Weekending 03 Feb 08

Monday: Felt OK after yesterdays ride but it wasn’t the best day at work, remembered the Scenic needing a starter motor. So this would mean struggling in the dark to locate the bolts to remove it. Hit the gym to work it off, but first I managed to get the last bike in Louises spinning class. Weights upstairs and then ran a mile at 10 km/hr which equates to 6 mph. Most people are under the impression they walk at 4 mph I think they will find it’s a lot less. Heartrate was 155 for most of the run and I didn’t turn it off like I did last week.

The aim is to run at different speeds to see what my heartrate is for a given speed.
I was ten minutes at this level at it felt OK to sustain it this level. Yesterday the 20 mph stretch on the front with Phil was at 150 BPM, it’s do-able  but I can’t keep to that pace for too long. Weights, shower, home.
Tuesday: Booked in for the spinning class last week, I’m learning how to use the system. Got chucked out of the gym for not having a ticket, it’s not as if the jobsworth hasn’t seen me before. Returns with a ticket does ten minutes on the weights and went down to get a bike in Barbara,s spinning class. The woman on the back row behind me has also had a run in with her too about getting shown how to use the new machines. Class went OK and I’ve posted the comparison between the two. Starting to look at rides for the coming year and the Gran Fondo Cymru has caught my eye. It’s a week after Janets Chester and Northwales 50. I also got the results of last years CTC competitions and I earned a bronze award for 6 events and 60 points.
With only one ride a week available to me now I’ve got to make every ride count.
if I can get acredited for the track that will give me another outlet as one ride enough just isn’t enough. The woman next to me on the spinning class mentioned about getting her fix and sitting on the couch wasn’t enough. It’s the same for me, a good spin clears the system for me. I still don’t do climbing in the saddle but others around me still turn over a really slow cadence with way too much resistance. The rider to the right of me was pushing her thighs down at one stage. I didn’t say anything but it doesn’t seem right to struggle on a hill whereas climbers don’t look as if they are riding a butchers bike. The usual sweat fest for me with a fair few of the class getting deceidely pink. Shower, home.
Wednesday: Booked a class last week too. Just as well as the class is full, last weeks newbies turn up again all six of them so my theory is blown out of the water.
Once they start putting some resistance in they will know what it is about. Barbara moves the fan around them so they must be a bit stressed. The woman to my left is suffering a bit but I haven’t seen her in a class before but Barbara knows her so it could be her first class of the year. No weights after last nights shenanigans but it was full and I was better off claiming a bike.
Thursday: Booked in to West Kirby again and also booked next week as well.
Gym for a set of weights (1) fill the bottle and go down  for a bike. Logged it all on the Forerunner 50. Mentioned to one woman that she had her seat height set too low in the class but it didn’t register.
Spoke about knee damage after the class. I think she was more concerned with who she was riding with rather than her own setup.
Had a good session. Vocal class down the other end.

Friday: Scenic needs sorting after work. No classes booked but Sheilas class is at at 5.30 and Barbara,s is 6.30. Barbara’s was full last week so went to Sheila’s class.
I still reccomend Sheila,s class for women, you don’t have to pretend your having a good go.
Sorted the Scenic out, it proved to be a faulty battery. Exchanged the faulty micro wave and managed to get a place on Barbara’s spinning class for the fifth one of the week. Music was changed for tonight and it was at a faster pace. Logged on the Forerunner 50  and uploaded automaticaly to the Training Centre.
Saturday: Ride day, but woke up to hail and black ice with puddles frozen. The urge to get out was strong but I ended up riding down to the Eureka for breakfast  with no tools or spares so a ride was out of the question. Northend die-hards were there and they opted to go to the ICF. Rode back the way I had came with the sun coming out and no sign of the forecast snow.
Sunday:  Feed the ducks day. Rode out to the Eureka for breakfast with the intention of riding back with the Janet and the CTC as far as Gayton.
After getting frozen on yesterdays trip I opted to pull the tags of the Crane Sports Compression Thermal Underwear. This is similar to the Nike stuff that Rooney wears in their ads. It’s more like a skinsuit and smooths out all the flabby bits.
I’m chugging along the top road battling into a headwind. I’m looking down at the chainset struggling to maintain 13 mph when Terry comes past. What I don’t know is he was with Dave Large and he drops him to sprint across to me.
Now we have this two man chaingang doing 19-20 mph down the Chester High Road and getting caught by all the lights. Dave said he looked up and we were gone. It was a damn good pace considering it was into a headwind and I was at my limit.
I got to test the wicking properties of the thermals by the time I hit the Eureka.
I’ve signed up for next sundays Track Session at the Velodrome so I’ve got something to look forward to all week.
Northend Training Ride again, this is the third one I’ve missed and I know I’m going to be in for a hard time when I get around to one.

Hung on at the Eureka to ride back with Janets Wirral ride. Janet was late as that headwind delayed her. Got some pictures  by going off the front at Burton and Parkgate. I had to leave the group on the climb out of Parkgate with other riders scheduled to join on the way. With the wind behind them they should be OK untill Moreton where they will be riding straight into it. Ellevenses at Hoylake.


Booked into West Kirby for a spinning class as I should have stuck it out  yesterday and wimped out of a ride.
Spinning class was much the same as the weekly ones, sweated buckets, a few regulars, a few I haven’t seen before and one newcomer.
A good end to a mixed week. Cycling wise I’m not getting the miles in. The track beckons next week and that is a new challenge. The CTC rides are at a slower pace and this is where I started. It’s a fat burning pace rather than aerobic. If you’re still wondering if you’re up to the pace think about 13 mph and you should be OK.

