Weekending 05 April 2009

Monday: More decorating, managed to get a cancellation for Barbara’s spinning class which is just as well as the woman in front of me was trying to get a cancellation too. Full class with 4 first timers. Good class. 
Twe2.com settings altered as the volume of texts is flattening the battery on the phone.
Tuesday: Gym and a spin. Gave out the site address to one of Barbara’s first class. Beryl asked how many calories I burnt when she saw the HRM. It’s around 600 calories for 1 class and 1100 for 2 classes. You have to go hard to achieve these numbers though.
Gym for some weights and ran 1km on the treadmill at 9.9km/hr.
Shower and home for lunch.
More decorating.
8PM X Bike class at Guinea Gap. No space on the 7PM class but there are only 6 bikes. Spent the afternoon washing all the kit. HRM chest strap battery has given out. The Toy’s cadence sensor has had a new battery.  Not as many position’s as a spinning bike but it exercises a totally different muscle group. Particularly upper body due to the adjustable damped spring loaded handlebars.
Wednesday:  Ride day. A dry day would be nice.
A cool start with it brightening up later meant many would be overdressed. A Discovery windshell over a winter jersey would be enough. The usual Franks Breakfast proving to be too much again on another tough ride. Tried out the Brimstage 7 from the Clegg to see if I was up for it. 24.9 mph with no Time Trial bars or carbon wheels mean it’s going to be tough.

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Took a picture at the start and then it was time to play catchup again.
Just when I though I was getting on the back before Woodbank a CTC group with oncoming traffic meant I couldn’t make the turn in time. Caught them up a the A5117 lights and headed out with them along the cycle path.

All went well until the lights at Queensferry, here Carols group had caught us up and then I got asked if I was sure I was in the right group by going out with the big hitters.  It was fair comment and I’d opted to go with the big hitters. Soon to be undone. I was soon off the back on the climb to Hawarden , a lorry had split the group on the roundabout and I never made it back on. Things didn’t get much better as I’d only the destination and not the route. Where I took a route to Higher Kinnerton taking the walkway  over the dual carriage way the others took the main road to Hope. CTC habits die hard.

First serious climb was the Steps: B5102 from Cefn-y-Bedd look at the profile on the link to see how it got it’s name. Halfway up I stop at the turnoff to Brybo to look at the Edge, a lorry driver says my mates are waiting for me at the top but it was not to be.

Second serious climb is from Minera to Worlds end, it’s no use saving a gear as it’s that steep your not going to get into it once into the climb. It’s another climb with a couple of turns in it that hide the summit. There is a white house that you can see from the other side of the valley that looks a long way up and is.

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This is the Ford at Worlds End, one way or the other you’ve had a decent ride to get here. It’s a tough climb from Minera and it’s a tough climb towards Minera. The Fford is treacherous for a cycle, I always take the stones.

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This is the bottom of the Old Horseshoe Pass which is a hard climb it’s about twice as steep as the Horseshoe pass and peaks at 21% but a lot of it it is 16-18%. Engage your lowest gear or you’ll blow up by the cattle grid.


Thursday:Morning spinning class at West Kirby no calories counting as I wasn’t wearing the HRM. I hadn’t had breakfast and forgot the water bottle. Ended up getting a Lucozade sport drink from the vending machine which was just as well as the bike didn’t have a bottle cage.
Tough class because of heat lack of fluid and still suffering from yesterdays ride. Gym afterwards for some weights and 2km on the rowing machine.
Picked up the comic on the way home but refused to pay £3.99 for 225g of blueberries.
I go through a lot of soft fruit and it all adds up.
The Toy got a dose of looking at and was found a lot wanting. Front wheel wanted truing so it went to Colin at Wheelbase. The rear wheel had the cassette removed the wheel not spinning too freely but couldn’t be sorted. The lockring on the cassette came off on yesterdays ride an I was doing 30 mph at the time. The chain was too long and has had 2 links taken out, rejoined with a Shimano pin.
The 705 is a year old and I’ve broken another bracket.  Other than that it’s been OK the altimeter fault sorted itself out.
Back on the bike the Look Keo classic pedals are worn out the outer bush has worn a ridge in the axle. Time to upgrade to something better bearing in mind I’ve spent more on cleats. Probably going to go for Ceramic bearings for the rear wheel.
Missed the Northend chaingang.
Friday: Last day off, read the comic from front to back, going to pick the wheel up and go out for a short ride. Entry for Sunday in the post, it’s full with 150 riders with me in the final group.
It’s going to be fun getting to Overton which is going to be very busy. No entries on the line.
Picked the wheel up from Colin went shopping and turned up for Margarets Spinning class.
During the day I’d swapped batteries as the cell voltage was low. Margaret’s also counting calories tonight.
The HRM has been erratic lately and it’s the failing battery on the cheststrap.
Tough class and after another good stretching session the number was 725 calories.
Shower and home.
Transporter 3 to watch on DVD.
Saturday:Work. Plotted tommorrows ride on BikeRouteToaster http://bikeroutetoaster.com/Course.aspx?course=40605 

