Archives for posts with tag: Tachyon

Wow, it’s been ages since I wrote to you all, that’s crap, I’m sorry.

It’s been a hectic couple of weeks, and I didn’t ride the bike between 19th August and 1st September, leaving my August stats at about the same point they were when I last updated you.

 

128 miles in a month from an almost standing start isn’t bad, but given that the vast majority were earned in 13 days, it does feel like a low total for a whole month.  The break in cycling was caused by a work trip to Los Angeles and San Francisco for five days (made bearable by a free upgrade to British Airways First Class), then a weekend away with the family (and jet lag) followed by another couple of days out of the country in Europe, then my wife had to go to Switzerland for a couple of days, leaving me holding the baby! Sheer exhaustion was a major factor and by the end of August I was feeling tired and grumpy, and stagnant.

September hit hard and I was itching to take the first available opportunity to get out. Saturday 1st September greeted me with glorious sunshine streaming in through the bedroom window.

It took me 25 minutes to find all my kit, bottles, little white socks etc, but soon I was ready. I set out on the shortish 6 mile loop I’ve done a few times now, but it only took 25 mins or so, and I was in a zone where I was really enjoying the ride, and not suffering a great deal, so I decided to turn right, instead of left, and add on the Hever Castle loop I’ve done previously.

Mindful of my recent bonking incident I’d purchased some HIGH5 energy gel plus‘s, and necked one in Hever Castle’s car park, rather than waiting until a point where I’d run out of energy.  The gel was VILE, quite simply horrible stuff (not at all like the Vanilla Bean Gu I’d been able to try recently, which was delicious), I really can’t describe how nasty these things are. I will not be buying them again and will stump up for the Gu shots. YMMV. That said, they’re effective and I’ve taken a few now, and avoided gagging for the most part.

The route was lovely, mottled shadows from the trees, and nice rolling hills. yes, nice hills. I’ve completely revamped my riding style recently, and am making sure that I am riding well within myself, including changing down to the granny ring before starting an ascent, rather than when I ‘run out of knees’. I’m finding this hugely sustainable and my average speed hasn’t dropped one little bit!

I was home in 1 hour, 10 mins, and cycled a total of 16 miles, another target bites the dust! The garmin, with heart rate monitor shows me using just over 1,110 calories for the ride as well, which I’m rather pleased with.

 

If you click on the image it should take you through to the activity detail. I prefer this link as Strava only credits me with around 550 calories. Boo!  I think I’ll start to explore variations on this route, taking in Bough Beech reservoir at some point in the near future, despite the fact that it’s likely to be a solid wall of ‘up’ as it’s set against the infamous Toy’s Hill.

The Tachyon is long overdue for it’s 6 week service, and this is beginning to show. My front brake is really only for show at the moment, and the front deraileur is rubbing a bit, but leaving the house at 6:45am and returning at 7:30pm is not conducive to cycle shop opening hours, along with too many weekends away. I may need to suck it up and drive all the way to the office with the bike in the back in order to take it to a LBS which in reality isn’t all that close to anywhere useful to me.

No weight update as I’ve still yet to shift any. As a result I have pledged to cut my wine intake significantly, as I really don’t need to drink as much as I find myself doing out of habit of an evening.

It’s been a positive weekend from a cycling perspective, and I’ve now crossed a significant number of goals off of my list already!

We went to visit my wife’s parents in Dorset, and I took my bike down to experience the countryside down there, it’s stunning!

I came to a manned level crossing in East Stoke towards the end of the ride, and the attendant opened the gates to let me through along with a car behind me. Naturally this was the point I had my first SPD related wobble, managed to get my foot out just in time and keep it upright, but I very nearly tumbled on the mainline Waterloo to Penzance!  The ride itself was stunning, starting with a gradual 4.5 mile ascent before heading South past Bovington tank training centre and Monkey World and the following National Cycle Route 2 from Wool towards Wareham – the use of NCR 2 wasn’t intentional, in fact I didn’t even know it went so close to Wareham.  The route was pleasant, and the long uphill drag at the beginning was a challenge, my speed dropped to walking pace on more than one occasion  however after 11 miles I felt positive and not too burned out.

