Monday, 31 January 2011

Missed a week but back running again

I didn't run last week, I'd plan to run on saturday morning but I was so tired after being on taxi duty for Ali on friday night so I didn't set an alarm or go running when I did get up. I didn't feel too bad as I obviously needed the rest and dragging myself out for the hour on my bike was hard enough.

So today when riding home I told myself that it was in the house, change and out running. No heart rate monitor as I was too lazy to find the strap. I set off down my road and decided on my slightly longer circuit, couldn't remember how long it was though. By the time I was heading uphill I realised I hadn't looked at the Garmin once, so decided not to till I got home. I usually find this impossible, but I managed. Home and the watch said 5.6km in 33mins. Nicely under 10min/miles and the fastest i've ran in ages. Determined to keep it up, I know i've no chance of running with my friends who run, but it'll be nice to keep the legs ticking over.
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Sunday, 30 January 2011

30in30 - Done

So today was the last ride and it was off-road to my folks via the trails at Prestwich, I even rode the berms twice. Managed to get a little confused in Heaton Park and come out the wrong side, but it was so busy in the park I just rode round on the road instead of heading back in to find the right exit.

Roast dinner at my folks followed by present opening and birthday cake. My Dad added mine and Ali's ages together for the birthday cake, at least i'm hoping he doesn't think I'm 61!

So the 30in30 is finished which I'm glad about. Very happy I manage to complete, it was a hard challenge. It sounds easy, 30hours in 30days but its not that simple. Riding 30hours is fine. But riding for an hour on a saturday after a hard week of commuting on tired legs is not. Those were the rides I struggled with, there was no real reason to ride so I was literally just doing the hour. But hopefully that'll give me some mental strength. Legs do need a rest day, but it won't be tomorrow as I'm working. I may try it again at some point in the future and it was definetly a good way to kick start the year. January has been an amazing month for riding.
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Saturday, 29 January 2011


Another day and another plan just to get hour, only off-road this time. After a morning working, an afternoon helping Ali with some DIY I went to change in bike kit. I was suprised when Ali followed me to get changed. So we headed out through Jumbles. She insisted we did the hour and just the hour. It was a fantastic evening and the ground was mainly frozen but with very little ice, perfect.

Just one day to go.
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Friday, 28 January 2011

27/30 & 28/30

Yesterday I was working in Warrington so getting the hour done was easy. Both legs of the commute were over an hour, the way home being nearly two due to tired legs. Ali then cooked my birthday meal and we shared some bubbles.

Today I was working 4.5miles away from my house, no way was that going to take an hour. I did think about leaving early and doing my hour, but things like that never happen. So leaving the school I made the choice to turn right, left being the direction to my house. Home via Whitefield and Bury got me my how. But even with the sun shinning it felt like I was forcing myself to ride for no reason. I suppose the roads of greater manchester between 4pm and 5pm are never going to be the most fun you can have on a bike.

Just two days left, seems doable.
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Wednesday, 26 January 2011


It was my birthday today and Ali had got me 32 presents. Which meant lots of fun unwrapping. My goodies included a pink bike horn so watch out people. I think it is going on kiwi. There was also lots of chocolate bits, the chocolate muffins have been eaten already!

After work I had a hospital appointment, unfortunately I had a headwind the whole way there. This meant that although I should have had lots of time I was getting worried I would be late, it was fine though. Appointment went well and I'm having my tonsils out so hopefully that should stop me getting ill as much.

Home and there was time for pizza and for me to sort out the rear wheel puncture I had discovered on Rigger before heading up the road to meet the girls for a nightride. There was just four of us but it was a fantastic night for riding. Up to Pigeon Tower and down the ice-cream run, which I cleared for the first time in ages. This gave me confidence and I flew down off the back of the Pike and then Winter Hill. Halfway down my light was being odd, flashing for some reason. I stopped turned it on and off and it was fine, no idea what that was all about. Back to the pub for a quick drink and crisps before rolling home.

I'm a little tired now after two late, for me, nights.


Nightriding with Chris last night. From the shop we headed over to the berms at Prestwich before winding our way towards Bolton. I really wasn't feeling like riding, in fact I felt like going home, curling up in a ball and crying. I wasn't even chatting. Somewhere on the way up Winter Hill I started to enjoy it more and the Belmont descent made us smile. Then Chris took me to the pub for a birthday pint, or three ;-)

33miles in total.
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Tuesday, 25 January 2011

24/30 - Errands

After Sunday I just wanted an easy spin for my legs. Ali needed cakes brought to work so I went to buy them and brought them in, then I headed into town to get some keys cut. Followed by riding the long way home to get my hour. Easy miles and probably good for my legs.
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Monday, 24 January 2011

23/30 - A mere (muddy) one hundred

This year I plan to ride a few Audax events. I loved the Poynton Plains 300 last year and would like to build up to a 600km event. So since Ali was away this weekend I entered my first Audax of the year, orginally I was thinking of the 200km event but since I was going to have to ride there and back I went for the 155km option.

