Tuesday, 22 June 2010

COWM CLASH Triathlon - The Results

I'm the one in the fancy Orca wetsuit next to the geese or whatever they are

I'd like to do a detailed review but I just haven't the time and this is being typed at 2am so it's going to be a little brief.

Awoke 5am to eat a scrambled egg butty and caramel slices washed down with 2 mugs of super strong coffee, that would be all the food and drink I'd have' til more or less the end of the race. The race was due to kick off at 8am and we arrived at about 6.30am as my missus needed a briefing and her marshalling kit. She would monitor transition 1 and make sure everyones numbers matched the bikes and no one without a number was let in. Nice and easy but very important. When I arrived I found out that my original runner had pulled out due to injury and A 12th hour replacement had to be found. He seemed very nervous and apologetic for not being as good as my first choice, I told him just to enjoy it and do his best....no pressure :P I had brought my running shoes and thought I would do the run too and see how far I could get before I'd have to pull out or I might even complete it but for timing purposes I would hand over the timing chip to Chris, my runner. The temperature was COLD, roughly 6-7 degrees and getting quite windy. The water was measured at 15 degrees so no problems there.

After registration The first wave of swimmers were called for a race brief and wet suits put on. I was going in the first, faster wave with about 35 other swimmers. I had my eye on the ones I knew were good so that I could draft them. They were disappearing and moving a lot to disorientate me but managed to find them when the starting whistle went....everyone was jostling for position but I kept my line and found myself with the front group. It was 1.4km around Cowm reservoir. Kieron, Rochdale Triclub's fastest guy was just infront and he was my 'paceman' as I never let him out of my sight. He was following another guy and the pace seemed very slow as I didn't seem to be using alot of energy which was ideal. On the last stretch home the pace was picked up and I came out of the water 5th but we were altogether really, right next to Kieron but then there was a 400m run to transition 1 which is where I lost time to the leaders.

I managed to get out of my wetsuit and into my helmet and shoes and race number in 1min 14 secs, the fastest guy doing it in 50 secs. The bike leg was 42km (26miles) of tough hills and this is where I thought I would do well. At Rossendale Tri I didn't pace the hills as well as I think I could have but today I paced all the climbs perfectly. I stood up all the way up the climbs and noticed I was the only one who did this of the faster lot. The others choosing aero but I find its the only way I can get my power to the road most effectively. I overtook a couple and found myself in 3rd position overall - Only Martin Cain, the super athlete, was ahead of us I could see Kieron, 100m infront of me on his Cervelo P3 with deep wheels and he used his kit very well as he tended to pull away very quickly on the flat or descents and I caught back up on the climbs but even though I could see him there for the taking, I kept to my race plan of not blowing up and keeping my heart rate in a specific zone.

I entered transition in 3rd place overall, I must have had a very quick bike run and I felt full of running so after handing over my timing chip to my designated runner and I put on my trainers and had every intention of completing the 9.5km run. The marshalls were fantastic and kept on giving me encouragement. I just went out to enjoy the run and get round the course and for the first 5km I was going fine and dandy. At the feed station I took a water and splashed it over my head and drank some pepsi......the bubbles felt sooo good! From about 6km my right knee started giving me the symptoms that my dodgy left knee usually experiences. Maybe it was because i'm subconsciously protecting my left knee but today the left was fine. After 8km I was really feeling it in the knee even though my body was quite fresh and I reverted to a slow jog. I completed the run without stopping and without walking but as usual I had a stitch for most of the course, could have been for all of it.

