Friday, 30 October 2009

I am Alive

Sorry for not updating to those who read this blog, my super laziness is getting the better of me but I haven't been lazy on the exercise front. Since I have been hiring the 'House' box sets, every second of my spare time has been watching these things. Theres about 25 hrs in each and have watched seasons 2-5 and season 6 on sky on a sunday. Unfortunatly I have just been leant season 1 now :(

Over the last 2 weeks I have been swimming lots, cycling to work lots and doing usual circuit and spinning on Thursdays. Doing a few rides also been eating lots of crap like currys and pizza and Maccys.


Pete seems to have recovered from his bout of Swine flu and the weather looked like it could be gorgeous so we decided to have a 'nice easy ride' to Macclesfield and beyond. Nothing major to write about average was 17.5mph for about 37 miles. He then surprised me and said there was a 25 mile TT course at the exact spot he decided to have a quick break. This is right next to Jodrell bank and Goostry. I would have saved a lot if I knew we were gonna do a tt especially a 25mile one! I thought I'd try for a fairly decent time as I have never done one before. I was planning on leading then Pete to take over to help me out but his help never materialised and ended up leading all the way which does make a change. We said we wouldn't leave anyone too far behind and there was a big hill after the first bend and I pootled a bit to wait for Pete, didn't think Id have so wait to soon but he kept up the rest of the way just about. He kept on going on about how lovely the scenery was, all I could do was look at the tarmac ahead and pedal. I prefer cycling in busy roads, the cars break up the swirly wind we have been having the past week or so. So after 10 miles he shouted I needed to pick up the pace as we were only on 28 mins, the wind was killing me. It seemed to go on and on for ages and it didn't help with Pete calling the mileage every 5 mins. After 20 miles I was going to hit the last 5 hard but remembered I hadn't eaten all day and didn't want to bonk after the last experience I had. Finally completed the 25 mile course in a time of 1hr 13 mins which is an average of 20.6mph. Not bad going after nearly 40 miles and holding back a little and waiting for Pete a couple of times. We did finish together too. Next stop was a shop to get a drink where we begged some passing charity people for some money as we were short then to Goostry train station as it was getting dark. Felt like it had suddenly got cold but I think it was the sweat as my body cooled down due to inactivity. Took a quick trip to Evans in Manchester which was a dream cycle for me as there were cars....lots of them, all gridlocked down and around Deansgate. Some nice but expensive gear in Evans and had a nosey at one of Jobys potential bikes the Cannondale 6. Looks even nicer in the flesh. Couldn't see the LaPierre one. Back home we had clocked up 72 miles with an average of 18 mph possibly higher if we hadn't counted the 'go slow' through Manchester. Wasn't expecting such a hard work out but the time trial would have done us the world of good.


Went out on my own today as Pete had to keep the missus happy. I have been using Vanquish the past month so saw no reason to change it. Headed towards littleborough and was going to go up blackstone edge but wasn't feeling great and just wanted a recovery ride. So went to Walsden and turned up Bacup rd which is a nice long climb with a couple of monster gradients. I did a few sprints and recoveries and started to feel much better, my legs were much looser. I decided to hammer it home with a head wind too. Vanquish felt very very sluggish but I think it was the wind. Went past Whitworth very quickly and back past Norden and Bamford. 37 miles in 2hrs 6 mins average was 17.5mph.

Went to circuit training and spinning as normal for Thursdays

Weight 68.5kgs


Didn't really want to go out today but after all the crap I have been eating I needed a ride out. I was going to make it a fairly long recovery one. I prepped Jamis as I hadn't ridden her for ages and needed to make sure she was fine for the hill climb next week. Took it very easy from the end of my street and enjoyed the tail wind, it would be the last I would see of it all ride. I went up Edenfield road which is another nice long climb with some steep bits at the start. I saw my first target in a long time, another roadie! woohoo. I caught up to him on the start of the steep section and breezed past and gave the usual ' morning' which kinda sounds like you are taking the piss but I thought I'd be nice anyway. He gave me what I can only describe as a 'snarl' he scrunched up his face and saw him trying to keep up. I saw his shadow next to me so put in a bit more effort. I sprinted to the top of Edenfield rd and had enough energy to get a decent speed on the straight, that shadow was still there so I looked back and the other guy was miles behind. The shadow was my own bike d'oh. Descended into Rawtenstall where I thought I would do Bacup rd backwards to yesterday but on the climb to Bacup it was soooo windy and all my effort was going against the wind I just wanted to get home so headed towards Whitworth. The wind was very bad and speed was low. I dont know how the pros can pedal so quick against the wind and still keep up a good average. Sometimes I put in some super sprints and really go for it and my mph increases by 1. Waste of time and effort that was. Went down a big hill where I did 38mph the day before , just about managed 23 mph today. It is mentally soul destroying and you feel like you aren't getting any better after all the hard work thats being put in. Jamis did feel miles better on the climbs which is a good sign for next Sunday.

