The sun is taunting me

Apart from a brief cold period last week, the spring weather has been brilliant biking weather. I’m having visions of the wettest August on record once I’m finally back on my bike! Yesterday was lovely and sunny and it seemed like everywhere I looked there were cyclists. It was especially galling when I was stuck in traffic and the cyclists sped past!

My eldest son Nicky attended a skills session at the mountain biking track at Hadleigh a couple of weeks ago. There were about 30 kids there, split into two groups depending on age/ability. Nicky was in the younger group and they spent the session working on going slowly, track stands and cycling one handed. Nicky did really well – he needs some practise at taking his hands off the bars, but he managed a 3 second track stand which is amazing given that he’s never tried it before – not sure I’d manage one that long! Afterwards they had some races. Nicky was lacking a bit of confidence here, his speed is good but he takes a while to accelerate from standing, and the hill on the course got everyone pushing. Nicky’s bike is proportionally bigger than the others so he was a little slower here too. But he really enjoyed himself and is looking forward to the next session. The two guys leading the session were really good and engaged well with the kids, despite most of them not understanding the concept of a queue!

The Giro has started now and it’s great to see Kittel back in top form. He seems unstoppable right now, I wonder if Cav will be able to catch him when the Tour starts. It’ll be interesting to see the GC battle, Nibali hasn’t showed much form recently but he’s usually on form when it matters. It promises to be an exciting three weeks!

A light at the end of the tunnel

I had a call from the hospital earlier with regards to my surgery – my operation will be at the start of June so I should be back on my bike by the end of July, yay! I’m going to be starting from scratch, fitness-wise – but I suppose it gives an opportunity to put some proper base miles in while I fully heal and get myself properly fit. I cycled to the shops recently on my mountain bike, I was only on the bike for 8 minutes and I was breathless at the end of it!

I’ve been thoroughly enjoying the pro cycling so far this year. Paris-Roubaix has to be the highlight, such an epic finale to the race – it’s a shame that Boonen didn’t win, I was sure he was going to get it once they got into the velodrome, but Hayman is also a worthy winner. It would have been nice to see Cancellara and Boonen going at it properly one more time too.

Not that long until the Giro d’Italia starts – time seems to be flying so far. It won’t be long before the Tour de France starts – by then I should be recovering from surgery and looking forward to cycling again myself!

I spent most of yesterday doing up my son’s bike – we bought it second-hand from a boot sale for £10. It’s perfectly rideable but was looking a bit worse for wear. I’ve sprayed the frame green (after removing all of the stickers, a very tedious job!) and replaced the tyres which were looking a bit stressed. I had to remove the mudguards as the new tyres are slightly larger than the old ones – for some reason it was impossible to find the correct size tyres anywhere. I’m pretty pleased with my efforts, I thought it was going to turn out to be a disaster! Now I just have to adjust the brakes and gearing and he’ll be ready to go – he’s signed up for some bike skills sessions in the next few weeks which are advertised as having races after – it’ll be interesting to see how he goes.

Nicky's bike after being painted

At least pro cycling is back!

I’m still stuck waiting for a surgery date so I won’t be back on the bike properly any time soon – I’ve got some new hernia pants (exciting!) which might go under my lycra OK so might try a turbo session later this week.

At least there is proper pro cycling to take my mind off things, what with Paris-Nice started and Tirreno-Adriatico starting on Wednesday. Plus there was the world track cycling championships last week, culminating in last night’s Madison which was amazing, what a finish by Cav and Wiggo, it’s right up there with my best sporting moments.

It’s a shame the Madison isn’t part of the Olympics – Cav would have more chance of a medal in that than the Omnium, going on last week’s performances. I’d love for him to win a medal but his palmares is such that anyone following the sport would not care if he misses out. I’d be more excited by him winning Tour stages and the World Championships in Qatar, but I know he has his heart set on the Olympics.

Not long now until the Monuments, I can’t wait!

No RideLondon 100 for me this year

I got the ‘Commiserations’ booklet through the post this morning.

The RideLondon 2016 Commiserations magazine

Normally I’d have been gutted, but it seems very unlikely that I’ll be fit by August let alone capable of 100 miles and so this is probably a good thing. Would have been nice to get a place and then defer it for a year, but now once I’ve had my hernia surgery I can just take it easy for a bit and do some slow miles to build myself up, rather than try to rush for a sportive.

I’ve been ill and tired so haven’t even been out on my MTB. I’ve put on so much weight as well, can’t wait for this hernia to be fixed!


So my groin pain turned out to be an inguinal hernia for which surgery is required – it won’t be until the end of February at the earliest. Ho hum. So my cycling has been massively curtailed – I’ve managed two turbo rides of 20 minutes, the first was OK but the second made me quite sore, although it was a little sore when I first got on. I can cycle on my MTB if I wear a hernia truss but I can’t really wear one over my Lycra without looking even dafter than I would anyway.

I bet this is the year I get a place on Ride London – it’d be typical of my luck! There’s no way I’d be properly fit to do it unless the surgery really was at the end of February and I was able to get some decent training in beforehand (no guarantee of that). At least they give the option to defer entry for a year so I’d have it to look forward to next year. I really just want to go for a decent ride again anywhere though!

Injured again

2015 has not been a great year for me on the bike – either I’ve been injured or had a cold and my mileage for the year is terrible. My current ailment is a groin strain which has been around for a couple of weeks without seeming to get better. I managed a short bike ride on Monday (taking Nicky to capoeira, a 1.5 mile ride with Nicky in the child seat on the back) which wasn’t too bad but I did have to sit down for a while after.

I really hope 2016 is an improvement – I miss the training and the tired muscles, strangely! As well as the physical side of things, cycling is my main way of dealing with stress and being off the bike for so long is having a detrimental effect on my mental health 🙁

I’m also missing pro cycling – I really can’t get excited about football any more and can’t wait for racing to start again next month. If I can’t actually cycle it would be nice to at least get the adrenaline rush from watching it!


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.