Friday, 28 December 2012

End of a cycling year

Having previously clocked up the target of 2012 miles I felt it was important to add the extra miles to my Garmin 105 GPS watch, so that the target  shows up on the PC when you look at it - a tad unnecessary I know but thats the way I am.
What it means in real terms is that the final year total is 2032 miles - which includes the extra miles completed using the cycle computer rather than the Garmin.
When I log on to the software and click on the tab foe 2012 this is what I see:

This shows 2,016 miles, 133h 49m 28s of riding time at an average of 15.1 mph. A maximum speed of 37.6 mph (60.5 kph - the sort of speed that the professional peleton races at for long periods on the flat  - I was going down a steep hill for a matter of seconds !).

Targets for next year ? I'm not setting any - I have decided that I am going to cycle for the enjoyment of doing it next year rather than trying to reach a target - riding with my head down all the time, watching the clock rather than enjoying the fact that I'm out in the open air surrounded (mostly) by the Derbyshire countryside.

Apart from the cycling year coming to an end - the Christmas period is also coming to an end - just New Year to get past and we're officially into 2013.

Had a good Christmas - added a nice iPad 2 to my collection, a cracking piece of kit which will get lots of use I'm sure.

Friday, 7 December 2012

Thats That Then

December 7th 2012 - the day I reached my target. A 23 mile ride today took me past the 2,012 miles I set as my aim for this year. The screenshot of the spreadsheet below shows the breakdown of how I achieved it
As you can see the first two months of the year saw me clock up just over 100 miles - March was a good month thanks to a spell of good weather when I was out cycling on consecutive Thursdays in 20+ degrees. April saw me back down to just over 100 miles, then May through September averaged over 200 (although March remained the highest total mileage at 222.88 - and also the longest single ride at 40 miles).

With three weeks left and a total standing at 2013.02 it remains to be seen what the final number will be although a forecast of snow for next week may mean that not too many more miles will be added in the next three weeks.

In the meantime I have a very dirty bike that needs a clean - looks like a job for tomorrow morning before the match against Brigg in the afternoon (weather permitting).

Monday, 3 December 2012

Four weeks today

Thats right four weeks today will be the 31st December 2012. That means there are just 28 days to reach the cycling target of 2012 miles. 

We have been off work of the past week - but it's back to the grind tomorrow :-(

As we didn't have anything planned due to the floods all over the country (we did think about going to York for the day until we saw the main streets under 3-4 feet of water earlier int he week). we had lots of time to drink coffee, do some Christmas shopping and get in a few miles on the bike.

Last week I did a couple of 21 mile rides and today I added another 16 to the total. As things stand I have a total of 1,989.71 - ok so do the maths and you get 22.3 remaining miles. I can knock that off in one ride of about 90 minutes although the cold temperatures of late mean it'll probably be completed over a couple of easy hour rides.
As I arrived back from todays ride (partly wet and mostly windy) I saw a Rainbow across the fields towards Crich.
I took a snap with the camera phone - not a great quality photo but I'm sure you get the idea.

Sunday, 25 November 2012

Five weeks to go

Yep just about five weeks of the year left - five weeks to knock off the remaining 80.78 miles so that I can say I finally reached the target of 2012 miles. We're off work this coming week so I plan to get in a 20 - 25 mile ride.

Today I bought a pair of Look Easy Keo pedals for the new bike meaning I am using proper 'road peadals' rather than the MTB clipless ones that I had been using. Got them from a guy in Mickleover who had previously listed them on EBay but I didn't get a bid in as we were going to Decathlon on Friday and thought I might get a pair from there. As it turned out the ones at Decathlon were £30 so I decided it was worth an email to the seller as they had received no bids before the auction ended.

He was vey amenable and sold them to me for £20 (including cleats). He had wanted £5 postage but he kindly left them at Kedleston Golf Club for me to pick up as we were at the Christmas Craft Fair at Kedleston Hall next door this morning. The Golf Course was closed when we got there due to the recent wet and windy weather - thankfully the club shop was still open and I got the package and left the money - jobs a good 'un. Put them on the bike when I got back - ready for a ride this week, weather permitting.

