Tuesday, 30 September 2014

Sam Pilgrim Big Air Invitational at The Cycle Show 2014

I know I know, its been a while!!!

Lots has been going on, The Tour de France has been to Yorkshire and we went to see it, The Tour of Britain came to Liverpool, and certain members of the club, mentioning no names ( Alison, Fran, Pauric) stalked the riders for three days!! The club is getting bigger, as is my waistline, the house is getting done(r) and me and the family have had a great summer doing non bike related activities!

I went to the Cycle Show at the NEC last weekend. I wasn't going to go this year as I have been for the last few religiously, but when the offer of a comp ticket from Madison came along I couldn't resist! The set up this year was different to the last few, showing how popular cycling has become in the UK. There were more stands to see, and definitely more people there! One thing I was pleased to see was a Big Air competition. The first time I went to the Cycle Show it was focused on MTB and BMX with hardly any road bikes, and there was always some kind of Dirt competition. I have attached a video that shows the nutters flinging themselves off the drop off and on to the jump!!

Too many to name them all!!! 
The riders who took part in the Competition with Sam Pilgrim were Sam ReynoldsMatt Macduff, Blake SamsonChris SmithSteve Geall ,Ray SamsonMatt JonesChopperSherwy Pasamonte ,Daryl BrownAmir Kabbani, Tom CardyCharlie WattsRyan NangleEric Walenta, Danny Pace and Marius Hoppensack. My interest in MTB may well have been rekindled! (Don't tell Mrs Palefish)

I did have a look around the stands too, and there were too many new bikes to photograph! however there were a couple of special ones. A certain Mr Wiggins winning TT bike, Marcell Kittels bike from the Tour of Britain and Vincenzo Nibalis winning Tour de France bike.

We also saw a couple of famous faces around the show, our favourite was Lord Sugar on the Pinarello stand. I managed to snap a great pic that looks like Dave and his Daughter Sian are giving him some advice!

I am going to do a photo post from the Tour at some point, when I have a spare couple of days to upload the Pictures to Blogger!!!

Watch this space ;-)

Thursday, 19 June 2014

2nd Birthday Video

While we were celebrating our second birthday spinning round Wirral last Sunday, Ken was busy with his GoPro. He has worked hard editing the footage into this great Video.
I think it sums up the club very well, lots of smiles and laughs sharing great times with our friends on our bikes.

Sunday, 15 June 2014

2nd Birthday already!

I have been useless this year with writing updates on here. Lots of things getting in the way, and also, if I was to be perfectly honest, I couldn't be bothered!!!!
Anyway, today is a special day in the Palefish Calendar. It is our birthday, and today we celebrated with a spin round Wirral with a coffee stop at Eureka.
It was a busy day for cycling today with the Wirral Bikeathon taking place. The route I planned took us off Wirral across the Burton Marsh, then back via Eastham and Prenton to avoid it. There were quite a few Fishes riding it, and also Dave was Marshaling, so our numbers were a very manageable 18 (I think!!) Most of us set off from the Library.....I should explain! We were getting such big groups on Tuesday and Thursday evenings, the Twelfth Man car park wasn't big enough, so we moved up the road to the Library and Community centre. I suppose I should take the opportunity to update you on other club stuff while we are talking about it!
It keeps on getting bigger! Much bigger than I ever expected. We regularly get 30 out for the weekday rides, and there can be 4 different rides at the weekend. Most of the local and not so local sportives will have a Palefish representation, and we even have 5 members who ride regularly who live the other side of the Mersey! We have had the debate about affiliating with British Cycling so that people can race in Palefish Colours, and this time, rather than me just saying NO I put it on the Facebook Page and asked for people to choose if they did or didn't want to affiliate. The resounding response, thankfully, was not to join and keep things as they are! I was very proud that people want to race in the club colours, but it just doesn't fit with the clubs ethos. 26 more members have kit, which looks great as we spin through the lanes resplendent in our BioRacer gear, and there are lots of us off to see the Tour when it comes to Yorkshire. So, not much has changed!!!
A typical club night!

Anyway, where was I?
We set off from the Library to meet a few others at the Glegg Arms in Heswall. The plan for the day was a gentle spin making the most of the good weather and company. Things do not always go to plan! Ken had his GoPro with him, which caught some of the activities in full flow!!
For some reason, the run in to the Glegg Arms encouraged some unruly cycling. (It isn't even a Strava segment!!)
Steve was pushing me, honest!!
After we regrouped (and got our breath back) we headed towards Parkgate. The hill was too tempting not to have a little go!! 

