Monday, 30 August 2010

Hard recovery ride

It was dry enough to use 'Scottie' today for the first time in ages although the clouds that were forming spelled out 'R' 'A' 'I' 'N'. Only a short ride allowed as I was meeting Pantani for some carvery goodness so absolute max I was allowed out was 2hrs. Didn't want to push it just in case I had a puncture or incident.

 UP Edenfield Rd where the wind was blowing steadily. I have really missed the ride of 'Scottie' it's so unique. for such a stiff frame, comfort is 2nd to none compared to my other bikes even using the ultra thin and light Selle Italia SLR saddle. The Dura Ace c24 wheels are amazing and the acceleration up hills leaves me beaming. On top of Edenfield road, the cross winds could be felt in the rear wheel in the form of drag, but not as much as felt in my other wheels. It was hard work descending with the wind across the bike, pedalling all the way into Rawtenstall. Front Brakes jammed on just before the main roundabout as my stem loosened and fell a little. ( its adjustable)The front brakes are the Planet x ultra lite single pivot things and are super sensitive to brake cable movement. Miraculously I had brought along an allen key that fitted the stem and I was off in a couple of minutes.

Next part is a long, gentle climb to the top of Whitworth where I tried to average about 20 mph but the wind was constant and I dropped a little bit. Tempo was high and fast, keeping on the limit, but not breaking it. Descending to Shawfirth was 'slow' but its downhill all the way into Rochdale. Eventually the head wind turned into a cross and was able to maintain a higher speed on Whitwirth Rd. The legs were going well and still could apply the pressure all the way home with a few sprints along the journey. Weather permitting I should be out on TT bike Tuesday.


Distance       35miles
Ascent         2200ft
Av Speed    20.4mph (Blackburn Comp)

Middleton cycling Club Track Champs - ROUND 2

After Round 1 in April I was in pole position to regain my title of MCC track champion. Two more rounds to go and Round 2 was held on Sunday 2pm-4pm at Manchester Velodrome. I brought quite a large support today so the pressure was on to do well.

The warmup didn't go well at all and my knee started playing up after 2 laps probably due to too much running and pedalling in a high gear on the track. After 15 mins I came in to rest my knee and got a telling off for having 2 sprockets on my bike. After getting back on the track, taking it a little easier, my knee settled down and we were called to do the flying 200m. For some reason we only got a 1 lap run up instead of 2 so had to hit it hard from the start to build up speed. Managed to stand up and pump the pedals for a few revolutions on the final banking before sitting into a fast sprint for the start line. I could feel myself slowing down but tried to keep the power down. 13.53 ( previous time 13.90) seconds was my time, my target was under 13, maybe the extra lap run up would have seen that happen. Very nervous.

Straight into the 1km timetrial. My target time for this was 1 min 20s. I think I set off way too fast and after one lap I was dying. Very hard work to keep the speed as high as possible and by the last it felt that all my energy had gone. 1min 23.25 seconds ( previous 1min 24.62seconds)

I requested  a 10 min spin around the track so that I could compose myself for the 2km pursuit. Wasn't expecting to do too well after the 1km effort and all my targets so far were way off the mark. 2km time I was aiming for was 2mins 50seconds which was a bit hopeful after my first two runs. My bunny rabbit was Paul Jibson who had placed 2nd in Round 1 and was placing second in Round two ( +0.5sec 200m, +1sec 1km). Last time we were neck and neck all the way around and only just pipped him on the line. We set off neck and neck for 2 laps then I edged ahead about 10-15 yards for the next 2. Feeling strong I was able to keep up the pace and found myself closing on Paul very quickly. With two to go I upped the pace again but saving some for the last lap and he was within 100metres. On the final lap I gave it all to try and overtake him but the wasn't enough track left and I had won convincingly. 2min 45seconds! ( previous 2min 53.89)

Couldn't get on top of the gear today so might try a sprocket with 1 tooth more and spin a bit faster. Lots of fun had and legs crying due to the burn. Suppose its good training doing some full on efforts. So I broke all my PB's but thought I had improved enough to challenge my targets.

