Weekending 03 Aug 08

Monday: Work. The planned evening ride didn’t come off. Well underestimated the price a US postal jacket would go for on Ebay.
Tuesday: Work. The 26 tooth granny rings came at at the astronomical price of £2.99 each, postage free over £5 so I bought two. There shouldn’t be a hill out there now that’ll stop me. Sunday sees me tackling the “Old Shoe” for the first time and another stab at Methodist Hill.
Fitted the new chainring and took it out for a spin, 26X27 is really low. On the flat you’d think the chain had broken. Plan ride in BikeRouteToaster.
Wednesday: Work. Route for Sunday didn’t save and Toaster locked up I’ve got to redo it. Finally got the Course sorted for Sunday, took a few cracks at it. The “Old Shoe” looks steep from the profile but shouldn’t hold any fears with the new gearing.


Thursday: Work. Spinning class. I needed this class to counter the Costa Coffees that I’ve been having at work. Hard class because I wanted it to be. Felt good after it.
Friday: First day off but looks like I’ll be spending some it under the Scenic.
£18 for an exhaust clamp!! Thought it would be a 5 minute job, took the best part of three hours. Don’t know whats up with the weather this summer, blowing a gale now. Going to take a chance going out on the toy.
20 mile ride taking in Ness gardens  and Denhall Lane where I met Kev coming down. Tested the new lower gearing which didn’t get a good test as its a max of 10 %. Tried the path along the front which ended coming out at The Harp. Then it was on to another Killer Climb at Lower Heswall, it’s been in Cycling Weekly but I’ve never rode up it until today.Redwood Drive.It’s a max of 16% with most of it around 14-15%. The final section up towards the Beacons is rough but not as steep.
Gym and a spin.
Margarets class at West Kirby always good because of the post class stretching.
Not as intense as Barbara’s classes, but it ratchets up throughout the class never backing off the resistance until the end. Had the fan for all the class which evaporates a lot of the sweat but increases the salt content of what is left.
Saturday: Light ride day. Met up with Barry and Chicago for a ride to the Blue Moon Cafe. Met the Northend on the cyclepath along the Dee which ended up at the Yaght and the Nags. Came home with something I was expecting at the start of the Day.

Sunday: Audax from Upton Magna. 130k.
Started at 9, a great day not without a few hiccups. The Old Shoe proved a bit to much for the 26 tooth granny ring. Stopped near the top where it goes to 20%. The minimum gradient is 10% with it peaking at 22%. The heartrate reaching 182 bpm and me really in the redzone. I should be doing these climbs as a matter of course rather than one offs.
Good end to the week. Ride write up with a few pictures if the camera wasn’t misted up.

Weekending 27 Jul 08

Monday: Work. Home, blog.
Tuesday: Work. Home, blog. Caught the Tour on ITV 4.
Wednesday: Work. Lifestyle and Weight Management followup class. Couldn’t do the spinning class, watched the Tour.
Thursday: Off. Spinning at West Kirby, gym because I need it. A hot hard class had me up to 183 BPM at one stage, sweated buckets. Gym afterwards, weights, 175 calories on the Concept 2 rowing machine and 100 more on the side stepper was a Mars bars worth.
Booked tonights class too.
Turned up early to see a traffic warden patroling the car park.Had a good class but it was at a lesser pace than this morning.
For the first time that I can remember we had a front row  V the back row duel. Back row very vocal.
Entered Horseshoe Panorama Audax, 130 Km with a climb up Methodist Hill thrown in for good measure. Hopefully have the 26 tooth granny ring fitted by the event.
Friday: No spinning so might as well go for a ride. Going to make a day of it, a Steve Cummings Training ride by the look of things.
Steve Cummings Training ride it was, set out at 9 o’clock weather looking good, things went to plan until Oil Sites Road where it said there was no access to Elton or Ince so I diverted to the Cheshire Oaks roundabout and went out to Dunham Hill. Dunham Arms is no more and the site was looking a bit of a mess. Surprising the number of country pubs you see closed these days. Stopped to take a picture of Primrose Lane as it is the steepest part of the ride.
A bit further on while looking at the 705 Map I thought about a bit of a detour, ended up doing a bit of last weeks Northend ride.
First stop was the Station Cafe at Delamere, still a great cakestop. Been up for sale for a year. It was going to be turned into a restaurent for the new caravan site across the rails which incidently was full.
Next up is the run through Cotebrooke past the Millpool and by Oulton Park.
Free practice for whatever car event they are running this weekend.

