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Archive for January, 2008

End of the first month of training

Well, it is the end of the first month of training and what have I accomplished?

I have gone from struggling to cycle to work and back 6.5 miles each way to being able to cycle to work 3 days a week and 1 day a week cycling 22 miles without stopping for a break, more than taking a drink.

My muscles are getting stronger and I am able to go further with less effort and after pain, I am enjoying cycling a lot more now as I am getting used to it and this makes a big difference.

I am hoping to increase my cycling to work to 5 days a week, the more the weather improves.

I still have 4 whole months before the first 50 mile cycle ride, and I can already cycle half that distance, I don’t think it will be a big deal if I keep up the training. Hopefully by the end of February I will be a lot closer to my goal.

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Drivers, Think Bike!

As a driver I used to hate cyclists. I still hate bad cyclists that dart across the road in front of you without looking. But drivers are just as bad and they do not think about it from the cyclists point of view.

Leave plenty of room on your left for cyclists to pass, there is nothing worse than coming to lights or a long queue of traffic and there be some idiot so close to the curb that you have to squeeze in between them and the curb or have to wait until they move.

You may ask what makes cyclists so special that they can jump the queue and get to the front quickly. The answer is simple, cyclists are slow and they can use all the help they can get to get to their destination. Also cyclists are very exposed both to the weather and also to motorists. If they can get to the front of the queue and away before the queue finishes, they will be out of the way by the time you start driving, and out of danger.

The other thing that drivers do that confuses and irritates cyclists is driving in front of them and indicating left. As a driver approaching a junction where you are turning left, if there is a cyclist in front of you, wait behind them. Quite a few times drivers have sped up passed me, and stopped in front of me indicating left, you do not know if they are going to stop and let you go or continue turning, where you would stand no chance. So, I slow down until I know that they are waiting for me, by that time I have slowed down from 17 mph to 8 mph and then I have to speed up again, it makes the whole thing take a lot longer for driver and cyclist then it needs to.

Cyclists are not your enemy, they just want to get from one place to another in a healthy, economical and nature friendly way. Be nice, think of the cyclist.

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Hi,

I’m taking part in the LONDON to CAMBRIDGE Cycle Ride on 27th July 2008 to raise money for Breakthrough Breast Cancer and would really welcome your support. As I am doing this to get fit and to raise money for charity this blog will server to track my training, successes, problems and observations along the way. You can leave you own comments and recommendations on it as well.

As this event finishes in Mid-Summer Common, Cambridge it would be nice to have some people their to support me in person, I will probably need the support after cycling 50 miles.

Please take a moment to sponsor me. It’s really easy – you can donate online by credit or debit card at the following address:

http://www.justgiving.com/breatnac

All donations are secure and sent electronically to Breakthrough Breast Cancer. If you are a UK taxpayer, Justgiving will automatically reclaim 28% Gift Aid on your behalf, so your donation is worth even more. Please join me in supporting Breakthrough Breast Cancer and a fabulous cause.

London to Cambridge cycle rideOn 27th July 2008 I will be taking part in the London to Cambridge Cycle ride, the route is 50 miles. to see more about this please visit http://www.bike-events.com/Ride.aspx?id=158

Breakthrough is the UK’s leading charity committed to fighting breast cancer through research, campaigning and education.Their essence comes from the thousands of people who are committed to a single vision – to work for a future free from the fear of breast cancer. http://www.breakthrough.org.uk/

Donating through this site is simple, fast and totally secure. It is also the most efficient way to sponsor me: Breakthrough Breast Cancer will receive your money faster and, if you are a UK taxpayer, an extra 28% in tax will be added to your gift at no cost to you.So please sponsor me now!Many thanks for your support.

Thanks and best wishes,

Breatnac

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I have won the battle, bring on the war!!!

I decide to try to make it on my bike to Ely and back about 13.5 miles each way. Although it was raining as usual there was no sign that it would improve. I thought I would still attempt it.

I got myself all ready with riding gear (Padded cycling shorts and cycling jersey) with track suit on top and waterproof high visibility jacket.

I packed my high visibility rucksack with things that I may need like tools, puncture repair stuff, pump, mobile phone etc and set off.

The first 5 miles were pretty hard but once I passed that it was plane sailing. I just seemed to carry on, miles and miles, seemingly without getting tired. I passed the half way point and was a little tired but I could still carry on.

I eventually made it to Ely, 13.6 miles and felt great. I rode down the cycle paths until I reached the cathedral. This was the place that I had put down on my plan to reach.

