Saturday, 28 February 2009

February Roundup

An odd month, I got my cross bike at the end of last month and did my first cross race this month. But there has hardly been any mountain biking! I have found motivation hard in the last couple of weeks but still there have been two century rides.

The figures:

22.73 miles running
51.84 miles moutain biking (all singlespeed)
139.58 miles cyclo-cross
427.85 mile road

15220m of ascent

The two century's were both great fun, the first being a ride to edale for cake! The second being my first audax ride.

Progress on targets:

  1. Run at least once a week Still on target
  2. Run 300miles in the year 20% complete
  3. Cycle an imperial century a month Two this month!
  4. Cycle 8000miles in the year 16% complete

Thursday, 26 February 2009

TooGood Lane

I ended up here today. I decided I wasn't too good so went the other way! I had plotted my route today as 58miles, but after forgetting my helmet and going back for it and then going to Asda once I got back I added a bit more onto it. The way out I was battling the wind the whole way out and didn't feel like I was riding very well. The way back felt better but still slow. Turns out it wasn't too bad at all. Route had a lot less climbing than tuesdays route but I still felt the hills a lot!

61.73 miles @ 13.8mph

878m ascent

Still not feeling motivated though, ali had to do a lot of encouraging to get me out!

A prize from Hit the North 1.5 arrived today

Tuesday, 24 February 2009

Forcing myself out

I've really been struggling with motivation recently so today I told myself I was heading out early! Ideal would have been 7ish but I knew really the earliest I could go was when ali left for work - she doesn't like it if I leave first as she ends up faffing and being late! So I was dressed in bike kit and followed her out the door and was on the bike at 8:30am. I had planned a 45mile loop with a few hills in it. The hardest being the last climb of the day over from Rivington to Belmont. It was very misty once I got higher up. But I got back and remember how much I enjoy cycling! Now please send me some motivation for tomorrow!

45.53 miles @ 13.3 mph
1260m ascent

Sunday, 22 February 2009

Ali's first half marathon

Today Ali ran the Great North West Half Marathon in Blackpool. It's her first race of any distance and should be a good gauge of how her training was going. My job was to ride to various parts of the course and shout encouragement and pass her her energy drink.

She did fab with a time of 1:56:45
She was aiming for 2 hours so she did great!

Saturday, 21 February 2009

My first Audax

Today I rode my first Audax. It was a 120km route from Rochdale. Once I rode there and back I worked out it would be 100miles, that would be my 2nd of the month. Just think this time last year I had never rode an imperial century! The plan was to meet a bunch of guys off cyclechat at the start so at 7:30am I headed out off to Rochdale, it was a little chilly but I was in less clothes than I have had to wear in a long time. I made good time and had time to relax at the start. Soon we were off, a group of five of us in total. The route started out with a general introduction before some hills, mainly steady climbs as oppose to short sharp steep stuff. Evetually we ended up in Waddington for a nice Cafe stop and to get our cards signed. Then it was back to Rochdale for out free pie! Then we headed off our seperate ways. A really good day and great value at £5 compared to what you pay to enter a sportive!

107.32 miles @14.2 mph
2146m ascent

Friday, 20 February 2009

Present for Rigger

He deserves it!

A bit of excitment

Last night we were lazing round watching tv - after my lazy day of not doing my planned training - when a fire engine went past, it turned down the side of the house and then along the back. Seeing as that seemed odd I ran upstairs, looking out the window I saw flames so we went out. They were gone when we got out, a car had caught fire and according to the kids gathered round there had been fireworks in it. The firemen at this point were trying to get into the garage next to the car, this seemed to be taking a while.

