Sunday, 29 January 2012

Victor Meldrew Eat Your Heart Out

Hi all.

This week has been very productive on the mileage front.  Cycled 120 miles in total and also did a spinning session with Swim Trafford.  It was one of the harder sessions we have done and I overran by 10 minutes.  The kids always put maximum effort in and it really inspires me to push myself further.  It’s always nice to suffer a bit on the spinning bikes!

I had my first morning puncture this week and it caused me some problems in that I couldn’t get the damned thing off for 30minutes.  It took me in total about 45 minutes to get it completely sorted again and it’s a good job I had set off earlier then normal as I just made it to work in time.  I always seem to have problems with the Continental Gatorskins I use on the front wheels.  In that they are really difficult to get over the rim.  The armadillo tyres I run on the back wheels are really easy to change (frantically touching wood here).  This time of year the roads are always in a terrible condition due to the cold weather and the rain pushing everything into the cycle lanes.  It is probably the biggest gripe of mine that most drivers accuse cyclists of swerving and yet the part of the road we cycle on is probably the worst part to be on due to all the holes, drains and rubbish.  Whilst I am whinging I want to talk about another issue, which is the age old battle of traffic vs cyclists.  Now I am well aware there are some terrible cyclists out there running red lights, not signalling etc but I have to say there are just as many if not more inconsiderate drivers about.  The main thing though is ‘professional’ drivers such as bus drivers and taxi cars who seem to have cycling blind spots.  This week I have nearly been crushed into a paving kurb and squeezed into a bus shelter.  More cyclist awareness courses or another solution.  The dark nights and generally crappy weather probably do not make it easy for everyone but still I have flashing lights a luminous yellow jacket and luminous orange bag cover on if I was much more luminous I may start attracting planes.

The charity fundraising is going great guns.  On April 7th there will be a Charity Grudge…I mean Football match between Altrincham Leisure Centre and Sale Leisure Centre.  The game will be held at Partington Sports Village with a 13:30 kick off.  There will be a 50p spectator fee and a £5 player charge.  Mr Dave Williams Manager of PSV has kindly donated the pitch time so thanks must go to him.  I will be making a special guest appearance for Sale. 

So far I have managed to raise £220 of the £1500 I need and I have some ideas for more charity events including a couple of spin classes and a charity evening at a local pub.  More details to follow.  I still need you people to support me please  even a £1 of your cash would be well appreciated.  On a night out just forgo your first pint and donate that to the cause!!

Finally I would like to say a massive congratulations to Chloe Waddell of Swim Trafford who this weekend achieved her British Champs qualifying time.  This is a mighty achievement and rewards for all those early mornings and hard training session she has put in.  I have to say massive respect to James Stannard and Keith of Swim Trafford for their most excellent coaching and of course Chloe’s parents who sacrifice a lot for her to swim.  Really motivating stuff keep it up!

Guys thanks for reading and supporting me!  Until next week!

Sunday, 22 January 2012

The fundraising begins!

Hi all,

This week saw the fundraising for the Ireland Charity Ride step up a gear.  Some collection tins have been set up in different business’s.  So a thank you to St Ann’s Club Stretford and Karl’s Barber shop in Manchester for allowing me to place collection tins there.  Kelly Strickland is my fundraiser at Stretford so if you feel like donating please feel free to speak to her and she will be able to help you.  I would like to say a big thank you to a good friend of mine Mark Carolan who has donated £100 through his company.  It was a very welcome boost.  I am still looking for sponsorship and a couple of places to put collection tins if anyone is willing to help out with this please let me know.

You can donate online here unfortunately there is no texting number but you can use Paypal to make a donation here.

To everyone who has donated so far a massive THANK YOU!!

The training began well at the start of the week.  Both Monday and Tuesday saw me winding my way through Urmston and Partington to rack up 40miles in two days in an average of 40 minutes per 10.4 mile leg.  I was quite happy with this as it’s the first longer rides I have done since September.  The weather was nice both days apart from being a little frosty on the night legs.  The rest of the week has been typical Manchester weather in that it has been windy and raining a lot so I have skipped the bike for the last few days.  This has meant copping for a lot of abuse from some people but in my defence I have to be able to work in a decent frame of mind after the commute and don’t want to get pneumonia so that will be the way of things until it warms up a bit and its lighter mornings.

Wracked up a really decent Wattbike session with Mark O’Reilly this morning (Sunday) we did 30km in 50mins with a few climbs in there for good measure.  It’s obviously a lot easier then been on a hill but any form of toughness should prepare me well.

I know I have been harping on about the sponsoring and you are probably thinking it’s in June geees!  I have to raise £1500 to be able to take part and want to pass that as soon as I possibly can.  So if you can donate even a £1 that would be amazing!

Have a great week!!

