New Year and Stuff.

So, here it is. The New Year.

Happy New Year to you, I wish you all the best for the coming 365 days.

I’ve got quite a few plans for this year, most of which are cycling, education and fitness related. Maybe a little bit of self improvement too?!

I would like to thank everyone who has taken the time to read my blog/s. Without seeing the hits on my posts I’m really doing this for nothing, it would look like I’m only typing to clear my head. However the stats show me that people from all corners of the world have read and continue to read my blog/s.

To start…

The year just passed.

If you’ve read my blog throughout the past year you’ll know that a lot has happened to me, some good and some bad. I did a lot for myself last year and really just started to understand who I am and what I’m doing here on this planet. I did quite a few things I’d never really do, I regretted some of the decisions I made but I also took opportunities I would never take too!

Everything I did has helped me to become who I am now and has helped me in planning a future based around the things I love.

The year ahead.

This year I aim to give you as much information as possible about what I’m doing, Training, Food, Music, Races… blah blah… And in return I’d like to hear back from you. Does anything I write about offend you? Motivate you? Even interest you? Let me know so I can improve what you see.

I have a secret plan for this year. I can’t tell you what it is obviously but I’m sure as the years comes to a close you’ll guess and maybe even understand what’s happening. Everything I do this year is working towards the secret… Dun dun dun…

 

You can follow me on…

Twitter; @Irideroad

Facebook; RideWithI

Instagram; @irideroad

 

Stay Flemish,

Orca Out.

 

Bicycle the Film

17th September 2014

 

So last night I went to view “Bicycle” at the Guildhall Square in Portsmouth  a great open area with a huge outdoor screen which plays various local media, the news and often just TV shows.

I had heard about the film a few weeks ago and had heard it would be playing in Portsmouth, I totally forgot about it until I saw a leaflet on a table at work. I needed to rush home after work, grab my notepad and laptop, my bike and some money so I could turn up and find a suitable place to sit, a place where my bike would be safe and a place where I wouldn’t be in anyones way or annoy them by typing a lot and distracting the from the film….

(The problem with trying to live blog is that I keep missing things and can’t take in all the information, sorry if this is all over the place)

The leaflet that lead me to the film.

The leaflet that lead me to the film.

I arrive to Portsmouths Guildhall Square expecting to see a wall of cyclists waiting for whatever is about to happen to happen. Instead I am met by an almost empty square, they’re still setting up. There are two stalls set up already 1. The portsmouth cycle forum (a group I find it very easy to argue with, and 2. “My Journey” who are an absolutely marvelous organization who I have had help from many times, I’m sure there are many others who can also stand up and say that they too have had a helping hand at some point.

There are a lot of people moving through the square now, most of whom are moving quickly.. Rushing to get home to pie and chips? They’re completely ignoring the event that’s about to happen, they don’t even look around or talk to any of the people who look like organizers to find out what’s happening. Its a shame to have something given to us by a few who have had to fight for funding to produce such an event and to then see people just walk past unaware of what’s happening.

While a few more cyclists turn up and chairs stat to be placed in front of the huge screen which sits high above the square. I can see cyclists talking to each other, chairs are starting to fill and an assortment of bicycles litter the square. Organizers are handing out Maps and safety information for riding around Portsmouth. The cyclists who have turned up are here for a reason, they want to know things and they want to see the film, they’re not here “by chance” they have made a conscious effort to be here tonight.

That to me is an instant “win”. If I were an organizer of the event, to even have one person show up who was interested in the film would be great. They came because they were intrigued, they wanted to view the film and be educated. At the same time there were the two stalls for extra cycling information, more free knowledge.

The film opens with questions and answers… What does it feel like to ride a bike?

I see Sir Dave Brailsford and Chris Boardman.

A screen with sponsors shows up, there are quite a few. I guess a lot of funding was needed for a project like this, sponsors include Sustrans, Chapeau!, Reynolds and Moulton.  The opening sequence is a great animation providing all the information you need about the production crew, very much like any other film… However, it is just better because it’s cycle related.

