Thursday, 27 August 2009

Vegas BABY!!

No rest for the wicked as you all know hah, Wedensday morning I rose at 5.30am, not much sleep under the belt, but I had to work off some of the junk I had eaten/going to eat. Headed down the the hotel's gym at 6am where there was already a queue forming. They were all over 60, good for them I say.
Showed reception my room key and signed a waiver form just in case I injured myself. Started with a 20min warmup on the exercise bike and then did lots of weights for 1.5 hrs.
Finished off doing intervals on the bike, 30secs sprint/30secs rest for 30 mins. Good workout and was knackered at the end of the intervals. Knee doesn't feel too great, a little niggly so might give it a couple of days before I go back. Going to the pool for some r&r. Typing this using free WIFI at my favourite place....Krispy Kreme hmmmmm DOUNGHNUTS!

Sunday, 23 August 2009

Simon's 100 miles!


This ride was planned in advance as I wanted a final big ride before I went to Vegas for 2 weeks where exercise would be extremly minimal unles I can be arsed to use the free gym. Went with Pete for most of the route not long ago and I enjoyed it very much apart from the very busy Woodhead Pass.

The alarm was set for 6am and it looked like it had rained but the sun was starting to shine and the clouds were clearing so I thought fantastic I might be able to actually go out. Set off around 6.30am, everything was set up the night before. I was going to ring Steve F at around 9am as he said he was going to ride with Joe about 10am so after my main run I was hopefully going to join up with them later ( MCC members). Its so refreshing to ride so early, no cars, peaceful, time to think and nothing else to get in the way. Warm and very windy, a swirly kind of wind which hit from all directions which made keeping the bike stable difficult whilst travelling at speed and high up. Unfortunately it felt like there was
a constant head wind which ever direction was to be faced. I nearly turned back after 5 miles, not because of the wind, but my kneee was hurting just over the point of being uncomfortable. I thought I would see how it turned out if I took it a little easier and used differing pedalling techniques. Took a good 10 miles to ease up and was able to pedal at a good speed up Holmefirth road. If it wasn't right by the top I was coming straight back down that's if the wind didn't blow me down! I took the fairly level ground easy and made most of the efforts on the hills. Knee seemed ok still so kept on going. I nearly turned back for another reason now, my own safety as the wind had picked up immensly and was so unpredictable I was swerving all over the road trying to keep the bike balanced. The wheels made a nice 'whoooosh' when I pedalled though. I carried on as I really wanted to do this ride. The climb to Holme was hard, very hard. That blasted wind full blast in my face, the descent was worse as I barley ventured over 20mph trying to stay mounted and not end up by a rock down the canyon thing.
Got to Woodhead pass at the bottom and turned back. The first bit was the only part of the day where I would have a constant tail wind and hit 20mph going up a hill. THe climb back up wasn't too bad, just had some steep sections which I didn't expect. Before I hit the top I rang Steve F and he said they were going to Tod and back the same way at 10 so I said I'd meet them somewhe
re along the way. Not a single cyclist seen , therefore non overtaken and it was 9am! What time do they get up round here? The windy and windy (do I spell them the same?) descent of Holme Moss was a predictably slow 17mph and climbing Holmfirth Rd was one of the worst experiences of my cycing life only because of the wind slowing me down to 5-6mph when the first time I went solo up here I was doing well over 11mph. Looks like I wasn't the only ones struggling though as I saw 3 MTBers pootling very slowly towards the traffic lights near the top of Holmfirth Rd. Average went from 15 to 14.1 mph pretty quickly. Picy was taken on the move and turned out great! Was so gled to descend Holmfirth Rd and saw loadsa cyclist strung out all the way down to the bottom. I was tempted to turn around and get seom overtakes in but my legs needed the well deserved rest, for now anyway. I was at the half way point, exactly 50miles. It looked so easy just to head for home but I had a group to meet up with and a target to meet so kept on going. Knee was holding up very well and didn't have any more problems.
Got back to Oldham and wondered which was was the best to Tod. I ended up taking signs for Saddleworth then down Buckstones rd. I really didn't plan to do anymore hills but seem to fly up that one on about 54-57 miles. Stopped quickly to see where Steve F ( just before Milnrow) he answered the phone! whilst riding? They just turned up Tod Rd so weren't too far off. Took it fairly easy up Kiln Lane, but that one always seems to have me panting by the top and saw a cyclist ahead of me just before Hollingworth lake. Overtook with ease, on straights he was fast but didn't like the hillier bits. He clung to my rear until Tod road where I knew the slight incline would have him struggling to sprinted away at 24mph then back off to 22mph, steeper sections were at 17mph. Didn't think I'd still have the legs after 66miles with no break or food (I wanted to see how much difference food really did make, i do like to experiment) Just going past Walsden gargen centre and a Landrover vehicle pulled along side me and stayed with me, then winded ( not winded :) ) window down. He shouted Mid Cycling club!! and stuck his thumbs up. I think it was Tristan in the passenger seat, MCC yougest member? Got stuck in traffic and the guy I over took 5 miles away thought it was clever to zoom past me. Hardly an achievment? Didn't feel the need the re-overtake as I'd just run into the back of a car so let the t%^%^& have his momnet of glory. Just as I hit Tod I saw Joe and Steve coming towards me back to Walsden so shouted to them I'll turn round and join them.
Good job they turned up, my legs needed a rest. Doesn't it seem harder to go at a slower pace? Having to keep building momentum up? Or was it just my legs telling me to keel over and die? Had a good chin wag on the way to my first stop in Littleborough where we had tea and teacakes. Missed photo opportunity :( totally forgot. Steve was showing off his new £120 cycle computer
I would have saved it up to get a Garmin and they discussed their cycling plans. Would they really do some 150-200km audaxes? They said they wanted a couple of weeks to train :). Nice relaxed pace home bringing up the rear. Joe really sprinting up any hills he came across. Only 90miles done when I got home so did my little 10mile circuit to bring the total to 100miles. WOOHOOOO. I can go to Vegas now knowing my cycling shouldn't be too much affected when I return.

