Monthly Archives: January 2010

Frozen grounds.

Hopefully rugby will be on today, the lads are desperately in need of some coaching sessions. But looking at the white lawn out the back I somehow doubt the pitches will be fit.

We might have to do a video analysis session. Although if we look at their last game we might need to show it after the watershed!

Bike is all prepped ready to go for tomorrow. And the good news is I won’t be fighting my demons on Tuesday as I have a day off. It is a bike related day off, more to be revealed later!

Best of all today is wifey’s Roast shoulder of lamb to look forward to dinner time.


Is there a difference?

After yesterday’s wibble I thought it would be a good idea to check progress with these two pics. I deliberately say wibble as a wobble classes as a wavering in motivation which isn’t happening, a wibble is a slight head malfunction. The thing that stands out to me is the fact I’m in jeans in  the most recent picture (taken yesterday) which I haven’t worn in years.


Slightly irritated…

The pedal home last night was entirely without Jobys and went perfectly. Nothing to report from the pedal.

As predicted I still haven’t managed to get a full 5 days pedalling in yet. Today I’m in the car as I have a H&S visit at a site in Peterborough. Luckily I managed to get in an extra 9 miles during the week to break the 100 miles in a week barrier, with 105 miles pedalled. I’m not really sure why I wanted to do that, it seemed like a good idea at the time I guess. Not sure if it served a purpose in the grand scheme of things.

Not pedalling today is no bad thing though, I am feeling the effects and last night was pretty bad. I had a broken nights sleep due to severe back pain, my calves were cramping and my quads were very sore, not to mention my neck, shoulders and knees.

At this point it might be worth explaining just how “broken” I am. I’d hate to sound like a galloping hypochondriac.

If we start from the ground up. My feet have been broken more times than I can remember. (rugby). I have 2 damaged achilies tendons. (rugby). My knees are permantly painful due to damaged ligaments and cartilidges. (army and rugby). I have sciatica, (army and rugby). Right shoulder has a metal pin holding it together. (rugby). My left shoulder partially dislocates occasionally. (rugby). My neck has limited movement due to injury. (rugby). Nerve damage in my left arm causing numbness. (rugby). Add on the illnesses due to being fat, high blood pressure, sleep apnea and asthma and you get some idea of how knackered I am. But, “hey ho” crack on.

But why I’m slightly irritated is despite putting in more mileage and pedalling quicker, my weight has not budged this week. I haven’t lost an ounce so I’m still 18 stone 12Ibs. I was pretty disappointed last night to be honest. Now I know all about plateaus and it’ll shift soon. Don’t forget I went for 4 weeks before Christmas without losing an ounce but for some reason, last night bothered me. And I very rarely let things bother me. Bugger!

Oh, and thanks for all the good wishes in the comments yesterday, it is appreciated.

A Polka Dot jersey for my birthday yesterday!

We all have small moments when doing something like this that class as little victories or huge morale boosters. Yesterday, coincidentally on my 46th Birthday I had one of those moments.

Not that I see many cyclists on my commute, probably about 1 or 2, and I’ve never seen any cyclists on NCR5 over the years, but usually if they’re not going in the opposite direction, they’re overtaking me at a rate of knots.

My big moment came yesterday, Robert Millar eat your heart out, powering along the A38 Bristol Road yesterday evening up the hill towards Northfield I spied in the distance a fellow cyclist, and amazingly I saw I was in fact reeling in him. So Sunshine, you’re mine I thought, (not that I’m competitive at all you understand), travelling at near terminal velocity I was stamping on my pedals for all I was worth and on the uphill I powered past the poor unfortunate. I kept the pressure on up the rest of the drag into Northfield and broke him, I never saw him again. Yeeeha! Who’s the man?!

Actually, what happened is on film below…

But it’s my story, my overtake and was my birthday yesterday so I’ll remember it like I told it!

Now where’s that Polka Dot Jersey?

I also yesterday brought a new Camelbak and a Helly Hansen Base layer using my Birthday money.

Extra Mileage and Cycle Route 5.

The pedal home last night was extended to get in the elusive 100 miles in a week commuting. Instead of coming off the cut at Selly Oak I stayed on there until Kings Norton and took Cycle Route 5 (well bits of it) to Longbridge where I then did the Lickey Hills loop to give me an extra 6 miles. That added to the night before puts me 9 miles up and on course to break the 100 mile barrier. That’s if I pedal tomorrow of course which I hope to do.

I know JB and his pals are planning to do the whole of route 5 in the future, what I would say is that the route I pedalled is very intricate with lots of in and out bits and plenty of twists and turns. Also the surface wasn’t that great on some of it. No problems for me and my MTB but I’m wondering about road bikes. Maybe the tracks will improve with the better weather. I have had a nose at the whole route through Brum, some of it goes through some pretty dodgy areas. I’m happy to advise anyone planning to do the route which bits I’d avoid and diversions I’d take.

The pedal in again this morning was totally fine, I took the route through the City Centre with no Jobys to report. I’ll do the bog standard route home tonight, I need the hills to test me out. The last 2 nights have avoided my nemisis, that of Cock Hill. I’ll be panting my way up there later.

The bits of Route 5 I pedalled last night below. If you decide to watch it play it with no sound on. My panting, snotting and general horrible noises seem particularly bad in this video!

Gotta get this Tuesday thing beaten…

The usual battle with my inner wimp ensued at 0430hrs this morning, why it should always be Tuesdays is a reason I guess I’ll never know the answer too. But the motivated lean, mean fighting machine won and I enthusiastically leapt out of bed with a song in my heart at 0515hrs. (I hope the sarcasm came across there?)

The pedal in along the cut was perfectly standard and I saw no-one to bother me out of my reverie.

I did get an extra 3 miles in last night on the way home but not as I’d planned. When I came to pedal out of work I discovered my front light had gone tits up. It wouldn’t switch on at all. It’s always been a bit temperamental, as from virtually new I’ve always had to open the main body and switch it on and off using the internal connection as the outside switch gave up pretty quickly.

I pedalled my usual route along the cut and stopped off in Northfield at Northfield Cycles where I got a new front light, I fitted it on and then decided to ride past the MG Rover works (what’s left of it) and do a loop around the Lickey Hills and pedal back home through the back end of Rubery which gave me an extra 3 miles as I said.

Remarkably I felt absolutely fine when I got in, no dying, no panting and being able to speak perfectly normally, perhaps all this is actually starting to work.

A dirty job, but someone’s got to do it…

Isn’t it always the way? You get your bike gleaming and the next time you ride it it’s persistently raining. Grrr.

My commuter was looking that good and riding that well I came through the City Centre and gave the cut a miss. I’ll bite the bullet and get it muddy tonight. The pedal in was pretty quick with no Joby’s to report. I was overtaken by a number 61 bus right by where I had the blow out last week, he carried on up the hill and then he had to go around the houses on his route. He caught me up again just past Selly Oak 6 miles down the road! I’m quicker than a number 61 bus! Hurrah!

I’m considering extending the pedal home tonight, just to get the extra in so I can do a 100 miles a week. It seems I am destined to never pedal in every day, I have consistently always done 4 pedals or less because of various mitigating factors like snow, meetings at work, rugby coaching or breakdowns.

I have one or two options open to me by carrying on along the cut tonight and cutting back around on the road back to my house. I’ll need to do a bit of map work later to decide which loop is the best.

My latest missive on Bike Radar for What Mountain Bike.