Weekending 28 Mar 2010

Monday: Work
Tuesday: Work
Wednesday:Work
Thursday: Work
Friday: Took a trip out to Chester to look at bikes, wheels. Found out you can’t get a spare set of cadence magnets from Garmin.  Will have to try a Cateye one for the crank.
Saturday:  Watched the track cycling on Eurosport when I should have been out riding. Sorted out Facebook profile, I’ve added a new game only profile to stop everybody getting bombarded with Mafia Wars, FarmVille and Cafe World messages. The Toy is going to get it’s first airing on the Spring 50 Tourist Trial.  The turbo tyre was taken off and the Conti put back on. A quick spin up the close had me thinking this is good and how am I going to better this.
Fridays trip to the Bike Factory  had me looking at a £2700 bike with a 105 groupset on it. The more I looked the more it became apparent  that manufacturers are slipping cheaper components into what should be topend bikes.
I should have stuck in some more miles on the Toy as the shifting was suspect on the ride Sunday.
Plotted the Course in BikeHike which is handy as it has an OS map window as well as the Google map plotting window.
Sunday: Ride day. It’s a busy Sunday in the North West with the clocks going forward and a lot of events running. The Egg Run, Liverpool half marathon, Cheshire Cat sportive and the Spring 50 Tourist Trial from Higher Kinnerton.
There is a record entry of around 150 riders going off  in 10 minute intervals. I’m in the last group group 15 and it’s going to be hard to make up ground today.

Team Wallace and Grommit

Team Wallace and Grommit are in front of us and it’s going to hard to make up ground on these lads. Made our way to the start with The Northend and we were sent on our way. Well I would have if I had turned the Course on the 705 on, so I had a bit of ground to make up on what is possibly the worst part of the ride, the hill heading out of Kinnerton.

I’d caught up by the rail bridge and went off the front just after the dip and S bend.  Heartrate on this part of the Course went up to 184 BPM which is as good as 100%.It was then a case of putting it in the big ring and pressing on. Got caught by the lights at Straight mile so what turned out to be Allans group had a minute on me again on a fast part of the course.

Fast is 42 mph, a bit beforehand I’d been chasing down what turned out to be a chap on  a mountain bike.  At Gresford I catch sight of Allans group and finally close in on them on the climb before Borras Road. There are good views overlooking the Cheshire Plane here with Beeston Castle in the distance. 

Allan group didn’t give up and I ended up being lead out man for them on the straight stretch to Holt. The lights caught us on the bridge and we stayed together for a few miles. One of the guys was a strong rider who could power away from a junction eventually splitting the group around Tilston.

Eventually I came across the first control and there was a comment about my Etape number, which isn’t coming off by the way. The CTC do the Semaine Federal  and Margaret leaves her number on so has had similar comments. Allans group arrive as I leave and as there are 4 of them it’ll be a few minutes before they will get through the control. I’m starting to pass the odd group or two now, coming across Keith Boarmans NorthEnd group.

On the section into Overton there are already riders returning to Kinnerton.  In years past I’ve been one of the first through the doors at the stop. This year I’m greeted by a big queue for soup so decide to give it a miss.
I sit down with Trek Chris who is riding with Team Wallace and Grommit and finding the pace not what he’s used to after a winter layoff like most of us.
You need to get spanked once in a while to up the ante.

Leaving the hall it was a question of chasing down a group in the distance and latching on to one of the Chester groups.  It all went well until the first climb after a quick run into Bangor on Dee. Shifting problems meant the chain was jumping sprockets and they were gone in a flash.

I then hooked up with Allan Negus and the chap he was riding with. His Etrex Legend trying to route him off course and then reclculating for him.
The chap he was riding with then suffered front mech problems and in te end he had to turn back for him. So I’m back on my lonesome.

The run from Holt was a bit rough with a sidewind and a surface that I hate, tarred and chipped about 3 or 4 times that gives a harsh ride even on carbon. I pass another two guys at Rosset and the come up on a group on the final section around the Green.

