Posts

Showing posts from February, 2013

Ride Stats: February 2013

Image
Fairly happy with February's Stats:More hours and more miles that February last yearA good average speedHigher numbers than January despite the shorter month March will see the first race of the season, and hopefully some higher intensity training as well.
Also a bit of mountain biking on the Isle of Wight, can't wait! 

Wednesday Watch: 2013 Tour de France Trailer

Image
I couldn't wait until the "Weekend Watch" to share this one.

Spin Cycle Mag Issue 2: "Wiggo's World"

Image
My first published piece in a magazine! 
I hope you like it; it's available for FREE in the second issue of Spin Cycle Mag at: http://t.co/EBl7VeEWh8 DOWNLOAD IT NOW! It's a really great new publication. 

Touring: Route Plan for Le Havre to Florence

View Larger Map
This is the provisional route plan for a tour that I am thinking of doing in late August/early September. 
Le Havre on the north coast of France to Florence in Italy with a few lumps along the way...

Route:
- Le Havre
- Dijon
- Col de la Faucille
- Col de La Madeleine
- Col du Glandon
- Alp d'Huez
- Col du Galibier
- Col d'Izoard
- Col de la Bonette
- Col d'Eze
- Poggio di San Remo
- Cipressa
- Florence
Distance: 1,123 milesElevation: Yet to be calculatedDuration: 16 days (including two rest days)

Weekend Watch: The Rapha Bordeaux Paris

BORDEAUX—PARIS 2013 - Ambitious about Autism from RAPHA on Vimeo.
What a challenge! So much history

Inspiration: Your Peak 2 Trailer

Your peak 2 [Teaser] from BULLmovie on Vimeo.

I can't wait for this to be released.
Get out and ride...

Review: Bristol BUTT'R Chamois Cream

Image
A few weeks back I wrote a blog on Saddle Sore Prevention and Cure. It's a problem that many avid cyclists encounter along the road, and chamois cream is one thing that can really ease or even eliminate the discomfort.

This cream is custom made by racer John Whittington in Bristol, and I have to say he knows his stuff! 
The Bristol BUTT'R is marketed as an antiseptic ointment, with the active ingredient being tea-tree oil; it promises to tackle the greatest concern of saddle sores - infection. Making sure that your nether-regions are free of bacteria is a crucial step in eliminating saddle sores. 
The cream certainly has a "buttery" consistence as well; beautifully thick, it stays put on your seat pad and vital chafe regions. This is a problem that I have had with other creams and they consequently lose their effectiveness after a few hours in the saddle. The BUTT'R has stayed firmly where you want it though, and the thick consistency also means that you don'…

Review: Carbonaut Clothing

Image
You're a cyclist. Riding your bike makes you who you are, it's in your blood. Your physique probably shows your hours spent in the saddle; slim upper body, leg muscles like Pop-eye and tan lines that are tattooed to your skin. Why shouldn't the clothes you wear reflect your ambition and passion as well?

I came across Carbonaut when I was searching for an answer to just that question; what can cyclists wear (other than shorts) that will set them apart from everyone else on the high street? Carbonaut seem to provide the answer. Their range of clothing is custom designed for those that ride bikes; slim fitting, with long backs and long sleeves. This kit will keep you looking cool in the pub or riding to the shops.

The quality of the products is impeccable as well; just like a Brooks Saddle or a Chris King headset, this kit is made to last; just how cyclists want it. Below I've written a short review of the two products that I have from Carbonaut, which have quickly become…

Weekend Watch: Mont Blanc Trail Loop

Image
I think I might have found another ride to add to my Bucket List....

Review: 'The Beautiful Ride' Notebooks

Image
One thing that I find really helps my training and motivation is having a jotter to write down race details, results, training notes and workout ideas. It's even better if that jotter is a cycling themed notebook like these stunning jotters from The Beautiful Ride.

The notebook I chose from their range (with much deliberation) is 'The Beautiful Road'. It really is a place to note down those thoughts of long-off tours and target races; the ambitions for your cycling career as you ride down the road of life. Suitably sporting the Albert Einstein quote "I thought of that whilst riding my bicycle".

The notebooks are A5 in size, with 128 pages of plain high quality writing paper to put your ideas down on. There is a useful elastic strap to hold the book closed and keep all those essential race entry forms safe inside; as well as a strong hard cover that should last a good few 'seasons', and look smart on your desk or when it comes out of your kit bag.

The note…

Hints and Tips: Muscle Preparation and Recovery

Image
Most of us don't have a personal masseuse following us around to get our leg muscles in tip top condition again after a hard ride, or get them ready to race on the morning of the event. However there are some things that we can do as a bit of a substitute to try and ensure those pistons are firing as well as possible on the bike.

Of course, the most important thing to get your muscles recovered is proper nutrition. For those that haven't read it before, have a look at my blog post: Nutrition: Eating for Recovery as a bit of a guide.

What else can you do though?
Firstly, here are a few tips (and a routine I often follow) to get your muscles recovered after a hard ride:
Take a Shower or Bath: Especially after a long winter ride, warming your body up will help to get the blood flowing around to your extremities, and stop you seizing up.Muscle Rubs: This is something of a recent revelation for my routine, but I have found it to make a notable difference. I have been using a Deep Mu…

Would a Leniency Policy for Drugs Cheats Work?

Image
Economic estimations based on OECD data for 23 countries and a 20 year time frame show positive and significant effects of leniency* programs for detecting and destabilizing cartels. My question is whether a leniency policy could work to oust drugs cartels and groups in cycling; it a potent query that has been suggested more than once by the UCI, USADA and other anti-doping agencies.

The data alluded to above looks at mark-ups achieved by companies involved in cartels, and finds that the introduction of leniency programs lowered the price cost mark-up, and can therefore be considered to have been beneficial to competition, and beneficial to destabilizing cartel action. There are some problems with the data, as many other effects could have lowered mark-ups in the period of analysis, but overall we can consider that leniency policies have been beneficial.

There are many things that link a cartel in business to a drugs ring in cycling; cartel activity is covert and secretive, cartel par…

OK...You Got Me! I'm on EPO

Image
Calm Down...No I haven't turned into Lance Armstrong. This "EPO" is a rather lovely coffee bean blend from Paniagua CC, branded as 'Extract Paniagua Original'.

Most of you will know of my love of coffee from my blog Coffee - The Life Blood of Cyclists, and I can safely assure you that this blend of Brazilian Daterra and Costa Rican beans is the only 'cocktail' that I am taking. It has a lovely deep aroma straight from the grinder, with definite chocolaty undertones. The perfect warming brew to set you up for a winter ride... dreaming of the warm mountains of South America. 

Ride Stats: January 2013

Image
January's miles and hours are significantly down on last year, when my totals reach 963 miles and 58 hours in the saddle. I've got a fair few excuses for that though... After the Festive 500 I came down with a chest infection, that put me off the bike for around two weeks. Then mid-January the weather gods decided to dump a load of that white stuff, and I ended up on the rollers for almost a week. Then this week, I was in a hit and run accident, when a driver pulled out on me; fortunately I wasn't too badly hurt, but the bike didn't come off so lightly, so the later part of this week has been a write-off as well.

In summary, I'll be glad to put January behind me to be honest; it's never a great month of the year for me, and I hope that as we edge closer to the racing season things will start to improve.

*Note: For those that follow me on Strava and wonder why these numbers don't link up with my records on there, it is because I don't record my 95 miles…