Thursday, 30 April 2009

Sponsorship for children's hospice

On the 17th May, I am cycling 60 miles to raise money for the Little Havens Children's Hospice.

Little Havens Children's Hospice provides respite breaks, symptom control and end-of-life care for youngsters living with serious conditions and who are not expected to reach adulthood. It aims to make their journey - and that of the family - as comfortable as possible, creating special memories along the way. The love and care provided by the Care Team in the homely surroundings at Little Havens is as special and unique as the child. This could not continue without kind donations as it costs £2.3 million each year to keep the hospice open.

If you would be kind enogh to sposor me, please go here

I am terrible about finding time to collect sponsorship money after events so have set-up a fundraising page with Donating through Justgiving is quick, easy and totally secure. It’s also the most efficient way to sponsor me: Little Havens Children's Hospice gets your money faster and, if you’re a UK taxpayer, Justgiving makes sure 25% in Gift Aid, plus a 3% supplement, are added to your donation.

Thank you very much for sponsoring me

Tuesday, 28 April 2009

Weather puts off female cyclists

Probably not exactly earth shattering findings!

More than a fifth of women in London choose not to cycle because of the weather, a survey has shown.

The poll by sustainable transport charity Sustrans showed 22% of women cited the poor climate as a reason they did not regularly use a bicycle.

About 10% said they were not fit enough to ride a bike and even though more than half had access to a bike, only 7% cycled more than once a month.

Sustrans has launched a website to help get more women cycling.

Sustrans' Holly Bruford said: "With many women spending vast amounts of money trying to lose weight, it seems we are still rejecting the cheapest, most efficient way of reaching target weight and shaping up - cycling."

Sustrans hopes its website will "redress the cycling gender imbalance" - as men are three times more likely to cycle than women in London.

Sunday, 26 April 2009

Tour is a go for Armstrong - good news indeed

Tour is a go for Armstrong


Seven-time Tour de France winner Lance Armstrong will not face disciplinary proceedings from the French anti-doping agency AFLD.

The AFLD said Friday that it has "decided to take into consideration the athlete's written explanations and, in consequence, not to open a disciplinary procedure against him." It also confirmed that no abnormalities were detected in the urine, blood and hair samples taken during the control.

Armstrong's Astana team spokesman Philippe Maertens confirmed to Cyclingnews that the AFLD met Thursday, and said "the disciplinary commission checked the evidence and explanation from both Lance and the tester and decided not to take the matter further."
Posting on his Twitter account, Armstrong wrote: "the word from the French agency AFLD on the shower gate incident. Case closed, no penalty, all samples clean. Onward."
The AFLD had previously said that Armstrong did not obey the rules of the World Anti-Doping Agency's International Standard of Testing, specifically Article 5.4.1, which states that 'the person being subjected to an anti-doping control must remain within the sight of the doping control officer from the time of notification until the sample is collected'.
Armstrong could have faced a suspension from the incident which may have prevented him from racing the Tour de France. With the case closed, he will be free to attempt an eighth career victory in the Tour.

Armstrong is currently training in Aspen, Colorado, in preparation for his first attempt at the Giro d'Italia next month. He is recovering from a fractured collarbone that he sustained in the first stage of the Vuelta a Castilla y Léon.

Saturday, 25 April 2009

Inspired Urban Cycling

Not that I would recommend getting round town like this, but this guy does some incredible stuff. It's a video of/by Inspired Bicycles - Danny MacAskill. Wonder how many broken bones he got learning this stuff.

Thursday, 16 April 2009

Riding a bike is everything to a cyclist

“Riding a bike is everything to a cyclist. The friendship and camaraderie you have with other cyclists …to a cyclist, it was the be-all and end-all of your life.”

Tommy Godwin, double bronze medal winner in the 1,000m time trial and the team pursuit in the 1948 Olympics in London

Monday, 13 April 2009

Another fine half century

What a wonderful day it was today. I set out with the good intention of doing four training laps (54 miles or 87km – I’m going to start quoting km as it sounds further) and did it fairly easily – even I do say so myself. The only real problem was the sit bones which were pretty painful and put me off trying for a record fifth lap. The roads were fairly quite which I put down to the weather – it was very misty with a damp chill in the air. Not the sort of day you want to take the kids out anywhere. Which is fine by me . Mind you, I only saw one other bike rider which is quite unusual – that’s ignoring the families out on the cycle lane along the sea front.