That was my first 'Olympic distance' open water triathlon and it was the best racing experience I have ever had. My swim time was 20mins 54 for 1.4km which isn't majorly fast but I achieved my target of keeping up with the leaders and conserving energy

The Bike Route as you can see is hilly and I completed the 42km/26mile course, 3rd fastest in 1hr 16mins 47 secs and was unbelievably pleased but still think there is alot more to come with better positioning as I still can't get the power down on the flats/descents. Average speed was 20.4mph. WOW. I bet if it was a flat time trial my speed wouldn't be much faster :(

My runner completed the run in 42mins which earned us 4th place overall in a time if 2hrs 22mins ! Great result but only 2nd in the relay group by seconds. I managed to complete the run in 54mins 30 seconds which would have put me, individually, at 12th in a time of 2hrs 35 mins!!! But officially we were 4th :)
We won a crate of beer and some spot prizes which I gave away. The wonderful weather topped the day off, as did a massage, the first I have ever had but boy did I need it.

Monday came and Im still feeling the high from Sunday, even managed to get in 35miles of recovery riding....fast.

Saturday, 19 June 2010

Triathlon 2 preparation

Tomorrow sees the start of my 2nd triathlon this year the 'Cowm Clash' It is based at Cowm reservoir in Whitworth just outside of Rochdale. It is an Olympic distance event or close enough to with an 1.6km open water swim, 42km bike and a 9.5km run. I will only be doing the swim and cycle and I have a runner to do the nasty bit for me but I could very well run the course to see how I get on.

I had the Ashton Crit on Tuesday and suffered no adverse effects, I actually felt better afterwards. Wednesday I rested but on Thursday I went to the velodrome for 2hrs organised by Dan_Bo from the cycle chat forums. I used my new Planet x track bike for the 3rd time I think it was and it felt much better than last time. Probably due to the fact my legs can cope better with the relatively bigger gearing and I can spin the pedals faster. We did a few laps warmup, 500m pursuit, a few skills, team time trials and 2 x 250m standing starts. Not too sure on my times but I left with my legs knowing that they had a good work out. On Friday I just cycled into work, averaged 21.3mph, not good as the air was still and I didn't stop once! must be the tri bars I took off. 18.5mph on the way back, windy. Sat I rested.

Not much this week so I should go fairly well 2moz. I can't predict what times I might get but Im hoping to fly on the bike?

Tuesday, 15 June 2010

1st Circuit race...How did I do?

I DON'T HAVE A CLUE???? Let me explain......

Arrived at the new Circuit wearing Middleton Cycling club colours that Phil West recognised and said 'hi' at 18.10 and registered for the 3/4 cat race after paying £8. Parking was strange as there was parking in the grounds but some peeps wearing SKY high vis vests were telling us to park at some cricket ground and pay a quid. We parked at a disused pub across the road which was still a fair walk. Pantani arrived not long after for support and we proceeded to have a few laps round the circuit. Pantani got kicked off after one lap as he forgot his helmet. Was funny!. After the laps the youngsters raced and then the youths but for some reason was running really late. Pete and I warmed up around the car park until we were called and I proceeded to do about 10 circuits until we were brought in to the start line. I missed the pep talk and apparently the E/1/2 were racing with us cat3/4 and all doing 45mins +5laps. The corners looked really bad and tight that I thought there would be a lot of crashes but I think all the riders were very discliplined and courteous and probably had a lot more experience too.

The Elites's etc set off and the seconds later we did. It was a bit mish mashed and I got stuck behind a girl who couldn't clip first time. I saw a group pull away in the distance thinking it was the 3/4 cat ( lol it was the E/1/2) so I tried to bridge the gap hoping I would get some help but I was all alone for about 5 laps whilst I knackered myself up. Just before I pulled away I went on to the grass verge on a straight and thought I would be the first rider off but I skillfully kept up :P. Jess Varnish's mum was shouting for her to stay on my wheel whilst I led this unknown group (to me) for another lap or so, before I had packed in and had to sit back and draft a couple of laps. Some guys from Manchester Wheelers cycling club took the lead for a while and I was struggling with the tight bends, some hairpins and the sprints out of them. My racing line was terrible, all over the place and didn't follow the train or any pattern, just weaving in and out due to boredom I think. The Manchester Wheeler guys slowed down and I thought someone would take it on but didn't so I forced my way to the front, slowly and without any racing etiquette. I went ahead only to find my self alone again. Why hadn't they followed me, I had picked up the pace again to try and catch the group ahead but no one was following. I don't get this racing malarky and so I eased and got caught up again but our train kept on overtaking little groups. Eventually the 'elites' containing riders from Raleigh, Corley cycles, Wheel guru, Waites and a couple of other names overtook when I was at the front and I suddenly saw 'my group' come behind me at the back of this train. I really had to sprint to get to the back of it but elites soon went off again and dropped the hangers on.

