Sunday, 26 February 2012

Onix Bikes Rob Hayles Signature range launch


I went to see the new Onix Rob Hayles Signature Range tonight at the Manchester Velodrome.
It was the first time I had been to the Velodrome, which is very impressive, and as we arrived it felt like going to Wembley for the first time. This is the home of British Cycling, and the stage where many of the current crop of British Pro's have learnt their trade.



Craig's dedication to his brand

We were warmly welcomed by Craig, the owner of Onix and chatted to him about the bikes, how Rob, triple Olympic medalist and former World Champion, had got involved in the testing process, and the decision to make it a signature range. Craig also talked about the exciting opportunities he has had to promote the range, including sending a bike to Monaco for the Channel 5 Gadget show to ride round the GP course.


As you know,all cycling events have to include cake, and as usual Craig used cake as a marketing medium, and they were tasty too, apparently! 

So to the new bikes. I will let you make your own mind up after seeing the pictures. I was lucky enough to see the bike in its raw state at the Twitter ride last year, and I have seen the launch photo's on line, but in the flesh they look even better.

Onix Black RH

Onix Black RH PRO




What I like about Craig's bikes is the attention to detail, not only in his pursuit of engineering excellence, getting all the angles, lengths and rakes right, but also in the finish. The distinctive black frames with only a stripe of colour is stunning. Craig explained how he had to convince the guys who painted the bikes that he wanted stripes without tapered ends and how they thought he was mad, as all stripes have to end in a taper! I think you'll agree they look great.


I also like the use of the Onix O on the top tube in gloss against the matt frame, The internal cable routing on the head tube and the Gloss signature.




Also on hand tonight was Mike, the Onix Mechanic and a real master of his trade. He gave us lots of advice for working on carbon bikes, and a couple of tricks to use to set our bikes up.

A Master Class from Mike
If these pictures have inspired you to think about a new bike, head over to onixbikesonline where you can use the bike builder to choose the components you want to add to the frame set and build your dream bike.

Craig and the Black RH PRO
It would have been rude not to have checked out the track while we were there. I was shocked at how steep the banking is, it definitely doesn't look that steep on TV!





Ade Shaun and Ken who I went with have all ridden the track, Shaun picked up his licence while we were there, and they suggested that I should give it a go. There are two things that may stop me. First, I'm not great at heights, and it certainly looks high on the top of the banking, and secondly, I don't think Mrs Palefish would be happy if I liked it and needed to buy another bike!!

Saturday, 25 February 2012

A great "lumpy" loop of Cheshire!

Today was the first time in 6 weeks that the club riders joined the Team lads for a Saturday morning ride. The group was impressive with 20 of us blocking the pavement outside the shop before the off. It was great to have a chance to catch up with everyone after last weeks Ten Minutes of Hell. The agreement of everybody there was that it was a great event, and next year the field will be much bigger, and some of us may try some Ten mile TT's this season!

Before we left Dave, the coach, explained that as there were lots of abilities in the group, we would ride in pairs and take turns on the front, riding at the pace of the lead pair. This way everybody would have a chance to set the pace, but also have to put some effort in to keep up if the pace got faster. It was also agreed that we would not leave anyone stranded in Cheshire somewhere!

We headed out along familiar lanes, chatting and spinning the legs to get them warm, We were riding towards Elsmere Port through Little Sutton when the only incident of the day happened.
Riding in a big group is great, as you put in less effort when in the middle of the Peloton (the name used to describe a group of cyclists in a bunch!) and the miles seem to fly by. But there are some down sides, one is when you get dropped it is hard to get back on as you are on your own in no man's land, and secondly, you can not see any obstacles in the road. If you are following behind a peloton and see the riders frantically gesturing, pointing to the road, waving at the tarmac, or putting their hand behind their back they are telling each other what the road conditions are like. You may also hear shouts of  "HOLE" or "GRAVEL" or "S**T" if you are in a country lane near a stable.
Today one of the riders came upon a raised grid in the road which he tried to avoid, by bunny hopping, lifting both wheels off the ground and jumping over the obstacle. Unfortunately he landed awkwardly and fell, sliding along the road as we were at quite a pace. He decided that his ride for today was over and headed home, with another rider for support. I can report that he got home safely, a little battered and bruised, but should be ready to race next week.

The remaining 18 continued to the Shell Oil road, and managed to get all the way down it without seeing the infamous security guard! We continued on to Helsby, then Delemere, Tarporley, Beeston, Tattenhall, Waverton, Christleton and the outskirts of Chester, finding every hill along the way! We split from the Team riders here as one of the lads had to be back for work and they could ride fast together to drag each other home at pace.The remaining Club riders rode on to Eureka for a well deserved Coffee, and a Banana for me, and cake for every one else!  After the pit stop we headed up the Chester High road and back to the shop.