Saturday, 28 August 2010

Gym, swim and much more.

Friday 27th August

OMG it's sunny again without too much cloud. Another quick blast on the tt bike was on the cards. Set the saddle back 1cm and was much more comfortable, arms not aching at all either, no problems breathing, what a contrast. Set off at 3.30pm and 10 mins later I was getting drenched. ARGHGH my sparkly new bike was getting wet and dirty. How could the weather turn so quick? The gentle breeze instantly morphing into a mild tornado seemed a good explanation. Suddenly the bike didn't feel as good as it did on Tuesday. Soldiered on but had to be back soon as I was at the velodrome for 6pm. As soon as I got home the rain ceased and the clouds dissipated into thin air. Missus was in bed with baba at the time and was shocked to see a drowned rat at the foot of the bed as the sun pierced the blinds. 'My washing!!' was the only reply to my static, damp figure.Hmmm

Distance 27.2miles
Ascent 1600ft
Average 20.2mph

Arrived home at 5pm so had to quickly take the pedals from TT bike and put them on trackie. Stuffed some paper towel into my Sidi's as they were soaked. My nike's are also soaked after being on the washing line for a week so they were out of the equation. Changed gear and slammed bike in car with pram, baby and wifey. This was a taster improver session and I was hopeful of gaining my PINK slip. Previous encounters were met with disappointment as I was told to keep doing more sessions. Not done an improver session for a while but have got the hours in recently to feel extremely confident and safe. I don't cringe or wince at the thought of crawling around the top of the banking anymore. Emily from Rochdale Tri club was there, she had gained her pink slip the week previous and although a lot less experienced than I was she did look like she's done it a few years.
Things weren't looking good as there were some very inexperienced riders, some very young riders, some who thought they were good ( come to that later) and others who genuinely wanted to learn and gain something from the coach's expertise. Some riders couldn't maintain a steady cadence, therefore speed was erratic. Not listening to the coaches was a downfall of more than a couple and just looking and feeling nervous was spotted on many an occasion.

I left the track at the end wondering at how a crap session like that anyone could be considered for the next stage so didn't expect the end result I wanted. The coach said he'd be waiting in the 'D' for chats etc and everyone crowded round, anxious, awaiting the approval to go onto the skills courses. One by one he told each rider they'd need more time. He then told one guy to come back in 5 mins. He then refused another guy who didn't take too kindly to this and went on a rampage. The 'Surosa' clad big head stated 'I'm an elite road rider' to which the reply sounded like 'not on the track you ain't boyo' More words were exchanged and the coach took him to one side to further explain his reasoning. Well handled in the end. I have to say I wouldn't have passed him out on that either. He couldn't even get leaving the track safely correct which is nursery school stuff. There was a youngish lad, who I told to keep his helmet on whilst on the track, he should be thanking me as he was given a pink slip. There was hope after all, only 2 of us left out of 15. 'I'm going to give it you' Wooooo he said to me and also that he would liked to have seen more of me as it was his 'spotter' who said I was competent enough. Job done. Skills course duly booked for September 26th.

Thursday 26th August

A very quick gym trip around 2pm where I just warmed up on cross trainer and blasted a 5km run. This time I maintained 8.5mph instead of building up and going faster and faster. Only managed a top speed of 8.9mph as my abdominals were going to explode. 21mins 45 seconds!!! PB YAY! That was hard work that one. Knee is holding well, I daren't go any longer but when resting I do sense an odd twinge now and again.

Then followed swimming with the Tri club. Only my second time in a long time. 32 lengths mixed warmup of drills and sprints. I told everyone how great I was feeling but once in the water I was a good 5 seconds down on each 100m to what Im used to. 5x100m ( 20s,15s,10s,5s rest in between) which is like hard work just before a season begins and we are nearly at the end! That was repeated 4 times and 12 lengths warm down using fists. Arms really do need to swim more but find it boring...need motivation.

