Monday, May 10, 2010

4 days to go!

That's it, training is over, I can do no more.

Saturday saw the final group ride - 60 miles in the wind and rain, can't be many days in May when you can see your own breath!
Now, a few days rest before my biggest challenge yet starts on Friday (that's about 90 hours from now!)

Training over the past 3 months has been good, whether it's been enough only the weekend will tell.

The last 11 weeks!

Will update again before I leave then look out for photos on my return...

Monday, May 03, 2010

Not Long Now!

Been having some computer problems recently preventing me from updating things.

Anyway training has been going pretty well for the last week or so. A few big group rides which have worked out ok and plenty of other stuff inbetween - been ytackling the hills between home and Royston a couple of times last week on a commute. Tough day today tho' with a hefty headwind for a good 15 miles home really took it out of me. Sore back and neck rather curiously however this evening!?

On the plus side, now fully kitted out. New shoes have arrived in the correct size and have been tested out. Only a couple of minor accidents so far, one on day 1 after 10 miles without stopping then forgetting to unclip at a junction, cue comedy sideways fall, at least no-one saw me! Second one was less inconspicuous - during a stop on thr group ride on Saturday - in front of everyone!

So, into the final full week of training. Plan is gym on Tuesday then ride to and from Cambridge on Wednesday, Royston commute on Thursday and gym again on Friday. Hoping to have a final group ride again next Saturday before the bike goes into Newdales for a final check over.


Thursday, April 22, 2010

Two punctures and a sore backside

Tough week or so on the bike.

Some good riding last week with a 34 mile trip back from Wicken Fen followed by some work at the gym and a commute home from Stevenage (32 miles). Then a 50mile round trip at the weekend with 3 of the group which was rather drawn out due to some differing riding speeds (glorious weather was a a treat though). Plan for this week had been to transfer bike into work on Monday then cycle home and back in following morning. Monday evening commute took a hit when I picked up a rapid puncture halfway in Buntingford - no problem, fixed in 15 minutes but meant a rush home to see the kids before bed.
Following morning with sore legs (bad sign) struggled as far as Brent Pelham (14 miles) before another puncture (same tyre) put paid to the trip - no more spare inner tubes. A call home to the wife (on a borrowed phone having forgotten my mobile and the telephone box being out of order) and arrival at work 90 minutes late rather dampened my spirits.
On the plus side, new tyres arrived (and have been fitted) which should provide better protection on the roads. Unfortunately, new shoes were too small so have been returned and next size up are on the way.
Will try and get out to test the tyres tomorrow evening before a group ride on Saturday afternoon. Only 3 weeks to go now...cripes.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Uping the miles

Hmm, so, training plan didn't last too long.

The planned 12 mile time trial route I worked out almost killed me on a cold morning last week. Saturday was to plan with the biggest ride so far (62.5miles) taking in a route from Chesterford out to Meldreth, Bassingbourn, Nuthampstead, Clavering, Wimbish and back to Chesterford. Glorious weather and a slight sunburn, all in a great 4 hours in the saddle with two of the group.

Now taken a couple of rest days but have a day off work on Tuesday so planning a ride back from Wicken Fen (about 32miles). Will follow this up with some miles on Wednesday and then plans for first ride back from work in Stevenage (27miles) on Thursday. Will report back then!

Monday, April 05, 2010

New training plan!

After a discussion with the fitness instructor at work and a re-evaluation of my current training regime i've put together a more structured plan for the next 5 weeks. I'm trying to mix it between distance/endurance and speed training so a week now consists of:

Monday - 12mile speed training route
Tuesday - 20mile+ distance ride
Wednesday - 1hour hill training (gym)
Thursday - rest day
Friday - 12mile speed training route
Saturday - 50mile+ long distance ride
Sunday - rest day

We'll see how it goes!

On another note, I've decided after Saturdays ride that I'm going to take the plunge and purchase of some proper cycling shoes, clip in peddles and cleats. Looking at the dhb R1 road shoe - not exactly top of the range but very reasonably priced entry level and highly recommended. Will order asap.

Saturday, April 03, 2010

The south(westerly) wind doth blow

Been putting in some tough training over the last few days. A couple of 20mile runs around the nearby villages with some winds to contend with. Today was a whole different matter. An early morning start in light drizzle and a pleasant enough ride up to north Cambridge via Shelfords and Cherry Hinton (20miles in just over an hour). Stopped off for a warming cup of tea at the Lunchbox cafe on Milton Road then paid a visit to our rental property.
Set off for home back along Newmarket Road then turned into the wind through Teversham and Fulborn. Then the hills kicked in. Rolling terrain and a headwind all the way to Balsham then even more full on through to Linton, Hadstock and on to Saffron Walden. Final stretch back to Gt Chesterford had the wind behind and 45 miles ticked over as I turned into the High St with the clock ticking over 3hrs 10mins.
The legs are feeling it now but giving myself a day off tomorrow to recover. Won't have that luxury in 5 weeks time!

