Showing posts from December, 2012

2012 Stats - A Year In Review

2012 Totals
Total Hours Riding Time: 632Total Miles: 10,568Average Heart Rate: 144bpmAverage Speed (On-Road): 19mphAverage Cadence: 85rpmAverage Weight: 70.9kgs

Race Statistics
Total Races Completed: 15Criteriums: 9Road Races: 4Mountain Bike: 2Races Won: 4Podium Places: 6Races Finished in Top 10%: 9

Notable Statistics:
Best Finish: Seven Hills Killer Mtb Event:1st out of 171 startersLongest Ride: 130 Miles, 8.2hrs Riding Time (Isle of Wight to Exeter)Worst Conditions: Rapha Festive 500 (Floods, Rain and Gales)Highest Heart Rate: 196 bpm Cricklade Kermesse (2nd KOM)Best Riding Weekend: Mtb Marathon Weekend RuthinMost Punctures in One Ride: 3Total Number of Crashes: 2Worst Race Performance: BUCS Hill ClimbTotal Commuting Bike Hours: 49Most Expensive Purchase:Custom Built WheelsetBest Race Winnings: Mio Cyclo 305HC Computer

Ride Stats: December

The biggest month this year in terms of hours, and coincidently exactly the same mileage as July, tying it at the top in terms of the largest mileage.

Helped by the Rapha Festive 500 December has been a big month on the bike, which considering the conditions has been very satisfying. Rain and Wind, Floods and Landslides; there has been a fair few obstacles to getting the miles in, but I'm pleased to say the Christmas indulgences have been reasonably balanced by base mile training. Happy New Year!

The Rapha Festive 500

"Security does not exist in nature, nor do the children of men as a whole experience it. Avoiding danger is no safer in the long run than exposure. Life is either a daring adventure, or nothing.” 
Helen Keller, The Open Door

The Rapha Festive 500...500 Kilometres in the week from Christmas Eve to New Year's Eve. Challenge accepted.

I can't ride on the afternoon of the 28th through to the evening of the 30th. That means I've got five days (including Christmas Day) to ride 500kms.

This blog will follow my rides on the Isle of Wight for the 500 - Rain, Floods, Wind and Mud. I'll try and document each day with a photo, a short blog or poem. Good luck if you are partaking in the challenge too!

Ride 1 (24/12/2012) - 'Floods, Rain, Wind and Pain'
107.9 Km        1,091m Elevation Climbed        03:53:34 Moving Time        2,605 Calories        Strava: Link

Ride 2 (25/12/2012) - 'Festive Sunshine'
43.6 Km        407m Elevation Climbed        01:39:56 Moving Time…

Nutrition Review: MaxiFuel Bars, Gels, Drink & Shakes

Back when I used to row, MaxiMuscle supplements were what I always lusted after; although a bit out of my price range back then, my team-mates whole-heartedly advocated the use of ProGain, ProMax and Viper as a vital part of their training regime. I used to have to settle for MyProtein or Holland & Barrett, which I assure you don't really sit in the same league.

MaxiFuel had rather slipped my mind in terms of cycling nutrition though; I'm not sure why, I knew how well the stuff should work, but I have always been swayed by Science In Sport or High5. Last month though, I had the opportunity to try some of the MaxiFuel products, and I have to say I've been very impressed.

For the cyclist or triathlete out there, MaxiFuel do four principle products that will help your performance: ViperBoost Energy Bars, RecoverMax Protein Shakes, ViperActive Energy Gels and ViperActive Drink. These were the products that I have been testing over the last month.
Below I've written a …

Review: Natural Hero Muscle Rubs

Think back to when you were at school...that familiar smell of Deep Heat in the changing rooms before a sports match, and Deep Freeze afterwards (or the screams from the ice baths); using heat and ice on sore or damaged muscles is nothing new in sports science.

However, it's not something I've ever been that taken with; it works, but I've never liked the idea of spraying my legs with chemicals. Finding out about Natural Hero Muscle Rubs was therefore a welcome discovery! With almost 100% natural ingredients, the efficacy of these rubs come from natural sources, as does the scent, feel and ethos of the product.

