Weekending 06 Mar 2011

Monday: 9:30 spinning class at the Oval only to find Tex was stuck in traffic so spent an Hour in the Gym waiting for the 10:30 class only to find that cancelled too. Website has been down all weekend along with the email, it’s been a week or so over 5 years since all this started off and the stats do take time to digest.
The enforced break did mean I’ve got to grips with my menu issue that’s been holding things up.
Due to the traffic I’m turning on Likes and Ratings on comments and posts so readers can get more involved without having to comment. You don’t need approval for comments after the first one.
Links are going to be updated, dead links removed and new ones added.
You don’t know what you’ve got to you loose it.
LBS links to be added.
Tuesday: Took the hammer to the broken Colnago Carbitubo but it’s still not playing ball. Put it away again as I wasn’t getting anywhere and don’t want to cause further damage. The Mk 2 is probably a size too big for me.
Wednesday: Blog updated, had to repost the before picture. Still not got around to sending the 705 back to Garmin.
Featured image set to the dog at Gt Budworth ICF so still playing around with things.
Thursday: Work. Been following a few links and blogs, a few are failing so need to be removed.
Friday: Work.
Saturday: 705 went back to Garmin for exchange. Going out to test ride some more bikes at Vita Cycles, it’s a hard life.

This is the second Saturday I’ve been out riding top end bikes, last Saturday it was Sabbath titanium bikes which felt really good. This Saturday it was Neil Pryde carbon fibre bikes. To be honest I had never heard of them only knowing about them from Vita and a tweet on the twitter feed.
Things didn’t start too well as the Toy slid down the wall in the shop looking like it had scraped all the paintwork on the top tube. Luckily it all polished off when I returned home.

I ended up going out on the Diablo which is a pure race bike and it shows. It comes with a Dura-Ace groupset and Mavic Ksyrium SL wheels, in short there is not much better out there.  I went out with 3 other handy lads on a loop to Newton across to the bottom of Column Drive back up Mongomery Hill  via the Irby Mill and back to the shop.

The first thing that strikes you is the stiffness coupled with the lightness of the thing, it’s right on the UCI weight limit. You notice the bike accelerate forward as you stomp on the pedals. The headstock is a massive affair and is as solid as it looks. My now old Trek is puny in comparison.
Got dropped on Mongomery Hill but coming out of the saddle you knew it was you and not the bike.

Shimano’s latest groupsets feel great with the flat transition from bar to hood feeling really comfortable, shifts from the hoods are faultless and really light.
This was the first time I’ve ridden Dura-Ace and I like it a lot.

Back at the shop the matt-black Alize is being assembled with matt being the new black. It is paired with a development pair of matt-black Mavics with what I think is a ceramic braking surface.
The big problem is going to be keeping it clean, anyway there are six mamils outside on the pavement when a woman stops and says her brother in law would be out here drooling along with us if he’d known.


The second bike I took out was the Alize above with a very similar blue to the Team Sky colour. Cycling Plus had managed to chip the paint on one of the demo bikes  which will be hard to match as it looks like a pearl finish.
I followed the route I rode last week with Phil and Shaun opting not to go out with the quick group  who where coming back up the hill towards the shop as I was heading out to Arrow Park. It had started to rain too and it could have been an expensive pile up.

Rode back with another group including Barry or at least tried to as I was off the back from the start and only caught them up at the lights in Heswall.  It was left at Gayton roundabout heading towards Barnston dip. It was a fast pace and Barry promptly blew up, I had to bridge the gap to slow the other two up.
Peeled off at Station Road and headed home.

http://www.neilprydebikes.com/usd/diablo-dura-ace

http://connect.garmin.com:80/activity/embed/71836301

Sunday: No ride but spent the day in Southport.

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Weekending 27 Feb 2011

A bit of a short week this week with work until Thursday. I’ve put in for the package once more as “If your not in it you can’t win it”. It’s an odd place at the moment with the ones laughing and joking are the ones that are leaving.

Had a takeaway Thursday evening and it didn’t agree with me in a big way, I had a trip to the doctors scheduled in on Friday morning and was OK with the blood pressure coming in at something resembling normal. Had planned to ride out to the Eureka but things were just getting worse.

The 705 was going to go back to Garmin for a repair and I even got as far as buying a jiffy bag for it. Next thing was the Kinlan email server going down again. It does this every year as the domain comes up for renewal. Shouldn’t really affect the blog as it is hosted by WordPress but it does.
Spent the day listening to a TwoJohns podcast, these guys are an acquired taste and I don’t think I’ve got it. Listened to one dated a year ago that had them throwing in the towel, likewise last weeks had them doing it again only to get an email or two to answer.  Duration 2hrs 20min says it all.
This weeks was 1hr 33min which was an improvment but still about 45 mins too long. Good stuff seems to get sidetracked by schoolboy stuff like which way do women wear bibshorts.
They really need to sit down and listen to themselves or the RealPeloton once.

