About Me

My photo
Now retired but busy still living..

Tuesday 27 April 2010


After all the recent upgrades on my Revolution Touring Bike I was keen to give it a really good and difficult run to try everything out.

Yesterday I sat down with a map and set about planning a really tough 70 mile route for the weekly ride with JD.

First of all I looked for as many STEEP hills as I could find. By steep I mean 20% or at best 16% I then linked them all up to form the final route.

I warned JD that it was going to be a tough one and he said that he was up for at least having an attempt at it -although he didn't rate his chances at getting up the really long 20%+ hills.

So how did it go? Well the route is such that there are hardly any flat roads included in it. If you are not cranking yourself up a hill you are rolling down the otherside getting yourself ready to do it all over again. Because it is so tough we have called it the 'Triple P' (Pedals-Pain & Purgatory).

I got to the summit of the first 20% - (which comes at the end of a mile long climb of 5% to 12%) ahead of JD. I dismounted and waited for JD -after a few minutes I heard a sound like a donkey only to realise that it was in fact the sound of JD gasping for breath. I was so pleased to see him beat this first big hill- let's face it he is having to propel a full 17 stone up these hills -I only have to push 11 stone 11 pounds (my new weight).

JD went on to conquer each hill on the route and not once did he have to get off. At the 50 mile mark we had a hill that is about 1/2 mile long at 16% and he even stayed on up that !!

JD did admit to me that on one of the 20% hills he decided that he wasn't going to make it so he attempted to remove his feet from the clipless pedals (cleated) but found that he couldn't remove them-his choice was keep pedalling or fall off....!! He continued spinning the pedals.

We both agreed that it was the toughest day route that we have done- but we both enjoyed it and can't wait to attempt it again.
Although I say it myself I think it was a pretty good effort from a '17 stone big fella' and a 'bloke on cancer treatment'.

''The picture shows JD on the final section of the first 20% hill of the day.

Saturday 24 April 2010


For those of you who like me were unable to attend this years Backpackers Club AGM at Bath -may I suggest that you click on 'WALKABOUT IN THE UK' in my BLOG LIST where JOHN HEE has posted a first class report on this years event.

I have travelled all over the country in the past in order to attend the AGM and this year, when it is almost down the road I am unable to attend- Hey Ho....!!

Thursday 22 April 2010


Today I collected the Revolution Tourer from Bicycle World. Mark has done a great job-the bike rides really well on the new wheels and hubs and the transmission is smooth and snappy.
When I purchased the bike it was supplied with good solid but basic components and wheels. After 2500 miles of trouble free riding it seemed a good time to upgrade these items.
The bike does look good now these changes have been made.
The upgrades are:-

Shimano Deore LX Hollowtech 11 Chainset. (48/36/26)
Shimano Tiagra Triple Front Derailleur.
Shimano Deore XT (shadow) Rear Derailleur.
Shimano HG50 11/32 Cassette.
Sram Chain.
Mavic A719 Touring Rims laced to Shimano Deore XT Hubs.

Wednesday 21 April 2010


I know-It's another picture of John with his arm around another cyclist. We are a little worried about John and his need to have a photograph taken whilst cuddling up to one of the local cycling community. In this case the 'lucky' guy was Jason -a long standing Team 219 member. This was the first time that Jason had been out on a bike since about last September (he has had his reasons) anyway he chose to join John and I on our regular weekly ride. I must admit we were a bit concerned whilst we were buying our Studland Ferry tickets and Jason suggested that he buy a single in case he decided to bale out at Wool and get the train back home. John and I soon put a stop to that and made him buy a return. As it turned out Jason covered 55 miles today and as I said this was his first ride for months. It just goes to prove that you cannot keep a good cyclist down. Jason has entered the Duncton Sportive with me in a few weeks time-but I think he will be pleased if he just manages to last the distance. On today's performance I think he will achieve it..............!!

Monday 19 April 2010


One of the problems I find when I go out with some of my friends on regular training days is that we all seem to be at different levels. the faster guys end up waiting at points along the route for the slower guys. Nothing wrong with this as most of the regular rides tend to be as much social as performance. However today I went out on a special training ride on my own. The ride was special because I intended to do the 64 mile route with only one stop. I wanted to see how I measured up for the Sportive I am riding in just under 3 weeks time. The 64 mile route is 4 miles longer and covers 600ft more of ascent than the Sportive - If I rode today OK then I would be in with a chance to achieve my target of a silver band finish. (Last year pre the cancer I managed a bronze band finish).

