Weekending 9 Sept 2012

Monday:  First day back at work. Called in on Sunday to book a half day Holiday to take Paul to Manchester  airport at some ungodly hour.
Back early enough to hang that awkward piece of wallpaper over a wall light that meant isolating the light circuit.
Started ringing around caravan storage sites without much luck, ring such and such after 5pm or the phone rang out.  Storage sites at Bromborough and Arrow Park were full. Speke Boulevard right next to work which would have been ideal on many counts said ring Wednesday.

A call in on the way to work soon showed why. Why rent out space to a 7 metre motorhome for £299 when you can put 2 cars at £50 a week on the same space and still pick up and drop them off at the airport 2 minutes away.

Had built my hopes up on this one. Cycle into work on the last day, pick the van up and throw my bike in the back and we would be away. Hopes dashed on this one. Val phoned the “Ring after 5” Thingwall guy, left a message but he didn’t get back.
Alcohol Units Zero
Tuesday: Full day at work but a lot more of the same. Numbers ringing out, a webpage and email address that looks 15 years old. Started looking at CASSOA sites, even considering access time restrictions. Starting to get a bit concerned, I’m picking it up on Saturday and haven’t got secure parking yet.
Alcohol Units Zero
Wednesday:  Work, liked the look of  Holmstom Hall site by Oulton Park but maybe a bit far. It’s been a two pronged attack for the last 2 days now and I finally get a reply. Appointment set for 3 on Thursday.
Now to sort out the Insurance. The card I got from a stand on Saturday rang out and I got transferred to a callcentre.
From here things got a bit convoluted as I got passed from pillar to post.
One came good as I hesitated another offer came up, I’d have gone with the first one. Unlimited mileage, full European cover, breakdown cover with recovery etc.
Things are looking up.
Alcohol units Zero
Great Vuelta ride from Bertie
Thursday: Half day at work and I had to pull my finger out to get it all done before I finished.
All those calls we put out a couple of days ago deemed to call back after things were sorted.
Picked my spot at the storage, pretty it is not but it’s secure.
Headed to Graham Weigh in Deeside to have a look at some bikes. Never seen so much team kit, they have more jerseys than Chicago Dave. Talked to Walshy in the workshop, he’s not been on his bike for a while too.
Called in at M&S at Cheshire Oaks, really nice shop but the view isn’t the best.

Just wait until the stack flares.
Home, blog.
Alcohol Units Zero.
No comic in the Coop, will have to look further afield.
Friday: Looks like a ride out to the Eureka , No Eureka ride on Sunday as we’ll be out in the van for the first time. Need to get some miles in.
Headed out to the Eureka after a haircut. Rule Number one don’t get your haircut while Jeremy Kyle is on. The staff tend to get distracted by the guy who has cheated on his girl six times.
That done it was time to head out via Port Sunlight it always looks good in the sun.  Called in at the camping shop in Bromborouh and then on to Cheshire Oaks Cycles where I picked up a Bontrager Bottle cage in Placid Blue.
It’s close but not a 100% match to the Madone.
I’ve also had another lesson in the law of diminishing cycling returns.
Bontrager bottle cage 33 gramms @ £9.99 Zefal Carbon cage 28 gramms @£30 and it doesn’t hold a bottle as the bottom tang is cracked/springy.

Eureka for a BLT.  260 riders doing the Anniversary ride on Sunday.
Also on Sunday is the Etape Cymru, be a shame not to take in those closed roads if your in the area.

Had to go out for a new bracket for the Garmin nuvi as I lost  the original. Just goes to show how fast things move. It’s virtually an obsolete technology. Smartphones have it built in and Google maps is a powerful rival to Tom Tom, Garmin all for free. As Google own all their mapping data there is no need to license it from the likes of Navtec.

Dropped a kilo and still alcohol free. Pick up the new toy in the morning so it’s an early start on what has been a hectic week.