A Mere Century Audax

This was my first Audax last year with the route the same as last year. Ray sent me the GPX file for the Garmin Edge and also sent it to Martin who has a Garmin Etrex Vista from memory.

Link to Google map of ride 
I met up with the team for the ride Ray, Martin and Phil. I’d ridden with Phil when the Toy broke on Roys ride to Ruthin many moons ago. The first picture contain Sheila Simpson who has ridden Paris-Brest-Paris a record 7 times. PBP is a 1200Km event puts my little jaunts into perspective. The chap on the trike get around and features later on in the ride.

We had a good little group going for us from the start including the ride organiser.
Phil dropped hus lock out of his bag around Manchester Airport and had to play catch up. Which he did. The plan was to take a picture of all the Mere,s well that plan got ditched after the first Mere. I’d stopped to take a picture and that was it I was off the back good style. No pictures of Great Budworth as I was still way off the back.

I didn’t get back on to the group untill the bridge crossing followed by the sharp climb up. Then Phil lost his lock out of his bag again and this time Ray stopped but Martin went with the others. We were split.


Delamere was taken on the move as was the picture of Phil and Ray.  
We had taken Rays quiet car free route only to bump into a car coming the other way.
Before the last two pictures we had an incident with a black Mercedes van giving us the horn and nearly taking Ray out. Really uncalled for, I wish there is a tree with his name on it. We sign in at the control and I take a trip to the visitor centre.

Once back, Martin has turned up so we are a team again.
The next section takes in some of the Steve Cummings training ride and is perhaps the flattest part of the ride. We are making good time here with Ray pushing that big ring style of his. He’s on compass mode but doesn’t realise we are doing 18-20 mph.

Next up Phil takes his turn on the front with me. The pace is still the same but it starts to slowly rise up a bit. A chap in blue has joined us on our wheel , anyway the pace is too fast and we still have a long way to go. I look behind and we have dropped everybody, at Audlem the chap says to Ray “you’ve got some fast mates in your group”.  This stint allows us to close up on two Southport Cycle club riders who are doing about 15 mph. It’s a steady pace and we stay with them to Audlem where there is no room in the control point Cafe so we take a trip to the Co-op.

Throughout the ride we passed and are repassed by Steve, a bigish guy who is ridding on his own. It happens 4 or 5 times, we stop because something has fallen off a bike I had a stop to pick up overtrousers. Phil lost his lock twice, Martin dropped his pump. Only Ray emerged unscathed.


The idea is to maintain a 15 mph average on the final section, I’m riding shotgun and it seems to work well. The hills around Alderley Edge don’t seem as fierce this year and in reality they aren’t .

Aston Martin territory this and we are indeed passed by one.


We  were within the last ten miles of the ride and it was litterally all downhill. another  great ride, soup at the fiish was most welcome. Home via a delayed M56 and a hot bath.

Google Analytics (the last month)

I look at Google Analytics now and again to see what brings people to the site. There were 3578 over the last month for a whole list of searches (over 216).  I concentrate on the top 100 as the top 10 is fairly stable.
It is always good to see the diet in the top ten as I don’t see it as dieting anymore. The site was set up to keep in touch with others on the course but it hasn’t turned out that way.

Several hundred of you come to read the Garmin posts with a lot of international readers doing searches with Garmin, Route etc.

This month I’ve also had 226 visitors looking at the “Crane sports cycling gloves” post along with the Aldi skiing gloves that I used last winter making the top ten. You just can’t beat these gloves for value fullstop. It’s a shame that they are only available one or two weeks a year. Maybe I should get in touch with Aldi and explain the interest, After all I have the data and they haven’t.

Once outside the top 10 you get to see the diversity of what people are doing google searches for.

The one that tickles me this month is the picture I took last weekend titled “Lionel running over Tempo’s Oakley,s”. People have linked into this from 5 different platforms not just from reading the original article and clicked on the picture.

I’ve just done the search for “Lionel Oakleys” and it is on the second page of a Google search at 20 out of 210,000. Your in a minority if you go past the second page.

It’s a fairly diverse site now and the comments keep me blogging (that and Google Analytics). All comments get answered even the critical ones. Inspriration keeps cropping up in the comments and from people I meet that have read the blog but not commented. 

All I can say is take a look at the picture in the work section and take things one step at a time. The only goal I  had set myself was to start drawing a company pension at 55 and it looked as if I was going to have trouble doing that. Life after 50 was no great shakes the state I was in.

Now I’m having the time of my life, I know what my limits are, keep trying to improve  but it is getting harder now.

Thank,s to all that have left comments I value them all, the driving force is still to motivate others to take that first step to a better lifestyle.


Ride Around Britain's Coast

Dave sent me this link about a ride around Britain’s coast that Cycling Weekly are developing.

  Dave has already submitted the Wirral section so I’ve promised to give it a go.
There is bound to be more at a later date as the route takes shape.
Good onya Dave and thanks for the link.