Regrouping at Beeston Castle

We didn't hang around at the shop today, as the ride took a bit longer than expected, and I had an excited son at home waiting to go and get his new Cycling Helmet!
It was great to ride with the whole group today, and also good to see that we are not that far off the Team pace, kind of!!

Dave gave us some great quotes today:
"Bunny Hops.....Just don't do them" discussing Alex's incident
"Loads of pot holes, this road is bad. Deal with it!" when he got fed up pointing out the obstacles
If I can get enough I may start a new "Zel says" page!

Today's ride details

As you can see from the widget at the top of the side bar, I am taking part in another charity bike ride this year. This time it is a  longer Challenge, From Loch Lomond to Loch Leven, 150 miles in 2 days. The ride is in aid of Asthma UK.
Asthma UK is the charity dedicated to improving the health and well-being of the 5.4 million people in the UK whose lives are affected by asthma. Please support us in our vision of "Control over asthma today, freedom from asthma tomorrow". www.asthma.org.uk

Thursday, 23 February 2012

Just like a Summers evening without the sun!

It is typical! I have finally got my winter bike sorted. The rear wheel has been rebuilt, new pedals have been purchased, a new saddle (thanks Dan) is in place and mudguards fitted, just in time as the winter has told its toll on the Kuota and the head race bearing needs changing. Good timing I hear you cry, well it would be if the weather hadn't decided to take a turn for the best and deliver us a 12degree average ride this evening! Oh well, it's all good training, especially on a slightly heavier bike!!


For the second time this week, there were seven of us out for a spin. We headed out to West Kirby then up to Caldy, Thurstaston, Heswal, Thornton, and then back through Irby to Greasby. The group are riding well together, and the pace is good. We put a little sprint effort in tonight, a half mile stretch into Thornton, ans it looks like we hit over 34mph.
We passed a Police speed check in Pensby, and I was tempted to ask if I could calibrate my Garmin with his Speed gun but I didn't think the officer would be too keen!

When we got back to The 12th Man, it was mentioned that as a Start and finish venue, it would be a handy place to have some post ride refreshments in the summer! Sounds great for someone who has resolved to give up alcohol for a year, I suppose there is always coke to look forward to!!!

The Vita ride this week is reverting back to one group, leaving the shop at 9.30. We will be out for 3-3.5 hours. We will ensure we do not let anyone fall behind, and wait if the group splits. I think it will be good to have a session with the coach and the Race team lads. It will let me see if I have improved with all the winter training.

Tonight's Ride Details

There was some more great coverage of Ten Minutes of Hell today in " the UK's best bike Magazine" Cycling Weekly. There may be more at a later date too!



Finally a plea from a friend. Lou who runs the Patisserie Cyclisme  web site is trying to raise funds to develop the site. She has got through to Enterprise Nations second round process which requires people to log on and vote for Patisserie Cyclisme who will get £500 start up support if they get 500 votes! It only takes a couple of minutes, and will help Lou realise her dream of turning her passion into a business and in turn help us find the best Cafe stops in the UK!
Please check out this link to Vote: Enterprise Nation Vote Now

Wednesday, 22 February 2012

The Phenomenom of "The Ten Minutes of Hell"

Phil and Barry (Vita Cycles) must be really happy with the response and media coverage the Ten Minutes of Hell is receiving from some big hitting cycling media sites and competitors from the event.
                        
Today people have been posting links to sites and forums where there was nothing but praise for the event so I thought that I would put some of the links on here.






Also here are some links to Photo Albums of the Day,




Here is a video from inside hell,



And here is my Album, which I will update with more photo's as they become available.


To top off a great weekend, I received a message from a friend who works at the Liverpool Echo, asking me if I would like to write a report for the paper on the event. 
I am very proud to have been able to do this, and apparently got a "good Job" from the Sports Editor!
It certainly is amazing how cycling and this Blog have affected my life. And a big thanks to James for the opportunity.

Here is the Piece I wrote for the Liverpool Echo, Sorry the text isn't too clear, but if you want to read the report, please check out this link: Liverpool Echo


I  have also been given the Photo's the Echo photographer took on the day.
Pictures are Courtesy of Colin Lane/Liverpool Echo





It was nice to see Vita riders, Carla and Dave's photos used in the Paper.




