Tuesday, 27 April 2010

Business away...

Two weeks in a row I have now been away on business. Last week I've been away two nights to Northallerton and this week I'm away for 5 days to Southend-on-Sea.

All of this has got a very detrimental effect on my training. Sitting down for most of the day and usually just following the crowd for having a meal, it is quite a struggle to maintain a good balance between being hungry and not being hungry. It is also a REALLY big struggle to get some exercise build into my day. I've resorted to running and walking 1.1mi from the hotel to the venue. I managed to do a return walk yesterday but only a single walk this morning. By the time we finished it was well past 7pm so we were shattered and wanted to go for dinner to get back to the hotel.

The weather is really nice. I went for a run yesterday morning but failed miserably this morning. I decided to do a lie in instead which wasn't good for many reasons. The sun was beautiful streaming through the curtains and if it wasn't for my laziness I was out there. I have to admit: I have some places today on my legs which feels like they have been exercised! So I did something good yesterday!

One of the things which I was impressed about was Southend-on-Sea's cycling provision. I have to admit I haven't seen a huge amount but the bit in the centre of town is great. They have a segregated cycling lane running past the Civic Centre which is very well used. There are also great crossings for cyclists across very busy streets which is excellent. I will post some pictures very soon.

Hopefully another short run tomorrow morning and looking forward to trying to avoid eating :-)

Saturday, 17 April 2010

Wirral Belles Breast cancer ride to Ness gardens

The day started really awful. I set off from home well in time but got a puncture just after crossing Higher Ferry bridge. This was SO annoying as I had the day all planned out and I could just see how everything is fizzling away. A quick call home and my mechanic arrived, fixed my puncture, put me and my bikie in the car and headed for Bache station where I was meeting a few others of the group. I rushed to the platform to buy a ticket from a machine which screen you could hardly see in the sunlight whilst my mechanic offloaded the bike and put the wheel back on.

Lots of fun on the train as Jo didn't know she couldn't buy a ticket on the train anymore and had to jump on without a ticket - the manager was in the other coach so a bit of trauma involved!

When we arrived at Port Sunlight, the group that was gathering there was about 17 strong, so all together 20. We set off in marvellous sunshine just after a photo ceremony and lots of pink balloons were tied to the bikes.
 The ride to Ness Gardens was just 8mi so really no distance at all. Arriving there we parked the bikes and got some tea, coffee and cakes from the shop. It is really a lovely place and worth a visit if you are in the vicinity.

The masterplan was to cycle back home rather than getting back on the train so that I can get my mileage in - I did that and arrived home with 29mi on the odo and 1305cals burned! Great stuff!
The route back was excellent. I managed to find the cycle route that goes along the dual carriageway easy and cycled half of the way on a segregated bike path - bliss!

Hopefully I can do another short ride tomorrow as it seems that the weather will definitely play along. I'm off to Northallerton on Monday afternoon for two days and I'm thinking of hooking my bike up on the trailer and take it with for a quick ride - maybe I should just take the Brompton along. My lovely bike has finally arrived - see the picture so I can now be mobile where ever I want!

Meet Thunderbird in its folded position. Lovely colours, not so?

Monday, 12 April 2010

Beautiful daffodils just outside Dodleston

What a lovely sight when you come around the bend at Dodleston. Spring is the loveliest season to cycle but unfortunately also the shortest.

This weekend saw me going along the East Cheshire lanes and also dipping into the North Welsh hills. I certainly felt yesterday that I've done some good cycling on Saturday as my upper legs felt a bit tired. I guess the best would be to go out today for another ride, sometime late this afternoon.

Some of the local news this morning is that a cyclist has been killed yesterday afternoon in North Wallasey, which is close to Liverpool. So sad. It was such a great day for cycling.

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A great cycling weekend

This was a brilliant cycling weekend and cyclists all over were out enforce. I had two great rides: one on Saturday with the local women's CTC group and again on Sunday morning - weather too good to be missed.

The picture here is of one of my three bikes, the one which I will use to do LEJOG on. She is my Specialized Vita Sport and a fabulous bike. Light and great gears.

I briefly stopped outside my village to take some pictures of the Daffodils that are out and took this lovely picture of my bike.
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Saturday, 10 April 2010

Tomorrow's ride! I did 27.5 miles today with the local CTC Fabulous Ladies group which was great. We had stunning weather and I hope tomorrow will be the same.

Wednesday, 7 April 2010

Cycling coaching

I've been debating for a while whether to get a coach/Personal trainer or not. Well, reality has set in and I'm not as flush as I thought I am. I still need to save for the upcoming bike ride - meals and so on - so I'm taking it the easy way.

I ordered a few books...Oh dear, I can hear you say...and will be trying this on my own. Well, it is a journey, isn't it?

Without taking anything away from any other good books there might be out there, I thought I will share with you what I found. I ordered four:

1. Weight Training for cyclists by Ken Doyle and Eric Schmitz
2. The Long distance cyclists' handbook (second edition) by Simon Doughty
3. The time-crunched cyclits - Fit, fast and Powerful in six hours a week by Chris Carmichael and Jim Rutberg
4. Bicycling magazine's Training Techniques for cyclists edited by Ben Hewitt

I found all of them useful in some sort of way, particularly the first two and have now devised a training programme consisting of weight training and distance cycling for the next 9.5 weeks till the Big Ride.

I'm happy to share it and will be posting it here if I can work out how to paste an excel spreadsheet so that it still looks the part!! I will try and scan it as a picture, hopefully that will work.

The programme is an ideal so I will strive to get this done as it is set down but if I can't make it on a day due to work commitments I'm not going to sulk about it, but try to catch up later.

I have set up power, strength and core weight training programmes from the first book which complements the actual cycling done in a week, again happy to share those individual programmes if you want.

Ok!! Here we go above, it seems to have worked. Now to get the cycling going...

Sunday, 4 April 2010

30 Miles of Devon !!!

The planned ride was for 50 miles. Who were we kiddin' ???! We set out in good weather but fate was against us. My mum-in-law was taken ill yesterday and is in hospital. So our ride was very much decided by the hospital visiting hours.

The hills were absolutely awful. They were just everywhere and constant! To think that on our second day on LEJOG we have to negotiate this twice over.

Arrival at Killerton saw us too early for the teashop which was a pity. I really needed my cup of tea at that moment. We made the decicion to turn around, take the same route we came on and see if we can improve our average speed !

If you are interested, the details are on the map above. When I'm back home I will be so much more appreciative of the North Wales hills !!