Thought it was about time I posted a few snaps of the new bike. Took these the other week

To anyone not really into bikes these probably won't mean a lot but this Carbon frame is a stunning piece of kit which is suitable to race on (clearly not with me sitting on the saddle).

It makes a heck of a difference to be on a carbon framed machine - I would love to have a go on Bradley Wiggins Pinarello - now THAT would be an experience.

Sunday, 11 November 2012

Into November

One thousand eight hundred and seventy four point six seven miles. That is the current miles total for this year. What does that mean in relation to my yearly total ? Well my target of 2,012 miles is 137.33 miles away, or 19.2 miles per week over the next 7 weeks - easy ! Mmmm maybe - it's all down to the weather really. As I look out of the window this morning at an almost cloudless sky and a temperature of 7.2 it all seems like a formality to reach my target, however we all know that no-one knows what is round the corner.
The fact that I look like reaching this years target before the end of the year made we start to think about next year - what will be the aim for 2013, the year I turn 50 ???
The easy option would be to add a mile to the target and make it 2,013 in 2013 but that would;t be much of a challenge (assuming that I do reach this years target - and even if I don't I would have got so near that 2,013 wouldn't perhaps be much of an achievement next year.
On a night out with friends Jan & Steve I decided that it was about time Shinscraper (as was his nickname at school) got his old Mercian bike off the hooks in the garage and got back into peddling again. We talked about doing a decent ride - a 100 miler in a day seemed like a good idea. Not sure where to go but we have a vague plan to do something in May or June of next year.
Ok - short update for now - got to go and photo my bikes for insurance purposes. Then it's off to Derby for a look around the shops (not been for  - well I can't remember how long) then to the Quad cinema to see the film Private Peaceful after an Italian meal at ASK ! - it's a hard life as they say...

Friday, 2 November 2012

Is that the time ?

Ok it's been (another) while since I updated the blog and after the usual ear holing from Kenneth I have finally given in, so here goes.

On the football scene it's been interesting to say the least. We've progressed int he FA Cup until Ilkeston FC hit a purple match in the replay at Christchurch Meadow and scored 5 after we took the lead.

We also progressed in te FA Trophy until Cammell Laird came to town and deservedly won 2-0 last Saturday (thankfully no sign of Mr S Knife this time around).

League wise we plumbed the depths when a 1-1 draw at home to Carlton left us bottom of the table. Since then we have had a bit of a turnaround and we currently sit 13th, still with games in hand that could see us on the edge of the play offs. If we hadn't let in a 95th minute winner at Gresley and a 94th minute equaliser at Chasetown we would be right up there with the play off contenders already.

Sadly no Frogba so far this season due to a pre season knee injury at Holbrook which refuses to heal. We keep hearing 2 more weeks but like tomorrow it never quite arrives. Fingers crossed that he is back soon as we desperately need his goalscoring touch.

Tomorrow we're off to Stafford Rangers to play Northwich Victoria who are groundsharing. A new ground and a new team for me.

All the match day action can be seen here: BTFC Match Action Photos

On the cycling front the 2012 target (of 2,012 miles) remains a possibility weather permitting. Today I moved on to 1,831 miles for the year - just 181 to go in the remaining 8 weeks. That should be easy unless the weather decides differently and I have to miss out on a few weeks, fingers crossed that does't happen.

I have acquired another bike since I last blogged. This is the definitely the last bike for some considerable time. 
A fine machine made from Carbon Fibre and sporting 22 Campagnolo gears - even gets an old bugger like me up the hills quicker. Only bought it as it was such a bargain (aren't they all ?) I really do need to sell one of my bikes now though as I have 3 in the garage and one in the shed.

