Sunday, 28 August 2011

Press the lever...oh!


Hey all,

Bit of a cryptic title this week and here is the reason why.  I went for a trip to Marple with Rich S (www.pedalprecision.com) to have a bash at some of the hills around there.  Nice ride out there even though it was raining and Andy from Evans Cycles joined us for the ride a few miles in.  We reached our first hill, which was a dip so I could gather speed going down and be half way up the other side before needing to put any serious effort in.  Needless to say wrong gear lots of effort after half way and blew the legs completely for a while.  So further in we come to a steep climb not sure what % it was but there I am battling up it thinking I am so unfit this is super hard I don’t seem to be getting any better at climbing.  Rich is alongside me I say Rich I can’t get up here it’s to hard.  Rich looks at my gears and says you are still on your biggest ring (the hard gears for people like me who are nabs on a bike) so I’m like ok ermm how do I change this?  So up until now my right hand gears didn’t seem to be working to well.  It didn’t work when I pressed it.  Rich stopped with me tinkered and all of a sudden lighter gears.  Turns out for the last 5 months I have been climbing hills on my big chain ring… good training you may say what a complete noob I say lol.  So hopefully over the next few weeks and months the climbing will become easier as I learn to use the 14 or so gears I haven’t been using…  It is a massive boost psychologically to.  I was thinking I was terribly unfit and the worst climber in the world now I reckon I will be pretty much ok!

It’s the Manchester 100mile next week so looking forward to that.  It may be a lonely trip as Mark and Lee have other commitments and Rich said he may be interested but is checking his diary!

Leisure Cycling:          109.27km

So on the food front I haven’t really managed to stick to the meat twice a week this week.  I think its going to take some getting used to.  I keep forgetting ham sandwiches etc at lunchtime class as meat lol.  It as been a better week food wise again.  Really trying to focus hard on not eating crap and keeping in shape.  The two bigger rides are helping every week.  It is coming to a point where I will have to get a turbo (indoor cycling machine) and do some stuff on the wattbikes at work due to the crappy English weather.

I also started physio (http://www.mhcpt.co.uk/)  with Marek on my shoulder this week.  Had a hard session on Friday when Marek was trying to get to the cause of the problem.  Seems my right shoulder rotator cuff is quite bruised and there is other bruising at the back of the shoulder.  Marek did a great job and will be back to see him on Wednesday.


Hope you are all well and have a great week!

Sunday, 21 August 2011

Socialising Crossland…that’s a new one!


So this week has seen a return to normality exercise and physique wise from Wednesday onwards.  My face has healed up nicely although my shoulder is still giving me a rather large amount of pain.  I have been out on two bigger rides this week as well as the commuting stuff but I am going to need to crank up the mileage so that the Manchester 100mile in 2 weeks is not so difficult.  To be honest I think it will be more of a mental battle then a physical one!

Lindsey and I have discussed going onto a more vegetarian diet this week.  Bascially cutting down on the meat we consume.  One because its expensive and two we tend to eat a lot of mince and chicken probably every night of the week in some guise.  So twice a week for meat and the rest vegetarian meals.  I am going to do some recipe research but if any of you have any recipe ideas/favourites please let me know via one channel or another!!

Couple of things have made me jealous this week in that Ted has gone to America for three weeks and Rich (www.pedalprecision.com)  has been to Belgium cycling with some pro cyclists for a few days.  Next year I’m hoping that we can put some sort of schedule together for some challenges and just generally nice cycling abroad or in the UK.  Banding about the idea of Lands End to John o Groats, Coast to Coast and a few others.  I will definitely keep you all updated!

Socially this week I went to Andy Carroll and Claire Butts wedding.  Andy had asked me to do the photography for them as it is a bit of a hobby so I was quite nervous.   They had a lovely service and the after venue was really nice to.  The weather was a bit pants but managed to get a lot of nice photos of them and their families so I hope they will be happy with them.  I reckon after I have shown them the pictures I may do a special blog with a few of the pictures on here so keep your eyes peeled!