33miles in 2hrs 5 mins 15.7mph average.

Hopefully I get my new wheels before next Sunday :P Need a new saddle as my arse is killing. OOOh yeah and Im watching Greenday tonight at the MEN and work very early the day after so Saturday is going to be a rest day.

Saturday, 17 October 2009

All Bonked Out!!! part 2.......

Lets see if I can squeeze a whole week and a bit into a post thats as short as possible. Righty then, what did I do Fri last week? ermmm Im sure I did something but cant remember, same for saturday so its going well so far. Sunday was my day for a long ride but not last Sun as I have moved links at work and I didn't have time to sign my Sunday off so had to work all bleedin' day :( I did cycle in though, oh yeah I cycled in on Sat too. Im getting good at this commuting on a bike thing.

Monday, I drove in and was late for work due to water mains replacement all around Shudehill. Thought I would get the first part of my job covered but I wasn't late enough and had to drive to Southport. Working 10-8 all week. So its get up, go to work, work, get home from work, make somet for tea, sleep and repeat for 3 days.

Tuesday, I decided to cycle in as I was fed up with the road works on Monday, I really enjoyed it as I usually loathe riding to work for some unknown reason. Just a quick 7.3 miles either way but I like to hammer it as much as my little legs can take. Swimming was at 9pm and I managed to do 142 lengths this time, just to better last time.

Wednesday, Cycled to work blah de blah, I cant remember what happened or any exciting incidents, I do remember calling a taxi driver a fucking cock for nearly pulling right out in front of me and him following me only for him to chicken out when I turned around and approached him. I lost another set of rear lights AGAIN!!!! FFS!!!!! FFS!!!! FFS!!!!! so went to get a cheap set from poundland £1 which seem to work great until I stopped at the first set of traffic lights to find the rear lights I just bought had turned themselves off :( Turned it on and a little bump later it was off again. Lucky I had my flashing fluorescent straps round my legs or no one would see me. Night riding is the best thing ever though. I have been dreading it but now wish it was dark all the time. I have ordered a couple of led lamps from some place in China that are supposed to flood light the road, one ofr helmet and one for bar so Ill review them when/if I get them. £100 smackers worth. Also ordered a 10th rear light I think Im up to? Think I need a new saddle bag too. Part of my 'be seen so no bastard excuse' excercise I decorated my little back pack as it covered up my night vision jacket so the night vision bits weren't doing their job. I ordered some diamond grade? super reflective white and red waterproof tape from ebay, not cheap shit this, and sewed lots of panels on the back, underneath and side. Looks fab. Also stuck loads on my helmet. Some smart arse at work said ' its a bit early to be turning ya chrimbo lights on' Took me ages to sew them on too so did it through the HOUSE marathon season 2 and 3 box sets 40hrs worth in a week and half. Got a late fine too :( To be honest I dont have a clue where I found the time to watch all that as Im barely in the house to start off with, only to eat and sleep.
Was going to swim at 9pm again but I was really feeling it on the ride home and struggled to get up the last hill, bonk training was working as I ate little all day but stuffed my face at night. I didn't swim.

Thursday, more cycling to work and another reason why its more fun at night , well 8pm, is that I get chance to overtake loadsa cyclists. Don't see many in daylight hrs. Took it easy on the way home so I'd have energy for spinning at 9.15pm. Good session and I really caned it. Managed to weigh myself and was 67.5kgs!! wow and that was before the spin session and a big crap.

