Sunday, 31 August 2008

August Mileage

This month has been my highest mileage month so far, helped by lots of miles over transwales.

Running Omiles (really should try and start running again)
Road Cycling 381 miles 48%
Off-road cycling 416 miles 52% (53.7 miles singlespeed)
Total Cycling 797 miles

Looking at the year so far I have spent 44% of my time cycling off-road, 42% cycling on-road and 14% running.
The aim for this year was to cycle 6000miles this year, I am getting close to that target with 4 months to go I shouldn't have a problem reaching it.

Now plans for this month. Well I've agreed to step into a female pair for Dusk till Dawn after a friend of a friend pulled out. This should be good for my singletrack riding. Other than that I'm not sure of my plans. I'm thinking I might try the Whyte Enduro race at Penmachno but I need to check how that fits in with non biking plans. The other main thing is to get my winter roadie up and running, the weather is a little nasty for poor ruby.

Salford Nocture

Last night I headed to the Salford Nocture with Jumbly and Ali. We rode in and enjoyed playing with the cars, reminds me how lucky I am with my normal rides. Once there we enjoyed all the racing, special mention to Rich from Bicycle Doctor who came 2nd in the folding bike race. While we were watching the support race we managed to grab a picture with Craig MacLean. During the evening Ali and I had a go at the Rollaplaza, she beat me with a time of 24.6seconds to my 26seconds. Turns out she was the fastest female time of the night. The promise of Chris Hoy giving the prizes excited her but she was disappointed when he wasn't there.
All that was left was the ride home, much quiter roads but some pubs to get past. My bag had broke during the night so I did the usual trick of how much can you fit in back pockets!

47.8miles @ 14.3mph 139bpm

Saturday, 30 August 2008

More transwales photos

Ali has put her pictures online

Just leave a message if you want a non-copyrighted image.

Thursday, 28 August 2008

Legs are fine

First ride since transwales and the legs felt fine. I was sat at the computer after a huge lunch when I got a text seeing if we could meet at 3pm not 4pm. A quick change of clothes grab of bike stuff and I was on my way over on the singlespeed. The bike felt very odd after spending so long on the trek last week. But by the time I was flying down the commonwealth down I felt good, I was definitely riding downhill faster, but I suppose would have been disappointed if I was slower. At the bottom my arms was buzzing so I let some air out of my forks, had meant to check them but forgot, when I set them up I weighed a little bit more! We played around on the usual trails, here is Jumbly at the top of the Commonwealth Down.
We left Jumbly near the barn to head home and I climbed up the AICR with Carolyn at the top we split with me going down the ICR to meet Ali as she was over at Rivi running. It is definetly the fastest and smoothest I have rode the ICR, must make sure I keep practising my skills.

After waiting a while, Ali and Louise turned up on foot with Andrews on his cross bike after doing a bit of three peaks training.

23.5miles @ 7.5mph 141bpm

Wednesday, 27 August 2008

Transwales - Day 7

At last it was the final day, the legs seemed fine and everyone was in a good mood. So they set us off on the longest day, 84km with 2500m of climbing, by sending us up an off-road climb! I was riding with Fay and Darryl again and we had fun spinning uphills and ploughing through sereral stream crossings - they had called them water splashes but I assume that was before it started raining and never stopped. The first water stop was very welcome after 24 hard km all off-road. At this point the cut-off of 4pm was looking unlikely and they had told us not to rush! After that we headed into more forest and then down some purpose built singletrack where ali was waiting to get picutes of us. Straight after that it was the very welcome lunch stop. It had took us over three and a half hours to get here so there was some hope it might be getting easier!
We set off on the road but it was soon back into the forest with some long fireroad climbs, fortunately my legs seemed happy enough to climb still - Ali's massage still working wonders! Before dropping out of more singletrack to another waterstop. Just before this one was Ali again to get a few more shots of us.

Here Ali had left me a bottle of vimto energy drink and some jaffa cakes which was a nice suprise and then the woman there told us it was about 20miles mainly on road. At this point we thought we might make the cut-off. So we headed a long the road only to turn left and onto a cliff, well not quite it was walkable but it had everyone walking at some point. This seemed to continue on the way back, some road, a bit of an off-road climb etc. Till we were on road following the signs for Builth Wells and coasting up the uphills with our speed from descents, well at least halfway up them!