Sunday: May format this at a later date.  Turn up at the parking for the event to see a grass track event underway.  In the Event the event  was over subscribed with over double last years entries.  There was an excellent spread at Overton (as usuall), the halfway distance.  With  150 riders on the roads in blocks of 10, with the slower riders  going off first you would think there you’d be problems. Due to the large entry the opposite was true.

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I’d chatted with others at the start waiting for the sign on time with groups often going off at ten minute intervals. Someone had a tyre go down rapidly on the line probably due to the tube being pinched.
Just before we set off a guy in Astana Kit goes past on a Trek Madone this was a cue to set off in pursuit.
It’s a 2 mile drag up to the junction and I didn’t make any headway with him turning off somewhere before the Straight Mile Road. I felt a lot better going up Marford hill this time expecting the control to be at Borras Head. Due the numbers and congestion it  been moved to a layby further down the road.

The good news was parts of another group were in sight. I’d caught them up by Holt and the lights on the bridge had stopped the others. A green light was another cue to hare across the bridge to get a bit of momentum for the climb through Farndon. Holt and Farndon are a common section of the ride on the outward ride and the return.  If you let a satnav route you, you’d bypass all this and let it take you down the A534.

From now on it is a flat big ring ride, which it has been since Borras Head. Pass another puncture just after Crewe by Farndon, it can happen to anyone.



Weekending 29 Mar 09

Monday: Off for 12 days. Time to catch up on a few things. Barbara’s spinning class at West Kirby and then the gym. Ran a mile at 10 km/hr, cross trainer and intervals on the Technogym side stepper, weights shower and home.  305 Course question about this weekends Cheshire Cat. It’s on BikeHike. Started to sort the flat out which dragged on to 7 with another trip to Wickes. Quantum of Solace £7 in Tesco but not on BluRay, grrr.
Tuesday: More of the same. Spinning class at West Kirby, more work on the flat and it looks like I have missed the good weather. Booked an X bike class at Guinea Gap for 7 so dining late tonight.
This weeks ride video were New York and San Francisco, only being part of the class the rest being instrctor led.
Saw Lances twitter about picking the Times up and there being nothing in  it about Mark Cavendish,s Milan San Remo win. Radio 4 picking up on it. Plenty of press about him crashing and breaking his collar bone.

Managed to get Stans Horseshoe Grimpeur into the Edge after a bit of work. With two climbs of the Horseshoe pass and a lot more it will test anyone. Haven’t worked out if I’m off or not.
Wednesday: Ride day delayed due to a call system fault.  Winter bike and a water proof jacket out to the Eureka with only Merseyside CTC (who start late) and Keith Boardman left. They had been to the Plassey too and had a tale about it.
Home via the missing link but diverted on to the Wirral Way as I’d never ridden the Hadlow Road section. It’s all hard surfaced to Heswall now with no mud or puddles. Left it at Parkgate and stopped for some water. Then it was back into the wind with the Edge showing 7.5 mph at one stage. Then it started to rain and this was a cue to take the Wirral Way again by the Boathouse.
18 miles, should have toughed it out as it turned out brighter later and Eurosport dropped the Track champs.
Thursday: Car is getting a new cambelt, bikes going in the back and going to treat it as a ride day. Too risky not to change the belt when you’ve heard a few horror stories.
Dropped the car off and headed off along the front at Hoylake. Not many people about but it was early and blowing a gale.