I think you need a goal, it is not good enough to say I am going to cycle to Ely, it had to be to Ely Cathedral, so I found it and took some pictures for this blog.

I rested my bike and High Visibility rucksack down in front of the canon and backed away to take some pictures. If not, I may have been accused of downloading some pictures of Ely Cathedral from the Internet.

The second thing I did was to find a pub.

I thought I deserved a treat for all the cycling. So I found a pub called The Kings Arms and got a pint of Black Sheep and a 8oz sirloin steak with chips. I was like a man possessed with them, I must have burned off my Weetabix breakfast because I was starving, and the pint was well received as well.

I stayed in Ely for a couple of hours (not drinking, before you ask), found somewhere to get some bananas to give me the energy to make the journey back. I had a quick look around the market whilst I was there.

The whole time that I was in Ely it had stopped raining. The moment I sat back on my bike it started raining again. I was feeling pretty full of energy but still a little tired. So I set off.

The first few miles we sluggish, but manageable, then things went from bad to worse. 35 mph gusts were now blowing against me, and they continued most of the way back. It was truly a battle to get back, there were a few times that I felt like giving up, travelling at 8 – 10 mph, fighting all the way back. I found the longest road in the world, pictured to the left, it felt like the longest road in the world but it was only 3 or 4 miles long. At the end of a very very long straight bit there was a turn, to another very very long straight road, it seemed to go on forever. I eventually made it home, absolutely exhausted but I had made it, 27 miles in total, in just three weeks of training I had managed to cycle half the 54 miles that I am going to be riding when I do the London to Brighton. Although I know the London to Brighton will have a lot more big hills. My average speed for this trip was 11.4 mph, which is not bad considering the trouble I had getting back with the wind against me. I consider this a result.

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Keep your leg speed up!!!

Last weekend my riding speed was an average of 10.4 mph over a distance of 20 miles.

So far this week I have cycled 26.5 miles and I have seen the most improvement.

I cycled to work and back in the rain on Wednesday and today. I decided to ride the long way to work on Wednesday which added over 0.6 miles to my journey but it is a little more scenic. So on Wednesday I averaged 11.2 mph over 13.6 miles, I noticed my maximum speed at times under my own power (not including down hills) was 14.5 mph.

Today, I took the normal route which was 13 miles exactly, my average speed went up to 12.3 mph and under my own power I did a maximum of 17 mph. That is an average increase of 2 mph in a week. I have been told that I will see this increase by 2-3 mph when I get my new bike

I am so pleased with this, I seem to get tired and my legs ache between 4 and 5 miles but after 5 miles I seem to get a second wind (no jokes please Lee) and I feel like I can continue quite effortlessly.

I think I have learned the secret of cycling, keep your leg speed pretty constant. If you set a pace that means your pedals rotate 360 degrees in just under a second and your rpm is between 80 and 100, if your pedals are rotating faster than this, increase the gear, if however, your pedals slow down much from this decrease your gear until you are back to this rate.

I think this is because if you keep the momentum going it makes it easier to continue. I used to cycle in the highest gear I could. I will let you know if this technique continues to work, if you find this works for you, please add a comment to this blog letting us know.

I am planning to try to reach Ely this weekend which is 12.5 miles each way. This would be a very good way of finishing off the week. I will be able to test my theories of it being quite effortless after 5 miles and my pedal rpm rate.

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Charlie’s Healthy Tuna with couscous recipe

Here’s a yummy dinner to try thats healthy

Ingredients

  • 2 tuna steaks
  • 1 jar of harissa paste
  • 2 lemons
  • fresh mint
  • 1 tsp cumin powder
  • 100g plain couscous
  • 200ml veg stock(1 veg oxo in boiled water)

Chop tuna into chunks enuff for 4 skewers and marinate in juice of one lemon and the jar of harissa paste for 10minpour hot stock on couscous cover for 5 min.

Put tuna on skewers and grill 5mmix juice of 1 lemon the cumin and chopd mint into couscous. serve and enjoy!

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Great Berry Smoothy

Ingredients:

  • Orange or Apple Pure Fruit Juice
  • Berries (Strawberries, Raspberries, Black Forest Fruits and berries, blueberries (only with Apple Juice), Blackberries) – you can use frozen berries if you cannot find fresh
  • Bananas
  • Natural Yogurt
  • Ice

Put 1 litre of Fruit Juice into a blender add ice and 1 big banana or 1 small ones, blend. Add berries to taste and blend. Add four large spoons of natural yogurt and blend.

Enjoy!

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