Weekending 4 November 07

Monday: Spinning class at Europa pools when I can get through. Then home to try and configure the new broadband connection. Just squeezed into the class at West Kirby and logged it on the Forerunner 50. From the look of things I’m running at about 75 to 80% as I’ve picked up a cold. Once I’ve got enough data I’ll start overlaying data from various classes. Barbara,s classes should be easy as the music tracks are the same week in week out.
Then it was off to Europa Pools for the class I had originally booked. There were only 6 of us in this class but I was first reserve as it was down as full.  Sheila,s classes are the total opposite of Barbara,s  she is out to lookout  for her girls. Donny Osmond got a mention as she had been to see him. Just as well Donny doesn’t do anything to spin to.
As it was it was a relaxed class, I mentioned to everybody that  I had just done West Kirby and the reply  was that it couldn’t have been much good as I was fit enough to do another. The data I have says you take it easy in the second class, stands to reason you can’t do two of them at the same intensity.
Shower, home, and the new broadband connection to sort out. Oh and write it up while trying to watch Diehard 4. An interesting day.
Tuesday: Work. Maybe a class after work have to see how it goes.
Managed to get a class at West Kirby, someone must have upset Barbara as the class was changed and you wouldn’t get saddlesores in this class as we were never in it.
To confound it all I couldn’t get the Forerunner 50 to pair with the Garmin cheststrap I took as I now have two. I timed the class but had no data which was a shame as it would have been good to compare the classes especially with what happened later.
I’ve only had the new broadband connection a day and decided I needed to see what the Garmin Connect account was about. After messing around with the login password I managed to get the page up. There is already some data in it and looking at it, it was tonights class. This I initially found strange as I’m not wearing the watch, it’s still in the gym bag in the hall. The bluetooth USB stick had detected its presence and uploaded the data to the site, brilliant stuff. With the 705 due out soon it’s going to mean an automatic upload of data as soon as you walk in the room.
Just seen the Dave Llyod  mega challenge on July 2008. This sounds like an event I want to do on mt own at one stage. Never mind the official event it’s just a challlenging route to do maybe once in a lifetime.
Wednesday: Ride day. Maybe a trip out with the NorthEnd. The last two weeks have been a tad slow and I need to get back into it. I’m starting to think about next year now as this year is going to take some beating. L’Etape du Tour sounds like some thing worth a giving go. I’ve had a good time doing the Audaxes and they cost peanuts compared to the sportif events.
Rode out to the Eureka via the cash machine at Gayton roundabout and ended going to Utkinton Garden Centre. I’ve promised to post a link to the ride route and I’m in the process of doing it. 69 miles for me and a pleasant day out.

Link to Map of ride. opens in a new window.

Only took one photo one the ride and that was the North End fixing a puncure at the Cafe.

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The ride out was fine with Jack leading the ride. The only thing of note was my new backlight bouncing down the road. I managed to loose the clip in the process. The new Cateye EL530 fitted to the Toys Aero bar so the front was taken care of it turned dark.

Back to the Eureka as we were mustering outside for the ride there is a familiar Garmin bleep. I look around at mine as it should have been switched off and it was. The bleeps are coming from a chap in CSC gear with a 205 on the stem. Turns out he knows me from visiting the site. He then strikes up a conversation with “young” Sandra who is well chuffed with the compliment.

Fast forward back to the ride, before we got to the Cafe there was a section of road that had all the hedges cut, badly. The road was a mess, the NorthEnd opted to walk, I rode on picking the best line sure that 100 psi would see me through. Well I got to the next junction and waited and I did think about turning back but the Cafe was just up the road so I rode on knowing that first at the counter meant I was going to get fed first too.

Jacket potato with tuna mayo for me and it turns out Sandra has ordered the same. A bit later as we had finished the Chester Road Club with Ray turned up. Ray got ne started on the routplanning on Marrengo and although our paths have diversified we still meet up for the Audaxes.

More a bit later  I’m off to the spinning class.