Saturday: Dropped another kilo so it’s under 100 at 99.9Kg .  Totally cutting out alcohol has been the main reason. Diet has been similar to the BHF above, with cereal and fruit first thing in the morning.  Cycling has been limited to the Friday ride. I’m expecting the exercise gains to kick in in due course.
Side effects have been very light sleep.

Off out now to pick the new toy up.

Weekending 2 September 2012

Monday:  Post Wild Wales proved to be a total washout with typical Bank Holiday weather just like the good old days. I had planned a trip to the Mathew Street Festival but it was called of at the last minute due to high winds.

Rather than stay in a trip up to Preston to look at motorhomes  took shape. It was pretty treacherous to start with but as the day wore on things started to brighten up. Saw a few motorhomes that caught the eye  with one of the criteria being a large garage at the rear to take a bike. The other being a seatbelt for every passenger.

Shouldn’t be too hard a request you may say but the motorhome industry has been turning a blind eye to this problem for years. The two grandchildren would take up 2 three point seatbelts by law and after that anybody else is free to do pretty much what they like. I had looked at a Tribute 725 that ticked a few boxes but no 5th or 6th seatbelts. It proved to be a deal breaker given what it was going to cost. A trip back down to Cheadle  proved to be a waste of time as the dealer was closed.

Tuesday: Work but only for 2 days.
Wednesday: Work last day.
Thursday:  Trip to The Light to see Bourne Legacy. Nice cinema, reasonable prices during the day, haven’t been at night. Drinks license too, it’s nearly as dear to drink coke as it is beer.
Friday: Rode out to the Eureka for a BLT and a tea when Stuart turned up from his Anglesey camping trip with his Hewitt tourer on the back of his car.
He had a bit of a bad time recently so we resolved to ride out to the Knowsley Tour of Britain finish probably taking the ferry across the Mersey.
Saturday:  Took a trip to the UK motorhome and caravan Autumn Fair at Newark showground, Notts. Didn’t quite know what to expect but spent a couple of hours climbing in and out of motorhomes.  Had the worlds worst burger, £6 for a burger and 2 teas.
By this time we had settled on our new toy:

 

Just as well we made an on the spot decision as families were comeing to have a look at the motorhome as I was trying to sign up for it. Learn’t later that 2 had come back only to find it sold.

Given that the drive down to the show took us up to Leeds I tried to take a more direct route home that ended up taking 2 hours longer. Going over the Cat and Fiddle the average speed cameras didn’t seem to be bothering the bikers screaming past.
Arrived home late for a new start.
Sunday: Late start with a trip out to the Eureka for a BLT. Had been wet in the morning but dried out for what proved to be a fine day.

This marks a new chapter in my life, touring Europe, regaining the form that I have lost and just plain getting my act together.

Wild Wales Challenge 2012

I have to hand it to the Merseyside CTC they continue to selflessly organise an excellent event that they don’t get to ride.
http://www.merseysidectc.com/
In the middle of Wild Wales no less.
Probably the toughest ride since the Etape in 2009 I haven’t done myself any favours by putting on 20kg and it shows.

The electronic tag sign in for the second year had about 600 of us on the road in a little over 15 minutes. This had the unforeseen consequence of the biggest queue at a control point I have ever seen with about an hour wait.

It defined the British and queues, orderly with no one pushing in except Zel of The Sunlight. Who I would class as marginal ;>)

2.5 miles in after tagging on to a club doing 9.5mph across the lake shore we were confronted by the climb of the Hirnant.

I’ve been shying away from hills since the Etape  and I’m about to get my come-upance.  That along with the lowest gearing I could muster, it wasn’t enough.

One theme that does shine through is that the more time on the bike the morethe

weight falls off. Expect a big increase in ride miles.

The Hirnant Pass probably defines the dictionary definition of a glacial valley.
Next up a fast descent to Lake Vyrnwy where I should have stopped to take a picture of the dam as it looked spectacular with water spilling over the weir.

