Wednesday, 28 September 2011

Summers back!

When the clock struck three at work today, I decided to take an early dart and get home to enjoy the weather. With a pass from the boss, at home, I headed out into the early evening sun. I cant believe that at 5pm on a late September evening it was 23`c! Shorts and T shirt weather again. I hope it stays for the weekend.
I chose to go out into the lanes today, so headed up to Irby, and found Barry still at the shop. Half an hour later, (and after confirming your callipers are there Ken! not long now) I continued out towards Thornton. Then out onto the Chester High Road, back through Heswall and down into West Kirby and round to Hoylake. The sun was just starting to head to the horizon and the shadows were extra long.

Risking my iPhone I took this picture whilst riding.

I wasn't too worried about averages today.It was nice to get out in the sun and spin the miles out. All miles are good miles!!

Tonight's ride Details:

Tuesday, 27 September 2011

Time for a test!!

I decided to give myself a challenge tonight!
Last nights meeting has motivated me to think that I may one day be good enough to race, or at least enter a time trial. So I decided to push myself for the first ten miles of the ride. I chose a route that was flat, with only a climb up Black horse hill, which I would have to attack to keep the pace up. I have a lot of work to do!!!! I managed to do the 10 in 34 minutes, 15 minutes slower that most winning times for time trials!! My average speed was 17mph, which I would usually be happy with, but to be in with any sort of chance, I need to be up in the mid to high 20's!! So basically I have to get my average up by 13mph, and my time down by at least 10 minutes. I think the challenge will keep me going through the winter!! My simple, and obvious equation is less weight+more training=more speed!! Oh well, salad for Christmas dinner!!!

I cant believe how nice the day has been, and the sunset was fantastic. The iPhone camera doesn't do it justice. I hope it stays like this for the weekend. Last warm rides before the winter gear is broken out for good!!

Details of tonight's ride:

Monday, 26 September 2011

Vita club meeting

No riding today, which was not good as the weather was great all day! Tonight we had a meeting of the club at the shop, thanks Barry and Phil for staying open for us!
Dave, the coach, wanted to talk about the plans for winter training.
Saturday rides will continue, but the length will be shorter than the last few weeks, probably only an hour and a half. We will be adding Sunday rides into the mix, lasting up to 5 hours and challenging. The idea is that as the nights are drawing in we do a big one each week. Sounds like a plan, and will leave the Saturday ride for a shorter spin, at a pace that will be good for all levels.
We also discussed a winter training camp in Lanzarote in Feb, which sounds like a great idea.
The plan is that we will be entering races next year as a club. We already have some club members who take part in Triathlons, and Ben has already won us our first medal!! During the winter training we will be working towards this goal!! Not sure if I will race, but you never know!!  
The next big ride I have planned is the Liverpool Marathon next weekend, 9/10/11. the club will be cycle marshaling the event! look out for us if you are there!
If you are interested in joining the club please leave a comment here, or contact me via Facebook or Twitter.

Saturday, 24 September 2011

Big turnout for the Team Vita Ride 24/9/11

A great turnout today for the Team Vita Saturday coached ride. It was good to see Pete from Thursday night, Dave and Mark came back after their initiation in the wet and punctures last week and Dan Joined us after a discussion on twitter. 20 of us headed out from the shop with the words of Dave the coach ringing in our ears, " if you get dropped or we split at junctions or lights, today it is your responsibility to get back to the group. Today will be hard!" Things didn't start well as Dave and Mark, who come over from Liverpool to ride with us were just arriving as the first lads left!! So we had already dropped 2 at the start!! I dropped back to help them get back on the group, and just as we reached them, another junction, and we were dropped again!! we did this 3 times, each time I covered the gap to let the group know the lads were off, then went back to bring them up!! I felt like a true team domestique!! After an hour, 4 of the group headed back to the shop, the pace was good and they were suffering mechanicals or didn't feel they had the legs to carry on. Even though I am still "with cold" I seem to be ok on the bike! we then carried on zig zagging across the Wirral to the outskirts of Chester and then headed back. The group split when we reached Ness, Dave and the fast guys headed back across the Thornton, and Me and a couple headed back to the shop, My lungs finally telling me enough is enough!!
Back at the shop Frank was there, holding the fort as Barry had gone to a wedding. He informed me that I was on Coffee duty, which is no problem, unless you have the Franchise owner of Merseyside's Costa Coffee shops with you!! All good in the end.
Today's ride details:

Thursday, 22 September 2011

Vita Ride, Still with Man Flu!!

