Saturday, 28 December 2013

Christmas Haul!!!

Woopwoop! Did Santa bring you anything nice?  I've been a bit non-engagey this year.  Kind of feel like Christmas is something that happened to me, not something I've partook in. But I still got prezzies - even though my present buying was less than adequate (seriously, I got a secret santa Gaffa tape - Santa appologised but still.)

Whilst the Gids is still waiting for his present to arrive, I still got mine from him.  He knows my love of electronics which are all about me, so I've got a fitbit.  It's rather good.  It measures my sleep, how many steps I take a day and how many calories I burn.  Since I've not really been on the bike this last month, it turns out that a few chores around the house, and walking the dog barely amounts to 5,000 steps a day.  So after lunch with friends I decided to walk home - busting my 5k with a blistering 12K! Not sure how it's going to work on the bike (if it will at all), whether it will measure turns of the pedals as steps, but I've already got an app for my phone if I don't fancy fitting the Brompton with Garry Garmin (which I really don't, the Bromptons smelling the roses cycling not High Intensity Training).

Anyway, Merry Christmas to youse all, and a Happy Hogmanay!

Jx

Tuesday, 17 December 2013

As is my usual.. as soon as I sign up for an event....

... I do nothing. Nada, Zippo and Zilch.  We were in London for a few days, which was lovely. Saw a man in a cycling onesie wearing nipple tassles and giant shoes.  We drunk tea at £3.50 a pot (I suspect it was due to the amount of skiddling they did, half of that was on their water costs alone), and we went and saw a comedian tear into some poor drunk woman who wouldn't shut up. So it was eventful.

I have done very little cycling.  None.  I've not even been out on the Brompton this week.  I'm going to treat myself kindly for the next couple of weeks, been feeling for some time that I have no actual time.  Too much spent on stuff I really don't want to do and not enough on what I want to do.  I suppose I'm in a re-assesment at the moment and this has gone alot more navel gazy than I intended, but that is basically my mood.  I'm struggling to get into the mood for Christmas, I've bought two christmas presents.  Two.  And I usually adore buying Christmas Prezzies.  I'm in fact usually all but done!  Might make that job for me tomorrow.

Jx

Saturday, 30 November 2013

I take on the weather and...

...get wet, blown about and over took by a runner.  

I didn't blog last week because I was off shore in the north sea.  On a big boat.  Eating my way through eight days of looking at rust (it never sleeps, it just looks like it is).  

We have signed up for the Etape Caledonia again, though shame on the organisers, they've seriously lessened the places available without charity pledge, so we ended up getting the Etape Pennines as well as the Caledonia. It works out an extra £40 taking the price up from £65 to £104.  We have no intention of doing the Pennines but it's easier paying the forty quid than trying to raise £300 for charity.  I'm still paying a £4 monthly donation from the guilt of not paying my first charity pledge.  

Jx

Saturday, 9 November 2013

It's not the best idea I've ever had...

...but I start 7.30 am yoga on Monday.  As someone who doesn't get out of bed before 8 on a school day it's not the best idea I've ever had but I'm going with it.  I shall ofcourse be commuting on the Brompton, and I think I'll be possibly navigating the 'Big Road' - King Street.  The one with all the big traffic - a couple of 16 wheelers, the busses the four-by-fours but it should be fairly early in the morning.

What else.. we might have the opportunity of doing Fat Tyre Bike Tours in London. Which is going to leave me only lacking in Barcelona T-Shirtness.

Jx

Monday, 28 October 2013

Lulling....

I think we're in a lull at the moment.  The bit before Christmas with not much happening.  In saying that I did go white water rafting, which wasn't half as bad as I thought it was going to be.  I don't like boats really. I have this weird thing with my brother where we absorb the others fears.  I got 'bitten' by a wasp, he gets the fear when their buzzing about him, he joins the navy, I develop a fear of boats.  I get a weird sort of horrendous vertigo, which disappears as soon as I hit the water.

I ended up in the water about 3 times and it was bloody cold. In your Offshore Survival Training they talk about that if you do hit the water in the north sea (which is four degrees in the summer), the body the registers the cold when it surrounds you as it would register fire, and will close your airways to protect the lungs. It was that cold.  I ended up going in by accident the first time.  It was really the fault of the guide.  We were playing this game where we had to cross the T section of the paddles with each others then hang over the side of the boat.  I was later told the intention was to put the Gids in with his hi-teck six mm wetsuit and hood, instead of me with the hole in the knees three mm.  Apparently his face was a state when I went in, though not as bad as my 'OH-MY-GOD-IT'S-SOO-COLD-I-CAN'T-BREATHE' face.  

On the cycling front, the Gids actually left on his bike this morning, as did I but not together.  I've only recorded once from where we live and back.  I'm intending to do Mysore Practise at the yoga studio, with my attention of doing 4 classes a week. Then drop one of them when the cycling starts.  I have real problems with my arms. I thought it was my chest and possibly my shoulders but they feel fine now to be honest.  I can't close my hands behind my back, and it's really tight - not on the cap muscle but underneath.  But I'll be glad when the Etape signage opens again.  It'll give me a goal to work to.

Jx

Saturday, 19 October 2013

I'm a bad Yogi....

I hang my head in shame (without hunching my shoulders up to my ears - just in case my teacher's reading this).  It came after we had savasana and I was all chuffed because someone started to snore and I didn't laugh, or snigger when the girls behind me did.  Then when we did the 'Omn' at the end someone was completely out of tune and I lost it.  I mean I really lost it, and then people behind me stated laughing, and then the teacher noticed.  Then on Wednesday we were halfway through savasana at the end and I had my eyes shut and it sounded like someone had jumped on asthmatic bag pipes.  And then we were sang to in Sanskrit.  I didn't laugh.  I would like to say however that my musical tastes exclude that particular kind of organ used.  

We also have colds.  Well, to clarify, I have a cold, the Gids has The Man Flu.  We're both a tiny bit shaky and snottery and wheezy.  His symptoms are always a little bid worse than mine because he is a man.  And the bigger the man the more severe the symptoms so he doesn't complain, he just looks extremely sorry for himself.

But anyway.  I can't remember when but the Etape Caledonia sign up should be rolling out shortly.  Feels like waiting to be hung.  In terms of what we've done this year, there hasn't been that many big cycling trips. We've not made Ullapool yet and time is running out for that and besides from cycling to and fro' on the Brommie for work, nothing else has been done.

At least I've done more than the Giddy Blonde.  So far for the past two months he's ironed his shirt the night before, packed his bag for the morning, set the alarm early all with every intention of cycling in just to hit the snooze button before hitting a leisurely shower and getting the car in to work.  I understand it's not a competition but I'm all in the chuffing smugness at the moment with my superior commitment to the velocipeding.

