Monthly Archives: May 2010

What a way to spend Bank Holiday Monday…

Waiting for the Virgin TV repair man…again…

You know the deal, he’ll be here between 0800hrs and 1200hrs. What a great service, and this is after waiting 4 days! Not happy. I am seriously thinking about giving my money to Rupert again instead of Richard.

Like I said, this is the 4th cable box to go Pete Tong in as many months and the picture quality is bizarrly worse on cable than via a satellite dish, how does that work then?

A country walk

Yesterday was spent keeping the kids happy, without TV and in pouring rain. A good trick if you can do it!
I enjoyed the Premiership Final at my old Rugby Club which supplied the correct result, that of a Leicester Tigers victory. All is well with the world then.

Today is about going out on a country walk then a quick pint in the Doford before Sunday Dinner.

No bike news.

Update on progress

The last update before “Big June” starts with all of its challenges then.

Mileage this week is a new record of 128 miles and my weight is a new low of 18 stones dead with a 2 Ib loss. While 2 Ibs might not seem a lot, to get to 18 stones is a massive psychological positive for me. I seemed to hover around 18 st 2Ib for ages and now to be 1 oz off 17 stones is brilliant. I now need to get rid of 10Ibs to reach the 5 Stones loss mark by June the 30th. Which as we all know is 1 of 2 challenges I have in June. The other is a 100 off road miles. Thanks for that Phill.

The pedal home yesterday was over the Beeches via the QE. It’s a shame my Muvi is dead as otherwise I would have 2 scary incidents for you to see. A woman in  a VW Golf passed me that close that I wacked her side window. That woke her up, she obviously didn’t know I was there and a bloke in a people carrier turned right across me to get into the QE hospital 300 yards later down the road. I had to swerve into the hospital to avoid him, he just smiled at me and drove off. The life of a commuter eh? Or nearly the death of one.

Stats here:
Started: 28 May 2010 12:06:43
Ride Time: 46:19
Stopped Time: 0:19
Distance: 11.68 miles
Average: 14.45 miles/hr
Fastest Speed: 36.15 miles/hr
Climb: 371 feet
Calories: 864

Last night was the Dodford as usual. A couple of pics of the entertainent.

Me and the kids.
Wifey hates having her photo taken.
Dan scowling at his sister.
Richard the Gaffer doing a sound check (to scare Dan).
It’s wee weeing down here today, the TV Virgin Box is broken with no engineer due until Monday, seriously thinking about going back to Sky as Virgin have been crap. Great Broadband, shite TV service, this will be our 4th new box in as many months. So it’ll be DVDs then.
I’ll be off to my Old Rugby Club later to watch the Guinness Premiership Final between Tigers and Saracens as we have no bloody telly here!
Have a good Bank Holiday weekend folks!

POETS Day…

A fine British tradition. For any of the international readers of this blog that translates into Piss Off Early Tomorrow’s Saturday.

I have achieved a first this week as predicted, work has not got in the way and I’ve managed 5 days total commuting, a car free week! Brilliant! The pedal in was again the City Centre route on my Giant. The reason I’m on the Giant today is so I can get home quickly dinner time. See POETS day.

The pedal in was a standard affair with no incidents other than I actually overtook a moving bus in Selly Oak! That’s another first, he was doing about 20 – 25mph and I whizzed past at 35mph. He caught me up just before the Bristol Road McDonalds where I turn left up towards 5 Ways.

Stats here:
Started: 28 May 2010 05:21:04
Ride Time: 37:51
Stopped Time: 0:00
Distance: 11.85 miles
Average: 16.41 miles/hr
Fastest Speed: 38.66 miles/hr
Climb: 177 feet
Calories: 981

Lats nights pedal was the cut, NCR5 Lickey Loop, again. Great pedal, really enjoyed it.

Stats here:
Started: 27 May 2010 15:04:34
Ride Time: 1:05:52
Stopped Time: 0:00
Distance: 16.35 miles
Average: 13.98 miles/hr
Fastest Speed: 23.44 miles/hr
Climb: 994 feet
Calories: 1194

I’ll do my weigh in dinner time with a total weeks mileage and post tomorrow with the result.

Towpath bashing.

I came in on my Ridgeback this morning down the cut. A very pleasant pedal, although it was a tad chilly and I could see my breath it was that cold. Very sunny though. The only downer is that I think my Muvi has finally died on me, it was on charge consistently yesterday and it will not power up or be recognised by my PC which says USB device malfunction.

Stats here:
Ride Time: 49:48
Stopped Time: 0:00
Distance: 11.87 miles
Average: 12.62 miles/hr
Fastest Speed: 28.86 miles/hr
Climb: 157 feet
Calories: 787

I’ve just noticed that was a slow pedal in, even for the towpath, it didn’t feel like I was taking it easy, although every traffic light was on red on the way in, maybe that’s it?

It was persistently precipitating on my way home yesterday so I went Edgbaston, Harbourne, QE and Frankley Beeches on my Giant. The traffic is a bit busier over the Beeches at the moment as National Grid are renewing all of the high tension cables on the pylons around there and there are lot of lanes closed and diversions in place. My quiet lanes are not so quiet at the moment.

