Tuesday 27 December 2011


The first run this week knocked me for 6! Cody and I ran the Handlebar Route and during the run all felt fine. However, not long after the run, I got a taste of the dreaded man flu!
The dreaded man flu was not the usual deadly strain and only knocked me out for a few days. By Friday I was feeling okay and took Queeny out for her second run. Queeny had been re-tyred with her winter rubbers - a Michelin Country Mud rear and a Panaracer Trailraker up front. These tyres get a total thumbs up. I took Queeny across naughty fields up by Astwood Bank which were really wet and muddy. The tyres gripped fantastically and did not slip or slide about at all and provided perfect traction. Made my way to the Breadcrumb Trial. Again, the tyres performed superbly all the way around, good grip even on wet roots and rocks. Went home via the Dovecote and Coughton Ford (including the 2 off-road sections) and Queeny didn't puncture once!
Did not run or cycle any further that week. Something much more amazing and wonderful happened. No, not Xmas! My dear lovely, awesome and beautiful girlfriend agreed to marry me when I popped the question on the 23rd! And Xmas day was pretty awesome too!

Weekly totals: Ran 3.2 miles; Cycled 19 miles.

Sunday 18 December 2011

Bodily exercise profiteth little

No training took place this week. None at all. No running. No cycling. Something much greater and way more wonderful took place, and I was there to witness it! My dear girlfriend SJ got baptised.

'For bodily exercise profiteth little: but godliness is profitable unto all things, having promise of the life that now is, and of that which is to come. This is a faithful saying and worthy of all acceptation.' (1 Tim 4v8-9)

Monday 12 December 2011

Brief Blog

Argh, what a busy time last week was. Busy with work, shopping, travelling ... never enough time to cycle. Didn't really have the time to write this blog.

Only cycled once. The route Ron and I chose was the classic Deer Route. With all the Christmas decorations now up we were hoping the electrically lit up deer would make an appearance but sadly not. The Deer Route is so named because of said electric deer. Nice trek on a cold frosty night - my planet x / on one merino jersey kept me well toasty. Only mis-hap was Ron sliding off his bike over the Coughton Ford bridge. (There was talk of calling our group the 'Impassable Ford Cycling Club'.)

Ran twice with Cody and twice with SJ but only ran 3 times in the week. My first Run was with SJ and we ran an extended route of the Studley Triangle, zig-zag style up and down the streets at the one tip of said triangle. This was a good run stretching 5 miles. Cody joined me for my second run where we ran the Handlebar Route. Last run was with both SJ and Cody where we re-ran the Handlebar Route.

Weekly totals: Cycled 16 miles; Ran 11.4 miles.

Sunday 4 December 2011

Welcome Queeny! / End of a season

This week had an unusual start. SJ, Cody and I went to the beach! We figured we would do our long run on the sand. The day was initially nice - sun, sand, sea and us three! Not long into our run though we encountered much menace. For starters, the sand was wet and muddy in parts and we got wet shoes and paws. SJ's ankle was playing up big time (and had been hurting for a few days). And, Cody was being harassed by a Yorkie Terrier. When SJ intervened, she got bit. Not a great day for SJ! Our long run was cut to a shorter run/jog/walk ramble. Our day was brightened up by a fish and chips lunch (until SJ got deli belly...). When I downloaded the map using Google maps, it showed that I ran through the sea, hmm - interesting?!
My first bike adventure had equal menace too. My ride started off well, was using my new but old bike 'Queeny', so named because she is adorned in the Royal colours of red, white and blue. Queeny was old in that she used to belong to my brother David for a while, who has lived in Australia for the past couple of years. David didn't get Queeny brand new either, he bought her from ebay (or maybe I did on his behalf). Anyways, suffice to say, Queeny is quite old, well vintage really or retro if you prefer! Queeny was new in that she was new to me. In addition to that, I had Queeny kitted out in new disk brakes, cables, headset and transmission too! Anyways, back to the adventure...

Like I was saying, Queeny's debut didn't go too well. Started off fine cycling to Sambourne and then taking that off road trail to the Ridgeway. From the Ridgeway I cycled across the naughty fields until I came out on Coldcomfort Lane. Queeny seemed to be doing OK across these fields, until pssst - puncture menace! Dirty thorn. Puncture was soon fixed and off I went to follow the Breadcrumb Trail. This trail went fine, Queeny performed well and it felt much safer using DMR's instead of SPD's again. The wet trail, roots, dips and all were no real problem. Headed back home via the Dovecote, Kinwarton and Coughton. Just before the Ford, pssst - second puncture menace! This puncture was soon fixed too but was a little peeved that I didn't have any gas with me and the tyres look major unhealthy too - the rims are braking away and look a little perished. Was pleased to make it home with no further mishap, except an extremely dirty face.

Took Scotty round Ron's 1 Hour Loop mid-week. Some of the roads were closed off, but this didn't stop me! The roads that were closed had large pits here and there and heavy machinery doing goodness-knows-what. This ride was great because I saw 2 deer today, the second of which ran out in front of me and then ran alongside me for a short while. Awesome. I had not seen deer for a while (even on the Deer Route) and wondered if the doomed Woods of Doom had anything to do with it. The Woods of Doom, for those that don't know, was a favourite play area of mine for the mountain bike. The usual goons and I had many an adventure there (including the time my crank arm fell off and the time I landed on the barbs, etc). Anyways, the powers that be chopped down a whole forest worth of tree's and hence the Woods of Doom became doomed.

My last training session of the week was with Cody. We ran the Handlebar Route on a cold frosty morning. Glad that SJ fixed the zip on my running top!

The 2011 cycling season has finally finished. The 2012 cycling season started in November 2011 (confusing or what?!).  The 2011 season had been great for me and my best season for audax events. I managed to complete 3x100k, 11x200k, 2x300k, 1x400k,1x600k and 1x1200k events. That's a total of 19 rides, scoring 50 AUK points and 27 AAA points (compared to 9 rides the previous year, scoring 7 AUK points and 2.5 AAA points). My proudest achievement was completing the 2011 PBP.
Managed to add 3 awards to my Randonneur series during the 2011 season. These included the Super Randonneur (SR) - Audax UK's traditional award for the top 10% of hardened night-riders where I cycled a series of 200, 300, 400 & 600km events all in one season. The Randonneur Round the Year (RRtY) - In order to qualify for inclusion in the RRtY Roll of Honour, I had to complete a Randonneur (minimum 200km, either calendar event or Permanent) in each of the twelve consecutive calendar months. My 3rd award was the Randonneur 5,000 - Progressing past the SR, the Randonneur 5,000 is awarded to a person riding randonneur events totalling 5,000km in one season.
Also managed to add a further 3 awards to my Brevet series during the 2011 season too. These were the Brevet 1000, 2000, and 3000 respectively. The Brevet awards encourage the rider to keep riding over several years and the Brevet 4000 (for example) was for riders who can show they have ridden 20 x 200km over any length of time.

Weekly totals: Cycled 34 miles; Ran 6.9 miles.

Happy New Year 2022

Happy New Year folks. I wonder what's in store for 2022,  - something crazy, something new? It's a shame Covid is still here and I&#...