Month: August 2013

London to Brighton Overnight

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The power of Twitter

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Six minutes!

That is how long it too the cycling community on Twitter to start responding to my plea. In three weeks, Sunday 15th September I will cycle from London to Canterbury raising money for The Children’s Trust. Chapeau to the cycling community on Twitter.

This will be the second charity bike ride I will/have completed this year and this time lets hope this one is completed in sub four hours. 4h 38m for London to Brighton back in July was a good effort especially with the light problems we encountered but this time, in daylight that problem/has been removed. Fingers crossed for a dry day! However I am amazed by the speed at my first donation. I cannot say who it was from as they haven’t left their name, but a massive chapeau to them as they have got the ball rolling right from the off.

the next job is to get a few more fundraising ideas going ore the big event to ensure i reach my target. only 40 to go. Please help if you can and change the live of some seriously disadvantages children. My page is here.

Thank you.

Back to work and another charity ride.

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On Monday I return to work after the holidays and the opportunity to utilise they gym again. Soon I will be leaving the bike inside more often than not as the winter training programme will kick in. Well I have to have a meeting first to decide what they plan is but I need to assume I have a Ride London place for next August, so allow me to use the winter for the necessary strength work. I’ll get out on the bike when I can on those cold December, January and February mornings. but will be glad of the gym in the real depths of winter. I will have my fingers crossed until February when the Ride London entries are announced.

However before then there is a small matter of either 65 or an 85 mile route on Sunday 15th September for The Children’s Trust. As yet I have not received my route options and I can decide on the day, but I am thinking the 85 mile route is well within me , its just the time. 65 miles should be between 3.5 and 4 hours so 85 would be 4.5 – 5.5 hours depending upon the route and any climbs. One thing is after my delivery today I will have enough gels and electrolyte tabs thanks to the fantastic offers at Wiggle. Don’t forget when you order from them you get a little bonus in your order, enjoy. Past and present customers will know just exactly what the little extra is!


As you can see with this lot I will enough energy to light up the Blackpool illuminations if they need a hand. It will be interesting to see how the Apple, citrus and natural flavours shape up. So far the orange and summer fruits are good. Hi5 say they use real fruit juice and from the ones I have used so far you can tell.

As I finish off this entry and look out of the window at the evening sky it is another reminder of the need for lights on any evening ride. Mine have never been to far away from my bike since the night ride back in July and the fun which @grabsnowblog and I had with lights on that particular ride. It really was an experience.

So a little morning ride tomorrow I think before a very special afternoon as a nice reward!

Sky and the rise to the top

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Team Sky’s best Grand Tour finishers
2010 Giro d’Italia: Dario David Cioni (17th)
2010 Tour de France: Thomas Lokvist (13th)
2010 Vuelta a Espana: Team withdrew death of team soigneur Txema Gonzalez
2011 Giro d’Italia: Thomas Lokvist (21st)
2011 Tour de France: Rigoberto Uran (24th)
2011 Vuelta a Espana: Chris Froome (2nd)
2012 Giro d’Italia: Rigoberto Uran (7th)
2012 Tour de France: Bradley Wiggins (1st)
2012 Vuelta a Espana: Chris Froome (4th)
2013 Giro d’Italia: Rigoberto Uran (2nd)
2013 Tour de France: Chris Froome (1st)

From the list above it is clear that @TeamSky are a real force in the WorldPro Tour and especially in the grand tours. Since last year and Wiggo winning the tour Sky have only struggled to get a top 4 finish in the Giro. Froome could have won the Vuelta last year if he hadn’t spend so much energy helping Wiggo win. However it’s a team sport and Froome was the support role in 2011 and the main man in 2012.

So as the 2012 Vuelta stated this week Sky will be lead by Haino with support from Uran. They have a strong squad and will be up there to challenge Astana, headed by Nibali and Movistar with Valverde. It’s another grand tour which will be eventful I’m sure.

This is an impressive record from Sky considering their short existence in the peloton. They arrived with the goal to win the Tour de France within five years. Goal achieved and then defended. The question is now can they break into the other two grand tours and win those. Surely a challenge fir David Brailsford would be to hold all three grand tours and possibly at the same time. This would ensure sky are the best pro team out there. The great thing about this is that Britain would then rule the world on the road as well as the track. The best was to dominate a sport in all its formats, although I’m sure the competition in the peloton and other nations on the track would beg to differ. Isn’t sport great! Especially cycling!

G is for Gaterskins and FB isn’t Facebook

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As you may know from a previous entry due to a puncture I needed a new tyre on the rear wheel of my bike. In supporting the local bike shop I purchased a Continental Gatorskin. I have read many good reviews about these tyres and after one ride I can see why.

I would say to start with they are not the lightest tyre in the world but are one of the strongest. Ideal for the everyday rider which I am. Never before have I had so much confidence in the rear of the bike before. Yes my handling skills are getting better but this has been helped with the Gatorskin. I will replace the front tyre so there is a matching pair. A job for the bank holiday weekend!