Wednesday 25th August

Spinning in the morning followed by an hour in gym and spinning again in the evening. Did another 5km run and was on form today. Hit a top speed of 10mph and really thought I could have started quicker without losing too much. Good time too another PB of 21mins 57 seconds that's a minute off last times. Head is better, not much though.

Tuesday 24th August

Currently I am three quarters way through 27 days off from work but the 19th day they couldn't cover my shift so I had to go into work at 4.30am ughgh. Barely had 2 hrs sleep and my head, throat and ears were as ruff as my wife's arse, no it really was bad. When I got home I was determined not to go to bed and stay up. Glad I did because suddenly I had an urge to ride my TT bike FAST. I just knew it would be a good fast ride but how after such a bad morning? I hadn't even ridden her before so was unsure of the fit. The start couldn't have got much worse really. I had difficulty breathing in a cramped position and couldn't hold 'aero' for longer than a minute or two. Chest was hurting and arms too. I learnt to keep making slight adjustments and not to go too hard, if I did I would need to sit up a little to breath better.

Before I knew it I was climbing Blackstone edge on a TT bike and even though there was a slight cross wind I could feel the acceleration in the wheels which I haven't done in ages. This is due to the relatively calm 6mph wind and instead of a constant stream, was broken with short periods of stillness. Barely dropped under 10mph, last time I just about maintained 7-8mph. I had put my Bontrager Race XXX lites on after replacing the shot bearings in the rear freehub and the difference is unbelievable. Was really proud of myself doing that too :P Got battered by cross winds down Cragg as it is very exposed. Through traffic jam of Hebden and Tod and onto Walsden and Littleborough. I kept being gazed at from lycra wearing admirers. Might have to use this bike more often. Never looked at my computer once and was shocked to see what I had at the end. Its a new one from ALDI which didn't work at first as one of the batteries had died before I had even opened the box! I had to check my wheel settings and even measured the circumference of my wheel with a piece of string 2112mm. Computer was at 2100mm so shouldn't make a big difference. Just plotted the map and the two distances are identical. Just hope I can get used to the position as it is really 'AERO' and I really want to love this bike. Lots of sneezing, dribbling and blocked nose and headaches why did I go out in the first place? I read somewhere if the symptoms occur above the neck you should be fine..... and I was!

Distance 45miles
Ascent 3000ft
Average 20.8mph (loads of traffic light stops and traffic too!)

Monday 23rd August

In the gym for a cross trainer warmup, row machine waste of time effort then another of my 5km runs which I seem to be getting faster and faster at. This time I PB'd again with 22mins 50 seconds. Next was a spinning sesh straight after which hurt big time.

Sunday, 22 August 2010

Thpring into Thummer on the Thnake


Another ride planned by some CycleChat boys was kicking off at 8.30am from Roe Cross pub carpark and into Sheffield. The early start time meant I had to get up earlier than I would have liked but tend to only go on group rides if they start like that. So I rose at 7am with not much time to get stuff ready and breakfast duly went out of the window, just time for some super strength coffee. A nicely paced long ride should help with my recovery after a crap week.

Took Jamis as was unsure how the weather would turn out, Scottie hasn't had a ride out for ages and is currently being used to hang up helmets, shoes, gloves and jerseys. I didn't realise how far away the meeting place was so I took a long way round and suddenly it was 8.25am and I wasn't at the meeting point. I followed a cyclist up Mottram rd and soon caught up but he turned off and I still followed. Turned out he was lost, wasn't from the area and wasn't going to Sheffield :( I turned back and followed signs for A57.