Spining class tonight  was at West Kirby and I had a session in the gym before the class. Miles turned up for the class and then there were two of us that sweat buckets in these classes. He set a PB of 700 kcal in this class  according to his Polar Sx 725 HRM. I wouldn’t doubt it,

Thursday: Tried to get a new bracket for the Cateye rear light without much luck. Not riding today but will do a spinning class to get the recomended  half an hour in a day. 
Barbara,s spinning class at West Kirby. This is the fifth class this week. Water bottle got topped up before the class along with a few weights. Logged the class on the Forerunner 50 which had an average heartrate of 142 BPM. with 169 as a max.
I’ve done enough classes to know what is good for me. I don’t do seated climbs full stop in a spinning class. Barbara is calling out all these climbs in the seat and from what I can gather the rest of the class is dialing it in.
This is not what I want so I don’t do it. I’m not looking to bulk up and I would think  99% of the women aren’t either. Most of it is a question of tension. Why struggle to turn an impossible gear when if you were on a bike you would select a lower gear  full stop.

I spin up hills these days and apart from going out with the likes of the NorthEnd  where the pure climbers drop you it works pretty well.

Friday: Ride day.Decided to do a circular Wirral ride as the sun was out and I wanted to be back early. As it turned out I should have had a go at the Steve Cummings training ride again but it was a good day all the same.

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The forecast was good and it wasn’t a day for the Aldi Winter gear but there was enough wind to make me put on the Discovery Channel Windshell. Stopped at New Brighton to take pictures of the swans on the boating lake and again at the cycle path leading to Moreton. It was really quiet out, even the front at Seacombe was deserted. I’d booked a spinning class at Europa pools on the way out as this looked like it was going to be an easy day.
First stop was Morrisons in West Kirby for the Afternoon Tea for £1.99. Pot of tea, 1/2 an egg sandwich and a scone. This was 21 miles in and it was 11 o’clock. Most of the others seemed to be having full english breakfasts brought out. The car park chaos takes some beating and it was a good job I wasn’t in a rush to get out as the exit out of the shop is half blocked by a poppy stall and a firework stall. No messing around taking the flat route out of West Kirby these days it’s straight up the hill.
The benefit is going down the other side. Thurstaton cutting is the next climb and once past the Cottage Loaf I took the cycle path. Where it finishes by Mere Lane another rider in Discovery Channel kit passes me but he is on the other side of the road.
Next stop for a Gel and a bit of water is Parkgate. then it is up the road to Neston where I catch site of a rider in front. He gets passed before the Wheatsheaf and I push on a bit knowing he is having a good go. Our paths diverge at Denhall lane where I go down it for the first time.
There is a Bentley on the back of a lorry blocking the road at the bottom but I squeeze  by, once along the front it is the modest climb back up to Burton then along to Puddington. Next stop is the Eureka.
I end up spending 2 hours here talking to people I’ve bumped in to, American Dave is there telling us about his session on the track at the velodrome. The Sunlight all came down in their cars for some reason as November days don’t get much better than this. We talked about Dave Llyods ride in the summer, this looks to be the toughest thing in the UK 140 miles up the steepest climbs in North Wales. You could do a couple of these and say youve had a good ride but this has about 12 of them in.
It could become a classic.

On the way home I decide to give the missing Link another chance and it proves to be OK. Further on by Thorton Hough I come up upon Charlie and see him take avoiding action from a horse that takes fright and sidesteps across the road into his path. We ride together until our paths diverge  past Thornton Manor. The ride was 46 miles at my own pace, the headwind was a drag but I was just looking to have a good time on my own.
A bit less mileage than I had planned but I shouldn’t have spent so much time yapping but at least I had the spinning class to fall back on. I didn’t set any records in Sheila,s class, average heartrate was 130 bpm but the class wasn’t structured to break any records. The new Forerunner 50 doesn’t count calories like the Aldi HRM but it does log the whole class. I’ve moved on a bit from the calorie counting, now it’s about logging the spinning sessions. It would be wrong to compare instructors classes as they so different you may burn more calories in one than another but does it really matter at the end of the day? Another good day, I can’t ask for more than that.

Saturday: Work.
Sunday: Work.Not planning to do much. Maybe half an hour on the bike to try the lights out again. It’s just a question of the running time now I know what the LED colours mean. Two days riding for the week wasn’t too bad and I did get 6 spinning classes in as well as a set of weights.

