Weekending 02 Sep 07

Monday: Rode out to the Eureka for breakfast. Spoke to the Northenders about the Wild Wales. Dave crashed on a descent and broke his saddle so bailed out at the halfway mark. Peter went out and did 60 miles sussing out the Mel Vasey memorial ride. I went home via  Denhall Lane through Neston and on to route 56. 20 miles.
Tuesday: Nothing, restday. Wrote up the Wild Wales post and what seemed like 100 other things.
Wednesday: Northend ride to Holt (Belisses Garden Centre) Was going out on a faster ride to Wales but Peter had had enough and joined Clives group on the towpath. I’d figured he knew we were going to get a right battering off the other group and was looking for an easier ride. If he’s hurting, I’d be hurting too.
Nice ride, saw Andy and Dave at the Eureka and discussed Garmin Edges. Dave informed me that a new Garmin is coming out, just when I’ve finally got the hang of the Edge.
Sheila,s spinning class at Europa Pools, first one for nearly a week! One of the two new girls in the class had the chain of the bike break and the flywheel just didn’t want to stop. Easyish class 560 calories, not many hills which is probably just as well after Sunday.
Thurday: Booked in at Europa Pools,early class as there was a waiting list for the late class. Class was half full, with plenty of banter about putting the tension in when I turn up so you dont get a mention in despatch,s. Which leads us on to Louise,s sister is doing a study on effort and music and is looking for volunteers. The HRM I use only logs totals so wouldn’t be suitable unless you took readings manually. I did sugest one of the gym machines that can measure power in watts as then it is a straight power reading and not based on heartrate. I’ve now got a fair bit of data on calories burnt spinning but always put more into it if the final sprint is to Sandstorm by Darude.
Eight sets of eight out the saddle is 64 seconds that a lot of people don’t want to do at the end of a class and always meets with groans when suggested.

As there is still interest in what I burn in a class I’ll probably end up doing a full post on it. Certain classes do burn more calories if you put the effort in. There is no need to get paranoid about not doing enough in a class. The very fact that you are doing one means your not slumped on the settee watching TV.
Friday: Work. No chance of a class today.
Saturday: Work. Two sets of of chinups, 10 on first set, 8 on second. Missing out on a good ride this weekend and it hurts.
Sunday: Work again, I should be out with the CTC but it’s not to be. Got to do something today, 3 rest days on the trot just doesn’t feel right.

Wild Wales Challenge the ride.

What a day, I’ve been building up to this for a while and the weather forecast looked good. It was a bit cold early on as I was packing the bike into the car so I opted for armwarmers for the start of the ride. With 600 riders to book in things were busy at the start. I still hadn’t got anyone to ride with and there were clubs there from far and wide.

The Northend and the Sunlight were looking for a fast time to knock Macclesfield Wheelers off the fastest club so they were out. As it was I ended up going with some CTC riders I’ve ridden with on events before.

First picture is of my riding buddies for the day, second is Peter who led last wednesdays Northend Ride. Pace and Big Phil are the two Sunlight riders. The final picture is of the group going out of Bala. The chap in blue we aren’t going to see much of today as he is about to get dropped off the back as it steepens up only to collect a puncture. Cliff has all the luck but all of it bad. 

We do a fair bit of climbing on good roads out of Bala before we turn off to the left. This is taking us to the turn that the route says Engage a low gear. They meant it. People are in trouble right from the turn. Falling off, grinding to a halt, going back down the hill to start again. My lowest gearing is 30X27 and I needed it. Some are already walking and there are a couple of tandems that are on the climb.I meet graham and vicky at the first control on their tandem. It’s a good start so here are some more pictures.

The last two pictures of Allan are on bike shots. Before that Peter is in the middle of the other riders, a bit further on he is giving assistance  to the Sunlight. Once back on the main road it’s a chance for groups to reform before climbing up to the summit and entering Powys. This gives Chris and I a chance to test our legs passing some but getting passed by others like the Macclesfield Wheelers.

From the summit it is a very fast descent to Llangynog where the turn is catching a few out. This takes us off the main road and down a lane along the valley.