Weekending 27 Jan 08

Monday: Work but booked into West Kirby for a spinning class and was late. An hour and twenty minutes to get there from work. At least there was a bike for me. Forgot the chest strap so no data, just did it on feel. Gym afterwards for a few weights. Ten minutes on the side stepper on a program was really hard work as it is the speed you have to step at. 207 Steps a minute on one section of it. Sweats dripping off me at this level.
Half the equipment is clogged up with blokes with I pods resting for too long between sets so I went for a run. 1 mile (1.6 km) @ 11km/hr. Shower, home.
After yesterdays rest day I’m feeling in good form.
Tuesday: Work but trying to get a class at West Kirby but it was full so went the gym for some weights  but it was that full their were no machines left so went down to get a cancellation. Turns out I was on the list already so I got my bike.

Max of 177 BPM for this one on a climb out of the saddle. I hardly ever do a climb in the saddle these days, it just doesn’t relate to what I do on the bike.
Back to the gym which was just a little less packed. Got on a treadmill after a while for a run.
There is only one fault I’ve found with a Garmin Forerunner 50, the Stop/Start button on the side of the watch. On a few occasions the watch has slid down on the wrist and stopped the timer. Well it did it again on this run and I would have really liked this data.
After last night the plan was 3 km @ 9.9 Km/hr. It started out OK and the heart rate steadied out at 159/160 BPM. As the distance crept past last nights 1.6 Km I thought 2.5 Km might be a bit more realistic. With a 45 minute spinning class under my belt I’d probably done enough already. 2.5 km comes up on the display and if I stop now I haven’t done what I set out to do so I lowered the pace to 9.0 Km/hr. The heart rate dropped to around 150 BPM and that’s how it finished. Shower, home, blog.

Going to have a look into upping the running or at least incorporating it into what I do in the gym more. I’ve no idea if a mile at 11km/hr is good or if 2.5 km @ 9.9 is either.
Wednesday: Work. Spinning class at West Kirby. Re plan route for Sunday ride.
The two classes above were remarkably similar the noticeable bit was the final sprint. Tonight’s was straight through, it shortened the class a bit but it is clearly different from last nights class. Gym for some weights, no running tonight. Shower, home.

Six first timers in tonight’s class and who knows how many are going to return. The girls were taking it as a laugh but don’t realise how hard the rest of the class are working as they have minimal resistance in. The women are under a bit more pressure, the newbie woman next to me came out of the pedal twice. I had explained to her about level one  but Barbara insisted that they don’t touch the resistance. The instinct for a first timer (or maybe a not so fit oldtimer) is to run with little or no resistance. Once you have to come out of the saddle when spinning like a banshee your legs go from underneath you. I sprint with resistance because I’m logging the classes and if I don’t have enough resistance in the heart rate drops. Looks great but doesn’t kid me. Can’t complain really most are looking for toning and seem to have it sorted. 

Thursday:  Work, West Kirby full for Thursdays and Fridays classes, might try Europa Pools but it’ll mean a late finish. I do want to try the new lights out before Sunday. What bike I’m going to use is unknown at the moment. The heart says Trek but the weather may turn out bad and then it has to be the Iceni.
Friday: Work but finished at one. Submitted tax return and then thing started going pear shaped. The Polo picked up a bent rim and needed a wheel change, the Toy had a worn bearing in the rear wheel that needed changing. Rang Quinns but they wouls have to order one. Went to Colin at Wheelbase (Dacre Hill) but he didn’t have the right size so I ended up ringing a bearing place in Ellesmere port they could get me one for Saturday. Ordered a wheel from Dane for Tuesday. They are relocating as the land the business is one is worth more than the business. More houses, I’ve seen this coming for a while.
Just made the spinning glass at Europa pools but I wasn’t really up for this and it was my worst performance of the week barely made 150 BPM. Doing zilch but sort thing out for Sunday tommorow.
Saturday: Cram all that stuff in you need to do if your going out on Sunday day.
Picked up the bearing from Ellesmere Port, £14 is a bit steep but it was there in time so I’d use them again. Put it all back together and greased the freewheel. A bit of preventative maintanance pays in the long run as it’s sods law that you’ll break down in the middle of nowhere. Really pleased with the wheel and the Dura Ace casette gets a clean too. Washes the Scenic and takes out a rear seat for the bike. fills it up with petrol and takes a trip to Keith at Eureka sports for some SIS for tommorow.
Scenic starter motor packed up just as it was going to get filled with stuff for tommorow. Hope this is the last disaster.
Sunday: First Audax of the year, a Mere Century. Last year was my first, more pictures of the Meres this year. This ride takes in most of Cheshires finest but funilly enough I don’t know if I’m at a better fitness level this year. Spinning, running and weights should mean I’m ahead of the game. I’m sure I got a bollocking on this ride last year for having a bit of fun by going off the front on a long slow drag around Tatton Park.

Weekending 20 Jan 08

Monday: First day of the new working hours had me booked in for Louises 7:30 spinning class. As I’m getting off at 5 with an hours traveling this meant I could have a go in the gym before hand.
The usual weights then Rowing 500mtrs in 1:50, Treadmill 1 km at 9km/hr. Heartrate was around 130 BPM. Not wearing the Garmin HRM as I forgot the strap. 100 calories.
Crosstrainer for 20 minutes, 300 calories. Step machine for 12 minutes at level 7, forgotten how many floors it was but it was lots. I wouldn’t normally bother with the step machine but I was running out of stuff to go on. The machines were getting clogged up with lads using them as chairs between sets listening to Ipods.

Louise,s spinning class, played it by ear which is what everybody else does.
Don’t forget Aldi Heartrate Monitors are on offer at £12.99. A bargain as usual.
New lad doing his first class needs to get his resistance levels sorted for next time.

