Tuesday, 30 September 2008

Running before Breakfast

Today in the pouring rain I went running as soon as I got up, I've never been good at doing anything before I eat my breakfast but I wanted to kickstart my day. So I headed out in the cold and the rain. Was running off feel and basically went downhill to come back up it. Not many people out, just two dog walkers and one lady who told me I couldn't go a certain way as it was flooded and my feet would end up wet, by that point they were very wet anyway!

Garmin Stats:
2.82 miles
Av Pace 10:12 min/miles
Av HR 166bpm

Monday, 29 September 2008

A few pics

Ali was out with her camera and having a quick look through I spotted a couple of faces I recognised. The rest of the pictures will be on flickr later.

Sunday, 28 September 2008

Three Peaks cyclo-cross

Today was the three peaks cyclo-cross race and I had planned to go out and watch. Ali was going to help her friend support her husband. So a plan was formed that we would leave just before 8am. Only I failed to get out of bed so she went without me. I have been so tired recently that's its not that much of a suprise. Anyway I dragged myself up and decided to get the train to Clitheroe and cycle out only I couldn't find my purse, so no money and no cards I decided just to ride out. It turned out to be the perfect day to be on a bike, I was on my bike with mudguards but ruby would have loved it. At one point near clitheroe I saw loads of cyclists going the other way, eventually I worked out they were part of a sportive, the lancashire loop I have since found out. I got to the start finish line just as the first veteran finished, I was beginning to wonder if I would have to ride home as I had heard nothing from Ali. I was there for Andrews finishing though and we rode out to where the others were in the car. It looks like a great event and the sort of crazy thing I might try ;)

Garmin Stats:
47.94 miles @ 14.4mph
Average HR 145bpm
900m climbed

Really pleased with that average, I had set my virtual training partner at 14pm and I beat him!

Saturday, 27 September 2008

A target reached

So at the start of this year one of my aims was to cycle 6000 miles in the year. This seemed like a high mileage but attainable, an average of 500 miles a month. This is a lot more than I had ever done. But its only September and I have surpased my aim. The question is how many will I do and what should I aim for next year.

Oh and sorry yesterdays post was a mammoth post, I don't think I realised how long it was till this morning! If you want more the rest of the pictures are here.

Friday, 26 September 2008

Two days at Grizedale

My friend suggested a trip to the lakes for a couple of days and as it turns out it was perfect timing, the first half of the week was not good (but that is another boring story). Straight away I suggested Grizedale Campsite, I hadn't been up there this summer but it is one of my favorite sites and being right in the forest makes it perfect! After a bit of flapping on my behalf, and Jon arriving a little earlier than I expected, we got on the road and arrived at about 11am. Tents up, we got a perfect spot with a lovely view.

After lunch it was time to head out but as Jon put his bike together he realised part of his quick release was missing so we rolled along to the bike shop and Grizedale and got a new one. After that it was time for a bit of biking. We started with a technical ascent and then descended into Hawkshead. Here Jon punctured, he runs tubeless but they weren't for sealing so we had to put a tube in. From there we headed back into Grizedale, some hard climbing, some of it was so steep I decided to was easier to carry my bike than try and push it!
We dropped into Satterwaite on a bridleway I've only ever tried climbing, it was definetly fun as a downhill. Then it was an extra loop up onto Parkmoor and through the big puddles before dropping back to the campsite.
My Garmin Stats:
16.29 miles @ 8.1mph
650m climbed

In the evening after some pasta for tea we got a fire going and spent the evening enjoying the fact that it was summer for the day.

The next morning I was awake by 7am after not getting to sleep till after 3am. I need to get better at sleeping again! We set off about 9:30am after a big breakfast and putting the tents down. It felt a bit cold and then on the first climb the sun came out! After that it was short sleeves all day!

I had decided that a loop round coniston water would be the perfect way to practice my navigation. It turned out that the weather really was in our favour. After a hard climb we dropped to the south of coniston water before heading up the hills on the other side and eventually joining Walna Scar road. I had to go back to try one bit again after chickening out but other than that I rode all of it. We dropped into Coniston and found a nice cafe for lunch. Burger and chips and ice-cream and I was stuffed. It made climbing back into Grizedale hard. After that I made my first random navigation moment. I wanted to check it was the right bridleway before we headed down, so I took a bearing was sure so we headed down. At the bottom I realised that although I had read the map perfectly took a bearing perfectly I had actually never meant to go down there. It didn't matter as it was a fab descent and although the way we came back up was a push I'm glag I found it was I now want to ride down it!

