Saturday, 20 October 2012

Why I cycle

I got my spoke fixed yesterday so rode my GT road bike to work today.

At 6.30 am I set off from where I park my car near to the Lymm hotel and started up the sharp hill that goes for about 200 yards I had a nice steady climb and had anyone been watching me they probably would of thought I was Bradley Wiggins on the ascent of the Tourmalet, what goes up must come down and at the top there is a 200 yard descent where I just touched 24 mph the weather was a touch damp but not raining a nice autumnal morning with a few leaves on the ground.

I carried on along towards Trafford and pass over a small roundabout which drops down and you can maintain the speed along the road which at this point is a lovely buttery smooth surface, I shot along the flat at around 22 mph as a car waited at a junction for me I could see he was impressed by the speed and agility I was displaying..

From here I hit the quite country lanes for a few miles and the day was just waking up and getting a little bit lighter and you could hear the birds beginning to chirp and things rustling in hedgerows as you pass by, bidding good morning to another cyclist heading the other way I carried on.

From here I head through Altrincham and over the level crossing at Navigation Road train station where the barrier was down but gave me a chance for a breather and drinkas the tram passed then on into Timperley and Bagley.

Then it was under the M56 and around the roundabout with a distinct smell of diesel and a lovely rainbow trail all the way around, here I am an urban commuter staying upright on the slippery surface.

As I come off this roundabout there is a slight rise in the road where I usually feel the lactic in my legs so I ease off here for a few pedals but oh no not today for there it is in the distance......... The rear red blinking flash of another cyclist, I push on now I am Mark Cavendish sprinting to beat my opponent and beat him I do, It doesn't matter that he is an old bloke on a mountain bike with panniers on, what matters is that I won.

From here I get stuck at 3 sets of traffic lights but chance for another drink, I drop down the hill to Gatley nearly at work when I see red tail light number 2 ahead in the distance Cavendish takes over and target number 2 is soon dispensed with, what makes me laugh though is it was the same bloke who must of took the quicker route via the tip which I avoid because there is usually glass all over the road,

A few minutes later I am at work..

All day I feel rough not wanting to ride home chest infection still not cured but I have no option.

But as always once on the bike I am off and the ride home even though I told myself it would be a bimble it is one of pushing and panting and speed.

You just don't get this in a car


P.S. and not a single DORIS all day

P.P.S  Lights on on both trips today summer has gone.

Lights on the GT

Thursday, 18 October 2012

It's fixed, It's broke

I have had my Whyte repaired at the LBS £15 and it is now working again, new spacer and rear pads apparently the pads were nearly worn out despite only having done about 1500 miles I am told they are designed to last 10 times longer than pads on road bikes but it depends where you ride, if you get grit and shit in them they don't and with me using the trail a lot I suppose I wear them quicker.

With my Whyte still at the LBS yesterday, I went to work on my GT. and .......................................


AAARRRRGGGGGGGGGGHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH another bloody spoke broke . That is 3 spokes in 629 miles on this bike all on the rear wheel, Is there something wrong with the wheel or am I just being unlucky ?

I didnt even notice it yesterday and found it this morning after I had returned from the LBS picking up the Whyte. Looks like tomorrow I am going the LBS again.

Tuesday, 16 October 2012

Back to the LBS

For those who read my blog regularly, or at least as irregularly as I post it over time you will have realised I am to bike mechanics to what chocolate is in the manufacture of fireguards.

Yesterday I Broke my Whyte again the little pin thing that hold the pads in place in the white thing at the back fell out !!! In other words my brakes broke.

now its something and nothing but I take it to the LBS to fix for a few of reasons 1 I know it gets done right, 2 For what it costs I save 10 times over in not paying petrol to drive to work and 3 If I go to my LBS for lots of little things he remembers me as values me as a customer hence I get a good service.

This picture shows the front brake with the silver pin thing there, the back one there is no silver thing and the pads are loose and scraping against the disc, It probably is dead easy to fix but I let the LBS do it.

27 Miles yesterday and coming back it was 13.5 miles of wet rainy riding.
I recently bought some Aldi winter gloves for £5 and was going to write even though they were only £5 that they weren't that good in comparison to previous years I have bought them as this year they have a lining in which if you don't remember to keep hold of when taking your fingers out the gloves it comes with them making it a bloody nuisance to get your hands back in when you come to put them back on.
Anyway yesterday they redeemed themselves a bit cos after 13.5 wet miles my hands were still dry and warm even though the gloves were wet through. I think time will tell with these I shall keep you updated on this fascinating subject ( if I remember ) over the next few winter months.

