Steve Cummings Eindhoven Team Time Trial Crash

On the Tuesday prior to the Team Time Trial Steve took a minute out of me in less than 2 miles on the Brimstage Time Trial . On the Sunday Discovery Channel were leading after the final time check when Steve was brought down by his team mate breaking his elbow.

Now I’m watching the Tour de France second stage on Eurosport and Steve gets a mention with this link. Ouch, I wince every time I watch it.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i2I3X_5ZRDs

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fmSMNnVhpi8

Get well soon Steve.

More later.

Weekending 08 Jul 07

Monday: Louise,s spinning class at Europa pools, 525 calories. Weights upstairs in the gym when I could get on the equipment, shower, home.
Tuesday: TLI road race at Oulton Park, great evening. Posted below.
Wednesday: CTC ride 52 miles Merseyside section included a 1in4 hill. Sheila,s spinning class at Europa pools, no calorie data as no HRM.  Weights upstairs. Two minutes on the rowing machine 500m in1:52.
I’m going to have to spend more time on the weights as I’m not doing as much as I did. It doesn’t take long when you can get on the equipment.
Thursday: Louise,s spinning class at Europa pools, again no HRM so no calorie counting. Hot, hard, class if you wanted it. Two newcomers found it hard, but hard is what it is about. Just turn up next week, that’s what it is all about.
Friday: Restday, I’m off to enjoy myself. There is a small event called The Tour De France coming to town and I’m going to be there. More later maybe…..

TLI Oulton Park Road Race 03 Jul 07

Now this is the third and final TLI Oulton Park Road Race for this year. I’ve done the first two with mixed results if a result is finishing in the group. If competing and doing your best is a result then I’ve had the best results of my life over the last month or so.

On the last event I was shelled off the back due to a lack of experience and once off the back it can’t be regained.  More than one has told me how competitive the Vets are, I think it it a mixture of race experience and years of just being at a fitness level I didn’t know existed.

For this week I’ve had a wheel upgrade to unbranded carbon rims and tubular tyres.They are not Zipp,s Hedd,s or Corimas  but most of this like weightloss is in the mind. I know now that I am fighting the law of diminishing returns, the only thing limiting my performance these days is me.

I’d been lining up for this event for a week and the weather forecast was mxed. I’d spent a day trying to get cork brake pads for the carbon rims with no result. This had worn me out before I’d even started. Anyway I’d signed on in good time and spent some time circulating the wet carpark.

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This is moi talking to Chris who is about to flag us off. The funny thing is Chris was talking to me me about this website, he’d found it on a Google search.  TLI Oulton Park I think. The thing was we were talking about helping someone else maybe with a spinning class. I’m really glad when events like this happen as I don’t actively seek to publish (other than this blog) what I’ve acheived. Just being able to take the line is an acheivment for me.

And so to the event. Chris gave us good warning about the standing water at Old Hall and with that we set off down Deer Leap. Unlike last time I was taking my time letting others take it up this week. Just like the other week there were loads of bunnies running for cover as the leaders came through.

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Mixed results with the pictures this week, there are a lot of blurred ones as the camera prefers to focus on stationary objects like the Bennetts hoarding on the armco.

Now I know where I went wrong last week and I’m not going to make the same mistake week. There were times when I was tempted to go off the front as things slow up on various parts of the lap like Island bend to Lakeside. You are into a headwind here and no one wants to lead out here. At least I don’t this time, it was this part of the track that has been my undoing once too often.

The reason is the sprint up Dentons with things easing off slightly on the Avenue. Things picking up again as we head for the line. Now it was all about hanging on with the bunch tonight and not getting dropped again. I’d settled into things OK this week and once I’d realised that for me it was all about the climb up Dentons, where I was weak, at least it was giving me the opportunity to stay on the back.

I’d spoken with one of  The Sunlight guys and he passed comments about not wanting to be further back than this, looking back there was only one other rider behind us. That focused the mind but at least I hadn’t done anything stupid like go off the front this week. Last week I’d gone from the front to the back on Dentons and then dropped by Druids.