Garmin Stats:

21 miles @ 7.3mph

860m climbed

Wednesday, 24 September 2008

3 Peaks Cyclocross

Well on sunday I am going up to watch the 3 peaks cyclocross race. I'm looking forward to it, I only heard of this race in the last year and I want to see what its like, I have to admit if I ever get a cross bike I might be tempted to try it. Hopefully I'll spot some of the people I know through the interweb.

As for no posts since sunday, well I've not been on a bike, no time and some other things happening, just life getting in the way. I'm hoping to make up for it in the next couple of riding with some good riding, nothing long but some good riding.

Sunday, 21 September 2008

This weeks cycling weekly!

Cyclo cross racing

Today was round 2 of the North West League Cyclo-cross at leverhulme park. Since it was so close it seemed silly not to do it and I was planning on doing some of them this year after I enjoyed the two in the summer. Jon came round and tried to fix my rig, I now have the crank off and he managed to get the EBB to move a bit, but not enough to get it out to grease it. So now I have to find someone else to magically fix it.

We rolled down to leverhulme park, entered - it cost more as I don't have a racing licence so maybe I should get one - and then did a lap of the course, it was very dry and grassy, some bits felt quite draggy on my mountain bike.

At the start there seemed to be 5 or 6 girls and only another 3 on mountain bikes (as well as me and Jon). The start was fast and there were elbows everywhere, I went into the first singletrack behind at least two girls, but it was hard to tell and then went slowly as there was a bottleneck, but it didn't take long to clear. Soon I had passed the two girls in front and I kept going picking some people off and even lapped a few. I was lapped twice by the winners who were flying! There was only one bit I had to get off and carry my bike, up some steps. Right at the end Andrew, a friend of ali's past me so he had one lap on me. We had to wait a while for the prize giving to find out if I had finished in the top 2 as there were prizes for the top two. They originally announced someone else as the winner but she pointed out I had finished in front of her and someone doing the positions was like yes the mountain biker won. So I won my first race of the North West League.

I was also talking to someone from Horwich Cycling Club who had organised the race who was suggesting I joined them so I might look into it.

Saturday, 20 September 2008

It would have been rude not to...

ride today. I had planned not to ride at all today but with lovely weather forcast again it seemed silly not to. Just in case I woke up wanting to ride I planned a route on mapmyride last night - I should learn it is so slow in the evenings! Well waking up the weather was lovely. So I helped Ali get her stuff ready for her course then grabbed ruby and set out - I had to ride her since she has new tyres on and the weather was perfect Ruby weather. I headed off past rivington and then north towards Ribchester. I climbed up Jeffrey Hill, a new one on me but I think I did it from the easier side. I stopped here to get a picture as I could make out Winter Hill in the distance. At this point I started to think about the aim I had set myself, I had set my virtual training partner at 14mph and I was hoping to manage that. At the top of this climb, which I think was the longest of the day I was still ahead so I began to wonder if I could manage a 15mph average. I knew there was a fair amount of flat in the second half of the ride so it was a possibilty. The good thing about following a line on my Garmin Forerunner is I don't spend ages looking at my stats and just enjoy the ride.

It wasn't long before I got to Preston, in fact I only felt like I had been out about 2 hours, obviously it was a little bit more at that point. I wasn't sure when I planned the ride if the rest of the ride would be worth trying to get through Preston - I must say I've never been anywhere in Preston but the train station before so I had no idea what to expect. I had one bit of nasty dual carriageway and had to walk my bike across a road and climb over a central reservation as I couldn't turn right onto the road I wanted but it was fine.

After that it was some nice flattish roads, I did a bit of off-roading but turned round when the pretence of the track being a road finished. The next thing I knew I was climbing up red rock and then back at Horwich before spinning home along Chorley New Road.

A great ride and I'm glad I went out, there haven't been too many days like today this year and to waste one that is also at the weekend would be criminal!

84.15miles @ 15.3 mph (I didn't know I could go this fast!)
Average HR 146bpm
1360m climbed

Friday, 19 September 2008

Changing tyres

The front tyre on my winter roadie had a big slit in it so I thought I had better replace it, hours later and I had got this far, eventually after lunch it went on, hopefully it can't be as hard this time, otherwise next time the p******* fairy comes to visit I'll have to do my damsel in distress act.

Now that is done I can get out and go shopping, I was going to take the singlespeed out earlier but can't get the EBB to move, I know the trick now, only I can't get the crank off, I must be doing something wrong!

