CTC Ride To Abbey Arms

The end of BST had 17 intrepid souls dotted around a packed Eureka Cafe waiting for the 10 o’clock start. The extra hour in bed and the prospect of a rain free day bringing everybody out. I knew the ride was going out to Delamere but that was about all.

Assembling for the Abbey Arms run

The roll call in the layby across from the cafe read like this: Keith and Debbie, Graham and Margaret, Bob and Jill, George, Janet, Lusso jacket John, Andy who christened Johns jacket, Barbara and John, Annabel, Adelle, Phil and moi.

The Start of The Abbey Arms CTC run

 We rolled out through Capenhurst and out towards Backford where the road was closed for a large load being moved. It was good to be at the back of the group for once as this particular stretch of the route had numerous gates on the route which were held open by the frontrunners. Thanks. We had a stop for Margaret picking up a puncture.

No wonder the road was closedJohn I think.jpg

Down the dip at Backford it was on to the canal towpath, it wasn’t Margaret,s day as the saddle bag on the back of the bike managed to detach itself  and three of us got detached from the group. John got us back back on the route by pulling us off the towpath just down the hill from the back of Chester Zoo.

reforming the group

I’ll have to look at the route on the GPS as we ended up at the Windsurfing Centre for ellevenses. It wasn’t too bad but they were overwhelmed by 17 of us turning up at once.
It’s one of those places you ride past on the way to somewhere else. Looks like a good location as it was fairly windy for an inland site. 

Windsurfing Centre

Elevenses over we retraced our steps for a short while and then things really started to get interesting. We were heading out towards Delamere when The Yeld got mentioned, I’ve ridden down it on a ride with Bob midweek but its a different league riding up the thing. Personal records were broken on this climb, more of which later.
The road up to the bottom of the Yeld is a bit snotty with a strip of debris down the middle and is a challenge by itself. I stopped at the junction to take a few pictures and spoke to the two walkers as they past. They asked if we were a club, I said we were the CTC and had cycled from the Wirral. Busy roads got mentioned to which the reply was the whole point of going out was not to cycle on busy roads.

 GeorgeThe peloton

Back to the riding, George was next up the climb then Ray followed by the rest of the group going at their own paces.
There was a short stop to regroup further up the hill and then it was on to the major climb of the day, The Yeld.
This is one stiff climb in my book the first part is at a gradient of 10% or 1 in 10. Just when you think youve cracked it the second part of the climb comes into view.

Ray on The Yeld 

The final part of the climb is at a gradient of 14% which is nigh on 1 in 7.
I have to admit trying to grab the granny ring at the bottom of the final section but fate would have it that the change didn’t happen. I was stuck in 40-25 and just had to stick it out untill the top of the climb.
I was seeing new numbers on the Garmin Edge 305, it has me logged at 187 BPM which is 104% of my previous max which was set at the spinning class on Friday.
Anyway I made it to the top in one piece and so did all the others.





The top of The Yeld.jpg

The fun wasn’t over as it’s a fast descent to the main road and once across that there is another climb which is not as fierce up to the highest point of the day.
I missed the Reindeers on this climb but the views across Cheshire were an equal compensation. Ray and I headed off to the lunch stop at The Abbey as we were dining in.

The Abbey Arms

If you’ve got a weight problem you’d be better off steering clear of this place, the plate size is 17 inches. Portions looked huge and the place was heaving. Ray and I had trouble picking something off the menu but they did do a range of lighter meals.
It was Cajun chicken pasta for me which came with a small salad and garlic bread.
Ray ordered bread and pate, the bad news was they had ran out and he had to settle for a toasted cheese baguette as did Keith. Phil had had a childs portion of something as most of the meals were just too big. A fair bit of the time was spent in the queue to order the stuff but the meals did seem to arrive promptly.

   Rear of the abbey ArmsAssembling in the Abbey ca rpark.jpg

Lunch over we assembled in the car park and it was across the road and down the oad to the Delamere Forest Visitor centre. The traffic here waiting to get out was horrendous but that wasn’t our problem. The next section through the forest had me thinking this was Paris-Roubaix or at least Hell of the North West. More suited to a cyclo-cross bike than the bling Trek Maddone. Once we were back on tarmac it was time to have a bit of fun with me going off the front as it would be a shame to waste a downhill freewheeling. The next juntion came up and there it was a climb up the hill past a pub that Ray said he wasn’t impressed by the food they served.
I got a bum steer from John on the route as we dropped down through Manley, next right didn’t look too promising so I stopped. It was just as well as the whole group sailed past and continued down the hill. It was back past the Windsurfing Centre and on towards Chester. Nothing major happened thereafter, the group split crossing the A55 and most made it back to the Eureka Cafe before the light showed signs of dissapearing.