Link to Google map of Race 

http://trail.motionbased.com/trail/invitation/dashboard.mb?episodePk.pkValue=3200883

Lap
Time Distance Max Spd Hr max/ave      Caden  Energy
1 06:53 2.68 34  149 161 83 216
2 06:38 2.66 33.3 153 171 83 204
3 06:36 2.66 32.4 161 170 88 214
4 06:24 2.67 34.9 160 171 89 203
5 06:29 2.67 35.8 157 167 92 205
6 06:37 2.66 36.5 152 163 89 210
7 06:30 2.67 35.6 153 162 87 205
8 06:46 2.67 36.5 149 167 87 212
9 06:28 2.67 37.1 153 158 90 199
10 06:25 2.65 34.7 153 170 85 201

From the above data you should be able to gather that the last two laps were fast but my lap four was the fastest of the race. The last lap coming out at only 1 second over that shows I wasn’t blown at the end. Yes I’ve finished with the group this week but lets not forget I was riding out of my age group so respect is due.

Coming out of Shell hairpin and going along Lakeside the guy in front of me has a spoke break with a loud ping. He wasn’t aware of what was up at at the time but you could see the wheel was out of true. I’ve been warned off Mavics with alloy spokes and sure enough this was a Mavic Ksyrium letting go.

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There are plenty of blurred shots of the pack going over the finish line so I won’t waste bandwidth putting the pictures up here.

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I forgot to mention that I am riding Barry Sheene,s lucky number 7. It’s all about the last two laps as things hot up. On the 9th lap I’m consious about not loosing places on Dentons again but coming out of the saddle like most around me doesn’t feel right on these new bars. This time I get chance to here the bell as we cross the line for the final lap. This time up Dentons I’m at least holding position and after that I’m actually picking up a place or two. Dentons has taken a bit too much out of nearly half the field and it starts to thin out on the run up from Old Hall to the finish line.  I pull another few places back but no one is counting except me.

Great to finish, great to finish on the same lap, great to finish in the group.

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Now you may wonder why I am having my picture taken with an Audi R8, well the fact is something was going on at Oulton Park on this day and the pit lane was full of them.So much so that we wern’t allowed in the pit lane. There were 18 that I could see and at £82,000 for a base model before extras (and everything is an extra) that equates to £1,476,000 for a base model if that’s what they were.Nice looking car but a bit out of my league.

I bumped in to another Frank from New Brighton CC after this as his lad had won the last event and had been upgraded to the senior group. The group that managed to drop me after a lap!. In fact I bumped in to a fair few that I have come across since taking this up.

It’s been another great evening, thanks to all involved. I’m still on this journey of Discovery (there’s a pun in there). Finally, a year ago I didn’t ride with a group as up untill August I didn’t think I was up to it. A year before that I was trying to drop out of the morbidly obese weightclass. It’s hard to write the last sentence these days as I just want to look forward to the next challenge.

Audax Around Snowdon, O Gwmpas Yr Wyddfa 103km

With most of the country worrying about the weather, I’m pondering whether to use “The Toy” or use the Iceni training/wet weather bike. One look out the window meant it was time to prep the Iceni. Nothing too drastic, just swap the bag, bottles and put the Garmin Edge 305 on the bars. The other important thing is to take the right shoes as the Iceni is fitted with SPD,s.

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This was the better of the two shots as it includes the church.

It’s looking a bit grim driving down the A55 to Bangor but I’d allowed enough time in case I had difficulty find the start. Numbers were nearly 50% down on those that had entered but it didn’t look too bad on the day. Two out of our planned group were no shows but we gained Margaritte. Bangor was busy as we set out and it wan’t until a few mile down the road that I realised I hadn’t pressed start on the Garmin Edge 305. Hence the gap on the google map.

Ray had programmed us in to take the main road and not the cycle way to Carnarvon (english spelling) due to the path being grit. The wet conditions meaning any dirt rapidly becomes grinding paste on the rims. There was plenty of water around as we headed down the hill to Carnarvon and the Castle. I dropped off the back here to get a picture of the Castle as it’s not everyday you ride past historic landmarks like this. Further down the road we arrive at our first control point with a few riders getting their cards signed.

