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.


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.

11 thoughts on “Weekending 08 Feb 09”

  1. Hi Frank,
    New to your site. Very motivational.. sorry if you have already been asked, but how do you find the real time on the tacx, I got one recently, and started Alp D’Huez but got a bit down after an hour as i had only reached turn 11. Im getting back into cycling. Keep up the good work

    Im at 16.6 stone hoping to lose about 3 stone.

    All the best

  2. Hi Keith, I think it’s pretty realistic. There is a post about my climb of the Pyranean stage. 8 miles long and it took me nearly an hour, hardest thing I’ve done for a while.
    I’m going to tacle the Ventoux by the weekend as things got put on hold today. I’ve just found the final climb as I thought you had to do all 54 miles at one stage.
    You’ve got to be realistic, I was in the big ring doing 8 mph wondering when it was going to end.
    Look at the severity of them: Hard. These climbs test the best in the World, mere mortals like you and I are going to struggle.
    Try a decent 10% hill and see what you average up it. It won’t be too far off your Tacx speed.

    Good luck with the weight loss, I found something that worked for me and stuck with it. If I ease off now the weight creeps on again.

  3. Hi Frank,

    Cracking site very informative and motivational.

    As a 46 year old Clydesdale I decided to get back into cycling last year and did the Manchester 100 miler in September.

    I now have the bug and really fancy a few of the sportives this year.

    I have been trying to follow the training regime in Elite Cyclosportives but 90 mins at 85% Max HR is a challenge!

    At 132Kg and 6ft 3 I am having real trouble finding cycling gear that

    a) looks anything other than hilarious on me – “the only one in the village” look just isn’t me

    b) works properly

    Can you point me at any makes with a true XXXL fit?

    Many thanks


  4. John, when I started the site I wrote a post about cycle clothing for the XXL. Try Decathlon in Stockport for some of the basics. For big blokes it’s bibshorts or bibtights, they go up to XXXXL but can be a size down on what you think.

    You need the bibshorts for the pad, you can wear tracksuit bottoms over them if need be.
    Jerseys, look at the mountainbike ones as they are a baggy fit. You also need a winter jacket that fits.

    Aldi and Lidl do great cycle clothing but only as offers that have long since passed. When they come up be first in the queue as it can sell out fast. It is great value for money but I’m expecting a price hike due to the rise of the euro.


    Found this at Decathlon. It’s worth a trip as stuff gets cleared to make way for the new stuff for summer. Altura and Lusso do XXL stuff but it may depend on the shop stock.
    It’s a bit of a minefield but worth it in the end.

  5. Stan, a top link. Me down to a tee with a few things that didn’t make it. No sitting on the back row, avoid the fan at all cost. Turn down the offer your turn of the fan. Go extra hard if one of the women brings her husband or boyfriend to a class.
    Be a millisecond in front of the instructor when coming out of the saddle. Your mental count of four will always beat a metal plus verbal count.
    Don’t rest between tracks, a climb always follows a sprint and so on.
    I’ll add more but the new pump on the central heating has packed up and I was in the middle of changing the wheel bearings on the Trek.

  6. Hi Frank,

    Top tip about Decathlon, I popped in on Saturday and now have a lot of kit which fits me.

    Hope to be looking into XXL soon rather than XXXL!



  7. Quoting your blog “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” and what was reported on the BBC website (link below), which statement is correct? If you were offered one at least tell us who it was who made this amazingly generous offer since none of the medal winning squad were allowed to take them home…

  8. Anonymous, maybe this one never made it to Beijing. A lot of kit floats around just have a look on ebay. Two guys had GB kit on at the Eureka today. I’ve a couple of items of George Hincapies team kit and a few others.
    You’ve just got to bump into the right people or be in the right place at the right time. GB or old team kit is of no use to a contracted riders so it gets passed on through others.
    Like a journalist I’m not revealing my source, certainly not to someone on the Uni computer.

  9. I was referring to the GB skinsuits specifically and do not doubt for a second that a quick search on Ebay will reveal copious amounts of used team kit. It might be one that never made it to Beijing but considering the technology used in the skinsuits is supposed to be super secret, I found it quite amazing that a regular guy, no disrespect intended, was offered one when none of the olympic winning cyclists were allowed to take theirs home with them. I felt I had to ask the question about how you came to be offered one and wasn’t in any way doubting your credibility. However, I don’t really understand how using a University computer would determine whether or not your revealed your source to me?

    Keep up the good work on the site and you never know I might bump into you at the Eureka at some point. This might be of interest to you also http://www.cycle-promotions.co.uk/venues.html


  10. No problem DJ, I have to check the IP of anonymous posters so as not to confuse identities as some can be abusive. It may have been recalled as the offer was over a month ago probably two. It depends who you ride with and being in the right place at the right time.
    There is usually a sale of British Cycling clothing at the end of the season at the Eureka.

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