Weekending 27 Dec 09

Monday: Spinning class at West Kirby with a few asking where I’d got to. Gym afterwards for weights, a kilometer on the rowing machine then the shower.
Callled in at my mums and watched the sqirells pinch the nuts out of the bird feeders.
The car got put through the carwash and it was a trip to Halliwell Jones to see why the windows opened on Sunday letting in the snow.
Booked in at the Oval for another Spinning class only to find the carpark empty and reception saying didn’t I get the message. It turns out the girls had all come in Santa hats and brought tinsel for the bikes.
Would have been a good class.
Did 45 minutes on the Exercise bike Cross Country program which was 540 calories, spent most of it looking at wattage seeing as I’d had a Wattbike leaflet through the post (£1600)
Tuesday: Another Spinning class at West Kirby followed by a trip to Chester for Christmas shopping. The black clouds that I’d seen in the morning had dumped about an inch of snow over Heswall with it turning to ice on the Chester High road. The traction control cutting in and out trying to get up the hill to Tesco’s.
Called off another spinning class and tommorows planned ride out to the Eureka looks very dodgy.
Wednesday:  Drove out to the Eureka where about 10 nutters had ridden out.  No one from anywhere north of Neston. Drank too much tea and headed home to do some xmas shopping.


Spinning class at West Kirby , my last for the year.
Thursday: Friday: Saturday: Sunday: Work. 12 Hours, possibly my worst xmas ever. Not looking forward to this one bit.
Eureka Cafe next open on 2nd January.

Weekending 20 Dec 09

Monday: Cleaned the car, the bike didn’t go in vertically with the seat on so I’m going to have to rethink this one. If i’d have some common sense I’d have took a tape measure to the showroom before I bought it. A trip to Borders for some books now at a 40% discount. Car now dirty again.
Tuesday: Val not well with what could be swine flu symptoms despite having the vaccine. A trip out to see the rumoured Sky Pinarellos at the Bike Factory proved a waste so it was a drive through the lanes eventually ending up at the Plassey.
Spinning class at the Oval.
Had tried to book in at West Kirby but it was full, it probably wasn’t a wise move to tell Margaret but it was she that mentioned settling for second best so a hard time ensued.
Did 2km on the rowing machine beforehand in 8:47 which is average.
The class was 750 calories at the end  with a decent stretch. Spoke to Margaret at the end along with the woman that mentioned about the Santa run about 2 maybe 3 years ago. (Me not being a runner, EVER)
Starting to look scary if I look back at the history and where I am now.
Back to basics for the moment and next year will take care of itself.
Bike wise there are some nice bikes from around £500 if you think I’m ever getting ahead of myself. Loose 6 kg  and you’ve lost a bikes worth never mind spending £35 on a 23g bottlecage. Ditch the bottle and save 850g of water, times that by two and save 1.7 Kg.
Time for a reality check, every lb or Kg that I loose makes me better in every respect. I should know this but have let things slip of late. Probably a good time to set some 2010 goals, not some to be forgoten 2 months into the year.

Etape pictures at a 30% discount now if you couldn’t afford them.
 Wednesday: Work, booked a class at 8 after work so I’m starting to ramp up after a couple of slack months.
Didn’t happen as I was the only one booked on for the class. Girl running the class was on nights after doing the first class.
Tried the fitness level on the exercise bike which was a waste of time.
A score of 54 was acheived with not the perceived effort I had in mind.
45 Minutes travelling was wasted  and an exercise bike is no  substitute for an instructor led spinning class.
Shower and home.
Thursday: Work.Nothing of note.
Friday: Work. Had planned a ride after work, but with freezing conditions and commutors at work getting wiped out on Ice it’s not going to happpen.

