Monday, December 31, 2007

thus endeth 2007

Yes that's right, it's New Years Eve and I am at home and thinking about going to bed, even though I have drunk a coffee and maybe I am going to go put another one on.

Yes, I did make myself another coffee and it's now almost 11 pm so I suppose I am going to see the new year in after all.
By the time I finish this entry I suppose it will almost be time. and with the amount of firework firepower that will be unleashed as the hour draws near there's no going to sleep anyway.
sometimes I do miss living in a civilised land
Anyhow, on with the year wrap up.
well I don't really want to talk about anything much except cycling. Even my painting seems to be taking a back seat to cycling for me over this year. I've turned into Seton. I was planning that in 2008 I was going to do less cycling and more painting the along comes the offer to join a racing team and turned that plan on its head.

So that's why although there are other things that I do do, there's still above all for this blog the suffering.

From casaybici

If you look closely you can see a half finished painting waiting on the shelf behind
But I digress... 2007
in figures
15907 kms on the road. And that's with almost two months off again this year to try and be there for my mum when she came to visit.
and to have a bit of a rest.
Add to that 57 hours twenty mins of time on the indoor trainer. the equivalent of another 1719 kms at 30 km/hr
So that's about 588 hours of cycling this year.

and that's cycling in the mountains too. Don't think that it isn't like they do on tele. Let's see...
Full size Mountain passes, the eight or ten kilometre ones, (or more of course) 46 this year, with the Morcuera being the one I climbed most, at eleven times, followed by Navacerrada, at five times. and a heap more, even the three in the Pirinees, that make up the Quebrantahuesos, (along with the Hoz, which I relegated to the next category)

From tres_puertos

That's the category of the medium sized mountains, the 3 to 5 kilometre ones, or the longer but more drawn out ones, that anyway, aren't really in the full sized mountain pass category. by my count I did 122 of them this year. and then all the other kilometres that one puts in and all the other hills that I didn't count in either category.

So that's why I am putting even more work in already this year. (well this year hasn't really started yet, there's still a quarter of an hour to go) let's call it the pre-season.

With my new PowerCranks, that I briefly explained last time, and my plans to cut back on my coffee and internet time in the mornings to do my Core training at five in the morning and then more training mid morning when I have four hours free.

So this time next year, one year from now I hope to be able to tell you of the fabulous performances that I have put in over the year and the wild results that came my way

We'll see I suppose, we'll see...
Happy 2008, maybe we'll all see more than we bargained for this year.

illustration friday
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Thursday, December 27, 2007

Christmas day riding

Hey that didn't take so long hey.
To come back and post something else that is.
Well there's so much to catch up on I don't know where to start.
Christmas day has come and gone and I did my favorite Christmas day thing. Go for a ride. It was pretty cold though, as you would expect.

But the traffic levels are just right.

Thats what I like about this day.

Don't know where that steam is coming from. All the storm water drains along that stretch of road were emitting steam like that.

I went to the meeting point at the usual time but nobody came along. Just me and Orby. (the bike)
Do you see something different about her? hint: check out those cranks. both pointing forward.

or down, as the case may be.

My new PowerCranks. What are PowerCranks?
(from the website)
Many people hear the name PowerCranks and think they must measure power. PowerCranks do not measure power. They are simply independent bicycle cranks and this simple change does several things for the user.

* teach proper cycling technique
* teach good running technique
* train all the muscles necessary for good cycling and running technique.
* train and balance all lower half muscles including the core, improving performance while reducing risk of injury
* Improve lower extremity coordination improving performance while reducing risk of injury
* and it is all non-impact, allowing increased intensity of workouts while reducing risk of injury in the healthy and allowing most injured athletes to continue to exercise
* training more muscles results in a higher VO2 max (improving performance) and makes it easier for the fitness enthusiast to lose weight by increasing basal metabolic rate.

These changes result in substantially more power and speed for both running and cycling, hence the name. These changes also make athletes more resistant to injury and, if you are injured, they will help you to recover faster. To help you better understand this product we invite you to start with the General Introduction video for a general overview and then move on to other areas that will, hopefully, address your specific needs.

Blah blah blah.
But the truth is that they are the real macoy. The hardest thing I have ever done on a bike.
I am just starting to really get the hang of them now after two weeks of extreme suffering. Thank dog I really like to suffer. The truth is that when I put them on and tried it out, (on the trainer, not on the road), my first thought was "well there goes the fun. It's all work from here on in." Although that feeling has gone away, mostly, and I am back to thinking that it's all good.