Here Team Wallace and Grommit come by me, well at least Chris and Allan did the rest having been shelled off the back.  I tucked in as they made their was through about 8 to 10 riders.  Chris is setting a fast pace and I eventually had to drop off as I started to cramp up in one leg.

Not much else to say, I had to go 10 metres past the finish gate to get the Garmin Course to complete with it’s little melody which isn’t too bad seeing it was quickly planned the night before.

The stats. 49.71 miles, 3 hours 3 minutes, 16.3 mph average. Max speed 43.6 mph 1786 ft of climbing but who know these days with a faulty Edge 705.
Chatted to Team Wallace and Grommit at the finish with comments bouncing around about team discipline. Headed back to the Eureka at a slower pace and had a chat with the Northend group I’d left at the start.
  68 miles and it felt like it. Knew about it next day.

The shifting problems were a loose rear wheel and what looks like another worn wheel bearing.

See Stans comment about his Horseshoe Grimpeur, 2600 metres (not feet) of climbing.

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Weekending 21 Mar 2010

Monday:  Cleaned the car and then got it dirty again with a trip around Wales with lunch at Betws-y-Coed.  I’d filled up with 99 octane unleaded at £1.25 a litre
A nice chap in a Porshe flashed me about the mobile speed camera on Gods road the A4212 from Trawsfynydd to Bala. Washed car again.
Tuesday: Washed car again as it was streaked. Came to the conclusion that wash and wax in the same bottle are two incompatible products. Shopping trip to Chester, came back empty handed. Ended up polishing the car to remove the streaking. Found the Edge 305 which is going to get an outing tomorrow. Needed a charge but it does remind me how good a 705 is despite wanting to throw it as far as I can on a few occasions.
Wednesday: Ride day, coupled with the fact that Chester City Council are meeting with various people at the Eureka. It’s a turn up and pick a ride day for me but first I’ve got to sort out some Garmin altitude inconsistencies.  It starts at the end of the close,Edge 305 160 ft altitude, Edge 705 200 ft altitude.
Dave Newby passed me on the way out to the Eureka showing better form having lost a stone in the last 2 months.
The Garmin altitude saga continued with the 305 and 705 showing a difference of 1ft at the cafe, 129 and 130 ft.  I don’t know what’s going on with the 705 as it spikes up 300 ft during the ride but settles out at 22ft when riding along the River Dee which brings me around to the ride.
The cafe was packed with plenty of riders milling around outside come ride time.  I’d missed the CTC A group going to Tattenhall so set out on my own trying to catch Dave Newby heading towards Woodbank but it was not to be.

I’d put on the Garmin HRM strap but as it’s been sat in a drawer for a nearly a year it wasn’t working so a diversion to Maplin for a battery was put in place. The empty Borders store looks like it is going to be hard to fill with that section of the car park empty.
Then it was back on the ride heading out past Stanlow and turning off through Thornton le Moors. Climbing up Dunham Hill revealed that the closed Dunham Arms is reopening at the endof the month. Took a picture of it which I’ll post in due time.
I’d been on a wet ride here a couple of years ago and the food wasn’t bad.

Next stop was the Crazy Chamellion at  Manley Mere but it looked closed so I headed back out through Moulsworth and Ashton  passing Elvis,s and heading through Tarvin. Glad to get off the A54.
Passed to 50p shop which looked quite busy and headed towards Huxley the idea was to avoid the turn off for the Ice Cream Farm and head off to the bottom of Beeston Castle.

Pub stop was the Sportsman Arms in Tattenhall arriving in time to enter with Maurice who is still going but not as strong as he was at 77.  He likes his audio old style, speakers the size of a piece of furniture, been there seen it done it.  Quality seems to have suffered as the formats have changed over the years. Headed back via Chester and the Bike Factory where Dave asks if I’m interested in a Project One Trek. For the best part of £6K I’d want some flash wheels on it.
The Shack kit is due in next week if your into replica kit. The Astana kit now has Specialised logo’s on it as Contador is still with them but on Specialised bikes.
Dave did ask me if I was thinking of jumping ship.

