I love a bargain. I find them hard to resist. I’ve found a couple of great ones in the last few days.

Retro cycling caps from Planet X – less than a fiver each. Mine arrived this morning and it’s ace; so ace that I might order another one, just because they’re cheap and nice. I’ve been after one for a bit as they’re just the ticket for keep your head warm at 5am on a winter’s morning. 

I was in our local Quality Save earlier (I know, it’s a bit scabby but it’s ok as long as you don’t make eye contact with anyone) and found a load of High 5 energy bars for 29p each, they’re normally £1.29 each! Ace. They’re not out of date but they are coconut flavour. I’m not bothered though…29p each!

I went for a run early this morning. Didn’t feel great. I’ve been running a bit this week but I’ve felt like crap every time. Perhaps it’s just that I’d not been running for ages…hopefully next week it’ll be less painful.


Out at 5am this morning for a couple of hours on the road bike before breakfast. There was a hard frost so I avoided the minor roads and the road through Affetside that’s always got a bloody stream running across it – the one that had me on my arse more than once last winter.

It was an enjoyable ride, clear sky, no wind but I’m starting to really look forward to the time when I can regularly attack the climbs and get the heart rate up stupidly high, even though when I do I’ll probably start to ignore the sky, the scenery and the weather. Well maybe not the weather. 

I’m definately burning fat well though, cos er…I appear to be losing weight again. Gah. I also think I twanged something in my leg in the gym at work yesterday. Gnnnn.

fitness test

I rode up a bloody big hill at full-tilt (ish) on the road bike last night halfway around my loop, just to see how long it took to get to the top. The plan is to do that once a month thereby giving me an idea of where I’m at with my overall condition and how much progress I’m making.

The climb in question is a few miles long, from the bottom to the top of Ashworth Road – basically it climbs from the Rochdale-Bury road to Owd Bett’s. It’s long, dark and rough but ideally it’s reasonably sheltered from the weather. The gradients range from “quite tough” to “rather vicious” to “OUCH”. Last night’s time was 15 mins 50 secs. I’ll do it again in a month to see if I can do it quicker.

The ride to Edenfield from the top of the climb was a bonkers as ever – stupidly fast, dark and as usual, incredibly windy.  

My Garmin Edge seems to be having a few issues too – it was apparently asleep for a big portion of the ride and recorded my maximum HR at 246bpm with a rather impressive (and quite improbable) top speed of 86mph. I’m going to update the firmware later on.

Let’s go outside…

Me and Deb went to a black-tie dinner on Saturday. The entertainment included a George Michael tribute act and a “Magic of Motown” vocal group. I’m no George Michael fan but this guy was pretty good. In fact, he was a dead ringer for everyone’s favourite stubbly Greek cottager and sounded exactly like the real thing.

The Motown boys however were utter shite. They were about 90-odd years old and their ropey act consisted of the systematic murdering of well-known Motown numbers. The worst bit was the harmonies. We’re talking “somebody please fill my ears with concrete” bad. Not only were they complete toilet but they also overstayed their welcome BY ABOUT 2 HOURS.

The food was great though.

Simon came over on Sunday morning with some fresh eggs, a bottle of homemade wine and his bike. We did some local stuff and had a good ride, despite the bad weather. Despite all the years I’ve known Simon he’s never ridden “my” trails before, he lives up in the hills anyway so why would he ride round here? In fairness though, the trails around here are better than most people expect – just ask the majority of people who raced at HTN.

Wine – lovely. Eggs – eggy. How do the eggs that have been laid in someone’s back garden taste better than those that have come out of a big factory farm/barn? My head says they shouldn’t taste any different but I’m sure that they do. They certainly looked yellower.