Anyhow to cut a long story short, I went by myself, for one of my favourite rides, climbing Galapagar and then Torrelodones and across to Colmenar Viejo via Hoyo de Manzanares.

Which is way out in the country, sort of. Within reach of the Sierra de Madrid as you can see. Them's snow covered mountains boyo

and then it winds down a series of switchbacks into a valley and up the other side...

looking back after climbing up the far side

All of that section is inside a national park too. so really nice and a really hard slog. I was trying to keep my heart rate under 150 beats per minute all the day so wasn't taking it too hard, but it is a pretty challenging route. I am trying to train up my aerobic capacity, and they have me convinced that it is necessary to do whole weeks of long rides without going over a certain heart rate. I have never done that sort of training at all. Always flat out and Devil takes the hindmost, as they say. But this year I am giving it a go. I hope that this year between the PowerCranks and the scientific training and the CycloCore On The Go core training workouts that I am hoping for the big improvements. Oh and this year I am racing too. But I will tell you about that next time. For now I am getting weary as I did 2 hours on the static trainer today and it's late now and all. and like the ride in the bush...

all things must come too an end.

The few photos that I didn't use in this post you can find here.

illustration friday
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Friday, December 21, 2007

Wow, that took a while

I don't know how come it took me so long to work out what was going on there, but for six months on the few occasions that I have tried to log on to blogger to post an entry I was getting the cookies and javascript functionality disabled error screen and after trying to get in and checking the recommended actions etc. I just gave up and let it ride for another time. well to cut a long story short I finally got round to the same scheme again and found that for some reason I had blocked from setting cookies. I don't know how that happened.
I mean that sounds like the obvious solution but I couldn't find the specific block before as it was not just a general blocking of cookies.
Anyhow I am not making the reason for my problem very clear and don't want to go on sounding like a fool in my first post after all this time so I suppose I better cut to a piccy.

I know I have used this one before but i am too lazy to go put another one up to link to it. (and I am pretty damn tired actually, as it is the end of my work week, and if I hadn't of had three strong coffees I wouldn't be here writing this now)

So anyway I would quite like to make this post worthwhile, but I am not sure it's going to work out that way.
I just went and checked my email to see what illustration friday theme it it is Horizon, which sounds quite good for quite a few images that I have lurking aroud but I dont think I will do anything about it.
I am still doing a lot of cycling and in fact will have to make a post or two about what's going on with that as there is really a mountain of things to talk about there, but for the moment I will just link to an album of photos from a few weeks ago when I went out with some friends who have got themselves a tandem

From Con la tandem...

That's Eugenio and Vanessa with the red monster.
Mola hey
Well I'm going to post this and then I will see.
I am glad to have gotten a new post together after all this time and hope to follow up soon.
I better post on the Chiqui's blog too, or at least help him to do so.
so see you all soon



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Monday, June 25, 2007

Quebrantahuesos 2007

The big weekend of the cycling calender for me. I went with my good friends Juanjo and Ester, and their lifelong friends Carlos and Aurora, to Sabiñanigo in the province of Huesca.
From quebrantahues...

That's in Aragon, in the north of Spain at the base of the famous Piraneos Mountain range, scene of many a fine battle in the Tour de France and the Vuelta a España.
From quebrantahues...

On Saturday morning it was the Quebrantahuesos 2007 and I was there, just like the year before, (I was going to link to last years entry but I can't find one. Maybe I didn't write one) to try my best over a very challenging course.
205 kms with nearly 4000 meters of vertical displacement.
From quebrantahues...

Although, as you can see, my cycling computer says that it was only 3500 meters. Still quite a lot however you look at it. And those are real hills too. First Somport from the Spanish side and then you descend into France. Some kilometers after, in the small village of Escot you make a turn into a national park and the Marie Blanque looms, with an extremely hard final four kilometers, then the icing on the cake, the 29 kms ascention to Portalet and just when you thought it was all downhill, a final short but hard and sweet climb to the Hoz de Jaca (I can't find a page for this one).
I was going to take the camera but there is really not much time to relax and take some happy snaps, so I decided agaist it. Juanjo took this shot of me approaching the finish line.
From quebrantahues...

Juanjo and Carlos also did some hard cycling that day doing the Treparriscos, a smaller version of the race, for those that haven't trained enough for the big one. I think they found it to be enough
From quebrantahues...

