Progress so far...

June 30th 2009 - 22 stone 4Ibs. Current weight - 17 stone 1Ib. Weight loss - 5 stone 3Ibs. Commuting miles - 3389.
Non commuting miles - 359. Mileage this week - 101 miles. Total mileage - 3748 miles.

Monday, 31 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?

Sunday, 30 May 2010

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.

Saturday, 29 May 2010

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!

Friday, 28 May 2010

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.

Thursday, 27 May 2010

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

Wednesday, 26 May 2010


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!

Tuesday, 25 May 2010

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, which is £2.99 from the I store and 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 .

Monday, 24 May 2010

Aircon on overtime...

I pedalled in on my Ridgback commuter along the canal this morning, the reason for that is quite simple, it's a bloody lovely day and why would I want to be pedalling through a City on my road bike when I could be enjoying the rural idyll that is the canal? You see, despite my many road commuting miles, I'm still a MTBer at heart.

I had myself a deliberate (for once) lie in and got up at 0605hrs. There was no point being here early doors as the systems here weren't going to be re-started after the maintenance until 0700hrs.

I had my Muvi on, (footage later if it's worth it) and had a very pleasant pedal with no incidents of any note.

Stats here:
Started: 24 May 2010 06:19:40
Ride Time: 45:53
Stopped Time: 0:00
Distance: 11.54 miles
Average: 13.94 miles/hr
Fastest Speed: 30.88 miles/hr
Climb: 581 feet
Calories: 856

Here are some pics of my bike maintenance session from Saturday.

My Giant pre clean.

During the deed...

A very clean cassette.

As good as new...

Then it was the Ridgeback's turn, which is as to be expected very grimey as befits its working environment.

Just look at the state of her...

Up on the stand for some serious TLC.

I've just realised I never took an "after" shot of her, you'll have to take my word for it that she looks the business and pedals like a dream!

My office at work is propably the worst office here during the summer as all of the servers and other IT gubbins are sat in a cupboard in front of my desk, so it is bloody hot! Just so you get a flavour of my working conditions, I'm literally sat right against a portable aircon unit that is doing its level best to kick out some cold air to counter the heat from the computer stuff.

I love the summer...

New Bike Radar Blog here.

Sunday, 23 May 2010

A day of rest.

We were pretty busy yesterday, shopping in Halesowen, walking the hounds from hell, then in the afternoon I had a major bike cleaning maintenance session. I took a load of before - during - after type pics but I forgot that the works servers are all down for essential maintenance themselves, so the pics I emailed from my IPhone won't appear until tomorrow!

Suffice it to say both my Giant Defy and my Ridgeback are both cleaned and fettled to withing an inch of their lives. I also swapped the Giant's rear and front tyres around due to wear.

The evening was a giggle though, Mum in Law supplied the baby sitting duties and me and wifey went to the Alexandria Theatre to watch the Hairy Biker's Big Night Out

Me and wifey are total foodies, which is why I'm so fat no doubt, so I knew she'd enjoy it, but I didn't let on what we were doing until she guessed when we walked into the foyer of the Theatre. I won't go into the show too much, but it was more a stand up gig with a couple of recipes thrown in for good measure. I haven't laughed so much in years, they were brilliant. If you like their TV shows then it's worth a look.

Afterwards was a stop off at the Sundarbon in Selly Oak on the way home for a curry. Happy days.

My day of rest today consists of doing the kids breakfasts, prepping Sunday Lunch (roast beef and yorkies today), going for a walk down the canal at Tardebigge so the kids can help the boaters with the locks and getting the hounds walked. The rest of the day after dinner is monging around doing bugger all!

Saturday, 22 May 2010

Beautiful day!

Family stuff this morning, serious bike maintenance this afternoon. June is going to be a big month. I've got 2 targets, one thanks to Phill (the bastard) who has forced me to say I'll do a 100 off road miles in June, on top of my roughly 100 miles per week commuting distance and I'm really going to hit the weight thing, my next target is to lose a stone in June. It may be doable but that one will be the harder target than the 100 off road miles. But the off road target will help the weight one.

