Weekending 03 June 07

Monday: Restday
Tuesday: Work followed by the time trial starting at Brimstage. 24 minutes 22 seconds gives me something to aim for next week.
Wednesday: Lifestyle and Weight management Course followup class followed by at trip to the gym. Ran the proverbial mile in 9 minutes @ 11.1 km/hr, weights.
Thursday:  Louises spinning class at Europa pools. Now I’m ramping up things for next Tuesdays TimeTrial. It was hot tonight as it has been for the last three weeks but this was something else sweat was pouring out of me. Two of the girls had already done Louise,s 5:30 class so this was their second and they have only been doing them a couple of weeks, respect is due. Anyway I tried not to let up for a second on this class, kept resistance or cadence  up when I could have slacked off.
Anyway 825 Calories burnt and that was when I turned the HRM off. Max was 179 BPM and I’m looking to see 150 BPM as a working average for a session. Hovering just seems to kill my knees and I no like it. Ok it stresses the class out, me included but I can’t see the benefit of it. Now I don’t do any leg presses anymore it’s just a case of getting out the saddle on a hill. I use my body weight to my advantage. There used to be a time when I would push an incredibly high load but not so much now. I’d rather increase my cadence than have the machine stall and have to back off the resistance a few turns.
You’d swear I’d been under a shower wearing my kit.
Friday: Steve Cummings Training ride by the looks of it.
Steve Cummings Training ride it was, I’m having a ball New personal best of 18.2 mph Average. 3:52 for 70.47 miles Average heartrate 139 BPM Max 173 and 5014 calories burnt. Bumped into 3 chaps at Delamere Station Cafe, we were all on carbon fibre bikes. Spent a good 1 1/2 hours chatting about various things including how many calories you burn up on a ride. There is a diversion by Cotebrook that I choose to ignor but ended up retracing my path. The road is totally impassable. I rode this ride by Doing a Course and not Navigating a Route. It is a track of my last ride and the virtual partner comes into play. Somewhere around Waverton I can see I am behind schedule so I up my pace a bit, slowly clawing it back and then I am in front and I know I’m going to set a good time. A great day, on my own to my own devices, traffic free. Took a couple of pictures with the new camera, hopefully the quality of the pictures will improve.

Sheila,s spinning class. No heartrate monitor on as I don’t want to frighten myself. This is another hot class and bearing in mind that I’d just ridden 70 miles I’m trying to take things easy. I still go through 750ml of water. Class is full. I was glad of a shower at the end of it, The Discovery Channel kit was soaking you’d think I was wearing it in the shower. Another great day, just me living the dream.

Saturday: Change of plan, maybe early morning ride. Cash machines spat out my card so I was ridding to the Eureka with just enough money for a breakfast and some tea. Before that I bumped into Danny in Willaston. We hadn’t seen each other since I left Octel 8 years ago and a lot has changed. We served our apprenticeships together in 1975 spent over an hour catching up on things. Eureka Cafe for a late breakfast, Pinarello Kev was there, Kev that I rode out to the Ice cream farm was there too. Weightloss was one of the subjects covered. My weights been fairly static for the last few months @ 82 kilos. Rode back with Carroline and her brother through Puddington, Ness and Neston to the Chester High Road then it was up through Heswall to see my mum and dad (yes I do have parents). It was then back home to see the Giro on Eurosport. Then out to buy some clothes now my size has stabilised.  Primark and Tesco getting hit this time. I used to have big problems with clothes, just getting anything that fitted was hard work when your past a 44 inch waist size.

I’ve got a beef with Tesco, they have dropped my favorite pizza (these days) It was a Tesco Finest Buffalo Mozzarella Cheese and pesto with sun dried tomatoes on a Tuscan base. It was perfect for me, less than 750 cals, the right food group composition. The right size, as I ate the whole thing even though the food label quoted  the portion sizes for 1/2 the pizza.
It has been replaced by something similar but smaller in size, that means less calories and it still a good product but it’s not the one I favoured.
The healthy living option that I used to eat would taste like cardboard if it was overcooked for a minute as the base was that thin. They seem to cut down on the cheese to lower the calorie count and the fat content. Not a bad thing, but when put alongside pepparami and cheese monster pizza,s for less money it’s no wonder most of us have a weight problem. Stuff like this should be for treats only and not part of your diet. On that point, I’ll  expand the diet section and do a few more posts. I’m no expert but I’ll post what has worked for me. I won’t reccomend anything but there are certain things I won’t entertain like CRISPS . More later when I can think of how to structure the thing so as not to cause too much offence to those that need help.
Sunday: No ride up till now. Start back on my old shift pattern Monday so the routine is going to change. The commitment doesn’t.
Ride out to the Eureka for breakfast, my second of the week.Rode home via the missing link, plenty riding  out in that direction, plenty of women runners on route 56 for some reason. This is Race for Life  Sunday and is one of the highlights  of some peoples year. The rain held off for them and me.