I had lost all sense of time and what was going on around me but we started overtaking lots of riders and some were dropping out. I decided to sit at the back to see what on earth was going on but nothing was clear. I was on the hoods which turned out to be a big mistake as I found thats what was hampering me on the corners. I went in the drops and found I could keep up much easily without having to stand as I could lean in more and put the power down earlier. If only I had learnt this sooner. Again I'd sit at the back and when the pace dropped I took my place at the front only for the other riders to drift back so I thought I aint riding alone and pulled back again. The elites came to lap us again with about 10mins to go and I managed to latch on the back and I saw everyone else apart from me drop back sooooo quickly. By now the wind had died considerably and I was flying, got my second wind. I could hear my name being shouted from the start line ( was it for me?) and from the other end where Pantani and my wife was. I stayed with the elites for about 4 laps, at the back but people kept dropping off and I was left to hit the drops and sprint 'Downing' style to latch onto the back again. I bet it looked really cool. I was taking the corners brilliantly still not having to stand to keep up. People were dropping out like flies. Still with the fast group I heard that lapped people were to come off. There was hardly anyone on the track now apart from some stragglers? or so I thought, half way round and myself with the fast lot. I thought it was only the 'Elite' group that was left so I voluntarily pulled out not knowing what was going on as I thought I should have come off ages ago.

Everyone was stood watching the last five laps in the pits but I went to registration to collect my liscence by handing in my number so I could go as I thought that was it for me. The lady said why did you come off, I said because I thought I had to. Did someone tell me? No I replied. Then walked off. I went to Pantani and my Wife at the other end of the track who shouted at me why did I come off, same reply from me. There were 3 'stragglers' who seemed to be competing for the 3/4 win and Pantani and Wifey said they hadn't lapped me and I was miles in front of them. I wasn't sure. I thought there was a 3/4 cat guy in the group I was in too. What I do know is that I could have carried on a lot longer if needed and seemed to be getting stronger.

A total lack of experience, naivety , handling skills, tactical knowledge, awareness and anything else required during a cycling race apart from raw power destroyed my chances of achieving anything but I left gagging for more. The race was unbelievably tactical and I had to sit back for 10 mins to get my breath back after my wasted attempted bridge. I didn't know what was going on behind me either. Deffo do this again but hopefully without the E/1/2 confusing the shit outta me.

Monday, 14 June 2010

Saturday hard ride but easy on Sunday morning

Saturday 12th June

Didn't cycle to work on Friday as it was a bit wet and wanted an extra recovery day. On Saturday I swam at Cowm reservoir to get some wet suit practise in for the Triathlon next Sunday. I was first in and set off swimming at 9am on the dot as I wanted to get 2 laps of the circuit in. ( 1 lap is about 1 mile) The water was very choppy today due to the wind but I seemed to swim better against the 'current' I was flying and after the 2nd lap I asked how long left....15mins hmmm tempted to go round a third time but decided against it and wanted to be first in the shower.

Managed to get a bike ride in today too. Nice and sunny but it's usual windy self. I set off just after 12 but was due in work at 3.30pm so took my little rucksack just in case I had to head straight for work on the bike. I didn't really want to ride to work so that I didn't have to ride home as England were playing and Manchester Centre would be a little dangerous. There was no route planned at all I just cycled up Edenfield rd, Littleborough, bacup/tod road back up Edenfield rd and home.

Distance 50miles
Average Sp 19.5mph
Ascent ???can't be bothered to work it out and didn't have Delphi 6 comp.