Untill next time Happy Cycling

Thursday, 11 October 2012

Wednesday V Thursday

Wednesday was the first day in a long time I woke up and didn;t try to cough one of my lungs up, so back commuting. Its true that every journey by bike is different here is the difference between my Wednesday and Thursday commute

Other cyclists on trail  7   1
Weather                    Dry  Damp
Doris's                       3    1
Rabbits                      0    12
Midges                       Millions both days
Coughing fits               1    None
Other bikes overtaking me   1   3

Death to midges

Wednesday I set off along the trail on my Whyte around 06.30 am and 7 cyclists came past the other way, today at the same time just the 1 ??

Doris's what can I say they are always lurking around

Rabbits why some somedays then none others where do they go and how do they know what day to come out ??

Midges arrrggghhhhhhh along the trail yesterday there were huge clouds of midges so to avoid eating them I put my head down at the last minute to avoid them...........  BIG BIG MISTAKE......This morning I woke up with the top of my head feeling like a scaled down version of the pyranees, they must have got into the vents at the top of my helmet and bit my head to bits the little Bastards ......And they were back today GGGRRRRR.

Coughing fits Wednesday I got about 4 miles into my ride when I tried to cough a lung up, today I didn;t I am getting better slowly.

1 bike overtook me yesterday and it was a bloke on a mountain bike with big Knobbly Tyres but I wasn't feeling too good, Today 3 but they were all roadies thats my excuse anyway.

Anyway 50 miles over the last 2 days and 77 since Monday I shall get there ( wherever i'm going)

I wonder what Friday will bring ?

Monday, 8 October 2012

At last.

Well at last for what is somewhere betwenn 3 to 4 weeks because of this bloody chest infection I have still got, today I finally got back on my bike and went for a ride.

I don't think I can ever remember being ill for such a length of time before and I STILL HAVE IT !!!!! It is just not as bad as it was.

So when Tony suggested we go for a ride today I said stuff it and we went. 27 miles round trip stopping off at Red House Farm for a sausage butty.

It was hard work and amazing after just a few weeks off the bike and coupled with I am still not 100 % how fast you lose fitness and I felt those 27 miles today but it was good to get back out on my bike.

I even gave my new Aldi spd shoes their first outing and they seemed ok, I usually just have flat pedals on my Whyte

Just to prove I actually got out Tony obliged and snapped this rare image of me out with my bike

Yep you cant improve on that

And on an even more positive note I have had a letter back from the hospital that following my recent stress echocardiogram there are no symptoms to represent underlying coronary artery disease, I havent heard how the others went yet but from that I am taking it that all is well........................... Phew

Thursday, 4 October 2012

Sad 2 Days

The last two days have been sad for Manchester with the 2 Funerals of PC Fiona Bone and PC Nicola Hughes May they Rest In Peace

Below are the flowers left at Hattersley last night.

Saturday, 29 September 2012

Where am I

Well at this moment in time I am in bed............ and very comfy it is too....

I have not done much cycling lately due to having to use the car for work as I had to work at a different location for a short while and carry some kit for work which made cycling a no... frustrating.

However I have mainly not been cycling due to having a chest infection, it started just over 3 weeks ago with a sore throat and a bit of a cough and gradually got worse, but me being a bloke and all I thought it would just go away as most coughs and colds do ( It wasn't as bad as man flu obviously )
However it didn't go and got gradually worse, I have been coughing constantly and my chest feels like I have been punched by Frank Bruno in his heyday, the punch that wobbled Mike Tyson do you remember it ??

Anyway this resulted in me giving in and having to visit the Doctor on Thursday. After explaining what was wrong and a few coughs and splutters just to emphasise my predicament he gave me some Antibiotics......Bloody hell they are big I didn't know wether I should insert them or swallow them until I read the instructions ( thankfully it is the latter ). I am on day 2 of taking them now and there seems to be no change , I set off for work this morning in the car I aint up to cycling but got onto the M62 and decided there was no way I could do 10 hours today with a herd of wilderbeast running round my head and my chest feeling as though I am about to bring it up with each cough. So a quick phone call to work to tell them they wont be seeing me for a couple of days and I headed back to Warrington and bed.

Now I am going to try and go back to sleep as I have been up since 3 am this morning annoying the neighbours in the flat below with my coughing.

One day soon I am hoping to get back on my bike

Tuesday, 18 September 2012

A Sad day

R.I.P two fine officers of The G.M.P

A terrible day's news that puts others problems into perspective.

Sunday, 16 September 2012

IT trouble

I am having more IT trouble so posting from my phone !!! which is awkward. this week i have been using my whyte and after the last 600 miles being on my road bike,it has been like riding an armchair. But i like both bikes

Wednesday, 12 September 2012

Being Single,cleaning & some photo's

No not my flat , I do that once every 6 months if it needs it or not !

