Monthly Archives: April 2013

Bike Shopping

My retirement from motocross racing has meant that with a heavy heart, I have put the bike up for sale. It’s an expensive hobby that was asking a lot from myself and my dear old Dad who works on prepping the bike ready to race each week. The toll MX was taking on my ageing body was also a factor. It was taking me 3 days to be able to put my own socks on. This is a sport full of demands and a time has come where I needed to fess up Pop and decide our time in the sun was coming to an end and ready to hang up the bike boots.
However! With the potential bike money burning a hole in my tri suit pocket, I am looking at investing in a Triathlon bike. My road bike is great, don’t me wrong, she has done me proud in the 3 years I’ve had her. We’ve done plenty of miles and she still never misses a gear, handles like a dream and has been worth every penny. Ideally, I’d love to hold on to it should I do a Sportive or coax the misses into coming out with me one day. Although I can only ride one bike at a time so I’d be looking at getting rid of the Spesh to help put towards the new stead.

I’ve narrowed it down to the following:

Cannondale Slice 105 – £1799

Cannondale Slice 105

Cannondale Slice 105

Boardman Air Elite 9.0. – £1999

Boardman Air TT 9.0

Boardman Air TT 9.0

I’ve read ample reviews and weighed up the options of what would suit me best.
– Full carbon frame
– Future Proof (last me another 3 years with minimum investment)
– Makes me go faster
– Comfortable over long distances
– Value for money

The other thing to consider is the timing. IMUK is 16 weeks away and I have done 8 months training on my road bike. Hopefully this fitness will be transferable but I do need as much bike time on the tri bike as possible before I go racing it over 112 miles. It’s a big commitment, but I also don’t want to be regretting my bike split because I got the bike after IMUK!

Both bikes are very stylish, well made and read very well in reviews. The Boardman has the Fizik Arione seat and the hidden brakes. Both have internal cable routing, full carbon frame, fork and seat post. Both are suitable entry level tri bikes and both look like they only need a set of wheels bolting on. I currently have the Kinetic 2’s on the Spesh which I can transfer easily enough. A mid-range upgrade, although not carbon, are lighter and stronger than the standard wheel set.

If you have either of these bikes please do let know what you like/dislike with each. I’, looking forward to getting stuck in.

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Close Shave

I’ve been absent from the blog. I did a Duathlon on March 17th and picked up an injury which has been pretty hard to take. It’s a recurrence of my ITB injury and caught me by surprise to say the least. I had got up 8 miles in my return to running and was hitting some nice times with my negative splits and feeling strong as I built the distance back up. Then BANG – as I reached the final 2k of the second running leg of the Duathlon I felt it build and then come on strong. My leg was locked straight, just too painful to flex.
I have scratched around for some kind of reason as to why and how this occurred, 5 days after hitting a solid 8 mile run.

– It was a cold day
– The race organiser was running late and therefore rushed through the race briefing and left little time for a warm up or to organise kit
– I had a little flu bug a couple of days leading up to the race, leaving me on the couch rather than training.
– I ran harder than usual
– The course was undulating

Whatever the cause, it left me fairly depressed and feeling rather sorry for myself. The road to recovery has been long and precise, so to have been put back to square 1 was massively demoralising.

It took the wind out of my sails in a big way. I didn’t do any training for nearly a week afterwards and even then it was just steady swimming. I’d lost a lot of pool fitness just by taking this time out, I was struggling to walk and putting any weight on the knee was painful. It disturbed my sleep and it made me a general displeasure to be around.

I needed to snap out of it. Positive thinking will hopeful bare a quicker return, so I’ve heard. I had acupuncture treatment on the knee and also upgraded my foam roller to a rumble roller. This thing is agony, in a good way! Voltorol gel, a strict routine of stretching and yoga are all helping me train my mind into not wasting a day feeling sorry for myself but realise a comeback to full fitness is against the clock. I grew a beard too.

beard

Much like The Playoff Beard for my American friends. But I said I wouldn’t shave until I can run a pain free 2 miles! Not a lot granted, but the look, feel and taste of this beard reminds me that I need to foam roller and do all of my rehab stretching and exercises to get myself fit again. They help my knee and now also help get closer to that close shave.

Call it clutching at straws, but I’m also reading this book ‘Chi Running’. I’ll let you know how it works out, but the basic principles and mechanics behind the running style does ring true for my symptoms and possible fixes.

Book Review – ‘Bad Blood’ by Jeremy Whittle

I read ‘Bad Blood’ off the back of of reading Tyler Hamilton’s ‘The Secret Race‘. It was in the references and I thought it would fill some gaps on my knowledge of the sport.

bad_blood

It’s written by journalist Jeremy Whittle and it is a great piece of journalism by a fan. All journalists are fans of the sports they work in and reading books like this has helped me enjoy the recent Tour of Oman and Paris-Nice coverage because I now know a lot more about the sport. It’s good. It’s interesting and did exactly what I wanted it to do, just fill my down time from training with some training related literature. It’s not going to give me inspiration to go training or teach me anything technical about the sport I do, but its short and digestible – a good piece of journalism. Worth having on your shelf.
I had a brief spell as a radio sports journalist, covering football, rugby and cricket across Yorkshire. It was a good stepping stone for my career but it took away a lot of the love I had for sport. I am a fan through and through and having to turn watching into a job rather than doing into a hobby actually made a dent in my passion for sport rather than the dream job I anticipated it to be.

forest

When I got to cover a Nottingham Forest match it was made for me. My boyhood club, access to the players, my questions direct to my heroes and I could even sneak my Dad in as my ‘assistant’. Alas, I’d officially mixed work with pleasure and it wasn’t cool. Whittle talks about his fork in the road where he knew what was going on in the doping world, but almost didn’t want to accept it and was forced to choose. The heartbreak of being so deep inside the sport, he knew the darker side which, when you dedicate your life to that sport, must be tough to accept even as a seasoned journalist.