I was out the door at about 6:45am ( a little later than planned) and with my old Garmin as my new one decided to die when I loaded up the course. There must have been an issue with the course as by Radcliffe it had disappeared and was telling me I was off-course. I had a good idea of how to get to the start though and my cue sheets on my bike for the actual Audax ride. On my way through Didsbury I met another cyclists heading to the same place and he knew exactly where the village hall we were starting at was in Cheadle so I followed him. I arrived at 8:15am which gave me time to eat some of the biscuits before the off. Rich arrived just before the start with his friends Lisa and Gus and we set off just behind the group, catching them up a few minutes down the road. We rode as a group for a while, although it got a little split on the first hill. I stayed with the front group till about five miles from the first checkpoint where me and two others got a little distanced. It was at this point I realised that we weren't still a big group together. Just as I was thinking of setting off again Rich, Lisa and Gus rolled in and persuaded me to go to the cafe. I wasn't sure as my legs were sore (they were sore when I left the house after 190miles already in the week) but I really didn't take much persuading. I had a huge pile of chips while Rich choose the huge cooked breakfast!

Leaving here we stuck together as a group of four, some confusion about an information point but otherwise navigation was good. We carried on to Audlem for another cafe stop. Here I had Chocolate Cake. My garmin was also telling me that the battery was low so I was hoping it would last till Cheadle, I am too much of a geek to cope with it dying and not recording the ride, from Cheadle to Home I could cope with (just). In this section we had gone along some really muddy lanes, Gus and Rich on cross tyres were flying while I was mincing my way down as my mudguards got clogged and I tried to avoid the huge potholes in the road.

After leaving Audlem I went through a bad patch, my head hurt and I was beginning to think I had been a bit too ambitious. In fact all I wanted to do was lie down and have a nap. This lasted for about 20miles, but 100miles into my ride and an energy gel later I started to feel better. Not sure if it was not enough food or liquid or something like that. Two more information points and then we were on our way back, at about 5km to go I felt really good and powered back to the finish. Here we were fed tomato soup with bread rolls and lots and lots of biscuits. I made sure I filled up before leaving.

Lights on as it was now dark and I retraced my route from the morning. Not so pleasant now with all the traffic! My garmin lasted till I got onto Deansgate, which I know is 20km from my house. So I checked the time and head down pushed all the way home, 50minutes later I was at my front door and feeling good, although very tired. I arrived home exactly 12hours after I left! The two cafe stops and time at the start and finish of the ride added up to 2hours so it was 10hours on a bike. Pleased with that for this time of the year.

So time to plan my next audax ride.

Saturday, 22 January 2011

22/30 - Nothing exciting

Working in the morning, there were loads of little ones learning to ride so it was quite good fun. Especially the smiles when they got it, only one cried and asked for his stabilisers back on, dad was sensible and said no though.

After that I rode down to Cookson Cycles to put mudguards on Ruby ready for an audax tomorrow. The boys seemed to like playing with my cones. The mudguards were a little fiddly and in the end we left off the chainset protector bit, getting it not to rub being an issue. Still they're a lot better than no mudguards, especially if someone ends up behind me on a wet road.

While there Chris got pizza, I helped him eat it of course.

Home and my garmin decided to crash, still not got it working. But everything else, I think, is ready for the morning. My planned early night hasn't happened, but there's not much work on next week so I can recover then.
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Friday, 21 January 2011

21/30 - A long commute

Once again I was off to Halton for a friday of working. The morning was the same route as the week before, although I felt a bit stronger than last week. The sky was full of lovely pink hues but my camera batteries decided to die.

A day of teaching cycling and then I headed home. I had plotted a slightly longer route with less dual carriageways and it was worth the extra miles for the country lanes.The sky was once again amazing.

57miles in total.
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Thursday, 20 January 2011

20/30 - Freezing Fog

Left a little late for work and it wasn't long till I realised that it was the wrong day due to freezing fog, there was very little visability and I was very glad of my exposure rear light as it did seem to ensure that traffic could see me. Traffic was pretty horrible which also slowed me down but I must have been lucky as I didn't notice any ice.