Stats here:
Ride Time: 43:08
Stopped Time: 0:00
Distance: 11.72 miles
Average: 14.11 miles/hr
Fastest Speed: 31.18 miles/hr
Climb: 427 feet
Calories: 854

Brrr…

After the “heat wave” that was the last few days here in Birmingham, this morning it was positively arctic, I was certainly regretting my choice of undergarments on my pedal in! My poor little pinkies were freezing in my mitts too.

I came in the City Centre route with no incidents. Stats here:

Your Performance on the trip started on: 26 May 2010 05:45
Trip time: 00:41:08
Trip distance: 11.8 mi
Trip calories: 752 kcal
Average speed: 15.7 mph
Maximum speed: 30.4 mph
Climbed altitude: 551 ft

Last night’s pedal was pretty straightforward too, through Edgbaston, Harbourne, via the QE and over Frankley beeches, nothing to report. Sorry I’m boring this morning!

Stats here:

Your Performance on the trip started on: 25 May 2010 15:05
Trip time: 00:44:08
Trip distance: 11.46 mi
Trip calories: 718 kcal
Average speed: 15.0 mph
Maximum speed: 33.5 mph
Climbed altitude: 613 ft

I’m aware of counting my chickens etc, but this week I may be able for the first time ever to get 5 days pedalling in, I have nothing scheduled meeting wise or any site visits pencilled in.

In other news, Phill’s challenge of 100 off road miles in June has suddenly become a bit easier for me. Wifey has commanded me to book a week off in June while the kids are at Nursery and at school so we can spend some time doing non kid stuff on some days out she has planned. That works for me, so I’ll be up at my usual time every morning and kill the off road miles then instead of commuting. To be truthful it feels like cheating somehow, but I’ll take any advantage that presents itself!

A Grey day

So that’ll be summer then.


It was a cracking sunny pedal home via the cut, NCR 5 and the Lickey Loop for 16 miles yesterday. I couldn’t hang around too much though as I had parents evening for the Spawn of Satan at his Nursery at 1715hrs. Parents evening for 3 year old Nursery pupils, I mean, c’mon, please, what the hell is that all about? Anyway, digressing again. The cut was pretty busy as the video below shows and you have to question the awareness of some people as to what is happening around them.

Stats here:
Started: 24 May 2010 15:03:46
Ride Time: 1:06:59
Stopped Time: 0:00
Distance: 16.17 miles
Average: 12.80 miles/hr
Fastest Speed: 24.85 miles/hr
Climb: 1083 feet
Calories: 1172


As I mentioned in a post a few weeks ago I’ve been trialling a couple of IPhone apps that log your pedals, http://www.abvio.com/cyclemeter/ which is £2.99 from the I store and http://www.b-icycle.com/home.html which is £5.99 from the I store.

For the past few weeks I’ve been using cyclemeter as you can turn it on, stick the phone in your pocket and then turn the app off on arrival, then email yourself the stats. All good, it also has a few nice little functions such as route comparisons, elevation graphs and the opportunity to stick the data in a spreadsheet if you’re that anal or a serious athlete.

The b-icycle one needed the phone to be mounted on your bike as it required a very good access to the GPS signal to function, so I went and got this mount from Amazon for £14.99.

It enables you to fit the IPhone onto your handlebars so the unit has an uncluttered line of sight to the GPS facility.
Handlebar mount.
Iphone holder.
Unit mounted on my bike.
Can you spot the problem?
The issue is that the two retaining bolts for the handlebar mount are not long enough and I had to improvise a means of keeping the unit on the bars by means of 2 zip ties through the bolt holes of both brackets. This is temporary as I will source 2 longer bolts from work today for a more permanent fix. But I wanted to try the app today! That just seems a bit crap to be honest, do these people not know the diameter of cycle bars?
Anyway, after a bit of faffing to get the thing fitted, I fired up the B-icycle app this morning, stuck the phone in the holder, (my Iphone has a protective rubber case fitted) and rode off. The phone seemed secure with the case fitted, indeed it was a bit of struggle to get the phone in the holder which I didn’t mind as logic would dictate that what is hard to get in, is hard to get out! (Oooh Matron!).
Nothing could be further from the truth, on the first downhill (Cock Hill) I hit about 35mph and a bit of a bump and wallop! The phone flew out of the holder. Not good. I had to remove the rubber protective casing and re-fit the phone in the holder, it didn’t feel too secure so I used a bit of electrical tape to tape the phone into the holder. One of the customer reviews on Amazon said the phone was that secure he had no problems MTBing with it. I can only say I wouldn’t!
As for the B-icycle App, it shows your position in real time on a map and has a scrolling map facility like a car satnav or I suppose a Garmin.

It’s not exhaustive but what do you expect for £6.00, the only downside is heavy battery usage, I doubt it would last 4 hours unlike the cyclemeter App probably would.
 
On to the ride itself, I came in the City Centre route with no incidents.
 
Stats here:
Trip time: 00:37:46
Trip distance: 11.80 mi
Trip calories: 640 kcal
Average speed: 15.7 mph
Maximum speed: 35.3 mph
Climbed altitude: 404 ft

New Bike Radar Blog .http://www.bikeradar.com/blogs/article/weight-loss-rider-does-a-50-miler-26295