Monday, 20 September 2010

Day 2 and 3

Didn't blog yesterday morning about day 2 for two very good reasons;

1. Alarm failure, I set my alarm for 5 minutes after paul's, unfortunately he set his for the wrong day so when his didn't go off I just cancelled mine

2. I was a grumpy bugger yesterday morning

Day 2 feels like it happened months ago, lots of rolling French countryside and sleepy French villages, lovely place to ride, wish the Tarmac and traffic I rode on was this good.

Day 3 for me - after the alarm trauma - started badly, I misjudged breakfast, hydration and my ability to cycle. Started to fast and by the third hill my legs turned to jelly, not the good rabbit shaped raspberry kind but the quivering not doing what I wanted muscle kind. Luckily a gel, half a bottle of water and lots of encouragement fixed that.

After this everything went swimmingly, swoopy fast descents and long slow uphills, would tell you lots more but my arms ache...

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone


Saturday, 18 September 2010

Morning after day 1

Lying in bed in a hotel in Dieppe contemplating day 1, it was fun, 73 miles from London down to Dover. We have a really good group on the cycle, some fast, some slow but all want to finish and want you to finish with them.

Riding up to hilltop in Dover to applause and percy pigs was fantastic, knowing there was a 6 mile descent into the town helped too, as anyone who knows me can work out I am not built for hill climbing, I am the anti-contador.

Today is the short day, a mere 50 miles, should be finished quick and then into a bar, of course there won't be too much libation as tomorrow is over 80 miles.

Anyway, off to annoy French hotel workers by asking for a full English loudly and slowly, possibly repeating myself and putting o's on the end of every sentence (just kidding) really we are going to chat about if a French cyclist can ever win the Tour de France!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone


Monday, 30 August 2010

First ride for a month

Haven't blogged for a while, mostly because of two very good reasons and a stupid one:

Reason 1: my personal computer died and there is absolutely no time to write blog posts from work

Reason 2: i haven't actually been on my bike for a month and feel fat and guilty

Reason 3 (the rubbish reason): I hadn't installed the google analytics code when i changed the template and thought no one was reading this, definitely an error between keyboard and chair there, sorry.

Anyway, today was my first time out for a month, 30 degree heat and blazing sun, i blamed my shocking performance and lack of speed on a possible chest infection, everyone else in the world seems to think I have party lag and should stop whinging and cycle more, with three weeks to go I will be taking their advice!

Luckily the pace i was so poorly riding at today is about the pace the ride will be going so it's not the end of the world.

Just like to sign off with big thanks to the fit one and the hire bike master for listening to my whinging and keeping me going, even if this did occasionally include loud shouts of 'schnell schnell' reverberating through the peaceful Toronto shrubbery.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Location:Queens Quay W,Toronto,Canada

Wednesday, 28 July 2010


50 days to go and I have an injury, twisted ankle, the planned ride to Niagra at the weekend is off.

I'd like to say it was a training injury but it may have been sustained while at a Rock Club.

That is all....

Thursday, 15 July 2010

The Century

So it has been 4 days, I think I have finally recovered.

This was the furthest I have ever cycled, 101 miles in 6 hours...

It was a cool start at 7am, the fixed gear guy was there, first up, wasn't expecting him but at this point we thought the day as only going to be 88 miles...
After about 10 minutes the Fit Cyclist arrives, like me he has two water bottles and pockets full of energy bars and gel packs, we are well prepared, maybe not mentally but at least we have the gear.

We set off, hitting our starting pace quickly and although we have stiff legs there is chatting and a general sense of well being... past the Humber Bridge and out of Toronto where we thought we have left the fixed gear guy behind, there are some lovely swooping cycle paths out to Port Credit. Suddenly a shout, 15 miles in and the fixed gear guy has kept up, 200 meters back but keeping up. We had to be honest and point out we were cycling at warm up pace and we were going to get faster...