73 and a bit miles
Spinning class at West Kirby.
Saturday: Plan to go out early as I want to see the Tour Time Trial. Rode out to the Eureka for breakfast, very quiet as everyone was out on a ride. Returned via Ness Gardens after putting in a loop down Denhall Lane.
Been playing around with the tri bars seeing what difference they make and it is at least 1 mph. The other is getting into a higher gear as when you go into the tuck the decreased wind resistance means you need to grab a higher gear as soon as you are in position.
Don’t know whether to go the whole hog and get a complete bike.
Still plenty of hours left after the Time Trial so went the cash  machine at Gayton, a motorist assuming I’m not going the garage nearly taking me out. After that it was a lap around the Wirral coast taking in West Kirby, Hoylake, Moreton, New Brighton and Seacombe waterfronts. Time trialed down the front at Seacombe with 25 mph coming up easily only to get baulked a couple of times. Thought it would have took longer , but glad I went out again, 28.31 miles. Home to record the the time trial again as the harddrive was full on the recorder.
Watched the Chris Boardman Hour on ITV4. Looking at the effort he was putting in I’ve left a few things too late in my lifetime.
One of the highlights of my turnaround is riding the velodrome. Riding the track is like doing the Obree dvd “The Flying Scotsman” for real. Once your on the front you get a really magical experience of riding the same track where World Records are set.
Taster sessions are cheap and include bike hire.
Sunday: Jack day. Museum and Liverpool 1. The Super Lamb bananas are everywhere with a map available for them with boxes to tick off, there’s a good ride in this somewhere.
Spinning at West Kirby, hot session and a virtually full class meant I was on the back row.
Checked out Vals bike as there are going to be some light evening rides starting tommorow. The Colnago Carbitubo getting an airing now I have a Mapei/Colnago top.

TLI Oulton Park Roadrace 2008

Second year of this event for me but I haven’t learnt much in that year. This was the last event in the series and I’d taken the day off work to ride it.
Maybe I shouldn’t have done the Spinning class and gym session but that is bye the bye.
JJ from the Sunlight was there and Clive was there too.


No lap times this time as I hadn’t set up the Garmin Edge 705 correctly.


The first lap has someone going off the front just like I did last year. For a novice like me it prove irresistible not to chase it down. This happens a few times until I eventually went off the back.
It is a dangerous time riding near the back  because there is a rubber band effect. If you haven’t got it in you to to get back on before the pace is upped  your history. I’d followed Clive on one lap  and it was obvious that race tactics play a lot in his rides. A lap later I fell off the back.
Once your a few yards off the back you may as well be 100. The tow is lost and your into time trialing mode.  This happened on the fifth lap this time.


I’d waved the meat wagon past and I was on my own hoping I wasn’t going to get dragged off the track. Others were starting to suffer too with a few calling it a day and taking the pit lane exit.
I eventually caught a chap doing his first event and looking at the colour of his number he was over 60. We chatted as we rode around the circuit thinking we were on the last lap.


Next thing two riders flash past us, we weren’t on the last lap, we had just got lapped.
Trying to up your pace is hard when you’ve been taking it easy. The important thing was not to  interfere with the race. The whole field came streaming past at a fair rate of knots but it was still a good evening. Costs the TLI £500 a night  to run this event while other circuits are are virtually free.  It’s on a Monday as from Tuesday it is British Superbike Practice.


Weekending 20 Jul 08

Monday: Morning spinning class at West Kirby followed by a session in the gym. Virtually the whole back row is in pink. Took it steady with the max being 170 BPM in the final seconds of the class. TLI roadrace at Oulton Park tonight.
Felt good, lets hope it stay with me tonight.
Watch Tour and sort the Toy out in the afternoon.

