Monday, 28 November 2011

I'm back and I'm full of ideas - GOALS - PART 1

Hello again.  I know, I know I have neglected this blog again and again I'll probably say I wont but this time lets try.   So much has happened this year that I wont be able to detail it all and that's not what this post is about.  This post is about goals, setting reviewing and achieving them.  Why do we do it, how do we it and above all whats the point.  Hopefully this is Part 1 of 2 on Goal setting.

OK first up What is a Goal.  As defined by Wikipedia (the source of amazing things) is

  • "A goal or objective is a desired result an animal or a system envisions, plans and commits to achieve—a personal or organisational desired end-point in some sort of assumed development. Many people endeavour to reach goals within a finite time by setting deadlines."

Well what does this mean? Well it means many things to different people.  For some a Goal is to lose weight or increase fitness for some its achieve things they never thought possible e.g. climbing an alpine route or taking part in a stage event.  For me its all of these things.  I am one of life's over eager people.  I like to try achieving things before I have set a plan to do it.  This is one reason why I have slow progress and why I don't see good returns. 

This has changed recently by gaining a Level 2 coaching qualification in cycling.  I can now see the big picture and not focus on the immediate issue.  One thing that we have been drilled in is using the SMART criteria.  For anyone who works in a consultancy role I will hear the groans from here, as I do when reviews come up.  For those who don't know what it means it is a simple way to plan things so:

  • S - Specific
  • M - Measurable
  • A - Attainable
  • R - Relevant; and 
  • T - Time bound
Wow, I remembered that for the first time.  Its all very well and good saying this but what does it mean.  OK lets break it down into sections:

SPECIFIC - This is the need to set a goal.  This means its is clear and unambiguous.  To be specific it must tell you what you need to do.  For example a specific goal might be to achieve a finish in a race or to finish a TT in a set amount time.

MEASURABLE - The goal should be measurable.  Its no point setting something you cannot measure.  For example; its not measurable to say I'm going to generate an extra 50 watts a month if you have no way of measuring this.

ATTAINABLE - The goal must be achievable.  Why set something that you wont achieve. Set the bar to high and you will give up however, setting the bar to low and you will achieve it and lose motivation.

RELEVANT - Simply put - Does it seem worthwhile. 

TIME BOUND - Set your goal in time frame.  By putting a time on it it makes it real and puts a deadline on it.

Lets put this into a scenario - A typical club rider who wants to get into time trialing in a more competitive way and has dabbled in a few time trials the previous year.  Personal Best was 26 minutes.  The goal for this rider may be:

  • By 1st July I will have completed a 10m TT in 26 Minutes.
OK what does that goal mean.

Its Specific - It has set the goal, the reason for training the reason to compete.
Its Measurable - There is a defined time period to complete it in of 26 minutes. 
Its Attainable - The goal is not a stretch with good training it should be achievable. 
Its Relevant - The rider wants to TT and therefore its in their interest.
Its Time bound - The rider has set a date of the 1st of July to achieve this. 

Have a think about the above what are your goals for the year.  Part 2 of this blog (it will happen) will look at what happens if we set to easy or to demanding goals and I will try to outline my goals for 2012 and what I plan on doing about achieving them.  I hope this is helpful to someone........

Monday, 8 August 2011

Year so far

Woe its been a bit busy recently and I haven't had chance to reflect on what I have achieved this year.  My goals for this season was to lose weight and take part in some competitive cycling.  Well I think I achieved booth of these goals.  I have lost 2 stone in weight and kept it off, I took part in my first Mountain Bike event and I have taken part in three time trials. 

What have i learnt?  I have learnt that goal setting is a huge part of this sport.  I set goals and worked hard to achieve them although I have covered less mileage than last year mainly due to being occupied with getting my coaching sorted I am still happy.

It is now time to start thinking forward.  I have the Manchester 100 in September and that will be my last event of 2011.  I need to think what I want to achieve next year and how I am going to do it.  Competitive cycling is one of my goals and I need to use my skills learnt as a coach to start implementing this. 

If any one has any ideas for a good winter training programme please drop me a message....


Monday, 1 August 2011

Wow its been a while

It seems like ages since I posted on here.  So what have I been up to?  Coaching, Road Cycling, MTB and Time Trialing.

4 weeks ago myself and two club members started coaching kids in North Cheshire Clarion Kids Club which teaches kids additional skills to improve there riding and to help to develop a competitive nature.  So far it is amazing and it's something I am very passionate about.  Seeing someones skills improve during a session is a great feeling and knowing that, it drives me on.

I have now taken part in three time trials.  Yes I know I swore I wouldn't do it again, but the element of competitive racing is starting to kick in.  I want to race either against myself or others and TTing is filling that need.  My first time over 8.75 miles was 26.24 minutes, this came down to 25.40 and then last week I did a 25.45.  I was actually very annoyed with myself as I wanted to take time out of it not slow down.  I felt great on the way out on the way back I struggled and I have now learned to back off a bit on the way out.

In terms of road riding I actually went out on a Sunday club ride this week and ended up doing 60 miles with some great hill climbing.  I have noticed that my riding attitude has changed since Rough Ride.  At Rough Ride I struggled with the mental aspect of it, the weather, the climbs etc all got into my head and I bottled it before I started.  Now, I see every hill as a challenge and every ride as something to enjoy instead of worrying about what it will entail. 

Im loving my riding again and I love the coaching.  I will keep this up to date a bit more now but for now i'm off to finish off my paperwork for the final day of my coaching qualification.

Thursday, 23 June 2011

Bicicleta de Montaña Murcia

This week I am on holiday on the South East coast of Spain, approximatetly 20 minutes south of Murcia City Centre and am staying with my in-laws.  I had been in contact with one of there friends Neil about doing some Mountain Biking in the area, which features a number of rather large mountain (Sierra Carrascoy).  Neil lives close to my in-laws and is planning to ride a fantastic challange in the Alps taking in a lot of the Tour de France climbs.  Instead of bringing my bike with me, I was lucky enough to lend a bike which was a full susser from Decathalon (I will be doing a review of this bike later).

As I woke up at 7am the sun was shining and the temperatures were already getting up as i jumped on the Rockrider and headed to the meet point at 8am.  We set off and straight away I noticed that I wasn't feeling great.  One thing I know about this is that there is a lot of hills and using what I had learned at Roughride I wasn't going to give up on any of the climbs.  As we climbed up the service roads it became apparent that this ride was going to be tough, the temperature was rising, I was sweating and was drinking quite a lot. 