Out of Port Credit and down to a peleton of two we were off again, there is some great tarmac on sections of the Lakeshore Boulevard, we were hitting 20 - 24 mph and it felt good.

At 25 miles we had our first food stop, a croissanterie in Oakville, wow, fresh baked pastries, this is one of the (main) reasons I cycle!

Then we are off again, great weather, heating up slowly but perfect for cycling, at 45 miles we passed the longest distance I have ridden in Canada still feeling good but I did have to point out we are now cycling on the edge of the Niagra Escarpement and we should be there, I was promised 44 mile to get there and yet we are still on the road! (and on hills) The fit cyclist of course handles my whinging by just cycling ahead knowing I will try and catch up to complain.

Finally Dundas, luckily finding the cafe, Domestique was easy and the final 7km of the Tour is on the TV, life is good, I have ginger beer, as much water as I can drink and there are lust worthy bikes all over the walls!

After about an hour I am ready for more food, cake and water maybe good but I must of got through 3,500 calories cycling here and I know I am going to do the same on the way back, at this point I am also feeling apprehensive but good about a possible century, having not done it before I quite scared!
Off round the corner to a family restaurant, the fit cyclist was examining the menu but my mind was made up early, how can you refuse anything called the 'hungry lad'? 3 eggs, 2 peameal bacon, 2 canadian bacon, 2 sausages, toast and pancakes, yummers!
Yes we finished it all, and two iced tea for hydration, I tried to eat slowly as finishing would mean hitting the road for the 50 miles home!

By now it is 1:30pm and true to form the temperature and humidity was rising, although we were making good time our pace was suffering, with sections where we were only doing 16 mph and we were both flagging, we even had to stop and wait for a while recovering.

On the way back into Oakville although we wanted to go further a decision was made to stop for a drink, for about 10 miles I had been slower than the fit cyclist, this of course was allowed as we had so far gone 65 - 75 miles... Luckily lemonade came to my rescue!

These were as delicious as they looked! and although it doesn't look like it in the picture the weather was turning, as we were finishing up there were raindrops, this was exactly what we wanted and needed. Then again we were not so keen on the thunder and lightening, especially as it seemed to be directly above us, still, only 25 miles to go!

Powering through the rain we spied the CN tower and I felt a new lease of life in my legs, power came back and I was on... of course I nearly broke down as we passed my apartment, we were at 99 miles so not reaching the century would be a crime but I was passing my house...

Anyway, I managed it and with many thanks to the fit cyclist I have managed the biggest ride ever. This may well be a regular part of my life - here we go century!

Sunday, 11 July 2010


Cycled 101 miles today, will blog later/tomorrow as am a little tired now

Thursday, 1 July 2010

been a couple of weeks

and I have been home for a weekend of excess and no cycling...

So getting back on the bike this morning was not fun. It's Canada Day and I would rather have slept in and then had some beers.

Luckily I was out with the fit cyclist after he insisted that we started at 7am, now this is an hour later than our normal start time so it sounded like a reasonable idea... of course being up at 6:45am getting ready I suddenly realised what a stupid idea this all was, by now of course it was too late to back out...

We both started out towards the Humber Bridge and we also both whinged, there was no power in either of our legs and we felt stupid. Luckily the great cycle trails in Toronto and a 10 mile warm up meant we started to enjoy the ride, onwards and upwards through West Toronto...

As we progressed we had to leave the North bound cycle trails and head east to find the trails south, this sent us through some very 'interesting' bits of Toronto, if it hadn't been 8am on a holiday I am pretty sure two men in lycra would have been fair game for the local residents so we just kept rolling...

We found the trails again and after an extended stop for breakfast at Starbucks we headed down the down valley at a crazy pace back towards downtown. This was SOOOO much fun, 20 miles an hour downhill on a 3 metre wide trail, schweet!

So back home, 32 miles in 2 hours 13 minutes feeling good, just got to remember to get some miles in at the weekend...

