Day to Day ….

One of the things I have started to do during the last couple of years is to enjoy my #SocialCycling … you know those times where you just get your bike out and ride to work, or ride to the shops or trundle around the village.

It is such a nice break from training or competitive cycling … I always record every ride I do on my Garmin and upload it to Strava, so my stats are often skewed in terms of average speed, as some of my commutes are in heavy traffic and I tend to just sit up and roll with it rather than “ride” if you understand.

Well maybe this little snippet I took will explain more … and before all the “he’s not taking care there, or looking at the road” crowd come along, let me assure you this was on a traffic free route away from all hazards, so all good there !

I am fortunate enough to be close enough to the office that I can nip home and drop back into work on two wheels — I can use the car for my meetings and stuff and then once they are out of the way, I can squeeze in a ride to work and then extend it out on the way home … managed this twice last week and gonna try to make it three times a week over winter, but weather conditions will dictate that … it needs to be dry really doesn’t it.

Got some fantastic stuff going on with work in relation to cycling and all that will become apparent too – you will see the little Bikmo+ logo on the left hand side of my blog – just have a click to see what it is all about … there are some very exciting things happening with this project and I will be able to announce a bit more soon.

Looking at events for 2016, and I seem to have settled on this one for the latter end of the summer:

circuit days

I have raced duathlons on Oulton Park before and I have taken photographs there too and I really like the circuit – the challenge will be a tough one to do solo as you need to complete it within 6 hours but smooth tarmac and no traffic or lights should mean it is well within my capabilities.

All good at the moment and all moving forward nicely !

 

Time To Think …

I’m pretty much coming to the conclusion that my running dream won’t actually come to anything ….. running isn’t good for my joints these days ….. sore knees and sore ankles make it hard to get out there consistently …. but none of these afflictions affect my cycling.

Maybe that is my body telling me that I am a cyclist, always have been a cyclist and I should remain a cyclist …. I love cycling and I don’t have that passion for running … I am never happier than when out riding.

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This weekend has really been quite pivotal in terms of what I will do in 2016 …. no junior football due to my lad being full of a cold meant two clear days when I could ride and out I went …

Saturday saw a ride south out to Culcheth in Warrington with a loop back around Leigh, Tyldesley and Atherton and it was my longest ride for quite some time and with the last 10km all uphill it was a tough way to finish …. I rode quite well but the route was interspersed with traffic, so my overall speed was dented.

Ride

In previous years after a ride like this I would be really uncomfortable at night, my back injury would send pain all down my legs into my calves and it would be a night of twitching around to get settled …. pleased to say none of that was there this time …. just tired legs really. After a few beers and the rugby league Grand Final I was ready for my bed that’s for sure.

I woke this morning feeling fresh and the legs felt good too … it was dry outside, so it was on with the new kit and out the door again, this time heading north to the lanes around Leyland and its surrounding villages.

Ride 1

Today I rode well, there was a fair bit of wind knocking round in parts and the open fields exposed that, so some lanes were brilliant with a tail wind and others were just difficult as you battled the headwind.

Two very different and brilliant rides in their own right and over 100km completed for the weekend which is a first for me and it really has made me sit down and think about what I could do in 2016.

I have a time trial bike and two very nice aero wheels sat there looking at me right now and I am thinking that maybe I should devote some training time to that part of cycling – my 10TT best time is 24.32 which was set about 7 years ago when I was Ironman training and I would love to be able to beat that.

I need to do some research into what sort of training I need to do over winter and then see if I can schedule the time to commit to it, but I think that it should be possible.

Other than that, I will look to see what sportives look interesting … I don’t mind a bit of climbing … long gradual climbs are fine with me, rolling terrain is fine with me, but short 25% stuff isn’t for me … no fun at all so those kinds of rides are not really the ones that I look to get involved with.

I also quite like the idea of one of the organised 24hr things … maybe as part of a team, they look like a challenge that I might really enjoy ….

mmmmm lots to ponder.

A City Break …

After a great weeks training it was a very different time this week as me and my wife jetted off to Amsterdam for a very short city break.

We managed to find some mega cheap flights and so it was as cheap to have 24hrs in Holland as it was to spend them in Manchester and when you have a city committed to cycling then for me it was heaven.

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However, we didn’t really spend a great deal of time on two wheels or two feet as we toured the City’s pubs and clubs enjoying the laid back atmosphere and general sense of happiness.

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I do like the continental beers and there were lots on offer, but not even I could manage a full barrel of these, but I gave it a good go !

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The travel was pretty straightforward and we really did enjoy ourselves and hopefully there will be plenty more of these type of trips to come in the future:

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The Bike Life …

Well since the twinge issues with the knee when running, it’s been great to get back on to the bike again and to enjoy the lovely autumn sunny days.

I guess it kinda ties up with last weeks visit to the Cycle Show as well, which really was a good day out and it reinforced the fact that cycling will always be my number one choice.

This week has been a good week for training for me … three different reasons why I was able to finish at the office a little earlier than usual and three different bike rides came from that:

Rides

I’m a long way from being “bike fit” but each ride has seen some progression and each ride was thoroughly enjoyable.

Our house is at the bottom of a 200m steep hill, so every ride starts with that climb – only a short distance but maxing out at 16% or thereabouts is a pretty brutal way to start your ride isn’t it !!! Well it certainly gets the lungs working and the blood flowing even if I just stick it in the 39-25 and trundle.

I rode the lanes to the north and west of our little bit of Lancashire and they are such a great playground for cyclists, with a bit of everything … nice quiet secluded lanes, then short Ardennes style climbs, twisting and poorly surfaced and then some open fields and little villages … just great.

Coopers Lane – Sandersons Lane is one such little short sharp hill … only 800m in length, narrow and tree lined … average of 6% but maxing out at 17.5% and last night I rode it confidently and I rode it well ….. I didn’t push hard at all but was only 4 seconds slower than my PB on it when I looked afterwards …. it’s those little things that show the progress I am making with my fitness.

I have a spare couple of hours this morning now, and although its a bit chilly with some patchy mist, you know what, I might just get wrapped up and go riding again ! #RideMore