The figures I managed today were encouraging- At the half way (32mile) point I was managing 17mph average speed. Unfortunately the second half of the route found me cycling in to quite a strong headwind which reduced my average to 16.5mph by the route end. The 64 mile route was completed in 3hrs 51mins. My pace was 3.37- Max speed 38.6mph - Calories burned approx 3753cals.

If I repeat this performance during the Sportive I should achieve my silver target. Obviously a lot will depend on how I feel on the day-my energy levels do tend to vary wildly with the drugs they pump in to me but I feel pleased with what I have achieved so far everything considered.

Saturday 17 April 2010


I had a call from Mark at Bicycle World yesterday informing me that he had some good news and some bad news regarding my Touring bike. The good news was that all the upgrade parts had been delivered-the bad news was that when he checked over the new Mavic rims prior to building the wheels he noticed that there appeared to be a small piece of swarf floating around inside the double skin of one of the rims.

As Mark said "It would drive you round the bend with that rattling around inside." He's absolutely right of course it would drive me totally mad!!

Because the Mavic rims are double skinned there is no way that he can remove the offending item so he has had to arrange for another rim to be delivered.
The upshot of all this is that it probably won't be till next Thursday or Friday before I can now collect the bike- but I am sure that it will be well worth the delay.

Wednesday 14 April 2010


On Monday I took my Revolution Touring Bike over to Bicycle World at Longham. It's mileage is such that a full checkover and service was required and it seemed a good idea to use the opportunity to have a full component upgrade including some bombproof wheels. I will tell you more about this when I have collected the bike at the end of the week. In the meantime I am happy to leave it in the capable hands of Mark the cycle mechanic.
Yesterday (with no Revolution to ride) I went out on my Felt Z1 for a quick 10 mile spin. This was the first time that I had used this bike since September last year- indeed the Z1 still only has 113 miles under its wheels since I purchased it new last July.
Today I went out on the Z1 for my weekly ride with JD. Along the Corfe to Wareham road we 'bumped' into Neil who was out on a last minute unplanned ride. JD talked Neil into tagging along with us. Neil had set out from home expecting to do about 40 miles but he ended up doing over 70 miles by coming along with us- but at least we bought him a coffee and a flapjack at the Moreton Tea Rooms to help him on his ride. We all had a great day's cycling and the weather although dull remained dry-the sun even came out in the late afternoon.
The picture above shows JD and Neil shortly after we had all met up. Note the Hi Viz top that JD is wearing-JD has no connection with the Post Office and he won't tell us how he acquired it. He has now ordered a 'proper' Hi Viz gilet because we kept telling him we wouldnt ride with him again unless he kicked it to touch....!!!

Sunday 11 April 2010



After the good weather enjoyed by everyone yesterday we awoke to a much colder day today. It started off cloudy but by the time that it took for me to consume another 'Hungry Camper' breakfast the sun had broken through. A second cup of coffee and a chat with Howard and the day had started to warm up.
After the usual last minute conversations club members headed off in various directions for their return trips home. Some left on foot but the majority were on two wheels.
Mike-Chris-Peter and I were the last to leave. We all cycled back to Wimborne together where Mike and Chris headed off towards Colehill and Peter and I carried on through Wimborne until we got to the Merley traffic lights- Peter headed onto the Castleman Trailway and I stuck to the roads being an out and out Roadie!!
In all it was a great weekend- great to see old friends again and great to have such good weather.

Saturday 10 April 2010


The walkers left for their walk about 0945hrs this morning but not until a large full english breakfast had been consumed by most of us. Those of us cycling didnt leave for our day ride until about 1045hrs. Because I was the only cyclist that had a cooked breakfast the other two wheelers page that i would not manage the hills! Well the truth was a little different as the picture shows- its not me walking up the last section of the hill. We cycled to Old Wardour Castle and it must be said that it was a hilly route including a 1 in 5 that even with the breakfast I was the only one of us that managed it to the top. A pleasant couple of hours was spent at the castle followed by a very interesting return route that included bridleway and single track pushing the tourers to their limits. When we got back to the farm the walkers were already back and the Hampshire group had also arrived. The cyclists now outnumber the walkers. Eleven cyclists and six walkers. This is the first time that I can remember the cyclists outnumbering the walkers at a Dorset meet.

