Weekending 02 Dec 07

Monday: Nearly December already. Spinning class at Europa pools. Logged it on the Forerunner 50 and had the data uploaded to Garmin Connect and the Training Centre as soon as I walked in the room. All clever stuff.
Did some weights before the class and a couple after before I hit the shower.
Sprint at the end was 7 minutes.
Glad to have done it, missing my class wasn’t an option.
Tuesday:Work but booked in for Louises early class as I was fifth reserve on the second class and West Kirby wouldn’t put me on the waiting list!!
Now I didn’t intend to do the two classes but Louise egged me on to do the two and as there were 6 spare bikes I did.

 Louise,s Double Class.JPGAverages were higher on the first class but the second class had my maximum for the evening as I decided to push myself on one of the hillclimbs. The huge trough after it meant I was wacked and needed a break.
After the second class I couln’t get into the shower as my swipe wasn’t working. Also bumped into a Lifestyle and Weight Management Course member. I’d spoken at one of Ron,s followup classes and he had remembered me from it, I’m sure we will bump into each other again. The important thing is to stick with it, there is no going back for me life is so much better now it is hard for me to explain how much better things are.
Wednesday:Work, went to Halfords on the way home for some bits and bobs to get the Colnago Carbitubo moving. Gear cables some cable ends and a side light for the car. I’ll be watching what pump I fill up at a Shell filling station in future. 111.9p a litre for some V power diesel. I used to purposely avoid Shell stations for over 20 years so I must be getting soft in my old age. When I say avoid I mean I would rather run out than buy Shell, geen Shell as the Dutch say. Gave two of the cards away at work that give the not so computer literate the link to the site.
Both were going to get passed onto someone that could do with a bit of encouragement to make that change.
I still have people not recognising me or too polite to ask, it’s never a problem because I’m the one who has experienced the benefits of the lifestyle change.
No spinning, no gym must be a rest day.
Friday:Work. An interesting day at work, saw the robots in action for the first time. Also my last day for 28 days whohooooooo.
Spinning class at WestKirby, no gym as it has been closed for a refurb. Spoke to a recent spinner before the start of the class, this was her  third class. Funnily enough the Mars Bar exercise scale came up in the conversation. 284 calories in a Mars Bar so a good class burns off 2 Mars bars. For me to burn off 600 calories requires a lot of effort. Trust me these classes are not easy, if your not doing them to your max and your not wearing a  HRM I would say your doing about 500 calories a session. Still better than not doing one. Two new young girls got a clap at the end as first timers always do.
Barbara,s Friday Class.JPG

Saturday: Possible ride didn’t happen. Shopping at Chester saw me with a new outfit from Marks and Spencer. It is a totally different experience buying clothes to look good in rather than buying them because they are the only ones on the rack that will fit you.
Sunday: Ride day.  As things stand I am off for most of December including Christmas. Could be an interesting month.
The weather was foul with rain and high winds forecast and as I was running late I ended up getting a lift to the Eureka. To cap it all the Garmin Edge battery was low so it ended up getting another charge from the battery pack. It wouldn’t last the day and ended up switching off around Kinnerton.
Numbers were low in the Eureka and there were only three of us on the ride. Once we got to Sealand we were in sunshine and that was how it was for the rest of the ride
The early start meant we were back in the Eureka for just after midday. Tempo took us up bits of Wales that I hadn’t ridden before. Heading up the steps to Llandegla we turned off before the top and headed back towards Mold and Mynned Isa.
37 mph down Ewloe Hill. Part of the ride was along Offas Dyke with a fair bit of climbing in it with me dropping off the back as I was turning a low gear into the wind.

Weekending 25 Nov 07

Monday: Work, no exercise of note. Looking at what is coming up this is going to be a difficult two weeks for me with work commitments geting in the way of things.
Tuesday: Work and on call. Did some pressups before I went to bed but it wasn’t enough and just confirmed the fact that I need to get some exercise in at some stage.
Wednesday: Work. Folowed by a Lifestyle and Weight management followup class. Not a bad turnout seeing England were on the box. A few turning up after a break of a few months. The main theme tonight is exercise with a focus on the weights and why we all should be doing more of them. I probably don’t do enough and it’s an area that I will need to sort out.
When I was logging the weights I could see the improvement, now I know I’ve probably stuck at something that doesn’t tax me enough.