Thursday, 18 September 2008

Wow lots of activity today

I remembered I'd told Ali I would run with her this evening so once she got home we set out. After ten minutes she had a really bad stitch, I suggested that it was because I was running so fast (those who know us will know ali is a much better runner than me). In the end a nice short run just a perfect way to end the day. Now time for lots of food.

9:34 min/mile
Average HR 159bpm

Quick summers here

Since today appears to be our summer I thought a late afternoon trip for Ice-cream was in order. So a quick text to Jumbly and a plan was formed. I would cycle over to Freddies and she and Flipper would run there. Perfect weather to sit outside with an ice cream, flipper was being as cute as ever this is her when I asked he to pose for the camera.
On the way back I got a slow puncture and was a little lazy so I just topped it up three times instead of changing the tube. Still got a reasonable average for me.
22miles @15.9mph
Average HR 143bpm
Apparently I burnt 906 calories, does that cover the ice cream?

Hill repeats, its been a while

I went over to Affetside to ride hill repeats today. It has been ages since I did hill repeats. I pushed hard and was suprised to get home and find I was slower than last time.
Repeat 1: 4:38
Repeat 2: 4:36
Repeat 3: 4:36
Repeat 4: 4:31
Repeat 5: 4:31
Average 4:34 - Average last time (15/7) 4:32

Wednesday, 17 September 2008

Some utility mileage

Today I had to nip to cooksons in Whitefield and then later to tesco over at horwich, both of which were trips long enough to bother with my GPS. Turns out I did 27.36miles in total, it adds up quickly. I didn't even feel like I had been riding today, but then I did take it easy.

Tuesday, 16 September 2008

Big ring all the way

I decided to set myself a challenge as I couldn't be out on the bike for more than an hour and a half, so I decided I would stay in the big ring the whole way round the ride. I had thought about doing the same route I had done on friday so I headed off towards Affetside. Once I got to Belmont I decided if I headed over to Rivington I might not get back home in time to have a shower (I have an appointment at 5:30pm so think it might be nice to make myself presentable). So I just headed straight back. A short ride but I worked hard on it.

16.76miles @ 14.8mph
Average HR 152bpm
~400m climbed

Sleeping instead of running

Yesterday I had planned to go running, only during the time I had planned my run I fell asleep on the sofa for two hours so I ended up having a lazy day, I guess I needed the sleep. So today I got out running. Now I realise that I have been very lazy with running, both not getting out and when I do i just jog round. So today I decided I wanted to run for half an hour and keep my heart rate above 160bpm. I know from when I was training for the marathon that this is around the heart rate I used to run at. This meant that I pushed myself a bit more and hopefully I'll get faster. I just went out near me and near the end climbed the steps out of the golf course, I didn't stop jogging up them - a first for me, it is clear to see where the steps are from the gradient, heart rate and pace on the graph.
3.14miles @ 10:04 min/miles
Average HR 166bpm

Sunday, 14 September 2008

A trip to Southport

Today the tour of Britain was going from Blackpool to Liverpool through Southport. So a plan was hatched that a few of us would ride out have chips and ice-cream and watch the pro's. We meet at Adlington station at 10am, there were five of us in total. Me, Jumbly, Ali, Anna and Julie Grrr. We headed off to Southport and made good time on the way there. Once we got there and located the street the race went along we managed to grab a bench and then eat our fish and chips while we waited. A young man flew past us on his singlespeed. It has a bigger wheel than mine ;) Just after we finished our chips the riders appeared, perfect timing. Not before someone asked me if I was racing???
There was a breakaway of three riders who seemed to have a significant lead before the main field came through, they move so fast! After that it was time for ice-cream so we headed to the sea wall to find an ice-cream van.
After the ice-cream ali wandered onto the beach to write her name in the sand. The rest of us just watched, I know we are boring.
After that is was time to head back, some nice quiet little roads on the way and only one hill of note, which was made worthwhile by the view back to southport at the top.

All in all a great day and reminds me how much fun riding with people is.