Tonight I was back out on the bike, with 6 other lads from the Club, training for the next TT, wether that will be this season or next years Ten Minutes of hell, I don't know!

Monday, 20 February 2012

Ten Minutes of Hell Time Trial Results

The Timings have been checked and Verified.

apologies if you are viewing on a mobile device as the text doesn't fit the screen size.
Please check out www.vitacycles.co.uk for more info.

First name Last name Team name Finish time Overall position Half Way Split Time Finish Split Time
Alex Dowsett Team Sky 00:08:28 1 00:04:08 00:04:20
Ryan Mullen Planet X 00:09:12 2 00:04:20 00:04:52
James Ratcliffe Fred Williams Cycles 00:09:13 3 00:04:30 00:04:43
Andrew Wilkinson Port Sunlight Wheelers 00:09:16 4 00:04:33 00:04:43
Ken Buckley Reading Cycling Club 00:09:20 5 00:04:35 00:04:45
Liam Stones Team Corley Cycles Blue 00:09:28 6 00:04:41 00:04:47
James Coleman Witham Wheelers CC 00:09:35 7 00:04:45 00:04:49
Stuart Wells Scunthorpe Poly CC 00:09:59 8 00:04:53 00:05:05
Julia Shaw Drag2Zero 00:09:59 9 00:04:56 00:05:03
Roy Sumner Port Sunlight Wheelers 00:10:03 10 00:05:01 00:05:01
Simon Hodgkinson Club Goldtec 00:10:10 11 00:04:58 00:05:12
Ian Cox North Lancs Road Club 00:10:13 12 00:04:55 00:05:17
Simon Smythe Cycling Weekly 00:10:14 13 00:05:03 00:05:11
Rob Adlard Team Wheel Guru 00:10:20 14 00:05:00 00:05:19
Rebecca Slack 00:10:31 15 00:05:09 00:05:21
Dan Ruygrok Mersey Tri 00:10:35 16 00:05:14 00:05:20
Dominic Smith We Love Mountains Race Team 00:10:41 17 00:05:05 00:05:35
Graham Thompson Anfield BC 00:10:52 18 00:05:14 00:05:38
Zack Williamson Mossley CRT 00:10:54 19 00:05:12 00:05:42
Neil Buckley Port Sunlight Wheelers 00:10:57 20 00:05:17 00:05:39
Alasdair Wright 00:11:11 21 00:05:27 00:05:44
Neil O’Brien Manchester Tri Club 00:11:11 22 00:05:29 00:05:42
Ian Fagan 00:11:12 23 00:05:29 00:05:43
Gavin Marsden Vita Race Team 00:11:22 24 00:05:28 00:05:54
Jill Wilkinson Port Sunlight Wheelers 00:11:32 25 00:05:43 00:05:49
Mark Donnelly 00:11:32 26 00:05:42 00:05:50
Alan Evans Mersey Tri 00:11:34 27 00:05:41 00:05:53
Sean Fairhurst Vita Race Team 00:11:37 28 00:05:44 00:05:53
Anthony Breen Vita Race Team 00:11:44 29 00:05:46 00:05:57
Dave Zelaskowski Vita Race Team 00:11:44 30 00:05:46 00:05:58
Sam Mansfield Buxton CC 00:11:46 31 00:05:46 00:05:59
James Mackie Vita Race Team 00:12:01 32 00:05:56 00:06:05
Nicola Soden Maxgear RT 00:12:04 33 00:06:03 00:06:01
Ross James Vita Race Team 00:12:07 34 00:05:47 00:06:19
Dominique Searle 00:12:07 35 00:06:04 00:06:02
Alex Caws Vita Cycles 00:12:12 36 00:06:03 00:06:09
Mark Williams Birkenhead Victoria CC 00:12:12 37 00:05:45 00:06:27
Mark Scatchard Chevin Cycles 00:12:14 38 00:05:56 00:06:18
Vicki Wade 00:12:17 39 00:06:05 00:06:11
Chris White Vita Cycles 00:12:19 40 00:06:00 00:06:19
Melissa Bury Maxgear RT 00:12:21 41 00:06:11 00:06:10
Fancis White Champion Systems / Maxgear 00:12:22 42 00:06:10 00:06:11
David Lindseay Vita Cycles 00:12:25 43 00:06:07 00:06:18
Dave Connor 00:12:26 44 00:05:50 00:06:36
Jane Saunders Vita Cycles 00:12:31 45 00:06:10 00:06:20
Paul Rowley Vita Cycles 00:12:34 46 00:06:03 00:06:30
Dan Williams Vita Race Team 00:12:34 47 00:06:12 00:06:22
Jonathan Fairhurst Vita Cycles 00:12:35 48 00:06:12 00:06:22
Dave Hughes Club Rosio Mona 00:12:42 49 00:06:05 00:06:37
Matthew Sweeney 00:12:54 50 00:06:04 00:06:50
Carla Fagan Vita Cycles 00:13:00 51 00:06:16 00:06:44
Dan Granton Vita Cycles 00:13:03 52 00:06:22 00:06:40
Robert Lawton Vita Cycles 00:13:14 53 00:06:28 00:06:45
Nick Fletcher 00:13:36 54 00:06:38 00:06:58
James Thwaite 00:13:36 55 00:06:40 00:06:56
David Pye 00:13:36 56 00:06:32 00:07:03
Andrew Davies 00:13:49 57 00:06:44 00:07:05
Sean Dalby 00:14:14 58 00:06:20 00:07:54
Alan Shuttleworth Altrincham Road Club 00:14:23 59 00:06:40 00:07:43
Dave