This morning was a test and was a short ride of just 24km. In the rain too so the pace was not as quick as it is in the dry. Saying this on the final small climb of the ride I was feeling good and thought I would attack the climb. I stayed in the highest possible gear I could, forgot the world and pedalled for all I was worth. It worked! I was 3 seconds faster than the quickest time going up a 5% climb. I can only assume I should be able to go faster in the dry. Let’s see. For now I am happy with my achievement so far. At this point can I add this is the fastest time on the MapMyRide course. The real test comes if I can quicken my time by another 20 seconds to take the number one spot on Strava. That will take a while but the only way to improve I’d to keep beating your own times on courses and segments and eventually you will climb the leader boards.

So back to the title. G is for Garorskin and from the reviews I have read and the test I have completed myself the FB is for fucking brilliant. I love these tyres for the cycling I do. The only drawback mentioned in some of the reviews is they are a little tight to but on the wheel. However with a tyre leaver they fit very well on mine and the performance today was very impressive. I’ll try a longer ride in the morning in hopefully dryer conditions, however if it rains it rains. You only get wet once and once your wet you’re wet. Rule 9 is there for a reason!

Cycling books

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I’ve never been a big reader but maybe as I get older its something this summer I have indulged in . I have read two books on cycling, both autobiographies and both cover the aspect of doping during the nineties and 2000’s.

The first was The Secret Race by Tyler Hamilton and the second was David Millar’s book The fall and Rise of David Millar. Both books are very good and well with a read. I felt with Hamilton’s book you got an insight of what it was like in a team which was controlled by Lance Armstrong and whilst Millar was also a teammate of Armstrong before his cancer diagnosis, his books gave you a different perspective.
Cycling’s murky past is disappointing from the sports point of view but there is something about it which it interesting to find out what went on. Anyway my love for cycling books is getting the same as wanting to get out on the bike. So to solve this problem I have purchased my own copy of the Rules, which from this blog is a must, as well as the Eddy Merck’s book by William Fortheringham. If there was ever a great bike racer then Merck’s is up there in the top spot.

So whilst reading these beauties I will try and fit in more cycling, oh and return to work which will all add time pressures. I’ll blog too. There just might not be enough hours in the day!

B is for b*****ks & G is for Gatorskins

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Today was going to be the “ride as far as possible for two hours” ride and see what happens. Well that was cut short after finding a new claims to try. The climb was fine but on the decent I was created with a very shiny road surface. On this small country road a delivery or building lorry has shed hundreds of nails and screws over the road. I managed to get through most of the carnage but then as I passed through a lovely village pub by back end was out of control. The ride of the bike was not its normal smooth self and I knew something was up.

Yes a puncture in the rear wheel was the cause if this. Something cyclists get all the time. A pain as I was only 6k into the ride. The tyre has been ripped to shreds and that was the end of the ride. Spare tubes I had, but a trip to the local cycle shop was required. The tube was also in a shocking state with three large holes. The bin for that particular tube. Recycled of course.

So bring on the Gatorskins. I must get one for the front. They really are a great tyre. Now I get the opportunity to see how they perform. If you get some make sure you read the tyre and put it on the right way.


The only funny thing is about the event is I’ve managed to make the letter b on my Strava and MapMyRide maps. This was the warm up before setting off on a much longer ride. Hence the title “b is for bollocks” and G is for Gatorskin for this blog entry.

Well by the time I had got back from the cycle shop and fitted the new tyre and tube it was time for fish and chips from the van which comes every Wednesday. Not a patch on the ones from the Norfolk coast last week but still nice all the same.

Oh well Friday will be the next ride day and a chance to test the Gatorskins. I’ll write a review if them and post.

The nod

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When I was out today I saw many more cyclists than normal for a Sunday. The nice weather, not to hot and no rain we had in my part of the UK helped us I was cycling at a much more sociable hour late morning, instead of the normal 8 am start.

The benefits of seeing fellow cyclists on the road is you give and receive the nod or sometimes a wave to a fellow cyclist coming in the opposite direction. This appreciation of each not her provides a bond between cyclist of all levels from the beginner, regular rider and the full on amateur cyclist. I have no doubt the pros would also ablige but if I ever see Alex Dowsett out on a ride the nod would be long gone as he speeds past. If only I could reach those speeds on the flat he does going down a hill!

Last evening I was also able to cycle up to a friend and this is another enjoyable aspect of cycling, being able to have a chat. I’d you are catching a rider or group don’t forget to announce your presence and if staying with the group do your turn on the front. Its in the rules after all!

It’s good to be back

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After my break in Norfolk and sampling the delights of Norfolk Ales and probably to many fish and chips I finally got back out on the bike.

I wasn’t expecting a lot, just get back into the routine and see how things feel. I did try on a few courses or segments of my normal rides and I could feel it. I could not maintain the power or the average moving speed and this will return over the coming weeks. After all I am not a pro!.

It wasn’t all bad. I am now second on one of the segments a 2.7 km sprint which I felt tonight I could have given a bit more. This effort however did destroy me on the next segment only to prove that this was a first outing and I need to build of back up again.

So next week this will be the plan. Get out more and see what I can do. After all London to Canterbury is only a month away.