TLI Roadrace at Oulton Park. Learnt nothing from last year, finished a lap down. Write up, pictures and a Garmin link to follow. Tri bars to fit back on the Toy for tommorow. In hindsight I should have left them on.  Still a great day, got talking to a chap who also got fell off the back. It was his first race and looking at his number he was over 60. More in the  post.
Tuesday: Work. Brimstage Time Trial in the evening. Last one of the club championship. Need to work on the time trialing. Looking at Sundays results for the open 25 there are a lot under an hour and I’m nowhere near that level.
A fair number turned up for the last event of the series with plenty to play for.
Fitted the tri bars when I got in from work but a bump by the Grange on the trial had the whole bar rotate to what is was last week. Had Brad on my tail again and got passed just after the first roundabout. The good news was I was within sight of my minute man.
I’ve got to work on power climbing as I know I’m loosing shedloads on them.
After Drayton motors I’m catching my minute man and also Allan who is two minutes in front. The problem is I’ve got cars that won’t overtake between us.
Nothing for it but to go down the inside. It did work but I should have done it a bit sooner as every second counts.
Time for the night was 17:42 which is a new PB for this course. Previous was 18:51.
I still felt slow going past the Seven Stars but it is all relative. To take over a minute out of your previous time is great.
Retired to the club room after the event for banter and beers. Rode home before the light went.
Had a look at Chicago’s bike with a new Zipp disc wheel on the back. It weighs next to nothing. Barry goes from strength to strength with Chicago’s old disc wheel in his bike. Showed me his £10 helmet from Ebay. Aerodynamic but you wouldn’t want to hit the deck  in it. I won’t ride without a helmet these days, I’ve only got one head and want to keep it undamaged. 
At the end of the day it is all relative, if your improving  you’ll set a faster time than your peer who isn’t. My peer is Dave Large, managed to put 8 seconds into him tonight so it was a great result never mind the handicap.
Wednesday: Ride day. Set the bike up first though.
Out to the Eureka for breakfast and then it started to rain. Riding out through Capenhurst a few abandoned the ride and I had thought about it myself. Nip back home and watch the Tour. Just as well I didn’t as it proved to be a good ride the rain stopped and the sun came out on the way back. Stop was at Delamere Visitor Centre returning through Cotebrook. Downhill back to the Eureka. Windy on the way home, down to 10mph.
Picked up the DVD recorder, £185 for a DVD drive is a bit steep. Still got all of last years Tour on the harddrive so need a method of copying it.
No spin or gym as they are all on strike.
Thursday: No spin or gym again, Tesco for the comic and Aldi for the fruit which is cheap. Don’t need any of the Aldi cycling offers this time.
Watched the Tour. More bad news with another rider caught doping.
Friday: Got to grips with BikeRouteToaster Course Points. Plotted a course to the eureka and then rode it only to find it closed. So Ness Gardens it was, only to reach the lights at Two Mills and have the gear cable snap. Climb out of the dip in Puddington taken in the granny ring. I did have a spare cable but no means of taking the alternative nipple off the other end of it. The difficult part is getting the old nipple out of the shifter. Home for the Tour and just dodged the rain too.
Added the Garmin 705 CoursePoints page.
Another win for Mark Cavendish and it was time to sort the indexing out on the Toy. Going through the Missing Link undid the clean I had given it.
Margaret’s spinning class at West Kirby to round the day off.
Saturday: Last day off, got to make the most of it. Woke up looking at the binder of Pro Cycling on the bedside table. Riccardo Ricco was on it so I had to reread it. He’s been on this stuff since he was 17 and has Pantanni’s masseur.


Went to Chester and parked up by the Race Course with the Lord Mayors parade on. So far so good. Walking up to the centre the heavens opened. Hid in a doorway for a while and then made a break for it. The parade got a good soaking, medival dress just soaked it up. Kids were crying as there was nowhere to shelter and this was probably the first time they got wet. Brightened up latter and you would have wondered what all the fuss was about. Spotted Lance on the way there.
No ride but a fair trade off. Duttons for lunch, forgot my shopping so had to go back for it.  Will leave a bigger tip next time. Don’t have anything with chips in it as they are frozen  chips and soak up the fat.
Sunday: Work.

Fake (Nike) Discovery Channel Clothing

Now that Discovery Channel are no more there is more and more fake clothing appearing on Ebay. To the casual buyer it appears as genuine but the quality is poor.
I have a pair of fake socks that are nothing like the originals.
Here is a link to one of them.


He only gets away with it because he doesn’t infringe the Nike trade mark by mentioning Nike in the description. They are very poor copies. The genuine stuff is made in Italy and has a screen printed rubberised Nike logo on the front (of shorts)that will wear away with continuous use. New it should come with all the tags.
Original kit wears and washes very well and has good graphics on it. Fake stuff looks the part but why would you want to pay a rogue for blag  gear when you can have the real McCoy for similar money.

I’ve just had a look at my genuine shirts and my 2007 shirt has a white Nike logo above the vertical Discovery writing (0n your right when wearing the jersey).

Another clue is none of the Discovery Channel stuff used “Cool max”. The pictures are misleadingly small to confuse.

I bought some of the Green 2007 Discovery Jerseys that were only for the swansong Tour. These are now as rare as rocking horse shit. I’ve already been asked for one. That and a George Hincapie team issue 2006 jersey that I got off Ebay.