A new target I have set myself is to ride a hillyish 50miler at over 20mph. I've come close a couple of times butnot close enough!

Sunday 13th June

I had arranged with Lee from Rochdale Triclub to go over the bike course that he missed out on 2 weeks ago. Met at Rochdale baths, not many swimming today, strangely, as it did get quite popular. Riding with Lee means a nice easy ish stroll so would be a recovery type ride which I seem incapable of doing on my own. Straight to Whitworth at a super leisurely pace until we hit the start line and upped it a little. Little climb and descent into Bacup and then one of my favourite climbs of Bacup/Tod road. I was riding along side until I stood up and felt I was taking it easy but kept pulling away. I was keeping such a consistant rhythm and tempo at a relatively low heart rate. It was the quickest I had climbed that hill and I still felt fresh and didn't get out of breath. Normally I aim to keep above 10mph but I kept above 11mph.

Nice descent to Tod then the next climb of Burnley Rd to Cliviger. Its a long drag but the gradients are easy on the legs and I managed to stand all the way up this climb too keeping at 16 -17-18 mph, again very easily, not getting out of breath and keeping the heart rate low. Waited for Lee at the top then ascended a really steep cycle track to join a different Bacup road which is just as hilly as the first. There were gradients of 20%+ where Lee put a little distance between us but I soon shot past and powered up Bacup Rd as he puffed and panted whilst I maintained my smooth, effortless cadence. Once in Bacup we went to Rawtenstall where I went alone up Edenfield rd and have never climbed it so quick again. All my climbing was standing today, in fact I must have stood for about 50% of the journey time. Arrived home itching to do some more hills. I was tempted to go back and do Blackstone Edge which I hate and haven't climbed too often but Lee advised to just go home and keep the recovery day just as that.

I learnt a lot today about heart rates, breathing and just how to maximise efficiency/speed on climbs. Hopefully riding in the first race at the new Ashton cycle circuit on Tuesday. Anyone know if I can race on a provisional? Otherwise I aint racing.

Distance 50miles
Average Sp 18mph
Ascent 4400ft

Friday, 11 June 2010

Lots of commuting miles.

Not had much sleep weds night. Must have been about 6am when I finally drifted off so I wasn't fully up for cycling to work. Not ridden since Sunday so felt I HAD to cycle and see how recovery is going. The wind was strong swirly crap, I fitted my tri bars to Jamis to see what effect, if any they'd have.

Thursday 11th June
Cycle to work - 20miles , 19.8mph average

Intermediate cycle home - 7.5miles, 18.0mph average
Intermediate cycle to work - 7.5miles, 23mph average

Cycle home 20 miles, 19.6mph average

I had a nice 2hr break at work so managed to get back out on the bike. Full head wind home but a full tail wind back in. Couldn't tell if the tri bars were making a big difference due to the nature and strength of the wind but first impressions are positive apart from my banged left elbow and left knee on the bars. Impressed with the final cycle home as I was fighting the wind about 80% of the distance and I was starving, with a chicken curry waiting for me. Climbing was a bit poor today :( Very tired.

Tuesday, 8 June 2010

Boring Training

After the super high from Sunday, training just seems a triviality and it's difficult to motivate myself to push hard. Monday and Tuesday I was going to cycle some miles but every time I found some spare time to go out it rained and I just dont do rain.

The gym is somewhere I tend to avoid these days as I think 2hrs in gym is equivalent to 1 on the bike and have been tempted to cancel my membership. Since Sunday I have eaten 4 big bags of m and m's, revels, minstrels and aero bubbles so desperately needed to work off the excess to avoid putting on weight.

The exercise bike was first and went for a P.B for the 1o mile TT. I went hard from the start but since I wasn't warm it took a while to get going fully but once I had, I was keeping around the 29-30mph mark. Finished in a time of 20 mins 30 seconds which thrashed my previous best of 21.46 and averaged 280 watts.