Other things in the pipeline, Tacx software upgrade to V3 possibly brought on by the AlpineCols app for Chrome that Paul sent me last week. Some look great in Streetview.

Saturday: Nearly a washout with overnight rain and I’m supposed to be going up to Irby to Vita Cycles for a test ride on a Sabbath September.  Didn’t feel too good in the morning but the sun came out and I thought I’d give it a go.
Headed out to Irby via RestHill , Barnston and Mere lane into a headwind, as I was down to 10mph and this didn’t bode well.

As it turned out things went really well with the guys from Sabbath measuring the Trek up to set the September up. I haven’t given much thought to position and setup but once the tape measure and plumbbob came out it did arouse some curiosity in me. A normal setup is seat 6cm above the the bars, mine is 10cm and would be classed as race or timetrialing. It’s fairly obvious when you look at it side on compared with another bike it just screams race. A lot if not all of this is due to Lance Armstrongs original Madone 5.2 design, it has one of the shortest headtubes around. Another thing is I’m running the full set of spacers on the stem and I’ve been even lower at one stage!
That’s my problem in a nutshell, I’ve been riding around on a racebike for 4 years and all the new models come with comfort or sportive fits because thats what sells.
So how did it go, really, really well.  I’d been told how quiet a ride it was coming off a carbon bike and the Sabbath guys were spot on. It was the first thing I checked when I got back on the Trek.  There were no rattles or squeeks  or creaks just silent forward motion with the wind noise in you ears.
More on this later,  when I’ve sorted out the backlog of bugs and errors on the site

http://connect.garmin.com/activity/70627413

http://connect.garmin.com:80/activity/embed/70627413
This should openup a GarminConnect window but for some reason doesn’t.



Sunday:  Day out in Southport doing things that granparents do. Called in at Formby Cycles on the way home and took a picture of the Trek ——– because it looks like the way to go, disc brakes on a drop bar road bike. It even has a carbon fork that the Boardman hybrid  bike doesn’t. The image was supposed to be a thumbnail for the post

Weekending 20 Feb 2011

Thursday: Picked a Bontrager rear hub up from the post office that I had won on ebay and headed out to the Eureka via Cycle Surgery and Cheshire Oaks cycles. Had the days special at the Eureka and headed home via Vito in Irby. Ride was delayed by watching the cycling on Eurosport.
Picked up the comic in Heswall but missed seeing Rafa Bennitas.
38 Miles 3 bike shops and 1 Cafe stop.
Friday: Headed out to the Eureka in a headwind at 3.7 deg C boy did it feel bitter.

http://connect.garmin.com:80/activity/embed/69260924

Called in at The Bike Shop in Moreton where Grahame came in with a pair must have Sram P60 wheels. Dark by the time I got home with the MagicShines coming into their own.

Sunday: Headed out to the Eureka for breakfast  with much the same headwind as Friday. This time it was even colder with the temperature dropping below 3 Deg C. Headed out to the Bike Factory via the Dee which was pretty bleak with the next stop being The Ice Cream Farm via the canal towpath to Waverton. Met John Lyth at the ICF where I told him about dodgy emails coming from him. Took a loop back via Beeston Castle and the Shadey Oak. Also called at the 50p store in the back of beyond for the first time. Bought a hole saw for £1 that looks like it’s a single use item.
Got back to the Eureka in time and had some fun with Allan and company from the CTC on the A540.  Blasted down the A540 at 20 odd MPH only to get baulked by the lights at Gordale and have Allan come past me.
No time to muck around now this was time for the big ring.

Back up Resthill for 63.8 miles.  The ghost shifting that plagued me the other day has gone due to putting some wax on the chain and reindexing it.

Email is down again and one day I’ll sort out the blog menus again.

Weekending 13 Feb 2011

Wednesday: Cleaned the Toy before going out to the Eureka for breakfast. I made the mistake of lubricating the chain with Finnish Line Wetlube last week the downside being it picked up all the blown sand at Hoylake and Moreton.

Spoke to a chap that had ridden out from Runcorn via Chester using an Etrex and OSM maps.  He mentioned about the barge so that was enough to put in a detour on my trip out to the Bike Factory.

