Nike Lance II Discovery Shoe

The whole of the retail cycling shopping world seems to be against stocking stuff like this so when Mr Butler knocks £60 off the price I thought I would give them a go.
As it’s Discovery Channels last year of sponsor ship the stuff isn’t going to be around too long and with Lance off the bike the link is getting a little stretched.

I can see why women have an obsession about designer shoes like Jimmy Choo,s or Manolo,s after wearing these for a ride. They look a million dollars in my eyes and once you see them peddaling away it becomes quite hypnotic.

I’ve been riding around in a low end Shimmano road shoe that cost between £40-60 depending on where you buy. I’ve spent the last year on them riding a couple of thousand miles through thick and thin and hadn’t really given them much thought.

These normally retail for £160 so I thought £100 was a bargain, I still think £100 is a lot for a pair of shoes by the way and someone has to pay for all those Sidi ads on Eurosport.

My initial reaction was one of mild dissapointment when I put them on the scales (everything gets weighed these days). 2g heavier than the Shimmano shoes. This is despite having a carbon fibre sole with the stickers telling you as much. The fit is close, but not tight. It is a more narrower fit than the Shimmano shoe.

Anyway  the proof of the pudding is in the eating. Yesterday was a superb morning for a ride and an excellent opportunity to baptise the shoes. The thing that struck me immeadiatley was that once clipped in to the Keo,s was that you don’t realise your clipped in. There is no sensation of a pedal being under your foot.

The load is spread across all of the shoe and you are unaware of the contact point. You peddal and thats it, it’s just a circular motion. Even when climbing out of the saddle you are not aware of the peddal. This gives rise to that hypnotic feeling that I mentioned before, you see your input but don’t feel it ,all you see is your feet turning over.

You hear the term “Dancing on the peddals” well now I know what they mean, you could dance up the hills on these and not know it. I was really, really impressed by how these shoes felt and performed. They look good too. There is no way you could try these on in a shop and relate to how it feels when your out on the bike.

You’ve only three contact points on a bike and it now looks like I have all three sorted.


Update: I get dropped on a Northend ride as I wasn’t carrying enough liquid. That and they tend not to stop. I ended up calling in Aldi in Mold for a Litre of fresh Orange juice. As I’m clip clopping around the store to the checkout a little girl with her parents says “Nice shoes”. The bonus was I get let in in front of their trolley load of stuff. Makes my day after loosing touch with the others.


Testing Thumbnail Images


The look of the site is about to change now I’ve worked out how to post thumbnails. This should improve the downloading speed of the page. Thanks Paul for the tutorial and the site mods.  I’ve been meaning to change the page for a long time, the green is the new Discovery Channel colour which I quite like, the blue border is a Trek Madone colour so thats going to stay. I’ve finally got around to changing the wheel to a picture of me doing the Steve Cummings training ride.
Pictures will be 1024X768 so will be fullscreen when clicked a couple of times. It just means the blog will be quicker to load for those still on dialup.

Oat Cluster Comparison (Quaker Oats, Tesco, Lidl, Jordans Superfoods)

Thought I would post a comparison on Oat Clusters. I have these most days topped off with at least three types of fruit or berries. The only time I won’t have this breakfast is when I ride out to the Eureka Cafe for Franks Breakfast. The Tesco and Lidl (Goody) brands are called Strawberry Crisp as they contain freeze dried strawberries, the Quaker Oat Granola contains Raisins instead. There is nothing taste wise between the Tesco and Goody strawberry crisp, I would swear they were the same thing until I saw the nutrition information.

I’ll list the nutrition information first as thats what I now first look at when I pick the packet up. All figures are for 100g and off the packets.

