Weekending 01 Mar 09

Monday: Work first of four days in. Woke up to the phone going daft with texts coming in about Lance Armstrong. Pauls new site WWW.Twe2.Com doing the business and steaming them through. This has the making of something big. I’m up to 200 texts in two days now.
Tuesday: Work, booked most of July off, phone going daft again. Added BarlowWorld to Twe2 searches.
Wednesday: Work, got told a headlight and a sidelight were out so it was a trip to Halfords on the way home. Now the £100 bulb change is with us it’s time to loose some more flesh by changing them myself. The sidelight bulb proved to be a right struggle and the headlight needs the fuel filter removing. Sceduled in Friday Morning for that one. Phone going daft with Twe2 texts.
Thursday: Work. Picked up the comic on the way home.
Friday: Sorted out the blown headlight bulb on the Polo, not a five minute job on modern cars. Then turned my attention to the Iceni. Fitted a new freewheel I picked up from Colin at Wheelbase and then replaced the front brake block which were worn. Proved rather difficult as the locating screw was seized in the alloy housing.
Margarets spinning class at West Kirby, 650 calories a great stretching routine.
Asked about the Twixter bike classes as no one seems to be doing anything about them.
Saturday: Ride day, my only real opportunity for a ride this week. Got to make the most of it.
38 miles to Chester and back, Eureka for breakfast and then on to the River Dee cycle path.
Met up with the NorthEnd at the Eureka, sorted a map problem out on a 705 and showed Chicago Dave the 705 maps. Was told the story of how he got lost in europe following a stage and didn’t know where and the name of the hotel he was staying.
Sunday: Jack day, minature railway ride in Grosvenor Park, Blue Moon Cafe for lunch and back to feed the squirrels which are really tame. Booked a spinning class at West Kirby.
Twe2.com has really taken off for Paul with over 200,000 txts sent.

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Weekending 22 Feb 09

Monday: Work. Tour of California on late, a bit too late after a 12 hour day. Lance got his TT bike nicked, he’s now got 105,000 followers on Twitter.  Levi had a good ride after loosing a minute to Mancebo of Rock Racing bad boys on Sunday. Good to see it on Eurosport Live.
Tuesday: Work. 3 years ago today I was 19 stone and signed up to the lifestyle and weight management course, I’ve never looked back.
Wednesday: Work. Final day, desperately need to get out on a bike but it’s not to be. Watched the Tour of California when I got in. Sprints are going to be good this year with Cavendish and Boonen both in form.
Thursday: Spinning class at West Kirby followed by the gym. Row 2km run and weights. Did another session on the side stepper and it does seem to verify that high cadence is better. The machine ask you to step at a certain rate to varying resistance. Higher resistance demands slower stepping. At a low resistance it sets a steprate of 186 spm. This had me at the 400 odd watt level. Upping the resistance and lowering the steprate had me back down to 325 watts. Its still hard work and the heartrate is just below the red zone. Picked up the comic on the way home and there is an article on Lance and his high cadence technique. They also had a pop at him for Twittering everything and cutting them out of the loop. I’ve got news for Cycling Weekly, Lance has over 120,000 followers now which is twice the circulation of the comic.