Once we got onto the mountain paths the scenariy was stunning and I can honestly say is some of the best sceneroy I have ever seen on a bike.  We carried on climbing and I started to feel worse, I seemed to have a large amount of phlem on my chest and was stopping me from breathing properly which was making climbing hard.  I stopped and started to cough and my breakfast decided to leave my body.  I was a bit dizzy and throwing up on this mountain path feeling like a complete idiot for eating breakfast too late.  Once I settled down I felt great and resumed the climbs and suprisingly climbed really well.  I must point out at this stage that while I was riding the hills ina  granny ring Neil, my tour gide, was climbing up in the middle ring very impressive. 

As we climbed to the very top of the mountain I felt great, the sense of achievement was there as I had ridden every step of the way.  Climbing up there were a number of local riders out on the same routes and seeing how the Spanish climb in this heat shows why they are successfull at this sport. 

Once up it must come down so we covered a large amount of distance on the decent before getting onto a road and climbing back up for a cafe stop.  A bit of cake, a can of coke and a lot of water and we ressumed the ride now onto my kind of surface - rocky and rough.  This gave me another boost of energy as I love riding on this kinda surface.  The trails upto now had been wide forest routes similiar to the surface at Llandegla's fire roads but now we were onto single track and I could really let loose on the trail.  It was undulating but was fantastic and flowing.  We then hit the road back to the villa's and I was enjoying the cool down but Neil had another idea as we started to climb back up the resort Neil decided he was going to push me to my limits and we climbed up really quickly.  As I climbed off the bike my legs hurt, my chest hurt and I wanted to climb into a freezing cold shower.  After thanking Neil for the ride I quickly got changed and dragged myself into the pool which acted like an ice bath.  Legs don't hurt today thank god as Im off to play 18 holes of golf shortly.

Stats from the ride:
25 miles;
2,000 feet of climbing
Temperature 8am - 25 degrees climbing to 33 by the end
2,500 Calories burned; and
Ride time 3 hours 28 minutes (we did take a lot of photos)

Below are some of my favourite photos from this ride:

Tuesday, 21 June 2011

1st Guest Blog - Review of Merida's Twenty-Nine Lite XT Edition 2011 RRP £1499

by Guest Blogger, Jason Shaw

Last week I was unfortunate enough to take my beloved steed – a Specialized Stumpjumper Expert EVO 2011 Custom Build – from the garage to find that my bottom bracket bearing had completely seized on the non-drive side, a symptom of the horrific weather conditions that myself, Geoff and two other clarionistas had endured at the 2011 Torq Rough Ride a couple of days before.
A trip to my local cycle mechanic, Nick Moores at Sixty-Nine Cycles in Chester confirmed that there would be no quick fix and that I'd be waiting for a new pressfit BB30 to be shipped and fitted. However,  fortunately for me, Nick had just got a brand new 29er in as a demo bike which he offered me for the ride I'd got planned the following morning - excellent service!

When looking at the specification of the Merida, I began to realise how good the kit is for the money. A full Shimano XT drivetrain which is the standard that I personally aim for when purchasing a bike. It has a Rockshox Recon fork  which is a great performer, it's a solo-air spring which is apparently not as good as the dual-air system on the Revelations on my Specialized, but I honestly wouldn't notice the difference. The brakes are Shimano stock items that do their job consistently brilliantly like most of Shimano's products, and the finishing kit is mainly FSA which looks good and functions well.

I thought that twenty-seven miles of bridleways, climbs, descents, singletrack and fireroads in the Clwydian range ought to put this bike through it's paces. So, after a little tinkering to get the bike set up to my liking, I set off with my ride buddy, Dave for our start point in Cilcain.
The first thing you notice about a 29er is the extra momentum that the big wheels give you, this is fantastic for keeping an effortlessly steady speed on the flatter bits of a ride, with the only price being the extra effort needed to get them turning to start with, this really is negligible though.

We got out of the car park and headed up the first road climb towards Moel Famau where I was astonished to look behind me and see Dave (who usually keeps up with my climbing pace) flagging! Was this Rough Ride paying off? Surely not! He's a Physio and all out fitness freak who works as a personal trainer for Pro Balance. It soon became clear on every single climb that this bike was a veritable mountain goat and a Dave beater! It really did climb like no bike I've ever ridden. Somewhere between the drivetrain and the larger wheel diameter the bike gives a feeling of being slightly higher geared than my 26er, which coupled with the extra momentum from the huge wheels made it rocket up ascents of anything up to around 30-40%. It was only on the very steepest, yet usually rideable climbs that my legs began to struggle. I noticed that I really had to work my legs up some of the climbs that my 26er breezes up without burning out my bottom half. This however, translates to a pleasant surprise when pointing the wheels down a hill. The higher feeling top gear gives you plenty more power when you want to add a dab more at 45mph+.

Another pleasant attribute of the big wheels is the fact that they roll over things more easily than a 26er. I've heard others report that it's like having 100mm of rear suspension. I think that that's overstating it somewhat, but with a slightly larger ground contact patch underneath each tyre it gives a very secure feeling of grip.

We arrived at the very top of Moel Famau and after briefly admiring the views pointed the bikes downhill towards Gelifor. I've not ridden a hardtail in anger since mine was stolen six months ago, and it was suddenly clear that my only bike of choice since the theft had produced a slightly lazy riding technique in me having let 146mm of rear suspension take a lot of the skill out of riding the descents recently.

The Moel Famau to Gelifor track is a particularly long grassy descent, one where I was left in Dave's dust! It is also one where my wrists usually feel battle fatigued half way down partly due to previous injuries. This time I had to have a short rest at the midpoint! This has happened once before, and this time for the same reason, that is that the handlebar grips are just too small for my (freakishly) large hands. This is the only change that I'd make to this bike out of the box.
The ride continued, and for the entire duration I would leave Dave standing on the climbs and have to sit around waiting for him at the top. Then he'd be increasing the distance between us on the descents and have to pause at the bottom for me.

To sum up, I reckon that this is the ultimate XC machine. If Dave and I had been in a race situation rather than on a sociable ride, I've no doubt that this bike would have propelled me over the finishing line a good deal sooner than his would have done for him. While it is worth noting that Dave was riding a Giant trail bike with five inches of rear suspension, we are usually very well matched in our fitness, pace and stamina. Which brings me to the conclusion that the Merida Twenty-Nine Lite XT was what gave me such a hidden advantage.