Once at the school it was clear that there was no chance of taking any children out that morning, it was icy and foggy. So indoor sessions and at lunch we re-assessed, it'd improved slightly but was freezing. We took small groups out for half an hour at a time and I was glad of my down jacket, not the usual biking wear.

Once I got home I headed out for this weeks run, only 30minutes but done.
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Wednesday, 19 January 2011

19/30 - Just the commute

Today's hour was just my commute on the way home, the way in took me just under an hour but its hillier on the way home! The morning was once again frosty and misty but on the way home it was sunny and bright. In fact its the second commute this year I've not needed lights. The only bit of excitement was a car driving the wrong way up a bus lane directly at me. I had thought it must be parked and so was looking to move out when I realised it was moving, as did the car alongside me in the other lane. We both stopped and the car driving the wrong way carried on between us. Crazy!

Tuesday, 18 January 2011

18/30 - how was he not tired

Chris raced Strathpuffer at the weekend with Shaun in a pair (they won the event in convincing style!) So I was hopeful that I would be able to keep up or maybe even make Chris work a bit. But no, he is obviously super human and was flying up the hills, while my legs were heavy and slow.

We stopped for a pint at the Duck and my legs really struggled to get going on the way home.

Just over three hours riding time and 30miles.
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Monday, 17 January 2011


Commuting today, i've got full-time for work the next few weeks, which is great but also means that I'll be getting in the road miles. Todays school took me an hour to get there and just over an hour to get home, perfect.

Tomorrow will be more commuting.
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Sunday, 16 January 2011

16/30 - Wet and Muddy

Legs were sore when I woke up this morning near my knees so I decided to be sensible and drive to my planned ride instead of riding over. I was meeting Ros and Marie at Rivington for 9am so it gave me time to sit pressing refresh on the strathuffer results. (Well done to Chris and Shaun from Cooksons for winning the pairs) Meeting up it was cold, wet and windy so we decided to head over to the nab. Over via Lead Mines Clough before riding the muddy and draggy trails.

I has to be said that compared to what the nab used to be like in the winter it is very rideable. Halfway round there is a rocky bit that always has me stopping, I was determined to ride it and after watching me Ros flew down it.

Back over to rivington and we all headed home. 10miles, a new riding pal and an old riding pal back on her bike after having babies. Fab day.

Saturday, 15 January 2011

15/30 - Do I have to?

Serious lack of motivation today. I knew I should go out and do my hour but I kept putting off. Eventually Ali told me to get out and head to the shops for some wine so we could have an early birthday meal. She even agreed to come with me. So 6miles there, 6miles back plus a little loop to get to the hour.

Now time for bubbles and food.
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Friday, 14 January 2011

14/30 - Uber commute

This morning I set off at 6:30am to commute to Halton. I haven't had any work for ages so even though it was so far away I wasn't going to say no. As it turns out I was really lucky and it was relatively warm and I only had one very brief shower on the way over, the way home was clear. The route was fine although mainly following main roads, although I tweaked it a little on the way home. On fact the only issue was Halton is hilly and by hilly I mean short sharp stabby climbs I can barely get the fixie up. In fact on the way back I had to stop on one climb, a couple of walkers told me that they'd never seen another cyclist get so far - it would have been fine with gears, hard but fine.

Just over 2 hours and just over 27 miles.

Of course I then had to get home so that was another 27miles!

Thursday, 13 January 2011


Another fantastic day, even if the weather decided to be horrid. I've got work starting from tomorrow so had to make the most of my last day of freedom! So a little later than planned (due to an interesting programme on random numbers on radio4) I headed over to Jumbly's and even with the torrential rain that started just as I left the house I only arrived 5minutes after the time I was meant to be there.

We headed out over to Rivington on Cross Bikes, seeking something flattish which is a little hard round there. We didn't do too bad but eventually had to head up onto Georges Lane. Here we could barely see each other through the drizzle (yes that nice type that gets you completely soaked) no matter than anything else.

Down through chinese gardens which was interesting. I think my brakes were doing something but it was mainly a case of holding on for dear life. My arms and legs were very sore by the bottom

Obviously after that we had to head to Chapel Tea Rooms for huge chip butty's. I then rode back to Vikki's before turning round and heading back to Rivington.

Over to see Ros and the boys, hope they don't grow too much in the next couple of weeks while I am busy working. We went for a short walk as the sky had cleared before chocolate cake for us and bathtime for the twins.