Vale park Cafe was closed with Woodside closed for refurbishment. Looks like they are doing a good job of the U-Boat there.
Called in at Europa pools to see what spinning classes are on and the good news was that Louise has started doing her classes this week after beaking her leg on a run.
Out via the Missing Link to Ness Gardens for a Cafe stop, the rain clouds blowing over the Dee meant it was time to move on. I’d stopped to take a picture on Denhall lane and virtually had to ride downhill the wind being that strong.


Took to the Wirral Way at Parkgate  and followed it through to West Kirby. No phantom tacker this time.
The Council were doing work on the track at Thurstaton and had left the gates open. Next thing a car is going down the Wirral Way with a kid asleep in the back.
His reversing better be good as there is no way of turning around.
Picked the car up from Hoylake put the bike in the back and gave it another clean when I got home. 45 miles not a bad day after all.
Bike chain went in the ultrasonic bath for a clean as although there is no spray from the front guard the rear guard was pouring water over the chainset on the wetter parts of the morning.
The goldline chainlube is not attracting the grit like the oter lubes.
Pauls Twe2.com backup and running with a load of texts coming through wishing Lance Armstrong a quick recovery.
Watched the World Track Champs on Eurosport and Team GB is not having it all their own way.
Friday: Easy day, read “It’s not about the Bike” until I had to put it down to go to the cinema with Val. Watched “Knowing” but felt shortchanged by the ending.
World Track champs on Eurosport when I got home and refitted the chain to the winterbike. Twittered a bit too.
Saturday: Sorted the flat out, no ride.
Sunday: Antony Gormleys “Another Place” was busy but you couldn’t see anything as the tide was in.
Barbara’s Spinning class at West Kirby.

What it takes to lose a Pound.

I don’t want to take credit for someone elses information but here is a useful link explaining the difference between body fat and food fat.


The crux of the article is a Kilogramme of body fat is 7,700 calories but a kilo of pure food fat is 9,000 calories.  Any oil fits the latter category even if is a good one.

This is how the discrepancy as I see it occurs, burn 7,700 calories and loose a pound of unpure body fat. Eat 1 kg of pure fat and gain 1.25 kg.  No one has ever explained it to me like that and I stand to be corrected.

I know about the 9,000 calories a litre of oil contain and that is why I avoid crisps like the plague. ( crisps 30% fat) Don’t get back to me saying Walkers crisps are healthy mono fats and good for you fats, they are still high in calories per gramme which ever way you look at it.

Ever see a vending machine with an apple or orange in it?

So from a weight loss point of view I see it as more effective to limit your intake of fats, eat healthily, do some exercise and loose weight naturally. 

Linking this to my recent posts on what it takes to burn off a Mars Bar it makes sense to cut out those fats.

Northend Ride to Plassey

Rode out to the Eureka Cafe with the intention of doing my first decent ride of the year. Rode out on empty for Franks Breakfast which was going to have a bearing on the first part of the ride. CTC were going to Trevor Arms and Carol had The Plassey by Bangor on Dee in mind.

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While waiting for the ride to assemble Allan Negus turned up on his recession busting new toy. Rode with Allan with the CTC, always immaculately turned out, slows down before the cafe stop so not to arrive in a sweat. Lots of summer bikes out now mine included. Amazing what a bit of sun can do. Picked up a set of car keys on the A540 on the way out.

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Seventeen on the ride and I nearly missed it as it was off up the road after this picture.
Went down the outside of the traffic to catch them up at Woodbank an oncoming lorry driver flashing me onto the back of the group.

All was going well with me playing tailgunner with John on the back. That was until the roundabouts at Rossett where a lorry gaped us from the group. We fell of the back with Vicky leading the charge up the Gresford hill.

John called it a day further on and headed to Holt. I was playing catchup until Llan-y-Pwll.
Last through the lights at Cross Lanes the elastic snapped again with Barry going for it on the rolling road.

Once a ride gets to a certain size the front has no connection with the back.  There were times when we held up traffic because those on the front didn’t hear the shout to single out. This was on solid white lines those at the back did but the message didn’t reach the front.  This time it was OK  but there are times when the motorists get agressive. Usually ending in them speeding past and chopping up the front outside rider.

Turning up the drive to the Plassey I glanced down to the Edge to see the gradient at 10%.