DSCF3177.jpgDSCF3178.jpgDSCF3180.jpgThe first control

Took a fair number of pictures on this ride and it was just the usual suspects. The chap in the Gan shirt was riding at around our pace and likewise the Northend chap. We had a fast memorable descent into the village from this junction. I just had to stop to take a picture as I wasn’t getting enough of the scenery. Next up was a drink stop at a garage shop that was getting a steady stream of cyclists. Allan tells theme there are around 600 to follow.

Phil and Gary are the two Sunlight riders here. Chris is inspecting his bike for another chain problem. He suffered a DNF on the Cheshire Cycleway ride with a snapped chain.

One the next stretch is a steady climb that eventually ends at Carno. I get talking to a chap on an old Peugot. He’s a runner and is doing the event on his own as the chap that put him up to it didn’t turn up. His entry cost more than his £12 bike. Going well for a first timer, really well. There was also a Mountain biker at the start who had never ridden more than 50 miles, I don’t know how he fared.

DSCF3192.jpgDSCF3193.jpgPeter certainly gets aroundDSCF3196.jpgDSCF3198.jpgDSCF3200.jpgDSCF3201.jpgDSCF3203.jpg

There’s that guy in the Gan top again. Any of the Sunlight care to name the chap on the Mountainbike?. Final control before the Bwlch y Groes was just timed right  with a chance to catch up with other riders.

After the control we are heading out to the main event of the day, part of cyclings folklore the climb of the Bwlch y Groes.  You know what they say about women and Maps, it isn’t true. On the turn that takes us to the right of the valley is a women calling the Macclesfield Wheelers (some of them) back down the hill. The Garmin has been calling the turns to great effect, faultlessly in fact. It’s a really nice stretch of the ride. I’m taking it easy as I don’t know what to expect all I know its 1000 ft straight up.

The ride up to the start of the Blych y GroesAllan and ChrisJust before the start of the climbZooming in at the start of the climb

Allan and Chris had gone gone on before me as they were descending quicker today and I wanted to get the pictures. You ride through the trees up a 25% gradient to a turn where it all starts. This turn was programmed in to the Garmin as XXXX and sure enough it bleeps and I know I’m in for a hard time.

At the start it isn’t too bad at 10% and I get to take the next picture on the climb!

On bike shot of the Blych y Groes You still don’t know what is before you from this picture but once your around the next bend you will be stunned by what you see. A climb that just goes on and on getting steeper towards the top.

There are Sunday leisure drivers going up and down the hill which spoils the climb for a few riders as once you stop it is nigh on impossible to restart on a steep gradient.  Two cars slowly passing each other nearly spoil it for me and a chap whose wheel I am on but an urgent call to  ******* move from him sees them pass but it was incredibly close.

I come up upon Allan walking and ask if he is OK, he is but has been baulked by two cars passing. It takes the shine off the climb for him but it was 20% plus where he was forced to step off. I’ve only got one speed when it comes to climbing and this climb has me maxed out. My heartrate is 170 bpm plus and the climb is about to get steeper. Reaching the Armco is a goal in itself and I don’t want to be a repeat of last year. A girl stops too and I say ” I’m not walking not this far up” and she is of the same mind. We have done most of the climb but the kick up in gradient is just too much. Once the heartrate comes down to something normal I set off again. I used it as an opportunity to take some pictures. Clipping in on a 20-25% gradient can only be done if you ride across the road. The trouble is it’s only 10-12ft wide at this point and there is the risk of a fall if it doesn’t come off.

\Made it this far!But there is still this to climb!Chris on the BlychChap I passed further down the climb

Well the move comes off and I’m back on my way. The cleat went straight into the Keo,s. I get up to where there is a chap cheering everybody on at the steepest part of the climb. On the bend after I am forced to stop again, 180 BPM and it’s probably wise to stop for a minute than blow up totally. I’m within sight of the summit and was offered a restart from a chap who was on the bend watching us all struggle. I said I was ok and managed to  get in the clip again. Not as smooth as last time but I was in.

The final section had me hitting a max for the day of 183 BPM, this is as hard as it gets and there are a group of riders at the top watching the other come up the climb. You do feel you have accomplished something when you get to the top.

Andy sent some pictures of me on the climb that I’m going to cherish for a long time, thanks Andy.

