Weekending 06 Apr 08

Monday: Work but found out I should have been riding the Poynton to Chirk Audax yesterday.
Spent the evening planning Sundays ride and here’s a snapshot of it.
Still using Marengo in preference to other route planners, mainly because it works every time and as I’m using version2 I can save and export routes for the rides.
So here is the link.  http://www.marengo-ltd.com/map2/index.php?route=3168
200 Kms in under 90 waypoints. The route sheet comes with extra directions for those without gps but its not going to be a problem as once programmed in you’ve an accuracy of 9ft.
Poynton/Chirk was a classic ride last year. The weather made it probably as tough as you want it be.
Tuesday: Work. No exercise, spinning or gym. Still catching upon lots of things and that eats up time in the evening.
Wednesday: Work again but  may fit in a spinning class or at least a gym session. The light nights mean a few Brimstage TT’s are not out of the question.
Had a session in the gym, managed to get a bike in the booked up spinning class and had another go in the gym, ran a kilometre @ 10 km/hr and then another 0.6 @ 11.1 km/hr to run the proverbial mile, shower and home.
Garmin 705,s starting to appear on Google searches might try to get one before the weekend, starts to get a bit complicated when you see them bundled with Garmin Maps.
Thursday: Not a ride day as yet but I am off, to be concluded.
Possibly as spinning class.
Painted the bathroom, ordered an Edge 705 for tommorow.
Also won a Discovery Channel shirt on Ebay, one of George Hincapies team issue shirts.
Spin and a 20 minute gym session was first class. Had a session on the side stepper while waiting to go on the other machines. Uploaded the data to Garmin.
Barbara’s music is off Floorfillers 08 with chestpresses done to Now Your Gone and the final sprint to Crank That by SoulJa Boy, good track for Time Trialing, crank in some resistance and bury yourself. Had the pulse max out at 180 BPM coming out of the saddle at the end.
Friday: Had thought about a Steve Cummings training ride but it may not come to pass as there is a lot on.
Managed a 20 mile loop to the  Eureka for breakfast and then home.
The Hincapie team issue shirt was there and I’m torn between wearing it or framing it.
It’s got a radio pocket sewn in the back pocket.
The Garmin Edge 705  arrived around 2 oclock and I’m off out to buy a memory card for the maps. You only get a quickstart refererence with it with the manual on CD-Rom so the learning curve remains just as steep for a first timer. It just got steeper as I can’t find Routes in it !!!!!.
What does it take for me to miss a spinning class, a Garmin Edge 705 I guess. Guess I need a day off, the muscles around the knee are hurting so last nights session was high intensity
Saturday: Try out the 705 and take it easy before Sunday.
Fitted it on the Trek and it looks a lot bigger on the stem. Also replaced the battery in the cadence sensor and synchronised it with the 705.
It turned out nice in the afternoon I’d played around with the 705 and decided to try out the 705 on the 7.1 Mile Brimstage Time Trial.
Altered Marengo with the new start point and found GPSBabel doesn’t like the 705 so tranfered the route in to Mapsource and exported it from there. The Garmin Edge 705 sees it as a Ride and not a Route. You still Navigate it as per the Edge 305.

Forgot to put the HRM strap on and it was quite windy in parts but at least I have a time. Through Thornton Hough I got baulked by a horse, there was no avoiding it as a bus and a string of cars were on the opposite side of the road. Cost me maybe 10 to 15 seconds. Saw Cannondale Kev going out to the Eureka as I was heading to Drayton Motors. Being on map mode meant I couldn’t see what speed I was doing and it didn’t seem that fast in places. Anyway I make at 20 minutes give or take a second for the 7miles. I know I can do better than this.

7mileTT.JPG Looking at the chart the horse took longer than the ten to fifteen seconds I thought it had. 28 mph on the top road was Ok but I’m having problems shifting into the big ring. The Machined chainrings just don’t want to let go of the chain
Sunday: Already weather warnings for the ride. Hopefully the weather will be OK  Trek Madone if it’s not wet. First 200 km ride of the year. Ray is 1 up on me thanks to my no show last week. Early season 75 entry came through the post today.

