Lanes out to Hale

Lanes out to Hale

Blundell’s Hill training loop

    I got up this morning, after two weeks of being injured, and relished the fact that I could now go out and finally get some training done.

    I left the house and headed up Queens drive, through Woolton and out the city through Gateacre. Once in the lanes around Liverpool, I headed towards Blundell’s Hill. It’s a steep, sharp hill, probably only 800 metres long, but one that I use for speed work. I then descended down a flurry of lanes which took me back on the main road, and on to Greensbridge lane (The scenic route to Halewood). This is where I started my pyramid intervals during this section. The first two were disgusting, both into a headwind and uphill, but the third was perfect, flat, wind behind and allowed me to do a sustained effort above 35mph.

    I rode down Carr Lane, and rode through Hale before turning back and heading for home, not before tackling Woolton Hill road.

Today instead of gorping at the road or being hung over my handlebars I spent the day at Liverpool’s International Tennis tournament, showing international stars, ball boys and up-and-coming stars all trying their hand at Tennis. It was a crowd pleasing day, everyone getting to see former champions play their trick shots and the VIPs taking full advantage of the bar before eventually returning to the stands to see Rusedski play.

Training in Britian

June 15, 2011

Rain!!

Rain!!

Well here I am sitting in my living room, eating and recovering after my training ride and the heavens open and that got me wondering how do we train in Britain. Don’t get me wrong Britain in the sun is one of the best countries to ride in but in the rain I can’t think of anything worse! You only get cold, fed-up and in my case very tempted to throw a tantrum and go home.

Every time it rains like this I feel like packing my bag, getting my bike and flying off to France. I mean who would want to do that? But I’d like to do it by myself, not on one of these silly training camps where a bunch of egos go, but somewhere beautiful, hilly and hard!

Methinks I’m going to bury myself in the internet and see how much flights are to satisfy my little dream.

This looks a lot more appealing doesnt it?

This looks a lot more appealing doesnt it?

Today I became the proud owner of a Torm woolen race jersey. They’re one of the main competitors to Rapha but I have to say that it is as beautiful. The one thing I know for certain is that my dad will be very jealous. I think it might have to be christened at my next race.

Front of jersey

Front of jersey

Torm logo

Torm logo

Back of jersey

Back of jersey

Wiggins for the Tour!

June 13, 2011

Can Wiggins make the step up?

Can Wiggins make the step up?

After this win I can’t help but get giddy and place my faith in Wiggins.

http://www.cyclingweekly.co.uk/articles/show?id=528703

Home!

June 13, 2011

The new member of the family

The new member of the family

My final six weeks of university have come to an end and this meant one thing moving out and more importantly trying to sneak bits of bikes that I’ve accumulated and tried to keep a secret.

Again, this season has been nothing but disjointed. The Litherland circuit league had taken another break all because of the Premier Calendar Races (That were now open to Regional B riders). I’d been told to enter a couple, apparently the experience of racing in front of thousands of spectators is surreal, not to mention the viewing of the Elite race; but unfortunately I couldn’t get down there as I’m still reliant on the Team mechanic for transport, who is bound by the parameters of the 9-5 working day. I couldn’t argue though, I’d used the three weeks well. I’d been given a new training programme from Barry, it was more direct and meant that I could now do more miles without being in pain for the subsequent week.

I’d managed to warm-up in the wrong manner – Note to self: Always warm up with the big names because they generally decide the grid position at the start – and now put myself at the back of the group.

“Riders Away” The first five laps are agonizing! After the smashing of pedals, I was Yo-yoing off the back at 34mph, this is again a ridiculous speed to be at the back, I couldn’t help but think “why wasn’t I off the front?” I didn’t find this fair. As the group starts to settle down, I’ve found myself with them, in the midst of the group, I couldn’t help but mutter to myself: “Thank god the pace as backed off”. As the group was recovering, I heard a smattering of shouts, I couldn’t quite comprehend what the group were saying until I saw the swerving of bikes and a football glance across my front wheel. This was certainly the most dangerous experience I’ve had during a race. Circuit racing is dangerous enough! Riding at high speeds in a compacted bunch can throw up the occasional problem, but adding the danger of a football could have brought down the entire group. This not only scarred the group, but also caused a split. Those in the back half of the group had now lost a couple of bike lengths; this gap was too hard to bridge for the best of riders. The groups pace picked up, frantically trying to draw in the leading group of riders, and this was the end for me, I was now dispensed, and exhausted. At this point in the race I’m trying desperately to recover at 25mph whilst the usual culprits, i.e. Mammoth Man flew round me like I wasn’t there.

I swing through the hairpin desperately trying to conserve my energy until Barry and my Father (Team Mechanic) are yelling, imploring me to pick up the pace. I was finding it increasingly hard, the wind was battering me, but I was conserving myself at the wrong parts of the track (Another Newbie error – They seem to be popping up left, right and centre); and in hindsight what was the worst that could happen if I was too push that little bit harder? Maybe a little cramp, something that I could stretch out whilst on the move. However, the severity of the race was shown by the size of the main group. A starting group of 30 or so riders was now down to 15 who were dispensed across the track, apart from the Elite culprits who seemed to be dominating, gliding past fast riders as if they weren’t there.

The Bell Lap: I’m in an awful lot of pain, grimacing after pushing for the latter half of the race. I come out of the hairpin, and try and sprint for the line, but I couldn’t seem to attack it completely, it was as if my legs were restricting every circle-like movement; ‘I was pedalling squares’. At the end of the race I talk to Barry, I’m in pain and still making my Newbie errors – I was being too conservative, it was as if I’d lost my drive to race; and my lack of experience was showing, my riding position wasn’t as efficient as it could have been, it begins to become frustrating… No matter how much I train and improve my lack of experience still seems to be tarnishing me with this Newbie status.

I got over to collect my license, when the Father and Me are met by the Mammoth Man (A man who I have come to know as Andy, a very unassuming name for such a good rider; I don’t know what I was expecting, maybe something from the realms of Greek mythology?!). He was asking about pictures, but he’d too stumbled across my Blog, and had come across the coined name Mammoth Man (Which came across in a sur

prised manner: “I’m Mammoth Man!!!”); but he too, as has Barry, emphasised that it takes couple of years to get truly good. In others words I can’t expect to turn up with four months ‘proper riding’ and expect to be winning… Maybe next year?