Sunday, 27 January 2008

The best...

...road ride I've done in years! So many things going for it, great weather (and coming after crap weather for so long), a great route , good riders to hang on to and enough giggles to take away the pain of the steeps.

We were all weight lifting up these, I had 36x23, and it wasn't enough, my moment of real suffering was the first proper climb, 3 mins with an average power of 400W and an average cadence of 40 :(



But at least I don't weigh 15 stone! It didn't seem to hold Kinger back though.... and like the man said as he popped the hammer down again, "Where you see hills, I see opportunities to attack..."



Benny Boy Dale was route master and has been touting this for years. He finally chose the best day possible to do it.



He too was laying down the pain when the road turned upwards, and seemed to be enjoying himself a bit too much as I was hiding in my pain cave.



Dave Perks showed his clear commitment to the scientific principles of sport nutrition with this inspired purchase half way round...



There's a time when only doughnuts will fill the hole. Or chips if you're P...



Final thoughts... as we got organised to finish off the last few miles (see below, poetry in motion I reckon) I was pondering, is it wrong to enjoy global warming so much? How can it be January?????



Saturday, 26 January 2008

Thanks to...

Crumpy. When it's the first sunny weekend day in months, you planned to leave at 10 and you're still in the garage messing with your brakes at 11 you know it's time to either a) launch your bike into the garden next door or b) go to the shop and request assistance. Crumpy came to the rescue, his calm and unflappable Ying to my stressed and definitely-very-flapped Yang. 20 mins later there was nothing but smooth stopping power at my fingertips and the P and Mokes express was back on track.

It was worth every mile of the journey to Nant-yr-Arian, the coffee in the cafe is great, and the singletrack just right.

Having left a little late we made the most of what sun was left.



And tried to keep our eyes off the sunset and on the trail.



The aim today was tempo on the climbs and aiming for no braking or pedaling on the singletrack. Working hard to pump the bikes through the whoops was great, smiles all round :)

The carpark was deserted after the second lap and the wind was howling off the Irish Sea, the final shot of the day was taken with freezing fingers - and cheeky grins.


Thursday, 24 January 2008

Foot Traffic...

Every so often Slayer and I catch up for a climb, beer and film. This time however, we decided to take advantage of the break in the rain to get in a spot of night running on the Malvern Hills. I strapped on the Hope LED to my arm and off we went. With enough light to accidently bring down a 'plane seeing the trails was no problem.



Not being blown off the trails was a bit of a problem. It's also quite clear that I am in severe need of a barnet chop (although the wind was something else and didn't help the 80's flick I seem to be working there!). Scissors to the rescue please!



Slayer, on the other hand is looking his normal suave self. Nothing like a life of fighting the oozing evils of our societies criminals to keep you in shape!

Sunday, 20 January 2008

Change of plans...

P's sick so the weekends plans needed some modification. Instead of 4 hrs on the road and 3 hrs on the mtb it turned into 2 hrs on the road and... 3 1/2 hrs on the road. All good, but no plan incorporated this:



For those of you not familiar with CyclingPeaks (most of my trans-continental readership, I would imagine) this can easily be translated as 'hard work' (3 1/2 hrs, NP of 250W, TSS of 224. Throughout the ride I just kept the thousand yard stare (at which i am a trained pro, see below) at bay.



Oh, and just as a bit of a name drop (and not that i'm trying to make up for the lack of relevent and topical photos) - here's me boring Tinker (who is a shoe-in for the 'Top-Ten worlds nicest people' awards) with my family history...



Needless to say, I was doing the 24hr race as part of a team, he was doing it solo. He went past me on the first climb in his big ring, and was polite enough to wish me luck. I want to hate him... but can't :)

Sunday, 13 January 2008

Riding slower...

It is always good to get social rides in, more so when you've been training a lot.
It's also good to ride with people you don't often ride with/see. In this case Sambo and his Bristolian amigos.



Sam and I met through surfing. It was a huge relief that his riding is better than my surfing, I had visions of broken bikes and men.
He needs to work on his game face though...

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Sunday, 6 January 2008

No more diet for me...

Went out on Saturday, Cwmcan. Horrendous hail, sleet and thunderstorms. Needless to say I sacked off the second lap and hid in the (new and nice) cafe. Needless to say P didn't (must have been the CrudCatchers). Decided to spend Sunday in the dry and warm Newport Velodrome.


Had an excellent time and learnt some lessons... many from Robbie Lyne... needless to say he kicked me around Newport Velodrome till I begged for mercy. Like I say, who needs to diet :)
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Friday, 4 January 2008

First ride...

First ride of the year... and first post-op mtb ride for P. Me, nervous? Yes.

Cwm Carn, a loop we both know well. Dry as a bone, perfect. The only way to make it better would be to build another trail there, increase the options.
We did a couple of laps, the first together, the second at our own pace(s). I was on a loaner Anthem from Climb On Bikes - I had one of these as a team bike last season and I'm convinced it's the bike. Amazing :0) Heaps of fun and fast on every surface.

P was riding the 9.9. Not the most forgiving of bikes, but quick quick quick.

The end result? Two good laps, no re-broken bones. Just right :)
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Wednesday, 2 January 2008

Tuesday, 1 January 2008

New Year Excess...

What a great New Year...


4 good hours on the bike, first 1:30 with the local Sunday grp ride then we peeled off to take in Talgarth and make it up to 4 hrs (NP 227W for those who know). Felt really good, which was positive.


Then a great New Years Eve dinner with a few beers/wines at ours with Bro (Bobs)/Sis (Gill) in Law and Stu-Viv. Cooked the pheasants' Stu shot, nice.


Finally the Hereford New Year's Day 10km. Running is hard work, thanks to Bob's for pacing me round. I now have major muscle soreness :(

Best news of the weekend though... P's first mtb. Fingers crossed for the collarbone!
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