Saturday, 28 January 2012

Bike Porn

It's here - we picked up the new bike this afternoon. We had to  put in in the mini as we only found out this morning that the back seats on the Beemer don't actually fold down (never had a car that the seats don't split and fold). With the wheels removed the frame fit quite easily with the seats down.
Got it home and the first thing I did was get the camera out and take a few snaps.The first one was not of the bike but of Gnats in the garden. It's a great sight to see these flitting about - sign of things warming up (although at almost zero as I type this there is still some way to go before we can gets the cycling shorts out)

Then it was on to the bike - here is the Italian Stallion in all his glory - fantastic paint job I'm sure you will agree.

Tiagra gears.

 Tiagra Compact crank set up

Tiagra brakes

Aluminium 6061 frame

Handlebar stem

Carbon front fork

MOST Ocelot seat

Down tube

Rear Carbon Forks

Front fork detail

The name that says quality

Seat Stem detail
Had a quick ride around the close, adjusted the seat. The only problem is the pedals which are really cheap (most bikes at this level come without them so they obviously put on the cheapest they had). I've ordered a new set from Amazon with a view to trying clipless pedals later in the year.

Once I managed to tear myself away from the bike I had a look around the garden. First signs of snowdrops showing through the bare soil

Other signs of life - not sure what these are but they are well into bud as you can see

Forecast is for some snow in the next couple of days - so Spring is not here just yet.

Friday, 27 January 2012

Good & Bad Week for cycling

Well that was an interesting week on the cycling front. A couple of 10 mile rides in the week then nothing on Friday thanks to another downpour in the afternoon. In the morning we went to have a look at Samways Cycles in Derby and couldn't resist the Pinarello FP1 bike they had in the January sale. Originally £1,499 it was in the sale at £1,079 with another 10% off meaning the sale price was £967. Well how could you say no to a bargain like that? I had actually seen it on the net for £959 but it's more reassuring to have a shop to go back to if required. Also I had to try it for size as the Pinarellos are known for odd sizing. I think this one is a 52cm which is a lot smaller than anything I have previously had but you have to add 3cm to the sizing apparently.
I took this snap with my camera phone in the shop - very poor quality but no doubt I'll be able to get some decent snaps of it when I get it home tomorrow (when it's been set up and service checked.
Whats so good about it ? Well it is lighter, has a compact from chainring (34 instead of 39 which should make getting up those hills easier - we'll see about that), it's got carbon forks front & rear and is generally a much better bike. Question is now do I set up the Boardman for wet days and relegate the Peugeot back to the shed ? I can't bring myself to part with it as it's been such a good bike and the gears are still like new, never miss a shift.
I'm collecting the bike tomorrow afternoon as we don't have a match due to previous changes to the fixtures leaving us with a blank Saturday - not good as we won last week so would have been nice to keep that run going. Instead it's a blank weekend except for the FA Cup ties in the TV.
The current mileage for this year stands at 100 - not sure what I am aiming for as I never did a full year in 2011 to compare with (only starting in July).
Need to have a think about that one. In the meanwhile it's a meal out with friends Jan & Steve tonight which is always a good laugh.

Saturday, 21 January 2012

A Home Win at Last

An odd sort of weak really. Monday it was too cold to go out on the bike (below freezing by the time we got back from work at 5pm), Wednesday just 10 miles but the first 1.5 miles the the back brake on when the wheel shifted after last weekends cleaning session. I knew something was wrong as it felt as though i was cycling through treacle until I realised what was happening.
Friday it was non stop rain so no cycling that day either. Friday night we went to Andys to see the newest member of the Carter family, little Ava. First daughter to Sam & Lizzie. Took the camera of course and snapped away - I'll post up a photo when I've finished processing them tomorrow.
Last night I developed a sharp pain in my Left knee for no apparent reason. Noticed it when I crossed my leg, it kept waking me up last night. I asked Lucy the physio to look at it today after the match and she thinks it may be an inflamed fat pad under the knee cap (how dare she suggest I have a fat knee) ?! Think I'll give it a rest for a few days on the bike and see how it goes.
Todays game went ahead against Newcastle Town and we saw a home win at last. Despite Newcastle equalising just before half time Belper went on to win 3-1 after the Town keeper got injured but carried on with a bandage around his chin.