Wednesday, 18 February 2009

A night ride from Belmont

The girls came out to Bolton for a night ride tonight. Kate was meant to come to mine first but since she was running late I took the light to the meeting point. Only I forgot the mount, a buff and three zip-ties and it was fine and stayed that way the whole ride! On the way up there was a lot of faffing by a boy! His light was on the wrong sized mount for his bars, eventually with the help of a first aid kit it was sorted. Due to this I decided to leave the Pike, we still did the ice-cream run and of course finished with the Belmont descent. Before heading to the pub for a quick drink. I then free-wheeled most of the way home while they set off of the M60.
18.51 miles @ 8.5 mph
640m ascent

Health and Safety for trees

This is somewhere I cycle out to every so now and again with Anna. I can't believe that they want to prosecute the National trust over a tree being blown down in high winds. It is unfortunate that the boy died but how can anyone can ensure that trees aren't going to blow down if it is exceptionally windy?

Tuesday, 17 February 2009

An evening run

I've been struggling a bit with motivation recently so I've been making plans to meet up with people. This also ticks off things for my CBT homework so its a win win situation. Today I went to meet Ali and her friend Louise for their regular tuesday evening run. I cycled over there, it was a harder ride than expected as the ring road was closed so I ended up heading up to Scout Road which was a hard climb then along to Chorley Old Road, still I was in time and had the bike locked up by the time they got there. The run was enjoyable, I was relegated to running behind incase I went too fast. It was a really steady pace which was nice.

8.65miles @ 13.1 mph
227m of elevation

3.67miles @ 9:38 min/mile pace
66m of ascent

Monday, 16 February 2009

A new bike

This time its not me with a new bike, but my friend kate. I went to meet her and her shiny new trek madone at Horwich and after a quick lesson in how to clip into the pedals and how to use the gears we were off. It was a bit wobbly at first but soon she was flying, I took her on one of my usual loops. Kate took no time to get used to her bike and I couldn't even see her going uphill. For a change I was faster than her downhill, she wasn't as confident as on her mountain bike. A quick stop at the Chapel cafe before back to the car and then I spun home.

I was impressed that my legs coped, although I felt like I was going backwards on the hills, I blame the fact Kate was on a light carbon bike and I was on my winter roadie.

35.27 miles @ 12.6 mph
969m of ascent

Sunday, 15 February 2009

February - Century a month Challenge

I came up with an idea that me and Kate should ride from our respective homes out to Edale to meet for cake for our February century. For some reason Kate agreed that this was a good idea! So I plotted a route to get my century choosing to go the longer way there, hence avoiding Manchester and Stockport but crossing lots of hills, including a climb of Holme Moss (where they helpfully have a line marking every quarter of a mile as you winch your way up it) as well as various other killers. But I plotted the way back basically along the A6, through Stockport and Manchester, a much easier prospect and probably saved me jumping on the train! In preparation I got drunk! Ali and I shared two bottles of wine, neither of us drink a lot so we were very drunk. But the second bottle probably saved me as I started worrying and drank two bottles of water before I went to bed and another through the night, I woke up feeling fine!

There was plenty of snow piled up on the side of some of the roads and the off-road trails looked icy but the roads were clear, even the few back roads I ventured on - I mainly stuck to quieter A roads. I got to the cafe in Edale at about 1:20pm, we were both aiming for 1pm and thinking we might be late. Turns out kate had been there nearly an hour - she was worried how late she would be so left early! After a lovely lasagne and chips I got chocolate cake, but I couldn't finish it in fact I felt bloated after it. At that point we thought we should get moving - I think we had spent well over an hour in the cafe since I arrived. The cafe was at the bottom of a nice steep climb - in an earlier life I had never got up there - today it was slow progress but I never felt like I needed to stop. At this point the constant mist (meaning I had visibility of only a few metres, fun coming down the hills) had cleared and the views were fantastic along the valley, but once I got to the top I turned into a headwind. I was lucky though as it didn't last.

Then it was home via Stockport and Manchester, I felt strong on the way back which was good. I could have obviously pushed harder in the morning but I was worried by the climbing so didn't. I even stopped at the pub in Disley and picked up the glasses I had left there on tuesday.

103.98 miles
11.8 mph (I wanted 12, but I'm happy with this as going downhill was slow in the conditions when you are a wimp like me)
2791m of ascent

Shecycles on the move again!