Weekending 30 Mar 08

Monday: Work, first day of the new shift pattern. On call to boot. No exercise other than walking between zones for a couple of miles.
Tuesday: Work. A 7 pm finish time means a gym session would mean not getting fed till around 9 pm. Give it a miss tonight.Booked a ticket for the World Championships at the Velodrome.
Wednesday: Ride day come what may. Looks like rain, but a bit of rain never hurt anyone. Got to the Eureka for 9:30 and I was the second in there, I was begining to think this was going to be a bad day. As it happens things turned out quite well. Richard was calling the shots and it proved to be a decent 67 mile ride. First off it was down Woodbank and across the A5117. Once in Upton it was down to the cyclepath and an easy trip through Chester. After a pleasant route to the Fruit Farm Cafe at the bottom of the Yeld it was a disapointment to find it closed. SummerTrees was not our original destination. It can be a bit expensive if your are on a budget.
Sandwich, Tea and a scone for £5.50. proved decent value.
The Tour of the Berwyns Audax finishes here and it is a quality destination.
Thursday:  It doesn’t get much better than this, watched us win 3 Gold medals at the track and set a new world record to boot. All for £10. more later, maybe some of the couple of hundred pictures I took. Major dissapointment with the camera, it just doesn’t want to work properly indoors. That or the fact that the riders are doing 60 km/hr.

Friday: Bad weather means no ride and a switch to DIY. Start redecorating the bathroom. No spinning as I want to watch the track World Championships.
Saturday: No ride today. Watched the track World Championships while trying to redecorate the bathroom. Starting to get a bit drawn out. Put a spoke in the Iceni and tried to true the wheel. Cleaned the cassette with Gunk and realised just how much I’m wearing things out during the winter.
Another great day at the track, now up to nine Golds. Got the route through for next weekends Audax the first 200 km of the year.
Sunday: Feed the ducks day and watch the track World Championships.
Managed to get a spinning class at West Kirby. Needed to do something as I haven’t done a thing since Wednesday. Felt good with heartrate spending 21 minutes in zone 4 but only 19 seconds in zone 5.
A fitting end to a great week, saw GB win three golds and a set a world record at the worlds and I was there.

Garmin Nuvi 250W

I finally ended up buying an Automotive SatNav and I’m blown away by the ease of use of it. It’s got full European mapping as the intention is to do some training in Spain.
Once the screen brightness is adjusted it is very easy to use.
I can see why I get so much traffic for the Garmin Edge Tutorial. It’s not in the same league function wise.
The amount of data pre loaded into this unit is just amazing. Conversly if your an Edge addict you’ll miss all the heartrate, gradient and  other data that it provides you with.

This is a mass consumer product and it’s got to work straight out of the box and it does. Pre loaded with 6 milliom POI,s it tells you where the speed cameras are. It also comes with all the local restaurants, cash machines  etc which can be really usefull in a jam.

On the way home from West Kirby I took a detour down Mere Lane and wished I hadn’t. This is an unadopted road and full of water filled potholes. I used to use this road as practise when I rode an Enduro bike but it wasn’t this bad!!. Missed a great sunset from the end but it’s a resident thing.They choose to keep it in that condition. Have done since I was 13 so not expecting much movement. 

This is purely a navigation device and you don’t get the satisfaction that you can by programing an Edge. It doesn’t log and you don’t get that funtionallity you get with the Edge.

Apart from software updates there isn’t much more to it. There is no training centre to keep up to date but once it gets used out of Britain it will have paid for itself multi times over.

