Archive for March, 2008

Good Friday, Bad Catholic

Good Friday seemed to be nice weather, a little windy but not more than I could handle. As I was not at work I decided to try out the unorganised cycle group on Friday lunchtimes (http://www.camcycle.org.uk/events/) By the time I could set off I was late. I went to meeting place as fast as I could (http://www.camcycle.org.uk/map/location/8526/) but I was not fast enough and arrived there 10 minutes late, my average speed for this 7 mile trip to the meeting place was 16.4 mph.

When I got there I decided to explore some of the cycle routes down by the river, I cycled around for about 5 miles. I then decided to set off and return via Waterbeach, down by the river route.
During my return trip I thought I was going to be blown into the river Cam a few times, the wind was beginning to really blow hard. Once I got to Waterbeach, the wind was blowing against me so hard that I went down to 8 mph.
I decided to take refuge in a pub called ‘The Bridge’ I went in and realised that they had a marquee with a mini beer festival and a hog roast. By this point I was starving, so I decided to get a hog roast dinner and an ale.

I went in the marquee and they had a bouncy castle, I decided to phone Yvonne (my wife) and ask her to bring the kids. We ended up spending most of the afternoon there.
After a couple of pints, a hog roast dinner and one and a half giant hot dogs and some shared crisps, Yvonne reminded me that I am a catholic and it was Good Friday and I should not be eating meat. I decided it was time to go. Thank you Emily for taking this picure and making the chefs stand there for a minute while you were taking it.
Yvonne brought the cycle carrier and offered to transport me and the bike back. I would feel like I failed if I had had excepted, so I set off by myself and the wind started blowing really hard. Then the rain started and the 5 miles journey ended up taking me 30 minutes of hard cycling. I wonder if someone was trying to tell me something. I ended up cycling 21 miles all apart from the last five miles were great, the last five miles was just exhausing, when I got home I was freezing and tired.
It is a good job I cycled so far on Friday as this weekend we have seen high winds, hail, heavy rain and even half of Sunday was snowing so much we had a white covering and the kids had a snowball fight outside, This picture was taken Yesterday, by late afternoon all the snow had gone and apart from a few little patches you wouldn’t have known it had snowed. Fabulous weather from mid-March.

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Catch up

Last Weekend

Last weekend I didn’t do any cycling as it the weather was so windy it would have been a mistake to try to cycle anywhere. I had a break from it and I am glad I did.

Last Week

Last Monday was the first time that I did not cycle into work, as it was incredibly windy and stormy. It was so bad that lorries were being blown over on the M1 and M11. It was a good decision because of that it meant that I had to do a little more cycling at the weekend to make up for it.

I did make good use of my waterproof over trousers towards the end of last week. It just meant that I only cycled to work 4 days last week.

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Make your own Electrolyte Sports Drink

People that do a lot of sports tend to buy expensive electrolyte sports drinks to help them compete at their optimum performance. I got a tip from a book that you do not need to buy expensive sports drinks, you can make your own.

I am not saying that this will do everything that an expensive sports drink does, but it will help and at a fraction of the cost. The point of a sports drink is that it replaces the fluids that you loose in your sweat through your training. These are mainly water, sugar and salt.

You can easily make your own sports drink by filling your water bottle with fruit squash and water all you have to do then is to add a couple of pinches of salt.

This will help, obviously if your sports give you an edge over your competitors then continue. However, if you want a cheap drink that will replenish you as you fluids while you train, this may be for you.

Hope it helps

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There are interesting things to see on a cycle ride

Last Saturday was a lovely day, so I decided to go for a river cycle ride, to Waterbeach down by the river, to Cambridge and back.

I set off with very little, a little hardcase strapped to my pannier with a waterproof jacket and a puncture repair kit in, and onto my bike was a pump and my water bottle filled with my electrolyte drink (see my other blog post on how to make it).