Once we got back (well within the cut-off) there was beer waiting for us, probably the slowest I have ever drank a beer! The three of us posed for a picture, we had all survived the week. I rode it all, Joe missed the optional section on day 3 and Ollie missed the last special stage and most of day 4. But we were all smiling at the end.

After some chatting I wandered to the car, got clean clothes and had a shower it was nearly half five, so Ali asked about prize giving. They said 6pm so there was no time to grab food. It was nearly 7pm when they did it, apparently the top guys had gone for curry - thanks the rest of us would have been eating too if we hadn't been told 6pm. Anyway I was 3rd overall, won my first ever cash prize! After that we headed home, getting home at about 11pm, where I just climbed into bed, exhausted.

The week was brilliant, although the organisation could have been better I was lucky that I never saw the worst of it as Ali got that. I'd recommend it to anyone but it is easier if you have some support. For me having sandwiches I liked every day was a major plus, as oppose to playing guess what is on the roll. I'm sure next time I do it the weather can't be too bad! Oh and maybe there will be hot showers ;)

84km @ 13.0km/h Av HR 134bpm

I would love to hear from some of the people I met, on the last evening we were all too shattered. If you leave me a comment with your email I won't publish it on the blog so you don't get a ton of junk mail ;)

Transwales - Day 6

Today was the last special stage. Once again it was in the morning so I got a slightly later start. I had slept better the night before and although a little dozy felt more up for the riding. An amazing start to the day was that it wasn't raining when we woke up, we even had blue skies! I didn't manage to help Ali with the packing at all but since she had a dry day she wasn't really bothered. My time for the special stage was 10:13am, 3 minutes behind Joe and Ollie had decided not to ride it and go straight to the start of the linking stage. So Joe and I set out just before 9:30am, it was hilly on the way up but all on roads with spectacular views. Once we got there they were only just starting, a little late. But they soon caught up as lots of people weren't riding. This special stage was a lot of fun. I felt really strong on the hills, spinning past a lot of people. I just need to work on the downhills. I seem to be really slow in the singletrack, but I'm sure its just practice I need to try and get to some trail centres.

After that we headed over to where the linking stage was starting, they had set the people off who were doing only the linking stage at 10:30am I didn't start till just after 11:45am. Once again most of the day was spent riding on my own and picking people off on climbs. About halfway through I started coming across people who hadn't rode the special stage so I knew I wasn't making bad time. The riding was fantastic today, nice rocky descents and amazig views. Just near the end I heard a shout and Ali was there to get a picture and tell me I was only a few miles from the campsite. I stopped to get the car keys off her as she thought she'd be a while and joked that she needed to get back to wash my bike. Once I got to the finish I noticed there was no queue for the bike wash and got my bike clean then went searching for the car, which I found. This time there were no cars on the field so I then had to search for the tent. As I was doing this I heard Ali shout, she had rushed back to wash my bike - I had been joking, oops!

Once again I made the podium that evening, I was closer to 2nd this time, but still 7minutes behind. But I was only 30seconds off Joes's time, the closest I'd been all week. We now had to wait till tomorrow for final places, but I assumed I was comfortably in 3rd.

83.6km @ 13.7km/h 139bpm
Max Speed 55.3km/h max HR 181bpm

Transwales - Day 5

Another day and we were all up ready to go nice and early. I got to leave a little later today as the special stage was at Climachx and I was one of the later starters. I hadn't slept well overnight, the worst sleep of the race and had found the evening before hard in the big tent which made getting going in the morning difficult. I headed up to the Climachx trail with Joe who was starting just before me. We took it easy on the climbs up there. Since my head wasn't really there I took the trail easy, stayed at around 160bpm on the climb up. But on the downhill it was really noticeable so I didn't push it. I know I could have rode better but some days it isn't there. Once I finished Climachx I was hanging around chatting when I found out people had already set out up to an hour ago on the special stage so I thought I'd better get started. It meant those who were higher up the GC or hadn't rode the special stage had a better chance of making the cut-off. It was a good stage, although the hills went on for ages and were a little bleak in the rain. I seemed to spend most of the day catching one person then passing them on a hill then riding on my own till the next person, that's what happens when everyone starts at different points, you no longer have the group of people round you that you are used to seeing every day.

