Saturday, 31 May 2008

Gore Bikewear Alp-X Ladies Gore-Tex Shorts

I had been thinking about getting waterproof shorts or 3/4 lengths since the start of the winter. I have rode a little in waterproof trousers but have never got on with them - to be fair my waterproof trousers are not bike specific - I have always got too hot and sweaty in them even on cold days. So with transwales coming up and the likelyhood of rain there I started doing some research. There didn't seem to be any women's specific ones out there so I narrowed it down to Gore Alp-X or Endura e-vent 3/4's. I decided that 3/4 would be good as they covered the knees but then might be too long. But then I came across the fact that Gore had just released a women's version of their Alp-x. This made the decision easy, woman's clothes obviously fit me better. I've now had these shorts a couple of months and they have had lots of use. In fact I wear them most rides, they are barely noticeable (although on a really hot day I wouldn't fancy them). They make a big difference when the rain is falling and the ground is wet, no more nappy rash! They also keep you warmer as only my lower legs get wet and I don't notice that as my lycra keeps me warm.

Definetly recommended 10/10!

Friday, 30 May 2008

Somtimes you have to laugh

This was in the magazine that came with one of the papers this weekend. It just made me laugh. Who needs to spend hours cycling when with just a few minutes a day you can lose all this weight, nicely illustrated by the diagrams!

Thursday, 29 May 2008

First Cyclocross race

So last night was my first cyclocross race and I really enjoyed it. I didn't know what to expect but it was great fun. Only 28 hardy souls turned out, apparently the weather meant only the hardcore were there! We all set off at once but it wasn't long before we were getting spread out. There were bits I had to carry my bike up (I could hardly walk up them) and some of the downhills were interesting. I had been told that cyclocross wasn't technical but going straight down a vertical slope that is sheer mud was technical enough for me!! There were also some nice singletrack sections and some roots to clear (they had helpfully sprayed them white). By the end the sections in the trees were pitch black, which was interesting to say the least.

I'm not sure where I finished overall but I was first lady home and won a pair of gloves and a water bottle.

In total I did five laps (compared to the seven the winner did).
Average speed 7.1mph
Average HR 169bpm

Wednesday, 28 May 2008

Packing for transwales

This list will probably grow and grow, if you can think of something I need to add (or get rid of) let me know. In blue means I need to buy them.

Bike Stuff:

  • Bike

  • Spare brake pads

  • lights

  • Spare gear cables

  • Spare inner tubes

  • puncture repair kit

  • multi tool

  • zip ties

  • pump

  • c02 cartridge

  • duck tape

  • Chain lube

  • SRAM powerlink

  • Spare tyres

  • Rear derailer hanger

  • Track pump


  • Shoes (two pairs)

  • camelbak

  • Helmet (both)

  • towel

  • bike socks (x7)

  • woolly socks (x2)

  • socks for evening
  • buffs (all)

  • gloves (all)

  • base layers (summer ones)

  • arm warmers (x2)

  • knee warmers (x3)

  • leg warmers

  • bike Jerseys (7)

  • bike shorts (7)

  • Gore phantom jacket

  • showerproof jacket (with removable sleeves)
  • waterproof shorts
  • waterproof jacket

Camp Stuff:

  • big water bottle, that can be refilled

  • cooking stuff

  • sleeping mat

  • sleeping bag

  • tent

  • Headtorch

  • Chairs

  • Table


  • Water bottles
  • mars bars and twix bars
  • Rice-crispey bars
  • Torq Neutral powder
  • Vimto
  • Torq energy gels
  • Torq enegy bars
  • Salt and vinegar crisps
  • Pasta and Pasta Sauces
  • Cornflakes
  • Weetabix and All Bran
  • UNT Milk
  • Porridge
  • Chilli and Rice
  • Fig Rolls
  • Rasins and Sultanas
  • Nutri-grain bars
  • Jaffa Cakes
  • Stuff for camp Stew
  • Hot Chocolate pouches


  • Sudacrem
  • Savlon
  • Phone car Charger
  • Garmin car charger
  • Phone
  • Garmin
  • Compact camera (?)
  • baby wipes
  • wash bag
  • Suncream
  • Insect repellent (Avon Skin So Soft)
  • Clothes for the evening

Tivot Dale Cyclo-cross

For some reason I am thinking of entering this tonight...

