Thursday, 28 March 2013

A day at Adidas with Sir Dave, Laura and Jason!

When James, editor of Spin Cycle Magazine, asked me to go to Adidas HQ in Stockport to attend the Launch of their new Cycling range and then interview Laura Trott and Jason Kenny after watching them talk to Cycling Commentator Anthony McCrossan with Sir Dave Brailsford, you can imagine my response!
Even as I was driving to Stockport this morning, I still couldn't quite believe it was happening.
I am not going to say too much about the day, as the whole point of the trip was to get the interviews and information about the kit for a future issue of the magazine, but it was absolutely brilliant! I was like a kid in a sweet shop, being able to talk cycling to people who wanted to talk cycling!

Here are a few photos, taken on my phone from today, there will be more with the interviews in the Magazine when it is published in a couple of months.

Anthony McCrossan Interviewing Sir Dave Laura and Jason

The Lads from Adidas convinced me it was a good idea to join them in a race on a Wattbike. What they hadn't said was that one of them competed in Iron Man races and another raced TT's. I didn't do too bad though, I was Rider 1
( I didn't come last!)
 My stats for the 200m sprint surprised me, as I have never had my power measured. I was quite pleased to have an average power of 752w with a Max of 1094 and an average speed of 60.4kph and a top speed of 69.4kph.
After the Interviews Laura and Jason had to do a photo shoot. 

It looks like I have concentrated just on Laura, but Jason was doing his shots while I was interviewing Laura!
The next issue of the magazine is out in a couple of days, you can access it via the tab at the top of the blog.

Saturday, 23 March 2013

I appear to be back to form, and then it snows!

This weeks night rides have been great. Plenty of climbing, and some fast flat riding too. I appear to be back to some sort of fitness, all I need to do now is loose some of the extra Lb's I've found during the winter.
Talking of Winter, it appears to be back, and worse than it has been since last year! I had been looking forward to today's ride all week.

It was going to be my first big ride of the year, with no pressure to get back as Mrs Palefish was at work, and the Pups were with their Nan and Granddad. As the snow fell on Friday, and got worse as the day continued, my dreams of a ride into Cheshire seemed to be less and less likely.
I posted on the Club Facebook Page that if it stopped snowing, and the roads were clear, we would still go out. It didn't do either! When I got up it was still snowing and the roads looked bad. I cancelled the club ride, and looked forward to a day of Washing, PS3 and Eurosport!

As the morning passed the snow eased, and I decided that I wasn't going to waste my day! Luckily, one other Palefish rider was as keen (mad) to ride as me, and Iain agreed to meet up for a quick spin.

 We decided to aim for West Kirby and see what the roads were like.
After a quick stop at The Bike Shop in Moreton, and with the wind behind us we discovered the roads were fine, and it wasn't too cold. We dropped down to the seafront, and then got onto the cinder path next to the railway line from Hoylake up to West Kirby.
the view from the Marine lake in West Kirby over to Wales was great, Lots of snow on the Hills.

We climbed up over Caldy and dropped down to the Wirral Way. The path was still quite snowy, and I began to wish I had smaller less knobbly tyres! Iain however was fine on his skinny tyres!

Our reward was a great cup of coffee and a fantastic slice of Lemon Drizzle cake at G.J's Cafe.

The only disadvantage of stopping there was the climb out! At the top of Church Lane the snow was quite deep. ( Deep enough to stand the bikes up in!)

We rode back to Moreton via Greasby, and I stopped for a chat with the guys at the Bike Shop, and then did a little loop via Upton to get a few extra miles in.

All in all a very nice spin, even if it was a little slower than usual, with the heavier bike and snow, I feel like I had the big ride I wanted anyway! Lets hope the snow melts quickly and Summer hurries up and gets here soon!

Sunday, 17 March 2013

Shop Cafe Shop Park!

This week, my cycling has almost returned to something resembling normality. Tuesday night's ride was 20 miles, Thursday we did a couple of climbs, and 18 miles, and yesterday I managed 46 miles, not as fast as normal, and with a couple of stops, but it was a big step forward in my recovery and building my fitness back.

It wasn't a great start to the ride. The rain was falling, and it was cold. There was a good turn out, 7 of us rolling out of the 12th Man car park at 8.30. Within a mile, Dave L, who I haven't seen for ages, had to peel off due to a nose bleed. ( he is fine, and after cleaning up the blood went out on his own)

We zig zagged across Wirral to our first stop at Cheshire Oaks Cycles. The Team are having an open night on Wednesday night, with a talk on the importance of a good bike fit, and demo's of the new Garmin 510 and 810. I'm looking forward to it but Mrs Palefish isn't so keen. I may have to leave my credit card at home!