Brimstage Time Trial Route

Now I’ve had the odd call to put myself to the test and race against the clock. Well this is my first go at it and it won’t be my last. Now as the Garmin Edge 305 logs everything I dont need a timekeeper and I’ll be using this route in the Route Planning Tutorial I am planning to write.

Now I first heard about this course when I went into Wheelbase on Saturday for some bits. There was a chap in there talking to Colin and the TLI Oulton park events somehow came up along time trialling. I was told about this course and that its ridden on a Tuesday evening. Very informal, turn up ride, I don’t know who logs the times as I turned up an hour early.

Anyway I had programed the Course into the Garmin Edge 305 and as there was no Tina,s spinning class tonight or Oval fullstop I decided to give it a go. Now I was told 23-24 minutes for the course meant I was in the ballpark to go racing and be able at least stay with a group and maybe not get dropped.

Well tonights time was 24:22 but there was quite a strong headwind going up to the Clegg Arms. This is an uphill drag and when you see the numbers you just wonder how your going to post a good time. Once on the Chester High Road things look up, low 20s are sustainable and the filter lane for Thornton Hough comes up which is taken with a sweep.

This is not a flat course but there are sections where the tarmac is good and your speed is a reflection of where you are. As I am returning home via the start club riders are heading out on their timed rides, I’ve turned up an hour early and have already ridden the course. Aero helmets and tri bars mean these guys are serious, I’m just playing at it.

Anyway the stats:
8.74 Miles. Time 24 minutes 22 seconds. Average  speed 21.6 mph Max speed 27.5 Average heartrate 154 BPM Max 171 BPM. Wind WNW 16.3 mph.

Link to Google Map of Course

Link to MotionBased Analyser


Alpe D'Huez (Steve,s ride)

Now this is what I want to ride some day.

This is one of Paul,s workmates ride up and down that he has posted on MotionBased.



A busy chap by the look of things.
The profile is awsome.
Great ride Steve.

What gearing were you using by the way?



Weekending 27 May 07

Monday: Spinning class at the Oval, Weights.
Tuesday: Tina,s spinning class at the Oval.
Wednesday: Barbara,s class cancelled something to do with a footbal match. Gym for me, ran a proverbial mile at 10.1 km/hr, walked for 1/2 a km at 5km/hr up a 15% gradient. Rowed 500m in 1:48. 10 minutes on the crosstrainer. Weights. Place was practically empty and I still saw the match.
Thursday: What’s red and goes Beep Beep Beep? Liverpools open top bus reversing into the garage.
Louises spinning class at the Oval. 650 Calories and a max heartrate of 178 BPM.
Friday: Steve Cummings Training Ride 4:00.51 69.41 miles RestHill to Resthill.Average speed 17.3 mph. There was a strong headwind along the front at Parkgate but it was still a great day. There is a new rear tyre on the Toy and the Dura-Ace 12-27 cassette is on the back now. No mistakes this time.
Sheila,s spinning class at Europa Pools. Had a problem with the bike. One of the adjustable feet stripped its threads and I had to swap bikes. 594 Calories burnt Max pulse was 161 BPM. 
Saturday: Restday.
Sunday: Eureka Cafe for an impromptu ride. That must mean no one turns up. I know the forecast didn’t look too good but it wasn’t that bad that next to nobody turns out. I ended up going out with Merseyside CTC to the Ice Cream farm. Tom is there from the Chester Road club with another rider and that is it. Ended up doing 57 miles easy going and gave Mark a run for his money on the humpback bridges by the Ice Cream farm. Turkey and cranberry sauce baguette for me. The brakes on the Iceni are going to get new pads as the ones fitted are useless in the wet.
I don’t know whats wrong with everbody these days, I had the Altura Hiviz Jacket on with a pair of Polaris tights over a pair of shorts and was OK. Sealskin socks meant my feet were dry. The Iceni has mudguards on so I didn’t get any spray off the front or back wheels.
I got told about the Time Trial circuit from Brimstage so gave the start the once over on the way home. On Saturday night I programmed the route into the Garmin Edge 305. I’ll be riding it some time, I’ve been told that 23-24 minutes means I’m in the ballpark for racing.



Allan dropped.jpg

The above was a bit of fun as the group had split and gone two different ways. Both roads rejoin but I had put in a fast stint to be able to get Marks group from the front. Alan who wasn’t hanging around tucked in after they had gone past. I’ve since beeen told I was nuts going out on Sunday because of a severe weather warning, all I saw was some showers. Head count at The Ice Cream Farm was 8 cyclists which is a poor showing, there are times when you have nowhere to park your bike.
Another good week, mind you I seldom have a bad one these days.