Buy this if like me, you're a committed ascender and you ride mainly XC. But if you're more of a Downhill and Dirtjumping fan I'd look at smaller wheeled models.

Cheers Nick! Fantastic bike! Just need to start saving now.....

Spec List

17-19-21-23" (Tested 19”)
29" Lite-D-Single
Rock Shox Recon Silver 29" 100 poplock
Derailleur F & R
Shimano Deore XT
Shimano XT Rapidfire / Rapidfire-10
Shimano M445 180/180 mm
Shimano XT-10 42-32-24
Shimano CN-HG74-10
Shimano M435 centerlock
Merida XCD Lite
Shimano CS-HG81-10 11-36
Black stainless
Maxxis Crossmark 29 2.1 Folding
FSA XC 282L OS R18 660
FSA OS-150 6°
FSA BB-410 Neck
Seat Post
FSA SL250 SB20 27.2  (Tested with a Thomson Elite Lay Back)
Shimano M520 (Tested with Shimano XT SPD)

Jason Shaw is an active member of North Cheshire Clarion Cycling Club, he primarily rides Mountain Bikes – mainly XC and Trail Centres, but also rides his road bike when the opportunity presents itself.
Jason, as a trained chef and former restaurateur, has his own blog at where he can usually be found writing about all things food and drink.

Nick Moores owns and manages Sixty-Nine Cycles. Font of all cycle knowledge and all-round top bloke.
Nick can be found at: SIXTY NINE CYCLES, Unit 4, Deva House, Lightfoot Street, Hoole, Chester, CH2 3AD.
Tel: 01244 347488

Sunday, 19 June 2011

First Coaching Session - Done

Back in May myself and another couple of riders from North Cheshire Clarion undertook Level 2 coaching course to set up the North Cheshire Clarion Kids Club through the British Cycling Go Ride initiative. Yesterday we took what we knew and applied it to our first ever Road Skills Session for adults. 

The sessions were around helping to develop riders confidence in following a wheel and rider close to each other, similar to what happens on club rides.  At the start of the session I was really nervous as I hadn't coached before and 25 members turned up.  We took our groups through three different training sessions before we brought everyone together for the first North Cheshire Clarion elimination Team Pursuit.  Seeing how the riders were pushing themselves and using the skills they learned was a very proud moment for me and I know the other guys felt the same.

Time to push on and get the Kids Club up and running .  We launch on the 2nd July and info can be found on the website or by emailing

Wednesday, 15 June 2011

Rough Ride - DONE

Well I did it I completed my first ever Mountain Bike Event.  48km and 4000ft of climbing Done!

Myself and two other North Cheshire Clarion riders, Jason and Dom, camped over in in Herefordshire and although we took the scenic route to get there the weather was kind while we put up the tents and cracked open a couple of ales.  Jason had prepared a very tasty chili and we consumed this (carb loading) and headed the pub as it was cold.  A quick pint and brandy to keep the cold away and we headed back to over night accommodation.  I might add that Dom was very kind to lend me a tent but forgot to tell me that the last person to sleep in it was Freddie Kruger, it was full of holes which we fixed with trusty duck tape. 

4am it started. I woke up cold and heard the noise of rain lashing against the top of the tent.  I hoped it was a shower so I pulled the duvet over my head and went back to sleep.  7am I awoke to still hear the sound of rain hammering against the tent.  I popped my head out the tent and started the hour debate about if we were actually going to take part or not.  A quick phone call to another one of riders, Ian, confirmed we were doing it.  At this point I must point out that it was absolutely hammering down, it was cold but as Jason pointed out it was  not windy.

We finally geared up and headed to the ridge to start the ride.  We missed the start by 15 minutes due to not taking into account the climb up to the start but once there we just set off.  Jason's comment of no wind was then blown apart literally as on top of the moor it was very windy. 

The conditions were very wet and slippy with the ground having been churned up by mountain bike tyres.  The rain was torrential and Jason and Ian took off not to be seen until the end.  Myself and Dom plodded on, although I was holding Dom up badly so many thanks to him for sticking with me.  The climbs were horrendous very long and very steep and I am not going to lie i struggled.  I am convinced I just gave up and I need to work on the mental strength when climbing. 

Half way round the route, the food stop appeared and I have never been so glad to see flapjacks and bananas.  At this point there was an option to bail and avoid the climbs to come.  With Dom's gentle persuasion I decided to continue with the climbs and it wasn't long till I began to regret this.  The climbs were hard and fair play to Dom he climbed them all, where i walked the majority.  The descents were very very scary.  The wet muddy ground made it very hard to get traction and seeing someone getting first aid didn't help matters. 

As I crossed the line after 5hours 42 minutes of riding / walking i was dead.  I must say i hated it at the time but looking back now i loved it and will do it again next year.  The NCC riders were placed as follows:

Jason and Ian - 3hrs 58 minutes (well done guys)
Dom - 5hrs 33 minutes (this is because he sat with me most of the way round, thanks fella)
Geoff - 5hrs 42 minutes

What have I learned - I give up to easy on climbs the minute my legs hurt and I stop climbing.  If I see a rider in front of me I slow down thinking I cant catch them when I probably can.  I have to change my mental attitude to succeed and will be doing this during the rest of this year with the help of my fellow MTB riders. 

Wednesday, 8 June 2011

The Day Degla Bit Back

Helmets - There a funny old thing.  Some people wear them others don't.  In fact on Sunday morning two people came up to me and asked me if the trail centre at Llandegla made you where them.  This is while they were unpacking two brand new Cube hardtails, so they can clearly afford the best bikes but not the protection.  Personally if i'm on either the Mountain Bike or the Road Bike I wear one.  Its a personaly choice and Im not going to get into an argument about whether people should be made to wear them or not.  If I am on a mountain bike I know there is a risk that there are big hard objects usually in the way regardless if this is a tree or rock and knowing that these objects are usually harder than my head I will always wear one.

Well this weekend proved just how valubale they are.  I was lucky enough that my Mum bought me a new Met Parachute full face helmet (Met Helmets) for my 30th birthday and this weekend was the first time I had worn it in anger and wow how glad I was.  While messing about on the Skills section at Coed Llandegla on Sunday I was happily trying out the jump section and getting a little bit of air and then flicking the bike hard into a berm. 