Went to Europa Pools straight from the class where it was rowing, running 1 mile, weights, crosstrainer, more rowing. Logged on the Forerunner 50 the treadmill was interesting as I upped the pace for the last half km. The pace for the first km was 12 km/hr with it being upped to 13.4 anf then up to 14.3 for the final 0.2 km.


Rowing was first then the treadmill, the final two speed changes are clearly visible, as anyone can see the second rowing session was at a slower pace. What didn\’t get logged was the gross trainer which was 15 mins @ 138 BPM. This was an absolute pain, the machine registered my acheiving the desired point to early so not enough resistance was dialed in to make me work hard enough.

So I was going like a banshee to get the heartrate up but the damage was done, it had settled on a low resistance setting and if I slowed the pace it just made things worse. This was compounded by the fact that one one side of me I had a guy who was maxing out on a similar resistance setting. On the other side was a girl on a random program that was nothing but monster hills and reverse steps who spent a lot of the time texting. Target heartrate was 138 BPM for 15 minutes which is not a lot these days. Rowing for another Km, shower, home.
Thursday: In early for  a company announcement that redundancies are around the corner. Not as bad as it seems at first glance as out of change comes opportunity.
I\’d booked in to Louises spinning class at Europa Pools but was fifth on the waiting list.
Now it is just as well I checked the availability as I thought the class started at 7.15. Got the shock off my life when I was told it started at 6.30.  Made it to Europa Pools in good time but had to wait for Val to drop of my kit. I wouldn’t have made it home and back to Europa in time. Thanks Val.
Back to the class, Louise has changed a few of the tracks which means a slight change of routine. I’m having a decent go tonight, if I’m going to spend nearly an hour travelling for a class I’m not going to give it a good go.
Logged it on the Forerunner 50 and here are the results.

Clicking on the thumbnail will enlarge it.
Now the final two peaks are a sprint to Darude. On the final peak (sprint) I crank in a bit more resistance. It is also followed by some seated chest presses which is the slow climb to the max of the session.
This is the first time I’ve been able to show how intense some of these classes are.
Sweat pours out of me above 150 bpm no matter what I am doing. The majority of the class is above this level.
Most of the women/girls in these classes are looking just for toning and cardio. I’m only up against myself these days. If someone wants to take it easy that’s OK with me just don’t take the piss. I’m only trying to emulate what I feel on a bike, a decent hill on a bike is going to soon see most of us at a maximum. Pity I can’t  give you a calorie count  ( or a famous Mars Bar count). Just to put it into  perspective, don’t eat the mars bar after the class and you’ll be ok.
Friday: Work but managed to get on the reserve list for WestKirby. Still feeling the effects of Wednesdays weights. Got to the class early and didn’t have a bike until Margaret turned up in place of Barbara. Spoke to one of women class members out side and ended up giving her one of the cards with a link to the site. I’ve had a few odd looks when I give the card to women. Lifestyle and Weight Management in the the opening line sends all sorts of the wrong signals unless explained.
There a some shenanigans over the fans before the start of the class nobody “Needs” a fan on them. I sweat buckets once over 150 BPM on the heartrate monitor but I’m the only one going for a shower after the class. The Nike kit goes into the bag wet as if I’d showered wearing it. Men sweat and women perspire come to mind but I have this nagging doubt that its a lack of restistance.

\MargaretvLouise,s class.JPG

Anyway enough griping from me, I’ve posted the comparison between Margarets and Louise,s class above. Margarets class has interval training built into it which is great for the likes of me. Good stretching routine at the end of the class. Shower, home.
Saturday: Rest day  and had a new bottom bracket fitted to the Colnago by Colin at Wheelbase. Your going to be seeing a lot of this bike I think, it’s going to get built up when I’m off for December.
Sunday: Ride day even if it’s throwing it down. May even be a Northender at last.
Nearly missed the ride as I was still finishing my breakfast. The ride was a 58 mile loop to the Ice Cream farm and back. It went along the towpath to Waverton then a loop near Farndon and some lanes that I haven’t ridden yet. There were sprints for signs every couple of miles. Chicago Dave and I had a go for one of them but got pipped by Lance who seemed to be taking them all. Horses seem to get spooked by Northend colours as another horse rider has trouble with the horse when we appeared. Two punctures on the ride  and met up with Ray at the Ice Cream Farm to get an update on the Audaxes for the rest of this year and next. Looks like it is going to be another good year, this year has been something else.
London Edinburgh London in 2009 sounds like a challenge ,1400 kms there and back.