Cleaning my bike I mean that is what I have done today being off work

Below is also a picture of what you can do if your single without anyone complaining to you

Yes you can leave your bike in your living room whilst you go to the LBS to get your spoke fixed. Looking back although I have done almost 70 miles since Doris knocked me off last week it is probably that that weakened my spoke so now it's fixed hopefully I wont have to do another for some time ( watch this space )

And here is the GT all nicely cleaned and lubed and spoke repaired ready to go again

I got some stickers to stop the cable's from rubbing the frame whilst at the LBS. I try to keep my bikes looking good for as long as I can , but I don't think I will get another white bike.

Stops the cables rubbing the frame.

Tuesday, 11 September 2012

I am a tool

No cycling today rain stopped play but whilst messing with my new phone I appear to of deleted all the pictures from my blog, me an technology just don't go hand in hand !!!!!!!

Monday, 10 September 2012

Today I beat Wiggins and Cavendish

Yes today folks I beat Bradley Wiggins and Mark Cavendish in fact I beat the whole peleton of the Tour of Britain . How did I do this amazing feat , well it was easy , my commute to work this morning  took in part of stage two of the tour so around 0630 hrs as I cycled along the same road as the tour would come along about 7 hours later in Lymm, I was technically 7 hours in front, but I didn't see any crowds gathered for me ?? this upsurge in British cycling is all a bit of a myth I think.

I sat down on my settee to watch the first stage last night on ITV 4 which was on at 8 pm after the Vuelta ( its great this having cycling on TV) I was really looking forward to it but unfortunately I woke up with a stiff neck at 9.05 pm having missed it all, that's early's for ya.

Anyway 27 miles today following on from 123 miles cycled last week, ..... feeling good about my cycling.
However the GT suffered another broken spoke today that's 2 spokes in it's 600 mile life. I may have to speak with the LBS about this

And one other thing ( It's a bit jumbled this post cos I'm knackered) I am now back able to publish pictures after my slight technical hitch, so here is a picture of my GT just cos it looks good hung up at work ......Pre broken spoke .....

Anyway I'm off to bed now earlies again tomorrow but will have to use my Whyte . As I type the rain is lashing down so I may have to use the car but I hope the rain stops.

Friday, 7 September 2012

Found it I think ? my direction that is


Forgive me father for I have sinned my last blog was 3 weeks ago ( there that's over with)

Firstly my gas powered computer that I have had since Adam was a lad finely decided to go to the great computer scrap heap in the sky , It is now Bereft of life, 'e rests in peace! If you hadn't nailed 'im to the perch 'e'd be pushing up the daisies!
'Is metabolic processes are now 'istory! 'E's off the twig!
'E's kicked the bucket, 'e's shuffled off 'is mortal coil, run down the curtain and joined the bleedin' choir invisible!!
Don't you love Monty Python ?
Anyway suffice to say my computer has been goosed, Fortunately my parents not long since bought themselves a shiny laptop so I have had their old hardrive on which I know type away ( it comes to something when your 70+ yrs parents are more up to date with technology than you are)

So I am back blogging however I cannot seem to be able to connect my phone to this computer which is what I take my photos on so for the moment there shall be no piccys till I can sort it.

So what have I been doing WELL................................................

This is where it gets a bit deep for me anyway you have the option of not reading BUT,

It is safe to say in my mind at least that the last 12 months have been a pretty shit 12 months for me , Life has changed drastically for me as I split with my wife and moved out to a flat/apartment/condo call it what you will there have been some pretty shit days and some OK days gradually the shit days have been getting less and less but not going away,

I had a pretty shit day about 2 weeks ago I wont go into why but it was to do with my ex and all the shit that that entails, this resulted in me having a bit of a wobble at work , A very good workmate took me to one side and I had a good chat with her, she didn't tell me anything that I already didn't know or had been told before but for some reason something clicked in my mind, There comes a time when you decide enough is enough and it's time to move on, For the next few days after this I did some serious thinking  ( tough for me )

I now know it is time for me to move on, don't ask me why cos I know I probably wouldn't be able to tell you why but I just know !!
I have decided that I am not putting up with the crap I have been putting up with anymore and certain people have been told so , they don't like it but I don't give a toss.

My life is my life and other people who have no business sticking their noses in it can expect to be told by me to SOD OFF . and that's me being polite

I have lots of true friends and I know who they are.
Anyway that's that rant over with.

CYCLING .........
Ah yes cycling I honestly think that cycling has kept me sane over the last 12 months and lately I have been doing plenty of it , when my computer gave up the ghost I lost all my mileage data, worse things happen and I have had to start again but over the last 13 days I have done 220 miles which for me is good and I am off this afternoon to Delamere forest with my mate Tony and a workmate of his Steve. so cycling is good.

