Sunday, 31 July 2011

Some stats and some goals

Miles ridden this month                471
Miles ridden this year                   1666
Current weight as of 300711          15st 8 1/2 llbs or 218.5 llbs
Weight loss from my heaviest       12.5 llbs


I want to keep my goals small so they are achievable ,
There is no reason that I can see that I cant ride over 400 miles again this month but I am going to set my target for the month at 500

I keep telling myself I have lost a stone which we all know is 14 llbs I haven't yet but i very very nearly have done from my heaviest weight which was at the end of June 2011 which was just before I started this blog my weight goal for August will be to lose 5llbs which will put me on the better side of 15 stone and put me over the stone lost.

Today me and my lads did a full 2 mile bike ride Billy my youngest was showing me how he does wheelies and all sorts of other bike related tricks as we rode along, Of course I couldn't let him show me how it was done. Like all competitive dads I had to show him, I think they were in awe of me ha ha . I have to show off now whilst they are young because in a few years the will just think I'm a knob

                                          Danny MacAskill eat your heart out

                                           Photo courtesy of my other son Joe

Saturday, 30 July 2011

July Photo's

Below are some of the as yet unseen pictures I have taken in July, These are all taken whilst riding my bike If I had not been on my bike I probably wouldn't of seen them, Some have comments some are just pictures, click to enlarge

Below is the Runcorn bridge not quite as dramatic as Brooklyn Bridge

Below a typical Warrington canal narrow boat ???

Latchford Locks part of the Manchester ship cana

A loss is a loss

At what now appears to be my now official Saturday morning weigh in I stepped on the scales at 15 st 8 1/2 llb (218.5 llbs) thats a 1 llb loss this week,
I am pleased with this and this is what I'm aiming for a steady weight loss that stays off, It's pretty much trial and error for me so some weeks are going to be better than others and I have no doubt I will have some bad weeks but as long as I keep that downward trend in weight overall I will be a happy chap.

I am not following any diet I have just changed my way of eating , I don't do weight watchers points or slimming world red/green days or counting calories I have done all these in the past and they work as long as you stay on them, as soon as you stop the weight goes back on and anyway they are a pain in the arse planning them out,What I am doing has to be easy for me to maintain for the rest of my days.

I am eating more or less what I ate before just minus a huge amount of crap ie sweets biscuits cakes chocolate, lets face it we all know whats bad for us.

Anyway tonight is going to be a red wine transfusion for me So we will see if that has any effect on next weeks weigh in..

Good week cycling finishing the week on 137 miles I wont ride today but may have a small ride with the kids tomorrow. Its my best ever for mileage this month but wont have a final figure till tomorrow depending on whether I ride my bike or not.

Stay tuned folks

Friday, 29 July 2011

Today I am Cadel Evans

A very boastful statement you may say, and no I haven't changed Nationality, but like the man himself after trying a few times to win the Tour de France he succeeded this time.

I have won my Tour de France today or at least I feel like I have , Why is this you ask ?



Yes folks after a couple of years of saying ,Lying, bulls***ing  promising to myself I would ride to work and back in a day, today I have done it.

In the car it is a 54 mile round trip using the motorway, It's shorter on the bike and today I have commuted 47 miles to work and back and I feel rather chuffed with my little self, so much so I am now going for a shower and I think I will wear my yellow T shirt in bed tonight just so I know what I have done

Thursday, 28 July 2011

Its Ticking !!!!!!!

Since March when I purchased my Whyte Malvern C7 hybrid bike (British made)  I have had a few reliability issues with it and a few LBS problems that I have not been too happy with, don't get me wrong I really like the bike and it is/should be good for what I want to do with it ie commute to work on using a variety of surfaces like the road, gravel paths and canal towpaths but at £650 I don't consider it cheap considering the last bike I was using was a £200 decathlon rockrider 5.2 mountain bike  which just kept going and paid for itself over and over.

Since I have had my Whyte I have done 884 miles on it, the day I got it the front tyre kept blowing off the rim and it was unridable I took it back to the LBS from where I got it and they replaced the tyre, not with a matching one but a different one a minor issue you might think but this was a brand new bike never ridden why didn't they replace both tyres so they matched and sent them back to Whyte apparently the beading of the tyre woudnt hold on the rim.

A few weeks ago a spoke snapped on my way home, back to the LBS who replaced it but charged me about £3 for the spoke !

about a week later the headset seized or certainly became very stiff, back to the LBS who took it apart and greased it all up telling me it had run dry ??? or as I think was never greased to start with.