Audax A Tour of the Berwyns

This promises to be another epic ride, 206 Km and 1750m of climbing. Ray has emailed me the route to load into the Garmin which has saved me a lot of time. It looks like the wind is going to be a problem on this ride and it is already picking up 12 hours before the start.

Now the start was something else, Willington Hall. I’m definately going back there.
I bumped into a few people from previous rides including the chap I took a picture of on Janet’s 50 Mile Tourist Trial. He asked about the Garmin Edge 305 and I gave him the link to the site. The team today was Ray, Craig, Tom and Moi.

Moi at the start.JPGRar and Craig.JPG


Seamons CC were having a picture taken as we left the Hotel and headed out to the first turn at Willington Corner. It was agreed that we would be doing a steady pace in view of what was to come. It was a bit too steady for some of the other groups and they past us by Oscroft. There are a few themes that typified this ride apart from hills in all shapes and forms one of the early ones was punctures. Within a couple of miles we had seen a couple including a chap with a trike. He was to end up with three.

So we are chugging along and the Tom calls a halt, he’d picked up a puncture. As it turned out it took a bit longer than it normally would but we were offered a cup of tea in the process. Ray went off for a call of nature and ended up having an amusing conversation with a woman walking a dog.  Anyway no decent ride write up is complete without a puncture picture  so here it is.

Toms Puncture.JPG 
We’d turned down a cup of tea from the house owner, if scones were on offer it may have been a different matter.(there’s a in joke in there somewhere)

Before all this was a checkpoint at Waverton, this was taking the service number of the only bus that served the village. This was where a few groups decided they wern’t hanging around and left us. Nothing much to report until after Farndon and Hope  which is where Tom probably picked up his puncture. More likely the crossing of the  A534 which was an overgrown cyclepath.

We are going around the outside of Wreham, past Farm World and then into new territory for me. Our first stop is the Prospect Tea Rooms but there is a particulary steep hill or two to climb before we get there. Now I was planning on lowering the gearing even further before this ride to 30×27 but it didn’t happen. It was still hard going in 30×25. 30×25 means I’m on a triple with 30 teeth on the front chainring 25 on the back, I’m under no illusions about having a twin because it looks nice, parts of the climbs today were over 20% or 1in5.(steep IMHO)I did see blips up to 25%.


Now I’d made it top the top of this climb first, hence the pictures of the group. At the foot of the hill there was a smell of garlic that was growing in the fields. The pictures are taken on the flat bit so it’s steeper than it looks.


The woman above was riding with her grandfather who is 72 so there is no age limit on on these ride, at 47 I feel like a young’un on these rides.
There is a drop into Penycae and then a 5 kilometre stretch up to the Prospect Tea Rooms. Tom warned us about the climb up the tea room drive being steep and indeed it was. The last place you want to be seen in too high a gear and dismounting is here, you’ve an audience of your peers watching from the cafe conservatory.

After we had entered the cafe to sign in the heavens opened. Rooms a bit restricted inside but our arrival was the signal for others to leave so there was plenty of room. There was a chap (not with us) sitting outside under an umbrella with it pouring down, “There’s nowt so queer as folk” as they say up north.

I mentioned earlier about the themes on the,well the second one was scones. I’d ordered one with a cup of tea, these were in the words of Michael Winner (Sunday Times restaurant critic) “Historic”. Now I haven’t had butter on anything for over a year but I made an exception today. It was what what you’d call 1/2 a fat portion on my eating plan. They were that good I had a second one and it was just as good as the first. Later on Ray was calling me “Two Scone Frank” and they were to feature again later in the ride. You could get used to spending time in the controls when you should be out riding. We left in light rain and it was time for me to don the windshell jacket that was in the back pocket. It’s not waterproof but light rain beads and rolls off it.

Prospect Cafe.JPGView from Prospect Cafe.JPG

The next section to Corwen was a great section of the ride, after the Prospect Tea Rooms we head up to The Panorama with spectacular views over Llangollen, the ruined castle, the River Dee and much more. This is a narrow single track road that is still climbing, there is a rockface on one side with a danger of falling rocks everywhere. A few of them have made it onto the road, maybe nothing to a 4×4 but lethal to a 23c bicycle tyre. 

Next thing you know we are heading downhill to Llangollen and end up at a road junction by the motor museum. You need a good set of  brakes on descents like this as you don’t know what is going to be thrown at you. Dura-Ace  shoes works well and I’m glad I’ve replaced them, the shoes work well and don’t seem to pick up as much aluminium as the harder compounds and subsequently destroy the rim. But before the descent we had a local sheep farmer stuck behind us on the climb, we get an acknowledgement as we pull in to a passing point to let him through.

