Weekending 03 May 09

Monday:Barbara’s morning spinning class (640 calories), Gym for weights, crosstrainer for a Mars Bars worth ( 284 calories) in 26 minutes 30 seconds. Row for 2 km, 9mins 30 and a 1km run at 10km/hr.
Spent the afternoon sorting out the 705 side of the site and getting to grips with WWW.Bikehike.co.uk and the new GPXX format for the 705.
Planned, downloaded and rode the Brimstage 7 TT using GPXX  hardpoints. Worked quite well but I had way too many of them for a short TT but it was all about seeing what it was like to ride. Two mph down on the TT ride with an average of 21.5 mph. Didn’t put any gloves on and my hands were frozen on the ride back home.
Put the carbon fibre wheels on the Toy and had a trial start, felt good, just the feel of the wheels upping my spirits for tomorrow.
Tuesday:Work, off early for the Northend Club 7. The time 18 minutes 17 seconds so a 16 second improvement on the first one. One advantage of the Edge series is that you can overlay rides in Garmin TrainingCenter. The gains this week were all made on the Chester High road, the stretch into Thornton Hough being virtually identical with a smoother taking of the rugby club roundabout.
I was actually slower in the final 2 miles this week with a better final half mile but a slower finishing speed.
Janet Hassell put some more time into me this week but she did turn up on a new Scott time trial bike with a Zip 808 wheel on the back and a 303 I think on the front. It really is something else especially the chainstay which looks like something off a F1 car. Passed Brother James again but further along the course.
Looking at last years results my best time was 18:51 so tonight was a PB.
Wednesday: Work, watched The Apprentice. Version 2.70 upgrade for The 705 out. Would have been a nice day for a ride.
Thursday: Work, with a bit of luck I’ll get to the gym or a class. A passing comment about my future had me signing for voluntary redundancy. (I may not get it, but If I don’t put in for it I’ll never get it) 
Remembered to pack the gym kit and rang up  for a X bike class at Guinea Gap, got a place no problem.
Class had 5 in it and consisted of half an hour of Instructor led exercises and fifteen minutes of video.
Mountain biking and New York and San Francisco for the first time in full. Adds a new meaning to jumping a red light and getting a tow.
Friday: Work, last day. 
Saturday: Ride day. Late start. Eureka for a tea and a chat then down to Eureka Sports for a new aero helmet. In view of a potential redundacy coming up I’m not buying a new TT bike until I know which way things are going to turn out. Met lionel at Eureka Sports and he recited “What do call a group of Garmin owners?”: Sad. He’s been riding Routes with only 3 waypoints, letting the Garmin autoroute the ride. Tried it on the way home and it didn’t work for me other than want to route me down the A540 when I had avoid major roads set. Part of the problem is you can’t set routing options  other than avoid major roads, another thing is I’ve a hybrid map in with the free.

@levi_leipheimer in the TT. Uh, aero? Wow.. on Twitpic
Well I’ve got the hat.

Had some issues with the 2.70 705 software, the ride out to the Eureka not showing up on Trainingcenter and a couple of logging issues. It could have been because I was letting it navigate me back home.
Sunday: More trains with Jack. 86 Kg again which is good news as it’s taken a while to lose it.you just
Spinning class at West Kirby for 550 calories worth and 173 bpm on the HRM. Fresh berries for the breakfast took a bit of searching out. Looking forward to Tuesday’s time trial. Last Tuesday we all got spanked by a 15 year old kid. R.Mullen taking 25 seconds out of our current leader Steve Gauller and nearly 3 minutes out of me. I don’t think it was on a flash TT bike either. One to watch.
Some day the club handicap scoring will be explained to me but until then you just race against your peers.
Bumped into Myles yesterday at Eureka Cycle Sports he’s doing a 50 mile TT today which is a level I’ve yet to obtain, as is a 25 or a 14 for that matter. Went to the wrong start last year and missed the event.
Rode home in the TT helmet yesterday which was a bit over the top but I couldn’t carry the box. All was OK until Willaston where I went past a group of novices attempting the Wirral Way for the first time. There was a few startled  cries and I was going slow.