Straight after was the rowing machine, no time for a rest. 5000m. I started off feeling smashing averaging 1.53/500m for a couple of minutes very easily but then I deteriorated quickly and was grimacing every pull. Only 5 minutes had gone and I needed to change technique to a longer, harder pull to give me time to get my breath back. I was going about 1.56/500m for the rest of the way, the last 1000m, being especially tough. I didn't have enough energy for a final sprint at the end but still managed to put in a PB time of 19 mins 12 seconds. Previous best was 19mins 29 secs.

After 20 mins recovery I went swimming with Rochdale Tri club and had every intention of taking it super easy. Unfortunately some fast lady had joined us who is racing in a Masters series next month and set a blazing pace. 20 lengths warmup, not that I needed warming up, 4x100m, 2x200m, 1x 400m, 8 x 50m, 16x25m (8 of them butterfly) and with very little resting time between each set. . For the 400m we did 5 mins 20 secs and I did that in my Triathlon on Sunday, that's how fast we were going. 120 hard lengths later and I was relieved to hit the shower, still able to walk.

Preparation begins now for Rochdale Tri Club's inaugural triathlon, The Cowm Clash on 20th June. I have entered as a relay team but Ill be doing 2 disciplines, the 1.6km swim, open water, and the super super super hilly 42km bike. I've chickened out of the 9.5km run.

Sunday, 6 June 2010

Rossendale Triathlon - THE RESULTS

My eating habits for the week before this race was a little wierd but I wanted my stomach to be empty for the run so just had soup, fruit and veg.
The night before I had cleaned 'Scottie' and went on a hilly 7mile sprint just to keep the muscles ticking over and to make sure the bike was in tip top condition. She was a dream to ride. Woke up nice and early, about 6.45am so that I could have a slice of toast and some fresh filter coffee. My start time wasn't until 11.18am but I knew how bad parking was so got there early. As I was due to pack the bike I saw the rear tyre had deflated. It was the latex innertube that I had patched a few months ago and managed to do around 500 miles on. Managed to change tube very quickly which was good news and set off.

Turned up around 8.20am but all the Marl Pits Sport Centre parking places were taken up but we managed a premium spot outside someones house. I didn't want too much to eat so that the risk of getting a stitch was minimised. I have a nice big box to put all my tri gear in and after registration where I picked up my numbers and 'free' cycling jersey, set to work arranging my stuff and bikes so it was easy to change into. Met quite a lot of people I knew like from Rochdale Tri club, school previous races and even Pantani turned up to cheer me on! About 10am I grabbed my bike for a 25min warmup and accidentally picked the hardest hill in the area, got me nice and warm and the blood pumping. Afterwards I had a double espresso. The weather had gone from overcast to pissing it down in a matter of minutes and all my gear was wet so my socks with talc in was a waste of time.

11am came and I was ready by the 4 lane, 25 metre pool. I got my number written on my leg and arm, put on the annoying orange swim hat then cleared and attached goggles. As I have mentioned before I put my swim time as 6.30minutes on the application form as I didn't like finishing near the end and wanted a time earlier but everyone had the same idea so I was roughly setting off the same time as last year. 400m/16lengths later I was out of the pool, feeling fresh and satisfied with my efforts. No one got in my way and any overtakes were clean and crisp. Ripped the cap off and tip toed across the slippy floor to transition area 1.