Friday 9 April 2010

Dorset BPC Spring Static. Day 1.

Arrived at Church Farm Sixpenny Handley early afternoon. There are about ten members here for the first night. About half are cycling and the others are on foot. The weather seems set fair for the weekend. This evening was fish and chips followed by the pub. Tomorrow we have one group walking the rest of us are cycling for the day. Tomorrow evening we should be joined by the Hampshire group who are on a weekend Cyclepacking trip so we will have even more bikes!

Thursday 8 April 2010


Yesterday started with an early morning trip to the cancer clinic in order for me to have a drug implant. After I had the implant one of the other guys asked me what I planned on doing for the rest of the day-he looked aghast when I told him that I was meeting a mate for a days cycling. He said 'you do know that these implants can make you feel really tired? I am going home for a rest'.

When I got home I must admit that I didn't feel 100%. I had also got a really bad chest cold and a sore throat-a cycle ride obviously wasn't the very best of ideas- however 1030hrs saw me meeting up with JD at the Studland ferry for our weekly ride.
JD was eager to try out the component upgrades that he had made to his tourer so the hilliest route we could think of was chosen - Creech was one of the hills along our route standing proud with it's 20% elevation road sign. At the bottom JD said 'I don't really want to do this' but we set off up the hill anyway. When I got to the top I dismounted and waited for JD- a couple of minutes later JD appeared with his legs spinning in his new 'extra' granny gear and he was actually singing-yes singing to the hill as he made his way to the top. The one thing that you can say about JD is that he never fails to surprise. Who would have thought a couple of years ago when JD got into cycling that he would turn out to be the cyclist that he has become. LEJOG and the ACCR is under his belt with another big endurance ride planned for next year and he is out each week for a ride with me- he is in fact one of the more consistent of my ex work colleagues as far as cycling is concerned. Something else that I have noticed is that he is averaging faster speeds-all good stuff.

JD and I ended up with a total distance of 61 miles BUT I paid the price as I finished exhausted. Even when we did LEJOG and the ACCR last year I never felt as tired as I did at the end of yesterdays ride. Lesson to learn? Probably not a good idea to go for a sixty mile ride if you have a really bad chest cold and have had a huge implant of drugs before you ride -but I will probably forget this next time around.

Tommorrow I am cycling over to the BPC Dorset Group spring static weekend meet. I hope to make some postings about the meet over the weekend-the weather forecast seems to look good.

Thursday 1 April 2010


The posting I made on this blog on the 19th February highlighted the fact that I was making a concerted effort to lose weight. Mid December 2009 I was suprised to find that I had allowed my weight to spiral to 15 stone. There were reasons for the weight increase but as this was the heaviest that I had ever been I decided straight away that I WAS going to shed the surplus weight.
I read up as much information about the science of weight loss and took advice from a sports coach and a nutritionist and eventually came up with a programme to lose the weight.
On this blog on 19th February I set out what I hoped to achieve and the dates for these target weights.
The first one was 12 stone 7 pounds to be achieved by 31st March. Yesterday I stood on the scales (now a weekly routine) and right on the button I had achieved this first weight target.
I have detailed broadly the method I have used in the comments section of the posting on 19th February.
My experience of losing weight is that it is not difficult. The thing that is difficult is sticking to the plan.-you do need to be disciplined. I believe that it is not enough to say 'I am going to lose some weight' this just isn't specific enough- you need to set out your goals in a similar way that I did with the dates that you intend to achieve your goals by.
To lose weight you will probably need to make some major nutritional changes to your regular eating pattern-after all your current diet is one of the reasons for the fact that you are overweight-that and the possibility of insufficient exercise. Lets face it drinking loads of beer and eating lots of chocolate and cakes and walking or cycling an extra 3hours each week is not going to get rid of the flab. I have become almost obsessive about how many calories I am eating and I am staggered that I used to eat an entire chocolate bar (900/1000kcals) in one 30 minute sitting-no wonder that I had put on the weight.
And from here-what now? Well I will continue with the diet until I hit my next target of 11stone 11pounds on the 9th May- after that I will taper the diet losing weight more slowly until my final weight target of 11stone is achieved by mid August.
I hope that my observations are of use to those of you who are planning to lose some weight.

Six weeks off.

 The visit to see the Consultant went quite well really ...   My ' numbers' have started to creep up again so I am going to be given...