I decided to head up to the shop to see the lads before they headed off for their Thursday training ride, with a plan to then head back via West Kirby, taking it easy as I'm still full of cold. But things don't always go to plan do they!! As I turned the corner I could see the lads heading off down Thingwall Road. I decided to catch them up, say hello then head back. Well that didn't happen either!  once I caught up with the crew there was nothing I could do but stay with them. We headed out to Raby, did a couple of laps round Dave's speed loop and back to  drop Max off, as he didn't have any lights!! Unfortunately he lives at the lowest part of Lower Heswall!! Oh well, I did miss the hill session yesterday.
It was good to see a couple of new faces tonight, I hope Pete and Mark will be back.
I also received some more sponsorship for the Night Ride. Cheers Mate. The Giving page is still open, please take a look via the link on the top of the page.

Tonight's ride details:

Tuesday, 20 September 2011

Man Flu loop

I don't think it was the wet and cold from the weekends night ride, I think I have my very sharing family to thank for feeling rubbish today!! But I have committed to carry on training all through the winter, no matter how I feel or how bad the weather is, and be in a better place in the weight department next year! In the last couple of weeks a few pounds have moved in the right direction. I just have to keep it up.
 I spoke to Barry at Vita today, and he mentioned a possible plan for a challenge next year. I think there may be an exciting ride to look forward to. News to follow as I get it, and motivation to keep going out in the evenings!!
I was rewarded with this great view when I climbed the hill in West Kirby for the second time tonight
Even my dirty bike looked good bathed in the sunset light.

 I got a link from the British Heart Foundation today to the photo's from the Night ride. And the date for next years ride has been announced, 29/30 Sept 2012! They didn't listen to me and put it on in the summer! Who is up for it?

Me and Ken crossing the finish line.
The next event is the Liverpool Marathon on 9th October. Don't panic, I'm not running it!!! Team Vita has been asked to cycle marshal the course. So far 6 of us have volunteered, but if you would like to join us, please leave a comment, or message me on Facebook or Twitter.

Tonight's ride details:

Sunday, 18 September 2011

British Heart Foundation Manchester to Blackpool Night ride

We did it!! The distance ended up being 52 miles, which my legs coped with fine. I didn't feel too tired through the night, although I do now!! The weather delivered a few nice cold showers to keep the mind focused in the small hours too.
The start of the ride was Barton Sq at the Trafford centre. I started the Garmin as we arrived, which means that the hour and a half we waited to go has been included in the total ride time!! oops!! I definitely need a battery for my heart rate monitor too, 224bpm resting!!! And for some reason the elevation at the end of the ride has gone a bit mad! Maybe the Garmin was tired and cold too!!!

We set off in groups of thirty, starting at 1o'clock. Our start time was 1.30. The rain held off for us whilst we rolled out of the centre and on to the dark empty streets of south Manchester.
It didn't take long for the rain to return to join us.
I was a bit surprised at how many punctures there were in the first few miles. Luckily me and Ken managed to get through without any mechanical problems.
We made good time and by the time we reached the first food stop we had already caught up with some of the early starters.
The route was well planned, with great signs and marshaling, with feed stops about every 15 miles, the best one was at Bamber Bridge, where there was some warming soup to keep the hypothermia at bay!!

The rain continued to keep us company intermittently, it seemed that just as I had warmed up the rain would come back!!
It was also a bit weird coming across groups of spectators cheering us on our way ( some very late licenses at a few hostelries!)
Riding into Blackpool under the lights was a bit surreal, with the lights at the top of the tower guiding us to the finish.
There was a warm welcome and coffee, toast and porridge to restore some sort of heat into cold legs.
The organisation was great, my only suggestion would be that the next Night ride be held in June!!

