Thursday, 31 July 2008

July Mileage

Running 13.51miles
Road Cycling 251 miles 38%
Off-road cycling 403 miles 62% (156 miles singlespeed)
Total Cycling 654 miles

Now although the mileage is down this month, the graph below shows I have done a lot more off-road mileage

This is the first month more of my mileage has been off than on road, hopefully the ratio will please matt more than last months!

Next month is transwales month, so I guess it'll be an easy month up to that and some recovery after it.

Lots and lots of food and some road miles

Today I headed over to meet Jumbly and drag her out on a bike as she hasn't had much chance to ride recently. I planned a ride, she asked for a flat ride between 30-40 miles, so I planned as flat as I could 40miles ride. Jumbly actually told me that it was a lot flatter than she expected and that she only said 30-40 to keep me nearer 40 instead of 50! She has rode with me too often. We headed off and only had a couple of bits of rough road and a very noisy bridge. We started to get hungry so stopped at a pub that looked and smelt nice. It was a good choice, the food was lovely, there was so so much of it. I think we could have shared one meal. But its one to remember as it serves food all day, not just between 12noon and 2pm.

After food we wandered back to Jumbly's and after I stopped talking I rode home, this was the hardest bit of the ride, a nice climb into a headwind! Hopefully Jumbly has now remembered how much fun cycling is and will want to ride with me every day!

62.19miles @ 13mph
Av HR 121bpm
1250m climbed

Wednesday, 30 July 2008

The three Towers

When I've been reading blogs of other riders based near here I often here a mention of the three towers ride. Now I've been to each of the three towers but never in one ride so I decided today would be a good day to try. I don't know if there is an 'official' route as such but my aim was just to visit each of the three towers. I also decided that since I was leaving at 11am, I wanted to be back by 6pm having covered 70km (that is about the pace the linking stage time limits are set at fo transwales. The first tower was at the top of the pike, now I probably ride up here once a week, so it wasn't very exciting, I just rode over my normal way. At this point it was raining, misty and very very windy. From there I headed past pigon tower (maybe it should be the four towers ride?) along Belmont old road and then along the cheeky path to Belmont, then it was off along the Witton Way towards Darwen Tower, via the woods at Tockholes.
This is the tower I've been to least, only three times, last time I headed straight up the path with the water bars, this time I took the longer and not as steep path to the right. This path is more of a technical challenge although it isn't as steep and an enjoyable to reach the tower, by this point I took my waterproof off but it was actually getting windier, nice! So I headed back across the moors to pick up the soon to be Bridleway across to the A666. Then it was past the strawbury duck and over the bridleway across the firing range.
After crawling up the steep climb to Peel Tower I decided to continue following the path, after a nice downhill I headed home with a bit of road and some nice singletrack near me.

44.9miles @ 8.3mph
Av HR 138bpm
1620m climbed
Total time 6hrs 5mins

Monday, 28 July 2008

Nearly back on form

Well today I managed to sleep through my alarms, waking after I was meant to leave! A quick text and I shoved some food down my throat and headed out. I tried to push hard on the way over but it was just too too hot! We decided to head over Winter Hill to Belmont, trying a new path - definetly a sumer one, would be so boggy in the winter. Down the other side then back up the cheeky path to Rivi, down to lower barn as we both needed ice-cream. At lower barn and amazing thing happened, Carlyn had two chcolate products and I had none, yes I went to a cafe on a ride and had no chocolate! Then I headed home as I had an appointment at 4:30pm.

I'm a little sunburnt where I obviously missed suncream and have a very noticeable tan line on my legs! The heat made it really hard wok today!

30.64miles @ 7.4mph
Av HR 135bpm
1172m climbed

Saturday, 26 July 2008

I know, I know,...

As lots of you will know I shouldn't be at home this weekend, so I shouldn't be blogging and I certainly shouldn't be riding over at Rivington. Anyway due to me being rubbish I ended up at home. I said to Ali I would at least get out for a short ride so at 4pm I left planning to ride for 4 hours. I was slow, I couldn't ride downhill to save my life. But I was glad I got out. I was out for 4hours 10minutes in the end.

Average Speed 7.8mph
Average HR 133bpm
1245m climbed

Thursday, 24 July 2008

It's very humid out there

Today I needed to drop Ali's bike off at cooksons for a new bottom bracket so I put my running kit on and cycled it there. It was hard work with the saddle too high and no cleats but still it is mainly downhill (or so I thought!). After chatting about Hit the North with the mens solo winner, Shaun, I headed off to run home. I wasn't sure how I'd get on but I could always walk. I took it easy on the whole and it was only near the end I started to feel my legs. Maybe next time I'll try and push a bit harder.