Talking of bikes I found some old photos relating to my cycling history - reproduced here for nostalgia (and to give Ken a good old laugh)

Me with my first 'proper racing bike' - I recall wanting a racing bike for what seemed like forever, then one Saturday dad said "come on we're off out" - we got on the bus and went up to the Old Normanton Army Barracks on the corner of Sinfin Lane and Osmaston Road. On the other side of the ring road was a bike shop called Burleys. We got off the bus and dad took me into the shop - to return with this speed machine. I had to ride it all the way home down SInfin Lane, which was a busy road at tea-time. Somehow I managed to get home in one piece (probably due to my 'go faster tracksuit top - complete with collared shirt underneath. We fitted a 'computer' to it to measure the distance rode. When I say computer, this was June 12th 1976 (now THAT was a Summer)  - the cyclometer consisted of a little plastic box with a window that fitted to the front fork. The distance was recorded by a metal pin attached to a spoke that turned a small plastic wheel which in turn moved the numbers in the little window. You had to buy the one that matched the size of the wheel otherwise the distances were all wrong. I rode that bike for hours that day (even though I didn't get it until tea time) and clocked up 18 miles riding round the estate until dark. Not sure how accurate that was - probably only about 10 miles in real distance.

A quick Google and I found a couple of pictures of what I am trying to describe:
And this is what it looks like fitted to the bike
How technical is that ? How could it be anything but 100% accurate...

The next snap shows me a few years later with my Peugeot Equipe bike, stood outside our house in Kestrels Croft
The tracksuit has long gone by this stage, replaced by a moustache and a hint of a mullet haircut. I rode this bike for miles and miles around the Sinfin, Barrow on Trent, Findern, Newton Solney, as far as Stapenhill and back some days. I rode into Leicestershire through the country lanes of Melbourne - that bike served me well, even though I cannot remember taking the chain off it once, or replacing any parts. I can't remember what happened to it but it must have been sold as it never seemed to have anything wrong (can't even remember a puncture).

Moving on here's a shot of me 'in action' riding one of my mountain bikes which we used for our longer day rides back then.
This must have been uphill unless I was just posing for the camera (surely not !!). I still have the same shoes and was using them up until I recently switched to clip less pedals. They really don't make them like that anymore. I think this was my Diamond Back bike - again long gone to be replaced buy the GIANT one I have gathering dust in the shed.

The next photo shows me and my cycling buddy Dave Upton after we did 100 miles in a day. I remember we rode to Cannock Chase and back - with quite a few detours on the way to make up the miles. 
As you can see I was the original Ned Flanders (look him up if you don't know who he is - indeedly doodle). I also still have the Carrera shirt I was wearing but it must have shrunk over the years in the wardrobe as it is a little on the tight side these days. Had to buy a larger one to allow for that shrinkage in years to come. Dave is sporting his Banesto shirt made famous by Big Mig (Miguel Indurain - again look him up if you don't know).

Well thats it for my trip down cycling memory lane - hope you enjoyed it. More rubbish will be posted here in the future - whether distant or not remains to be seen...

Tuesday, 18 September 2012

Time for another catch up

Ok so it's been 3 months since my last update so it's long overdue.

Obviously the football season has started - we're 5 league games in and a few cup games. League wise the start has been less than impressive - 4 draws and a defeat, so still looking for the first league win of the season. Cup wise a totally different story, won through two rounds of the FA Cup (Holbrook Sports 6-1 and Matlock 2-2 then 3-0) and into the next round of the FA Trophy by beating Loughborough Dynamo 4-3 (reminds me of a previous visit when we lost 4-5).

Next round of the FA Cup is on Saturday. Another local Derby against Ilkeston FC at the New Manor Ground. I won't be at the match due to photographing my best mate from school, lads wedding. Hopefully my absence will be a lucky omen as we beat Holbrook while I was photographing Sallys nephews wedding at Hartington Hall. I'd settle for them winning and me not being there. Coincidentally if we do beat the Robins, the next round will take place in two weeks time, when I'll be photographing Sam Carters wedding - if I book a few more weddings I might yet get to see Belper at Wembley !!!!