The river crossing today was a different prospect again, fortunately there was a rope up, otherwise I would have been washed away! I'll be buying some photo's from that crossing definetly. The funny thing was there was bridge nearby but most of us queued to wade across the river, I think we just all liked getting wet by then. The stage had been slightly shortened due to some flooding and I was back well within the cut-off. Once back it took me a while to find the tent, the field was so small we were all very close together. I think someone thought there were a lot less of us than there actually was!
70km @ 13.2km/h 140bpm
max Speed 58.2km/h max HR 180bpm

In the evening I suprised to find I had made the podium again, even though I thought I hadn't rode well. This time I won a bike top, which Ali has claimed as it fits her better than me!

Tuesday, 26 August 2008

Transwales - Day 4

Today was a long day and it took me a while to get going in the morning as my legs were sore, I guess that is to be expected after three hard days of riding. I set off from the start with fay and her teammate Darryl, who now had a working bike, and we rode together all day. The day started with riding along a disused railway which is now a cyclepath, we seemed to arrive at the first feed station quickly, good to get some of the miles out of the way at the start without too much effort. After that we went down a road covered in Moss which claimed a few victims, including Darryl, who ripped his jacket but otherwise seemed fine. Once we got to Aberystwyth the climbing started with a near vertical raod out of the town, it was mainly road climbing till the lunch stop where the heavens opened. But this was one of the few feed stops where you went downhill afte it so at least my lunch had some time to digest! Went past some guy who had come off and maybe broken his ankle, but he was being well looked after so we continued. There was lots of mud, the river crossing was nothing compared to the day before, we nearly rode across this time, only failing to clear the far bank and got our feet a little wet - not that I noticed they were so wet anyway from the huge puddles I had been splashing through. After that there was a loose slate descent, that I nearly rode all the way, only two stops to relax and lots of singing and talking to myself! (I knew riding the ICR would come in useful, I need to get confident that I can clear it every time now!). On the last climb we were all in a line and I skidded on some mud coming to a halt, fay stopped behind me and a complete stranger rode into her, no apology so she said to him, "Sorry I didn't realise you were riding so close to my arse" made me laugh. We got to the campsite (which was a last minute replacement on an overflow carpark) at about 3pm, an hour before the cut-off.

79km @14.1km/h Average HR 143bpm

49miles @ 8.8mph

Best thing about this day was the hot shower at the leisure centre, hot and a good pressure!

Official Photos are up

The official photos are up, click here to see me wading through the river. Just deciding which ones I want to buy now.

Ali's will be up later this week, I'll post a link when they are ready, but give me a shout through the blog if you want copies of any of them.

Transwales - Day 3

When I got up this morning I felt tired! We were told at briefing that there would be an option of a shortcut from the 2nd water stop of heading back to the camp 6km on road or the original route of 15km which apparently was very hilly and technical. If you took the shortcut they gave you a penalty of 2minutes (equivalent to being 2 hours late). I somehow managed to start right at the front of the pack and it was exciting riding the first 17km along the road to the first water stop in a big pack. The water station seemed to come very early - probably less than an hour into the event. On the first off-road climb I met Fay who was riding as a mixed team, but her teammate had to drop out that day due to mechanical problems. We had a great day, both chatting as much as each other. The riding was fantastic up on the moors and for once we could see the views. There was a river crossing where two lads had to help us across, I was a little stranded in the middle holding my bike! We got to the second water stop with loads of time and so headed off on the longer option, it turned out to be more a boggy walk than anything technical.

75km Average Speed 13.1km/h

Monday, 25 August 2008

Transwales - Day 2

In the morning briefing they told us the stage was to be 56km long with a time limit of 5 hours. We set off at 9am and it was raining from the word go and just seemed to get heavier and heavier as time went on. I reached the water stop which was at about 30km with loads of time to spare and was expecting to be back well before 2pm. Seeing as they were doing lunch at the camp there was only one water stop. Then it just more and more technical in Brechfa fporest. With massive berms that scared me a lot! Some rock steps, that some people walked but I found fine. Shows I need to learn to ride twisty singletrack!!! Once 56km ticked by I was beginning to wonder where the camp was. Since my GPS usually undermeasures in woods I knew I had done the distance. In the end I made it in at 2:10pm, just ten minutes outside the cutoff and the stage had been 67km! They actually abolished the cutoff due to it being longer and the weather being bad, but I'm not sure that is fair as a lot of us were working to get as close to the cutoff as possible.