One of the features of the ride was it was almost entirely up and down, the only flat section being the ride along the lake.

Some of the views today were stunning.

Possibly the longest queue at a feedstation EVER

Stopped on this climb to recover and take a picture it was earily quiet and far in

the valley below you could see the sheep running around the purple heather.

Another missed photo opportunity were the 3 Model T Fords along the route.
Someone had a support vehicle following them around the ride, all well and good but where’s the challenge? The annoying part was having the same car come past you on narrow climbs 4 or 5 times with me being a soft sod and stopping to let it pass.

There was a stop at Machynlleth for food and drink with riders emptying the shelves of the Co-op of water. The shop manager coming out with a plastic bag to put the empty or not so empty bottles in.

Out of Machynlleth I ended up riding with a chap from Chester Tri  who sticking in big efforts on 39X27.  What doesn’t come through on a post like this is the number of people you interact with. You tend to end up riding with a section of riders of a similar ability. If you are suffering they are suffering.

Dinas Mawddwy stop had no queues and the card reader had packed up so it was a manual checkin with the main event a few miles down the road.

This climb is relentless the easy bits can be 18% with the Sunlight telling me it’s 29% at the top which is where the armco starts.

Nothing worse than looking in the sock draw and finding 1 Assos sock, talking of which had a chap fall off in front of me on the Bylch who was wearing one fluro pink one and fluro yellow/green one and they were long to boot more like legwarmers.

Highest road pass in Wales

Ancient capital capital of Wales no less, you learn something every day. Thinking back there was a chap on a recumbent trike , mountain bikes were more suitable at times or at least the gearing.

Wolverhampton wanders no Wheelers won the team prize with 39 riders turning up.

Great video from Alan of the ride, great site too.

http://www.scarletfire.co.uk/2012/08/wild-wales-challenge-2012-the-movie/

Weekending 12 Aug 2012

Been a while since i last posted and an awful lot has happened.

Bradley Wiggins winning the Tour the France was one of them.

This post is going to be in reverse order with the latest first and working back as far as I can.

Sunday: A first for me a commute to work. Been thinking about it for a while spurned on by the fact that the guys at work who have purchased bikes on the Cycle to work scheme are getting in more miles than moi.

It’s a 7-7 12 hour shift so a 15 mile ride before and after it, making it a long day.
A 5:35 AM start after perusing the Mersey Tunnel bylaws the previous evening had me wondering how long before I’ll be doing it in the dark. The mornings are now drawing in fast.

Made good time down to Birkenhead where the clubs and pubs must have finally chucked out their last clients. Half of which were on the floor as they presumably had trouble standing.  Heading into the tunnel at time of morning gives you a chance to look at the MerseyTravel SuperLambBanana decked out in TeamGB kit with a pair of sunglasses on it.

It’s near a 30mph ride Down into the tunnel so you should be at the same speed as any traffic, the hackney cab passing me at about 60 stands out like a sore thumb. After the midpoint things get a lot slower, this is when the Garmin 800  decides it has lost satelite  contact. Tunnel miles don’t show up on your ride.

Once out of the tunnel things change in about a mile. Up til now I’ve been a leisure cyclist, not too many worries, always stop for lights, pick the nice routes generally enjoy the ride. A trip down The Strand and past Liverpool One changed all that.

I’ve been doing this run for 13 years and it’s bad enough in a car when the lights go against you on a bike it’s 100 times worse. There’s the rub I know the light sequence by heart all compounded by the fact that most lights won’t pick up a bicycle. The turnoff for Otterspool prom at the Quarter was the worst. I can see why the commuters ride on the pavement, you get to jump the lights.

In no time at all I’m at the Jerrico Lane lights. Fairly straight run in from here with the only decision being to take the Garston Bypass.  If it wasn’t for the fact there was next to no traffic I would have taken the hit and ridden through potholed Garston.  On a weekday things might be a lot different.  In the dark Garston Bypass could be deadly.