Weekending 26 Apr 09

Monday: Work
Tuesday: Work, packed the gym bag but forgot to take it out of the door. Own goal.
Wednesday:Work, had the gym bag but worked late to 8pm. No gym, another own goal.
Thursday: Work, some joker swapped some of the keys on the computer and after putting in the wrong password too many times I was locked out and had to phone IT for a password reset. Even this wasn’t straight forward as they didn’t have me on the system. It gets better, IT reset my password but I still can’t login because R and T have been swapped and you can’t see what you are typing when entering a password.
It doesn’t click until I log out and can’t enter my login name correctly.
Made the IT guys day.
Picked up the comic on the way home and there is a full page article about the Eureka Cafe in it.
The picture looks like it was taken last week.
Friday: Looked at the satellite distribution system for the flats as one of the residents is having trouble with sky reception.  Tuesdays time trial start positions came out last night, with me having a 2.5 minute handicap. Wondering if a new bike will make me any better as I could have done with some bar end shifters at times the other week, it’s going to be too much hassle swapping bars and cables over every other week.

Called in at EurekaSports to see Keith working on an Orbea timetrial bike that was going out with it’s new owner. I was thinking of buying it but I was beaten to it by another northender.

Updated the link to the Eureka Cafe after Dave reported a problem. Ann had a look at the links a Google search generates and the first one was faulty. Cheshire Oaks for some cycle mags, Tesco’s for some fruit and a carwash.

Margaret’s spinning class at West Kirby. Starts off easy then ramps up eases off a bit and up again. Last sprint is Sandstorm by Darude and Margaret asks the class if the want the full 7 minute version as Frank wants the full version.  I hadn’t but they ask who’s Frank?. I’ve the whole of the class looking at me as I’m stuck on the back row. Some were going to have words after the class, Margaret sure know how to drop a guy in it. 640 calories worth and a bucket of sweat, no water bottle so had to buy a bottle of Lucozade Sport out of the vending machine and it isn’t enough. Shower and home.
Saturday: Ride day. Rode out to the Eureka for Frank’s breakfast  with it looking a bit overcast in the distance. The Northend arrived and it was a toss up to which group to ride with. Tempo has a new bike and that means a pub stop, could be a big round looking at the size of the group. It’s starting to rain as we assemble outside which is not the best start as I’m in summer kit, armwarmers on and a Disco Channel gilet that I removed the label on, so it’s new.
Spoke to Big Phil of The Sunlight in the cafe as our paths haven’t passed in a while.
Went out with Muriel’s group but it didn’t last long. Not equiped for the ride with no waterproofs I dropped of at the Strawberry roundabout and headed back to the Eureka. I was shortly joined by the “Dog” who had had enough of the club ride at Hawarden with a river running down the road.  Very few had mudguards as it was supposed  to brighten up. I ended up doing a Wirral coastal ride back to the Eureka and back home via Route 56. Took some more pictures at New Brighton but the sun wasn’t in my favor. At Woodside I took to the front that leads you to Cammel Lairds. Went down Rest Hill, turned around climbed it for the first time in a while. It was a decent pace with it slowing when I was into oxygen depletion.

Just made it past the cow milking time and past the motorway bridge two guys on carbon bikes pass me as I’m a world of my own. Not a word is said, coming the other way is another Disco Channel wannabe with two mates. Big ring stuff up Talbot Avenue had me passing the guy on the Dolan but not catching his mate who promptly stopped at the top. Back to the Eureka and then home to clean the bike. 68 miles now dried out, could have done more but it’s early in the season. Peter told me about last Sunday’s ride which sounded like a real leg breaker after Saturday.

Sunday: Didn’t do a tap today as Jack was around. Didn’t even get a spinning class in as Liege-Baston-Liege was on Eurosport but delayed because of live snooker. Missed out on Stan’s Horseshoe Grimpeur which I would have liked to have ridden.  Watched F1. Superbikes and MotoGp and read the paper. Started to update the Dummies guide to the Garmin 705 page, which was called the knowledgebase.
Listened to a 10 minute  version of Confusion by New Order, OK but you couldn’t spin to it for 10 minutes.
I keep coming back to this clip another Darude mix but it is good and something I’ve watched over ther years.

Northend Ride to The Ponderosa Cafe.