Badley


Vita Cycles


00:14:40


60


00:07:13


00:07:27


Sunday, 19 February 2012

"Ten Minutes of Hell" Mersey Tunnel Time Trial

Phew! What a day. The morning seemed to drag from when I got up to when I left to pick up Paul and Dave to go to the Tunnel. I had a healthy breakfast of cereal and then Scrambled egg and grilled tomatoes, even though the nerves were making my stomach do somersaults!! I took the bike out for a shakedown to make sure everything was still working, why it wouldn't be I'm not sure but it seemed to be the right thing to do and wasted some time!
Eventually Dave and I loaded our bikes in the car and headed off, twice as I forgot the parking permit, to pick up Paul.
We arrived in Birkenhead way too early, so we went for a coffee at the golden arches!



After a caffeine injection, and confirmation the tunnel was shut, we headed off to park up sign in and get ready.


It was great to have all our families there to support us, and take photo's! (thanks Mrs Palefish)
After the bikes were set up we headed up to the start area to warm up. Vita Cycles had done a great job in organising the event, even providing turbo's for us to use before we set off.




It didn't take long for our start times to come round. and we were off!





And not too long after, we were back.















and received a warm welcome from our boys.



That was it! For me it was 12minutes 19seconds of hell, and I am very happy with the result. The full finishing times haven't been released yet but with 10 still to go I was sitting in 29th, out of a field of 63. I think the last 10 will have beaten my time so that puts me 39th, not bad for a first time trial attempt!

After a quick warm down we watched the rest of the Team Vita lads lay down some impressive times, and then it was the time for the big boys and Girls. The field was filled with Current national TT Champions, Junior Champion and GB Triathletes. It was humbling to see the effort they put in to just warming up!


Alex Dowsett, current National TT Champion and rider for Team Sky, was last off. He certainly looked focused as he waited on the line to go.


Alex was the eventual winner, in a time of 8minutes 28seconds, only 4 minutes faster than me!

After the awards ceremony I managed to catch a quick chat with Alex, he is a really down to earth guy, who was happy to chat and sign autographs, and even have his photo taken with a fellow competitor (never thought I would write that in a sentence!)


The day was a massive success, and Phil and Barry from Vita Cycles should be proud of their achievement. Not only did they put on a great Time Trial, attracting some of the best riders in the country, they have also been very influential in getting me involved in the sport, and the Club.

When I started writing this blog in August 2011 I said that one day I may enter a race, I just didn't think that day would come so soon!!!

Saturday, 18 February 2012

Wild wet pre TT Club ride

I cant believe how quickly the Ten minutes of hell Time Trial has come round. Tomorrow by 13.25 it should be over! If it isn't I didn't do too well. The bike is cleaned, all unnecessary weight removed, and some slick tyres fitted. Unfortunately the rider has to be there or the bike would go a lot quicker! I have however hit a landmark weight this week, I am now only 6kg from my first target weight.
It took a while to clean the bike, and a lot of Purple Harry's Cleaning products. Even Dave from the club came round to give his bike a clean, and try out the Purple Harry kit, and I think he is now converted


                            Race ready and raring to go!                       Dave getting to grips with the Purple Harry                      