Garmin City Select Map

Just bought a Garmin City Select V7 map off ebay for 99p plus £4 postage. The difference it makes over the Training Centre base map I’ll post when it arrives but anything is an improvement on the basemap.
All this is in preparation for the release of the Edge 705. The way things are going I’m going to want the power option on it too. That’s getting off the subject a little but there are cheap Garmin maps out there if you don’t need the latest version.
You can download Mapsource for free but it comes alive when you put a map into it.
Once you get anything other than the base map into the TrainingCentre it really opens up the package. The Course editor can actually be put to some use.

I don’t know how Garmin are going to cope with editing Courses but Mapsource doesn’t do Edge courses. You can have 13,000 points in a Course but only 100 waypoints in a Route. It is vitally important that you know the difference between the two as it can alter your whole perception of what an Edge can do.

5 November checked with the seller that it was in the post which he assured me it was. 
6 November Item arrives but only problem is that is an update on 3 cd,s and you need a previous version to update. Caveat Emptor. Still what do you want for 99p plus postage.  The item was as described so it’s down to my lack of product knowledge.

8 December  I’ve now got 3 mapsource maps in training centre and they are all pretty much the same. Unlock codes are out there if you know how to word your search. Just do a bit of research if you are bidding on an item that needs an unlock code.  Upgrade disks are purely that they need an an unlock code from a previous version. Once you’ve got a registered product your laughing.
This needn’t cost the earth don’t forget all those Nuvi owners out there are getting the same maps in their units for free. Or is it the other way round, the units are free you just pay for the IP rights on the maps. Whichever way it is there are millions of them and few of us.

Garmin Edge logging problem

On a couple of occasions the Edge has appended the days ride to a previous days ride for no good reason. The MotionBased forum has suggested that it is the user not pressing stop at the end of the ride. Now I always press stop at the end of the ride or at a Cafe stop so that didn’t seem to be the reason.

Last night I went out for another ride. Looking at the distance still being 59 miles from the other days ride it finally struck me as to what was going on. The GPS system relies on accurate timing. As far as I know the Edge has no internal clock. When you fire your Edge up from cold it has to aquire all this information from the satellites.
Now I can get a bit impatient waiting for it to aquire the satellite and this I think has been my undoing. Pressing start before the Edge has aquired the satellites leads it into thinking the data is going to be appended on to your last ride. The Edge doesn’t know the time yet as it is still trying to locate the satellites for your position.

The answer to the problem is wait for the Edge to locate the satellites and then press start to log your ride. It’s far easier to wait that extra minute than uploading your ride into Sporttracks and splitting your ride in there and exporting it back into the TrainingCentre or MotionBased.

Weekending 28 Oct 07

Monday: spinning class at West Kirby. Gym before hand.  Ordered the new Forerunner 50 for the spinning classes to log the whole class. Tried to lift my bodyweight on the lateral pulldown machine and failed. 50 kg (the weight I’ve lost is no problem) Filled the bottle and did Barbara,s spinning class. 775 calories and the heartrate went up to 170 odd.
Tuesday: Ride day, don’t know where yet but I will be out.  Weighed in at 81.5 kg this morning but the fat and muscle reading are  not right. Found the toy had a puncture from last weeks ride. Fitted a Hutchinson Discovery Channel tyre as the Bontager Race X lite was worn out. That tyre has seen me through some great rides but at least the tyres front and back match.
Delayed by the tyre change it was a Wirral coastal ride. First cafe stop was at Morrisons at West Kirby where there is a good selection of cyclists favourites, cakes. One eccles cake and a pot of tea later and I am on my way. Bought a puncture outfit from the cycle shop in Moreton and picked up the new chainring from Colin at Wheelbase. Called in at Europa pools to get a place on one of the spinning classes. 4 th reserve is the best I could do. One of these days I’m going to be unlucky and not get a bike. The Garmin Forerunner 50 was waiting for me when I got in, Yeehaaaaa.
I’ve installed the new version of the TrainingCenter that now recognises the Forerunner when you come near it. 30 mile ride by the way.