Weekending 23 Mar 08

Monday: Gym and a spinning class at Europa Pools. Two fifteen minute sessions on the crosstrainer, 2 km of rowing in 7 min 50 seconds, weights and then the spinning class.
The class doesn’t finish till 8 so it’s a long day. Making a few lifestyle changes over the next week or so to see if they have any effect.
Tuesday: Spinning class at West Kirby and I was pretty sure I was booked in last week but was in good time to get a place once the 15 minute rule came in. Two women in front of me got places and I got the third. Mayhem ensued when about five turned up to no bike. Heidi who is always late stood no chance.
Now this was a good class with a solid 20 minutes in Zone 4 and 7:45 in Zone 5. In contrast to Mondays class where I already spent an hour in the gym the figures were in a different league. My max for Monday was 145 BPM in contrast to tonight where my average was 149 BPM.
Still looking to get one of the first Edge 705’s but the mid March launch now looks like April. Very frustrating for the likes of me but it doesn’t detract from what a superb device the Edge 205/305 is.
Garmin Connect is starting to improve but it is nowhere near ready or as good as MotionBased. With over a years worth of data on TrainingCentre and over 100 rides on MotionBased it’s not something I want to give up and loose that data.
Picked up MensHealth Magazine  on the way home along with enough fruit to keep me going for a few days.
Wednesday: Spinning by the look of things.
Spin at West Kirby, no agro over bikes as there are four free. Two first time guys get shown how it should be done by a largely classfull of women. I’m a zone down on last night which does suggest you should have a restday after a period of intense effort.
Thursday: More of the same. Spare bikes as people cry off due to the wind. Still talking about Tuesdays class.
Friday:  Bit of a mixed day. Weather is changing by the minute an I was planning a gentle ride with Val. As it was I ended up buying a Garmin Nuvi 250W more of which later.
I’ve received 2 letters from the DVLA one is for the Triumph which has SORN declared on it. The other I assumed was for the Scenic. Spent 2 hours ripping the house apart looking a non existent license renewal. DVLA had sent 2 renewals for the Triumph. Only sorted when I looked at the Renault tax disc and found out it runs out next month.

Janet sent out the results for the Spring 50. Phil and I have a time of 3 hours and 5 minutes. 5 mins less stuffing our faces with sandwiches and it would have been 3 hours. 
Only jesting it was about right, around 15 minutes, I will check. It was another nice spread and Bob said they wouldn’t let them have the food that was left over.
The sausage rolls hardly got touched. I wasn’t tempted by them as I’m wary of anything with a high fat content. Probably needlessly these days as I’m burning so much off.
Saturday: Paul and Jack came over and sorted out the laptop. Thought about going out on the Colnago until I saw the snow however 15 minutes later it was blue skys and sunshine. Watched Milan-San Remo on Eurosport instead. Borders for a magazine and a hot chocolate. Been thinking the Brimstage time trial. As I’m living on the course it would be a waste not to do them as training.
Sunday: Ride day. With snow forecast it was hard to know what to wear but the bitting wind yesterday meant adding another layer. Crane sports compression thermal top got put on and the Crane sports winter jacket got used again. Picked up a wheel just past Hadlow road on the way out to the Eureka. Eureka was quiet for a Sunday with lots of riders staying at home for one reason or another.
Had the usual breakfast and then it was time to look at Barries demo bike from the Bike Factory. It’s a 2008 Trek Madone in black and white. Mine is a 2006 Madone 5.2 in Discovery Channel colours.

I ended up going out with the fast group and it 20-22 mph down the Dee cyclepath. Part of the route retraced the previous weeks CTC 50 mile Tourist Trophy. The main group were doing a loop back to the Eureka as most wanted to catch the football. I turned off for the Ice Cream Farm and they must have been expecting big numbers as they had marshalls at the end of the road.
Because of all the weather scares they would have been better off at home. The cafe was not as packed as I would have though for a bank holiday weekend. The Seamons CC were out in force and the Wilkinson family turned up and there was a table near us talking about the tractor rally and that was about it.
It’s quite a sight to see a couple of hundred vintage tractors coming the opposite way.
The route back to the Eureka was the Steve Cummings training ride route via Mollington and Upton, crossing the A5117 at the crossing near the speed camera.

Bumped in to Cannondale Kev at the Eureka and then it was home via Puddington and Parkgate. Parkgate was quiet too with a strong headwind blowing down the Dee. Hit the stop button at the end of the road 67.5 miles.  A good end to the week.

CTC Chester and North Wales 50 Mile Tourist Trial Sunday 16th March 2008

I rode this event last year and surprised myself by being first back. Now I wasn’t expecting the same this year far from it. I’ve had this nagging doubt that I’ve been overtraining probably just nerves as I had such a good year last year.