We are not a race club!!
We regrouped, again, and then headed off towards the Burton marsh path. This has now become our gateway to Wales, we even use it on the evening rides. It has really made a big difference to our options.

Our kind of boards!
Everyone stayed together, almost, all the way to the Dee path, and we were all riding quite nicely, not too fast, having a good chat,when a couple of riders came up form behind and came past us. It was like a red rag to a bull today! the front of the group latched on to their wheel, and we rode along with them for a while, exchanging pleasantries, all the time, the pace getting higher as they tried to pull away (not racing you understand) Anyway, enough was enough and the Palefish Peloton burst into life! With shouts of "on your left" we upped the pace and raced off down the path (which was clear for as far as we could see) 

Really, we are not a race team!!!
The silliness ceased when we regrouped, and we rode back along the Greenlane to get to Eureka (apart from the sprint to the Cafe gate, that always happens!!)

We arrived at Eureka at the right time. There were not many people there, I was told that there was a big club ride starting from the cafe today, which would have been interesting. Anyway, we all enjoyed a refuel and birthday wishes from Anne and the team.

Coffee and Cake, nothing is better during a great spin.
We headed back via Capenhurst, Little Sutton, and to avoid the Bikeathon we rode via Eastham, Bebbington, Prenton and Upton. 

Palefish CC spinning down the lanes.
As always, people dropped off along the route, as we passed near their homes. 
We were lucky today, no mechanicals or incidents to get in the way of a great spin with the club. 

So, when will I next update the page? Who knows, but there are some exciting events on the horizon! First is the Great Manchester cycle, 52 miles of closed road mayhem and a bigger group than last year to ride it with, and then of course there is Palefish on tour at the Tour!! 

Finally, I need to say thanks to Ken who took the photos. I cant wait to see the Video!!

Thanks Ken. 


Saturday, 8 March 2014

Eddie Soens 2014

Another great race at Aintree this year. A large field with a good showing from the UK pro teams.
As always, the best race report and photo's can be found HERE on VeloUk website.

Here are a few of the photo's I took, and a video.

Rolling up to the line

They are off!

Raleigh Train

Rapha Train
It is a lonely walk when you have a mechanical!

The podium in action 1
Starting the last lap
Ian Wilkinson Just over the line Celebrating the win

L-R Graham Briggs, Ian Wilkinson and Rob Partridge

James, editor of Spin Cycle magazine, Pro Photographer and inspiration for my low down shots and Video!!

Busy Busy Busy

It is nearly a month since I last posted, and it has been busy!! The extension has started on Palefish Towers, which has meant that cycling has had to take second place (usually because the builders have buried my bikes behind a wall of equipment and materials!!!) However, I have managed to get out and get some miles in, including a couple of running sessions!!! I also got over to Aintree to see this years Eddie Soens race. (Photo's and video in a separate post HERE)
Training for the Wild Wales continues, along with the diet. I had a little blip when I was off with the kids at half term but I am a pound short of loosing the first stone! The circuit training at JGF fitness is definitely starting to show benefits, especially today when I was riding straight into a 20mph headwind!

This weekend sees the first sportive that has a big Palefish CC representation. The Jodrel Bank sportive is also the first of Steve Jones' sportive challenge rides for Clatterbridge Cancer Charity. Steve has a dedicated facebook page for al his rides and training, and also a link to his just giving page, you can find it HERE

Steve with his new steed on a recent training ride
 Today I had to get back early, so I joined the Palefish Peloton for the first 17 miles, then turned off, with Ken, to head out to Eureka for a brew. We stopped off at Cheshire Oaks Cycles, as Ken had an issue with his cassette. Chris kindly sorted it out very quickly, in return for a promise of biscuits on our next visit!! Phil and the team at COC are great, well worth a visit.

Ken and I arrived at Eureka, just as the North Enders were leaving, which meant we almost had the place to ourselves!!

 It was great to catch up with a couple of people I haven't see for a while in the Cafe. First we saw Steve Smith, on his way out to do some monster training in Wales, in preparation for his next race. He is in his second season riding for Champion System Max Gear . Inside we bumped into Paul, who is training for Lands end John O'groats, and an epic ride across the south of France and Italy later this year.