Did two spinning classes at Europa pools logged on the watch and am in the process of seeing where the data is as the watch says no history for some reason!!!!.
More when I get it sorted. As the Edge 705 is going to be using the same technology it’s going to make it a powerful piece of kit.
Wednesday: Ride day, another outing for the toy if the weather holds up.
Went out with Merseyside CTC to Delamere. Stopped for lunch at the fruit farm at the bottom of the Yeld. This was followed by a trip through Delamere forest with a stop at the black lake for Allan to takes some ride pictures and videos.


The trip down under the railbridge was steeper than it looks. No problem if you’ve a mountain bike but if your on the bling carbon fibre toy you have to question going down a section like this. As it was it was another of Allans devious forays into the unknown. Allan,s routes are always interesting and always seem to have a hill in them that might have you reaching for the granny ring whatever your age.

The trip through Delamere Forest was interesting as the forest was packed with visitors. There was a school trip on the hire bikes and the visitor car park was full. It gets a bit daft around the black lake with Allan regailing us with tales of the lady in the lake and excalibur.
I’m worried about someone walking off with 2K of Trek as we prat around the notice board looking at dragonfly species. Allan was doing his video,s that he publishes on the Merseyside CTC site. They are good and prove that life doesn’t end when you retire.

I’m a bit off retirement yet but with the four on four off shift patern that I work I have been asked if I am. Semi retired if you like but I make sure I’m getting at least one quality ride a week in. The future looks bright even if I start to loose strength through age. These guys don’t use age as an excuse these are out the doing it every Wednesday and Sunday respect is due.

No punctures this week and we even got back before the Eureka closed.

Link to Google Map of ride 
LifeStyle and Weight management followup class. Same time same place.
About eight turned up for the followup class with another class starting the rest of the year long course.
Thursday: Rode up to Tesco,s for a copy of Cycling weekly and had a cup of tea and a muffin in the cafe. Short ride around Heswall before the battery went flat on the Edge.
Booked in for an early spinning class at Europa pools.
Managed to arrive late for the class so I had a bit of ground to make up. Logged the class on the new Garmin Forerunner 50 HRM. The watch itself doesn’t count calories  but does log my heartrate over the 45 minute classes. When I finally find the formula that links calories burnt and heartrate I’ll be able to and it to the Training Centre log. The problem with Forerunner 50 is that on a spinning bike you are stationary and it uses speed and distance to compute the calorie figure. The Aldi HRM is not being finished up yet by the looks of it. If I was out on the Toy it would get its speed and distance data from the GSC 10 cadence sensor but as there is no wheels on a spinning bike thats not going to work. The only other option is to wear a footpod and take up running.
The bluetooth data upload works fine once you have saved the workout as history on the Forerunner. At the moment I haven’t programmed in any zones or done any intervals on the HRM, I’m just using it to log the classes.

Doing two classes back to back gives me heartrate data to overlay and as the classes are pretty much the same you can see where I’ve eased off after a hillclimb or kept the pace up for a sprint. All I know at the moment is I can’t put as much into the second class as I do in the first.
Friday:  Work. May give the lights another try out seeing as the clocks are going back on Sunday. I’ve been going out in the Aldi Winter cycle clothing the last two weeks as the weather has turned too cold for shorts. The jacket is proving to be very good as its windproof and water resistant on the front and breathable on the back. I’m wearing a Discovery longsleeve winter jersey under it and at the moment it doesnt need an extra base layer. Last years Maddison waterproof winter cloves are taking care of my hands at the moment.
As it turned out I managed to get a class at West Kirby and thought I would log it on the Forerunner 50. that was the plan the out come was a bit different. The class went as they normally do and everything was OK untill the cool down. The Forerunner had stopped timing the training session due to the stop/start button getting knocked on the chest presses. Worse was to come, on trying to upload the data the alternative time zone had kicked in with all the button pressing. I’m looking at the watch and it saying 5 am on the 4 July  which sounds like the default date when first switched on. Holding the lap/reset button just asks to clear the data not save the history. Now I’d loggerd my resting pulse at 50 bpm during the day  and tool it up to 170 during the spinning class. All that data was lost which was a shame but I’ve managed without it all this time. The upload reloaded the previous history into the training center. That was the only thing that went right on the day.  No gym, must do a workout on Saturday.
Saturday: Work. Didn’t do the workout I’d promised to do.
Sunday: Work and on call. Would have been a nice day for a ride too. Can’t see me going out on the Iceni either.