Once I was back Ali kindly washed my bike again, queuing in the rain while I had the worse shower of my life, it was freezing and just ran down the wall, and I cut my finger trying to keep it on. Not fun at all! The field was on a nice slope so Ali had done her best but it wasn't ideal after such a hard day in the saddle.

The weather seemed to get worse and worse and loads of people decided not to ride the evening stage. I dragged myself out and found riding up the fireroad to the start hard work, but once I was on the course I loved it. It was swoopy and fun I felt I could push without being too worried about coming off. Once I was back we had dinner and went to bed as they didn't seem to be doing the presentation.

Time for this stage was 26:21 and I was 3rd in my category, and it moved me up to 3rd in the GC.

Transwales - Day 1

We were up just after 7am, breakfast was served from 6:30am but since Ali was in charge of food for the week we could afford to get up a little later. Then it was breakfast and I got my bag ready for the first day. Helped Ali pack up the car, she only had the tent left to come down by the time I went to the start line. Ollie and Joe used their bikes to transfer their heavy kit bags to the lorry. We all started just after 9am, each number being noted down so they knew who was on the course. I was feeling a little apprehensive at this point as I knew it was a long way to go till we got back to this campsite!
The day seemed to go well, I just kept riding steady and chatted my way round the course, some things never change! After 25km we reached the queue for the special stage to decide our starting times for the night stage. I queued for 40minutes in total, but fortunately it was sunny and there was a group of us having a laugh! The stage was unrideable really, I would have been better off trying to run it and route finding was nearly impossible!!! I kept on plodding around at trio pace, struggle a while with my back getting sore, but after a bit of stretching it seemed fine. I was back at 2:35pm, comfortably inside the cutoff times, but due to the fact that some people queued up to an hour and a half for the special stage they decided not to give time penalties. I still looked happy as I crossed the line.
Distance 69.8km (43.6miles) Average moving speed 14.8km/h (9.25mph)

Once I was back, Ali kindly queued for the bike wash while I grabbed a recovery shake (For Goodness Shake Chocomalt flavour) and got a cold shower. There was an advantage to being female as we had specific ladies showers, although the men were using them when they were empty as well.

The night stage that evening was 7km long and I was one of the later starters. I managed a time of 32:53 which left me in 5th in my category.

Sunday, 24 August 2008

Transwales - Day 0

I was up in the morning and nervous as anything I got the car packed, tried to leave as much behind since Ali had to repack the car everyday and the weather wasn't looking favourable! Once I managed to get all the bits that Ollie had had sent to our house there wasn't much room left for me!!! We waited till team GB had won a few more medals in the Olympics - some rowing and swimming. The journey down was pretty straight forward and we arrived at Builth Wells at about 2:30pm, once the tent was up - just before it started raining. i got registered and put my number and timing chip on the bike. We walked into Builth Wells to buy some food, once back at the camp the rain seemed to get heavier and heavier so we hid in our tent till Ollie and Joe arrived.
Then it was time to cook dinner, a very hot chilli (we both assumed it wouldn't be hot even though it was described as hot on the tin!). After that we went to the main tent for briefing, no real suprises, since it was still raining we just headed to bed.

Back and tired!

We got back late last night, after an epic week with lots of great riding and lots of rain. I finished 3rd overall. More to come when I have sorted my wet soggy kit out.

Saturday, 16 August 2008

Off to Wales

Well I've packed my clothes, collect bike from bike shop, got lots of energy gels and chocolate now I need to get it all in the car somehow. I'm sure I will have forgotten something important but I've got my bike so that is the biggest thing. I'm feeling nervous, yes I've trained for this, but have I done enough? I want to ride all the linking and special stages so I can say I've finished, hopefully the rain won't make that too hard.

Keep an eye on the transwales page for news of the event, theysould be uploading spreadsheets if you want to see how I'm doing. 'm unlikely to blog much once in Wales and any blogs will be from my phone.

Hopefully the week won't put me off biking forever!

Thursday, 14 August 2008

Last ride before transwales

I headed out today with Jumbly and Anna. Anna got the train out to Adlington to meet us and we headed off from there. We did the 40mile route that we had done the other week. Obviously the food at the pub was the main reason for the ride! A very pleasant ride with a stop at freddies for ice-cream on the way home.