Weekending 18 Nov 07

Monday: Started the week by doing some crunches. Not thought about tonight yet if it’s not a class it will be the treadmill and the gym.
I’ve been pondering over the DaveLloyd mini challenge route and whether it is doable as a ride from the Eureka. The Mega challenge route definitely needs training for.

Went to Europa Pools for a spinning class but before that I had a session in the gym. 1Km of rowing in 4 minutes, 1 mile of running @ 9.4, 10.4 and 12 km/hr. All logged on the Forerunner 50. Auto uploaded to Garmin Connect when I got home.
Downstairs for Louise,s spinning class once we had put the bikes out.
As I hadn’t done a class at West Kirby Louise promised me a hard class and so it was.
About 7 bikes were free and I had the last place in the class so a few hadn’t turned up.

Class finished with a sprint to Darude with two sets of 8 x 8 out of the saddle.  Basically a set is 1 minute and 4 seconds of sprinting out the saddle, then a rest then do it again. Hanni led the count. The second set is usually 32 seconds but it was the full hit tonight.
I’ll try and post the plot of the Forerunner 50, running gets the heartrate up to a max fastest. It is just a question of pace.
Shower, home.

Tuesday: Work, on call. Nothing planned, yet. Called out, got back in the early hours

Wednesday: Work but managed to get the day off due to the callout and Lieu time
Rode out to the Eureka for breakfast and picked up a ride with Jack from the Northend.Ride was to Delamere forest visitor centre.

DSCF3473_edited.jpgThe Northend fix a punctureNorthend in formation past Waverton
Ride out to Delamere was a bit chilly and it never really warmed up for the whole day. The pictures were taken when the sun came out. No link yet but rode home via the missing link and booked a spinning class.

Link to Map of Jacks Ride

Turned up at West Kirby in god time and just turned the legs over for 15 minutes and then Miles turns up. Miles is dripping in sweat even before we start the class.
logged the class on the Forerunner 50 and uploaded it to the Training Centre and the Garmin connect site. This is still a truncated post. More details when I can.
Thursday: Work. After a cockup by DHL the new toy has arrived and Val phones me with the good news. spinning class at West Kirby after work much the same as last nights class but now I have the Forerunner 50 I can overlay the data. What was remarkable was comparing the two classes, I was on my own tonight but last night I was up against Miles. The graph says I took it easy at the start lastnight but finished harder. Average pulse was higher for this class as was the max.
The Flying Scotsman was out on loan at Blockbusters so came home empty handed.

The new “Retro Toy” arrived at long last after a DHL cockup and it is a joy to behold. A Colnago Carbitubo circa 1991. Colnago,s first forray into carbonfibre with the help of Ferrari. I have one that I broke twice but this one is in a different league it deserves to be kitted out in vintage Campagnolo Record of the period. I’ve got enough redundant kit to get it on the road but it cry,s out for top of the range kit of the time.

So Sora it is untill I can get all the right stuff. I’m going to enjoy all the comments as I know there are going to be some.

Friday: Off but have a lot to do, booked in to Europa Pools for the last of the weeks spinning class.  Need to do some weights too.

Sheila,s spinning class at Europa Pools there was a waiting list of 7 but there were still bikes free as lots are booking and not turning up. Logged it on the Forerunner 50 and went to the gym after the class. Weights and then ran a mile on the treadmill at 12 km/hr. Average heartrate was 158 bpm with a max of 172 bpm.
Saturday: Ride day, another day out with the NorthEnd expecting a battering  as this is the day I try to join them.