Already the club has earned more than £7K from the cup competitions. Next up in the FA Trophy is a visit from Leamington FC. We last met them in 1971 when they played under the name of Lockheed Leamington. We played them between 1963 (the year I was born) and 1971 when the changed to the Southern League at the end of that season.

All photos will available here:
Belper Town Match Photos

I have a programme from the last time we played, on 12th April 1971 - priced at 6D it only runs to 8 pages and has more adverts than articles. One advert is for R. G. Chimes of Clarendon Street, Leamington Spa 'Hairdresser to Gentlemen and Sons" - wonder if they are still there ? Also there is one for R. R. Hall proprietor D.F Watson "purveyor of Best Quality Home-killed Meat" mmm not sure I'd want to visit that guys house.

On the cycling front, we had a great day last Monday when the Tour of Britain came through Turnditch. It was a great experience even if it didn't last too long. I snapper a few shots whcih can be seen here:
Tour of Britain Photos

On a persona cycling front my total for this year is now 1572.47 miles, leaving me 439.53 or 29.8 miles per week until the end of the year. Should be doable if the weather doesn't decide to intervene and get me off the road for three weeks like last year.

Wednesday, 6 June 2012

Cycling Update

So you're up to date with how the season ended, time to update the cycling side of the blog.
Last time I wrote (back in April) I was clocking up around 100 miles per month (except March when I did 222 thanks to a few days off from work and some unseasonably hot weather). April saw me clock up 109 miles. The last two rides of the month (16.71 & 9.11 miles) were the first ones to dip below an average of 4.00 mins / mile for that month.
May took me back into the 200's (203.60) including a ride to Ashbourne and back on Saturday May 28th. The hike up through Turnditch was as hard as expected but I managed it without getting off - all 1.5 miles of it (hardly Alpe D'Huez i'll admit).
so far this month I've clocked up 61 miles in 6 days but the end of the month sees us off on a cruise to Norway so that will cut down on the miles a bit. 
Today I went out in the sun although the skies were leaden over Holbrook. I managed the first 15 minutes in the dry then the heavens opened and the next 40 minutes were ridden in torrential rain. Thankfully I decided there was a risk of a downpour and went out on the Boardman rather than the Pinarello so at least I had mudguards in situ. Timing wise I was only 3 seconds slower than previous rides over the 13 miles circuit.
This was me when I got back (just as the sun started to come out). It's hard to see how wet I was but the clues are there - the filthy socks from the road and the dye running in my gloves due to being sodden). The clouds behind give only a hint of what had been happening over the previous hour. I really enjoyed it - even if I will have to spend a while cleaning my bike over the next day or so !

Catch Up Time

Ok so it's been too long but at least that means that we have a few things to write about. When I last blogged we were heading to Shepshed with three games of the season left. It started so well with a 6-0 thrashing of the Dynamo (and I won the Grand National sweep on the bus - even though I went in the car, figure that one out !). Shepshed were a poor side and were lucky to get away with only losing 6 goals.
That game put us on a high for the visit of Leek Town - our main rivals for the last play off place. An even game saw Leek park the bus, playing with 6 at the back, including leading scorer Matt Haddrell. Belper took the lead through red hot Ash Longstaff to lead at half time. Leek equalised in the 83rd minute,  as things stood that meant that Leek were in the ideal place to keep us out of the play offs. Time ticked on and with the 90 minutes up and added time being played the ball was on the Belper byeline being held up by a Leek forward. Players piled in and a free kick was given to Belper. Amazingly the ball was played from one end of the field to the other and at the third attempt leading scorer Jon Froggatt fired in a winner to send the home fans wild.
All that remained was for Belper to equal Leeks result on Saturday and not lose 5 goals and we were in the play offs - simpless.
Our visitors were New Mills and with nothing to play for everyone felt that Belper had turned around a very odd season. 13 wins and a draw in the last 14 games was championship form, but footballs is a funny old game.
Leek were playing Shepshed so we knew that they would win (barring a miracle result). We were 2 points ahead at kick off with a goal difference 4 better than them.
As the game went on we started getting updates from the Leek game. We were 1-0 up and safely in the play offs whatever Leek managed to do, then New Mills found an equaliser and it all changed. News of Leek goals flooding in 3-0, 4-0 - as things stood we would be in the play offs by 1 goal. We heard that Shepshed had a penalty - which they missed. Then the news we didn't want to hear - Leek 5 Shepshed 0. At the final whistle it was all over, Leek had finished on the same points, and the same goal difference but pipped us by having scored more goals (despite the fact that in head to heads we had won 2-0).