As it turns out there is only about 10m difference in the elveation of where I live and the shop, so both ways involve a fair amount of climbing.

Average Speed 11.9mph
Average HR 127bpm

Average Pace 11:00min/mile
Aver HR 140bpm

Wednesday, 23 July 2008

First ride after the weekend

My friend Carolyn wasn't working today so we had made plans to meet if my legs were feeling ok. I felt fine so we planned to meet at top barn at 10:30am. I planned to leave at 9am - lots of time as was expecting climbing on the singlespeed to be hard - but got out about 9:15am. I felt strong and actually took one of the longer routes over, finishing by riding down the ICR very badly - lots of dabs! I was still early so my legs must have been fine. We then headed over to Healey Nab, round and back to lower barn for milkshakes and food. Then up to the Pike - cleared the climb from the hard side again. Down and then we split, I headed home via winter hill.

Average Speed 8.7mph
Avrage HR 141bpm
1600m climbed

Tuesday, 22 July 2008

The legbreaker

Well after only 4 hours sleep I headed off to leek to ride the legbreaker. I really wanted to do the long route but after so little sleep and a lot of talking to by Mr and Mrs NBT I had decided to do the short route, only 72km with 1700m of climbing. I was later starting than I planned and hadn't really thought about clothes, I needed armewarmers with me really. I plodded round letting everyone pass me, I certainly felt like the slowest on the road. I met Jon at the first feed station, he had broken some spokes. After a chat and some food I headed on. I knew I could have worked harder but I didn't want to kill my legs!

In the end I was a little slower than last year but I did it!

Average HR 124bpm
Average Speed - very very slow

A day in Wales

Ali had to go to Wales for work yesterday and wanted company for the journey. After such a busy weekend who can blame her. So I was up early and on the road before 7am. The journey was uneventful! Well obviously there was lots of traffic, but i wasn't driving so that was fine for me! Once there I found a spot and lay my blanket out, the views were lovely and I was lucky with the weather! I spend the day reading, snoozing and watching people paddle till Ali finished.
A nice walk and some food before we headed home. A nice restful day as I was shattered from the weekend.

Sunday, 20 July 2008

Hit the North

Okay then I'm now very tired and sore but I have found some pictures of me and think its time to put my thoughts down. We arrived in plenty of time on saturday and actually managed to squeeze our car in next to the track, made it easier for Ali! After my usual faffing and finding out kate (uber-fast friend) was riding solo as well it was time for the start. First lap went well, very little queuing. All three of us arrived together. Ali was now pit bunny for the three of us so was very busy! We headed out again, it was a little muddier, but I could push my bike and get round it fine. On this lap Ollie came past me, but I was riding at a comfortable pace. Next lap seemed muddier and my brakes less effective, lap 4 basically no brakes. I also passed ollie again, we were riding very similar lap times. So I stopped, changed clothes brake pads and back out. My aim before the event was 10 laps, at this point the conditions were making that look impossible. The first section I could barely push my bike, how I would have managed the chicken run to avoid the bombhole without the marshalls helping me with my bike I have no idea!

Hit The North

Lap 5 was where I came off, on an easy section but I skidded a fair way, arm was a little sore and bike was fine so I carried on, at some point I pass. This time in ali cleaned my arm put some dressing on the worst part, back out and it was getting better again. You could tell the soloists from the amount of mud, and lack of anything else! Another lap and it seemed to be getting a bit better. I came in and Ali cleaned the bike and it was back out, 7 laps done. Lap 8 was the hardest, the first section was nearly impossible to push the bike, it was so clogged up! Back through and out, it had got worse!!! No chance of me getting round before 10pm, I could barely move my bike, getting out on tarmac it took me ten minutes to get my wheels moving! I rode this lap with the lad from ssuk who had taken his trousers off for a new frame! It was nice to just chat my way round a lap. He was also a soloist, on his 7th lap.

As you can see I was a little muddy at the end, but pleased, I had finished 3rd female soloists. I could get one of my shoes off for ages (thanks Mr NBT) and took ages to warm up. Kate finished as winning female in typical Kate fashion!!! Apparently on one lap she came in and said "I've broke my fingernail" the lads next to us didn't know what to make of her!!!

We headed straight off and got pizza, bed just before 1am, time for just over 4 hours sleep before attempting the legbreaker!!! More on that tomorrow!

I've definetly learnt a lot from this race, first I like riding a 12hour solo! I could have gone faster! But where I lost my time was the bomb hole as I didn't even attempt it, I was losing at least 10 - 15minutes a lap. So I need to work on my technical skills!!! Kate rode it every lap and said it was definetly the key!

