Sunday, 15 April 2012

Winter cycling

As I sadly waved me Cannondale off to its new home, I'm left with just the two bikes at the moment - my Genesis single speed, which got a run out to Gargrave with the kids last weekend, and my Dolan winter bike.

This is now all Ultegra-ed up, as Rick and I moved the group set from the Cannondale onto it, so with shiny new bar tape, a new ebay saddle and posh gears, it's quite a nice ride.  I do feel slightly conspicuous as the only bugger still riding around with mudguards on though.

The last couple of rides I've done have therefore been on the Dolan, as my new bike hasn't arrived yet (it's actually en route as I type, so possibly next weekend I'll be out on it), but in both cases I was rather glad of my mudguards!

The weather really doesn't seem to be able to make its mind up - on Wednesday I went out for a whizz round the Burnsall loop in shorts and sunnies, then twenty minutes after getting back the sky went black and we had the most mahoosive hail storm. Then yesterday, despite promises of dry, cool weather I was in a rain jacket all day.

I went over Langbar to meet Rich at Ilkley.  Since the arrival of little Betty he's hardly been out at all, and has just nine weeks before the White Rose.  We decided to do the first bit of the WRC to see how his climbing legs were - "slow but steady" would be my verdict.  I didn't hammer it up Norwood but felt pretty good all the way - I times myself at ten minutes for the climb.  Rich was three minutes back, not a bad effort for a man who's done no riding all year.

We then followed the WRC route through Fewston and down the A59, but then we turned left back to Otley rather than heading north towards Greenhow.  Rich managed the climb ok, then we stopped at Dunnies for a "pie dinner".  The mileage (only about 20 or so, but lumpy) hit Rich after the stop, and we were pretty slow back to Ilkley.

I left him there and headed for home up the valley to give a decent 50 miler with a good bit of climbing in it.

I've got just two weeks left at work now, so the focus once I've finished will be on getting lots of miles and climbing in.  I've been invited to do London to Paris in July which is three 100 mile days on the bounce - so stamina and a bombproof arse are the order of the day!

Sunday, 8 April 2012

Back again!

No, not dead, and not actually lying on the sofa eating cake - just distracted and haven't got round to updating this thing.

The India trip pretty much wiped out two and a half weeks of training so I decided pretty early on the Peaks wasn't going to be a goer this year.  I'm sure I could have beaten the cut offs, but that's more or less what I did last year - so the decision I have to make at some point is whether to give the 3P a proper go next year or use my last year of "god for age" to do London marathon again.  Don't need to decide for a while, so in the meantime I shall worry about things bikey.

The big news os I'm changing my job.  The bigger news is I don't know what to - I've agreed with work that the role they have in mind for me later this year isn't really for me, so as from the end of April I'm on garden leave, with the purpose of finding something else to do.  This is less tragic than it sounds as they'll pay me for a year if required, so I think I'll be having a good summer with lots of bike rides and the occasional peruse of the job pages.

I'm also eagerly awaiting the arrival of my new bike - I've sold my Cannondale so I am now "summer bikeless".  I've swapped all the Ultegra bits off my 'Dale onto my Dolan so I have a far posher winter bike, but with the (hopeful) end of the wintry weather I'm itching to get out on something light and carbony.

The new bike is from German internet dealer Rose Bikes, but is a last-year's-model branded Red Bull.  They have an amazing configuration on their website, but this is a pre-specced bike, with full Dura-Ace Di2, Dura-Ace wheels etc etc.  After a fair amount of faffing (paying in euros is soooo tricky) I hope it's being built this week, so should be with me w/c 16 April.  We shall see...

On the activity front I've been running a bit, and cycling a bit.  Today's trip was an Easter Sunday special - couldn't be arsed to get up at 7 to get to Ilkley for the club run, and Herb is sulking cos his best bike's poorly, so we went for something "flat" and easy - which turned out to be anything but.

Basically we rode to Wetherby along the north bank of the Wharfe then came back the other side, but the return proved to a lot lumpier and windier than we expected.  Herb bonked majorly after 40 miles, so despite a stop at Dunnies for sustenance I ended up on the from for pretty much the whole way home.  Apart, of course, for the last mile when a bloke came past us so Herb's competitive instanct kicked in and he was off and chasing.

A good ride, harder than expected, but a metric century (64 miles) and just over 4 hours of riding - roll on May and my new bike!!