Time was just under 6hrs 45ish not including stop( and 2 mobile phone stops)
Average speed was 14.9mph (quite impressed actually considering!)

I learnt that 1.5l of fluid is no where near enough for a 100miler. Probably dont need to take food but I will do just in case. ( I did have a full 12" pizza 6 hrs before the ride) My legs are the answer to perpetual motion (doing sprints after 60+ miles) My first roadie overtake didn't feel as satisfying as I first thought it would but the chase was exciting (but short). I HATE WIND! Especially the head/swirly stuff.

Friday, 21 August 2009

Pre-Holiday Blues

Just about managed to drag myself out of bed with the good ntention of riding the bike to work but it was blowing a gale. Talk about fair weather rider :( I was just going to get home from work and go to bed because I really need to recover from all the cycing and other bits I have been doing without any rest but I coaxed ymself to go to Middleton Arena and swim with the tri club.
20 lengths warmup then 10x25m sprints. Main set was very challenging 4 x100 30 secs rest, 4x100 20 secs rest, 4x 100 10 secs rest, 4x100 10 secs rest, 4x100 20 secs rest. Paced it quite well but didn't have the energy to go flat out so concentrated more on technique. 4 x25 m super sprints with 10 secs rest. Ouch what a killer then 4 lengths warm down. I am glad I went but I dont think the session did me any good at all as I couldn't put the effort in.
Got home and since I thought I haven't been eating alot recently as I am trying to lose the pounds ( and climb faster) I decided to stuff my face. 3 salmon steaks and 2 chicken breasts with fried rice. yum yum. Should give me the energy for a final ride on Sunday before I fly to Vegas. Need some good nights sleep too which I find difficult to find. If someone could sell ' a good nights sleep' I bet it would cost a fortune! hmmmm maybe.

Wednesday, 19 August 2009


Today was the day I would be cycling to work since the long layoff. Couldn't have picked a nicer morning really. Even if it had rained I would have been forced to make the journey. Got all my work gear ready, lucky I had uniform in my locker too from 4 months ago. I wonder if it had started to decompose yet. So I set off on my merry way when I saw a low loader about 1/2 mile from home with my hire firms logo on the side. There she was glistening in the sun light, my poor baby that I had trashed 4 weeks ago. Wow was it that long ago. I decided to keep on going not realising that I had the hire car's keys in my pockets, d'oh.
Down Woodstreet I overtook a MTB but I dont count them as proper overtakes and negotiating the dreaded roundabout where 'Vanquish' took a right beating. I was aching all over and had no energy so the first hill felt like Everest, magnified a few times for good measure. Traffic was relatively quiet and had a very drab uneventful journey. I had my rain mac on 'just in case' hahah and I could feel my clothes getting really soaked. 6.7 miles and just over 20 mins later I made it. Wasn't too bad but didn't have the same feel as a good ol' Sunday trek. I never seem to come across other cyclists so I can overtake them, I mean those worth overtaking. Always see them on the other side of the road though. Its getting annoying. So I reached Man Vic train station unable to lift my legs and soaking wet due to the impermeable rain coat.
I really couldn't be bothered cycling home after 9 hrs work and was going to get the train to Mills Hill but I would have to wait 20 mins so thought I could be home in that time. The sun was blazing, much lower in the sky and it made the journey very pleasant, as it gave everything a reddy/orangey hue. Overtook another MTBer on a hill, he might as well not be pedalling so no acheivment was gained here. Roads were nice and quiet at 7.30pm, on the same shift 2 moz so could be tempting to repeat this episode. Not happy with he saddle height and tilt so readjusted and see what happens. My feet dont seem flat whilst pedalling. Oh yeah and some git had nicked my cycle computer, a cheapo one from Aldi ( my own fault for leaving it on) but thats not the point. How can they use it,sell it without the receiver and magnet. I think it was Pete playing games with me but I haven't asked him yet.

Tuesday, 18 August 2009

Hilly Billy


Write up and quick vid to follow

Well the last day of our long weekend has arrived so before we have to go to work again (boooo hissss) we thought we'd make the most of it and do some more hills. The day had begun a little overcast and I was in the City centre visiting solicitors, Wagamama and of course Evans. Rang Mr Pete up to say I could kick off 1.30ish but I did have to ask permission from the missus first as I have been doing lots and lots without her and she was feeling left out a bit.