This year there were 108 entries which is a fair bit up on last year. I’m in the tenth group to go off which means the ones that started first have 50 minutes on us. Everybody seems to hate the climb straight out of the scouthut. It’s not that hard but it does sort everyone out right at the start.

I’ve got gear problems from the new chain I fitted last night, it’s jumping about all over the place and stuck in a low gear I end up going off the front with Phil from the Chester Road Club in tow. I’m just trying to gain a bit of time to sort it out.

Once at the top it’s big ring stuff to 5 ways and the Mile Road. Phil and I have started to pick off riders that started earlier as it’s still a fast pace. Chris is by the side of the road in a bus shelter fixing a puncture. He still has the hill at Marford to climb and hasn’t got much chance of catching his group.

Phil and I pick off a few more going to Borras and the first control. This gives me the chance to sort the gears out while Phil has his sheet signed. The next section to Farndon is fast and last year we had passed half the entry by this point. Not so this time as the field is larger and more spread out. Gave us time to sort ourselves out wile crossing the bridge. A good turn of speed over the bridge gives you momentum on the climb on the other side. The Edge is doing it’s job, Phil is having a few problems with his but he is riding off Ray’s route.

Next up we come across a group with Roy and Joan in it with Andy. There is a bit of banter as we are either slow or they are quicker as we had passed them by Farndon  run in last year. The control point had been moved a few miles along but it wasn’t a problem. That’s the trouble with GPS, it’s accurate to 9 feet, shift a control point and your buggered. This years ride went pretty well.

A bit further on after the second control point we latched on to Allans group. These are handy guys. One of them stuck with us. Phill lost something but we caught the other guy up .Next stop was  Overton and although we missed the turn the mileage was the same.

Signing in Bob is prompting me for a 3 and 1/2 hour finish time?. Hadn’t thought about it but it seemed do-able.

DSCF3674.jpg DSCF3675.jpgDSCF3676.jpgDSCF3678.jpg

Not too many pictures this year, the second one is Ray Guy and Martin at the serving hatch. Despite going like bats out of hell we had only managed to put ten minutes into them.The time is above them. We passed the couple on the tandem further down the road an they weren’t hanging around. The last one is of Phil, managed to stick with him most of the time when I wasn’t on the front he sure does know how to push.
The low battery warning on the camera started flashing so it got put away.

There were fairly strong headwinds on the way back with the next section to Bangor on Dee being strong due to it’s open nature.

Saw some other riders still riding to the control including Roy and Joan again.
Didn’t put the extra mile in this year as I had programmed in the turn to Farndon, last year I was heading off to Churton.

The run to Rosset was straight, exposed and could have been better once we had crossed the main road we came to a T junction where we had a wrong turn. The Edge soon showed it up and we only went off course by about 200 yards. With 3 miles to go it was worth looking at the ETA and as the pace was constant it proved very accurate. With a mile to go another pair of riders appeared on the horizon so the pace was upped. We needn’t have bothered as they wern’t on the ride.
At the scouthut it looks like the control wasn’t open as the door was closed. Going inside the control was open and the sheet duly signed. 3 hours 5 minutes for the 50 miles including the stop. Average speed 17.7 mph according to the Edge.

Rode home via the Eureka for another good day.