Tuesday, 27 May 2008

More playing with graphs

Today I had a little play with sportstracks and the ride I did yesterday as I wasn't feeling 100% so I decided not to ride. I split the activity so that the warm up and cool down were seperate. Now you can clearly see the 5 hill repeats I did. In one of the training books I've got I read that "You should finish most workouts feeling like you could have done a bit more"1 well yesterday I think I could have done another hill repeat so it was the right time to stop. I actually started the climb and finished at the same spot each time, but I already know GPS is not 100% accurate when it comes to elevation. On each of the intervals I am getting close to a max of 180bpm. (I am sure my meds are putting an upper limit on my max heart rate in a session. At both SSUK08 and the duathlon where I forgot to take the meds I recorded higher max heart rates). But the thing that has pleased me is that as soon as I reached the top and started coasting down - this was done practically free-wheeling so no effort at all - my heart rate drops back down to near 90 bpm. I'm not sure what I should be aiming for in recovery.
I'm hoping to add a few more structured training sessions to my weeks as at the moment I tend to just go out and ride. This has probably been good base training but now transwales is getting closer and closer. I've just put all my events into a spreadsheet and it now looks like there is very little time left to train between them.
1 From The mountain biker's training bible by Joe Friel

Quick hard blast

Bank holidays never make me want to get out on the bike as everywhere is so busy. But after a day spent doing very little but lying on the sofa watching either cycling or tennis I took myself out on my bike at about 5pm. I wanted to do some more hard sessions on hills, but this time get past the minute barrier. So I cycled out to Affetside to use the hill there. I had a point on the top as the end, so I knew I had to push till that point. Each lap was 0.8miles, with an elevation change of 60m and I managed every repeat in just under 5minutes. After 5 repeats I headed home.

Monday, 26 May 2008

Windy Ride

Headed out to meet Vikki in the afternoon, I couldn't face the crowds that would be there if I rode during the day. Think it was a good choice as Vikki said it was packed around upper barn on her way over. I already knew it was windy after being blown around on the way over but we still headed up Winter Hill via Matchmore Lane. It wasn't too bad on winter hill, I mean it was very windy but the fact that the bog that is the diversion round the mast made up for that. Then I set off down, only I had to pedal to move at 4 mph. It takes a lot of skill to ride the descent that slowly!!! I was trying to pedal faster.

After that it was back over to Rivi via the cheeky path and the Belmont Old road, down by the horse farm, which I think might be Jon's 100yards?, then we split and I headed home. Taking in lots of steps both up and down. A nice ride even with the wind.

Average speed 7.2mph
Average HR 133bpm
1100m climbed

Sunday, 25 May 2008

Having fun

After the duathlon we all headed off to Vikki's for bacon butties and chocolate cake, thanks Glyn for heading out to get the cake for four chocolate munching girls! We ended up having a fun afternoon, first I got to go for a spin in the orange bug, it was so cute and like being on a roller coaster. I like the scared look on my face as Glyn put his foot down.
Ali then had a spin, once she worked out how the seatbelt worked!
After some bacon butties I decided that having a go on a uni-cycle would be fun, to say I am bad at it was an understatement but it was a good laugh.After cake we then played frisbee with flipper, till we were all too tired to do much but think about an afternoon nap.

Saturday, 24 May 2008


Well it seemed to sneak up on me this event, I was not ready at all for the combined events of the duathlon and was worried I'd be even able to run the distance. We set out on the first run and it wasn't long before everyone was flying past me. Soon ali caught me up and we ran together for a while. Then we ended up with a group of five wondering where to go, it turns out the whole field had gone the wrong way. After that I tracked ali and a girl called Rachel who was running at the same sort of pace. Ali only got about 20m on me and she is a lot better runner. This picture is of me coming up to the transition, you can see Vikki and Carolyn are just behind me.

