Ealing -> Dorney -> Ealing

Warmer today with the forecast changing from “pissing down” to “raining a bit” to “just some clouds”. Turned out to be really good conditions for a run and only damp underfoot, or should that be undertyre. Fear of black ice had pretty much gone with the increased temperature.

The Walled Garden cafe in Dorney is one to avoid (except maybe for the ?5 Sunday Roast). The younger staff were very cool but there was one “boss-lady” who was grumbling about everything, e.g. complaining about us leaving our bikes near the _empty_ outside tables (within our view) rather than near the hidden car park, where anyone with a van could have them all. Sorry love, our money keeps you in business and if you don’t want our money we will go elsewhere.

According to Martin we did a ‘horseshoe’ loop so we did more on the way to Dorney and only had a short run back. I think the strong winds on the way out meant a few of us appreciated the quick return.

Everyone seemed quite interested in the pile of sportives I’ve got lined up, all offering advice, which is cool. They are also damn keen to see my new bike! As am I! 🙂

Google Map – Dorney

London to Brighton Black Ice

Not the most successful of rides, this one. Half way to Brighton, somewhere near Caterham, we hit a patch of totally invisible black ice and everyone except me, sitting off the back like a good little lazy fecker, hit the deck. Poor Des went down hard enough that he broke his collarbone. 🙁

We walked Des to Caterham train station so he could visit the doc and the four of us rode home, deciding the rest of the route to Brighton would be too dangerous. The crash was on a fairly open, slight right, slight up-hill. There were big, dark, tree-lined descents follow – not a good idea if we’ve already found it to be icy! Ended up with around 80k on the clock for the day. His new Wilier Mortirolo is ok he tells me. Get well soon Des!

I challenge you.. to a duel!

Not only has Ed thrown his typewriter (that’s what everyone uses to do a PhD right?) in the bin he’s thrown down the gauntlet and challenged the slackest of them all to some cycle-related stuff in 2008: My eyes they saw a better day, as I looked across the fields.

I think he’s just worried about me since I said I’d stopped drinking! 🙂

He says.. I therefore challenge him:

* to go on a long ride with me at some point, through the Chilterns or wherever, as long as we do at least 100 miles. Though we ride for the same club and have read each others blogs for years now, we have never actually been on a proper ride together! Maybe he’s trying to tell me something 🙁

Yeah, I’m trying to tell you that 100mi of hills might kill me! 😛

Anyway, I was almost always on club runs and I never saw you.. where were you? I reckon you were avoiding me. I do smell pretty bad so fair play 🙂

I’m up for this.

* to ride the first West London Combine TT out near Maidenhead (this should be early March – last year a good Willesden showing, it’s only a 10 mile TT and easily reachable by train from Ealing!)

Is this one of those silly ones you need to enter by post? That’s pushing it a bit. 10mi I can do (slowly). If you keep an eye out and let me know when you’re entering, then I’m up for this as well.

* to ride the Chiltern 100 sportive (Gran Fondo) in early June. Lots of hills!

This one was already on the cards, being so close to where I live. It’s only a week after the 480k/300mi, 3-day Tour of Wessex sportive so I’m likely to be totally shagged, but, what the hell! 🙂

Read more of Ed’s Blog: omcoc.blogspot.com

Rooted mate!


That’s me. I should take a day off but the Bus+Tube combo is so lame compared to cycling I’m not sure I can do it. It would give me a chance to read this..

Base Building for Cyclists

Ealing -> Wendover -> Ealing

No wonder I’m tired. Okay, you Audax muppets might laugh but I’ve done 330k this week and that’s with New Year’s Day off! I haven’t had mileage like that since July or maybe August.

Today’s ride was cold. Mostly this is because I’m a knob and wear shorts, don’t have booties and my gloves fall apart from old age. Basically I need to bite the bullet, wake up to the fact that this isn’t Oz and summer kit isn’t cutting it and buy up big with all this expensive winter cycling kit. Damn.

Anywho, we rolled out about 10 strong and all was good although there was some chatter about sun and shade and frost and ice and then DOH! Poor Yoshi hit a patch of black ice and stacked it. He went down but was okay – probably have a sore hip tomorrow. He continued on with us, now all paranoid about the road surface, especially on the descents.

All this was foreign to me. Black ice? What? I’ve heard about it but I’ve never actually ‘worried’ about it. Now it was an issue. We rolled slowly to the welcome cafe stop at World’s End Garden Centre in Wendover. This place is nice with actual friendly staff who are more than happy to smile and take your cash, unlike some places that spot a bunch of cyclists and begrudge them the service they are employed to provide..

Rolling out again and it was a bit warmer now which was nice. We had added riders at the cafe (other Willesden bunches) and then kept shedding riders on the way home as people peeled off to go home. I punctured (Continental tyres are crap). I noticed my rear tyre going flat after a large climb – glass. It was actually a welcome stop for most people and allowed Mike the Bike to get back on. It was a quick change (thanks for preppin’ the new tube Jim) and we soon rolled on. Split at Denham and “hammered” (sort of, keeping in mind my HR limits of 130-150bpm, whoops 186, where’d that come from?) home.

Continental tyres suck

Continental should stick with something they do well.. instant soup..

Continental Cup-A-Soup

Every time I ignore my own advice, bad things happen. One pieces of advice I’ve offered before has been, in summary, “Continental tyres suck“. For some reason I had two new Contis in the cupboard (must’ve been super cheap at Wiggle or something?) and used them on the Ribble. Installing them and one goes flat before even being ridden – I put that down to my sharp nails and a forcing on a tight fitting new tyre – but the Conti Curse is building..

Anyway, after only a couple of spins around RP I punctured on today’s club run. First time I’ve punctured during a run and I’ve been using some seriously cut up Rubinos for, er, ever. Worse is that the puncture was just some tiny piece of glass right through the centre of the tyre. Scottish Jim was using the same tyres and said they had a kevlar belt but looking at the puncture I’d be surprised if they do. Anyway, I reckon I’ll get some real tyres and then skid through the stupid contis on my commuter. Rant ends here.


With the new year comes new year’s resolutions. There’s been much talk of “riding more”. I’ve raised my hand and said I’d like to ride further in 2008. The only problem with this statement was that I didn’t know how far I’d ridden in 2007! Until now..

I’ve just finished going through my diary, adding stuff to my Polar HRM software (exciting life, this!) and found 2007 consisted of roughly 9361k (5850mi).

This doesn’t include any turbo training or shopping trips but gets most of my commuting, club runs, forum rides and time trials. So.. there’s my target to surpass.