FOOD & BOOZE.......
Ahem well .......... not too bad actually better than it was but but could still be better (sounds like my old school reports) my weight is just constant around 217lbs 15 1/2 stone I have decided to just try and eat more healthily smaller portions cut out crap when I can, drink less and see how I go over the next couple of weeks

HEALTH ............
I have had all my scans but not had any results the NHS seem to take forever in updating you but I think if there was anything serious they would let me know as soon as possible so to that end I am not worrying about it anymore although I am still getting chest pains ????????
On the other hand my cholesterol has gone up !!!!! even though I have done things to try and reduce it but the nurse seems to think it is more me than my diet that is making it high and I am one of those people with naturally high cholesterol we shall see I have it checked again in December

AND FINALLY ..................................... I GOT DORRIS'D .

Good and proper if you don't know who Doris is look HERE

What happened ? ........ well on Wednesday I was working a 1pm till midnight shift and at 12 noon I was cycling to work on my new bike (GT) I stopped at a roundabout in Timperley and waited for a short while as traffic was on the roundabout it is a busy junction so I was there for a while , then guess who arrived behind me ? yes you guessed it DORIS !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!   ARGHHHHHHHH !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Straight into the back of me I had one foot still clipped into my pedals and one foot on the floor not only did she run into me she kept going pushing me into the roundabout hopping around like a one legged kangaroo frantically trying to kick my bike off with my other foot.
I finally managed to part company with my bike and amazingly managed to stay on my feet.
Fortunately for me it was a slow speed shunt god knows what would of happened had she been going any faster.
She did manage though to push my saddle right into my arse which my saddle bent and left a lovely great big bruise on my right buttox ( I bet you are now really glad I cant get my pictures on this computer yet)
After a few choice words Doris came out with the excuse that she didn't see me fucking hell Stevie Wonder would of seen me !!!!!!!!!!!!!
Anyway Doris turned out to be one of the most obnoxious people I have ever met telling me that there wasn't much damage to my bike and could I hurry up taking her details from her as she had an appointment to keep.

Keeping up with my new me and not taking shit I told her in no uncertain terms that she was one of the rudest most obnoxious people I had ever had the misfortune to meet and I hoped that I never met her again......... I hope you don't ever meet this Doris

I thought she had buckled my rear wheel so I let off my brakes and rode the remaining 3 miles to work but on closer examination it was just my brake caliper that had moved , miraculously there was no damage to my bike other than a scuffed pedal and ripped bar tape

DORIS WHAT CAN I SAY .............................. THEY SHOULDN'T BE DRIVING ..........................

Be safe see ya soon


Monday, 13 August 2012

One Direction

I think that is what I need in life , I don't mean the manufactured boy band One Direction I mean One Direction to go in, and at the moment that can only be up.

I am pretty pissed off at the moment with everything, I am worried about all these tests I am having even though they will probably come back that they can't find anything serious ( hopefully ) but you can't help stressing about it,

I have had a few problems with the EX WIFE lately which I wont go into on here just don't sit next to me in the pub or I will bore the arse off you over them.

Life in general has been a bit up and down and not in my normal routine and the last couple of months the weather has been shite on the whole which has resulted in less riding of my bike I am about 450 miles down on last year and this year is a year I wanted to improve on last year !

All this tends to make me return to my usual comfort crutch food and drink I hate to use the term but it's a vicious cycle.

I have been pissed off and angry a couple of times this week and I have gone out and got takeaways , why do I do that ? I said I was going to cut down on drinking and I haven't , why not ? Have I got some self destruct button ?????

My weight is static at 15st 7 lbs and doesn't seem to budge

I need a big fucking boot to kick me up the arse and get back on track.

Moan fucking moan moan moan........... you get the picture

Anyway on a positive note I managed to get out on the bike over the weekend with my two youngest Joe and Billy and we had a ride on the Transpennine trail to Spike Island along the canal we managed 10 miles round trip and I'm glad the boys made it without too much effort, we did get rained on though on the way back and in true dad style I had not taken any coats or anything for them so they did a bit of whinging but on the whole we enjoyed it and Billy is now re-christened Billy Wiggins he just needs to wait about 12 years before he can grow the sideburns.

An estate agent would describe this as a fixer upper 

On the trail

The boys quenching their thirst 

Monday, 6 August 2012

I'm back

I'm back from abroad after 4 days in Caernarfon we have had sun. rain. more rain. torrential rain, thunder and lightening more sun and some more rain.
So pretty typical for this time of year then a summer in the UK. I'm from Manchester so I am used to it.