It was the first time I had used my 2XU trisuit in competition and it proved to be invaluable as I just needed to put on my shoes, number belt, helmet and I was away in seconds. No point in using my towel as I was drenched, as were my shoes and my poor bike..'.Scottie' I ran down to the main road with cleats on ( I can't see how attatching shoes to pedals help?) , I had the right gear for the hill start and I was away for the lumpy bike leg. Up, Up and more Up until a set of lights on a downhill section where the marshalls were lying in wait to count our 'sitting time'. There was another short downhill to Burnley Rd East but since the roads were very slippy most people took it easy but there were reports of numerous people skidding off with lovely open wounds to show off for their efforts. The first 7 miles was more or less all uphill to Crown Point where Pantani was waiting for me. He tried to chase after me but said after I was going way too fast. With 5 miles left, with 4.5 downhill, a bloody Sunday driver in a crappy white van pulled out in front of me and travelled 26.5mph all the way to the set of lights where I was to dismount and run on the pavement to cut the lights out and mount again. This lost me quite a lot of time I think as I never pedalled hardly and kept having to use the brakes and had to keep my distance as there were marshalls dotted about to catch drafters. It was impossible to overtake safely and my missus said whatever you do out there, think about your new baby first. I was really irate at the holdup but life goes on. I sprinted up the last hill which was lined with spectators shouting encouragement then the dismount and run into transition2. (21km)

As soon as the time was taken for my bike I thought I could relax now as the hard stuff that I wanted to excel at was done and since my running is abysmal at best I just figured Ill go as hard/fast as my dodgy knee will take me. I had a little trouble putting on my trainers as I forgot to loosen the laces but didn't lose too much time. Another lumpy course which had me gasping after a few strides. I was at my limit all the way around. The legs felt fine but I just couldn't get enough oxygen. 3 laps it was and during the 2nd I started to get the 'stitch of death' which worried me slightly. I had run all the way so far and if it persisted I was going to run through the pain. As it happens it disappeared quickly and I carried on, shouting out strange grunting noises now and again. I had miraculously overtaken quite a few but not been overtaken yet myself until number 219 re took me after I had done so on the bike. I crossed the line with my arms aloft and a massive smile on my face as I had RAN all the course unlike last year when I walked most of it. No sign of knee pain either. There were oranges available at the line and I must have had about 6 slices and a bottle of water. The father in law kinda timed me on his watch and said I had done around 1 hr 12 mins. It was within my target zone but left me slightly disappointed.

We retired to the club house after a shower to watch the prize presentation and hopefully to get the split times and overall position. The organisers kept us waiting for ages as they had to work out the temporary traffic light standing times. It was about 2pm when it was all wrapped up and still no times. Suddenly there were groups gathering with pieces of paper..............

13227Simon BrierleyM10/90Manchester00:05:24600:40:42800:23:305901:09:36

Nah, That can't be right? I had to wrestle the papers from the others to get a closeer look. OMG I had gone under 1hr 10mins. Last years time was 1hr 24mins. Delighted and chuffed with 13th place. I do think I could have done a 38-39 on the bike quite easily to give me the second/third fastest bike but it wasn't to be, definitley on another day without that van driver,I had no tri bars either. Why is my running so bad? Very pleased with that too. Paul Jibson from Middleton Cycling club and keen triathlete also competed and he came 21st.

Celebrated with KFC, Vindaloo and choccy.

Friday, 4 June 2010

Triathlon preparation

Taper - reducing exercise/intensity before an important competition.

That's the general idea which with previous competitions I have been unable to follow. Sunday is the day of my first triathlon of the year and the same triathlon that kicked it all off for me 1 year ago. Last year at Rossendale my times were as follows:

6735Simon BrierleyM32/70Manchester00:05:30800:49:224900:29:4613701:24:38

The first column is the place overall, then race number, then age group placing.The first time is the 400m swim where I placed 8th. I don't think I will improve on this time and I don't really want to but I should easily be around the same time even with the lack of swimming I have done. I swam on Tuesday and hammered it to see how much fitness I had lost but I seemed fine and strong all session. Also swam on Thursday and tried to take it easy but my competitive instinct took over and I went quite fast which I suppose is a good sign for Sunday. This was after a 20mile all out bike ride too from work! Saturday I will be swimming at the reservoir, nice and EASY! to get some open water, wetsuit practise in.

Next time is for the hilly 20km bike ride including time for transition 1 and transition 2. I have bought a tri suit so should cut my transition time down. Forcast is ZERO wind so I am expecting a time around 42 minutes ( fastest was 38mins), an improvement of 8 minutes, hmmm too much to ask?