Weekending 16 Mar 08

Monday: Cycling offers at Lidl. Got the last pair of SPD shoes that were my size. Would have prefered the woman,s colour of blue/grey than our orange/grey but they are great value. I currently spin in £97 worth of trainers and the pedals are wrecking them. Should the Oval ever open up they will fit their pedals. Took it easy tonight, had a session in the gym and didn\’t overdo it in the spinning class. There were only 8 of us in the class. Wasn\’t a bad class, Louise feeling a bit under the weather. Shower, home.
Tuesday: Booked in at West Kirby. Not looking to break any records with Sunday,s ride coming up. At least we had a class as we were all cancelled due to a power cut then phoned back to say the class was back on.
Wrote an Ebay guide to the Edge 305 series. Can\’t link to the site but is easy enough to find these days.
Had a decent class without a maximum effort, shower and home. Tried the Lidl cycling shoes out, they were pretty good. A lot stiffer than than trainers. The colour is terrible though, orange doesn\’t go with anything I wear. Would have prefered the woman\’s colours. (blue/grey)
Wednesday: Another spinning class booked, at least it\\\’s indoors and not in a gale.
One of the women on the back row had her handlebars come off the bike and fell onto the post and then off the bike. The first aiders were called and the class finished. Don\’t know how she faired but it looked like she had hurt herself.
A few of us went to the gym instead. Had a go on the stationary cycle but it just isn\’t the same and starts slipping if you try something aggressive on it like getting out of the saddle. Crosstrainer for 15 minutes, weights, shower and home.
Thursday: Spinning at West Kirby and remarkably the woman that fell off her bike was there. Talk about facing your demons. Most of the class don\’t know what happened and can\’t picture it. Trust me I wouldn\’t like it to happen to me. Had a good class then shower, home then off to Northend monthly meeting on the bike.
Finally got a Northend shirt with pockets in, it\’s a tight aerodynamic cycling fit. Clive doesn\’t want his riders going out in oversize clothing. Couldn\’t get any rainwear to fit but it\’s a start.
Carol hadn\\\’t had her entry back for Sunday\’s run, but I did mention that Bob had mentioned the Northend entries at the Eureka last Sunday. Maybe there was no SAE. 
I\\\’m in group 10 so last off. I still reckon last year will be hard to beat. I mean the total year not just a one off ride. If I  don\’t manage it I\’ll still have done well by most peoples standards.
Friday:  Maybe a spinning class, or a track session,.As it is this was a bit of a black day. No spinning  as an Ahead change didn\’t go to plan. A still hasn\’t. Colin has the Toys front wheel for truing.I\’m in deep shit with the Iceni, missed a spinnng class which speaks volumes.  Called it a day
Saturday : Iceni to Colin Brick first thing. Picked up the wheel for the toy. Started putting up a blind which eat into the day. Picked up the Iceni from Colin all sorted and put on the new chain as the old one was worn. Looks like is going to be a wet ride so the Iceni is being fettled in advance.

Re programmed the Route with good old Marengo. The Garmin export facility from last years ride playing up for some reason. With a bit of luck the weather will be ok  on the day as I\’m looking forward to using the toy.
Sunday:  Tourist Trial ride day. A great day. Ride write up later


Weekending 09 Mar 08

Monday: Managed to get a space on the spinning class at West Kirby. Traffic is critical in getting to this class. Made it with minutes to spare. Did the class followed by half an hour in the gym. Did a hundred calories worth on the side stepper as I couldn’t get on much else. Same as last week, machines getting used as chairs between sets. Half an hour later I’ve had enough and it is shower and home.
Completed and posted the entry to the Chester and North Wales CTC Spring 50. 
Tuesday: West Kirby for a spin. Tough class, didn’t have a towel so sweated loads. More like I didn’t have a towel  and the floor got wet. Ten minutes on the weights beforehand. Best class for a while probably because I didn’t have a fan. Usual rush for the back row but there is no hiding in a class like this.
Wild Wales entry completed. Will be in the post first thing.
Wednesday: Lifestyle and weight management course followup class. A year since I finished mine.
If you measure results by numbers the results aren’t too hot I’m afraid to say. If you take a wider view and look how it can turn someones life around like mine the results look a bit better.
This is a week where you get to meet a class that are just a month into their course.
If you do the full year you will see three of these classes. This might be my seventh.
It’s only an hour of my time but I still gain from it. What I still find disturbing is the dropout rate. Half make it to the end of the classroom sessions (3 months) and then it drops off dramatically.

This is a great shame as what would it cost you for an hour of Ron’s time. Try not to miss your first one as you need that feedback from your fellow class members and others that are further down the line. I kept loosing at a similar rate once the classes had finished as I was still sticking to the plan.