        Quaker Oat Granola      Tesco Strawberry Crisp    Goody (Lidl)Strawberry Crisp    Jordans Superfood
Energy       411 kcal                   405 kcal                              436 kcal                  415 kcal
Protein       8.6g                       10.2g                                    6.7g                    9.0g
Carb           73g                       66.2g                                   68.8g                  64.7g
Fat            8.8g                       10.5g                                   14.9g                  13.4g
Fibre          5.2g                       10.2g                                    4.9g                    8.6g
Salt           trace                        0.2g                                   0.01g                    trace

Cost       £1.99                        £1.58                                   £1.29                 £3.68 !!!

On the Tesco box it also breaks the information down into a 50g serving with the three different types of milk. The Quaker Oats Granola 50g serving doesn’t contain any calorie or fat information regarding it being served with milk. The Quaker Oat Granola box does say it has typically 50% less fat than other similar products  and from the figures I would tend to agree with them.

I’ve only weighed the portion I pour into the bowl once and it came out at 60g. As the plan I am following is portion based thats what I did, I weighed what looked like a portion.

From the above figures it looks like you get what you pay for on the more is less scale. I wouldn’t rule the Goody Strawberry Crisp out in future just because it has a relativly high fat content, it had a better texture than the other two as the cluster size was bigger. For some the 80p saving may swing it, and even with 10g of fat in a normal portion it probably a hell of a lot better than what most people eat.

I’ll leave it at that unless somebody wants a list of ingredients. There is not that much to choose between any of the products, the costs mount up when you are trying to use out of season fruit and berries. 

I’ve recently tried Jordans Superfoods Granola. It is Oat based but also contains dried Blueberries, Cranberries, Almonds and Pumpkin seeds. 415 cals per 100g and 13.4 grams of fat put it around the Goody (Lidl) Granola. The problem is although it’s a good product it’s very expensive.

I’ve bought some from Tesco,s but it was £1.84 on a half price offer. With a full price of £3.68 this just isn’t going to sell.

Whatever Oat Granola I have these days I put at least three berries or fruits on top of it. Fresh berries are expensive and their fridge life is about three days. I can’t  see myself buying this product at full price, at half price it is lined up with the Quaker Oat Granola. I still prefer the Quaker Oat Granola with the fresh berries rather than freeze dried versions.  Superfoods might be the latest buzzword healthy eating wise but I can’t see the need for a 100% premium for it. A bag of pumpkin seeds doesn’t cost a lot and would go a long way if you added it to one of the other granola,s.

I’ll post this link about the cholesterol lowering effects of oats as mine is now down to 3.4 without any medication.