I'm going to start recording how long it takes to get me to work and back now.  Just to see if there's any difference, if I'm improving on the Brompton.  I'll be slower than on one of the bigger bikes, and having had a couple of windy days I'm finding the Brompton heavy on the road, so fun that will not be.  I can't tell a difference in my fitness as such but I am finding by legs have got thicker - to the point they keep pulling my thighs keep pulling my trousers down - and I'm thinking that I'm going to start the turbo trainer again.


Jx

Wednesday, 9 October 2013

I've just given the Brompton it's first 'service'...

...the word 'service' is 'quotation marks' because I'm fairly sure a service entails more than having a go a pumping up the tires, twisting the inny gear thing to see if it stops the two other gears clicking as you ride, then twisting it back because you don't really know what you're doing.  Needless to say I've aggravated the knuckle I previously bruised (I was gawking at prostitutes in Berlin and walked into a metal post) and have a oil stain on the back of my hand swarfega won't remove.

What else... well, we've (me and the Gids) have been to Berlin!  They like their bikes and their dogs and their beer - so I'm pretty much taken by them.  The roads are wide and there wasn't a lot of hurry where we were.  We did a Fat-Tyre-Bicycle Tour (with a girl called Kate) who was very good.  My oddly favourite part was going to see where Hitler committed suicide - it's really quite unsettling how something so important can happen in a space that is now utterly mundane.

I'm also lamenting the fact that as a person who hates dusting I have a lot of white gloss in my house. I don't like white gloss, and I'm wondering if there a way to get it off without poisoning myself with chemical paint stripper, or making an even bigger mess and the only option I can come up with is getting someone else to do it. Another option is leaving the house completely and getting on the bike.  It's windy outside but I think right now I prefer the wind to white gloss.

Jx

Monday, 30 September 2013

Yoga doesn't actually mean making shapes...

...the word Yoga is figurative. Like a set of morals it's a code to live by, which is why followers are called Yogis. And there's lots of different kinds of Yoga.  There's Chi Yoga, that is very low key and easy, then there's Hatha Yoga, expelling your lungs out through your nose and washing them in a puddle easy, like what happened to some ancient Hindus after being chased to the jungle by a marauding horde (and possibly ingesting the wrong kind of mushroom).

My point is there's lots of different kind of Yoga, just like there's lots of different cyclists.  And whilst I don't particularly feel the need to knock a particular kind of Yogi, I do want to knock a particular kind of cyclist. Now I'm not person of prejudice (but then rabid bigots never think they are), and I know that every one should live their life, do yoga, cycle bikes, etc, however they want.  But then there's that bitter I-hate-you-and-just-because in the back of my brain that says 'No, not everyone. There's them'.  Or rather him.  I've only seen one of them.  He was wearing a zipper jacket with collar, the zipper pulled down enough to see his polo shirt, collar up.  He had on cargo shorts, the kind that tucked in at the knees enough to make them look like plus fours. He was riding a Specialised - not a new one but definitely high end - had egg beater pedals but was wearing deck shoes with no socks and no helmet either.  He had an air of a Don Johnson from Miami Vice, and because he wasn't wearing a helmet, he has his hair as well.  And I think that's why I hate him.  I hate his hair especially.  I mostly hate his hair and because it's attached to the rest of him I hate the rest of him too.  Actually I've changed my mind, if he was just hair I'd like him more but it's attached to his smug polo shirt wearing, beater deck shod arse.  What kind of a man leaves the house without socks in Aberdeen!!! He wasn't even wearing one sock!  He is quite clearly a monster and must be stopped.

It also hasn't escaped me that my 100th post is about a man I've never met but decidedly hate... so yeh...

Jx

Tuesday, 17 September 2013

I've been bad...

...I've been cycling on the pavement!  And a man ran across the road when it was green for traffic, and then cycled up the wrong side on Union Street to tell me off!  So I feighned interest and tried to look sorry, then cycled across the road with the pedestrians when the green man went green.

Things you should know when wearing normal clothes to cycle...

When wearking a skirt...

1.  Doesn't matter how long your skirt is, unless it's Big Fat Gypsy Long you'll need to protect your modesty by...

2.  Wear big knickers - mine are so large that the Red  Cross could erect a hospital (with several wings) in a war zone.  They're not really for show more for security because you're going to be wearing number 3...

4. Opaque Tights are a must.  Marks and Spencers finest.  They will save you should you have any wardrobe malfunctions.  I know this because...

5. Tight turquoise blue knee length pencil skirts will split quite far up at the back when you cycle.  It won't happen immediately, but it will happen.  You can negate this happening by shimming-ing the skirt up so that the split at the back (which allows you to move your legs enough to walk but not cycle) sits on your seat, but if you've not shimmied it up far enough the split at the back becomes a MAHHOSSSIVE RRRIPPPP!

Jx


Monday, 9 September 2013

Oh Gaffa tape...

... how I love thee, let me count the ways.  The brompton needs a cup holder.  So I have fashioned one out of gaffa tape.  White Gaffa tape so it matches the brompton.  I have felt for some time that a cup holder was needed.  I mentioned this to the guy whose life is enriched by me sitting next to him (he's gone grey and nervous) and he asked me if I was wanting people to see how clever I was... More than likely folk'll go 'look at that eejit. Spilling coffee like she was painting lines on the road.'  I think he's jealous.

I also had a couple of lassies at work ask me if I was up for some corporate decathlon Mountain Biking.  We all know the hatered I have preserved for the nobbly tires, however if anyone is female and about the 'deen this weekend, leave a note.  If you're not female and you still want to partake I'm sure if you turned up wearing a stuffed bra and muttered something about 'hormone problems' as a teenager they'd still take you.

Never mind.  Been looking at holidays and the Tour of Britian.  Not together though.  I'm trying to talk the Gids (who says he neither wants to do another city break nor a 'beach holiday'... really?  This time of year?  What else is there?) into going to Copenhagan which looks very much like a cycling paradise.  And the Tour of Britain - which looks like there's going to be quite a few big names.  I think 'Quintana in Canonbie' has a very nice ring to it. 


Jx

Wednesday, 28 August 2013

Riding with Dolphins....

...you don't get that in L.A!  Ha!  Poo poo to Los Angles with the sunshine, the balmy waters, and the muscle men.  Here in Aberdeen we have damp Haar air, grey skies and 4 degree waters in the summer... but we also have Dolphins - and entire herd! Or shoal?  Is it a shoal if they're all mamals - like the proper air breathing kind, not the middle aged kind though they breath too.  There was about seven of them, sleek and leaping, and a couple of calfs? Calves? A shoal of calfs?  A nursery of calves?  What ever.  Watching a slick of healthy dolphins jump and leap and generally enjoy themselves in fish rich waters not far of the shore of Aberdeen Beach whilst I glide along in my little Brompton is pretty glorious.

