Wednesday 28 March 2012

Wedding week

Started my last week of being single cycling around the Forest of Dean with my buddy Chris Hodge. We had stayed over from my stag weekend, the others returning to work. The others were Rob, Aid, Ron, the Meekon and Mr potato head. Chris and I cycled 2 laps of the Verderers route before we headed home. This day was also my day of birth.
Tuesday came and I took Florence out for a spin around the TTT 20 route. It was a beautiful day with nice clear blue skies. I was only a minute off my quickest time too.

No further exercise took place this week, but something wonderful happened! I married the beautiful SJ! Yup, I am a married man and SJ is now my wife!
Weekly totals: Cycled 33 miles.

Monday 19 March 2012

Hen and Stag

Started the week with a good old run with SJ. I think she was pleased to run again after partying last weekend at her hen do. We ran the 678 route in Worcester. The first half of this run was in daylight which made a change - the seasons are changing for sure. We sprinted the last section back to SJ's yard and then enjoyed a nice big steak! I have a photo that SJ took during her hen do and strangely enough, it is a picture of a collection of bikes! How cool.
The first cycle of the week was on Wednesday. I took Florence around the TTT 20 Route and shaved 5 minutes from the time she did her debut ride last week. Completed the ride in 1 hour and 11 minutes, which was the fastest time I completed this ride on Cayo my road bike. Time trials aren't really my thing but this is fun and for sure I hope to beat this time.

Woke up Thursday with a bad head. My neighbours were complete menace - they were banging and shouting from 1 a.m. and then started to play disco tunes until 5 a.m. Grr! Maybe I should tie them up with inner tubes, beat them with bicycle chains and spray them with oil?! I decided to try and brighten my mood by taking Florence for a lap around the TTT 20 Route. Completed the lap slower than Wednesday's time but what do you expect after little sleep?! It was good to get out, even if visibility was real poor due to the fog. Feeling slightly better, I washed Queeny and Cayo, removed Scotty's slicks and replaced with Rocket Rons on my return home. Chained all my bikes up and looked forward to my stag do - cycling in the Forest of Dean!

On Friday I headed down to the Forest of Dean to meet up with Chris Hodge, Ron, Dave Meakin, Robin, Ade and Chris (potato head) to celebrate my stag do. We all shared a wonderful log cabin located at Whitemead (I think) that Chris Hodge had researched and had a wonderful time. The whole weekend was spent mountain biking around trails in the forest and celebrating my last week as a single man. This blog has been posted late - maybe I'll add some photo's to a future blog once 'the others' have downloaded some to Facebook.

Weekly totals: Ran 6.1 miles; Cycled 85 miles.

Thursday 15 March 2012

The Bicycle Stable


Bike 1 'Cayo' Focus Cayo Ultegra 2009

Bike 2 'Scotty' Scott Scale 20 2010

Bike 3 'Queeny' Scott USA acquired in 2011
Bike 4 'Florence' Revolution Track 2012

Saturday 10 March 2012

The Cotswold Corker March 2012 / Naughty girls

Good start to the week with a blast around the Deer Route with Ron. Scotty is still fitted with slicks and am thinking about swapping these back to my 'Rocket Rons' at the end of March. Have been real happy with my slicks but now that Winter is nearly over, I think I will swap tyres and start cycling more off-road routes.

Rollers continue to scream when ridden on. Ron's rollers have the same issue (we have the same rollers). We think the bearings have gone in these Tacx rollers. Am hoping Ron's research provides a solution to the screaming soon.

Very cold cycle on Tuesday morning. Took Cayo for a lap around the 'TTT 20' route. Visibility was very poor, a misty type fog covering the landscape. It must have been below freezing in the night and was only just above freezing when I cycled. Ice particles could be seen forming on my jacket.
Wednesday was a great day. I went running with my favourite two girls, namely SJ and Cody Menace. We ran the Handlebar Route. Both girls were on good form this day. Cody was quite zoomy from the start and ran pretty well all the way around. Ground was quite muddy and slippy in parts but it felt so good to do an off-road route after what seems like quite some time. Felt kinda strange being in my off-road trainers. On the way back, SJ and I sprinted from the bridge to the top of the field. SJ is going to have no problems nailing her London 2012 Marathon!