The next section takes us past the Chain Bridge Hotel where I spent my honeymoon and the Horseshoe Falls which you can’t see from the road. This is also where Harrison Ford went for his canal holiday that was widely reported after the event. He needn’t have bothered with a canal boat, the right roads in this neck of the woods are as equally as quiet.

As you pass the Horseshoe Falls the climbs steepen, the views across the Dee are unique. This is a steep climb and you can do without a car driver tooting his horn at you to let him through. It’s not even a proper 4×4 at the end of the day, he must have been lost!!!!!!. We are following the course of the River Dee untill the next stop at Corwen.  Craig was setting the pace on the front at this stage and in view of what was to come I made a comment to Ray that he was going to blow up at some stage.
Corwen Control.JPG

The next control was the Central Hotel in Corwen and it’s beans on toast here as there are no scones. It has to be some thing quick to prepare as anything more adds to delays and your finishing time. The area above was littered with bikes so we were towards the back of the field by the time we left. We head down the road towards Betws-y-Coed but turn off towards Bala and pass through Llandrillo. This bring back memories of The Tour of Wales from the late seventies.(maybe an article for another post). Further down the road I was heading for Bala when Ray shouts me back, I wasn’t on compass mode on the Garmin just the general display waiting for a bleep to signal a turn. The B5402 is a short stretch of road that climbs to a Tee junction where you hit the main climb of the day. I ask Tom if this was it and he says yes.

The bottom part of the climb is steep with nearly 15% coming up around the two bottom hairpin bends. It has started to rain just to add to the enjoyment, nothing too hard but coupled with the wind you see sheets of it blowing across the mountainside. Character building stuff as they say, the good thing is that it soon blows over and then becomes clear again.I’ve now become quite good at climbing and soon put some distance into our group. I think it’s a gradient thing, I’m OK up to about 20% providing I can see the top of the climb. Thanks to the spinning classes I known I’m good for a good 30 minutes plus of intense effort, my pulse maxed out at 175 BPM  on this climb, which is good for the open road.

Anyway back to the climb, the treeline starts to dissapear and I’ve another rider in my sights now. The gradient is not as steep now but if your stuck in that one gear you climb hills in you end up slow. I change up a couple of gears as I try to keep up my perceived  effort. I ended up passing another three  or four riders on this one climb.This is where the gradient function of the Garmin Edge 305 comes into it’s own, as soon as you see the gradient start to drop off and your feeling OK with your effort you should be changing up a gear.

I’m an inexperienced newcomer to these events but was surprised how I reeled in riders on this mountain. I was lying on the carpet trying to recover my breath after a mile and a half when I started a few years back and my colour matched the red carpet.
The climb of the B4391 was something else, I haven’t tackled anything as long as this before and had a false dawn where I stopped to take some photos and regroup.  There was time for a bite to eat a bit of a chat and a photo. Then it was around a sweeping bend and over a slight rise to the final part of the climb. Nothing too steep just a steady climb, seeing as this is it I have one last go and stop at the top. The summit peaked at 1602ft and here we entered the county of Powys, I’d class this as mid Wales and it seems a long long way from the Cheshire plain.



Now the descent to Llangynog was something else too. I see the road stretch out before me and decide to have a go here too. There is no way on gods earth I’m going to waste a descent like this. With a sweep of the left hand and a couple of clicks with the right I’m in the big ring and going for it. Things start to happen really quickly as the speed builds up. It peaked at 43 mph but slowed when I saw a cattle grid ahead, I think the sign said sheep grid as you don’t tend to get cattle up this high.

Ray had warned me about Guy getting a snakebite on a descent of the Horseshoe Pass and I don’t want to suffer the same. The bend shortly after gives me the opportunity to wave on two cars that had shadowed me like team cars on a tour. They wave back, probably thinking look at this nut doing 40 odd mph down hill. I was on the drops and was taken aback at how comfortable the anatomical shape was and how much better leverage you get on the brakes. The road surface is a bit coarser down it to the village and the next control but it’s still 30 mph stuff. A great climb and a great descent.


Llangynog control.

The guy on the trike is back with us on and off for the next section which ends up in Chirk. This section has it’s its own set of challenges. The weather has turned out really nice and rather than stick to a river valley route we ride over some small hills. This is untill we get to Llanraeahdr-ym-Mochnant (which I can’t pronounce) and while following a valley route you know there is a climb at the end of it.

 Mobile Free Zone.JPG

This was at the end of the climb, my phone has been going off but the thing is there are no signals for mobile phones in this neck of the woods. You are above the mobile phone masts and the thing is useless. Not too good a position to be in if you have an emergency in this neck of the woods. It’s steep in this neck of the woods and before the summit there is a motocross track that takes me back many years. If I was as fit as I am now this would have been a walk in the park.  The guy on the trike is caught and passed but he is past us again as we regroup. The downhill section is great 30mph stuff and the Dura-Ace blocks are are quite progressive and I’m really pleased with them and due to their soft compound you don’t hear your rims being cut to ribbons.
Once on the flat it is an 8 mile slog to Chirk and I seem to remember being on the front for most of it. It’s not a problem, each one of us has a weakspot mines probably after 100 miles when I want to slow up.