Last phase of the ride is Speke Boulevard  where I take to the cyclepath (pavement) at Peoples Ford to see what it’s like. It’s not bad but not great, another one of those places where the road is smoother but would you want to risk it in rush hour. I ride 23mm wide tyres might be entirely different on 38mm tyres.  Arrived at work at 6:30 so journey time was 55 minutes and I was buzzing. Showered, changed and I was good to go.

The ride home took a slightly different route avoiding the Festival Gardens as I’d witnessed some of the worst driving in a while on the Saturday drive home. A Jeep not content with undertaking manoeuvres was overtaking on rises and going into roundabouts, those overtaken were after him and it looked as if it could end in a nasty incident.

The lads at work were all over the Sabbath Silk Road, picking it up to see how much it weighed, even had to get the Sidi Ergo 3,s out the locker to show them how the cleats worked.  HOW MUCH ???????

Opted to take the cyclepath down Speke Boulevard on the way home narrowly missing a runner by the bank and getting call a “Queer” by the PeoplesFord junction as I was using the pavement. Rode through Garston rather take the bypass and took a left at the cricket club to take to the front at Otterspool Prom.

Although I’ve been slagging it off for a while I  took 8th on the Otterspool prom Strava segment by 8 seconds while being baulked by a dog and it’s owner. Wasn’t looking to set good time but if it’s there go for it as everybody else is.

Talking of Strava more and more are coming out against it for various reasons.
My main gripe is short segments as part of short rides, loads out there posting segments  on 15 mile rides(1 hour).  Once your out there for a genuine ride (a couple of hours or allday) why on earth would you be worried about a time.

You’ve posted a time in the past unknowingly on a unknown segment that hasn’t yet been created and all of a sudden you have lost your new KOM status to a group ride. Group rides should NOT  be on Strava.

More retrospectivly latter, I haven’t got to the train yet. A few pictures to add more on the Tour De  Frank or lack of. Lot to catch up on.

Weekending 27 May 2012

Time  flies and I’ve just about got back into a riding regime. The last 3 weeks have been marked out by doing loops out of the Wirral to the Ice Cream Farm and then returning through Runcorn, Widnes and Liverpool.  Each being about 80 miles.

The first week was about getting lost in the Multi-Modal-Gateway and finding out what all the lads were whingeing about, broken glass on cycle paths.  Also you can’t do the full length of Otterspool prom as there a culvert blocking access to part of it.

The second week was about finding Pickerings pasture and the steps. Won’t be doing it again as you’d wear a set of Keo cleats out going down the steps.

With some of the best weather this year it was out to the Eureka Cafe, early. It was about 18 Deg C  on the ride out at 8:30 in the morning. Breakfast then slap on the factor 50, which some wag described as “Anti wrinkle cream” before heading off. River Dee cyclepath , Chester racecourse, Saighton then the Ice Cream Farm before 11AM.

Above are the bling new Sidi Ergo 3’s. About as good as it gets as a cycling shoe, seems to get marked down a star on the eye watering recommended  retail price.
Mine came in at BELOW Internet prices never mind rrp.  See your local bike shop, if they can price match an internet price or as near as damnit they are using the same grey distributor.

 

A decent selection of road bikes in the ICF racks later mine was the only one as the leisure rider came out. I was parked in the Play Barn with the grandkids.
I’ts air conditioned by the way. 

Saw what I thought was a doppleganger of Phil, only to find out it was him doing some secret training. 

 

Will have to have a good look at this lookout tower by Beeston Castle one day, the hedge foreshortens the view but it’s still an amazing place to ride.

 

 

Beeston Castle, turn left at the junction and drop down to the Shady Oak pub at the next left.  Cross humped back bridge over canal and wonder where the shady oak tree is. Really nice location.

Turn left at the “T” proceed through Huxley to Hoofield and the “50p” shop and you will see this on the bend. It’s a stack of horseshoes from an old Smithy.

