Saturday, 24 November 2012

On the way to Lapland.

The first frosty roads of the year met me this morning as Dave and I headed up to the 12th Man for the start of the Club ride today. Even though the roads were glistening, I decided to take the carbon bike today, as the forecast was for dry weather, and I like the saddle more than the one on the winter bike. If you missed last weeks blog, the reason I needed a comfy saddle was that the club was taking part in a charity ride with a difference today.
The Charity Northern Lights takes seriously ill children to Lapland for the ultimate Christmas experience. This year they are taking twice as many children as usual, and to help them raise the funds to achieve this, they came up with the idea to ride from Neston to Kittila in Lapland, 2235 miles, on Turbo's!
Anyone who has used a turbo will know that this is a daunting task. I personally hate turbo's, I'd rather ride in snow and gales than get the turbo out and sit in the kitchen spinning. But this was for charity so worth the effort.
 Dave and I met up with Jon, Andy and Carla at the 12th, then headed off to Bromborough to meet Tim and Ken. We then rode on to Cheshire Oaks, where the event was taking place, and although we got a little lost on the way (I blame the Garmin) we were there ready to start just after 9am. 
The previous day, the first of 3 days, the riders had amassed a stunning 1200 miles, so the pressure was on. 

The seven of us got set up on the turbo's and then it was time to get spinning. Luckily we were warmed up after the 15 mile ride to Cheshire Oaks, so I was quickly into a rhythm and getting the miles in. And thankfully, the generous shoppers, surprised to see seven Lycra clad cyclists at the outlet village riding but going nowhere fast, started to fill the collection buckets.

Spirits were high, and we had a laugh as we encouraged the less generous shoppers to part with their hard earned. It was a different kind of club ride to the usual, but good fun all the same.
After an hour though, it wasn't as much fun! Sitting in one position without the usual interruptions we face on the road, legs start to tire, and even the most comfortable saddle starts to hurt! I had originally agreed with the organisers that 6 of us would ride for one hour, then 4 would ride for a second hour, but with only seven of us and an extra turbo, when the 10 o'clock riders turned up, only two of the lads had to get off and the rest of us carried on. One of the new riders was another Palefish CC rider Paul, who had opted for a later slot to get some beauty sleep!
I set myself a target of 40 miles, which I achieved in just over one and a half hours, so I had a chance to have a coffee and get a bit of sugar on board before the return journey!

In total Tim, Dave, Carla, Andy, Jon, Ken, Paul and myself racked up 285 miles. Not bad for two hours work.

If you would like to donate to the Northern Lights Charity please follow the link to their website or you can text a donation via your mobile by texting NLCC25 and your donation amount to 70070 e.g. NLCC25 £5, or click on the following link to donate using your credit or debit card via –

We only suffered one casualty today, unfortunately Carla's tyre decided to split on the side, but luckily we were only just up the road from Cheshire Oaks cycles, so we nipped in to see the lads there to get a new one fitted. We then headed back across the Wirral this time via the lanes. In total I rode just over 77 miles today, the furthest I have ridden for a while, and my legs certainly let me know! However congratulations have to go to the Turbo King Dave (Badders) who with his Turbo 60miles rode 101 miles in total today. 

Tuesday, 20 November 2012

It's been a while!

I haven't written anything for a couple of weeks, mainly because I have not been out on the bike! I have not had "Man Flu" but I have not been well enough to ride. To be honest, it has been a tough couple of weeks. I didn't realise how much riding the bike helps get through the daily challenges we face. A couple of hours in the saddle, chatting with friends, and even sometimes pushing the limit a little, all help to clear the mind and refresh the body. I think not cycling, when I want to, reminds me of the many times I tried to give up smoking. Even down to the irrational moody behaviour and craving! Maybe all bikes should come with a health warning.

Anyway, whilst I have been off the bike, the club has continued to ride on a Tuesday, Thursday and at the Weekend. We have some new members, and our first Mountain bike rider has join us on club rides. Phil is fast on his MTB, and I think he would be definitely be quick on a road bike. We now have 75 members of the Club page on Facebook, and there are regularly between 10 and 15 riders out on the club rides.
The second order for club kit has been placed with Bio Racer, and we are hoping to get it before Christmas. I have gone for some thermal Bib Tights and a winter Jacket. Much needed now the Temperature has dropped.

In my last post, I mentioned that we were helping a friend with an exciting new project. Well I can now tell you what it is.
On the 1st of December (coincidentally my birthday!) a new free Digital cycle magazine will be published, called Spin Cycle Magazine. It will focus on all aspects of cycling in the North West. The Club will feature in the 1st issue, which is why James was taking photos of us the other week. There are also interviews with local (North West) Racers, cycling personalities and race reports. I have written the article about the club and hope to help with the articles in the future. I will put a link to the Magazine site when it is released, but if you want to keep up to date before the launch why not follow @spincyclemag on Twitter

This weekend we are helping a local charity achieve their target of Riding to Lapland! check out this link to find out more about the charity 

Its good to be back!

Sunday, 4 November 2012

What happened to Autumn?

It seems that the seasons are rolling into one! we didn't have much of a summer to be happy about, and there doesn't appear to be an autumn to enjoy either. The clocks have gone back, and the mercury in the thermostat has dropped to single figures in a week. Well, to be fair, I am commenting on the weather at the times when we are stupid enough to go out for club rides! Tuesday and Thursday night's spins were peppered with heavy cold downpours. Both nights I returned home soaking wet and freezing cold. Despite the weather we are still enjoying larger groups than I expected. 
This weekends club ride promised to be a little different. We met at 7.30 at the 12th Man and rode over to Birkenhead to meet Tim, Mark and Ken. We then rode round to the Seacombe ferry terminal to meet a friend of mine who is working on an exciting project. After Chris repaired the only puncture of the day, We rode round to Moreton via new brighton and Leasowe. Along the way we assisted James with his project of which more will be revealed in a couple of weeks. We then rode up to Heswall via Irby and enjoyed a blast along the Chester High road to Eureka. We usually ride through the lanes, but sometimes it is nice to ride along the straight High road in a group, at pace. 
When we arrived at The Cafe we were welcomed by lots of comments about the new club kit. There were 10 of us in kit today, so we did stand out a bit. Everyone was very complimentary and some even said they would check out the club on Facebook and here, on the Blog. 

Whilst we were there, we agreed to help with a charity bike ride. Not your usual kind, but an attempt to ride the 2235 miles from Neston to Lapland in 24 hours! The charity Northern Lights raises money to take seriously ill children to Lapland each year. To achieve the distance, without leaving the country riders will be riding an hour each on one of 5 turbos at Cheshire Oaks Outlet village on November 23rd ,24th and 25th. We will be helping out on the morning of the 24th. If you would like to support this charity you can donate via this LINK or by texting NLCC25 and your donation amount to 70070 e.g. NLCC25 £5

We headed off back towards Birkenhead,this time meandering through the lanes, and as usual, lads peeling off to head home along the way. 

Palefish CC spinning in the lanes

 We dropped Ken off at the station in Birkenhead and the last of us headed back over Ford hill and into Greasby.
We were lucky with the weather, the rain and wind held off, but the temperature didn't get much above 8 degrees. In this kind of cold weather a few of us wear a Buff to keep the cold air out, this is especially important if, like me, you suffer from Asthma.
Graham has found a great style of Buff to wear, an ideal piece of kit to intimidate errant drivers!!!

Palefish CC Stig?