Back via the bandstand on the Dee with a short trip onto the Wall as they are relaying the cobblestones.  Did a circuit of the racecourse and took to the Dee cycle path getting to the Eureka just after 4. Been riding around all day with the tune from last weeks Mastercrafts in my head but can’t seem to find out what it was. Home via the link, 66 miles.

Thursday: Rest day.  Sorted a few things out but basically had it down as a recovery day with another ride planned for Friday. Had a trip out to Cholmondley with the idea of riding out there and following NCR 45. The roads are bad by Cholmondley Castle gates but at least it is quiet.
Well that was the plan but a late call from my mum meant a trip to the DVLA  in Chester for Friday to tax the car not having had a logbook from Swansea.

Weekending 14 Mar 2010

Monday: Work
Tuesday: Work. Been their 11 years today.
Wednesday: Ride day, rode out to the Eureka just as the CTC were off out on a ride. Couldn’t risk starving myself again with a 2 hour wait. Spoke to Barry and Keith in the Eureka, Barry had been on a hilly ride on Sunday that included Worlds End and the Old Shoe with someone managing to snap a chain.  Keith and Barry mentioning they have stopped buying the Comic, Keith because he wants to see racers on the front cover and not staffers, Barry because it’s full of Sportive rides. Readership is stuck at about 29,000 up 2,000 in 2 years. 6900 follow them on Twitter which is free. Meanwhile 2,454,903 are following Lance Armstrong on Twitter so he must be doing something right.
The ride ended up being 32 miles with 2 stops a bike shops to check a few things out.
More Garmin altitude problems and not just me Lionel’s 705 is showing -345ft at the cafe. Yes you did read it right minus 345 ft below sea level.

Watched Paris Nice on Eurosport.

Thursday: Really busy at West Kirby, having trouble getting a parking space for the morning Spinning class. Half an hour in the gym then home to clean the bike.  Fitted Fibrax brake pads to the Iceni as the braking isn’t too hot. What has struck me is the steep rise in Shimmano components. Brake shoes were £7,then £8 now £10. Ultegra cassette was £35 now £65. Ultegra chain now £40. The Iceni chain goes in the ultrasonic bath for a clean and gets its last lube before I go over to wax .  The Mini had mudflaps on the front put on too. Should have had a ride today as the weather was good.  
Watched Paris Nice on Eurosport with Contador dropping everybody on the final climb.
Friday: 27 mile ride.
Margarets spinning class at West Kirby where the bikes have been oversold.
More later.

Weekending 07 Mar 2010

Monday: Work, last day only three off as I’m in Friday.
Tuesday: Morning spin class at West Kirby. Turned up for the first class and got a bike.  The bikes wern’t in the squash court so there was a bit of a delay.  It turns out I’m the only bloke in a class of twenty odd women. Barbara runs two classes on a Tuesday and both are popular, the creche helps. Not staying for the second class so have a session in the gym.  Saw Margaret in the gym more of which in a minute.

Aldi on the way home had me picking up some bits to clean the Mini with, along witha 49p mango. I still feel I’m getting ripped off by Tesco’s soft fruit prices although at least the is a sell by date on the packet.
Spent a couple of hours cleaning the Mini including the inside with a Dyson portable cleaner that has a battery life of about 10 minutes.

Evening spin class at The  Oval, only eight of us in the class when one of the women piped up about there being  a lot of men in the class for once.  One each quips Margaret. The chap next to me has his Assos kit on so is quite handy. Don’t stay for the second class as tomorrow is ride day.

Wednesday: The plan was to ride out to the Eureka and do a loop into Wales if there were no rides going that way. I’d grabed a wheel from the Hinderton Arms to Hadlow Road, felt guilty so did a turn on the front. Got into the Eureka before the rush and had a breakfast. Saw Nole from the Wednesday Section who said they were going to Kinnerton for what turned out to be the Presidents Memorial ride. Destination was The Swan which we’ve been to before.

Assembling outside the Eureka I see Mike who now has a nice new Hewitt which gets a once over later in the ride. We haven’t seen each other for a while and I was on Mikes first CTC ride a few years ago. He turned up on a £5 bike that from memory his brother had given him.  I don’t remember what broke on the first ride but I think the tubes were perished from it standing so long. By his own words someone took pity on him and gave him a £5.50 bike.