Weekending 12 Aug 07

Monday: Couldn’t get a spinning class at Europa Pools but managed to get a space in Barbara,s class at West Kirby. Had half an hour in the gym beforehand doing a few weights. Rowing and the Arm pedaling contraption for 6 minutes @ level 6.
It was a full class and then another two came in. These days I don’t waste any time turning the legs over waiting for the class to start. I need to increase my pace if I’m not to get dropped by the North End.
So flat out it was, 836 calories worth with a Maximum Heart Rate of 185 BPM. 55 minutes worth of on the limit spinning. First class of the week, what with the rides at the weekend it promises to be a fruitfull week.
Tuesday: On the reserve list for Europa Pools spinning class, the early one.
Got to Europa Pools early to get a place as it was there were 3 bikes left when the class started. Went the gym beforehand to do a set of weights.
680 calories burnt which was a surprise as it was nothing like the previous nights class. Average pulse was 132 for an hour and five minutes.
Before that I’d done a couple of miles on the Toy with my new shoes on and the levers in there final position.
Wedneday: Ride day, got to do my own thing as I have a dental appointment in the afternoon. A Steve Cummings training ride might be a possibility If I set out early.
as it was I did a Wirral circular route of 48 miles. Good weather made for a good ride.
Spinning at Europa Pools also.
It was Sarah’s class tonight as Sheila is still on sick leave after doing her foot in on the step class. Was told I was the talk of the class on Louises second class. Take heart there are no bad classes, the classes are what you put into them. I measure what I put into a class. Just doing a class means you arn’t out there doing something that you normally shouldn’t be doing.
Anyway back to the class, it’s hot. A lot haven’t turned up as the rollcall still leaves 6 empty bikes. We are all thrown by Sarah,s routine, different music and a new style can throw anybody.
Sarah has already been contacted by the Luddites about the routine and she is only standing in for Sheila.
The whole point of a routine is to vary it, variety is the spice of life. Take Barbara,s classes. I can do one of these on autopilot. Barbara does a LOT of classes and if you only do one or two it feels like a tough workout. If you do five a week it doesn’t, I could do it so to speak. The music plays and you know what is coming up it’s got to the stage where I’m doing the routine to the tune.
Anyway back to Sarah,s class 500 calories but the whole thing is that it was a DIFFERENT routine. Forgot my towel which didn’t help. Had some news of  Steph from one of the other spinners on Tuesday, she,s in good form  and having the time of her life by the sound of things. Steph took classes at the Oval.
Thursday: Louise,s class at Europa pools just as it turns out  I hadn’t booked. Two new girls in the class and I’m next to them. This pair look like they are going to struggle as they haven’t a clue what they have let themselves in for. I was going to ask them which one put the other up to it. Before you all come down on me like a ton of bricks read the Spinning page. I spoke to the girl next to me twice about the level one setting as it hadn’t sunk in. She had turned the resistance out by about 6 turns so there was no way she could ever get it back. A quarter turn of nothing is still nothing.
The thing is one of them said to Louise that they found the class EASY!!! they did absolutley nothing !!!!!! ( exclamation marks are my least form of objection) . The girl next to me nearly came out the pedal as she had no resistance in. Louise came across but they still haven’t twigged it’s all about the resistance level. I say all this as I know we will never see the pair of them again.  As for the rest of the class we all know who is kidding and that is no one. I’m the only bloke again in the class but all of these girls give it a good go for 45 minutes.
660 calories by the time I had cleared a few bikes away, shower , home. Hi 164 BPM.
Friday:  Booked in for Sarah,s class and the prospect of a Steve Cummings training ride.
Steve Cummings training ride it was, weather was brilliant at the start but clouded over in the afternoon. 73 miles and four cafe stops. 16.2 mph average speed so not the fastest. Might as well write it up as I took a few pictures around Oulton Park
Sarah,s Class at Europa Pools 540 calories but I did have the fan on me for most of the class as there were only seven of us. Sarah offered to do a tougher class next week!!! but we declined as the classes are as tough as you make them.
Saturday: Out with the NorthEnd, we nearly made it to Corwen. Ride write up further up the page. 90 miles
Sunday: Ice cream farm with the NorthEnd and a Wirral Loop as we were back at the Eureka for 10 past 1. 82 miles. Grand Total for the week 295 miles.

NorthEnd ride to The IceCream Farm (with a RoadRace thrown in)

Not what I had in mind today as I had planned to do Cliffs CTC ride to Panorama which I was looking forward to. It was scheduled for a 9.30 start so I knew something was amiss when I was the only one there.

As it was the North End were going to watch the finish of the roadrace at Saighton so I tagged along with them.


As you can see it’s a fine day, this was one of the few times on a North End ride that it was possibble to take a picture. If I was with the CTC I could be off the front and still have time to get a decent frontal shot. Not a chance with these guys, it’s seen as a personal attack.  There is a big difference in riding style and pace. Club riding is the next step for me and it is a totally different level to the CTC rides I have been doing for the last year.

I’ll recap for those that don’t know me or what’s happened over the last year. A year ago I joined the CTC to ride with a group, before that I rode on my own as every Tom Dick and Harry used to pass me. This isn’t as bad as it seems I was out there learning the craft. If your as overweight as I was you need to do the basics first which is getting your basic level of fitness up. I’ll stop now as this needs a separate post of its own rather than a ride post. Riding on your own will give you the chance to get to know yourself possibly for the first time, a chance to explore a few limits and make a couple of mistakes out of everybodies eye.

Back to the ride, Tempo leads off and it is up to the rest to catch up. It’s a more disiplined approach and if you dawdle your not going to be on the ride.