Parked the bike up and joined the others on the benches outside to order.
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This was my cake stop, it tasted as good as it looks and that is without the optional ice cream or cream.
I’ve already had a Eureka breakfast in me so anything more will be too much.

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This was Barry’s Lasagna, you can’t fault the place for any of the food.  Got berated by Lisa for not taking pictures of the views “Why’s he taking pictures of the food”.
There were shots I wanted to take like the two lambs running along side us bleating away but the windshell meant I couldn’t get the camera out. 

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Took a turn on the front on the way back, there is another shot with Barry on the front but as I sped off to get a shot from the roadside he chased me down and nearly ran into me as I pulled up sharply.

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 This was the resultant picture.

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That little dot in the distance is Barry going off the front. I’m off the back a bit.
I join the back again to see Barry going off the front again.
Had another stint at the front and came of at Aldford as the Saighton 10 I haven’t ridden yet and wanted to see what it looked like.
Carol and Barry were on the back with a car or lorry between us next thing they are gone. Lisa goes back.  I thought there had been a mechanical but no. The camera case wormed it’s way out of the pocket and Barry thinking it was my wallet stopped for it. Thanks Barry I owe you one.

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Carol and Lisa opt to take the cyclepath through Chester and avoid whats coming next. Backford Hill. It’s not the hill that is the problem it’s what goes on up it. Not a problem for me as five of us missed the lights but you know whats going on up front.
True to form there is a break and it’s hard enough getting on the back of the group after a change of lights.

It’s steady then to Chapel Lane where my rattling bike (unthreaded valve stem rattling on the rim) takes a change of tone, like something is going to drop off. Found nothing and met up with the others at the Eureka. Everybody has had a good ride and it’s been a great day. Rode home via the Missing Link with Barry and Vicky until she turned off.
72 miles, best ride of the year so far but there will be others, a lot more others.

http://connect.garmin.com/activity/2616698 use the player button, it’s really good.

Weekending 22 Mar 09

Monday: 88.2 kg this morning, so yesterdays short ride and spinning class did have a result.
9.30 Spinning class at West Kirby followed by the gym. HRM had me doing 500 calories in the class but it was more as it stops counting when doing chest presses.
One of the class mentioned how hard it was and I’d tend to agree.

Gym afterwards for weights, 1 mile run and the crosstrainer and another 2km on the rowing machine.
I’d set the crosstrainer to count calories and see how long it took to burn 284 calories off ( a Mars bars worth). The resistance was set midrange with the display showing 150-160 watts. 32 minutes later I was done. Part of my problem with weight gain was hitting the vending machine at work because I wouldn’t be getting anything to eat for a couple of hours.
Two Mars Bars a day will make you gain a pound a week or 52 pounds a year (3stone 10pounds if you prefer Imperial) .
Sort my dads Skype out.

Booked an X bike class at Leasowe. Hopefully this will see me through the 88 kg Colnago weight limit in the next day or so. It will also give me a chance to see if the leg muscle soreness returns.

Only six bikes and a shorter class at Leasowe with a bike empty from someone that booked and never turned up. The Liverpool and London videos were played after some exercises to get newcomers used to the moves. Saw the icons that tell you whether to increase or decrease the resistance this time around.
As the bikes are brand new I didn’t have any problem with slippage this time. Can’t give you a calorie figure as I forgot to wear the cheststrap. Shower and home.
Tesco finest pizza for tea 620 calories, always read the label.
Tuesday: Booked in for the second spinning class at West Kirby as the first is full. Probably the gym beforehand like last week.
87.6 Kg this morning so the trend is still down.
A few weights in the gym before the class.
I was under the impression that this was going to be an empty class but all the women from the Pilate’s class piled in.
This turned out to be one hard class partly because of the fast tempo throughout it. One section was the closest thing to climbing at speed which is just what I need. The HRM hit 184 BPM on this stretch.
Shower and home for lunch.
Had problems with Outlook only getting it sorted after 5.
Another spinning class at West Kirby not as intense as this morning but still gave it a good go.
No Barloworld for the Tour.
Wednesday: Ride day. Report coming up. Route http://connect.garmin.com/activity/2616698
Thursday: Work for the next four days. Back up to 87.6 kg so I was dehydrated on yesterdays ride. The scales read 87.2 kg yesterday.  More writing for yesterdays ride and updated a few links for the CTC page.
Friday: Work. Wrote the above post. Sorted out a washing machine. Need to sort out some after work routine even if it’s half an hour on the bike once the clocks go forward.
Saturday: Work. Deleted 240 odd texts that twe2 had sent me and flattened the battery. Sorted a few more links out here and there and checked my spelling on a few pages which can be patchy on some words. Hope to stay up to see Cavendish on Milan SanRemo. Did some pressups and I’ve lost form.
Sunday: Work.