It’s a steady pace down to Woodbank where we have our first incident of the morning with a girl in a Mini trying to overtake all of us who are strung out, it is narrow after all. Get’s an uncharacteristic CTC finger after tooting the horn.
We cross the Dee at the rail bridge taking the cycle route through Queensferry and up Welllington Street, the top of which is a church which if you didn’t see the path at the last minute you’d be riding into.

The ride then turns into Shotton Lane which is about 8/9 % and starts to sort everybody out. He we have the village idiot (P559PUY) trying to force his clapped out uninsured Ford past us all. You wouldn’t drive on this lane if you were legit.

I’m the new guy on this ride for at least 3 of the ride. It doesn’t matter what group your in your going to get tested at some stage. Allan, Dave and another Mike are all new to me and I to them.  I’d arrived at the Hollywell Road first and waited for the group to regroup. Allan said he was going to have to watch out for me as I gather he’s not used to this.
Hewitt Mike introduced me at this stage.

Next stop was Connahs Quay Road where it crosses the A55, here I had a look at Mikes Hewitt which has an amazing detail on the headstock. I really liked the brazed on cable guides that keep the cables from rubbing the headset. I’ve got bits of plastic stuck on mine and it’s still worn the paint.

Northop lights were next with a loop around New Brighton and Buckley, not a route I’d have considered but it worked out OK.

An extra loop was put in as we were a tad early, as it turned out we could have done another 20 miles and still been early. 

more to follow including a 2 hour wait for a bagette. Route back was my interpretation as I had missed the guys going back. As it turned out I took a road that was closed and diverted but still made it through.

I’ll fill in the gaps but it was a 52 mile ride at the end of the day, pity about the wait but the Eureka was still open and the  Garmin seemed to log it all.

Thursday: Spinning class at West Kirby. Got to tick this one down as hard.
Friday: Had planned a class at West Kirby and had left early. It wasn’t to be as I was nursing a groin injury, first time for me.
Saturday: Work
Sunday: Work

Weekending 28 Feb 2010

Missed last weeks blog despite getting a 44 mile ride in on the Wednesday
A later start due to waiting in for someone who didn’t turn up had me missing the early fog/mist.
Took a trip to Kay Cycles for a new mudguard bridge as the rear one had fractured. I got about 96/97 miles for the week  and a spinning class in as well.
This week had me down for a spinning class after work on Tuesday which I missed as stayed on for fifteen minutes too long. Spent 30 minutes on the static in the gym instead at around 165 watts.
Wednesday: Early morning fog had me cleaning the Mini for a couple of hours.  Most of the tar from the deteriorating Brimstage Road seems to have ended up on the bodywork.  A trip out to the Eureka for a late breakfast and then on to Eureka Cycle Sports for a look at the bike.
One caught the eye, a stunning Colnago Master Fixie.
This is after I turned down the offer of a Look steel frame at work thinking it was a wind up.
Picked up the Tar remover from Halliwell Jones and went home to apply it.
ride was 28 miles and the car was looking very tidy.
Thursday: Can’t get the rides into the 705 as it doesn’t recognise the USB drive.  I took a drive into Wales with Val looking for a pub lunch.
This was a bit of an eyeopener as if they haven’t closed down then they were closed during the day. Washed the car again.
Friday: Work.

Weekending 14 Feb 2010

Monday: Spinning class. Sorted out the 705 which is totally screwed. Managed to get water in the SD card holder and now it won’t recognise the card properly.
Tuesday: Measure up for some new windows

Wednesday: Work
Thursday: Work
Friday: Work
Saturday: Work
Sunday:Ice Cream farm ride on the cards. Coming out of Gayton roundabout I was cruising at 24 mph. I never seem to get the benefit of a tailwind on timetrial. I was just about to catch my minute man when he turned off at the turning for Thornton Hough.
Rode down the A540 talking to one of The Sunlight on a Sunday loop, like a lot of people this has been one of the few times I’ve been able to get out since December and it shows.
The plan is to meet up with Roy’s CTC ride to the Ice Cream Farm that and inject some pace into my riding. I’d taken off the Montane cape as I’d arrived at the Eureka perspiring profusely.
No breakfast today just a toasted teacake.