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On Sunday I wanted to get out again, this time following NCR2 until I got bored and wanted breakfast, however as I was about to walk out of the door the heavens opened and I had a mild change of heart. We had breakfast and headed back towards home. I have been badgering my wife to join me on the bike for a family bimble for some time now, and we stopped off at Halfords for her to see what sort of bikes are out there. To cut a long story short we are picking her new bike (with basket on the front and baby seat on the back!) on Friday. She settled on one of these:

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I know Halfords can get a bad wrap regarding Bike Shaped Objects, however this is a solid bike, at a reasonable price and is perfect for the sort of riding my wife will do! The one downside is that most child seats aren’t compatible, so we had to go for a Topeak solution with a rear rack fitting.

When we got home the weather was glorious and once we’d unpacked the car I headed out around the local countryside, making a point of going places I’d never visited since we moved in last year, a little over 6 miles for this one.

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Finally today. I fulfilled one of my primary goals which was to cycle to work. We used to live in Dulwich, about 5 miles from the office, so very early this morning I loaded the Tachyon into the back of the Land Rover and drove just over 22 miles to our old house, hopped on the bike and cycled to work! No dramas, though being back in the rush hour traffic on a pushbike instead of a motorcycle was enlivening! I’ve not been overtaken on a commute for nearly a year!

I arrived at the office after taking around 30 mins to cover the distance, pleased with myself and early enough for a shower.

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Overall I’m feeling pretty pleased with myself at the moment, however the ride back to the car tonight is all, baring two short descents, uphill. So I expect a little pain on the return leg. Watch this space!

I’ve been a bit nervous about the two sky rides I’ve signed up to, one Edenbridge to Hever loop of about 11 miles, and another a 30 mile route around Sevenoaks, including up and down the Weald once or twice. I got off the turbo last night determined to get some road miles in after work tonight. So, when I got in I quickly swapped the 600cc Bandit for the Tachyon, and one helmet for another and hit the country lanes. And I didn’t do too badly…

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I stopped twice to catch my breath, for just over a minute the first time, and for a couple of minutes the second time as I decided to take my inaugural Bike/Signpost picture at a pretty duckpond, about 6 miles into the ride, with 3 left.

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Feeling rather pleased with myself after all that, small steps I know!

I also ordered some ‘aspirational’ cycling kit, starting with the Team GB Bibshorts. I haven’t mentioned them to the boss-lady… They weren’t exceptional value let’s say.

Well, I turned 32 over the weekend with very little in the way of progress in either cycling or weight loss.

I put the trainer away in advance of going to Manila as it was one less thing to tidy before our big housewarming/birthday BBQ on Saturday. As a result it’s been nearly two weeks since I was on the turbo. This will be set up again this evening as my wife has a late hair appointment and I’m on duty in case the boychild wakes.

When I traveled to Manila I packed my cycling gear as my hotel had a fully functioning health suite that I was intending to use, but time differences, jet lag and over-running meetings put paid to that idea; and I let myself down when it came to making use of the Etihad business class hospitality, I couldn’t say no to the Champagne and food on board or in the lounges. 

With this and our BBQ It is pure luck that I have not put any weight on since the start of this blog, I remain 139kg.

Last night I hit the road and did a confidence building 4 miles on the Tachyon (it needs a catchier name, don’t you think?). All the work on the trainer does seem to have paid off and my recovery time from over 180bpm and completely breathless to “normal” was just a couple of minutes. When I first got on a bike last year it was nearly 40 mins!

I’m going to nominate this little route as my short course for riding when I don’t have time for any more.

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Overall, my total stats for July look like this:

Turbo Trainer time: 3:20 hours

Road miles: 5.59

Road time: 26:52 minutes

Weight: No loss/Gain

I have signed up for two Sky rides between now and 2nd September, one of 8 miles soon and one of 30 miles on 2nd September, completing the longer one is my next goal!