I also went to see the mighty Tigers at Elland Road playing Leeds United with my good friend Andy Dowson.  After paying £8 for a cod and chips, don’t ask I’m still trying to get my head round it, we arrived at Elland Road.  I was having to be clandestine as I was a Hull fan in the Leeds end of the ground.  It was not the best of nights for me with Hull losing 4-1 and having to stand and golf clap all the Leeds goals so I didn’t get beaten up.  Obviously Andy had a good night!

So exercise totals;

Cycling Commuting;  22.6km 
‘Leisure’ Cycling;       79.29km
1 x Gym Session;         30 minutes cardio (Crosstraining and rowing)
                                    Various weights
                                   
This coming week I am on annual leave so hopefully weather permitting I will be able to get out on the bike and also get three gym sessions in!

Have a great week all and take it easy!

Saturday, 13 August 2011

Face Roll


Hey folks,

Firstly I would like to thank everyone for their kind words and texts after my spill on Wednesday.  I’d also like to thank the more humorous of you for the light hearted comments they made me smile to (I will wait for revenge of some nature).  I know they won’t see this probably but a big thanks to the Police and the Paramedics (especially the one that got my cycling cleats in his bollocks) for looking after me so well.

So this week as you can guess hasn’t been a remarkable one for exercise for me.  I went to the gym once and did around 30km on the bike commuting.  I missed the final ride with Ted and crew before his USA trip (Enjoy if you’re reading Ted).  I am going to try and get out a bit whilst Ted is away so if anyone wants to join me give me a shout!

Food wise thankfully I am not stuffing my face as my lip is swollen and my face generally hurts when I eat so I’m not eating as much as usual.  I’m thinking of starting a diet company whereby I come round each week and scrape your face on tarmac a good way to lose weight.  If anyone fancies it let me know :-)

I’ll give a brief overview of what happened to me as a few of you I haven’t seen yet.  I was cycling along Talbot Road coming up to the intersection where traffic comes from White City major junction.  I was in the cycle lane minding my own business, checking the lights and checking the road to see if I needed to stop.  Going quite slowly luckily.  The cars at the lights where parked right up to the cycle box.  I looked down as I was taking my cleat out of the pedals and a drain that was in the cycle lane, with a big gap in the side nearest the traffic it got the front wheel like a back rack and threw me over the handlebars.  My face then stopped me on the floor luckily!


     

The glasses have done me a proper service and stopped my eye and that area from contacting with the road.  You can see the impact area on the glasses and if I hadn’t had them on would have done some damage to my eye.  My helmet didn’t take any damage as i used my face to stop myself.  Next thing I remember is the police and then the paramedic car driving up.  Being on the spine board was fun especially as my mouth was bleeding and the trip down the path to the parked ambulance was very very bumpy (Maybe something the Ambulance service need to look at for real spinal injuries).







That is my story.  I am not sure yet but I am thinking about suing the council or at least writing a strong letter to them.  That is because of the drain in the road.  It seems dangerous to me to have a drain with a huge gap in the side of it which has shown it can trap a cycle wheel especially with so many bikes going down that road.  I’d just like to make a point to them that it is dangerous and that the cycle paths on my route to work are particularly bad.  I may even do a short video to send them of the route.



Anyways folks I’m not going to list my exercise as it is meaningless due to the accident.  Have a safe week and let’s hope there is no more rioting!

Wednesday, 10 August 2011

This is a political broadcast....

This is not a political blog and isn’t meant for that purpose but I am feeling emotional at the moment so I am going to comment on the events which have being going on this week to try and get it off my chest and my head around what is going on.  It might be a little long so apologies.

So this week saw the riots kicking off in a lot of the major cities in England (Not Scotland or Wales).  The first in London started after a man was shot by the police, into which the investigation is ongoing.  A peaceful protest seems to have been hijacked by a group of thugs and it has gone on from there.  The initial meaning of the protest has gone swiftly onto the backburner as people have jumped on the bandwagon and gone on rioting and looting sprees for no other reason then to get products.  The police response in London was particularly overwhelmed by the speed at which the riots took off and seemed to be randomised across a vast area of London to start with.  The political process took some time to initiate as key people where on holiday.  I am not suggesting however that these people should not be allowed a holiday however it took them 2-3 days to get back and begin to sort things out.