The route out was Eureka, Capenhurst Dunkirk, Backford, Croughton, Picton Gorse, Mickle Trafford, Guilden Sutton, Waverton, Hargrave.
Stopped to talk to Vicky and Lance as the Northend had stopped for Tempo to fix a puncture.

The high cost of  Sportife entries came up as the comic has published all the events for this year. Dave Lloyd Mega Challenge an eye watering £40. With Tempo’s puncture fixed the Northend departed for the Eureka and I headed for The Ice Cream Farm.

A tuna melt turned up in next to no time after last weeks debacle and the place was packed. I ended arriving an hour late and still leaving before I’d been served last week.

The return was via Bruera with a sprint at Saighton.
The Jungle at Huntington has had a makeover and we made our way to the cyclepath to Queensferry. We got passed by a chap on a flat barred bike  who tried his best to make it look effortless but looked like he was starting to struggle before he turned off. The riders on the front wanting to pass him back.
The pace picked up towards the end up Woodbank with Roy slipping off the front and falling back a bit.  I won the last sprint for the Eureka with Woodbank taking it’s toll. It’s a good way to end a ride as it gives you something to talk about in the cafe.
Puddington and Neston on the way home for a 54 mile ride.

I did see big Phil on the ride out around by the Crocky Trail, he had his Edge HRM on as I picked it up on the other side of the road. The 705 bleeping that a HRM was detected. logged it at 98 BPM.

Weekending 07 Feb 2010

Not posted for a while as there was nothing to post so here goes.
Wednesday: 30 mile ride around the Wirral, took to the Wirral Way to see the bench in memory of my dad. Now has the brass plaque on it.
Got caught in the sleet and snow at New Brighton so took refuge in the Cafe at Vale Park.
The Sugoi gloves proved utterly hopeless taking in water like a sponge. As it’s freezing it leads to my fingers going numb.
Garmin Edge 705 is starting to play up with the grade showing daft readings for the flattest of rides. Started with another puncture so a new tyre went on as I’m having too much trouble with Conti Ultrasports.
Saturday: Trip to Southport with Jack
Sunday: News that the Spring 50 entries are nearly full had me joining Peters Wirral ride. Thinking I’d missed the start I headed to the first Cafe stop.  I’d got there early to be joined by Sue and George ordered a tea with the other riders ariving shortly. 20 riders turning up can overwhelm a Cafe and this proved to be the case at the Lady Lever art gallery which was the first stop.
Worse was to come with a short ride to the Priory and then along the front to Woodside. The Cafe has recently been refurbished the food was good but the service was hopeless. An hour and a half for a salmon sandwich despite getting there first. Charles had it right saying the later orders had been placed on top of ours. The delays led to comments about needing lights.
Next stop was the One O’clock Gun with Seacombe and the Prom to New Brighton on the route.
Following Route 56 to Bidston where I split from the group thinking it was going to cross the dual carriage way only to find it took you back under it.
Nothing to it but follow the signs as the Edge map was on basemap with the memory card playing up due to water ingress.
Carried on on Landican Lane and came back through Barnston avoiding the muddy track to Brimstage.
The Edge 705 has finally called it a day not wanting to switch on and not recognising the files and folders.