Earlier on in the morning my legs were tired and weary but after a big fat lunch they perked up again. Wasn't too sure how my matey would get on though because he usually sprints the first road to the roundabout as a warmup but not today. He led as usual to set the pace, again a little slower than normal but we did have some big climbs so maybe he was saving himself. I daren't ask!!! Headwind, was usual to Shaw but once on Huddersfield road (9-10miles) on the first big long climb we couldn't feel it as it is well sheltered until you hit the top. Nice and easy through Denshaw and Delph getting ready for big climb. We hit Holmfirth road and just kept on Petes rear wheel. If I saw a cyclist ahead or one behind catching up it would have been a different story, no point in zooming ahead as I did this earlier in the week as there'd be no point pete coming. I'd save that til later. Descended into Holmfirth. I dont mind this one as you can see miles ahead and theres only one tricky bend so kept up quite well without touching brake too much. Stopped at the foot of the next big climb up to Holme Moss for a cig break ( see piccy) banana and chat then I was in unchartered waters. He had done it before years ago. No 2 minutes head start this time I just zoomed off and said Id meet him at the top. It was harder than I thought and got harder towards the top. I kept trying to put some good efforts in and gain some momentum and speed like I do on the previous hill but my legs wouldn't have any of it due to the gradient so had to be content with big, long power strokes to get me to the top. Seemed like a long version of Blackstone edge's hill.

{Pete and I previously discussed how I get up hills so easily like hand position and leg speed and technique. I am a great believer in adapting style to suit the 'surroundings' and it took a lot of experimentation to find a method that suited my massive legs(arse, I needed a way to use the buttock muscles as I can leg press over 250kg). In fact it was a technique I developed from using the spinning machines at the gym as the resistance can be increased massively until you can barely pedal. I tend to use my gluteal muscles which channel the power through the leg bones and knees and not my thigh muscles or calves. If I do it right my legs rarely get fatigued. I incorporate a slight rocking motion (left-right some people say it is bad pracrtise but vital to my technique or other leg mucsle groups will come into play.) Also I pull on the handlebars and sometime go into a slight aero position. Hill climbing is all about rhythm and my technique is no different. Sudden changes in gradient can upset my climbing. I also never stand up whilst climbing unless it is extremely steep. I have no idea of the ideal way to climb I just found a method that suits me. I just need to find a setup that uses my thighs and calves efficiently for the flats and descents. If I pedal too fast my muscles really tense up and if it continues can lead to cramp very quickly.....any ideas?}

Back on topic... Got to the top and had a good sleep until Pete arrived and woke me up :) He looked quite fresh at the top actually, must have been taking it easy. Took a few photos and a short video and went down the other side. OMG it was scary as hell. I must have had my brakes on all the way down. I must check my brake pad wear before I ride out next. Woodhead road seemed a bit dangerous with all the fast lorries but the traffic generally kept a good wide berth. I sprinted up the steep shortish hill just after the junction with Woolley lane where we then turned right at the lights. This killed me, i dont like having energy left over after rides so it was good fun. Quick stop at the BP garage for a milkshake and a very easy pootle home.

Another 60 miles clocked up. Done quite a lot this week and last. Next ride will probably be on sunday as Im working lates the next 4 days. Then I fly to Vegas for 2 weeks so no cycling :( Next ride will be to work 2moz as my car is in the garage and it is fixed so they are swapping it back witht he hire car. Last time I rode to work was 3 months ago when I had my accident. Wifey said Im not allowed to ride on my own since then but has got used to the idea again. So will post how that goes. Vanquish's time for a run out me thinks.

Monday, 17 August 2009

The 'Killer Mile'

The Killer Mile

Met at Pete's 9.15 with the aim of hopping on the 10.10 from Piccadilly to Holmes Chapel. At his house he seemed to be taking ages doing his hair or something so didn't set off 'til 9.45. Got to Picc at 10.05 he got there 10.03 as he took an earlier turning and I couldn't cut across the moving traffic. He said where the f*&^ I'd been, the train left at 10.04.....dozy sod.
We decided to cycle some of the way and catch the next train at East Didsbury so headed across the city centre and made a bee line for Edinburgh cycle coop. Quite extravagent for a cycle shop, with extravagent prices too! Didn't have the nice stuff I like looking at, wheels, tyres anthing thats red/white/both or good looking gear. Just boring stuff that sells. Back to cycling and caught the train at last.
The original plan was to follow part of an audax route and do a 25 mile TT route but time was short as I had to be back for 4 so we headed for Mow Cop for a little challenge......THE KILLER MILE. The start was at the Level crossing and the finish was just further up top station road onto high st. After posing for starting photos I gave Pete a 2min head start and the race was on. Just a few yards into the run and the gradient had reached double figures and over 20 after 200 yards. No sign of Pete yet he must have been going quite well or I had too much confidence in my ability. As I saw the mountain infront of me I saw Pete giving his all. I hit the base of the killer bit gradient of 25% after just under 6 mins. He was a few metres infront and managed to hold me off for a little while. I thought we had finished so stopped, getting ready to take some photos of Pete sprinting up as he past me he conveniently waited until further up the road to tell me the finish was another hundred yards ahead! So I remounted and sprinted to the finish in a time just under 9mins included that bleeding stop! We carried on to the castley thing at the top and I posed there and had a little break whilst admiring the gorgeous views of Wales, Jodrel bank, Liverpool, Fiddlers ferry and some other places in the distance. Time for a bit of food so popped in The Cheshire View pub which is on the 25% gradient and had the £5 special. Homemade veg soup (best ever) and fish and chips (not as good) Pete had sweet and sour pork which was quite nice. Will have to go again as they sold steak of bison and blue shark which I had never had. They also do ostrich, venison and alligator and a 24oz rump but I have had those before.
So on a full stomach we headed back to Holmes Chapel but just had to climb the big hill again ( had to walk down most of it as I didn't have the balls to ride down. I hate descending) before we finally went at a very good pace to the station as we needed to get the 3.02 back to Picc. It was then another sprint back home to get there at 4.10pm. Hmmm good going. Little cycling was achieved in the 7hrs I was out but it was such an enjoyable day out and wouldn't hesitate doing it again. pics to follow. 2 moz we plan to do Holme as 'recommended' by red bike and come back on the Woodhead.