The pandemic rioting and looting then began to gather pace in other cities Birmingham, Liverpool and others on the 3rd night and there after.  I was hoping that the two cities I have lived in wouldn’t get involved Manchester and Hull but unfortunately Manchester found itself enveloped on Tuesday evening.  A lot of damage was caused but as yet the levels where not that of London and the police response thankfully has seemed coordinated and mostly efficient although damage has occurred.  I think the response of the Manchester police will have been something of a learnt lesson from the football riots the other year.

I am now going to express my personal views on what should have happened.  My impression (media driven) is that it is the younger generation who are instigating most of the trouble hiding behind the fact that they haven’t been given a chance in life or they are from a poor area and are ergo entitled to rise up and loot if they please from time to time.  My view is that these young people, and I see it often, lack any guidance or engendered morale code from people whose responsibility it is to teach them the rights and wrongs of society.  The parents.  I know there is a certain amount of peer pressure involved we have all come across it at points in our lives but most of the people I know have a basic sense of right and wrong and are appalled by the rioting and looting.  There are obviously cases where no matter how hard parents try there children go off and become bad apples occasionally.   So what can be done about this I hear people asking?  Its not an easy cure National Service, prison, community service are options I have heard banded about.  My personal belief is that the punishment is linked to the parents so little Jimmy riots,  Little Jimmy and his parents receive the same punishment that would shake some of the lazy parents into action.  I would also like to see these rioters doing a large chunk of community service in the communities they have ransacked in plain view to try and shame them (if that is possible). 

Of course that is a reactive view to the recent incidents.  There is a problem at Government level with the amount of investment in our young people.  It seems to have been this way for the last 30 years.  A number of avenues are being cut off due to a pricing out of the lower classes through raised tuition fees,  cuts to public service and a generally decrease in apprenticeships.  However I also think the attitude of young people is a key to this.  My parents worked hard and I had most things that I wanted when I was younger this gave me an attitude of fighting to make myself have a better life to be able to provide for my children.  I was taught morale’s at an early age, manners and if I was naughty I got a smack for it.  I look back and wouldn’t have it any other way I appreciate all my parents have done for me.  I think the lower class who we are blaming these riots on lack guidance from parents and fall into the wrong gangs etc which take away parental teaching and bring a gang power mentality.  It’s what we have seen the last week.  Somebody needs to take responsibility and ensure that parents and their children have at least a glimmer of being able to better themselves.  There needs to start to be a better sense of community and reigniting of this countries identity.  Make people proud of the places they live and at least able to take a step up the ladder.  This government must provide more opportunities for young people and stop being soft on benefit cheats, illegal immigrants and crap parents.  I understand that cuts are a necessity as the National Debt must be serviced but surely we shouldn’t be cutting down our younger generations before they can get started.

The last thing I want to say is I’m proud of all the emergency services and all of the people who stood up to the gangs and made them leave their streets.  I’m proud of the volunteers today who are cleaning up their streets and helping their neighbours.  I am proud to be English because of these people I just desperately want to see this country of ours rise up and become a better place.  Sure it may take a few years but it’s achievable if we all pull together.  We need to celebrate being English, help our neighbours and remember that everyone doesn’t hate us!

Sunday, 7 August 2011

East Yorkshire kicked my arse

Hey folks,

So had another very productive week on the exercise front.  Really starting to get a number of rides in each week of a couple of hours a piece.  Been out twice in Manchester and once this weekend back home in Hessle, East Yorkshire.  Lindsey fitted the bike rack we had bought to the mini, after Halfords had scratched her car and told her it wouldn’t fit.  Good old YouTube hay and well done Lindsey!!  We stopped three times on the way back to Hull down the M62 as we were not sure if the rack was ok or not.  Turns out it was fine but I suppose first trip jitters are normal (saying that I can see us being jittery every time we use it!) 

