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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