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July 23, 2019, 03:41:48 am

Cycling - 2

Started by Dixkot, May 11, 2013, 23:27:41 pm

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I think your knees are probably too bad at the moment to see the benefit of a bike fit short term, but I almost guarantee a good fit would have stopped it in the first place.

All about the bend and extension of the knee at the bottom of the stroke, how far over the foot the knee is at 3pm/9pm on the stroke, then something called the knee tracking, which shows how straight the knee is in terms of a linear line when going though the whole 360 degrees turn. It should be straight!

I have had 7 ops on my left knee, two on the right, including cruciate ligaments and various other bits being removed or fixed, so I would be a prime candidate for knee pain, and I get absolutely zero pain, and I totally put this down to having the right set up, training well, and obviously being a bloody minded yorkshireman!
The new songs are an abomination


I thought you were a Brummie!

Anyway my knee was still hurting a bit from Monday but I went out anyway, thinking of doing 25 or so. Set off without any sort of plan in mind on the X. Went out through Coalville and thought of doing the Sutton Bonington route again. But I passed the sign to Diseworth just before the A6, and thought I'd see where that might take me. Diseworth, you might think. But no, I took a left at Long Whatton then Smith Lane, and came back the same way.

Lovely weather - very spring like; almost warm. Nice to go for a ride with bare legs. I must shave them. Fairly substantial headwind on the way out, but so placid once I turned round at Long Whatton.

A young man in a baseball cap riding a little two-stroke dirt bike pulled alongside me in Coleorton, and offered to race. I declined. About three minutes after that, I experienced the single closest overtaking manouevre by a passing motor vehicle that I've ever experienced on a bike, beating my previous record from 2016 by a good couple of inches - not counting of course the time in 2010 when a car actually delivered a glancing blow to the rear fork of my old Ridgeback along Heather Lane, cracking the frame and bringing to an end its useful life.

Ended up doing only 21.27 miles. So much for my strategy of increasing my distances by two miles every week. But my knee pain dissipated quite a bit after the first few miles; I seemed to ride through it. And they don't feel any the worse for wear now, at least compared to this morning. Will be interested to see how they feel on Friday.

I now have an appointment for an MRI scan later this month which I hope will at least take some of the mystery out of it, though it will be a few weeks after that before I get the results I suspect.

179 done this month.



Glorious weather today, 24 miles and sighted my first Swallows of the year which made it an even better day.
Everybody's got to evalate from the norm.


Aye, lovely day today.
Took the Summer bike out for its first spin of the year. Put a new chain on this morning a nice bling golden one :) I really need to change the tyres, these have done over 4,000 miles, but the more I read about changing tubeless tyres, the more I put it off... I did change the sealant in the front tyre though as that seemed to be rather low.
The Summer bike certainly makes a difference. I just took it for a gentle spin today - old tyres, new chain - but beat all plenty of my recent segment times without even trying. Must all be down to the lighter/stiffer carbon frame and better components than the winter bike, even though it's more highly geared.
Didn't see any birds apart from sparrows and goldfinch.

Legend in my own Mind


Don't forget you go faster in warm air.
Everybody's got to evalate from the norm.


Not when you're sweating like a pig and you think it's raining...

When I got home I saw a Heron in the field behind our house.
Legend in my own Mind


Went out yesterday intending to do 23 or so (a Twycross as usual), but ended up doing 27.17 - partly because when I got to Sibson, I decided do go home via Shenton again, to avoid the climb up the A444. Just lovely out there. So much nicer to be pedalling unencumbered by tights, and to operate the gears without gloves on. And nice to have an opportunity to wear my cycling sunglasses.

I developed a bit of a headache for some reason after the first 18 miles but I had a bit of a rest at the wooden bus shelter at Barton, did a couple of calf stretching exercises and was fine after that.

No knee pain to speak of generally, except for a couple of twinges pushing up hills and a bit of superficial soreness, so I was pleased about that. I had a standing-only gig to go to last night and the knees were a bit uncomfortable, but they seem OK this morning.  However I will be good for the foreseeable future and not operate a bicycle on consecutive days.

And I note that the weather is gorgeous out there again today, but it looks like more of the same tomorrow. So there's that.


