Wednesday 22 February 2012

Fabulous Fuel - or the secret of proper nutrition...

...and I don't mean cake for once!!

We received an invite to join the Chester Tri (Triathlon club) ladies evening at the bike factory, which was to be about nutrition for training.  We generally do not do much training, and as our speaker plans his meals and food around his training, so we plan our rides around the cakes.

Rob shows Nosheen how to fix a chain
Nevertheless, 6 of us gathered in the shop, and mingled, trying on shoes, having a go on the bike on rollers, and helping ourselves to the nibbles and snacks we are becoming accustomed to.

We had a presentation from Ben Amer (works at the BF, and for Warrington Rugby Club, and currently studying sports nutrition at Masters level) - and he was really good.  I just wish I could follow his logic, and understand the nutritional benefits that even just a good diet would give me.  I am so very bad, and generally eat what I fancy.  I know what I should do, but the most important message I need to take away is to drink more water!!

The talk also centred on supplements (although there are supplements for before the ride, in training; for during a big ride, and also straight after.  I should have taken notes!)

However, the good news is that there is a handy sheet he has put together, so as soon as I can get a copy he has agreed that I can post it on one of the blog pages, so we can all refer to it - especially as we have the Spring 50 approaching, and if anyone plans to join me for the 100 in June (if not there is another 50) - not to mention the audaxes in September and October!

Much jollity was had, and much useful information, a few freebies, and a talk though on how to change a tube.  Again!

Sunday 19 February 2012

The best way to spend your birthday...

In the Groves with a few friends, on the bikes, in the sun.

An extra unofficial ride was advertised, to come and join me bright and early in the centre of Chester, for a spin down to Holt, to see Hildegard, have a coffee and a cake (maybe sing to me!) and then come back.  The usual, really!

The road from Eccleston
An early text from Vicky sent me flying to the window, but no, Chester does not get snow.  Instead we had what was probably the best day of the year so far, blue skies and sunshine.  We set off through town - wonderfully quiet at 9:30 on a Sunday morning, and down to the river.  Over into Handbridge, out to Eccleston and through Pulford to turn off in Lavister. 

By now we were really warm, so we had to make minor adjustments to our layers, before following the back lanes of Darland and Parkside, before hitting Holt for the big time!

I dragged Hildegard away from her baking to say hello, before we settled to a variety of refreshments, and the bottomless pots of tea and coffee.  Just as we were leaving, Hildegard came out and stopped us/ me with a very fresh scone, adorned with a single hearty candle!

After sharing the scone (there were actually two!) we set off back, down the hill and over the river back into England, and along the B road, unless we could take the back lanes by Churton and Aldford.  Across to Bruera and Saighton, where we posed for a quick photo, then back into Chester through Huntington.

View from Saighton, across the Dukes estate to the Welsh hills with their snow

25 not unusual but highly pleasant miles!

Saturday 11 February 2012

February gloom

It really was a dismal cold and dreary February morning, although much of the ice from the previous week was not apparent, and of course Chester so rarely has snow that that was not a consideration either!  But certainly not as nice weather as last month!
A colouful start to a gloomy day
I lost count of potential attendees, but it felt like it would be small turnout, which it was with 8 of us making it to the start.  Vicky lost a battle with her bike carrier, another lady decided it was really too cold after all, Welna was on training in Birmingham, Jo was I think on Olympic volunteer training and another lady has just become a fabulous granny so had gone to coo over the small one.  Very busy!

After a quick pic we set off up the road, and into the lanes.  Liz left us before we got to the zoo, and just before I had a close encounter with a squirrel!  daft thing ran out nearly into my wheel, before scarpering back from whence it came.  Much to the amusement of the ladies!

We certainly brightened up the day!
We whizzed down Butter hill, and took the small back lane to Croughton, which did have patches of ice across the lane, all thankfully safely negotiated.  The trick with ice is to hold your nerve and glide straight over it - any deviation or braking is probably the worst thing you can do.

Ellesmere Canal with Stanlow in the distance
Then we picked up the canal, and followed the bumpy rutted towpath all the way to the boat museum.  It is a wonderfully easy route to do, and quite pleasant.  Usually there is a swan nesting, and a heron frequents this stretch, and can often be seen on summer evening rides.

untieing the bikes for the ride home
At the museum cafe, as we were chatting, supping and munching, another large group of 13 cyclists came in.  I did recognise one, they were a semi organised Sustrans led group from South Liverpool, heading to Kingsway cafe.

© Copyright David Quinn
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We let them go, then we took an interesting route through the industrial estate, alongside the motorway, before picking up the road that runs along the Oil refinery.  I know how to show the ladies a good time!  But then, you see, we turned right, off the main road and away from all the chimneys and towers of Shell, and into Thornton Le Moors, with its very Cheshire sandstone church,and into the lanes once again.

18 miles.

When I got back to the cafe I met up with the Liverpool cyclists again, so I joined them for a coffee - always like to make new friends!