The stats. Total milage for my day 61.85 miles. Calories burnt 2600. Total ascent for ride 676 metres. 2200FT
Steepest gradient 14% Av cadence 65. Max heart rate 187BPM. Av heart rate 130 BPM
and one puncture in the group.
Thanks everyone for another memorable day.
The pictures have been compressed for the page, if you want a copy of the original let me know.

MotionBased maplink


Weekending 29 Oct 06

Monday: A trip to the gym after work. This was going to be a bad week to fit things in.
Peck Fly             56Kg 11reps
Lat Pulldown      56Kg  16
Chest Press       42Kg  16
Arm Curl           35Kg   10.5
Shoulder Press  35Kg  12
Lat Fly               18Kg 16   I don’t know the correct name for this machine but it is
Lat Fly 2nd set   18Kg 15   a large steel frame that you stand in, in a crucifiction stance
Rowing     8 mins
Dip Assist          45Kg  8
Chin Assist         45Kg 8
Ab Isolator         50Kg 20

Tuesday: Work
Wednesday: Work. Light weights at home.
Thursday: Work. 20 full pressups because I felt like doing them.
Friday: Plenty going on including a trip over to Quinns.
Rounded off with a session in the gym at West Kirby and Barbara,s spinning class.
I had the Garmin Edge 305  with me to log my heartrate. I don’t know if it is the effect of swapping the meds from beta blockkers to ACE inhibitors but I saw a new maximun heartrate in this class. 220 minus my age gives a max heartrate of 173 for someone my age, I saw 179 on the 305 and allthough I was close to the limit I don’t think I have reached it just yet. The data download has the class at 134 BPM average, 179 BPM max and a massive 27 minutes in Zone 5 which for me is 156 to 173 BPM.

I’ve been staring at the screen for 5 minutes trying to come to terms with just how far I’ve come since March this year. It’s not just the weight loss, every aspect of my life has changed over this year.Again I can’t explain to people how well in myself I now feel.
Saturday: Mixed day, ended up going to Snow and Rock the Bike Factory and Deeside Cycles and only came out of all of them with a rear light for the number 2 riders bike.
Went out with Val on her new bike for a lap or two of the round the block course I started on 2 years ago. Tranmere Rovers had just been playing at home and the traffic was horrendous but at least we got out. Logged on the Garmin Edge 305.
Sunday: A quick ride down to the Eureka Cafe for Franks Breakfast that was logged and which I intend to upload the route to Motion Based as this will be one I can compete against myself on. CTC ride which will probably appear as a seperate post tommorow,plenty of pictures on this one, good weather and a climb that was something else. Another great day out.

CTC ride to Trevor Arms at Marford

It was an early start  with me being fed and watered by about 9.30 at the Eureka Cafe.
Ray comes in and gets to see the new toy. The ride was going to be the first real test of the Garmin Edge 305. The purpose being to log the route and record all the personal data at the same time. I have’nt got as far as navigating just yet.

Ten o’clock sees the group ouside the cafe ready for the off.

Pre-ride at the Eureka.jpgMoving off.jpg

The group comprised of Annabel, Lusso jacket John, Barbara and John, George, Ray, Alan (for part of the ride) Keith?, another chap whose name I don’t know and moi. Terry in red is off somewhere else.
It was off down the well worn route to the crossing of the A5117 and then on down to the footbridge at Saltney Ferry.  Annabel and Keith consulted the map once across the bridge.
The parking space resembling  a 4X4 dumping ground. It was then right instead of the normal left and around the Airbuss Factory at Broughton.

Lost already!.jpgWe meandered through the lanes with water stop at a T junction somewhere near Kinnerton and then it was what seemed like a short ride up to the lunch stop at the Trevor Arms at Marford.
Trevor Arms.jpg

With the bikes around the back Ray and I ventured in for a pub lunch. Chicken dinner for me washed down with a diet coke. Next round is mine Ray. I’ve had some good chats with Ray about diet and exersise regimes.
Things livened up a bit when a group of motorcyclist from Yorkshire came in and occupied the tables around us. There was a good bit of banter going on.
The split group reformed with Annabel giving us great ammusement by giving a CTC Member Details form to one of the bikers by mistake (Ray and I filled ours in over lunch)
Lunch over it was across the road and up the hill on the road to Holt.