Link to Map of Ride

Not a hilly as last weeks ride with a faster pace once the group doing a longer loop split at Waverton. Around Tattenhall we encounter what looks to be the Cheshire Hunt out foxhunting. Foxes aren’t in any danger from this lot as it apears more recreational than an illegal sport.
Five rode on to The Plough for a liquid lunch. Chicago Dave telling of his encounter with some of Nestons under age drinkers.  58.7 Miles.
Sunday: Might get to ride out to the Eureka for breakfast but it is not a ride day. Got to be back for about 10.30.
Rode out along the Chester High Road into a bitter headwind. The pace was about half what it normally is. Only two other riders at the Eureka when I got there and it was still fairly empty at half nine when it is usually packed. Rode back via the Missing link, The Aldi winter gloves were starting to feel cold in the fingers but it was a bitter day. I didn’t relish going out in such conditions. 16.5 miles.
Another good week mind you I don’t know when I last had a bad week. You get out of life what you put into it.

Aldi Winter Cycling Gloves

I gave the gloves their first try out in anger yesterday and was really pleased with them.
Somebody at Aldi has beem doing their homework as these gloves are excellent.
It\’s the small thing that you notice when you actually use them.

The glove is pre formed to the shape of  the hand i.e the fingers are slightly curved for a start. The cuff of the glove goes along to watch level on the wrist so if they were tucked under a jacket water wouldn’t run inside the glove. Water proof to boot. I haven’t tested this yet but it\’s bound to happen. 

It wasn\’t particulary cold yesterday but it was windy and my hands felt fine all day. Two of the Northenders were also wearing them too.There is also a piece of re-enforcment between the thumb and index finger that is absolutley superb for riding on the hoods.
I’ve had mitts where you can gett a bit of chaffing on the side of the palm that rests on the hood.

Scotchlite detailing built in as well so you can be seen by motorists. Runny nose wipe too. All for the grand sum of £2.99. I’ve paid 10 times that for gloves in the past and still haven\’t got the ideal pair. Sealskinz are too cold but are waterproof. The Madison ones are too short in the cuff so water runs down into the glove. You just can’t win with some things.

I’ll post a picture when I can get around to it.

I bought two pairs and wish I had bought a third as I’m always looking for the other glove when I want to rush out.
I bought Cycling weekly on the way home as they are reviewing winter clothing. Gore Vulcano gloves  get a 10 out of 10 and these cost £39.99 and aren’t even waterproof.
For £99.99 you can have the  Assos System 123 gloves and no I\’m not joking about the price. This is serious money  and for what I can gather isn\’t waterproof either. 
10 Nov 07 I\’m out on a ride with the NorthEnd  and a chap whose name I don\’t know mentions the Aldi Winter Cycling gloves on the ride. He has a pair too, he has a problem that he is too tall and skinny to fit into the normal sizes.
I’ve a similar problem with the medium  sizes just a tad too short for a perfect fit. Jacket is fine.
That\’s two rides with two unsolicited comments. The gloves feel fine throughout the ride. The cuff is long enough to be tucked under the Aldi winter cycling jacket. That means there are no rain running down into the glove issues.


Weekending 11 Nov 07

Monday: Work. Left at five for Barbara,s 6 o’clock spinning class and ended up being late for it as Runcorn bridge had traffic queueing. Ended up 10 minutes late so only burnt 470 calories with a max of 173 bpm so I did put something into it. The woman next to me was giving 110% as she had to have a break on some parts and yes she was putting the effort in. As I still had a bit left in me it was up to the gym for a set of weights.
This wasn’t enough and I didn’t feel like doing two sets so I waited for a treadmill to become available and then ran the proverbial mile (1.6Km) initially at 9.2 km/hr but I felt I was getting no where so upped it to 10.2 km/hr and took just over 10 minutes for it.
I’ve bought a new toy off Ebay, a classic. A Colnago Carbitubo to replace the broken one that I haven’t got around to sorting. I’m going to upset a whole new bunch of people by putting Shimano on it. It’s going to be a sunny day or event bike. 
Flame away when I kit it out in Sora. 
It’ll get a post of it’s own once it arrives. Google Analytics shows me people search for the bike and end up here.
Tuesday: Work. No classes tonight  but the mile I ran did wake me up to the fact that it’s the quickest way to do cardio workouts, that or go out with the Northend.
City Select (upgrade) arrived, pity it requires a full version to upgrade. No exercise.
Wednesday: Ride day. Could be another trip out with the Northend.
Rode out to the Eureka for Frank,s breakfast and went out with the NorthEnd to Cefn-Y-Bedd. We ended up at the Cabin Cafe and I struggle to get something  to eat at this place. I ended up having beans on toast. It’s the sort of place the overweight go knowing they can get what put them there in the first place. Full English breakfasts  and the like abound. The trip out was along the Dee with the wind behind us, an easy 20 mph on a smooth cyclepath. I’ll post a link to a Google Earth map of the ride. Trip was 58.5 miles for me. A couple of pictures around Kinnerton. Not a bad day. Rode back via Denhall Lane and Parkgate and it was still light.