9 lap, 75miles, 120km

Hit the North

Back, tired, 9 laps, 3rd female, lots of mud!

More to follow!

Friday, 18 July 2008

I'm scared

Okay I've been down, got my number (256) and I rode a lap of the course with Ollie. It was muddy and some bits were just scarey as I slid down them out of control. I'm not sure I'm going to enjoy 12 hours of this and I'll be walking a lot of it!

Remember to cheer for me if you see me, I have trio on my name plate!

Ollie's here!

Well ollie has arrived so I have him hard at work fixing punctures. My bike is at the shop, lifecycles to the rescue again! Hopefully I am ready for tomorrow, I'm hoping for 10 laps, but wondering if that is a bit optimistic in the rain?

Getting my bike ready

Right forks are on bike, steerer needs cutting down so they look silly but they work! New grips on, look silly but comfy! new shifters, yay I can change gear! But can't get my old pedals off to put new ones on, my pedal spanner appears to be rounding!

Wednesday, 16 July 2008

Time trialling

Wednesday night and I headed out to ride the same time trial as last week. This time there was no rain so a lot more people. There was also a nice headwind for lots of the course! But I went faster!

Time 27:55
Average HR 180bpm (wow I was working hard)

Too close to home

Things like this make hard reading, especially when it is so close to home. Ali commutes by bike most days through Bolton.

I got out on my rig yesterday

I was annoyed at myself still for not going back out in the morning so i took myself off to meet Ali at Rivington. She had been running so the car was at lower barn. Only 10miles but I was glad I did it. Only thing is I pinch flatted again on a descent, maybe I should try going tubeless??? now I know my rims are tubeless ready but I have no idea how I go about running tubeless, some research needed I think.

Tuesday, 15 July 2008

Motivation or lack of it

I have really been struggling with bothering to go out and do anything recently, although I am still managing to get out its taking all day for me to drag myself out. So today I decided I would get up and dressed and out of the house on my bike early - before 8:30am! I wouldn't end up sat on the computer reading blogs or forums. It worked well and I was on my way and the rain stopped as soon as I got out. I was at Smithills when I noticed my chain slipping while climbing, I stopped had a look and noticed that my chain was really slack. Now I had only tensioned it yesterday as I had noticed it needed doing on the ride on sunday. My multitool is not long enough so I thought I should head home. As I was cycling the EBB started moving out, so it obviously hadn't been tightened up enough (oops). Then the chain started jumping off the cog at any bit of pressure, so I had to walk home up the the hills and just ride on any downhills, I'm glad I hadn't got far! The plan once I got back was to fix it and head back out, but of course that didn't happen!

I ended up doing nothing till about 2:30pm when I decided I would head out and do the hill repeats I had been meant to do yesterday, only ruby had a flat! So I fixed that and got out at 3pm. Went over to Affetside as Belmont Hill was just too far and too long. It felt hard, which I'm hoping is due to it being humid. But although I felt slow I was actually faster than last time, so I am seeing an improvement!

Repeat 1: 4:25
Repeat 2: 4:29
Repeat 3: 4:36
Repeat 4: 4:35
Repeat 5: 4:36
Average 4:32 - Average last time (26/5) 4:51

Monday, 14 July 2008


I'm keeping it up! Went a different way which meant some steep uphill sections.

10:37 minute mile pace
110m climbed
Av HR 147bpm

Jenn finishes the Great Divide Race

Jen has finished her GD race. I've been addicted to following it, reading blogs and listening to the phone ins. I met jenn this year at SSUK when I fell off in front of her marshall point. That someone can complete this race is amazing, that someone can complete it after getting so ill is even more amazing.

Go Jenn you are an inspiration.

Sunday, 13 July 2008

A sunny day!

Today I was leading a shecycles ride at Rivington. Two of our friends from Middleton CC came out for their first off-road ride. We were also joined by treehugger off the forum, but no-one else could make it. Shame as it was a lovely day for riding, the sun came out to play and you could believe it was summer!I rode over from home, while Ali drove over, we all met at 11am and got the all important group picture! Since it was such a lovely day it would be a shame not to go up to the Pike. Janet and Steve did fantastically well, almost riding the whole way up (and we went up the hard side) without having to stop. I still find that climb hard! India and I went off the back while the others met us at the gate at the bottom. Then it was through the horse farm and halfway up commonwealth down. We split there with me and India heading up further and down the ice-cream run and the others heading across and down Chinese gardens. Then we headed to the cafe for Bacon Butties.