Leaving the Trevor Arms.jpg

I don’t know who the chap in red is but the chap in green is George. George knows no fear. I was barrelling down a hill towards Holt starting to apply the brakes for a bend coming up and not wanting to go down on the wet leaves when George flies past as if I was standing still. George is 72 for those that have never met him.
The rain that the forecasters foretold arrived as we headed back to Chester with a stop for waterproofs outside the Duke of Westministers gates.
As we approached the hill outside Siaghton, George surprised both myself and Ray by dropping the pair of us. To make matters worse I was third. You just have to shake you head and smile.
It was on to Chester  with the Dee on our left , around the back of the Bike Factory and then on to the cycle path.

George on the wet cycle path

Guess who is at the back of the bunch because he came out on a bike with no mudguards. Anyway it was back to the Eureka Cafe where I saw the state of the back of the super luminous Altura Jacket that was doing a good job of keeping me dryish.

I didn’t even mind the rain, you get used to it and it turns out it is not the end of the world if you get a bit wet. Thanks for the ride everyone it was another good day out despite the weather turning.

44 miles on the GPS.
The whole ride was logged and here are a few of the statistics:
71.3km, Av speed 19.6 kmH 2400 Calories burnt. Av heart rate 100bpm, MaxHr 139bpm.
Av Cadence 74 rpm. Total Ascent 680 metres.
The last figure is surprising as this was an easy ride, it is 2230 feet!!!
Thanks again everyone.

Lidl Body Fat Scale Results

I’ve been logging the results for a few weeks now and they do seem fairly consistent once you can get your measurement times regular. (first thing in the morning here)

Date         Weight   %Body fat  %Water    %Muscle
27Sep06     91.7        30.4          47.7         29.7
28Sep06     91.3        30.0          48.0         29.9  
29Sep06     91.3        30.0          48.0         29.9
30Sep06     91.8        30.3          47.7         29.7
01Oct06     91.8
02Oct06     91.1        30.2          47.7         29.7
03Oct06     90.5        29.9          48.1         30.0
05Oct06     90.5        29.9          48.2         30.1
06Oct06     90.5        29.9          48.2         30.1
08Oct06     90.5        29.8          48.2         30.1
09Oct06     90.0       
10Oct06     88.8        29.4          48.6         30.3 
11Oct06     88.4        29.0          48.9         30.5
12Oct06     88.9        29.3          48.7         30.4
13Oct06     89.3        29.4          48.2         30.2
14Oct06     90.6        29.8          48.2         30.0
15Oct06     90.6        29.8          48.2         30.1
16Oct06     90.8        30.0          47.9         29.9
17Oct06     89.9        29.7          48.3         30.1
18Oct06     89.9        29.7          48.2         30.1
19Oct06     88.5        29.2          48.7         30.4
20Oct06     88.5        29.2          48.8         30.6
21Oct06     87.8        28.7          49.2         30.7
22Oct06     88.9        29.3          49.2         30.4
23Oct06     88.9        29.4          48.6         30.3
24Oct06     88.9        29.4          48.6         30.3
25Oct06     88.6        29.2          48.7         30.4
26Oct06     88.6        29.2          48.8         30.4
28Oct06     88.6        29.1          48.8         30.4
29Oct06     88.6        29.1          48.8         30.4
30Oct06     88.6        29.0          48.9         30.5
31Oct06     88.6        29.1          48.8         30.4
The readings are repeatable, meaning if I repeat the analysis they are the same as the previous reading. The energy balance has been 2400 cals/day for all readings. The next thing to do is to cross reference them with the exercise that I log.
I’ve now got a month of data that I will publish here. I’ve grown to trust the readings now that the results show that they are not erratic.