Last weeks newcomers didn’t make it back for whatever reason. The learning curve is very steep for your first class and pedaling on a recumbent at level 1 is not going to prepare you for your first spinning class. I’ll repeat what I said up top ” You should be able to do a 30 minute programme on the gym exercise bike before signing up for one of these classes.” Prefably on a hill or random programme.

New working hours mean I’m going to have less time to ride. I can’t ride for both days at the weekend just like most people I suppose, for the last two years I’ve led a charmed life. A 50 miler is going to be the minimum I need to keep me going at the weekend. Audax season starts with a 100 miler at the end of the month.

Tuesday:  Much like Monday from now on. Tried to get a bike at West Kirby but was told the class was full but to come along on chance. Your supposed to book in 15 minutes before the class but regulars were not booking in just walking straight past me getting sold their bike. Hence an overbooked class and more people than bikes. 5 minutes in the gym on the lateral pulldown machine and filled the water bottle. A fair effort on my part, took it into zone 5 for the final sprint but most of it was in zone 3 and four.
Wednesday: 84.8 kg. Spinning class at West Kirby, just and 15 mins in the gym.Site went down while trying to get rid of spam so no replies to the two that posted comments. Had a look at the stats instead which passed the time. One visitor from Iran and one from Iraq were some of the unusual ones along with 15 from South Africa.
It’s this sort of stuff that keeps me going , knowing that there is someone out there searching for the stuff that I do,  whether it be weightloss, Garmin Edge stuff or cycling clothing for the XXL.
Thursday: Northend Track evening at the velodrome, thinking of having a go. Got myself a pair of Look cleats for the shoes.
84.4 Kg on the obsessive weighin this morning.
Booked the bike, so this is it.
Got to the velodrome an hour early to get myself sorted, this is one amazing place. There was a session with 35 riders doing structured training  and it looked mighty impressive. Clive introduced me to the coach and who ran me through the rules and with that I was sent out to circulate. Things were going ok but the coach had to see if I could ride inline before I could go out with the Northend. At the end of the evening I had done a 200m flying lap as well as a 1 km pursuit. Didn’t log the 4 laps of the pursuit but boy was it hard. The 200m had me up to 183 BPM but the 1K had me deep into the red at the end of it. It’s a pity I didn’t press start on the Garmin Forerunner 50.
I had a brilliant night, a couple of pictures to put up.
Picture quality was a bit mixed with the focusing system struggling a few times.
Got my first Audax entry back the Mere 100( miles not Km)
Friday: Work but may do a spinning class if I can get one. Put a mudflap on the Iceni to go out on the training rides without being put at the back. Mudguards aren’t enough for these rides . I also don’t want to get it in the ear for covering Carol Boardman in slurry again.
Got the last place at Sheila,s Europa Pools spinning class as I would be done and dusted for 7 pm. Good class because you never know what to expect from Sheila.
Tonight it was sets of eight out the saddle for eight with eight in the saddle. This was followed by sixteens ,twenty fours and thirty twos all with a set of eight in the saddle  for a blow. It’s quite intense and the chap next to me couldn’t hack it.
Bet he doesn’t go and tell his mates that he got wasted by a class of women.
Shower, home.
Saturday: Ride day. Got to make the most of these.
Rode out to the Eureka for breakfast and it looked like a leisure ride until the fast group turned up to sort me out. Wasn’t a bad ride as the rain held off and I only got dropped along with Peter on the steep bit of the Switchback mind you I had dropped back because dropping down Dark Arc Lane is dangerous in a group. The road cracks mean you need to be in the centre of the road before it steepens and it’s 30 mph stuff at the bottom. Two left not wanting to take a trip through Delamere Forest. The cake stop was at the Visitor Centre cafe.
Clive was not impressed with my mudguard extension so that needs sorting before the next ride.
DSCF3547.jpgLionel running over Tempo,s OakleysDSCF3549.jpgDSCF3550.jpg
Cake stop over it was back on the bikes with a photo of the group about to leave the visitor centre. I’ve still got the camera in hand cycling after them when there is a loud crack and some stop. I’ve no idea what is going on but take the next two photos and follow them after I had put the camera away.

It turns out that Tempo,s glasses had fallen from his hat and three other riders had missed them but poor old Lionel went straight over them snapping the arms off. Fortunatley they snap back in but it makes for good cafe talk back at the Eureka.
The final shot is at the bottom of the Yeld which is a tough climb if you’ve avoided hills all your life. When I first went out with the CTC I tackled this climb  and it is deceiving as it kicks up quite steeply after the first brow. It still gets the heartrate up to 160 plus though.

Straight across the road and on to Willington Corner. It’s a fairly straight run back to the Eureka with only one impatient motorist forcing his way past around Wervin. Usual stuff, why are you riding in pairs, it’ll mean me getting my car muddy to pass you.
Turned out to be a good ride as we were all expecting rain.
As I was riding to the missing link Dave Large,s ride was coming back so I returned to the Eureka for a cup of tea this time.
It turns out Barry had missed our group by a minute and couldn’t make it up. That’s the thing with Northend ride 10 o’clock sharp means just that. No more assemblies at the bus stop ala CTC.
Rode back with him via the Missing Link talking about next weeks Audax.
Barry if you can get an entry let me know as I’ll pick you up, no point in two of us driving to the start.

Audaxes are a different kettle of fish to club rides. Ray has the measure of us and we ride to his pace to ensure a finish. A fast club doing their own event is going to want to do a fast ride. We led off the Willington Hall Audax but the Seamons club soon got tired of our pace and passed us.  It was their ride after all.