I had done this a number of times with no issues other than a few dodgy landings but nothing was out of the ordinary.  This time I set off hit all three jumps and flicked the bike hard right onto a berm and thats all I remember.  The next thing I remember is lying on my back with my club mates surrounding me asking me if I was OK?  As any rider will tell you, as your lying there moving everything waiting for something to hurt it is a pretty anxious moment let alone having just knocked myself out.  I spent a good few minutes lying there waiting for my body to react before I got back to my feet.  A 6 hour trip to the Countess of Chester revealed nothing more than concussion and a few brusies (at this point I must say a big thank you to all my club mates especially Jason who spent his Sunday evening in the Hospital with me until 10pm Thank You guys).  

It appears that I had landed badly on the back of my head and the impact had knocked me out.  Now what damage would I have done without a hard shell surrounding my skull?  It doesnt bare thinking about, a cracked skull at the best?  Not only do you have to think about your own safety but of the guys and girls you ride with.  How would those guys feel if when they had got to me had they been witness to something a lot worse than what happened?  For me its a no brainer your skull needs protection use a lid!!!!!!!

Tuesday, 31 May 2011

Roughride cometh

With just under 2 weeks to go until Roughride I was starting to worry that I haven't trained enough but then I started thinking back to what I have done this year.  I have ridden through appaling conditions, deep mud, rain, wind, 29 degree temperatures and ice.  I have climbed over 15,000 feet and the other weekend went out and rode 26 miles in the Clewyds which resulted in approximately 4,000 feet of climbing with fellow North Cheshire Clarion rider Jason.

I have ridden both on Singletrack, Wide open forest trails, climbed up technical climbs and decended at over 40mph down some interesting surfaces.  In all that I've only had one puncture and a couple of interesting offs which have resulted in bruses, cuts and a damged ego.  

Am I ready?  Well after all that I better had be!!!

Thursday, 26 May 2011

Time Trial Hell

Well I finally decided to cave in and join the TT revolution with a few of the other North Cheshire Clarion riders.  The course was a 8.75 mile route from the Kilton Pub on the A50 and I was warned that it was slightly undulating.  I warmed up for a good 10 / 15 minutes riding up and down the lanes around the route before heading down to the start lane.  Getting there about 5 minutes before my allocated start time and I was really nervous(in fact so nervous I had to nip to the bushes).  I lined up behind my club mate Matt Ellis with no idea what to expect and seeing Matt go the nerves hit.  I rolled forward onto the chalk start line and was held up by the starter, having never had this done before it was very very strange so much I forgot to let the brakes off and got told off. 

As I was counted down I clipped in and set myself up for what was about to come.  3.....2......1 GO and i'm off.  My club mates had warned me about the start and not to go off at full speed because of the route climbing shortly after.  Did I listen?  Of course not and Boom I'm off 23 mph on my speedo legs spinning like crazy, heart rate rising and body temp going up.  I get down onto the newly fitted tri bars and quickly came back off them as I really didn't feel safe on them.  I am on the drops and i've hit the hill speed starts slowing but im willing my legs to keep going.  As I crest the hill my legs are starting to hurt and my chest is tight. I keep pushing hard and get to the half way point at an average of 23mph.  I stop pedaling, turn into the roundabout, straighten up and start to pedal again.  Well I say start to pedal, when I had stopped pedaling my legs had seized up with lactic acid and it was hurting.

I buried the pain back and started to climb, my speed dropped to 13mph and i was gutted to be frank.  Soon my club mate John came past as I'm struggling up the hill.  Seeing him come past made me dig in and try to minimise my loss.  The last half went by in a blur not helped with a strong headwind.  As I came towards the finish line I pushed hard and buried myself to try and get a few more seconds off my time.  As I shouted my number to the finishing time marshals my legs packed in and I ended up coasting towards the turn round point. 

My time 26 minutes 24 Seconds with an Average of 19.89mph.

I loved it but it hurt.  Will I do it again? Of course I will I now want a TT bike

Tuesday, 3 May 2011

Cycling and Stress Relief

When I first started cycling I never thought of the additional health benefits other than fitness and weight loss.  I am one of those people who tends to get stressed very quickly and with quite a stressful job I needed an outlet.  Riding with a group of friends either on the road or on a mountain / trail centre I found that I forget what has been bothering me for a while.  There is nothing like looking out over a mountain range where you and your mates are the only ones there to have a positive effect on your outlook. 

Social riding within a group also has huge benefits to ones mental health.  The concentration levels needed to follow a wheel while having a chat to another rider means that you can forget all the worries and stress that has built up over the week. 

So as the sun is shining and we have just had the warmest April since records began dust off your cycling gear and head outside......

Saturday, 23 April 2011

More weight loss+ more riding

I am getting closer and closer to my ideal weight of 14 stone.  When I started this weight loss thing I was 16stone 8lbs but following a rigorous and by way no means strict diet I am weighing 14st 12lbs.  I'm very very happy with the way its going and really want to drop the final 12 lbs before June when I go to on holiday.

I have been using my IPhone to track my rides this year using a programme called  Cyclemeter.  I find this helpful in giving me an idea of my ride time and distance.  This month i have ridden:

194.82 miles;
Climbed 6,207 feet
Burnt 11,760 Calories and
Maintained an average speed of 16mph

These miles are all road miles and do not include the various mountain bike rides I have done over the past few weekends.  My legs feel strong and tomorrow I am going to ride another 50 miles meeting a friend on route. 

My fitness is improving all the time but I am struggling with tiredness post ride.  To combat this I now have energy drink in one bottle and water in the other making sure i drink lots of energy drink after an hours ride.  When I get back i use recovery protein to help my legs and put back some the important nutrients that I have lost.  For me SIS products work really well and don't make me feel sick like other energy drinks and protein I used previously. 

Off to eat my own body weight in Pasta ready for tomorrow now...

Monday, 11 April 2011

My Bikes

Having been riding both my bikes for a while now I thought I would do a quick review of them.

My Road Bike is a Boardman Comp 2010 (  I got this as a number of people in my club had them and for the money you get a lot of bike.  I paid £650.00 and got a good bike with a fantastic spec.  I had thought abut going for the Carbon Fibre version of the bike but didnt want to spend that much on a bike when I wasn't sure if it was something I was going to enjoy.  

What can I say about this bike?  For a beginner road rider it does everything I could ask.  Touching wood I have never had a problem with it.  Its well built and I love the black stealth look.  I find it fantastic to ride and very comfy in fact i would highly recommend the bike to anyone and I would love to try the carbon version of this bike in the future.........