It had only just turned 8.30am and Glossop was upon me. Nearly stopped and waited but I carried on and just as the Snake Pass started to climb I caught sight of a small group and at the rear a familiar style of was Dan_Bo! They set off quite early as I hadn't said I was turning up as I was unsure myself. Foz and Longers started to up the pace on the climb as I tried to keep up using a high a cadence as possible. Can you believe it, the sun must have been shining on us all day and I just took in the atmosphere along with the scenery... I was enjoying myself! There's a big reservoir near/at Derwent and Foz told me about some plug holes. I thought some tiny little things like I have in my bath but felt stupid when he pointed them out as being bigger than my house. About 45-47 miles theres a nice 2 mile gentle ish climb that I just had to stand up and attack. I can only do this in perfect conditions ie gradient not too steep, tail wind, good road. In the big ring I started to move up the gears as I got faster and faster until a steep bit so dropped back a little. I've done it on Cragg Vale to Halifax rd Junction only a couple of times for the last 2-3+ miles where I can average close to 20mph. Recently though the wind has been a head/cross from Cragg.

The cafe was soon upon us hidden in a lovely kinda park. I think I have the right place on the map, useless with directions. Longers and I had baked beans and toasts, Dan, some gorgeous looking cake and flapjack and Foz egg on toast x2. That was all I had to eat all day apart from 2 cereal bars on the way. Lots of climbing to prepare for on the way back. I could have eaten the same again and stayed there all day watching the cyclists, runners, doggies whilst sipping coffee, reading a paper, relaxing, ahhhh. Like being in NewYork again.

Travelled at a more sedate pace on the way back, suited me fine as the energy levels were dwindling fast. Managed to stretch the legs on the last part of the Snake's ascent which would be my final attack of the day. Waited for Dan at the top whilst I froze in the very strong breeze. Needed to stretch alot too as muscles very tight. Have to say Dan had done remarkably well considering the climbing we had done. The last 20miles was just an energy conservation exercise as I was failing fast but tried not to show it. The short, sharp climb of Mottram Moor nearly had me but I knew it was an easy downhill ride from there onwards. Left Foz, then Longers and finally escorted Dan through the climb of Daisy Nook and Failsworth. The sun still out and I was left alone, finding the last few miles, chuckling to myself. That's what cycling is about, having fun whilst getting fit. Can't remember the last time I enjoyed such a long ride. The weather certainly helped but Ive done an Audax in the pouring rain averaging 13mph and loved it.

Distance 100miles
Ascent 7500ft +
Average 15.9mph


Thursday 19th Aug

Took me a while to find it but managed to find it at the bottom of my kit gym pass!
Warmed up on the cross trainer and heart rate went sky high very quickly on a low setting
which isn't a good sign. The gym bikes gave me more misery as I barely hit 200 watts, terrible.
After a quick pull on the rower I gave in and finally thought I better do a bit of running if I am
to compete in more triathlons. 8mph felt quite easy after halfway through my 5km and ended
up finishing in 24 mins 30 secs. My fastest yet on the treadmill.

Went swimming with the tri club, in the fast lane, but was needing to put in too much effort to
keep up with the slower lanes. My body gave up 10mins before the end and cramped up with
5 minutes to go. At least my arms got a work out.

Friday 20th Aug

Time was 5pm and it had been dry all day, supposed to be like this for the rest of it too. Took
my TT bike out for a spin to see how the fit was as it was the first time I had ever ridden it.
Wind was about 20mph and after 10 mins it started to lash it down. I hid under some trees
for 10 mins then went home :(

Velodrome time at 7pm again. Ughh wasn't looking forward to it. At least there would be
NO WIND yay! Quick warmup then some 100m sprints which is a little pointless as you
end up going fast enough to complete 200m with little more effort. It was great practice
for Middleton Cycling Club's track championships though. A few skills later and we did 40 laps
progressive, getting faster and faster. That was the idea anyway. More like fast,slow,fast slow
then a sprint to the end. I got caught up on the inside behind a slower line as the 2 on the
outside fought valiantly for the win. D'oh. Next time I shall get into position BEFORE the last
lap and maybe start my sprint early too as I thought he others would tire but didn't. Track
bike is ace and setup 100% perfect. I always feel my best on this bike, even though my body
was telling me to stop, I could squeeze that extra energy from somewhere.