\DSCF3214.jpgDSCF3215.jpgThe Northend at the summit of the BlychDSCF3217.jpg

\P1000525.JPGP1000526.JPGMoi at the top of the Blych y Groes

It was the highlight of the ride and you want to stop just to see what you have done.
The whole day has been a fantastic experience and it’s not over yet. There is a descent to do and then the final climb of the Hirnant. At the bottom there is a sharp uphill section that registered 31% on the Edge but it soon fell back and although it is a higher altitude than the Bwlch y Groes it didn’t feel like it at all. Maybe it’s because the gradient tapers off towards the top.

\It’s all downhill back to the finish which is just as well as your done with climbing hills. Heading towards the sports centre the Edge give one last bleep “Route complete” and that was it ride over. Handing your card in for signing off your rewarded with a hefty lumps of slate with Wild Wales Challenge 2007 on it, I don’t think it’s going to be my last.

 Peter makes it back to the finishDSCF3219.jpg

The weather has been kind and made for a memorable ride for all the right reasons. It’s a credit to the CTC and the Merseyside DA. Just remember to get your entry in early to get a ride.

Link to Google Map of Ride opens in new window.

Link to MotionBased map player includes all the ride data. Scary stuff.


The Edge has me Burning 7000 calories on the ride and I was a kilo lighter the next day. 88.6 miles 10,300ft of climbing. One of the highlights of the year. I thought I had a good year last year but this is proving to be even better.

31Aug07 Links repaired to ride map and Motionbased player

Wild Wales Challenge Route

I’ve got my entry back for the Wild Wales and this is a link to the ride route that is going into the Edge.


I’ve only used 42 points so far and I’ll be adding some more over the next couple of days. At present I will be doing it as a Route and not a course. I don’t really want to spend the whole ride looking down at the map to see if I’m still on course.
I’m quite surprised that you can do a 90 mile ride on 42 points. The start of the Bylch y Groes gets a XXXX waypoint all of its own.

I’ve a feeling this is going to be a popular post so if your looking to program the route into your Edge for the first time you need to download and save the GPX file from the link.

You then need to export it to your Garmin with GPSBabel. Use the Tutorial for the settings but clear out (delete) any waypoints and Routes first.
I learnt about this event when I joined the CTC last year and this is my first opportunity to ride it. Everyone thats ridden it says how tough it is. The Tour of The Berwys Audax covered parts of the route around Bala so I’ve an idea what I’m letting myself in for.

24 Aug 07  IMPORTANT  22:15 I’ve added more waypoints to the route. Quite a few have picked up the first draft which I think is rideable. The extra points are there for confirmation mainly. Latest  route has 72 points.

25 Aug 07 19:45 The FINAL route has been uploaded to Marengo with 79 waypoints.  If your going to update your Edge  delete ALL the waypoints first and then delete the Route WW07 . If you overwrite your existing gpx file you wont have to alter your GPSBabel settings.

Northend ride to Llangollen

I felt good riding out to the Eureka for breakfast and it had the making of a fine day. It was a toss up between going out with the CTC or go out with the Northend. Most are agreed that I need to be going out with a faster group.

I talked to Dave who was on a borrowed bike. He had a coming together with his wife and his Colnago is broken with a snapped seatstay. Expensive.

I also bumped into Graham who has commented on here before I went out with the Northend.

It was a bit stung out at the start with two groups going down Woodbank. With two rides to choose from I opt to go with Peter on what turns out to be the hilly ride. It’s a bit quicker pace than the other group and there are 6 of us in it.

What Peter doesn’t know about rides in Wales isn’t worth knowing. It was a decent run into Wales through Ewloe and Buckley. Once past  Pen-y-Stryt things start to get rather scenic and steep. One of the group leaves for Llandegla. There has been a fair bit of climbing so far but once you reach the top the views are stunning.

The scenery is a feature of this ride. If you like Welsh hills and countryside this is a good ride within reach of the NorthWest.

DSCF3115.jpgThe Northend.jpgMoi and the Northend.jpgOur Ride.jpg

Double click on the thumbnails to enlarge.

The views are stunning around here, from here it drops down to the River Dee. Part of this descent was down a dark lane of overhanging trees. It was here the sunglasses meant slowing down as I couldn’t see the road surface properly. We follow the road down into Llangollen where we find the Cafe we are scheduled to stop at closed on Wednesday.  We relocate to a Cafe opposite the toilet block by the carpark. It wasn’t too bad a stop, beans on toast for me  and the we get our water bottles filled. Not a bad little place, it can’t take big numbers mind you but we’ve been to worse.