Not only that the letters page is full of the usual British mentality of lets knock anything that gets to the top. This week it’s the track team. 
Sorted the Iceni chain out by giving it an ultrasonic clean and lubing it with some fancy chainlube I got from Eureka Cyclesports. Testing it out tomorrow. Don’t EVER EVER buy Finnishline Wet Lube it is truly useless, it’s taken me four years to reach this conclusion. It attracts every bit of grit and dirt that the front wheel throws up and this on a bike with extended front mudguards.
Starting to think about what rides I’m going to do this year which maybe a bit late in the day. Time trials are on the list as I need to do a 10 in less than 25 mins.  The Tour is at the top of the list and I’d really like to be on the Ventoux, that and the time trial at MonteCarlo.
This years Team Kit (any team) is looking expensive now with the bottom dropping out of the pound. £80 for a jersey takes some justifying.
Friday: Ride day, got a few things to sort out a few things on the way. Delayed the ride for an hour to let the frost thaw. Took Route 56 and had a trip up Resthill for the first time in a while, picked up a prescription and then called in at Wheelbase to order a new freewheel for the Iceni. The rebuilt freewheel is still noisy. On then to Hamilton Square which is very quiet these days and then on to Seacombe to pick the prom up. Tea and cake in the park and then on to New Brighton and Leasowe.
Called in at the Leisure Centre to see about the Twixter bike sessions. Took my bike in with me as it doesn’t look like an area to leave even a locked bike outside.
Maybe something next week as they have to get someone to take the class and then publicise it.
On to see Brian when I managed to get out of the estate, turned on the map to see where I was. Then on to Hoylake to see about a price for a Polo cambelt change. Then onto Morrisons at West Kirby for an Afternoon Tea.  As I was locking the bike to a post two were having a go over a disabled parking bay. One guy has been waiting 10 minutes for it and someone in a scenic drives straight into it.
Inside it’s not much better, with slow service and lack of seating. Morrisons in West Kirby must have the oldest customer base anywhere.
The woman opposite me is having fish and chips and when I look around nearly everyone is having them.
Call of nature and then head out to unlock the bike. Just about to get on my way but  give another cyclist the nod and see his bike, a Trek. Chat with him about the bike which he got from Harry halls in Manchester.
It’s an early Trek Madone that he’s had for about 10 years and still looks good. Turns out he’s 80 years old and still riding a carbon bike. Goes the shops on it and rides to Chester on it. He makes my day.
Straight up the hill and down the other side at 30 mph and then up Thurstaton cutting which can be scary with a lorry on your wheel. Pulled in to let the lorry pass which was greeted with a toot.
There no need to wind everyone up just because your in the right all the time. This is a narrow road with double white lines. Cycle path past the Cottage Loaf with a stop at Tesco pharmacy. Had a few strange looks while I was waiting, mind you I was in the Discovery kit, could have been worse it could have been the Slipstream Argyle.
Home for 32 miles.
Gave the bike the once over when home only to discover the chain worn out. New chain from Wheelbase went to CycleSurgery for The Lance Armstrong training manual and had a look at the Pearl Izumi kit with  40% off. A bit plain when when you like team kit.
Borders for Cycle Sport and then home. Settling down to watch the Tour of California time trial.
Saturday:  Fitted new chain to the Iceni, changed a tyre on the motor to keep things legal and had a look in a few bike shops in Chester. Can’t justify £5,000 for a time trial bike to do a few club 10,s. 20% off Treks for Feb at the Edge.
Sunday: Jack day, Paul’s  http://www.twe2.com doing well with an article in the DailyPost last week and a conference call with venture capitalists next. Called in a Formby Cycles to look at some nice bikes and kit. Specialized Transition TT bike for £2k but with Aksium wheels. Armstrong now at 152,000 followers. Can’t really justify another bike for time trials but I can dream.
Had some mail from Dave about the Liverpool-Chester-Liverpool 2009 ride now with a 90 mile option.
http://www.pennineevents.co.uk/Events09.html
looks like it clashes with a certain event that starts in Monaco that I want to be at.
Anyway it’s a great event if your looking to ride an organised event for the first time.
Various distances, go for it and surprise yourself.
Wild Wales entries are now open, 600 entry limit, not for the fainthearted. About as hard is it gets without being in a race. A piece of welsh slate that you value at the end of it. Triple or Compact reccomended.