Chirk Control.JPG

Ray and Moi.JPG

It’s good to arrive at the control point in Chirk it means we are 3/4 of the way there. This is where the guy on the trike gets the last scone amd I have to settle for Barra Brith. The weather has bucked up  but the final section is not a stroll in the park.

The route out of Chirk is the same as we took on the Poynton to Chirk return so we know what is involved. I’d recharged the Garmin in the Cafe but it wasn’t going to be enough and it was going to cause a problem on the next stretch of the ride. Once at Overton the route to Bangor on Dee followed Janets 50 mile Tourist Trial route. Now the races are on and by the look of things the last race has just finished and they are leaving in droves.

We are held up by steward letting out half the carpark, he’s talking into his mobile which inflames things a bit. Anyway at Bangor on Dee we pass a lot of them as they are stuck at a Tee junction. There is one final control at Brunty Bank road and Ray has been churning that big ring again. We get our picture taken at the control. Here the Edge dies, shuts itself down and I am in danger of not getting the ride logged.

Ray offers to swap Garmins as his is being recharged by his charger. Now I’ve built a homebrew charger but it hasn’t seen action on the bike. It works  in the cafes but proves lacking on the bike. The others have left and I am desparately trying to get a charge into the 305 for the thing to power up. Further down the road they are waiting for me. I’m riding one handed, the other holding the battery pack in the one position that has the Edge charging. It goes pear shaped again as the Edge 305 nearly goes bouncing down the road and I have to stop to recover a AAA cell that jumped out the holder. I’m regulating my speed by changing from the big ring to the middle ring with my left hand. Eventually there is enough power in the thing to disconnect the charger. Its a work in progress.

Anyway as we are heading for the finish I notice we have lost Craig off the back. I shout up for Ray to slow down and we regroup. There is a section through Tarporley which is a blast from the past, no supermarkets and lots of traditional shops.  Butchers, Bakers and Candlestick makers. 

The final section to Summertrees is steep after 120 odd miles. The ride up Tirley Lane is tough after all this way. Once at Summertrees it is time to sign in and have what’s on offer. Guess what it was a scone, some sandwiches  and a cup of tea.  It’s been a great day, if you read these write ups for their entertainment value this could be you.


Total Time (h:m:s) 11:53:05 5:40 pace
Moving Time (h:m:s) 9:33:06 4:33 pace
Distance (mi ) 125.56
Moving Speed (mph) 13.1 avg. 43.3 max.
Elevation Gain (ft) +10,759 / -10,511
Avg. Heart Rate 122 bpm Zone 2.6
Temperature (°F) 57.4°F avg. 60.8°F high
Wind Speed ( mph) WSW   17.3 avg. WSW   20.7 max.

It’s now a week after the event and the statistics are truly mindblowing there are a couple of personal bests in there. The Training Centre says I burnt 8500 calories on this ride which even if it overreads is still one hell of a lot of calories. Would I tackle it again, sure, every one of these rides has been unique, the routes show Britain at its best. The whole day was largely traffic free, the hills were something else and to think I used to avoid these like the plague. Thanks to Ray, Craig and Tom for making it another grand day out. Fin.

Link to Google Map of ride.

Weekending 20 May 07

Monday: Louise,s spinning class at the Oval. 625 Calories with a peak of 173 BPM. Some weights before the class. I’m not looking to break any records this week as Saturday is The Tour of the Berwyns which promises to be a bit hilly as well as another long event. Spoke to Louise about the new link to the diet. (or should I be PC and say Healthy Eating Plan)
Tuesday: Tina,s spinning class booked probably some more weights before the class. As it was it was weights after the class. The class was 610 calories, but there is still some confusion about when the Oval is closing for refurbishment. Next week could be Tina,s last class for a while. Six weight machines after the class plus the abdominal isolator. Went on the rowing machine while waiting for a machine to be free. 500 metres in 1:45.5 . Got talking to a woman that had been on the Lifestyle and Weight management course who is just getting back into the gym after time out. Keep up the good work.
Wednesday: Barbara,s spinning class at the Oval. No HRM tonight so no calorie counting, trust me this was a hard class. Mentioned to Barbara the the new version of Google Analytics has the site having 2500 visitors in the last month from 58 countries and six continents, remarkable stuff. I’ll be doing a post about the site statistics, the diet is a bit more popular now that there is a link to the pdf document.
Thursday: Guess what another spinning class booked. Weather isn’t too hot so it’s probably just as well. Weather turned out brilliant at the end of the day and after getting stuck in traffic it was straight down to Europa Pools. As it was the class was full with a couple of newcomers and a few returning after a break. The girl next to me was doing her third class which is a good sign. It was hot in the class and I don’t use the fan in these classes. There is no air conditioning so your going to sweat buckets(well I do) even the ladies that perspire were sweating in this class. The Schwinn bikes ALLWAYS give you a harder workout, now Louise did a class on Monday in which I burnt 625 calories on Precor bikes, tonights was 750 calories with a maximum pulse of 181 BPM. There was a 5 minute sprint at the end that had me burning over 100 calories. I’m making sure there is enough resistance in to keep the pulse highand not let the energy in the flywheel do the work.
I gave one of the cards out to a class member, hope you like the site, it’s one of the things that keep me on track. No running tonight and after a shower I feel in top form for Saturdays ride. Bring on them hills. 
Friday: Sheila,s spinning class, took it easy on this one in view of tommorows ride. 500 calories Heartrate max was 157 BPM. I still went through 750ml of water and pink seemed to be the new colour of the class.

