Monday, 31 March 2008

I was a little hasty

Got my geared bike fixed today - all it needed was a new rear cable so I was being very lazy. Anyway headed out on what is become a firm favorite of a loop, over to the pike and back. It felt odd being on my trek again and it took a while to get used to changing gears. I realised that I last rode this bike in February.

Lovely weather and my first ride without my winter boots on.

18.39miles Average Speed 10mph Average HR 137bpm

Yes that is my fastest ever average! With 100miles in my legs I was impressed. Maybe I will manage transwales!

March Mileage

Road: 515.45miles (71%)
Mtb: 205.78miles (29%)
Total Cycling: 721.24miles

So I just did more mileage in March than February (630.38miles) but more of it was on road this month. I wonder if I can get to 800miles in April?

Sunday, 30 March 2008

The Cheshire Cat

Me, Pete and Anna at the start

Well today was the Cheshire Cat Sportive, so I tried to get an early night since the clocks went forward but being so nervous meant I didn't sleep for ages. But I was up bright and early in the morning and we were there by eight after collecting Anna. I was number 59 so after lots of faffing around we got lined up at the start and headed off. Pete was riding slightly faster than I probably would have but I stuck with him. After the 2nd feed station we managed to miss a sign (there were big stretches without signs and no marshelling to speak of) so we added an extra 6miles to our route. After about 50miles it reversed and I was stronger than Pete. But in the end it worked well and I was pleased with my average speed. I also got my medal for getting up mow cop without stopping :) So there it is my first 100mile ride.

104.44miles Average Speed 14.7mph Average HR 159bpm

Friday, 28 March 2008

World Track Championships

Today I met Ros to watch the track Championships. Lots of great racing and medals.

People say I'm mad having a mini

See any car can carry a bike!

Thursday, 27 March 2008

Evening ride

Headed out this evening at 5:20pm as the weather looked nice and decided to try and ride fast. I headed over to Asda and then up over the side of Winter Hill, down Matchmore Lane, Along Georges Lane and up the Pike. Then back along Belmont Old Road, across to the A666, down to Belmont and home along the singletrack. I definetly felt I was trying, except on the few bits of downhill on road where I just span out.

18.59miles Av Speed 9.7mph Av HR 159bpm Max HR 189bpm 574m of climbing

My bikes

Well someone has asked me about the different types of biking. I don't think I would do that subject justice so I'm going to tell you about my four bikes instead.

This is my winter roadie, I bought it in summer 2006 as I had decided I wanted to start commuting to work. In 2006/07 I commuted between Bolton and Blackburn about 3 times a week on it. Then Jon persuaded me to enter the legbreaker and I discovered that road riding could be fun in it's own right.

This bike is a full on road bike, with narrow tyres (23mm) it is completely set up for winter riding with full length mudguards, reflective tape and lots of rear lights. The only changes so far are new cables, the pink bar tape and the pink bottle cages.

This is me at the Penrith Merida on my trek fuel. I bought this bike in November 2006 after going on my first shecycles ride. On that ride I realised that I needed a better bike than my old rockhopper, I needed to get fit and my technical ability left a lot to be desired.

This bike is a standard mountain bike with 100mm of travel front and rear, a lot of people think this is not a lot of travel but for the direction my riding is going it is just the right amount for me. So far I have had to change the drive chain and get a new rear shock.

This year I've entered quite a few road events so I decided it was time to treat myself to a better road bike which also fitted me better. So my specialized was purchased. This is a carbon roadie which hopefully will make me fly round the events.

The last bike in my collection is my Gary Fisher Rig. This bike is very different. It is a mountain bike but apart from that it is completely different to my other bike. To start with it has 29inch wheels (as oppose to 26inch on a standard mountain bike) and it is a single speed (meaning I only have one gear). I blame Vikki for this one, I'd been wanting a singlespeed for ages but she showed me this bike.
The only changes I've made to this bikes are to put some lovely pink Hope mini motos on instead of the mechanical disc brakes it came with.

So there we have it my stable of bikes, I've been told no more for two years now, so it'll be two years of fixing up the bikes and hopefully improving them.


What is a good speed on a bike?
I know from reading cyclechat that I'm quite slow on my road bike, but what about off-road. I'm faster than I was a year ago but I'm still slower than most people I know. What is a good speed to be riding at off-road?

