Monthly Archives: July 2010

Broken the 5 stone barrier!

I had my monthly weigh in yesterday and saw the cracking of the 5 stone lost barrier, well chuffed to say the least. My only slight annoyance was that I didn’t do well enough to see the figure 16 stones on the scales, they read 17 stones 1Ib. Ah well, all things being equal I’ll see that at my next monthly weigh in.

I wasn’t quite sure what to expect to be honest, I’d had pretty much 2 weeks off the bike this month, 1 through a scheduled rest period and the other an enforced lay off due to my little contretemps with the car, the tarmac and the kerb.

But to offset that, this week has been brilliant, a full 5 days commuting pedalling, really good with my grub and I’ve been noticing my clothes have been getting baggier.

But as we all know, you can never be sure until you step on the instrument of truth.

So the weekend. Usual stuff I think, get my bike de-gunked, keep the kids occupied and try to get some downtime in. The Dodford beckons this afternoon.

Oh yeah, I’m off on a little pedal tomorrow morning with my mate Ski. Report on that in due course.

Must take time out too to big up Matt over at the Weighty Biker, take a bimble over there and have a read of his day yesterday.

A hell of a pedal yesterday mate, really well done, I hope that’s shown you what we all knew you were capable of. Top going feller!

Oh and get your arse out of bed earlier so you can pedal further! HaHa!

Yesterday’s pedal home was a routine Frankley Beeches trip if pretty slow, I hate headwinds! Added to the fact I was carrying a fully loaded daysack which I plonked on the scales and it came in at a bloody horrible 35Ibs, no wonder, that would have been like pedalling for me back around Christmas!

Stats here:

Started: 30 Jul 2010 11:55:22
Ride Time: 48:14
Stopped Time: 0:00
Distance: 11.56 miles
Average: 13.90 miles/h
Fastest Speed: 32.73 miles/h
Climb: 367 feet
Calories: 822


5 days on the bike!

Chuffed to bits, a whole 5 days cycle commuting, it doesn’t happen too often for general annoying “life” type reasons so when it does I’m a very happy chappy!

This morning’s pedal in was brilliant, the only downer was I wished I’d stopped to photograph the beautiful sunrise, the light beating down on Clent and Romsley Hills in the distance from my vantage point at the top of Frankley Beeches was simply stunning, the landscape was bathed in a soft golden light that was heart meltingly gorgeous. It looked like some Special Effects wizard had put a filter on a camera. Marvelous!

Seeing stuff like that is one of the reasons why I pedal, whizzing along in a car on the motorway and I would’ve missed that.

I must address the “I’ve gotta get there” thing though. It’s not the destination, it’s the journey! Why couldn’t I stop and take a picture, 30 seconds out of the pedal that’s all it would have been?

I’m weird…

Stats here:
Started: 30 Jul 2010 05:38:47
Ride Time: 33:45
Stopped Time: 0:00
Distance: 11.80 miles
Average: 17.36 miles/h
Fastest Speed: 38.82 miles/h
Climb: 226 feet
Calories: 467

Yesterday’s pedal home was a good one too, nothing to report so no vids.

Stats here:

Started: 29 Jul 2010 15:03:47
Ride Time: 42:01
Stopped Time: 0:00
Distance: 11.60 miles
Average: 14.99 miles/h
Fastest Speed: 37.53 miles/h
Climb: 292 feet
Calories: 889

Going back to when I started pedalling the whole way to and from work, you may remember I had a Nemesis on my route home, that of “Cock Hill”. Named after the Cock Pub that sits at the top.

Now it’s not very long, probably 300 metres, maybe a tad more, but it is steep.

My first sojourn up there involved the Granny Gear on my MTB commuter, all evening to do it in and team of Paramedics at the top.

Now I fly up it (relative term for a fat bloke) in the big ring on my Road Bike in no time at all and feel pretty good at the top.

