Thursday, 30 December 2010


Hope you all have a great night and next week i am going to post about my thoughts on the Rapha Festive 500 and my plans for the coming year.


Wednesday, 29 December 2010

DAY 7 & THE 181km challenge

After deciding yesterday to give it a go and ride twice here is how my day panned out.

I set my alarm for 6.05am so as i could get up have something to eat and drive over to Gomersal to set out on my first ride at 7.30am. I finally dragged myself out of bed at 6.25am. Glass of water, 2slice of toast with peanut butter on and a cup of tea i was on my way. Got to Gomersal and was ready to start my ride at 7.50am so already running 20min late. I am not a morning person. I had planned to ride from Gomersal into Huddersfield then on into Shelley then Clayton West up to West Bretton then on in to Barnsley and my favorite bike shop Race Scene so as i could have a quick cup of tea and get a rear light for my bike. The ride was again foggy for most of the ride and it did feel a little dicey when i set off, as it was still dark riding with no rear light. I managed to get to Race Scene in 2hr and 6mins with a total distance of 48.1km. I checked the computer before i went in as i know that when i take the bike into the shop through those magnetic things that shops have to stop people taking any thing without paying my computer goes a little crazy.
Ride Figures up to Race Scene
Average Speed 22.1km/h
Distance 48.1km
I didn't get any other info and as it always does the polar monitor went crazy on entering the shop. So Richard and the boys made me feel welcome and made me a brew without even asking. Now that is service for you. I Tex ed my girlfriend good morning to which she replied where are u? I'm waiting for you. Even tho i had told her i wouldn't be back until 12. So i got my light and supplies for my night ride and got ready to set off. The boys didn't think much to my very mucky Borghini and as always Freddie gave it a quick once over and said the wheels would be lucky to see the week out as the bearings had gone. I said you are right but the were shot back in October so they would have to see me into Jan before i got another set off training wheels. And off i went.
As i needed to get back a little quicker than the 2hr 6mins it had taken me to get there due to the other half my route back would be different and hopefully quicker.
So from Barnsley i rode back up to West Bretton but this time over to Flockton then through Grange Moor into Upper Hopton then down to Mirfield then Cleckheaton then Gomersal. I did give it some stick on the way back and was a little worried this would hurt my night ride but the girlfriend was calling.
My figures for the ride Home
Average Heart Rate 158bpm Max 183bpm
Kcal 1315
Distance 36.7km
Average Speed 24.9km/h

So total distance on the morning ride was 84.8km so only 97 to do which i thought wasn't to bad and could be done. And the legs felt OK and the girlfriend was happy that i was back before 12 so bonus. 
RIDE 2 (Night Ride)
After an afternoon shopping for things for my new house i was raring to go. We even made it back so i could get off before 5. The girlfriend said i was mad and why didn't i just say i had done it. How would know. I said me for starters and it's just not right. She started saying i have lied before and didn't have a problem about it so what different now. I said this is a physical and mental challenge and to lie would be just wrong so she went off shaking her head.
So with my new rear light i set of at 4.50pm for a ride that was to get me the remaining kilometres i needed. I was going to just stick with main roads which were well lit as i only had my Knogg front frog light which doesn't exactly light up the way.
I hadn't planned a route as i was just going to go with the flow. 20min's into my ride then i felt something bump on my back tyre and 2min's later the tyre was flat just as i hit the traffic lights at copper bridge. after 20 Min's of messing about i was ready to go again but the rear wheel was spinning like an egg. As visibility wasn't to good i made my way back home with what felt like the rear tyre rolling over a stone all the time.
Back in the light i could see that when i spun the rear wheel it was not spinning true but more egg shaped. As my mechanical skills are none existent on the bike this put payed to my Rapha 500 challenge.
Night Ride Figures
Average Heart Rate 140bpm Max 176bpm
Kcal 581
Distance 16km
Average Speed 18.3km/h
Ride Time 52mins 27sec

So as this was my last day then i haven't been able to complete the 500km and freddie you were wrong the wheel didn't even see the day out.

So Total Km's today 100.8

Total for the festive 500 420km

Tuesday, 28 December 2010

180km IN A DAY

Right i have decided to give it a go and get all my remaining km's done tomorrow as its the last day i can ride until Saturday. My plan is to do at least 100km in the morning starting my ride at no later than 7.30am and then done the remainder of the km left on a ride starting at 5pm. Here goes nothing.