Garmin Edge 605 and 705 Maps.

When the new Garmin Edge 605 and 705 arrive Edge users are going to have to get to grips with Garmin Mapsource maps.
As the 205 and 305 are not mapping GPS units it means the new 605 and 705 owners are going to have an even steeper learning curve to climb.

None of the Garmin 705 bundles I’ve looked at come with a map other than a basemap. Garmin basemaps are about as much use as a chocolate teapot. I suspect they are included to stop you throwing the thing at the wall out of frustration.

Garmin maps are not cheap, the retail price for Topo GB 2 is £150 which when added to the price of your shiny new Edge 705 is a lot of money. I mention Mapsource Topo GB as it is Garmins Ordnance Survey equivalent and if your a mountain biker this is the product you are going to need. Roadies (moi) can use the other maps such as Metro or City Select. All these products can be obtained substantially cheaper on the net or on Ebay. I paid £18 for my copy of Metro Europe V6 so all though not the current version  was worth it just to update the Training Centre software map.

You cannot export the raster based Ordnance Survey digital mapping based maps to a Garmin only Routes and in the case of Tracklogs, Courses.

You can download the Mapsource program for free from Garmin.


As you have a basemap with your Edge it will install and at least you will get to see the functionality of the program.

I’ll update this post as I learn more.

Buying an Edge off Ebay (A link to Pauls blog )

This is a link to Pauls blog about buying an Edge off Ebay.
As you can see he got his for a bargain price.


I used a similar tactic to get one of the Garmin Mapsource Metro maps.
Edge 205 and 305,s are starting to be discounted now with the new 605 and 705 due any day now so you shouldn’t be paying full price for an Edge.

Weekending 21 Oct 07

Monday: Spinning class at West Kirby followed by a class at Europa Pools. Just about got into the class at West Kirby had a good go and burnt 760 calories. The woman next to me had too much resistance on for one of the climbs and was struggling. You’d never ride a bike with that level of resistance in the saddle so why try to do it spinning. It’s just going to screw up peoples knees. Then we had a hover, another knee killer that I gave a miss.
Should have called it a day then but got to Europa Pools just in time. I’m still of the opinion that newbie women should do Sheila,s class. There was another first timer tonight who did OK and didn’t try to compete with the advanced pupils in the class.
It’s a question of numbers, West Kirby, full, all pretty know what the score is a newbie is going to be out of their depth especially if they try to hide on the back row.
Europa Pools by contrast, less bikes, no back row so hidding places.
One of the girls was talking about weightloss and spinning, hasn’t  seen this site which is probably a good thing. One night, two classes, and two different approaches.
1150 calories burnt. Couldn’t give it my best in the second class as there was nothing give.
Tuesday: CTC meeting at 7:30 but where? Booked in for a spinning class at West Kirby tipped the scales at 81.9 Kg after last nights effort. 650 calories.
Wednesday: Ride day . Rode out to the Eureka for breakfast and ended up going out with the CTC to Kingsley.
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The rided out to the Red Bull wasn’t too bad with the climb up Cob Hall lane making sure it wouldn’t be a flat ride. I ended having a jacket potato for lunch which came very quickly. Peter,s jacket potato took ages but the numbers were about double what Jill thought would be dining in.
The winter rides were very popular last year with number in excess of 30 turning up. It could place a strain on the kitchen but  most of the time they went off well.

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We have a puncture on departing the Red Bull which slowed things down a bit but gave Maurice the chance to ride off on my bike. The first one or was it the second, fixed we set off in a downpour. To add to the woes it was bitterly cold. Our luck doesn’t last as we have to stop again for a flat. Eventually the sun came out and we were on our way again, but not for long.

Just past Delamere at the bottom of the Switchback we stop again. Just as well Barry is with us as he profers a folding tyre and another tube. The tube that came out was given the once over and by the look of it a few need their eyes testing. It’s no wonder it leaked air, even the patchs were perished. The folds where it had been stored in the saddlebag were showing signs of perishing too. A bit of thrift is fine but this wasn’t fit to make elastic bands with.

If we need to spend some of the DA,s money because the CTC are restructuring spend it on a box of innertubes.

