Been there, done that.

It’s hurricane like weather today (not as bad as London 100 – obviously).


Today’s weather forecast

Ollie went out to chase some Strava KOM’s and was successful, but I stayed in essay writing (saved by academia…phew!)

20150329-KOM chasing

Off to enjoy a tail wind.

Keeping with tradition, essay-writing means blog post writing and I realised I haven’t posted anything about my amazing new bike! But I can’t take much time out from the essay as I really want to get it done today so that we can do lots of miles over the Easter weekend. Chris is riding his first road-race and we are going to cycle over to see him, and then we are going on a nice long siblings ride with the two Chris’ (Ollie’s brother and my brother) on Easter Monday – assuming the weather improves! I am not entirely convinced by the media reports of a heat wave next weekend!

I have done 143 miles on the Gran Fondo now and have won four Queen of the Mountain’s, it is incredibly comfortable and I just feel like I can carry on. I went out for a 40 mile ride with a new cycling buddy on Friday, Sarah, and discovered that I am pretty rubbish at estimating mileages. At the 24 mile point I told her that the cafe was 4 miles away. It was 11, into a headwind. Sorry Sarah! But I think the large piece of yummy Tiffin made up for it. ­čÖé After breaking away I decided I would go the long-way home but just ended up carrying on until I got so hungry that I had to stop! It was great!

Although saying that, I was making the ride up as I went along and had no real plan in mind…which ended me up at the bottom of a 17% hill.


Pulling an ugly face, at the thought of having to climb a 17% hill.

And worst of all… I ended up with DIRT on my bike.


Going away until the summer.

All in all, very happy. My bike is now sporting bright, racing red, bar tape too so I am bound to go even faster!

Back to the essay – lots of cycling adventures to be had next weekend!

Until then..


A work in progress 


Ollie has been hard at work on the Ribble this week. No T.V for him, he’s far happier tinkering! I now have a new Derailleur, cassette, tyres, saddle and handlebars. Sadly no chain though, as the one I purchased has turned out to be too short by seven links. Frustrating! 

Apart from the chain (pretty vital) there’s just the pedals, bottle cages and pump to fit and then I may actually be able to have a go on it! 

I have been busy, selling the spares, from the comfort of the sofa.  So far I have managed to sell the Derailleur and the tyres. The cassette and saddle have proven less popular and I have been slacking tonight so the handle bars haven’t yet been advertised. The power of Facebook means that people in various cycling groups have benefited from purchasing lovely, brand new components, and I have managed to get some of my money back, without having to pay a sellers fee to EBay. Win win. 

And in the time I took to write this post…


Spot the difference.


The arrival of spring, and kit contemplation

I compressed my hours this week, which means I was rewarded with a Friday off, so I took the opportunity (before being back at uni next week) to go out on my bike. It was a lovely day too, very windy but the sunshine made up for it. Spring seems to have arrived this weekend; I saw snow drops and lambs and it was warm!

In fact in my choice of kit, I proved that I remain proficiently novice. I briefly considered shorts and knee warmers, but quickly wrote them off. I pondered on long sleeve base layer with summer Jersey but decided that the wind warranted a thermal jacket. So basically my only difference in kit today was one pair of socks and gloves, rather than two. Sealskin mitts on a 10 degree day = sweaty hands! 

Sadly, the roads on my planned route hadn’t received the memo about it being spring and they were horrendously muddy, gritty and in parts unrideable. Eventually I arrived at a cross roads, and rather than considering which direction I needed to go in, I looked at each of the road options. The best looking road, and my first choice turned into mud soon after, so I turned back to the cross roads and tried again, finally finding some civilised roads at the end.

Once I got home I bolstered my novice status by putting my hand through a moving wheel while cleaning my bike. I now have a bruised hand ­čś× – I won’t do that again!

Lesson 1: kit selection needs to be scientifically managed 

Lesson 2: route planning should be a highly investigative undertaking , to ensure maximum quality. 

Lesson 3: my hand is not a brake pad.

Night night