Saturday 21st August

That gym pass of mine will get worn out soon if I keep on using it. Wanted to get out on the
bike but stiff legs said 'no way' Cross trainer warmup again and heart rate was a much more
comfortable 120bpm at level 15, 9mph. Hmmm Lets see how a quick 10mile TT on gym bike
could go, not any worse than Thursday? So I was aiming for my PB of about 21.45 and after
10 seconds knew I would be way off. To get that 21.45 I need to average about 270-280 watts
but 203 watts is what I got this time and crawled over the line close to 25 mins.
What is wrong with me? Idid 5000m on rower in 20mins 50 secs which isn't bad, pb is 19mins 27 ish
Figured my running can't be too bad as it has always been bad so I should be able to get close to pb's.
Started of briefly at 7.5mph and soon worked my way up to 8.5mph and 9.5mph for the final leg.
Woooo 22mins 58 secs for 5km and thats after having to reset back to zero after 0.5miles as my shoe
laces came undone. Happy at last. Session over.

Thursday, 19 August 2010



Yesterday's ride put a strain on the muscles and all I had to eat for tea was beans on toast until today when I had soup for breakfast but I was determined to ride. Pantani and I were supposed to be going to a bike shop in Chorley as I had a few bits to buy so possibly could have gone Blackpool. As it happened there was no reply from his phone...he'd switched it off! So I cycled to his house to get the lazy feck out of bed. Eventually got an answer that he was still asleep so I left on my own.

Wind was nightmarish but Huddersfield Rd from Newhey is well sheltered so didn't affect me much there. I then proceeded to Holmfirth Rd going about 7-8mph which is crap especially in a 'tail wind' I then bonked halfway up but managed to spin my way out of trouble. I was hoping Compo's was open as everytime Ive passed it has been closed. Got there and was glad to see the big queues coming out of the door.' Jumbo cod and chips with scraps please' NOW!! Had to wait for my freshly done fish, deffo worth it, guzzled down with a 1.5l bottle of Coke. Whilst in Torquay I went to the 10th best chippy in the country and although impressed I thought Compo's was marginally better.

Legs feeling much better after 30 mins I set of back the way I came in a howling, swirly head wind. Just took my time and paced it. I was getting stronger and stronger and tempted to use up all my reserves at once but had to hold back as most of the power would be fighting the windanyway. Since I was revitalised I took a long way back home to get as many miles in as possible. Weather up to now was cloudy with sunny spells but when in Stalybridge the heavens suddenly opened and absolutely lashed it down for 5-10mins. Great :( I already had my water proof on because I was freezing with all the wind and generally cold temps outside, also had my bib longs on, hows that for preparation! Cramp in my left leg was setting in and had to stand to stretch it out. As I typed that sentence, in bed, I'm writhing in agony due to cramp. Getting twinges. Ouch. Clocked up a painful 75miles.

Missus had an hour spin session booked in for 8.30pm which I joined in. Wasn't too bad and did better and lasted longer than I expected. Bike is full of sand and dirt, she needs a good hose down. Ride tomorrow?? Didn't think just over a week off the bike could be so counter-productive.

Distance 75miles
Ascent 5000ft
Av Speed 16mph

Wednesday, 18 August 2010

Good to be back


After a cold,wet but fab time in Torquay where all I could think about was getting on the bike I finally got home to my beauties and gave them all a once over. Tuesday's forecast wasn't too good but even though I hate riding in the rain I prepared myself for the worst, I really needed this ride and a drenching wouldn't deter me. Met up with Pantani for a quick ride which turned out to be a longer ride than planned as the weather turned nice eventually after we did get wet. Also got 'lost' a few times like on the way back from Blackburn where we looked for Haslingdon/Grane rd but found quite a nice alternative in the form of Roman rd so ended up doing a loop at Edgeworth.