Wednesday, 26 March 2008

NWMTB ride

Well tonight I was leading the NWMTB ladies ride. I rode with this group all last winter and I've missed the rides with no driving, so it was great that they came over my way. There were a few faces I hadn't seen before but since I hadn't been out with them since last year that's not a suprise. In total there were 9 of us, 6 ladies and 3 pretend ladies ;)

I rode over to the meeting point in Belmont and noticed my legs were still sore but not too too bad, shoulder seemed fine - good job as otherwise it'd have killed me on the singlespeed. Everyone else arrived at about the same time, with Laura telling me to hurry up as she passed me on the way. Everyone else was on these machines with gears and looked super fit, I guessed I would be leading the ride from the back.

We headed up the Belmont road, over Belmont road and I decided we should do the ICR, I cleared it - only the 2nd time ever and the first time on the hardtail. Then up Chinese Gardens, cutting along to the Commonwealth Downhill and up the 2nd part of that, round the pike, where I came down a different way and lost everyone. Opps! Then up to winter hill, via Matchmore lane, round the mast since the barriers were down and there was a little man there, down the Belmont descent and then to the pub.

After a pint I cycled home, over to the A66, Bromley Cross and singletrack home.

Great ride!

22.92miles (12.14 with the group)

Average Speed 8.9mph (7.5 with the group)

Average HR 159bpm

Tuesday, 25 March 2008

Back home

Well after a long weekend with over 100 flat miles I can definetly say flat riding isn't easy. I missed the hills, there is no excuse for going slow when you can see how flat the road is ahead of you, even a little slope begins to feel like a hill and there is no chance to freewheel. The effects of the wind can also make the easiest looking road slow you down to under 10mph. But I'll definetly be bringing my roadie next time I go, in fact I think the perfect bike would have been a cross bike as all the bridleways I passed looked quite flat and went down the sides of fields.

Back to my own bed and I had one of the worst nights sleep I've had in ages, kept waking up scred stiff and somehow seem to have hurt my shoulder in the night. Going to ice it and rest this morning before deciding which bike to take out later, or maybe even have a rest day.

At the moment I'm really worrying about the Cheshire Cat the 50miles yesterday nearly killed me and I'm going to attempt to ride 97.5miles??? I'm thinking I should have done more training now!

Monday, 24 March 2008

Pink houses

Lovely ride today. Saw lots of pink houses. Had a few snow showers and lots of wind. 50.8miles Av speed 14.9mph av hr 147bpm

Sunday, 23 March 2008

GPS is great.

Headed out at 3pm when most of the snow had melted. Followed roads to see where they took me. Then on the way back I just made sure I was heading back towards the start of my trail. 40.17miles Av speed 15.1mph Av hr 148bpm

Snow, snow, snow

We woke up this morning to a white Easter. Straight after breakfast Ali dragged me out for snowman making. Followed by snowcat making.

Friday, 21 March 2008

Cambridge riding

Down visiting ali's mum in cambridge. Nipped out 4 a quick ride. 20.15miles av speed 15.8mph av hr 157bpm 1st 10miles in 31:41

Thursday, 20 March 2008

Horizontal Rain

Well even though the weather didn't look inviting I headed out in full winter gear at 4:15pm, it took me 15minutes to cycle the first mile so I was beginning to think I would be late. I headed over to rivington, I got the hang of pointing my bike across the track to go uphill and the fact that I was better on my bike as I didn't move at all when I tried to walk. Dropped down the mast road and found loads of burger vans on Georges Road, down Chinese gardens where I met Vikki. She had had some mechanical problems on the way over - not so much fun in the wind, rain and hail. We headed up the commonwealth down and up matchmore lane and onto winter hill, at that point Vikki sensibly pointed out that it wasn't rideable, so we dropped down onto Scout Road and over to the Black Dog in Belmont for food. A big feed, fresh clothes and a lift home.

I was going to take a photo but the lack of visability and the fact that my phone doesn't like the rain meant it didn't happen.

Average Speed 7.2mph
Average HR 151 bpm


Well I'm riding later today but at the moment the weather is putting me off, I think I've been spoilt recently with the nice weather. At the moment huddled in my house listening to the wind and being unable to see beyond the back yard due to the rain does not make the thought of getting out there easy. I'm hoping the promise of a pint and some good food is enough to motivate me.


Sleep is such an important part of recovery. But at the moment I just don't seem to be able to get a good nights sleep. I was too optimistic earlier in the month and thought all my problems with sleep had gone after three nights with at least 9hours good sleep a night. I felt great, really strong, ready for any amount of mileage. But now it seems to be getting worse with every night. Last night I woke up about every two hours, no chance of a deep recovery sleep, then this morning I was wide awake at 5am and didn't get back over for more than 10minutes at a time. I need some ideas of how to improve my sleep otherwise I'm going to be going backwards with my mileage.