Once we had left we stopped at a shop we a name about 80 letters long in Welsh.
Dave, who is American by the way gets a transalation by a Welshman whose name I have forgoten. It was an amusing translation. Ok we’ve rested but the next stretch is hard with a capital H. First off is the climb after the bridge. This is steep right from the off but worse is to come. It’s all in the route profile but there are sections of this climb that are between 20-34% and that is steep. I’m sure I saw 37% flash up and that is a new high for me. This is granny ring stuff and you must have a fit granny.

One of a pair of large walkers asks me for lift up a steep bit, not a chance. Once past the farm Queen Victoria stayed at it is the up to the ford.

We stop for a blow at the ford, a few cars go past along with a few 4X4’s full of kids. Everyone tells me how steep the next section is so I take my sunglasses off. I want to see this for real. Not wanting to get the Carbon Fibre Nike’s wet I opt to ride across the ford. Well I was second across and nearly ended up on my arse. The rear wheel was spinning  out on the algae or moss. this was scary stuff as the others looked on. And then it was on to the climb, not too bad at first but then it steepens up. Through the trees it gets steep and a half, the two Daves pass me on this stretch.

The next bit is a bit surreal. This is nearly as steep as it gets and we are going up it. Then Victor Meldrew comes up behind us in his poxy Ford Fiesta tooting his horn. This chap gives pensioners a bad name and should have his license taken away, whats more he shakes his fist at us as he drives past Dave. An absolute moron. Only to get baulked by young David. Hope his wife is deaf as he got from two of us.

If your a ride write up reader lots goes on in these rides that doesn’t get written up. We are after all spending many hours with each other. Just getting to the Ford was steep enough and the section after that was really steep. It’s a rolling section to Minera with a steep downhill section.

We stop to regroup at the Minera junction, chat about the climb and chill out.  A mountain biker comes down the slope at 30 plus and piles straight through the junction with five of us looking on. No Fear. Either that or he sussed out the road was clear from up above.

The next section is to Cefn-y-bedd and it eventually crosses  the A55 at Dobshill with the eventual climb up to Harwarden. The next section see,s the group split, traffic is a bit a busy and various riders loose sight of each other.

Well I’m on my own again this time for at least the third time. The route back is much the same. Once back at the cafe I bump into Andrew who has downloaded the Wild Wales Route. There are a few out there that have already downloaded the Wild Wales Route. I may be adding a few points in the next few days but I think they will only be confirmation points. Just to confirm your on the right route on some of the tricky sections.By all accounts there are a lot of people out there that haven’t got entries that will be riding anyway.

At the end of the ride in the run into the Eureka Ray comes up to my back wheel and says “Carbon Shoes?” and scares the shit out of me as I didn’t know he was there. First time I have seen his new toy, a Trek Madone 5.9 SL. It looks the part in black. I’ve picked up a lot from Ray over the last year and I would class him as a mentor  in my recent cycling life. The route planning I owe to him. The understanding about Basal Metabolic Rate and a whole host of other Lifestyle enhancing techniques and functions I owe to Ray.

Pacing yourself on a ride such as an Audax, I’m still learning this off Ray. I’m sorry but you can’t pick up the gems that I have learn’t over the last year by riding with a group or club such as the North End. The pace of the racing based clubs is just too fast for newcomers to pick up in a few rides. It has been a great experience riding with the CTC for the last year and the rides have been the best I’ve done or likely to do.

For God,s sake don’t get some perceived perceptions about the CTC from reading the likes of this site. It is an organisation full of helpfull, selfless people. Some you could call quirky but a jolly good bunch in all. If your wondering where you are in the scheme of things the CTC ride at about 13 mph average  on the flat.  Club riders are about 17 mph plus. You’ll get a lot more help should you encounter a problem from the CTC than you would from any club, this particually goes for women.  Should you be able to keep up with the pace.

Racing biased clubs are not female friendly at all, it’s quite a step for first timers to do a CTC ride when they don’t realise quite what they have let themselves in for. There is a social/networking side to the CTC that the racing clubs just can’t capture. 

Back home to a session on the scales which has me at 81.6 Kg a new low. I’ve a Lifestyle and Weight Management Followup class to attend.

