Monday 24 August 2009

Monday 24th August

Pretty good ride in in the morning on fresh legs. Nearly averaged 15 MPH again but not quite – I did get stopped at quite a few traffic lights though.

Ride home was hard work. I didn’t eat much for lunch which probably didn’t help. It was also really windy but that didn’t affect me as much as it has done in the past.

I think tomorrow I’ll cycle home the way I cycle in the morning – not taking the short cut through Clapham Common but continuing along the Northern Line. It is slightly longer but is less hilly. I’ll just have to see how much traffic there is and how much it’ll slow me down.

O: HRav:139 kCal:699 D:12.5 Av:14.7 Max:22.5 T:51:10.7
R: HRav:139 kCal:787 D:12.1 Av:12.44 Max:22.5 T:58:19.6

Saturday 22 August 2009

Garmin 705

Like Justin at Bike Geek I am a geek who loves my gadgets. I have a load of them on my car but am missing a really geeky gadget for my bike.

I do have my Polar CS200cad which is pretty good – it tells me my cadence, top heart rate, average heart rate, top speed, average speed, max cadence, average cadence, time in zone, time above zone, time below, ride time and exercise time which is all very well but I want more!

For the car we have a GPS performance meter that logs your line round a course and plots speed again elevation / g / ect ect. I really wanted something like that for the bike.

It seems that the Garmin 705 is exactly what I want. It is expensive but it gives you lots of pretty graphs and maps of your route – all in one package so instead of posting up an instamapper route and averages and totals for a ride I can post links to maps and graphs like this:

It’ll give me a lot more data about my riding so I can better compare how much I am improving.

It does LOADS of other things as well, it is a full blown GPS navigation system, you can record rides and then race against them later, you can plan rides on your computer then go and cycle them and so on…

It is expensive but if I’m good enough I think that Linzi might let me get it sometime.

Thursday 20 August 2009

Thursday 20th August

This morning I cycled all the way in again and felt pretty good. The forecast rain didn’t appear luckily so I didn’t get wet.

I wasn’t trying particularly hard this morning but I think I must have just got lucky with the lights. I averaged 15.1 MPH over 12.5 miles and did the whole journey in less than 50 minutes! My previous highest average was only 14 I think.

On the way back I felt pretty tired. I had been pretty tired all day so the journey back did feel pretty hard and long.

I’ve done 50 miles over the last 2 days and about 67 this week in just 3 days. I’ll not be cycling tomorrow as I am going out in the evening so that’s it for this week. Next week my legs will hopefully be feeling fresh again after a 3 day rest so I’ll be back to enjoying my cycling more.

O: HRav:148 kCal:763 D:12.5 Av:15.1 Max:23.9 T:49:36.0
R: HRav:133 kCal:744 D:11.9 Av:11.7 Max:23.7 T:1:01:02

Wednesday 19 August 2009

Wednesday 19th August

Today I rode all 24 miles, 12 in and 12 back after work.

This morning started really well, I felt really strong and I was cruising along through Wimbledon at 19 / 20 MPH. After half a mile though I got a really bad puncture, the whole tyre deflated in about 10 seconds – not ideal at 17 MPH.

It turns out that a considerate builder had left some smashed tiles in the gutter of the road and had pierced about a half centimetre gash in my rear tyre.

Luckily last week when I got my last puncture I bought a spare inner tube and some tyre levers. I did wonder about going back home and getting the train in but after a bit of dithering I changed the tube.

I’ve not done this since I was about 10 and I found it a bit fiddly. It took about 20 minutes but this includes the dithering time and the time I spent looking for what had caused the damage (and clearing the tiles up as best I could). I’m sure if it happens again I’ll be able to change the next one a fair bit quicker.

I had to use my portable pump to fill the tyre up and it wasn’t actually as bad as I thought it would be. I only filled it up to around 60 psi instead of the normal 90 but that was hard enough and the portable pump was starting to struggle at that pressure.

When I had fixed the tyre I set off again and had a pretty good ride. I took a different route in to avoid the hills on my normal route and I think for the way in this is the way to go. I basically followed the Northern Line all the way from Wimbledon South along Tooting High Street.

I did manage to get lost later on the route though. I took the wrong exit off the Elephant and Castle roundabout then changed my mind about what the best way back to London Bridge was. This little detour added about a mile onto the journey.

Despite all these delays (and leaving late in the first place) I still managed to get to my desk for just after 8:00.

On the way home I left work at about 5:00 – I got in later and I had a longer than usual lunch. I started off pretty well but it was very very hot – about 31 degrees C so I soon slowed down.

The heat, having cycled 13 miles already and the extra traffic due to leaving later all added up to make it a pretty hard ride back. On 3 separate occasions I also had to come skidding to a halt as people stepped out in front of me without seeing me. It is so annoying and tiring when people do that – it’s not tiring going fast, getting to that speed is what tires you out.

