Friday, 23 May 2008

A Blustery Day

Ahh the little ones were out on Sunday for the kidz bikathon along Southend sea front. Not that my little one washaving anything to do with it. There was daddy having these sweet thoughts about his little four year old riding though the finish line after two miles along the sea-front to collect her medal. But when we go out for a practice ride a couple of weeks back she rides for five minutes before claiming she is tired and wants to go play on the beach. How they break your heart.

Anyway where was I? Oh yes, as part of my usual trainingng route along the sea-front was closed off for the kidz event I decided to head off in a slightly different direction and see where my nose lead me. Along the way it struck me that I think I am starting to get masochistic tendencies. No nothing like that, it's just that I am starting to enjoy the battle with hills. Not that I am going out of my way to find them mind you, simply that I don't ride an extra five miles to avoid one. Hills, in Essex I hear you say? Wellthe 240ft climb over three miles O tackled a couple of weeks back may not qualify anyone for king of the mountains, but being as unfit as I am, it felt like it was never ending and hurt!.

So I decided to tackle a similar route with the same hill. Only this time with the added fun of headwinds ranging from 25 to 40 miles an hour (check the news for freak summer winds on 22 June). But then every cloud has a silver lining and it was enormous fun cycling along the sea-front with 25-40 mile an hour tail wind blowing me along. Keeping up with the traffic, meant being able to ride in the middle of the raod and grin in the rear view mirror of the car in front. Mind you it got a bt scary at times when a freak side wind would hit and try its best to blow me over!

With only three weeks to go with my first ride of the season (we don't talk about the first two I was supposed to do) – the 58 mile Essex Countryside ride on 12 July ( – I feel woefully prepared and need to start getting some extra training in. I could always do the 18 or 35 mile course buut then where would be the fun in that. So if the weather holds, it will be 13 mile circuits Tuesday and Thursday evenings as well as my Sunday ride. And if the weather doesn't hold it will be time to dust off the turbo trainer.

Sunday, 18 May 2008

Sat Nav Try Out

Today I went out for a quick spin to test out my new Garmin (see the Sat Nov blog if you have no idea what that it is). Well, first of all, I have to say it is probably a quick to crashing into something as it is tempting to keep reading the 8 datafields rather than watching where you are going! But once the novelty wore off, I used it pretty much the same as any other bike computer, checking the usual stuff like speed, average speed, cadence and the like.

But when I got home, the fun started as I downloaded the information and started playing around with the analysis it provided. There is also a cool goggle earth view where it zooms in from the view of the earth to the route just taken (did I mention that the Garmin records your route and all of the other data). I have to admit to being a bit of a gadget freak as although some of the data will allow me to track my progress as I train over the summer, I haven't a clue what I'll use the other half for!

And here's the goggle map of today's route:

Or if you want to see more detail: CLICK HERE

Saturday, 17 May 2008

Sat Nav

My new sat nav arrived today. Sat Nav for a bike? Well yes but as a training aid more recording where you have been that where you are going!. It's one of these:

And here's the blurb on what it does:

Rugged, lightweight Edge attaches easily to the stem or handlebars of your bike with the included bike mount. Just turn it on, acquire GPS satellites and go. Edge 305 automatically measures your speed, distance, time, calories burned, altitude, climb and descent, and also records the route you have taken for review. For extra-precise climb and descent data, Edge 305 also incorporates a barometric altimeter to pinpoint changes in elevation.

Other Edge features:

Easy to install; no calibration required. Just snap it into the bike mount and go.
  • High-sensitivity GPS receiver tracks your position even in tree cover and canyons, making it extremely reliable for location, distance and speed information.
  • Virtual Partner® lets you race a virtual competitor over a specified distance and speed.
  • Courses let you race against a previously recorded workout, so you can compare your current and past performances over the same ride.
  • Auto Pause® pauses the timer when you slow down or stop and resumes when you speed up again, so you can focus on your ride.
  • Auto Lap® automatically starts a new lap each time you pass a specified location or travel a preset distance.

Measure Your Heart Rate and Cadence

Edge 305 comes packaged with a heart rate monitor, speed/cadence sensor, or both. These wireless sensors use ANT technology to send valuable workout data to the Edge.

* Edge 305 + heart rate — measure your heart rate and track your heart rate zone with the lightweight, comfortable heart rate strap. Don't worry about cross-talk; ANT technology eliminates interference from other heart rate monitors.

* Edge 305 + cadence — monitor your pedaling cadence and wheel speed as you ride with the self-calibrating, wireless speed/cadence sensor that attaches securely to your bike. You can even use it to train indoors because the sensor attaches to your rear wheel.

Track Your Progress

As an added benefit, you can plan, analyse and store data from your workouts using free Garmin Training Center® software, which lets you analyse data with interactive graphs that chart your speed, time, heart rate and elevation. Overlay your ride on a map so you can pinpoint specific areas and see how elevation and other factors affect your performance. Or, upload your workout data to, Garmin's web-based application that provides in-depth analysis of your workouts, online mapping and route sharing that will take your training to the next level. Endurance athletes can also use the Edge with, an easy-to-use web-based training system designed to help athletes train for any event.