Throughout the ride the two Daves are sprinting for village signs with old Dave getting beaten on all but one I gather. He is hampered !!! on a loaned Carbon Fibre bike with full Dura-ace. Every time he gets beaten on a climb its because he has 39 x 21 on the cassette. If it’s not the cassette it’s young Davids weight. Wild claims of 60 Kg including the bike get bandied about. All in good fun. Age might have something to do with it too. David is waiting for GCSE results.

Link to Google Map of Ride

Link to MotionBased Player of Ride

MotionBased gives you my data for the rides. If you download the course (crs) you will be competing against me. The elevation metrics are real. On the climb up to the ford I can see my heartrate as 101%  and anything more than 80% is in the hilly territory. Don’t forget my metrics are for a 48 year old bloke who is relatively new to all this. A couple of time trials and the TLI events dosn’t  make me a racer.
For me to see 101% effort means it was a tough climb.

I’m now trying to make these ride write ups as appealing as I can to a broad cross section of internet browsers.  Given that I started from such a low level, I’m really pleased how things have come on. I’m under no illussions that I have reached the top of the tree because although it might be a personal best for me it might be someone elses off day.

With around a 100 people a day visiting the site through various Google searches I do feel motivated to keep up what I am doing. That’s 3,000 a month, 36,000 a year that have come across my recent story. It is powerfull life changing stuff.

I’ve been called Mr Motivator by two separate individuals in the last week and I did wonder what it was all about. The first was from one of the girls a the spinning classes about the calories I had burnt and the site, the second was at the Lifestyle and weight management followup class. Basically I keep going back to the followup classes once a month even though my programme has finished to keep me on track.
If I don’t go back once a month I’d be a medical statistic rather than someone who has turned his life around.

Covered a fair bit in this post which started out as a North End ride. I’ve been doing this for a year and 99.9 % has been positive.  For me it is a form of online diary, if your name makes the pages I’m not going to forget it. One of the most enlightening things is how much this has increased the circle of people I know and more so people that know me but I haven’t met yet.

Ok, enough rambling, it’s the Wild Wales on Sunday. Guaranteed to give me a challenge. Haven’t got anyone to ride with yet but sure to hook up with someone.

Weekending 26 Aug 07 Wild Wales Week !!!

Monday:  Car failed it MOT on brake pad thickness  so that was the rest of the day taken up. While it was getting MOT’d I walked to Europa Pools to book a few classes. The failure meant not going to see The Bourne Ultimatum. Anyway I turned up an hour too early for the class again so went in the gym. 700 calories later I came out and started the spinning class. Gym session was 30 min Crosstrainer, 2 km rowing with the last 250m at full tilt this had me out of breath for once and looking at the HRM I can see why. 186 BPM.  Scary stuff for a guy who is trying to find the limit. Weights when they guys stopped using the machines as chairs between sets.
Sheilagh hurt herself in a step class when a pupil stepped into her and has been off since. One of the girls has organised a collection and we raised £30 for a card, wine and some holiday money.
Louise,s class was highlighted by her sister taking a mobile phone call while on the bike. Three points and a £60 fine.
This was a 600 calorie class, two lads from the Oval had made it back after a 3 month break  but other than that it was much the same as usual.
160 BPM  seems like coasting  after 186 BPM upstairs. Louise must have thought it was my birthday as I got the fan Twice.  There was some debate over the sprint at the end of the class. Hanni has suggesting various routines  after last week. I suggest give us your worst. There is a compromise. 8 sets of 8 followed by four minutes sprinting/spinning it’s a good mix.
1400 calories worth, it’s been a good start to the week. Throughout the class I’ve been in climbing mode for Sunday.
Tuesday: Went to see Bourne Ultimatim just watching it was a workout in itself. The pulse was up for long stretches of the film.
I’d booked two classes at Europa pools and was on the reserve list for both. On the first class  a bike failed and Louise had to give her bike up. Her face was a picture as she tried to do the class without a bike. Hot class and I went through a bottle of water. 600 calories for the first class and it was tough. Dasa gives up her bike to Louise. The girl next to me has seen the site and is interested in the number of calories burnt.
Now for the second class I wasn’t looking to do anything like the first. Just survive. At the end of the class the calorie count is 1200 calories.
600 for each class virtually down to the calorie.
It all start to make sense when I think about it. I went at my normal pace for both classes and both classes were pretty much the same. It figures that my enery expenditure will be pretty much the same too.