My new Mountain Bike is a Kona Kikapu 2006 (which I acquired through a very good friend and a member of the club).  This replaces my Marin Wolfridge which was slightly to small for me (although if i had pumped the rear shock up a bit it might not have been).  The Kona has 100mm front & rear shock..  The front forks are a fantastic buy from On One and only cost me £117 delivered.  They are Roxksox Recon Coil are amazing they soak up most things and with a lock out they are certainly not a bottom of the range fork.  The rear shock was new to me as I had never ridden a coil shock before and wow its fantastic.  Its a fox vanilla rear shock and goes over everything really well.  In fact this bike has given me so  much confidence so much in fact that last time out I was getting some decent air without trying. 

Well thats my bikes which I will be improving on in the coming years especially my road bike.

Sunday, 10 April 2011

Le Enfur De Nord Cheshire

Yesterday (Saturday) saw 25 members of North Cheshire Clarion take part in the clubs first ever tribute to Paris - Roubaix " Le Enfur De Nord Cheshire.  The sun was shining and my recent rides made me think that this would be a tough but fun ride.

The ride would see us covering 39 miles across road, cobbles and gravel surfaces and hoping my mountain bike skills would transfer to the road I set off with a group of 4 other riders.

The first few miles saw us building up speed and working together to get the speed up.  The first section of cobbles were fantastic.  I have never ridden on cobbles before so when we came into Grappenhall Village, I hit the front and  hit them fast.  The feeling of bouncing around on a road bike where my full sus mountain bike would soak up everything was very odd but keeping the pedals turning at the same speed helped keep some control.

We joined another group of our riders and rode with them for few miles until we hit a section which saw our group put the peddle down and set off time trial style to get past.  The following decent saw 27mph flash up on my computer and I suddenly wished I had my disk brakes when I saw a red traffic light.

As we hit the the Trans Pennine Trail we were now onto a gravel surface which to to start with was a bit nervy not knowing how my tyres would bed into the surface but soon the confidence was flowing and we were flying along.  

A pit stop and get together at a cafe at Dunham Massey where a much needed cake and cup of tea were gladly consumed and we were back on the road and cobbles.  The second half of the ride saw all 5 of us flying along in one big group.  I have never felt so good as we were flying along the country lanes of North Warrington.  As we were heading to the finish my legs started to protest but as I was loving the feeling of riding this fast and in such a good group of people I flicked up the gears to spin the legs a bit quicker but with less resistance helping stave off the feeling of knackered legs as much as possible.

As we pulled in to the Swan pub for the finish I was grinning like a Cheshire Cat.  The ride had been fast, bouncy, uncomfortable but for me one of the best rides I have ever done.  After riding to the start and back home I had covered 51 miles and was shattered.  A big thank you to our club secretary Giles and Adam for putting together such a fantastic ride.

My Stats for the ride (taken from Cyclemeter on my Iphone
Rdide Time 3hrs 7 minutes
Distance 51.53 miles
Average Speed - 16.53mph
Fastest Speed - 31.94mph
Total Ascent 1795 feet
Calories Burnt - 3011

Recovery - I dont recover well.  I had got in drank a pint and half of water and drank a sports drink to help put back in what i had used in terms of sugar and salt but I couldnt shake the feeling of tiredness.  After a quick trip to get some shopping I could feel myself falling asleep on my feet.  As soon as we got in I  climbed onto the sofa and slept for a solid 2 hours.  This happens every time I ride and I dont know if its because I am not eating enough or consuming enough water while riding.

I really do need to sort this out though.  Plus side I have finally dropped below 15 stone and am very very happy with that!!!!!!!!!!

Wednesday, 6 April 2011

Wahoo my legs are awesome

Never ever under estimate the power of winter training and the effect it has on your legs.  I have ridden in some horrendous conditions on my mountain bike through this winter including very deep mud, very wet grass, very windy climbs and very very wet rides.  All these miles have transferred over to helping me on my road bike. 

I went out tonight with two guys from North Cheshire Clarion on what was supposed to be a shortish ride and ended up being 28 miles.  The weather was windy but my legs felt amazing and I took some big pulls on the front especially on some of the climbs.  On the way back in myself and one of my mates tried to sustain the maximum speed we could for the longest period of time.  I managed to turn 26mph for a good mile.  I really need to be able to sustain this for longer periods of time if I manage to achieve one of my goals for time trailing this year.

Tuesday, 5 April 2011

Back on the road

Last week as the weather has improved I dragged my Boardman out the garage kicking and screaming and gave it a wash.  Just looking at it reminded me how much I enjoy the pleasure of road riding either on my my own, out with a good friend or out with the road guys of North Cheshire Clarion.  So I don my Lycra, drag my Boardman helmet out of its case and find my Shimano R086 Shoes and headed off with a mate for a ten mile gentle ride.  This ten miles soon turned into 15 and I was surprised to see i had managed 15mph average.

Saturday I went back to the Mountain Biking, a took my new Kona Kikapu build out for a play round Coed Llandegla in North Wales.  Wow what a day, to say we flew was an understatement.  The Kona has brought back a load of confidence I lost to the point that i was enjoying getting some air over the jumps again.  We managed to get round the red run in 1hr 45 which is the quickest I have ever been round (even though one of our riders Jason had to buy the whitest shoes ever before hand)

Sunday, I was back out on the Boardman with a mate and covered 18 miles.  I felt great towards the end and did a big turn on the front keep my speed about 19 - 20mph for a good 2 miles.

I feel good (apart from being tired due to work) and am planning on riding tomorrow night and try and get 25 miles in the legs ready for the clubs version of Paris - Roubaix over the cobbles in Grappenhall.....

Wednesday, 30 March 2011

Rough Ride Time

Oh dear I have just entered Rough Ride Mountain Bike event taking place on the 12th June 2011.  The event will see me and few member of the North Cheshire Clarion taking on the 48km route which has 4,000 feet of climbing.  This is my first ever mass start Mountain Bike event and already I am pretty nervous.

Tuesday, 29 March 2011

Time flys when your having fun

Wow where have the weeks gone.  I cant believe it was the 8th March last time I posted here sometimes you forget just busy life can be.  It appears that all the winter miles are starting to pay off as riding on Sunday "over the top" (first time I have done this ride and its not raining) my legs felt good and the usual tiredness didnt hit till much later in the evening.

In terms of weight loss things have stagnated a bit now.  I have gained a little bit of weight over the past weeks as I have taken the foot off the gas a little on the exercise front.  Really need to get my finger out now the evenings are lighter and I am already thinking of a ride tomorrow night. 

