Wednesday, 11 February 2009


It's been a while since I've updated this blog. I went to Amsterdam on the weekend of 17th Jan, so missed a weekend of cycling there. The weekend after, 2 of our 4 couldn't make it, so myself and Paul went out on Sunday. It was blowing a gale and was raining heavily and to be honest we weren't that motivated to get out. We hung around at Paul's for half an hour or so watching the beginning of the L'Etape preview DVD, then went out in the rain without a real plan of where we where going. We managed to get a bit less than 50 miles in but it wasn't really any fun !

The following day I got a text from Paul saying he'd watched the "Bullet Cam" on the DVD and only then had appreciated the length and severity of Ventoux. His actual quote in the text was "Holly f***ing sh*t". He then cycled the 25 miles each way to work 3 times in the following week ! On the weekend of 1st Feb all 4 us rode together and did a really tough 70 miles. I felt really strong and really enjoyed it and it was the first time in ages that it wasn't icy or raining or windy. It was so welcome to feel like that as I was beginning to get a bit down about what I saw as the lack of improvement. I'm definitley going up and down in how I feel about the slog that's to go until July, but then every now and then, I do a ride like this and I really enjoy it.

I've cycled much less to work because of the snow and last weekend's ride had to be cancelled as well. I went to the gym and did 45 minutes on the gym bike all on an uphill setting. Better than nothing I suppose !

Thursday, 8 January 2009

Easing Back In

I did manage to arrange a ride for last week end but we then had to cancel it due to ice everywhere (and wives not being overly impressed with later starts etc !). However, I rode to work on my mountain bike (with hybrid style tyres) on Monday as I thought the wider tyres would be better on the slippery roads. I thought I was going to be sick on the way in - I'm so out of condition after Christmas ! I ended up with a slow puncture on the way home, so I'm sure the extra drag added to my effort. I've used my road bike on Wednesday and Thursday and I can feel the fitness returning slowly, which is what I'm aiming for as I've got a 65 mile ride on Sunday organized and I know the others have been out a few times over the break.

I'm going to Amsterdam the following weekend, so I'll probably have to start the whole process over agian when I get back.

There's been a flurry of entering events as all the big ones have opened in the last week. I'm now entered for the Princes Risborough, Forest of Dean, Polka Dot challenge, Dragon Ride and Etape Du Dales.

Tuesday, 30 December 2008

Christmas Wind Down

It's all slowing down over the Christmas period. I've had a few work parties to go to which has limited the number of times I've ridden to work and the weekend rides with friends have slowed a bit as various people haven't been able to make it. I went out on 20th December with my friend Paul but we could only go for 2/3 hours as I needed to be back to go for lunch with my family. As it turned out, Paul wasn't feeling his best after a work's do, so the ride was gentle. It was a really nice change to know that the ride was going to be shorter and the pace was going to be easy. The weather was fantastic as well - a slight chill but with the sun out and the country side looking lovely. We ended up doing about 38 miles which wasn't too bad.

I have to admit, that I'm getting a bit nervous about how getting back on the bike going's to be after Christmas cos I've eaten loads and haven't done any exercise for over a week. I'm back at work on Friday, so I suppose I should ride to work to ease into it, but I'm going out on Saturday night with friends so I can't see myself getting a long ride in at the weekend.

Sunday, 14 December 2008

Mechanical Disasters

Because of the weather, I've only managed 3 days cycling to work this week. I felt good on Wednesday so I decided to try and push the average speed up. I only managed to get it up to around 18 mph, which was a bit disappointing over only 25 minutes. It is a bit hilly but then it's sticking in my mind that I read an article in Cycling Weekly a few weeks ago about a 75 year old man who holds the 1 hour record for his age group and he managed 22 mph !

Went out for a 75 mile ride with 2 friends today whcih turned into a bit of a disaster. First I punctured and at the same time, my friend Adrian stopped just round the next bend. When I wen to him after fixing my puncture, his chain stay had bent and his whell wouldn't rotate freely without the chain jamming. He was forced to cycle 10 miles at 5 mph to Luton train station and get the train home. I carried on with my friend Paul, but I got 2 more punctures and we got a bit lost. My cycle computer reset itself so I don't know how far we went but it was probably around 55/60 miles. It took ages and the whole time we were against the clock as Paul had to be back to get to his in-laws for Sunday lunch! Still must have done me some good as my legs are killing me !

More Ice !

Headed out last Sunday for 75 miles but on a different route. We had to delay the start by an hour because there was ice everywhere. We decided we would have to stick main roads because of the ice, but still after a few miles we had to keep changing the route as we came more and more ice. At one point we couldn;t see where we were going becuase of thick fog. It's all still better than not going out at all but it was hard work. We did about 48 miles in the end.

Wednesday, 3 December 2008


Coming home from work yesterday, I took a right hand turn, slipped on ice and hit the road with my right knee. Just ended up with a bruised knee and torn overshoes but not too bad. Bike's fine luckily.

I hate the ice and the fact I have to train in this crap weather !

Sunday, 30 November 2008


Went out last Sunday for 75 miles including twice up Bisson Hill this time. It was fantastic. I felt strong all the way round. It's the first one where I've enjoyed all of it.

I got a cycle computer for my birthday last week and what a difference it's made. I'm obsessed with my average times to work now ! Trouble is, I've completely knackered myself by sprinting to work each day so I used my motorbike on Friday. Because of Christmas shopping commitments (!) I'm missing this week's long ride today. I think it'll do me some good though. Maybe I'll switch to 3 day's cycling to work and 2 in the gym.