Weekending 15 Feb 07

Monday: Work. Other than that had no central heating as the boiler had packed in on Sunday. Really missing a ride now but it isn’t happening.
Tuesday: Work. Just when I’m thinking about a Wednesday ride the bad news is British Gas are coming to fob me off again. Can’t be the pump that was replaced 3 and a bit days ago. We’ll see.  Another way of looking at it is a week to today 3 years ago I made the decision to turn things around. Been a great success, even today I got told by one of the canteen staff at work that I’ve managed to keep it off. (totally unprompted)
Wednesday: Should be down at the Eureka but this clashes with British Gas giving me the run around. Hope to get out on some sort of ride. Life style and Weight  Management Followup, a month off my first class 3 years ago.
It’s raining but the central heating is sorted and off out to the Eureka. Nothing big today but at least I’m out on the bike.
Got to the Eureka with only a few non club riders there. It soon filled up with Weaver Valley riders most of whom were in a right mess. The lanes being particulally snotty at the moment.
Rode home via Denhall Lane and Parkgate with a stop for water and a view of the snow on the welsh hills. 18 miles.
That’s the thing with the Eureka, it’s a local base for Wirral and Chester clubs  but a destination for clubs further afield.
Iceni rear mudguard bridge got replaced when I got home. Then it was off to Eureka Cyle Sports for some wheel bearings, some chainlube and front wheel support for the Tacx trainer. Cyclops 9701 Climbing Block. Had to buy it when I saw it as I had just been telling Keith about my trip up the Ventoux.  
Follow up class this evening,  6 turned up including moi. Two women had just finished their twelve months. Just 2 out of 25 starters. In my case it was 1 out of 25. NEXT CLASS IS 11 MARCH.  That’ll be my third aniversary of starting this life changing course.
Talk after things were sorted revolved around the PCT funding a lot of which is going into free classes for the overweight plus the equipment for the obese kids. Those big buck spinning bikes all paid for by the NHS. Along with the dance mats and it goes on.
The problem is that they have no one trained up to supervise the use of the kit.  I hope it takes off as there has been an awful lot of money invested in it. Can’t attend the roll out on Saturday as I’m at work, a four letter word.
Thursday: Comic day. Spin and the gym.  No central heating yet again, thought it was third time lucky but it was not to be. Off out for a spinning class. Gym afterwards, ran a mile at 11km/hr. 2km row in under 10 mins some weight machines and I was done. Threw away a lot of my 8 bit and 16 bit computer past. The start of a major sort out. There was a lot of it and there is more to go from the loft.
C64s, Spectrums, Amstrad mother boards and my first 386 machine went to the tip. The 386 had a clockspeed of 33 mhz which was quick at the time.  Iceni rear wheel got new wheel bearing and the freehub serviced. The freehub wants replacing even with some shims removed. Good to see how it all works. Bought an ultrasonic cleaner from Aldi and it worked really well. dunk the cassette in and it comes out like newish.
Northend Club night.
Friday: Rest day, put the wheel in to the Iceni change another tyre a piece on the cars and I’m off out.
Went to the Trafford Centre, wondered who would spent £20,450 on a mobile phone when there was a similar one for a bargain £4,000 pounds next to to it.
Found this on Twitter.
Share photos on twitter with Twitpic
Just the thing for a club 10.
Didn’t see anything like it at Decathlon in Stockport, undergoing a refit they have lost some of the cycling lines. Came out wih some Btwin tyre levers as getting the latest tyres off rims is becoming hard work. Bendy nylon ones don’t cut it anymore. It’s not the place it was and as it’s a French group the Euro is starting to hurt it. Some items appear to be a third dearer than they once  were.
Two tyres from Costco on the way home. The guy in front of me spent £960 for tyres for his BM and that was with 20% off, I got off lightly.
Saturday: Work. Going to watch the Tour of California when I get in. Managed to stay awake for most of it.
Sunday: Work. Someone has robbed Lance Armstrongs time trial bike and three race bikes from the team lorry. Barloworld had 21 nicked last week in Italy. You wouldn’t have thought it could happen in the USA. Lance up to 105 thousand followers now, the bike should be easy to spot. It’s plastered all over Twitter.
Managed to get the Times at 8 pm, this is unusual, there were loads of papers left which seems to suggest that everybody is cutting back on luxuries first. I’d like to see the circulation figures as I think they would be vastly down. The Times on Saturday is now £1 which is about right seeing as the format has changed, @ £1.50 it was too much for what it was. Good to Lance laying into Paul Kimmage at the TOC press conference and then answering his question, he should sue and see if the Times backs him up. Walsh article with Nicole Cooke was OK but wasn’t what it was billed as. A clean champ, no news there.
Lance’s bike only has a couple of km’s on it and he hasn’t ridden it for more than 5 minutes.