I am going to be undergoing training to become a Go-Ride coach though my club North Cheshire Clarion and have done my first art of training, the first aid course.  I am really glad I am getting this opportunity as this is something I really believe in and want to take forward.  My two day course is in May and I have a lot of reading to do for it.

Im happy with the amount of riding I have done this year so far 61..84 mountain bike miles now to build on this!!!!!

Tuesday, 8 March 2011

The next steps

Having achieved my first goal of the year and losing a stone it is now time to set my sites on another goal.  Firstly my next step is drop to 14st which means i need to drop 1st 3lbs over the coming weeks.  I have a holiday booked in June and I want to be at or below that target by then. 

Secondly, I want to become a cycling coach and will be taking my first tentative steps into this in May when myself and two others from North Cheshire Clarion will be undertaking the Level 2 Go Ride Cycling Course.  The aim of this course is provide the coach with enough training to handle teaching kids how to ride and to hopefully install some competitiveness into kids.  My training manuals arrived on Saturdays so I have a lot of reading to do before it starts.

On Sunday, 5 MTB riders went to Gisburn Forest to sample a different trail centre.  Gisburn Forest is located just north of Clitheroe on the edge of the Pennies and is a part forest, part quarry type ride.  The first half of the ride was very very tough and through very narrow sections of forest where there was just no flow.  The second half of the centre opened up with some impressive berms and single track which really made up for the first half.  I really need to build my confidence at centres like this as there are some pretty big rocks and the whole route is rocky.  My slow speed skills need vastly improving now and that is one of my goals for his season. 

As the weather keeps improving my mind is turning to getting the road bike out and dusted off now.  With lighter evenings and hopefully some warmer weather I am hoping to really up my mileage.  Last year I was out most evenings covering anything from 15 to 40 miles.  Please hurry up spring.....

Thursday, 3 March 2011

I'm a loser baby

Well after 8 weeks of dieting while taking part in the North Cheshire Clarion's first ever Biggest Loser i have successfully shed a stone.  When I started this I weighed 16st 6lbs which is the heaviest I have ever been but today I sit here weighing 15st 5lbs so as you can imagine I am well made up and have celebrated with an hour of the spinner and chilli and jacket potato tonight.

A couple of people have asked me how I have managed this.  "ell for me it was not easy; I cut out all sweet foods and fizzy drinks and replaced all processed foods with fresh veg, meat and fruit.  I ensure that I eat at least 5 portions of fruit and veg a day mainly oranges because I love them.  I try to get on the spinning bike as much as possible but as we have decorating this isn't easy but on the plus side the decorating has had me up and down stairs.  I don't use the lift at work any more I walk up and down the stairs (5 flights).  My next target is to get under 15 stone,  Overall I am happy with my weight loss which has resulted in a 6.3% loss of body weight.

Sunday, 27 February 2011

Can anyone smell cow Sh*t

Hi all I'm back I have had few I.T issues and a new power lead has brought me back to world wide web.  Today's ride saw four brave souls take to the Clwyd mountain range and boy was it a good one.  Starting at Moel Famu car park we climbed and we climbed oooo and we climbed a bit more.  As most people in the North will have realised it has been a little bit on the damp side (OK its been pis*ing it down) and what went from forest trail soon turned into a mudfest.  I have Panaracer XC Pro tyres which are excellent in the mud but even they slid in the conditions.

All that climbing was soon rewarded with an excellent decent down the back of Moel Famu which was pretty scary as you just couldn't stick to one line because of the mud.  Once down, the climb started again and this time it was a KILLER.  In fact it was such a tough climb i stopped and forgot to unclip which resulted in a small crash.

But what goes up must come down and this time it was MUDDY.  As the picture on the left shows I think I need a mud catcher on the front of the bike......  The funniest moment of the day was watching me try to get onto a wide wooden walkway which was a little bit slippy and BOOM the bike went down and I managed an Army Roll off the bike.  The final sections were a mix of cow muck and mud which believe me DOES NOT taste good.  In fact, it didn't smell too good either and only a very hot shower got rid of the smell.

Stats for the Ride:

17.79 miles
10.01mph average
3,501feet of climbing
Calories 1,003

In terms of weight loss tomorrow is the final weigh in for the clubs Biggest Loser competition.  So far I have lost nearly a stone.  When i started it I weighed 16st 4lbs and last week I was down to 15st 5lbs so only one pound to go and i am praying that tomorrow morning I climb on the scales and actually be 15st 4lbs.  My next goes is to get down to 14stone.........

Tuesday, 15 February 2011

Run fat boy Run

Well my confirmation has arrived that for third time in three years I am taking part in the Bupa Manchester 10k on the 16th May.  I will be running on behalf of Diabetes UK who provide excellent support to Diabetics. 

This means I am going to have to dust off my running shoes, dig out my short shorts and my running tops and take to the streets.  Last year myself and the wife did it in 1hr 13minutes and the challenge this year is to shave at least 13 seconds off this time  With lots of training this should be easily achievable.  Hopefully all the cycling and spinning will have helped with the cardio.  I can't wait.

On another positive note I have lost another pound this week taking me down to 15st 9lbs.  My aim is to be down to 14st before I go on holiday in June so keeping away from cake and other fatty foods till then (which isn't easy as my wife has discovered she is a dab hand at making cake).....

Sunday the North Cheshire Clarion Mountain Bikers are off to Coed Y Llandegla (if its open) for a blast round the trails.  I am really looking forward to this especially as my bike is running smoothly for once.  I will be taking a HD video camera with me to hopefully capture some awesome downhill and jumps.  Watch this space.

Wednesday, 9 February 2011

Another Week Another Pound

Well weigh in was on Monday and I am really happy to have lost another pound.  This has taken me from 16st 4lbs to 15st 10lbs.  A few statistics for the past 5 weeks since I started to lose weight:

Total percentage weight loss = 4.5%
Loss over 3 weeks = 8 pounds

Really made up with this as up until tonight I had managed to avoid take-away food.  I played Badminton tonight with the wife and because neither of us were up for cooking we grabbed a Chinese.  Normally, I love Chinese food and i'm not going to lie the first few mouthfuls were delicious but as I went through it my mind went through what I have had to do over the past few weeks to lose a few pounds and my appetite was going. 

I feel that I miss vegetables after two nights without them and for that's a big shock.  Tomorrow I am going back to my normal diet of meat and veg and to be honest I cant wait.