My Stats:
83.79miles @ 13.9mph
Average HR 116bpm
966m climbed

Saturday, 13 September 2008

Shecycles Rivi ride

So once again I offered to lead a shecycles ride. This time with better weather than recently forecast we ended up with a nice crowd, including three boys that we allowed to join us. I rode over to lower barn in the morning and the ground was very wet but the weather seemed nice. We eventually all gathered and set off, I had a few comments about my clown bike as they christened it and got told lots of time that there was something wrong with me if I was riding a singlespeed. We got as far as upper barn, saw matt on the way up so tried to slow him down, he rides way to fast! There we had to stop as there were some problems with peoples gears, even this didn't persuade them that singlespeed was a good idea. Soon on our way again and we saw matt again, who must have been back up to the top and down in the time we had moved a mile. Up the AICR where I saw twinklydave on his new uncle john cyclo-cross bike, well actually he was fixing a puncture, if he was riding I don't think I'd have managed to even say hello, I think he is a bit fast as well. We headed up the pike and down off the back before heading back along Georges lane and then down the ICR. Back to the cafe for the first stop of the day and to persuade Goldfish to fix his bike and stop sleeping in the car and join us. We then headed over to leadmines and into Healey Nab. Down the drops and round the woods, it was getting a bit muddy, it'll soon be time to leave it till it gets cold and frozen. Ali met us as we came out of the woods, really only coming over for the cafe stop!
Then it was back over to Rivington and one last climb up the AICR and then down the ICR, everyone wanted to do it again. Before another cafe stop.
A great ride, ages since I've rode with a group and its nice to be sociable and not just ride for a change. Hopefully I showed people how much fun Rivi can be.

My stats:
38.67miles @ 8mph
Average HR 131bpm
1642m climbed

Friday, 12 September 2008

Another 20 miles

This evening Ali was doing a taster improver session on the track, it looked like fun I might try it sometime. Anyway the plan was that I would ride there and she would jump on a train and sprint from picadilly after she finished work. It worked quite well, I had her bike and everything ready which was good as she just had time to change the height of the seatpost and put her track shoes on before it was time to go. I enjoyed watching the drills and reading this weeks comic while she rode round in circles, she got her pink slip at the end which was great! Now onto the next session.

After that we rode over to Rusholme, had a nice curry and a bottle of wine, it's been ages since we've gone out and done anything (my fault) so it was really nice. Before riding to Victoria and getting the train home.

All this added up to 20 miles of road riding, yet felt like nothing.

Just a short ride this morning

I wanted to try and ride a bit faster than normal and headed out on the road bike with the aim of doing about 20miles, obviously there would be a few hills involved. I rode steady to Belmont and then pushed from then on. I wanted to get at least an average of 13mph, I exceeded that so I'm happy. Off to the velodrome later and then for a curry with Ali, should be a nice evening.

24miles @ 14.1mph
712m climbed

Thursday, 11 September 2008

I took out my winter bike....

...so the sun decided to shine. But yes that means I have got around to making sure it is safe to ride. Thanks go out to Jon for giving me some wheels which don't have non-existent rims and to Cooksons who as always treat my bike with the love she deserves and have replaced the bottom bracket, cassette and various other little jobs.
Anyway onto todays ride. Ali had a course on the outskirts of Blackburn so a plan was formed that I would get the train to Blackburn with her and then ride her out to the hotel the course was at. While she sat there being bored I would use the 3 hours to go for a nice hilly ride and then meet her to pace her back to work. The first part worked well, unfortunately I managed not to be back in time, I'm blaming a closed road which added a fair amount of mileage on, so Ali started heading home and I tried to catch her. Needless to say I had no chance, that girl is fast on a bike when she wants to be. Still it was a nice ride and great weather.
65.77miles @ 12.8mph Av HR 137bpm
2017m climbed

Monday, 8 September 2008

Utility Cycling

I was saying the other day that I should have got out on the 31st of August and cycled the 3 miles I needed to get my total mileage for the month to 800miles. When I realised that I had easily done 800miles as I regularly use my bike for running little errands. I often jump on the bike if we need a few bits of shopping since Asda is just over a mile away this is a lot quicker than walking and driving is just lazy. But I never bother with a bike computer for these trips, I usually wear normal clothes and my trainers, so I never add up the miles. I wonder how many miles I do in a year with these short trips?

Sunday, 7 September 2008

"I liked it when I had to slow down to wait for you"

This is what Jon said near the start of todays ride. I have no idea what he was talking about I spent every hill trying to just keep the dot ahead in sight! He says he has lost fitness but he still seemed very fast to me. Anyway kindly he had offered to take me round the long legbreaker route as I had only done the short route on the day since my legs were so sore after Hit the North. After a little detour to get to the start we were on our bikes at 9:40am. This ride didn't disapoint with lots of hills, we went through flash which is the highest village in England lots of nice car free roads and even chocolatecake halfway round. I'm very tired now and don't seem to quite have my long ride legs back yet.
82.29mil @ 12mph Av HR 137bpm
2700m climbed

Friday, 5 September 2008

Ali's adventure

Ali came up with an idea the other week that she wanted to try running back from Rivington so we came up with a plan that she would drive there from work and I would ride over and meet her and then drive the car back. Then I would cycle out to meet her. We decided that we would try it this friday. Then the weather got worse and worse as the week went on. Since Ali is no longer a fair weather girl she wasn't going to let a little (ok a lot) of rain stop her. So I set off just after 4pm getting there just before Ali. She set off and I paddled the car home, there was a little bit of flooding on the roads before jumping on my bike to meet her. As I pedalled up a hill I was suprised to see her running towards me, she must have been running faster than she normally does on her evening runs. We stayed together till a mile from home when she sent me on to start dinner.