I’ve written up this Audax last year and it is a top event. The setting is as good as it gets, truly stunning, the route is great  and a test to all. I haven’t ridden a Sportiffe yet, but Audaxes are of similar length yet cost buttons to enter. You don’t get the hand holding or broom wagon but they are ridden by the type of person that can sort themselves out at the end of the day. The entry is older than a sportiffe with less emphasis on speed. The sportiffes have been glamorised in the cycling press with articles from good (top retired ) riders writing them up. Mere mortals are going to struggle, we aren’t going to be with any break, we are off the back.
If your thinking of having a go at an organised event it’s worth starting with one of the charity events like the Liverpool-Chester-Liverpool rides. I’ve also ridden the Manchester to Liverpool ride. These rides are all signed and have stewards on all the junctions so you don’t need any mapreading or route following skills.

I even stopped at the Eureka for a breakfast the other year on the Liverpool-Chester- Liverpool ride as there is no food at the Chester stop.

Sunday: Feed the ducks day. Charged up the Cateye Triple Shot Pro light that I bought after the ride yesterday. It’s an insane amount of money for a front light but they are 10 times better than the EL530 which IMHO is a waste of money. Uses the same mount as the EL530 so no problems with swapping lights.
Bought this months Cycling Plus from Tesco,s and it has a feature on Heart Rate Monitors. Guess which comes out top, Garmin Forerunner 50. I’ve already said it would give Polar a bit of competition and indeed it has, if you already have an Edge 305  you will already have a chest strap or cadence sensor. The Garmin clearly wins on the data uploading. I’ve said on here  a couple of times how it does it for you as soon as you enter the room, well it does, it’s a great system just get that 705 out there I’ve been waiting an age now.
Spent some time in Formby Cycles looking at all the kit ,bikes, et all. Some nice bikes in there including some sub £1000 Carbon ones.
Just got the entry for the Chester and North Wales Spring Tourist 50 on 16 March.
I was first back for this event but don’t think I will have the honour this year. It’s not a race , honest!!!! I was in good form.
I see things from all sides, where as the Northend may not target this event the Sunlight might.

It was a great event last year and the catering was superb, just don’t spend too much time in the control point as I’ll be away down the road again. Well worth doing if you are a CTCer.
A good end to a great week. The track was above all expectations , I can see why we are one of the best in the world at this, you don’t get onto the track untill the coach thinks you are up for it.

Weekending 13 Jan 08

Monday: Work, but booked into Europa pools for Louise,s spinning class.
Louises07jJan08.JPGThe three peaks on the final sprint are visible but on the last one I cranked in a bit more resistance, plenty of banter in this class tonight.
Didn’t push as hard as I have done on some of the classes but it was a good start to the week. New working hours mean this will be the regular class from now on. Three newcomers doing new years resolutions started the class.
Weights afterwards in the gym, added 5kg on the lat pulldown machine.
Tuesday: Work. Booked in for Louises,s first class and intend to do running and weights afterwards.
Had a good go in the class and it shows in the chart below.
Louisesmontueclasscompared.JPG Max was 179 BPM. The dip before the final sprint is where we were deciding which one to do. 8 minutes it was, not to everyones liking. The first section had the heart rate ramp up to 162 bpm where it steadied off. With a fair bit to to go I increased the tension and the heartrate kicked up. With the final 20 seconds out of the saddle with a bit more tension dialed in had the heartrate hit 179 BPM which was good going.
Had trouble getting a treadmill so it was rowing for 2 Km in 7:59  which is a 500mtr/2:00 pace on the Concept 2 rowing machine. Max for this was 173 BPM right at the end where I was pushing for that sub 8 minute time. Weights, shower, home.

The overlay of two of Louises,s classes is a good comparison as the structure of the classes is basically the same and it is basically down to how hard I want to push myself on a given day.
Start  on days, Monday to Friday next week, so the routine is going to have to change.
Wednesday: Work, last day then 4 off whooohoooo.
Lifestyle and Weight management followup class. 5.30 usual place.

Interesting correlation about booze and weightloss on
Pauls site.
I’ve noticed on a few occasions when I’ve overdone it on the red wine that I’ve still lost the next day only to put it on later in the week.
86.1 Kg This morning which is me back on track to get down to below 85 Kg in the short  term. It had shot up to 88.8 after a party a few days back.
The trend is in the right direction, 3 days of losses.

Got of work early to attend the followup class. Only two of us there at the appointeded time and Ron started the class off in the waiting area. Then another two rolled up. It is a bit of a poor turnout given that another class had finished last month and only one made it to the class.
The trouble is this is not unusual and all I can say is the real gains come after you have finished the classroom sessions. With the low numbers Ron is effectively your personal trainer.
I brought up the subject of anon,s post Obsession (not the perfume) to which Ron asked if I thought I was. My answer, which is the same to anon was no, if I am obsessive then so are a lot of people I meet in the gym, spinnning class and the Eureka day in day out. They just don’t publish what they do on a website.
(comments coming in thick and fast as I type this)
I don’t think I am overdoing things on the exercise front, like I have said before I can do a spinning class with ease now.That is not to say I don’t put a lot into it but I don’t need a restday after one. Weights are not as structured as I have had no training.

Going out with the Northend has been a revalation, my best is someone eles’s average. A weaker rider such as myself will always be under pressure on a tough ride but I know that this is the only way I will improve. I choose to go out with the fast or training group knowing I am in for a hard time.