Natural Hero produce two great products: the Hot Ginger Muscle Rub and the Cool Peppermint Muscle Spritz. I've given both a good bit of testing over the last week or so, and both seem to work very effectively, smell natural and feel great. It's a fantastic approach to sports medicine, and certainly the route that I'll be heading down for muscle recovery …

Review: Sugoi SubZero Leg Warmers

First of all I should say that I wasn't overly pleased with these when they arrived...but I've subsequently changed my mind, so I thought I would share my thoughts on these winter warmers.

Sugoi is a relatively new brand to the UK cycling market - a Canadian brand, who have come into the limelight in Europe through their sponsorship of Peter Sagan's Cannondale Liquigas Team.
They seem to have a bit more work to do on their marketing though. Firstly, there is a distinct lack of reviews for this product out on the web, it took me a good bit of browsing of American bloggers' sites before I was convinced they would be a good choice. Secondly, the product photography is rather misleading; the picture to the right essentially shows the product incorrectly worn (in my opinion), as the branded stretchy panel is in fact designed to be worn on the back of the leg (as shown in the photo below).

Aside from their marketing...Sugoi seem to produce some quality kit.

I've given t…

Nutrition: Recipe: Easy, Energy-Filled Anzac Biscuits

The ANZACs are the Australian and New Zealand army corps, who fought in World War 1 at Gallipoli. These biscuits were sent to them as a way to sustain them on the front-line (amongst other food).

With the current weather conditions of the UK winter, it seems like a bit of a battle out there for us cyclists at times as well, so I thought that this recipe might be appropriate as a nutritious snack to take out on the bike, and keep your energy levels high on those long winter base-mile rides.

85 grams Porridge oats85 grams Desiccated coconut100 grams Plain flour (or spelt flour if you are gluten intolerant)100 grams Caster sugar100 grams Butter1tbsp Golden syrup1tsp Bicarbonate of soda
Recipe: Heat Oven to 180'CPut Oats, Coconut, Flour and Sugar into a mixing bowlMelt the Butter and stir in the SyrupAdd the Bicarb. to 2tbsp of boiling water then stir into the syrup/butter mixMake a well in the centre of the dry ingredients and pour in the melted mixture - stir in gentlyPut …

Nutrition Review: Bounce Natural Energy Protein Balls

I found Bounce Energy Food's Protein Balls in the supermarket a few weeks back, and have subsequently sampled all four of their flavours and been very impressed...

It's an innovative idea, and it really works; these are small 50 gram 'balls', each with a high protein level from whey protein, and a high carbohydrate level from low GI brown rice. They have 100% natural ingredients, and are great for allergy sufferers (of which I have a few in my family) being wheat and gluten free.

The most important thing though...they taste fantastic! I would quite happily snack on these throughout the day and on the bike; they don't taste like an energy bar or a protein bar; they taste natural, healthy, with a great texture and flavour. I've written briefly about each of the four flavours below, so you get a bit of an idea; well worth trying these for yourself though.

Almond Protein Hit
These are a seriously tasty little protein hit; with 12 grams of protein to help in the all…

The Winner of the SportPursuit Photo Competition!

Congratulations to Anna Brooks!  Her photo and caption are the winner of the SportPursuit Photo Competition
The judges (my friends and family) loved the fact that Anna and her boyfriend had come over to the Isle of Wight and made use of the stunning cycling that the island has to offer, and that it was their favourite cycling moment of 2012! The artists in the family decided this was the most picturesque entry, with the most skilful photography and serves to demonstrate what the best moments in cycling are all about...getting outside in the great outdoors and making the most of nature. (Personally I liked that fact that you can see Afton Down road climb on the right-hand of my favourites on the island)
Congratulations again to Anna...please email me at and I'll send the lights out to you, hopefully in time for Christmas. Cheers.
Caption: "Hi Tim. My boyfriend and I came to the Isle of Wight back in July after reading your blogpost on weeke…

Weekend Watch: Blake Samson & The Isle of Wight


Photo Blog: Names On Frames Bike Stickers

I got a set of these awesome personalised stickers from Names On Frames last week and thought I would gradually compose a bit of a photo album of my bikes and helmet - now fully personalised.