206 done this month.

I must learn to manage my distances properly. I've set up an overlay for Google Maps with landmarks showing the distance to home from strategic points along a number of my regular routes which would help, but I can never be bothered to get the phone out.

Perhaps 20 or 30 years in the future, you'll be able to get cycling glasses with a sort of Head Up Display. They'll be linked to Google Maps, or whatever the digital map provider of choice might be in the mid 21st Century. And as you approach one of the waypoints you've saved, you'll have a marker projected into your field of view - it will be rendered to look exactly like a signpost sticking out of the ground, to the side of the road, saying "18 miles from here to home" or whatever.

You'll also be able to have a voice-operated cycling assistant on your phone - so you'll be able to ask for directions and help using a lapel mic on your cycling jersey. What's the lowest elevation route to Melton Mowbray from here? Record my track and upload it to Strava. And so on.


I think I might have done too much yesterday, it was a bit of a struggle today at times. I'm a moderate climber at best and I did manage my past time up the Abney climb today, but conditions were just right for that, by the time I got to the Beeley Moor climb it was all I could do to engage bottom gear and grind to the top.
My right foot's suffering now too, I have a fallen arch on it and I used to have problems with it when skiing so I had a special insole done for ski boots. Might be an idea to get one for my cycling shoes, I think I over tightened the shoe today and whilst it didn't affect my cycling I can't put any weight on my foot now. Must take more care when doing up my shoes in future.
At least the hirundines are definitely back in Derbyshire now, saw both Swallows and House Martins today, hopefully they'll hoover up all the insects  which keep pinging off my helmet and getting in my mouth.

Legend in my own Mind


I woke early this morning - at about 0500 - and my thoughts turned to the possibility of getting up early to take the bike to the flatlands east of Bourne. I decided eventually that I wouldn't do that. Seemed a shame to spend all that time on a bank holiday driving to Lincolnshire and back. And I didn't do that. But I'd spent so much time mulling over the idea that by 0600, I was wide awake. So I got up anyway.

Spent a while on my computer looking for flattish routes, and Google turned up something interesting: a flat route from Worthington, just a few miles from here that goes right into Derby, using a dismantled railway path. Called the "Cloud Trail".


Did a bit of research and it doesn't quite look suitable for a road bike.  A YouTube contributor has helpfully filmed the whole thing, and uploaded a helmet camera record of the whole thing, sped up a few times of course, and that's what put me off. But it might be fun to dig the hybrid out and give it its first run out for about 16 months. I was going to get rid of it but maybe I'll get some use out of it after all.

Anyway in the end I decided on a route that I'd devised a few days ago; a sort of variation on a long-ish Twycross that's extended at the bottom by going down along a flat stretch near a village called Witherley, then onto the A5, cutting out some of the usual elevation of that route.

I set off at 1000 on the Spesh. I might have taken the Cannondale but I flipped the Spesh stem yesterday and wanted to try it (it was fine). I would normally do a quick test ride after flipping or changing a stem, but I'm happy to report that it didn't snap off leaving me impaled by the throat on the steering tube.

I dressed very light in my flimsiest jersey (the camo one), but was actually a bit too cold for the first half hour. Just lovely out there, all the same. Sunny and warm, and no wind to speak of.  I took it very easy and I'm pleased to say that my knees didn't suffer any trauma at all. The right one feels a little sore now, but nothing unusual. Encouraging.

Wanted to wear my new retro yellow cycling cap, but Mrs Slim got wind of this and insisted that I should wear a cycling helmet.  I resisted of course but she resorted to emotional blackmail and I ended up wearing her own cycling helmet, as it has a bit of a peak. Unsurprisingly my head didn't collide with anything during my ride save the odd flying insect but oh well, anything for an easy life.

Lots of other cyclists on the road today, and everyone wanted to wave. Don't know if the sunshine has brought out the fair weather cyclists who want to feel validated and special, but I humoured them all anyway.

