Sunday, 26 February 2012

Well Deserved People.

This weekend saw the 5th Trafford Community Leisure Trust Awards evening.  The event is held once a year to reward the staff in the company for their excellent work throughout the year via a voting system, which is completed in December.  What I like most about the evening is that I get to see people from other centres and catch up with them.  It’s really nice to have a drink and a chat about what’s going on where and with whom (gossiping).  The other great thing of course is people receiving awards that have been voted for by their peers and the public.  Afterwards a large group of us took over Mambo’s in Urmston and danced and drank until the early hours of the morning.  It was another great night with friends.

On to the fitness.  This week I’m really beginning to notice the loss of weight.  I need another set of holes in the belt (or buy a new belt…) and old clothes are starting to fit again (not that they where ever in fashion).  This is down to the miles on the bike.  The journey is routine now and because the lighter nights are creeping in it’s about time I started adding to the routes on the way home.  The temperature has also been a bit out of sync with the time of year a balmy 14 degrees on Thursday was much appreciated.  Spinning with Swim Trafford was really good on Thursday night although with a strong headwind on Friday morning I really did struggle to make a decent pace as my legs where heavy.  I know this is a feeling I am going to have to get used to in Ireland though so it is good preparation for that!  I have also this week treated myself to a Garmin Edge 500 cycling computer.  The amount of data I am getting from it is staggering and really helpful.  It comes with a heart rate monitor and cadence measuring abilities which is helping me to define the ranges in my training really easily.  The bike has also been in to Evans on Deansgate for a service and some new brakes.  There where some interesting noises coming from the crank and front forks, which have also been ironed out!  Ted was also showing me the new Pinnacle bikes they have which look like amazing value for money.  As always a brilliant service from the team down there!

On the fundraising front it has again been a very productive week.  Along with the charity football match in April there has now been a charity spinning masterclass session sorted for Saturday May 5th.  I’m really looking forward to it and more information to follow on that.  Also it looks like Marvin who works for TUfC has got me a slot on Peace FM (90.1) for a week on Thursday to promote the ride, which if it comes off will be amazing.  Finally a big thank you to Katy Wood who got a piece in the Hull Daily mail for me on Saturday last week.  You can have a read here  Hull Daily Mail

This week we have raised £85 as I write, which moves the total forward to £646.50.  I am getting nervous that with just over a month to go it looks like I will hit the £750 raised to trigger the Tiger suit ride to Partington… watch this space!

As always you can donate to or see Kelly Strickland at Stretford, Vicky Connor or Andy Dowson at Sale or myself to make a donation in person.  Lots of you have pledged to donate please follow this up!!

Have a great week and make it First Class!

Monday, 20 February 2012

Happy Monday Everyone...

Ok sorry I’m a day late for avid readers and groupies (Simon Blair) but I was working all weekend and didn’t have time to put something together.   This week has been a blur it has gone that fast I am sat here trying to put my memory together so I can write something meaningful!

The rides to work have been getting easier and this weekend saw the first glimpses of daylight both in the morning and the evening which has really lifted me.  I don’t mind cycling in the dark but it is really nice to have the morning sun on your face and it’s a little warmer to.  The leg warmers are coming to the end of their seasonal usage and I will be back to just shorts soon.  I have tried a new route this week, which is definitely quicker time wise so if needed I can use that route.  It goes up through Carrington then through Sale onto Washway Road then straight back into the City.  I did have a mixed bag with the motorists on the journey back.  On the lanes outside Partington a car gave way to me and was very polite, which was very much appreciated.  Then heading into Stretford the other side some Vauxhall driving tool decided to beep at me even though I had signalled and looked for about 30 seconds and was sure he had seen me, again fluorescent clothes, lights etc.  Turns out he hadn’t seen my 3 ft arm signalling for 30secs and he used his horn.  I in turn returned the two finger salute and we had an argument at the lights when I caught up to him.  He then swerved as we left the lights as if to knock me off and if my feet hadn’t been clipped in his car would have got an imprint of my size 11.

Training wise this week where the usual Wattbike sessions.  This week however we went a little longer and did 50km in one session.  It wasn’t flat either we were trying to simulate some rolling countryside using the fan levels and the climbing mechanism.  We also threw in a couple of big climbs just for the hell of it.  The result of this was three pretty tired guys!  I have been neglecting my gym work and I think I need to get back onto this and do some core work.  This will help me keep the correct position on the bike something I need to work on.  You can see what I am talking about at my good friend Richards Salisbury’s new website for Pedal Precision  The video link is . The video is very good from a beginners standpoint but i think that a visit to see Richard is key to becoming a none achey niggling injury cyclist.  Details of how to book are on his website also.  The weight is dropping off so fast it’s not funny.  I see a point coming up where I will have to spend money on and actually go shopping for new clothes…I HATE SHOPPING!!

