Monthly Archives: March 2010

Easter starts here, and it’s snowing!

Not very heavily though, it snows, then sleets then rains. Very dark and grey though which should make the off road fun a bit interesting today. A full write up with pics and video tomorrow.

The ride home last night was horrible. A very stiff head wind and bucketing down with rain. I don’t mind the wet but it was like pedalling with your brakes on. I was knackered when I got home. I only just beat my time I used to do on my MTB!

I am planning a few excursions out over Easter so happy days!

An achievement of sorts…

Although I never really gave it any thought, it wasn’t until I logged on this morning I realised I’ve actually cracked the 2000 mile pedalled mark since I started this thing. It would have been roughly going up the hill into Northfield yesterday evening I’m guessing. Anyway, the pedal home was without incident, my wheels for whatever reason now seem to be behaving themselves with no rubbing from them (how does that work then?) And unsurprisingly I had a functioning computer. I suppose having the front wheel in the forks the right way round would help that.

The pedal in this morning was the quick way down the Bristol Road with a quick detour at the Bristol Road MacDonalds up via Fiveways and down Icknield Port Road. That was a spur of the moment thing as while I was waiting at the lights I saw a guy on a MTB whizz across the lights towards Fiveways going at a fair lick. So I thought it would be a challenge to see if I could catch him up the hill when the lights went green for me.

Green light off I went, he was about 300 metres ahead but I could see I was gaining quickly, he was through the lights at the 5 Ways Railway Station and I was still gaining, 200 metres now so I put my head down, out of the saddle and went for it. I got through the lights by the railway station and sat up to see how close he was and the bugger had gone! I’m guessing he went left at the side road past the station. But my heart rate was well up and I got a bit of a work out so no harm done. Fair play to him though, he was shifting for a MTB.

This is my last day at work until next Tuesday. Pedalling is still to the fore though. Tomorrow I shall have company on an off road pedal over the Lickey’s, I am being deliberately mysterious there! And on Saturday I’m joining JB on a very small part of his NCR5 pedal through Birmingham. It appears I have the NCR5 navigation duties through Brum. Gulp, no pressure then!

To finish on a positive, it seems the fair Emma’s healing hands have done the trick, absolutely no twinges, aches or wierd pains (other than normal cycling ones) from my achillies or calves.

No twinges, good news…

First pedal in for a fortnight would you believe. Also the first time this year I’ve pedalled in without wearing a wooly hat under my lid, it’s the first time Giant has got wet as it was persistently precipitating this morning and it was the first try out of new route that was not too hilly as I want to ease myself back in.

The biggest hill was at the start of my ride up to the Waseley Hills Country Park, then a very wet bit of country lane until I hit Bartley Green. I’m having wheel problems. My front wheel is still rubbing on the brake block when I’m up out of the saddle going up hill and my rear wheel started to catch the brake block down the lane just past the Prison Farm. I had to complete the ride with the calipers apart.

Oh, and my computer is knackered!

Route here:

Only one Joby to report, turning right at the Halesowen Streetbike Island a woman in a Smart Car entered the island going left and just missing my front wheel as I was about to get off the island. She saw me too late and waved an apology. That’s ok then. It wasn’t ok for the motorcyclist who gestured a despairing wave at me regarding the incident as he overtook me. And it certainly wasn’t ok for the woman who he rode alongside and gave absolute loads to!

Injury wise no ill effects, generally no physical ill effects at all, it was a bit of a non event to be honest. But I’ll go the quick less hilly way home tonight through Northfield and pop in to Northfield Cycles about the back wheel thing.

Finally a big shout to Joby and James for their successful completion of the Cheshire Cat thingymabob. Well done fellers!

Scrum session

I’m running a scrum session at the club today, really looking forward to it. Scrums are my thing actually. Very physical. Very confrontational and can be quite painful!

Bees beat Coventry at Coventry yesterday too which was brilliant news. The Great Escape seems to be on track.

On the bike tomorrow at last, I’m going a slightly different route to try to keep the commute fresh.

Up and down more than the Assyrian Empire…

A good day, (Up) was ruined (down) by the Oxfordshire Classic bumf dropping on my mat. This was my chance to pedal with Rafe who I’ve pedalled with before off road and is a top bloke. But also my chance to pedal with Matt which I was really looking forward to as I see a lot of myself and the weight issues I have in him. I suppose you could say that via the interweb thingy there’s a bit of a kindred spirit thing going on.