After a brew and beans and a spare, we headed back along the Chester High road towards West Kirby, then round to Moreton, where we popped in to see Steve at The Bike Shop Ken and I managed to spend about £10,000 between us looking at some of the bling bikes ( Colnago C60 and Look 675) that Steve can get hold of! I also saw something my mini Palefish may like!

Mini Palefish Steed?
After drooling over catalogues, it was time to head home, hang the bike up and get back to work!!!

Monday, 10 February 2014

Wild Wales Challenge Training at JGF Fitness

As mentioned in previous Blog posts the majority of the club has signed up to ride the Merseyside CTC Wild Wales Challenge in August. For a few of us, we need more than just riding miles in our legs to help us complete the 97 miles and 11,000 ft of climbing!! 
Jon Fairhurst, an original Vita and Palefish member, set up JGF Fitness in Moreton just over a year ago and has agreed to do a circuit training session for us on a Wednesday night. 
For most of us this is our first foray into the world of Gym's and circuit training. I was very surprised at how tough doing short bursts of high intensity activity is, and how much it hurts. Luckily Jon is very good at motivating us to try a little harder, whilst ensuring we are doing things correctly and not injuring ourselves in our quest for physical perfection!!! Sometimes the warm down stretches hurt just as much as the exercises! 
We are 4 weeks in and I think we are all showing signs of improvement both on the bike and in the circuit session. As with all exercise, it doesn't get any easier, we just get faster!! 
Jon took some photo's of our last session, and I hope they show the effort we are putting in to succeed in our challenge!!! 

For more information on the sessions that Jon delivers please have a look at his website http://www.jgffitness.co.uk/ 

Sunday, 2 February 2014

Great weather but bad navigating (again!)

The plan for today's club ride was to get some miles into the legs, and build up endurance with an undulating route out to Delamere and back.
I thought it was going to be a big group today when 17 people signed up on the Facebook club page, but I wasn't expecting 28 to turn up at the Twelfth man.
Luckily a couple of others had the route downloaded on their Garmin's so we split up into more manageable groups.
All was going well until the first puncture of the day! This was only 15 miles in, as we arrived at the Boat in Ellesmere Port where we were meeting Darren and Julia who joined us for the ride to Delamere, and then kept on to Beeston.
All the groups came together whilst waiting for the puncture to be fixed, and then we headed off down the oil sites road and on to Elton.
I hadn't noticed that Degs was missing when we stopped, and as we were heading up the Oil sites road I noticed a light in the distance behind us so I eased up and recognised it was Degs! When he caught us up he explained his tyre had split, and because he was close to home he had gone back and changed his bike (almost pro all he needs is a team car to carry his bikes now!) What made me laugh though was that as he didn't have the route on his Garmin, he had been following our tyre tracks on the wet road. I couldn't resist the temptation, and now Degs will be known forever in the club as Tonto!!!!!!

The group regrouped again at the top of Primrose Lane, a good leg stretching climb, and headed off the the Station Cafe at Delamere.

I think the staff at the cafe were a little shocked to see so many cyclists, but the weather was great so some of the group sat outside to alleviate the overpowering lycra!

A group of faster riders, and eaters/drinkers headed off before the rest of the group, which left 23 of us.

Fast Fish heading off.

The Sunday Shoal

All was going well even the climb up and over Tirley Lane until on the descent Francesca got a puncture. Not normally an issue, except this time we were on a 10% hill!!! Once fixed we carried on to the main Tarporley road and then the real problem began. We turned into a no through road, which turned into a farm track, which took us to a path we have followed before!!!

I think I said last time we rode this (check out my previous BLOG post) I would always check the routes for the suitableness for road bikes. Well I failed again!! This time it was worse, it was muddy and very wet! It was almost impossible to keep upright, especially on the cobble bridges. Luckily everyone saw the funny side and didn't look to annoyed with my navigation fail!!

Easy does it!

I'm not sure what happened to Ken!!!
Chris, on the cyclocross bike!
Alan Still smiling
The only casualty of the muddy cobbled path was Chris, who got a puncture. He was laughing saying he was enjoying the muddy path as he was on his Cyclocross bike and it was made for conditions just like these!! (spoke too soon I think!)

