Life gets busy

Whoa It’s been a while since i’ve blogged! There are many reasons for this, work life has been exceedingly busy and coupled with the fact that the work firewall has banned access to wordpress then the daytime opportunities to blog have disappeared, evening are family and everything else time so no chance there either!

I managed to resolve my financial crisis, I’ve been enjoying the commute to and from work on the mtb except for the number of punctures i’m getting…. lots!! New tyres are on my Christmas list.

I had an incident in a rather rough bit of Sheffield on the way home the other week which could have been really bad. MY chain snapped as I was setting off from a set of lights…..No big deal you say…. Well at the time I have receiving and giving aggravation to four guys in a nissan micra, they’d beeped me and swerved towards me, obviously thinking this was hillarious, so i gave them my best “go stick it where the sun don’t shine…. oh your so funny…. never had that done before”

Accidents and people not seeing you are part and parcel of the game, but down right aggressive, stupid behaviour is not something we should have to put up with. So i told them so. We were then stuck at the lights together, they (who really could not take any sort of comments back without exploding) were giving it the mouth and colourful language under the sun, whilst I stood there smiling, thinking “there’s four of them, sat in a tiny car shouting abuse at a bloke in tights….. how stupid does this look” SO the lights went green, they set off like they were starting the Dacar Rally, I pushed down, heard snap, smashed my vegetables into the top tube and went no where…..

Thankfully my rescue service was available for a pickup a mile down the road. (thanks love)

That’s the most exciting bike thing of late, I had to run to work the next day… which was pretty good about 7.5 miles from the Rotherham bus station to my office in the city. Felt good most of the way should have eaten more for breakfast though.

Working at the LBS today, missing my kids in nativity and dancing show…. really gutted about it.

Take care y’all i’ll try to post again soon.

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Race report – Duathlon #2 – The suffering

I know i have only myself to blame, I should have restrained myself this past week, but I didn’t.

This week I have mostly been eating….. takeaways and rubbish!

How much running & cycling have i done to combat this intake of fat and sugar and carbs…… 1 run 2 commutes by bike.

RUBBISH!!

right now I’ve laid the ground work, here’s how the race went.

I’ve been onsite through the day… did the 52 mile commute home, kissed the kids and my fair lady then scuttled off to the start line.

Wow I thought as i pulled into the field 20 mins later, theres a lot of cars here. There were 39 competitors for this one, up 11 on the last race.

We set off in mass start and I soon got into my comfortable breathing pattern and happy pace, passing several people over the 1st 2  miles.

Hitting the transition i’d thought about the process of changing gear and went for shoes, helmet, bike and go, Hopefully a quicker time in transition this time, I was roughly about the same time of 15:30 ish for run 1.

On to the road I pushed it out hard from the start passing 3 riders on the 1st 500 yards, I found my rabbit and set off in pursuit.

But this waskerly wabbit was very quick, or I was very slow…. I suspect it was more me, I’m sure that last time I could have caught him, by the end of the 1st lap I was starting to suffer, my heart rate hadn’t dropped below 170 since the start of the run and I was feeling it. At about mile 3.5 I was passed by a slick looking time trialist, who didn’t seem to be going too fast but I could not hang onto him

Half way through lap 2 and I got cramp in my left calf, then my right, meaning I was pedalling totally flat footed for the rest of the ride. Shortly after this I was passed by a guy in full rock racing gear I’d over taken in the run, who became an obsession to stay with for the rest of the ride. Ride time about 31 mins

Off the bike and running into T2 y legs were like jelly and as I took my shoe off my left leg locked up and I had to take 30 seconds to stretch out my calfs, for fear of serious cramp. Legs stretched I launched into run2 “rock racing” just in front of me, I gained on him stretching out my stride to free up the movement in my tired legs.

We chatted and stuck together for the next mile and a quarter then, finding my rhythem again I was able to stretch it out on the hill and up the pace,  desperate to finish within my time of 1:04 from the 1st race I pushed as hard as i could.

300 yards from the finish I was passed by #15 , 300 yards! how demoralising. I was spent, breathing through my arse practically i crossed the line.

Official time 1hour 4 mins 7 seconds.

I’m pleased with the time and the fact that sheer will pushed me to achieve that time again.

Back on the salad & training runs with a mate tonight!!#

Still going for my sub one hour target.

1st Ever Race Report!

On Friday I picked up the local rag and saw in the sports section an advertisement for the Harworth & District Cycling Club Duathlon’s Series.

I thought… I could do that.

A quick phone call the the Ladies team captain and I was registered and i was doing it.

I have not done a competitive sporting event since playing rugby at school about 10 years ago. So i started to get a little nervous, partly because of my lack of racing experience, wondering on my level of fitness and how was i going to do this on a single speed?

Off to  JeJames I went cap in hand saying please sponsor me in terms of a bike? Like the legends they are the boys from the LBS sorted me out with this beauty.

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She’s a smooth full carbon frame with Shimano 105 groupset. She’s light and fast! A race worth steed in hand I was ready to go…… did I mention I was nervous.

Tuesday came and went by quickly and the knot in my stomach grew ever bigger.. nerves are good I kept saying to myself it’ll keep me on my toes… i hope.

I packed the car, got my kit on kissed the family and left to the sound of “good luck” set off and 1 mile down the road realised i’d forgotten my helmet… bugger!

Having retrieved my helmet I made my way to the start point and spotting a car with bikes on the back turning down a side path I followed suit.

Parking up not sure what to expect I met a lovely guy called Will from the Sheffeild Tri Club, which was a comfort to get chatting to someone straight off.

We registered and I was Lucky Number:

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We all lined up at the start line…. here we go.