Saturday is a ride day for The Northend at the Eureka Cafe. It’s a big enough club to run multiple rides on a Saturday where in many clubs Sunday would be the big ride day. It was an easy enough ride out with not too many bikes in the rack when I arrived.
Seating was outside in the sun. No Franks Breakfast today after dining out yesterday which must be a first.
If you haven’t got a plan whose table you sit at will decide where you go for that day.
In my case it was Peters ride, Wales it was and the Horseshoe Pass came up in conversation. Other groups came in including Clives Spartans and a social group or two. That’s at least four rides according to ability.

18Apr09 Northend Rides

Saw Big Phil go out for the Sunlight (with his  705 bleeping away) but the usual suspects are in the middle of the picture.

Dave Newby turned up, with the group that rode with him threatening to throw his Garmin 705 over the hedge after he led them into an industrial estate rather than straight up a hill. Ended up with Clives group thinking it was going to be a big club ride going  down Woodbank. Peter and group stopped at the lights. Clives group had other things in mind and took to the road. Time to join Peters group, and then there were 6.
It was a great day looking back at it and we all had problems of one sort or the other.
Met Tiny (Mike) for the first time, rides a Trek 1.2 in what must be the biggest size they do.

Quite a hilly ride for a group that doesn’t have any big hitters in it. The route took the same route up to Hawarden but I didn’t get dropped at the roundabout this week.  Any climb over 3% seems to sort us out.

From Hawarden it was along the A550 where a motorist takes offence at us riding two abreast by sounding his horn at us past Penyfford. Turning right to Pontblyddyn we’re taking the A5104 past Pontybodkin up towards Llandegla. Barry gives me a shout as he drives past with his bikes on the back of the car as I,m half wheeling Dave on a climb. You can spot me a mile away in the Discovery kit.

Vicky is off the front on the climbs on her new bike along with Tiny and Dave with Peter somewhere in between with Dave and I bring up the rear. Descending the moors  around Llandegla we are all strung out at speed with myself third in the line when a car towing a wide caravan comes past me leaving very little room.
It’s bearing down on the back of Vickys bike and a shout to her to keep in goes unheeded.

It’s trying to get past before a tightening bend comes up. It’s as if the caravan club is having a rally somewhere as the number of caravans and motor-homes going past.

Once things had quietened down it was time to have some fun. I could see the others having a go so it was time to get in the big ring and get down on the tri bars. I’m just about to sweep Tiny up when a rough patch of road dislodges the saddlebag which had only been clipped on after last Tuesday’s timetrial. It bounces down the road at 30 mph and luckily a car and three motorbikes miss it.


This is just after the roundabout that heads to the top of the Horseshoe Pass.


 The next section is mainly downhill with the ultimate destination being the bridge at Carrog. Peter stops and picks up Tiny’s map that had come out of his pocket.  He has a map because he dropped off the back on one ride and didn’t know the way back.
We leave the main road at Bryneglwys which narrows and climbs out of the village towards a steep drop into Carrog where we stop at the road junction. There is time for Peter and I to repeat tales of getting dropped on the same hill while dehydrated as there was no Cafe stop in Corwen but straight on to the drovers road.


There is a steam engine rally at Carrog and it looks like I’ll be out this way tommorow with Jack as he’s  Thomas the Tank Engine mad.


Peter has had his ride incident by slipping and falling into Vicky’s new bike, gouging his shin.
Dave want’s to go the pub up the hill. On the next section it is time for Vicky to christen that new bike not once but twice. The first time was on one of those short sharp shocks that is typical of this drovers road.
Still in the big ring her foot came out of the pedal as there was not enough tension in the new SPD’s.

She went down in a heap, thankfully not getting hurt. Gave me a chance to take another picture.


The next one was self inflicted, 39×12 is not a gear to do a climb that I’m in the granny ring for.
Damage: Scuff on the new levers and a small mark on the hood.
There is another stop at Rhewl where there is another bebate about having a pub lunch at the Sun Inn, Peter talks Dave out of it saying you don’t want to be climbing the Shoe on a full stomach, which is probably true.


We're going up that!


John Skates who I know through that four letter word “Work”.


We turn left at Llantysilio which brings us out onto the Horseshoe Pass just below the Brittania Inn.
Before that there are some roadworks to contend to with traffic lights. Peter and a few other sail through and thats probably what Dave and I should have done as they were quite long. No way would a bike get through them on one turn of the lights.
For safety we took to the other side only to have a stream of cars and bikes come through while we are only half way through.