After a Quick chat, and a chance for me to catch my breath, we headed off round the back of Chester Zoo, disappointed not seeing any unusual wildlife, we rode on to Eureka.
We were now 30 miles in and I was starting to feel fatigued, so I had to have a piece of chocolate cake with my coffee, purely for fuel, honestly! 

I had originally planned to ride through Puddington etc to Heswall then West Kirby and round the coast and back to the 12th man, but as the weather was looking like getting wetter, we decided for a more direct route, via Williston, Irby and Greasby.

As we rode along, I suggested that I may pop into The Bike shop in Moreton, as Steve had sent me a text saying that some new Giro Gloves were in. Owen was keen to go too as his rear mech needed looking at, so once we got to Greasby, Mark headed back to the 12th, Salim headed home, and Me Paul and Owen descended on The Bike Shop. The gloves, that I had hoped would compliment the Palefish CC kit, were not quite the right colour, but I took advantage of being in the shop to check out a couple of possible choices for a new winter bike. 
I have had my Giant SCR for about 7 years, and it has served me well, but it is starting to show the signs of abuse and hard riding. I am hoping to buy another Giant winter bike, this time one of the Defy range. ( I just need to convince Mrs Palefish a new bike is needed!)

 To get a few more miles in, Owen and I decided to do a loop round Upton back to the 12th Man which made my total ride distance 46.76 miles.

Paul and his sons came round to see us yesterday, and we decided it was time for us to get the 4 boys out for a Palefish Pups spin.
The sun was shining as my two got ready this morning, excited to be going out for a ride with their mates. They were ready an hour before we had agreed to meet!

We rode up to Pauls, and then on to Arrowe Park. A safe environment for the kids to go mad in! The weather deteriorated as the ride went on, and as the boys were playing in the park, their version of a Cafe stop apparently, It began to rain hard, then Hail and finally sleet!

Park life

 We headed off home, and the cold and rain got worse. The Boys were not enjoying their ride, and Jude commented that he was "Suffering"!
When we got home, eventually, and the boys had warmed up with a shower, some toast, and a hot chocolate, Sam recommended that I check the weather forecast thoroughly before we venture out on our bikes again!
 It was little comfort to the boys when I showed them footage from the Milan Sanremo of the Pro's riding in the snow, and I told them that the race had been neutralised due to the weather.

Next week I hope to break the 100miles, it was close this week at 86, but I think once I do the ton in a week, I will feel that I am back on track.

Sunday, 10 March 2013

Getting back to normal, including Snow!

Another milestone this week in my slow recovery from this wretched bug! Tuesday and Thursday rides completed, with a little more distance than last week, and even venturing out in the torrential rain on Thursday night. And today, after feeling ill again yesterday, I dragged my sorry self out, after making the obligatory Mothers Day cup of tea and getting the mini Palefishers to give their gifts to a bleary eyed Mrs Palefish, who I'm sure would rather have had a lie in than be pestered about who's gift to open first, and can I have a chocolate now pleeeaaassseeeeeee. It was cold, and raining as I left the house, questioning the sense of riding in these conditions. But seeing as most of the lads were over in Cheshire taking part in the Jodrell Bank Classic Sportive, I couldn't let the remaining lads and lasses down, especially Ken who rides over from Liverpool to join us.
As we met up in the car park of the 12th man, tales of snow and cold winds were abundant, and it didn't take long for them to become reality!
7 of us headed out towards Irby, with a plan to then ride out to Raby Mere and on towards Eastham and back to Eureka Cafe skirting Chester. When we got to the outskirts of Heswall, Carla and Tara made the decision to go on their own. Tara is new to cycling, and was worried about holding us up, we tried to convince them that we didn't mind, as the pace suited me fine, but the girls were adamant, so we left them and rode on to Thornton. Paul was the next casualty of the Weather. The temperature was just above 1 degree, and Paul had lost the feeling in his fingers and was struggling to shift gears and brake. Sensibly he headed off home leaving 4 of us to ride off into the blizzard (poetic licence implemented there)
We re routed as we were cold, and the snow was falling quite fast. But, we did go a longer way than usual! Disappointing, I still felt fatigued at about 12 miles, but knowing the cafe wasn't far away, I kept going.
Eureka was surprisingly busy, seeing as the weather was not great, but while we refuelled the snow became less intense. We decided to ride straight back up the High Road, through Heswall then down the Gap round Caldy and West Kirby to Meols and then home via Heron Road and Pump lane. The snow stopped, but the wing became stronger. By the time we reached West Kirby, after I had stopped for a gel, the first I have taken in ages, we were riding into a strengthening head wind. It was a relief to turn off into Heron Road out of the wind.
We got back to the 12th Man, and I had managed to pedal out 34 miles! It doesn't sound much compared to some of the rides I have done, but in the condition I am in at the moment, I am very pleased to have gone 10 miles further than last week. Hopefully I will get to 45 next week, even if it does snow!
I wore the newest piece of cycling kit I recently purchased today, and it performed fantastically. I don't usually buy team kit, but I do have a soft spot for Rapha, as I have said before, and the new Team Sky cap was just too tempting. I definitely had a baptism of fire today, with Rain, Snow and wind, and it kept my head warm and dry all through the ride, and it didn't break the bank either! LINK to Rapha Cap