My Blackburn computer flew off a couple of times from a new stem mount and one of the buttons sticks a little. It went in my back pocket after the 2nd time so I lost count of the milegae. Pete reckoned we did 75 miles but the map plot says 60 miles unless I have gone wrong somewhere, sure I haven't. Legs felt tight and achey afterwards, must be getting old.

Tuesday, 10 August 2010

Death by Derny

Sunday 8th August

Velodrome time again!!! Didn't realise how much I missed the place until I got there and saw all the taster session guys going round and round with big grins. Organised by dan_bo from cyclechat forums. Before I arrived I was rushing and dashing about to get baba to my mums and to get my track bike 'road' worthy as it was in pieces. Quickly stole the adjustable stem from 'Jamis' and affixed handlebars to steerer. Put 14t and 15t cog on wheel and since I had the right equipment this time made sure it was on properly so I didn't need to worry about it falling to pieces. Rear wheel bolted on and this time chain was tight enough. It span like a dream. Lastly saddle was put all the way forward and lowered to the same height as my commute bike. Oh yeah nearly forgot the peddles which were taken from tt bike.

Arrived early as usual as was itching to get going but had to wait til 2pm. First hour was a very long warmup, forming a train and changing every lap. Nice and easy pace. When they signalled us in with 5 laps to go I was poised to attack any sprints from in front or behind me but nothing materialised and just left me with lots of pent up energy.

I managed to waste some of that aggression during the next part which was the skills section. Half lap sprints, lumps and bumps and moving in pairs just like a taster advance session.

The final hour is what everyone was looking forward to and had turned up in the first place for.... the derny. Following/Drafting a motorbike for 25 laps. We were shown how to drop out if need be and every 2 laps the front cyclist had to pull forward to the out side of the derny, the rear guys would follow but then the rear guys dropped behind the derny and the guy who was at the front tried to rejoin the rear. It sounded a little complicated, to me anyway, but went smoothly. A faster group of 10 went first, I was at the back and had to rejoin the group when the train was travelling at its fastest but managed it well. The trick seems to be staying as close to the wheel infront as possible. Didn't seem to waste too much energy even though we were travelling in excess of 50km/h. A slower group went then the faster group again but me and another rider were halfway round the track when the derny set off behind us with its followers and us two were told to leave the track. That taught us. It was great watching the faster lot from the sides and you can see the gaps appearing where people cant keep up or lose the wheel slightly of the guy infront. There was quite an impressive move where a gap appeared and around 5 at the back losing pace with the bike and 3 others. The cyclist at the front who is supposed to drop off and rejoin the back filled that gap nicely and enabled those slacking to keep up.

I had to go with the slower group which actually was a blessing in disguise. I forced my way to the front just behind the bike so when everyone had done their turn I was 'leading' and wouldn't get dropped if someone left a big gap. So after everyone had been to the front, not necessarily being successful in rejoining, another 10 or so laps were completed where we just tried to go as fast as possible. I was last man standing after 5 and the derny rider kept asking if I wanted to go faster. I just kept telling him 'yeah yeah yeah'. Round the bends I can feel the bike being sucked in towards the derny and its scary being so close to its wheel, millimetres. Last lap came and I was still holding on but lost my confidence a little when the derny started to move across the racing line more than previously ( as sometimes I overlapped, didn't want his rear hitting my front) so I backed off with half a lap to go. I was left wondering how much faster I could have gone. Doesn't seem to use up much energy but your legs have to go round very quickly. Motorbike guy said I was at 63km/h, which is great and now I have something the go back for, to beat that, which shouldn't be a problem.

Last 15 mins were used to warm down but I had too much energy left and sprinted round. My Planet X track bike felt silky smooth and with the 'hurried setup' seemed to get it spot on first time. I have lowered the saddle on all my bikes as I can spin my legs much quicker and to reduce overstretching muscles. Also regarding the gearing, it was easier to be 'on top of it' and spin faster with less effort, and easier to build up speed and hold it. 48/14 I think I used. I thought I wouldn't be fully recovered for this track day but I had never felt better. All that training in the wind must be helping bucket loads.