Left the class early for Louise,s spinning class (it was nearly over). Swapped bikes as the first one was hard work and then one of the blokes took that as he had the worst bike in the class (IMHO) the one with the white tape on the seat post.
Good class, got to say that as Louise reads these posts.
Sprint to Darude at the end with resistance added in between the rests had the pulse  up to 184 BPM. I don’t do the final sprint on next to no resistance, heartrate governs my resistance setting. If it is falling I haven’t got enough resistance in.

Level one is hard to judge when your spinning, and I always suspect that most have the resistance wound out too much. The momentum of a 34 pound flywheel fools you into thinking you are really having ago but the flywheel is doing it for you.
184 BPM for the final spin and I was out of breath but probably had a bit more in me. Still within my limits. Mentioned anons post to Louise so perhaps we will get a reply out of her (no need for an email address, entirely anon).
Shower, home, no weights. Write blog for two hours.

Thursday: First day off. Got to make the most of the next four days as as from Monday I’m on Monday to Friday along with most of the working population.
The obsessive daily weighin had me at 85.5 Kg this morning which to me just re-enforces my belief in what I am doing. Eat sensibly, exercise to your potential and feel the benefit.

Aldi Offers today, all fitness stuff including the Heart Rate Monitor that I use for the bargain price of £12.99. Another post later when I’ve checked it out. Going to get the side stepper. Running and fitnes stuff not flying out the door like the cycling stuff but quite a few of the side steppers had gone by the time I got there. the hand weights seem idealy suited to women who are just looking to tone.

Gym for 15 minutes before Barbara,s Spinning class. Now I had a good go in this class because the music had changed. More on that a bit later.  I got talking to the woman on the bike next to me as we waited for the class to start, just asking how many classes she did a week as I keep seeing the same face by enlarge. Two, but then she adds she goes circuit training at Bidston. Ron,s class?, yes.  Talk about a small world. I mentioned that Ron was also a course tutor on the Lifestyle and Weight Management course and that I was 21 stone at one time and had a BMI of 42. Turns out she is an nurse at a hospital that does gastric banding and all those other procedures for the morbidly obese.
The thought of surgery for what I perceive to be a mental block scares me. I’ll explain, I’m shortly coming up to the aniverssary of my 10/2 Lance Armstrong moment. I don’t blame anyone for my weight gain. It was purely self inflicted. I don’t have a fat gene, large bones or any other half baked excuse that the tabloid press come up with now and again for Britains obesity epedemic. I was just a fat lazy bastard, pure and simple.
The turning point was getting up in the morning and not liking what I saw in the mirror, it was a personal decision to do something about it. That day was Feb 17th.

Back to the class, the music had changed but the routine was much the same. I was feeling good and the heartrate was nearly a zone up on Louises class last night. The thing was it was staying up there as there was no break in the tracks, no time to recover. From memory it was 80’s disco mixes. We are on a climb, I’m out of the saddle (because thats the way I do climbs these days) dancing on the pedals  to the beat with the heartrate at 180 BPM. The thing was I was enjoying it and it didn’t feel like a zone 5 effort. Then it ended, someone didn’t like the tracks so Barbara swapped CD,s, gutted.

Morning v Evening spin.JPG

Final sprint had me dialing in enough resistance in to get it to 170 plus BPM with a decent cadence in a time trial position, out of the saddle for the last ten seconds  had it spike up to 178 BPM. A good class, I’d like to see how long I can keep 180 BPM up for as I was really into it then.

Gym after the class again. Had 8 minutes on the side stepper machine on an interval program and boy was that hard. It’s the tempo that is hard and the step action take some getting used to.  Shower,Tesco,s for the comic and the Mens Health fitness Special.

Booked in for the evening class too, music was back to normal and Barbara was giving it a right slagging off. Aparently it was an Abba cover remix CD. I retried the dancing on the pedals technique from the morning class and it was just as effective. One excursion into zone 5. Not a bad end to the day.

Friday: Weather doesn’t look too bad so I need to get out on the bike. Bought some new brake pads for the winter trainer(was my best bike) they need to be fitted.
Obsessional weighin had me at 85.0 Kg so back on track.
I can’t see the difference between my daily personal readings and a weekly or monthly reading for someone else like WeightWatchers, Slimming World or the Lifestyle and Weight Management Course.
I don’t really want to jump on the scales for someone else to find out I’ve put on a pound or two and come up with a limp reason for why I’ve put it on.
Dieting is a massive industry mainly geared towards women, men on the other hand avoid the doctors like the plague and get into a state that they may not recover from.
There was never a chance of me attending a Slimming World class and even if I had gone to one they would not have led me down the path to the amount of exercise I now do.
Off out for that ride I said I was going to do.

Rode to the Eureka for breakfast. Only three of us in there.
Short loop to Ness Gardens then Lower Heswall via Neston and Parkgate.
Climbed School Hill the had to make the decision whether to call it a day and go home or continue with the ride. Ride it was, avoided the worst bit of the cycle path along Telegraph road and stopped at Morrisons in West Kirby. Bad timing meant the cafe was packed so I didn’t bother. Just got onto the front at Hoylake where it was breezy and cold and picked up a puncture. Found the hole in the tube with the aid of a puddle and also found the the cause which was removed with the tweezers I now carry.
I had to take my gloves off for some time and my hand were numb with cold. Boy was I glad when it was sorted.