Do to silly online problems shecycles has moved again. This should be permanent as someone now owns the domain etc!

Check it out and register

Saturday, 14 February 2009

Ali's running the London Marathon

As I guess most of you know Ali is running the London Marathon this year. It's a big thing for her as she normally spends the winter hibernating so getting out to train has been hard work. She has just set up her Just Giving page and I've added a link to my blog. The charity in question is quite small and not very well funded but close to her heart as her dad is affected by the eye condition they fund research into. Help her out and pop along and make a small donation.

Friday, 13 February 2009

Tour of Bike Shops

Today I headed out to do a few Chores, I decided to plot a route involving lots of off-road and took the cross bike. First up was Evans in Manchester to take my Gore Waterproof Shorts in, I love these but there are holes appearing in them. I know I've had them a while but I would expect something that expensive to last, I don't even wear them all the time! Then it was a quick spin down the busy Oxford Road to Bike Docs to pick up a new cog for rigger, he is feeling happy although it is yet to go on! After that is was more off-road over to Whitefield and Cooksons to collect Ali's wheel - she had broken a spoke. Great fun and I got nice and muddy!
37.63 miles @ 11.6mph

Thursday, 12 February 2009

Going out for coffee (or chocolate in my case)

I had big plans for today but what happened is I stayed in my PJ's till lunchtime when I thought I should nip out to the shops to get some bread and make a sandwich. Fortunately the day was saved as I had arranged to meet someone for coffee at Rivi.

18.43 miles @ 13.5 mph
367m of ascent

Wednesday, 11 February 2009

A quick blast up winter hill

My friend Kate came out for a short ride today, I was imformed that 12miles was perfect otherwise she gets cold! (She also asked me to tire my legs out before the ride!) In typical Kate fashion a ride planned for 10am happened at 3pm!!! We did my usual Winter Hill Loop, I couldn't quite hold her on the hills, uphill and definetly not downhill. My legs were heavy and I was dying at a lower heart rate. Great ride though.

13.04 miles @ 8.8 mph
425m of ascent

Christening new trainers

At the same time as getting my cross bike I got a new pair of trainers for running off-road in. I've had my old ones since 2000 = although I haven't ran for most of that time. I had £50 of free stuff to get with the bike and this was something I needed!

It's taken till today to get out though, last weeks run was a quick 3miles round the roads with Ali. Anyway 7 hilly miles later they were nice and muddy and can no longer count as new shoes.

Tuesday, 10 February 2009

Jon's Birthday Ride

This morning I headed over to Leek to ride with Jon since it was his birthday. I was a little late leaving, only ten minutes, but as soon as I got on the A666 I knew I would be late, roadworks and traffic not a good combination. I eventually got there with time for Jon to sort my brakes before his friend Rich came to join us for the ride. At this point I knew it would be hard as these were both fast blokes! Jon and I were on cross bikes and Rich a mountain bike, at least I had a slight advantage!!!The ride was a nice mixture of road and off-road to Disley. There Jon took us up an extra hill looking for a cafe! We ended up in a pub which seems very posh, but had nice food.

Then we headed back, me disappearing off the back every climb, but I think it was good for me, I can be very lazy riding on my own!

50.38miles @ 11.8mph
1113m ascent

Saturday, 7 February 2009

Hit the North 1.5

Today was Hit the North 1.5. Ali and I cycled over which was a good warm up for my legs. We got there and I took off all my lovely warm layers and got ready for the brass band to start us all off. A good start but I kinda ruined it by going the wrong way at a corner and watched about twenty people come past. It wasn't long before I was in a bit of a duel with another girl. We were swapping places, the cross bike faster in parts and her mtb in others. I got away on a climb that really suited the cross bike, almost tarmac. But I was aware there wasn't a big gap.
2nd to last lap and I went down a steep slope with no brakes, very scary, I worked out that the bar top levers pulled more cable though so I could stop with them, they just weren't as stable. Last lap after scaring myself I ran most of the downhills. The steps that lap felt huge and my bike was gettign heavy - I was glad it wasn't my trek I would have been barely able to lift it!!! The last lap the girl passed me just before a steep downhill, I ran it but couldn't see her at all. I pushed round the lovely dry fast singletrack but was beginning to think that was it! On the last climb I got her and took advantage of the cross bikes speed. Onto the finish straight it was head down and hope, I think she was 10seconds behind me with the girl in 3rd 10seconds behind her. A great race!!!