The climb is steepening up and we  already had Mark blow up, even contemplating the burger van in the layby. Tiny pulled over with back pains, that would trouble him later that we didn’t know of at the time.
Dave steadilly gets dropped by myself which is no big news as Vicky has been dropping us all day.

Peter’s headstart through the lights is unassailable as we are on a similar level depending who has a good day.  It’s a steady effort with no wind to blow you up the final section, strangly.
Sweat is now running down the peak of my cap and dripping off the end.
I’m wondering how the hell am I going to cope in July. It rears up past the shoe doubling back on yourself here you get chance to see how well your doing. Dave is a fair way back and once it levels out it time to have a good go to get to the cafe.

Dave turns up and so does Mark and Mike. Mark’s on a new BH so both are locked together by my security cord as it barely justify’s the term lock.

Once seated in the Ponderosa it was time to exchange tales. Dave says “Did the Mountain Biker pass you?”, aaaarrrhhhhhh!!!. Daves broken the roadies Number 1 first rule: “Never let a Mountain biker pass you”. Fein a mechanical, puncture, anything but don’t let  him get away with it. The only exception is “Wilco” who blows everyone apart with saddlebags on.Hic

Departing the Ponderosa it’s all downhill so to speak with with Vicky dropping  me  on the climb up to the roundabout. The route back was via Llanarmon yl Lal  and Loggerheads. Vicky was due in Deeside for 4pm and that was were we where headed. At our turn past Loggerheads Tiny falls of the back so I call to ease up. It does come back together but breaks up again a bit before Northop traffic light’s.

Peter swings off and by the time I’d got back with the other he was nowhere to be seen. It was a fairly brisk pace and I was sure Tiny was in sight when we turned.

At High Street Lights in Connahs Quay I finally caught the others, we stopped in a layby a little further on.
Peter arrives with the quip “Thanks for stopping” , the problem was waiting for Tiny meant he couldn’t cross the road due to the traffic.

Well, we did stop and we were all back together again, we popped into Deeside Cycles to see Chicago. He’s had a HAIRCUT and no longer looks like Earl  Hickey, but the resemblence is there. (damn close)
Vicky is after some Tri bars to  further humilitate us.
 It’s a sign of the times that stock bikes are now worth more as components than a complete bike.
There were some good deals on frames that weigh zilch with a Raleigh brand on them.

We are the last back at the Eureka, sort ourselves out and then it is a ride home, Vicki splits before the Missing Link and Peter splits at the Eastham turnoff on Benty Heath Lane.

Another good ride. No one got dropped, lost or ended up in a ditch on this Northend ride.

The Ride:  http://connect.garmin.com/activity/3892452

Weekending 19 Apr 09

Monday: Work. I’ve just had a look at the Google Analytics statistics for yesterday. I normally get about 150 to 200 visits a day. Yesterday it was 3,415. Which is pretty amazing.
The bike wants sorting for tomorrows time trial this evening.
Work went badly at the end of the shift and I ended up stopping an extra hour to sort it out on  Bank Holiday of all times. Put some air in the tubular tyres for tommorrows time trial as I start at number 7. I’ll try and get around to all your comments as soon as I can.
I’m a bit rusty for the time trial but I’ve give it a go as things can only get better.
Back up to speed with the comment replies I think, all are welcome.

There are a lot of comments coming through that mention inspiration but I didn’t see it that way, I was just doing something to help myself.  I’ve been running the site  for a few years now and Janes article has unleashed massive interest. I still remember the struggle of those early rides as the extra weight absolutely kills you on hills.  I’ll endeavor to update the pages across the top and keep it relevant to those looking to make that change in their lives.

The Weekending Posts that I write about now are what I do day to day now along with Big Ride writeups.

For those starting out on a new plan the dieting industry needs a before picture which in my case was pretty hard to come by.  For all those following Weightwatchers and Slimming World plans and others the main problem is that they are an industry and don’t teach you the essential exercise component of weightloss.

Don’t be afraid to post a comment, I don’t bite  I’m trying to help.