Then we headed out on the bike loop, you can just see Ali in the background getting on her bike, she came past me as I was trying to get my shoes on as I decided to attach them to the bike, I didn't think running uphill in my road shoes would work very well so I ran in my socks. It took me a while to get past her again but after that I didn't see her on the bike. It was a hard ride with the head wind on certain parts making it really hard. I was pleased to have an average speed of 16.6mph on the bike.
Ali caught me in the last third of the run, neither of us were finding the running easy at that point. We continued to the finish crossing the line together.

I really enjoyed it, so I apologise to Carolyn, thanks for talking me into it. I'll definetly be back next year, but this time I will try and do some more run training.


The one thing I am really bad at on a ride is drinking enough, I can head out with a full camelbak and come back after a full day and it will only be half empty. I know I should be drinking and often find myself on a ride thinking that I should be drinking. So now when I have that thought I am trying to actually drink something, instead of just thinking about it. I have noticed an improvement when I am out on my road bike, the other day I actually had to buy two bottles of water to top up my supplies on the way round a long ride. I think it helps that I can see how little of the bottle I have drank, whereas with a camelbak I can't actually see it! Since this is obviously an area I need to improve, I can't afford to get de-hydrated during transwales when I will have to go out and ride another long ride the next day. I decided to think about what I can do to improve my hydration levels.

Dehydration can impair concentration or judgement, this is not good when you are riding technical trails off-road or just in the traffic on the way home from somewhere. The worst thing is when you are only slightly de-hydrated you may not notice. More serious de-hydration can then lead to cramps or even heat exhaustion.

There are lots of articles out there on what to drink. Water, a dedicated energy drink or a homemade energy drink. For me I have found that I just drink water on shorter rides and on longer ones I use Torq natural, with Vimto for flavour. I have just never found an energy drink I like the flavour of. I had thought about trying again so I could drink something with electolytes in but I have never really had a problem with cramping.

So now I'm after methods to encourage me to drink more. Everytime I think of it I am going to take a big sip, instead of thinking "I really should be drinking more" and yet doing nothing. I read somewhere that drinking on climbs is good, but I find I need to breath. But every climb I will at least take a sip. Hopefully if I keep reminding myself I will drink more.

Any more tips out there?

Friday, 23 May 2008

This made me laugh

Well worth adding this to your rss feed. The unique look at cycling rings a lot of bells.

A couple more pics

Found another couple of pictures of me from the event. These were taken on coal road, the last really hard climb after the fourth feed station. You can tell I had a good day I'm still smiling.

Planning my training

I'm planning of having two weeks of organised hard training so I am going to write what I plan to do on here so that people can nag me if I get lazy.

So I've been thinking what rides I should do in a week and I came up with this list:

  • A long road ride

  • A long mtb ride

  • Hill repeats session

  • 5k run

  • A singlespeed ride

So now it's just planning specific days for each week. Is there anything people think I should add?

Thursday, 22 May 2008

etape pics

Well the pictures are up and I found a couple of me. If you want to see some of the climbs we did check out cyclosport, there are two videos on the site but I'm yet to spot me in them.

Wednesday, 21 May 2008

3000 miles

Today I passed 3000miles since the start of the year, I don't think I have cycled that far in a year before!!! It also puts me halfway to my target of 6000 miles.

Brick Training

Well today I didn't really feel motivated to do anything but I had said I'd bring Ali lunch so I cycled over there for 12:30. Since I was then out in bike clothes I headed off for a ride. I ended up at Rivi so decided to ride the duathlon course again, I went round three times (total time 54:01 which makes me slower than any of last years times) but I didn't push hard and stayed seated the whole way round. Then I rode home again came in the house got my trainers and went running. It is probably a bit late for training now but I wanted to see how I felt. I was fine but I was very slow. But hey I guess the whole point on entering the duathlon was to challenge myself.

