Wednesday, 30 April 2008

summer nights are on their way

well, despite the forcast last night was pleasant enough until ten minutes from home, once again an easy spin through the lanes into the wind, 40 miles in 2 and a half hours, 3/4 baggies and black socks for those who may be interested (green socks and 3/4 tights today).

Monday was a spin out on the Aizan, those Crossmax wheels really are something else, they felt fast yet also springy ?, the Aizan was quite a stiff bike but now feels like it has suspension ?, maybe its the Michelin tyres which are new to me but I doubt that, anyway the 34x18 gear will stay on for Scotland next weekend.

Today's ride looks like a repeat of yesterday, although looking out the window at the black skies isnt very inspiring :-/

Update - left work early as it was killing me, 2 hours through the lanes ending up at the Shak for wheel tune up, a new cap and some nice new track mitts to replace the minging pair I've hd for a few years now, then as the sun was shining out again for another hour and a half, legs nice and tingly now :-)

Sunday, 27 April 2008

wet wet wet

3 minutes was all it took to get soaked through this morning

3 minutes was all it took to decide I wasnt riding today

3 minutes was all it took to find out that Mavic Crossmax wheels are bloody fast, even with tubes installed

thats all

plan No 2 stalled

Saturday, 26 April 2008

Rest is good for you part 2

and so is eating green food

three days in Germania meant no exercise and mostly sitting around, apart from a couple of hours walking around Cologne each night I did nothing, I did eat properly, but also drank quite a lot of alcohol...

anyhow, got out for 2 hours this morning and legs felt fine, new Ultegra chainset feels stiff and strong, unlike the FSA Gossamer that it replaced, and I'm happy to report that baggy 3/4's work really well on a road bike :-)

Tomorrow, well, the weather looks to be shite but I have fitted the Crossmax 29er wheels to the Aizan and all seems fine, I reckon that bike weighs around about 21lb now, only real further weight saving to be had now would be to replace the cranks for something lighter but I'm not really inclined to do that to save a quarter/half pound. 
So, the ride to Delamere is on, although I must remember to call into the Shak for some tyre levers as getting the Michelins onto those tubeless rims was a bitch of a job and I had to resort to the levers, I feel like a failure for doing that but twenty frustrating minutes of sweat and toil lead to that defeat :-0

On another point, I picked up a cycle computer today, almost bought it but just managed to put it back, I know that whenever I have a computer on the bike I end up counting miles, setting targets and generally concerning myself more with statistics than fun...

so it went back on the shelf, and now I can continue to enjoy my rides :-)

Tuesday, 22 April 2008

Rest is good for you ?

Must remember that..

Last nights ride was fast as fook, 40 miles in just over two hours, even with the wind against me it felt good, legs strong, powering up the climbs out of the saddle in the big (ish I know Jo) ring, got home all hot and bothered but pleased with myself, quick bath and change and settled down for the night, no alcohol, just food and water and an early bedtime, and no pounding heart, which was good.

but today my legs are tired and aching ?

once again I'm just not recovering from the effort, so tonights proposed ride out is cancelled, I'll just head home the short way I guess, despite the sun being out and wanting to make the most of it I know in my head that I should rest

not happy today.

Work in Germany for the rest of the week means no riding until the weekend, hopefully home in time for Saturday, road ride local then plan No2 should spring into action !

Update - well that plan didnt work, headed out the door and the sun came out, an omen I reckoned, so an easy two hours spinning a low gear, nothing to report other than it felt good, 3 days to recover now :-)

Monday, 21 April 2008

Planning some plans

First plan is to take the Mavic Crossmax 29ers to the Aizan some time this week, and probably tubless to boot, that should knock a pound of an already light bike.

Second plan is to actually ride that single speed bike next weekend, the original plan had been to ride road bikes down douth but with one thing and another that aint gonna happen now, so I aim to ride my single speed bike all the way to Delamere, ride around Delamere and then ride home, this will take a good days effort I expect, so thats for Sunday, with a bit of luck maybe Tim will be able to get out and ride as well !

Third plan (and this is dependant upon a number of things which are out of my control) is to take daughter number two riding on Saturday, she's recently expressed an interest in riding again (and trying to get a job in a bike shop for some bizarre reason) so I want to encourage her along a little, and if you are reading this Jennifer, then yes you can have some new riding clothes and I'm sure you'll look good on Jacks bike ;-)

Fourth plan is to ride said singlespeed bike every day next week down the river, its been a few weeks since I was last down there and hopefully the trails are drying out now, that should see a hundred odd off road miles into my legs.