The final table looked like this:

1. Grantham Town 92-44 93 +48

2. Carlton Town 101-52 83 +49
3. Ilkeston Town 93-44 83 +49
4. Sheffield FC 93-62 75 +31
5. Leek Town 77-60 74 +17

6. Belper Town 74-57 74 +17

As you can see, a win would have put us in 5th place and an away trip to Carlton Town in the play offs.

As things turned out Leek beat Carlton on Penalties in their SF and Ilkeston thrashed Sheffield 7-0 in the other. The final was at Ilkeston and as expected the Robins came through 2-0 infront of over 1,600 fans.

So thats another season over with - next time I'll update on the cycling (which is going well, despite the awful summer we are having thus far)

Friday, 13 April 2012

The Sharp End of the Season

Mondays 2-0 win at Sheffield means that promotion os now well and truly in Belpers own hands. Three games to go and three wins means we will definitely finish in a play off place.
The weather and the pitch were rough on Monday but the players stuck at the task and as Sheffield lost their discipline (having two players sent off) Belper took the initiative and scored from the spot (Froggys 32nd goal of the season). This was followed by a great strike from Ash Longstaff 4 minutes later and we had made it 12 wins in 13 games.
Tomorrow we travel to second-bottom Shepshed Dynamo. The Butthole (unfortunate name for a football ground location if ever there was one !) is not  a happy hunting ground for Belper, even when Shepshed are struggling. I recall last season we went there and lost 0-1 to a penalty and Shepshed finished in a relegation spot but were reprieved to struggle again this season.
I also recall going there in a 12 game unbeaten run and losing 3-0. We must be due for a good result - lets hope it's tomorrow.
Following on from that we have the biggest game of the season so far - a visit from Leek. If we beat them the play offs look an almost certainty (assuming we have already beaten Shepshed). Of course there is also the fact that Leek and Sheffield need to keep winning also to take it down to the last game of the season.
Cycling wise I've only managed a couple of rides for the past two weeks thanks to the weather. Having said that todays ride included a severe drenching in the middle of a 20 mile ride - not a pleasant experience but I've had worse !
Currently I'm up to almost 500 miles for the year. With Summer ahead I'd like to think I could manage a target of 2012 miles for the year. If thats to happen I'll have to pile on the miles during the close season as the end of the year will see a reduction. Last year I did 508 in just under half a year so that would be a massive jump but lets go for it !

Monday, 9 April 2012

Ain't no stopping us now !

Following on from the Coalville win we sneaked past a resolute Romulus side at home having to come from a goal down to make it 11 wins and a draw in the past 12 games. We even won the Manager of the Month award for March which is usually a poisoned chalice. As things stand we are 3 points behind Leek having played 38 games each. Four games to go and all to play for. 

Today we're off to Sheffield FC - or Sheffield Club, or The First Club in the World or The OLDEST Club in the world (whatever they are calling themselves this week !) We love that fact that they are in Dronfield, which is officially in North Derbyshire but they insist they are from South Yorkshire. Either way it's a massive game which could send us on to Shepshed next Saturday in high spirits or could potentially finish off our season (depending on Leeks result at home to New Mills (our last day opponents) today).

