Friday, 31 May 2013

Planning for the weekend

This Sunday, Warren, Dan and i are heading down to RichmondPark at the crack of dawn to do a few laps. This will be a nice practice for our Dun Run in a couple of months as Warren has a baby on the way and Dan has twins already , we don’t get out much together on the bikes.

There has and always will be a wildly differing nutritional strategy for the three of us. Dan and Warren both eat meat and I do not. They are also both lean athletic looking  types whereas I am not.
The ride down from my house to Richmond Park and back is 31km. This is about as far as my daily commute (or 3km short for pedants). Richmond park is roughly 10Km round the outside road, So I could easily do >60Km.

To get to the park for 08:30 I will need to leave at around 07:30 which makes it too early for a large breakfast. So my plan is:

·         07:00am Cereal and Banana

·         08:30 arrive at park and eat flapjack

·         Laps

·         Flapjack

·         Laps

·         Recovery drink

·         Cycle home at even pace

4 hours cycling @ average 500 Kcals and hour = 2000Kcals
Breakfast, 2 flapjacks and recovery drink = 1100 Kcals so I’ll probably be ready for lunch

Warren’s plan was to have a bit of breakfast and pootle over to the park. Laps then a Bacon Sarny being home in time for Sunday Lunch.

 This is why Warren is slim and I am not. Anyway I’ll write it up afterwards.

Monday, 20 May 2013

To lid or not to lid... A baldy's guide to helmets

This weekend I bought a helmet for the first time in years. I already had a Bern helmet which is great for an upright bike or transportation cycling, but too hot and heavy to wear for more than 30 mins to an hour.

I’m largely not in favour of wearing a cycle helmet. I wouldn’t wear one to run, walk or swim in. They are tested for very specific impacts that do not reflect the realities of a bike crash. However they are designed to protect my head if I fall off at low speeds, which I have done three times since I went clipless two years ago. I have also had a few near misses where I may well have had a small impact with a vehicle or the floor once I had almost slowed to a stop.  

I went to three different shops and tried pretty much everything on. I need something I can wear for very long periods of time. I also have no hair, so I need to be able to get a helmet on over different types of hat. It also needs enough padding to not have hard foam in contact with my skull. I also have a medium circumference head that is oval front to back. A lot of bike helmets are round in shape inside.

I’m keen to wear a helmet for my long rides on open roads. Traffic may be heavy and I might be tired or it may be dark. There is no way that I’m riding 200km in the dark without a lid.

I originally thought the new Mavic helmets might be ok as they have well thought out padding for a road helmet, but these proved to be too round (I have the same problem with bowler hats). So Mavic is fine for bald heads that are round in shape.

I had a Giro helmet 10 years ago and this i found too hard at the contact points so that I got headaches after about an hour.

Specialized helmets look like I have a mushroom cloud coming out of my head, as they sit very high.
I ended up with a Kask K50 Evo. At £79 it sits mid-range. There is enough padding and a very adjustable set of anchor points. Whilst it is a little round I can get it on over different cycle caps, and I’ve worn it for an hour without any significant discomfort. I did have to ask the assistant if it came in a colour other than the revolting pearl white and snot green on display. The answer was yes. Black or plain white.

I know my other half is happier with me wearing a helmet and maybe this is a compromise I need to make on a road bike. If I get a Brompton for pottering down side streets I’d be tempted to ride without, but for now I’ll stick with the lid.

Monday, 13 May 2013

Monday morning blues

This morning I rose at 7, ate a banana and headed off to work on my bike. I was rehearsing that much last week that I didn't get to ride so his week the plan was Monday to Wednesday I would cycle, carry my guitar on Thursday, then cycle again on Friday.

As I got to deptford the wind really picked up. It was strong enough for me to stop pedalling just short of junctions and allow it to blow me to a stop.

It was as I arrived at work that I realised that I was going to the theatre on Wednesday to see the lovely Bob Karper. I could maybe squeeze in the return journey before going to the out.

After a quick shower and breakfast I went through my work emails. Good. There were no unexpected early starts in weird places.

At lunch I was going through my personal emails when I spotted a notice about a band practice tomorrow. Not the LGO, but the band with no name comprising of ex BOB members. Well I couldn't ride on the Tuesday then.

I guess the moral is that unless we make time for something, the something else always gets in the way. I always have a lovely time playing music with my friends, but I hate the journey in laden with instruments. I love riding to work but it limits my after work activities. Either way I need to plan both very carefully if I am to be proficient enough to gig, and fit enough for the Dun Run.