Thanks to every one who has sponsored us. We have achieved doubled our initial target, so far.
There is still time to help us support this fantastic charity.

Tonight's ride details:

Saturday, 17 September 2011

Extraordinary Team Vita Ride 17/9/11

Today's team training ride was a bit of a weird one! The weather was a bit dodgy at times, and 3 of the lads managed to get 5 punctures between them! I had left the group and was riding back to the shop with a new member of the team, when the 5th puncture happened, but we had both used our spare inner tube earlier! So cool as you like Dave said to me "I'll run back to the shop"!! So he did, pushing his bike with me leading the way   It must have looked like a scene from Rocky!!
So my quick spin to stretch my legs before tonight's night ride was a  little extended.
Obviously all the data on the Garmin needs to reflect the situation.
Its now 6pm and in four and a half hours we will be leaving for the Trafford Centre and Starting the Night Ride.
A big thank you to everyone who has sponsored so far, there is still time if you haven't!!
Ride details:

Thursday, 15 September 2011

Please Help

 Saturday Night I will be riding in the British Heart Foundations Night Ride from Manchester To Blackpool. I am riding with ken and we are hoping to raise £100 for the Charity. Sponsorship is not going too well at the moment. Please have a look at our giving page or alternatively you can Text MCBP99 £1 to 70070. If all my friends just sponsored a £ we would hit our target!!
Thanks in advance.

Wednesday, 14 September 2011

Hills and a loop before Dark!

More Wednesday night Hills training with Shaun, James and Andy. Thanks for the Motivation lads, one day I will be able to keep up with you! Its like being with a herd of mountain goats when we get to a climb! I get out of the saddle, push the gears to the max to keep the speed up, and end up panting at the top, these three just spin up the hill with what appears to be no effort!!
 We decided to add a flatter loop into the middle to mix things up a bit. 
It was good training for Saturday night, Total Climbing for the Manchester to Blackpool night ride is 474metres, which look like they come in the first 35 miles.

This is the profile of the route for Saturday/Sunday. 
The training is going well, but the Sponsorship is not going so well.
Please have a look at the giving page, and see what you can spare. Me and Ken will put all the effort in, all you have to do is press the donate button!! Thanks.

Monday, 12 September 2011

Quick spin with Hurricane Katia!!

I may have overstated the title a little! It was very windy tonight, with the tail end of  Hurricane Katia kissing the North West coast. The wind has been that strong the Tour of Britain stage from Kendal to Blackpool was cancelled. Didn't stop me though!!
I dislike riding in the wind more than riding hills, so I decided to attack the ride by heading into the wind on the way out looking forward to a tail wind on the way home! It was a struggle at times to keep in a straight line when the wind gusted!
I decided to stop by the Beach to video how strong the wind was. Bad mistake. In the minute I was stationary, half the beach decided to stick to my freshly lubed chain!! A very noisy ride home!
Please don't forget to have a look at my just giving page, click on the link to the right of this post. Only 4 days until  Ken and I ride from Manchester to Blackpool through the night. Please dig deep, it's for a good cause.

Saturday, 10 September 2011

Epic Team Vita Ride, 10/9/11

A great turn out today. 12 of the usual lads and lass and a couple of new faces. The club is going from strength to strength. A good mix of ability and experience.
We were treated to a fantastic route, out to Frodsham and up Overton Hill, which was a challenge, and I laughed when Dave (the Coach) said that my name should be on the Tarmac just as we passed a "slow" sign!!! The ride had a few dodgy moments. It was Paul's turn to be targeted by a Wasp. A very uncomfortable sting just under his eye! And a close call with a Taxi that decided that we were in his way!
The pace was good, with a Sprint on the way back. No win this week, but I wasn't far off!!
We finished off with a drag up the Chester high Road, which created a break in the group. I rode at the back for the last couple of miles to make sure everyone got back. As we like to say, "There is no I in team, There is no I in Team Vita"!!!!
Including my ride to the shop and back, I did 60 miles. Not bad for a Saturday spin.
Good luck to everyone doing the Eureka anniversary ride tomorrow, sorry I cant join you!!
Today's ride details:-

Friday, 9 September 2011

Thank crunchy its Friday!