Geeky Stats:
61miles @13.6mph
Average HR 119bpm
960m climbed

Wednesday, 13 August 2008

4 days to go

I've started getting worried now, trying to get all the camp stuff ready now so that I'm not too stressed on friday. Haven't done much riding this week, off out on the road tomorrow and that'll be it! Will be picking my bike up on friday from Cooksons and then I should be ready. I'm sure I'll forget at least one thing that on saturday morning I'll be panicking like anything but hopefully it will be fun (?)

There should be daily updates from the orgainsers on the event website
Alternatively you can check the reports on, and on

So no excuse for not keeping an eye on how I'm doing!

Monday, 11 August 2008

Bottom Bracket problems

This afternoon I rode over to Mike Cooksons in Whitefield to pick up a rear derailleur hanger. I knew they had them in stock so I rode on my trek to ensure it was the correct part. While there Shaun had a look at my bike to check it was ready for next week (transwales) while looking he noticed some movement in my bottom bracket, since this is newly fitted by lifecycles it should be fine, he took it off and it turns out there was no spacer, which there should have been. Shaun rang Hope, I rang lifecycles. Not very helpful, blamed it on Hope and said there was noone in who could sort it. So Shaun kindly did taking the part off another bike. Problem is a bit of the bb seems to be broken. Shaun is sure it'll be fine for next week, but it will probably accelerate the wear, he is going to check after transwales. Ali is going to ring tomorrow, I get too emotional, but she is even less impressed! They knew how important it was, it could have ruined my Hit the North! Bike is going in tomorrow for a few other bits, obviously to Cooksons. They really are a great bike shop! Even Ali likes going in there as she finds they are the only place that doesn't talk down to her!

Getting going in the morning

The one thing I don't seem to be good at is heading out in the morning, it seems to take me ages to drag myself out. Well since this is one thing I have no choice with at transwales I aimed to leave at about the same time as Ali. I managed this so it meant I had three hours to play with. I had taken the road bike as riding off road can be harder on the body and I want to be fresh for transwales. At first it felt hard, a combination of it being 8:30am, not having been on a bike for three days, a nice wind and heading uphill to start. Soon I started to feel fine and decided I wanted to average 13.5mph on the loop. Heading round Rivi I saw matt twice obviously while I was on the road he was linking together some off-road sections. After that I headed to tockholes, the head wind made the Belmont road hard, across Darwen, up Pickup bank for the hard climb and then home.

39.61miles @ 14.2mph
1127m climbed
Average HR 149bpm

I was trying to stay below 170bpm so I wasn't going into my anaerobic zone and managed for most of the ride - it can be hard round here due to the hills!

Go Nicole!

Yesterday morning saw me screaming at the tv as first Emma Pooley went clear and then Nicole Cooke made the decisive break. All that was left then was her to outsprint the others in the group to the line. GB's first medal of the games, our 200th ever Olympic medal and the first won in the womens road race! A great team effort by all the girls and a well deserved Gold. Later when Nicole was interviewed on the BBC I thought she was going to cry, good to see it meant so much to her!

Saturday, 9 August 2008

Eating pancakes

A while ago I went for a ride across the peak. Before we set off from my friends house I had one of the pancakes that her husband had prepared. It was lovely and really set you up for a day biking. So today since I was having a lazy day I made some for lunch. They were delicious! Very filling though, I might have to go riding to make sure I don't double in size!

Friday, 8 August 2008

9 days to go!

Wow it is getting close! It seems a long time ago I entered transwales and now its nearly here. Too late to do anything more about fittness so It'll just be an easy week now and making sure I have everything packed. I've had a little look at the solo entry list and confirmed entries there are 11 females of which 5 are in my category, so I'm aiming for a top 5! I should have entered singlespeed as there are no female singlespeeders ;)

Thursday, 7 August 2008

Getting lucky with the weather!

Wow having got home about an hour ago, I can't believe how much it must have been raining here. Riding back from Jumbly's the roads were so wet and there were big lakes in the middle of them with rivers running down any hills into them! Whereas today we haven't seen any rain and its been short sleeves weather all day!

Anyway back to the riding! Today I met Anna at the Velodrome and we went to Bicycle Doctor to meet Jumbly, who was having new gear levers put on her cross bike. Jumbly had brought cake for us to eat while we waited so it was quite pleasant to eat cake and look at bikes. After that we headed off to Dunham Massey, Anna took us a slightly different way but soon it was time for more cake - only after my giant sandwich I was too full!!!! Then Jumbly had to put some air in her bike tyres, I did suggest that the bike might be a little small for her ;)

After that we split with me and Jumbly heading off via the Warburton Bridge, I just wanted to see a bridge that had a 12p toll on it and Anna back towards Manchester.