Caernarfon  Castle

However we did manage to go the beach, catch crabs ( off the quayside) eat ice cream, paddle in the sea, eat fish and chips, fly a kite, drink beer (me) climb a hill, skim stones have a BBQ, and have a general good time.

Here's Billy my youngest  proving we did go to the beach, although I do make him walk 5 paces behind me wearing a Liverpool shirt !!! What do you expect .

Busy week ahead I have to have a blood pressure monitor fitted today and removed tomorrow the a heart scan on Wednesday and back to work.

Why can't life just be one big holiday

Wednesday, 1 August 2012


I think I am going to grow some sideburns

What can you say other than well done Wiggo .

I think I have spent most of the last week watching cycling on TV rather than riding but it's all been good , Unlucky for Cav though but you cant have it all and the track cycling starts tomorrow with team GB in a good position .

Anyway I'm off abroad again tomorrow for a few days I am taking my two youngest to Caernarfon in North Wales for a few days, my mate Rob has a static caravan he is letting me use so we are off there and if the rain stops I may even get on a beach with them, sadly I am not taking bikes my car will be loaded and the rack I have doesn't fit my car so not much cycling this week either.

See you next week

Wednesday, 25 July 2012

Why would you drive ?

Remind me again as to why anyone who had the choice would chose to drive a car rather than cycle to work??

Today was a stunningly sunny day and it was actually illegal to drive a car today .

I have commuted the last two days covering 59 miles yesterday was on the Whyte along the trail but oh dear it is apparent the kids have finished for summer and it was littered with Doris's but never mind as we hadn't had rain for at least several hours and the puddle's have dried up and I did't even get my bike dirty so that was good.

Alas I have to drive tomorrow though, sometimes where I work and the necessity for a quick shift change from time to time mean I have to use the car or get about 4 hours kip between shifts . I like cycling but not to that extent so Wednesday and Thursday are unfortunately car days Humph !!!!!

Here's today's other random picture as I cycled close by Manchester airport today, the runway is just behind the tree line.

Just about to land 

Sunday, 22 July 2012

Friday, 20 July 2012

And the winner gets ????

Bugger all for guessing if I rode to work on the road or I went on the transpennine trail

Looks like I have shat myself

Splattered legs

That's not a sun tan 


Have you guessed yet ???

With my GT wheel still not fixed ( can't get to LBS till Monday ) I blew the dust off my Whyte and have done 50 miles commuting over the last two days.
The weather being as per usual we have had rain and rain on the trail means puddles but so what it really is good riding a bike so stuff it I got covered in crap but really enjoyed it.
Even tonight riding home I was a bit tired so I just sat up a bit clicked into a lower gear and trundled my way home.

It is always faster than walking

Wednesday, 18 July 2012

ooops !!!

Quick update got a text off Tony today his darling wife put his clothes in the washer today including his Garmin Sat Nav.

Being single has some benefits

It is now good for nothing ............ and I shall say no more

Tuesday, 17 July 2012

Twang !!!!

I have had a few days off work and have been trying to get out for a decent ride but as usual weather is crap and raining, Tony my mate mentioned we should try Tuesday he was on late's and had checked the forecast which said it would be sunny so we agreed to get a morning ride in. and his pal from work Steve would come too

Woke up Tuesday ---- Rain .

Anyway it eased off a bit so we set off it was on and off but on the whole stayed off thank god and we got in a decent 41 mile ride to Delamere forest and back

Tony and Steve

Tony has got a garmin sat nav and we went a route we had done before but I for one would never remember in a month of Sunday's they are a pretty useful bit of kit , even though I am not much of a gadget man I do fancy one , anyway where was I
Oh yes we got some nice quite country lanes and along the way Tony broke a spoke on his back wheel obviously as he is such a fat arse  and we arrived 20 miles on at the cafe on the train station which is better than the one in Delamere forest itself and had a welcome bacon butty.

Tony the incredible bulk  hulk 

Suitably refreshed we set off back and got about a mile up the road TWANG !!!!

The combination of my fat arse and a pothole and I broke one too so we both had to limp home with our brakes open which was really fun in some downhill spots as it was damp and just a front brake on road bikes but we made it safely

This is one of my favourite spots on the ride ( Do you think the people that live in this house are truly happy having to put up with this eyesore every morning they open the curtains ? )

Me and Tony 
This is why I wanted a black bike but they guy in the shop assured me white is the new black for 2012, Yeah right !!!

Something to clean

Anyway a top day was had but back to work tomorrow

Monday, 9 July 2012

I felt alright before I went in !