So the trips this week where two of the same out to Dunham Massey via Urmston and Carrington then back through Altrincham and Sale on the 2nd run.  Good trips one on my own with music (seem to cycle more aggressively with music on) and one with Rich from http://www.pedalprecision.com/Pedal_Precision/Home.html after a bike fit of the best quality!  My trip in Yorkshire wasn’t the best to be honest.  I started into the wind up a fairly steep hill which didn’t give my legs time to get warm then into the wind all the way to South Cave via Brough.  My climbing is still not great still far to much weight to carry and the power to weight ratio is not anywhere near peak for me.  Took a left down Beverley Road, South Cave and came to what must have been a 2 mile climb of about 11%.  About 70 yards from the top the legs had had it and the only thing I could do was either walk or about turn.  Very dejected and took a wound to the pride as a group of cyclists went past whilst I was literally gasping hanging over my handlebars defeated.  Anyways back through Brough and heading towards Swanland there is a hill just after Croxton and Gary quarry completely the wrong gear and dented motivation meant giving up and heading further out of the way to Willerby.  The next few weeks will mean climbing practice and more gym sessions I have to shift this weight to be able to climb better and also toughen the hell up mentally.  A few mental scars taken but with a vow that I will be beating the hills when I go back next time!

Food wise its been an ok week.  Had a pizza on Saturday night with me dad which didn’t help the ride on Sunday, and to be honest a McDonalds on the way back on Friday night at one of the stops piss poor couple of nights.  I am quite determined to cut out the takeaways and need to no doubt.  Today’s fail has given me more motivation to cut them out.  I really want to be in peak condition to take on any challenges that come my way next year and progress to be a very good all round cyclist.

Exercise:

Cycling Commuting;  35km 
‘Leisure’ Cycling;       134.96km
2 x Gym Session;         30 minutes cardio (Crosstraining and rowing)
                                    Various weights
                                    15minutes stretching

So my top tip for this week don’t get your ass kicked by Yorkshire! 

Have a good week and enjoy every minute!

Monday, 1 August 2011

A tribute to Amy Winehouse…


I lied..sorry scandalous I know but hey you’re reading now so why not continue on :-O.

So this week I am late again posting on a Monday it has been a very hectic week with work and play taking up lots of time!  So this week saw some really nice weather and the temperature has been up also so in true British style I am gonna have a whinge about that first.  To hot, can’t sleep, perspiring far too much feel like I’m going to melt lol.  Bring back the rain…erm no thanks.

So on to the most important thing the exercise.  I have been out a lot on the bike this week and you can see that reflected in the figures.  I’ve done nearly double what I normally do in a week.  I feel great for it but have developed a voracious appetite again.  This has meant a lot of food being consumed and if i'm honest sometimes not the best food i could eat.  Thursday was a blow out day had Chinese which was good as i hadn't had any takeaways for a while.  Just need to be careful not to slip back into old habits!  The longer rides are getting a little easier and also finding the climbing a little easier whether this is mental or physical I am unsure as yet but I’m sure I will find out this week.  Have to say a big thank you to the master planner and beast on a bike Ted Gordon for organising the routes and setting a tempo.  We also had some good fun dodging (not dogging!) cars on the way back from Altrincham during rush hour the other night!  Having some issues with my eczema but the steroid creams seem to have helped.  Lets hope the ICU (International Cycling Union) are not reading this :-D

I have canned the swimming until after the school holidays as the kids have taken over the pool and there isn’t really a point where I can swim some lengths with out fear of a small (although a lot I’ve noticed are well on their way to being obese) children bombing/jumping on me.  I will probably swim a bit more during the winter months but definitely going to pick it up in September again.

So the exercise totals;

Cycling Commuting;  51.97 km 
‘Leisure’ Cycling;       94.97 km
1 x Gym Session;         30 minutes cardio (Crosstraining and rowing)
Various weights
                                    15minutes stretching

Have set another couple of goals for next year.  There is talk of a few of us getting together and doing some cycling stuff coast to coast, lands end to john o’groats etc so we will have to see what happens.  I have to say I am very excited about the thought of doing some of the stuff I will keep you all posted!

Have a good week and Happy Yorkshire day (Monday)!!