to a relatively light drizzle and stopped at 10am then the odd shower. Ended up following a few of the tail enders for quite a lot of the way.
First stop at 20km was at Wetherby race track where we had to write on the Brevet card ' what sign is under the car park 4 sign' .... 'Trainers and owners only'.
Second stop after 40km was a cafe at some industrial park, got the Brevet cards stamped and headed off after having just a brew and half a buttie.
Course was quite flat around 600m climbing total however there were some short steep esctioned hills that caught us by surprise which Mr F managed more than adequately. Just before we were due to hit the transpenine trail to Selby a massive road flood suddenly appeared infront of us next to a canal. Apparently the pub owner next to it was supposed to tell us of a diversion but she f*ck78 off in the rain and some local directed us the long way around.
Found the transpenine trail eventually which was a mixture of tarmac 'good' and gravel/shale 'very bad' Steve and I braved the front of the peloton and pulled clear but I took a wrong turning and allowed the others to catch up. We ate another half a buttie at around 60km. Sign posted on the trail were distance markings to Jupiter and Neptune can't remember how many 000000000000's of miles but was a welcome distraction as it started to rain again. We followed an extremely slow group as the directions given were vague and this lot had a sherpa called 'sat nav'. Should have called him 'the sloth' At least I had time to soak up the gorgeous scenery, a luxury I don't usually find time for. I spend my time mostly looking at the floor avoiding the pot holes in our very well maintained raod network.
Third stop was a Morrisons 'WOOOHOOO' at 80km, now thats what Im talking about, where we HAD to buy something and get a receipt as proof of visitation for our brevet card. This is where dare devil Steve plucked up the confidence to go 'solo'. So we headed out on our own with at head wind for the last 20km travelling at 17-18mph instead of snail mph. We came to a 'junction'. Straight on ( right hand bend) left turn or another left turn just shy of the first left which looked straight. We were 'told' to go straight on but some how we came to the decision to turn the 2nd left and miraculously chose correct. Nice easy flat chug back to base and a well deserved brew, cake and rice pudding. ooooo they really spoil us in Yorkshire. Not bad for £4 all in.

Steve not happy with the speed but couldn't be helped as directions were poor/fair. ( too many for and a4 sheet) I really enjoyed the ride for my first Audax/orienteering ride and will hopefully do a longer one soon. Nice clean bike turned to a mud soaked wreck. 'Vanquish' performed admirably in the trecherous conditions (very smooth and quick gearing,absorbed the road shock brilliantly and coped with some some god damn awful terrain considering the wheel and tyre choice) although a full service before every ride is getting a bit tiresome.

Distance 100km
Time 4hrs 20mins
Av Sp 13.8mph :(

Thursday, 16 July 2009

Killer week cont.....

As I am planning a good and proper rest week next week due to working lates I decided to carry on my torture, I mean training. A bike ride was first and I took 'Jamis' with me as I was planning on a fairly hilly ride and she was already prepped to go. Today I was going to Burnley. I have seen signs directing me where to go and if worse comes to worse I could follow the same way home although I like to get back using a different route. Not even sure what the distance would be. The sky looked like it was clearing nicely and the sun was trying to break through. All I took was some money, inner tube, tyre thingies and mobile, no pump as I lost it and have one on order from e-bay. My schwalbe stelvio tyres seem to deflect all sorts of shite and was confident I wouldn't need a pump.

Went through Castleton, up Roch valley way ( nice climb), to Whitworth via Whitworth Rd and into Stacksteads. I took a very undulating route past Fearns High school and my old school, BRGS and descended to join Burnley road East. I was going to go up to Crown Point to have a piss as I was desperate but the road was closed off so took next turn to Bacup Rd. A superb descent onto Todmorden rd and into Burnley followed. I should hope so after all that climbing from Whitworth. Turned right at Turd Moor (I'm sure I spelt that right) on to Harry potts way and Brunshaw rd. A couple of 20% climbs didn't seem to bother me too much ( sure it was more that 20% as map my ride doesn't go higher I don't think, It felt worse than 20%) Down red Lees road past lots of little towns/villages I have never heard of before (CLiviger, Mereclough,Holme Chapel Cornholme and Lydgate) then to Todmorden. I stopped off before Tod to relieve myself. Really bad head winds hit me all the way from Burnley back home. I stoped at Walsden Gorden Riggs garden centre for a spam butty and headed home the usual way. The road I sometimes dont pedal down to Littleborough as it is a nice drop was so windy I ended up pedalling all the way down. I was at 16.9 mph average for such a long time and just about managed 17 mph 15 mins home. Not many cyclists on the road today.