It has also been an exciting week for my little Palefishers. The photo I took of the boys with Ed Clancy at the Eddie Soens last week was given photo of the week status on the Wheelsuckers website. The boys were very excited to see themselves in the main photo place, and included in a newsletter! 

Also this week, just when I need it, my winter bike develops a front mech issue! Steve at The Bike Shop in Moreton tried his best to revive it, but unfortunately it didn't make it. A new one has been ordered, and after pricing up replacements for the rest of the chain set  and other consumables and upgrades, it is probably time I think about replacing my faithful Giant, who I have abused for the last 7 years, and also the bike that got me into this road cycling lark again! Now, what shall I buy?

Saturday, 2 March 2013

52nd Eddie Soens Memorial

Another great day at the races! The weather for the 2013 edition of the Eddie Soens Memorial race was much better than last years. The sun was out, and even though it was a bit cold, there was no wind or rain, which all added up to perfect conditions for a great race.
As soon as we arrived we bumped into Craig, the founder of Onix Bikes, and it was great to catch up with him, as I had missed the Onix twitter ride a couple of weeks ago. From what Craig tells me, there are some exciting announcements to come about the brand and its range this year, of course, I will keep you updated as I hear more from this fantastic, British company.

The next familiar face we bumped into was James, the Spin Cycle Magazine editor, and photographer for the Liverpool Echo. If you haven't checked out issue 2 yet, It is well worth it, just click this LINK and settle in for a great read.

My little Palefishers wanted to collect Autographs today, so armed with pads and pens we headed off to find some cycling legends. ( Craig was very surprised when the lads asked for his autograph!!)

It didn't take long to find a gaggle of famous riders for the boys to bug, 

Ed Clancy MBE

Dean Downing and Andy Tennant
After we had been chased off by the riders security we found ourselves a great spot near the start line and got ready for the race to get under way.

It was a big field today, 200 riders all wanting to make the best of the great conditions.
The race is set off in 4 waves, so that the Elites have to work to get to the front after leaving the start 3 minutes after the first group.

 4th Cat, Women and Juniors 3 and 4

3rd Cat and Junior 1 and 2

2nd Cat

Elite and Cat 1

 It only took about 8 laps, out of the 30, for the Elites to catch up and take hold of the front of the race.
The day didn't go without incident though. there were a couple of crashes, one on the back straight taking out about 20 riders. 

The last third of the race was without incident, and the last lap saw the elites line out in trains to get into the last corner and then a bunch sprint of over 100 riders.

The winner was Ed Clancy, with Thomas Scully second and Ian Bibby Third.

For the full results list head over to the Eddie Soens website HERE and for a race report with reaction from the riders head over to Velo UK HERE

Enough of my waffle, here are some shots I took today.


Rapha Train

Two laps to go

Palefish Ken 

Ed Clancy Approaching the line

He didn't even look out of breath!

Tom Murray Metaltek Knights of old. Winner of the Sprint

First, Ed Clancy, Rapha Condor JLT(centre) Second Thomas Scully, Team Raleigh and Third Ian Bibby, Madison Genesis

A taste of the podium for the junior Palefishers

This one made the boys day.

The only difference this year, apart from the weather, is that unlike my dreamy thoughts last year of taking part, this year I have absolutely no desire to enter the 53rd edition next year!!