It’s been three weeks since I last went for a ride, due to illness and injury, but finally today I felt well enough and awake enough to go out for a quick ride. It’s been pretty windy recently (there were 50mph winds a few days ago), today was relatively calm but it was still a bit of a slog to get home! I’m very unfit but my legs didn’t feel too bad, my quadriceps tendons are a little tight but better than they have been.

I put some new tyres on the Carrera TDF, they’re Continental Gatorskin 25mms, should be a bit more comfortable.

Hopefully next week I’ll manage a few longer rides and start getting some fitness back…


This year just gets worse and worse. I managed to do my back in last week (by sneezing, of all things) so have been off the bike. I then got a nasty cold this week so have been exhausted! Hopefully by next week I’ll have fully recovered and be ready to restart training again.

I’ve got some new 25mm Gatorskins to put on the Carrera TDF – I’ve currently got 23mm Gatorskins on there but there is a bit of a slit in the back one which is only going to get worse, so time to switch. I’ve got 25mm on the Ribble so I know it’ll make things a bit more comfortable, looking forward to trying them out.

Run down

I’m getting really bored of not being well now – I felt OK again last week and the day after my 35 mile ride I felt the best I had for a long while, only to feel ill again the next morning. I don’t have any energy at the moment and am feeling miserable. I really want to start winter training properly and I keep getting ill or injured, it’s so frustrating!

Still ill

I was feeling better this week, and even managed a 35 mile ride on Tuesday – it was a bit wet to begin with but in a weird kind of way I enjoyed being out with rain being blown into my face! Happily my winter bike is running fine and the mudguards are doing their job. My legs weren’t too bad the next day, and I was feeling optimistic that I might finally be getting better, but I woke up on Thursday feeling sick – one day I’ll feel properly fit again! Hopefully I’ll get out for a quick ride this weekend and start developing a proper training plan next week.


I’ve not been out much recently due to illness – I had a nasty cold and wasn’t sleeping well. I did manage to get out for a ride yesterday though, I’ve decided to switch to the winter bike full time now and it’s working well with its new headset – I think I need to adjust the saddle a little though. It was very windy yesterday so cycling along the seafront was pretty hard! On the other hand, I managed a year’s best time on one westbound Strava segment – nowhere near my best of course but it was a good workout for my legs! Hopefully I can get out a bit more frequently as I feel better.

Slightly better

I’ve been out for a couple of rides in the last week – at the weekend I did a few Strava segments, one a ‘TT’, one a longish flat segment and one a short steep hill. The aim was to see how far away from my peak I am, and the news is not too bad – one the TT segment (6.1km) I was 40s off my best, albeit with an unhelpful strong headwind in one direction, and the other two segments were a few seconds off. My legs are feeling better than they have done since my century in May and hopefully will continue to improve.

The TDF is all ready to go now (headset has been replaced, I’ll post about this in the future) and so I’m planning to go back to basics and do some base training and hopefully next year will be a bit more successful!

Rest is best

I’ve not been out for a proper ride for over a week now for several reasons (tiredness, lack of time, lack of motivation) – the one good thing is that my legs feel a lot better than they have for quite a while. They’re still not perfect but the tightness and soreness is reduced, so hopefully I’ll be able to get back on it properly soon.

I’ve been sorting out my winter bike as I’ll no doubt need it again soon. The handlebars were not turning easily unless GT85 was liberally sprayed into the headset, so I’ve taken it all apart. It’s taken me a long time to figure out how to do so (there is very little information specific to the Carrera TDF online) but I’ve finally got the headset off and will order a replacement once I’ve measured things up. I’ll write a full entry about this later which will hopefully help anyone else trying to sort out the headset on their TDF!

Lee Valley Velodrome Taster Session

Date: 26th August 2015

Last Wednesday saw my long-awaited trip to the Olympic velodrome to cash in my birthday voucher for a taster session. I was both very nervous and excited beforehand – it was going to be brilliant cycling around such an iconic venue, home of Olympic heroics and Wiggo’s hour record. However, I was both a little stressed about getting there in time and about driving a fixed gear bike!

In the end I drove and parked at Westfield, only to find they had parking next to the velodrome. Oh well! We arrived in plenty of time and I had a coffee beforehand. Anna and Nicky sat in the stands whilst I went to get changed and go down to the centre of the track. After a little bit of toing and froing (eventually I decided to hire some cleats) I was given my track bike and was all ready to go. Everyone was in the same boat, a little worried about crashing without having brakes or a freewheel. Our instructor started us off slowly, doing a single lap on the warm-up area, then a couple of laps on the cote, progressing to multiple laps around the black line and red line. In our first multi-lap session I quickly got to grips with things, I had one minor wobble where the rider in front of me slowed unexpectedly and my reaction was to stop pedalling – luckily I remembered just in time! I also went a little too slowly around one of the bends but soon got the hang of the banking.

The only way to describe this session was AMAZING – I have not had so much fun in a long time! It quickly became apparent that I was faster than most and was soon happily overtaking people whilst riding above the blue line (shouting “stay” at every overtake). I lapped most of the field in the first multi-lap session, but this took a little out of me and in the second session I took it a little easier (I was still pretty quick though). It’s difficult to gauge exactly how fast I was going – in the video below I completed a lap in 25s which equates to 36km/h – it looks so slow on the video though! I did do some laps faster than that but I didn’t do any sprinting or anything, I wasn’t quite that confident!

The hour ended far too quickly and I had a huge grin on my face for the rest of the day. I’ll definitely be going back, hopefully I can save up and get my accreditation!

In this video I’m the one in second place, this was early on whilst we were still getting used to riding on the actual track.

RideLondon FreeCycle 2015

I didn’t get a place on the RideLondon 100 this year, so instead myself and Nicky went up to London the day before to take part in the FreeCycle. An 8 mile route around the centre of London is closed off to traffic and for 7 short hours the roads are owned by bikes!

We drove to Upminster and got the mainline train from there. I had been a bit worried about getting the bikes on the train – I had assumed they would be busy with others also trying to get their bikes on the train, but as it turned out there was plenty of room. From Fenchurch Street it was not far to get onto the route.

It was a fantastic day out and very enjoyable – Nicky did brilliantly, at his age I was barely out of stabilisers but he managed 30km and probably could have done more, he was a natural at picking his way through the crowds and only had one ‘off’ when he rubbed tyres with someone in front, but he got straight back on and carried on. I couldn’t be more proud! The festival sites around the route were also good, Nicky had a go at handcycling, and there were stunt bikes and other performances everywhere. Everyone had a smile on their face :-)

I’ll upload some photos when I get a chance – there are some great ones on which I’ll buy at some point. I’ve applied for the sportive again next year but I’m sure we’ll do the FreeCycle again regardless as it was lots of fun!


My legs are getting better slowly – I don’t really notice my quadriceps tendons throughout the day now, just occasionally. My IT bands are still a little tight, at the moment I’m just going out for one ride a week (work, etc. has been getting in the way of cycling, I need a job where I’m paid to cycle!) and the IT bands only start getting sore towards the end of the ride.

I saw the cyclists finishing London-Southend on Sunday which made me a little depressed; this time last year I was much fitter having cycled to the start and come back via the long route, but I didn’t do it this year as my legs are suffering and I don’t think I’m fit enough to do it justice. It’ll be a long road back to fit as I have to nurse my legs for a bit longer, it’s very frustrating!