Thursday, 21 January 2016

McConvey Cycles: Bike fit demo and talk

Huge thanks to Lance and everyone at McConvey Cycles for the bike fit demo and talk tonight. Lance was brilliant at explaining each step in an idiot proof way and still being willing to answer our idiot questions. I thought it would be good, but it totally exceeded everyone's expectations and was good fun.
Everyone there learnt loads and should be a lot more comfortable and potentially injury free going forward, with their cleats in the "new neutral" position. If there is interest in another session later in the year I'm sure Lance will accommodate. Thanks too, to Twinkle Toes for his skill as a crash test dummy - really good sport.

PS I promise I'm not just saying nice things because Lance told me my bums not as big as I thought!

Sunday, 17 January 2016

Neither Fish nor Fowl

In the words of Retro, today was neither fish nor fowl. My interpretation of that, was that it wasn't nice, but it wasn't terrible either - cold and damp, but doable for a while if you went hard enough to keep the heart pumping, or in Sean's case to keep it close to max....

Nine of us left Forestside, with a mixture of Lites and heavies. My notional plan was to keep it steady and flattish to Balloo, then split. If the Lites went round the coast for coffee in Castle Espie the heavies could do a longer loop and maybe arrive before they left. After we split Retro requested a visit to Nendrum and I'm all about making wishes come true, so that's where we headed, followed by another loop. Flashdance headed for home, while Monsieur Poulet, Bones, Digger, Retro and me called at Castle Espie. 

By the look of strava the Lites - Derek, Lanterne and Martin exercised their democratic right and headed to Ballygowan and Carryduff instead.

After coffee we planned to loop round Scrabo and Craiganlet, but as the mizzle started I came over all sensible (the worst insult you can give a Castlereagh rider) and suggested we just drop down Bradshaws home. Retro asked me which way I was planning to get to my house, which immediately told me he wanted more.... Before you know it, four of us were climbing Gilnahirk and Braniel - idiots....

Only 3.5 hours with a relatively easy start, but a lot better for the body than lying on the sofa. Bones is looking scary strong, but Retro and Digger aren't far behind. Ps in 1963 the Royal Mail didn't have a squirrel on their stamps - there was a badger and a red deer - he checked.....

Saturday, 16 January 2016

Kudos all round today!

Kudos all round today!

Kudos to Stephen who put out some serious wattage and did a great ride, despite being off the bike for a few weeks and suffering with a sore shoulder.

Special kudos to Bonafide Badass Peter, who upheld rule #9 for the second consecutive week by braving weather which made more sensible riders cower behind their turbo trainers. He also set a new personal distance record on the way, on a ride bookended with two ascents of Bradshaw 's Brae no less!

Final kudos to Bergmeister, who takes photos worthy of Alison Webster every week, with apparent ease. As I found out today, it's pretty difficult!

Other special mentions go to Lee, who took a break from work to say hi outside Forestside, and to Jeremy, who was spotted running near Ballyholme.

With the threat of ice and light showers, the three of us decided to play it safe and stick to low lands, coastal and main roads where we could. The result was a jaunt out to Donaghadee via Ards and back again, with a couple of small hills and a mini 3-up TT on the way. No coffee stop today as we wanted to get home quick but fun was had by all and, most importantly, we all stayed safe.

Until next time!

Sunday, 10 January 2016

Let off the Lease

Even with the photographs, with so many riders out and me feeling sleepy I'm struggling to remember who all was out.... Best I can recall we had Retro, Digger, Bones, Flashdance, the Terminator, Ressurrection, Poulet, Lanterne, David, Michael and me.

We left Forestside promptly and set off south west in to the wind. We used the first few miles out to Temple to see how people felt and it wasn't all good news. Ian suggested a Lite run to Dromore, although I couldn't name an open coffee shop there on a Sunday. The group stayed together across to Bailies Mills but splintered a little on the rolly stuff after Ballykeel. Credit to David who stuck to the mothership like a limpet.

That was the signal to split the group and 5 of us got a 10 second head start on to Edenticullo Rd. There's a strange phenomenon when the group splits, but basically the riders who are "let off the lease" go a bit nuts. Sometimes it last 10 mins, sometimes it lasts 2 hours, but I've learnt there is nothing I can do to control it, all I can do is hang on.... Unfortunately Flashdance didn't have a working big ring and a high speed race towards Drumlough did for him.

That left 4 of us hammering towards Kinallen, Gail Bog Rd, Flough Rd and Drone Rd - lumpy stuff and Bones was on fire. Digger picked up injury and was looking pale by the time we stopped in Banbridge, but he's made of strong stuff and was determined to get home under his own steam. Conversation turned to Kelly's Heroes, with our own Oddball telling our Morriarty "enough of the negative waves!" - at least no-one had lost their sense of humour. After a top quality bacon bap, we saddled up and hit for home.

Despite hard roads and a good pace Digger dug in (there's more than one reason for the nickname) and we rapidly reached Dromore. On to Edentrillick Rd and a sweep through Annahilt and back similar roads to the way out.

Hopefully the Lite run was as much fun, we couldn't have asked for much more. Well done Michael on his first ride and to David who is really progressing. Hopefully Digger is feeling better and Comrade who wasn't with us recovers quickly from an encounter with wildlife.

Edit - sorry, sleepy head. I meant to say congrats to Roger, Glenn and all the other friends of the club including Miss T and MTB Girl competing at the Irish National Cycling Championships in Tollymore. Huge congrats.

Lites -

Full Fat -

Saturday, 9 January 2016

We're rolling, rolling, Rolling on the river

I had Tina Turner at the back of my head this morning "I left a good job in the city, Working for the man every night and day, And I never lost one minute of sleeping, Worrying 'bout the way things might have been, Big wheel keep on turning, Proud mary keep on burning, And we're rolling, rolling, Rolling on the river....". A lack of sleep and pouring rain made getting out a struggle, but Piglet, Scotty and a new face Peter were waiting for me.

The rain just got worse, but once you're wet you can't get wetter so we thought we'd give it a go. The route took us out the Kings Road and across to Greengraves Rd. Scotty only had light gloves, so headed before home before we had to play hunt the finger.

The rest of us did a loop around the Ballybarnes Road, across to Clandeboye and back to Bradshaws. Piglet's fixie wasn't slowing him down! By that stage we were properly cold and headed for home and our new warm hoodies (great job Andrew).

Really well done to Peter - it's usually a lot more fun than that. Apologies for the poor photography, but wet screens aren't very responsive. Fingers crossed tomorrow's a bit better and we aren't "rolling on the river" again.