Bit of a mixed ride as one chap had 3 punctures and we were stopped for about an hour, got back to the Eureka to find it closed. We had lost about an hour got caught in the rain which was really cold and ended up splitting from the group, what was left of it.
The ride: 52 miles in all, cold, wet after lunch and a tad slow with all the stops.
Spinning class at West Kirby with Margaret. Barbara was off and this proved to be a right shock to the system. More later. Miles turns up for the class and we hadn’t seen each other since the Brimatage Time Trial. Margaret has us doing a couple of new techniques in the class like intervals and progressively increasing the load. It was a case of 2 1/4 turns in for a bit and then a 1/4 turn out for a while then another 2 1/4 turns  in and so on. Chest presses were done in position 2 instead of 3 and it was a 4 minute sprint at the end with enough resistance in to let you know youve had a good session.
Even the streches at the end had a different twist to them.
Really enjoyed the change, Barbara is going to have to move house more often.
Margaret teaches Pilates by the way. Had 10 minutes in the Gym before the class doing a few weights.
Thursday: Work, hit Borders on the way home for a cycling magazine fix and came out a tenner lighter.
Friday:  Work. May try the lights on the Iceni out. Bought a Cateye EL530 that I want to compare with the Sigma halogen lightset. The EL530 looks bright but the beam is very narrow and only has one setting. Fitted the Cateye set, the rear is really bright and the front will have to be tried out on a dark lane against the Sigma lights. I’m impressed with the output of the Sigma lights but have never given them a decent ride.
Saturday:Work. Going to give the lights a try even if it’s just around the block. I’ve been reading enough articles about them but you can’t beat just getting out there and having a go. More to follow.
The rugby wasn’t yanking my chain so I did the lap around the block to check the lights out. First off it was cold so the lastest Aldi winter cycling kit got it’s first full outing.
As for the lights a mixture of the two systems seems to be the answer.
The Sigma lighting set was good enough to ride by on an unlit road as there is 15 watts of halogen light to play. Once I work out how long the batteries should last it will be the primary means of lighting on the Iceni.
The Cateye EL530 is a bit of a mixed bag. The main spot is a very intense blue white light but very small the closer it is positioned to the front wheel. The spread of the beam is poor given that the centre spot is so bright. You can ride with it and if I didn’t have the other system I’d probably be saying how bright the spot was.
The mounting bracket that is supplied with it is poor and although you don’t need tools to put it on moved on the bike. I’ll do a proper reveiw of the lights. I felt let down by the recent Cycling Plus reveiw.
Sunday: Work. Went out for a 5 mile ride to test the lights out again. The Sigma pair last about an hour I’ve been told on full power. You can actually ride at a normal pace with these and the spread of light is even. Wasn’t a bad little run and gave me a chance to try the Aldi winter cycle gear again.

Weekending 14 Oct 07

Monday: Wrote up the weekend hillclimb and booked into Europa Pools for 7:15. Got a bit bored waiting so went to West Kirby for Barbara,s class. Vocal class this one and didn’t have the benefit of the fan. 650 calories and then it was off to Europa Pools. Got there just in time, Louise,s sister had us all doing a survey on perceived effort mine was less tonight as I’d already done one hard class.
The is no let up in Barbara,s class as the tracks on the CD just follow on from one another. At the end of it for the two classes I’d burnt 1150 calories.
Tuesday: Booked in at Europa Pools but ended up getting an earlier class at West Kirby. Had the fan tonight and enough water to see me through the class. 660 calories which is about right. I’ve stopped doing seated climbs now in virtually all the classes as it’s not the way I normally climb on the bike.
The resistance gets turned up accordingly but not so much as to grind the pedals around. If I was out on the bike I’d just select a lower gear. I’m not loking to bulk up my legs with these classes just improve my climbing.
Wednesday:  Work and on call, Nothing planned. Might try a routine out of Mens Health magazine at home. Tried a couple of exercises from the Fitness Special got to admit it’s harder than it looks. Some of the moves are really hard and beyond me at the moment.
Thursday: Work. On call again. Chinups and 20 pressups. Nothing aerobic.
Friday: Work followed by a spinning class at West Kirby. 690 calories with max heartrate of 178 BPM meant this was this weeks maximum effort. Had a fan on me for the whole of the class but it was still hard work. 10 chinups, may try some crunches seeing how effective they were after Sheila,s class last week.
Saturday: Work. Nothing planned as Sunday I’ll be doing a short ride.
It looks like I’m not going to get a Saturday or a Sunday group ride for at least a month so I’m going to have to come up with something mid week. Next Wednesday looks good though. 
Sunday: Rode out to the Eureka for breakfast. As this was the only riding I was doing it was at a fast pace down the Chester High Road. I’d caught and past a Northender doing about 20 mph.  So I had this chap on my wheel , after the Hinderton Arms Tempo comes out of a side road. He gets passed as well, this is red rag to a bull stuff and it continues on to the dual carriage way. I’m only on my way out for a breakfast next minute the first chap comes past to give me a blow, further on Tempo takes it up again. By this time we are doing 27mph with me just about hanging on the back.
I wasn’t going out with any group today and I suspect if I’d  gone out with the NorthEnd Tempo would have made sure I’d get well and truly battered.
Wednesday is your next chance.
It was a mistake going through the Missing Link on the return as I got covered in crap and the Toy is a mess. So much so it’s not coming in to the house until cleaned.
Went to the bike factory for some new lights for winter. I’ll write them up when I’ve tried them out.

