Sunday, 23 December 2012

Palefish Cycle Club Christmas bimble

I can't believe a year has passed since the big Christmas ride from Vita last year. It certainly has been a busy year, but I think I'll save those ramblings for another post!

This years Christmas ride started at the 12th Man in Greasby. On the club Facebook page 17 had signed up, a great number for this time of year. Also great seeing as the weather had been atrocious all week with rain and floods dominating the conversations.
When I woke up, the rain had stopped, but there was quite a strong wind. When I checked my weather App is showed 50kph gusts!!
Anyway, There were  eventually 16 of us who left to go to Eureka for Mince pies and Mulled wine. ( with the unfortunate absence of Badders today after a date with Mr Guinness the previous night!)
The First few miles were challenging, most of the time riding into a strong headwind, but once we were in the lanes after Heswall the going became a little easier. But with the shelter of the wind from the high hedges, came the risk of puncture! After some biblical rain this week, there were a few large lakes to traverse, I must say I was impressed with Stubsy's feet up style, and just to add to the debris and water the hedges had recently been cut, spreading tyre piercing hawthorns all over the road.
We all made it through the lanes onto the Chester high road, where I became the first victim to the Hawthorn! Just as we were pulling away from the junction, I got the distinctive "loose" feeling from the rear of the bike, and with just a quarter of a mile to go, had to get off and walk! On inspection of the inside of the tyre, in the Eureka Cafe yard, I had indeed succumbed to the mighty hawthorn! In fact it wasn't that big, but it was big enough to  put a hole in the tube.
After replacing the tube, and cleaning up, as the bike isn't in the best state it could be,(instead of cleaning thoroughly after each ride, another dose of oil on the chain is about as far as it goes. But this leads to an extremely messy tube change!) I had a chance to join the throng of cyclists in the cafe.

Busy in Eureka today (we took up three Tables!)
I forgot to mention that there had been a suggestion that we should Christmas up our bikes for the ride.
Tim won the Gold medal for effort, as cycling with a beard seemed to be a little difficult at times, especially when looking over your shoulder, and breathing, apparently! Jon also has to get a mention, for wearing his Santa jacket all the way round, not very breathable material I believe.

Santa Tim

Most of the Gang, Thanks to Anne from Eureka for taking the Photo.
Getting ready to head home.

After a mince pie and some mulled wine, we headed off home. We rode down the High Road and then turned off towards Willaston. People started to leave the group from here. The weather was on our side now, and with mulled wine fuel on board, the miles sped by. 

Spinning through the lanes

Jon and his Santa Suit!

The Second puncture of the day came just after Thornton Hough. Rob was the Victim this time, and whilst we were waiting for the repair, Graham "David Bailey" got all arty with his photos!

Mirror Mirror on the road.......

Graham decided to ride ahead to get some more photos, he had taken the ones at the rear of the group, and now wanted some of us riding towards him. To say things didn't go to plan are an understatement. First off, he rode ahead, only for the camera not to work quickly enough, then after riding ahead again, we rounded a corner to find Graham walking back down the road searching for something. First of all we all thought he had  fallen off, but once we stopped we could see the distraught look on his face, as he was looking for his phone which had fallen out of his unzipped pocket as he raced ahead to get "the shot!" Unbelievably he found it, and it still worked! So off he sped again, with his pocket zipped this time, and managed to get a great action shot of Owen climbing out of Barnston Dip. 

However, one rider, Pauric, didn't make the photo area, as he had become the third rider to suffer from a puncture! Once fixed we all headed back to the 12th Man without incident!
The ride time for today was only 2 hours, however the total time out was nearer 4, and for once not all of the time was spent in the Cafe!!!
Anyway it was great to have a nice social spin, even if it was a little eventful, and sign off the year with a great group of lads. 
Back at the 12th Man

I'm not sure when the next ride will be for me, but I know some of the lads were talking of riding later in the week. Keep your eyes peeled on the club facebook page for details.

Finally, I would like to wish everyone a very Merry Christmas, and a fantastic New Year.

Festive bike!

Tuesday, 18 December 2012

Mince pies and Mulled wine anyone?

Tonight was my first ride in a couple of weeks. All the best intentions to keep riding regularly through winter seem to have been scuppered by poor weather, Mrs Palefish working retail hours, School Nativity and Carol concerts and friends and family visiting. To be honest, it has been quite nice!!
To welcome me back to the saddle with a bump the weather tonight was quite atrocious. It wasn't to cold, but there was quite a lot of fog around, extremely thick in places. Seven of us ventured out for a quick spin, looping round the north west corner of Wirral. It was a great way to get back into the routine.

Thick Fog Tonight!

With Christmas literally just round the corner, it is time to plan a festive spin to Eureka for Mince pies and Mulled wine.
Last year we had a great turnout, over 30 riders heading out from Vita Cycles. 

This year we will be meeting at The Twelfth Man in Greasby on Sunday 23rd December. Depending on numbers we will either head for Eureka via West Kirby, Heswall then through Park Gate and Puddington, or we will head over towards Birkenhead and then out via Eastham and back round to Eureka. Which ever way we go, the total ride will be less than 50 miles, and we will aim to be back by lunchtime. 
If you fancy joining us, we will be leaving at 8.30. 
More details can be found on the club facebook page (click the link at the top of the page)

Sunday, 2 December 2012

Revolution at the Velodrome

This week I left the weekend ride to the professionals!
I have not been to a race at a Velodrome yet, and I thought that the Revolution series was a great excuse to go and see what all the fuss is about riding the boards.
Seeing as it was my birthday, I treated myself to VIP tickets. Basically this gave us access to the track centre, and a few other benefits (including a drinks voucher!)
It was a great night, with some very close racing, and in our VIP position we were treated to a great view.
I also had an opportunity to have a quick chat with Alex Dowsett, who if his racing calendar allows, will be back for the Ten Minutes of hell Time trial in 2013. I did warn him that I was a little quicker that last year! I also spoke to Edd Clancy, and thanked him for putting a link to this blog from his website!

For all the results and details of the series pop over to the Revolution web page
So instead of me blathering on, here are some pictures I snapped during the night.

The BBC Breakfast Crew on a secret mission!

Marianne Voss and Lizzie Armitstead head to head, again

The advantage of VIP tickets, getting close to the riders.

Preparing for the Madison

The Madison Sling 

Sky on the prowl

Three world Champions in a row!
A great spot to watch the racing

I took a small amount of video, just to illustrate how fast the riders are moving round the track. (I think we were stood next to Andy Tennant's Mum or one of his biggest fans!)

Also yesterday was the launch of Spin Cycle magazine. I have added a page link at the top of the blog, The mag is written, edited, photographed and generally created by cyclists for cyclists. Everyone involved has given their input voluntarily, so why not put the kettle on, make a brew and indulge yourself in the best that the North West cycling scene has to offer!