The main reason for the weight thing is that as of June the 30th it will be exactly a year since I started this thing and I'd love to have lost 5 stone in a year.

Can I do it? Watch this space, it certainly won't be for the want of trying and I'll need you folks to get on my case about it!

Friday, 21 May 2010

Site Meeting

No pedal today, I have a site meeting to go to.

Last nights pedal was very warm, to coin a phrase "I was sweating for England" There was nothing much to report about the pedal which was the Harbourne, QE Hospital, and Bristol Road route.

I had a bit of chat with a MTB Cop at Selly Oaks lights, considering I was in T Shirt and shorts pedalling a road bike and he was all kitted up for combat in Helmund Province riding a fully loaded MTB he looked remarkably fresh! Nice bloke though. I won't mention that he tries to set off the speed camera down by the college when he's pedalling downhill!

Stats here:
Ride Time: 44:16
Stopped Time: 0:00
Distance: 11.82 miles
Average: 14.58 miles/hr
Fastest Speed: 45.30 miles/hr
Climb: 604 feet
Calories: 797

Weight is static, not surprising really considering the crappy pedalling week I've had at only 76 miles. But my waist size I discovered is down to 40" now when got my new shorts for the summer. My old ones were hanging off me even with a belt!

Footage of my chat with the MTB Cop.

This article might be of use to some...

Thursday, 20 May 2010

I did it again!

What the hell is the matter with me? I never ever oversleep, that's 2 mornings running now. Not happy.

I came in over the Waseley's and via Bartley Green and Halesowen just to keep things varied. It is very warm this morning, it'll take me a while to stop leaking.

Stats here:
Started: 20 May 2010 05:41:23
Ride Time: 42:08
Stopped Time: 0:00
Distance: 12.13 miles
Average: 16.27 miles/hr
Fastest Speed: 42.41 miles/hr
Climb: 256 feet
Calories: 1177

Last night I went home over Frankley Beeches, a nice pedal which always gets my heart rate up. I don't know if the nicer weather is putting everyone in a good mood but I haven't had a single incident in days. That's probably tempting fate a bit.

Stats here:
Started: 19 May 2010 15:04:12
Ride Time: 47:02
Stopped Time: 0:00
Distance: 11.82 miles
Average: 14.04 miles/hr
Fastest Speed: 32.84 miles/hr
Climb: 817 feet
Calories: 990

Last night was good fun though, my daughter Fay took her first step in continuing an honourable Chapman tradition of military service. I took her down to the Air Cadets which she'll join in September at the next recruit intake. She's following her Great Granddad (Army), her Granddad (RAF) and her Dad (Army). She wants to go in the RAF as a physio and eventually serve at Headley Court doing rehab work with injured serviceman. To say I'm proud would be something of an understatement.

The only downer was I wished I was 13 again as it looked like she'll be off all over the place having a brilliant time with her mates. Ex serviceman will know what I mean by this, I know it was just a Cadet location, but there is a distinct atmosphere and even a unique smell to military locations, this place had it in spades and I got all nostalgic.

Wednesday, 19 May 2010


Hmm, not like me to oversleep, but I did, so I came in the quick city centre route, this Phase 2 plan hasn't started too well has it?

Anyway the only incident of note was my mini pump falling off my bike just before the Bristol Road McDonalds traffic lights, so I thought I'd stop for a Big Mac breakfast and a shake...Only kidding!

The pump bracket had for some reason opened out and was not gripping the pump and it wouldn't stay retained in the bracket. So I retrieved the pump out of the road and shoved it in  my bum bag and carried on. I'll probably leave the pump in the bag now and take the pump bracket off. Footage here, excuse the profanity!

But the first morning of just T Shirt and shorts with no base layer! Even though it was raining a bit...