More bikes and people turn up.

Chris Hoy shows up on the screen talking about something? It’s hard to type and still focus on the film…

One of the main focuses in the film is Youth riding, the film focuses on rising star Danielle Khan. We hear from Danielle’s father about her racing, how it feels to  be the parent of a winner, the misfortune but also the glory that comes with cycling. We watch footage of her crash in a keirin race. Later on in the film we watch her 3 round sprint race against the Belgian Nicky Degrendele to win the UCI Junior World Championship. Nicky wins the first round, Danielle the second and after a crank ring change to gain faster acceleration Danielle wins the final round after sprinting erly around the final bend and carrying her speed to the line. It just goes to show the smallest change can make the biggest difference.

Nicky+Degrendele+2013+UCI+Juniors+Track+World+q4-dFAhXl2Ql

“Why I get on the bike in the first place?  I love it” – Khan

Another main point of the film was the development of the bicycle. From Penny Farthings to the modern “safety” bicycle Track bikes and road bikes that we all know and use today. It seemed to me that the film focused more on the development of the track bike rather than any other form of cycle. This may be because they were able to get hold of Mike Burrows so had to feature him heavily in the film.

It was interesting to find out how he develop a carbon track bike that would completely change the way people looked at bikes. Mike looked into aerodynamics and tube shaping, he designed winning bikes. He had opened up a whole new market for high end bikes, nowadays carbon is a lot cheaper and easier to get hold of, unlike back then when it was a “Space material”

1991 Lotus teamed up with Burrows, They  get hold of Chris Boardman and tell him about the project. Boardman visits a wind tunnel and under the guidance of Richard Hill (a Lotus Aerodynamics expert) Boardman started using different TT positions. The most famous of these being the Superman position. After the extensive work in the wind tunnel they discovered they could save 4-6 seconds on the track. in Track cycling half a second is impressive but to gain 4-6 is almost a miracle.

Needless to say we end up talking about Graham Obree and Chris Boardman and the famous bikes they used to win numerous events. The most famous probably being Boardmans 1992 Olympic win on the famous Lotus bike. A bike that was so fast it broke the standing World Record.

The film also focuses on the commercial side of the bicycle industry, when prices of bikes were cheaper after the war (WW1), people could start travelling from town to town (which in turn helped develop the gene pool) The bicycle created an “Outdoor Movement” and around 8 Million brits started using their bikes for travel to work and most importantly recreation.

The problem with trying to live blog is that I keep missing things and can’t take in all the information, sorry if this is all over the place.

In the late 50’s / early 60’s people could afford to spend more money due to bigger pay packages, roads started to fill up with cars, people with bikes no longer wanted bikes… They wanted cars… Bikes were seen as “poor mans transport”. The safety of cyclists was a concern to officials due to the number of cars now on the roads, so A clever man named Ernest Marples, head of road building company commissioned the “Buchanan Report”  A short sighted book of “rules” in which roads would be developed. I’m not even going to go into this subject as I am far too young to even know what was going through anyones mind back then. I’m sure you will probably know about it anyway?

Anyway, we somehow get to the 70’s and the Petrol Rationing “Crisis” the price of fuel was ridiculous and it worked out cheaper to buy a bicycle, a rise in sales means more development to keep people buying your products. In the US a new cycle called the BMX comes out and we want it! It’s a successful craze that is still very much alive now. Raleigh also introduce us to the instantly recognizable “Chopper” (Which has just recently been re-released) In my opinion the only thing Raleigh has ever done that’s been good.

There was a small break in the film in which we see an older fellow who tells us he rides 7-8,000 miles a year. Impressive a. Because I bet 80% of the UK don’t even travel that on a bike and b. He’s 79!

You might need to take a serious look at your life if you can’t even be bothered to walk to the nearest shop, you choose to drive your car for all of 1 minute.

Finally we get to the NCN/Sustrans.