So, the Brompton's doing well.  I've more or less got the fold down and even manage the wheel flick.  I've fashioned a pulley from a coat hanger and some gaffer tape, and I'm no longer a sweaty mass of bike bits going into Starbucks.


Sunday, 18 August 2013

What The Jensie made me do! (with Link! Soz guys)

It's here!  And it's all foldy goodness! I've unfolded it, ridden it, been into starbucks with it (didn't go well, haven't mastered the whole foldy walk around with it).  So what's it like?  Well, it does feel pretty nippy, the small wheel base means it's fairly responsive.  And it's easy to fold and unfold but I have scratched the paintwork on the legs of it a few times.



There are a few teething problems though: I've more than once been sweatier than I'd like - I really have to get out of the whole 'I'm training' cos... well I'm not - this is supposed to be fun! And it is heavy - easy enough to lift though it is like carrying an old fashioned type writer - if that makes sense.  I'm having trouble rolling it too. I'm just a wee bit too short to have the 'Eazy Wheels' lift enough so that they pivot in their axis, so the front wheel keeps catching on the ground when I roll it, and it's not ballanced quite right so it tips over every time I try and turn it on it's wheels like an unbalanced suitcase.  I've come up with a couple of solutions.  One of them is one of these,  'Brompton Turn'.  As far as I can make out they're made by a Japanese man whose web page isn't Google Translate friendly. I've thought about fashioning my own - there's loads of stuff on the web about customising the wheel bits to make it easier to pull about.  Lot's of people have used the roller blades so something on a pivoting shock absorbing axle would work.

Hrmm, lots to think about.

Jx

Saturday, 13 July 2013

I believe in Bare Foot Running!!!!!

Now if you recall quite some time ago  I purchased these, and having given up the running for the training for the Etape I hadn't really been out much.  Well, avid readers (if I have any) will know that I've started to run home from work. Nothing too strenuous or fast since I'd had some serious trouble before - I'd been a bit of a runner in my early twenties and had taken it back up once I moved out to the 'deen - but I'd damaged my hip flexors on taking it back up and had some nasty pain killers until the  pain died down, hence the cycling.  But - and I think I am safe in saying this since it's been about 3-4 weeks now - I have had none of the hip flexor pain I encountered since I started running regularly.  I've - dare I say it - been shincing (shuffle and a mincing) quite happily.

In the relm of complete honesty I haven't worn the toe-gloves (because they're not really shoes) every week as I've lost a sock and at £11 a pair that's the only real thing I'm sore about.  I've worn my usual New Balance trainers but I can feel how differently I land my foot in these which I hadn't noticed before.  I kind of roll my foot outside in across the ball of my foot.  My heal barely touches the floor.  I swing my fore arms like a windmill when I need to change direction. But I think that last one is more to do with being bappit more than anything else.

So far, I'm doing 2.5 miles in 45 minutes and that includes a few stops as I have found my whole legs get 'crampy'.  This feels more like muscle fatigue than actual joint or muscle agrivation, and I take the time to stretch that out.  I have also had a really mild case of shin splints but I think again this is more to do with the change from cycling to running.  The first couple of times I really wasn't used to the running, and would find myself running out of breath a lot quicker than someone who's got a pretty good endurance level of fitness, but that has gotten so much easier to the point that on Thursday I had to remind myself to listen to my legs, as I was in the endurance 'zone' as it were (you know the one, where you're just far enough out of breath to feel like it's work but not so much that you feel like you're going to burst a lung, and you've gone properly shiny sweaty where your skins hot but wet, and on the whole you feel like you're carrying an inner sauna and the breeze you're creating by moving is the thing that makes it all so enjoyable - or is that just me?)  Well I was getting down with that and nearly tried to run through a muscle cramp which means I'm improving on the run.  I've almost got my stride down. I figure this time next week I'll be able to run the whole way which will be quite nice.

I have been out on the bike too.  Today I had to go into workypoos and got on the Dawes, which I'm going to do more of. I am very sick of the whole having to get on the lycra so unless I'm going 'out-out' I won't be doing that. I went in on my jeans and wasn't too bad.  I mean, how bad can you stink averaging 10 miles an hour on a 20 minute cycle, especially when you shower every day?! Alpine bikes in Aberdeen had a sale so I've purchased another bike jacket - a purple one - to go with my purple sachel, purple bike, purple puffa jacket and purple cardy. I didn't even intend that.

I also needed some spokes to fix my mudguards - the bits that hold your mudgards to the bike wheels. Mines are whoringly bent and the entire bike is beginning to vibrate with the tyre rubbing against the mudguard.  The bike is becoming basically unridable but those chaps in Alpine gave me some they had lying round the shop!  For free! (If I'd have had cash I would have stuck a fiver in their charity box -  in fact I might just do that as that's the second time they've come up free trumps.)  The spokes they've given me are just on the side of too short but I should be able to fashion something with some tent pegs we have (which by happy accident are the exact same size thickness!)

Anywhoo, just counting down to the Brompton really.  And watching TDF.  Call me curmudgeon but I don't want Froome to win. Too obvious.  I think they're going to make it difficult for him though.  Which I'm quite glad about.

 I wish you to eat cake in the park.
or
Fine Piece Out!

Jx

Monday, 1 July 2013

Turns out I think The Jensie would....

...so I did.  Though I did I have a bit of a wait though - about 8 weeks or there about.  Still the Tour de France is on!  Bring on the skinny men with big thighs!  Froomie's not been up to much yet, though it is very very early days.

Jx

Sunday, 23 June 2013

WWJVD....

There's a Cycle2Work scheme we have at work where you can purchase a bike without paying tax.  You basically pay the value you borrowed minus the tax, so for example if you borrowed £1,000 the maximum you pay back is £780 or there abouts.

So last year I did this and spent a lot of money on a mountain bike... just to discover that I didn't like mountain biking.  With hindsight, I really shouldn't have bought that mountain bike.  It was handy for about 6 weeks where the Gidds had to Frankenstein the Dawes so his bike would work for last years SBS Challenge ride.  However - I've only used the mountain bike three times for it's actual purpose and hated most of it.  So it's fair to say it was a very stupid buy so I'm a bit weary of doing something as silly again.