Friday, took missus to work so had most of the day for a bike ride. Pete has had swine flu for a couple of weeks so was avoing the fecker. Am I the only cyclist not to get swine flu? I had to put on my new GP attack front wheel on with latex tube, was a struggle and had to use tyre levers to get it on. Hope I didn't do owt to the tube ;) Rode past Haigh Hall, Parbold and to Rufford? Then a ride to bike shop mecca, Buy a bike where I got Jamis from. I was screwed. No water, no food and was knackered after 30 miles. Used any energy that I had to fight the wind going to Parbold and a quarter of the way back to Manchester. After 55 miles, I obviously hadn't fully bonked before but had now and I wanted to get the train home. Its a terrible feeling. I couldn't lift my legs at all. The thing is I would feel energy less for 10 mins then get a burst for 10 mins but any gradient made the burst dwindle to 2 mins. My stubborness made it worse as I kept telling my self that I could eat as much as I wanted when I got home but at this rate I wasn't getting home. I had to stop at a petrol station near Swinton in the end for Lucozade and sweeties I was that bad. I needed to prop my self up using the bike and my head was starting to spin. Just in time. After 5 mins of the drink I was good to go again but I wasn't. I hit a pothole and heard a clunk. Front tyre had deflated. No sign of glass etc in tyre so pumped the tyre up and the pressure seemed to hold. Kept checking it after a couple of miles, the air was leaking but very slowly. Had to pump it up once more to get back home.

74miles 17mph average (god knows how I kept to that, must be the tail wind on the last 30 miles, makes a change) Was out for5hrs not sure on riding time. Perfect cycling weather too.

Ate 2x Big macs, 2 bags of sweets and a whole 14" PIZZA on my return. Think Ill take Saturday as a rest day.

Thursday, 8 October 2009

All Bonked Out!

Rang Pantani Wed night as I hadn't heard from him for a while and since we were both free Thursday we'd take a ride to Clitheroe. He'd bought new tubs for his carbon jobbies and a double bottle holder for the seat post so he wanted a longer ride to test them out, taking a spare tub just in case. I had new pedals ( LOOK keo Easy) 2 new 'part worn' tyres for the bike with double layering of duct tape for the rim to try to avoid another punture, this was on Vanquish.

ROUTEish Met up at 10.30am and went a back road to Edenfield rd which has quite a few nice short steep climbs and is surrounded by farms. Once on Edenfield rd, headed towards Rawtenstall then to Burnley. This didn't pass without incident as a flying water bottle tried to attack me, which I skillfully dodged. I carried on whilst Pete retrieved the animal. This happened again on the descent into Rawtenstall but this time I was ahead so the bottle tried to attack a car instead. Descended into Burnley and another pothole later the water bottle tried a different tactic. Instead of just flinging its way towards me it would lose its head too and fluid sprayed every where. That was bound to get someone!
Stopped at a nice little bike shop called pendle cycles where I browsed a nice TT frame but it was alloy £750. I pondered what I could get on cycle to work, only a measly grand to spend :(
Nice and flat to Clitheroe and cant say that about many of my rides! Stopped off at Booths where Pantani had a sausage and apple pie, egg and bacon sandwich and an apple danish which he tempted me with too even though Im on bonk training he wouldn't take no for an answer. It rained for 5 seconds exactly then the sun was out again and skies cleared. It was a little windy but when it blew it was very chilly.

Set off back home about 1pm after lots of faffing about and 3 mins into the ride something else from Pantanis bike decided to fling its way at me!!! This was getting ridiculous!!!! It was a sheared head off a screw holding his new dual water bottle holder in place and it had totally gone now. I ate a banana whilst he decided what to do with his broken toy. He used an elastic band to tie it to his tri bars and put the tub down his top and he threw his water bottle away. We were off again. Pantani didn't look like he was on form today and struggled up every hill, he didn't even try which was unusual. The new tubs were very hard and the road surfaces were vibrating through the frame and up Pantani. The route back was virtually identical with a couple of incidents. A coach overtook me then turned infront of me. I gave the wanker sign only for the coach to turn and lots of kids started waving at me. My hand unclenched and waved back :P Then a white van man nearly cut me up on a tight bend and a silly cow nearly reversed into both of us and she heard me call her a silly fucking bitch. So when she was the right way round I went as slow as possible in front of her whilst she blew her horn. Nearly did a Joby and threw the bike to the floor infront of her but I remained calm :) The route isn't totally correct and we ended up doing 72 miles with an average of 16mph. Pantani wasn't on top form and it showed, guess it was an off day.

Now the pedals have to be one of the best things I have bought recently. My pedalling action is now unbelievably smooth. Instead of push down and pull up hard with lots of loose points between cleat and pedal, its all one continous action in a circle! Also my cadence was usually very low but I could definitly tell it was alot higher. Hills seemed so much easier and that is saying something. Someone did say stick with spds for my commuter, Vanquish is turning into my fav bike, I can see why as the look cleats are very slippy and wear very quickly. Already the bottom looks mangled. If the Easys are that good the keo 2 max must be even better? Highly recommended over spd's for performance but not for practicality.

