Friday, 2 December 2011


I was amazed the other week to find there were people in Russia and other places reading this Blog. Well, I found out yesterday that the Russian page views were from a dodgy website which is looking for "referred spam". Being an administrator, I can see the website that the views have come from and there is an obvious temptation to click on it and see what it does. The thing is, they then get money from an advert which is all that would come up. Luckily I was never really that curious so they never got a kopek from me and they never will, so whoever you are - идти ебать себя - or something like that.

Had a wonderful evening yesterday with a rare full turn out of the Thursday gang. Excellent beers in the Anvil, Berkeley and Royal Oak as usual, together with some delicious under the table scratchings. During the proceedings, Chris offered to be my "liquid nutritionist" which means he will research local drinks at my stopping off points for me to taste and report back. I was going to remain tea-total for the duration of the trip so I suppose that's "out the window" now. Whatever happened to willpower?

Completed a cool 19.2 miles this afternoon on the "big ring" which was a great boost. I pushed hard up all of the hilly bits and felt tired at the end. It was actually nearly dark when I got back so it's just as well I put the effort in. I will update my December training schedule now while there is no sport on the telly.

Wednesday, 30 November 2011

November Review

It's the end of the month so a good time to reflect on what's happened since 3rd November when I went on my first training ride which was a 5 mile ride up through the plantations to Haigh Hall with the dog panting after me, and loving every minute. I completed 33 miles that week, then 60.5, then 82.8. Guides I have read state that a weekly increase of 10% is preferable to reduce the risk of injury so I may have overdone things a bit. I suppose I have been lucky so far but I am really happy with what I have achieved and think I will be in the right shape when the time comes. I will take notice of advice though and will probably rein myself in a little over the next few weeks.  

I have been looking at equipment and have added a provisional list on the drop-down menu based on advice from various websites and forum posts by people who have done this type of thing before - God Bless 'em. Any comments and/or advice will be most welcome.

I hope to have all my equipment in place by the end of December and with a bit of luck will be training, fully loaded occasionally, on my new bike in the new year.

I managed my usual 19.2 mile route today, another tremendous day weather-wise. It was a bit cool but I never really feel it on the bike. Maybe when it drops a few more degrees I will start complaining.

It's interesting to think what the December Review will be like - more to the point - what state I'll be in on 31st December when I'm writing it.

Monday, 28 November 2011

Restful Weekend?


I was in a bit of a rush on Friday after my long ride through the wind and rain so didn't even have time to finish off my beans on toast. I set off in a hurry to pick up Sawyer, now known as "Jimmy Shoes", from the bus station. Fortunately the bus was a bit late. My lateness, by the way, was due to starting the training ride a bit late and OK maybe it took me a bit longer than I thought. 
Jimmy Shoes has caught up - lets go
We got to Corky's in Leeds where we met up again with Brendan, now known as "Double Egg". After a cup of Bell's fortified tea (or was it the other way round?) we set off for the North York Moors. We stopped in Pickering for a couple. The official reason was to check out the possibility of watching football on Saturday which didn't eventually materialise. We arrived at the billet a bit late possibly because Peter laughs in the face of satellite navigation, a commodity he used to sell, apparently. We were quickly introduced around and made welcome with all the traditional insults. We were plied with a tasty, very meaty stew, several portions for Brendan, and a few pints of a local brew named "Two Pints" and then whisked off by minibus to the New Inn for the beer festival. I was a bit tired and described as "Lightweight" which was most welcome. I actually went to bed as soon as we returned, living to fight another day after dropping down from "Super Heavy". 

Barry with mouth almost closed

Next day, after the heartiest of hearty breakfasts and a pleasant ramble over the hills we eventually arrived at Lastingham, despite Sawyer's inappropriate footwear, hence the nickname. We then embarked on a tremendous four hour joke-telling marathon in a lovely country pub named the Blacksmith's, suitably accompanied by more than a few pints of Copper Dragon's Golden Pippin which was sensational. The Japanese tourists who stumbled in to the pub were amazed but they entered into the spirit of things. Just at the right time Anthony and the magic minibus appeared from nowhere and took us back for more meaty stew, a very quick swill and then before we knew it we were back at the beer festival at Cropton.   
Look at those tankards (rhyming slang)

The evening went well with some good bands on view and we rounded off the evening with some "tuneful" singing of our own back at the digs. The breakfast on Sunday was as hearty as ever and we said our farewells and set of for home. 

Japanese Tourists joining in
I don't think the above precis has done justice to the weekend. It was brilliantly organised and the humour was second to none. I feel as if I laughed from start to finish. I enjoyed the company of my old mates of 40 years or so and met some real characters - I think they call that a euphemism. 

Wasn't this supposed to be about a bike ride? Anyway, yes, back to reality. I felt sort of recovered this morning and trundled around my 11 mile ride. It was just a case of getting back on the bike again. I didn't even check the speed.