Weekending 24 May 09

Monday: The big day, doctors at 11 for a reveiw and a medical for my Etape entry. The Oval first for a hill session on an exercise bike. 30 mins at about 200 watts. Shower then to the waiting room. Blood pressure was up a bit so soon after the session but back down to 130/80 after a few minutes.  This probably sealed it for me as it’s that long since I’ve been there that if you look at the record it says overweight and blood pressure problems. I’d also said I’d been taking home measurements and it had been about 130/ low Eighties. The fact that I was wearing a Heartrate monitor and knew what my max was helped.
Was warned about the heat in July and with that I was done.
It was a far cry from the early days when I dreaded the place.

Signed form in hand it was back home to get it posted ASAP. Popped into Aldi for lunch and ended up Etape Caledonia was on the news as I came home from work lastnight as someone had sabotaged the route with carpet tacks.

The plan now is to up the mileage in the hills and learn some French, giving it up at 13 wasn’t one of my wisest moves come to think of it.

Went to see StarTrek at Vue it was great but at £7.10 a head you wouldn’t want to see a dud. Sweets work out at £12.40 a kilo or whatever unit they use. Great film, reminds you just how bad the first ones were with William Shatner as Kirk.

Tuesday: Gym and a spin in the morning. Sort out a few thing later on with the Northend 14.1 TT in the evening. Now I missed out on this event last year as turned up to the wrong location as the club events don’t start at the CTT location. Never done a 14 miler before so it’s a first. Chased around like an idiot looking for the start only to find another club doing a TT, the Wrexham Fibrax 10.

Co-opted the satnav to get me to the right location this time. Then drove the route to see what I was up against.

It looked like a quick course sitting in the luxury of the car, I was thinking easy 23-24 mph on sections I hadn’t ridden. After a bit of misdirection I started at number 2.  Mark was first off and it was remarkable how windy it was. Sections where I thought would be easy were hard due to a headwind.
The first test is at Aldford bridge, here you come down the hill and hope there is no traffic.  After the bridge  I make time on a club ride with my minute man in the distance.
Somewhere along the route there was a flagpole on a corner all this did was remind me I was turning straight into a headwind.

I pass about 5 clubrun guys  before I pass Mark, this was a bit disturbing as I was only about 3.5 miles in.

There are a few climbs where I think I was letting myself down but it’s the same for everybody.
Garmin logged the Heartrate at about 184 BPM max with a lot of it about 172 bpm.
The time 38 minutes 8 seconds.
Next in was Janet with a time of 37 minutes 58 seconds, beating me by 10 seconds. It’s been like this for the last 4 time trials. The lowest was 6 seconds I think. (i’ll check) At least it’s consistent. Been told it’s a good thing as she’s been doing it for years. Can’t quite justify a set of Zipp 808 yet.
Vicky is improving and starting to catch up without any aero aids.

Wednesday: Ride day, out to the Eureka for breakfast. I was in the queue when someone rushed it to call for an ambulace as someone had had an acident. It’s always a bit risky crossing to the Eureka but you wouldn’t want to become an A540 statistic.
Ended up riding to Caerwys and coming back via Halkyn.
58 miles.
The police had come into the cafe looking for witnesses but no one had actually witnessed the accident.
I’d set out with Dave Newby chasing the big hitters that included the Springbok.  This wasn’t going to last so I tagged along with Carols group going over the blue bridge. Met Steve another 705 owner and with Lionel that made 3 on the ride. Discussed maps and Routes as you do, now if you use MapSource it’s version of a route is different to what I do as it tries to autoroute you.



Back to the ride, It split at Northop Lights as Lionel and co went up to the green (steep) once Ronnie was back with us Carol led us up to the A55 and then on to Pentre. It’s a bit of a lumpy ride and once at Caerwys we discover the Cafe is now a Delicatessen. That’s a bit of a blow so we have a look at the pub that has a sign on the wall with ” Nice Cat” on it. Took a picture of it.
Set off for the golf club, you think that with 3 Garmin 705 owners in a group of 4 we would have things sussed. Wrong. About a mile past the club we realised we were headinf for the wrong one.
Lionel did a search, found the club and took us right to it. It was easily missed. Even when we got there there was no sign of the others.
Good job the others persevered as the rest of the group was there and had already ordered.
It’s a 9 hole golf course and looks nice.  Food was good, didn’t see a menu but whatever asked for was provided. Scambled egg on toast with a cup of tea was £3.



