1960 Tyneside Vagabonds CC Cyclo-cross - Vintage Cycling

Cyclo-cross as it used to be back in 1960. Riders wading through rivers throwing their bikes in before them, washing their bikes in the river at the finish, cleaning themselves in a mucky bowl of water and brewing up afterwards on a meths stove - this video has it all.

The wonderful commentary is provided by Bill Baty, himself a winner of the GB National Amateur RR Champs in 1958 and 1959. The races just aren't like this any more! I particularly loved the BarnesBurY CC catering arrangements shown at 20:14.

Calibrating a RacerMate CompuTrainer

There is I believe quite a lot of confusion and misunderstanding about the calibration of this cycle trainer. This in turn leads to riders not getting the best out of these devices and often not getting accurate and repeatable power data from them.

This short instructional video demonstration of a correct and repeatable calibration procedure is an effort to remedy this.

Flamingo Oasis Sunbed Dash - Benidorm

I don’t mind admitting it, I’ve never been to Benidorm but I do enjoy the comedy programme on the TV of the same name.

I saw this video posted on Facebook and I just had to keep a record of it for posterity. I just can’t imagine going on holiday and having to deal with this kind of thing, it’s like a zoo!

There is just no doubt at all that given the choice of having to go through this or staying at home in the garden it would be the garden for me every time.

ErgVideo Until October

I’ve mentioned before how effective I find the ErgVideo system to be for maintaining training consistency and having lost a lot of my fitness as a result of a torn medial medial meniscus in my right knee (see below) and the arthroscopic surgery that followed it’s now time to rebuild.

It’s really quite depressing how much fitness you lose and how quickly you lose it, coupled with that it’s far harder to get that fitness back as the years advance. However, one is essentially left with a choice, either get on with it and try to make improvements, or take to the couch, blame someone else and just get horribly unfit and probably die earlier.

All things considered I’ve decided to prepare myself a new ErgVideo Training Plan and follow that and see where it takes me, hopefully I will be able to at least make some improvements before we set off to Mallorca in a few months time.

The beauty of these plans is that once they are set up all you really have to do is turn on the system, calibrate the CompuTrainer and then once in ErgVideo select the day’s workout and it’s all ready to go with all the loads and timings pre-configured, it’s great!

Spent a bit of time configuring my plan earlier today and there is a sample of what it looks like below. In the real thing the links all work and you can just click on them and see the details of the session for the day, this is just a screen capture. Let me know if you want any more information! The really great thing is that you can ride with someone else of different fitness and all the CompuTrainer loads are scaled to the Functional Threshold Power of each rider, so everyone works equally hard and nobody gets left behind.

Cycling Team Sprint - Winning Margins

I thought after last night’s stunning win by Team GB in the team sprint at Rio 2016 that I would do a little calculation for future reference.

The winning time was 42.440 seconds and that was to complete three laps of the 250 metre Olympic Velodrome. That works out at roughly 63.618 kilometres per hour, or 17.67 metres per second.

17.67 metres per second means that the rider is travelling 1.767 metres in one tenth of a second and that is a pretty close approximation to the length of an average bike. So, to win by “only" one tenth of a second you are a full bike length ahead of your closest rival.

To put that into perspective let’s imagine that a team was beaten by a margin of two seconds, they would, in distance terms, be 20 x 1.767 = 35 METRES behind the winners!

The Yepp Cycle Bell

Lorena and I had a really brilliant cycling holiday over in Holland last week, We were blessed with beautiful sunshine throughout and it has been difficult to come home to constant rain.

Whilst over in Holland I noticed how effective their bicycle bells were in comparison with the ones we get over here in the UK and I couldn't resist trying one or two of them out as I walked past, no doubt they thought I was just another crazy foreigner!

Anyway, after a few tests I determined that the Yepp bicycle bell would be absolutely brilliant if fitted to our tandem out in Majorca. As luck would have it we broke a spoke in one of our rear wheels and ended up in a very friendly bicycle shop which sold exactly the bell I wanted. I couldn't resist buying it and I'm looking forward to fitting it on the tandem on our next trip, I think you'll agree it's a little beauty!

Google Photos Trial

This post is simply an experiment to see how the Evernote - Postachio system deals with links to Google Photo Albums 😃

Here is my first test.

The link to the album seems to work Ok but it would be so much better if the album or photo could be embedded in the same way that one can with Flickr photos and albums.

Have tweeted Postachio and hopefully some advice will be forthcoming in due course.

Tyneside Vagabonds Cycling Club - Performance Improvement Group - The P.I.G.

Excellent ride out yesterday with the P.I.G. - the speed of the group is steadily improving as we get better at this sort of riding and waste less energy by pace changes though we still have a long way to go.

The objective is for us all to get fitter and for us all to enjoy ourselves whilst going as quickly as we can as efficiently as we can, quite an aim!

Here is a short movie trailer from yesterday’s ride, 53 miles at 22mph. I’ve started to experiment with some data overlays which seems to be working pretty well for a first go, I’m optimistic!

Tyneside Vagabonds - Majorca 2016 - P.I.G. Day 01

This Was The Plan

Circular route riding on a mixture of larger roads and narrow rural lanes which are a beautiful feature of cycling in Majorca. The plan is for this route to be ridden at a brisk tempo with the first stop of the day being for a coffee and a snack at Petra, at approximately 90 minutes.

Riding through the lanes through Sineu, Llubi and Sa Pobla there will later be the opportunity for a further stop though we may leave this until later in the ride or even at the ride finish. This ride will take something in the region of three hours and 30 minutes and starting and finishing the ride early will allow plenty of time for relaxation and recovery for the following day.

This Was The Reality

Three of us, Myself and Graeme and Craig Gow set off early at 08:30 and made good time down to our scheduled stop in Petra, we arrived there around 75 minutes after leaving The Duva having averaged 21mph for this segment, and it felt like it 😃

After a break we were soon on our way sticking to the scheduled route and we arrived back at the end of just over 60 miles, we were back at The Duva by 12:15 ready to begin our recovery after what was an excellent training ride. The overall average for the 60 miles as 20mph which was excellent, the session delivered exactly what it was intended to deliver.

Longer ride scheduled (70+ miles) for tomorrow and the overall planned pace is lower with the main training elements for the day being one long climb with the remainder of the ride ridden at a steady tempo with the focus on efficient group riding. Weather forecast for tomorrow is improving, today was pretty chilly and cloudy with a brisk gusting wind throughout which never seemed helpful!

Great day!

Something to Ponder

I don’t know why but this thought popped into my mind earlier today, it concerns the wisdom or otherwise of saving for the future.

Taking things at today’s prices Lorena and I can pay £1500 or so and that will buy us a whole month in Majorca where we can hopefully enjoy the sun, the restaurants, the cycling, the sunshine and the swimming if we want to as well as visiting the small local towns and villages on our tandem. An alternative to spending money on this kind of thing now is to be “sensible" and to save up for our old age, should we be fortunate enough to reach old age.

So, if we choose to save up for our old age what will our £1500 buy us then? At today’s prices our £1500 would pay for the two of us to be taken care of in a care home for one whole week.

Now, let’s say we decide to spend our savings whilst we can and keep heading for the sun, what happens when we get old? Well, because by then we have spent our savings we are then not “self-funders" as they are called, so the costs of our stay in the care home would have to be paid for by The Government. Whilst in the care home we could sit and chat with, or sit and stare at, the “sensible" people who have saved up or sold their home so that they can pay for their care, we will even have the same meals and pretty much the same accommodation.

What would you do? Go to Majorca or save for the care home?