You will recall that I was cycling in 20+ degrees a couple of week back, then on Wednesday last week we got up to this :

Not brilliant as it was taken at 6:30 as we were heading off to work but you get the idea. What you can't see is that it was blowing a blizzard and we could only just get off the drive. Is this what global warming is all about ?

I'll update what happens in the next day or so.

Sunday, 1 April 2012

And on we go

Another game, another win. Thats now 10 wins and a draw in the last 11 games for Belper. We haven't been beaten since yesterdays opponents Coalville won 2-0 at Belper back in January. We sit just 1 place below the play offs after yesterdays win at Coalville (combined with Stamfords defeat against Loughborough). 
A scrappy first half on a bone hard pitch in a biting wind saw Belper take the lead through a Longstaff snapshot that caught out the Coalville keeper and the Coalville snapper by the looks of things

Coalville equalised just after the break but Belper came back to score two more though Froggy (number 31 for the season)

and a Mark Ward free kick which caught the keeper out at his near post.

Five more games to go and the play off are still the topic of conversation - anyone want to buy a Jethro Tull ticket ?

At half time we were having a cup of tea in the boardroom and sheltering from the bitter wind (10+ degrees cooler than Thursday without the wind chill factor). I looked through the window and saw that the Coalville snapper had left his camera equipment by the goal and obviously one of the Ravens substitutes fancied a bit of a go. From what I saw he needs a bit of advice on his technique !!

Next up it's third bottom Romulus at home on Saturday - surely the run can't come to an end there can it ???

Saturday, 31 March 2012

Saturday 31st March 2012

Just 6 matches of the season to go (unless we make the play offs in which case we could have 7 or 8. I have been looking at the chance of a play off place and it's going to be tough. Although we are only 5 points behind 5th placed Leek their run in looks a easier than ours. Our two big games are Sheffield & Leek, they only have us really. Sheffield have us and Carlton as their difficult games. Other contenders are Stamford who only have Grantham but are not particularly on form at present - especially after being battered 6-0 by the Sheffield Club in midweek.
The table at 5pm tonight will tell us a lot more. I think we need to be looking at 72 points for a play off place - which means gaining 14 points from the remaining 6 games. Thats 4 wins and two draws or 5 wins and a defeat - tough ask but it can be done. I don't think we can afford any slip ups at Coalville today - a side that beat us 2-0 at Belper in January but have only won 1 of their last 6 games.
Decided that I only needed to do a few miles yesterday due to the previous efforts this week so I stopped at 11.5 making a weekly total of 61.5 - hardly Olympic training numbers but I'll settle for that.
Time to get sorted for the trip to Coalville - updates later on how we got on.

Thursday, 29 March 2012

Remember me ?

It's been a while since we got back from Brighton and lots has happened on the football front. Belper have extended their unbeaten run to 10 games - 9 wins and a draw. They sit just outside the play off places and hope is high that we can nick that last place. It's still a tough ask but it can be done on current form. The two biggest games remaining are the trip to Sheffield FC on Easter Monday and the home game with Leek Town who are the two sitting in places that we can catch.
Results since my last post:
Belper 3 Kidsgrove Ath 1
Stamford 1 Belper 1
Belper 3 Hucknall Town 0
Belper 1 Lincoln Utd 0
New Mills 1 Belper 4
Photos from the first four games are on my Flickr site here: Belper Town Gallery
Ken took on the photo duties at New Mills and produced tho cracking set showing all the goals and near misses Kens Snaps
Froggy reached 30 goals for the second season running with his second strike at New Mills - and generally the past two seasons haven't been particularly good - I can't imagine how many he's have scored in a top side.