You can get a set of four fully personalised stickers for £5.95, they would make a cool stocking filler for any cyclist! Check them out at

The Whippet

The Winter Training Bike

Don't Forget Your Helmet!

Review: Giro Standard Racer Socks

Cycling socks are one of those things...some people have to have them, others will say they are a rip-off and what is wrong with cotton tennis socks?
I'm somewhere in between; OK £10 is a lot to spend on a pair of socks, but they do make a difference. So I have a few pairs of these quality Giro cycling socks which I use for racing and big summer rides...when the added comfort really matters.

The Giro Standard Racer sock is a mid-market offering...fairly 'standard' among the exciting cycling sock market as the name suggests.

It is made of CoolMax fabric to keep your feet cool on a hot summer's dayIt has a cooler mesh upper panel to help regulate temperatureThey seem to be wearing well, with a more durable fabric on the heels and toesThey have an average size cuff - certainly not a euro-style high-rise, but a good length to be comfortable, with enough elasticity to stay put. I don't think there's much more to say about these socks; they do the job very well. I wo…

Review: Salice 006 Sunglasses

Some may have seen the Salice 006 on the likes of Thibaut Pinot in this year's Tour, or famously worn by Alessandro Pettachi for a few years now. That wasn't the reason I bought them a few months ago, when I lost my previous pair of sunglasses in a sailing "accident". I decided to opt for Salice, partly due to style, but also because of price, quality and other reviews that I had seen on the web.
You will have to excuse my constant comparison of these with the Oakley Radar glasses, but as far as I am concerned they are the nearest competitor and renowned for being one of the most popular sets of shades on the market.
The 006 is Salice's top of the range model; no fancy names here, just a number. But the quality of the glasses is evident from the off; they come in a unique soft vault case, which houses the glasses and their spare clear lenses .
The glasses are light, the hinges feel strong, and the clarity of the lenses is very high.
On the road the glasses stay put i…

Weekend Watch: Brussels Express

Brussels Express from Sander Vandenbroucke on Vimeo.

If you think the British roads are bad after watching the BBC War On British Roads Documentary, think again...

There's is a lot of work to be done to British infrastructure and to the British vehicle drivers' mentalities, to make it better for cyclists. But we are getting there.... have faith and pick up your bike...and cycle to work.
The more that do...the safer it will get.

Guest Blog: Wiggle Wight Winter Sportive Ride Report

One of my team mates Jack Elton-Walters rode the Wiggle Wight Winter Sportive on Sunday and had a very enjoyable ride. He very kindly offered to let me blog his ride report; I hope that it will inspire you to come to the Isle of Wight to ride your bike sometime soon. For further ideas on a weekend cycling break on the island, please check out this blog: A Weekend Cycling Break on the Isle of Wight.

Jack's Ride Report:
"Coming right at the end of the season, and on my own glorious Isle of Wight, I just couldn’t miss the opportunity to ride another Wiggle – UK Cycling Events Sportive. A few weeks previous I’d done the South Downs Sportive and, despite a funny five minutes in the middle, had pretty much loved the whole thing. So with this one starting just 30 minutes from my house, I had to take part.
My weapon of choice for training, racing and sportives is a 2010 Fuji Roubaix, on which I recently upgraded everything except the frame. A new carbon bottom bracket, carbon cranks, ne…

Review: Lezyne High Pressure Micro Floor Drive

Some of you may already know of my praise for Lezyne Pumps from my previous blog post on them (Link); however I recently added a new tool to my arsenal: the High Pressure Micro Floor Drive (with gauge) that I purchased from SportPursuit for a knock-down price.

This is no ordinary pump; somewhere between a track pump and a hand pump, it is a serious rival to the traditional "frame-fit" pump in terms of being able to reach high pressures quickly. To be more precise, this little pump will reach 160psi max. and will pump a road bike tyre from flat to 100psi with relative ease in under 2 minutes (in my experience). That's pretty good going! 

Why did I buy it? There were two principle reasons for me to invest in yet another Lezyne pump:  Firstly, on our France and Spain tour last year we were subjected to a few punctures (inevitably), and after the first week and around 700 miles of riding over the Pyrenees and across the south of France, we stopped in Le Bourg d'Oisans on…