Nothing else to report really.

Stats here:
Started: 19 May 2010 05:59:26
Ride Time: 39:04
Stopped Time: 0:00
Distance: 11.65 miles
Average: 16.09 miles/hr
Fastest Speed: 40.75 miles/hr
Climb: 548 feet
Calories: 940

Last night me and the family went for bimble across the fields over the road from our house at the foot of the Waseley Hills, it was a good chance to get the Spawn of Satan really knackered before bed time and to do some off the lead training with Benji the pup. Our old Lurcher Eddie is pretty good at keeping him check off the lead, if Benji is disobediant Eddie knocks him over! You can't report a dog to the RSPCA for cruelty can you?

Anyway, some catch me naturals for you...

Spawn of Satan about to get into some form of trouble no doubt...

Benji not quite getting the hang of the lead...

Benji and Eddie...and Fay and Liz's legs!

Kids playing in the bath, it's a makeshift horse trough for when the nags are about.

As always, Dan booted Fay out and commandeered it for himself...

Last remaining Bluebells in the wood.

Dan guarding our late summer Blackberry bushes...

Fay and Dan attempting to feed Bessie, she wasn't interested!

Dan likes to collect what he calls "Wooly Heads!"

Home at last, just before the Spawn of Satan's bedtime...

A very pleasant few hours wandering around with the family.

Tuesday, 18 May 2010

A meeting (or ambushed by work)

I'm a man of routine, I get very uncomfortable if my plans are mucked about with. This morning was the East Side Commute, fantastic, have you looked outside yet? The weather is great!

But, I'm sat here having got to work via the internal combustion engine due to a meeting I have to attend at HQ.

The ride home last night was fine, cut, NCR5, Lickey loop for 16 miles, no incidents so the Muvi footage is being deleted.

Stats here:
Started: 17 May 2010 15:04:55
Ride Time: 1:11:58
Stopped Time: 0:00
Distance: 15.25 miles
Average: 12.21 miles/hr
Fastest Speed: 27.36 miles/hr
Climb: 233 feet
Calories: 819

Monday, 17 May 2010

Nothing to report.

I decided to come in via the towpath today, which is slightly at odds with the Phase 2 plan, but I'll be doing my East Side Commute tomorrow. I'm just trying to mix it up a bit to keep it feeling fresh and not a chore. It remains to be seen if I'm successful at this!

The pedal itself was remarkable if only for the lack of things happening, no incidents whatsoever and the only cyclist I saw was coincidentally in exactly the same place as the guy from 2 weeks ago who refused to give me any room. This bloke slowed right down (like me) and gave me a cheery good morning! Just how it should be. I did have my Muvi set up, but the lack of incident has me deleting the footage off it as I type.

I'll do the cut, NCR5 and Lickey Loop on the way home this afternoon.

Stats here from this morning.

Started: 17 May 2010 05:45:57
Ride Time: 46:23
Stopped Time: 0:00
Distance: 11.98 miles
Average: 13.61 miles/hr
Fastest Speed: 30.57 miles/hr
Climb: 525 feet
Calories: 864

Sunday, 16 May 2010

What's possible?

This Blog isn't my usual self indulgent rubbish about me. This is all about a mukka of mine who I've mentioned in passing before as we coach together now.

My old mate Ski, or to use his given name Tony Skehan. He's having a bit of a hard time at the moment for reasons I won't go into, usually I won't mention personal stuff on my Blog but seeing this photograph below I thought I'd big him up a bit as it is cycling related.

Ski is the cyclist looking a bit red in the face 2nd from the right with the yellow lensed sun glasses.

Just a bit of "how I know Ski" info, we joined the Royal Signals on the same day too many years ago and just kind of identified a kindred spirit thing going on. We both like the same things, we both played rugby to county level, Ski for North Midlands me for Warwickshire, we both played in the front row of the scrum at Hooker and we both love doing all things active and outdoors. We both are now Rugby Coaches, Ski was best man at my wedding and I've been best man at all of his.