Weekending 13 Dec 09

Saturday: 30 miles to Chester and back. About as flat as it gets, returned via the Dee cyclepath.
Sunday: Jack day and a trip out in the new toy. Very impressed with it.
Monday: More work around the house and washed the new toy.
Tuesday: Work
Wednesday: Work
Thursday: Work
Friday: Course at the National Motorcycle Museum on Humidity, didn’t see many bikes  but it was worthwhile  until we hit the traffic on the way home.
Saturday: Ride day, late start. Flat tyre which was pumped up and would later come back and bite me and a stiff chain that needed lubing.  Eureka for breakfast and tales from the dog about the Peace race in Poland.
Should have headed out about an hour earlier , rode back with John as far as the turnoff for the front by Denhall Lane. Birdwatchers out in force today. Took to the Wirral Way at Parkgate to check out where the bench in memory of my my dad is going.
The tyre went soft on Hoylake Prom so I set about changing the tube. Two locals people offered help which is a first.
Called in at the Bike  shop in Moreton for a tube and use of the track pump.
By this time it’s dark so the lights go on only for the half a charge indicator to light up. This means a curtailed ride with a trip through Upton and Arrow park rather than round the coast.
Just past the Bassett Hound by the Reservoir there is another cyclist who I’m gaining on and pass him by Gills Lane going into Barston Dip. This didn’t go down too well as he passes me back on the climb out by the Fox and Hounds. I was too highly geared for it. He turns off down Station Road so nothing came of it.
32 miles.

The  new toy: A Mini Cooper S Clubman. A van for the bike I hope.

The new toy

Weekending 39 Nov 2009

Very mixed week with work and work on the house taking over. Managed to get out to the Eureka on Saturday which also confirmed when to pick up the new motor.
Mileage wise I’m well down on anything I’ve done for  the last few years but the weather has been awful to boot.
December isn’t going to be much better by the look of things  with me working all the holidays.

Just had a post from Clive about his blog he has started


It’s shaken me out of a rut that I was getting stuck in. That and seeing The Sunlight out towards Llandegla in the rain yesterday.
Another thing too was Paul telling me about the apps that he is developing for the Iphone and Android phones.

Weekending 22 Nov 09

Wednesday: Ride day. Severe weather warnings had me setting off late for the Eureka with only 3 other bikes when I got there.
About 2 hours late, damp from the indside but not soaked.
JJ told us about getting dropped by Barry and co at Loggerheads and then it was a ride back home via the marshes.
Called into see my mum, returned home with the lights on.
 Only 20 miles so phoned up for a spinning class at the Oval.
Did 20 minutes on the stationary cycle mountain program which was about 200 watts then the spinning class which was hard seeing I haven’t had as good a go as this for a while. Pulse got up to 185 and the HRM said 1250 cals for for the evening.
Gave the bike a wash after the ride as it looked like it needed one.
Thursday: Sort the house out day, still fitting the double glazing with the interior proving to be a major job. Should have followed up yesterdays session but it was not too be.
Friday:  Another  day on the house. Not as bad as it would seem as Andy from next door congratulated me on a goood job.
Saturday: Watch the track in Australia first thing or ride. Still got a bit to do on the windows.

Weekending 08 Nov 09

First off an update from Janet about Dennis and Mary’s condition.

Hello members and friends – I have been out at the cafe today. I am forwarding this newsletter. I will also take the opportunity to update you of the accident involving Mary and Denis Ellison, cyclists with Birkenhead North End.
Anne tells me that Denis and Mary were travelling the short distance from parking their car at the Capenhurst junction along the A540 towards the cafe at 9.30am on Wednesday 29th October. It seems that a high-sided box van travelling in the same direction hit Denis. Mary was following behind, also brought off. The wing mirror was in pieces so it was some impact. Both taken to Countess of Chester suffering severe pelvic injuries. Fortunately, they were wearing helmets. Denis has since been transferred to Leyton for specialist treatment. He is conscious and although very poorly, now off the critical list. Mary has internal complications that are still causing concern. 
Our thoughts are with them and their family. Those of you travelling on the A540 in the Two Mills area will notice the new Think Bike signs that went up on Thursday – one part of the campaign to improve safety on this notorious stretch. 
Best wishes
Secretary CTC Two Mills
Chester and North Wales
Went to the UCI World cup at the Velodrome arriving just to see the GB Pursuit team qualify for the final by taking 11 seconds out of everyone else. It was poetry in motion and set the scene for the rest of the day.
Only let down was Vicoria Pendleton coming 5th in the Keirin final but she made it hard for herself by sitting on the tail.
It was just too much to pull back all that distance.