If you’re not very active like I was you’ve got to turn it around and become that active person. This is just the start, I don’t suffer after rides or events but normal “work” just doesn’t do it for me these days, it has to be something else such as a spinning class or a decent ride.
Four of us turned up for the followup class and for two it was their last month on the course. Got introduced to what seemed like a big class and gave out a fair few cards with the site address on it. Now the four of us were in the class for the full hour so that’s 15 minutes a piece getting your problems sorted. Ron went on to say already a few had dropped out. So I’ll say it again the course is for twelve months, at least do the full course. I kept loosing weight after the twelve weeks because I was still following the plan. I didn’t quit because I’d had a bad week and might have put on.
This isn’t like Slimming World or Weight Watchers where you can rejoin if you want to.
Once you miss a class your chances of picking it up again are pretty slim. Dates change and people drop out of the habit and once that has happened your on your own.

No gym, treating it as a rest day. The routine is going to change, I’ve looked at the calender and the riding, racing, time trialing season is upon us. Throw in Audaxes, sportiffes and challenge rides and it looks like a fairly full season.

Monday to Friday hasn’t done me any favours and the Steve Cummings Training Rides look like a thing of the past at the moment. 

Thursday: Spin at West Kirby. Plan to go hard on this one, we’ll see how it turns out.
Had a good class but this Monday to Friday work lark hasn’t been to my liking and I’ve had this impression that I’ve either been overdoing it or not getting enough time on the bike. Well the good news is I’m going back on four on four off. So the plan is to do two rides per block. Steve Cummings Training Rides are back. One of the women in the class last night mentioned that I had found something that I liked doing, well she had a point.

There are times when I just like riding on my own at my own pace, have a go when I feel like it and just do my own thing.
Barry Jones has got himself another seat from Cycling Weekly for this weeks “It shouldn’t happen to a cyclist” article. It’s a worthy winner. I’ve been there too with Carol setting the pace on the front and us blokes sitting on her wheel. I’ve been driven to have a go on the front myself to stop feeling so guilty. Carol is Carol Boardman, Chris Boardman’s mum.  Pity I can’t link to the article.
Friday:  Half day at work. Lot’s to sort out. Spinning class at West Kirby. I’ve been wordering if I’ve been overdoing things for a while well I’ve finally worked out whats been making me feel this way. I’ve picked up a cold.
Saturday: Rest day went to Llandudno for shoes and called in at Woods to look at the bikes. Bought a HD DVD for the Xbox360 now only £40 at Game.
Sunday:  Had arranged to ride with Barry and Ben. But before that it was a trip to the cash machine at Gayton garage and an easy ride to the cafe. Seemed to hit all the lights on red again.
Saw Bob and Jill in the Eureka and Bob Said there are 97 starters for next weeks Tourist Trial. 40 opting for the 4 hour start so it looks like I’ve got a bit of competition.
Not a race but it didn’t seem like it at times. Hope the weather is good as by enlarge I had good weather for a lot of rides last year. Poynton to Chirk and  the Snowdonia Audaxes were the exception and they were extreme so to say.
This is a points scorer for the CTC competition. I’m aiming to finish higher up the list this year.
Anyway four of us are riding to Rose farm cafe. This was my first ride with Merseyside CTC Wednesday section. If you were on the ride you had a treat as it was all on me as it was my birthday. I remember arguing with Bob at the till about picking up the tab.

Bumped into Andy Walsh in the Eureka which is a first. Now this is the first time he has been out on a bike this year, I joked about it but it was true, he’s only done 6 miles this  year and the ride to the cafe was it. This is the Northend club champion!!!!.

Barry is the ride photographer for this ride and the first is when I pickup a puncture just after we had crossed the canal around Chester Zoo. Better this weekend than next, but I can’t find the cause.


Carol has been getting a lot of stick off the Sunlight about Barrie’s “It shouldn’t happen to a cyclist” post in Cycling Weekly. The thing was she hadn’t seen the article so didn’t know what was going on.

Not a bad run out to rose Farm Cafe, the puncture slowed us a bid as we could have done another loop around the back. Thanks to Barry for forwarding the pictures. There aren’t too many of me on the site as I’m usually taking them. So I’m always grateful of a picture.


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