Friday, 29 March 2013

....I am one of those melodramatic fools....

I blame the weather but then again I blame a lot of things and have a cracking list of crap excuses but at the end of the day it's all down to me. After making some particularly childish and pathetic comments to someone I hopefully can still call a friend and their subsequent metaphorical slap in the face I woke up and smelt the coffee ;)

Many years ago I remember doing some management training thing and being told about reaching your level of incompetence, basically promoting people into jobs until they become no longer competent at their job hence reaching your level of incompetence. It was recently suggested to me that's where I've got to in terms of cycling and my general fitness and weight but I don't accept that. I don't feel like I'm getting any quicker and after losing about a stone in the year or so I seem to have ground to halt. I basically need to get my arse in gear and start working harder, stop blaming other things and crack on. I've had some great advice from some people who know what they are talking about, done it, still doing it and got the Rapha pro team jersey ;)

I've decided to try and do more exercise in addition to the cycling, I've bought some running gear and even the kids have volunteered to come out with me for moral support. I'm trying to be positive but I'll need some encouragement because if I don't see instant results it tends to have a negative effect on me. I also tend to worry about what other people think of me but a wise person told me life's too short and that I should seize the day, they may have mumbled it in Latin but I'm not that posh ;)

It all starts now but in celebration of me leaving home on April fools day back in 1987 and never going back that's the anniversary date, lets see how I do, should be fun :)

Sunday, 24 March 2013

......She's a Star.....

I had the privilege and the pleasure of being invited to the Cycling Mayor's birthday ride, a gathering of like minded individuals to celebrate and cycle in the spring(!) air. I left home in the drizzle, drove along the motorway in the dry and arrived in Swindon with light snow falling. Lycra clad strangers appeared in the car park and gathered in the hotel, greeted, mingled and applied layers. Originally a fifty mile loop south of Swindon but due to the wintry conditions route master Guy devised a slightly shorter but equally good route.

It was actually dry as a dozen or so of us set off through Royal Wootton Bassett and once on the move it was cold but I actually didn't feel too bad. An early puncture caused by one of of the numerous pot holes gave me a chance to get up the big hill of the day ahead of the pack and give me some respite as to be honest everyone else was a bit quick for me. We headed for Marlborough which meant passing through Avebury and a chance to see the megalithic stones and there was lots of them. A welcome stop with a warm welcome to warm up and replenish at the Church and craft centre in Marlborough, coffee and cake was very nice.

After the stop it was an undulating twenty or so miles back to Swindon, I was flagging a bit but I have to thank everyone for waiting for me especially Martyn, Chris and Pete for keeping me company, perhaps I need a testosterone injection, Lance might have some spare ;).

Here's the Strava bit......

It stayed dry, it may have been cold but the company was great and we were all there for someone special.

Thursday, 14 March 2013

......and I'm so glad I'm not in school.......

I think my mojo has nipped off for one of those sunshine breaks, kicking back on a Balearic Island, drinking Mojitos and generally living la dolce vita. I've been moping about feeling sorry for myself for no real reason and freezing my bits off especially during one particularly cold and windy night at work. I've been reading with interest the blog of the Velopixie who's story is well worth reading about, losing six stones or eighty five pounds or for you metric lovers about thirty nine kilos in a year ! His last two posts have detailed what he's done to achieve what he has, including the bike, the training, the nutrition and the attitude. He has a plan, a structure and the attitude, I have a bike, no plan and to be honest the attitude of if I ride my bike more I should get better. This has worked up to a point but I'm at the point now where I don't think I'm getting any better and have reached a plateau I can't seem to move on from. As for structure I just tend to go with the flow.......dude.

'Er indoors told me it was icy as I hid under the duvet but after a stroll with my retired friend to check out the conditions I decided to head out, I even wore shades, it was sunny! Wind in my face as I headed out today so should get a brownie point off teach for that when I see her again*grin* Up the Toll road again, it was like my own private little road today, I didn't see a soul all the way and actually felt stronger as I neared the top and tried to put a bit more effort in. Over the moors in the sunshine, still icy in the shade and still the remnants of snow in the verges, I even did the steep kicker bit at the bridge, I like that bit.

Down to Exford again but this time out to Winsford, a chance to turn the big gears on a welcome flat bit and then up the rough valley road to Wheddon Cross. I thought I'd chuck in the climb over Dunkery for good measure, it was nice, why not ?

The legs hurt but after 4000ft of climbing perhaps they should, this must be one of my favourite loops, its got the ups and the downs and good bits in the middle.

Here's the Strava bit.....

Wednesday, 6 March 2013

...keep your head up...keep your heart strong....

The Cycling Mayor  (Jennifer, Jenny, Jen) visited today to join me on a spin around Exmoor, to take in the sights and the hills. She always enjoys visiting the area, especially the scenic drive along the A39 from Bridgwater and back again ;) I thought we'd do one of my regular routes, a quick spin to Porlock, up the Toll road and over the moors to Exford then home with a great descent from Wheddon Cross.

Unusually it wasn't raining but it was a bit misty on the moors, but the wind was behind us on the way out to which I was told off for having in our faces on the way home. Some of you may remember my idea to write a book about crap excuses, well I think I added some more to the mental list today. My legs didn't seem to want to work today for whatever reason and I struggled up the Toll road as the Mayor disappeared into the distance. Just to rub it in she popped back to check I was actually moving on a couple of occasions and was thoroughly enjoying herself on what must be one of the best bits of black stuff around these parts.

A quick blast through the moving mist down to Exford were my gears decided to stop working for some reason but then started working again, sort of,  just as quickly. When I say sort of they started working like an automatic car, changing for me at random moments as I pedalled along, bit of fettling needed I think. A quick stop at the Bus stop in Exford to fiddle with gears and take pics only to find the battery was flat on my camera. Up the hill out of the village and onto Wheddon Cross and down the hill, always a blast and then some flat stuff, into the wind and home.

It was great to get out and ride with Jennifer again, always a laugh even if it's at my expense :)

Just one of those days for me today, legs felt heavy, I felt heavy which resulted in any incline being a struggle, heavy bones, that's what it is  !

Here's the Strava bit....