Crane Sports Cycling Gloves

I ended up buying two pairs of these fingerless gloves in the latest Aldi offers the other week. Now for £2.99 these are excellent value. They feature gel inserts on the palm with an extended section on the lower wrist. This just covers the wrist joint so should offer some protection in a spill.
The thumb has a soft outer suitable for wiping your nose when the need arises.
Nothing much more to say about them other that I paid £10-15 for an Altura pair with a very simillar construction.
Looking around, every other cyclist seems to be using these gloves now the weather is looking up.
I’ve also ended up with a shirt and a jacket too. One thing I didn’t know is that you have 30 days to take it back if it doesn’t fit, which is a great help. Not that there will be anything left that does fit you if you don’t act pretty quickly.

One thing I didn’t realise is the reflective striping built in to the cloves. Thanks to Graham and Margaret for pointing it out. Thats if the motorist that knocks you down has his lights on. It’s supposed to be really effective when you give hand signals.

Weekending 13 May 07

Monday: Gyms closed due to BankHoliday so it was my first evening ride of the year. Resthill, Thornton Hough, Benty Heath Lane and ending up at Raby Mere. Then through to The Three Stags  and home, 12 miles, not a bad little route, I’ll be trying a few variations of it in the future.
Tuesday: Tina,s spinning class at the Oval. Only two more classes left until it closes for refurbishment. No HRM  on as I lost the watch so no cals burnt. Weights before and after but I wasn’t pushing it. Out of interest I tried lifting my bodyweight on a Lateral Pulldown and I couldn’t do it. Could just about do 70 Kg once. I normally stick to around 50 kg and would be looking to do a minimum of 10 reps.
Wednesday: An hour in the gym before Barbara,s spinning class, with the HRM on tonight. Rowed 2km in 7:59.9 minutes, did 30 minutes on the crosstrainer hillclimb programme.The machines consistently over read the amount of calories burnt but if thats all you’ve got to on just use it as a guide, at this level it is not an exact science. I’m using a £13 Crane Sports HRM but it does seem consistent. I’m not saying splashing out on a top end Polar HRM  is a waste of money but it can be done at bargain basement prices.Weights when I could get on a machine.
Lateral pulldowns after the class, 10 reps @ 56Kg plus 2 reps @ 70Kg. All that and the evening was still young.
Thursday: Louise,s class at Europa pools tonight. Probably an hour in the gym before the class. I haven’t been putting 100% into the weights recently as I haven’t been taking the logbook in to see what I’ve been up to in the past.
As it was I ended up doing 2.4 Km in 10 minutes on the rowing machine, 10 minutes on the cross trainer cardio programme @ 138 BPM and I couldn’t get on much else. Then it was time for the class. I’d just about cooled off before it started and although I was sweating profusely the numbers on the HRM didn’t hit any highs, 833 calories for all of it. It got to the stage where I was playing around with the level one setting on a two minute sprint to see if I could raise it to a normal level (150 BPM plus). Looks like I had backed off the resistance too much. Trouble is with the Schwinn bikes is due to the very heavy flywheel you can get into a coasting mode were the flywheel is doing the work for you. Your spinning like a banshee but not not getting the heartrate up. It was happening to me tonight, a quarter turn had the heartrate creeping up along with a lactic acid build up.
On any given day I’ll look at Google Analytics to see which parts of the site are generating traffic. Yesterday two people from California looked at the spinning section.
Calories burnt spinning seems to generate a steady stream of visitors from all over the place. The locations fascinate me, had my first visitor from Kuwait on the same day and I’ll have to have a lookat what the Australlian vistors are searching for.
It’s not Aldi Offers for sure.
Friday: Sheila,s spinning class at Europa pools, no mistakes tonight fast spinning at level one was the usual 150 BPM seated, any thing else might get it up to 160 BPM. A hillclimb had it peak at 175 BPM. 650 calories burnt spinning. Followed up by a trip to the gym. Ran a proverbial mile 1.6km @ 11.1 Km/Hr and went on three weight machines.
Don’t even think about parking here without a parking ticket, the wardens patrol the carpark like hawks. Tonight they where sheltering inside from the rain. It’s so close to home for them that they are allways going to check this carpark before they call it a day. Had a hit from Honolulu, Bogata and Jakarta today, the worlds growing smaller everyday.
Saturday: Restday up to now. Went shopping in Chester but before that I kitted myself out with some more Discovery Channel kit from the Bike Factory. I found out it was 20% off so I got another thermal Jersey while I was at it. Before that I’d found out that Steve Cummings was riding in Ivan Basso,s place in the Giro d’Italia. I’m really pleased to have done his training route now and I’m looking to follow the full race now I’ve got a Harddrive/Dvd recorder.
Discovery Channel had hard luck in the team time trial. They lost two riders and then had a faller close to the finish they needed five to get a time so had to wait for the faller. Steve got a good mention on Eurosport. Been another good day.
Sunday: No CTC ride this Sunday but I still had a great ride out to the Eureka and back to RestHill. The weather first thing was fantastic and I rode up to Heswall to see my mum and dad. It was a bit of a shock to see me turn up so early but I had a picture of the new me taken with the bike. After a cup of tea and a chat it was time to resume the ride.