 

Mixed in a few shots of “HMS Liverpool” shot a while ago. Tiny in comparison to what I thought it would be.  Some of the cruise ships dwarf the buildings.

 

Pilot boat berthing at Woodside. Not in order by the way.

Otterspool prom, empty as it was a bit late. Can get very busy with people out for a stroll, dogs off the lead and prams.  People and bikes with a plastic pint glass from the Brittania Pub are another. I kid you not.

By the time you’ve read it, it’s too late.

A bit belated, the scene of my last “OFF”. Ended up looking like Cav in the Giro fall. Needs more than a sign, you can see the gouge marks from pedals in the teak.

The ride turned out to be 84 miles, got a bit lost around Aigburth as riding on feel doesn’t always work out. Stoped at the Brittania Pub for a pint and a bottle refill. Here I had a conversation with a Canadian drummer on a motorcycle called “Rick”, about my age, didn’t want to believe I was up to 75 miles already.

Along the front to James Street Station which was closed due to track maintenance.

Bit of a problem now as I had missed the last “Ferry across the Mersey”.
The drivers of the bus service have the option of refusing cycles, so I’m at the mercy of the bus driver.  

Can’t praise the staff of MerseyTravel, St James St station enough, helpful with funny scouse quips you could only get on Merseyside. Not a one off but for the last 3 weeks. Sorted me out with the right bus to get back to Birkenhead when the only other option was a taxi through the tunnel.
More later. 

Theme Backdated

I’ve decided to back date the Theme to Twenty Ten in the interim as the width of Coraline was a bit too restrictive in a world where everything seems to be widescreen.
Still on the lookout for a new Theme, must have pages and custom menus.

Updated various sections of the blog including The Dummies Guide which seemed to have lost some of the content.
The new wider width has mucked up the Vita image but now has the link for the 2013 Ten minutes of Hell Tunnel Time Trial.

Back to the old Coraline theme as the adverts have disappeared.

Strava Segments

Strava,  the great new cycling, running app.  As good at it is there are a few bugs in it. You can log all your rides to you’re hearts content. I’ve done a few and you can get to a point where you think why bother.
Part of the problem is that there are too many worthless segments out there.

It’s about time we started putting Time Trial courses up on Strava rather than 500m PB,s. Only stipulation is that you start from a standing start at the designated point.

There are a fair few out there that don’t want to step up to the mark and be tested in an organised event. Just tick the private button on Strava and ride the Course as if it was an event.

Locally the event to do is : Northend 7.1. It is a club eventand would normally be  ridden as a member or private trial.

In any event a Strava log of the same distance should be valid.

For those on the Wirral it’s one of the last TT courses on the Wirral, goes through Thornton Hough  and finishes just before Benty Heath Lane.

Post ride refreshments would normally be at the newly thatched, “The Thatch”
otherwise called the  Wheatsheaf.

Strava segment coming up.

Tex,s Wirral Tennis Center Trixter Classes

Last week I was struggling to get on a spinning class, the only class I could get on was a Trixster class at the Wirral Tennis center. There was a reason for this.
1. It follows one of Tex,s notoriously hard circuit training classes.
(If your a woman looking for a bit of sympathy go elsewhere, there is no differentiation  between the sexes) everyone came out wrecked.
2. Your going to get a 45 minutes of instuctor led class where the instructor isn’t on the bike. This means your going to have Tex barking instructions at you for the whole class.
3. This only adds up to one thing “One seriously Hard class”. No video,s to keep you entertained, just 45 minutes of hard work.

Cue Friday morning and Tex,s overbooked Spinning Class at the Oval which I managed to get on. Tex has to give up his bike which means only one thing, “A hard time for the rest of us” and indeed it was.

A newcomer on doctors orders found it tough but I remember my first class and it was as hard as it gets.

