Showing posts from October, 2012

Ride Stats: October

Not a bad month, with bang-on 900 miles on the clock. A fair few of them commuting miles now I'm back at University, and as a result the average speed has dropped off a bit.

Weight down a bit for the hill climb, although it didn't seem to do a whole lot of good if you read my race report from it.

Into the winter training rides now, so hoping for some good miles and some cold, crisp mornings.

'The Race' Poem

Riders form rank on the starting line, 
Heart beats jumping and thumping in time 
A silent veil covers the field of loud colour 
Nervous glances and nods exchanged amongst one another. 

The commissaire shouts. The flag goes up 
Commence battle of riders, the fight for the cup. 
Eyes flash behind dark glasses. Keep rivals near. 
Watch the pack for movement, breaks try to get clear. 

At the opportune moment you time your attack 
Too early you'll falter, too late get pulled back.
Stealthily move forward, a team-mate close by, 
You click down a gear, push hard, catch his eye. 

The radio crackles, "Open the taps!" 
Use every fibre in your body to establish a gap. 
Adrenaline flows, sweat beads on the brow 
This is your moment. Right here. Right now. 

After three long minutes you chance a look back, 
You've opened two hundred yards on the bulk of the pack.
One rider in tow, you're not fully alone
Time to calm down now, get in the zone.

Like comrades you toil for twenty hard miles
Working …

Race Report: BUCS Hill Climb 2012...Confused

Perplexed, annoyed and relieved. Those three words seem rather juxtaposed, but that’s kind of how I felt about my result from Saturday’s BUCS hill climb championship at Curbar Gap.
I came in with a time of 06:28, which was 21 seconds slower than last year, and a long way off the pace of the best riders, who were clocking in times around the 05:50 mark.

I say perplexed and annoyed because I’m not really sure what went wrong. I’ve had a strong season and have been going reasonably well on the hills if the CRC Mountain Bike Marathon and the Seven Hills Killer was anything to gauge it by. Rather than being overly disappointed with my result, it was more a case of confusion, much the same as when you get a piece of coursework back that you think was good, and then it turned out to be a C grade.
So I tried to pin it down on the long drive back from the Peak District. It could have been expectation; last year it was such an unknown of how I would do, and as a result there was no pressure …

Weekend Watch: Best Of The Tour de France 2012


Review: Geax Roadster Tyres

When I built up my latest commuter bike I opted for slick tyres, tired of the lost energy and noise from using mountain bike tyres on the road.

I chose the 26 x 1.5 Geax Roadster set, which come in at a very reasonable price of around £14 a tyre. Having used them for a few months and several hundred miles, I continue to be impressed by them, from a multitude of perspectives:

Durability: I clock in around 95 miles a week of commuting when I'm at Uni, and a similar amount when I was working during the summer. These tyres have been on the bike since July, probably racking up a total of around 850 miles to date. Yet they show nothing of it! The centre seam on the front tyre is still proud of the tread from when it was moulded, and on the back tyre, despite being burdened with heavy panniers every day, the wear is negligible. That's a pretty impressive performance by any ranking, and I can see that these tyres are going to last a good few years of abuse.

Puncture Protection: One of …

Review: The New 'Cyclist' Magazine

I picked up the launch copy of the new 'Cyclist' magazine last week, and haven't been able to put it down since. It's something a bit special, that's for sure.

With the matt finish cover featuring a stunning picture of the Swiss Alps, the magazine oozes class at a glance. Open it up and that impression permeates throughout; The 'Leadout' kit review section looks at the top of the range Trek Madone 2013, as well as £200 + Sportful jackets and Rapha Winter jerseys. It's clear from the outset then which end of the market this mag is aimed at (if the £5 price tag was not enough!).

That's not to say that there is not something for everyone in this coffee table journal. The pieces that really caught my eye were those looking at the history of our sport. Avid cyclists can't help but wonder and marvel at the intricate past of the two wheeled world; I myself am currently reading Chris Sidwell's fantastic 'A Race For Madmen', which is an in-d…

Ride Stats: September

Not a bad month, not a huge amount of hours or miles compared to July or August, but that is partly down to weather, a few indoor sessions and a fair bit of my riding last month being made up of XC riding; which I typically do less mileage on.
Back to Uni now, so it will be all road riding for the next ten weeks, a bit of hill climb specific training until the end of this month; but otherwise the start of the long winter base mile rides.