Wednesday, 12 January 2011


Lots of riding today. Got my hour going to meet mum for lunch. Then nipped to the shop before heading into Bolton for some errands. While there i sorted my garmiin problem, broken strap. Useful since i'll need it for navigation on friday.
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11/30 - Pizza counts?

Busy day today, first I headed off to Cookson Cycles to get my new wheels for kiwi. The rims on the old ones being at the dangerous stage. While there I noticed that the inner tube was bulging out a hole in one of the tyres, so it was new puncture proof tyres, and new brake pads and cables. Bike is all ready for me to commute on friday now. Chris had me working on my own bike while he made brews and got me chocolate cake. This all took longer than expected, so then it was back home and get some more of the to do list done before heading back out on the mountain bike.

Chris is racing Strathpuffer at the weekend so he suggested a flat, easy ride. So we headed round the trails at Prestwich a couple of times before heading out to Bolton, a quick loop round the golf course and back to mine (this did give me 22miles). Then it was an evening of pizza, beer and playing on the wii with Ali and Chris. Both of whom kept beating me, I'll have to get some sneaky practice.

Monday, 10 January 2011


Jenn came over for a short cyclocross ride today, 1hr30mins. Out towards Entwistle and back. It was mainly muddy but once in a while there was some ice hidden in a puddle to keep you on your toes. I did my usual talking constantly unless it was going uphill when Jenn danced off.

I realised how long it had been since I had ridden my cross bike, in fact I was wondering if I could justify keeping it. But then the ride reminded me that cross bikes are in fact fun and you don't have to race them.

Back and lunch before heading over to go for a walk with Ros and the boys and eat cake.

Out before breakfast

Woke up before my alarm so decided to head out for this weeks run. I had scheduled 25mins so I had an idea of a road loop that would probably take me that long at my current speed (slow). Set out and realised it was raining, still a showerproof would do for such a short run. Was feeling good but realised the pavements were suprisingly slippy as it wasn't that cold so had to ensure I was careful. Turned uphill after 10minutes and then it got harder but I kept plodding away and I was enjoying it, wasn't even looking at my watch. Back at the house, pressed stop. 25minutes exactly.

Sunday, 9 January 2011

9/30- Hill Repeats

I got changed to head out and ride for an hour and Ali asked what I was planning on doing. I explained that I should be doing hill repeats as they were on my plan but I was going to just go and ride my mountain bike for an hour. As it turned out Ali decided she was going to join me for Hill Repeats, so I had no choice! We headed out to Affetside and I was planning on four reps as it is ages since I have done any hill reps and I've been doing a lot of riding in the new year. Ali said she might do two and I told  her to aim for three, but she could stop at two. It was a nice pedal out before the reps, which hurt a lot! All of them were under 5minutes, which I was happy with, but back in 2008 I was down near 4'30" and I was doing five reps, so plenty of work to do.
Aim is to head out at least once a fortnight and do hill reps, I plan on sticking to the hill at Affetside so I can hopefully see if there is some improvement. But I have a lot of work coming up which may make it difficult, as work means lots of commuting miles.

Saturday, 8 January 2011


An early one today which is always a challenge for me but I'd offered to lend Kate a light for puffer and since Jumbly is running with her today I headed over to drop the light off with her before she left for the peaks, where they are doing something silly like running up hills in the wind and the rain. It was very windy on my way over and a bit drizzly but I was enjoying being out there. Back home again just as it was getting light with 1hour35mins on my garmin. Then to add to the smug feeling I did a core workout, always on my mind to do but something I never get round to, and then stretched. Brilliant start to the day!

Friday, 7 January 2011

7/30 - snow and slush

Chris got up early this morning and fancied a ride, so since I was heading over to see Ros in the afternoon he came and collected me and we headed up Winter Hill via lots of my local trails.

On the whole it was really rideable but once in a while there was some ice hidden under the snow. At the top of the Belmont descent we met a walker who warned of us ice so I really minced my way down.

At Belmont we split with Chris heading over Darwen Moor to get an uber long ride in and me heading back up Belmont Road to Rivington.

Onto Belmont Old Road which was an interesting mixture of snow, ice and slush.

An afternoon walk with Ros and her boys and after a couple of hot chocolates I headed home, falling on the ice just metres from her house. Now the riding was mainly slush and it was raining.

Great day and another 3hours on the bike.