Weekending 08 Feb 09

Monday: Work, last day. A couple of inches of snow on the ground and no central heating means no faffing around thinking about exercise. Update blog and wait for the Tour of Qatar on Eurosport.
No British gas until Wednesday sometime. Booked in for a spinning class in the morning, at least it will get me out of a cold house.
Obviously no ride planned for Wednesday as I’m in but I could ride the Ventoux on the Tacx.
Following Bradley Wiggins at Garmin Chipotle seeing as he won the opening team time trial.
Tuesday: Spinning class at West Kirby followed by the gym. This was one hard class, lots commented on it. 830 calories worth. Forgot the water bottle and had a fruit drink out of the machine. Problem was it had a screw on lid. Pity I haven’t got the Garmin HRM sorted as it was around 170 bpm for a lot of it.
Gym afterwards, tried a different program on the sidestepper which was hard. It had me into the red a few times.
2 Km row , some weight machines and I was done. Shower and Aldi for lunch.
Tour of Qatar on Eurosport with Tom Boonen taking the win and time bonuses.
Costco for a tyre for the Polo, while waiting for that  to be fitted it was a trip to Cheshire Oaks. Looks like the recession is starting to bite. Loads of space, shops empty, staff looking for sales.
Came out with 3 cycling mags which should keep me occupied for a while.
Managed to get a place on tonights spinning class at West Kirby, a couple of newcomers. Only 696 calories tonight. Same class as this morning which even Barbara admited was hard.
Now if you if you think I’m overdoing it with the cardio one of the women has done three classes today. Two on the bounce and one this evening.
Wednesday: Got to wait in for British Gas so no ride. Mind you the slush froze overnight so it’s not high on my list.
Promised myself I was going to ride the Ventoux on the Tacx. More to come.
88 and a bit Kg this morning so yesterday was a success, the important thing is keeping it off. The odd ache is telling me I should take this as a rest day.
Tour of Qatar on Eurosport at 11.30 am.
Set up the Tacx for the ride but found the wheelbearings shot on the rear. Had a trip out to Deeside with Val but no joy with the bearings. Came home, measured them up and bought 3 off Ebay for £1.30 a throw. Paid £11 for the last one. Ceramic ones next.
Some nice bikes in Deeside including a Dolan time trial bike with Hed wheels. Lots of carbon.
Spinning class at West Kirby 525 calories and I’m done for the day.
Thursday: Waiting in for British Gas to replace a pump on the central heating. Tacx set up for the Ventoux.
Tour of Qatar interesting to watch on Eurosport with Dave Harman trying to comment on featureless stages with no spectators, a bit like the Tour of Spain. Comic day. No morning spin as it is full.
Central heating now sorted.
Just about to try the Ventoux on the Tacx. 12 miles. It starts off  pretty easy and I’m in the middle ring for this one. The problem with this is that it gets you nowhere fast.
An hour in I’m only 6 miles into the climb. So its looking like a 2 hour climb. Heartrate was about 120 for most of it . After 1hr 45mins I had to stop to go to the spinning class I managed to get on, This was a really flat class for me and I still had 3 miles to ride when I got home.
They were a hard 3 miles as I wanted to finish it. You should have seen the state of me at the end, drenched in sweat, even my arms were sweating. 2 Hrs 2 minutes.  54 miles of this is going to take me all day by the look of it.
Team GB have destroyed all the GB skinsuits which is a pity as I was offered one of them but didn’t take it up. Damn.
Barloworld have had all their bikes nicked in Tuscany.
The indoor training is harder than you would think, watching pros go up climbs like the Ventoux and then emulating it in your front room is hard work. 2 hours on one climb means I’m going to have to set aside more time to do them.
Friday: Last day of the Tour of Qatar and my last day off. Sorted a few bits out, picked up a mudguard bridge for the Iceni from Wheelbase.
Gym and a spin at West Kirby. 2km row at 148 watts. 1 km run at 9.5 km/hr and some weight machines. The women on the reception gave me a leaflet about the new Twixster machines they are getting at a few locations.

http://www.trixter.net/

Sounds a bit like a spinning bike with a Tacx I magic attached to it. Supposed to give an upper body workout too. Margaret took tonights class and mentioned the machines too. They have had the training and they go live next Saturday. Bit of a dilema here as It’s a Northend ride day.
Reception mentioned something about Wirral PCT funding them so there are probably going to be classes for those starting an exercise regeme on the NHS.
Margaret said you’d burn 500 cals in half an hour on these bikes as some cheat on the spinning bikes. (quite a lot actually) Interval based class from Margaret with a good stretch at the end. 550 calories, god knows what an Twixter is going to be. Not much more as you can’t give much more as your best on any given day.
Shower, home.

Edited a few links to the BHF diet and also had cause to look at the NHS BMI calculator.
Saturday: Work. The rear wheel bearings for the Trek Racelight wheel arrived which was quick. At £1.30 a throw there should be one left for a rainy day. Something to do next week.
Sunday: Work, now with no breakfast service, I could go on but why waste time.
Home to try and sort the wheel out, missing a cone spanner and then the central heating threw it’s hand in 4 days after having a new pump installed. Reassembled the cassette put it back in the frame and it was fine !!!!. Could have been a slack skewer as the bite doesn’t seem too good compared with a Bontrager one. Using the Tacx skewer for the Imagic.
Not best pleased with British Gas as they only replaced the motor and not the pump body too.