Thursday, 30 July 2009

Kinda like riding through marshmallows

Great run this morning, starting out at 5am for 30 mins at a moderate pace. Then this evening I went out on the road bike for a trip into Ashurst Woods. Good speed, and I met up with 3 other riders who were out so hooked up with them. Pace was warm to say the least, but they allowed me to stay with them. Thanks guys!
Looking for a mtb ride or a road ride tomorrow night and then I'm working over the weekend due to holidays. Should be interesting as I intend to catch the train in the morning and ride back on both days. Let's hope that the weather cooperates.
Sponsorship is doing ok, but I'm starting to sweat things now. Just a few more weeks to go, and I really need to start banging the drum. With my registration, I'm just over 400, but really should be at 500 by now. But tomorrow is another day.
I might not blog tomorrow, unless the spirit moves me.

Wednesday, 29 July 2009

I don't think so, Tim

Not much to report from yesterday's training. Busy with work, so spent most of the time dealing with the little emergencies that our short staffing levels lend. Went to dinner at a friends house last night (thanks guys!), which meant my first meal which wasn't eaten on the couch. Maynard and I also endulged in a little TV. I forgot just how funny, 'Home Improvement' was.
Meetings mostly today, with a view to do some light riding in the afternoon, and then out on the bike for a hour and a half blast tonight. Oh, and some laundry. Living the Dream, baby!

Tuesday, 28 July 2009

You gonna ride it, or just look pretty?

The Tunbridge Wells Half-Marathon is very popular around these parts. Its a bit of a tough one though, and known for some of its hills. Fordcombe Hill is the most notorious. So, thats what we did on Monday night. Just a quick ride out with John around the course. I don't think we did it in any fast speed, just turned the pedals. Then came Fordcombe, and John bolted off. He's superstrong right now, and just uses his Big Ring. I, however used my gears. And didn't climb very fast. But, better than normal, now that I remember that nothing around here is as steep as the French trip.
Today, I did a hour session on the Spin bike. Intervals mostly, with a bit of heavy sprints in the middle. I felt good, but still wish I was spinning the wheels around France.
I'm really missing the family and wishing they were here, but engrossing myself in work and training. Millie has riden a pony and really enjoyed it, which I'm really quite proud of. William is doing ramps with his cousin, and Jaime is just being Jaime. Drawing and running around. They are all beautiful and I really hope that we can have a fantastic holiday in France shortly.
I'm just in the gym tomorrow and off for dinner at a friends house after work. I'll probably not blog tomorrow evening, but might have something to say, so just tune in.. You never know...

Sunday, 26 July 2009

Careful, its Patrick's pride and joy

The great thing about France is its always sunny (most of the time) and when I'm there its a holiday. We drove the whole family down on the Saturday, leaving at 5.30 (exactly!) to head over to the Chunnel. The kids were anxious, and so were Vix and I. We went straight thru and ended up at her mum and dads house about 14 hours later. Tired, but driving in France is so less stressful than over here in Blighty. We were treated to the mountains and a lovely breakfast outside. What else?
The weather was excellent, and while I was only there for a week (need to be back at work, and have the cycle ride in Aug) packed in load. Vix went into Pau with her Cousin in Law (is that right?) and Steve and I had the kids. Easy when you consider that they have a big house and a pool, similar to the situation over at her parents house. The kids were happy and we spent the time catching up and planning a ride in the mountains the next day. Steve had borrowed a bike (bike isn't exactly the word to describe it), and we ate a leisurely dinner at their house once the girls had returned and Nanny and Bampie were there. Vix fell badly whilst carrying most of our dinner out, and had to pick gravel out of her beautiful knees. Sore, and really in pain, she nonetheless carried on.
The next morning broke early and the weather looked great. I drove to Steve's house and we went to Banere to pick up the bikes and head to the Col du Aspin (1489m). Steve really came through with a Titanium framed beauty, finished off in Dura Ace and all types of spankly kit. A real looker, and just about the right size. We headed out and I just wanted to sprint away, but Steve just reminded me of our target for the day. I eased into it, but still had issues with the warm up. I've always had a problem getting warmed up. Not sure why, but it takes me about 45 min of high BPM to get ready. But this did happen, and once we approached the Col, we went together. Steve told me if I felt good to stretch it out, and I did. The bike, my heart, my legs and head all working together. Next thing I knew, I was at the top. Yeah! We blasted down the Col (well Steve did), he reminded me that I was on Patrick's pride and joy. But we played cat and mouse on the way back to Banere.
Steve let me use his bike on Friday (as we were meeting at his mum and dad's for dinner) and I got in some more riding. Strange that the climbs were much tougher this time.
But, now I'm back in England, and really missing the family. I think tonight will be the worst as they aren't here in the house. But, I do have a webcam that works....
I'll most likely do some work around the house and garden tomorrow, and then will get in some riding, but doubt it will have the same enjoyment as a few days ago.

Monday, 13 July 2009

Sick Scout

'I feel sick, Bill'. Those are the words that I heard just as one of the scouts threw up at the top of our first climb. So, now that I have your attention.....
The last weeks training was great, and even though it lacked the mileage that I was hoping for, it still was quality. First off, we have purchased a new Spin bike at the Sports Centre which is absolutely amazing! The Star Trac ESpinner is just like a spinner, but has a display which does a spin class for you. Yes, a real live instructor (well he's a bit wooden with his comments 'You can do it') takes you through a class. Choose what you want and away you go. This was a great way to 'motivate' and had me sweating it in true style.
Then we had the MTB rides. William had his 5th (!) birthday on Thursday and we did the playframe party thing. Great to see a few dads and mums running through the playframe with the kids. The girlies ran around like they were five and Vix did a great job with the cake (a guitar) and the organising. She really is fantastic like that.
The next day, John S and I went for a ride at Bedge. We had planned on doing the Singletrack lap twice, but my rear mech went out due to shonky maintenance (I should have changed my cables months ago). Then the Scout trip on Saturday.
The lads (all 10 of them), Maynard and Stuart took them on the family trail at Bedgebury. They all did a great job and as a treat we had them do a 'special section' of the singletrack. It really hit home how much fun riding can be when you see the look on the kids face. At the end of the section, I asked them if they liked it and would they want to do it again? Resounding YES from all and it was climbing up to the top to get in another run. This time with a little bit of the skills section thrown in for good measure. All in all, a great result. Most of them will get their badge for it, and Maynard was really pleased to see that we ended right on time.
So, this week I am in Bristol for a bit of idea sharing/comparing, and then off to France to see if the Pyrennes still are as challenging as they were last time.

Wednesday, 8 July 2009

And the wind cries Mary

Road biking can be fun. Especially if its blowing a gale. Thats what its been like lately. Sorry I haven't been updating the training. Its not that I haven't been getting it in, I've just been overwhelmed with this Sports Strategy I've been working on.
Heading to Bristol U, UWE and Cardiff for some inspiration next week. Until then, its pedal, run and pedal.