Weekending 17 Jan 2010

Monday:Work. More concerned that the boiler doesn’t pack in as the responce from British Gas is diabolical. Boilers packing up all over the place, mostly with frozen vent pipes.
Tuesday:Work, trip in was punctuated with avoiding a christmas tree in the middle of the dual carriage way at Garston.
Wednesday: another day in work, the forecast was snow so gave the chance of a ride a miss.
Rang up for a spinning class at The Oval only to be told the instructor had rang in. Finally fitted the trainer tyre to the Trek wheel to make up for it. Only a week late. Had an email off Janet about the CTC Spring 50 so must make sure I’m off for that one.
Thursday: This is finally my fresh start to this year. No empty calories last night, picked the comic up on the way to a Spinning class at West Kirby. 690 calories worth with a high of 186 BPM which was as high as I wanted to go without falling off the bike.
A chap that was doing a trial lesson lasted 5 minutes before calling it a day. A short weight session afterwards, shower and home. (The Crane Sports HRM is on it’s last legs today with the strap about to break, it’s lasted 2 years or so which is good for the price.)
Called in at the new  Eureka Cycle Sports shop on a trip to Chester. It’s opposite the Mollington Banastre in the business units. Keiths got a lot of very nice bikes in stock. I’d been on Ebay last night looking at of all thing Trek Decals.
It dawned on me that the Toy is getting on for 5 years old is generally in good condition but I’m going to have to do something if I want to keep it that way. Bearings on the rear wheel were tight as it hasn’t seen any use for a while.

Friday: See what’s up with my mums car. Pick up table and chairs from Chester. Phone rang when I walked through the door yesterday saying it was in. I’d just driven past the place so that ‘s another trip to the greyhound.
Woke up to sleet/rain so rang up to cancel looking at the car only to be told the boiler wasn,t working.
A couple of hours later after being 17th in the queue I find out the PCB is faulty only to compounded by the fact they can’t get someone out until the 26 Jan. Eventually got to pick up the table and chairs and on the way back picked up some new gloves that I had tried on yesterday.
Missed out on a spinning class but did look at the bike for a ride tommorow.
As I write this the snow is thawing fast but the wind is picking. No epic ride planned just a lap around the Wirral for a midday finish. Well that’s the plan.

Tacx have just released the 2010 Etape VR DVD which has got me thinking, can I do it again?

Saturday: A ride out to the Eureka into a strong headwind had me wondering I had lost all my form. Dipped down to 9.1 mph at one point and I didn’t want to see it drop into the 8’s. One of the Tri clubs was there and it was strange to see a whole row of bikes all with tri bar clip ons or even full blown Tri bikes with carbon wheels.
Breakfast as usual with Barry saying he has entered all his events for the year including the Marmotte then realising what it was going up.  If I’m fretting about not getting out on rides I’m in the same boat as everybody else.
Front tyre was soft on leaving so back into the cafe for the pump and another tube.
The pressure held up until Ness gardens where the front forks were rested on the bus stop seat. I took my time with this one as glass was embedded into the tyre and required a patch on the inside of the tyre.
A full inspection of the tyre revealed a myriad of cuts with thorns and glass working their way through.
A trip down to Parkgate and then up to the Chester High Road. Approaching Gayton roundabout the rear went soft so it was into the garage for the cash machine and some where to rest the bike against.

Quite a queue for the car wash which has been closed for about 2 weeks. Made it home on the tyre without a new tube but suspect it is the same as the front. Washed the Mini and went out for a drive to get something to patch the cuts.

Ordered the 2010 Etape DVD from Tacx after looking at a few blogs that have sprung up about it. The DVD features all of the route bar the first 50km. Tacx recon it should take you 6-8 hours to ride!!!!
Sunday: Work. Catch up on the blog, not much time for anything else.

