Thursday, 26 September 2013

Riding into Autumn.....

For me...this time of the year is one of the best for getting out on the bike for a ride.
Most of the visitors to the area have now gone home and the roads have become a lot quieter and more bike friendly. It's also a lot cooler now making the temperature better suited for cycling...

I started the week with a 38 mile spin on Monday morning on my own followed by an afternoon of bike cleaning... I get a lot of pleasure in making sure that my bikes are always cleaned and prepared before every ride and if done regularly it never needs to be a major operation....
The Felt cleaned and prepped ready for Tuesdays ride.
 I had made arrangements to meet up with Si Chapman and Jon Joynes on Tuesday for an afternoon spin... It had been a good few weeks since I had ridden with either of these guys. It was a couple of weeks after the end of the 10in10 ride that I last rode out with Si and it was in Italy during the 10in10 itself that Jon and I had been riding together.....
The Bikes taking a coffee break...
 I was really looking forward to meeting up with these fellas..... It's always great to meet up with mates for a ride and at this time of year I find the rides more enjoyable than ever....on top of that Si lives in a village in North Dorset surrounded by some great cycling country, although for this ride we had all agreed it was going to be a nice steady and flattish ride.....
Si and Jon taking a coffee break....
 Si had a bit of a cold and as none of us has been doing big distance rides lately an easier ride with a coffee and cake stop seemed appropriate... Anyway as Jon proved during our 10in10 ride back in June, his cycling ability depends very much on having sufficient cake intake so a cake stop was an absolute must.....
A ride with friends is always enjoyable with no pressure to reach targets or goals.... Si had come up with a really enjoyable route meandering as it did around the Dorset countryside. With only 1755 feet of ascent shown on the Garmin at the end of the 30 odd miles we completed, it was pretty flat (for Dorset) as well... It was an afternoon well spent and I look forward to my next opportunity to ride with these guys again......
Gareth Morns...Literally our first ride together in years....
Wednesday morning found me out on the bike again.....this time I was meeting up with Gareth Morns at the Sandbanks chain ferry for a ride over the Purbecks...

Now Gareth and I have not been out for a bike ride together for years.....and I really do mean years.....
Gareth was one of our 'Rev Pro Team'  who rode with me on the LEJOG ride we did to raise money for the Dorset Kidney Fund back in 2008....We are both pretty certain that was the last time that we actually cycled together...the years really do seem to fly by....!!
Gareth was responsible back then for getting me interested in cycling again after I'd had a break of about twenty years, so he has a lot to answer for..!!
Unfortunately with work commitments and a young family, it is not so easy these days for Gareth to fit the cycling in around a busy life but I hope that it won't be so long before our next ride together...
Gareth is a very capable cyclist and it was a pleasure to ride with him again this week......

So there we have it....riding into autumn and catching up with cycling friends.... there is not much better way to spend your time..........

Wednesday, 11 September 2013

Back to normal........

Well now that we are well and truly into September things are getting back to normal here at Purple Towers....
As I have mentioned before on this blog..the summer months are not really my favourite time of year, mainly because of how busy it seems to get on the local roads with the influx of visitors to the area. 

Looking back on the year, the winter seemed to hang on for ever...however we were lucky when we had our training camp back in early May. 
The weather up till then had been very cold, but for that week the temperature shot up and we had nice sunny days for our rides.. 
Following that week the weather went back to being cold again...indeed I remember the day we set off on the #10in10 ride it was bitterly cold and the ride through the Netherlands the next day wasn't much better either. 
Since then the summer weather finally arrived and we have had some absolutely stunning weather down here on the Dorset coast. 
Just checkout this picture taken from the end of our road only nine days ago........

Bournemouth beach close to Alum Chine
A beautiful sunny day and a busy beach.....Just a few days later and most of the visitors had gone, the children had gone back to school and the weather had taken on a really autumnal feel.

As I look out of my window as I type this I can see a very grey looking sea and it has started to rain. It is almost as if when August was finished and September started, a switch was thrown and nature just changed gear.....

Talking about changing gear....that is what I have done.
I have been getting back to more riding again.....

Throughout August I started back with regular use of the static bike.....I found that this bit of equipment had been a real boon for my training earlier in the year when the weather wasn't good and I was well pleased with the results that I got by using it for my preparation for the #10in10 ride.
It enabled me to focus my training on various aspects of my cycling in a way that 'going out for a ride' doesn't really allow you to do. I certainly intend to continue to factor it in to my training  programme over the coming winter.

Unfortunately at the end of August I was using the static bike and had programmed it for a very 'hilly' route. As the resistance increased as it racked up the gradient, there was a 'bang' and all the resistance disappeared. 
After investigation I found that the cable that runs from a servo motor to the resistance magnet had snapped...... I contacted the suppliers and I must say that they were first class.....within a few days the cable had been replaced and I was back training again... The suppliers told me that they had not had that happen before, so hopefully it's something that I won't experience again.

Since then I have also managed to get out on the Tifosi and the Felt as well, so hopefully everything will now get back to normal.
I hope to see some of you out on the roads around the Purbecks over the coming months......






Cabin Fever .......

 Sorry for this week's posting being three days late but like the rest of the UK last weekend saw the arrival of storm Ciara and our in...