Cycling wise I've been out quite a bit on the Pinarello. I changed the cadence sensor over from the Boardman. Recent rides include a 10, 26 & 20 miles last week with this weeks efforts so far 10 on Monday and a 40 miler today in 2h 42m 41s. A glorious day with the temp getting up to around the 20+ mark - just didn't want to come back so I kept going until my knee said 'enough now' What that 40 miles did do was take me past 1,000 miles since returning to the saddle

I tried the clip less pedals but didn't get on with them at all - they just don't release the pedals easily - and even though I only tried them in the garage I started having knee pain due to the twisting action of getting your foot out. Afraid they will have to go on EBay to recoup some of the money.
Might get a few more miles in tomorrow but it won't be too many as we're out for a meal at 7pm with Mike and Jenny next door.
Then on Saturday it's another new ground for me as we go to Coalville for the first time. Hucknall was my 62nd non-league ground. New Mills would have been a new ground but for the 2nd time circumstances meant I missed that trip. 

Sunday, 18 March 2012

Brighton Photos

I have finally got around to sort through the photographs I took on our trip to Brighton last week (at this time we were just about arriving at the Grand Hotel).
Here are a few of my favourites
The Grand Hotel

Clothes Shop with hundreds of old sewing machines

Another sunset photo

The Royal Pavillion

A Beach Hut for sale at £12,000 !!

Peeling paint on a Beach Hut

What did Mrs Snapper see ?

Graffiti at the Brighton Marina
The whole set can be seen here: Brighton Photos

Saturday, 17 March 2012

A Long Way to Stamford

As I said earlier, before the match I would settle for a point from Stamford this afternoon. Thats exactly what happened this afternoon. A decent game with chances at both ends, a penalty save, a sending off and many bookings.
Jon Froggatt scored his 25th of the season
Froggy slots in number 25 for the season

The match photos are here:

Brighton Sunset

As promised here is my favourite snap from the Brighton trip. It shows the West pier against a setting sun, I almost feel like a photographer when I see results like this !

Last night I was at the Derby Assembly Rooms to see the Pink Floyd tribute band 'The Australian Pink Floyd Show' What an incredible band they are. If the real Pink Floyd were still touring they would be hard pressed to put on a better show in the restrictions of the Assembly Rooms.
We were treated to a laser show, an inflatable Teacher (who could only stand at the side of the stage due to the size of him and the most amazing music. If I had a criticism it would be that there was a little too much from the Division Bell and not enough Classic Floyd, but what they did do, they did extremely well.
£29.50 to see a tribute band ? Worth every penny !

Today we're off to Stamford to see if Belper can continue their rise up the table. A real test this one as Stamford sit in the last play off place. In real terms the two teams that we need to catch are Stamford and Sheffield FC if we are going to sneak into the play offs so a win today would be a massive result. We have a game in hand on those two so a draw would be acceptable before kick off but we shall see what happens.
PC went off for repair this morning - depending on the cost that may be the last we see of it and the switchover to Mac may be here for good. If it can be fixed I will recover the data and move to Mac over the Summer - time will tell.

Wednesday, 14 March 2012

Time for a catch up

It's been over a week since I posted and quite a lot has happened. Last week I got in three bike rides, a 10 miler, a 22 miler and a 16 making the highest weekly total (48) miles. 
Saturday we played Kidsgrove and won for the 6th consecutive game - the play offs (and a clash with Jethro Tull) is getting nearer and nearer !!
Despite dominating the first half it was Kiddy who took the lead at just before the break. Belper came back in the 2nd half with 3 goals to win 3-1. That win moved Belper up to 10th in the table. Just 9 points off the last play off place with a game in hand (and we play 5th placed Stamford this coming Saturday).
The match photos are here: Belper 3 Kidsgrove 1 photos
The match started with a presentation to Tony Treagus to make his 80th birthday and his 27 years at the club.
On Sunday we headed off to Brighton for a new nights stay at the Grand Hotel. 
The Grand Hotel is a traditional hotel in the true sense of the word - read more about it here:
We had a fantastic time, especially on Monday when the temperatures were like a summers day. We walked all the way to Hove along the seafront. Took lots of photos which I will sort over the next day or so - might take a while as I broke my PC by accidentally switching it off at the plug (meant to turn the speakers off - then it wouldn't boot up again so might be terminal).
If the sunset photos over the old West Pier look as good on screen as they do on the camera I will be very pleased.
Watch this space for more updates over the next day or so.