Sunday, 20 June 2010

Long Distance Hot Ride

So that is it, 46 miles in 27 Celsius heat at an average speed of 15 miles per hour (although that does include some walking bits and shock horror - some hills!!!).

I feel great, sweaty and I have muscles of jelly, but great...

We started early and cycled out to the spit, which is the other side of Toronto Island, my geography is a bit rubbish but it was nice and only about 8 miles so an easy warm up!

After this it was back along the spit and up to the beaches, it was still early so the recreation path was being used but not too crazy this early, at the end of the beaches we turned around, I was hoping a beach volleyball competition would have started (with girls - not like Top Gun)

Anyway, we headed north on some awesome cycle paths and after a little rest at 20 miles turned left and headed out west.

Suddenly at 25 miles my body decided this was enough, every slight incline felt like a mountain and my average speed dropped by 10 miles an hour, the only possible solution was a cake break...
I am not too proud to admit that I was drinking an iced chocolate drink and a chocolate brownie with a small milk chocolate on the side, it had the desired effect and I was almost back to full strength. Of course the next 10 minutes was hills going up on a main road so there was a little muttering swear words under my breath but at least I had enough energy to do this...

Turning left into the posh part of town we witness some pretty ostentatious housing, we could tell it was where the elite trontons live as the white Range Rover Sport count went through the roof, suddenly the first and second car on every drive was european, I am guessing all the domestic cars belonged to the live in help.

Briefly I saw the CN Tower in the distance, this is a homing beacon for me,  so of course we turned right and cycled away from it, and towards Liberty Village. We got to the Humber Bridge and despite my best sad face and almost tears I was told we were continuing to the point. Now we are on Waterfront recreational paths again and they are now full of cyclists slow enough to obey the 20km/hr speed limit and lots of roller bladers, this was good as it slowed us down (a little)

We made the point despite the head wind, probably as I knew we would turn around and this would mean we would be on the final stretch and have a wind behind us.
Ye, this is Toronto from a different angle, a whole 15 miles as the seagull flies from the first picture, of course we managed to make this journey 38 miles but then we are gluttons for punishment. After a brief paddle to sooth my aching feet we were off again, tail wind and knowing it was the last leg meant we matched and exceeded our early morning pace of 18 miles per hour and made it home before 1pm.

I do feel quiet accomplished and I would like to thank Paul for the ride, I'd like to thank him but I will wait and see what my legs feel like tomorrow morning.

More of these to come I feel as this is only as far as the shortest day we have on the London to Paris in September!

Thursday, 17 June 2010

Faster faster, harder harder

So I had been riding the morning 10 miler with a colleague on a fixed langster, we chatted and made it to the Humber Bridge and back in 42 minutes.

This has all changed.

I have now been joined by a much fitter colleague and on the first morning ride out (which may have been a little macho fitness competition) we zoomed along at over 20mph and managed the whole ride in 32 minutes...

Now this is a very good thing for my training, I felt like I had been for a ride... hopefully he won't kill me too soon, although saying this he has suggested going looking for hills at the weekend on 'an Epic ride' somewhere in the Don Valley.

When and if I return from this I will blog about which bits of me hurt the most!

Sunday, 6 June 2010

Bad bad Guido

I haven't blogged for a week, this is mostly because I feel bad having only cycled for about 20 miles this week. I have mostly avoided cycling through some of the following weak excuses;

  1. It was wet outside
  2. My saddle is a little too low
  3. I have a hurty head
  4. It's too hot
But then today I got another £50 sponsorship and this has made me realise I need to get off my ass next week and ride so I have a 6am ride planned for the morning. Hopefully this won't make me too tired to move into my 'water view' condo tomorrow evening. Being the cynical Brit I am guessing water view means there is a persistent puddle outside in the road... perhaps it is like the sea view hotels in Brighton where you have to lean out of a window to just about catch a glimpse of a sea gull.

One thing that has made me happy is the beards album, good honest songs about good honest beards, can't be beat!