Distance 31.54miles
Average Speed 14.5mph
Average HR 125bpm

Distance 3.64miles
Pace 11:34 min/mile
Average HR 151bpm

Wish me luck for saturday I'm going to need it.

Tuesday, 20 May 2008

Hill repeats

So today the plan was to ride the duathlon bike loop so I met Ali after she finished work and we rode over to Rivington to meet Carolyn and Vikki (9 miles).

Then we went round the loop once to see what it was like, looking out for tight corners etc (makes me sound professional). Then we went round fast, I was back first in 14:39, closely followed by Ali in 15:13, then Vikki in about 16:00 and then Carolyn.

After that I did some hill repeats on Belmont road, I was going to do two minutes but I was dying after 30seconds so I did 1 minute and repeated it five times. It was hard, but I am sure it is good for me so I'm going to try and head out and do it more often.

Each split was about 0.16miles and I was climbing at about 9.1mph on each repeat.

Then I cycled home with Ali, a nice easy pace as her legs were a little tired.

Total distance 28.51 miles
Average Speed 13.8mph
Average HR 132bpm
570m climbed

Monday, 19 May 2008

Recovery ride

Apart from not getting enough sleep as Ali didn't get home till late last night and I woke up early I feel suprisingly good today. My legs weren't sore and I felt like riding would be fine. I did an easy loop over to rivington (well as easy as you can with 900m of climbing) but I took it really easy on the hills, I spun up the commonwealth down keeping my heart rate at 120bpm - we won't mention my speed.

I'm still feeling really chuffed with yesterday, although to lots of people it won't seem fast, to me it was so much faster than I expected! I'll be back next year. The event was so well organised, followed such a good route and was a fantastic challenge. The question is can I go sub 8 hours next year to get a silver certificate?

21.13 miles
Average Speed 7.6 mph
Average HR 114 bpm

Just noticed I have done 1000miles for the year off-road.

Sunday, 18 May 2008

Etape du dales

Well today was the etape du dales, I had began to wonder why I had entered it, it seemed a very hard ride. Pete came and picked me up at 5am and we headed off to get an early start. I think we were both worried that it we would miss the cut-off after 69miles. As it turns out I rode better than I think I have before. My official finishing time was 9:07:28 which gives me an overall average of 12.1mph.

total distance 110.8miles
Total climbing 3500m
Average moving speed 12.7mph
Average HR 146bpm

Continuing on from GPS not recording correctly

I was sad enough to map the ride in as I wanted to have a clearer idea of how far I had ridden.

This method showed a distance of 27.78miles.

Saturday, 17 May 2008

Sometimes GPS fails

After getting back from the lakes on wednesday I put the information from my Garmin onto the computer. Since then I've been zooming in on google earth images and working out where I went wrong. Hopefully next week I'll try another new route to practice my navigation.
As can be seen from the picture my Garmin has missed all the twisting I did on the path and just drawn a straight line. This means I have no idea how far I actually, rode/pushed/carried my bike. I've never had any problems with satellite pickup before but I wonder if in the lakes it struggled?

Friday, 16 May 2008

Darwen Tower

I've rode to Darwen Tower twice, the first time was with Ali and the way there was great but the way back we got a little lost and it wasn't rideable. Then I went with Carolyn and it was all rideable but we went out and back from Rivington the same way. So today I am going to plan a long route that takes in Darwen Tower and then try and ride it next week. Adding Darwen Tower into the Pike and Peel Tower will make a nice long route. So really what I need to work out is how to get over to Peel Tower from Darwen Tower. Then go and explore and find out if it is rideable.

Thursday, 15 May 2008

What to wear for a duathlon

Somehow my friend Carolyn managed to talk me into entering a dualthlon. Unfortunately it is now very close and I haven't yet done much running. Hopefully I won't make too much of a fool of myself, looking at last years results it seems that most of the people who enter are strong runners. But the question is what do I wear? I know what I would wear to do a 10km run and I know what I would wear to do a 22km ride, but to do both? Will cycling shorts annoy me when running? Should I just wear running shorts on the bike?

What would you recommend?