Then there was a creaking noise started so back to the LBS who said they couldn't hear it ( well I bloody could every pedal stroke) I thought it was the bottom bracket but it turned out that it was the saddle/seat post it wasn't loose but I tightened it as much as I could and it stopped

Then spoke number 2 broke on the same wheel, back again to the LBS who this time fixed it for free, but when I came to pick up my wheel they had replaced the skewer in the wheel with some shitty black one off some cheap mountain bike, I pointed this out and that mine where silver and it was swapped with a silver one the excuse being " Ive done so many wheels today" (not my problem), when I got home they don't effin match

Maybe I have OCD but I like things to match as they did when it was new, I don't want different tyres on my bike, or different skewers , I don't expect a new bike to break so many times in such a short time and have it in the LBS for days on end when I cant ride it, and I expect my LBS to fix it and give it back to me as it was originally

NOW the BLOODY thing is making a ticking noise as I pedal...................................AAARRRGGGGHHHHHH.

I have decided that I am voting with my feet and changing my LBS

location of the ticking I think

I don't like odd tyres

Whinge over...................

Tuesday, 26 July 2011

Wheeee !!!!!!!!!!!!!

Wheeee is what you can shout when your a kid on your bike going downhill, then you can make a noise like your riding a motorbike....................... I had to have a go as well , just so the kids don't think I'm a miserable bugger you understand.
Me Joe and Billy had a pootle over to my parents house today where the kids got fed on cake and biscuits cos that's what grandparents do I just had a coffee
3 miles that's all there and back with a stop at the park, good fun though
Back commuting tomorrow

Sunday, 24 July 2011

Going backwards

My days off have fell quite good at the moment off Saturday Sunday Monday and Tuesday, pretty good for getting out on the bike you may think. However my missis is currently working nights which means I have the kids over the weekend to keep quite so they don't wake her up and as they are off school for the summer holidays I have them Monday and Tuesday too which kind of restricts my cycling over the next few days.
So when my In laws said they were taking them to the Albert Dock in Liverpool a window of opportunity opened up before my eyes and not being one to miss an opportunity off I set
I know a 40 mile route from home out through the Cheshire lanes to Tatton Park and round in a circuit which I have done a couple of times with some mates but this time I thought I would do it backwards.
It was a really good run out and you get a whole different perspective going the other way round and at least 3 times I thought I was completely lost even though I was on the right route and I found my way.
When I got there Tatton park was bunged it was the RHS Flower show but still a good ride out

Saturday, 23 July 2011

You can have cake and eat it (sometimes)

Or in my case chips and curry sauce, I was cycling to work yesterday when it suddenly dawned on me that I didn't have that ice cold feeling on my back, or in other words I had left my meatballs and sauce in the freezer at home instead of putting them in my rucksack, so unless I wanted just a small portion of plain pasta for my tea I would have to purchase summat, bollox I thought this is where all my planning goes tit's up and I end up pigging out.
So consequently I had chips and curry sauce from the chippy, but instead of following this with the usual chocolate bar from the vending machine as I would of done in the past I left it at that and had the fruit that I actually remembered to take  to work.
I suppose my point is that as I tell myself I am not on a diet, I have changed the way I eat and cut out the MAJORITY of crap that I did eat and as life zooms past me I suppose these situations will crop up from time to time. So as long as my weight takes a steady decline I don't care as long as it comes off and more importantly this time stays off that's what I'm aiming for, and the "occasional"  as long as that's what it is piece of theoretical cake will do no harm.

On that note and as I'm feeling motivated and empowered with this weight loss thing I jumped on the scales again this morning ( maybe a weekly weigh in is where I'm at at the moment there are no hard and fast rules this time )

This week I have lost 2 1/2 llbs  taking me to 15ST 9 1/2 llbs            YES RESULT ................
This with another week of cycling at 122 miles           should be on for my biggest month of over 400 miles

Thursday, 21 July 2011

Put the boot in

I have got myself a new piece of kit, it didn't cost anything which is how I like it.
In preparation for the Manchester 100 mile  I was reading about Tyre Boots what you do is take an old tyre and cut a piece out ( not including the beading ) and trim a piece to a suitable size this then fits in between your inner tube and tyre should you be unfortunate to end up with a gash or cut in your tyre this stops the new inner tube or patched tube from sticking out the tyre and apparently its a good get you home remedy.
As I work shifts I would be buggered if I ended up with a gash in my tyre at 2am whilst cycling home one night lets hope I never have use for it but it's there if I do

Trim a piece out of the old tyre but don't include the beading

Then trim to whatever size you think suitable.

Anyway shifts today are shite a 6pm start till 3 am then back in tomorrow at 2pm so tonight I am driving, however I have kept pressing on with the riding and did a 31 miler on the road bike this morning. Food management is good and I can tell things are happening I have to keep pulling my jeans up and clothes are definitely starting to get a bit looser.......... I'm still a fat knacker though and there is a long way to go.

Wednesday, 20 July 2011

They caught my eye

A day off today so went for a fat burning ride on the road bike 21 miles in all.
While I'm out I like to take a few photo's these 3 caught my eye today ( click on the image to enlarge)

The Transpennine trail a trail for walkers and cyclists ?