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After the control things get a bit breezy and the speed is cut to 10-11mph. The road is very exposed here and it’s not until we head inland that things ease up.

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Lowrie (in the blue,centre)of Wrexham CTC gets around, last week it was the Cheshire cycleway 100 miler.

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It’s a tad windy after the checkpoint.

The next stop is Tremadog where all the climbers congregate before and after they climb the  the rockfaces across the the the road from the cafe. There is the matter of a 700 ft climb to tackle before you get to it. It also means 700ft of descent too. There is a diversion off the main road that rejoins a bit further on.  Prior to to that I see Nazareth Post Office, or at least it looks like that as we ride past.

Now the Eagle eyed might have gathered that I am a Nazareth fan(the 70,s group)and the urge to photograph the post office was stong , but i was at the back so it didn’t happen. Well not this time at least. AKA Whitebicycle.

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This is after the climb, boy it was bleak. Bleak was waiting at the turn and having to go back down the hill to see if one of the riders was OK.Soft is someone whingeing about having a change of dry clothing after having walked from the Lamberis Pass cafe to the coach  in the carpark.

I might as well talk about the climb as it is the highlight of the ride, not knowing what was coming up it looked harder than what it was. This was only the second long climb I’ve tackled, most have been shorter but maybe a bit steeper. Yes I know, I need to get out more.

The map player on the MotionBased site gives all the details of the climb . There is a section that is steep at the bottom but then it opens out. You can see the viewing point that cuts into the side of the mountain in the distance. That looks steep and who knows what lurks around the bend. As the climb opens up there is a chance to got up a gear and the speed goes up to 12mph from 10mph. Going up another gear has it up to 14mph in places. I passed three or four fellow riders on the climb and felt on top form. Only stopping at the junction to go up to PenYPass.

Looking at my watch I figure I’m about ten minutes clear of the others and it was time to regroup before going on to the control point. The weather turns nasty at this point and up until this point I have been reasonably dry. I’ve a pair of Polaris trousers on over a pair of shorts with Sealskin waterproof socks keeping my feet dry, until  now.

One of the problems with waterproof gear is that when it gets overwhelmed like here there is nowhere for the water to go. So now I’ve got wet feet. I should have put the Altura overtrousers on earlier as they proved quite effective on the descent.

The next section up to the Cafe is steep, the weather is horrendous and as we round a steep uphill bend we are hit by a wind that nearly stops you in your tracks. No chance of dancing up at 14mph here,more like 8 with 10mph at best when it leveled out. A bleep on the Garmin means we are at the control point.

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Now you don’t want to leave the relative comfort of the cafe to set off in a downpour but we’ve a ride to finish. I finally don the Altura overtrousers for the descent into Llanberis. Boy what a descent this was. This was going to be fast, it would have been very very fast if it was dry.

Once I’d got an idea of what was involved I was soon up to speed, this felt like about 30 mph. As we descended there were literally rivers running across the road. This isn’t a day for taking the racing line and I wave a car past, a Merc follows thru. The thing is they aren’t that much quicker than me. Max speed was 37  but there were lots of sections where I was dragging the brakes to keep the rims clear of water.

I’m on the drops for this descent, you need the leverage on the brakes to control your speed. Being on the hoods is not an option you just can’t get enough leverage. There is good feel on the drops and Dura-Ace pads are soft enough not to wear the rims out. I must mention the driving rain at the top as it was really stinging the face so much so as I was thinking of slowing down at one point.Craig.jpg

Craig is next down and he doesn’t like this sort of descent.

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30 mph near the bottom was no problem and I had a bit of a wait for the rest to catch up hence the shots.

There were glimpses of sunlight as we rode out of Llanberis which coincided with a shower as soon as i uttered the words. Further on we opted for a stop to take off the rain gear. The weather had brightened up and there was some stunning scenery that we had just cycled. My final piece of malt loaf was consumed and we headed of to the finish. It was a good day and the piece of cake at the finish was something else. At about 6pm the first of the 200km riders returned. This was some feat considering the weather.

I’ll post some stats later.

Thanks Robert, it’s a great route and I really enjoyed myself, got to see plenty of graveyards on the route for some reason.

Link to Google Map of Ride