Mens Pursuit Final was as good as it gets with Team GB lapping Spain and then finishing 1 second under their own World record.  Same goes for the womens Pursuit with a world Record being set.

During the interval there was an interview with the centre manager about what goes on at the velodrome. It was mentioned that the taster sessions are now booked up 3 months in advance but that they now do a spining class on the 16 Wattbikes they now have. Sounds like I’d have to give it go, never mind the calories or the heartrate, how many watts am I putting out.
Monday: Spinning class at West Kirby in the morning. My first for a while and I did get asked where I had been.
Had a bloody good go which equated to 775 calories. Heartrate was higher than I’ve seen for a while and a 100% effort had it up to 191 BPM which puts paid to the 220 minus your age theory (50 by the way, must get around to altering the site)
Gym for some weight machines, shower and a trip to see my mum.
Bought a Router Table from Aldi only to wish I hadn’t as it had no instructions. This led to another 2 trips back and a missed spin and gym at the Oval as I only had half the kit with me.
This allowed me to assemble the router table with the most basic of instructions, a google search revealed I am not alone. The Powercraft website being down didn’t help.
Tuesday: Spin and the gym planned, do a bit more around the house. Got to get back into a routine as the weight is slowly creeping back on.
Wednesday: Ride day.  60 miles which turned out to be very wet at the end. Rode out to the Ice Cream Farm were the Northend turned up. Returned via Chester (Bike Factory and Eureka Sports) to the Eureka late on. Not going to chance it any more on the best bike but keep to the winter trainer from now on.

October 2009

01 Oct 2009 Barbara’s spin class then the  gym. Chance to bury yourself in the spinning class and a proverbial mile on the treadmill. Weights, rowing machine and I  was done. Proved to be a turning point as weight gain is now weight loss again.
02 Oct 2009Had planed all sorts for a free day as it turned out it was relag  a hot water tank and pick up some expensive Rokon cables from Keith at EurekaCycleSports.
Iphone addiction also features, this partially ruled out a ride a  weather warning flashed up as soon as i uploaded the app.
Picked up a Scott Addict which weighed f…..All.A nice bike but I think I need to get away from team bikes and kit.

Well under UCI weight limits.

The Toy weighs similar to it if I take off the saddlebag and the bottle or two.

Easier to hit the gym again rather than buy a new toy, hit the road and do the miles.

An Iphone is a double edged sword, too much information at times. I stopped a ride I should have done on a weather warning.
The Iphone has opened me up to the world of podcasts, Dave Gormans being good along with others.

10 Oct  Rode to the Eureka for breakfast, it was a chance to test the Nokon cables I’d spent the evening fitting.
The fiddely bit was drilling out all the Shimano fittings to pass the liner through.  Dave came in and we had a chat. Was about to leave but got talking to a chap outside who asked what the number was for. That was the start of another conversation. Etape details out on the 14th.
Bought another Aldi HRM the other day as the old one called it a day with the strap parting company from the case. The strap was starting to split too.
Had good use out of it and only 14 quid to replace.

14 Oct  Etape route is out. Finnish is on the Tourmalet with 2 ascents beforehand.  Do-able but you’d have to train before hand.  Having done one and looking at this I wouldn’t do it if I couldn’t get my weight down to what it was and that means putting in a lot more effort. At some stage I’m going to knuckle down and have to get back into it.This means going out even if it is pissing down as it shouldn’t matter with the amount of gear I have.

I’ve finally upgraded the Cateye El830 lights that I have for night time rides. Output has gone up from 17-19000 Lux to 23-26000 Lux and is noticeably brighter. It wasn’t as straight forward as some of the Candlepower forum articles would suggest but did cost buttons to what I originally paid for the lights.