I did about 51 miles in 2hrs 50 ish @ 17mph average.

map of route : http://www.mapmyride.com/route/gb/middleton%20to%20burnley/316124775756893936

Went to bed at 4pm after a jumbo cod and chips from Armstrongs just past Heaton Park. I needed energy for later on.

Circuit training was next at 8pm at Middleton Arena. Quick jog for warm up and straight to main set, a mixture of relatively light weights, shuttle runs, lunges, crunches, pressups, situps, tricep dips and loads more. Quick drink then star jumps for a few minutes then back to the circuit.

I joined Rochdale Tri club for swimming, downstairs, at 9pm. I was so glad to see that we were doing sprints tonight as I find that the easiest to recover from inbetween sets. 20 lenghts warm up the 6 x 50 concentrating on stroke technique. Main set was 8 x50m 60 secs rest, 6 x 50m 55 secs rest, 4x 50m 50 secs rest, 2x50m 45 secs rest then 1 x 50m 40 secs rest then 4 lengths active recovery. To finish was 20 x 25m sprints with no push off and a quick warm down.

Absolutely shattered now, but managed to make my self soya beans and rice and tuna before bed to aid recovery. I felt I had a good and productive day. If weather changes and is actually nice for 2moz I have footie at Heaton Park.

Boring Training.....


Today is usually my run day with Middleton Harriers. We meet up at Middleton Arena at 7pm and run for around an hour. Only myself and 2 others turned up as they had a competition on up Tandle Hill somewhere but one of the 'leaders' was supposed to run with us anyway. We waited 'til 19.10 and no one else appeared so the other 2 went off on a run and I decided to do 2 spinning sessions in the gym. I was quite glad actually as I had mis-placed my knee support and was going to run with the slower lot. I hadn't done a spinning session for months either.

I had expected it to be full ( I hadn't pre booked) but managed to get a bike which was already set up exactly how I have it. Started with a warm up slowly incresing the resistance, then a simulated hill climb. Next was some 'jumps' which is really interval training. 10 beat rest, 4 beat build up and 10 beat sprint x 10 all do some dodgy dance music. Then we had a songs worth of 'recovery' at a good pace and medium resistance and some more sprints this time 8 beat rest 8 beat sprint, 4beat rest 4 beat sprint and alot of 2 beat rest and 2 beat sprint. Another hill climb and warm down/stretches and we were done for seesion 1(7.15-8.00 45 mins) . Next session was due to start at 8.15pm so I just pedalled for 15mins at a good pace.

I was sweating like mad already and drenched so got some paper towel to wipe the floor with! as a big puddle had started to appear beneath me. Usually the last session in absolutely dead. All bikes were taken by 8.10 and the 'teacher' decided to do a roll call as some more had turned up who had paid (mine is a monthly membership). Two riders left immediately probably to avoid embarassment. Since I was used to embarassing myself on many an occasion I stayed to see what would happen. In the end no bikes left but 1 rider needing to get on so I volunteer to go. I was sternly told to stay where I was as our 'teacher' gave up her bike. She likes to take it easy. Session 2 started and was virtually the same as above. (8.15-9.00 45 mins)

Swimming was next. I looked down from the spin room and could see the life guards putting out the ropes. I darted down stairs to get changed and get my self a lane. It was very quiet as usual and my Irish mate was already swimming in the top lane. I'm sure he is a member of Rochdale Tri club. I went in the lane next to him. I went at quite a fast pace even though I wasn't feeling too great and ended up doing 3km (120 lengths) in around 47 mins. I'd usuallygo for 3.5km but started a little late as a swimming club won't let the guards put the lane ropes in earlier. Went home and had a big fat curry and naan in preparation for a super session tomorrow. Got a phone call from Steve F (Middleton CC and Rochdale Tri) saying he'd managed to get us a late entry into an Audax at Wetherby this Sunday.

weight : 72.6kgs


Couldn't be bothered running on Monday and really didn't want to do much today but I managed to drag my self to the pool and train with Rochdale Tri club. 20 lengths warm up was followed by interval training. 100m flat out 20 seconds rest, 50m active recovery 10 seconds rest x 15. A couple of 100m individual medleys (I.M'S) for warm down. Quite enjoyed this session and seem to remove any lethargy I possessed from sunday's gruelling ride.