It was then up Pensby Road to the traffic lights at Heswall. They were on green and seeing as the place was deserted were taken in a satisfying sweep.  The place is deserted and it is then onto Gayton roundabout which is taken at 25 mph. Todays song is Poison by Alice Cooper, the original version is still the best. It stays with me till Parkgate. I sweep past a lad on a mountain bike just before the bend at the Boathouse then a good pace along the Parade. Then it’s up to Neston cross but I turn off to go down Church Lane. Before you know it I’m at Ness Gardens which hasn’t opened yet.

Then it’s on to Burton with the thatched cottages looking particulary good in the morning sunshine. Right turn to Puddington and I’m soon at the junction with the Chester High Road and Craxton Wood Hotel. It’s then a quick ride to Two Mills and the Eureka Cafe.

Now in case you don’t know I have the breakfast every time I walk throught the door of the Eureka Cafe, the only difference is that Anne doesn’t put any butter on the two rounds of toast. I’ve been eating this breakfast at the Eureka for well over a year and I’ve still lost 50 Kg. I’ve had a fair bit of grief over it in the past but its not my problem and never has been. I’d ride the wheels off all that have passed comment.

Pinnarello Kev is there and we catch up on things. He is being renamed to Cannondale Kev as his new bike is a carbon bling bike. He’s changed job as Next cut his hours down so hopefully he can get out more. Another one that is enjoying his cycling around the Wirral.

Ray is there and we discuss next Saturdays Audax ” The Tour of the Berwyns” 200 odd Km of what sounds like a hilly ride. I’ve been give the gypsies warning to take it slow, we’ll have to see how it all pans out. Slow is 13 mph average. With that it’s time to head back to Resthill but this time have a bit of a go.

A green light at Two Mills has me doing 20 mph across the lights and just past the Tudor Rose I wave to Roy and Joan who are on their way out. There are a fair few cyclists on their way out too. Thing go well untill I get to that rough patch of road through Thornton Hough, the bit under the trees, the surface is terrible and the rear light bounces down the road. I’ve got to go back to collect it and it disrupts the flow.

Everybody thats out there these days gets a Hi or a Morning these days be they horse riders, walkers or runners. Its a quality of life thing, I know that they’ve got it too.

Anyway, things soon get back on track and I pass some runners around Home farm.Then it is down the hill to the base of RestHill. Now at the bottom I engage too low a gear and loose a bit of time. I’e done this climb hundreds of times now and at the stop sign the stop button gets pressed ride over.

Now the stats: 9.14 miles in 30:14 minutes @ 18.1mph. Average heartrate was 140 BPM. The light bouncing down the road cost me dear. I was done and dusted by 10.30 ish and had done over 24 miles. Another good day.

I’ve updated the link to the Diet I’m following.
You should be able to download the pdf file and see it for yourself.
It’s on the Diet page.

CTC Ride Eureka to Nags Head, Haughton

After last Sunday this turned out to be a relaxed ride to a good pub.
On the ride out to the Eureka I met up with some CTC riders that I hadn’t seen before, we made it just in time before the 275 cows are crossing the road at Storeton. They were off to Raby and we parted company at Thornton Hough.

A dozen of the usual suspects turned up for this ride with Ray and Janet standing in for George who is in Hospital. Nothing much to report about the first section, I was at the back talking to Roy about getting his Edge 205 sorted. He is still on Windows 98 and the training centre doesn’t work but that should not stop him using MotionBased to log and Marengo to plan his rides. Larger groups need someone on the back to warn the front that there are cars behind and when they are coming through.