That's them finishing, a little before me.
Here's the three happy troopers in the pavillion after the race
From quebrantahues...

Juanjo looks like he survived better than the other two.
But I was pretty happy with my time of 6 hours and 35 minutes, a full 25 mins better than last year. I can still get it down a bit from there though as I lost a lot of time on the climb to the Portalet because I just ran out of steam, or glycogen or something. I need to work on some of the 'little things' for next year's attempt.
Still I finished 503rd of more than 7000 riders so I can't complain. and to make a big improvement on last year makes me happy. I just would like to keep on improving in the years to come.
A couple more snaps and I had better go to work. BOO HOO
From quebrantahues...

the village where we stayed
From quebrantahues...

A small place, that's for sure. I could live in a place like that.
well I am out of time and though there's plenty more that I could say, I'll leave it for another entry. Hope it's not as long as usual.
illustration friday
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Monday, April 30, 2007

more riding less illos

well bit of a joke really as I would have to say no illos to be truthful.
and very little study or anything else except reading doomer stuff on the net and doing an arseload of kilometers in the mountains.
since I wrote the last entry saying that I had just done my second mountain climb of the year, I switched to a higher gear and now I have done ten or so climbs.
this one was yesterday.
we went and climbed Abantos, which is one of the most famous climbs here in Madrid.
this year in la vuelta a España they are going to climb it twice and in fact they are going to do the same section after as well so as you can guess it is a real climb. and real hard

From ride29abril

of course they will probably be going a bit faster than me, but them's the breaks. I am forty one and no-one pays me to do this. and my trusty steed, (looking good below hey) weighs three kilograms more than the bikes those guys use.

From ride29abril

although I have professional tires on it right now.
at forty euros each. (thats a bit more than 75 dollars Aussie) Still nice light blue though.

From ride29abril

goes well with the team colours.
even thought the team colours are based on the now changed renault formula one team colours, and you can imagine how much that thrills me, now can't you.
still I really like having matching cycling clothing. (still waiting for my gloves)

From ride29abril

this is during the climb up Abantos, and in the photo below you can see in the middle distance the climb to Robledondo, which if you care to see is the sharp upwards section after the descent from the peak of Abantos, (the longer one, after the two short sharp shocks) in that screenshot of the profile of the day from my heart rate monitor, at the start of this entry.
(repeated below the photo)

From ride29abril

From ride29abril

well that's about it. should put an illustration friday entry up at some point, we'll see.


PS I should point out that under each photo is a link to the rest of the photos of the day.
oh, and this Sunday coming is the first "race" of the year. wish me luck, or something.
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Monday, April 16, 2007

second mountain climb of the season

From navacerrada

and as you can see it hurt, although seeing as I love suffering . . .

seriously though I wonder if it is good that I can spend more than twenty minutes above the theoretical maximum heart rate for someone of my age.

Maybe yes, maybe no.

From navacerrada

anyhow, I feel guilty here when I should be studying, (although the same doesn't seem to affect me when I am reading other people's stuff on the web) so I might sign off, and go do just that

hi to all those illustration friday people who used to come around. hope to see you all soon.
(I must admit I don't even know what this weeks topic is.)
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Sunday, March 11, 2007

illustration friday--wired

jeez it really sucks that they come through so small now.
apart from that the new blogger is just fine but I might have to start hosting elsewhere to put some real size images on the front page.

anyhow, I won't bother going on about how I'm sorry to not be posting regular like and all that as no-one's going to believe me.
hi illustration fridayers

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Friday, February 16, 2007

illo friday- gravity

continuing the theme (and cop out) of using the images from the dead book project for my illustration friday entries, I thought that this one seems to fit the Gravity theme.

to the tune of the joker, Steve Miller Band, of course.
sorry it comes through so damn small. Give it a right click and open in new tab.
you do have firefox, don't you

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Sunday, February 11, 2007

Illo friday - (before the) CRASH

hey everybody
I'm back, sort of.
I have always been here of course, but I am so agobiado these last few months that I haven't been able to get it together to post.
I was working on a book project but it has all fallen through.
A self help type book for adult ADHD sufferers.
this was to be one of the pages of same.

anyway, it seemed like a good one for crash, although as I noted in the title, it's more like before the (inevitable) crash. hello to all the hardworking illustration friday people, and I hope to be around a bit more.
love youse all
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