The Route

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

First the train now the bed!

5 weeks to go and our accommodation is booked!

Friday night will be spent at The Black Swan in Gainsborough

followed by Saturday night at The Red Lion in Spalding

Just hope they know what they've let themselves in for!

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Five k for fun?

A day away from the bike today as I was taking part in the 5km Great Westgarth Run at the Friends School in Saffron Walden. Organised in aid of Motor Neurone Disease and by Susan Westgarth, a teacher at the school and sufferer of the the terrible disease.
Decided to paceset for the good lady then took the children round on the 2km fun run but still we have so far raised over £700 for the charity. If anyone else would like to contribute, our site will be open for a while yet, all donations very welcome.

Justgiving Site

Back on the bike in the gym tomorrow

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Tired legs

Eventually swapped the bike for the trainers last night and did a few miles run in preparation for a 5km charity run on Sunday. However, got a good group of 6 of us out this afternoon for an enjoyable 30miles round the roads between Saffron Walden and Haverhill

Feeling the legs a bit just now, lets hope all is fine for the morning!

Friday, March 26, 2010

Trains are booked!

I've had a slightly odd week on the training front. Managed a decent 25miles on Tuesday but struggled with 13 miles in the dark on Wednesday evening. Sore legs yesterday so took the night off and now the weather looks decidely ropey so not so keen on a ride tonight either.

Anyway, train tickets to York (from Stevenage) are booked for morning of Friday 14th May. A total of eight of us making the full 3 days. No backing out of it now.

Looking forward to getting a couple of hours done tomorrow if possible with some of the gang, then on Sunday swapping the bike for my legs and doing the Great Westgarth run in aid of MND association - you can donate a £1 or two here if you like :-)

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

More about my bike:

For all those nerdy enough to worry about these things - some details regarding my trusty steed:

Ridgeback Genesis Day 00 Flat Bar Road Bike
Frame - 6061 Heat treated Aluminium
Fork - Cro Mo blades
Headset - Sealed Intellaset w/alloy spacer
Shifters - Shimano ST-R220
Rear Derailleur - Shimano 2200 GS
Front Deraileur - Shimano FD-443A
Chainset - Shimano 2203 52/42/30
Bottom Bracket - Cartridge Cro Mo
Chain - HG50
Freewheel - Shimano Cassette 12-25 8sp
Hubs - Formula Double Sealed
Rims - Alex R450 32h black w/CNC sidewall
Spokes - Stainless steel black
Tyres - Continental Ultra Race 700x 25c
Brakes - Tektro 510 Dual Pivot Brake
Levers - Shimano ST-R220
Handlebar - 6061 Aluminium 540mm
Stem - Alloy Ahead
Grips - Dual Density
Saddle - Ozone SL
Seatpost - Alloy Micro 27.2mm
Pedals - Nylon street with mini clips

How it looks when new:

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Lonesome training

Took 90 minutes out of my day to put in some miles today before the bad weather hits for the rest of the week. Set off from home in blustery but dry conditions and headed along B1383 to Audley End. Turn right and pass through Littlebury Green. Cross B1039 and head through Duddenhoe End and onto Langley Upper Green. Head towards Great Chishall then on through Heydon and Elmdon before turning back to Littlebury then final sprint home to Gt Chesterford. Total 25.2miles (40.5km)

View Map

A New Challenge!

It's been quite some time since my last musings on this blog. However, the time is right to revive it and share with the world my thoughts as I train for the next adventure in my travelling life.

On Friday 14th May an intrepid group of cyclists will set out (via train first of all) to complete the ~200miles from York back home to Saffron Walden. Why? We are raising funds for a group of young people to travel to Brazil in the August 2010 with the charity Youth with a Mission.

So far, the training has been going well. I am up around 80miles per week but still have some way to go before we set out in just over 6 weeks time!

Favourite routes so far tend to lead out over the (relative) hills around Elmdon and Chrishall near to home. A typical ride being 15 - 20 miles with another 10 or so on top at the weekends.

My trusty steed will be my Genesis hybrid currently fitted out with ultra thin Continental road tyres but in need of something a little hardier for the trip itself.

As for my fellow riders? Well so far signed up alongside myself we have Simon Mattholie, Chris Winfield, Nick Jones, Peter Wilson, Barry Morton and Paul Cubitt. With hopefully more to follow.

You can also follow our progress on our facebook page

More news soon!