Thursday, 6 January 2011


Easy ride, to Cookson Cycles and home. Tick done.
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Wednesday, 5 January 2011


Today was the first day i really couldn't be bothered. This is why i knew this challenge would be hard, although i ride a lot i often suffer from can't be botheredness and if i don't have to go out i don't. This meant that i let the whole day go by before heading out. So instead of daylight ride i was out in the dark. I only managed to drag myself out as i needed to go to the shop, this is just over a mile from my house so i had to go the long way. As my legs were sore i wanted tto avoid any major hills so i rode to horwich then back via asda, not very exciting but it took me over an hour so i'm still on target!
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Tuesday, 4 January 2011


Ali said that it was fine for me to ride with Chris tonight so I headed down to Cookson Cycles to meet him and Shaun at 5:30pm. They took a while to get ready but we on our way before 6pm and heading to Scout Moor. I had told Chris that I didn't want to long a ride so I might bail out somewhere early, but he told me not to be rubbish. We headed over to Scout Moor via a variety of trails and back roads, I only knew where I was when we crossed a major road the odd time. Up Coal Road where the boys zoomed up and I plodded up, turns out my legs were tired from all the riding the previous few days. Then there was a section where I pretended I didn't know how to ride before we skidded down the ice to Ramsbottom to drop Shaun off, then home to Bolton for me.

Just under 30miles in just under 3 hours, I think day five is going to be hard.

Running in 2011

So last year I had a target of 180miles and managed 63! I basically stopped running in June and that was it. In 2009 I ran 171miles so it had seemed a reasonable target. Running is something that I enjoy once I'm out there but something I am not particularly good at. It also does give me a fitness boost and I like the fact you can do it anywhere, with limited equipment and get a good workout in a short period of time. So I decided on a target of 120miles for 2011, which is 10miles a month or a 30minute run a week. This is what I would like to be doing so seems a sensible target.

Today we woke up to snow so I decided that my first run of the year would be in the snow, plan was for 20minutes easy. I took it nice and easy and certainly didn't set any speed records, but with the rough surface I was being sensible. I got back with 25minutes on the clock and feeling great.

Monday, 3 January 2011

3/30 - Hit the North Preview

This morning I headed over to prestwich for the Hit the North preview ride (get yourself entered). I was a little late, couldn't resist the berms but that was fine as I wasn't the only one. A lap of the course and we all headed for the local costa coffee, not sure they are used to muddy mountain bikers, still the hot chocolate and cake was appreciated.

Then six of us headed off for another loop and this time I rode the downhill I had wimped out on earlier.
After this we spent ages making plans for food before heading to the Strawbury Duck, Greg and Pauline in the van and Chris and I rode (Damian joined us as far as Bolton). Getting there and it was packed, no tables and no food orders for at least half an hour so we headed down to the Rose and Crown in Edgeworth, where the food was fantastic!

After this Ali let me ride home via holcombe moor with Chris, which hurt! But it was great fun.

47miles in total, 3 days complete only 27 to go!

Pictures thanks to Chris as my camera batteries had died!

Sunday, 2 January 2011


So day two of 30in30 and I collected Chris a bit after 10:30am to ride over to the Todmorden Cyclocross. We went via Blackstone edge, where I watched Chris fly up the climb and I did my best not to die as my heart rate hovered round 180bpm. (I also stood on the scales this morning and it was bad news so that won't have helped.) Down Cragg vale and I was freezing and stayed that way till Greg gave me his down jacket while he was racing.

Leaving to head home there were three fast boys and me, I let them fly up the climb and Jase passed me and shouted some encouragement in the car. Chris was at the top waiting for me and we caught TwinklyDave and Phil on the way down to Bacup (apparently Dave's rear light kept making a bid for freedom and he had to stop to find it). From bacup, it was Rawtenstall, Ramsbottom and home. 54miles and sore legs, as well as being tired. Still only way to get fit.

There was loads of folks off twitter there as well and it was great to chat to folks.

Saturday, 1 January 2011

30in30 to start 2011

A conversation on twitter last night led to me deciding to attempt a 30in30 during January, that is ride for at least an hour a day for 30days in a row. I attempted this once before but failed. So this time i am determined.

So the 1st of january and we were off dinner with my folks so i decided to ride there. I also decided that it would be more fun to ride off road. I was barely on my way when i noticed my rear tyre felt a bit soft, i put some air in and crossed my fingers. But no it was a puuncture so i had to stop and put a new tube in. Pushing on i was making myself work and was soon on the new trails at Prestwich, a couple of descents of the berms and then it was a race to get to my folks for 6pm. I arrived on the dot.

So 1.5hrs and 14miles done.
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