Review of 2011Cycling

Over the year, I cycled over 5000 miles, (only those recorded on my Garmin) and spent some 335 hours on the bike (well actually across the three bikes, the Roubaix, the Shorter and the Giant winter bike).  It is interesting looking at the numbers, given that I broke my hand in January, so was off the bike for 4 weeks or so, ran through the patio doors at the end of May, causing a 2-week break around the start of June, and then had a small accident on the Mountain bike in Nevada.  I wonder what it would look like if I actually hadn’t had those mishaps.

It didn’t prevent me riding the Marmotte in July – which I believe was the most challenging ride yet.  I felt ill beforehand, and started the day determined not to over-do it, and to bale when it was too much.  Somehow that didn’t happen, maybe because I started gently, made me able to go through to the end.  Much of my cycling during the year I cycled with my cycling partner Jon, who encouraged me, made me feel guilty when I didn’t cycle, commuted into London, and was there through the year to have the shared experience.  For that I thank you Jon, it really makes a difference, makes the whole thing enjoyable and memorable.

Events during the year:
March: Train in Spain training Camp
May: Hants Hilly Hundred
June: Marmotte Reccie
July: Marmotte
October: etape Cymru


Teaching old dogs new tricks: Club run to Dunstable Downs

Club run to Dunstable Downs

Frosty morning, would not have gone out had I not been leading. I was also advised strongly by the management that I should not go out.  There was a “select” group turned up this morning (the foolish). However main roads were okay so we took a main-ish road route round to Hemel, Berkhampstead, Tring, Ivinghoe and up to the Visitor Centre at Dunstable Downs. After the most carb-packed flapjack (solid syrup) we routed back along Dagnall, and the valley bottom to Hemel and back along the hemel road.  It was a very sensible ride, moderated speed with very few sprints or climbs.  We did get a little worried when it started snaowing when we were at the cafe, but that luckily soon passed.

Turbo can’t keep up…

This morning I decided it was definitely time for a turbo as we were not able to ride into work. I had done 30km when the turbo started slipping, not good. I had to I’ve it up. As I was working from home I was able to ring the distributor (for the cyclops Fluid2) who after I explained the problem, asked where I bought it, then said they would send me a new unit. No messing. Customer service. Right.

Club Run (almost) to Vanstone Park

Club Run (almost) to Vanstone Park

Some small adjustments today to the Winter Bike, brakes and mudguards rubbing considerably less, hoped for an easier ride than the commute of Friday. The club run today was meant to be out to do the freewheel competition on Wheathampstead Hill, which did not appeal to a group of us in the Fast Mods and Rapides, so Andrew Grant led us on a good long route out through Studham, Totternhoe, Toddington, Lilley Bottom round to Vanstone Park.  The efforts on the adjustments prior to departure seem to have made a considerable difference,much easier ride today.  On the route we had one puncture before we crossed over on to the Lilley Bottom Road, after waiting a suitably short time fo rthat one to be repaired we went off, only for me to get a rear puncture soon after.  A quick change and a pump with CO2 soon had me off again.  We approached Vanstone as the massed ranks of those who had done the Freewheel competition went the other way, so there was no great wait at Vanstone.  A short ride directly home from Vanstone, not feeling bad at all, despite having cranked in a very respectable time.





Commute is good training, but can be hard work on the winter bike

The weather was suitable, the diaries worked, so yesterday was a cycling commute day. I chose the winter bike again, against my wishes, off we went, it was a cold start, but luckily no frost. (av temp 1.2 degrees according to Garmin – not sure I agree with that).  It was hard work on the way in, I struggled a bit on the climbs.  On inspection, the heart rate was elevated, and Jon had felt comfortable, not a good sign.

The return in the evening definitely challenged me. The overall timing is not relevant, just look at the moving time, Jon was delayed so I waited at Old Street for him to start. The first big climb on the way home (the Col de Muswell) I barely managed to keep up with Jon, and on each of the subsequent climbs I slipped further and further back.  On the climb to Totteridge common, Jon was out of sight, and he hadn’t realised how far he’d dropped me.  For him it must have felt a bit good dropping me for a change.  The ride knackered me.  As I put the bike away when I got home, the rear brake was definitely rubbing, those big 700×25 tyres and mudguards on the bike make it really susceptible to drag.  Maybe it was that, maybe I’m incubating a virus.  Don’t know, but as can be seen by the figures in the diagram, the ride home was hard work for me.     What will I do this weekend?

At least there is now less drag as Movember is over.  I was pleased to see two good friends had also participated, Jordan’s Mo was the most awesome.  Well done guys.

Winter bike outing

Winter Bike outing

I don’t like mudguards, they are ALWAYS a pain.  Anyway, I finally succumbed and got the winter bike down, and took it out for a spin.  Naturally had a problem with the mudguards while out – the front one broke and jammed.  Funny what happens when the front wheel stops dead….

Anyway, I removed what was left of it, and will have to replace it.  The chainrings on that bike (a Giant Defy 3.5) are cheap and nasty, and I really must get them sorted.

Club Run to Barton-Le_clay

Club Run to Barton-Le-Clay – Details.

Club Run 30/10/11
Club Run 30/10/11 - Barton-Le-Clay

Went out on the club run with the Fast Mods. Luckily, the leader planned a good route, changed frequently and ran a well disciplined ride. As we approached Barton, he even threw in a quick climb of the Sharpenhoe Clappers for good measure. (the good thing was that I managed to climb it without fatiguing. However as we approached St Albans on the return, I did flag a bit, but family lunch (daughter home from Uni for the first visit, and parents here too!) was scheduled for 13:00 so I had to get home on time. (13:01 due to getting caught at the lights….)