Friday saw me complete The Cotswold Corker (permanent) audax again. The first major hill (Bushcombe Lane) still remains unbeaten! Grr! Like the last time I battled this hill, I made it to the top without pushing my bike or walking. However, just like last time, I put a foot down (car menace) before reaching the summit. As usual, I got lost again, but this time in a different place. I took a wrong turn before Bisley which added a hilly 10k or so to my journey. On route I spotted a group of about 15 deer and 3 birds of prey which was nice. The only other bizarre detail I must add was just past the last control heading towards the arrivee. I saw an adult female walking on the other side of the road but heading in the same direction as me. She looked a little odd from behind because she was wearing a trilby hat and I could see she was holding something. This something was a gun! And this gun was firing shots! Just as I levelled with her she turned around to face me and I swear, for a moment, I thought she was going to shoot me. This female appeared a bit retarded and just said 'alright'. I replied 'alright' and sped off. I think the gun was a toy or replica, but it spooked me all the same. Cycled 112k (69 miles) during this audax.
When I reached home, after the audax event detailed above, I was pleased to see the post man had been. I had a packet containing my Paris Brest Paris (PBP) 2011 medal which was engraved with my finish time (77 hours and 14 minutes). Also included in the packet was a PBP DVD (the 17th edition, i.e. the event I cycled in 2011), my brevet card from event and a magazine listing all the results. The results magazine made a good read and records all entrants, their countries and finish times etc. The magazine also recorded two participants who were given red cards (denied homologation). Marco Oro received his red card as he covered part of the route in a car and Denis Moran received his for riding under different identities. Shame on them!
Saturday was full of naughtiness. My dearly beloved SJ went to London for her Hen Party celebrations. SJ (and her sister) got kicked out of a theatre for being loud mouthed. How naughty! I cycled 20 miles by completing the TTT 20 Route, on Florence my naughty bike. Florence is a fixed speed / single speed track bike, fitted with a flip-flop hub. I have set her to single speed. If I wanted fixed speed, I would just need to remove the rear wheel and spin it round 180 degrees. Simples. Florence's debut ride was pretty neat. Hard to explain how she rode, but here goes... She was like an automatic, in that no gears were present and because of this the handlebars seem bare with no cables sticking out. Weird at times, trying to shift gear leavers that do not exist. Hills required more effort and could feel my heart pounding. Descents were mostly free-wheeled - provided opportunity to get my breath back. Was real pleased that no hill beat me and that I managed to climb that nasty hill at the end of that undulating road to Astwood Bank. How cool is that?! I cycled this route on Tuesday (on Cayo, my 2x10 speed carbon road bike) in 1 hour and 16 mins. Todays cycle on Florence (a single speed Revolution 12 Track bike form Edingburgh Bicycle Cooperative) took 1 hour and 16 mins too! Florence's ride was way more intensive and fun!
Weekly totals: Cycled 125 miles; Ran 3.1 miles.

Monday 5 March 2012

Rain drops and Snowdrops

Another one of my killer migraines hit me at the start of this week. Am hoping this is not going to be a regular occurrence. Ibuprofen plus Paracetamol did nothing to dampen the pain. I took the prescribed Sumatriptan for the first time and this made me feel like I was tripping.

Had planned to cycle my first 200k audax of this year on Tuesday but decided against that after the migraine issues. Instead I took Queeny for a jaunt around the Bread Crumb trail. Prior to going to the trail, I cycled through the doomed Woods of Doom. The woods weren't so much fun, felled tree's were scattered everywhere and it was hard to follow a clear path. When remnants of the old path were found, they were seriously mud clogged - it appears horses are having a better time that mountain bikes in these woods. Later, during the same day, I went for a run with SJ. We ran a kind of loop starting from Studley which passed through Mapple Borough Green (and past the village hall where we plan to have our wedding reception). Once past the hall we continued on to Ipsley, then to Washford before reaching home again. This was about half the distance of our last run and despite no major niggles I still felt whacked. SJ felt fine throughout but I still felt achey and tired up until the following day.

The following day however, was not a rest day. In the morning I cycled a variation of Ron's 1 Hour Loop on Cayo - my road bike. I finished the route by missing out the Coughton Ford and instead climbing 'that undulating road' that leads to Astwood Bank. Is nice now the weather is slowly warming up.

My cousin, aka Agent Aid, phoned on Thursday to inform me that he had purchased some rollers with magnetic resistance which should be delivered following day. He has only recently gotten into cycling but it appears the bug has hit him. This conversation prompted me to get my (non magnetic) rollers out. I cycled 1 mile before I stopped. My rollers are still real noisy and the noise does my head in. I might change the position of the rollers around and see if that helps. Anyone know where rollers can be fixed/repaired?!

Friday saw me complete the loop I cycled on Wednesday - a variation of Ron's 1 Hour Loop. Am now going to call this the 'TTT 20 mile Trek', as I have made it my own and cycle it frequently. This route is essentially a box that starts and finishes in Studley, passing through Wootton Wawen, Alcester and Astwood Bank. Is a nice route and has a nice selection of undulating and fast sections. A perfect 20 mile route to cycle before my late shift at work. Completed this trek in my fastest time to date - not overly fast but still a personal best for me, in a time of 1 hour and 11 mins.

Had planned to run over the weekend but bad weather put pay to that! Did no further cycling either. My brevet card was returned in the post from the Snowdrop Audax that I completed a few weeks back. Below are a few official photo's from said event.

Weekly totals: Cycled 64 miles; Ran 7.1 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&#...