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Showing posts from December, 2011

December Riding Summary

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This month's data for on-the-bike training (click on image to enlarge):


A good mile-count I reckon, just short of 800miles (1250km), which can't be bad for the winter months. I think my biggest month this year was September when I clocked up close to 1700miles in one month - but then that was touring and fair weather riding! so considering the rain and cold, this has been a good month.
Bring on 2012! Lets hope winter miles translates into race wins!

Weekend Watch: Cervelo Paris Roubaix

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An interesting short documentary about the Paris Roubaix, produced by renowned bike manufacturer Cervelo

Weekend Watch: 'The Soigneur Diaries'

The Soigneur Diaries from BrakeThrough Media on Vimeo.
Spend a day-in-the-life with the HTC-Highroad Team Soigneurs… Filmed on location in France & Belgium during the Spring Classics and during the 2012 Tour de France, and in California during the Amgen Tour of CA. If you ever thought being a pro athlete was hard; imagine what it takes to take care of one. Some of the hardest working folks in sport, these guys work so hard they make us feel lazy!

Winter Riding Photos - Isle of Wight

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Who needs to jet off to Majorca for a training camp when you've got an Island like this on your doorstep?





Strength and Agility Training Workout

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This is my 'Power and Agility' Workout Plan. It's a good indoor workout that can be done without much equipment and should help to improve core muscle groups and power output.
Some of the exercises and photos in this post come from a Cycling Plus article 'Off The Bike Power Workouts' [Link], whilst some of them are exercises that I have learnt in other fitness classes.

Warm-Up:
4 sets of Bunny-Hops
(Crouch down, knees bent, one foot in front of the other, fingertips touching the floor. Then with as much power as possible spring upwards and land with your feet in the alternate position. Repeat this alternation for one minute; that is one set).

Main Set:
3 Sets of One Leg Bridge Changeovers
"Lying on your back with your knees at 90 degrees, feet flat on the floor and arms by your sides, lift your hips and tense your glutes. Then lift your left leg, tense your right glute and hold for two seconds. Switch legs and repeat for 30 seconds - that is one set." Cycling Pl…

Weekend Watch: 'Mark Cavendish - Human Missile'

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A great documentary on Mark Cavendish's 2010 season
Ideal for a 1hr turbo session!

Mid-December Winter Training Update

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So I've been back on the Isle of Wight a week now, and had some great rides already.
Last Saturday I rode for the first time with the Wightlink RT boys that I hope to race with next year; they are a great group of lads, and I think it will be a fun season, hopefully with a good number of wins as well!

Throughout the week I've been for some pretty awesome rides, both on and off-road. Last Sunday I clocked up some serious climbing and some big miles on the mountain bike in a very strong South-westerly gale - that made the legs hurt a bit!

Tuesday was a long, and rather damp road bike ride, racking up another good 50 miles or so.
Then Thursday saw another mountain bike epic - with some big climbs and some fantastic views thanks to the clear skies and strong winds that were bringing some impressive surf in off the Atlantic as I rode down the South-west of the Island.

So what is winter training about for me?
Here's a typical week when I'm at home:
Saturday - Team Road Bike R…

Review: Giro Merino Winter Cap

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If you find yourself getting a cold head or ears on your morning rides, now that we are facing some sub-zero temperatures; then this cap could be the one for you.
Made of Merino Wool, it is extremely breathable and comfortable; avoiding the sweaty scalp that is often found when wearing  a polyester beanie under your helmet.  Its low back covers your ears and neck well, stopping the unwanted draft as the cold air swirls around the back of your head. The small peak is also useful for keeping the drizzle or freezing fog off your face when the weather really gets nasty.
Overall, a great product: I'm a new-found fan of cycling caps, this is one with a winter specific aim, and it does the job very well. With the usual Giro quality, it looks like it should last a while as well.  Avoid the brain-freeze this winter - Merino-Up!

Weekend Watch: Mark Cavendish's World Champs Win

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That fantastic moment when Mark Cavendish won this year's UCI World Road Championships

Review: Mavic Sprint Jacket

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For the last few years my waterproof has been a lightweight Dhb hi-vis jacket from Wiggle. It's done the job, and certainly I've been grateful for it when stuck out in a heavy downpour. But on my recent touring trip in France and Spain we experienced some pretty torrential downpours and quite a few hours in the saddle grinding through drizzle and road spray.
You realise when you're touring how important it is to be warm and dry, it makes cycling a lot more enjoyable; whereas at home you can normally just bail on your long ride plan and run for home, when you're touring this is not an option. As a result on returning to the UK I started looking for a decent, fully breathable raincoat that would keep me dry and not too sweaty even on long, hard rides.

When I'm looking at cycling kit to purchase there is always a compromise to be met between quality and price. As a student I don't have the funds or courage to dish out a month's rent on a Rapha or Assos Rainco…

Before and After - Today's 50 mile Off-road Ride

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Coffee - The Life Blood of Cyclists

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It seems that every cyclist I know is in love with the dark, aromatic drink that is Coffee.

What is it that makes us love this bean-based drink so much though?
Is it the caffeine kick that we crave to keep our legs spinning? Or the warming feeling when you are getting ready to brave the elements on a cold winter morning? Or quite simply, is it just tradition and part of a long café culture for the sport?

In this Blog-post I will take a look at the natural stimulant that makes so many of us tick, and try and find out what really makes coffee as valuable as liquid gold for many two-wheeled enthusiasts.


Stimulate the Mind
We cyclists like to see ourselves as a hardy bunch; often rising at the crack of dawn to train, throughout the year. Those brisk winter mornings are often a struggle though, plucking up enough will-power and strength to pull heavy legs from beneath the duvet, and get them turning the crank-arms of a bike. A fresh coffee provides a unique source of motivation; warming fro…

Weekend Watch: Rapha Continental The Movie

Rapha Continental – The Movie from RAPHA on Vimeo.
This is a fantastic short film about The Rapha Continental Team, as they seek out and ride some of the most scenic and deserted roads in North America - with some stunning camera work.
Courtesy of Rapha Works.

Cafe Review: Fosseway Garden Centre, Moreton-in-Marsh

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I stopped at this cafe on a great ride that I did with The Kenilworth Wheelers last Sunday [Garmin link] - and thought it was worth a quick cafe review.

The cafe got a thumbs-up from the start as it was called "Timothy's" Nice!
It was warm and welcoming to a group of cyclists; with racks outside and smiling faces as we strolled in, fully lycra clad, cold and a bit muddy.

The cafe serves a great mix; from teas, coffee and cakes; to light lunches and a great looking bowl of soup.
I had a tasty slab of lemon-curd cake, which certainly helped fuel the ride home.

Its location away from the town means that bikes can be left fairly happily outside, away from the prying eyes.

With some fantastic routes around this part of Warwickshire/Gloucestershire, it is a perfect stop for a long winter ride in the area - well worth a visit.

Website Link