We do have some differences though, Ski was always a very good runner, I was crap, I could just get by without making a complete fool of myself during Squadron runs, he would fly pretty much up the front, I'm not a bad a swimmer, Ski could barely float, something about negative bouyancy, and most relevant to this Blog, Ski and me loved cycling, although he would have you believe he's not too great at it. Ok he does crash off road a fair bit as I recall, but that just means he's going for it!

This is just how crap he is. The photo above is the end of the London Paris Cycle ride pedalled in aid of the BHF every August, Ski pedalled it with his works team. The idea is to do it in relays each rider doing a stint or a distance. Ski did the lot from start to finish on his 20 year old GT MTB with my old slick tyres fitted. His prep consisted of bringing his bike round to mine for a service, me getting him some spares from my LBS and him doing a 30 miler to Warwick and back where he was on the clock and didn't make it due a puncture. That was it, after probably 10 to 15 years off the bike!

So next time we think something is not possible, try remembering a fat knackered late forties has been who jumped on his bike with no prep and cycled to Paris from London on an old MTB with second hand slicks.

Oh and apologies if you're my Facebook friend and you're getting bizarre photos with various thong and Mankini wearing rugby players in the photos...Say no more...

Saturday, 15 May 2010

Friday, 14 May 2010

Man flu on the wane...

I'll be back on the bike Monday, good news.

Just a hangover to negotiate tomorrow as it's the club dinner and dance tonight, rumour has it that the guest speaker, ex England Rugby International and all round good egg Mark Linnett (better known as Sumo to his mates) is going to hold a court session and the main  targets are the coaches! That'd be me and my mukka Ski in the barrel then...This'll be messy...

New Bike Radar Blog here.

Thursday, 13 May 2010

Sore throat, aching bones, throbbing head, running a fever, yep, man flu...

Call a Paramedic!

Not feeling too great, but like the little soldier I am, I'm cracking on, taking Fay into school in a bit then off to Smethwick. I'm going in later today as I have a meeting at 1800hrs tonight.

I've also got to get a new formal type shirt for the Club end of season dinner and dance tomorrow night, I tried my weddings/interviews/funeral shirt on and it looks like a tent on me.

That's good in a way, but I hate clothes shopping, such a ball ache. And that's on top of my other aches!

Wednesday, 12 May 2010

Still hors de combat...

When you are not well and unable to do something you love, morale quite naturally takes a dip. So I had an unexpected boost yesterday afternoon that I thought I'd share with you.

I had a "so and so has tagged a photo of you" type email from facebook.

When I looked I nearly died of shock, it was taken in June last year literally the weekend before I started all of this insanity. The location was Barton Under Needwood in Staffordshire at their Rugby Club's BBQ.

I have included a taken now photo for comparison or 4 stones 2Ibs later.

This pedalling lark seems to be doing me some good doesn't it?

I'll knock the pedalling on the head all this week. I couldn't pedal tomorrow as I have a meeting to go to tomorrow afternoon and I'm only in half a day Friday.

And here's the picture of me and my mukka Ski with our coaching awards. Obviously I'll be getting the non copyright version eventually, but you know how long these photographers take to sort their lives out! Unless someone knows how to use Photoshop for me!

Tuesday, 11 May 2010

The dreaded Lurgy...

My family prides itself on being very close, very supportive and very loving and sharing. So much so that The Spawn of Satan and Wifey have very kindly shared their bug with me. I woke up feeling cack, pretty wheezy and achey so even though I manfully dragged myself into work I did so via the internal combustion engine and not pedal power. It doesn't feel right. (Sulk).

I trust this small interlude will be over shortly and I'll be back pedalling as soon as humanly possible.

Monday, 10 May 2010

No pedal today

I'm having to work from home as Dan and Wifey have still got the lurgy. Not good, I hope I don't get it!