Back to the Trixster classes it’s a spinning class but based on a Mountain Bike layout, the bars move side to side to generate an upper body workout. These are damped via an adjustable damper to increase or decrease the workout.

If you do the Video version (crazy video,s)  you will burn more calories purely because you won’t realise your working that hard.

The downside: The bikes need a good bit of maintenance  (in an age of none). A Trixster bike should always have a bit of resistance in to give a proper workout.
No resistance = No gain.

I would suspect >90%  of most of most spinning class,s are not running the correct resistance  levels. Most are going through the motions and I can’t knock them for that, but occasionally you meet someone that can match or better you.
They will eventually waste you but you wouldn’t guess it by the look of things.

May 2012

First thing the Garmin Edge 705 has a new home. It had to go, next is all the stuff I’ve hoarded over the last 30 years.
Next to go is a Raleigh Dynatech MTB  from 1990-1991. Fitted with the first Rockshox air forks, 50mm of travel. Really clean for the age of it. This was a £999 MTB in 1990.
Wednesday:  Rode out to the Eureka for breakfast, saw the Mayor (4Square) then headed out to Cheshire Oaks then onto the EPort. Called in at Vita Cycles where Phil seems to have taken the hump with everyone that uses a Garmin or for that matter a cycle computer, which must mean just about everybody that comes through the shop door.
To a certain extent he has a point, it’s good to go out and ride something just on “feel” but to avoid the clock at any cost is a tad shortsighted. Don’t even mention  Helmets. 37 miles.
Thursday: Beckys Morning spinning class at the Oval followed by another sort out.  Managed to get on what turned out to be Tex,s Trixter class at the Tennis Center. Tex and I go back to secondary school and I’m sat outside listening to him dish it out to his Circuit Training class.

The thing with Trixter bikes is that there should be no easy ride, unfortunately the Council bikes aren’t maintained to a high standard so suffer from not enough resistance at lower level. With only three of us in the class it was going to be a tough class.
And so it turned out to be, no videos of nutters going mad on the streets of London, New York or for that matter Liverpool. Just a straight instructor led session where there is not let up as you are under Tex,s beady eye.
Friday: Texs morning spin class at the Oval. Overbooked 14 in the class with only 12 on the sheet. Similar to last nights class. As Tex had to give up his bike I knew we were in for a hard time and so it was……
Shower at home then took my mum upto Heswall and onto the Ship in Parkgate for lunch.
On the subject of Helmets, John from work touch Barbara,s back wheel went down hard and split his helmet in two.

He only had the helmet a week and even he says it was a good job he was wearing it as he was somersaulted head fist into the kerbstone.
Tried to get on an evening spinning class to no avail and ended up going out for a  network storage drive. I’m going digital mainly because the old media takes up so much space and you need the player to play it.

Saturday: Planned a new Course out to the Eureka to test Coursepoints in various versions of the Edge 800 maps. I was expecting to get turn directions but got none, when riding the Course a completely different set of screen options come up, a lot of them based on the non existent Coursepoints.

On another note I’ve had some contact with an advertising agency about “A cyclist called Frank” unfortunately the message was stuck in a Facebook message for nigh on 3 weeks and has been given to another Frank. I’m going to kick myself long and hard over this one.
Looks like I’ll have to continue blogging.

Signed Tom Boonen jersey.

13 May 2012:   Rode out to the Eureka knowing that the road was closed due to the Chester half marathon. Had breakfast with the Seamons club rolling in. This was the same time as a dad and lad first timers now found themselves at the back of the queue.
Bumped into Dave on the way out as he was just back from a 6 AM start out to Llandegla MTB centre which looked to be closed as he was that early.
Woodbank was free of runners and by the look of things Sportive organisers  have a good deal to learn from them. All the bottles from the water/feedstation in Woodbank were in a large wheelie bin. Top marks to the organisers, in contrast a Sportive is an opportunity to discard all your gel wrappers along the route.