Weekending 22 Oct 06

Monday: Gave a couple of cards out at work. Went to the Oval after work, asked about some of the machines I havent tried yet and got shown two new machines to add to the routine. Had an interesting chat with the instructor about weight routines, seven minutes on the rowing machine and one set or so of the weight machines. No log as I forgot the book at work. 
Tuesday: Work .15 pressups before I started with hand weights at home. Some of the exercises didn’t feel right so I’m rechecking that I’m doing them right. Spent a while typing in the Lidl body fat results post.
Wednesday: The Garmin Edge 305 unit has arrived at last, looks like I am going to spend an evening setting the thing up. No exercise planned.
Thursday: Had problems with the cadence sensor on the Edge 305, the lithium battery it came with was flat other than that the test of it went ok on Rest Hill. Spinning class at West Kirby, took the new toy in, for some reason it didn’t log the calories burnt. It did log my heart rate for 45 minute class and the profile looks good. There was a new high for the heart rate @ 169 BPM which is only 4 BPM away from the max heart rate for someone my age of 173 BPM. Sweated buckets, looking at ride data they do seem to be beneficial, there is nothing out there yet that has been harder than some of the classes except the climb out of the river just up from Nant Mill.
Friday:Did exactly the same route as last week but this time it was logged on the Garmin Edge 305, this device is truly amazing.  I was looking at 8 pieces of information as I was going along, all captured by the unit and downloaded to a laptop. 2800 calories this week which is a frightening amount but consistent with last weeks 2250 on the Crane Sports HRM. No wonder I am still loosing weight.Had a cup of tea and an orange at Woodside overlooking the Mersey from the gallery upstairs.
Twas a good a good day out, called round to see Brian who’ve I’ve known since I was 18.
Tails were retold as I sheltered from the downpour that soon past. I left a card, for someone that might need it. Most still don’t have access to a medium like this but that is no reason to stop what I’m doing.
Printed more business cards off  later down at the machine in the Pyramids but thats another story.
Saturday:Nothing planned, maybe some pressups and some light weights at home.
Had a walk down to the beach to see the statues in the sea at Waterloo with Jack.
Went to Quinns plonked a deposit down on a new bike for the number 2 rider. Gave Mell one of the cards and spoke about the site for a bit.
Sunday: Looks like a ride with the CTC is on the cards. The weather outlook isnt too hot so the new waterproof top may be getting an airing. You definetley cant miss this one.

Site Upgrade

I’m looking to change the layout and look of the site. The page buttons across are too cluttered and dont look right with sub pages beneath them. The picture of the wheel is going to go too with seasonal photo in its place instead. I’m open to sugestions as to what wordpress theme would look better.

Update: there have been a few minor changes that have improved things , the only problem I have now is the WordPress editor is still set to the old page width.

Wardrobe Clearout

Had to finally get shut of my old oversize clothing. Three binbags full of the stuff went to the charity shop. Some of it still had the Marks and Sparks price labels still on them.
I’ve kept one pair of trousers and a shirt to remind me of the size I was.
Its the intention that the weight stays off for good. Stuff thats only a few months old had to go too, apart from three items the wardrobe was absolutley bare.

Weekending 15 Oct 2006

Monday: Crosstrainer 250 Cals, Spinning Class 639 cals full class for a Monday.Arm extension machine 30 KG 18 reps.
Tuesday: Started to log weights and reps to trend the sessions 
Peck fly            56KG    11
Lat pull            56KG    15
Chest press     42KG    15
Shoulder press 35Kg    16.5
Arm Curl          35Kg    14
Arm Ext           35Kg    11
Ab isolator        50Kg    30
Leg press         88KG    21 Knee prob
Rowing         124 Cals 10mins 2297 metres rowed 3 1minute intervals at 100%
Spinning       700 Cals  This is the highest figure I’ve seen for a class
Wednesday: Eureka cafe for breakfast, weather was foul. Cycled up to Heswall via Denhall lane 20 miles.
Thursday: 15 full pressups because I felt like it!!!
Couldn’t get into Stephs class so went to Barbara,s class at West Kirby. Before the class it was a session in the fitness suite.
Peck fly            56KG    8
Lat pull            56KG    17
Chest press     42KG    13
Shoulder press 35Kg    17
Arm Curl          35Kg    14
Arm Ext           35Kg    7
Ab isolator        50Kg   15   40kg  20. it is a different machine
Leg press         88KG   21
Seated row       90kg    20
Cross trainer 5 mins, the above burnt 246 calories then it was down to a totally different set up to the Oval. The bikes are different for a start with no clippless pedals and a more direct feel to them.
Anyway Barbara,s class was 681 calories burnt and I saw an new high on the HRM, 167 BPM. The class was full and I was the only bloke in there.
Friday: Rode out to the Eureka Cafe in the mist, with condensation forming on the alloy parts of the bike. On the way I met Stan on his Trek similar to mine, Stan was off to see a friend in Elton. It was nice to meet you Stan, we parted company at church lane and it was off to the cafe for breakfast. Todays ride was done with the Aldi HRM on just to give me some figures about how much effort I am putting in to the rides.
Breakfast over it was down the lanes through Puddington, Burton, down to the front on the Dee and up Denhall lane (heart rate 150bpm) Then it was up through Neston down to Parkgate for a water stop. Couldn’t see Wales due to the mist. The climb up to the top road didnt seem as tough as it used to be. Stopped at Dee Fine Arts in Heswall to look at some pictures. Then it was on through Irby, Thurstaton (41mph down the hill) Caldy village and stopped for water at West Kirby.
Stopped at the Bike Shop in Moreton and ended up going back later for a new Jacket.
It was then on to New Brighton to look at the swans and along the front to Seacombe.
The wind was a bit biteing and I toyed with going to see Ron and having a picture took as I was in the area. As it was I ended up having a cup of tea at Woodside and had a look at the papers from the comfort of a leather sofa.
Tea over it was back home with 49.5 miles on the clock. This was an easy ride these days, I had some fun, met some new people and burnt off 2246 calories during the day.
Saturday: Bit of a restday. Walk around the lake at Crosby
Sunday: 20 full pressups which came as a surprise, then tried some of the routines that Eddie showed me with 3kg dumb bells. I bought these from Tesco,s and had an internal smile on my face as I watched the poor girl on the till trying to shove 18 kg across the bar code scanner. Thinking about it, it must be near the weight limit for the glass.