The thing is though... and this is the crux.  We were discussing this in work and I thought that I had another 6 months or so on the scheme so we were talking about what kind of bike we would get... And I said I'd get a Brompton - I could still get the car into work with the GB in the morning, and then cycle home without having to wait on him.  They're designed so you're not going to mangle your work trousers in the front cog, and if I really couldn't face it I could still get the bus.  Same as, I could cycle out to the pub, stay 'till past closing and still get a taxi home - me and the bike.  You can even rig them so you can pull them around like a trolly into shops and stuff.  Then I e-mailed the lady who organises these things and she tells me that my last payment was this month...  That the new schemes payments comes off in August... and I'm still in nice time for ordering now...

So I'm asking myself What Would Jens Voigt Do? Does he even own a Brompton?  Would he even care? And why did he call his dog Lynda?

Jx

Thursday, 13 June 2013

Change is as good a as a rest...

...they say.  So I've been gardening and - as the Giddy Blonde has suggested - prematurely aging with BBC Radio 4 in the background.  Have been having some time off the bike, and found that I'm missing it.  We were pretty wiped after the etape even though this year's been one of the easier years, and just a spot of pottering for me and surfing for him (well, he's been out once so far). 

I've managed a couple of sessions on the turbo trainer.  You wouldn't think to look at me but apparently my body thinks it's some sort of well-honed machine; any more than a week off I seem to gain an extraordinary amount of water and go all 'wobbily' and uncomfortable.  Just the one sessions enough to take the swelling down in my legs - keeping in mind I get so sweaty the backs of my hands pool water.   It's probably more akin to a damm with a tiny little crack in it and the turbo sessions is the wee man with his finger over the hole.

I've been doing cadence sessions in an attempt to make hills easier.  I'm going off the ethos of spinning away at hills instead of trying to stamp them out.  I'm doing 90-100 rpms, building slowly up to a complete half hour.  It's basically a kind of time trial session where I keep the steady pace - and I'm finding it harder work than I thought (but I am only doing the one to two sessions a week at the mo').  I've started to do a warm up, not included in the main session, then I spin up to 90+ and try and hold that for as long as I can.  It's quite interesting, considering my heart rate starts at 174 bpm but when I finish it's 194 - I am a tiny wee person and our apparent top heart rates are scary, mines is 206.  I think the first session I managed 4 miles in 25 minutes (including warm up distance - I don't really know what that was).  Last nights session I managed 6 miles so it's getting better.  I've recorded my sessions on Garry so you lucky lucky people (person... Hiya Da'!) will get to see the details.

Jx

Monday, 3 June 2013

Just to say....

You'd think that I'd be able to do sit ups after cycling 80 miles a couple of weeks ago...  My abs say NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!

Jx

Monday, 20 May 2013

Oh adverts.... How do I hate you, let me count the ways...

Sure Maximum Protection Advert - I know enough about how adverts work.  I know those women are supposed to look 'challenging' and 'full of attitude'.  But really they just look like they've got bad period cramp and you're between them and ice cream.  Not one of them look like they're in the mood to do anything that requires industral strength sweat stopper.  Not one of them look like they've sweated so far through their sports bra it's gone from light marl grey to a slate grey colour, not one of them look like they've got so sweaty they've burned holes in their nylon.  Yeh women sweat, and they sweat really badly, they sweat so badly they have sweaty water beads on their shoulder, they sweat so badly the backs of their hands go shiney,  they sweat so badly if they exercise in their lovely pale blue capri sprint shorts it looks like they've wet themselves.  NONE of those women in that advert look like they have, or ever want to get that sweaty.  They look like they've spent four hours straitening their hair and make up and are angry that no one noticed.

Volum' Express The Rocket Washable Mascara/Barry M Vagas Mascara - The first ad asks you if you want explosive lashes.  Who in their right mind would want their lashes to explode.  Maybelline might as well say "Why don't you come here so I can poke you in the eye with a stick, you'll enjoy that!"  The Barry M one's not any better... 'Eyelashes the size of an elephant', if you want to know what that's like get a heavy bar bell and superglue that to your eyelid you complete eejit.

Amazon. 'Changing your world one thing at a time' with a smile on the box...  You creepy bastards.

Jx

Monday, 13 May 2013

Etape Caledonia 2013!! Tis Done!!!!!

'He didn't have to do it - why the fuck do I'.

Didn't get my 'Under 6 hrs' which has narked me.  Quite a Bit.  And of course the Giddy Blonde was too cool to pose with his medal so that's why The Other Blonde's looking a little hard done by. 

The whole weekend went off very much without a hitch.  We arrived on Saturday and registered, went for a late dinner (which was quite dangerous - we decided to have a beer, it very nearly turned into plural).  Got up fine on Sunday but very nearly missed our wave at 6.58am, but thankfully they were running late this year.  My mate Pam was in the same wave but couldn't get up the street and ended up leaving way past her wave.  It's normally run with a military precision but we didn't get away until 7.01am - which was lucky for us. 

The Giddy Blonde got a bit over excited so I kind of lost sight of him in the first 20 miles a few times (Giddy Blonde Addendum: He did wait for me), but after that we pretty much stuck together, and I felt like we were motoring along.   The weather was all right - a cool but dull day with the only wind on the top side of Loch Rannoch.  I stopped for a pee before Schiehallion and then we were up and on it.  Gid's not quite understanding what exactly 'King Of the Mountains' tried for a bit of bonhomie on the way up and said 'Schiehallion can't be as bad as this' and the guy looked at him like the eejit he was.  On the way down I felt like I was slamming it - hitting every corner, taking folk over.  But my new thing - after nearly having some stranger ram into the back of me last weekend when we did the Challenge route (Garry Garmin had a hissy after 14 miles of sticky extra wet Glasgow Rain so I have nothing to show you, nothing to show for spending 7 hrs in the p!ssing sticky Glasgow rain with weather so bad we averaged 9 miles an hour) - is shouting 'BREAK' just before I hit them.  It seems to work.  It also seems to freak out every one around me so I got loads of space on the way down! 

Then it was along the other side of the loch and down to the last 5 miles which was where it went a bit to pot.  There's a nasty corner with a 10% gradient and then after that it's forgetting you've got a bruised coccyx until you sit down, and there's a seat at every corner.  

I lost The Giddy Blonde at this bit - we have an agreement that we go up the hills at our own pace, and usually at the start he's powering on, but then at the end of our cycles I'm keeping pace for us, and he said he managed on the 10% kick but then suddenly his legs had gone and he found it really hard.  And I mean when I hung back for him about a kilometre from the end he was looking ill.  I had big ideas of us finishing together but he couldn't manage that and crawled over like he'd took on Shere Khan and was now trying to find a place to die.  It turns out that for his last 5 miles, on standing up for the 10% gradient he'd squinted his wheel and his tyre was rubbing on the frame and not in no small way.

So the official time was:06:07:21.  Garry Garmin (which manned up for the occasion) says: 05:57:49.  