Tomorrow I’ll be cycling the whole way in again if everything goes to plan – although it is supposed to be very wet so we’ll have to see.

O: HRav:143 kCal:803 D:13.1 Av:13.9 Max:24.5 T:56:20.6
R: HRav:146 kCal:835 D:12.0 Av:12.6 Max:24.4 T:57:10.9

Tuesday 18th August

This morning I wasn’t feeling too good after a pretty heavy weekend so I had a fairly leisurely ride in.

On the ride back I felt pretty good and was going pretty quickly – a 4 day rest made sure my legs weren’t sore and were nice and strong.

This week I wanted to ride all the way in and back at least twice. I will only be cycling 3 days though as I am out on Friday night. I’m going to try to cycle the whole 24 miles on Wednesday and Thursday to get as many miles as I can in this week.

It’s not ideal doing it 2 days in a row for the first time but there’s nothing I can do about that.

O: HRav:135 kCal:312 D:5.1 Av:13.0 Max:19.8 T:23:34.8
R: HRav:146 kCal:798 D:11.9 Av:13.2 Max:26.0 T:54:08.5

Thursday 13 August 2009

Thursday 13th August

I tried to take it a bit easier this morning as my legs were feeling a bit used from last night. My average heart rate was lower - 131 but my average was still 13 MPH and my ride time still less than 25 minutes.

It wasn't really raining in the morning but it had been earlier so the road was really wet. I got wet as a lot of water was thrown up off my wheels so by the time I got to work I was pretty soggy.

On the way home I left work late at about 5:15 as I was finishing some stuff off before my long weekend. As I was late anyway I was taking it easy. It was really nice weather for a ride - sunny but not too hot and everything had dried up nicely.

When I got to Tower Bridge there were gates across as it was about to be raised, I'd not seen that before. It was quite a sight but was was even more of a sight was all the cyclist and motorcyclists all waiting to go. When the gates opened it was like the start of a race and some tourists in the crowd were even shouting "GO GO!". I was riding in a big bunch of cyclists for quite a while because of this which was quite nice.

Just going through the roundabout at Elephant and Castle my rear tyre started to feel a bit soft. Sure enough I had a puncture and the tyre went down pretty quickly. I got off and had to walk nearly 3 miles to the next Evans Cycles in Clapham.

They changed the tyre for me and I bought a spare inner tube and some tyre levers so that next time it happens I'll (hopefully) be able to change the tyre myself. So far I've been really lucky and all my little breakdowns have happened on the way home when Evans has been opened but I can't rely on staying that lucky.

That's the end of Week 11 now and I have finally reached the 2 stone lost point. I'm away to Germany for the weekend so won't be going to work (or cycling again) until Tuesday.

As I've got a 4 day rest I think next week I'll try to cycle the whole way in and the whole way back for at least 2 days next week and see how I go.

O: HRav:131 kCal:276 D:5.1 Av:13.0 Max:20.0 T:23:26.3

Wednesday 12th August

This morning I decided to push it and see how quick I could go if I really tried. This probably wasn't really the best idea as on the way home I had to cycle further - 14 miles to my car dealership instead of the 12 miles home.

I was pretty pleased with the result though - an average of 14.8 MPH and a ride time of 20:29.9. I want to get under the 20 minute mark but for that I'll have to average 15 MPH or over. I was averaging 15 MPH this morning until the steps up to Canary Wharf.

On the way back as I said I had to go to the car dealership. I was picking my car up from a service and Linzi was getting her new car so a very full evening. I started out quite quickly but started to feel tired at around the 10 mile mark. There is one really really long hill that gradually gets steeper between Brixton and Streatham and it really takes it out of you. After that I took it a bit easy. I'm still pleased with the result though - took just over an hour for the whole run.

O: HRav:151 kCal:328 D:5.0 Av:14.8 Max:21.2 T:20:29.9
R: HRav:146 kCal:970 D:14.2 Av:12.9 Max:25.1 T:1:06.14

Tuesday 11 August 2009

Tuesday 11th August

Yet again this morning I set off thinking I’d just take it easy but it’s very hard to do that. I ended up doing pretty well with a pretty good average speed. This was still with soft tyres on the bike.

On the way back I stopped at Evans and topped my tyres up. I also put the saddle up a bit as I think it had been slipping down.

The bike felt fantastic afterwards – it’s amazing how much difference these little changes make. I was getting up to 17 MPH easily on the flat and was over 16 what seemed like most of the time.

Why then was my average only 12.9? I think this is because I now tend to coast more at lights. If the light is read I will stop cycling well in advance in the hope that by the time I get to the lights they will be green. This means that I am stopped for a shorter time but means that I am moving for longer so my ride time goes up.