Wednesday, 14 May 2008

Practising Navigation

Todays plan was to practice navigation so I headed off to the lake district to ride somewhere I didn't know. I planned a nice long ride and set off from home at 8am. On arriving I was glad to see I had another amazing day, blue skies but it didn't seem too hot so I set out with armwamers on. The first part was easy both navigation and riding wise, at this point I was feeling like it was going to a good day for a long ride. Then the climb up to high street started. That is one hard climb, all on grass, but I cleaned it with just a few rest stops.

Once on high street I began to wonder if I had planned too long a ride, but at that point thought it was ok. Unfortunately I managed to take the wrong path down off High Street, after an age of looking at the map and trying to work out where I was I got it and realised that it cut a chunk of the ride out so I didn't have to find an alternative. The climb back up from Haweswater reservior involved about a mile of carrying my bike over Gatescarth Pass. Total ride was 23miles, but I noticed at points it wasn't recording - was I going that slow when I was carrying my bike? I was away from the car for nearly nine hours and although I spent a lot of time map reading a lot of it was spent walking.

Next time I think I'll take someone with me, this is the sort of ride Ali loves. I also realised I need lots more practise with navigation and long rides should be saved for trails you know well.

It probably wasn't the best preparation for etape du dales but it was fun.

Now I need to get re-hydrated, I need to train myself to drink more on the trail!!!

Tuesday, 13 May 2008

More hills and wind

I decided I wanted one more hilly road ride before the weekend and once again the weather was looking nice so I headed off towards Waddington. I stopped at Dunsop bridge to buy a sandwhich and as I was eating it this cheeky duck came looking for some, he obviously doesn't know me very well, I never give food away!
Once again I went over Waddington Fell (I was faster getting to the same point to start the climb and faster up the climb compared to last week). Then I headed home taking a longer hillier route than last week. When I got to Ramsbottom I even went up the rake (with 87miles in my legs I was impressed that I didn't even need to walk) which is a 25% climb.

94.58 miles
Average Moving Speed 12.3mph
Average Heart Rate 134bpm
2388metres climbed

Monday, 12 May 2008

REC Emergence Course

The weekend just gone I was down in Wales to do a first aid course, I need it so I can do the assessment for my SMBLA Trail leader award.

Day 1 started with a good breakfast. Then the rest of the day was spent doing a little bit of work in the classroom with lots of practical experience outside. We covered CPR and bandaging and I had officially the lowest pain threshold of the group. Most of the people on the course were teachers, we get everywhere!

Day 2 dawned sunny and very hot. It was nice to see the blue sky and it seemed less humid. We started the day with all sorts of weird and wonderful scenarios, from drowning to sledging down the dry ski slope on a picnic bench. I even got the promise of a bottle of champagne from one of the lads, but he never paid up. We ended the day talking about hypothermia in the middle of a thunderstorm.

The course was brilliant and the fact we got outside so often and so much of it was practical meant I didn't feel like I was on a course. The location was stunning and I definetly want to go back and do some mountain biking in the area.

Sunday, 11 May 2008

Penmachno - Fri 9th May

One thing Drumlanrig last weekend showed me is that my weakest area is riding singletrack. Especially the muddy, rooty stuff. It is just so different to my local riding. So I decided to use the fact I was going to Wales (more about that in another post) to ride some of the purpose built singletrack. So on friday I headed off to Penmachno - there had recently been a second loop added. I headed up the trail about 10 minutes after a group of lads, catching them afrer 2.5 miles. Soon I was at the switchback climb I remembered being so hard last time. But today it seemed fine. Then I split to the right to do loop two which has some stunning views. I decided that when I got to the split again I would re-ride loop 2. Only I ended up back on loop 1 without realising. On a nice bit of singletrack i went flying, I have some lovely bruises to show for it.

On getting back to the car I decided to go around again, slightly slower this time but no falls.