Wednesday, 19 March 2008

Baby Goats

Well on monday I said that I saw some baby goats and Ali complained about the lack of pictures,

so today after going to meet her for lunch I headed over to Rivington and took a picture. There

were about 5 in total but none of the rest seemed interested in posing for the camera.
Average Speed = 13.5mph
Average HR = 139bpm


Well my legs feel a lot better today but still not right. The problem is I know that after three days cycling they shouldn't have been as sore as they were. I do the right things, stretching, recovery drinks etc but where I'm being let down is sleep. I go to bed at a reasonable time and compared to a couple of months ago I am sleeping well, I get to sleep within an hour, I only wake up a few times in the night. But I know I'm not getting deep sleep. This used to be something I had no problems with. I wish there was a magic way I could just sleep well again as I know I need to otherwise my legs will never recover.

Tuesday, 18 March 2008

Sore legs but still a useful day

Woke up this morning and my legs and knees hurt so I decided to be useful and do some washing, some dishes and lots of ironing. Very unlike me I know! But I was still planning on heading out and meeting Vikki this evening. Anyway various reasons meant we didn't ride and that was probably a sensible decision, especially as I'd have been on my singlespeed.

So task for tomorrow is to fix the geared mtb, I need nagging!

Monday, 17 March 2008

Faffing isn't as much fun on your own

Had to go out today, the weather was so nice it'd be rude not to! I decided on an eay ride to let my legs recover, so I brought the singlespeed - not sure how easy it is to pootle on a singlespeed but I tried. It was a lovely day and there were lots of friendly redsocks out over Rivington. I did my usual over to Rivington, then down by the horse farm, up commonwealth downhill, round the pike, down the ICR, over to Healey Nab, back up Chinese gardens, over Belmont old road, down to Belmont, across to the triple six and home.
It was a fab ride, I saw lots of people flying off the side of winter hill, a plane flew over me when I was on the belmont old road, lower than I've seen a plane since I was at uni in Scotland and right by RAF leuchars, I rode all the drops in Healey Nab without stopping or squealing like a girl but I dabbed three times on the ICR (I really want to clear it, I probably need to go faster)
The only problem with the ride was no Vikki, no-one to faff with, it's definetly better when someone else is there to faff with.
29.8miles Average Speed 7.4mph 1135m climbed

The awareness test

The awareness test
I found this interesting after seeing it on fat cyclist

Sunday, 16 March 2008

Claire in the peaks

Claire on one of the descents on today's ride.

Road, Mountain, Road

Sometimes crazy ideas are the best ones! Today I was going to my friend's house in New Mills for a moutain bike ride and Ali had decided she would come and ride as well. So I came up with a great idea, I would ride there on my road bike - Ali could bring my moutain bike on the car - then ride off-road and then ride home on the road again. That was exactly what I did! Nice to see some old friends, it seems so long since I got out on a ride with the likes of Laura and Jane.

67.83miles in total

Home -> New Mills
28.65miles Average Speed 13.4mph

Mountain Biking
8.71miles Average Speed 7.2mph

New Mills -> Home
30.48miles Average Speed 12.7mph

Saturday, 15 March 2008

Track Racing

Well this evening was spent at the Manchester Velodrome with Middleton Cycling Club. I really didn't know what to expect and in the end it was fine. It felt like a lot of waiting around and I probably rode 5km in total. I'm definetly not a sprinter, but I knew that already. Fun to try it though.

Not really with it.

For some reason I don't really feel with it this week. I knew I should have gone out on my bike yesterday yet I sat around and did nothing. Anyway to make sure that didn't happen today plans were made to meet Vikki, we both left at 9am and met on the Belmont Road, it seems to work well as no-one gets cold waiting for the other - at this time of year you can get cold even in a few minutes. I had my new Jacket on and it was steadily drizzling on the way over but the Jacket kept it all off, I was pleased with its performance seeing as it is only showerproof. In fact although I'd brought my waterproof in my back pocket I didn't need it at all! We made a plan to follow the little blue lancashire cycleway signs towards Chorley and see where they took us, it didn't take us too long to lose them so after nipping through the centre of Chorley we headed for Blackburn, via Abbey Village and then across the edge of Darwen onto the Roman Road, at that point we realised that our 30mile ride might be a little longer - we'd already done 27miles! So we headed back, took a short cut, with a little bit of off-road, past the strawbury duck, along Green Arms roads, across the A666 and back to Belmont where we split.