At the end of the path, conveniently there was a stream that was very useful in cleaning off the mud from the bike.

The rest of the ride seemed very uneventful after this, and we carried on towards Chester, then round the back of the Zoo (Thanks Dave for the suggestion) and then back to the Wirral via Deeside and the marsh path to Burton. 

When we got to Nets Cafe, a few of the riders decided to stop for a refuel, but I had to carry on as I was already running later than planned. 
Alan suffered the last puncture of the day as we rode through Heswall, and Kev suffered a broken chain as he rode home, luckily he had a spare link (must get one for my tool kit!)

The weather was great today, almost like summer at a balmy 5 degrees!! It was probably not the best day to test ride my new neoprene gloves as they were a little on the toasty side, and my fingers looked like I had been in a bath too long when I got home! 

The weird thing about today's ride was when I posted the route and ride on the club facebook page I added a photo. It wasn't until I was checking out when we last rode Platts lane that I realised the photo was taken on the day we rode the bumpy route last year!

So another good ride in the bag in the work up to the Wild Wales challenge, just need to keep it up!!
The diet seems to be going ok, although it is tough trying to be good all the time! I did avoid the cake today, and only had toast with my coffee. Training at JGF Fitness on Wednesday night was great, even the Mini Palefishers took part!!!

I lost a couple more pounds this week and have now lost 10lb in total. Hide the Salad please, I'm starving!!!!

Tuesday, 28 January 2014

Here we go again!

I can't believe it has been so long since I wrote anything in the Blog. It was all to easy to let the habit slip from posting sometimes three times a week to nothing in less than two months.
We are still working on the house, and I can't see that slowing up too soon, but I have been out on the bike in all weathers, covering more miles in the first three weeks of January than in all of Jan and Feb put together last year!
The reason for the high level of miles is to train for a particularly tough challenge ride that over 40 of the club have signed up to do in August.

Merseyside CTC organise a Challenge ride in north Wales every year, and to celebrate the 30th edition of the event, they have set a particularly challenging route which is 97.7 miles long and has just under 11000 Ft of Climbing. Those of you who know me, or have read my blog before, know that I really love hills (NOT)


I wasn't going to sign up originally but after a great email from the organisers letting me know that the club was going to be well represented and if all entrants finished the ride, we would win the most represented club prize. Now you know I'm not competitive, but I couldn't miss out on a ride with so many other fishes, even in the Welsh hills.
So, with my money paid and the realisation of what I have done sinking in, I have decided I need to focus on my weight loss ( I have managed to put on 2 stone over the last 2 years since the Tunnel Time Trial!) and face up to my nemesis,THE HILL!!!

Jonathan, an original Palefish CC Member, has set up a fitness business,JGF Fitness, and he offered to do a cycle specific training session for the club. Now, as well as the Tuesday and Thursday club rides, we have a Wednesday evening Circuit Training session. The session works on all the muscles needed for cycling, especially the Core muscles which are a set of muscles I haven't worked........ever!!!
It will be the third session this week and I have to admit I am looking forward to it. Even after such a short time, I feel as if I am seeing benefits. The main one being 8lb weight loss in two weeks, only 26lb to go!!!

In other news, the Club is still growing! As I mentioned earlier we have over 40 signed up to the WILD WALES CHALLENGE and even on cold wet night we are still getting good numbers turn up, usually over 15!!
We did a training ride into Wales a couple of weekends ago, just to test our fitness levels and to give some of the new club members an initiation into the delights of the Welsh hills. I was surprised to see 38 Palefish riders crossing the marsh path in Burton, and we nearly outnumbered the Bikers at the Ponderosa Cafe at the top of the horseshoe when the 23 that made it arrived!

The Palefish Shoal caught on camera by a walker (who happened to be a member of the club) crossing the Burton Marsh.
Thanks to Kev for the Photos. He kept riding ahead to a good spot to catch the rides in action
A rare photo of ME!! And an even rarer smile at the top of a hill!
Steve with his race face on!
Some of the group braving the cold at The Ponderosa Cafe
There are just under 7 months to go until the challenge. If my calculations are right, that means there are 81 training rides left and if I only  loose 1lb per week, I should be at my target climbing weight just in time!!

Well that wasn't as hard as I thought it would be! Hopefully I can be a little more regular with my updates in the future!