The Gala Day at Bees went really well yesterday I was absolutely gobsmacked when I won an RFU award for services to coaching along with my mukka Ski. This was for our work with the Advanced Player Development Group at the club. For once we were totally speechless!

Sunday, 9 May 2010

A quick in and out...

As the actress said to the Bishop...

Off to Sharman's Cross Road today to take part in my Rugby Club's Gala Day.

It's the traditional end of season High Jinks of BBQ, games and prize giving. I hope the weather does the decent thing...

As for bikes, shamefully I haven't had a chance to do any cleaning or maintenance this weekend. So My bikes will have soldier on this week without any TLC. East Side 20 miler in to work tomorrow.

Saturday, 8 May 2010

Static weight...

Despite a good few miles this week! Never mind, last week's successful avoidance of relegation celebrations at my Rugby Club probably had something to do with that!

Yesterday's pedal home went really well, despite it being a bit damp. The afternoon was spent working at home then the usual trip to the Dodford last night.

Stats here:
Started: 7 May 2010 12:01:05
Ride Time: 44:13
Stopped Time: 0:00
Distance: 11.11 miles
Average: 13.36 miles/hr
Fastest Speed: 44.28 miles/hr
Climb: 269 feet
Calories: 862

Tomorrow is Rafe and Matty's day to kill the Oxfordshire Classic, no doubt it will be an enjoyable event which will see a successful completion of the course, good luck fellers!

Finally check the video below, this happened on my way home yesterday, I'm posting it without a comment other than "why?"

Friday, 7 May 2010

Nearly bottled it!

That was a close call, I very nearly didn't pedal in today, I lay there debating about going in the car but eventually the lean mean fighting machine (tm) won the argument.

I came in the City Centre route and had no incidents to speak of.

Stats here:
Started: 7 May 2010 05:52:15
Ride Time: 37:15
Stopped Time: 0:00
Distance: 11.66 miles
Average: 15.51 miles/hr
Fastest Speed: 36.20 miles/hr
Climb: 381 feet
Calories: 991

Last night's pedal was a very quick one, 36 minutes home, it felt quick too, I went via Harbourne and the QE Hospital, although I guess the schools being shut for voting had an effect on the traffic.

Stats here:
Ride Time: 36:46
Stopped Time: 0:00
Distance: 11.65 miles
Average: 15.96 miles/hr
Fastest Speed: 40.30 miles/hr
Climb: 541 feet
Calories: 1034

Weigh in later.

Thursday, 6 May 2010

Just beat the rain...

Did an East Side 20 miler in this morning, it was pretty grey but very still, which is fine as I'm rapidly getting bored of head winds! But it is persistently precepitating now I'm here at work. Phew...

The only incident of note was WVM trying to kill me at a set of traffic lights on the Moseley Road in Sparkhill. I was sat at the lights and he pulled right up behind me and narrowly missed me on overtaking me. I banged the side of his van but he went on his merry way without even noticing me I think. I wouldn't have minded but at 0620hrs there was only me and him on the road. He pays road tax so I guess he's entitled to all of the road! Wait a minute, in that neck of the woods I bet no-one pays road tax. Sod's law dictated that I'd forgotten to plug my Muvi in for recharge last night as I'd left it on my lid in the garage. I'm charging it and downloading last night's pedal as I speak. What a knob head!

Stats here:
Started: 6 May 2010 05:21:16
Ride Time: 1:11:09
Stopped Time: 0:00
Distance: 20.46 miles
Average: 15.13 miles/hr
Fastest Speed: 35.10 miles/hr
Climb: 646 feet
Calories: 1846

Last night's pedal was pretty enjoyable, I did the cut, NCR5 and an extended Lickey loop for 17 miles, the towpath was pretty busy with pedestrians, cyclists and joggers but I expect that in the afternoon when the weather is fine. Usually a quick cheery "excuse me!" will have them moving over, but one girl who was jogging had the worlds biggest headphones on and she nearly jumped out of her skin when I pedalled by! I did chuckle. Here's the footage of that!