Fifth plan is to leave work early on Friday with Bill and head on up to Dramlunrig for the SSUK08 race, get the tent up in daylight and start race preparations, beer, food and white russians all the way.

Now, its fair to say that even with the best intentions my hit rate on actually completing my plans has been low these last few years, 4 or 5 years ago life was much simpler, less work responsibility made for a far easier life, but as is the way, things change and sometimes not all is for the best, bike riding time has been compromised, squeezed into commuting or missed completely.

But, thats not to say that things cant change for the better, and nows the time to start :-)

we'll see how this plan works out eh ;-)

Sunday, 20 April 2008

Chilled weekend, but still that bloody wind

well, for once the plan went to plan

we arrived at Stoke Breune to find a slight break in the weather which meant that Harm and I could pull the road bikes out and get out to explore the quiet lanes around the Milton Keynes area, nothing spectacular but easy spinning and chatting, catching up with each others news :-)

A pleasant evening eating and drinking and a good nights sleep followed by a day in Oxford, first time there for Jan and I, it was nice enough but we both preferred Cambridge I think !

Home in time for tea and looking forward to two long rides on Monday and Tuesday night before three days in Germany working :-/

Anyhow, pleased to report that finally some semblance of fitness is appearing in my legs, its taken almost two months this time around, each lay off seems to take longer to shake off with the passing years, I guess the secret is to not let it happen to start with, easier said than done of course !

anyway, all in all I'm happy :-)

Thursday, 17 April 2008

The wind did blow again and again and again

Got up early and went the long way to work, only 12 miles in 45 minutes but again that damn wind was already blowing cold air around, the overshoes worked a treat though :-)

Left work at 3 as the sun was shining and headed over to the Shak to order a few bits and bobs (Ultegra chainset and brakes, the stock stuff is a little flexy when putting the power down) and then out into the Cheshire lanes.

Three hours later and I'm done, steady pace, probably around 65% effort, just spinning an easy gear into the wind which was in my face regardless of the direction I was heading in ? but hey the sun was shining, it was warmish (so warm that the overshoes had to come off)

Just had a stir fry for tea, lots of water and later will treat myself to a bottle of red wine whilst reading Cycling Weekly looking for more pictures of Jo...

and yes, my conversion back to being a roady is complete, hell I've even been looking at the dates for the old club tens :-0

Wednesday, 16 April 2008

Wind wind blow away

Cold cold morning, tried out my new over shoes, they work great and only a tenner from Decathalon.

Didnt get to Delamere this evening but did manage  a sharpish 40 miles with Roy despite the wind. We both were putting some effort in on the hills and it has to be said that the ten years he has on me is starting to show, plus he has been training for "Le Marmot" and has turned a lot more miles over that I (and he'll being needingevery pedal stroke !).
We were pretty even on most hills although I have to say that I was using my roady experience to let him drag me along, just starting to half wheel him on the crest :-)

And then it happened, long uphill drag into the wind through Tatton Park trying to maintain 20mph and I had the most explosive lactic acid attack ever, proper instant emptying of legs followed by searing pain :-/... I guess I was just enjoying myself too much ?, still my recovery was reasonable so must be starting to work :-)

and I reckon my sore knee problem "might" be due to the cleat position on my shoe, will investigate tomorrow 

and we met Leon doing some secret training, riding back and to work for him is a round trip of 70 odd miles, sneaky bastard :-)

Tomorrows weather looks poor but I'll try and get to Delamere anyway, we'll see how it goes

17 stone 1 lb naked and hydrated

Tuesday, 15 April 2008

Tired sore knee today

my left knee was sore all day, maybe it got cold last night ?, anyhow, decided to rest it and just spin there and back to work....

feels okay now after a bottle of a Haymaker

Looking forward to another 60 tomorrow, the weather forecast looks good for another fabulous evening ride, hopefully same again on Thursday

Friday will be a there and back event as we have an invite to the opening of Lindow Pete at Manchester Museum, then Saturday off to Milton Keynes.

Monday 14th April

2 breakfast bars
pasta and tuna salad
pasta and sauce
3 pitta bread, humous, salsa
lots of water
small coffee
40 miles in the rain
couldnt sleep all night
hound pounding again

17 stone 6lbs naked

Monday, 14 April 2008

run fat boy run

so, Thursday night didnt happen due to rain, but Friday night saw 40 relaxed miles, Saturday saw 2 and ahalf hours of rain, snow, sleet, hailstones, sunshine, wind, wet feet, muddy bums, beer and general all round goodness.