I thought I might have to abandon on the third lap though as I was having problems with my left hand (or is that foot) pedal when it suddenly froze, nearly taking my foot off with it and me off of my bike. Being about 7 miles into the training loop I had little choice other than to keep going. I was though, starting to feel very disappointed at what seemed to be an inevitable early shower and kissing the fourth lap goodbye. Next the pedal started making a period crunching and squealing noise of metal against metal. Finally, the crunching and squealing noises stopped altogether and the pedal started to work fine again. I can only imagine what the bearings must be like and so will give it a service before I go out again.

As a brief aside, I came across this bizarre video which was produced in 1963 and is about bike safety. It actually starts to get pretty creepy and goodness knows why the producuers gave the kids they faces they did – sort of demented monkeys that wouldn’t look out of place in the Wizard of Oz. You can find it here:

Today’s stats

Sunday, 12 April 2009

A bicycle made for one and a half

Seri and I used her trailer bike for the first time today. “What is a trailer bike?” I hear you ask. It’s one of these:

Bascially a small bike attached to my hybrid bike turning into a sort of a tandem.

We were a little wobbly at first but soon got the hang of it. I was surprised that Seri went as far as she did and we must have covered eight miles all in all. But then she doesn’t have to peddle if she doesn’t want to! Or maybe it was the bribe of an ice-cream that kept her going. Still, if she continue to like riding like this, then maybe we’ll do the Southend Bikeathon together.

Monday, 6 April 2009

Zen and the art of bicycling

‘A Zen teacher saw five of his students returning from the market, riding their bicycles. When they arrived at the monastery and had dismounted, the teacher asked the students, “Why are you riding your bicycles?”

The first student replied, “The bicycle is carrying this sack of potatoes. I am glad that I do not have to carry them on my back!” The teacher praised the first student. “You are a smart boy! When you grow old, you will not walk hunched over like I do.”

The second student replied, “I love to watch the trees and fields pass by as I roll down the path!” The teacher commended the second student, “Your eyes are open, and you see the world.”

The third student replied, “When I ride my bicycle, I am content to chant nam myoho renge kyo.” The teacher gave his praise to the third student, “Your mind will roll with the ease of a newly trued wheel.”

The fourth student replied, “Riding my bicycle, I live in harmony with all sentient beings.” The teacher was pleased and said to the fourth student, “You are riding on the golden path of non-harming.”

The fifth student replied, “I ride my bicycle to ride my bicycle.” The teacher sat at the feet of the fifth student and said, “I am your student.”’

Zen proverb

Saturday, 4 April 2009

What a glorious ride that was

13 mile training loop

Cyclist in council pothole payout - About time Local Authroties were made to pay

Cyclist in council pothole payout

A cyclist who suffered broken ribs and other injuries after riding over a pothole in Berkshire has been awarded £7,600 in compensation.

Ian Davis, 49, was cycling along the B4000 between Lambourn and Newbury when he came off his bike in 2006.

A county court ruled West Berkshire District Council had breached its duty of care to inspect roads regularly.

The council said it has invested heavily in maintaining the road since the incident.

Mr Davis suffered broken ribs, a dislocated shoulder and injuries to his hands, hip and ankle.

'Triumph for cyclists'

After the ruling he said: "I didn't think I'd get that sort of money, maybe even half that.

"It was unfortunate for the council that they didn't have all the documentation to hand to prove what they claimed they had done."

In a statement the council said: ""Obviously we accept the decision of the courts.

"Regarding the road, extensive resurfacing has been done since February 2006.

"In March and April that year £155,000 was spent resurfacing the stretch through Wickham, and in 2008 a further £100,000 on other stretches of the road."

Enid Brenyah, Mr Davis' solicitor said the case represented "a triumph for cyclists who have suffered injuries due to poorly maintained roads".

The Local Government Association said that last year, councils in England and Wales spent more in compensation to road users for pothole-related accidents than they did in repairing potholes - spending £53m in payouts and £52m in repairs.

Story from BBC NEWS:

Published: 2009/04/02 17:06:02 GMT


Thursday, 2 April 2009

A Marked Improvement

I am feeling pretty pleased with myself having knocked seven minutes off my 13 mile training circuit in under a year.

In May last year it took me 55:12 at an average speed of 14.5 mph. Today I did the same route in 47:58 at an average of 16.5 mph. Maybe not fast by some standards but hey, this is me so who cares

Today’s time was also quite a bit faster than my previous PB of 51:29 (15.2 mph) which I did over the same circuit in September last year.

18 May '08

2 Apr 09