Anyway, the reason this isn’t happening is that for some obscure reason that when Rafe and Matt suggested I do it with them I got it into my head it was the 2nd of May, but when the bumf landed on my mat I discovered it’s actually the 9th of May which is the Gala Day at Bees my Rugby Club which I cannot miss. I’ve actually got the 2nd of May down on my year planner in my office at work and booked the Monday off too. What the hell made me think it was the 2nd? What a Muppet. Ah well, as John Lennon once said before a Chapman slotted him “Life is what happens to you while you’re making plans.”

Today will be spent planning some important coaching sessions, a scrum training session tomorrow and there’s an Advanced Player Development Group session to tweak for Thursday. This is important because it’ll be used as a curtain raiser at the Bees home game v Rotherham on the 11th of April. Got to get that right. We’re in the spotlight and it’s an opportunity for some of our player’s to get themselves noticed.

Emma’s torture chamber and personal challenges.

So, I bimbled over to see Emma, The Bees Physio yesterday as she had kindly agreed to see me to have a dekko at my achillies injury.

The reason I wanted to do this was because with my injury history I know who are the experts in relation to sport’s injuries. That is a good piece of advice for you lot actually. Doc’s are ok in their own way, but for injuries, physio’s who specialise in sports injuries are the way forward without a shadow of doubt. And Emma who deals with professional rugby player’s on a daily basis is an absolute God send and a fantastic resource for me.

I got there and was invited into the treatment room where I gave her the potted history of the injury and what had happened recently. Which I won’t bore you with as I have covered the original injury and this re-occurrence in other posts.

She then put me through some mobility tests which seemed to go ok, she then asked about the calf muscle itself and did some physio type prodding around. “Ahh” she said, “have you had any tightening of the calf muscle?” “Yep” I replied. She told me to lie face down on the bed (teeing up the jokes for you here folks) where she started doing something called “targeted trigger therapy” or something like that.

What that is, is basically she stuck her finger as deep as she could into the area of the calf that was giving me gyp and left it there until the not inconsiderable pain subsided. She did that in and around the problem area for about 45 minutes. It concentrated the mind a bit I can tell you.

She went on to tell me that I need to warm up properly and cool down (which I knew but very rarely do) but I should be ok to crack on from Monday but to take it easy on the climbs. What I’ll do is pedal the less hilly routes so my calf is not under too much strain.

The drive home was done in an exceptionally good mood as she gave my achillies the all clear which was my main concern. Seriously, you never want to snap your achillies. It hurts, no, it really hurts. Trust me on this.

I had to laugh when my daughter Fay got home from school and she saw the area of my calf that Emma had been treating which had sunk, probably about 10mm in and to a diameter of probably 30mm, she yelled “Yeuch what’s that? It’s horrible!” She didn’t calm down any when I told her what it was and what caused it. The irony being is that she wants to be a physio when she leaves school. Methinks she needs to toughen up!

Moving on, Toby had written a nice piece on his Blog about “The Man who cycled the Americas” now showing on BBC 1 and suggested I mention it too. This is the story of Scot Mark Beaumont who, er, Cycled the Americas. The first episode was shown earlier in the week but can be seen on BBC I Player. The rest can be viewed at 2235hrs on Tuesday 30th of March and Tuesday 6th of April.

Just to make an already challenging quest all the more difficult he also climbed the highest peak in North America and climbed the equivalent in South America. I always knew these Sweaties* were barmy!

Seriously though, it’s an inspirational tale that shows just what is achievable with the right mental outlook. The thing that gobsmacked me was his ability to climb thousands of meters along huge distances with a bike as loaded as his was. It makes my little sojourn up Cock Hill or Frankley Beeches every evening look a bit silly. The bloke is amazing! It’s well worth a look. I’ll certainly be watching the last 2 episodes.

A few of our number also have their own personal challenge this weekend. Apologies for any omissions if you’ve mentioned that you’re doing it and I’ve forgotten, but I know Joby and James are in the middle of panicking about the Verenti Cheshire Cat and something called Mow Cop.

Best of luck to you 2 fellers and anyone else reading this and doing it too.

* Sweaties – Rhyming Slang – Sweaty Sock = Jock. “Jock” being British slang for a Scotsman.

Giant service

Got the Giant back from Northfield Cycles yesterday afternoon. All that was needed was a quick tweak of the drivetrain and a re-true of the rubbing front wheel. Happy days, all set to go now.

Obviously I’m a bit aprehensive about physio this afternoon, not about what’ll be done treatment wise, but about what’ll be said. I’m hoping for a clean bill of health as the pain is transient and I could pedal with the injury. It’s the long term prognosis I’m concerned about.