Posts From May, 2014

Summers Here....... And so's the New Kit !

Gorgeous Weather, Riding Every Day....... lovin' it !

Well I tell you what, its soooooooo much more fun riding in the good weather. I've done far too much in cold, wet, icy conditions, or grinding away on some Siberian static suffering cycle........ I'd almost forgotten cycling was a pleasure!

But after landing in the UK on Thursday (having a quick MRI scan on the knee) and basically being told to "toughen up soft lad" (but don't push too hard) I've been riding every day and having a great time in the new kit!

4 days, 4 big rides..... and planning to keep this up for at least 10 days (including the Tour of Wessex).

So here's the kit ....Shell sponsored factory rider!

Looking Good - Factory Rider !

And then the next day in my newly arrived Tour de Force Kit.....

Descending Rapidly in TdF Kit Asceending not so rapidly in TdF kit

Descending "Rapidly" in Tdf Kit...........................................and Ascending "Not So Rapidly", but still smiling!

But most importantly ENJOYING the pit stops with Adie and the lads in the Cotswolds.

Practicing for France (that's a croissant that is!)

That there is a Pain Au Chocolat, I'll have you know! It took us 120km and 3 pubs to find that.... and I even turned down a pint of bitter for some French lagery stuff. I call that dedicated (French) training. Hope you are proud of me?

On a more serious note here's what I've done, building up slowly confidence in the knee and trying not to push it too hard. (I've also been experimenting a bit with chamois cremes, and even tried a gel seat which I might put on for the first 40km each day to ease any "chaffing". Hmmm... and I read that the legs REALLY should be shaved (to ease the pain during massages in the eves apparently...... still a hung jury on this I have to admit!)

Thursday (landed in UK, MRI scan). 

Friday Day 1: 150km (relatively flat 1,200m) steady ride.

Saturday Day 2: 100km (flat-ish but felt hillier,  650m, and with a hangover - well so would you after a month in Russia with no alcohol)

Sunday Day 3: 165km (hilly  2,200m) feeling more confident

Monday Day 4: 65km (hilly  700m) recovery ride ready for big ride tomorrow.

Tuesday Day 5: 180km of hills (2,000m) to Rogers and back.........  (and I beat the rain.....just!)

Wednesday Day 6: 140km small hills (1,200m) .....Tired now.........sore bum too  

2 days rest and then....... Tour of Wessex (3 days, 350 miles (550km) and lots of hills! If I can survive that I think I'll be OK!)

Charity total: A gnats whisker off 4,000 pounds, so doing really well.  Always ready to accept more though (I want to try to raise 5,000 pounds as my stretched target), thats what we do all this training for (day in day out, rain or shine.)  Thankyou !!!!         http://www.bmycharity.com/iangreasbytourdeforce

Sore Knee or Not Sore Knee......

....That is the Question.

The good news is the knee is feeling a LOT better. It's recovering slowly now. Big relief 

I've done a few gentle 30 min and 1.5 hr rides (and my fave TV series "The Professionals" featured on the lap top for the past 2 nights too, so things really MUST be looking up!).

The dog crash clearly affected my knee a lot worse than I initially thought, but I think I conquered the summit of "Col de Knee Pain" and its just a downhill cruise from here.... I'll still call in at the specialist when I land in London, for a quick check to make sure I don't do any more damage (cos I have a LOT planned for my final 2.5 weeks in UK), but..... for a first time injury I think I've been lucky.  Phew.

It's been kind of weird not doing any gym work here in Siberia for a week or so, but I reckon the odd week off here and there isn't going to affect my fitness at all. That butchers dog will still be coming in 2nd place in any fitness challenges!

In this "months" 3 week Siberian Sentance I've just completed, the numbers are:-

Static cycle: Total of 300 units (km or miles? - who knows!) over about 14 hrs (each session on average 1.5 hrs)   Run: 6k,8k,6k     Alpine ski: 4x30 minute sessions, and 10 macho sessions: Lifting weights, straining sit-ups and genrally looking at myself in the mirror like all the other "he-men" pumping iron!!

It doesn't sound much when you consider a good ride in the UK = 200km over 8 hours, but I can assure you 1.5 hrs on this funny old static bike thingy is a fair old workout! I've been doing a bit of standing practice too which should be good for the Alps/Pyreneees....and that 25% "Col de Jenkin Road" at the end of Day 2 near Sheffield - BRING IT ON !!!

Oh, and regards the charity stuff......  Donations are almost at £4,000 so please if you find a few spare spondoonies........ here's the link  www.bmycharity.com/iangreasbytourdeforce     

Merci bien  

Will my Bum look big in this?

From Jeans & T-shirt to Fashion Guru....perhaps?

Nobody is going to argue with me when I say "I've never been the snappiest dresser in town". Ha ha. No, thought not.

And looking at most of my cycling photos I also observed that well, I'm just a boring 'ol bloke with black shorts and a red top (Oman club colours and then another forced red one for a British Heart Foundation ride I did). And that was basically it. Oh and black shoes, black helmet. Hmmm. Not very inspirational am I? Whereas mates all around me are in SKY / HTC replica kit, or bright greens, yellows, blues, and even sporting white shoes? (What are white shoes about though, I ask you???).

Anyway..... Not wanting to be THE most dull and sombre dressed bloke on TdF I broke a LIFETIMES TRADITION and treated myself (OK.... my Mum treated me) to a rather sexy Rapha TdF BLUE shirt and a stunning pair of (last years!!) TdF team bibshorts.... (well it wasn't my fault..... there were only last years available by the time my wallet came out of hibernation). But I was trying..... honest.

AND THEN ..............ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls............... look what happened!

Shell shirt front Shell shirt rear Shell bibshorts front Shell bib shorts rear

Oh yes, Branded Corporate colours! I am ..... a Sponsored Factory Rider, ha ha ha. Bring it on.    

Glorious hey !??

Thankyou, Shell Russia.

OK, so why all this fuss about clothes and not the usual drivvel about static cycles, i-pods 80's films? Well, that crash I had 3 weeks ago with the dog, has been haunting me. I kept going to the gym for the first 10 days here in Siberia but the knee twinge got more and more. For the past week, I have done no cycling due to severe pain in the knee afterwards, which is worrying me enormously. I've booked to see a specialist the day I get home. This little inconvenience certainly won't stop me but I might have to walk round every pharmacy in Oxford and buy as many pain killers and anti-inflams each shop will legally let me. Hmmmm.

But on the positive side, I'm rather hoping this new kit will really increase my speed!!! (I'm sticking with black shoes though, sorry, there are limits!).

7 weeks to go...........Oh heck, thats only 49 days..........

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