In previous posts I had said I felt 'drag' from my Bontrager xxx lite rear wheel especially when climbing so I took the hub to pieces as much as I could and one of the bearings had completely seized in the freehub ( cause of my slowness/extra effort used?) and I couldn't move it with my finger. Replacement duly ordered for pennies and hopefully I can fix it myself and be as good as new. Looks simple enough to do. Just started my bike free holiday in Torquay and all I can think about is riding again :(

Friday, 6 August 2010

Back with a B....Whimper

Hey hey kids, Long time no post again. Getting a bit of a habit. Start off by saying the 2 weeks after the last post 19th July - 1st August have been a nightmare. Those 2 weeks were used as a weight loss exercise which backfired. Commuting was a painful and slow experience and my eating wasn't up to scratch for the amount of cycling I wanted to do. These events also coincided with me raising my saddle post very high which seemed to stretch and strain my legs muscles and could have been a massive contribution to the overall deterioration of my fitness. I ended up in a situation where because I wasn't eating enough I was becoming very tired, but due to the over training I couldn't sleep even though I was shattered. Did about 300miles in the 2 weeks.

Fast forward to the week just about to disappear, 1st - 5th August. The saddle height was changed to roughly what I had it when I kept breaking my commuting records. I changed the Bontrager xxx rear wheel as I thought I had a problem with the rear hub so I changed to the standard Bontrager race lite and kept getting the same 'draggy' feeling which I now think is due to the immense cross winds that have been sweeping my paths. There wasn't any noticeable difference in speeds between the two rear wheels as the conditions being tested where virtually identical. Lowering the saddle meant I could keep a higher cadence, bum not as sore, and muscles not feeling like I've just come off a medieval rack. Also started to do a lot more stretching of my calves, hamstrings, thigh and back as they have been feeling extremely tight. I've never been a believer of doing stretches so it's just another one of my experiments.

Food wise, I have been stuffing my face senseless, very good at that. Krispy Kreme doughnuts are my fav source of energy. I dont usually work Sundays but decided to as it was a 6pm to 2.30am shift so could get done whatever I needed to during day. I set off early to catch a glimpse of the Sky Ride but all the marshalls were going home and I missed it. All my shifts this week were finishing at 2am and I was determined to ride as much and as hard as possible before my weeks break in Torquay next week.

Sunday - 50miles
Monday - 40 miles
Tuesday - 60 miles
Wednesday - 40 miles
Thursday - 45 miles
Friday - 20miles
Sat - ????

Strong Westerly winds made hard work of all my rides, although for some strange reason changed to a light Easterly on Thursday night. Averages were all around the 19mph mark, struggling to get over 20mph but managed 20.5mph overall for Thursday. In comparison, the previous 2 weeks saw my averages go down to high 17's and 18's which I thought was pretty bad. Thursday night was close to freezing! well maybe not that bad but I could see my breath in the chill. Commutes to work were generally harder, probably due to just getting out of bed even though its a downhill trek but coming home I felt great and managed to put 'power to the wheels' I'm still doing all my climbing sitting down, hopefully it wont ruin my very good standing climbing prowess.

Bit of bad news regarding my first 10mile TT of the just aint happening. Supposed to be on 8th August at Levens, TOMORROW! but my and Pantani's application got rejected as it was oversubscribed and I needed a time if around 22 mins. I only have one time to my name and it isn't even an official one...27mins 12secs from last year! Searching frantically to enter a fast one ASAP! Talking of Pantani, he's been out and about, here, there and everywhere getting in lots of miles. I think he really wants to kick my arse at a time trial, lol. His rides have been longer more sedate affairs, hardly tt preparation!!!

As I have been trying very hard this week I'm starting to get tired again but I have one more session to complete before I go to Torquay and that's a 3hr session at the Velodrome on Sunday with a derny bike thingy for an hour of it. Not been track cycling for ages and my bike is in bits so hopefully wont take too long to put right.