It was an odd day to go but I got a phone call last week asking if I could go to hospital on Saturday for my ECG on a treadmill so off I went.
I was wired up like a robot and connected to a blood pressure monitor and was set off on the treadmill after the test I saw the consultant doctor who went through everything with me
Basically this is what he said............. Your blood pressure is slightly high but when you exercise it goes through the roof...... you are overweight ......... and you drink too much and your cholesterol is high..........Your ECG  appears OK but there are a couple of blips I cant explain
1  I have been given tablets for blood pressure
2  I need to lose weight
3  I need to cut down my alcohol
3  I need to have a 24 hour blood pressure test
4  And most worrying I have to go for a heart scan

I felt OK when I went in I felt like shit when I came out.!!!

Anyway food is going good compared to how it has been, my weight is coming down and I have reduced my red wine level to nil ( for the time being anyway).

Gotta go back in 2 months to see them again, I suspect by that time if I were to turn sideways they will have trouble finding me !!

Also got to tell you about a book recommended by fellow blogger who scribes the folding bike blog it is called One man and his bike by Mike Carter . It is the tale of Mike Carter who decides to cycle the British Coastline, it is very good and had me laughing out load on occasions. I do like a good cycle adventure book.

A very good 27 mile commute today on the GT but in that drizzly rain what wet's you through !

Friday, 6 July 2012

Things are going good apart from .........

Apart from all this bloody ........RAIN !!!!!!!...........

This is British summertime at it's best this year we are into July and after having a very wet June it still hasn't stopped raining,
Yesterday was glorious though all day but I had stuff to do so rather than go on a long ride which I have been trying to do I settled for the gym instead but as it was so nice last night I got out on my GT and did 11 miles ( in just over 30 minutes ! ) by my reckoning that is just around or just over an average of 20 mph phew...
On getting home it started to pour down ??? I just made it in time to save another soaking.

Today I was planning to get my long ride in but awoke to this view out of my window

More bloody rain and it's forecast for more rain all weekend ...........great

Anyway on another note food is going good I am back on sensible eating cutting out crap like cakes biscuits and sweets and having smaller portion sizes and despite not much riding I have been feeling the burn down the gym and as a result I am back down to 15st 6 lbs ( 216 lbs ).
I am now under 15 and a half stone next target is to get back under 15 stone
here goes.................

Wednesday, 4 July 2012

12 Months

WOW It's 12 months since I started this blog and what a 12 months it has been, some good some absolute shite. However I'm still here talking garbage and still lighter than last year and still cycling so all in all I can't complain ( well I can but nobody listens to me anyway ) and in those 12 months there has been just over 10,000 hits to this blog, I know some blogs get 10,000 hits a day but I am humbled that in 12 months people have read what I have said over 10,000 times
Thank you to all who read it and to those that comment on it I appreciate it and at times it is some of those comments that have kept me going when times have been hard so thank you all.

This month I have stepped up my sensible eating and plan to ride more, I wanted to ride 600 miles this month , now as most of my riding is by means of commuting and I can clock up 90 + miles a week doing this 600 miles to me is achievable, although I have never achieved it yet !
What I did forget though is that I had booked a week off work and I can't for the life of me remember why so you can imagine last week when I realised I was off this week and didn't know about it I was well chuffed, but I think I will set my target for July at 450 miles instead of 600
As I am not commuting I had planned to go out and give my GT some good trips out, but as usual with this British summer the weather keeps getting in the way, Yesterday I sat at home looking out the window waiting for the rain to come as it looked like it was about to precipitate it down and it never did and I could of gone out.
Today it looked the same so I thought stuff it I'm off.

Off I set but on my Whyte as I wanted to do a good ride but along some towpaths towards St Helens a route I did a few weeks ago with my mate Rob, I got on the canal and within about a mile I was covered in mud from numerous puddles that were strewn along the way. at about mile 2 it started to rain not heavy so I thought I would plough on and see how things went.
I had to cross the railway line where these signs are, I am so glad they are there as I wouldn't have a clue what to do otherwise !!

Well the rain came harder and I decided as I wasn't too far from home that I would head back and go to the Gym but as I got closer to home yep you guessed it it stopped raining, so instead of getting back on the canal  and getting even more muddier I decided to head off in a different direction. towards St Helens and made my way to Dream I love this sculpture and if you go when the weather is not at it's best you usually get to see it by yourself I find it quite spooky

It was this point I tried out one of those energy gels that I had bought ages ago it was supposed to be Rhubarb and custard flavour but it was bleedin awful how people use those I will never know I am just glad I also had a banana with me to take the taste away.

I set off back and the heavens opened and I was like a drowned rat by the time I got home.
Not as far as I wanted to go but still managed 20 miles so not too bad.

