Saturday, August 27, 2011

Glorious Saturday mornings and guilty admissions

I went out early this morning (6.55am) to catch the best of the weather knowing that showers were due later. I had planned to do a ride mapped by DeadHead1971 on Map my Ride

This route is one that features in a half-formed plan to do a sponsored ride for Children in Need and other charities. There is a good deal of V and training to go before this will happen.

The road was closed at the Saron crossroads so I ended up doing this instead: -

This is where I have to confess that my previous times doing this route have been cheats. I admit that what I have done was not the ride mapped but a shorter and easier route. I have never done the Category 3 climb out of Peniel - until today. Now I ache!

Mea Culpa.


Thursday, August 25, 2011

Cycle racing.

I've been following the Vuelta a EspaƱa Grand Tour - the third and last Grand Tour of the season. I missed the Giro d'Italia but saw all of the Tour de France and was impressed.  I'm not so impressed with the coverage of the Vuelta but at least it is being shown on ITV4.

Now I have never followed any sport up to now - football is a game full of overpaid Prima Donas and super rich financiers who are now suffering in the credit crunch. Much of televised sport seems to be dominated by football and Formula 1, Tennis when it is on and Golf which is possibly the most yawningly boring TV imaginable!

Cycling is something else. The riders are Athletes (with a capital A) They ride hard for hours then sprint to the finish, even up hill!

Ninety minutes on flat grass - give it a rest.


Saturday, August 20, 2011

New challenge, new hill and new reference ride?

I came home from work yesterday feeling depressed and defeated. There is too much to do, the clients are unreasonably demanding (although that is as much my fault as anything for not managing expectations and taking control) and I feel the lack of support. I really wanted to go for a ride but there was not the time and things to do so I put it off until today.

It was fine this morning and I intended to go out early and head for the hills - up towards Bylchau or even further. Of course the best laid plans and all that... I got up later that I intended, the house needed cleaning, we needed shopping, C. had a riding lesson and so it was already 1pm and I still hadn't got out. We had lunch and then went to Ruthin as C. needed new uniform for high school. On our return the rain had arrived although it was only drizzle and I wasn't going to be defeated!

After adjusting the brake cables I eventually got out on the bike (which, by the way, is becoming more of a liability as time goes on) and headed off towards Waen and then up into the Clwydians, a new set of hills for me as I usually head towards the Denbigh Moor - Prion, Nantglyn, Bylchau being good examples.

OMG as they say! The climb out of Llangwyfan was a killer for me. I had to stop a number of times (I didn't count) before I got to the top but the views were stunning and the descent down to Nanerch was the reward for all the effort. The weather held off and the undulating run back to Denbigh was not too challenging apart from the head wind.

This, or the road the other side of Moel Arthur may well become the reference ride for hill-climbing fitness from now on!


Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Fitness, purpose and goals.

What is the aim of cycling? Does it have a purpose and does it even need to have one?

I went out last evening after a pretty busy day with the usual crop of stresses and did an extension of the Prion reference circuit.

Whilst I was riding I contemplated the questions posed above (along with many others) and could not reach a satisfactory conclusion. I did decide the following though: -
  1. I ride the bike because I enjoy it. The area I ride around is amongst the most beautiful and scenic in the world in my view.
  2. I got into cycling recently as a way of dealing with stress and frustrations. It does help a lot. (I have cycled on and off for years - to school, to work, as a child to see friends and go out cheaply)
  3. I have realised that it is a great way of getting fit and loosing weight - and it is working!
  4. The challenge. I have the choice of a flat ride or hills. I often choose a hill because it is a challenge. I am pitting myself against the local geography (although not in THIS league - Respect to Frank!).
I suppose, reading all of the above there is reason enough to cycle but in the end there does not have to be a purpose with any major significance.

I enjoy it. End of...


Wednesday, August 10, 2011


Well. I'm not having a great week so far. I managed to get out on the bike yesterday evening and did the route up to Prion and back in 40 minutes. Best time so far and I didn't stop which tells me that I'm not in such bad shape.

Work is a pain at the moment. I had a meeting today that I had spent a good deal of time preparing for and it was cancelled because someone important to the proceedings didn't turn up. It really ticks me off when this sort of thing happens.

As for Britain it seems that certain lawless areas of the country are going to hell in a hand-basket. There is no excuse for the behaviour. It is NOT due to the shooting by the police of a man in London, nor is it due to the Government, immigration, and all the other things the lawless blame it on. It is no more than lawlessness - plain and simple. Those that are rioting are out to cause trouble, destruction and to steal all that they can get away with.

I am not going to suggest any solution to the problem - I don't have one. I'm just glad I live in North Wales.


Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Not Cycling and Not Denbigh but...

Sixth of August. A mixed bag of Saturday weather and a plan to get all the jobs done by lunchtime or early afternoon and go for a walk together. C. was at Granny's until Sunday, her room had been decorated and we set too and put everything back...only it ends up being more than that - tidying, sorting, chucking out (recycling) and so on. Plus there are all the other weekend jobs to do.

At 5pm we had had enough so we put the boots on and went out for a walk anyway. The weather had cleared up but by then we had reached the 'who cares' stage about the rain. We drove to Rhewl near Ruthin and walked up Lady Bagot's Drive. I have cycled it already and it is a gem, part of a figure of 8 taking in Llandyrnog, Llanynys, Rhewl, Bontuchel and Ruthin. The gorge is breathtaking and worth the effort.

The walk (slightly longer than what we did) features in the Daily Telegraph 20 Greatest Walks in Britain which I cannot find a link to sadly.