On the way back we went past a Heniz factory, I loved how all the signs were this shape, in fact it was these that made me ask Jumbly if it was a Heniz factory. Not sure what they make there though!

I dropped Jumbly off at home and headed home via Rivington and Belmont where there were rivers running down the road. Shows how different the weather can be only a few miles apart!

Geeky Stats:

75.89miles @ 13.6mph
Av HR 120bpm
1253m climbed

Tuesday, 5 August 2008

Riding with Jumbly and....just Jumbly

Today I was meeting Debz off shecycles for a ride round rivi, she had said she was thinking about going to buckstones, which is out Oldham way and very downhill and freeride orientated. Now as I'm sure it'll come as no surprise this doesn't interest me but as she is local to me I offered to show her some of the harder downhills at Rivi. She just has a new bike and has only been riding about a year I think so I thought it'd give her a chance to see what some harder downhills that Llangdela, where she normally rides. We decided to meet at 10:30am and Jumbly was looking forward to getting out on her mountain bike after a month off it - I think I'd be in withdrawal!!! Anyway I set off just before 9am thinking I was running late - for some reason I had 10am in my head. Realising that I had time I did an extra technical climb and rolled down to the lower barn just before 10:30am where Jumbly was waiting. On the way over a saw matt, I knew it was him as we were on a nice flat bit and he was sprinting stood up on his poor bike. We put a bit more air in her forks and then rolled down via lower barn, looking in all the cars to see if there was a girl with a bike. No sign so at quarter to I text her, received a text back, at Manchester Airport. Okay I thought, text again to see if she was joining us, got a text saying see what time she gets home. I've still not heard anything!

Anyway back to the riding, me and Jumbly headed off up the AICR then down the ICR, annoyed at myself for not clearing it today! Then over to the woods, here is Jumbly thinking about riding the last drop. Then it was back over to the cafe for a bacon buttie and a chocolate eclair, lovely. When we came out the rain was pretty heavy, so Jumbly headed home and I headed up the school climb and home. Up on winter hill it felt like winter, the grass looked all frosty but it was just water droplets.

32.77miles @ 7.7mph
1316m climbed
Av HR 121bpm

Monday, 4 August 2008

Riding with fit, fast friends

Today I met up with Ali, Ros and Gavin at Rivington for an easy ride. I decided to bring the rig, one easy to find out how well my legs had recovered was to ride singlespeed. By the time I was over there I could tell they were fine and my back seemed fine to, I had been in two minds about wearing a camelbak but decided that I needed the liquid as it was so hot. After some getting bikes ready and chatting we headed up the AICR, up to the top of the Pike. It was a perfect evening with views all the way to the peak and the sea. We dropped down off the back of the Pike and then continued round Georges lane before heading up two lads to the mast at the top of winter hill. I realised at this point bringing Ali riding with two of our fastest and fittest friends was not going to convince her that she is actually quite fit and fast on a bike and that not everyone doesn't get tired on 18mile night rides (basically she needs to ride with someone that's not me!)
It was the first time down the Belmont descent since she went over the handlebars and broke her helmet so I made sure I stayed just in front of her to give her a bit of confidence. Her legs were very sore by the bottom but she was smiling!

Then it was back up the cheeky path, along Belmont Old road and down the ICR - Gavin ended up on the chicken run by accident, well that's what he says anyway ;)

Back to the car and I rode home since one of the bars for the car wasn't attached quite as it should be.

It was the perfect evening to be out and we saw a lot of riders, dog walkers and runners. I'm feeling more confident with going out riding on my singlespeed with geared riders now. Ros used to seem so fast to me and I can now keep her in sight (well uphill anyway, she is super fast downhill).

Geeky Stats:
30.16miles @ 8.1mph
1347m climbed
Av HR 138bpm

Sunday, 3 August 2008

Pendle pedal

I'm still looking happy at the start, fortunately there are no pictures of me at the finish!