Picked up a Mavic spokekey for the Ksyriums and headed back leaving the cycle path at Blacon heading back to the Eureka via Woodbank.
39 miles’

Friday: Out  to the Eureka for breakfast, where Dave tweets his order in on Twitter.

http://connect.garmin.com:80/activity/embed/67711221 

http://connect.garmin.com:80/activity/embed/67711221“>

Weekending 06 Feb 2011

Monday: Last day of the month at work so the pressure was on to get things sorted. Then comes the problem of what to do on my four days off. I’ve set myself a target of 120 miles for the week, which is 30 miles a day.  In an ideal world this would be over in 2 hours with the rest of the day to do all the other stuff.
Spent  some time looking at spares for the Magicshine and new Themes for the blog as the ones above annoy me but I don’t seem to be able to do much about it and it’s not for the lack off trying.
I’ve picked up a bit of sinusitis which feels like I’ve got a broken nose.
Tuesday: Up early with the intention of doing a spinning class or a ride. The Toy got cleaned and the Crud Roadracer mudguards got fitted or at least the back one with a bit of cutting. No such luck with the front one. Missed the spinning classes but did give the sinusitis a bit of treatment with Menthol and Tea Tree Oil in a bowl of water. It proved to be surprisingly effective.

First section of the ride was to see Colin Brick at Wheelbase, here I learnt Mavic haven’t had a presence in the UK for the last 3 years due to the likes of Wiggle and ChainReaction under cutting dealers with grey imports.

Forced to stop in Rock Ferry (not something you’d do if you had a choice) to secure the MagicShine battery. Got asked if I was racing in Birkenhead Park as I still had my Etape number on, that would be some race.

Next stop was Vale Park for a tea and cake stop. A chap walks up the hill with a Great Dane that you would have to measure in hands it was that big. The other dogs didn’t want to go near it. I had taken a shot of the new Liverpool waterfront but as I had taken the SD  card out of the camera it didn’t come out for some reason. Below are the swans on the boating lake, it would have been better if they didn’t associate humans with food.

http://connect.garmin.com:80/activity/embed/66215469

Next stop was Brian’s in Moreton to book the Polo in for the anti-rollbar to be changed. Talked bikes, the motorised kind,helped out on one of oddball jobs that he seems to attract. Then it was off on the bike to Hoylake, a bit of traffic bringing out what commuters must see everyday, bad driving.

West Kirby brought out the inner chimp, do I listen to the chimp and go through Caldy Village or head up Hilbre View and Column Drive. The critical point was the turn off to Banks Road. The chimp lost and it was up Hilbre View, the weight I’ve put on recently really telling.  Same thing at Montgomery Hill, I’m getting up OK but nothing like I was. Could be worse I remember times when I had to stop.  Next stop was Vita cycles in Irby but that will have to be tomorrow as it’s getting late.

http://connect.garmin.com:80/activity/embed/66339415

http://connect.garmin.com:80/activity/embed/66339415’

Thursday:  Had me fitting the Crud Roadracer Mudguards to the  Toy before heading out to the Eureka, now open on Thursdays and Fridays.

Friday: Last chance of a ride and by what  I’m seeing  on Facebook and Twitter  no one wants to risk it going out in the wind. Headed out on Route  56 and it wasn’t too bad until I turned into Talbot Road where I was downto 6 mph. Arrived at the Eureka just after 10 for another breakfast. The word needs to go out that they are open as I saw riders on Thursday doing a loop down Denhall lane when the Cafe is only a mile or so down the road.

Called in to see Keith at Eureka Cycle Sports and then it was on to the Bike Factory to pick up the Mavic spoke holding tool. Our new cycle crossing across the Dee is down the pan as the money has to be spent by March, come to think of it what happened to all the other cycling facilities promised, a big let down from Chester City Council.
I got blown to Chester at 23 mph in places the trouble was finding a sheltered route back. After leaving the Bike Factory it was time to take to the cycle route out to Sealand but coming off at the Blacon exit.  Through Upton and over the A5117 where I was back down to 6 mph again as it’s very exposed.

More cars than bikes back at the Eureka with the wind back in my favour if I take the right route. I’m well up on the mileage target and now 150 miles plus seems do-able. Left the Cafe and headed to Neston with a strong buffeting in places. Took to the Wirral Way at Parkgate to be met with a fallen tree, below.

The Wirral Way being a disused railway lin from the Beeching closures is really sheltered on a day like this, had the mudguard clog up a few times but it is really close fitting. Called in at Morrisons in West Kirby for an afternoon tea and found it quite quiet. Once on the  front at  Hoylake I got blown along until Leasowe lighthouse. Normally I come off the sea defences here but continued on knowing it can get a bit soft.

http://connect.garmin.com:80/activity/embed/66594924

Probably my biggest week for a long time, 162.5 miles in 4 days. If you can call  Deeside, Wales I got into Wales for the first time this year, next stop some hills. If that is to happen I’m going to have to take some nutrition as once off the beaten track there is nothing out there for you.