If you don’t know who these guys are or what they do and you say you’re a cyclist… You might want to open your eyes a little bit more when you’re out riding. Without the NCN or Sustrans you would have zero cycle lanes. Absolutely none. You’d have no real rights when out riding on the roads. You’d have no one to turn to if you were involved in an accident.  You owe them so so much, and the funny thing is you don’t even know it. We just think that the bike lane is put there… No, someone has had to fight to get that little Red/Blue/green strip on the road so you can be safe when out riding. I suggest you, like I have go and join Sustrans and help make cycling safer for other cyclists all over the country.

You may want to thank a man named John Grimshaw.

 

Overall.

The film was well put together and covered a lot of different subjects, but in my opinion there was far too much focus on track cycling. Not everyone is interested in Track, or they just don’t understand it. The film was supposed to look into “it’s birth, decline and rebirth from Victorian origins to today”

For a start I would say that cycling has never declined. Rebirth? It’s always been there… “Victorian origins to today” Is about the only thing it did do properly… But did focus more on Track than any other form of cycling.. he whole thing was like an advertisement for British Cycling to show off how “Great” they are…

I’m sort of P’d off with the whole thing. What a let down. But do go and see it and judge for yourself.

 

For more infor click on this link bicyclethefilm Continue reading

No longer Vegan?

8th September

In life there are many, many things out there to tempt us into submission from our cause.

Whether it’s a Bacon sandwich when you’re trying to be vegetarian, that last chocolate bar sat in the box when you’re supposed to start a new diet, that last push up you want to skip so you can go home… (insert something you want but know you can’t have)

Times like these are when your bestfriend is self-control. It will stop you giving in. It will force you to press one more time, do that extra kilometer, leave that chocolate alone as well as stop you saying something or doing something which may lead to embarrassment.

Self control is not my best friend, Dale is my best friend. 

Self control is not my best friend, Dale is my best friend.

 

I have been finding it easy being vegan, I just don’t buy any food that comes in packets (unless it’s pasta or rice) So I know the only ingredient is what I’m holding in my hand. In my eyes, I can eat as much as I want, there’s no saturated fat, no added sugar and no artificial anything! Everything that goes in my body is good for it.

All this fresh fruit and veg has had an effect on my body, I feel great. My cycling form is improving and my energy levels are through the roof. I’m looking toned, I feel taller? I just feel great! That’s all that matters. (I’m also in the toilet a lot too!)

I’m having a lot of fun making food, some of the recipes out there are amazing! They’re good for you and your family, they’re cheap and really easy to make. Plus you wont have any horrible stuff in your stomach! People often crave sweet things, we can’t help it, our brain just tells us we need it. It’s a trait that has been passed down through evolution, even monkeys crave honey!* But I have found there are so many sweet vegan foods out there. At work we have Raw Caramel Mocha bites which are super sweet and super tasty, they’re amazing but even fresh fruit is full of natural sugar to satisfy your needs without you having to go crazy with a blender. But if that’s not your style and you prefer a dessert then just make it! There are numerous vegan desserts out there that are really sweet without being filled with additives, they’re also fun to make.

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I made this for my house mate, he seemed to like it. White rice, 2tbs Brown Sugar, 2tbs Coconut Oil, 50g Grated Coconut and 1 Mango slice. Simple and sweet.

 

The real reason for this post is… That I ate meat again… Only for 3 days as my body was telling me to stop. I joined a gym and thought “Protein comes from meat”. We all know that you can get your protein from veggies, but I just wanted meat!

The first thing I had was Chorizo sausages. I love chorizo and my body ached for it, so I gave in and ate 2 sausages… Mistake. Then Bacon. Mistake. Then chicken. Mistake.

I felt like sh-t.

So needless to say,from now on my protein will come from veggies. I have noticed quite a few articles recently promoting veggie and vegan diets while muscle building, so hopefully with a bit of guidance I can turn this around properly.