Stats here:
Started: 5 May 2010 15:05:14
Ride Time: 1:07:40
Stopped Time: 0:00
Distance: 17.36 miles
Average: 15.39 miles/hr
Fastest Speed: 29.29 miles/hr
Climb: 705 feet
Calories: 1908

Now here's the thing, I was expecting to suffer after Monday's 50 miler, but apart from my usual aches and pains I'm feeling fine, my legs aren't tired, I'm not suffering aerobically and my mind is up for the battle. I wasn't expecting that at all. Another sign of progress perhaps?

Wednesday, 5 May 2010

It's not me is it?

Just thought I'd post this from this morning's jaunt down the cut...

This bloke, although the film doesn't show it too well, didn't slow down, didn't make any attempt to change his line to allow me any room and obviously was determined to carry on regardless, I had to stop and hang on to the fence to let him through.

It pissed me off a bit at the time...There's absolutely no need for it.

Back on the bike

After a day at home looking after Dan I'm back on the bike and as I was scheduled to do a quick route in I decided to jump on my Ridgeback and do the cut. Two reasons for that, one it would give my body and extra rest from the cruel attentions of the road bike and two I prefer pedalling on the towpath to pounding the tarmac! A win win!

The Spawn of Satan still isn't right though, wifey had to sleep in his room with him last night and she's staying home with him today. He's got the flu we think. Wifey will assess him today.

The pedal in was without incident, I did have my Muvi on and may post some footage later. The only other thing of note was that this was the first ride in this year without the need of my lights, it was plenty bright when I stepped out of the house. That's good news! Also no ill effects at all from Monday's 50 miler.

On the downside the cut was terribly busy, 4 joggers, one pedestrian and a cyclist to negotiate. I'm not happy, the cut is my own private property of a morning! Fair weather fitness freaks...

Stats here:
Started: 5 May 2010 05:50:25
Ride Time: 49:08
Stopped Time: 0:00
Distance: 11.73 miles
Average: 13.49 miles/hr
Fastest Speed: 29.00 miles/hr
Climb: 272 feet
Calories: 410

Tuesday, 4 May 2010

Working from home today.

After the euphoria of yesterday's pedal there's always a reality check to remind you what really matters. After I got home I had a nice hot bath, a bit of brekky and me, wifey, the Spawn of Satan and the hounds went on a walk up a little river valley at the back of the Dodford Pub. It's a very secluded walk and very pretty, it's also an opportunity to let Dan run riot as little lads are meant to do without seriously pissing everyone else off.

We'd only been walking about 10 minutes and Dan was walking by me and holding my hand which is unusual and he'd even refused point blank to jump in some muddy puddles. He then asked to go home as he was cold, thirsty and feeling tired. Again, almost un-heard of, so we went home and he spent the rest of the day curled up on my lap, he even went to bed without a fight!

This morning he's still not right so I'm taking him to the Docs later and that means working from home.

Working from home means no pedal, it would have been the quick commute in and the usual commute home for a normal 24 mile day. I feel ok this morning, a bit of twinge in my right knee but nothing terrible. I'll crack on tomorrow with that and get back into my routine.

Monday, 3 May 2010

The Bridgnorth 50 miler.

This morning I was up at the crack of Sparrow fart and completed this route:

To say it was hard wouldn't be doing it justice, the first part of the ride to Bridgnorth was against quite a fearsome headwind so I was working pretty hard. I had originally planned to stop at Bridgnorth to have my jam sandwiches and a drink but I decided to crack on and get it done. I'd gone into mission mode which isn't great as my blinkers go on and everything else gets forgotten. I benefitted from a tailwind all the way into Kidderminster and up to Mustow Green where my body was telling to me to refuel. I sat on the wall by the Skoda Dealers and wolfed the sarnies and drink and cracked on as quickly as I could. By this time I was suffering. Every little injury was now letting me know of its presence, my neck and shoulder's were killing me, there was a sharp pain in my right knee (worrying that one) my back was killing me, my feet were numb and I couldn't feel my hands.