Despite this he was named as Newcastles Man of the Match for numerous good saves.
Today saw the return of two former Belper players, Steve Warne who's departure earlier in the season coincided with Belpers downturn in form. Also making it's debut today was the new Clock which the Ops Committee had funded.
It's a pretty impressive piece of kit that lights up at dusk. Thanks to the world renowned clockmakers Smith of Derby the clock cost us £500 - a lot less than the value of it.
And here we have the birthday boy. Good Old Ken from up north. Match ball sponsor of todays game on his 82nd Birthday - and still found time to abuse the referee (and the Duchess won the Goalden Goal again). Ok so he was only 62 but he looks older ;-)
I couldn't resist another photo of the clock after the game

And finally one last photo to end todays entry, the trees by the clubhouse in silhouette.

Saturday, 14 January 2012

We didn't lose at home - then again we didn't play !

As the title says we managed to avoid another home defeat - by not putting the pitch covers down that may have got the game on !
It was obvious last night that there was little chance of the game being on today after last nights heavy frost. We went for a meal last night and on the way home the temp was -1. This morning when I got up it was -4.1 and at 9:30 it was still showing -2.5 at 9:30am so no chance of a game due to the shaded area in front of the stand not getting any sun
Sherbourne Green this morning

With the chance of football being about zero we went off to Ashbourne and awaited the text saying the gas was officially off.
Took a few snaps of frozen plants in the MIL's garden

This morning I nipped into the garage and saw a potential shot as the light came round the garage door and hit the back end of my bikes. This is the cropped down version of the light on my Peugeot.
Our Cat Lottie decided it was far too cold to even consider going out so settled herself down on the bed and was still there when we got back from Ashbourne.

At Dotties I saw a vase of semi dead roses which cried out for a quick couple of photographs. Took them upstairs to catch the natural light

Finally for today - we called at the group on the way home as the new clock was installed this morning by Kevin Allen

Kevin Allen & son Tom with the new clock

Tuesday, 10 January 2012

It's Here !

Yes the Carrera shirt has arrived - and as I promised Mrs Snapper thats the last one I'll order - might even need to part with a few to make room in the wardrobe.
Coincidentally I finished watching the DVD of the 1987 Tour de France today that I got for Christmas. I say coincidentally as it was the year Stephen Roche won it.

Here is a taste of what happened on that tour; Stephen Roche 1987 Tour De France

Added another 10 miles to my total last night, it now stands at 620. I need to set myself a total for the year - need to give that one a bit of thought, i'll let you know what I decide.

Sunday, 8 January 2012

As Expected

That guy from oop north bottled out of the Mill Street challenge - too busy drinking tea from his Canon 70-200L F4 lookalike thermos flask ! And to add insult his missus won the Goalden Goal (and I still didn't get my fiver !)
Not as expected was the 0-2 defeat by Coalville Town. 0-0 after 80+ minutes before a wonder strike broke the deadlock before a 2nd goal 4 minutes later sealed yet another home defeat.
Eight defeats in the last 11 league games is pretty poor and we have four home games on the bounce to come starting next week with a visit from Kidsgrove Athletic.
Photos from yesterday are here: Belper v Coalville
Having checked my database I see that we have met Coalville before but not since the early 1950's - I'm sure Ken will remember us winning 8-2 on their last visit.

Friday, 6 January 2012

Almost Weekend again

Where does the time go ? Another week has almost come and gone and the weekend is upon us again. 
What a week it's been on the weather front - gales and rain (and football on Monday) meant that there was no cycling until yesterday. Went out after work and clocked up another 10 miles. Added another 20 today to take the weekly total to 30 and the grand total to just over 610.
Had a change today from the usual Friday route - went down the A6 to Allestree then back past Little Eaton Garden centre, Eaton Bank and back. The ride back up Mill Street was the easiest one yet - good thing with the challenge from Nortoner who thinks Mill Street is a 'bump in't road. I would expect to be a fiver better off by this time tomorrow...
Talking of tomorrow, it's a visit from Coalville Town. Not sure we've played them before but I haven't checked my database so we may have done. The lads will be up for it after Mondays win at Ilkeston so I'm expecting a rare home win. Hopefully my mate Matt from work is making the trip over but he's just texted to say he's got 'man flu' so maybe he will have to leave it to another time.