Just a final word.......If Pete can do the 'Killer Mile' it can't be all that 'Killer' can it?!?!? (Warning to all steep hills: we are on the look out for youuuuuu)

Distance 40miles ish
Average no idea
Time 7hrs+

Sunday, 16 August 2009

Friday, 14 August 2009

Shattered :(


Circuit training was the usual stuff now Andre was back so it was fairly easy as he doesn't really push you. Did that for 50 mins then I went into the pool with Rochdale Tri club. As soon as I got in the water I knew I was going to be introuble. Warmup was worst as it was longer than 2 lengths, had to do 8 x100m 15 secs rest. Main set was 8x50s 15secs rest, 6x50's 10 secs rest, 4 x50's 5 secs rest, 2x50s standup rest, 1x50. Finished with 600m warm down. I couldn't feel my arms or legs and I had no energy. Didn't look good for the week ahead.


Pete and I decided to do a quick trip to Edenfield up some nice climbs to some scenery details are in the link below. That was about 24 miles then after a massive lunch of 2 spuds, 2 smoked cod fillets and beans I went out to blackstone edge and back. I had no energy once again and had to plough my way through the terrible headwind on the way back from Blackstone. Thought I was doing the Blackpool ride again. Not too sure on the details but I will put down a guesstimate. This was more like my recovery ride that I needed last week. Hopefully its done the job its supposed to. Went out with 'Vanquish' and she didn't feel right. Possibly because my whole body was aching before I even stepped out of the door. Nothing major to report. Was hoping to see some cyclists but didn't see a single one.

Distance 60miles

Time 4hrs?
Average about 16mph possible a little less but not more.

Good news is that when I got home my neighbour kindly took a couple of parcels for me. My new helmet and bib shorts. I love red and white!


Planned to do open water at the re and bike up but I was really bad with my muscles today so just gorged on junk food.

Wednesday, 12 August 2009

Cosmetic Surgery

Since I had got 'Jamis' all nicely set up I thought she deserved a treat. I popped into Leisure Lakes on an off chance as I have heard of it before but didn't know where it was and it was when I was returning from Bury market that I found it. Nice big shop, loadsa bikes but unfortunatley I wasn't shopping for one of them. Saw some nice red and white specialized jerseys but they were mtb ones :(, also saw specialized white gloves full finger but non in my size. Spotted a nice red and white 09 spec echelon helmet £30 which was a tenner off and also a specialized seat for £20 which was reduced too. I could have bought the lot!!! but only came away with the saddle which I was a little apprehensive at getting as wasn't sure if it would help me but it looked fab so got it. Good enough reason?
If you look at the piccy of 'Jamis' her head tube is massively sticking out so I took her to the hospital to see the surgeon. He was based at Shepherd's cycles in Heywood on Market street. I have used this guy before and he is great and fixing stuff for next to nothing. A few days ago I went to Surosa to get a quote on the same job and they asked £20. Rang Shepherd's up.......A FIVER! No contest. I have had a brake cable replaced (£3) bar tape replaced and fitted (£8) wheels trued and tightened (£8 ea) and another brake cable (£5 as it was on its own). The best thing is there isn't many people about who know about him so turnaround time was 1hr today and usually within the day unlike these big chains who will rush jobs to get all the customers in. I try never to use big chains anyway whatever I buy. Anyway I told him what I wanted and if he could do it....not a problem was his swift answer. So I went to Morrisons to do some shopping and came back to see the 'damage' . She looked as sexy as ever and the surgeon had done a great job as usual so I tipped him a fiver.