I can get really pissed off at this as it’s obvious  where the Gels have come from, we’ve just dished them out at the start.
I started off doing pure charity rides, where a portion of the entry went to the charity. This has turned into an event where your entry goes to the organisers and you are expected to make a donation to the charity.

There is a massive following for Sportives  for some reason and as far as I can see it’s the sort of rider who doubt’s their ability to join a club.

We all get dropped, if your not up to the A group it’s because your not ready to race.  A slower group may include a cafe stop, either way you usually get to ride with a good group and it doesn’t cost you £25  for the purpose of it.

Feedstation, in real life it’s a village shop once your out in the sticks. The pubs close during the day as there is no passing trade. Midweek the lanes are your own, there is no traffic. Once past the school run there is next to no traffic  on any indirect routes that don’t involve an A or B road.

Back to the ride, Eureka Cafe for breakfast where a section of the Seamons came in, then off to Chester via the Dee, Chester race course and on to the  ICF via Saighton where the road race was on.

Spent a couple of hours with Paul and the grandkids at the Ice Cream Farm then it was on to continue a new section of the ride by just playing it by ear.

Forgot to press Start on the Edge 800 after the restart so lost out on a mile or so. The route headed out to Beeston Castle dropped down to the Shady Oak then headed up to Tarporley which must be one of the few places to avoid the supermarket onslaught.  All the better for it, also noticeable for a lack of charity shops once the supermarkets move in.

Shocking road surface on what should be a fast steep descent to the junction at Willington Hall, no wonder there are accidents there.

Widnes bridge from Hale Bank.
Stopped at Hale for a drink and then picked up the sandstone trail which was a bit of a mistake as parts of it by Speke are littered with glass.
Ended up on the front at Otterspool and had a really good ride along the front to the Liver buildings. It’s a section of the ride I would recommend to anybody.
Very quiet as it was a bit breezy and it was getting on.
Picked up the train from James Street got off at Hamilton Square and headed home.

http://connect.garmin.com:80/activity/embed/177848012

.80 Miles.

18 May  Missed a morning spinning class and spent way too long looking for some worktop bolts that ended up costing £1.55 to replace. Given the cost I’ve spent about 2 days looking for these bloody things.
Called in at the Eureka cafe for a BLT sandwich for lunch. This was also an opportunity to try out a Course on the Edge 800 and see what came up. The return was an Edge calculated route home and it worked, gave all the correct junction calls at roundabouts.

Listened to Giro on Eurosport as I didn’t get to see much of it in the kitchen. Picked my mum and Val up from their Llangollen canal trip and just made Barbara,s spinning class at West Kirby.

Having looked at the site again in the last few days, I’ve been doing this stuff for quite a while. You see familiar faces on the spinning bikes but boy can some of them give you a good run for your money. Shower , home and watch the Tour Series on ITV4 which was excellent.
CTC weekly newsletter is promoting the Wild Wales Challenge.

http://www.wildwaleschallenge.com/

Great event with a unique  event reminder, a piece of Welsh slate with an event picture  screenprinted on it. You do come to cherish these over all others.  

20 May 2012  Trying to repeat last weeks ride but without the hickups. Got to the Eureka just as “The Sunlight” were going out en masse. It was a big group. I’ve got to admit the kit looks good.  It strikes me how many people I’ve met, know, can talk to or just give them the nod of recognition. It’s a lot.


Today there was a Japanese guy there going out with the CTC to Denbigh. Bumped into Alan Negus at the Eureka in his New Brighton kit, which considering the club kit wars that is going on is cheap as chips at £16 for a quality shirt. Bob from New Brighton was trying to explain to the Japanese guy that he was a coach, which translates as bus, not cycling coach.
He got it in the end but not sure how he would find the ride.
Saw Vita Phil coming up the “Never ending lane” didn’t look like he had another 100 in him to be honest.
Bumped into Chris on the Dee cyclepath and had a good conversation until we parted at Saltney Ferry.
Chester was nice with some Roman tented thing going on on the far side of the Dee. Car access to the bits by the bandstand is a pain as it is normally blocked.
Olympic flame route signs out too. Just got an invite from Halliwell Jones.
Called in at the Bike Factory where the Trek Damone  saga is still unresolved.
Project One and bin half the kit, cycle to work scheme seems a no goer as it looks like I can’t make 40% bracket. Savings none.