Each loop was 17.8 miles

Loop 1 2:30

Loop 2 2:43

Saturday, 10 May 2008

Miles v. Kilometres

When I started this blog I was measuring my rides in kilometres, now I am measuring in miles. But I still cannot decide which to use. I started with kilometres as I was trying to get used to them as so many events are now in kilometres. But I then moved to miles as I found I was constantly converting to miles in my head to get an idea of how fast(slow) I was going and how far I had gone. Here in the UK all the road signs are in miles, my car measures in miles so I am used to miles. Then I went on my Trail Leader Award and I had to have my computer set to Kilometres and route planning was made easy by the fact the map is marked off in kilometre squares. So I am still confused, should I stick to miles or return to kilometres? Should I have an aim of riding 6000miles this year or 10000km? Will an average speed of 13.5 km/h make me feel faster than 8.5 mph. Am I just indecisive?

Friday, 9 May 2008

Going solo

Well it looks like I am going to be doing transwales solo. I've talked to a few people about it and they all said go for it. The other two options were arguing with Ali over training and her riding it (it was so sweet of her to offer) or asking on shecycles and riding with someone I didn't know (they might find me hard work). So I'm going to attempt it solo, I'm scared. But Ali is going to come and support me so it means I won't be getting stressed putting the tent up and down, when I'm shattered in the evening she can wash my bike. I just hope she won't get too bored during the day, but I guess she'll bring her camera.

Thursday, 8 May 2008

Cragg Vale

I hadn't heard of Cragg Vale till today's ride. I headed over to Hebden Bridge again but I had planned a different route back, I don't think ruby is really set up for the off-road I made her do last time. So I headed back Via Blackstone Edge, as I started the climb out of Hebden Bridge I saw this sign. Lucky me I thought, lots of climbing.

Overall had a good ride, it was a wonderful day and I was just pootling along. In fact I hadn't realised how slow I was going. But it's good to do two long rides back to back.
61.46 miles
Average Speed 11.1 mph (I really was taking it easy)
Average HR 121 bpm
1551 metres climbed

Wednesday, 7 May 2008

Waddington Fell

I've been wanting to ride over Waddington Fell from the Newton side for a while, we went over from Waddington during the Pendle Pedal and everyone said it was harder from the other side. I had planned this route on mapmyride two weeks ago but never did it as Ali was off work ill. So with today being another sunny day I thought it was the perfect time to head out. As I headed up to longridge I passed another cyclist dressed in legwarmers and a winter jacket. I was in shorts and a short sleeve top, did he have his own micro-climate?

The climb up Waddington Fell wasn't too bad at all I averaged 5mph and my average heart rate was 143bpm. So I probably could have got up it faster. I think it shows I am getting better at hill climbing though that I can climb and keep my heart rate down. In fact I actually did a climb I found harder, the road I took out of Whalley was a killer.

Then it was back through the outskirts of Blackburn, lots of traffic, and home.

77.49 miles

Average Speed 11.9 mph

Average HR 129 bpm

1784metres climbed

Tuesday, 6 May 2008

Summer is here for one day at least

With the weather being so nice today it seemed silly not to go for a ride. So I went out on the geared bike as well, I should start riding it more since it is the bike I will be riding at transwales. I headed over towards Rivington, going down Two Lads off winter hill. Then down the horse farm, up the commonwealth down, down the ICR, over to Healy Nab, back over and up Chinese Gardens, belmont old road, the cheeky trail down to Belmont and back home via Bromley Cross 29.68 miles
Average Moving Speed 7.9 mph
Average Speed including stops 7.0mph
Average HR 142bpm
1031 metres climbed

Running is still hard

Usual loop, slighly slower than last time. It is a lovely day!

3.65 miles
Average HR 158bpm

Is it me?

I have lost another partner for transwales. Yesterday Vikki emailed me to say that she had decided that she wasn't going to do it. I seem to be scaring people off? So now I have to decide what to do. Do I try and find another partner or do I ride it solo? Ali has offered either to ride it or support me if I ride solo. But am I stong enough to do an event like this solo?

