I’m hoping this will be a challenging year.

I originally set this blog up to chronicle my love of mountain biking and over the years had improve from a 1 hour, 4 mile slog to 25 miles in 90 minutes with the odd Manchester to Blackpool thrown in for good measure.

Well.. I’ve not posted much about my mountain biking for a while now and there are a couple of reasons for that.

  1. Work. I’ve been incredibly busy with my job and have been very lucky to spend quite a bit of time away from home in China, North America and Europe

2. The big reason is that I discovered Road bikes…

I went from this

raleigh pursuit

A 1980’s Raleigh Pursuit (library image) that I discovered being thrown in a skip. I rescued it and added some new tyres, quite enjoyed it and sold it for £70


2013 - 1

Then bought this,  leaned it up and realised it was too small. Sold for £100


Then bought this from a neighbour for £60, lovely bike but I didn’t get on with the gearing. 1980’s SunTour with EX600 groupset. Sold it to a collector in Ireland for £200!


I then got this! Reynolds 531 groupset, Biopace crank and rubbish brakes. Which resulted in..


30mph crash with a stationary car. Trip to A&E to be glued back together. Miraculously, nothing broken just a buckled front wheel. I sold the bike and got this..

decathlon sport

I got this for £150 as I wanted a more modern bike with STI levers and brakes that actually stopped 200lbs of stupidity. Quite enjoyed it and then saw….


I managed to sell the Decathlon Sport for the same price I paid for this Cannondale, which I absolutely love. I did the Manchester to Blackpool and knocked 1hr 20 minutes off my previous ride time of 5hrs 40. I’m hoping to get the time to nearer 4 hours this year.

I’ve also got an entry in the London 100m which will require a lot of training for. I haven’t been on my bike since some fairly rubbish rides in October!

What’s the plan… Well I’d like the weather to get a little calmer before I get back on my road bike as I don’t like the idea of being blown off in front of a lorry 🙂

The mountain bike is going to be used more this year as it’s a good alternative and I miss getting muddy!




I’d forgotten this existed….

Just remembered that I had a blog many moons ago, which detailed my cycling trials and tribulations..

So, what has happened since my last post, 15 months ago….


Got a new bike!

Sensa Sella TNT Tour 29er, Quite a fast bike, not as light as my old Orange G2, but that was heavy before I replaced all the bits on it!



Semi-converted my brother-in-law from a Golfer to a Mountain Biker.

I’m now really enjoying my cycling again.

April was the first month since 2010 where I have ridden over 100 miles.

My pace is starting to get back up to where it was previously.

My BMI has, today. dropped into the ‘normal’ zone for the first time in a very long time (still work to do though)

I’m more confident about riding more technical/narrow/rooty singletrack sections.

I’ve been to Lee Quarry!

Done Hit the North again, didn’t die, didn’t finish last!!

Don’t fall off anything like as much as I used to.

Bike is remaining intact, although that means I haven’t got excuses for upgrades (yet)

I’ve discovered Strava, I can’t decide if it is the best training tool ever, or really really dangerous; I do find myself pushing myself much harder than I used to on climbs or fast/flowing sections.. Just.. Need… To… Find… A… Few…. Seconds…. Damn, missed the KOM.

I’ll probably start posting my ride’s on here again along with the stats I’m gathering for pace/HRM etc..

9 months…

No, before you ask, we’re not…

It’s 9 months since I last posted on here.

Quick update –

  • Job’s fantastic
  • Location is fantastic
  • Bakery opposite with good bacon butties
  • Rode approx 80 miles in the last 9 months
  • Put on about 20lbs

So, now it is getting lighter, i’ll be getting out on my bike and will be looking to address the shortcomings of the last 12 month’s riding.

Bike is prepared and ready. I’m motivated and will start hitting the trails very soon..

First miles of the June 100

I thought tonight was going to be another one without any mileage as part of the June100 challenge. I got the chance to go out at 9.30 so I jumped at the chance.

I dropped down through Healey Dell to try and see the source of last night’s fire, but there was nothing to be seen. So I continued along to Shawclough Road before dropping down onto Bury Road and a detour through the ‘Bird’ estate over to Clay Lane and home via Norden and Caldershaw Road.

As I approached home I noticed that I was below 10 miles, so I had to do a couple of loops of the road next to mine to get over Phill’s mileage! 😀

June 100 and the Holiday Bikini Challenge

Ok, so i’m not going to be wearing a bikini..

I am however forced, through no fault of my own, to wear Speedos this summer, as the place we are going to on holiday has strict rules that men must wear speedos in and around the pool area. Shorts not allowed.

This is slightly worrying. I’m still at 14st 3 but my waistline is thinning down slowly – read very slowly for that.

I foolishly challenged Phill to ride 100 miles in June and it has now escalated to a larger challenge, involving a number of other rides of road or mountain bike persuasion.

I think I need to lose around 1 stone to look better. OK, it’s not going to be a Daniel Craig thing, but hopefully I won’t look too bad.

Area to address  -Torso; this is the main area I need to lose weight from. My arms and legs are fairly well toned now from the mileage i’ve done this year and my backside is a shadow of its former self.

Waist size – Currently an ambitious 36, down from 38 in 2009.  I’ll be happy to have a ‘comfortable’ 36 by the summer holidays.

Stomach – need to lose a couple of inches from there. It’s looking flatter from side on, but there still the love handles that need to be got rid of.

Chest – Man boobs are pretty much gone so a bit of toning will suffice.

Action Plan


I always go about this half-arsed and never really think about it. I know the simple formula is weight loss = calories burnt > calories consumed but I’ve not really put any further thought into it.