Tuesday: Work, followed by time trial.
Came home through Liverpool as I didn’t want the congestion of the Runcorn bridge. This is the first event of the Birkenhead Northend club time trial series. It’s also my first outing in the new club kit. Tempo has just put a picture of me up on Facebook which shows the colour clashes with my usual Discovery channel kit.
They call time trials the race of truth as it is just you against the clock. That may be true but there is a lot more to it when you are up against your peers.
You set off at minute intervals on a fixed course timed to the second. Tonight’s was the Brimstage 7 which starts on the doorstep.
Starting at Heswall Hills it’s half a mile up a rise to Gayton Roundabout. This is hard to judge as going all out tends to leave you in deficit on the Chester High Road (A540) which is where you should be fast.

 Frank Kinlan


Feel free to look at all the data as I was maxxed out for a lot it, every time I looked down it was looking at 177 BPM.  There was traffic at Gayton roundabout but it was Ok if a little tight. Then it started to shower, not much of a problem until the turn for Thornton Hough. Slackened off for the turn as it may have been slippey and managed to miss one pothole by the Grange only to hit another. All this time I can make out my minute man in the distance. Wasn’t too pleased with my speed over the crest by the 7 Stars as it dropped to a little over 15mph. Which is much the same as last year. Next obstacle is the roundabout on the Clatterbridge- Willaston road. Two cars pass ok but a third can’t wait a couple of seconds and chops me up then stops as a car may have been doing a full circuit but didn’t.
I was miffed.  Next up was the Drayton Motor roundabout, this went Ok and I was still gaining on my minute man Brother James. I finally drew alongside and passed him at the roundabout as cars allowed a bit of a draft. The time 18.33 which I’m pleased with(it could have been a lot worse). Average 23.2 mph. 

Had a pint in the  rugby club with Liverpool-Chelsea match on the screen and rode home.
Going to be a nightmare tommorow, best apply myself to the job. The Liverpool supporters taking it quite well taking heart in putting 4 past Chelsea.

Wednesday: Work, last day. MOT time for the Scenic means I’ll  be under it tomorrow by the sound of it.
Thursday: First day off,  the Scenic got a new exhaust. Had a look at the handbrake and took it for an MOT which it passed. Called in at Europa pools and booked a spinning class as now you get 2 hours parking free if you have an Invigorate card, finally they are using some common sense.
Spoke to Louise after a hot class as she has just restarted after getting her leg broke by a Liverpool Echo van.  Mentioned that Barbara had finally found the site after me writing about her classes for over two years.
I didn’t want a war between the instructors over whose was the hardest class. Tonight was a 707 calorie class by the way.
Home via Lidl which has cycle shoes and helmets along with track pumps on offer. If your starting out after seeing the BBC story this is where I started. It’s great value and you need to start somewhere.
I’ve bought the shoes before. They take an SPD cleat and you can walk in them.
Friday:Rain stopped play in the morning so I read Cycling Plus. There is some good stuff in it this month.
Including a ride based on the Horseshoe Pass. Now it’s a tough climb but nothing like the Old Horseshoe Pass. It’s too narrow to send the Milk race up or any race but gives you a sense of achievement when you’ve done it.
If your looking to start on the road I’d recommend Cycling Plus as it’s the only publication based on road riding. The Mountain Bike magazines don’t feature any road content as they are wholly off road.

107 Dining Room for lunch, should have stuck with the one course for a fiver but thought I’d try the two for £8 as there was more selection. Couldn’t fault it but it’s going to take some burning off.
Had a look at the GarminConnect link for Tuesday as I’m now third in the Northend time trial handicap league. I’m only 2 BPM off my max for this year which is 184 BPM, no wonder it felt hard. Tempo sent me the pics he took at Gayton roundabout and I’ve got my raceface on them all.

Margaret’s spinning class at West Kirby, thought I had scewed up the HRM settings as all the instructors want to know how many calories are burnt in a class. After looking at at wrong page for 45 odd minutes  it was 637 calories which is about right.

Sort the bikes out when I got home, a light dinner and watched a DVD. Blog to keep up to date.
Saturday: Ride day. 81 miles and 1537 Metres of climbing, deserves a seperate write up. Had a great day ended going up the Horseshoe Pass for good measure and doing a lot if not all the Cycling plus ride. Great day for a ride

18Apr09 Northend Rides

I’ll post more on the ride write up.

Sunday: Another nice  day for a ride. Locked out of my GarminConnect account which is not a good start. Not planned to do a ride today as it is a Jack day. Took a trip out to Carrog to see the steam engines.