I do feel a bit upset that I went back to meat again (for all of 3 meals) but I did say originally I’m not doing it for ethical reasons, I’m doing it for me. SO DON’T TRY MAKING ME FEEL BAD! I know now that it’s the veggie/vegan diet for me now.

 

Cycling bit….

 

This past week has been a good one, I rode a total of 1,010k in a month! Around work and personal errands.

So yet again the Gran Fondo is upon us! I love doing these challenges! It gives me a reason to spend a lot of time on the bike… In the middle of nowhere…. With my main man. What more could anyone ask for? Hopefully the weather will be good all week so we have several opportunities to get out and ride. I would go and do it right now, however I have to think forward… I have work and I can’t turn up in a state of extreme fatigue and no energy. I also need to wait until Dale is free, he has a lot going on too.

 

Gran Fondos are great. Full stop. You just grab your bike and go. It’s really that simple. There’s nothing better than getting lost, just keep riding on roads you don’t know until you decide it’s time to go home… If you can remember the way back.

** I stopped writing this post. You know why? I just went and did my Gran Fondo. Why should I sit here and write about planning to do it when I could just be doing it now?**

Gran Fondo 9. Chichester, Midhurst, Chichester, Bognor Regis, Chichester and Portsmouth. Quite a journey eh?

Gran Fondo 9. Chichester, Midhurst, Chichester, Bognor Regis, Chichester and Portsmouth. Quite a journey eh?

 

Boom

*Why we like sweet things

Vegan. Week 1-ish

The past few months I’ve tried a few different diets, Lactose Free, Gluten Free, Vegan, Vegetarian and Pescetarian.

All of which have turned my insides out and made me feel amazing… However I lacked the willpower to stay away from foods I loved… And to look at every ingredient in products I bought. A good example of this was during my “No Lactose” diet… I ate half a packet of Digestive biscuits which I thought tasted really strange before reading the ingredients… Whey Protein… In biscuits? Really? Needless to say the next day was filled with bathroom breaks…


So, the point of this post?

I’m going vegan… Properly.

I’m not doing it to save the animals, I really don’t care. That issue has been around for a very long time and will continue to rage on even after we’re all gone… That’s the reality of the situation. I’m doing it for health. I’m doing it for my insides, I’m doing it because its the right diet for what I do in my life. I’m doing it for me.

I couldn’t give a fuck what you’ve heard, seen or done… I’ve seen the facts, I’ve looked into this for a very long time, dipped my toes in slowly. Now its time to jump in. I don’t need anyone telling me what I’m doing is right or wrong, I’m not doing it for you!

In my short stint as a vegetarian I noticed I definitely felt better as a person, but I was still eating the same food I could eat as a carnivore, biscuits, crisps… . As a pescetarian I felt better, but as a vegan I felt amazing.  The food I was eating tasted better, it was better for me and most of it was cheaper… (I mainly ate fresh fruits and vegetables, which when bought in bulk and portioned for the week work out a lot cheaper than spending £5-10 per evening on one meal like I used to)


DurianRider

One of the biggest influences in making this decision has been Harley Johnstone.

If you don’t know who he is I suggest you check him out, he is the definition on Vegan, Cycling and Eating.

I’ve been watching Harleys videos on YouTube for nearly 2 years now, If you’re interested in either cycling or the Vegan lifestyle he is the man to go to for advice.

Check out his Blog durianrider.com


Saturday

This is the day I decided that this was the way forward. I had a great Hummus, Beetroot and Rocket sandwich for lunch and then this for dinner!

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4 Radishes. 2 Spring Onions. 1 Pepper. 1 Chili. 1 Large Beet. 1 Handful of Peas. 1 Avocado. Hummus. Slice everything, put the bread in the toaster whilst you mash the Avo. Spread Avo and Hummus on the toast and add the Veg on top. Boom.


 

Sunday

I had work today, time travelled quickly. I had been looking forward to the evening for a while. A staff get together, food, drink and good company. It’s nice to spend time with people you don’t often get the chance to talk to. It was also nice as a new vegan to go to a party and there be a lot of food I could eat! I ate loads! I drank a few ales and I felt amazing. Life is constantly getting better!