Had to take Jamis out looking as sweet as she does. Pantani had an idea of doing Slaithwaite. Don't ask me the route as I dont have a clue but Ill give very brief descriptions. Met at Middleton roundabout, the scene of my accident 4 months ago. Headed towards Shaw. Went over Shaw level crossing and up a series of very big climbs. I was told to take it easy up these as we had a lot more and worse to come. Apparently it joined Buckstones road. Headed towards Dobcross where we had a quick break for some reason? Ive noticed that Jamis was riding a hell of a lot smoother it was like a totally different machine, tires fully pumped too. Had the guy at Shepherd's worked another miracle? Went on some hilly roads past Diggle and over Standedge tunnel. Into Marsden and Slaithwaite and somewhere we went up some 25% ers. They looked like they were at 45 degrees and wow they were good climbs. They weren't that short either. Ended up on some road from Huddersfield to Oldham where I blasted away on a 3mile climb. At the top I waited 3-4 mins for the slacker and took some gels and pictures. My phone is quite good at piccys. Lots of downhill later I was home. I would love to plot the ride on map my ride but I really don't have a clue where we went. The gradient of those hills woulda been good to see as well. My hill climbing is coming on a treat and dont seem to need to put anywhere near as much effort in. Nice to see some cyclists on the tops but they were ALL travelling in the other direction ie TAILWIND. Not stupid these people but it wont help them. Very Windy.

Distance 45 miles
Time 3 hrs ish
Av 15 mph

Sunday, 9 August 2009

Recovery ride...what recovery ride?

Last nights antics had put a massive strain on my leg muscles and read in one of the many expensive magazines I have piled up somewhere that a nice easy recovery ride can help with well errrr recovery. Simples, so I thought. The track bike set up I had seemed very good so I applied a little bit of logic and carried over the seat height from 'Vanquish' over to 'Jamis' and used my mtb lidl shoes as my Shimanos were in bits from last evenings screwing around. I planned to do around 2 hrs of easy riding so set off towards 'Blackstone Edge' I guess you could call that mistake number 2. Number 1 was actually setting off for the ride.

Wow, the seat position felt instantly better and whilst taking it fairly easy I was doing the same speed I would have done if I was trying a bit more. The only real problem with the bike is that for carbon it is extremely stiff, great for climbing and sprinting but comfort is non existant and it doesn't help I have my tires pumped up to 100psi, I had cheapo lidl shorts where they use 1 ply bog roll as the chamois :( ( must invest in MCC ones if they are as good as the jerseys! which by the way I have had on the last 4 rides without it being washed so it stunk a bit.) and the roads are an absolute mess. Anyway since I felt good I decided to up the pace. Sometimes at this point I can feel all sorts of twinges or aches due to bad riding position but it was fine so far.
Had to ride on the pavement, I know, just before Smithy bridge train station as there were gas works all the way down one side of the road and they had closed it so I ignored the diversion signs and followed the slow traffic round Hollingworth lake and then began the climb up our famous peak. Started at a moderate pace, hoping to pick it up later on so took in the atmosphere and looked at the sky to see some black clouds forming making slow progress to cover up the sun. 'Pantani' and I did this 2 months ago from pub to pub just like the MCC hill climb race thing and we seemed to average about 6-7 mph. About a month ago MCC and I did the climb and I averaged about 8mph. I was doing 9mph this time round hitting 10-11 on the flatter sections and taking a little breather. Kept going about 9.3-9.1 making sure I didn't go under 9mph. The top bit is usually the hardest part and If I was racing I would have sprited to the finish bit I knew I was only about 1/3 into my ride so speed dropped just under 9mph to 8.8 for a wee while so average for that climb would have been around 9.3+mph A vast improvement.
Across Cragg Vale and down to Mytholmroyd. This part was where I could really tell the difference. I was averaging 32mph even on the flatter sections, where I really excelled today, all the way to Mytholmroyd going much quicker earlier on as the final descent is very twisty and I lose my nerve so kept touching brakes. Turned towards Hebden, Tod and Walsden and looked at my average 18.3mph!! Could I keep this pace up? My legs were not aching one little bit, neither was my back but I was getting a little tired. Unbelievably for a very nice sunday evening it was towards Walsden where I saw and past the only cyclist of the day. I love overtaking other roadies and that was one big disappointment for me. Where were they all?? Lots of people lining the street by the pubs, maybe they in there? The worst stretch of road in the country is on the road to Walsden too. Little pits all over the road inbetween the little stones they put in the tarmac. Awful to ride over. At least in other roads you can swerve to avoid big chunks or bad patches this is just one continuous pile of crap. On the way home I managed to hit 18.4 mph before being dropped to 18.3 again due to Albert royds street, cursing the traffic lights as I stopped and started a few times. Managed to keep going but knew there was a last final climb home either the long steep hill called wood street or the short extremely steep hill called Hollin lane that has a max gradient of 20%. I chose the latter and average hit 18.2 but it was all down hill from there. It was fitting to see the final average at 18.4mph just as I got home. Job well done. Bike setup was about 95% correct and was sure that amazing 'recovery' ride was due to that. Best ride ever so far.

Distance 42miles
Time 2hrs 15 mins (ish)
Average 18.4mph

Saturday, 8 August 2009

Track -ur - day


Woke up way too early, had a bad nights sleep and had to hit the road at 8.30am to go to Cown reservoir. Some one leant me a wetsuit as the one I ordered, came, went back and didn't arrive again as they didn't have the right size. Took the car today. Sprinted round the res as the guy who leant me the suit also leant his other one out so needed mine to get in the water. Half an hour felt like a marathon session and it feels longer than it actually is. Was my second time doing an open water swim. Enjoyed it very much as the sun was out for a change. There always seems to be a dark shadow lurking to the right of me as if a shark is stalking its prey. Ughhg.