Weekending 12 Apr 09

Monday: Work
Tuesday: Work
Wednesday:Ride day. Missed all the rides by the time I got to the Eureka. Fitted the tri bars to the Trek so it was time to give them a try.  The weather forecasts haven’t been too good lately promising rain and then it doesn’t. Decided on a Wirral rideas it’s not that bad a place to do a ride.

08APR09 009

Had to stop and take a picture of this. It deserves a place in the Warrington CTC Cycleways book.
New Brighton boating lake so it sees a fair bit of traffic.

Took to the Wirral way at Parkgate leaving at Caldy village stopped at Morrisons and then it was along he front at Hoylake. There was a lad on a mountain bike that didn’t take too kindly to being passed so he retook me by the lifeboat station. There is a strong tailwind and I was pratting around. With the gloves off it was time to engage the big ring and go into time trial mode. Cranking it up I’d repassed the mountain biker and was doing over 30 mph 31.9 to be exact.

By Harrison drive I’d rejoined the cycleway and should have stopped to take some pictures of the kite boarders. That or the wind shifting the sand across the beach. I’d got off the bike to carry it over the sand that had drifted across the path and then got sandblasted as the wind funneled the sand over the coastal defence.
Another stop in Vale Park had everybody sitting outside in the sun.
Then on to Woodside to look at the U-Boat which is now open.
44 miles.  Cleaned the bike when I got home, the chain having a lot of sand in it.
Lifestyle and Weight Management followup class, this month the topic of conversation was about maintaining focus.
Thursday: Second spinning class at West Kirby had me late for the class. One of the girls stopped me after the class to ask how far we had gone as she has entered a 26 mile charity ride and is unsure how long its going to take. As she is doing 2 spinning classes back to back and goes hard I’d think it would be under two hours once she changes the tyres on the mountain bike.
Gym afterwards for 45 minutes, picked up the comic on the way home from a congested Tesco’s.
Followed Tour de Tweets on twitter as there is no cycling on Eurosport.
Northend club night.
Friday: Bought a new laptop eventually and transfering data across didn’t quite go to plan.
Saturday: A late start on a brilliant riding day. Rode to the Eureka via Parkgate and Denhall lane.
Spent an hour or so at the Eureka chatting in the sun. (added all this later after the Sundaypost)One of those I was talking to was Terry Galvin who picked me upon a Eureka 50 mile ride a few years ago.
Keith Boardman was there and Carol turned up after a ride to Summertrees.
It’s really amazing the number of people I’ve come across in my relatively short cycling career each one a character in their own right.

Back via the missing link, Eastam, Raby Mere, and the coastal cycle route. 44 miles. Punctured at Seacombe  due to hitting a pothole. That wasn’t so bad but pumping it up with a mini pump was a chore.
Sunday: Work.  Had a few comments already about the BBC article more of which later.

Confessions of a Weightloss Cyclist.


What a day this has turned out to be. I started off driving through Brimstage and had two Pheasants darting across my path. Listening to the radio there was comment about making kids eat porridge in the morning and why it won’t happen. I’ve just had Quaker Oat Granola and 3 berries and it tasted fine to me and I’ve been eating it for the last years.

A couple of weeks ago Jane Elliot from the BBC contacted me through the site and we arranged a phone interview. I didn’t post anything on the site as thing’s don’t always turn out the way you see them.
That’s all changed today as her article was posted on the BBC website.
It’s a good article and I thank her for it. The response has been overwhelming with lots of comments coming in. (all of which I’m trying to respond to)
They are dotted all over the site so don’t fret if you haven’t got a reply yet.
I look at the Google stats from time to time and guess they are about to go through the roof.

Stayed up to watch Paris- Roubaix on Eurosport which is burning the candle at both ends.

Ran the spelling checker over the page as the laptop is suffering from a sticking keyboard and is missing letters and spaces amazing what you can miss.


Analysis and criticism of REDD and carbon trading

Nick's blog

A rubbish Cyclist trying to get better!


This WordPress.com site is the cat’s pajamas


The trials & tribulations of an obese cyclist.

Frank Kinlan's Blog

A weblog offering firsthand advice to the overweight looking to improve their health and lifestyle through cycling. A link to a pdf of the diet I am following is on the Diet under the About menu.

Going For 96

The Keys To Getting To 96? Everything In Moderation