Before I went to the do, I made a dessert with my colleague (Who has had this dessert before) and watched my housemates make crepes, which I couldn’t eat. This made me sad, but at the same time, I was resisting the urge to eat certain foods.

The end of the evening was pretty chilled, I was laid down on the floor by the fire with a beer staring up at the stars. Perfect.

When I arrived home, I was starving, although I had just eaten loads? So I made myself another Avocado, Hummus and Vegetable Bruschetta. It was heaven!


Monday

So to start the week…

I went to buy some new bib shorts, I hopped on the Allez and rode to town. All was good, It was sunny with a slight breeze.  I grabbed the bibshorts and put them in my bag, walked to the road and sat on my throne. I started riding towards a roundabout with the intention of turning right…

The next thing i see is a taxi coming at me from the left… I shout and shout as he continues to come at me, I shout louder as he hits my left leg, and rear wheel. I continue to shout as I throw the bike down to the ground, drop my backpack and start running towards him… In the middle of a busy road. I shout again and see him turn to look at me, he knows I’m shouting at him and he knows he just hit me… He drives off. I chase him for a while on foot but he just speeds up and disappears around the corner.

Considering this all happened in a busy town, next to a train station in traffic only one person came over to check if I was ok! Fortunately this person also got half of the taxis registration number and the Taxis Council number. A phone call to the police was in order. I was involved in a hit and run.

Not exactly the best way to start the week eh?

I had a nice chilled slow ride/catch up with Dale in the evening after going out in the afternoon to try the new bibs. We talked about the hit and run, we discussed what we would do in those situations, we’re always cautious when out riding, we shout warnings, use hand signals for slowing and directions, but this time something different, I was actually scared. Everytime I saw a car at a junction I jumped as if it was very unexpected to even see a car on the road, I was very vocal about the distances between myself and cars passing me… I don’t want to be in an accident again.


Tuesday

Cyclist-Bananas

So today was really just a chill out day, I really had nothing planned and just didn’t want to do anything, so as always I ended up at work having a coffee. Whilst sat there drinking a beautiful Ethiopian brew I read the latest issue (#26) of Cyclist Magazine which had turned up in the post the day before. I found interest in an article about Bananas, a fruit I love and a fruit which can be used for different things over time.

So the thing I took away from the article was… Depending on how long you leave a banana can change its benefits, the easiest way to work out when it’s best to eat depends on when you eat it and why you eat it at that time.

We all know the stages bananas go through… Green, Yellow and Black. At each of these times the banana can be used for different nutritional gains. Depending on whether you want a slow release carbohydrate energy source or a quick fructose sugar hit when riding/exercising… Will require you to know what type of banana you need to eat.

After reading the article I rushed home got my kit ready and headed out on the bike.

Tuesdays ride. Killing it.

Tuesdays ride. Killing it.

I felt great! I was climbing well and keeping a good average pace… Then the weather decided it was going to change. The whole ride I had been going towards the rain, as I reached the top of a climb the sky was a different colour. Black. Great! Now I have to deal with this. As I rode under the cloud the temperature changed, but it felt great. Small rain drops hit my arms and helmet, it still felt good. Fortunately that was about it, no heavy downpour. I was relieved.


 

Wednesday

Rest day! I needed this so much after yesterdays performance. I had done myself in, I slept in, I ate so much food and just hurt all over. I should have thought ahead because I was supposed to ride to Wales today! What the hell was going through my mind? Absolutely ruined my week!

So instead of riding to Wales I ended up at SoCoCo with Faith having coffee and a chat. It’s nice to spend time with people you don’t get to see all the time, especially when, if like Faith, they’re a genuine friend, someone who can give and take advice, someone who can talk you through things as well as listen. I am grateful for friends like her.

I headed home and saw a link on Facebook, the Tour of Britain Stage 7. I flipped inside, it’s coming about an hour ride from my house! I get to see the pros! So i searched for the timings and the best place to sit to see the most action. So I have something great to look forward to at the moment. If I’m lucky I might even end up with a few bidons!