Thought I'd have a quick sprint on the bike to try out my new saddle ( purely cosmetic reasons) for 'Jamis' and to try out another new seat setting. 14miles later, 45 mins about 18mph av and position still not any better so I look on a website about taking 8 different measurements like inseam, thigh length, chest height blah de blah and found most of my settings were bang on apart from seat height which was miles out on both bikes. Had it at 63 cm brom bb to saddle supposed to be 70-72. Also it recommended front of saddle to bb (bottom bracket) horizontal distance to be 0.5-1cm so seat is very forward which mine already was but apparently in time trials it is illegal as it needs to be greater than 5cm as stated in UCI regs but tiny riders may be excused :( Went quite fast and thought I might have tired myself out for the track day at the velodrome but a bag of jelly babies, can of redbull and some pro plus later I was re-energised. Simple sugars are supposed to be good for replenishing 'energy' quickly but can be bad if eaten too much as if the energy isn't used quickly goes straight to fat. I meant to eat some cereal too, I put he milk in the freezer but forgot about it so it froze :p I blame the pissing about for an hour with my look delta cleats and shimano shoes as the 'effing screws wouldn't go flush on the fittings so was very looose. I have used them at the veldrome many times before and couldn't work it out. Gave up and had to rush out dejected, in the knowledge I have to fork out £4 to hire some which coulda been spent on a new helmet I have my eye on instead of this Lidl special.

Arrived at the Velodrome very excited and raring to go, my bladder had other opinions. I had been looking forward to this for a long time. Paid the £4 for my shoes and cleats. I chose a size smaller (42) which fitted a hell of a lot better
than the shimano's I have a home. Very good shoes they were too. Before I set out I adjusted 'Vanquish's' seat post to the new height which came to my hip/pelvis bone? So on the track bike I did the same. We had a 20 min warm up session first which I used to see how long I could sprint at full pelt for before I collapsed. I did that twice and collapsed twice before one lap was up. I remember reading somewhere about sprinting all out for the 1km but that had changed my mind instantly.
I rode the warmup quite hard, got the blood pumping and the lungs gasping and wondered if I had over done it.....I can never take anything easy, I was tooo excited and nervous I guess.
First event was the 200m dash where you get 2 laps run up and then a 200m sprint to the finish. I debated with some of my enemies, um I mean competitiors the best line and height to take. I asked the Velodrome geezer but he wouldn't give the game away. I was second to last to gobut before that I had seen Paul cycle extremely smoothly and powerfully to beat 'Pantani' in a time of 15.4 seconds 0.2 ahead of 'Pantani'. So that was the time to beat!! I congratulated Paul on this amazing feat and made my way to the start line and set off for my 2 laps. I set off fairly fast, the starter reminding me I had 2 laps to go. On the last bend I climbed the banking to get a 'slingshot' down the hill but my speed had already been lost climbing the bend and I got distracted as the final lap bell never went off! Not a good start but still managed to break 15 secs. Wasn;t happy at all with that time but I know theres a lot of improvement to be made on it just by getting the right line.
Next up was the 1km. I had planned to go all out but the warm up taught me to take it easy for 2 laps out of the 4. 'Pantani' looked very good on this one. Paul had also beaten his previous years time by about 4 seconds. Had he been training on the quiet??? or was it the bike his sis had leant him??? I had a lot more rest than most in this so was expecting to do well. The start was poor as I headed into the cote d'azure after the starter had recommended to me to use my left foot to lead as it points me up the hill and not my right. Hmmm maybe I dont know better than someone whos been in the business 10000000 times longer than I have. I felt rubbish after the 2 laps so held off my sprint 'til the last lap, so 3 easy ish laps then. On finishing I was a bit breathless but knew I could have gone a lot harder sooner. 1min 31secs 'Damn' I thought as 'Pantani' beat me by 0.5secs. I think I had one eye on the 2km as I needed to save a little. The sudden, widening grin on his face meant this was WAR! I did say 'well done' to him and meant it. The score was 1-1. I arranged for the duel in the 2km pursuit as I wasn't even in the top 2 in the 1km.
We were first up, winner takes all. I had more or less just finished my 1km, I reminded everyone, was offered a different slot but I had lots of energy left from that poor show and didn't want to give my rival any excuses. I was pessimistically nervous however I gained confidence from the kind words offered by my bike holder. Left foot leading I had an adequate start and kept looking over to see the pace he was going at. I had to put a good early effort in as 'Pantani' was flying for the first 2 laps, didn't want to tire too early so just made sure I stayed within catching distance. I was hurting though. On the third lap I was surprised to see I was in front by a couple of lengths, he must have had a stinker of a lap, so just kept the same pace going for the next 4 laps. I was edging nearer and nearer and thought I might be able to actually over take but the last lap bell went and I sprinted to the finish. 'keep pedalling' was all I could keep telling myself , Anna shouted out my time when I trundled past. Just over 3 mins!! by a few tenths of a second I was hoping. Yep! So close to being under 3 mins but it didn't matter too much as 'Pantani' was beaten. I think that shows what a poor 1km I had and again there is more to come. I went over to console him hehe and then watched the others and gave our support. My predictions were a little wry but what ever the out come everyone seemed to thoroughly enjoy themselves.