Dave, I’ve got some pictures of the race finish if you want them.




With the race over with a mix up over the bell for the final lap it off to the Ice Cream Farm. There were a lot of what are now familiar faces at the Ice Cream Farm. I thought it would have been packed now the kids are on their summer holidays but it wasn’t so.
Seafood bagguette for me and a cold drink.
Really great weather for the ride back to the Eureka.
Not what I expected when I set off for the Eureka but another great day.

Link to MotionBased Player

Link to Google Map of ride

North End Ride to Denbigh

I might as well start at the begining, it was down Resthill and heading out on Route 56 when I got delayed by the cows going down the lane to another field. Spoke to what I guess to be the farmers wife about what time the cows get moved as they were herded into the field.

Out at the Eureka I’m early as I need to get breakfast. I tend not to have a breakfast before a ride out to the cafe. It’s the only time I forgo the Quaker Oat Granola I normally have.

I have no illusions about riding with the North End, I’m being tested to see which group I’ll be riding with. Dave who has commented on here is riding with us and he is racing tommorrow. Big Phill is also with us at least untill the top of Paper Mill Lane. Before that it was my ride across the new bridge and boy was it windy.

Paper Mill Lane is the first climb of the day. Andrew and moi are first up and this is where I have a little dig by going off the front. This was equivalent to lighting the blue touch paper and wakes everyone up. Everyone is out the saddle racing up to the junction.

I’ll fast forward to towards the end of the ride at Loggerheads. I’ve been dropped of the back on the descent from the top of the Bwlch to Loggerheads but on the climb at Cadole I start reeling the group in (they have reformed). Anyway having reeled them in I ride past them in the big ring to boot. There is a loud shout of “Oi !!!” which I laugh off. This really set the cat among the pidgeons and it’s a sprint to the top of the hill. This is where I am weak, the TLI Oulton Park Series proved that. I am at or near my limit on these rides so there is nothing in reserve when I spark off something like this.

Once over the top it was a 44mph ride down to Mold which is where I lost contact with the group as I got caught by a set of red lights and a pelican crossing.

Now back to the ride. Next up was Northop and the lights where a prat in a car decides to give us some verbal abuse. It must be a North End thing but I’m amazed what confidence a tin box gives some of these idiots.

The next bit is familiar as I rode it with Janet and Ray a few weeks ago. Same route up to the A55 and onto Halkyn. Around Pentre Halkyn the bottle cage on the Toy looses a screw while I am taking a drink so I have to stop.  The thing with riding with these guys is the pace, it’s fast, even for me. On some of the climbs I am maxed out at 178 BPM. This is just trying to stay with these guys, some of them aren’t even breaking into a sweat. It’s dripping off me.

It gets a bit lumpy around Tremeirchion but the scenery in this neck of the woods is fantastic. We have a run in to Denbigh and then it was a climb up and around the castle. It’s been heavy going up to now and the lunch stop is scheduled in for the Cafe by the river at Ruthin. Looks like beans on toast all round. The  problem in this neck of the woods is water or any form of liquid. I’ve emptied my bottle and it needs a refill.

After the Cafe stop at Ruthin there is only one way back today, straight up the Bwlch. I get shelled off the back on the run up to it and it is quite steep at around 10% on the hairpin bits. Then it is on to the main climb which I didn’t feel too bad on, this was because I’d reeled in Dave and passed him before the bend that leads up to the summit. It’s then a fast run down to Loggerheads where it gets strung out a bit.

Which is where we started, me passing the club captain on the climb before a 44mph run into Mold where I got stuck at the lights. I called in to see Keith at Eureka sports before meeting up with them back at the Eureka.

The ride home was through Puddington, Burton, Denhall Lane, Neston and Parkgate and back up RestHill for another great day out.

83 miles. 4700 ft of climbing 5200 calories burnt Avg speed 16mph with a max of 44mph.

Link to Google Map of Ride