Got back just in time before the rain came. Booked a spinning class at West Kirby.
The squash court was locked  so I chated to two of the women waiting for one it was her second class and she had lost her voice too. Next minute Margaret turns up to take the class. Now most of the class are in shock as they are not expecting Margaret to turn up.
I, along with a few others had the pleasure of Margarets class the other week. It is totally different and I told the girl next to me about it. She can give me a run for my money on Barbara,s classes. I mentioned that Margaret does a really good stretching routine. It is twice as long as any other and about five times longer than Barbara,s. There is a stretch she taught us on the first class that most won’t see the difference in, but it these small things that when you are shown the proper way really can make a difference even when you do them in another class.
The rest of the class is in shock for most of it, totally silent when asked what they wanted to do. The thing is they don’t know what is coming next and it can be a bit concerting.

Margarets class does a session of intervals that is not in many of the other classes and they ramp up. If you haven’t done then in a class before it can totally throw you.
This is a good thing for the likes of me and for the rest of the class as you have to pay attention.

Now to the data, it may sound like an easy class but it wasn’t. I did 600 calories in this class which is comparable to taking it easy on Barbara,s class. In this class I was conscious of being at a high sustained level but not being at a balls out level. Once I know the routine there are times that I can get ahead of it. That’s why classes like these are so refreshing. Good stretching routine after the class, shower, home.

Thursday: Work, rostered day, I’d rather be out on my bike in the high wind and rain than do this. Only light at the end of the tunnel is the possibility of a class after it.

Booked in at West Kirby as Europa Pools classes were full. Barbara had moved house hence Margaret taking Wednesdays class. Turned out to be a good class, Barbara was on the bike and I ended up burning 630 calories but did spend 15 minutes warming up. 630 calories was exactly what was in the Tesco,s Finest pizza that I had for dinner. Pity they put the price back up to £2.99 I quite liked them at two for £5, every penny helps as they say.
Friday: Nothing planned spinning class and the gym are the best bet. Hopefully the new bike will turn up. A mans got to have a dream.
Dream got a bit tarnished by DHL who didn’t deliver and returned it back to the seller.

Spinning class at Europa Pools. Logged on the Garmin Forerunner 50 once I got the right strap paired with it. New music for tonights class and there is no second guessing Sheila. First off everyones position on the bike was checked so you don’t end up riding in the wrong position. Structure was a bit different and there was a fair bit of sprinting out of the saddle. At the end there was five minutes on the mat doing  abbs. Like I have said previously once you have been shown how to do them once they are very effective. This is the first time for the guy opposite who is a fairly regular spinner and he feels it just like I did the first time. Shower, home.
Saturday: Ride day. Rode out to the Eureka for their Saturday ride. Turned out to be a good day. The rain held off and I was blown down the Chester High Road for my breakfast. It starts filling up with Northenders and come ride time I opt to go with Tempo,s group to what turned out to be the Plogh Inn at Waverton.
The motoring public doesn’t have a very good opinion of the NorthEnd riding in pairs as throughout the ride we get horns sounded at us.
The first one was a couple of hundred yards from the Eureka another on the A5117 and yet another going towards Backford. That’s the problem with riding on A roads you attract all the wrong sort of attention. I know why it’s done, 20mph in formation gets you further than 15 mph without.