Absolutely bleedin' fantastic I would describe the night. I went to Janet, the organiser, to say what a brill job she had done in arranging the events and how she managed to get so many down was 'magic'. She has done Middleton cycling club proud tonight. I thought we wouldn't get much riding time in but there was more than enough for the money. I brought a mate from work who had previously done a taster session who also said he enjoyed himself and asked if I could inform him if it would be possible if he could 'get in on the act' again. Can't get recognition higher thatn that. All we need now are the photos that Anna had gladly taken? We all know she would rather be out there on the track.

Play, work & rest


Just a quick ride round the block is all I had time for today before I headed off to work. Was nice so took 'Jamis' for a spin. Tried to set her up just like 'Vanquish'. Toddled off past Castleton, up Roch valley way and then Bury somet or other road and a very steep descent down Queens park road and a very steep ascent up it. That road is virtually a 'U' shape that passes Queens park and I managed to get to the top not getting under 20mph, ouch it hurt though and it was towards the end of my ride. Then it was through Heywood and back home. I used the session to concentrate on my average speed so took it easier on the downhill bits and hammered the uphill bits. I used my Middleton Cycling club jersey which despite being long sleeved dissipates sweat very quickly and keeps me nice and dry and refreshed in the warm weather. Much more than any short sleeved tops I have. Bike setup didn't feel right again!! Left knee felt it wasn't stretching enough and thighs too. Seat needed to be higher, also I used my race shoes instead of my mtb like I did on 'vanquish' and they seem to give a worse position on the pedal. Next time I need to raise the seat and use my mtb shoes. Although I averaged over 18mph I did hit it quite hard and felt my energy was being wasted. Im leaning towards 'Vanquish' as my fave bike at the mo bargain at £250+ upgrades.

Not much rest between now and the track day at the Velodrome tomorrow, Ill also be swimming at the reservoir too. Not raced at the Velodrome before but have attended quite a few 'taster'sessions. I think the sprint nature (200m, 1km, 2km) will suit me better than endurance and hoping to do well. Sticking my neck prediction is that Ill beat 'Pantani' at 200m and 1km ( by quite a margin :)) possibly lose out on 2km as my huge legs wont take the lactate very well that I produced earlier. I'm going to try and beat him at all three though!!!!

Distance 13 miles
Time 41 ish minutes
Average Sp 18.2mph

Wednesday, 5 August 2009

Tri day today

Its been a while since I did all three disciplines on one day. After spending a gorgeous day in Blackpool I just knew I had to have a go on my bike as the weather was just puuuurrrfect. I didn't need to do anything to 'Vanquish' as she was raring to go from Monday when I got up late and couldn't take her for walkies. I had another new seat position to try out. All I did was a quick 10km+ circuit which has 2 very steep sections and 2 very big down hill sections. The position of the bike instantly felt better as just trundling down the street I hit 18mph when I usually do 16mph or less. The test would be the hills. After a gentle climb was the first big down hill. Only managed 30mph but I think the wind was blowing directly at me. I didn't try to pedal through it just got down low and made myself 'aero'
. A nice long slightly uphill straight before the first big climb followed where I hit and kept 24 mph I then give myself a little rest before the climb but felt good so just attacked it. Normally I try my hardest not to go under 11mph on this one but I was finding myself trying not to go under 13mph! which I managed. 36mph was the max reading on the immediate downhill into Rhodes and again I didn't pedal as much but kept aero. There was then a slight uphill gradient then slight downhill 20-25 mph and another uphill where I usually do 16-17mph. I was keeping it at 19mph very easily. Big climb up Wood street, 16mph went to 12 mph back to 17.2mph on a breather section for 20 seconds then the main uphill bit. Last time on 'Vanquish' I struggled big time to stay above 10mph. Whilst on 'Jamis' staying above 10mph is quite accomplishable. This time not only did I stay above 10mph I stayed above 11.6mph! This new bike position felt great but still a little achy so I'm sure there is more to come from changing it, or is it the training I have been doing?

Distance 6.99 miles
Average Speed 19.9 mph
would have been higher if I raced from the start instead of a 5 min warm up)

The bike ride finihsed at 6pm and I was running with Mid Harriers at 7pm so I quickly got my gear ready and headed to Mid Arena. Started on time for a change and thought I'd be back intime for a spin class at 8.15pm. We went through Hopwood wood, past the college, past Stake hill, along Rochdale canal to Chadderton and back to base. My knee was really hurting the last 15-20 mins but seemed to get me home in one piece when I was advised to bathe it in the canal. I think we did 7-8 miles and returned 8.25pm so missed the spin class. I don't think I will be doing any running for a while at least 'til after my MRI scan on Sept 13th.

I was really disappointed at the run as I felt in fantastic condition, so I went for a swim to release the extra energy I had left in me. My arms felt like jelly when I got in the water and didn't think I would swim very far. I thought I would do 1.5km and see how I got on, it was ok and just about managed another 1km so total 2.5km (100 lengths in under 40 mins) Knee was a little achy again but nothing too serious.

Not a bad day in all but I've just come home feeling I haven't really done much today for some reason.