Monday, 13 July 2009

Manchester ---> Blackpool Cycle ride

After reading several other reports I thought I would share my experiences of this well suported ride.

I had applied and paid for entry about a month and half ago not having a clue what to expect or what shape I would be in so went in virtually blind. Lindsey arranged sponsors from neighbours, bingo, family, friends and All Saints and Martyrs church. The day before I had £160 pledged, I expected £1 to 50p a pop but everyone was sooo generous giving £5 and £10, I was helping out at the church for a do and the organiser said she'd have a whip round at the end for me. Great I thought, at first, then it dawned on me a group of teenagers having a piss up wouldn't yield much, if anything at all. To my horror ( as I was proved totally wrong and sat in the corner due to embarassment) they raised £66!!! A couple of days ago I had sorted out 'Jamis' all ready and set up ( different every time for some reason) and sat her proud in the hallway, the night before, in preparation for the big day. I had an awful night. After eating half a tub of cookies and cream ice-cream I went to bed and 30 mins later my whole abdomen was in agony which spread to my chest and felt my abs cramping up. First thing I thought of was having to miss the bike ride! I couldn't move for half an hour then remembered I had some rennies in the drawer next to me. Instant relief I couldn't believe it. It was the worst pain ever. Worse than breaking my ankle. The pain came and went but nowhere as near as bad and I managed to get a few hours sleep.

I was actually looking forward to this day. I was injury free which helped. Got out of bed at 5.30 and headed straight downstairs for my pre-cycle meal....Chicken Korma and Naan. As the smell drifted upstairs the missus wandered down them and shouted that the lovely aroma had woke her up. I gave her NONE of it. I then went through the ritual of getting bottle ready, gels, clothes, mobile, gloves, glasses, helmet and shoes. It looked like it was going to rain heavily so took my cycling rain mac ( with hood! I cant believe I found one) which, in hind sight, was the worst decision ever! I also decided to go with 'Vanquish' my heavily upgraded cheapo but excellent Halfords bike as I didn't mind getting this one dirty and mucky. I quickly printed off the directions from Victoria Train station car park that Anna had kindly done for me and headed to the City centre.

In the car park I saw a few others getting ready. Must have had the same idea as me to get the train back from Blackpool North hmmmm I thought I'd be the only one :) There were quite a few cyclist already at 6.20 making their way to OT so I didn't need the map. Got there about 6.40 and wasn't sure where to go as there were cyclists everywhere so had a ride around. I asked a guy near late registration who didn't have a clue either but the guy at late registration said I go to the 'pen' behind him. This is where I'd get the map in exchange for my ticket. I had a nosey around in the middle and wondered why I always have to turn up so bleedin' early to everything I go to. Suddenly at 6.50 people started to open the map boxes and we were told to pick one up and go to the start. Two big queues formed on the outside, I saw the guy in the middle doing nothing with no queue ( his box was already open) so went past everyone and went through. First to the start. I was wrong. A few groups were already allowed through. I ended up about 4 rows back as I stopped to put my helmet and gloves on. It was also nice to see EVERYONE (I saw) wearing helmets. It really annoys me that people have some insane argument that it's safer without. The sky was starting to clear and I was getting funny looks as I was the only dosy sod to wear water proofs. I had no race plan, so I decided to take it easy and stay out of trouble. I was looking out for a few friends who I knew were riding at the early time but couldn't see any of them. Hmm Anna says she's never late and always early!!!! I'll remember that hehe. I thought it was brave of her to actually turn up as she has done so little riding but been getting as much in as possible. A quick look at the waste of time map and listening to the mad microphone man, it was time to go.