Last time is for the dreaded 5km run :P where my time of 29mins 46 secs earned me a 137th place. I did walk most of the course as I had a stitch probably due to the huge Macdonalds breakfast I had. I have done just over 22 mins before so I am aiming for 24mins if all goes well....pretty please.

That gives me a projected time of about 1 hr 11mins 30 secs, good enough for 16th place last year. That's if I am at the top of my game so realistically around 1hr 13 mins, which is 11mins quicker than last year. Top 20 sounds a good spot to aim for. I do feel fantastic recently and seem to recover very quickly so....... BRING IT ON!

Quick Edit, wind has just been changed to a Westerly gale! for Sunday.

Tuesday, 1 June 2010

More Commuting Stats

Monday 31st MAY

To Work - A quick 10miler into work at 7am. It was a bank holiday so traffic was non existant but the traffic lights wern't on holiday today or anyday come to think of it :P Legs were achey from Sunday but the air was relatively calm and I managed a record speed into work, how? I do not know.

Distance 10 miles
Average 21.4mph
Ascent 300ft

To Home - Feeling awful, stomach was empty, absolutely starving so went to the snack machine to get an elevensies bar. Why I decided to do the 20 mile route I will never know but I was determined to do it. I did most of the climbing sat down and kinda hit a lower gear but higher cadence which combined seemed to save the legs. Wind was swirly and fairly gentle but for some reason never seemed to get in my way too much which ever direction and I travel in every direction on this route. On the gentle-ish rise of Oldham Rd I was doing 17-18 and 20 mph +at the top,before my turning, very easily but I still didn't want to over do it. When I found how easy it was to do 26mph on Victoria Av, thats when I thought I could beat my previous best on this route. At the top of the route where I turn to go South back home I had done 19.9mph by now on the Friday but was up to 20.3mph today. This is when I knew I could beat my previous best and went for it all the way home. The adrenalin was pumping treble time and I gorged on baked beans and toast, but not my usual super portion. I'm trying to eat little but more often and of the liquid variety so my stomach isn't too full for the Triathlon on Sunday as I can really feel the difference on the climbs with a full stomach.

Distance 20miles
Average Sp 20.5mph
Ascent 1050ft


Longer routes today as I thought I wouldn't be riding on Sunday or Saturday.

To Work -

Distance 15.6miles
Average Sp 20.3mph
Ascent 500ft

To Home -

Distance 20.6miles
Average Sp 20.1mph
Ascent 1050ft


SUNDAY 30th May

It was raining on Saturday so my planned ride out didn't happen. It was ickle Sopie's special day on Sunday, she was being Christened. Since mummy and I had such a great day, unbelievably I was let out on a bike ride about 4pm. Looking outside I really didn't want to bother as I hadn't seen the wind so bad before so rang Pete to see if he was joining me and I was kinda hoping he wouldn't but he agreed and we were off in no time.

We started by climbing Ashworth Valley Rd to meet with Edenfield Rd at the top. Nice and sheltered from the wind. As soon as we hit the tops we got the battering we had expected. Downhill to Rawtenstall we struggled to hit 15mph and was as low as 10mph on the flatter places. Average was around 13mph by this time as we headed towards Ramsbottom then Bury. I used this ride as an interval training session and could feel myself tiring very very quickly so I used the rest periods for Pantani to catch up then sprint off again. On Tonge Moor Rd and the A58 there was the strongest tail wind ever and we were overtaking cars for fun, I think that road is 40 too or parts of it. Not much climbing but I was pretty shattered at the end of it. My stomach was full of Italian goodness though.

Scottie is at the LBS to have the rear brake sorted out as I couldn't get it spot on. It's one of those super light Planet x single pivot pain in the arse jobbies

Distance 38.5miles
Average Sp 16.5mph (Pete said 17.5mph, but not on my computer)
Ascent 2500ft.