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.....