Liddl had Heart Rate Monitors for £9.99 on Monday that counted calories. You don’t have to have expensive kit to find out what your burning on a session.
Wednesday: Ride day. Last ride before the Wild Wales. Am I up for it, you bet.
Had a great day out with the North End, ride write up above.
Life style and Weight Management followup class. Five attended which is a lot lower than last month. No women turned up but it is the summer holidays. Next class September 18th
Thursday: Work, rest day. NO Exercise
Friday: Work again, but 10 chinups on a convienient bar.
Saturday: Gentle ride to the Eureka AM planned, see Jack and then prep the bike for Sundays Event.

The Times, Dr Copperfield, Inside the mind of a GP.

 I take “The Times ” as they say  and read the Body and Soul section on a Saturday.
The inside the mind of a GP articles get read now and again but this one really struck home about your visit to the quacks.


This one touched a lot of nerves in me partly because I see so much of the article in me. Maybe its because The Lifestyle and Weight Management Course run by Wirral Area Health Authority has been able to turn me around.  The only way to get on it is a referal from your GP or practice nurse.

Now nobody goes to their GP because they are overweight. Men don’t want to go fullstop. I only went because work had discovered I had high blood pressure. Once trapped in the system they start treating the symtoms. High blood pressure, high cholesterol and a lot of the other ailments of obesity they can prescribe a pill for.

Now throughout my visits to the GP and the nurse everybody was incredibly nice to me. The real cause of my visits wasn’t being addressed but skirted around mainly my morbid obesity. Maybe the Dr House bedside manner would be more effective on someone like me. If I’d been blunty told diet or die early from a long list of obesity related illnesses I wouldn’t have waited 15 months to do something about it.

I’d had the diet sheet off the nurse like the article but it didn’t do me much good. Like the article says there is no pill for a lifestyle change, that has to come from within.

Comments wellcome on this post. 

Weekending 19 Aug 07

Monday: Gym followed by Louise,s spinning class at Europa pools. I’d turned up an hour too early so had a go of most thing in the gym. 650 calories and a max of 175 BPM. I was double dared to do two classes on Tuesday by Hanni.
Tuesday:Back down to 82 Kg for those that follow my weight. It drifts a kilo or maybe two but never three. I took Hanni up on the offer but it was not to be I had to give the bike up in the first class. I’d already been in the gym so it was back up there. Half an hour on the crosstrainer (400 cals but the machine calorie counters overcount), weights and 5 minutes rowing @2.05minutes  for 500 metres (1250 metres worth) and finally Louise,s spinning class. 635 Calories worth. Another first timer next to me. I told her twice about the level one setting and about the importance of it when you come out of the saddle.
It doesn’t sink in as she comes out the peddle twice. 50/50 on this girl doing a second class.
I think it would be easier if first timers were set on level 1 and told not to touch the resistance setting for the entire class. Even if it means the likes of Louise setting Level 1 for them at least they would know what the basic resistance setting is.
Week in week out I see first timers backing off  the resistance level and not getting it back.  Over a year on  the drop out rate is still concerning me.
Wednesday: Work. Booked into Europa Pools for another spinning class.
Saraha,s class 500 calories burnt.  Finished with 8 sets of 8 TWICE to Darude.
Different music had us all guessing. Bikes put away in record time by everyone too.
Thursday: Work and a long day at that. No spinning, no gym and it rained. New laptop to write the blog on but I still feel I’ve missed something.
Friday: Work followed by Barbara,s class at West Kirby. Awkward place to get to from Speke. Can’t make Europa Pools for 5.30. Tough class if you want it so. 660 calories in an hour including the stretching. High was 179 BPM which was on a sprint. I was getting bored with the sprint (seated) so cranked in some resistance and came out the saddle like you were going for the line. With the added resistance  it felt like sprinting rather than spinning like a banshee. You may have gathered I’m in Wild Wales mode these. Got to batter the climbs in the class before the real climbs in Wales batter me. Thanked Catharine for her comment, shower. Fish and chips from Marigold fisheries, not as good as it’s been in the past.  This was a treat but felt a little flat. Discovered Tesco Value Malt Loaf @ 20p might be the thing for me. I really like Soreen Malt Loaf  but I might be transfering my loyalty to this product once it passes the taste test.
Saturday: Work, nothing planned. Ten chinups on a convienient bar, another younger (well younger)work colleague could only manage five. Still got problems with the new laptop late into the night. I’m writing this update on it but not wirelessly. Can’t beleive how many hours  I’ve put into this already. PAUL I’m stuck !!!!!.
Sunday: No mega rides as it is a jack  day. Might get an early morning Wirral loop in.  Nothing today, a visit  to the grandson and some pretty foul weather  means I don’t ride. An MOT on the motor means I need  two new tyres. Costco beckons but on the way home I see  Roy and Joan and I think I see Cliff. It  means I have missed a ride that a year ago might have been beyond me. It was to have been Ruthin but it would have been a hard slog on a day like today.