I want Official Time.

Garry Garmin says 80.8 miles - some sort of glitch I guess.  But it is done.  I'm going to have about a couple of weeks off training and then - after one of the Ladies of Aboyne bigging me up - I'm going to get ripped and built for next year.  There has to be a next year... 





Starts in:Pitlochry, Scotland, GB
Distance:80.8 mi
Elevation:5526 / - 5556 ft
Max Grade
10.4 %
Avg. Grade
0.3 %
VAM507 Vm/h
Ascent time03:19:19
Descent time02:33:20
Total Duration:06:14:24
Moving Time:05:57:49
Stopped Time:00:16:35
Calories:4471
Avg. Watts:208
Max Speed:34.1 mph
Avg. Speed:13.5 mph
Pace:00:04:38
Moving Pace:00:04:26
Max Heartrate:196 bpm
Min Heartrate:135 bpm
Avg. Heartrate:175.8 bpm
Heartrate zones:
Zone 1:4 min
Zone 2:11 min
Zone 3:41 min
Zone 4:2 hours 19 min
Zone 5:
2 hours 51 min

Jx

Sunday, 28 April 2013

Slug Road...Oh how I've missed thee...

Haven't actually.  Managed 46 miles with a lot of climbing and again, it's been difficult. Went out with she of the no training and we were'n't far off her to be honest.  Up slug road with it's evil climb and then down again via the cycle route. I am very tired today - more tired than useful.  Pete invited his family round for a BBQ so instead of my usual recovery routine of a leisurly shower, big glass of strawberry milk with some protien in it and a snooze, we ran around like headless chicken and then flopped on the couch about 9 pm, wondering if that was too early to go to bed for a pair of 30 somethings with no kids (fyi, it apparently is).

My intention this week is to batter on the turbo trainer - though with two weeks to go I'm not really sure what good that's going to do me - and some more hill training with Pam at some point.  Next week end we're going to do the Balloch Sportive route we did last year so that will be 65 miles - with hopefully no stopping this time.  There's the Scottish Bike Sportive on on the saturday so we're going to go see Pete's Bro and take him to that with some dinner after.  Then the route then back Monday morning.

Here's what Saturday looked like:

<iframe src="http://ridewithgps.com/trips/1274344/embed?privacy_code=JouHgrRaw840I8h7" height="500px" width="100%" frameborder="0"></iframe>

The figures (though for some reason I don't seem to have done this for a while).
Distance:46.1 mi
Elevation:3013 / - 2936 ft
Max Grade
13.2 %
Avg. Grade
0.8 %
VAM364 Vm/h
Ascent time02:31:16
Descent time01:34:36
Total Duration:04:34:29
Moving Time:04:07:45
Stopped Time:00:26:44
Calories:2910
Avg. Watts:196
Max Speed:32.4 mph
Avg. Speed:11.2 mph
Pace:00:05:58
Moving Pace:00:05:23
Max Cadence:120 rpm
Min Cadence:15 rpm
Avg. Cadence:63.7 rpm
Max Heartrate:199 bpm
Min Heartrate:121 bpm
Avg. Heartrate:168.3 bpm
Heartrate zones:
Zone 1:6 min
Zone 2:41 min
Zone 3:59 min
Zone 4:1 hour 19 min
Zone 5:1 hour 19 min
I'm not really sure this shows any improvement from last year - so I'm wondering if I've done 'enough' this year. Hey ho though.

Mx

Monday, 22 April 2013

There's ghosts in the Machine....

...and realising it can't break Asimov's three laws* it's decided to be slightly annoying.  Like deciding to change it's own password, so after two days of faffing the Giddy Blonde, man that does, went and phoned the Wify people to get it fixed.

Never-the-less we were actually out on Saturday!  And we kicked arse!  Nearly.  Going out was very hard, there was a head wind all the way.  And a massive hill, you can see it:


I didn't know it was there, and had I known we may never have gone out that way.  Which is why the way is surprisingly flat on the way back. 13.2mph! Which isn't bad.  When we got into Ballater I was convinced that the Gids was going to say (having left Banchory at 12.45) that it was 5pm and we'd have to start straight back but we'd actually done the first 30 miles in 2hrs 30, which ment time for soup and tea and a mooch about Ballater's Bike Festival - a lot of mountain bikes - and a chat with Everyone's favourite Geordie, Trevor.

Going back we got to Aboyne and decided to go back along the B road instead of through the back road again, which instead of being two and a half hours long took us an hour and 45.

It was disconcertingly sore sitting on the bike that long - particuarly on the arms. So I'm going to start some arm and shoulder exercises.


We've got a day at the races this Friday, but we'll either be out on Saturday or Sunday - I'm thinking another 50 miles to Stonehaven or something similar. The weekend after is Balloch - where our intention is to do another 65.  And then it's the race.

Whilst I think we are faster I'm a bit disconcerned about the soreness on the bike - I haven't felt it that bad in a very long time - any tips would be good...

Tomorrow I have my mate Pam coming and we're going to go up and down the big hill at mine.  I might put on some soup or something, for a quick snack after.

Jx

1. Thou Shalt not harm a human, or through inaction allow a human being to be harmed
2. Thou Shalt Obey a human being, except when it conflicts with the first law
3. Thou Shalt not show consistency in log ins, search engines, and will ask if an item is to be saved, even if the user has not made any changes!

Thursday, 18 April 2013

Three Weeks! Three weeks people!

And I'm still not that fussed.  More gales down our way has kind of put the kybosh on going out last weekend - and we're still not very well.  The Giddy Blonde had ear ache all last week, and typical bloke he doesn't go to the docs until his ear drum burst and it started oozing yellow pus.  I woke up last night with a temperature and couldn't get back to sleep for about an hour, and have struggled with my temperature all day.  If it's at all possible to have the flu without a snotty nose I think I have it.  I have instead been kicking at the turbo trainer, just really doing enough to keep me ticking over (I hope).

Again, our plan is to go out this weekend again and do at least 40 miles but we see.

Please, someone come give me a virtual slap!

Mx


Tuesday, 9 April 2013

Guess who can't sleep?

Guess who's Giddy Blonde is snoring so loudly she can hear him all the way from the front bedroom to the living room... Guess who did some hill training on Sunday?
Guess who's wondering if she should have another glass of strawberry nesquik (I'm not ashamed send me some nestlé) or mibbies try and get more shut eye?

Mx

Thursday, 4 April 2013

Aren't I feeling a little smug...

...though more smug than I should really... Only a spot of hill training - first this week (had friends up Monday-Wednesday). Crazy-on-the-inside was nagging me today to start cycling into work. It is an idea, cos then I could take this hill every day? Mx

Sunday, 31 March 2013

Guess Which Fat Arse needs Hauled up some hills...