I was very impressed she ran 9miles in an hour and a half (her longest ever run), I think I'd die if I tried to run that far. To make it harder this run involved 320m of climbing.

Wet, Windy but never boring

One thing I can say about biking is it is never boring. Each ride is different and I always have some stories to tell. Today I could have really done with my camera there were so many funny occurences but due to the water falling constantly out of the sky it was left at home. I set off early again as I knew I needed to be home by lunchtime and found myself heading towards Asda, now normally this is fine as it takes me over to Rivington but I'd decided to head to Ramsbottom which is in the other direction. I made a decision then to go along a track I had explored with ali the other summer and onto the Darwen Moors and then over to the Strawbury Duck. The track started out nice and wide and took me through a golf course, soon it became narrow singletrack with roots and wooden bits to negotiate, some of it was quite slippy today. It comes out by a river and at this point I remembered that it ended with a near vertical climb. So it was bike on my back and a scramble up. Great fun, I like sections like that which I think makes me a little odd! I came out into a field of bulls and baby bulls, very cute till they started running at me, they stopped just before me and allowed me to climb over the stile. I was glad to put my bike down and noticed my Garmin hadn't recorded any distance while I was carrying - maybe I was moving too slow for it?

Anyway after that I headed along the Witton Weaver Way and turned right over the moors towards the A666, here I had a tough head wind to battle against and ended up walking with my bike to the highest point. Here there were a group of walkers sheltering behind a wall, they waved and one of them said I might see something but not to worry, I had no idea what as the wind was so strong I nodded and smiled. I headed off across the moors and on the first bit of downhill I pulled my rear brake and the lever went right to the bars without doing anything, a bit of pumping brought it back but it was a little scary. I wonder if this means they need bleeding? I carried on and then had to pull aside to let three 4x4's past. This seemed a little odd seeing as this is a public footpath, it is going to be upgraded to a bridleway at some point. A bit further along there were some more, then some more, maybe ten in total. No idea what that was about.

Out onto the A666 and then down to the Srawbury Duck with no further incidents and I decided to head home as it was getting a little late. Turned into a great ride, a trio adventure really. Now hopefully ali's adventure will work out later.

Stats from the Garmin so probably a little undermeasured:

19.14miles @ 7.9mph 122bpm
800m climbed

Thursday, 4 September 2008

Bye bye summer

I knew I had to get out early today as I had to make sure I was home for 11am. I was aiming to be out at 8am but made it out at 8:20am, not too bad. My legs are still missing a bit of their zip and some of the climbs felt hard work on the singlespeed, I'm sure it's just the lack of singlespeed riding for a while. I went out in my warmest 3/4 lengths but when I got home my lower legs were a little cold, I can't believe it's time for tights already, I only remember two summer rides in shorts!

While over at rivi I saw matt, his head was down and he was working so hard he nearly missed me - does he notice anything when he is riding. Up on winter hill was very foggy and then on the way home it started raining, fun fun!

Ollie was talking yesterday about doing trans-scotland next year on a singlespeed. I still want to do this sometime, but think it would have to be on a different bike to my current bike, one with a slightly shorter top-tube. I also wonder if I could cope with 7 hard days of singlespeeding, I suppose it's a challenge for a few years time, it does keep nagging me though. I think I'm a little crazy! I think I'd like to have two bikes, one geared and one singlespeed, that had basically the same geometry then moving between them would be easy.

19miles @8.4mph 141bpm
750m climbed

Tuesday, 2 September 2008

Night riding

Vixster came over this evening for an evening road ride, she is working up in Leeds and has not been finding a lot of time for riding. We headed out at 7:30pm and it didn't take long to get dark, seems the nights are drawing in already. Vix is from Peterborough so it was my chance to show her some local hills. The ride was certainly hillier than her regular loops at home. But she'll soon have hill climbing legs once she moves to Leeds full-time.

25.81miles @ 11.6mph 122bpm
700m climbed