NorthEnd ride to Ice Cream Farm plus my Wirral Loop

After yesterdays ride I was looking for something easier today. Luckily the weather took a turn for the worse and a trip to the Ice Cream Farm it was. It started to rain on the way out and this probably finalised the ride.

Not much fun riding on a wheel in the rain, even less if they don’t have guards. My problem is the Iceni still has poor brakes in the wet. Old pads off the Trek don’t have the same feel as they do on the Trek. They are better than they were but as the Iceni comes out for wet rides I better get it sorted.

The Discovery Channel Windshell came out as did the Altura overtrousers. Both did OK and I was looking overdressed compared to some. Scone with jam and a cup of tea at the Ice Cream farm. I haven’t done enough for anything more.

On the way back to the Eureka I see Roy and Joan on their way out. On our way out one chap suffered two punctures and another chap noticed his bars had a crack in them. It’s ten past one and we are back in the Eureka, it’s packed and then they all disappear. Our watering hole is their destination.

It’s time to do another ride, a solo one this time. The route is Puddington, Burton, Burton Marsh, Ness, Parkgate and up to Heswall. Once out of Heswall it is the cyclepath to Thurstaton. I take it as I just don’t want the hassle with motorists today. I have a stop at West Kirby and resist an Ice cream. The queue was too long.

Next up is Hoylake and the wind is behind me. It’s nice and quiet here and I take a picture on the move.


Further on I take a picture on the sea defences as it is totally deserted. I should have took another panoramic shot as it looks really good out here. The rain of the morning is forgoten, I’m in leisure mode now. I don’t need to hold a wheel or maintain an average. This feels good.

New Brighton is busy and it is a fairly straight forward run to Seacombe Ferry. Lane disipline on the cycle path is an alien concept to most. There is a closure speed of 30mph and still they don’t realise they are on the wrong side of the path. One lad with his parents is in a world of his own and it takes two warnings and I still don’t think he knew I was approaching.

The other day I saw a cycle hire opperation at Seacombe and wonder where it is today as this would have been another good day for them. Further on at Woodside the tram is being put away. One of the most underused attractions on the Wirral.
Tea and an apple at Woodside with views over the Mersey to Liverpools new skyline.

Back to the top of Resthill and the rides over. 82 miles. It’s been a good week with four decent rides. Work looms but there is the Wild Wales to look forward to. I’ve got the route and my number and it’s going to get programmed into the Garmin Edge 305.

Link to Google map of Ride

NorthEnd ride to Corwen

Saturdays ride to Corwen was another oportunity for the NorthEnd to give me another pasting in Wales. We spent a lot of Sunday talking about it.
It followed last weeks route up to the lights at Northop where we turned left and went up the hill.

I forgot to press start on the Garmin so lost the ride untill Oakenholt and Papermill lane. We join the Mold-Ruthin road at Cadole. This week we are going down the Blwch towards Ruthin. Before that it’s a slog up to the start of the descent.

Dave manages to loose his reading glasses case which promptly get run over. The glasses were OK funnily enough. I think a mobile went down the road too. I’d used up most of my drink on this section of the ride and was hoping to replenish it at Corwen. Peter and I were sweating on the climbs and I had only took one bottle.

We sailed past the turn for Corwen and started on the old road to Llangollen that I had ridden with Ray in “A tour of the Berwyns Audax “. It turns off and heads over to the Nant Y Garth road or so Tempo thought.