42.12miles Average Speed 12.3mph 1038m climbed

Friday, 14 March 2008

Silly Cold

Well for the last two days I've been in bed with a cold, thank you Ali for sharing your bugs! Anyway today I'm feeling a lot better, my resting heart rate was fine in the morning (52bpm) so I'm thinking I might go for a little bike ride.

Wednesday, 12 March 2008

Review: Gore Bikewear Phantom Lady Jacket

Well after a month or so of riding with this Jacket I feel it is about time I write a review. This Jacket seems to be the perfect weight (my friend has one from a few years ago and it is definetly lighter) It feels like any long-sleeve Jersey and folds up small enough for my Rucksac when needed. I wasn't sure about the zip-off sleeves but have found myself using them alot, they are perfect for evening to night rides as it gets colder. The other main concern for me was the one back pocket (must be the roadie in me that likes having three) but the one back pocket holds enough for me when I'm on my road bike. But this Jacket has been perfect for me off-road due to the removeable sleeves, I tend to change my layering a lot more off-road than on.

Overall 9/10

Tuesday, 11 March 2008

Rain again!

I think I should be used to rain but recently I seem to have avoided it. Anyway today there was no avoiding it. Me and Vikki decided on a road ride (seeing as she had no working mountain bike at the moment) so the meeting point was set as somewhere on the road between Rivington and Belmont. It worked quite well, with neither of us getting cold and us both climbing to get there. We then headed off to Ramsbottom, by the time we had got there Vikki's toes were frozen - I have now given her a pair of over-shoes which stould help with that. We then rode up the Rake, you know how I like the challenge of arrows on the map. Then back to mine where ali made us pasta and we got out of our wet clothes.

24.64miles Average Speed 11.7mph

Monday, 10 March 2008

199 Single Speed miles

That's what I've done since I got the bike, if I'd have realised I'm sure I could have found an extra mile today. Cycled over to meet my friend Carolyn today, left the house in full waterproofs which never happens (took them off after a mile the sun had come out). We made the most of the weather climbing up winter hill and taking a cheeky route down, riding the ICR and then the commonwealth downhill. At lunch we met Sharon off shecycles at the Chapel Cafe, I of course had chocolate cake. Then climbed back up the commonwealth downhill, in one go but I was dying at the top, and headed back via Belmont.

Turned into a nice day and only had two rain showers.

29.14miles Average Speed 8.1mph 903m of climbing

Sunday, 9 March 2008

Peel Tower, Punctures and lots of food.

Busy day today, I was on the track at lunchtime for a taster session then straightover to pick Vikki up ready for our attempt to singlespeed up Peel Tower. I decided that a trek across a field was the best way to get to Ramsbottom, but that was soon forgetten when we were looking at the cobbled climb up to Holcombe Moor. The first bit involved us both pushing but after that I managed to ride up to the start of the climb to the actual tower. A quick energy gel, I'm trying them at the moment as I think they might be useful during transwales, and up we headed. The higher I got the harder it was and I was glad I had cleats, I was pulling as much pushing on the pedals, at some points almost stationary. I nearly got to the first corner before I nearly fell off and had to rest. Started again and got to the tower, I think that it is definetly possible to ride, but it'll be hard to do in one go. We headed back down to do the bridleway across the firing range. When Vikki realised she had a flat back tyre. One new tube later we were on our way, for a bout 500yards, flat again. At that point we decided to call the breakdown (Ali) and get a lift home. We rolled back down to Ramsbottom - well I did Vikki was running beside me!

Good short ride then back to mine for food, lots of food!

About 12miles in total, I'm not sure I'm done a ride that short when out with just Vikki.

Saturday, 8 March 2008

Does Rivington close at 5pm

Sometimes lacking motivation is a good thing! After a day spent reading the papers, watching tv and generally doing nothing at 4:30pm I dragged myself out of the house and onto my bike. At that point the rain stopped, the clouds cleared and the sky turned blue. I headed over towards Rivingotn, stopping at Asda to take off my waterproof as I was boiling. Getting there I thought it was closed and noone had told me, I think I saw two other people as I dropped down to the horse farm, up the commonwealth downhill (which I rode withou stopping, on my singlespeed!), round the pike and along Belmont Old Road. Headed down to Belmont and then the rain came back but by now I was having so much fun. Over to Turton Tower and home.

Really pleased with my average. Think I'm definetly getting faster, now the question is will I be as fast on my geared bike?