After that me, India and Ali headed over to Healey Nab. Somewhere between the barn and there India lost a knee and shin guard, so if anyone finds it she'd love it back! We climbed up Lead mine clough and I made it up the climb for the first time on my singlespeed. (Just peel tower to make now!) Picture is me getting to the top, it really doesn't show how hard it is!
Then round the woods, in fact we went round twice so Ali could get some pictures and India could have another go at the drops, actually we climbed back up them to ride them a few times.

Then it was back to the barn for ice-cream. The other two headed home in their cars and I rode back home.

Average Speed 8.0mph
1400m climbed

More pics here

Friday, 11 July 2008

I tried baking!

I was so tired this morning that after Ali had gone to work I ended up back in bed and fast asleep! Only waking up at lunchtime when Ali phoned me! I did think about heading out on my bike but I still felt exhausted so I watched the tour and then headed over to tesco to get the ingredients for making Chocolate Muffins. I don't think I've done any baking since I was at school. But it didn't take long and here they are. They look a little wonky but hopefully they'l taste perfect!

Wednesday, 9 July 2008

First Time Trial

Tonight I rode my first time trial, a 10 mile one. My time was 28:27 I was pleased to get under 30 minutes!

The graph shows my heart rate.


Tuesday, 8 July 2008

Drying out

Headed out this morning thinking I wanted to do about 50km (30miles). So I headed over towards Rivington where I went down Jon's 200yards and then started climbing up the commonwealth down. I'm daydreaming as I'm climbing (which will mean I was probably going very slowly) when this voice pipes up from behind me, its Amy isn't it? A quick glance at the bike and I realise it's matt, another local blogger. We continued climbing together and at the top we split. I headed up the pike and then down the ICR. Having a look on my way I wondered if the alternative ICR starts at the gate just after pigeon tower. If so is it as steep as it looks??? I guess there is one way to find out - walk down it ;).

After that it was back up through Chinese Gardens and along Belmont Old Road. I then headed out over the Darwen Moors towards the A666. Just at the end I met this lot!I had fun getting through them as they were not planning on moving, there was a nice mix of cows, bulls and calves. I was glad to get to the other side of a fence. After that I headed past the Strawbury Duck and then on to Ramsbottom, crossing the stream from the other night.
It was back to normal levels so you could just ride across it. After Ramsbottom I just headed home. I was out of the house for 4.5hours in total.

55.6 km @ 14.3 km/h
34.6miles @ 8.9mph
1200m climbed
Average HR 139bpm

Monday, 7 July 2008

Crazy out there!

Plan was to do hill repeats this morning but with the rain bouncing down I decided a short singlespeed ride. The rain was bouncing down, the trails were rivers but I'm glad I got out

13.54miles (21.8 km)
10.1mph (16.3 km/h)
400m climbed

p.s. I have a new poll on my blog so please visit the site to vote.

Track Championships

On saturday evening Middleton CC had their track championships, some of you may remember I rode in the last ones. This time just Ali was riding and I was there to cheer and take somw Photos. The cheering I was good at, most of the photos have turned out to be pretty rubbish! I am out of practise as I never use the camera anymore. I did manage to get a nice picture of Ali leading everyone in practice though.

Ali rode really well, in the 200m sprint she was 2nd. But in all the other events the 1k and the 2k she beat everyone including all the lads.

She is now thinking it might be time to get a bit more into this track riding, so the plan is to go to the taster and skills session they run on friday evenings, if this makes her even faster I'll never manage to get pictures of her!

Sunday, 6 July 2008

Riding in the rain

After a day of lazing round on the sofa and catching up with the tennis and the first day of the tour de france. After the rain seemed to stop I got changed and Ali decided she would join me. After getting everything ready and the bikes out, the heavens opened. The rain was bouncing back up at least half a metre.

At this point I must apologise to Ali for ever calling her a fairweather rider as I was expecting her to bail but she was still up for a ride. We headed to the Strawbury Duck and by the time we were halfway there the sun had come out, not before we had rode down a few rivers though! We passed the Duck and headed over towards Ramsbottom, climbing up to the bridleway across the firing range. Just as we entered the bridleway we came across a very steamy car, not so steamy we couldn't see the two naked bodies in it! We continued round past a nice bull (they are becoming a regular feature on my rides!) to what is normally a small stream about an inch deep. Today it was a little different.

It was a lot wider and a lot deeper and seemed to be flowing very fast. We made the decision to turn round and come back the way we came. Yes, back past the Bull and the steamed up car!!!