The climbs were steep but a wrong turning had us going up one the was Haute Catagory. I was in 30×27 and really struggling. The Garmin said 14% but I was travelling that slow it wasn’t updating quick enough. I’d say it was 25% and I am on the limit. The others have gone but it regroups at a Tee junction. Here the group splits and half ride up the hill while Tempo and others go downhill Heading towards Llanarmon yn Lall.

We stop at the shop but even this was rushed, I had a small bottle of water and two bannana,s and we were off again. Heading back towards Mold it’s a fast ride to Loggerheads with some sprinting at roadsigns. On the climb out of Loggerheads I get dropped and they are not waiting this week. This ended up being a good thing as I was able to break off and get some liquid in me.

I ended up going to Aldi to buy a litre of Orange juice. Here in the queue for the till a little girl says “Nice Shoes”  as her dad explains what cleats are for. They see I only have one Item and let me in front of them. Half a litre of orange juice later I am back doing my own thing. Trying a route out of Mold that didn’t get anywhere.

At the top of Ewloe one of the second group has punctured so I join them for the ride back to the Eureka. Straight Down Ewloe Hill at 30mph and then through Garden City. Up Woodbank and back to the Cafe. Here Andy stops me and we talk about the Edge 305. He has one but hasn’t got around to routes yet but has been on the site.

He is riding a 12 hour race today so good luck. He has found USB chargers in Poundland, so I’m off there to get some. A quid, you can’t buy the batteries for that. Great weather for a beast of a ride, stunning scenery but no pictures.

90 Hard Miles but worth it.

Link to Google Map of Ride

Discovery Channel Steve Cummings Training Ride 4

I thought I’d do another one of these as I’m off on holiday, the weather looked superb in the morning. As it turned out it was not a sub four hour ride as it has been tweeked a bit. A loop to the Ice cream Farm has been added as it is around lunch time. I also do a loop down to the marsh at Ness which include a climb up Denhall Lane.

The loop out to Delamere was into a headwind which was noticable down Oilsites Road. It’s always a test going straight up Primrose Lane as this climb is the steepest on the ride. With sunglasses on going down Dark Arc is scary stuff, the surface is bad in parts and you can’t see much under the trees a 30 mph. You need 30 mph to get to the rail bridge up the hill the other side.

Once at the Station Cafe it was a piece of Chocolate cake with a cherry filling and a pot of tea outside in the sun. The cakes are superb at the Station Cafe, everyone else seems to be having allday breakfasts.

The cake looked that good that a woman and her friend  commented on it and how many miles you’d have to do to burn it off. I’ve just ridden 24.8 for it. What has been remarkable is how little traffic there is.


After Cotebrook I decide to take a few pictures of the Mill Pond, just before Oulton Park. It’s another track day and it sounds fast.

Beech Lane Panorama.jpg

Dave has spliced the pictures into this panorama which comes out really well. Thanks Dave.

Next stop is the detour to the Ice Cream Farm, I really like it around Beeston. The roads are quiet the surface isn’t bad along with some of cheshires finest it is a nice place to ride.

Mexican Chicken Bagguette at the Ice Cream Farm, I’d have thought it would have been busier seeing as it is the summer holidays but there was a steady stream going into the ice cream parlour. The Crocky Trail looks busy though.

Next stop is the Eureka after putting in a slight mod to the original Cycling Weekly route. The A5117 roadworks mean a few mods.

Kev and a few of the boys are there from a year ago. Kev mentions the picture I took of them crossing the canal bridge at Chester  to Bill?.  Kev has it as his wallpaper now. I don’t blame him, it was a good shot I don’t have any of me that good.

Puddington, Burton, Denhall Lane then a stop at Ness Gardens. I’m not looking to break records on these solo rides but just have a good time. I had toyed with the idea of an Ice Cream at Parkgate but it soon passed and it was back to the climb up to the Chester High Road.

The next section is the homeward leg and it was all going fine untill this. 270 cows wanting milking.


This slowed down the average speed for the leg a lot. It seemed like an age following the cows but it was still a great day out.

Finished off with Sarah,s spinning class at Europa Pools.
I ended up loosing a Kg of weight on this ride even with the Cocolate Cake at Dela mere Station Cafe.

Strange how thing change in a couple of hours, a couple of the NorthEnd went the Ice Cream Farm later on and it was heaving.

Link to Google Map of Ride


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