21.14miles Average Speed 8.6mph 710m climbed

Friday, 7 March 2008

Sore Everywhere.

Headed out to meet Vikki at the climb up to the Pike at 8am, after only a mile I was ready to give up, everything seemed to hurt and even a little road climbed had killed me - I guess I really should fix my geared bike for days like today. Anyway we met and I thought it would be a good idea to do the Ice Cream Run, I don't think Vikki agreed, saying at the bottom that she would prefer to do descents like that on her other bike. Ahh well she is used to my silly ideas by now. my next silly idea was to climb up the commonwealth downhill, I have no problems on my geared bike and although I rode it all I need quite a few rest stops. (Photo above is Vikki getting to the top of the climb) Then it was time for good idea number three, I had seen a finger post pointing up, what looked like an easy climb, to Winter Hill. So we headed up there, it started as a lovely climb and then turned into a bog fest with some steep steps put in to keep us on our toes. I walked at least half of that climb. Then we headed down Winter Hill the way we usually climb up, which although being a hard uphill is quite a nice downhill. Then back to Pigeon Tower and I headed home via the Belmont Old Road.

A good ride and an excellent reason for getting up early.

27.4miles Average Speed 7.7mph 911m climbed

Tuesday, 4 March 2008

Appeal to identify hurt cyclist

Appeal to identify hurt cyclist

I regularly cycle here so it is a little scarey, but a reminder to carry some form of ID.

Chatting, red lights and good food

Another road ride today. It had been decided that Vikki would come over to mine and we would have a quick look at her gears to see if we could stop her chain tying itself in knots like it dod on sunday. Anyway 10minutes of playing with it in the workstand and it seemed much improved so we headed off to Manchester to meet Anna. Every light seemed to be on red for us, even pedestrian crossings??? But we arrived at the Velodrome just in time and we all headed off to Dunham Massey. On the way we passed Bicycle Doctor so we poped in for a quick chat about new wheels for the mountain bikes for transwales and for Vikki to get something that will stop her chain getting so managled if it does come off. The weather was perfect and reaching the country lanes I felt like I could have just continued cycling. Lots of nice food at lunch, in fact I think I over-estimated the size of my stomach! Then we headed back to Bolton, via Evans for some more retail therapy - I don't think it is a good idea for me and Vikki to go into a bike shop together.

58.3miles Av Speed 13.2mph

Monday, 3 March 2008

I think I should stop complaining about the wind.

Smooth Landing? Not for this plane

February Riding

Well February has finished and there has been a lot happened. Not least getting a new team mate for transwales, but that also means I have someone local to train with.

Anyway my totals for February are:

Road Bike: 405miles (652km)
Mtb Bike: 225miles (362km)
Total Cycling: 630miles (1014km)
Running: 19miles ( 31km)

Definetly upping the miles which can only be a good thing. The one thing that has not been as good this month is I haven't had as many long rides, in fact haven't gone over 100km. Means I failed my metric century a month in the second month. I was hoping to attempt an imperial century a month challenge next year. But think I need more disapline, if it means going out on my own to cycle for that long I just don't do it.

So for March I want to see if I can get 700miles of riding in a month.

Sunday, 2 March 2008

Mow Cop

Well today was the day that Jon had agreed to take me up Mow Cop, since I'm trying to persuade Vikki she wants to enter the Cheshire Cat I dragged her along as well. The weather decided to play it's part with the sun being out all day. But Vikki's bike tried to sabotage the ride by breaking after only 3.5miles. A bit of brute force, by me, didn't work. But Jon's more patient approach paid off and we were on our way again. We tackled Mow Cop after 16miles, which is easier than after the 70 we'll have done on the Cheshire Cat. But I was pleasantly suprised, yes it was hard, yes my heart was racing, yes I was struggling to breath but at no point did I think I wouldn't get up it.

Then it was time for a chocolate stop and back lanes back to leek.

67.5km Av. Speed 19.7km/h 1100m climbed

Saturday, 1 March 2008

Windy West Pennine Moors

Well once again it was a windy ride, cycling up hills and down hills!!!

I'd agreed to plan a CD ride so we met up at Rivington, me just making the 10 O'Clock start as Ali decided to cycle there with me so I was trying to get her bike ready. There were only three of us there due to various illness and Helen only lasted the first hill, it really wasn't the day to ride if you weren't feeling a hundred percent. So it was left to me and Emily to carry on. It felt like we were always cycling into a head wind, I guess that can only make me stronger?

79.79km Av. Speed 16.5km/h 1857m climbed