Just did the swimming with the Tri club today. Quite a good turn out for once on a Tuesday. Warm up consisted of 12 lenths crawl, 8 lenghts mixed and 4 lengths not crawl. Main set was 16 x 100m fast with 2 mins rest. I took the first 2 sets relatively easy as I was still warming up and to guage the pace I could go to for the rest of the swim. I did 1min 25sec and 1min 27. Time to up the pace and the next 14 I probably did 1min 20 sec for all of them. Last 2-3 were flat out sprints 1min 17, 1 min 15 and I think the last I hit 1min 13 but was soo knackered I forgot to check the time. I usued my arms more and my legs less as if I keep a fast pace kicking all the time I tend to get cramp and this new technique worked a treat but my arms were killing me.

Not swam a good fast session like that for a very long time and was extremly pleased with the effort I could put in.

weight 71.4kgs ( back to normal) Target not met???? Hmmm must be the 2 x fish and chips at Blackpool.

Monday, 3 August 2009

You spin me round ( like a record baby!!!!)

Once again my good intentions fell firmly flat on its face. I prepped my bike all ready to take to work with me, Even had my shoes, helmet, glasses and water proofs neatly placed near the front door where I had also placed my bike. I leapt up from my deep slumber at 9.50 am, the bleedin' alarm didn't go off at 8.00am. Stupid thing, it was set correctly too but I do have a tendancy to sub consciously reset it when it goes off ... so Im told. So I only had 15 or so minutes to get to work so bikey was left at home....AGAIN! Poor show I know.
Anyway, Monday is hill sprints with Middleton harriers if you remember but since I didn't finish 'til 18.50 I thought I would do some more spinning sessions at the gym.
I am hoping these sessions are doing me some good and help me improve my road cycling. I put in super effort today. I did 2 classes, 2 hours virtually the same as Wednesday last week. It probably was exactly identical. I had sweated soooo bad my clothes were absolutely drenched and honestly, it had looked like I had jumped in the swimming pool and just got out. My shorts were dripping, literally......of sweat!!!!

I weighed myself before the session - 71.2kg
I weighed myself after the session - 69.9kg (partially dehydrated and empty stomach. I did drink 1.5 litres)

Yay I have hit my target 3 weeks early!!! I had hoped to be 70kg before I fly to Vegas as I know I will balloon but there is a gym at the hotel so was planning on doing lots of weights. I do know I will be at 71+ kg 2moz as I have just drunk another 1.5litres and had a massive chicken stir fry, my huge dump might cancel that out though.

Sunday, 2 August 2009

Errrr indoors.

Due to the dreadful weather I have been forced to do most of my training indoors.


at Middleton Arena at 6.45pm and was going to see how the weather panned out as it was running day with Middleton Harriers. Guess what? It was raining and couldn't be bothered to run today so I went into the gym. Warmed up with 15 mins on the cross trainer and a few weights then did 2 sessions of spinning. Both the sessions were identical and concentrated on 'hills' / hard but slow resistance training. Warm up was pedalling but increasing resistance every 1 minute then hardest resistance going down to lowest and back up to hardest for 15 mins. More slow hard pedalling continued and repeated.
Went into swimming pool afterwards and swam just 1.5km as the lazy gits didn't put lane ropes out/ was full of kids and I was getting dizzy with all the waves.


Plan was to do quite a lot today and boy did that happen! Once again got to the Arena early and thought I'd do some strength training in the gym before circuit training. This turned out to be the worst thing I could have done as I was expecting an easy circuit. So lots of Iron pumped and a 10 mile sprint on the exercise bike 22.46 mins (wish I could do that on a 10 mile TT) later it was time to go upstairs and do circuit training.
The usual guy, Andre, wasn't there but some skinny, older looking woman called Sonia. Instead of rotating stations we were doing all the exercises in one spot so we had to get our own step, mat, dumb bells and bar weights. Star jumps, running on spot, burpees, sit ups, way too many pressups and lots of stuff my body wasn't used to then lots of weight work. I had the same weight as the instructor and she was out pumping me! oh dear. This was absolutely killing me and I kept looking at the clock to see how long we had to go. People were dropping like flies but I managed to finish, just, with quite a lot of resting. It certainly wasn't for beginners.
Swimming with the Tri club was out of the question, my arms were killing. I went down anyway to see the guys and gals. The new kit looked lovely and was told I had to order the stuff from Surosa in Oldham.
Went back upstairs for more gruelling punishment as Sonia was doing the spinning session too. Was just as hard as the circuit training but I felt I had actually done something and had been pushed to the limit.


Rest days


I was considering doing the SKY Ride in Manchester and watching the Iron Man UK chamionships in Bolton so set my alarm for 5 am. I had barely had any sleep all week so turned the alarm off and woke up at 1pm! Went to gym at 2pm and did the bike for 30 mins. I felt like crap. Thursday must have really took it out on me, combined with the lack of recovery sleep. I attemped to do some weights so I started really low. 30kg for the 'sit up ' machine. I couldn't move it. Usually do 55kg. Then tried chest press at 40kg usually start off at 60kg and I just gave up and went home. Not a good day. Also not happy that I haven't ridden my bikes for a couple of weeks. I will ride to work 2moz if the weather holds!

Weight 71.6kgs