Me! That's who!

That first big climb is more or less right in front of our door step so I'll be doing that about twice a week.  It's a fairly busy road but it's straight and well lit so it's fairly safe to hall myself up it.  I ended up with a stitch and thought I was going to throw up (hence the four minute flat section after it, if you switch from distance to time), and there was one point near the end I coughed so hard I actually gagged but I've been feeling better in stages this week so we'll be getting out for a couple of hours every weekend from now until the Etape.

In further sportive news they've cancelled the Scottish Bike Show Sportive which is a bit of a poopoo as I really enjoyed it last year...'Due to methods outwith their control' apparently.  I only noticed when I saw they'd refunded my money via an e-mail reciept and phoned them up in a panic.  An e-mail had gone out with the official explination (not a proper explination, an official explination) but that ended up in my junk folder so I - and according to the forums a few others - missed that.  One of the organisers phoned me up (which was rather good of him) and gave their explination.  We're half tempted to go round anyway so we'll see.

Spoke to one of my mates last night and she was saying she's not done any training for it.  She's a swimmer so she's fairly sure she's got the aerobic ability - it's just the sitting on the bike for that length of time's going to be a struggle for her, she thinks.  I'll have to start calling people out for rides now.  Deeside Diva's start this week so I'll need to start making my way for that - I want to get better riding in a group.

Mx

Friday, 22 March 2013

Tah Da!

Actually managed to accomplish something tonight! It'll be easier if you swap it for time and get rid of the gradient. What it's supposed to show if you can see it is that I basically spent 20 mins x 2 in the bottom half of zone five (lactate threashold I believe, though I might be nay-said). My general malaise has been lifted and established itself as a proper sneezy, snottery cold. I've started the vitamins and iron again (which I haven't taken since before Christmas) and one of the guys at work (whom I've decided to call 'Crazy on the Inside' since he thinks I'm batsh!t and yet he's a tap dancing banana Dadaist) has tried to inspire me to 'Go out on Sunday... just decide and go out.' As I have become a bit of a fair weather cyclist these days.

Whilst we're on the subject it's still snowing. It has snowed for the past three weeks. Sometimes it lays like an aged southern belle on a day bed, other times it's just falling from the sky like leaves from the trees. It's getting to the point I can't remember when the weather wasn't like this. We're (Me and Crazy) 'Right folks, since it's the same today as it was three weeks ago, I'm of to Barbados until something new comes up, in this 30 second slot what you'll see instead is an archive tape of Jimmy Shand doing a strip teeze.' Mx

Sunday, 17 March 2013

The smallest violin in the world...

is playing just for me.  It's manifesting itself in my ears, making a very annoying clicking sound when I swallow and generally any time I move my jaw.  And do you know how many times one moves their jaw and swallows in the course of one day?  Quite a lot.  I'm on the verge either getting a really crappy cold or of doing some exercise which is something (lets face it) I've been on the verge of both things these past couple of weeks and yet to achieve either. I'm sleeping ridiculous amounts at the moment - 10 hours plus a night, every night - and I have a weird rash on my neck that appears to have dried up for the moment but then comes back, and a weird pain in my right chest/arm area.. Poo me.  Poopoo to me.  There's something holding me back at the moment - I know what that is but there's feck all I can do about it RIGHT NOW, which is why I'm stuck in this weird land of malaise, minor sickness and cantankerousness where everyone is simultaneously not giving me enough attention but 'oh, why don't you all feck off' at the same time.

But this is a cycling blog, there has been no cycling.  This is two weeks now (possibly three... ouch) where I haven't done anything worth while.  I did promise last time that I would do a tester session, and my 10 mins during the week I came up with a better way of testing that.  1 mile sprints on the trainer. Faster one does that mile the better.  That's a lot of saying, but admitting actually writing the whole 'Woe is Me' paragraph at the top has cleared my head a bit, and I feel a little lighter. I'm only not cycling, and since we now have saying for evil in Britain, I'm going to coin it and say 'I'm no Jimmy Saville'.

No Indeed.

Mx

p.s. I actually feel a bit better now!

Sunday, 10 March 2013

Could'a would'a should'a...

...but didn't:


Instead we went into town and tried to spend the vouchers my da' gave us at Christmas. You'd think Christmas vouchers would be a good thing.  But they've been a burden.  We've been to John Lewis three times now with a look to getting a blender (but no, actually we don't need one), a bed cover thing (but no, I have a knitting machine, lets not spend money on something I could knock up myself), this week it was a cork screw - for people that don't drink wine. So we came back empty handed.

Another fruitless aspect of my day involved the Giddy blonde mocking me for all the other (2) cyclists out, in this 20 mph snow blizzard - and not one of them adequately dressed for the occasion (the Giddy blond thinks they were students but I think they might just have been glaekit).  One was wearing basket ball shorts and had the reddest legs I've seen in a very long time, curled so far in on himself heading into the head wind, it'd be easier if he just looked behind him.  The other cyclist, was going down Union Street with no gloves on.  The point is they were doing something I wasn't.  CYCLING. So they get more points as human beings than me, or something.  I could pretend to care but that would be disingenuous of me, and I'm only really that when it's in my favour.  And I'm crap at it.  It comes off insidious and creepy which are the same thing so it's extra creepy.

So a TT again. Incidentally, one of my mates - Everyone's favourite Geordie - has got a new bike so we'll have to ride out on that sometime soon!


Mx 

Saturday, 9 March 2013

I've been remiss in writing...

...these past couple of weeks because I wanted something to write.  And after the crappy crappy route of last week, I kind of didn't look at the bike for an entire week.  You know I've struggled with getting back in the saddle this year. I just can't seem to get into it, especially now since it's about 12 weeks away (or less!)  But I've pulled my socks up and managed 3 turbo training sessions, as well as made proper plans for going out tomorrow.

|The thing is though... and this occurred to me this week,        I have no short term goals.  Besides from getting the training 'done', and that's a bit hit or miss, I have no 'will make x amount of miles in x amount of time.  I really don't want a 'will do x miles by x time' because that will be fruitless, and I have a lot of data but none of it generally means anything to me.  I should do a test turbo session - pick a gear, pick a zone and see how far I go.   And then once a fortnight see if I'm improving.  I'm not good at the gears but so it will either need to be the very top one or the bottom one, but the new turbo trainer does have levels so if I need to make it harder I'll use that.

Mx

p.s. Have linked google+, feel free to 'join me'.

Monday, 25 February 2013

We've gone cycling by mistake...

