Saturday, 10 March 2012

My Longest Ride Yet

Thursday's ride went OK. I can say that now but it was surprisingly gruelling at the time. It was a total of 118 km long, which is the longest ride I have ever done, and I got home at about 6.30 after a 10 am start. I expected a long flat easy ride but the demon wind started to kick in after I changed direction South of Preston. I was fully loaded and felt the difference all the way.

I met George at Tarleton only a little late and after exchanging the customary insults and a bite to eat we set off towards Southport. We took the coast road and battled against the wind which seemed to turn as we turned. It's a phenomenon which afflicts all cyclists apparently. I checked on a weather website yesterday and found the wind at Southport on Thursday had been from the West and between 25 and 37 kph which is quite tough. Enough bleating, we got through the worst and stopped at a little cafe in Ainsdale for a breakfast barm and then headed for home through Aintree, stopping at the famous Melling Road for a tweet. George got his standard puncture on the East Lancs Rd after Kirkby and, as he set off again after the repair, he found his gear mechanism had snapped. Oh no, the indignity of phoning for a lift home. I had to leave hime to it and made my own way home via Rainford and Upholland.

I eventually made it home and had at least one pint of Vimto and a nice bath and was then whisked off to my neice's place for Adam's 13th birthday party. It was good to see everyone and I drank lots of water and scoffed a lot of unhealthy stuff but I deserved it. I met up with the codgers a bit later than usual but still awake. Scratchings were presented and duly dispatched. Nigel had read the blog at the end of his lunchtime and realised, too late, that he had not done his duty and called at the indoor market for the evening's delicacies. He was redeemed by my late arrival which allowed him time to buy some "Black Country Specials" from an earlier venue. Very nice they were too and most welcome.

Predictably, Friday was a rest day and a half but I managed to get to mother's and back today which is about 24 miles. I think I am used to the bags now but need to build up mileage this week for the Brampton assault in two weeks time.        

Wednesday, 7 March 2012

Big Training Ride Tomorrow (Thurs)

I fitted the front bags today and also a little kick stand which was actually a great help when I was fitting the bags and will be no doubt if I'm ever in the middle of nowhere with nothing to lean the bike on. I also prepared my lunch, flavoured noodles which only require boiling water, on my little solid fuel cooker which was very quick and efficient. You can buy any number of lightweight super-duper gas contraptions for £100 or more, with a fuel canisters and fuel extra, but this little gem, which cost about a fiver with fuel, beats them all. I'm taking it with me tomorrow to see how it works in the open. I bet I forget to take matches.

I hope to record tomorrow's ride on the usual website only if you've nothing better to do, that is. The redoubtable George is meeting me up near Tarleton and we'll head off to Southport, maybe cooking lunch on the coast road.

I also had a load of cycling kit delivered today from Sportsdirect. I only ordered it on Tuesday. How's this? Jacket, 2 cycling tops, cycling shorts, 2 pairs long cycling pants, gloves, socks, waterproof pants - £74??? I couldn't believe it. Looks like decent quality  but time will tell. I'll be trying them out tomorrow.  

Tuesday, 6 March 2012

Wireless Technology

I had a little rest over the weekend but I am back in the swing with a 20 miler today and yesterday. Yesterday I took it easy and felt like I hadn't been out at all. I had to go slow because I was keeping an eye on my progress on the GPS app on my phone which was nestling in a phone handling contraption I had just received from Hong Kong via Ebay. I was also distracted by my pulse rate displayed on a wristwatch type thingy receiving wireless messages from my Lidl heart monitor. No, its not the size - it's the shop. Add this to the wireless computer and I am up there pushing back the frontiers of modern, more like 20 years old, technology. I'm just glad the various messages didn't get mixed up, or did they? I did notice a slight headache at the end.

The ride today was pretty quick. I really pushed hard up the hills and I felt it in the legs when I finished. It would have been quicker but it was late afternoon when I went out and I got caught up in a lot of rush hour traffic. The roadworks on the way back didn't help either.

I'll have a day off the bike tomorrow and fit the new front bags, together with a kick stand I bought today. I'll get fully loaded for a long slow ride on Thursday up to Preston and home the long way round via Southport, Formby, Aintree and the East Lancs Rd, about 70 miles in all. Six hours should do it including stops. I just hope I get back in one piece and don't fall asleep during the Thursday session. Maybe the sound of the pork scratchings will arouse me.