This is either the smallest library in the UK or in this part of the world you have to wait a really long time before being connected to the nearest call centre in India

And this

A prime example of Warrington council wasting taxpayers money on a what they believe is a cycle lane that appears to of never ever been used, I can't think why ?????

Tuesday, 19 July 2011

Go the extra mile !

I hate it when this happens
Normally I would ride the extra mile just so it goes to an all round number, my misses says I have OCD !!!
However I was running a bit late this morning ..........
Good commute today 23 mile route as normal and got my shorts back on , bugger of a head wind on the way home though

Monday, 18 July 2011

I wimped out today

I am on earlies Monday & Tuesday this week, when the alarm went off this morning at stupid o'clock I glanced out of the window saw the rain and said stuff that I'm driving today. As I lay in bed I thought to myself I will just have a look at what its really like I really should bike I thought to myself. Off I trundled downstairs but before I opened the back door I could hear the rain pounding down on the conservatory roof and I thought NO bollox to that I'm off back to my bed for half an hour or so, I reset my alarm and got back in my pit.
As I lay there I had a vision of the M62 , the spray, the waggons and the rest of the traffic rushing towards Manchester and I dragged myself back out of bed, got my bike gear on before I could argue with myself , threw the bike in the car drove to my normal halfway point and cycled in.
All in all a good commute today 23 miles on the bike but got a bit wet, however as I keep telling myself you only get wet once and skin is waterproof anyway.

So why did I wimp out you ask ?????

Well this is SUMMERTIME for gods sake its JULY........


I promised myself I would only wear shorts from April till the end of September, but today I wimped out. I opted for my leggings and winter waterproof boots...Not suitable apparel for July Methinks

Saturday, 16 July 2011

Put the theory into practice and add motivation

Now I know I said I was going to weigh in every 2-3 weeks but today I couldn't resist it, Last Saturday I was hovering just above the 16 stone mark and I wanted to see if I had dropped below.

Well folks yes I have I weighed in today at 15st 12 1/4 llbs that's a fantastic 3llbs loss this week....... I am well chuffed with that, I haven't been on a diet I have just eaten less crap, eaten sensibly and cycled more. I incidentally finished the week on 150 miles cycled somewhat of a record for me.

Today's plan was to go out for a ride with my mate Rob who after buying his new Whyte hybrid hadn't ridden it. When I got up it was absolutely persisting down I text Rob hoping he would say no knock it on the head, but he must of been keen to test his new bike and said " No we will give it a try and see if it drys up".
So off we set along the Transpennine trail and it eventually dried out giving way to a nice 25 mile ride over to Liverpool airport and back, However true to form the great British weather decided to dump a load of the wet stuff on us in the last mile making me wetter than a wet thing when I got home but an enjoyable way to spend the morning all given.

                                          My Black Whyte next to Robs White Whyte (say that when your pissed) overlooking the Mersey Estuary

                                                                                                                                                       Incidentally has anyone got any ideas how to keep sweat out of your eyes, when it rains and my head gets wet the sweat pours into my eyes stinging like a bastard , any ideas appreciated ..

Friday, 15 July 2011

Have a change

Today is my day off I took the kids to school, Mrs S was at work the sun was shining so what better to do than go for a nice ride.

I was reading a website the other day giving advice on doing a century ride which suggested going up some hills beforehand. As I have foolishly volunteered for the Manchester 100 in September I set off to find them there hills.
I headed off in a different direction to the way I normally go not quite sure where I was heading to as I don't originate from Warrington I'm more of a Mancunian .

I headed off from Warrington on the road bike to Newton Le Willows then to St Helens and not a bloody hill in sight. Cheshire is flatter than a Witches Tit.......maybe next time I hate hills anyway

I took my I pod with me now I don't normally cycle and listen to music but I do now and then I know the dangers blah blah but I suppose if I was going to get mown down by a waggon thundering over the top of me I would rather not hear it coming.
I don't know what had happened to my ipod though I must have got the play list mixed up with the Mrs's as I usually plod along to REM or Madness.
What did I get today ..... ? a bit of dance so I pumped up the Jam and took the night train made me ride faster anyway.

Another 21 miles in the legs

                                         I took this picture when I got back from my ride just because I think my bike looks good.....

Tomorrow is a short Jaunt out in the morning with my mate Rob who bought the same Hybrid as me about 2 months ago and has so far managed to ride it round his street, so should be fun

Thursday, 14 July 2011

Some bad news and some good news

First of all the bad news I can confirm 100% that it wasn't me that won £161 million on the Euromillions, so the fleet of gleaming pinarellos that are to be kept in my air conditioned garage in my villa on the Costa Del Sol will have to wait for next week and it looks like I lose my £50 deposit I put on it now Bloody typical

Anyway its not all bad as the good news is that food is going well this week, my crap intake has drastically reduced and since Sunday I have done 104 miles cycling life doesn't get any better ................ although 161 million quid would help blah blah blah !