A miserable start to the ride today awaited me as i set off at 8.30am in the cold drizzly and foggy weather. I only had time for 2 hours today as i had to be back to my new house to finish off painting by order of the girlfriend so my ride took me from Gomersal down to Heckmondwike down into Dewsbury the a short ride on the spen valley greenway onto Mirfield then up to Upper Hopton then in to Kirkheaton the Huddersfield and home.
The only time i don't like being out on the bike are on days like these which are cold and wet. It is these days that i seem to pick up colds as my body does not like the cold and wet seeing as i am so skinny.
I thought today that i would ride along a stretch of the Spen Valley Greenway as it is somewhere i have never ridden and i think that on the festive 500 you should try some new things.
200yrds into the greenway and i hit a section of black ice and had my first tumble of the festive 500. Luckily i didn't do any damage to my phone or the camera but just put a hole in the arm of my rain cape (which i had managed to find for today's ride). So i decided against going any further on the bike and headed back to the main road. It was very foggy today so i had to be careful and its the first time that i have actually had to take the Oakley's of due to them steaming up.
The photos today are nothing special as it was to wet to keep stopping and there was nothing worth photographing on the ride today but i did take a picture of the black ice that brought me down.

My figures for my ride today
Average heart rate 136bpm Max 176bpm
Kcal 1436
Distance 47.4km
Average Speed 22.4km/h
Ride Time 2hr 6min 38sec

Total KM to date 319.2

So as i have only tomorrow left that i can ride it is unlikely that i will complete the full 500 but my plan is to ride 4hours in the morning between 7.30am and 11.30am then work on the house and then do a ride in the evening to get me as close as i can to the 500. But i have to get myself a rear light as i do not have one as i do not ride at night normally. Roll on tomorrow.

Monday, 27 December 2010


After a month of cold dry days i woke to find winter was truly upon us as it was wet and grey today. As i have recently moved house and my rain jacket has gone missing in the move i was not looking forward to 4hours in the rain but at least some of it was going to be with company if anyone turned up for the club ride that had been organised today.
Meeting in ST Georges square in Huddersfield as normal at half 9 so i set of from my house at 8.50 on the 35min journey into Huddersfield. 3 other hardy soles turned up so it was just going to be the 4 of us on the ride today although i was glad of the company.

The band of merry men were me,matt,rob and davgav aka route finder. On discussion on where we should ride to davgav brought out a true classic from his Starwheeler route archive which is up there with a stage of the tour of Italy which would climb up the Gavia or Stelvio. It was that rare ride over the hills into Lancashire to Hollingworth lake.

The route was to take us to Brighouse,Elland,Copley.Hebden Bridge then on to Hollingworth Lake returning Via Delph,Marsden then into Huddersfield and for me back to my home in Gomersal. It was raining and after 20seconds following a rider with no mudguards the newly washed HSW kit was looking like i had just participated in a cyclocross race. After riding most of the way in single file due to road and weather conditions it was good to get to the cafe stop at holingworth lake in one piece.

So after an enjoyable if wet and cold ride my figures are
Average Hr 151bpm Max 184bpm
kcal 3816
Distance 112.8km
average speed 24.2km/h
ride time 4hr 38mins 46sec

Total Km 271.8

Sunday, 26 December 2010


The view from my front door this morning
Well after a very merry xmas day were i drunk and ate way to much i managed to get out for a sneaky hour today. I just stayed near home and had a trip up from Gomersal into Birkinshaw and then into Tonge. On my way back i poped through LITTLE GOMERSAL. Anyone who knows me knows that this has a special place in my heart. lol
Why do people in Tong just tie their horses up in any old field. Strange very strange
So it was a heavy frost on the ground this morning but the main rounds were not to bad and at least they were quite.

My figures for todays ride
Average Hr 133bpm Max 169bpm
kcal 662
Distance 20.8km
Average Speed 20.6Km/h
Ride Time 1hr 32sec

I am hoping to go out with a few riders from the club tomorrow so i hope to do at least 5hours and i may get back onto my target.

Total so far 159km


Just being Merry today so no km's added to my total. Hope you all had a good one.

Friday, 24 December 2010

DAY 2 Rapha Festive 500

I would like to tell you all that it was a little warmer today but it wasn't. I actually felt colder as it wasn't just the hands today but also the feet. I had planned to get a 4hour+ ride in but the girlfriend had other ideas so i only had time to do 3hours.
I thought after yesterday's trip up the HSW hill climb that today i would try Holme Valley Wheelers open event hill climb course which is Holme Moss. This is a climb which has featured in just about every major tour that has happened in england. Milk Race, Kellogg's Tour and other's. It has been closed a lot over the last few weeks but i thought i would give it ago anyway.
My route took me from Gomersal into Huddersfield then out to Honley on into Holmfirth then into Holme then onto the climb itself and once done it was the same route back.
The water bottle froze after about 30mins but had thawed out for the last 30mins but by that time the water was bloody freezing.
When i got to the bottom of Holme Moss the road closed sign was up and the barrier was in place but looking at the road ahead i thought that i might be able to make it to the top. The gritter had been out as the road was covered in grit about 1cm deep so i thought i should be ok as long as i didn't suffer any punctures. It was a glorious sunny day so it was a pleasant ride up but i could see lots of ice still on the road so i knew i wouldn't be hitting the normal descending speeds of 70km/h that you can hit on Holme Moss on the way back down.It must be the first time that i have climbed it without seeing another car or lorry and the ice cream van that is normally parked at the topped had decided not to bother today. The decent was a little tricky but as there was no traffic on the climb i could pick my line easier and most of the way down i had to ride on the wrong side as this was the least icy path.