7.15-7.20 ish AND WE'RE OFF! Nice and easy does it. I didn't have a clue where to go so decided to follow everyone else. I was going about 14-15mph at the start and drafted the marshall on the motor bike. No traffic which was good as we had to negotiate a few roundabouts. As I got more confident and started to realise the course was well marked out and marshalled I upped the pace but not by much. People started overtaking me a bit too often so I pressed and started to claw back the distance. I was feeling great now and was travelling 20mph quite easily, must have taken a while to warm up. I caught up to a group of 3 who looked like they knew what they were doing and I thought I'd sit behind and draft them. It turns out they didn't know each other and they didn't know what they were doing either but I decided to sit and bide my time. 20-30mins into the ride a guy whizzed past us (I was still at the back of the little group) and the front 2 tried to keep up with him, they did for about 2 mins so I went past them and caught him up. I was easily doing 25mph behind this fella. I had to really go for it up the hills which I found relatively easy. Then he eased off very slighty and I got time to look at his Orbea bike and his dodgy mountain bike clothing. He was very much a grinder, pedalling a lot slower than me but he made it look sooo easy. He didn't look that he was in good shape either so I wasn't convinced he could keep the pace. I think he got peed of with me on his tail after 20 mins and tried to drop me. He did a couple of times but I managed to power back when he least expected it. We passed a few and caught up to 2 very good riders, I think from Manchester Tri club.

They were taking it in turn to share the work load. Orbea man and I sat behind these 2 for around 20 mins as they were going around 23-24-25 mph. He chatted with one of them but still they did the majority of the work. I thought I had better do something so led up a long climb whilst the others chatted a bit. Near the top the other 3 dropped back for some reason unknown so I went on to a long descent thinking I was all alone and that Orbea man had paced it wrong. I was wrong, he had caught up. I led for 15 or so minutes then we approached a town before Haigh Hall. We caught up to another rider who looked like he'd done a few years on the bike, was young and skinny.

I was still at the front and asked if this new guy was gonna join us. He obliged. It looked like I was going too fast for him up the first hill we came across together so I thought I'd show off and pedal uphill with one hand whislt juggling a gel in my other and threw the wrapper to the floor just like they do on the TDF. I lowered the pace so they would catch up and then dropped them both on the next hill. Once again Orbea man was breathing down my seat tube. I was still at the front going up to Haigh Hall but then a junction at the top approached. The marshalls were in the middle of the fork and I thought usually you take the route to the right of the marshalls. I heard a cry from Orbea man saying I'd gone the wrong way. They were the first words any of us had said to each other. The marshalls didn't give a toss. I turned around and caught him up then thanked him. A fast downhill section into the woods didn't look as deadly as I had thought. On one of the first corner in a 'car park' my rear swang out 90 degrees just before the first fuel stop. I was very lucky not to hit the only car there, never mind not to falling off my bike. I think all the 'Cyclist slow down' signs on every tree gave away the severity of the under wheel conditions. I was glad the other guy was leading as it gave me a clue to sharp bends that were coming up. Again I had a nervy moment on one corner and nearly went down a steep banking. Might be the same one Anna nearly went down. Another fork in the road appeared and no signs or marshalls at all!!! FANTSTIC. We nearly stopped whilst we debated which way to go. We went up the very steep hill to the exit of the park and saw a group of cyclists at the top. We had picked right. One of the group had a punture so they had all waited until he had repaired it. I said to OM (Orbea man) that the guys infront that we had over taken so far looked good but didn't last long when they tried to join us. He said the group at the gates of the park said there were only 2 more riders ahead of us! He looked really determined to catch them up and I followed like his lost sheep. A long steepish hill was upon us and I joined his side. We chatted briefly. He said he only had his bike a couple of weeks and he was a MTB'er. I said I was in awe of his talents and struggled to keep up. I had my second high-5 energy gel. There isn't enough in them for the money. I had a zipvit one a few days ago and they are massive for the same price ish. Then disaster struck. I was sipping my energy drink from my bike mounted water bottle and whilst trying to put it back it slipped and fell and saw OM swerve to avoid it. Oh dear. I told him it was nearly empty anyway and I carried on. He expected me to stop off and pick it up which I wish I had done now as it was FULL. I carried on in the lead for another 15-20 minutes at around 22-23 mph.

I was getting tired now trying to keep up the pace. We overtook one more rider which put me into 2nd if the previous riders' stories was to be believed. Not long after, OM sensed I was dying and went past me. I had slowed to around 20mph about 40 miles in ( overall average was 22.6) . I tried to keep up. We were on a dual carriage way to Preston. He slowly pulled away as I tried so hard to get on his wheel again but he was too strong and I was too weak. I felt I was closing at one point and put in a big effort but he drifted into the distance. I went past a few roundaabouts and saw a marshall but missed the sign. I thought I heard her say turn right. I went past the straight on exit and I was sure I saw OM who hadn't turned off. I went round again and asked the marshall if she definately said turn right. Yep she muttered. I sprinted a little bit to see if OM was ahead but couldn't see him.