Once past Hoole we are off the main roads and back on the lanes. What looked to be a trip to the Ice Cream Farm wasn’t as we sailed past the end of the lane. The ride skirted Tattenhall and then headed towards Burwardsley which I haven’t been through before.  Here I take a turn on the front with Tempo and this lasts until it gets hilly. A left turn is called out and the chap on the Pinarello says it isn’t for him and we had lost two more on the climb.

We head down this lane that then becomes a track but the best part is to come. There is a descent down a bumpy sandstone trail that reminds me that I need to change the brake pads on the rear of the Iceni. It’s also covered with fallen leaves.
We end up with two fallers on this stretch and I end up scooting down with one foot.
At the bottom we had hoped to meet the other two riders as we were under the impression they were ahead of us.
Next up was a call in at the Ice Cream Farm to see if they were there but no such luck. It was only then I found out the destination was The Plough at Waverton.
Another 2 riders thought it wasn’t for them.

The Plough is in Christmas Dinner mode and there are no bar meals. Mind you the last piece of cake I had here cost me £4.50 it was a work of art but still a piece of cake.
A couple of pints later we emerge we me aquiring the nickname of BlackAdder. Probably because I’ve been in Aldi Winter Cycling kit or 2007 Discovery Channel kit.
This is even before I’ve joined the club.

Dave and Peter turn up to a round of applause for the final round. The return to the Eureka is a round of sprints for roadsigns for the points jersey contenders followed by a water bottle fight that nearly caused a crash for those in the bunch. Back at the Eureka it appears to be breakfasts all round for the Northend.

Then Anne tells us of what sentence Mel Vasey,s killer got. Lost his license for 6 months, a retest and a £400 fine.  This is on the day that speeders are going to get a 6 month ban for two speeding offences. Cyclists lives are equal to 2 speeding offences. There is much discussion at the Eureka when we hear how lenient the sentence is.

Ride home via Puddington, Denhall Lane and Parkgate. 60 miles

Link to Map of Ride

Sunday: Work, no rides today. It’s been a good week.  4558 miles or so according to the TrainingCentre, 189,847 ft of climbing the figures are mind blowing. this is a guy that didn’t do hills of anysort if he could help it.

Garmin Training Centre

Now I know there are a lot of you out there that don’t like the training centre. It’s partly Garmins fault as the base map is so poor. It becomes a whole lot better when you purchase one of the Mapsource products.

Well for the thrifty out there, there may be another option. Garmin have just released an upgraded version of the package that ties in with the new Forerunner 50 and the forthcoming Edge 605/705.

One of the facilities it has is the export of your ride to Google Earth.
Now I’m heavily into Google Maps and didn’t want to download Google Earth as well after a disaster with the beta version but I took the plunge.

I’m glad I did, its a good halfway point for those that don’t want to purchase a Mapsource product. I decided to take a look at a local ride up to Tesco,s to get my copy of Cycling Weekly. The detail is stunning, you can see where I have took a shortcut around the cash machine and parked the bike in the cycle rack and then ridden around the carpark.

It also means you don’t have to export your rides to MotionBased to re-export them on another format.

The next thing I want to try is to do a Course on the Training Centre with the MapSource map. This would be using the Garmin inbuilt icons rather than using waypoint naming.

Some months later 26 Apr 08
I now run the latest version of the Training Centre that supports the Edge 305, Edge 705 and the Forerunner 50.  There is a bug in the Course planning page that only allows you to use the generic icon and not the turn icons. I’m hoping Course Points don’t have a 100 waypoint limit but haven’t got around to researching it yet. I wouldn’t mind swapping a few of the oddball ones for more direction based ones. 
Anyone know what the Course Point limit is.
03 May 08 Missed an update to the TrainingCentre that deals with the Generic Icon issue also had a reply to the Course Point limit question. You are not limited to 100 CoursePoints so you could literally use hundreds of them on a course. This would give you the bleeps for the turns. I’m going to try a Course with CoursePoints ride it and do a comparison with a Route.

12 Nov 08 CoursePoints are the way to go, all the advantages of waypoints but without the 100 waypoint limit.  TrainingCentre is the only Garmin product to allow you to edit them and you need a Garmin Map rather than the basemap. BikeRouteToaster.com allows you to edit CoursePoints in Google maps and I would highly reccomend it.


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