Saturday, 29 December 2012

A trip to the Eureka Cafe

On 23rd December, a few of us from the Chester Road Club cycled up the Wirral to Thornton Hough for an unofficial, fun, 10 mile Christmas time trial. The circuit was good although at one point the road was partially flooded (which meant we had to slow down a bit). Did a 30 min ride, which is not too bad for this time of year, considering the weather (wet and windy).

Picture below shows us just before the start.

After that we went to the Eureka Cafe (which is a famous cyclist's cafe on the Wirral) to meet up with some other Chester Road Club cyclists who had been on the normal Sunday run. As it was a couple of days before Christmas they were serving mince pies and mulled wine. Very pleasant, and also very packed - Sunday around midday is clearly not the best time to turn up if you want a seat.

Bikehike website

Just recently came across a useful website called bikehike which is at (not surprisingly):

You can upload routes to this website (in various formats) and then download them directly as courses to your cycle computer. The example below shows a route I did in Summer 2012, as a tcx file. You need to go onto Course Creator from the above website (link at top of page) and then press the Load Route link (on the right hand side bottom window). See picture below:

Once the file is uploaded, a map of the route (including elevation data if desired) appears as below:

If you then choose the Save Route option, you have the choice of saving the route to your GPS device - see below.

All in all it's a very useful website for converting from one format to another and for downloading courses to your cycle computer. Well worth using.

Saturday, 8 December 2012

Winter training on rollers

It's been an eventful few weeks. Our recent Chester Road Club ride up the Horseshoe Pass on 18 Nov featured in the local paper. The Chester Road Club had it's Annual General Meeting on 30th Nov - we've had approx 20% increase in membership over the last year which is good. Myself and 4 others went out for a ride last Sunday (1st Dec) which perhaps wasn't wise as it was bitterly cold. As we cycled along a country ride in the general direction of Mickle Trafford one of the riders hit black ice and went down heavily, and I also came down. Neither of us were seriously hurt, although I must have bent my thumb in an unusual direction as it swelled up and half my hand was bruised. It's still swollen now almost a week later, but getting better.

Anyhow, I ordered some rollers a few weeks ago, and at last had the chance to try them in earnest. Some photos of the rollers are below:

The rollers themselves are Elite V-Arion Parabolic Inertial Rollers, and they were on offer from Wiggle (cost just over £240 including delivery). The rollers have a shape which keeps the wheels near the middle apparently.

I chose rollers as I had never really liked a turbo trainer. I thought the extra concentration you need for rollers may make such training more interesting.

Anyhow, after holding on to a convenient fence for a few minutes, I finally plucked up courage to let go, and it was surprisingly easy. Did 30 minutes at an average cadence of just over 100 (low gear, with the roller at the back set on the easiest of it's 3 settings).

The rollers also fold up conveniently and are very light. I had to adjust the position of the front roller so the axle of my wheel was over the centre of the roller, but apart from that it was pretty straightforward. Very impressed and much more exciting than riding on a turbo trainer.