If I was just trying to get a high average speed I would pedal full speed to a red light, stop dead than power away accelerating as hard as possible. This would be VERY inefficient though and I’d ge ta lot more tired. It’s also good not to stop so that you don’t have to take your feet out of your pedals as it’s always a bit of a paid getting them back.

I noticed this at some lights today. I had done about 4 miles already and my average was around 13.3 MPH. I coasted up to some lights – which took a while and after the lights my average was under 13 MPH.

It’s a shame that this affects the numbers the way it does but I’m not going to stop doing it. It just means my average depends more on how lucky I am with lights rather than how hard I pedal.

O: HRav:132 kCal:283 D:5.0 Av:13.2 Max:20.4 T:23:03.1
R: HRav:147 kCal:836 D:11.9 Av:12.9 Max:27.4 T:55:31.3

Monday 10th August

My legs were still a bit sore this morning from the PT session on Friday so I tried to take it easy. I didn’t try that hard – my average heart rate was only 132 but I managed an average speed of 13.1 and a total tome of 23:25.

On the way home I was in a hurry as I was trying to get home in time for a phone call. I was pushing pretty hard but it was windy so I wasn’t going that quick. It was also drizzling so all in all it wasn’t much fun. In the end I missed the call by about 5 minutes and by the time I had got home the person who I was waiting to hear form had left work.

The tyres felt pretty soft today but I didn’t have time to stop and top them up.

O: HRav:132 kCal:283 D:5.1 Av:13.1 Max:21.6 T:23:25.6
R: HRav:138 kCal:753 D:12.1 Av:12.5 Max:25.3 T:57:59.1

Friday 7th August

I didn’t cycle today as I went to see Oliver in the evening and dealing with a bike whilst going to the theatre would have been a bit of a nightmare.

Instead I had a PT session in the morning. As part of the session I had a go at a 5k time trial competition that they had going. The top time was around 7:00 minutes I think but when I first been told about it the top time was one of my instructors other clients with 8:19 or around that.

I did it in 8:52 which I was pretty pleased with. My legs didn’t feel too bad afterwards either – I could walk around no problem at all and was able to complete the rest of my PT session with no problems.

Thursday 6th August

Last night I was wondering if I should cycle today but this morning I felt fine so I cycled. I was taking it easy again and quite enjoyed the ride. I do need to get better at not pushing so hard all the time. I still got a pretty good time despite not trying too hard. My arm was also better this morning.

On the way back I tried a bit harder but it was pretty windy so I didn’t get a very impressive average speed.

O: HRav:126 kCal:283 D:5.1 Av:12.5 Max:19.2 T:24:39.4
R: HRav:143 kCal:808 D:12.2 Av:12.8 Max:26.1 T:57:19.4

Thursday 6 August 2009

Wednesday 5th August

My legs felt pretty sore this morning from last night so I took it easy on the way in.

On the way back I didn't feel very good and cycling was really hard work. It was also really hot and humid - very unpleasant. My cycle computer went a bit mad again so the numbers aren't accurate. I did the same route but 1.1 miles seem to have come out of nowhere.

Bizarrely my arm was sore on the way back. Possibly I pulled a muscle slightly lifting my bike or something.

Was very pleased to get home and get off my bike at the end of the day.

O: HRav:133 kCal:300. D:5.1 Av:12.7 Max:20.4 T:24:11.3
R: HRav:138 kCal:826 D:13.8 Av:13.4 Max:24.2 T:1:01:55

Tuesday 4th August

Uneventful ride in doing average of 13 and getting a pretty time of 23:38.

On the way back it was a bit windy but I felt like I was doing well so I tried pretty hard to get a good time. When I got home though I had only done an average of 13.3 which was a bit dissapointing as I was hoping for around 14.

O: HRav: 140 kCal: 332 D:5.1 Av:13.0 Max:21.2 T:23:38.5
R: HRav: 143 kCal: 771 D:12.3 Av:13.3 Max:25.1 T:55:44.7

Monday 3 August 2009

Monday 3rd August

Mondays are usually pretty good as my legs are rested over the weekend. Today was not that good though and cycling felt pretty hard. I think this was because I had a pretty tiring weekend and I REALLY didn’t want to get out of bed this morning. My metabolism obviously didn’t really want to wake up either as I found it hard to keep my heart rate up.

I generally took it pretty easy today but still managed an average of over 12 MPH which I’m pretty pleased with.

The return journey was a bit blowy again but not too bad. I did stop and have a bit of a walk in Clapham Common again which I’ve not done for a week or so.

I’m planning an early night tonight so hopefully I’ll be a bit more with it tomorrow.

O: HRav:129 kCal:301 D:5.1 Av:12.1 Max:20.7 T:25:28.2
R: HRav:132 kCal:703 D:11.9 Av:12.3 Max:24.6 T:58:04.1