Friday, 6 February 2009

Getting used to the cross bike

Today I needed to take Ali's wheel into the bike shop as she had broken a spoke. So I put the cross bike on the roof and after dropping it off at Cooksons went over to pre-ride the course for tomorrow. Half of it was marked out and half not, so I at least know I rode half of it! Anyway half of it will be muddy, half fast should be fun!

Then K8to came up for a ride, me on my cross bike her on her orange 5 we must have looked a right pair!!! Up to the Strawbury Duck to find there was no food today, back was scary lots of ice and it had got a lot colder!

Now time to get ready for tomorrow and then off to bed!

Wednesday, 4 February 2009

I'm just scared!

Went out on the cross bike today, well I need to learn how to ride it if I'm going to race on it on saturday! Worked out why they have bar top levers, they must pull more cable as I could stop on road using them! Did a loop I usually run and then extended it. It had everything, I tried running uphill with the bike on my shoulder and although the top tube being flat helps I think I need some padding. The other problem is any time I made up on flatter bits I lost going downhill at so slow a pace, too scared to do anything else since my brakes don't seem to stop me and there was ice and snow everywhere! Tomorrow I need to learn how to jump on and off the bike!

16.22 miles @ 8.1mph
458m of ascent

Monday, 2 February 2009

More snow!!!

I failed miserably in my attempt to stay up and watch the super bowl with Ali last night but I was still woken up in the early hours of the morning to excited screams of "snow, snow, snow". In the morning she decided she wanted a snow ride - I apparently get all the fun! So she rang her Boss and booked a days holiday (thank you Ali's boss). We headed over to winter hill, via the track from Barrow Bridge across the golf course, it was really windy and there were huge snow drifts - Ali only went head first into one though! Then it was onto winter hill itself.Slipping and sliding we made our way down onto Georges Lane just as the sun came out so we headed up onto the Pike. It was a little windy up there but nothing like saturday!I decided that riding off the back had to be attempted, Ali went ahead to get pictures. At the top I tried going over the bars twice! But I got going and even stayed upright! After that we dropped to Chapel Cafe for a well deserved lunch, on the tiny bit of road we did to get there I managed to go flying on the ice, I think I managed to land on every part of me but my head!

After that it was home via Belmont Old Road and the cheeky trail down to Belmont. Here Ali managed to sink knee deep into a bog that was hidden with a layer of snow. Lots of pulling and her and her bike were free and flying down the rest of it!

Now the bikes are happily defrosting!

20.29 miles @ 6mph
726m of ascent

Sunday, 1 February 2009

January Roundup

This month has been a great start to 2009. I have made a good start with my targets and my mileage is up on January last year. I also found out I get to do transwales! It's not a suprise I did more mileage really as last January I was only starting out to build a base from nothing. Anyway here are the figures:

36.31 miles running
284 miles moutain biking (all singlespeed)
20.81 miles cyclo-cross
337.03 mile road

14800m of ascent

It's been a good month with some real highlight adventures. Some of the best have been my first singlespeed ride in the peaks, meeting kate on that ride - she seems nearly as crazy as me! The ride last weekend with Vix where I did 63 singlespeed miles. Oh and completing my first 100miles of the year. Along with Ali coming out riding more. If every month is like this month I will be happy!

Progress on targets:

  1. Run at least once a week Done for January
  2. Run 300miles in the year 12% complete
  3. Cycle an imperial century a month January's completed
  4. Cycle 8000miles in the year 8% complete