I was all alone for quite a while and had to drop the pace to 19mph then 18mph then 17 mph. I had no energy left with 20 miles to go. These were the longest miles in the whole ride. Riders started to overtake me. I tried to join the back of a group of 4 but I had no chance. I kept the speedo at 17mph and kept thinking that I should have retrieved my bottle. A couple more overtook but one of them stopped further up. I asked if he was ok, he was just stretching his back. He overtook me again 10 minutes later .I was hoping a feed and water station would turn up. I thought I had already passed 3 stations and not stopped at any and that there were no more left but I hoped and prayed for one. I passed the 80km marker and I saw a sign for a food station. I was saved!!!! I had to turn off down a side street for a minute or 2. Quite a long way this station I pondered. I arrived to an empty social club car park with one marshall. 'Wheres the grub' I barked. 'Its not open yet, you are too early. Come back at 11' he replied. He's gotta be taking the p*ss. I rejoined the course looking for somewhere to buy anything. Luckily a few hundred yards down the road was a petrol station. I bought an orange lucozade and quickly downed it as I had wasted enough time as it was. As I got to the coast the already blustery winds started to blow a gale. I kept looking for the markers but they were few and far between especially travelling at 13mph max. No-one had passed me for a good 20mins and was wondering if I was going the right way. I asked a couple of cyclists not in the race if I was close to the disco ball. They didn't know. I was getting disheartened. I knew I was close to the finish but not close enough. I then saw a 90km marker. Nooo still a long way to go. Some temporary traffic lights gave me hope of a breather and a quick chat with the marshall who said not many had gone past, possibly less than 20. I was at the lights a while and I kept looking back for other riders. Still nothing. As I set off he bleated 'well done lad only half a mile to go'. I perked up and found the energy to sprint past the lights then caught sight of the disco ball and then the finish line. I looked back thinking there would be loads behind me. I was all alone. ...still. My legs couldn't power me across the line and I didn't want them to. This was my moment. I could hear the clapping cheering and whistles, all for me and only me. I was wondering if Lindsey and her mum made it in time. They were due to arrive at the Pleasure beach at 10.56 . Damn my watch said 10.50 but when I crossed the line I saw them right infront of me. Wow, it was unbelievable. It was a great feeling and I was sooo happy they could share this moment with me. Apparently they had gone straight to Blackpool North Train station and got the tram down.

I picked up 2 bags of goodies as the first didn't have a certificate in and drank the water and vimto in record time. I sat at a bench with a big grin savouring my achievement. As I slumped in my seat I heard a voice say ' how did you do?' I didn't look at the person just said I was doing geat til 40 miles then I died. He said he knew! I looked up. It was Orbea man!!!! I didn't know what time I had done. He had done 3 hrs 24mins I looked at my computer...3hrs 33mins and 57 seconds and averaged I think was 17.7mph. I really wanted to get over 18mph. He said I had done brilliantly and I returned the compliment. I had to ask him if he took a wrong turning but he assured me it wan't him. Hmmm I'm still not sure. OM looking for me to chat to topped the day off. Next was a chicken kebab with free cuppa as I was the first to get served. The burgers came a close runner up though. A bottle of water and a pint of cider later we headed to Pablo's chippy for the best supporters in the world.

At Blackpool North train station it was chaos. We arrived at 14.00 and next train was due out at 14.20 direct to Victoria. There were already 8 bikes at the gate ready for boarding and 5 infront of me behind the barriers just in case they could fit more on. Even the 8 weren't guarenteed to get on. The platform staff called any cyclists for the 14.10 York service. There was no way we were getting on our first choice but I knew we could change at Blackburn or Hebden bridge for a service to Victoria. There was NO queue for this train. We boarded and I found out a train to Vic would arrive only 7 mins after we got into Blackburn...result. Eventually got into Vic 4 mins after our preferred choice had arrived. Good job I work for the trains and had insider info. Got home and went straight to bed.

We had raised £226.50 for Christie's and had a marvellous day.