“resist the urge to set off like a shot”

“GO!!!”

I set off at a good pace in about 12th place after about 300 yards I was passed by the a big guy in Blue & White [just call big guy from here on] I was fairly comfortable with his pace and hung onto his heels until the 1mile turn around by which time i was holding back to stay with him.

Passing him on the 2nd mile was a good confidence booster and spurred me on to stay ahead.

2miles done I entered the transition.

26052009103A quick change I thought, helmet on, grabbed the bike struggled to run and put my gloves on [note to self put them on before you get to the bike] then I was out on the open road 10miles to ahead of me.

The bike felt good and out of the transition I could see 2 riders ahead of me spent the whole 1st lap in the drops chasing, after about 6miles I caught my white rabbit [guy in white] and pushed on to open up the gap as well as trying to close down the black rider in front of me. But the head wind was so severe and he was as fast as i was and took the corners better than I did so I never caught him.

Approaching the 2nd transition I slowed to a stop and getting off the bike to run was weird, my legs felt strange and difficult to run.

Into the transition i’d drank all my water and spent too long messing about getting my stuff off. Out on the 2nd run

This was I told myself all about heart I was tired and struggling but I kept an even pace and saved my self for the last 1/2 mile, Hitting the 1 mile marker was a boost and see that those behind me looked just a tired kept me going.

I picked up the pace as soon as i hit the final tarmac stretch and turning for the final 100m opened up to a near sprint.

Finished… knackered… Happy…..

Time sheet:

Duathlon Results

Run 1 :  15:33

T1:          1:05

Bike:     29.38

T2:        1:01

Run2:   16:38

Total: 104:00

Really enjoyed it and pleased with my 1st attempt. So 2 weeks hard training for the 2nd leg on the 9th June aiming for a sub 1 hour time!

Back on the road – Tri training.

Once again i’m making a bid to do a Triathlon this is my 3rd year of thinking about this but the 1st that I’ve actually booked to do it. Yes that’s right i’ve got the completed form and cheque just waiting for pay day to arrive to post it off.
With this in mind my running has restarted in anger, in fact yesterday I did the 400ft climb stretched out to 8 miles home from the my last shift at the LBS.
Changed my shoes & took off on a 3mile run, this is the 1st time i’ve tried to run straight after cycling and it was hard to start with but felt good after about 10 minutes and I managed to stick to my pace of just under 10 minutes per mile.

Stats for the week:
Bike Time:
Time: 4:52’30
Distance: 67.63 + approx 12.5 miles on MTB = approx 80miles
Average Speed: 13.8
Max 31.9
March Odometer: 244.8miles

Running Time:
Time: Approx 2:30
Distance Approx 16miles
Last Run: 3miles
Time: 29:30 (inc. 5 min stop to pick up lunch)

Also for those who have never tried it have a go at running with the rocky soundtrack on the old iPod! It’s awesome and you go so much faster!

I’m now on the search for equally motivating music to train to.

Working for it: SS review a few days on

My thoughts on the bike at the moment break down into 2 parts.

  1. Positive + The single speed-ness, 

A couple of time on the commute this morning I made movements to change gear,

Strange that I was on a road bike reaching for non existent mountain biking shifters.

After chuckling to my self for a few minutes, I resumed the attack on the hills. Yes attack, I have found so far that unless I wish to crawl along at 0 mph uphills, up out of the saddle or sat down hammering away is the only way to do it. 

Maybe it the iPod but I’m finding it quite easy to just pootle along and need to kick myself to move faster, I am enjoying the smooth ride of being on a road bike again how the little flicks of the bars and graceful movements of the bike round corners are pleasing to the body, mind and soul.

I think above all I like the idea of the single speed, it is very cool and a bit different, i like the idea of me and the machine against the elements, i like the idea of if I want to go faster I have to work harder, I like that the bike looks so cool too!

     2. Negative – The Bars.

Now this is my only gripe / area of concern, I’m not too comfy with the bars and the way they bend out, i never seem to get a comfortable grip position for climbing / attacking. But I think I will give it a few weeks to try and get used to them.

 

    3. Over all + it is nice to be on a road bike again.

Think i’ll go for a long ride after work today to really try it out.

New Bike 1st ride review.

It’s very plush, I’ve put my mountain biking mud guards on to keep me dry and clean and i’ve added specialized red bar phat to stop my hands freezing to the gorgeous [now well protected] track drop bars.

The track bars will take some getting used to I think as they have a different shape to what I’m used to and not sure of the best position for climbing and having my hands yet.

The gearing is a 42/16t which I have found gives a comfortable pootling speed but when you put the power down there is plenty of range to accelerate before you spin out.

Going through traffic on a hill was interesting, the narrow bars encourage slipping through the vehicles but the desire to not stop is quite strong as it is a fair bit of effort to get going again.

The tyres grip well roll fast and are comfortable, 

Comfort is also increased through the carbon forks keeping the front end light even with bolted hubs and the the carbon wrapped seatpost saves some back pain.

I enjoyed the ride in and found not having to think about gears was not difficult infact it was kind of nice, i think i could get used to it….. 

I guess that is the thing about single speed bikes it’s just the opportunity to ride, uncompllicated riding.

[oh god i’m going off like a singlespeed preacher…. urgh! Sorry, just exceited.]

I can’t stop!!

Discovered why my front brake had gone kind of spongy.. the pad was worn out… when I say worn out I mean down to the metal man! not pretty, so new pads on and the ability to halt my rapid progression is mine once again.

My brakes are Hayes 9 2007 versions and this is my 3rd set of pads in 18 months on the front, still on the 2nd on the back but I’m sure that they’ll be needing it soon.

Here’s some very early morning commuting pics:

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