Average Speed 8.5mph

Average HR 119bpm

510m climbed

Saturday, 5 July 2008

Riding across the Peaks

A few of my friends had planned an off-road ride from New Mills to Sheffield for yesterday. I really wanted to go but the logistics just didn't seem to work. Fortunately in the morning a solution was found so I could join them. Ali dropping me off at Ros's at 9:30am we set off a little after 10am and Gavin was flapping about what outfit to wear! When we set off it was raining heavily and there was a little apprehension about why we were doing a ride like this on such a wet miserable day. But it wasn't that long before the rain stopped and jackets were taken off.

The route took us over Jacobs ladder, down the Beast and down plantation. The downhills were so technical I was reduced to walking at times, while my friends flew down them. I need to get my head round technical rocky riding!
Lunch stop was at jacobs, the railway cafe has completely changed. With friendly staff, it seems twice as big and fantastic food. Well worth dropping into now!
We caught the train back from Dore and I made the velodrome in time to have a shower before Ali started racing (more about that in another post).

Average Speed 8.3mph
Average HR 152bpm
1200m climbed

Friday, 4 July 2008

A lovely evening for a quick ride

I nipped over to life-cycles this evening to have a quick chat about a new bottom bracket and new wheels for the trek, trans-wales is getting scarily close so my bike needs to be sorted. I then nipped over to Ali's work to see if she fancied riding the long way home. Since her commuting bike has a fork that is dying and brakes that only just slow her down I was informed no Belmont descent and not too long a ride. We headed over to Bamber Bridge and then up to Scout Road and then down the way I noramally climb up. Some nice bits of singletrack and Ali got a picture of me riding down a steep track that we pass on the way up saying, wow that looks steep. It was fine riding down it. A really nice way to end the day.

11.74 miles

Average Speed 10.1mph

Average HR 122bpm

270m climbed

Oh and I've passed 4000miles for the year, go me!

Thursday, 3 July 2008

Riding to the windmills

Well today I headed out to meet up with Sol off shecycles. We had decided to meet at Holcombe Tower so I headed over via the strawbury duck. On my way over the bridleway on the firing range, I came across a very scary looking bull. It seemed quite happy to eat a bit of grass, while standing in the middle of the path, turning round every so often to glare at me and show me just how big his horns were! In the end I got off my bike and holding it between me and the bull tip-toed past, if there hadn't been a vertical slope next to the path I would have been up that!!!

I got to the tower a little early which was perfect as I had time to eat some sandwiches then we headed off towards the windmills that I've always been able to see but had no idea how to ride to them. We did a nice loop which included climbing up the rake. On that road a lovely woman obviously didn't like the fact I was on the road as she revved her engine behind me, I was very impressed (???) that she beat two girls up the hill!!! Well she seemed to be pleased. On the climb up to the windmills Sol mentioned how lucky we were with the weather, the kiss of death! On the way down it didn't just rain it was torrential!!! It was a great ride and Sol is like a mountain goat up hills, I'll have to work harder to try and stay in touch on our next ride. She for some reason thinks I'm fast downhill, but I did like being told I float downhill!!!

When we were back at Homcomble Tower the rain had cleared, you can just see the windmills behind Sol - they look a long way away!!!
Then I headed home the way I'd came, the rain just about held off!!!
I rode 14miles with Sol and my stats for the day were:
Average Speed 8.6mph
Average HR 137bpm
1230m climbed

Tuesday, 1 July 2008

Southport with Jumbly

I headed over to Jumbly's this morning to ride to Southport, it feels like ages since we rode together (probably something I've done) so it was good to get out again. For various reasons she hasn't been on her bike so much recently so we had decided on a nice long ride out to Soutport. I turned up to find we were both dressed in fat cyclists jerseys, we did get a few comments along the way. The ride was pretty normal out to Southport, a bit too much traffic around and very hot!!! Once there we found a chippy for our healthy lunch. Then it was down to the sea wall for ice-creams - which melted so fast in the heat - and a little sunbath before starting to head back towards Bolton.

We'd only just started out when we realised that Vikki had lost one of her cleat bolts, so we tighten the other one up tight and Vikki decided just to not unclip with that foot - it seemed to work, as we got back fine.

A great day and a good opportunity to top up my cyclists tan. I was tired as the way back from Vikki's felt tough.

84.39 miles
Average Speed 13.4mph
Average HR 125bpm
870m climbed

Oh and I apparently burnt 3200 calories

June Mileage

Running 7.28 miles
Road Cycling 531 miles
Off-road cycling 202 miles (123 miles singlespeed)
Total Cycling 733 miles
So good things about this month are that I started running again, ok I only went twice (once was yesterday) but its a good start. I also got out on my singlespeed again.
Plans for July include Hit the North and the legbreaker, so that will probably involve a recovery week after those two. I'm going to try and get some long off-road rides in as well.