Weekending 15 Mar 09

Monday: Waited in all morning for someone who didn’t turn up. Watched Paris-Nice on Eurosport and washed my kit and that was about it. Should have jumped on the Tacx. Blogged
Tuesday: The right side of 89 kg this morning so the weight is slowly coming off. Weather looked a bit grim for the day so it was off to West Kirby for a Spinning Class and a session in the gym.
No space for the first class so it was off to the gym to hit the machines.
Sidestepper for 10 mins, ran a mile which felt OK. Cycled at 100 rpm for 10 mins to see if I’m cut out to be a Lance style high cadence rider. Guess I’m not.
A gel before the spinning class which went well then a 2km Row which took 10 minutes. Some weights and then a shower. Took a Rego recovery drink to see if they work.
Weather nice and bright when I got out so perhaps I should have chanced it.
Settled down to watch Paris-Nice on Eurosport. Rang up about an X bike ride and was told to turn up 15 mins early and enjoy the class.

Turned up at the Sports Centre in Everton Valley paid my £4 and did my first class. I ended up burning 850 calories which is a new record. It is more like mountain biking with the added advantage of SPD pedals.
Friction is controled by a twistgrip. Couldn’t quite get the hang of the freewheel as needed all the resistance in to stop it slipping.
A video is projected on the wall which in parts is computer generated similar to a Tacx Catalyst ride.
Other parts are filmed in Liverpool and should be put on YouTube, they are brilliant. Must have been done by a courier with no fear. Jumping red lights and a host of other transgretions it is really good to watch and sure beats the hell out of staring at a spot on a wall of a squash court.
Wednesday: Work. 88.5 kg this morning so the Christmas excess is coming off but at a slow rate.
Legs know about it today so yesterday wasn’t a waste.
Lifestyle and Weight Management Followup class tonight so I’ll be off early.
11 turning up.
Had to modify my Twe2.com settings as the texts were getting out of hand. Deleted over 500 with someone mentioning LanceArmstrong in, the setting is now @LanceArmstrong so only his should come through. TourdeTweets on twitter gave good updates on Paris-Nice with RaboBank dishing another battering to the peleton.
Thursday: Work followed by Northend club night. Signed up for the Time Trial series again so I’m going to have to get my finger out now. Also thinking about track accreditation (pink slip) as I’ve already done the taster sessions. Daves got a new 705 for his Majorca training camp using BikeHike to plan his courses.
Caught the end of the Tirreno-Adriatico on Eurosport. An interesting point came up at the meeting regarding the recent Eddie Soens race, average speed for one of the riders was 26 mph with a max of 37. Now I know why I keep getting dropped in TLI roadraces, they are fast events right from the off.
The Club has a good facebook page with Barrys excellent training ride writeups, the club website is not being updated. The only problem I foresee is that you can’t get to see what’s happening on facebook without being a friend.
Friday: Work.
Trixter vids on YouTube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tFJtIlu5kNs&playnext_from=PL&feature=PlayList&p=327B2BB593DD0297&playnext=1&index=18

Deleted the Trixter search comment as I’d spelt it wrong and entered Twixter which is probably due to too much time on Twitter lately.
Saturday: Work.
Last Wednesday at the LifeStyle and Weight Managet followup class I picked up some of the British Heart Foundation booklets there are 23 in the series dealing with all aspects of the heart and health. Here’s a link to the High Blood Pressure one.
The legs have finally recovered from Tuesdays efforts, the X bikes hitting a different set of muscles.
Paris-Nice on twitter had Alberto Contador blowing up 4 km from the end. No evening repeat on Eurosport means I’ve missed it. The Toy is getting an airing early tommorow as the trainer tyre is coming off tonight.
The bag got a dose of looking at removed a tube, a spoke key and a pair of pliers. The long nose pliers came out when I found the tweezers tucked away.
Sunday: Ride day, well a short one.

