Monday, 25 January 2010

The Willy Warmer

Sunday saw me out on a 3rd outing of this wonderful route, the last 2 times I've had 1 completion and 1 DNF.
The DNF was because of knee ache caused from the pedals I had on the trike at the time.

The ride starts at Chalfont St Peter, a town in the Chilterns just outside London. My choice this year having no car was to either cycle down on the Friday night have a few beers and stay over in the hall or as it was only 55km away get up early and cycle down.
Although the first choice was very tempting I decided to cycle there and back and make it an Extended Calendar Event 300. I was going to be doing 260km with the ride home after anyway.

My alarm got me up at 03.30 and I was in no rush so was out of the door and getting a receipt at 5.15, allowing myself just under 3hrs to get to the start.
The ride took me through Aylesbury for another receipt and I got to the start at 07.30. Just as everybody was leaving (Message to self, check start time next time) The start was 07.30 not 08.00 oh well.

I was away 5 minutes later after getting my brevet card and riding up the wrong road. GPS works wonderful as long as you are following the track the right way. Luckily I was only 50m or so up the road when I guessed I was going the wrong way.
I'm not mad enough (yet) to enter the "scenic" route that bypasses the towns and takes in some nice hills so took the main road option out through Marlow and Henley. The recent weather meant there was a lot of water and debris on the roads and I was passing quite a few riders that had stopped to fix there tyres.
The hills on the first half didn't seem as bad this time around and I was managing to get up them slowly, as usual on audax rides I find myself yoyoing (sp?) backwards and forwards past the same rider. I'd pass them on the flat or at speed downhill only for them to pass me on the next uphill section, the joy of being a 100kg+ recumbent rider.
I seemed to be doing really well and got to Hungerford (1/2 way) at just after 12.00. I had been trying out some new (for me) energy drink and it was working well as I hadn't wanted any food so far but decided to stop anyway. I just had a bowl of soup and a coffee and was away again 45 minutes later.
I was still going well over the hills towards Kingsclere and got to Winnersh 220km at 16.15. It was starting to get dark now and the temp was dropping so after spending an hr here chatting and getting warm it was back out into the cold for the last section back to the start control.
After crossing the M4 for the 6th time it was over the last few hills along the edge of the Chilterns again to arrive back at the start at 19.15, were I sat chatting again for far too long as per usual. I had plenty of time to do the last 60km home so as long as I got in before the time limit at 02.00 I'd be ok.
I dragged myself away from the warm hall and coffee and headed homeward I was getting a bit tired now and my legs were starting to feel heavy. The chain on the bike had been squeaking since about 3/4 of the way round as it was dry even though I had oiled it before the start, my rear brake had also worn out completely due to the water and grit on the lanes of the first half.
This was slowing me down on the twisty lanes but I got back to the garage to get a receipt at 23.15.

Total distance was 322km with a ride time of 13.10 (24.5kph avg) a max speed of 74.1 and 4hrs 50 sat down eating and chatting.
I've put the gps log of the route onto bikely and after looking at the altitude from the route it's no wonder my legs ached at the end.

The new drink worked well, it was just maltodextrine powder mixed with lucozade sport which I found did me more good than other more expensive drinks I've tried. It mixed well and could hardly be tasted in it. Mind you Lucozade is very sweet so it does need watering down anyway.

Tuesday, 19 January 2010


Hasn't it been fun the last 3 weeks or so!! Mind you the snow only stopped me from riding home from work on 1 day. I had been working all night the 1st time it snowed and it was too deep for the trike to get through. I walked home instead :-D
It was a lovely morning watching the sun rise as I walked along the canal side.
The walk was 10km (6.5 miles) and it only took me 1hr40 which I thought was rather good.

The next morning it was -6c and I got a lift in but did ride back again after.
The trike was good on the ice and compacted snow and I was keeping up with the other traffic on the gridroads. At some points they were holding me up.
I've still been doing the daily commute, some of my co-workers think I'm mad others just know I am and just except it. It's not that bad and as long as you have the right clothes cycling in below freezing temps is ok.

Due to the weather my 1st planned 200km ride of the year from Oxford was cancelled. It wasn't going to be easy, probably not even possible to ride the lanes over the Cotswolds.
This weekend sees another attempt at an audax with an extended calendar ride.
This is a 200km ride with 100km added on to it so I can ride to the start at Chalfont St Peter and back again when I finish.
If the weather holds and it doesn't snow again I'll be on the Bacchetta. Being lighter and faster than the trike it will be easier to climb hills and finish in a reasonable time (hopefully).

Also this week I've entered and paid for the ferry tickets to go over to the Netherlands in July for "The lowlands 1200".
As the name suggests this ride should be good on the recumbent although I'm reliably informed that there is some climbing on the southern section around Maastricht.
Now I just have to get out on the bike and get the miles in.

Sunday, 3 January 2010

FSoTM ride to Stony + Whaddon

Well it was the 1st Sunday of the month and the 1st Sunday of 2010
I wasn't sure how many would turn up as the temp' was hovering around 0c, I arrived at about 10 to 10 and there was one other hardy soul waiting for me. Within 10 minutes another 7 had turned up. 9 riders is a good amount for a cold winter ride and after saying happy new year to each other we were off before we got too cold.

The paths were a bit frosty in the shade so it was a bit slow and steady for a while, I was on the recumbent trike so no chance of falling off for me, Dave also had the same idea and for once I wasn't the only one on a funny bike :-D
Navigation was easy on the first half of the ride to Stony, all we had to do was keep the A5 on our left until we got there. We stopped a few times to re-group along the way though as the ice was slowing some down, rightly so as I don't like having to call an ambulance out to a fallen rider.

We were going well though and got to the pub stop 1/2 an hr before it opened and decided to carry on instead of hanging around in the cold. Further round most people said they didn't want to stop at the pub so close to home so we split up as some were closer to home than others and we took the redways back towards Bletchley.

The redways seemed slippier (is that a word?) the ice on the new tarmac was better to slide the trike around the corners with the back-end fishtailing all over the place.
Yes I know I'm 42 but it's still fun :-D
2 more left as we came to the golf course and by the time I'd got to Bletchley I was on my own again so was home by 12.30

It was good to see so many out on a winter ride and it's why I still do these rides, I'll have to count them up but I think it will be the 100th ride in December.

I've started logging the rides on my GPS and putting them onto Bikely.
Just put fsotm into the search and they will all come up.

Friday, 1 January 2010

Happy new year

Happy new year to all :-)

I'd hoped to start the new year with a ride but I'm working today and the trike is at work with a pun***re! I got a lift home yesterday as I didn't have a spare tube or any glue in the pun***re kit!
First rule of cycling carry a tube and something to repair it with if it goes again, Doh!!!
I will be riding home after I've got a lift in later today, with a new tube :-D

This year I'm not making any resolutions as such, but hope to do more riding, lose some weight and hope to complete the planned 1200km ride in the Netherlands in July.

The first FSoTM ride is this weekend and goes from Bletchley to Stony Stratford and back, next weekend I'm riding to Oxford on the Friday for a 200km ride on the Saturday and then riding home again after. Must be the silly season!!

Hope you all have a good new year and year of pun***re free rides, see you out on the road soon.