Weekending 10 Jan 2010

Monday:  Work
Tuesday: Overtime at work with a 6AM start. The drive to work was an event in it’self with a blizzard through Brimstage and the Birkenhead Tunnel closed.  A car had hit the roundabout at Otterspool prom and it was difficult to get around it with things going to get a lot worse later.
Half the factory left early only to get caught up in traffic jams, stayed on until it all seamed clear and headed out to the Runcorn/Widnes bridge. Things went ok , there were a few moments when trucks went past at a speed that I wouldn’t consider safe for the conditions.
Wednesday:  A trip across the road for supplies with another trip to get some of the residents milk. This had barely reached the shelves before it was gone.
Put the christmas tree in the garage and got out the Tacx turbo trainer. All it needs now is the turbo trainer tyre putting on and I’m in business.
There is a huge difference in the road conditions depending on the road.
West Kirby rang to say the Spinning class was cancelled but tommorows was still on.
Kuraii Thai Orchid for dinner which was good but quiet given the conditions.
Thursday: Morning spinning class at West Kirby for 750 calories worth.
Class was full despite the icy conditions. gym afterwards for weight machines and 2 km on the Concept 2 rowing machine.
Picked up the comic on the way home and then went out for a light fitting for the kitchen. Fitting that in the dark proved to be fun, with the lights knocking out everybodies Sky feed.
Saw the temperatures plummet on the way home and if I’m lucky the turbo will get set up tonight. Software is up to date so no excuses.
Getting back on track means cutting back on the empty calories and that has started today.
Friday: Work, overtime. Make hay while the sun shines.
Saturday: Work again, given the weather it’s probably best to lay off things until some normality returns.
Sunday: Work, another two days to go with lots of tales of woe. At least I’m getting in as those further afield have been snow in.

Last Week in 2009

Monday: First day off. Found some keys from work in my pocket so dropped them off. Went to see Ken Dodd with my mum. They said he would be on a long time but I didn’t think he would be on till 00.45 or quarter to one in the morning. 5 + hours in all, no wonder people left early.
Tuesday: Had planned to do a spinning class but nobody was answering the phones. Thought I had kerbed the alloys on the Mini so it was off to Chester for some touch up paint. Had a go of Sport mode away from the lights and it flies.
Wednesday:   Had planned to go on Barry’s ride from the Seven Stars but the torrential rain put me off, they were still talking about the last one two weeks later.

Seacombe

After waiting a couple of hours for rain to ease off it was time to hit Route 56. Had planned to call in at Wheelbase and put some air into the front tyre  but he was closed today. I twas a bit grim at Seacombe with a headwind and a choppy Mersey. The only good thing was it meant a tailwind once you got to New Brighton.
The new Floral Pavillion looked packed and then it dawned on me, all the cars coming down the other way were full of kids off to the panto.
Went through the wind blown sand at Harrison Drive and then on to the sea defences. Here I eventually stopped as a gritty rubbing noise was getting on my nerves. It’ been like this for a while now and I hadn’t found out what it was. I’ve been bending the mudguard while on the move but it wasn’t having it.
It  turned ot to be the tab that is bolted to the brake caliper was too low and every bit of grit on the front tyre would catch it.
The only downside of it is a silent bike means walkers and dog owners can’t hear you coming.
The first stop was Morrisons in West Kirby for an afternoon tea which comprises of a cup of tea, half an egg sandwhich and a small scone.
Booked some spinning classes on the way home and took to the Wirral Way.
No tacks and some good views over to snowcapped Wales.

Came off the Wirral Way at Lower Heswall and climbed Delavor Road. The Garmin 705 is throwing a wobbler with the Grade function showing a wobbler, it read everything but the correct gradient.
If your going to get knocked off this is the place as it’s awash with Mercs and Range Rovers as against lads in uninsured Saxos that passed me on the Four Bridges.

Washed bike and car only to discover I hadn’t kerbed the alloys (phew)
I’d booked a spinning class at West Kirby.
Sweated buckets, burnt 748 caloriesand had the Heartrate up to 180 BPM another on booked for tommorow.
Which will be the last of the year.
Thursday:  Last spinning class of the year which was full with 2 first timers.
743 calories for this one with the monitor freezing halfway through the class. Gym afterwards for weight machines an a 2 km row.
Parked in Aldi on the way home as Tesco’s looked chaotic. Picked up the comic and took District 9 back to Blockbuster.
Made some guys day in Marks an Spencer when I pointed out he was refunding me too much.
Washed the car yet again and thats about it for the year.
Work in the morning so it’s not such a good New Year.
Friday: Hard frost on the Mini was sorted in about a minute, the side windows needed the credit card, even so it heats up really quickly and so it shoukd given all the boxes I ticked.
Saturday:  Bloody grim weather through Brimstage followed by an Ice rink through Liverpool. Guess it’s a case of the coucil not wanting to pay out for gritters on New Years Day.