So my figures for the day are
Average HR 145bpm Max 182bpm
Kcal 2331
Distance 64.1km
Ave Speed 21.2km/h
Ride Time 3hr 51sec

Total Distance so for 138.4km
Photo's above are taken from my ride today with the majority at Holme Moss.

Thursday, 23 December 2010


Well it's the day we have all been waiting for, the start of the Rapha Festive 500. It was not going to be a to early start for me as its been a little bit to cold up here early doors. So it was a 9.30 start in -3 conditions. My route was going to take me from my home in Gomersal into Huddersfield then on to Honley into New Mill then on to Jackson bridge were i would atempt to climb the Huddersfield Star Wheelers open hill climb course and take some video footage. Then back into New Mill over to Holmfirth then the final leg to Waterloo then back home.

The first hour was the worst as i could not feel my hands and i thought that if it carried on like this then i wouldn't make 2hours. My water had frozen after 20 mins so there would be no fluid until i stopped at my mums after 2 and half hours.

70 mins in i hit the hardest climb of the day which is the climb used by Huddersfield Star Wheelers for their open event hill climb. I wouldn't normally attempt this climb in this weather as it is unlikley to have been treated and i haven't been up it since the hill climb event on the 9th october which was won by Mike Cuming of team Raleigh so it was going to be a gamble if i would get up it. It was very icey in sections but i got to the top if a little slow. See video clip.

It was an amazing view from the top and for me this is what cycling is about. When you have been out on your own and just take a minute to reflect on your ride so far. From here i dropped into Holmfirth then out to Holme Bridge. It had warmed up by this time so my hands had started to get a bit of life back in them so the ride was getting better the longer i was out. As i had not had anything to drink for some time i thought i trip to my mum's was called for so i could take on some food and get a cup of tea and get some hot water into my drink's bottle. After a flying visit of 10 mins it was onto the homewood leg of the journey.

As i have not really done anything on the bike for 2 months my legs were starting to feel it a bit and the last 25minute slog from Cooper Bridge to home in Gomersal was tough but i made it.

My figures for the day are as follows
Heart rate Max 187bpm Ave 154bpm
Kcal 2909
Distance 74.3km
Average Speed 21.9km/h
Ride Time 3hr 23.26mins

So just from my heart rates you can tell i am out of shape at the moment. Roll on tomorrow and the final 425.7km.

Wednesday, 22 December 2010


Well today i ventured out on the bike and it was -5 when i set off. It was bloody cold. Tried out my new flip camcorder just to see how it all worked and tried editing a few clips to get the hang off it.

Plan of action for the Rapha Festive 500 is as follows

23rd 75km
24th 100km
25th Be Merry
26th Sneeky 25km whilst the girlfriends in the shower
27th 90km
28th 105km
29th 105
As i am back at work on the 30th it is going to be a tall order but i am going to give it my best shot. Good look to everybody who is taking part.

Monday, 20 December 2010

3 Days To Go

Well only 3 days to go until the Rapha Festive 500 starts and its still snow covered here in yorkshire and today is was still -11 at 9am. Just to get my legs back into the swing of it i just did a 40mins easy session on the turbo. I normally prefer to use the rollers but ive been told i am under no circumstances to use these in my new house or get any marks on the walls from my bikes or i am a dead man. Some girlfriends just dont understand what it means to be a cyclist. lol

So ive got the camara on charge and just got myself a new flip camcorder to document my rides so there will be something to look at. Going to try to get out on the road for 90mins tomorrow so fingers crossed the roads are not as bad.

Tuesday, 14 December 2010

The Rapha Festive 500

Well after being off the bike since the National Hill Climb Championship since the end of october due to having a bit off a rest then getting man flu and renovating my new house i am just about ready to get back on the bike to start my training. So why not take up Rapha's challange of doing 500km over the xmas period from the 23rd to the 30th december.

I will try to document all my rides with some nice pictures of the lovely landscapes in West Yorkshire. So here's hoping i get the house finished by this weekend.