Dinner was cool, Vegan Burritos!

1 Handful of Peas, 1 Cup of Rice, 2 Red Chilies, 2 Tomatoes, 1 Red Pepper, 1 cup of Kidney Beans, 4 Radishes. Cook rice. Chop Veg. Throw it all in a pan and stir until everything's done.

1 Handful of Peas, 1 Cup of Rice, 2 Red Chilies, 2 Tomatoes, 1 Red Pepper, 1 cup of Kidney Beans, 4 Radishes. Cook rice. Chop Veg. Throw it all in a pan and stir until everything’s done. That’s a wrap!

I had 3 of these, Don’t judge me. They were pretty good, I love chillies so the heat was great, you might want to use just 1?


 

Thursday

Rest day 2! Legs were still on fire.

This happened…

Yes, Tom is licking my toes... Cramp is a bitch.

Yes, Tom is licking my toes… Cramp is a bitch.

 

More later…

Gran Fondo 8, SiS Summer 100 and Shimano Summer Challenge!

Sunday 10th August 2014

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You always get a good view when you’re on a bike

 

I’m sat here listening to E-Bow by Sigur Ros, a beautiful track, staring at this screen, teary eyed as the music fills my ears and memories fill my mind. I found a quote after searching online for something to express how I feel right now and this is what I found…

“Life is full of beauty. Notice it. Notice the bumble bee, the small child, and the smiling faces. Smell the rain, and feel the wind. Live your life to the fullest potential, and fight for your dreams.”

Its a beautiful quote about beauty itself.

The last week has been brilliant for me, in so many different ways.

Coffee

Thursday…

I finally got to see the insides of the Conti, something I’ve wanted to do for a long time. I need to know how it works, without this machine I wouldn’t be very good at my job.

I managed to speak to the technician as he went about repairing the machine. He was extremely patient as I wrote notes and drew diagrams for future reference, he talked me through every single part of the machine, mentioning what they do and how they do it. It was a brilliant experience…

 

Cycling

I did just under 300k this week, I should have really done more… Training is all that matters…

Monday…

I’m waiting for my Racing licence to come through the in the post so I can start looking ahead at the CX season over winter. This will be a great learning and training season for me, I’m not going to be looking for the win, but if the opportunity shows itself I will attack until my legs are jelly!

Wednesday…

So this ride was pretty cool, minus the fact I was left to go solo 25 Miles in due to Dale having a puncture… But that’s not going to stop the Orca from smashing his way up and down hills in the dark! I managed to cover 91.2km in the end, so I wasn’t too disappointed about doing it solo. Plus I was on a total high due to the night before…

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Sprinting around on Alice, no hands!

This ride made me feel incredible, the mixture of being out with my best friend, doing the thing I love more than anything, the views and the great memories from the night before made me break down. I cried on a downhill section overlooking Clanfield. The feelings were too much for me to handle, I just had to let it out… I also had to let Dale know how much I appreciate him.

Saturday…

I finished work at 6.30, went home, cleaned my kit, threw some food and gels into my musette, charged my Garmin and planned the route… I then rode to Dales to pick him up and off we went.

Gran Fondo 8 and SiS Summer 100 were my goals, complete them both in one ride! On top of that I used the ride as a top up for the Shimano Summer Challenge, 600k in 16 days.

At first I didn’t think Dale would have been able to even do 100 plus miles, thankfully I was wrong. He was great company for what was to be a cold, windy and rainy ride.

We climbed, we descended and we CTFU. We rode 50 miles before our first break, we sat in the road on top of a hill somewhere near Bishops Waltham.

One of the nice things about being up in the hills and away from towns is the lack of traffic and the fortunate lack of light pollution. Unfortunately the sky was full of huge clouds and we couldn’t see the moon or stars, this is usually a perk I look forward to. Thankfully there were no cars around for miles, so we were not blinded every ten seconds unlike on other rides.