Called in at the BikeShop in Moreton and had a good look at the CatEye Tripple Shot Pro and had a look at the beam pattern graphs. It puts out as much light at +/- 5 degrees as the EL530 does in the centre and the EL530 put zilch out at the same setting.
Expensive but probably worth it in the long run, with the first Audax coming up I don’t want it to end like last year.
Home for 3 pm. 39.9 miles  ride cut short by another bloody puncture.
Spinning at West Kirby. Full class. Spent 45 minutes watching someone spin for the whole class with no restistance in. My fault I looked out for the same bike that I had the other day.
Saturday: Ride day. Out with the Northend come what may.

DSCF3519.jpg The usual suspects are in this first picture of the year.
What a ride this turned out to be. Splits all over the place. First stop was at Deeside Industrial estate when David broke his chain. Peter stayed with him as they called in at the Eureka sports shop. The rest of us headed out to the rail bridge and up to Northop Lights. Here the group split with Clive and three others making it through the lights and the rest of us stuck.

At the Green we turn off thinking Clive has gone up the hill, as it turned out he hadn’t and we subjected ourselves to one steep tortuous climb. It was that steep that I couldn’t look at the Garmin. I was maxed out at 182 BPM and Dave Newbie left us at this stage. We stopped at the cross roads to regroup but we were down to four the option was to go across and up again with Cilcain being the destination.

It’s quite a drop down to the A541 and it is here I split off from the other as it seemed that they were heading of over Moel Arthur in reality one had picked up a puncture. I pressed on to Cilcain where I stopped to have an energy drink.  Next minute Clive and the sprinters turn up and the destination is Loggerheads. After a steep descent I’m promptly dropped but at least know where I need to go. I turn left at the Tee junction signed Loggerheads and follow the road down past a couple walking to the Cafe only to find I am first there. Next minute Clive and the others turn up obviously having put in another loop.

The fast group don’t generally do cafe stops on a training run and we were just about to set off when the others turned up. It was just as well as I knew I was going to get dropped again. Loggerheads Cafe well worth a visit now it has been done out. Menu wants a few additions  but it’s better than the high fat stodge they used to serve. As we are about to leave Peter and David turn up, we are a group again. Dave Newbie was also there. It was a strange ride.

Halfway up the hill from Loggerheads we turned off for Northop traffic lights, we all made the lights this time but Peter and Brother James were behind me and we were falling off the back. This was the big ring section of the ride and even at 25 mph I was having trouble closing on the group. The idea was to slow them down to let the others close up, it was not to be. I didn’t catch them untill Connahs Quay. Here we lost Chicago Dave who was listening to his ipod  when we turned off on him. We all ended up at the Eureka  with a tale to tell.

Barry turned up after his ride to the Ice Cream Farm which was closed. He went to the Candle Factory and ended up doing over 70 miles. Rode home with him via the Missing Link.

Will post a route later but one of the climbs out of Northop was at least 16% Gradient. There were small sections that were at least 1 in 4 as I had to bail out of the middle ring and use the granny ring. I’m not trying to be a hero, I looked down at the heartrate and it was 181 BPM.
Link to Google Map of Ride 

Sunday: Jack day but might fit a small ride in. Could do with dropping some Garmin map CD,s to Ray at the Eureka.
Cycle Promotions sale at Garston Leisure centre opens 10:30. Went last year and there was a fair range of kit there.
Let,s not get too transfixed on what I do, I do what I do because I generally like it. If it means pushing myself to someones level i’ll give it a go. If I fail it’s because they are better than me. Average means you are ahead of 50% of the population. I don’t know where I currently fit in but it isn’t in the bottom quartile.
I wear Discovery Channel cycling stuff to the gym so stick out like a sore thumb.
Everybody needs that buzz, I still get it but you need to recognise it.I had planned on doing a food diary for this week just prove that you don’t need to starve yourself to loose weight. I don’t diet as such but eat sensibly, the amount of exercise I do is the key difference. I take a 700ml water bottle in to the spinning classes and go through it in a 45 minute class. The body fat analyser scales that I use every day tell me that I am not dehydrated as my water content is always around the 50% mark.Jack day but might fit a small ride in. Could do with dropping some Garmin map CD,s to Ray at the Eureka.Cycle Promotions sale at Garston Leisure centre opens 10:30. Went last year and there was a fair range of kit there.Let,s not get too transfixed on what I do, I do what I do because I generally like it. If it means pushing myself to someones level i’ll give it a go. If I fail it’s because they are better than me. Average means you are ahead of 50% of the population. I don’t know where I currently fit in but it isn’t in the bottom quartile.I wear Discovery Channel cycling stuff to the gym so stick out like a sore thumb.Everybody needs that buzz, I still get it but you need to recognise it. I had planned on doing a food diary for this week just prove that you don’t need to starve yourself to loose weight. I don’t diet as such but eat sensibly, the amount of exercise I do is the key difference. I take a 700ml water bottle in to the spinning classes and go through it in a 45 minute class. The body fat analyser scales that I use every day tell me that I am not dehydrated as my water content is always around the 50% mark.