CTC Ride to Dragons Rest Cafe

It promises to be a lengthy post this one as there are a few pictures to post another point on the map to add and tales to tell.
Rode down to the Eureka Cafe for Frank,s Breakfast (Franks Breakfast is a menu item at the Eureka Cafe) after avoiding the Missing Link as I didn’t want crap all over the bike.

10 o’clock had Graham(leader) Margret, Andy, Janet, Bob, Jill, John, and Moi heading off to Woodbank and onwards towards the River Dee. John in the blue top below is not wearing his fluorescent yellow Lusso jacket as it is still in the wash following an incident on the return from the Wednesday section AGM. (one of the funniest things things I’ve seen for a long time)

 dragons rest ride 002.jpgdragons rest ride 005.jpgThe first climb of the day

Here I saw the Dee bore for the first time as we cycled along the path, it was about 2ft high and most impressive . Then it was over the Rail bridge at Shotton. We came out near Deeside Cycles which I had been in the previous day looking at Colnago,s , crossed the road and nearly ended up in a church service as a white van blocked the path.
We were soon climbing up towards Ewloe Green and then it was on towards Mold Tesco,s for ellevens, tea and a muffin in my case.
On the descent into Mold it was a swift blast down the dual carriage way only to be baulked by a red light at the college. Graham said he would have given me a race if the light was going to be green. Graham, if I’d known you wanted to give me a bit of a race I’d have zipped my jacket up!

Mold Tesco,s stood out on the ride as one of those places that has Farmers Weekly in a prominent position on the magazine shelves as opposed to the celebrity drivel we seem to get in my neck of the woods.

Out of Mold it was down the A541 towards Denbigh.Things rolled along untill we reached Afon Wen when it was turn right engage a low gear and climb up to Caerwys. The bike got parked up on the bench at the top of the climb as I thought it was an ideal spot for a photograph. I’m normally sprinting off the front of the climbs as the gearing is higher on the toy and I only have one speed in my legs, all or nothing. Mind you Janet always gives me a good run for my money and she is handicapped by a bike that weighs a ton compared to The Toy.

 dragons rest ride 009.jpgBob and Jill make it to Caerwys

 A couple of miles down the B5122 we had the Lunch stop at the Dragons Rest Cafe.Copy of Dragons Rest.jpgdragons rest ride 021.jpg

It was a chicken dinner for me washed down with a diet coke. Lunch over it was back on the bikes (which hadn’t been sold in the car boot sale around the back) and back down the road to Pant, Babell and onto Halkyn Mountain. It was hilly but the views are superb.We had another stop for afternoon tea at the Garden Centre next to the Horticulteral College.

It was all down hill from there and we ended up in Golftyn and it was back down the cycle routes to the railbridge at Hawarden through the Deeside Industrial Estate and down a muddy track to Shotwick Village. Once we got across the road it was up the lane to bring us out next to the Yact pub. Back to the Eureka for another cup of tea and a piece of flapjack.
Keith was putting a new  Jersey signed by the British Olympic cycling team up on the wall so its something to look out for if you ever visit. Then it was back home at a brisk pace, up Rest Hill again.

dragons rest ride 051.jpg
65 enjoyable hilly miles. Thanks everyone.



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