On the fundraising front this week again has been really great.  Karls Barber Shop on Princess Street in Manchester has been kind enough to host one of my collection tins and it’s going really well there.  The fund raising from all of you kind people is going great guns to.  I have raised over a third of the target needed, which is really awesome.  Thank you all so much.  If you’re still looking to pledge or are just reading this then you can go to  anything you can spare will be awesome! 

This week saw £89.50 raised taking the total collected to £561.50

Have a superb week, smile at people and be helpful, Karma will reward you!

Sunday, 12 February 2012

My Neck My Back

As I write this at 07:00 on a Sunday morning I am slightly sleep deprived.  I have been on the sofa for three straight nights as my little girl is ill and this has left me with some dull aches in my knee and hip.  The lack of sleep is also telling to I feel as if the world is passing me by in a bit of a hazy state.  This morning comes off the back off another good Wattbiking session last night.  Working still on 30km in around 47 minutes.  We have been concentrating on keep the RPM’s at 90 and also throwing in two sets of 5 minute hard climbs on the maximum hill and fan settings.  It is the third session of the week as I completed one on Monday evening and another on Wednesday night with Mark.  These sessions are standing us in good stead for when the weather picks up and we can venture out on the road.  We will be doing another on Wednesday evening this week and I think we will go out to an hour and a half with some rolling levels to try and simulate the Ireland ride a little.  Also this week I have commuted to Partington and on Thursday I have to say I seriously considered buying a wetsuit after arriving there bedraggled, cold and very very wet.  It wasn’t so much the rain as I had anticipated it and had full waterproofs and a number of layers on, it was the cold.  At one point I did think that my big toes had frozen despite having compression socks and normal socks on.  I had forgotten my overshoes however so this contributed greatly to my feet being drenched a schoolboy error and a feeling that is probably my least favourite thing about cycling.  The weather has been a lot colder this week but in all honesty it hasn’t really troubled me from a temperature point of view.  The only issue really is all of the salt and general crap on the roads for this time of year.  There always seems to be a lot of ‘rubble’ around for some reason during the Winter months.

All in all I have covered some 94 miles this week in one form or another and at this stage of preparation for the Ireland ride I am happy.  It will just be a question of steadily escalating this over the coming weeks and months to hit the 600miles in 8 days test run mid May.

On the fundraising front it has been another very good week for me.  This week people have donated another £83 to take the running total to £470 after seven weeks.  Thanks to everyone who has donated so far it is very much appreciated.  I also have a list of around thirty people who have said they will donate something so please if you have pledged get your donations in!  I will be chasing and mithering people have no fear!   

I have had an interesting time trying to get a back pack sorted out at the local ASDA to raise funds.  After receiving a really nice call from their customer support wishing me luck and giving me the information I needed to get in contact with the ‘Events Coordinator’ at Hulme ASDA I went ahead and called them.  I was told that I would have to write a letter and that we couldn’t arrange via phone or email, even though I was speaking to her on the phone.  After checking that my PC was still at the desk and I hadn’t in fact time travelled back to the 1950’s I wrote my letter and posted it off to the lady at ASDA.  Maybe she just likes to receive post *shrug*.

I am going to sign off for another week there.  Hope you all have a productive one!

Sunday, 5 February 2012

Snow is not good for road bikes

This week was a massive week fundraising wise.  I would just like to thank everyone who has donated so far and who have pledged to donate.  I know I have been meithering people on all fronts but the faster I can get the sponsorship raised the easier I will feel going forward.  I have to say though this week has been immense raising the highest weekly total yet of £138.50 so thank you all.  I am not sure if it is just me meithering or the deal that I have set out this week, which was if by the 31st March I have raised £750 I will cycle to work in my Tiger all in one.  This still stands by the way!  

 So far I have raised £365 of the £1500 so again thank you all!

The training has not held up this week as I have been ill with some sort of sickness and tummy upset 48 hour bug that left me weak as a kitten but a strong Wattbike session yesterday with Mark O’Reilly of 50km with a couple of big climbs has bucked my spirits up.  We also managed to get in today and do 30km plus a cardio set in the gym.  The weather has not been the best for cycling this weekend so we have been firmly entrenched in the spinning room.  I am hoping that the weather will clear up so I can get back on the bike and out and about.  It will also allow me to continue the commute to work.  As the lighter nights are setting in and there is a bit of time after work for me to get out from Partington I will be going long on the way home.

A short one this week then onward to next week!  Have a good one!