Rain was forecast between 1 and 2 and sure enough it arrived on time.  Trouble was the top of the Halkyns is not the place to be when it arrives. The Discovery windshell was put on as we descended back via the green back to Northop. Hopefully this is all I’m going to need on the Ventoux if the weather turns, talking in the Eureka I’d been warned how bad it can get. As it was my hands in fingerless gloves(Aldi) were freezing.

One of our group had put on the Aldi Lightweight Jacket and gave it a good reveiw on the way back.
I couldn’t find mine in time for the ride.
Good ride, bike was a bit of a mess along with myself as I had no mudguards but thats what it’s going to be like for a lot of us if the weather turns in July.

Disscussed Routes with Lionel at the Eureka then rode home for the Giro. Cav won again, Armstrong had a turn on the front, all good stuff.

Nearly missed Barbara’s spinning class at West Kirby being 5 minutes late. Gave it a bloody good go as half a days ride isn’t going to be enough in July. Barbara said I was wasting away but I’m down to 85 and a bit kilo’s today.

Thursday: Got my timing wrong for the morning spinning class and missed the start by 15 minutes, only one class on a Thursday, it starts at 10.15  and I went to the gym think it was due to start at 10.30. Gym afterwards, shower and home.  Another section of the Scenic exhaust started blowing, this is weeks after having a new back box for the MOT. I had toyed with the idea of scrapping it under the scrappage scheme but  it’s had new tyres the exhaust is nearly all new. A large bill would see it off.
Had to see the Giro time trial first though, well most of it.
Downloaded the Aqueduct route uploaded it to Bikeroutetoaster.com then saved it as a Course to the Edge.

Whatever happens on the Aqueduct I’ll be calling in at the world,s best  Cycling cafe on a big ride. Junction of the B54407 and B4391. Was the highest petrol station in the UK I think, certainly in Wales. It’s a roller coaster of a ride to it with me locking it at about 40mph to avoid a straying sheep last year. Unbeleivable cake stop.
Friday: Work, first day.  Took half a pint of milk in for tea over the weekend only to have some light fingered person pinch most of it for cornflakes. Wouldn’t mind but it was Organic to boot. Cycling on ITV4 when I got in and then the Giro on Eurosport so no gym.
Looked at carbon wheels on ebay with it finally dawning on me that the cheap ones all have crash damage.
Saturday: Work
Sunday: Work.  Lost out on a bidding war on Ebay item I was bidding on. Giro delayed on Eurosport when I got in for tennis. First in the Northend Handicap League by one point from Janet Hassell. It won’t last as now we are starting the 10 mile section. I’ve done 5 out of 6 events and your best 6 count. This year should be a bit better as some of the rides have been a bit low on riders, elevating my points.

18 thoughts on “Weekending 24 May 09”

  1. Chapeau! I wish you all the best on the Etape it will be a fantastic event. Just remember as you fly up Ventoux you will have hundreds of people from this site rooting for you. Probably not a good idea to Twitter it though!



  2. Thanks John, I won’t be flying up the Ventoux I just want to make it to the end before the time limit. I’ll have to get the Tacx out and do the full course of 53 miles. The Ventoux climb took me 2 hours on the DVD so your looking at about 6 mph. I was in a right state at the end of it so I’m going to have to watch myself on it.
    Water is going to be a concern as I go through a lot of it when stressed.


  3. Hi Gary, two quarters of pick and mix £3.88. Good job the diet cokes were smuggled in.
    There was an offer on for popcorn and whatever for £9.40. I’d probably gone into peak time but I wasn’t expecting it.
    Good luck with the ride. There is a pub stop near Widnes on the canal that it is worth stopping at. It’s really off the beaten track.

  4. Hi Frank, I see you’ve entered the Pontcysyllte Aqueduct. Ideal preparation for the Etape but no copping out on the final climb to the Panorama this year 🙂

    I’ve posted a GPX on the Route&Profile page at http://events.norvil.net/aqueduct. It’s a generated track so I’d be grateful if you’d let me know whether you are able to load it onto your Garmin.

  5. Hi Frank,

    How far is the whole Etape, 160km? I looked at one of those integral camel bladder tops recently. I love Camelback whilst mtbing but the road top wouldn’t touch me. Plus I’d have looked like the hunchback of Notre Dame on day out!

  6. Hi Stan, I got talked out of it last year so it’s got to be done this year even if it means doing it on my own. No point in getting to the bottom of the Ventoux and not riding it.
    I’ll download the GPX and see if it works.