Anyway off to cook real food...

Sunday, 30 May 2010

More Canada

So cycling in Canada is very opposite, so far it has been about 50% whisper smooth roads and cycle paths and 50% of the time it is on roads with potholes so big I would personally just dynamite the whole street and start again. Luckily I am learning where these bad roads are and am avoiding them.

Today included 40 miles of cycling, 26 early morning miles up the waterfront path and then 14 miles round Toronto Island, which is sweet, has few motorized vehicles and a lovely view of the city.

This is my bike on a ferry.
And thats the view!

So anyway, got to go get my washing, hotel cycling isn't so bad, just wish I had a washing machine in my room!

Thursday, 27 May 2010

And here it is - My first ever Canadian ride!

And as much as I love London, Toronto so far has it beaten hands down for cycle lanes and just being pretty, most of the ride all I could think of was how I need to take a camera next time! wow...

Tuesday, 25 May 2010

3400 miles, unfortunately not on a bike

Well I am here, after seven and a half hours in the air, all of which I spent worrying about the bike. Luckily I am now in my hotel room and I have managed to put most of the bike together, just need to get a couple of tools from a local bike shop here in Toronto and I am ready to roll, hopefully tomorrow I can get the tools and I'll be rolling Canada style.

Of course as it is almost summer here it looks like 13 hours of sun and 30 Celsius so I will also be investing in some factor 50 before I head out on anything of a reasonable length, within a couple of weeks I want to be riding 60 mile days - which shouldn't be too difficult as Toronto is flatter than London! no hills is fun but not great training!

Friday, 21 May 2010

Last London Ride

So that's it, the Cannondale is going to be packed up soon, ready for a 3,000 mile flight to Canada.
My last ride was a doozy, which is why I am lying on the sofa. 42 miles, taking in Notting Hill, Oxford Street, Shoreditch, Tower Bridge, Sloane Sq and much more! After lunch it is off to the excellent Bicycle to get my trusty stead bagged up, I will take pictures, for my sanity as well as showing off!

One good thing I did find out on this ride, the tyres, come off much easier than the single speed and so fixing the puncture was surprisingly easy, I even used some patches rather than changing the inner tube for a spare, I feel like a proper cyclist now! Although the tiny pump I had only managed to get me to 80psi, I was wishing I had my other, slightly larger, high pressure pump!

Anyway, need to chill as this is the furthest I have ridden since I was skinny and young.

Wednesday, 19 May 2010

Last of the Commutes

Well, that was the last of the work commutes in the UK until September. Tomorrow is my last day in the office before zooming off to Canada for three months and so I have to go pick up all the stuff that accumulates as a cyclist; Towels, shower gel, miscellaneous (dirty) underwear, other sporting clothing, laptop, chargers for everything etc.

This and having a meeting at a vendors office means I have to use the car. So the car has been 72 miles getting me to and from work, in the same time I have cycled 3,542 miles while commuting, this makes me feel a little warm inside, although that may be cycling in a long sleeved top when it is 25 Celsius...

So tomorrow is car, then Friday is a 3 hour ride before heading to the bike shop and having the trusty stead packed ready for Canada, I have decided to get a big ride on in case the bike arrives in more pieces than it started the journey or it doesn't arrive at all (woof).

Once the other side of the Atlantic I plan on getting a 100km day in pretty quick, this could of course be the end of me...

Monday, 17 May 2010

Travelling with Bike Soon!

So with Toronto calling for three months work I am putting my life on hold here in London, at least this means cancelling the monthly organic meat delivery and getting a Statutory Off Road Notice for the Camper van. This is a shame because I was looking forward to some camping weekends away this summer.

I have now managed to secure a bike box, and by the look of things a good one, and yet again it was my Local Bike Shop has come up trumps. After a quick query they have helped me source the bike box and they have also offered to help me pack the bike for the first trip. As ever I cannot say enough about having a really good relationship with your LBS.