It’s a system that works well and I would say John is the best I’ve seem at it. We had a couple of friendly waves from motorists on this ride after we waved them through along with a prat towing a horse box that didn’t give us much room around Beeston.

More later including the usual dodgy pictures.
If anyone can reccomend a decent compact camera that can power up, focus and take a half decent shot in a second or two please drop me a comment.

We pass a group of the Sunlight stopped repairing a puncture and have a toilet stop at the campsite further up the road. Then it’s on to Waverton and past the Crocky Park that was filling up with kids. It’s a shame to waste a good hill so Chris and I blast down it and momentum and a bit of effort see,s us up the other side.


I thought the quality of the meals and the service here was excellent as you can see the carpark was packed. Just as well the weather held off as we were outside on the benches on the grass.


Some of the group were distracted by the Hot Rod that had appeared by the time we were leaving.



I missed the front of the group with this picture due to the slowness of the camera auto focus system . If I ride off the front to get a picture I only get one chance and it’s really hit and miss at the moment.

The ride made its way back through Beeston and The Ice Cream Farm to the River Dee at Chester. Here Ray managed to lead us all through the funfair on the Court,s carpark only to find the whole place fenced off. We were forced to go around the fence using the bikes as nettle beaters. The next bit is a hidden gem of a cycletrack, ridding around the Roodee racecourse.


After this section it was along the Dee cyclepath to Queensferry which was a long drag into a headwind. It’s very exposed here so you have to take it on the chin. It’s then up throught Sealand Industrial Estate to take the track to Shotwick. I absolutley hate this track, I’d rather take my chances with 40 tonners than ride this lane. Part of it is to do with tyre width, 23c tyres no like it. The rest of the group on 35/38 tyres sail through. Once across the main road it’s a ride up the lane to The Yacht and a sprint for some to the Eureka.

Another good day 85 miles by the time I got home, thing was due to the relaxed pace it didn’t feel like it.


Link to Google Map of Ride

Weekending 06 May 07

Monday: Spinning class at the Oval. Taking it easy after yesterday, 600 Calories burnt.
Tuesday: Again a spinning class at the Oval. Tina was running late this evening so it was a session on the weight machines before hand. 660 Calories burnt.
Wednesday: Lifestyle and Weight Management Course followup class, so nothing planned. See you there Andy, there’s a new class to motivate.
As it was only one turned up from the last class that finished the classroom sessions last month. None of the blokes on that course made it to the twelth week nevermind the first followup class. I’m getting the distinct impression that I’m wasting my time going to some of these classes. Showed this group the before picture and spoke about my year on the course. I just hope someone in this class can make it the full twelve months. The followup classes have a totally different atmosphere to the course. Your not there to learn anymore, you should know it all by now. Results vary from individual to individual but all those that turn up have gained from the classes.
Thursday: Spinning class at Europa Pools booked, could try the weights also. As it was 11 made it to this hot class. Weather has been been brilliant over the last couple of weeks. I can’t be  bothered to put the HRM on tonight after the “obsessive” comment below. I know when I’m having a go. Full 8 minute sprint at the end at my suggestion, just as well Louise let us stay in the saddle and not do six or eight sets of eight to it. No weights.
Friday: Sheila,s Spinning class booked. Hardcore spinners do a Friday night class. A full class on a Friday with a couple of newbies doing their first class. Others new faces normally do a Wednesday. Like last night I was sweating buckets and made sure I took on plenty of water. Seeing as I now have an “unhealthy obsession” with the gym and cycling I wore the HRM. 675 calories burnt in this class. Still felt good so ran a proverbial mile on the treadmill. 1.6 km @ 11kph. Enough weights to tone up not bulk up and that was me done. 967 calories by the time I had finished. Max was 178 BPM and I feel comfortable up to 160 BPM. Before I forget one of the tracks we span to was a Scissor Sisters mix, it’s one of those tracks you can’t get out of your head. I’ve been at the back on some rides with Don’t Feel Like Dancing bouncing around my skull and it’s a relief to get it out.
Saturday: Restday.
Sunday: Good old CTC ride by the looks of things.
Next Monday could be another Steve Cummings training route ride. CANCELLED due to work. Grrrrr


Analysis and criticism of REDD and carbon trading

Nick's blog

A rubbish Cyclist trying to get better!


This WordPress.com site is the cat’s pajamas


The trials & tribulations of an obese cyclist.

Frank Kinlan's Blog

A weblog offering firsthand advice to the overweight looking to improve their health and lifestyle through cycling. A link to a pdf of the diet I am following is on the Diet under the About menu.

Going For 96

The Keys To Getting To 96? Everything In Moderation