Just as I turned off at Bromsgrove for Catshill and the last 7 or 8 miles the wind changed and I was again battling a fearsome headwind. The last few miles disappeared in a world of hurt. I can't remember when I last had to dig in like that. Every yard gained was a small victory and every meter to cover was another reason to stop. But I eventually made it home. A bit battered but morale sky high!

Maybe I was pushing my fitness (or lack of) but you've got to have a go haven't you? I now have a yardstick to look at at where I am. I guess the various pains will always be there as they're the result of the life I've lead, but my cardio vascular system and leg muscles seemed ok. It was just everything else that malfunctioned!

I didn't take any pictures and I forgot my Muvi at 0445hrs this morning, I was just determined to get it done. Maybe next time I'll do it more leisurely and take some catch me naturals for you all to look at.

Stats here:
Started: 3 May 2010 04:56:23
Ride Time: 3:48:16
Stopped Time: 0:09
Distance: 53.48 miles
Average: 13.93 miles/hr
Fastest Speed: 46.26 miles/hr
Climb: 1437 feet
Calories: 4447

50 miles eh? Chuffed to bits!

Saturday, 1 May 2010

Love your Local Bike Shop!

I know in this day an age of internet shopping and mail order you can get all things a bit cheaper and from the convenience of your own arm chair at the click of a mouse.

The same is true for bikes and all things bike related, indeed I've used any number of online retailers for bits'n'pieces, clothing and various accessories.

But lets for the moment take a moment to celebrate the blokes who run small businesses and keep your beloved steed in working order and can be the saviour of the moment when you need that "spur of the moment part", an emergency inner tube for a last minute pedal or just a bit of bike related advice to make your life a bit easier.

I'm lucky, I have Scott's Cycles in Rubery run by the ever helpful Graham and Northfield Cycles just up the road in, er, Northfield.

As most of you know I got my Giant Defy from Northfield Cycles a couple of months ago, and as you are probably aware, ever since I've had it I've had wheel problems, rubbing brake blocks, spokes pinging off and just a nagging feeling that all is not well with the hoops. For a new bike that's not good. Indeed at the free first service I voiced my concerns to Neil and they've had the bike back as well to replace spokes. Every time they've sorted it, but again the wheels would go out of true or ping spokes which it did again last week.

I took the bike in last Wednesday basically to say I was not happy, the bike is bordering on not fit for purpose and I want it sorted. Neil said leave it with us and lo and behold they did sort it. A pair of Shimano RS20 rims are now happily hanging on my bike. Not only that but they worked damn hard to get me the bike back for Saturday as I said I was going on a big pedal on Bank Holiday Monday. I got the bike back yesterday. Now that's service.

I think in this digital age it's easy to forget about the personal touch and good customer service, indeed we British are not very good at it so any bit of going the extra mile needs to be celebrated.

So well done Richard Tranter and Neil Jones at Northfield Cycles! You have a very happy customer who's expectations were exceeded!

Some times it's easier to moan about bad service and to take good service for granted so let's change that around, just don't shop where you get bad service and trumpet good examples here on our Blogs so we all know who's doing the business!

Neil Jones and Richard Tranter at Northfield Cycles

Neil and Richard keeping a wary eye on the Spawn of Satan!

Dan outside Northfield Cycles

My Giant Defy 2 with new hoops!

New front wheel!

New rear wheel!

So what I would say is use your LBS, cultivate a good relationship with them and keep them in business for your own good. Don't forget these blokes are cyclists too! Neil is now a regular commuter and ex BMXer and Richard is a cyclo crosser of some repute too, they like most LBS personnell are mad on bikes just like us mere mortals who use them as a tool or a hobby.