Sunday, 1 July 2012

The better deal

I have just dropped off my eldest lad ( Ross 23 yrs ) in Heaton Park as he is off with another 70,000 people to watch the Stone Roses whilst I settle down to watch ITV 4 highlights of stage 1 of the Tour de France.

Can;t help thinking I got the better deal

Come on Wiggo

Friday, 29 June 2012

The Elephant in the room

What a great saying this is The Elephant in the room . If your not familiar with this term either click on the link which will explain it better than I can or for those of you that don't want to. my explanation of it is how you can ignore a big issue or problem and pretend it's not there.

So today I am going to talk about my "Elephant in the room"

I started this blog last year and it is a diary of my journey from 16st 7 lbs ( 231 lbs ) back to normality using my bike (s) .

My regular readers will know that last year I went from 16st 7 lbs (231 lbs ) down to 14 st 7 lbs ( 203 lbs ) a loss of 2 stone . This was accomplished by eating sensibly and plenty of cycling.

My regular readers will also know that In September last year my life hit somewhat of a brick wall when my marriage hit the rocks and went tit's up. I started smoking again and I think stress from all this assisted with some of my weight loss.

In November last year after being somewhat transient I moved into a flat/apartment/condo whatever you want to call it and my diet went back to eating crap and my red wine and beer consumption went up.
A lot of this was due to stress and not coping very well and some of it was because of being a lazy bastard and some of it was related to giving up smoking ( yet again) which I can tell you was not easy whilst my life was in turmoil but of all things I was determined not to smoke. I haven't smoked now for 8 months and don't intend to start again.

So my Elephant in the room you may of noticed is that I haven't been posting my weight on this blog as it has slowly been creeping up and last week I re-hit 16 stone ( 224 lbs ) just 7 lbs under where I started from.

So I need to get my arse in gear and sort this out.

Why will this time be any different ?


A few months ago I started having chest pains nothing major but it felt like my lungs were aching I didn't have it all the time but was getting it more and more, that coupled with a few weeks ago I had a cough that went on for weeks so I thought right off to the doctors.
The doctor gave me an x ray of my chest which has come back clear and an ECG again which has come back clear and he has also taken blood and tested for all sorts .

Nothing indicates why I am getting chest pains but my doctor is sending me for an exercise linked ECG where you have to go on a treadmill whilst wired up just to make sure there is nothing wrong with my Ticker.

I personally think the pains are related to the stress I have been under but what do I know,

Also my blood tests have come back with high cholesterol mine is 6.7 and apparently it should be around 5, at least this has come down from last time I had it done it was 7.9 !!!
The doctor said he would start me on some tablets for this, now not being a tablet kind of chap I asked if there was anything else that could be done and his reply was simple " YES LOSE SOME WEIGHT"

So the Elephant in my room has given me a bit of a shock I need to get my arse in gear and lose weight.

Today I weighed in at 15 st 9 lbs so that's 5 lbs lost this week

I have come to realise that you only get the one life and the one body You have got to look after it because once you break it it can be pretty hard to fix

This week I have ended the week on 91 miles
July will be a much better month for cycling and weight loss

Tuesday, 26 June 2012

It's second hand now

Well folks the weather this morning was sunny so I donned my shorts and shirt for the GT 's maiden trip

Prepped and ready for the off

I headed off with the intention of riding over to Tatton park which is a 40 miler but as I have not really been on my bike for about 3 weeks I decided I would shorten that a bit so decided to head on over to the Lavender Tea barn near Dunham Massey and fill up on beans on toast for the return journey.
The weather was great nice and sunny and warm and the GT seemed to zip along at a nice 17/18 mph.
I reached the tea barn about 11.30 and decided to press on as it was too early for lunch.

Obligatory picture of my bike against a gate 
Most of my ride was along country lanes and it is a long time since I have ridden for pleasure with nowhere particular to go, although cycle commuting is pleasurable I had forgot how good it is just to get on your bike and ride.

Lycra legs what can I say ??
A most pleasurable day and I even got used to my clipless pedals again except for one mishap in Lymm where I was too lazy to unclip and was waiting for a car to pass from the left as I was turning right I moved out to the middle of the road to turn and as it passed another car came leaving me waddling around in the middle of the road trying to stay upright whilst this 2nd car passed much to the amusement of another passing cyclist who realised what I had done, we both nodded at each other as cyclist's do and I managed to keep upright and carry on.

A very pleasurable 31 miles in total and I got back home just before the rain started.

The GT and Whyte tucked up together awaiting their next trip

Monday, 25 June 2012

All shiny and new

Here it is I picked it up this morning , why are things so good when they are all shiny and new ?