(extra points if you can tell me where I've nicked that from).  It wasn't ace.  Bits of it was abject hell.  We spent the first four miles running up and down cobbled streets cos we got lost.  Then, just as the arm burn was beginning to wear off, we hit a 3 mile road which was at least 6 inches thick with churned mud.  Now, you know I hate cycling in mud.  The Gidds knows I hate cycling in mud.  Even the bike knows I hate cycling in mud. And it agrees with me.  It's horrible stuff, sticks to your tires, splats it's way up the bike and then sucks all the energy from your thighs.  And you have to actually  look at it in order to get through it; it changes, hides sh!t that could brain you, and you spend your time watching it get stickier and uglier than you ever thought possible.  Now I'm not a girly girl.  I don't mind getting dirty.  But ffs I hate that sh!t.  Now I had a long time to think about this, because that 3 miles took us another 50 minutes.  After that there was another couple of miles of fire track road - not really a road at all, just a dirt track covered by a thick layer of really loose tiny little stones.  It was here there was a casualty...


We couldn't remember how to put the route in Garry Garmin so the Giddy Blonde had decided to use  his three-day-old-brand-spanking-all-shiny-and-everything-new phone, thinking that since we were really in his neck of the woods we'd be able easily find our way back should the battery die.  It was on the little pebble sh!t he fell, riding one handed fingering this thing (I'm not jealous) trying to see when the next turn was happening (not soon enough I can tell you!).  He's taken a nasty chunk of skin off his hand (having took his glove off to use the phone) dunted his elbow and grit rashed a 4 inch section on his thigh where he landed, and finally put a hole in his snowboarding jacket (he was wearing a pair of corduroys, snow gloves, and his bright green snowboarding jacket, for an intended 40 mile cycle; sometimes there are no words).

We had a short spit of road and then it was along the Dyce railway line in 20mph head wind, that blew my sunny disposition home, leaving me on that sodding railway line.

When we got back on the road, got to the first major hill, his front gear pranged and that was all she wrote really. On actual proper road it wasn't that bad going, just oh-my-god not our day at all.


The flat gap in the middle is where we went and hid in the Giddy Blonde's mum's house.  The flat bit at the end is where I needed a sit down and a shower before me and the bike could look at each other.

So lessons learned:
Remember how to use big G - I think I've written a post actually...
Don't let the Gids pick the route - he's terrified of the big bad roads and had chosen the smaller ones specifically.  Never let him choose the route at all - the google car hadn't even been down the one we went down.  It even looks dark and forboding - though it didn't have all those trees yesterday but that's how they get you!

Anyhoo.  I'm consoling myself that there's a certain steeliness in plugging away at something - next weekend!

Mx



Monday, 18 February 2013

I have company when I'm spinning...

...whether I like it or not.  It's the other blonde in my life, only she has remarkably more sense, and a perchant for my sweaty bits.  She's sitting there waiting for the hill climb section,  when I get soo puffed out I can't tell she's sooking on my ankle like a baby on a bottle.


I have been hitting the turbo trainer very hard recently.  We (me and the Gids, not me and the dog) did commute this morning but I don't really feel like I'm working hard enough on those 4 miles.  I did think about jumping on the turbo as near as enough as soon as we came in tonight but that feels a bit sad.  I can't tell if  I'm being precious or snobby or mibbies just my usual lazy.

Never the less there is a pressing need to get out for a proper ride. My last one was several weeks ago  and only 30 miles.  So we need a 40 miler and I was thinking this Sunday might be a go.  It will have to be, I'm very much in danger of doing my entire training regime on the turbo and that wouldn't be smart.

Mx

Tuesday, 12 February 2013

Ode to Used Training Trousers...

My closest friends,
My modesty depends,
I've taken the lycra,
And dissolved it with something mightier
It was a shame,
I'm completely to blame,
Abused and debased,
The hole in you made,
From my sweaty friction
How I wish this was fiction
This is the end,
'Cos you've got the bends
And a patch near the crotch
Whilst it isn't much,
My sweat's broke you up,
It's just our luck,
And now my saddle
On that thing I straddle,
Has bit me back,
And my thigh needs a blister pack.






Mx

Wednesday, 30 January 2013

You only Board when it's snowing...

...you only board when it's SSnnnowwiiinnnggg!

We (me and the Giddy Blonde) went to Glenshee this weekend and it was ACE.  Like proper snow and everything. I can say, after 3 years of beginner lessons I have not only mastered the turn, but also the Poma's and am down on the ski lifts too. So very pleased with myself as I know think I can say 'I'm a boarder.'  Not a very fast boarder but I'm going for style not speed.

We stayed in Braemar Lodge Hotel ran by what I can describe as very attentive but long suffering man and wife, and their Slovakian 'man-who-does'.  The decoration was very 'Highland Retreat' with a herd of dead animals adorning the bar and hallway.   Right on the edge of the village Braemar, 200 yards away from the snow gate so we had a prime view when they opened the Snow Gate - which isn't half as impressive as it sounds, more of a mud covered cattle gate - and convoyed the folk in the cars waiting by means of council gritter.

Once on the slopes I was amazing!  Astounding! Magical!  I was shooting pixies and unicorns out of my snowboarding wake (not really).  And I only had a face full of snow once!  And unlike the first time I went snowboarding, I didn't come back covered in gaffa tape!

That assides, on the way back the cyclist were out en masse.  We ended up following (by accident, we're not psychos) a couple of guys, who judging by the way they kept rising from the saddle, and doing that odd little half wiggle that you do when your @rse nips and there's only so many places you can park your bum, hadn't been on their bikes in  some time.  I expect that will be me this weekend.

I am going forth with the turbo training and trying to do the whole heart rate zone thing.  I've found it a bit complicated, and a bit tiresome to be honest.  I was trying to do intervals in zone 5 (or 100%) then go down to zone 2.  But it takes me ages to get down to zone 2.  Like, aaggeeesss.  And the purpose of the Heart Rate zone thing was to make it targeted and mibbies cut some time out so I wasn't thumping away needlessly.   I've asked for some advice from some lovely forum people in how I can continue, so the plan is to re-group and include that at some point.

Mx

Sunday, 20 January 2013

You only Spin when it's snowing...

..spin when it's SSSNNNNOOOOWWWIIINNNGG!!!!

I really don't know what's happened to me. I used to go out in all kinds of stupid weather conditions and am still rather enamoured with that idea. Though currently I'm all like, Oooooo... It's a bit icy, lets just stay in...' or '..the wind's horrendous lets not bother.'  Something's changed... I think it's because I'm feeling older - and I definitely have been feeling older these past couple of weeks.  My 34th birthday is looming.  There's so many things I didn't expect to be at this age, like still allergic to chocolate, eczema prone, and still having to work for a living.  I wanted to live in a commune where writing was my part time task for the day, and other people did sh!t in fields that made stuff grow that we could all eat.