                                                                 
                                                                       Naked Kebel

The club ride today was wet, windy and wild. At one point, just as Carla suffered a puncture, the rain was coming at us sideways, but the seven of us who had ventured out made it to Eureka cafe safely, if a little sodden. The traffic on the high road didn't show us any respect, and I think the sadistic drivers quite enjoyed seeing us suffer as they covered us in huge Bow Waves from all the standing water. We had the last laugh though, I'm not sure how but I'm sure we did.
The ride back to the shop was just as much fun, into a cold headwind, which made the cold wet clothes we were wearing feel just that little bit more uncomfortable! ( Mrs Palefish wasn't too happy with the wet clothing either, more specifically the 2 year old cycling shoes drying on the radiator emitting a rather musty aroma throughout the house! Good job I have some Sidi's on the way!!)
The ride was good though and topped off a good weeks training for the challenge. I've been pushing the big gears on climbs to try to gain a little time on the up bits tomorrow.
So there is nothing left to do but get a good nights sleep, have a healthy energising breakfast, and go for it at 13.10!

Details for Spectators for tomorrows Time Trial are available on Vita's Website http://www.vitacycles.co.uk/pain_suffering_glory_a_new_year_challenge

Today's Ride details: http://app.strava.com/rides/4259672

Tuesday, 14 February 2012

Ten Minutes of Hell Start times (updated 15/2)

The Stage is set......

Start List Timings


12.30      Alan Shuttleworth - Altrincham Road Club

12.40      Dave Connor

12.42      Sean Dalby

12.44      Zack Williamson - Mossley CRT

12.46      Carla Fagan - Vita Cycles

12.48      Matthew Sweeney

12.50      Andrew Davies

12.52      Nick Fletcher

12.54      James Thwaite

12.56      Will Poole - The Triathlon Shop / Felt

12.58      Sam Mansfield - Buxton CC

13.00      Jonathan Fairhurst - Vita Cycles

13.02      Alasdair Wright

13.04      Dan Granton - Vita Cycles

13.06      Paul Rowley - Vita Cycles

13.08      Dave Badley - Vita Cycles

13.10      Chris White - Vita Cycles

SWEEPER VAN PASS

13.20      David Pye

13.22      David Lindseay - Vita Cycles

13.24      Robert Lawton - Vita Cycles

13.26      Neil O’Brien - Manchester Tri Club

13.28      Fancis White - Champion Systems / Maxgear

13.30      Melissa Bury - Maxgear RT

13.32      Alex Caws - Vita Cycles

13.34      James Coleman - Witham Wheelers CC

13.36      Mark Williams - Birkenhead Victoria CC

13.38      Mark Scatchard - Chevin Cycles

13.40      Nicola Soden - Maxgear RT

13.42      Susan Maire - Vita Cycles

13.44      Vicki Wade

13.46      Gavin Marsden - Vita Race Team

13.48      Ross James - Vita Race Team

13.50      Dan Williams - Vita Race Team

13.52      Dan Ruygrok - Mersey Tri

SWEEPER VAN PASS

14.02      Anthony Breen - Vita Race Team

14.04      Jill Wilkinson - Port Sunlight Wheelers

14.06      Dominique Searle

14.08      Roy Sumner - Port Sunlight Wheelers

14.10      Dave Zelaskowski - Vita Race Team

14.12      Sean Fairhurst - Vita Race Team

14.14      James Mackie - Vita Race Team

14.16      Neil Buckley - Port Sunlight Wheelers

14.18      Simon Hodgkinson - Club Goldtec

14.20      Ian Fagan

14.22      Stuart Wells - Scunthorpe Poly CC

14.24      Dave Hughes - Club Rosio Mona

14.26      Graham Thompson - Anfield BC

14.28      Mark Donnelly

14.30      Alan Evans - Mersey Tri

14.32      Darren Crumpton - Stirling

14.34      Simon Smythe - Cycling Weekly

SWEEPER VAN PASS

14.44      Rebecca Slack

14.46      Jane Saunders - Vita Cycles

14.48      Julia Shaw - Drag2Zero

14.50      Ian Cox - North Lancs Road Club

14.52      Ken Buckley - Reading Cycle Club

14.54      Dominic Smith - We Love Mountains Race Team

14.56      James Ratcliffe - Fred Williams Cycles

14.58      Alan Warburton - Leisure Lakes Bikes

15.00      Blake Pond - North Devon Wheelers / Southfork

15.02      Liam Stones - Team Corley Cycles Blue

15.04      Rob Adlard - Team Wheel Guru

15.06      David McGowan - Team UK Youth

15.08      Ryan Mullen - Planet X

15.10      Andrew Wilkinson - Port Sunlight Wheelers

15.12      Alex Dowsett - Team Sky



APPROX. 15.30 PRIZE PRESENTATION






APPROX. 14.45 PRIZE PRESENTATION