CTC Hillclimb Llyfasi

A year ago you’d never in a million years have me doing a hillclimb but times change and I’d even toyed with riding out to the event. With limited access to the internet I’d got the details from the CTC Cycle magazine.

As it turned out 24 of us turned up on the day and it went off really well.



I’d rode up the first part of the course with a few others to see what gear to use, turning back before the first bend. I’d been told about not going off too fast, but this seemed OK. Middle ring and 25 or 24 on the back. I started fifth and this was the first time I have started anything in the pedals  so its a bit unnerving the first time.
The chap in the stripes is my minute man and looks to be going well.

A minute later I’m off, have a good go on the first section with the dubious honor of having a car pass me on the narrow road. It was soon past.
round the first bend things steepened up considerably and I’d also caught my minute man I was under the impression that he had had a problem.

Looking down at the Edge my pulse is about 175 BPM its time to drop in to the granny ring on this one and spinn it out. I figure it can’t be this steep all the way up. As it was it flattened out a bit and it was time to shift up a gear or two. The finish being at a gate on the flat. Fast sprint to the finish and that was it event done.

Back to the time keeper to give my number in and take a few pictures of the other riders. 









More later including the freewheel and presentation.
The results to my great surprise I came second with a time of 7 minutes 29 seconds. Well beaten by the winner doing it in 6 minutes 48 seconds. Third place was a second behind me so it was close.

It was a short ride to the start of the Freewheel most of it downhill. Taking a leaf out of Andy Walsh,s Majorcan dowhill Northend epic on Youtube I decided to have a go at filming while on the move, with nearly disastrous consequences. The road got rough and the hand that was holding the lever was having a hard enough time trying to keep the speed in check before a large jolt made the lever slip. Results are a bit mixed so I won’t post them.

Freewheel 001.jpgFreewheel 002.jpgFreewheel WinnerFreewheel 004.jpg

And so on to the Freewheel. Now this is what I’d call a quirky event, freewheeling down a hill and seeing how far you can get up the other side. You might get beaten on the hillclimb but revenge is sweet on the freewheel. I don’t think I’d travel half way across the country just to do the freewheel mind you.

Now I’d have thought it was all about aerodynamic and rolling resistance, how wrong can you be. the chap in the third picture won the event by getting past the telegraph pole.
Carbon exotica like the Toy wern’t even close to the British steel and the chap on the Bianchi. I had a look at his tyres they must have been 35-38 millimetre touring tyres with a tread pattern in them!. Mind you, what was in the saddle bag?  Hutchinson 700X23,s in Discovery Channel team colors just wern’t up to it in this event.

Freewheel 006.jpgFreewheel 007.jpgFreewheel 008.jpgHeadless rider

Your final stopping point is marked on the road and at the close I counted my position, 11th. With the event over it was off to the pub for some lunch and the presentation from Lowri.

Great day, my first  hillclimb and freewheel. Probably be back for more next year.


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