It would normally warrant a post of it’s own and a few night time rides will tell if it’s worked or not. It has awoken the homebrew element in me again as why pay £300+ for something that can be made for £30 or so and a bit of time.  I popped into Cyclesurgery the other day and they were still pedalling the EL530 from Cateye which I don’t rate at all.

16th Rode to the Eureka for breakfast. Had a chat with Dave  who uses GPX routing to good effect on his 705 so will look into it. Andy showed me the Garmin phone app for his Nokia which looks quite good.
Ended up doing 47 miles around the Wirral, picked up a knee injury, nothing too serious but a bit niggly when you want to have a go.
Downloaded the OS map app for the Iphone on Sunday. Full OS mapping for free.

Tickets for the World Track Champs arrrived so thats where I’m off to on the 1st November.

28 Oct Rode out to the Eureka, only to find the road blocked at 12 ish. This was a bad sign. Rode through the block to the Eureka to find that two cyclists had been hit by a truck. It turned out to be 2 Northenders, Mary and Dennis. I’ve rode with them in the past and for them to be have been hit by a truck is a gross misjustice.

The whole point of what I’ve been riding recently is not to antagonise the boxes, don’t jump lights, use a cycle path if it’s  reasonable.
That being , one of Johns CTC tailenders nearly hit me on the A5117 cyclepath as I was heading out to Cheshire Oaks for what are the worlds most expensive batteries. 2 X cr123 from Maplin, boy did I look out of place there.  Twice got told about the cycle racks where I couldn’t see the toy. Bought an Ultrafire WF-501B torch on Ebay and the batteries cost nearly as much as it.
The CTC incident, it was a ride on the grass or ride into  a pile of horse shit incident as the two tailenderders were in a different world. So much for sticking to cyclepaths.

Bumped into a chap at the Eureka that was researching a 705 so the trip home was with it routing me backwith the latest map.
It got the message eventually after a few deviations from it’s course. I’ve had mine for over a year now and had tens of thousands of visitor to the site and still learning to use the device. Still better than MemoryMap as the autorouting gives you roadnames which match up with what you see in realife. We are talking lanes here, quiet ones with next to no traffic. Quite impressed with the onboard routing once I got my way with it and it had recalculated it’s way a couple of times.

The torch blows away anything I’ve seen for the size. A Mini Maglite is a mere candle in comparison, the 3w Tesco torch falls way behind too. Yet to try it out on the road but it looks good at first glance. Trouble is that I know there are some P7 900 lumen beasties out there for not much more. Sourced on Ebay for under £20 from a UK seller.

September 2009

Having had a bad few weeks I’ve had to cut back on the posting, the riding has suffered too so it makes sense to consolidate it all into a monthly post until things get back to normal.
Last weeks Aldi Cycling offers had me buying a pair of gloves as that was all that left. Nothing left in my size but I’m not sure that need anything.
Had a ride out in it the other day and it was just a tad too warm for it yet but it was only 2 winter layers.

Booked a spinning class at West Kirby with the receptionist asking where I had been. Likewise in the class.

simpson memorial

Abbove is the 10th picture of the Etape that I’ve been trying to get for 2 months. In the background is the Simpson memorial. It’s surprisingly close to the finish.

Weekending 20 Sep 2009

A pretty hectic week with two funerals within 24 hours. Things went well with my brother David delivering the Eulogy. Weather was good on both days.
Training Courses at work for the next 2 days got me back into the swing of things with me picking up my normal shifts for the weekend.
No rides but I’ve fitted and charged up the lights for the bike. Also ordered some LEDs to upgrade them as the technology has come on in leaps and bounds over the last few years.
Next ride should be Wednesday.
Fired another email off to Maindru about the missing picture. The Wild Wales .jpg hasn’t turned up either so there is not much to show for that ride.
That was a tough ride, guess thats why they call it the Wild Wales.
Stan’s Mills Hills is at the end of the month, only 12 rode it last year and deserves better support.


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