The name Cock Hill no longer suits it. Remember your school days? The term “Cock of the School” meant the toughest lad in the school and one you never messed with. I always thought of the name Cock Hill in those terms. The toughest hill and one you never messed with. And if you did you’d end up with a kicking.

Now I always give it a kicking and as such I need a new name for it. One that is more appropriate.

Any suggestions?

Oh, and I’m more than aware that “cock” has infinite opportunities for the usual suspects to fill their boots!

A grey day…

It seems like we had our summer in June. But having ridden through last winter, the worst one in a generation, a bit of grey damp weather ain’t a problem.

I felt a bit stonger this morning, which was nice after yesterday’s crappy form, and I bowled in on the City Centre route. Nothing at all to report other than a Belgique HGV passing a tad too close than was comfortable. But hey, I’m still here!

Oh, and every flinkin’ blippin’ traffic light was on red! Grrr!

Started: 29 Jul 2010 05:37:48
Ride Time: 39:18
Stopped Time: 0:00
Distance: 11.34 miles
Average: 15.78 miles/h
Fastest Speed: 30.82 miles/h
Climb: 141 feet
Calories: 566

Yesterday’s pedal home was the usual affair, other than I must mention a very nice car driver who stayed behind me all the way through Harbourne rather than squeeze an overtake in. He passed me when he could use the other lane completely. He got a thumbs up and a wave from me. Top bloke. I overtook him again at the main junction I filter through at Selly Oak. Which proves that forcing your way past bikes in town doesn’t get you very far!

I’m including this video as an example of a pedestrian who doesn’t look. Although it’s not too clear in the video, she was was much closer to me than it looks and the expression of hatred, yes hatred, she gave me when I tried to pedal around her was something to behold!

Stats here:
Started: 28 Jul 2010 15:03:25
Ride Time: 43:45
Stopped Time: 0:00
Distance: 11.86 miles
Average: 14.43 miles/h
Fastest Speed: 33.94 miles/h
Climb: 476 feet
Calories: 816

Weak the force is…

Ohh, not a good pedal in, wifey woke me up at 0530hrs which is unusual and I wanted to roll over and go back to sleep.

My road bike pedal in over the Beeches was not great, my bio-rythmn’s must be low. I want my bed!

I forced myself to get up out of the saddle on the climbs which took a bit of will power, but I’m here now.

Started: 28 Jul 2010 05:42:15
Ride Time: 34:37
Stopped Time: 0:00
Distance: 11.56 miles
Average: 16.17 miles/h
Fastest Speed: 33.87 miles/h
Climb: 151 feet
Calories: 554

Yesterday’s pedal home was without incident, although considering the kids are off, the traffic was mightily busy as the video below shows.

Anyway, I negotiated those opportunities for suicide safely and the stats are here:

Started: 27 Jul 2010 15:03:32
Ride Time: 42:15
Stopped Time: 0:00
Distance: 11.64 miles
Average: 14.84 miles/h
Fastest Speed: 31.00 miles/h
Climb: 358 feet
Calories: 922

The sun is out!

Yahoo! First dry pedal in I dunno how long!

Came in over Frankley Beeches with nothing bad to report.

I was feeling pretty strong so I decided to go for it.

Stats here:
Started: 27 Jul 2010 05:40:39
Ride Time: 32:18
Stopped Time: 0:00
Distance: 11.67 miles
Average: 17.22 miles/h
Fastest Speed: 44.16 miles/h
Climb: 223 feet
Calories: 651

That’s not a bad average and without trawling back through old posts, I’m pretty sure that’s up there as one of my quickest times, if not the quickest.

The difference being I’m up out of the saddle on all of the climbs now and down on the lower part of the drops when belting downhill.

It’s hurting, but then again it’s supposed to!

I’m wondering now if I have all of the traffic lights going for me whether a sub 30 in is possible?