At 200 lbs, My daily calorie consumption works out at –

Resting metabolic rate is 2116 calories

Sitting at my desk for 7 hours tickling a keyboard consumes 476 calories

and Cycling 30 miles per week averages out at 240 calories per day

Total calorie consumption per day of 2832

Calorie Consumption

Breakfast – none

Lunch – typically a soft white roll with a ham type filling and a cup a soup – 325 calories

Tea – Usually pasta or on rare occasions a ready meal. For Bolognese sauces we usually have a 50/50 mix of quorn and lean beef. 500 calories

I’m going to be very disciplined this next couple of months and try not to eat crisps/biscuits etc

Daily drinks tend to be black coffee with no sugar – Occasionally white with half a level spoon

Daily calorie consumption 825

Nett Calorie Consumption 2007

1lb of weight loss = 3500 calories

So based on this, should I be losing 1/2 lb a day? Is my calorie intake too low and my body is in starvation mode?
Exercise and the June 100 Challenge – I am aiming to ride 30 miles per week, I can do this on 2 longish rides or 3 short, depending on time limitations. This mileage is how i’ve factored in the 240 calories per day for exercise.

I might even use the rusting exercise bike that has been on the balcony all winter to add in a couple of 30 minute sessions.

What do you think? Is this total bollocks, or are my calculations correct

Not What I Was Expecting

Tonight was the first ride on the roadbike. Everything works (just) so it was a perfect opportunity to take it out for a quick spin.

A quick ride down Rooley Moor Road, across Sandy Lane to Bury Road and a climb up Norden Road before returning via Caldershaw Road.

Initial reactions are – it’s much taller geared than I expected – the climb that I easily do up Norden Road was a real toil, as was Redfearn Wood. But i’m determined and I didn’t stop on any climb.

The brakes nearly work but need attention and I need to change the seating position slightly.

All in all, i’m pleased and if I can get to the same speed on the climbs on this as I do on the Mountain Bike I will be very happy.

5.9 miles

31 minutes

11mph max

27mph max

Expanding on Tuesday’s route

Tuesday’s ride was the first time i’d ridden over to Birtle,  I know – Shocking.  Lived in the area for over 10 years and have only ridden a very limited selection of trails.

Tonight, i’m going to do a similar first part of the ride on Tuesday, but when I get to Birtle Lane, i’ll turn right and head up to Owd Betts and ride back through Ashworth Valley to home.

If everything goes to plan, it’ll be just under 16 miles, probably 60% onroad and 40% off.

2010 Over The Edge

I’d been in two minds whether I would do this years Over The Edge ride (in aid of The British Heart Foundation).  The thought of cycling up Blackstone Edge was a little off-putting and up to last week I wasn’t going to be doing it.

I bumped into my Doctor at a social event this week and he shamed me into doing it. He does the ride every year. So despite being sober, I begrudgingly agreed to do the silver ride.

I gave the bike a quick once over yesterday to make sure it was in a condition that would allow me to do the ride without anything serious mechanically happening and also swapped over to slick 2.1″ slicks.

I drove to Littleborough this morning and found a ‘free’ parking space 3/4 of a mile from the start of the ride and cycled over.

Signing up for the ride was straight forward and parted with my £13. I was now the temporary owner of a shiny number 429 that got duly attached to my Camelback.

I grabbed a coffee and then bumped into Adrian  (6t8) and had a chat before the ride started. Mayor Swift was there to wave off cyclists in groups of 20.

Now, I’d psychologically sorted myself out for the climb as it wasn’t as steep as the climb up Rooley Moor that I usually do. However, today there was a slight sting in the tail; in the form of Roadworks, which meant that the route was diverted up Blackstone Edge OLD Road.

What a horrible horrible horrible climb that is! But I managed it in one go, stopping briefly to remove my jacket (once i’d got to the top of the climb). Today’s rule was if I had to stop, it would be on the flat or on downhill bits – never on climbs.

The ride joined back onto Blackstone Edge towards the White House Pub. I lost count of the bikes that overtook me, mainly 9st racing whippets on expensive looking road bikes!

The drop down towards Baitings Dam was really quick maxing out at 41.9mph before forking off to the left and snaking over towards Mytholmroyd. The climbs here were trying as my rear mech decided it wasn’t going to shift cleanly any more, so I made do with about half of the available gears.

I was fairly pleased with the ride, I was managing to ride fairly cleanly and had a good cadence most of the time. But I was slightly disappointed with my time. I’d have liked to have done it 2hrs 30 mins. But there’s always next year for that! Well done to Adrian for doing it 2hrs, impressive!

After finishing the ride and collecting my silver medal, I treated myself to Sausage, chips and gravy. It was the best i’ve tasted in a long time!

not quite blimey

Having not quite recovered from Monday’s road ride, I decided to test out the mech and brakes off road. I chose a fairly short route, just incase something fell off, or the front brake jammed and I ended up sliding down the track on my face.

The route I chose was up through Prickshaw, along Ending Rake towards Watergrove Res, then up Dirty Leech to Lobden Moor, a quick descent of Whitworth Rake before a quick scoot along the old Healey Dell railway line and cutting up Prickshaw Lane to home.

I have to say, i’m quite happy with the way my fitness is going, it was hard work, but there weren’t any obstacles that worried me (Apart from the stealth horses at Dirty Leach)

Climbing was great, I could attack certain elements of the ride that historically have been troublesome. I can pick my lines better to avoid holes/rocks/horses, so it’s looking better.

Rear Mech? Sweet. Shifts beautifully, just need to adjust it to get the top/bottom cogs, but other than that no grumbles.

Brakes? Well, once they’re warmed up they are amazing (compared to Hayes Soles anyway). Plenty of feel and stopping power.

Well chuffed with tonights ride.

6 miles

50 mins

7.2mph avg