Well today was the pendle pedal, last year I rode the short route 100km (60miles) and it nearly killed me, it was the furthest I'd been on a bike and definitely the hardest ride I'd ever done. Well a year later and I was back this time to ride the longer 160km (100miles route). It was actually a little longer this year as well, just to be kind to us! They say there is over 3200m of climbing on the long route so I knew I was in for a tough day. I made sure I was there for the first wave off, I've found that these rides are populated by very fit men and so I am usually one of the slowest, I didn't want to be last back off the road. At 8:04am I was away and the start was fine, a few little hills but I was feeling fine. It wasn't long before we reached Waddington Fell and it definitely felt easier than last year, it was still very hard near the end though. At this point Jon came past I grabbed onto his wheel till the top, where he flew off down the hill and I was a little more cautious, my max speed was set on this descent at 37.5mph (60km/h)! After that I knew the next bit of road and decided to miss the feed station at Slaidburn, it was a little off the route and I still had plenty to eat and drink.

After this it seemed to get harder, a little worrying as I'd only done 60km (my computer was set in km) and my back was hurting. When I rolled into the next feed station, where you had to ride over the mat to show you had done the full distance, I was surprised to see Jon there. I had soon recruited him into helping me fill up my bottles which were getting low and I grabbed a bannan. Apparently he had got a sandwich from someone who was handing them out of the back of a car. I missed that a sandwich would have been nice. We set off from there and I soon lost Jon, he is a lot stronger on the hills, but rolling into the next feed station, who was there, yes Jon. He was struggling with cramp so we stayed together most of the way to the next feed station. Bu this point my back and legs were very sore and I knew we still had to get over Nick o pendle, a climb I remember having to stop on twice last year. I lost Jon after this feed station, but surprisingly Nick o Pendle was okay - well it was hard I struggled but I never felt like I needed to stop! You'd think it would be all downhill from there but no it felt like we just kept going uphill. At this point I seemed to be really struggling, I noticed that my hands were a little shakey and was worried I would bonk, so I stopped and guzzled two gels and a couple of chocolate bars, at that point I realised I really hadn't eaten enough of the food in my pockets. Back on the bike and I dug hard, I wanted to get through 100miles before 8hours - I had it in my head this was 164km, its a little less. But I went through 164km in 7:59:45 so 100miles was definetly done in under 8 hours (that included all stopped time) ao something to cross off my aims. I wonder how fast I could do a faster route?

The next marshall told me I was in the next mile and it was flat after the bridge, amazingly it was. I rolled across the line as Ali ran up saying I was too fast and she hadn't got the camera ready. I was so pleased with my time, I was aiming for sub 9 hours.

Offical time: 08:05:46

Riding time: 07:51:52

Distance: 103.52miles

Average HR: 145bpm

3118m climbed


According to the results, I was the 3rd female back. The fastest female time being 07:54:51 by Jonny Hughes and the fastest overall time was 05:43:04 by Phil Ellison

I found the results here

Saturday, 2 August 2008

Riding over the hills

Today I persuaded Ali she wanted to come riding with a group that I sometimes meet up with as they were riding from Rivington. We rode over to lower barn to meet them, going via Chorley New Road to avoid the hills. As we were a little late in leaving we ended up having to ride over at a fair pace. There were six of us in total and the weather looked like it might just be nice to us! We headed off over Belmont road, nothing like a nice big hill to help you warm up! Ali found this hill hard, I think she could do with a compact on her bike as oppose to a double. But she got up every hill of the ride on it!

From there we went over to tockholes, round the edge of Dawen to get the Roman Road, this road has a couple of nice 20% sections where its hard to get the speed on the downhill leading into it as it is so twisty! I'm sure if I had a straight run at some of them I could at least get halfway up before pedalling! We then did the hard climb up to the Strawbury Duck for a well deserved lunch. It seems to be back to normal high standards after a few dodgy months, with nice big portions of food!

Then we went to Edgeworth for ice-cream. By this point I was feeling a little full for cycling! Before heading along Green Arms road and back over to Belmont. Where we left the rest of them to cycle over the Belmont road and we basically free-wheeled home.

Picture here is Jane trying to make the hill look easy, you can see the road we had just come down in the background.

Mine and Ali's stats were:

39.6miles @ 12.2mph, 1020m climbed

More pics on Ali's flickr page

Friday, 1 August 2008


I'm getting somewhere towards one of my aims. Today I walked to the post office depot and picked up a bivvy bag from alpkit. So now I'm probably ready. Just need to think of what the essentials are to bring with me. I'm excited!