Reached down for my Lucozade Sport just before Witherley, and it wasn't there. Must have bounced out of the bottle cage. Shame, because I do find Luco bottles quite ergonomic and of course they're eminently light and disposable. But they just aren't meant for bike bottle cages. I still had about 19 miles to go at this point, and I could have stopped for a diet coke at Sutton or bought a bottle of something at Market Bosworth, but I didn't seem to need to. I've always thought of myself as a low hydration person actually. I do usually drink fluids properly on a ride, but I've never been one to drink water at work, or around the house. Just coffee mostly and the odd alcoholic drink.  Fortunately it wasn't too warm and I didn't feel thirsty even at the end of the ride.

Saw a peacock sitting beside a gate at Cadeby.

The unfamiliar parts of the ride were really pleasant, apart from the brutal half mile stretch of A5. I'd like to do this route again or one a lot like it, but I'll rethink that part.

I think that was the most enjoyable run out I've had since I buggered my knees. Speaking of which - I read an article online this morning by a guy with knee pain who had them scanned and was told that he'd already ruined his knees, and nothing he could do to them on a bike could possibly make them worse so he might as well keep going. But even though his knees were in a worse state than mine (hopefully!) - he actually had bone grinding against bone - he was able to continue cycling (racing, even) by doing regular exercises. So I'm quite optimistic.


The exercises I'm doing are definitely helping so I'll keep at it.

31.84 miles, which takes me to 900.01 done this year, and 238.11 this month. I was also delighted to find that I've now done the 24 hours required for the Gore Wear "24 in 24" badge - in fact I've done 24 hrs, 1 minute so I've just sneaked it. Lucky. If I'd gone a bit quicker I would have have missed out on it, which makes it an unusual Strava challenge in that it punishes faster riding.


More on Tuesday evening I hope, although I'll be on call. The weather looks a bit rubbish for about a week after that, unfortunately.


No cycling today but I did erect the maintenance stand in the garden, attach the red Boardman to it, remove the wheels, the chain and the cassette. I thought the cassette wasn't going to budge at first but happily it did give way.

Took me a while to find the cassette tool for my spanner. I hate myself sometimes for leaving my garage so untidy. But I found it after about 10 minutes so I went back to liking myself too much.

With the wheels off it while it was on the stand it would have been rude not to give it a bit of a clean, so I did. The Boardman especially has really awkward-to-get-to nooks and crannies and some of the dirt is never going to come out of them. But it's in a lot better state than it was. Unbelievable the amount of grime that collects in the front forks and round the brakes. I couldn't find my Muc-Off spray so I used Tesco glass cleaner and Ariel stain remover spray (I reasoned that the latter would be especially effective since it contains solvent). Seemed to work OK.

I haven't put the new cassette and chain on yet.

Should be out of work by 16:30 tomorrow and the weather forecast looks nice, albeit a bit more breezy than of late. Sun up until 20:16! Good times.


Yesterday, my legs felt dead. Bereft of life. Truly Norwegian Blue like. I then spent the afternoon chowing down of rare Roast Beef, a side of salmon, smoked salmon, tempura prawns, eggs, a tiny bit of salad, then cheesecake, cheese and chocolate. All washed down with Fino Sherry, Palo Cortado Sherry, some Chardonnay, Pinot Grigio and then plenty of Aussie Shiraz. This seemed to pick me up a bit and I managed a walk home from my old dad's - to finish off the bottle of Shiraz he gave me.

Today, I wasn't sure how I'd be feeling, but a after a walk up to my dad's to pick up all the food we hadn't eaten and collect the car we'd left there, I felt surprisingly reasonable!

So, off I went for a "quick" 42 miler. Actually some parts were quite quick as there was a nice following breeze in parts which let me so a few PRs and even my second best time up the Loads Road climb - surprising considering the amount I was sweating!

The weather looks like it might be going off the boil a bit now, so the Summer bike could be back in hibernation again at the weekend, but we'll see.

Legend in my own Mind


Took a combined late lunch and early exit from work at about 15:35, and removed the X from the garage with the intention of doing a Twycross of roughly 30 miles' distance. In fact although I didn't intend to, I did exactly the same route as last time, through Witherley and Fenny Drayton. By the time I'd got to Sheepy I thought it might be fun to see if I could remember the route. And I did.