So far this post has been a little light on training, well that is because after my 140 mile week last week I am taking it easy this week in anticipation of piling on the miles next week in Canada. All pending the good behavior of a certain volcano in Iceland.

Saturday, 15 May 2010

Going Canadian


I am off to Canada with work, until September - so two weeks before I am doing the London to Paris ride.

Training is now going to be a challenge, I have just spent the morning looking at Air Canada's website working out how much extra I will need to pay for the bike, its looking like $50 plus any extra baggage fees.

This is all manageable, of course now I need to find a bag to pack the bike in. First stop Wiggle as they always seem to have what I need, and there it is, a hard bike box, and all for £175, this training lark is going to cost me an arm and a leg!

Oh well, a real bike to ride is better than sitting on an exercise bike for the next three months...

Friday, 14 May 2010

Challenge completed!

So this morning, a day ahead of schedule I completed my "Cycle 400 miles in 30 days" challenge. The final mile ticked over as I passed Turnham Green tube station worrying about the wheel sized pot holes in the road. Although I was expecting a ticker tape parade and applause from local dignitaries it was, as usual, quiet.

To complete the challenge this week (because I had been slack at the start of the 30 days) I had to cycle 130 miles. In four and a half days I managed this and feel accomplished.

This is a problem...

In September I will be cycling 180 miles, in three days, GULP, I think I need to set myself more challenges and get back in the saddle, although maybe after resting for a couple of days first, it's almost the weekend after all...

Wednesday, 12 May 2010

Doing things by half

So as part of my training I have set some goals, this months has been to cycle 400 miles in 30 days.
It is going well but with the 4 day weekends I have been occasionally slack. To make up for this I am piling the miles on this week, this has lead to me covering 92 miles in the last 3 days, unfortunately I have just realised this is almost exactly half of what I need to do in September and I am exhausted now...

This also does not bode well for the Dunwich Dynamo in July which I am contemplating cycling and is 120 miles in one night, eeekk.

Monday, 10 May 2010

Head cold + Training = fun fun fun

So after three days of feasting and resting I am back on the bike. This is a good thing. Unfortunately the head cold that has been hanging around became much more evident during the cycling, nothing of course that would stop me in my tracks and send me back home to bed, it is much less than the dreaded man flu, but it was enough.

My body decided that, even though it was sunny and I had more than enough clothing, shivers would be appropriate, also it would be producing prolific amounts of phlegm. This probably made me look a little scary on the ride in and is why everyone was over taking me and shooting off in the distance, even grannies on shoppers, as I probably looked like the patient zero for the upcoming zombie apocalypse.

After all this whinging I actually made it in and I don't feel too bad, of course I came in the 15 mile cop out route so I have to cycle an equally long way home to hit my 30 mile a day target for this week but I will survive!

Saturday, 8 May 2010

Thoughts from Day 2

Starting this blog on a weekend away when I am deliberately not cycling was a mistake, so far I have eaten roughly 1 million calories, drunk a dustbin full of wine and managed to walk the dog about two miles.

As part of my tentative training I have set a challenge of 400 miles in 30 days, this ends next Saturday and I still have 130 miles to go, this is absolutely achievable... at least if I don't whine too much, Of course I am trying to not think about the fact that I have to go further than this in 3 days in September...

As an aside I should also point out I am a London cyclist, hills are something that happen in the distance, I see them but actually going up and down them, that scares me. I suppose I should bring the bike to the midlands and do some training on something bigger than primrose hill, maybe next trip!

Friday, 7 May 2010

The Beginning

So this is it, I am officially signed up, I have a charity giving page and the training has begun, at least I have started cycling further. Although I am officially on three rest days as it is my Mothers Birthday and I cycled 100 miles in three days last week.

This blog will document turning tubby enthusiast into champion London to Paris cyclist - or at least someone who will survive the journey with a smile on his face.

Read, enjoy and give generously! (oh and all the money from the adsense account will also go to BAAF!)