In the evening I did circuit training and spinning class. By the end of spinning I was totally Bonked out and when I got home ate 2 bowls of soup, 2 chiken butties and lots of water. Weighed myself before and after the gym. Before 69.8kgs After 69.4kgs and thats without having a shit for a day. Weight loss is going great after I hit a plateau and I guess its all down to Bonk. I suppose its helping my riding too, I feel better and better every time I go on a bike it cant be a coincidence that I felt like crap and rode crap when I put 3-4 kgs back on in 2 weeks a few months ago.

Wednesday, 7 October 2009

Lazee days


Just a quick spinning session at 7am, went all out as it was only 45 mins long and tried not to eat anything until lunch time. Weight was an amazing 69.9kgs before the session so lost all the crap I put on in Vegas. Most of my ordered stuff arrived and will fit it 2moz.


Quite a nice day considering the crap weather we've been having all year but the missus had me chauffeuring her here there and everywhere so I only had time for swimming at 9.05pm. Before that though I stripped Vanquish and changed her tyres with Jamis's as one of them had a damaged sidewall, also changed the pedals. A thorough clean later and I was onto Jamis. I did her rear weel with contiGP4000s, the Conti GP attack for the front arrived on Fri but the feckers sent the old one not the new Chili compound so I sent it back. Then I did the handle bars, stem and new bar tape. I was going to take it to LBS as I couldn't be arsed to do it myself but I had a change of heart and just went for it. Turned out great in the end and saved myself a tenner. Gave Jamis a good deep clean too and she is nearly ready to go out again, just need to lower seat a couple of mm and change front tyre. Oh yeah the new pedals for Jamis never arrived either so gotta wait for them. At least they sent the other stuff.

Back to swimming, I thought if I did 120 lengths I would be more than happy due to the lack of swimming done. I used the time to concentrate on my breathing and stroke length but sprinted 4 lengths after 80 and sprinted 6 lengths on 114 to finish off. I looked at the time and I had a good 7-8 mins left so carried on and see how I would do. After the first 2 I was feeling strong so went fast for the next 13. I looked at the time again, still a couple of mins til kicking out time and asked the life guard if he'd let me finish off my five lengths as they were removing the lane ropes. He said yes so I sprinted the last 5. 140 lengths 3.5 km in 57mins. Not done 140 for a long time and knew I could go on for another hour, if I hadn't sprinted the odd few. Usually when I haven't been swimming a while my arms give up after 50 or so lengths so maybe the weights on mon/tues helped?

Tuesday, 6 October 2009

MRI results & Just a Gym day

Had a very long day at work today and was glad I was just passenger back from Wigan so I could relax and read some of my cycle mags. Had an appointment at 6pm to see the Doc about my knee scan results but traffic was hectic and had to ring to delay it 20 mins. Anyway as I have already mentioned on facebook the diagnosis is :-

'minor degenerative changes of the posterior horn of the medial meniscus without any underlying tear'.

So there is no muscular damage and since I can walk normally there isn't much they can do. I'm on anti inflammatorys and physio but sure none will help. Not happy that it can't be easily fixed and I suppose my running is out of the window for good just as I was enjoying it. Won't need my England Athletics membership card anymore.

Figured I should use my gym membership more often as I spend over £20 a month on it. If I don't I could have £280 to spend on bike goodies!!!! hmmm Garmin, wheels, new bike, credit card bill :(
Warmed up on the cross trainer for 10 mins and boy did it feel easy. Level 15 usually felt quite hard and slow. I suppose its like cycling standing up. Concentrating on my core, I did weighted sit ups, super hyper extensions and flexions and their sideways equivalents then just a few heavy lateral pull downs for a little back work. Finished off with a 10 mile virtual TT on the exercise bike. I was sweating buckets and had to mop up the floor. Heart rate was at a constant 171 bpm which went close to 180 the last 2 mins. Just for a personal record I did it in 22.16 level 14 with 6000ft climbing lol.

Sunday, 4 October 2009

Hard on a Sunday Morning

On saturday night/Sun morning when I finished work, about 12.30am my legs were itching to go out and cycle. In my usual style I prepped everything before trotting off to bed to be awoken 5 hrs later.

6am on the dot I got out of bed and changed into cycling stuff. Looked like it was going to be dry with only a 25% chance of rain and not much cloud so wore shorts and my wind jacket. Had all my lights set up and my flashing fluorescent bands around various parts of my body as I wasn't expecting it to be light for a good couple of hours. As soon as I opened the door I was greeted by daylight! It was a little dim so left on the lights but took off the bands. Holmfirth Rd and Holme Moss was my destination as always when I ride solo on Sundays except the week before I had to turn round half way due to bad weather.