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The Toy came out today, out for 8:30 and I set off for breakfast. Headed down to Parkgate and on towards Neston. Here I picked up Chicago Dave in his Barloworld kit. He thought I was Barry and we stopped at Neston Cross for Barry to arrive. Barry on his best bike too. Barry is leading the 9 oclock group ride so the Eureka was fairly empty. Took the group photo above and went back in to see the others. Spoke to Ray and a few others I haven’t seen for a while.

Come leaving time there as no space left for parking your bike and Allan took my spot bringing out his Scott CR1.  It was best bike weather today and I’m heading back via the Missing Link on National Cycle Route 56. I’m heading back as others are heading out and everybody is enjoying the fine weather.

The rest of the day was a Jack day with a trip to Loggerheads and Royden Park for the minature trains. Steam this week and busy it’s a slick operation running 4 engines and three trains.
Home for Paris-Nice finish.

Margarets Spinning class at West Kirby, tough class. Mentioned the X bike class I did at Everton Valley and how many calories I burnt.  Had a good day today, thinking about the next three days off now.
Paul has had 500,000 texts through Twe2.com with steady growth.

Weekending 08 Mar 09

Monday:  Last day off. Restday as I can’t get out. Picked up Cycling Plus at Tesco’s along with another 3w LED torch. The torch was the better buy as C+ fell short this issue for me.
Might set up the Tacx for tommorrow.
Tuesday: Work folowed by some flatpack office furniture assembly without instructions. Sorted out my entry for the Spring 50.
Eureka is CLOSED tommorrow.
Need a new cassette for the Iceni after Saturdays ride as the new chain on a worn cassette was nothing but trouble. Chain riding up the sprocket teeth as it was loaded up.
Had to turn the audible text alerts of for Twe2.com 184 unread.
I’m spending far too much time looking at bling kit  like this.  http://www.sub7bikes.co.uk/product.asp?pID=156&cID=41

An absolute bargain at £97 for a mere 18g, a similar price to a class A drug.  What must my saddlebag @ 1 kg be worth. Priceless actually as I’ve only abandonded one ride and that was when the chain split and ripped off the rear mech. Great days as the bike was only a couple of weeks old. I nearly cried. (hanger bent too)
The late Mel Vasey had me back on the road in two days.
Didn’t patronise me when I was big and asked whether wheels would take my weight.
Two years since he passed away, a while since I stopped crossing myself as I rode past the site. 
UK roadside shrines haven’t taken off in a big way as they have in some countries, but they are there.
Wednesday: Work, jumped on the Toy when I got in had a look through the ride and came up with the Mortirolo TT. Only 5.8 miles but it took me an hour and 2 minutes. A lot of it is around 11% with some 15% bits. The I-Magic doesn’t support much over 6% so it slows your roadspeed down. Down to 4mph in places which is about right as the other day I was going up Grange Road out of West Kirby (10%) and I was down to 5-6 mph. The Gavia is which is on the same DVD is twice a long and a bit much after 12 hours at work.
Used the Cycleops front wheel riser for the first time, works, offering 3 or more height options.
Looks like a base for a traffic cone.
Thursday: Work, comic on the way home. Looked at some Time Trial items on Ebay. Janices comment below proves what a small world we live in. Lance Armstrong now up to 276 thousand followers, unbeleivable the power of Twitter. Other than that it was Darwin night on TV so watched most of that, the Beeb doing what it does best at at times.
Friday: Work, last day.
Saturday: Read the comic from cover to cover, good stuff on diets and Steve Cummings training plan for the week. The price of Shimano stuff is going through the roof with the strong Yen. A new cassette from Wheelbase sorted out the Iceni chain jumping under load. Two rings worn the rest looked OK.
The Polo sidelight was even worse than the first one. Battery had to come out for this one along with the housing.
Called in at Quinns, not a lot of road race bike stuff in there since Mels demise. New houses around the back shows how long it is since I last called in. Looked at laptops as this one is full to bursting and can’t hold any of the Tacx DVD’s.
Sunday: Was going to go out for an early ride but picked up Lance Armstrongs book “It’s Not About The Bike” and didn’t put it down.
Minature trains again this week at Royden Park.
Barbara’s Spinning class at West Kirby wrapped up mixed week.


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