Thinking about the options I went clean past the turn and got locked in a housing estate with only one exit, the one I went in. This was not to be the first U turn of the day more was to come later and this turned out to be a good one.

The Ice Cream Farm beckoned but not before a trip out to the road race circuit at Saighton, thankfully the race had finished again as I didn’t want to get caught up in some last lap action. Spoke to Pete Stanley of “The Sunlight” at the Eureka before what a appeared to be a massive club ride and some have opted for Old Ma’s Cafe just up the road as it’s quieter. Impressive turnout once again.

During the latest clearout  we found an old Atari Lynx with a few games in the original boxes. Fired the thing up and it still worked. Took it to the Ice Cream Farm to keep quiet Jack for a while. You can’t believe how funny it was watching a 6 year old trying to play a game thinking it had a touchscreen 20 years before it was invented.
One thing that hasn’t changed with the old games is the playability of the old games. They were good in their day and they still stand the test of time.

Back on the bike and there is still a lot of miles to do, no Shady Oak this week as I opt to go straight on at Beeston Castle. Tried a new section of route because at my age you can and it seemed ok. Had to cross the dual carriage way at Kelsall but I’ve been that way before and it’s not a problem. Before that though there was a problem, I’d been following the bridleway signs for the Delamere Forest Sandstone Trail which led me to a field just after Dark Arc Lane as the descent was steep to say the least there was no way I was going back up it. Got back on track and was soon at Alvanley.

 

 

April 2012

Trying to get back into the thick of things lately with a ride out to Chester when others thought better.
Started to go back to the spinning classes at the Oval and West Kirby. The Oval having a load of bikes out of action and West Kirby being incredibly full.

Merseyside CTC Spring TT proved to be a bit of a disaster with what must be my first DNF of an event. Spent an age planning the route too.

Paul at the start of Merseyside CTC Early Season TT

Turned up at the start after a wet drive in with the winter bike in the back of the car. Lots of familiar faces at the start with some thinking of bailing out at the last minute. Swipe card sign in means no waiting these days at CTC events.
Garmin Courses were in short supply with moi probably having the only one. Unfortunatly you can’t swap Courses between devices on the 800 that and I don’t think the file formats are the same as in the 705.

5.5 miles into the ride there is a load bang as the front tyre let go in a big way.
I coasted to a halt in a farm drive way and set about assesing the damage.
The tube had a split in it along with a hole in the tyre that needed patching.

The Sunlight sailed past with Gary shouting “Lend us your Garmin”, things then got steadily worse. I only had one tube and managed to nick that too, it’d been bouncing around the bottom of the tool container too so may have had some other nicks too. It didn’t hold air for long too and a trip into Winsford for a branch of Halfords proved fruitless.
Nothing for it but to abandon the ride and make it back to the start in 1/2 mile stops.
Called in at the Ice Cream Farm to see the grandkids on the way home so the day wasn’t a total disaster.

A post mortem of all my spare tubes wasn’t good, 18 month old repairs had lifted. All leaked, all binned along with the Conti UltraSport tyre.

Wednesday: Went with Andy to one of the wholesalers an picked ip a few bits. Found my lost passport in the great cleanup. Plenty of stuff to go including a few bikes. Now I’ve got my passport back a trip to the Tour could be on the cards.

Thursday: Spin class at the Oval, gave the shower a miss as you’d come out worse than you went in. Not impressed with the mould in the grout.

WordPress Ads are now on the site, finally secumbed  after all these years.

Spinning class at West Kirby, shower  and home.

 

More in a bit.