Sunday, 6 February 2011

Welsh Mud

At the end wet and very muddy
Today the mountain bike section of North Cheshire Clarion were supposed to be taking on the trails in Coed Llandegla however the recent stormy weather put paid to that and with approximately 100 trees being blown down onto the trails the centre was closed.  A quick couple of phone calls on Saturday night and a n ew cross country route was decided upon.  Four of us met and Tim ( a new member) who knew the route well so we all followed.  The route was a mix of tarmac and rocky/muddy bridleways and the first climb let us know straight away what we were in for.  The wind was incredibly strong and was cutting across us forcing us into the banks next to us.  As we climbed we ended up with the wind behind and in all the time I have been doing this sport I have never been pushed uphill by the wind until today.

What goes up must come down and oooohhhh boy did it come down.  A very very fast rocky decent which saw the riders flying down some fantastic single track over loose rocks which made it an adrenaline pumping decent.  Once down, back up we went onto the moors.  Tim decided he was head over heals,. literally, about the mud.  His front wheel went into a very very deep rut and all we saw was feet sticking up.  Luckily he was ok but shortly after the dreaded P***ture happened on his bike.  A quick feed and inner tube change and we were back on the way being blown every which way but straight. 

Another couple of amazing descents (one of which threw a rock into my shin which hurt a lot) and a lot more uphill and we were back at the car park.  Stats for this ride:

  • 14.63 miles;
  • Average Speed 8.08mph (not bad considering the wind);
  • Fastest Speed 31.46mph (told you they were fast rocky decents);
  • Total Climb 1,899 feet
The climbs were big the descents were fast and furious I really really enjoyed this ride and cant wait to do it in summer!!!!!!!!!!!!!  Big roast dinner now thanks to my great wife.

Monday, 31 January 2011

Happy weigh-in day

 Today was weigh in day today and I am really happy with another 2lb weight loss, taking me from 15st 13lbs to 15st 11lbs, clearly the climbs in Rivington assisted.  I also like to think the lack of cake and biscuits as well as fizzy drinks has helped.  I have noticed that in general I feel more awake and can concentrate more without feeling bloated and sickly most of the day. 

Myself and the wife have got into the habit of working out a meal plan for a week down to the littlest item. This week is porridge or scrambled egg on toast for breakfast a small sandwich, or soup for lunch and either fish, veg and potato for tea or chicken.  It has helped in keeping us from from last minute decisions which used to be take away's. 

Got a week of heavy training this week as yesterday really annoyed me with failing on the final climb..  So this week its spinning bike for a week - Sufferfest here I come!

Sunday, 30 January 2011

The great climb of Rivington

Wow.  Today three members of the North Cheshire Clarion and a potential new member headed over to Rivington Moor for a few mile mountain bike ride.  We met in a pub car park at 10am and set up the bikes and headed onto the first climb of the day.  The route up to Winter Hill was a rocky technical climb, which for the first big xc ride of this year caused my heart to try pumping out my chest.  Once up the views were fantastic, a beautiful clear but cold day (it was so cold that the normal running water down the side was frozen solid).  As we crossed the moor I could hear a rattle from the rear of the Marin, slightly concerned about this I stopped and discovered that my rear disk brake was loose due to the retaining nuts falling off.  A quick fix with cable ties was quickly unfixed with the first brake as the force of the caliper moving to stop the bike ripped it clean off.  This resulted in stripping the bike apart and removing the rear brake completely. 

As we pressed on my reduced braking capabilities was beginning to terrify me.  We met two really nice guys who knew the moor likes the back of their hand and kindly took us to some fantastic single tracks with some amazing berms, jumps and drop-offs.  In the words of our unofficially guide "it was proper gnarly".  All this with one working brake was not the best idea.  We stopped at Rivington Barn for a brew where I managed to get two nuts to fit the caliper back on.

Pretty pointless putting it back on as it was back on the climb, back upto the top of Winter Hill.  The climb from the barn took close to 45 minutes, which was a killer and one which i was doing well on until we hit a stretch of single track which blew my legs apart, the rest of the climb was a real struggle and I started to realise I had "bonked" (not enough food). 

For me the highlight of the day was meeting an old couple at the very top of the moor, whilst trying to recover my breathe.  The old chap was talking about the cycling clubs he had once been in and mentioned that he thought cycling clubs were reducing.  When he saw the North Cheshire Clarion shirt he suddenly started laughing and told us he was a member of the Clarion in the 50's, which for me was fantastic to hear.  The stories he told during our brief chat will live long in my memory.

What have I learned about my first big XC ride of the year? Eat, eat and eat some more.  I estimate that the ride caused me to burn in the region of 3 - 4,000 calories.  All I had eaten was a bowl of porridge and a nutrigrain bar which is fair to little for attempting such a big ride.  Now home I have consumed about my body weight in chicken and pasta as well as cheese on toast.  I cant stand up and every little move is now hurting but it was well worth it and I had a great time with the lads.

Weigh in tomorrow, if I haven't lost any ill be gutted.

Sunday, 23 January 2011

Training and Annual Dinner

This weekend I went mountain biking in Delamere with another North Cheshire Clarion member Si.  The first time we went (earlier in January)  I really struggled with all the little hills.  This time I noticed that the turbo sessions were paying off and I had excellent stamina and strength in my legs for the whole time we were out.  We rode for about an hour with little stopping and although I was warming up I didn't feel out of breathe or that I had pushed myself.  Next Sunday were off to Rivington for some fantastic climbs and some great descents. 

On Saturday night it was the clubs first ever annual dinner and we had the pleasure of Denise Hampson, the former British Track Champion giving a speech, and giving us some motivation as to be a good sprinter on the road.  I found her talk to be very inspirational and gave good insight into how Team GB works.  I had to give the "Chairmans" address to room full of people and to say I was nervous is an understatement.  But with most things about this club there was a lot of support and even though I stuttered my way through my 5 minutes everyone was very supportive.  I have to say a huge thank you to two members, Sarah and Matt who organised, decorated and put everything together to make that night what it was,  Your hardwork is appreciated and that cake was gorgeous (im not going on the scales now haha)

Tomorrow is weigh in day and I doubt to a loss.  Pizza and chocolate Friday night, A three course meal and a skinfull of calorie high beer Saturday night, A full English this morning and a chippie tonight is not the best diet but this week will see the return to diet eating and lots of exercise including playing Badminton with my wife on Wednesday night., 

Tuesday, 18 January 2011

Weight Yo-yo

Well the second weigh in didn't go to plan.  Going from 16st 6lbs to 15st 13lbs in one week had left me hopeful that the following week would see me lose another few pounds especially with fruit and veg detox diet.  Ohhhh how wrong can one person be, the scales tipped in at 16st 4lbs, which is a 2lb drop over the two weeks but an increase in weight over the week.