We had ridden around 60 miles when Dale mentioned he had a front puncture… Fuck!

Just what we needed. I was standing around not being very much help at all, freezing to death and CTFU. Dale luckily had packed his saddle bag with everything we needed, he fixed the puncture promptly and we were off again… Then it started raining… Not just raining… Pissing down!

We were drenched, worried about our phones in our jersey pockets and the terrible country road surfaces in the wet. I was blinded in one eye for at least a mile and a half, which was not very fun considering we were on a downhill.

The rain stopped as we re-entered Meon, however the wind was still howling at us, it was torture.

So, anyhow we managed to get on top of Portsdown Hill, somewhere near Southwick, but not using the A road… It was a complete mission climbing 128 meters after riding in conditions we had been riding in. At last we made it to the top… Everyone knows that what goes up must come down… And we did… Fast!

We descended into Fareham and rode towards Gosport… This is when I threw in the towel “I don’t want to ride down that fucking road” I really dislike this particular road, I was cranky as hell, tired and cold. I just wanted to get home.

So we turned around and headed back towards Portsmouth.

We got onto the island and headed towards Clarence Pier, we needed to do a lap of the seafront and then add on how ever many miles Dale needed to make it to a complete century. We finished our lap in Eastney and turned to find another 4 miles. We pedaled and pedaled. In one mile I had completed my 3 challenges, 3 miles after that Dale would complete 2 of them too! I started shouting words of motivation. Our speed raised as well as our spirits.

Its a brilliant feeling seeing someone complete such a big ride, the biggest ride they’ve ever done! The longest time spent in the saddle! The highest number of meters climbed! The personal records stacked up!

A smile crept onto my face. Dale had done it! I had done it!

I didn’t care much for my own goals, I only had time for my best friends achievements!

I’m so proud of him for everything! He really impressed me on this ride. He was great company, a great wind breaker and a complete fighter!

I rode back to Dales to pick up some amazing cake he had made, Peanut butter and chocolate spread marble cake! It was amazing and definitely helped in my recovery!

I got home and collapsed onto the floor, looked around for a while and decided I needed sleep. I slept.

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Flandrian tanlines…Hot!

Check my Strava/Challenges page for all my ride information.

 

Personal/Other

Go out and listen to Arkells new album High Noon! Its great, I wouldn’t say its better than the old albums but it’s on par.

Saw nan, all is ok. She went to Legoland with my Brother, she’s a total nutter!

 

Get in touch Via

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Just click on the boxes on the right!

 

Stay Flemish!

Orca out!

Gran Fondo 8, SiS Summer 100 and Shimano Summer Challenge!

Sunday 10th August 2014
DSC_0220[1]
You always get a good view when you’re on a bike

