Saturday, 21 July 2012

Horse Shoe Pass (yet again !)

Did a good ride out into North Wales on Saturday 21st July. Total mileage was approx 53.5 miles with about 3500 feet of climbing, and I did a time of 3 hours 17 mins - which is about 4 mins faster than the last time I did this route. Details from Strava below:

Also did a 10 mile time trial on Thursday 19th July on the Saighton circuit. It was slightly wet and quite windy, and I did a pretty awful time of 28:53. Hopefully will do a better ride next Thursday in the Chester Road Club event.

On Tuesday 17th July I did the Chester Road Club chain gang (twice around the 7 mile Saighton circuit) where I averaged about 21 mph.

Lastly, on Sunday 15th July, went out with 69 Cycles and we did a good ride out to Connah's Quay (along the Chester cycle path) up Pioneer Hill and then back through Buckley and Hawarden. Reasonably high average speed for this route - see below:

Will go out with 69 Cycles again on Sunday 22nd July - if I keep this level of activity I should start seeing some benefits in terms of faster TT times. 

Victoria Pendleton Documentary

Watched the documentary earlier in the week, on BBC1, about Victoria Pendleton. It was pretty inspirational stuff. It showed the amount of work and dedication needed if you want to get to the top in sport. Often you see the glamorous photo shoots or adverts or podium presentations, but you rarely see all the unglamorous stuff going on in the background, which was shown in the documentary.

It should be said that her achievements are even greater when you realise that, according to the documentary, the Britsh Cycling Management Team seemed completely devoid of any kind of emotional support.You got the impression they would be happier managing a team of robots rather than real human beings.

Firstly there was the romance with her coach. Work place romances are commonplace and are not illegal, nor morally wrong. Often management turn a blind eye, which rather sensibly seems to have been done in the first instance. However, why the manager chose the day she won a gold medal in the Beijing Olympics to tell everyone in the cycling team about their relationship - despite the fact it was none of their business - seems to be a case study of not how to handle such an issue. Let's be perfectly clear, neither VP or her coach have done anything wrong and have absolutely nothing to apologise for. In fact, despite raising some sort of initial moral issues, and sending the coach off to the swimming team, the management can't have too many scruples as they've brought him back into the team.

Secondly, just after she won the 2012 world championship, she collapsed to the floor, and Dave Brailsford, instead of hugging her or showing some empathy, shouted "Steve" - who is the psychiatrist - clearly anything to do with emotion is done by him - to sort the situation out !! He seemed quite a nice chap, but you got the impression he has his work cut out after the riders have been through the tough training regime that is in place.

In fact the only person in the documentary who seemed to have even less emotion that the above people was the mysterious Swiss coach, who came across as some sort of "Terminator" type character. 

Anyhow, hope VP wins gold in London. Whatever happens, she is a legend in British cycling.

Sunday, 8 July 2012

Recent Bike Rides

Had quite a bit of traveling with work during June, so didn't do as much cycling as I would like. I am now back in the office for a few weeks so hopefully will settle into the following routine:
  • Saturday - longish ride 50-70 miles
  • Sunday - 30 mile ride with 69 Cycles (Chester)
  • Tuesday - 14 miles - chaingang with Chester Road Club (CRC)
  • Thursday - 10 miles - Time Trial, Saighton course (D2/7)
 Yesterday, I went out with a couple of  CRC riders (Neil and Tim) and we did a good ride out to Ellesmere - which looked quite nice - we stopped by a lake in Ellesmere for something to eat and drink. Did a reasonable 17.5 mph average for a "rolling" 60 miles or so. Route below:

On Sunday 8th July, a group of 6 of us went out for the 69 Cycles Sunday Sort Out (69 Cycles is a bike shop in Chester: website at: We did a pleasant ride out to Delamere and back: Route below:

Need to decide what TT/sportives to do next - still undecided about the Etape Cymru (which I did last year). Will have a think about my schedule in Aug/Sept/Oct and update in the next blog.