    John, Ive got it down as 172 Km. I was under the impression the top was for time trialing. I think the problem will be refilling it. I’m marking it down as a two bottle ride. I may ditch a tube but that’ll be replaced with a rain jacket after talking to someone today.


  7. Cheers Frank, Whats the name of it ?

    We will be heading down the TPT to the Airport then onto lime street station and back to Manchester.

    The cinema is so crazy expensive these days and seldom worth it.


  8. Dave it was Angela from the CTC, I bumped into Janet in Heswall and she says she has been released from hospital.

    If the Cafe in Caerwys is on your list Dave it’ll have to come off as it is now a Deli, shame as it was a good cafe. The golf club was a good alternative when we found it.

  9. Gaz , it’s the Ferry Inn at Fiddlers Ferry. If your taking the cycle path into Liverpool watch out for glass, the kids use it as a place to drink booze and the bottles end up getting smashed at the end of it.

    I still like seeing films on a big screen but wouldn’t chance watching anything that had a duff reveiw.

    Good luck with the ride, the weather is supposed to be good this weekend.


  10. Thanks for testing the Aqueduct GPX for me. I’ve just followed your suggestion and looked at it in Bike Route Toaster. It seems to come up with better estimates for total distance and ascent/descent than MapMyRide. On the default settings, it suggests a ride time of 7h50. So there’s your target 🙂

  11. Hi Frank

    I’m who you were talking to in West Kirby after Barbara’s class on Wednesday night.

    I knew I recognised you but thought it was just through West Kirby but I went spinning a lot in Europa with Sheila and Louise as well as doing some other classes run by Sheila. I used to do spin up to 5 times a week there but since I’ve had my baby I haven’t been able to spin as often and I do miss it but I’m just pleased I’ve made time to do it at least once a week as the baby fat was gaining! But you don’t want to hear about that!

    Anyway… This site is fasinating and I’m not a real bike goer! I’ve really found it interesting to look at.

    Thank you for chatting to me…I know what you mean about the gym being a library! That’s why I prefer the classes!

    Good luck with all your organised rides. See you Wednesday!

  12. Hi Frank. Glad to see your training is progressing well. I’m down to do the Dragon ride in a couple of weeks. I’m interested in the article on how to make better use of my map installed on my sd card. I’d like to see better detail in the Training centre application and I gather if you rename this map it can be opened in the GTC showing minor roads etc. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

  13. Shaun, follow this link to Daves site. You basically rename a copy of your SD card map as PCbasemap. It’s a big file and takes a while to load up at first.


    Ok on the Dragon ride, I’ve read about if for a couple of years. I’m just gearing myself up for the Aquaduct next Sunday. Thinking about doing one of the Dave Lloyd challenges, not the Mega tho as it’s silly hard IMHO. Virtually every hard climb in North Wales in it. Good luck with the ride.

  14. Hello Frank….

    After a final weekend test before JOGLE, I have now realised the battery re-charge time for my nav/track solution is to long 😦 So I have bought an Edge 605 (Cadence/Heart Rate and Altitude are not important to me)

    As the time to JOGLE is so short I need to get to grips with it as soon as possible…I have migrated all of my planned routes to GPSies and downloaded them to the Edge in TCX format..

    Again due to time I have bought and downloaded the City Maps for UK/Ireland (So they are NOT integrated with mapsource)I have also downloaded the OSM uk map (On a micro SD)so again not integrated into mapsource

    I tried a short route out last night on it and when I deviate from route it does warn me…but does not navigate me back to route..

    I am guessing I need waypoints….but I do not have a lot of time to play or experiment ;-(

    If you have time to aid me…what is the best most efficient way of migrating my existing routes to ones that will work best with the Edge??? I have read with interest the 100 waypoint limit……
    Or am I best of starting again from scratch???

    What I am basicaly after is a pre-planned route that will tell me when to turn and will navigate me back to route if I deviate…Is this possible?????

    Regards John

  15. John, your cutting it short. You’ve 3 options. A Course with CoursePoints from Bikehike (100Coursepoint limit too). One course for each day. A Route using Marengo, this is you navigating from Waypoint to Waypoint. You ride a Route as a Saved ride. Gives you a time and distance countdown to the turn.
    Three find a place such as a garage, cash machine or shop etc near where you are staying and let it navigate you to it. It Autoroutes you to your destination. We used this last week to get to the Golf club as we had missed the entrance. It works well, tells you to hang a U etc. You could use this as a backup if the other methods don’t work. Settings: Calc Route: Bicycle, Guidance Method: Follow Road, Recalculate: Automatic:, Avoid: Major Roads. are my settings.

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