Tuesday, 12 July 2011

Spot the difference click the pictures to enlarge if you dont see the difference

                                          A view of last weeks enforced car commute

                                          A view of this weeks commute by bike

A no brainer really...........

Incidentally the top picture is of Roscoe's roundabout in Stockport, The other side from where this picture is taken is where the slip road from the M60 meets the roundabout, 2 of my work colleagues have been knocked off their bikes over the last 3 months as cars come off the slip road too fast. If you cycle avoid Roscoe's roundabout like the plague

Sunday, 10 July 2011

A Sunday Jaunt

I had a good ride this morning out to Dunham Massey with my pal Tony, we covered 31 miles there and back stopping off at the Lavender Barn Tea Rooms for coffee toast and Lavender Marmalade which I have never had before but it was nice.
We ended up with quite a nice day and avoided the rain.

We didn't know but the houses around Dunham were having some sort of scarecrow competition and there were some really good entries, a few photos below to show you.

Back to commuting by bike this week and I'm looking forward to it.

                                           Shepard scarecrow

                                          A Chef scarecrow complete with bacon and eggs in pan

                                          Jack and the Beanstalk Scarecrow
                                          Even a suicidal cyclist Scarecrow WTF ?

I don't know if he had hung himself in the tree on purpose or fell off his bike while somehow riding it in the tree ?? plus his head had fell off onto the hedge........ Spooky, glad I didn't cycle past this one in the dark or I might of been ringing 999

Saturday, 9 July 2011

Good News

Weighed in this morning at 16st 3/4 llb, I had lost a couple of pounds before starting this blog but now down to nearly 1/2 stone loss get in there......

I haven't decided how often I will weigh myself probably every 2-3 weeks we shall see

Anyway today consists of fitting a new computer to my felt this morning, I am not really a gadget man but I do like to know how many miles I ride, as my commuting pays for my bikes in the fuel I save and at about £6 a gallon that adds up.
This afternoon is a football tournament for one of my lads which is all afternoon.

Tomorrow is a ride out on the felt to dunham massey still havent checked the weather yet hopefully these monsoon type showers we have been having will have gone.

Wednesday, 6 July 2011

Shift change !!!

Due to a shift change for the rest of the week till Friday I'm now starting at 10 am which means after dropping kids at school haven't time to commute by bike, I am hoping to get out over the weekend possibly with a 25/30 mile jaunt on Sunday, A few of us from work have signed up for the Manchester 100 ( miles !!!!! ) in September so I need to get as many miles in as possible. This is in memory of a work colleague who died a couple of months ago of cancer.

Hope the weathers good for Sunday not looked.

Next week should be better, I have a meeting in Bury on Monday so can bike to work, Tuesday and Wednesday are midnight finishes and take the kids to school the following day, but I need to bike more so will bike and put up with being knackered. Days off Thursday and Friday

On the food front I think I have done ok today I need to find something that suits me I have tried all sorts of diets but put weight back on, I need to eat less and stop filling my face with crap all the time, time will tell how I do

Tuesday, 5 July 2011

Why Blog ?

I am Mark Shaw a 47 year old fat knacker. its official.
over the past few years my weight has crept up to 16 stone 7 llbs. and for someone who is only 5'8" tall that is classed as obese
About 3 years ago I started cycling on and off commuting to work part way as work is 24 miles from home starting off at 6 miles there and 6 back then working up to 9 miles each way then up to 12 miles each way, I convinced myself I was cycling so much I could eat whatever I wanted, I carried on cycling but also carried on eating and eating more , that combined with giving up smoking got me to where I am today A FAT KNACKER.

About 18 months ago my work joined the cycle to work scheme and I bought myself a nice shiny road bike albeit an entry level one, a Felt F95 and about 3 months ago I bought a hybrid bike  Whyte C7 Malvern. These are my bikes I use for both commuting and social riding.

Anyway why BLOG ?

Well over the past couple of years I have been reading peoples blogs mostly about weight loss and cycling combined and to be honest I have been pretty inspired by some of the people on tinterweb blogging.
About a week ago I read a blog that suggested ways of staying focused losing weight one of these ways was suggested to keep a diary or write a blog.
Well I have used every other excuse for not losing weight but as I near the big 50 I realise I need to do something to shift this weight and keep it off otherwise I could be heading for all sorts of medical problems in the future.

I know I need to manage my food better than I do and exercise more than I do, Its no good sat watching the biggest loser on TV whilst eating a chicken Madras and a supping away on a San Miguel.

So this blog will be my public weight loss journey with tales along the way about my cycling and possibly anything else that happens.
Below are pictures of my bikes.