Weekending 13 Jul 08

Monday: Work. Home to watch the end of the Tour de France. Followed by The Science of Lance Armstrong.
Tuesday: Morning spinning class booked at West Kirby followed by the Gym. Watch the Tour. Pulford Time Trial in the evening.
Listened to the obesity debate on Radio 4 on the way to West Kirby, a BMI of over 30 limiting your treatment on the NHS.
Had a decent spinning class seeing as I had ran out of Quaker Oat Granola, had an Aldi isotonic drink after the class and a good 30 minutes in the gym.
Watched the Tour time trial. Swap the wheels over on the toy and try and break 25 minutes on tonights club 10.
Start 13th, could do with the wind dropping.
Added the Aldi Cycling Offers page to the site as they are coming around again.

Quite a few turned up tonight but it was really windy. The number 13 got put on upside down as per Fabian Cancellara. Chicago Dave notices as he has been watching Eurosport  too. Everyone lost time tonight, I lost 30 seconds on last week but have the GPS data to see where it was.


Looking at it, I was quicker in two sections and suffered just about everywhere else. I was trying to turn a big gear tonight which is fine with the wind  behind you  but I did slow down on some sections as I didn’t want to come off the tuck to change gear.
If I’m going to go for bar end shifters it probably means a new bike.
Couldn’t see the 705 data while riding as I played around with the screen views and made a mess of it.
Andy Walsh’s mounting system is the best I have seen with it mounted on a cross piece between the two tri bars.
I could play around with the position a bit before taking the plunge but it might be a bit better and cheaper to improve me. 
Wednesday:  Ride day. Great to see Steve Cummings going to the Olympics.
Rode to the Eureka for breakfast calling in at the cash machine at Gayton. It’s just great watching someone fill up a 4×4 with over £100 worth of petrol or diesel.
Only took the Discovery windshell which is showerproof.
Always talk about Tuesday’s time trial on the Wednesday these days.
The rain held off until the stop at the cafe in Caerwys. Nice Cafe, never been there before. Showers on the way back with wet roads meant I dropped back a bit. No  point in getting soaked on a wheel with no mudguards.
I’d been playing tail gunner all the ride since it split going up the Halkyns. This was until Woodbank at the end of the ride. A lorry caused me to drop back then it was on to the tri bars to catch up as I’d built up a fair head of speed there was no point of taking prisoners. I flew past the group to a few shouts and Lionel setting off in pursuit. All good fun and plenty of comments back at the Eureka.
Rain finally came in and It was time trial mode back home in it. Average 21 mph but hit all the lights on red.
Margaret’s spinning class at West Kirby when I had dried out.
Thursday: Booked into the morning Spinning class at West Kirby.
A repaired wheel to pick up and a bookcase to return to Argos.
15 minutes in the gym and then Barbara’s spinning class. No HRM so did it on feel.
Got asked twice how many classes I do a week, well it’s as many as I can fit in. I use a class as my 30 minutes of aerobic exercise a day.
Went hard for the final spin to Crank That.
Picked up the Times along with Cycling Weekly.
Opened up times2 to be greeted with the headline Thugs of the road. Three pieces from a cyclist a taxi driver and a pedestrian. All following on from the fine for the cyclist on the pavement who killed a girl.
Cycling Weekly this week is probably one of the best I have read.
DVD recorder isn’t recording to or reading disks and I’m running out of HDD space.
Built a flat pack bookcase which was a result as the duff one with damaged chipboard and missing screws was exchanged fairly effortlessly.
Attacked the Panasonic DVD recorder after buying a lens cleaner only to find the DVD motor wasn’t spinning the disk. Not a happy bunny.
Northend monthly meeting which I had intended to ride to but drove to.
Friday: Last day off, had planned on it being a ride day. See what the weather is like in the morning.
Refund from VirginMedia to bank and the DVD recorder to take to Ellesmere Port.
Watched the Tour, took hours to get XP service pack 3 installed. Rain stopped a ride so went to the gym and a spinning class at West Kirby.
Edit a few things on the site. Another Tour drug scandal breaking, never mind that it is a French team, the rider once rode with Lance Armstrong. The whole world is hellbent on linking Armstrong with doping years after he retired. I was sceptical as there was so much bad press about him. That’s the thing with the press there is no mileage in a good news story. If I hadn’t turned things around without drugs, an intestine bypass or stomach stapling I’d still doubt he did it clean.
This latest doping scandal probably won’t be last. Chuck the whole team out, the riders still haven’t learnt. Who on earth wants support a team of dopers. I can’t get to grips with the Simpson Saga, why make a hero out of a guy who died on the Tour because he was on amphetamines and alcohol. 
Enough is enough, work tomorrow.
Saturday: Work, got home to watch Mark Cavendish take another Tour stage. Blog and look at anouther routeing site.
Sunday: Work.


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