There are a number of possible reasons for this:
  1. I was not consuming enough of the right food and therefore my body went into shock and retained everything that went in;
  2. Water retention.  This sounds really horrible but I don't remember going for a wee very often.
As the diet ended with a big blow out my body seemed to react by shedding weight again.  I jumped out the shower this morning and saw a difference in the person in the mirror instantly.  Jumping on the scales showed my weight to be 15st 9lbs which is a big differance compared to yesterdays morning result.  I am at a loss to explain and maybe a new set of scales might required.

Sunday, 16 January 2011

Detox over - Retox began

My training on the turbo trainer has come to an abrupt end.  Thursday night while sitting the garage, I looked down and noticed the swinging action at the bottom bracket and this made me think of the weight that was sitting on the bike while being suspended by two holders and decided I didn't like what I was seeing. 

I put on the clubs forum that I was looking for an exercise bike and a fantastic member, Phil, answered the call with a spinning bike he had available.  I picked up the bike, thanks to my neighbour and another North Cheshire Clarion member Steve (a man with a van), and set it up in our conservatory.  I now plan to use the bike most nights for at least an hour doing a mix of interval and base mileage.

My plan on going on the road ride on Saturday began and ended very quickly when I looked out the window and saw the rain coming down the street sideways.  Struggling with fitness anyway, I thought that climbing back into bed was probably the best strategy.

The detox has now ended (especially after Saturday nights visit to friends where lots of good food and fine Jack Daniels were excessively consumed).  What have I learned about the detox:

  • Vegetables are not the enemy and can be consumed without meat;
  • Fruit and yoghurt for breakfast is actually very nice; and
  • Porridge made with water instead of milk is vile and should never be consumed.
In terms of weight loss, until tomorrow mornings "cub weigh in" I'm not sure.  My clothes don't feel as tight but the image in the mirror does not look that different.   I can honestly say that through the detox I didn't cheat once especially as a good friend once told me "the only person you're lying to is the man in the  mirror". 

Moving forward we have a week of normal eating ahead but keeping some aspects of the detox.  Soup for lunch, fruit for breakfast and small portions in the evening.  Mix this diet with lots of exercise and I am hoping to see good results next week.

Wednesday, 12 January 2011

Can't spell Sufferfest without Suffer

To help kick start my training I have set up my road bike on a turbo trainer in my spider infested garage.  Tonight, full of energy and oozing in belief that I am fitter than I think I returned from work and jumped straight onto the trainer.  Through social meetings with North Cheshire Clarion I have discovered a very good training programme called Sufferfest.  Sufferfest produce a number of videos to help with indoor training whether on turbo trainers or exercise bikes.  I have two of their programmes "Downward Spiral" and "Fight Club", which are basically videos of various forms of cycling set to interval training type exercise. 

Tonight it was the turn of Fight Club which according to the website is "designed to build power over longer distances while building leg speed".  In total I was on the bike for about an hour and have never sweated as much as I did then.  Using my heart rate monitor my heart rate peaked at about 172bpm and reduced to 140 during the recovery laps which I assume is a good thing?

In terms of diet, Breakfast was not that bad and I actually enjoyed the fruit and yoghurt, I chucked a few oats on top though.  Lunch consisted on home-made vegetable soup and oatcakes with some fruit.  Dinner (lovingly prepared by my wife while I "suffered" in the garage was baked Salmon, half a baked potato, cabbage and carrots (both steamed).  Snacks are again fruit (two apples & two oranges).  Due to the high intensity cardio work out, I am now pretty peckish and about to dive into the fridge for a little yoghurt and fruit and I might even treat myself to some honey. 

Tuesday, 11 January 2011

Is this thing on?

Hi my names Geoff and I am a 29 year old male.  I am a keen mountain biker and a new road cyclist  This Blog is about my weight loss goals and my training.  I hope to be able to pass on some knowledge about weight loss and cycle riding.  I helped to set up the North Cheshire Clarion cycling in 2009 and so far we have 90+ fantastic members. 

My bikes

I currently have two bikes.  A 2002 Marin Wolfridge Full Suspension and a 2010 Boardman Comp Road Bike.

 My Marin

After Christmas 2010 I jumped onto a set of scales and was highly surprised at the results below - 16st 6lbs was staring back at me.  Coming from a family with a high risk of heart disease this was the wake up call I needed to drop some weight and get myself fit and healthy again.  After a Christmas of being powered by Quality Street the diet has officially begun.

In terms of riding, a group of North Cheshire Clarion riders attempted to get to Coed Llandegla on Sunday but unfortunately the access road was covered in sheet ice.  We abandoned this idea and set of for a gentler ride around Delemere Forest.  Although we only covered 6 miles, the climbs were enough to hurt the legs and get the heart pumping.  After suffering with flu for most of December I now realise how bad the effect of the virus is on your chest and recommended that people who suffer from illnesses such as heart disease, diabetes and asthma to get the flu jab (well if you can get one).

My ride stats from the 1st MTB  ride of the year are:

Total Distance - 5.65 miles
Total Climb - 902 feet
Calories burnt -255
Average Speed - 11.93mph


This was always going to be a challange.  Im not going to lie i have a sweet tooth  I love chocolate and Haribo and cutting these out of my diet was always going to be tough.  I enlisted a few members of the North Cheshire Clarion and have started the "Biggest Loser" competition with the aim being the winner will be the one who has lost the most weight by the end of February.  I am trying my hardest to get down to at least 14 stone.  My wife and I have both being dieting for a week and a bit now, and my weight has taken a turn for the better and I have gone from 16st 6lbs to 15st 13lbs in a week. 

This week is "Detox" week.  This has meant cutting meat, tea & coffee and diary products from our diet for 5 days.  I'm not going to lie I have a major caffeine addiction and Monday was very difficult to get through with out that coffee buzz in the morning but as I sit here typing at 9:45pm Tuesday the craving has gone and I feel more tired than normal. 

What have i learnt this week - I really need to up my riding, so am going out with road guys on Saturday morning for a club ride.  I have also learnt that I can operate without my daily hit of caffeine.

Tomorrows another day though and another challenge in the diet - getting through a breakfast of just fruit and natural yoghurt.  I'd much rather be having a bacon and egg buttie with a large coffee ... oh well