Monday, 5 May 2008

I am slow

Kate text me on Saturday evening to see if I fancied leading her on a ride round my way today. Since we were getting back late last night that made perfect sense to me. Someone else off shecycles who I had not met before also joined us. Kate had told me that she wanted a long ride with lots of good downhills, when she arrived it became clear that my version of a long ride was slightly different so I said we could miss out going over to Ramsbottom. We headed out from mine, onto Winter Hill, down two lads, down to the horse farm, up the commonwealth down, down the ICR then down to lower barn as the other two were demanding a cafe stop. Rivington itself was very busy!!! Then it was back up through Chinese Gardens, up to the Pike and down off the top. After that we headed up to the top of Winter Hill and down the Belmont Descent then home along the road. The other two were so fast, both up and downhill, I thought I had been getting faster, then I go out with fast people and realise I'm actually quite slow. Need to try and do some speed work.

24.12 miles
Average Speed 7.4mph
Average HR 146bpm
903 metres climbed

Sunday, 4 May 2008


On saturday I headed up to Scotland for SSUK08, Ali and I packed the car - she was allowed her geared bike as she doesn't have another one - and headed up to Mabie to meet Vikki . Once there I realised I had no brake pads, front or rear, I guess just over 500miles wasn't bad going. Fortunately there was a bike shop there and the pads were easy to change - even with no instructions. Then we headed off round Mabie. It was a lovely day for a ride and it was nice to try my rig on some singletrack. Part way round ali's seatpost decided not to clamp her saddle, so it kept moving. So after a while we swapped bikes. She got her first taste of singlespeed and I rode her stumpy stood up the whole time. It felt odd, but good, to have so much travel at the front. Then we headed up to Drumlanrig Castle and found a spot for our tent before getting the beer out. The next day I was woken up nice and early by the dawn chorus. The location was spectatular, I really want to go back there. After finding some real toilets and somewhere selling bacon butties we were all ready for the start, which involved us putting our bikes in a field and them all being moved around. The pink bits on my bike helped with locating it! Then it was off, the course was nearly all singletrack, tight windy and technical. Nothing like my normal riding, but great fun! I ended up walking at points and fell off on my first lap but loved it.
Ali was trying to pay attention to how far back I was and she thinks that I finished 5th female, not bad seeing as I only got my ss in February.

After the race they provided food and it was lovely, proper beef burgers! Then after the presents we headed home for pizza. That is probably the hardest I have ridden on a bike in a long time, racing seems to do that.

Thursday, 1 May 2008

Thank you Green Machine

After trying a few bike shops yesterday and being told, sorry we're too busy I was getting very very worried that I wouldn't have a bike for SSUK at the weekend. So today during Ali's lunch break we drove over to Green Machine in Horwich. He looked at it straight away and soon had it moving, he showed me a tool that will help, so that is being added to my tool box. Then we found a part missing, so they made me a new one. They then put a new chain on for me and the bike is ready to go.

Thank you so much to Green Machine, a great LBS!

SSUK = Singlespeed UK champs
LBS = Local Bike Shop

April totals

Running 10.2 miles
Off-road cycling 280.46 miles (singlespeed 236.87 miles)
Road cycling 364.97 miles
Total Cycling 645.43 miles
Longest ride 81.37 miles

Well I didn't beat my March totals but I did cover more mileage off-road.
So what are my plans for next month? Well I want to do another 100 miler (Etape du dales will cover this) but also try and get my highest mileage month. I'd also like to cover at least 250 miles in a week. But this month is a little busy with events so that might have to wait for June.

Geeky Graphs

Some of you may have noticed I have added some new geeky graphs to my blog. I love playing with data so this was just an excuse for some fun.

The first graph is a compound bar chart of my milegae for the year, showing the distance each month I have ridden on and off road. The graphs that sportstracks produces just show mileage for the month. But it is interesting to see how much of that mileage is on-road and how much is off road.

The second graph is a Pie-Chart showing the percentage of time spent on and off road. I thought that looking at time rather than distance made sense as you obviously cover more distance in less time on-road. At the moment I have spent slightly more time on-road than off-road. The ideal split would probably be 50/50.