I had to tell my legs to slow down as they seem to want to sprint up every hill and I wanted some energy for later on. I got lost negotiating Oldham town centre as the main rd was closed and managed to find a road to shaw and royton!! I could get back home that way! Found my way again and Hit the bottom of the climb with an average of just over 17mph. I had already started getting cramp 1 hr into the ride, very strange. The skies began to clear and the sun shining helped take my mind from the gradient ahead. There was a light breeze which didn't seem to help too much. As I descended towards Holmfirth the breeze picked up and had a tail wind to the bottom hitting close to 40 mph. As I turned off I hit a big pot hole and another rear light went flying and smashed to pieces. I think thats set number 5!!!!! The climb to Holme Moss was harder than I previously remembered, there was a head wind but was going faster than the last time I hit this hill with a head wind. My head wanted to take it easy but my legs kept pushing and pushing. Eventually I reached the top and was helped back down by an unwelcome tail wind/cross wind.

I turned onto the Woodhead Road where now the wind was in my face all the way back home. Saw the odd roadie on the other side and overtook 2 roadies who were heavily laden with shite/panniers. I cant believe my legs still had lots of energy left in them after all the effort I was putting in or seemed to put in. My averages were up a bit and the wind was aginst me. I was beginning to think this bonk training wasn't working anymore as I have been getting home with energy left but with 8 miles left, going through Denton I began to lose heart. I haven't been this way before and didn't know what to expect. I went down devils hill and came across a steep climb further on which I tried to go hard up. I gave it my all and when at the top the gradient levelled out a bit but was still climbing. I guess this is the way Gaz and Joby go to Manchester Centre. Once in Manchester I must have stopped at every set of lights. With 5 miles left I had just about enough to go at an easy pace and 2 short,steep hills to climb. The weather had been perfect apart from the wind and 1 mile from my house a rogue dark cloud appeared above me and released its juices. Managed to cycle out of it in 5 mins but the damage was done. The last hill was painfully slow, about 8mph avaerage when I had got used to 11mph. Again the wind didn't help. Don't ya just hate it when you get a sea of leaves headed straight for you and down the hill. Gives you a sense of the strength and direction of wind. I kept getting cramp which disappeared quickly over the last hour, it didn't slow me down really though.

Arrived at my house totally bonked out, thirsty with my belly rumbling. Average was 15.8mph about 62 miles in under 4 hrs with 3400ft climbing. Not bad as my nose was constantly blocked up and dribbling at the same time. Route here.

Thursday, 1 October 2009

Under the weather ----> Comfort shopping!

Tues, Wed, Thursday I haven't done a thing as I'm a little ill which seems to be turning into BIG ill. Coughing and spluttering, blocked nose, runny nose, dry throat and cravings for sugar. Missus had it 2 weeks ago and I've tried avoiding her so I dont get ill but the inevitable happened. Even in seperate beds.

SO feeling sorry for myself I hop over to loadsa well known web cycling stockists to see what goodies I can get my beloved beauties. Pantani was going to Ribble on Tuesday and was gonna go but needed to spend the day with the other half, for a change so I cant grumble. I must have spent a good 5 hrs + looking where to buy what at the cheapest prices. In the end I got the stuff from Ribble and Shiney Bikes.

First thing on my list was keo 2 max pedals as THe M520 and spds I have are heavy and are wasting some of my power.
Next was new lightweight bars as I have 46cm (300g) width, ordered 40cm(200g). I'm sure thats hampering my aero efforts. Lost looked very aero on her what looked like 36cm width! Vanquish has 42cm and I can tell the difference.
Then as a tyre had gone on Vanquish I will replace with the tyres from Jamis which are coloured red Shwalbe Stevios, crap in the wet but excellent puncture protection and quite heavy @300g. So Jamis gets on the front Continental GP Attack chilli which are a compromise as I was thinking of 20mm width but these are 22mm and on the rear Continental GP4000s + latex tubes just to try out really. I will swap for the other schwalbe and might try a michelin krylion for winter riding on Jamis
Lightweight stem to shorten reach and reduce weight.

I may or may not feel the benefits but I like to experiment and try things out even if its costs money, time and effort.

I told my wifey not to buy me Jelly beans too as I just cannot resist them so what do I find in the kitchen when I came home from work on Thursday.. my favourite Jelly beans which have now all been eaten :(