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...