Sunday, 4 March 2012

ANOTHER win ! Whatever next ? The Play Offs ?

Yesterday saw another great first half performance with a less so second but still we held on to win 3-2 against a Market Drayton Town side that was on a decent run of form themselves.
2-0 up at the break, Belper let MDT get a goal back, then Froggy made it 3-1. MDT scored in the 90th minute and then we hung on to record the 7th win in the last 9 games. The play offs are not beyond reason but the current wins are going o have to continue for a bit longer yet if that is to happen.
Froggy celebrates goal number 23 of the season
The rest of the match photos are here: Belper v MDT Photos

On the way into the ground it appears we have a new sign to show any visiting ghosts where they need to park their vehicles

No midweek game this week so the players can rest for next weeks visit from Kidsgrove Athletic - going to be an interesting end to the season after all.

Friday, 2 March 2012

Not More Sunset Photos !!

Well yes but as part of an experiment. How quickly does the sun set ? Can you really see the sunset ? The answers are quickly and yes.
The following nine photos were taken over a period of just four and a half minutes at approximately 30 second intervals (if you check the exif data you'll see the time - although they will say 18:33 etc rather than 17:33 as I never altered the time on the camera last October and it's not worth doing now as the clocks change again in about 4 weeks).

And there you have it.

Today we went to Decathlon and I finally gave in and bought some new cycling shoes and a set of clip less pedals - watch this space for the upcoming traumas of getting used to them (I've been here before !!)

Did a 10 mile ride today (with the old pedals still in situ) - 40m 10s Funny how you always feel you should have gone a little quicker to get under the whole number, in this case the 40 minute mark.

Got my new glasses (with the amended lenses in) but the cycling ones are still wrong. The lenses have to be changed due to the close fitting of the frames - they didn't think to take that into consideration at the time. So thats another week to wait, oh well worse things happen at sea as they say (but that serves them right for booking a Costa cruise !!)

Market Drayton Town tomorrow - should be another win but as we know things don't always work out that way although it;s hard to see anyone holding out Belper on recent form (except for the 2nd half against Dynamo).

Thursday, 1 March 2012

Does the Camera Lie ?

They say the camera never lies...well thats probably true but it can be persuaded not to tell the whole truth. The sun was just setting over the horizon this evening, so I grabbed the camera and fired off some shots. The first one I took wasn't brilliant so I decided to switch to manual setting. I dialled in 1/250 @ F8 ISO 200. Focused on the houses on the horizon and got this one.

Quite pleased with that one. 

Especially when you consider that the view from the bedroom window ACTUALLY looked like this (taken at 1/80 F4 ISO 200

Now tell me the camera doesn't lie ;-)

Football on Tuesday night was almost a repeat of Saturday. Belper took a 3-0 lead but they eased off and let Loughborough win the 2nd half 1-0.
Thats 6 points in 4 days and the fas are talking about play offs again... if we make the play offs then I'll miss the semi final as we're seeing Jethro Tull that night at the Assembly Rooms in Derby.
Froggy fires in number 21 for the season
Rest of the match photos are here; Belper v Loughborough Dynamo Photos

Today I had a day off work (using up the days before the end of March that I had saved as 'snow days'). Took the Pinarello out for it's first ride (other than up and down the close). What a fantastic machine, so much lighter than the Boardman and being brand new everything runs so smoothly on it.
Went out to Allestree, then Little eaton then took a detour past Horsley Lodge and back through Horsley Woodhouse, Denby and back via Heage. The total mileage at that stage was 22 so I did a loop of Far Laund, back into Heage, and a couple of loops of the estate to make a total of 30 miles in 2h 04m. That must be the first time I've cycled 30 miles in about 20 years.
After that I did 2 hours gardening, then we went shopping - I reckon it's easier to go to work (although not half as much fun !)