Considering July last year a canal park and ride was taking me just short of an hour that’s remarkable. You certainly couldn’t do it quicker than I’m doing it now on a Bus or Train.

A video below of my pedal in this morning. I hope you enjoy the tongue in cheek soundtrack!

Last night’s pedal was a standard affair but I did have two races with the same bloke on a MTB. He pulled in front of me before the hill into Northfield and to be fair to him he was going for it. I shadowed him for a couple of hundred meters then was up out of the saddle sprinting past him when he started to slow, I gave him a cheeky “All right mate” as I whizzed past him. I kept the hammer down right up until the Northfield By-Pass, that’s him sorted thought I.

I got to the Black Horse traffic light’s and was waiting for them to go green when I saw the same bloke fire off up Frankley Beeches Road! He must have dived over the road on the By-Pass then cut through Sainsbury’s car park the cheeky git, judging by how far ahead he was, he must have gone through some red lights and then rode on the pavement!

Rightio sunshine, that’s your game! When my light’s went to green he was about 250 – 300 meters ahead on a slight uphill, no dramas, I buried myself and caught him at the junction by Kings Norton Golf Club. Then on the downhill towards the Dingle island I was out of the saddle again and went past him like he was standing still. I glanced at him as I went by. His look of amazement was priceless! I kept it on up the nasty little climb just before the island. I didn’t see him again, and to be honest that was a good thing as I was now shot. I just bimbled the rest of the way home.

I was pretty soaked through with sweat when I got in and for the first time in ages I couldn’t speak properly for a couple of minutes. Wifey wondered what the hell was wrong with me! I think I’ll start calling rides like that interval training. A few minutes of extreme effort followed by a few minutes of recovery. It’s got to be doing me good!

I’m still here…

I thought about it and then decided bollocks, I’m doing the same route I did last Wednesday when I had my little drama. You’ve got to get back in the saddle and look the gits straight in the eye and say I ain’t backing down!

So City Centre route it was, in the wet too. Thankfully without incident. I also got a lick on through Selly Oak too as usual, but I did keep a wary eye out when I passed Grange Road to be extra certain I wasn’t going to get ambushed again.

The only incident of note was that I forgot to set my app for the stats, but my cycle computer said 38 minutes with an average of 16.2mph. I’ll take that.

The dog show was a giggle yesterday, the kids had a ball and so did their parents. Although I’m not certain Benji the Pup did. He was pretty glad to be home, where he crashed out for the rest of the day.

But at his first and probably only dog show he won first prize for the dog with the saddest eyes! I didn’t think they were that sad, more pissed off, but what do I know!

A photo record of the event here:

Spawn of Satan getting face painted.
Apparently that design is called a “Warg.”
Dan contributing his coppers to the RSPCA, watched by Benji.
Clan Chapman waiting for Benji’s big moment!
Benji doing his thing…
And coming first! Prize presented by local BRMB DJ Foxy (Don’t listen to it myself).
Photo for the various web sites and newsletters. Dan, Liz and Foxy with Benji the Pup!
So a good and successful trip out for Benji, and the kids were kept busy for 2 or 3 hours. Job done.
How can this be progressed?

Woof woof etc…

Looking forward to the dog show today, should be a laugh. Or complete chaos, which can be a laugh anyway.

Then I’m cooking Sunday dinner. Breast of Lamb today, not an expensive or usual type of choice for Sunday roast, in fact traditionally it’s a bit of a peasants cut of meat as it’s so cheap. (I bought 2 massive bits yesterday that will do for 4 meals for £4.98) But it’s my favourite bit of the beast. Cooked slowly, covered in mustard and a sprinkling of sugar it roasts up into sticky tender meaty heaven. Lovely.

No bikey stuff today, all done yesterday. Hope the met is ok for next week, slippy roads are not ideal on a road bike, I’ll probably towpath and NCR5 it in tomorrow.

Just a small pain in the hip left now, which may be old age anyway!