I set off cycled to Waterbeach, whilst going through Waterbeach I saw a Church that I have seen a few times before, but I never stopped, so this time I decided to stop and take some pictures of it.

I set off again and rode down the little path next to the river Cam, I found that although I was only on a thin path I was able to take some video of the ride. About half way down there I saw a rowing boat race and decided to take some video of it (click here to download it). It was very good timing, that I was riding down there at exactly the same time as it began. I stopped for a while and then I needed to continue, so I did.

I cycled to Cambridge and then on the way back home I went over a bridge that is quite steep. I am quite used to going over this bridge the amount of times that I have done it. I remember the first time I went over it, I really struggled. Cambridge is the flattest place on the Earth, so I have to find some hills to practice on, if not I will not have any hill practice for the London to Cambridge Ride. So, when I approached the bridge I decided to cross it 20 times, I managed 5 times, I think I will have to build up to 20. Some people thought I was crazy and I crossed the bridge 5 times in the time it took them to cross it on foot once.

After that I rode home and did some weight work. All over body conditioning is very important, if you do not just want to loose weight but also gain muscle too.

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I am not paranoid but…

Last week travelling to work and back I discovered that a lot of people are either ignorant or they just don’t know what wing mirrors are for.

When I cycle down the street there is always one or two vehicles that are so close to the pavement it makes it impossible for you to pass them. If you park that close you are likely to get your car damaged by cyclists trying to get past, cyclists also have no registration plates so if they kicked you car as they pass and you are stuck in traffic there is nothing you could do. It is just not worth it, be nice to cyclists and they will be nice to you.

There was one car last week that came right up behind me and then beeped his horn whilst over taking so closely he was about a foot from me. That got me a little concern as I shook my fist at the git, if I wasn’t as stable a rider I would have come off my bike. Why would you do that to a cyclist, that could have very easily ended in disaster with him being so close.

The weather last week was so cold that my face was freezing all the way to work, I thought I would have got frost bite. It is March, when is the weather going to improve. I cannot go cycling as far as I want to because of the wind and cold, as they make it quite uncomfortable.

Friday was the worst day of the week for me, I checked the met office weather forecast for the day it showed sun, sun, sun all day. I got ready and got my bike out of the garage and noticed that the ground was wet and it had been raining, but it was not raining at the time, so I thought it must have been raining over night and it has stopped now. There were no rain clouds in the sky, so I set off.

I was cycling for 5 minutes when it started drizzling a little, It was freezing rain with the cold wind blowing against me. My forehead was freezing so I had to pull my skullcap down to protect me forehead. After cycling for about 15 minutes it just poured it down so I continued. By the time I got to work I was freezing and soaking wet. My trousers looked like they were two-tone khaki. I had to wear some over trousers that I had whilst my trousers dried on the radiator, so that I didn’t catch a cold.

My trousers dried in an hour or so and I didn’t have any meetings, so I could get away with waring plastic over trousers for that time. I will wear my over trousers if there is even a sniff of rain in the air.

Cycling in the rain with wet trousers and a very cold wind makes you feel terrible, it is not very nice and I would do anything to avoid it again.

The sun was out all day on Friday apart from that, it was a lovely day with a very clear sky. As I was leaving work on Friday I looked at the clear sky and wondered how the weather could have been so bad today.
When I was half way home, it started pouring down again. The perfect way to end a perfect day. When I got home my trousers were two-tone again, not as bad as that morning but still not nice.
I cannot wait for the good weather to come.

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Just another week

I cycled to work all of last week. Nothing eventful happened. I have found that the more I cycle the easier I find it. I think nothing about cycling to work, it just feels very natural now and it would probably feel strange and somehow wrong to drive to work.

Last weekend there were gale force winds that nearly blew our house down, so I decided against cycling, Yvonne would not have thanked me either as it was Mother’s Day and today is Yvonne’s Birthday, Happy Birthday Yvonne.

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