Wednesday, 4 January 2012

Talking Hills

I picked up a copy of todays Belper News. They have a photographic competition running to take a shot of Belper. It's been running for three years in conjunction with Specsavers opticians. I entered the first year and got to the final 12 (which go into a Calendar). I haven't entered for the past two years.
Back to the point of the post, each week they print a few shots that have been sent in. This week this photo was printed (taken by a Mrs Day of Pingle Crescent. The reason for putting in here is to show the hill on Mill Street that I come up on return from a bike ride.
To appreciate the hill you need to look towards the white apexed building towards the bottom of the photo - and remember that to get to the bottom of this hill is also a climb up from the A6
The really steep part is the last 100 metres up towards where the photo was taken from - from about the first car on the left in the photo. I'll try and get a clearer photo one day but usually when I've cycled up here I can hardly breath so no chance of taking it at that time (last Friday when I reached the top my heart rate was 181 !!)

Tuesday, 3 January 2012

Perhaps we'll win...

...and perhaps we did ! A fantastic start to the new year with a double over neighbours Ilkeston in front of 844 fans at the New Manor Ground. A single goal 4 minutes (or 2 minutes depending on which report you read) from time was enough for Belper to start 2012 with 3 points in the bag. Sub Jordan Turner took on the last defender and keeper before rolling the ball into an empty net in front of the ecstatic travelling Belper fans. I got some shots of it but that grumpy old bugger from oop north captured the moment perfectly. Have a look at his blog to see the goal in all of it's glory.

My photos are here: Ilkeston 0 Belper Town 1

Nothing much to report on the cycling front although I forgot to mention that I have just finished reading Mark Cavendish's autobiography - good read but I'm not sure I liked him that much by the end. One thing you cannot deny is what a fantastic sprinter he is and also a great cyclist, anyone who finishes the Tour de France has to be admired and especially a sprinter  who is not designed to take his frame over the likes of Alpe D'huez and Mont Ventoux et al.

Did I mention that I bought another cycling shirt on ebay ? The latest one arrived today:

Cost ? £4.99 + £1.99 p&p = £6.98 - yet another bargain methinks. I also purchased one more today (and definitely the last one) - a Carrera shirt. I know I bought one before but this one should actually fit me as it's a size 42" - time to stop living in a dream and thinking that those 38" ones are big enough... 
This one was a bit dearer but thats because it has a 'proper name' to it unlike the ones I have previously bought which are all of obscure amateur teams or the Decathlon Btwin one.

Carrera was an Italian cycling team which included my favourite rider Stephen Roche - the Irishmen who won the TdF in 1987. Read more about Carrera here: Carrerra Cycling Team

Other famous riders to pull on the best cycling jersey include Marco Pantani, Guido Bontempi, and the brilliantly named Djamolidine Abdoujaparov (pronounced jah-mohl-ih-deen ahb-doo-ja-pahr-awf). Nicknamed the Tashkent terror he was famous for his all out no holds barred sprinting style which mostly ended in stage victories but also ended in some spectacular crashes.

I can't wait to be pulling on one of these new short sleeved jerseys and heading off into the sun, unlike today which saw people killed and injured in 100+ mph winds across the country.

I did notice that it was staying lighter for longer - a few more weeks and we'll be getting home in the light, that will make a real change.

Sunday, 1 January 2012

Welcome to 2012

Well thats 2011 over with then, can't say I'm sorry to see the back of it what with one thing and another. Dad dying back in February, the economy falling apart, the knock on effect to workers and the tens of thousands of people being put out of work as a result.
On a lesser level the football has been pretty poor (unless you count the honeymoon period when Peter Duffield took over from Tommy Taylor. Tomorrows trip to Ilkeston looks less than promising by way of winning although we beat them at our place despite them being the better side. Perhaps we'll start 2012 with a win and three points...perhaps.
I'm not one to make new year resolutions so I'm just going to try and keep up the cycling and hopefully increase the mileage as the weather starts to improve in the Springtime.
So how did I begin the new year ? Well I put together my new bike stand - which took about 1 1/2 hours - brilliant piece of kit for £60 - really sturdy. It will make cleaning and maintaining the bikes a lot easier in the future.
Yesterday I did a 15.5 mile ride - like a plonker I forgot my water bottle which made it a lot harder than it probably needed to be. The ride took 1 hour 5 mins which was a decent time considering it took in the Chevin and the usual ride back up from the A6.