Oxenhope is a good place if you like riding bikes.

Sunday saw an early start to find text messages crying off, looking outside gave the reason, more rain of biblical proportions saw no riding on Sunday.

Sunday day saw the photo's from the previous day, my god there's two not at all flattering pictures of me, now I know I'm the heaviest I've ever been but bugger me !
can you tell the before and after shots ?
hopefully by the time the sun comes out I'll be more the former than the latter

Thursday, 10 April 2008

Rain rain go away

All set for another spin out to Delamere tonight and guess what ?, it hammered down just about 4 o'clock, and guess what ?, I'd forgotten to take a gore tex jacket, and guess what ?, my inspiration to ride plumetted ;-(

so I hung around hoping it would brighten up but by 530 it had only got worse so I buggered off home the short way

ah well, a rest is a good as a change I guess ?

anyhow, tonight I've made arrangements to get out tomorrow night instead, 360 should be home from France, Roy should be able to dump his child somewhere and Kevin cant possibly have another parents evening can he ?

Weekend looming and plans afoot, Simon's birthday ride in the valley on saturday with Dave, Shaz and Chipps, maybe some if the others if there isnt a testosterone fueled step fest happening ?, then hopefully and finally an old school road century on Sunday (note to self, try to pick up a computer for the bike on Saturday)

Looking further ahead to next weekend, a roady ride around Milton Keynes with Harm then an easy Sunday and then further ahead again 2 days of road stuff around the south downs with some bloke who draws sheep and the foxy diabetic girl who always kicks my ass...

what with all those plans and lots of midweek rides as well then maybe, just maybe I can finish the singlespeed UK national champs race with some kind of pride (and no this time I dont mean by being the pillock who vomits on the start line !)

you have to have a plan don't you ?

Wednesday, 9 April 2008

Kinnel that bike is fast

40 miles in just over 2 hours last night, I had to stop due to being knackered but the bike wanted more

Some things I learnt from last nights sweat festival....

I know that I need a slightly shorter stem and to drop the stem by about half an inch..

I know that road shoes are soooo much much efficient than MTB SPD's...

I know that the flat top part of drops makes life so much more comfortable and that cheap shit Shimano gear works a treat (actually I already knew that)

I like that bike, maybe even more than the DeRosa !!

Monday, 7 April 2008

Rideless weekend

Dint ave no plans for Saturday (apart from recovering after a drinking session at Matts)but Sunday was going to be a 100er, however as it turned out it was a 0er, ice on the roads meant that there was no chance on earth of me getting on a road bike, I still get flashbacks from a near death incident a few years ago :-(

and there was snow on the ground, so I made an executive decision to go photographing birds instead, ace day all in all, Dippers, Bullfinch, Treecreeper all photographed, and 3 Kingfishers spotted, I know where to go now for future refference ;-)

Bike wise, well the Kona should be here tonight and if it is then a night ride beckons, I think I might finally be tempted to try out the Specialised road shoes and Look pedals I bought 2 years ago (they should be suitabley retro by now !)

As far being rideless, well after the 30 in 30 it was nice to not be tired out all the time

Friday, 4 April 2008

The road to Delamere

60 miles at a decent lick, felt strong on the hills, tired by the end, 3 hours 20 minutes ride time, 2 bloody punctures though, heart pounding all night as expected

But, riding in the evening in the fading sunlight is fanfuckingtastic, must get some better brakes !

2 days off now before going for a century on Sunday

Update - didnt bother with new brakes just went straight for a new bike, based on the simple premise that the Kona Jake the Snake is a cross bike and deserves to see some mud and dust so should get knobblies refitted, the De Rosa is an Italian and can only come out when its above 25c (so yes thats twice a year) and the Kona Zing looks freaking loveley to my eyes and its relatively cheap :-)

Thursday, 3 April 2008

That bloody wind

Tuesday night, raining and windy but hey ho, left work, turned left and stopped, the wind was so strong that my desire to ride for another hour evaporated instantly...

Turned right around and got blown home, that was it finished

Wednesday straight to work and back, today striaght to work but road ride to Delamere planned for tonight, this coming weekend I'll be staying local as I'm on call for work

but plans are afoot to ride long road rides at least twice per week from now on seeing as the lighter nights are here now, I need to at least be able to keep Sara in sight on those long Alpine climbs ;-)

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