Sunday, 15 January 2012


Hey tweeps, fbers, groupies, followers,

I have now officially signed up for the Ireland Charity Ride.  600 miles in 8 days in June!  Really looking forward to it and now have something to really focus hard on!  The ride will be a massive challenge and I am really looking forward to it.  I have to raise £1500 for the charities involved, which is a big ask but I think I can do it.  The ride itself is in aid of the Manchester United Foundation and Irish Autism Action.  The Manchester United Foundation is an umbrella charity and supports many great causes.  The information for the ride is here Big Red Bike Ride  Already have some plans in place and am positive that it is doable at least.  If you want to sponsor me you can see me in person or go to DONATE  If you can donate even a couple of pounds that would be great every bit helps!

I have had a good week in terms of the exercise.  I hit the gym early on in the week and had a really productive high intensity session with some weights and core work.  Then I got on the bike for a couple of hours on Saturday and started to blow some of the winter cobwebs away.  It was a hard trawl and I need to start getting some miles in the legs so I can complete the 8 days!  If anyone is out then please let me know and I will try and join you.  Drop me a line on Facebook or here and we can arrange something.

On a personal note just like to say a big thanks to everyone at Stretford Leisure Centre for their friendship and hard work over the last couple of years.  I am sure I will still see many of you.  I would like to single out James’s J and S, Kelly, Emma G, Debbie and Mike as particularly keys to me enjoying my time there without them it would have been a lot more mundane.  Colleagues are what makes or breaks a job at the end of the day to be honest and there are many good ones at Stretford.  Had a great leaving do on Saturday night.  Danced the night away and had a few beers also!  Thanks to everyone who came and I’m sure we will have a few more over the next year!  First day at Partington on Monday and I am looking forward to it.  The team down there is small but there are some great people sure I will fit in ok and be able to take my skills there to help out.  Will also help getting the miles in 24miles commute a day is nothing to be sniffed at!  That is a base mileage of (uses fingers) 120miles per week straight off.  That is if I go A to B but I reckon I will be going A-B via C a lot so looking forward to that.  New Year New Challenge.

Have a great week people!

Sunday, 8 January 2012

Emerald Isle

Hi all, Happy New Year and I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas!  Again I skipped a week as there wasn’t much happening apart from feasting, drinking and lethargy.   Not a great combination when you are trying to get fit in all honesty but it was time well spent with family and friends.  To be honest it wasn’t all bad.  Managed to catch up with an old friend Mr Wingfield on a couple of long walks, which I am missing now I am back in Manchester.  It was good to see him for two reasons firstly it is always good to see and have a chat with old friends and secondly because he has undergone a lifestyle change and achieved really amazing results and lost a lot of weight.  He looks in great shape and I have to say reignited my inspiration to get back into the gym and onto the fitness again. 

In breaking news I am pleased to say the Blackpool three are back together.  Mark, Lee and me will be going to Ireland in June to cycle for charity.  The distance is 592 miles over eight days, which is a slight change from the original time frame of six days but will none the less be challenging and a great target to aim for.  Keep your eyes peeled for our Justgiving page as we have to raise a combined £4500 to actually get to the stage of being able to go and cycle the thing.  My thoughts are that I will do a video blog over the eight days and try and write something each day then if possible post each day I am there if not I will upload a segment each day.

This week has been good, back on the bike commuting in the gym.  The commuting has involved some serious interval training, which was instigated by the high winds and gusts we have been having this last week.  For a couple of days i actually thought at some points i was going to have to get off and walk the headwinds where that bad but i managed to stay the course and managed to ride it out.  I had an experience on Wednesday evening, which left me a bit awestruck in that i was well on the way home with a strong tail wind doing most of the work when a heavy gust knocked me flying off the bike and onto the grass near the kerb.  It must have been funny to anyone who saw it but it did hurt my arm quite a bit!  I am pleased to say that i have regained my pre December intensity in the gym.  Back at optimal revs and putting the effort in.  Not sure why it dropped off so badly but i have started taking some vitamins and drinking more water and this seems to have helped a lot.  I think I was also suffering with some sort of virus as i had a lot of what can only be described as ‘stuff on my chest’.  Not had the best of Decembers mentally with lots going on at work with my move to a new centre effecting stress levels but I think I am over this now although there are still some issues to resolve. 

I am again playing online games and have two on the go at the moment World of Warcraft and the new Star Wars game.  I am trying to keep played time to a minimum but I have to be honest and say that the recent weather is putting me off even wanting to leave the flat it has been that bad.  The other reason is the social aspect.  I have some long time friends who I don’t keep in touch with if not playing, which is bad I know but unfortunately the way of things at the moment.  It is however something i need to watch though and I just cannot wait to be able to get out on the bike and put some meaningful miles in the legs again.  I swear this year is going to be a massive improvement on last year’s efforts.

Have a great week and my hopes are that everyone has a superb 2012 and that the world doesn’t end!!