Really didn't expect to do this cycling lark - but that's a good thing.  A house near the beach is another, and a nice wee dug to walk.  I'm in two minds on whether to count the Giddy Blonde as a good thing - he's having some kind of silent man tantrum because he's decided to put up those sodding shelves I've been passively aggressively raging about, and I've not helped him. I instead have sat on my arse and worked out how to use the 'Advanced Workout' function on Garry Garmin, made the tin whistle screech and dossed about. He seems to have forgotten the 2 days I spent getting the house ready for his family for Christmas while he melched on the couch, his clean towels and bed linen aren't achieved through the medium of pixies, and his whole 'I'm not going to put shelves up today, what I'll do is I'll unwrap the parts and then leave them out on the couch for 2 weeks so that no one can sit on it and then complain when I loose the screws,' as well as 'My size 13 shoes don't live in the cupboard, they live under the coffee table in the living room, like, all of them, together.'

Ach well, if he wants to spend his weekend in a silent rage I might as well give him something to rage about... which will be a session on the turbo trainer.  I've done three of these now.  I want to make them more structured, so I've learned how to program the Garmin on the heart rate zones.  I'm doing 2 mins sessions in zone 5 which is 90-100% of my heart rate with trying to get my heart rate in zone 2 for the 'resting sessions'.  I've also managed to get the wheel pedometer to work so I should see how far I go.  It doesn't exactly match road miles but I like being able to see how many miles I've covered.  I might set one up with cadence because, as you know, I want to work on that element as well, but I'll see if it works with the heart rate first.

Or I might go for a nap.  What would make him angrier..?


Mx



Monday, 7 January 2013

Lets Ride, or lie in, or Ride!... Or lie in....


So… First 30 miles of the year!  Really didn’t think I’d make it when I stepped out.  And whilst I was trying to think, having not been on the bike for the past 2 months really – except for that 1 tt session, and the odd glide to work I really have done nothing – I didn’t want to put any pressure on myself but, you know what it’s like when you’re away for while, the brain gets to thinking, ‘wouldn’t it be fab if my average milage went up 3 miles… wouldn’t it be fab if this was stupidly easy…’ which of course it never is.

I set off from our new digs just after 11 but then foolishly went up the back of old town and through Aberdeen Uni (one of the oldest Uni’s in the world – with the cobbled streets that go with it).  The shake on my arms was soo bad I ended up getting off the bike and walking for more than half of it, and then p!ssing off the Students trying to use the tiny pavements as I salmoned up them.   After some reflection (and been sworn at by a posh man in a scarf) I decided trying to find a better route through town would be much better and ended up picking my way through the Sunday traffic on the more usual route, along King Street and through Union Street.  

It was at that point I noticed my Bike Computer wasn’t working so I stopped at Alpine Bikes (this bit's worth it, trust me!).  Normally I don’t go to these guys – they have a really good selection of ‘quality’ bike clothes (Endura etc, expensive stuff generally) but their folk aren’t brilliant at customer service – I ordered gloves once and never got the promised call back to go and get them, - and because they have a workshop they really don’t have encourage buying bits for yourself.  Never the less, I went in for one of those little magnets that make your bike computer work.  They don’t sell them so the guy suggested I check through in the workshop.  the guy behind the counter was all like ‘No we found this one the other day… just take it!’ They GAVE ME ONE FOR FREE!  I was expecting about £2 possibly. And then coming out of the bikeshop I saw someone going in and I was like ‘OOooo, I feel guilty… what if this was from his bike…’.  But that soon worn off. 

Eventually I hit the Deeside Railway Line.  Perfect day for it – the cloud cover was enough to project shadows across farm land and hills caressed by a gentle mist that took enough shine off the road for perfect visuals.   The Railway line did look like it’d taken a bit of a hit from the flooding though.  A couple of the banks where they’d built new buildings had collapsed and I ended up walking over a couple of rubble mounds.  A few of the areas where the tarmac ends and starts – where they’d put a sort of cement asphalt that get compacted – that had all been kicked up and was like cycling on chuckies (does every one know what I’m talking about there?).  I had noticed a couple of better established trails leading off down into the country side, where instead of broken fencing they’d put proper breaks and gateways with signs so that’s really good. Just hope they don’t stop there. 

The first 3rd of the journey up the railway – with the 3% rise for about 3 miles,  I’m sure I’ve complained about it before, so I’m going to again – was pretty horrendous. And I did have a crisis of confidence, and considered just turning back more than once or twice, or three times, especially at the end of the railway line.  When coming off the railway line you go down a really steep road into a hair pin bend, which is under a bridge, so you can’t see round it.  Then it’s a mile or two of slow increasingly upward rolling hills which are just murder.  I knew they were waiting for me and I really wasn’t arsed, but I stuck with it and kept my head down and I’m very glad I did.  After the food of athletes (Cullen Skink), I zoomed back hitting the beach at dusk.  

I really don’t know why going out’s so miserable.  Is it that I’m not warmed up? Haven’t eaten enough? The lack of company seems to suit me but I wonder I’d be more intune to it if someone else was there today… hrmmm…

The route:



The Stats:

Distance:
29.4 mi
Elevation:
+ 1482 / - 1226 ft
Max Grade
15.0 %
Avg. Grade
0.6 %
Ascent time
01:34:48
Descent time
00:59:45
Moving Time:
02:34:33
Max Speed:
27.3 mph
Avg. Speed:
11.4 mph
Pace:
00:08:51
Moving Pace:
00:05:15
Max Heartrate:
195 bpm
Min Heartrate:
105 bpm
Avg. Heartrate:
170.4 bpm
Heartrate zones:
Zone 1:
43 min
Zone 2:
59 min
Zone 3:
32 min
Zone 4:
1 hour 2 min
Zone 5:
53 min


As to my performance – I think I’ve gotten a smidgen faster.  Not much, but considering I spent 20 odd minutes faffing over cobble stones in Old Town, then another 5 picking my way across the rubble on the Deeside line, I recon I’m on the wrong side of two hours and back.  Which considering that it’s 30 miles – not bad.   Much better than the 10 miles per hour I usually do.  But, yes, there is work to do!

On that note – I went out on Luella yesterday, having taken the back carrier and basket off.  Now I didn’t feel any difference at all yesterday, but this morning I absolutely flew up a hill I normally struggle on.  Me and the Gids commuted this morning and he usually drops me at this low bowl like hill before we even warmed up and I was in his slipstream all the way up!  I was really chuffed with that.  It may be I’m still warm from yesterday (is that possible?) but taking the extra bits off and just carrying a back pack made a heck of a difference.

Have a pretty picture from my ride:

Mx

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