This was quite a different experience from Saturday, though. Cloudy and cooler, though still warm enough for shorts. But I had to contend with a bastard headwind the whole length of Fenn Lanes. I thought (or hoped) it would dissipate once I took the left turn into Cadeby, but nope. It was tolerable after Bosworth though, coming a more direct north. But I got it in the face again when I turned east toward Ibstock at Odstone.

Despite the headwind I consciously went a bit quicker than on Sunday, and got round 12 minutes quicker (by "moving time"). For some reason I recorded a slightly shorter distance though, 31.82 miles.

That sees me past my April target by 1 mile though, so I'm happy about that.


For reasons that are not known to me, there's a fibreglass cow peeking through the hedgerow on one side of Fenn Lanes. It's been there for years but recently it's been sporting a cycle helmet, so I stopped for a selfie.

I noticed that it's also adorned with Christmas tree lights.

Presumably due to a combination of increased speed and the headwind compared to Sunday, my right knee did start feeling a bit sore after Sutton Cheney. But nothing troubling.

I am supposed, per my physio's advice, to increase my distances by 2 miles per week. I'm notionally on 30 miles at the moment (I allowed myself another couple on this route because it has long flattish stretches). But I'm not always going to find the time to do 32+ miles three or more times a week, so I guess  my strategy will be to increase the elevation instead. Perhaps I can come up with a rough formula as a guide. I'll think about that.


After seeing the weather forecast yesterday, I thought today would be a total washout. The forecast had been for light rain showers and a moderate breeze, but this changed to heavy rain and strong, gusty winds. Now the wind certainly was strong and gusty, but the rain was noticeable for it's sparseness. Looking on the rainfall radar, it all just kept melting away as it reached the Chesterfield area.
So, I did mange a couple of nice hours in the dry, if rather windy, sunshine. I also got to try out my new arm warmers that Mrs S had bought for my birthday. Didn't try out my new glasses as changing the lenses is too much of a faff. The arm warmers did keep my arms warm, but being a puny bicepped cyclist they don't hold up very well at the top. I'll have to start doing some weights!
Today's 33 miles gets me within 10 of last year's April campaign, but I don't think I'll be able to get the 100 miles in tomorrow which would get me above my 2017 April tally.

Legend in my own Mind



April 28, 2019, 20:01:42 pm #3464 Last Edit: April 28, 2019, 22:59:18 pm by Slim
Wanted to do 30+ today. The roads looked a bit moist when I got up and waiting a few hours for them to dry up wasn't an option, as I had other plans for this afternoon. The Boardman is presently missing a chain and cassette, so - although I did briefly consider taking the X, I finally decided to give the hybrid its first run out since December 2017. In all that time I haven't got round to sorting the gears out since I changed the rear gear cable, but although you can't get all the gears it does still have a usable range, and the changes are fine - slick and positive.

I gave the chain a good dose of GT-85 and pumped up the tyres good and hard to squeeze as much rolling resistance out of them as poss. And actually although it felt bloody heavy, it did roll along quite pleasantly on the level, and it didn't struggle too badly up the climbs.

It's actually only 4kg heavier than the X and I've lost more body weight than that since Christmas. However there's more to it than just the weight. It just feels like a great big lumbering carthorse of a thing compared to the road bikes.

Anyway I decided that a regular Twycross of 23 miles or so would be more than enough and that's what I did, 22.54 miles to be precise.


Cool, cloudy morning but I wrapped up warm. Hadn't thought I'd be back in winter gear again so soon. Still - nice ride out.

A young girl attempted to sell me some lemonade from a stand she'd set up with her friend as I pedalled through Sibson, but since I didn't have any cash I declined. Would be nice to think she'd had a few customers but in weather like that in a quiet little village, I would be surprised. Quite an optimistic venture, I thought.

Since my Forerunner 10's battery gave up the ghost I've been thinking of treating myself to a new GPS watch. The ones I have tend to be fiddly or cumbersome to use, or need Windows to transfer data, which amounts to the same thing. But I've found an Android app for my Garmin 310XT that allows me to grab the data and upload it to Strava from my phone reliably and quickly, so it has a new lease of life. Cost about £4 but well worth it. The last app I was using for that was really slow and flaky and typically took three or four retries to work properly.

Anyway - 292 done this month and hopefully more on Tuesday. The weather looks ideal, about 18C and not much wind.