After a Bizarre day at work talking about plans for the Olympic celebrations next year, I felt compelled to get out tonight and do a quick loop. I challenged myself with Grange Rd in West Kirby, a particular nemesis of mine! 9% at times and three kicks. Tonight I actually felt as if I'd attacked it well, and managed to get almost to the top dancing on the pedals without slowing down too much! Move over Contador, Sharky's here!!!
Tomorrows Team ride looks like it could be dry. Fingers crossed.
Tonight's ride details:-

Also please take a look at my Giving page for the Manchester to Blackpool Night ride
I am aiming to raise £100 for The Mending Broken Hearts Appeal.

Wednesday, 7 September 2011

Hills with a bit of wind and rain just to make it interesting!

The usual crowd for one reason or another (rain, wind, exciting stage in the Vuelta) didn't make it tonight. I started off on my own, deciding to have a little detour up Wirral's only hairpin! When I got back to the top of the hill there was James, one of the Vita lads. So on we went looping up and down in the wind and rain. I am actually starting to like hills! Sad but true. They can only get easier the more weight I loose, and watching someone like James, who is 4.5 stone lighter than me, fly up the hills is really motivating! So seeing as I didn't have anything to eat before I went out, and I burned 1556 calories on the ride, it seemed silly to eat when I got in! watch this space for weight updates. This is becoming obsessive!!
My registration for the British Heart Foundation Manchester to Blackpool night ride has been accepted, so at 11.30pm on Sat 17th Sept I will be rolling out of the Trafford Centre into the night for the 60 mile trip to the golden mile and the glorious Blackpool Lights.
News from Steve, LEJOG, is that although the weather is not so good, the lads are all enjoying the ride and they are making good progress, Check out their updates on Twitter or on their Blog.

Tonight's ride details:

Monday, 5 September 2011

Yuk! Winter's here

I must have blinked and missed Autumn! I got in from work tonight determined to go out even though it was hammering down. I think someone needs to invent a neoprene cycling suit for these conditions! And the Carbon didn't melt!!!
I tried a slower fat burning pace tonight, hopefully if I mix up the intensity of sessions I will be able to shed some of the excess baggage I'm carrying and be able to sustain some speed up the hills!
Ride details:
I have decided to go to the Cycle Show this year. Not sure its a good idea since I've just bought a new bike!! Fingers crossed for a lottery win to finance the trip!!

Saturday, 3 September 2011

Team Vita Ride 3/9/11

Rain!! I woke up to the unmistakable sound of the wet stuff falling outside! It is definitely a De motivator, looking out the window whilst eating your porridge at the grey miserable sky. Add to this the thought that the Coach is back from his Cycling holiday, all fired up and I could have easily gone back to bed! The coaches post on Face Book was all the inspiration I needed, he said due to the adverse weather, today's ride would be reduced from 3 hours to 2 hours 55!!
So, I pulled on my over shoes, zipped up the rain jacket and headed up to the shop. There was a good turn out considering the conditions. And luckily for us, the rain stopped just after we left. We even had to stop to take our jackets off as the temp was quite warm. The pace was good today, and I think the hill training on a Wednesday night with the Mamils has made a huge difference. I even managed to win a sprint for a sign!!! 
Back at the shop the talk was all about the Eureka anniversary ride next Sunday, unfortunately I cant make it, and then about the winter training programme the coach is devising. Sounds like there will be plenty of circuit and spin classes to attend when the weather gets too bad to ride!
I need to get the Giant back on the road, apparently carbon dissolves in the rain!!

Friday, 2 September 2011

Post work spin

Just a quick one tonight, saving myself for tomorrows Team Vita ride with the coach. The reports I'm getting from last nights training session look like it will be a tough one! I hope Sean will be able to fix his new Dolan, that decided to spit off the rear hanger last night, in time!! Also don't forget that Steve from the club is starting his LEJOG challenge on Sunday. Check out here for info.
Tonight's ride details:
If only I had a helmet cam to record the foolish drivers I encountered tonight! Worst was a Volvo, no surprise there, pulling out on me on Grange Road when I was doing 34mph!! I think I need some new brake blocks, as well as clean underwear!!