Weekending 06 Jan08

Monday: Work. Tried the chinups and struggled with eight
Tuesday:Work. Chinups again it was nine, just. Ride tomorrow so it was time to fix the punctured tubes from last week. Val had a go at fixing at puncture on the Trek from start to finish which went well considering you should never teach your wife to drive so to speak. Three punctures sorted.
Bloody hell the world is getting soft. The Dakar now doesn’t start till the 5 Jan 08. For the last 20 odd years it has been a Jan 1st start. I’ve had Sky installed for this  and they are all on holiday!!!!!
The write up of the early events that where that hard they were won by the motorcycles were great to read in the mags.
On the homebrew LED light project I managed to fry another 3 watt LED. The output of the 5watt one looks impressive at 1 amp but it has got to be heatsinked well.
Wednesday: Ride day. First ride of the year.
Eureka closed until 5 Jan meant I had no breakfast in me for the ride. Tough riding out into the headwind too. Just as well I wasn’t the only one who turned up for rides.  Clive set the pace and it was interesting to watch his high cadence style. Now the intention was to go to the Ice Cream Farm but it was not to be. Clive punctured so gets the first puncture of the year award. Couldn’t find the thorn and punctured again.
There was hedge cutting by the canal at the bottom of The Channel which was an ominous sign. Once over the canal the climb up proved interesting as I was making a conscious effort to match Clives pace.
All this did was confirm how unfit or how far things had slipped in the last month.
Heartrate hit 172 BPM which is zone 5 for me and the thing I’ve noticed on these rides is the better riders always have something in reserve, I’m on the limit so can’t increase my effort if someone attacks.
Cakestop turned out to be Elvis,s and it was spagetti on toast for me with the breakfast they serve being off limits for me.
Clive got his puncture sorted and it was a trip through the lanes on the way back. took a turn on the front chatting to Clive and by the sound of things I’ll be making a visit to the Velodrome at Manchester on the 17th.
Parting company at Willaston and it still being early it was time for a Cafe stop at Ness Gardens. There was a familar bike on the bike rack. Turns out Barry was out on a ride and had stopped there.
Talked for a bit about training and the like then rode to Parkgate and parted company at Gayton. 49.5 miles and felt good at the end of it.
Gym at West Kirby and a spinning class booked. A good start to the New year as I’ve a couple of kilos to loose.

Gym at West Kirby looks good but I was less than impressed with some of the machines all basic with no programs. The old machines were better. The weight machines are better in some respects as you can download data to a key but the gym doesn’t have the system. First spinning class of the year went OK with a max of of 175 BPM. Got to correct the above the machines have programs built in it’s just that I didn’t know how to access them.

 Thursday:  Booked into a morning spinning class.
Had a session on the weights before the class and the new stepper machine. Mentioned about the programs and got shown how to access them. Oops
Lost 1.3 kilos yesterday which a result.

Morning spin class08.JPG Had a good go in the spinning class and might do another one tonight as I’m starting to feel the form returning. Its a good start to the new year.

Booked into Louise,s first class, gave it a good go but I was a heartrate zone down on the morning class. Similar to last week. Weights upstairs but not too many, row for a minute 30,shower, home.
Friday: Eureka closed so it could be anything.
Came 130th in the CTC Competitions with 60 points from six events. For a bronze award.
Ray came 284th and Janet was at 159th. Saw a couple of names that I knew and there are a whole lot that I don’t know.
Gym then spinning at West Kirby. Not too much in the Gym. Had another go at the side stepping machine and it is harder than it looks.
Couldn’t give it my all for the class but it was a decent class all the same, heartrate  was a zone lower than best.


The Chester and North Wales section featured well in the results. Came as a bit of a surprise as I wasn’t targeting the events. Read Matthew Parrises apology on the Times website.
Saturday: Northend ride by the looks of things.
Quaker Oat Granola and fruit for breakfast meant I would be giving the Eureka breakfast a miss before the ride. Clive and Tempo,s ride was the pre training ride which is now on a Sunday. Boy do those training rides look tough.
We haven’t got past the church on the Chester High road before My irate motorist is honking his horn at us and shaking his fist at us. It was the only incident on the ride.
This turned out to be a tough ride I don’t know how tough as I didn’t wear the HRM strap but there were section where we were doing mid 20s so as not to fall off the back. Sprinting for signs meant the pace was upped so Lance couldn’t recover that much or that was the thinking. The stop was at Bellis,s garden centre for tea and a piece of cake.
The real action started after the cake stop. Had a go across the bridge at Farndon as Tempo and ANother went off the front, passed them by the turn only to find they were going straight on to drop a newsletter off.
I must mention Janets, Chester and NorthWales CTC 50 Mile Tourist Trial as it was one of the best events of the year.
The catering at the stop was superb and I ended up being first back to the Scouthut.
Janet should get extra comp points for organising such an excellent event.
Same goes for the 75 mile TTride a great event where I put one over the Sunlight who put one over the Northend. Who says the CTC aren’t competitive. 
Last year was such a good year event and ride wise that it will be hard to match let alone better but I’ll give it a go.
There are a section of fast CTCers that need to be catered for out there.
Where am I now, I need the battering that the Northend can give me. Conversely the Northend could do with some of the discipline that the CTC inspire. Firstman holds the gate open for the rest, you know what I mean, just manners really.
2007 was a great year but 2008 could be even better.
I went out with Merseyside CTC for a few rides and Allan Sheilds can’t be faulted for his rides, classic sting in the tail stuff.

http://www.merseysidectc.co.uk/  Look at the videos, 04/07/07 I’m in there somewhere. This was where they were suggesting I need a faster group to ride with.
The advice was taken and I started riding with the NorthEnd.
Sunday: Work, someones got to do it.
Pressups and some handweights at home. Read the 6 week workout that comes with this months Mens Health magazine. Well worth it for this double booklet. The other section is devoted to abs.


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