I’m sat here listening to E-Bow by Sigur Ros, a beautiful track, staring at this screen, teary eyed as the music fills my ears and memories fill my mind. I find a quote after searching online for something to express how I feel right now and this is what I found…
“Life is full of beauty. Notice it. Notice the bumble bee, the small child, and the smiling faces. Smell the rain, and feel the wind. Live your life to the fullest potential, and fight for your dreams.”
The last week has been brilliant for me, in so many different ways.
Coffee
Thursday…
I finally got to see the insides of the Conti, something I’ve wanted to do for a long time. I need to know how it works, without this machine I wouldn’t be very good at my job.
I managed to speak to the technician as he went about repairing the machine. He was extremely patient as i wrote notes and drew diagrams for future reference, he talked me through every single part of the machine, mentioning what they do and how they do it. It was a brilliant experience…
Cycling
I did just under 300k this week, I should have really done more… Training is all that matters…
Monday…
I’m waiting for my Racing licence to come through the in the post so I can start looking ahead at the CX season over winter. This will be a great learning and training season for me, I’m‘ not going to be looking for the win, but if the opportunity shows itself I will attack until my legs are jelly!
Wednesday…
So this ride was pretty cool, minus the fact I was left to go solo 25 Miles in due to Dale having a puncture… But that’s not going to stop the Orca from smashing his way up and down hills in the dark! I managed to cover 91.2km in the end, so i wasn’t too disappointed about doing it solo. Plus I was on a total high due to the night before…
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Sprinting around on Alice, no hands!
This ride made me feel incredible, the mixture of being out with my best friend, doing the thing I love more than anything, the views and the great memories from the night before made me break down. I cried on a downhill section overlooking Clanfield. The feelings were too much for me to handle, I just had to let it out… I also had to let Dale know how much I appreciate him.
Saturday…
I finished work at 6.30, went home, cleaned my kit, threw some food and gels into my musette, charged my Garmin and planned the route… I then rode to Dales to pick him up and off we went.
Gran Fondo 8 and SiS Summer 100 were my goals, complete them both in one ride! On top of that I used the ride as a top up for the Shimano Summer Challenge, 600k in 16 days.
At first I didn’t think Dale would have been able to even do 100 plus miles, thankfully I was wrong. He was great company for what was to be a cold, windy and rainy ride.
We climbed, we descended and we CTFU. We rode 50 miles before our first break, we sat in the road on top of a hill somewhere near Bishops Waltham.
One of the nice things about being up in the hills and away from towns is the lack of traffic and the fortunate lack of light pollution. Unfortunately the sky was full of huge clouds and we couldn’t see the moon or stars, this is usually a perk I look forward to. Thankfully there were no cars around for miles, so we were not blinded every ten seconds unlike on other rides.
We had ridden around 60 miles when Dale mentioned he had a front puncture… Fuck!
Just what we needed. I was standing around not being very much help at all, freezing to death and CTFU. Dale luckily had packed his saddle bag with everything we needed, he fixed the puncture promptly and we were off again… Then it started raining… Not just raining… Pissing down!
We were drenched, worried about our phones in our jersey pockets and the terrible country road surfaces in the wet. I was blinded in one eye for at least a mile and a half, which was not very fun considering we were on a downhill.
The rain stopped as we re-entered Meon, however the wind was still howling at us, it was torture.
So, anyhow we managed to get on top of Portsdown Hill, somewhere near Southwick, but not using the A road… It was a complete mission climbing 128 meters after riding in conditions we had been riding in. At last we made it to the top… Everyone knows that what goes up must come down… And we did… Fast!
We descended into Fareham and rode towards Gosport… This is when I threw in the towel “I don’t want to ride down that fucking road” I really dislike this particular road, I was cranky as hell, tired and cold. I just wanted to get home.
So we turned around and headed back towards Portsmouth.
We got onto the island and headed towards Clarence Pier, we needed to do a lap of the seafront and then add on how ever many miles Dale needed to make it to a complete century. We finished our lap in Eastney and turned to find another 4 miles. We pedaled and pedaled. In one mile I had completed my 3 challenges, 3 miles after that Dale would complete 2 of them too! I started shouting words of motivation. Our speed raised as well as our spirits.
Its a brilliant feeling seeing someone complete such a big ride, the biggest ride they’ve ever done! The longest time spent in the saddle! The highest number of meters climbed! The personal records stacked up!
A smile crept onto my face. Dale had done it! I had done it!
I didn’t care much for my own goals, I only had time for my best friends achievements!
I’m so proud of him for everything! He really impressed me on this ride. He was great company, a great wind breaker and a complete fighter!
I rode back to Dales to pick up some amazing cake he had made, Peanut butter and chocolate spread marble cake! It was amazing and definitely helped in my recovery!
I got home and collapsed onto the floor, looked around for a while and decided I needed sleep. I slept.
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Flandrian tanlines…Hot!
Check my Strava/Challenges page for all my ride information.

Personal/Other
 Go out and listen to Arkells new album High Noon! Its great, I wouldn’t say its better than the old albums but it’s on par.
Saw nan, all is ok. She went to Legoland with my Brother, she’s a total nutter!

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Stay Flemish!
Orca out!