Saturday 27 December 2008

Better start training

I've now entered two things for next year - 24/12 12 hour solo (again), and "The Dragon Ride". The first holds no fear, as I sort of did it this year. The second is a 183km road sportive with 3500m of climbing, or something like that. Probably quite hard. It'll be even harder if I don't start to feel a little motivated and begin training. The past few days all my Christmas intentions have been paving the road to hell - I did 35 mins riding on Boxing Day, went for a run on Christmas Eve, but that's about it. So, I need a plan...

"The 144 Episodes of Buffy the Vampire Slayer Training Plan"

I didn't get many bike related things for Christmas (just a Twin Six T-Shirt, which is cool, and maybe some stuff that hasn't been delivered yet), so I've decided to tag the comnplete Buffy box set as being bike related by planning to watch it whilst doing all my turbo sessions. I reckon if I can get through six or so episodes a week then the sheer quality of the turbo sessions will set me up in good stead for all the other riding I need to do. Obviously I used the first two episodes to think of this plan, so only 142 to go! Brilliant. Starts tomorrow, honest.

Saturday 20 December 2008

Empty shops, muddy bikes and a present

I couldn't believe how empty the shops were at 10am (when I'd finished my shopping). Last Saturday before Christmas I thought it would be like a scene from Lord of the Rings, mass battles over gold rings, that sort of stuff. But no, either everyone couldn't get out of bed or they were very organised or they just weren't buying. I did my best and got a few things - shirt, pants, all very exciting. Best of all was stopping at Halfords on the way home and finally deciding to buy a proper tool chest - a present for myself. It's big, red and has ball bearing drawers! My tools are now much better organised and I no longer run the risk of severing a tendon whilst rummaging around in the bottom of a dark plastic box.

I also went out on the singlespeed and got proper muddy. I took some pictures but the visual evidence doesn't really correlate with how muddy I felt I was getting. Either I haven't been muddy for a while and was therefore over estimating how dirty I was, or my new teflon shower gel is having some effect.

The assault begins

Thought i'd fight the christmas shopping crowds, just for fun. No real christmas shopping to do, but i might get a few things for myself. Traditional start to shopping, caffe nero.

Wednesday 10 December 2008

Trained but not assessed

Tim, Darren and I did our SMBLA Trail Cycle Leader training this week. It was fun, I learnt stuff, I ate stuff and I drank stuff. Oh, and met some very nice people too. Most of it was pretty much common sense, and the whole course was run with that attitude - not in the super-prescriptive fashion I was expecting from the book.

We did the course in the Lake District and had an amazing day out - the kind of cold, crispy, still, sunny, blue-skied day that all the best winter riding needs. Big icy puddles to crack through, glistening frost on the moors, snow on the hill tops... I feel almost poetic thinking about it. Oh, and I used a combined sink/urinal for the first time.

We've still got to arrange the assessment day, and we might even do a coaching course too... we shall see.

Lance, you were wrong

I did my entry for the "Technology Triathlon" today - a work thing involving 8 minutes of cycling, 8 minutes of rowing and 8 minutes of cross-trainering, all in the gym. The greatest distance (done on set levels) wins.

The trial I did made me realise that the cycling was the major part of the overall score, so I did that first and absolutely killed myself on it, survived the rowing then ambled the cross-trainer. My distances were:
  • Bike 5660m
  • Row 2039m
  • XT 660m

So Lance, it is about the bike.

Sunday 7 December 2008

Ode to the fairy

I'm off to the Lake District tomorrow for a Trail Cycle Leader course... I'm a bit excited, a bit nervous, but at least I'm packed.

I did a few rides in the past week. Saturday I went out with Darren to Reading (MTBs on the road) as he had to pick up an X-Box from work. He was a bit broken, still suffering from the after effects of a cold. Still, it makes a change from me being broken whilst riding with him.

Thursday morning I dragged myself up at 0630 and was out on the icy roads at 0645. I did an hour and three quarters before work - the first time I've done a ride of that length at that time. I felt pretty good, although as I stood in front of the bathroom mirror it took a real effort to not to stumble back to bed. Work was full of meetings, and without the glorious coffee bean and magic flapjack fairy I wouldn't have made it through the day.

Thank you magic flapjack fairy.