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