I was hoping to get a good ride on it today but after I had fiddled with it adjusting the saddle height numerous times and swapping the saddle from the stock crappy one ( one of the places bike manufacturers save on money ) and adjusting the handlebars to my liking and swapping over and fitting my clip less pedals it was nearly lunchtime, and having a few things to do today as well I just managed a quick 6 mile blast.

I forgot just how fast road bikes are and compared to my Whyte this is like a flying machine although I think my Lycra has shrunk since I lost had it on !!

First impressions are good and I was soon used to the thin tyres again, the gear shifters however are different from my last road bike my Felt which were incorporated in the brake levers. On the GT they are behind the brake lever on a separate paddle for the up shift and the down shift is a button on the outside of the brake lever instead of the inside and I presume with practice I will get better at it but on this initial ride I kept catching the down shifter button , but other than that I am impressed.

I am just praying it stays dry tomorrow so I can give it a proper test ride or I will have to fit one of these, now I don't know what you think but I think it ruins the aesthetic lines of the bike slightly

Saturday, 23 June 2012

Whats with all this rain ?

Well I have finally finished working in Manchester and I am back to normal working, Thursday was my first proper day back and I had planned to commute by bike , I was on a late but the weather swayed me.
I don't mind riding in the rain and if I am on a ride and it rains then it rains so be it, but Thursday was rain of monsoon proportions and for me that is just a no brainer and I drove, Friday and Saturday are both 2 am finishes and it was still precipitating down and with stuff I need to do Sunday its the car again.

However     some good news   .................. Drum Roll .................

After a whole month of waiting it's finally and not before time as it's long overdue ( yeah yeah that's enough suspense I hear you say ) arrived !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Yes folks my voucher for my new bike is finally here in and is in my grubby little hands.
The LBS have had the phone call this morning and are awaiting my grand arrival on Monday morning to pick up the new steed and bonus is I'm off Monday Tuesday so hopefully this rain will have stopped and I can have a nice healthy test ride.

Updates to follow next week stay tuned for the next exciting episode

Wednesday, 13 June 2012

Still here

I'm still here but still working in Manchester city centre I am missing my 2 wheel commutes too much kit to carry to Manchester and nowhere secure enough to leave my bike.

Friday, 8 June 2012

Is this Manchester's answer to the Boris Bike

Working In Manchester this week I saw this new addition outside Piccadilly train station. Is this Manchester's answer to the popular Boris Bike used extensively in London

From when I have been in London the Boris bike seems pretty popular and well thought out.

However these little chaps are brand new Brompton's a much better bike but I would imagine harder to maintain and what happens when you get a puncture ?

A good idea but time will tell

Full of brand new Brompton's I hope they are fastened down well 

Wednesday, 6 June 2012

Nowt down this week

There will be no cycling for me for the rest of the week, I have to work in Manchester City Centre till at least Friday and possibly even into next week. It's tough being the man for the job at times !!!

Monday, 4 June 2012

How very strange ?

I woke up this morning after yesterdays rain to something very strange. A Bank holiday Monday and it wasn't raining !!!!!!!!

My mate Rob had asked last week if I fancied a ride out over the weekend so today was the day. Rob said he would come to my place for 1 pm so in typical Rob style he arrived at 1.25 pm and off we set.

We set off along the Transpennine trail but decided to branch of and headed off at a tangent along Sankey Valley Park which runs along the canal in Warrington

Robs white whyte and my black whyte next to an old dry dock.

Now today I appear to of lost all sense of hand and eye co-ordination that combined with a simple fact of forgetting to pedal when I set off I fell off my bike fortunately as I wasn't peddling I wasn't going to problem.
Of we set again with Rob taking the piss out of me we followed a path that I had never been down before which came out near to Burtonwood this is when we had to drop off a tiny edge to get around a post YEP you guessed it incident number 2. I read on a blog the other day something about cycling that made me laugh it simply said " If you don't want to run it over don't stare at it".
Now why can't I write stuff like that however that is just what I did I dipped down off the edge and stared at all the rough grass at the side of the path and wallop straight into it, another low speed one though so after wobbling like a true learner driver I got myself back on course.
We continued along the canal towards Newton-le Willows home of the mighty Rick Astley under this Viaduct I know it is a viaduct because as we were trying to decide if it was a viaduct or an aquaduct a train went over it

It must be a really big ladder to get up there and write your name on it

From here we carried on into St Helens along the canal passing weirs

St Helens has a history of mining which obviously links with the canals for transport and we passed several reminders of these past days

An old mining cart

Some sort of lifting device

We went onto Carr Mill dam from here and ended up with a 24 mile ride somewhere I have never been before but will go again, the weather was good and me and Rob talked some shit so a good day was had
However not before incident number 3 as I got off my bike I got my shorts stuck on the saddle !!!!!!!!! and I fell off again

Carr Mill Dam