Sunday, December 31, 2006

Base Training & Christmas

Time of year again to be getting in the big mileages with long spins on the road and MTB the order of the day.
I've been out 4-6 times a week since finishing college, doing long road spins on Saturdays, long MTB spins on Sundays, evening road rides in the Phoenix Park and any other rides that are going.
To break from tradition, myself and Ryan did a big MTB spin on Saturday (and earning a telling off from Robin :-), but Ryan's road hub had exploded so his road bike was out of action) meeting at Viewpoint and covering Glencree, Cloon, Knockree, the road around to the front of Djouce, a few laps of Djouce, down to Powerscourt and then a climb to Crone, back around Knockree, up Prince Willies, then a secret little track and back to Viewpoint and home.
Total distance was 80km with 1900m of climbing, the pace was pretty good and both Ryan and myself were feeling it by then end, but it was a really enjoyable spin.

The previous Saturday, was had a disaster of a road spin, with 6 punctures in total - I blew out both tubes on the same pothole, damaging both rims and tyres in the process. I then managed to follow this up with punctures on both Christmas Eve and St. Stephen's day MTB spins. Both spins were really relaxed, casual affairs and really good fun, Christmas Eve was small and good craic, Stephen's Day was just riotous fun :-)

Monday, December 04, 2006

Cool Road Cycling Video

Just something I found on the net.

Friday, November 24, 2006

A guide to understanding engineers....

OK everyone's probably seen it at this stage but.......Morgan has decreed that I must update the blog with something, so here goes......

Comprehending Engineers-Take One

An engineer was crossing a road one-day when a frog called out to him and said, "If you kiss me, I'll turn into a beautiful princess." He bent over, picked up the frog and put it in his pocket. The frog spoke up again and said, "If you kiss me and turn me back into a beautiful princess, I will stay with you for one week." The engineer took the frog out of his pocket, smiled at it and returned it to the pocket. The frog then cried out," If you kiss me and turn me back into a princess, I'll stay with you and do ANYTHING you want." Again the engineer took the frog out, smiled at it and put it back into his pocket. Finally, the frog asked, "What is the matter? I've told you I'm a beautiful princess, and that I'll stay with you for a week and do anything you want. Why won't you kiss me?"
The engineer said, "Look, I'm an engineer. I don't have time for a girlfriend, but a talking frog, now that's cool!

Comprehending Engineers-Take Two

An architect, an artist and an engineer were discussing whether it
was better to spend time with the wife or a mistress. The architect
said he enjoyed time with his wife, building a solid foundation for
an enduring relationship.

The artist said he enjoyed time with his mistress, because of the
passion and mystery he found there.

The engineer said, "I like both."


Engineer: "Yeah. If you have a wife and a mistress, they will each
assume you are spending time with the other woman, and you can go to
the office and get some work done."

Comprehending Engineers-Take Three

What is the difference between Mechanical Engineers and Civil

Mechanical Engineers build the weapons; Civil Engineers build the

Comprehending Engineers-Take Four

The graduate with a Science degree asks, "Why does it work?"
The graduate with an Engineering degree asks, "How does it work?"
The graduate with an Accounting degree asks, "How much will it
The graduate with an Arts degree asks, "Do you want fries with

Comprehending Engineers-Take Five

To the optimist, the glass is half full.
To the pessimist, the glass is half empty.
To the engineer, the glass is twice as big as it needs to be.

Comprehending Engineers-Take Six

Three lawyers and three engineers are traveling by train to a
conference. At the station, the three lawyers each buy tickets and
watch as the three engineers buy only a single ticket.

How are three people going to travel on only one ticket?" asked one
of the three lawyers.

"Watch and you'll see," answers one of the engineers.

They all board the train. The lawyers take their respective seats
but all three engineers cram into a restroom and close the door
behind them. Shortly after the train has departed, the conductor
comes around collecting tickets. He knocks on the restroom door and
says, "Ticket, please."

The door opens just a crack and a single arm emerges with a ticket
in hand. The conductor takes it and moves on.

The lawyers saw this and agreed it was quite a clever idea. So after
the conference, the lawyers decide to copy the engineers on the
return trip and save some money. When they get to the station, they
buy a single ticket for the return trip. To their astonishment, the
engineers don't buy a ticket at all.

How are you going to travel without a ticket," asks one perplexed

"Watch and you'll see," says one of the engineers.

When they board the train the three lawyers cram into a restroom and
the three engineers cram into another one nearby. The train departs.

Shortly afterward, one of the engineers leaves his restroom and
walks over to the restroom where the lawyers are hiding. He knocks
on the door and says, "Ticket, please."

Comprehending Engineers-Take Seven

Three engineering students were
gathered together discussing the possible designers of the human body. One
said, "It was a mechanical engineer. Just look at all the joints." Another
said, "No, it was an electrical >>engineer. The nervous system has many
thousands of electrical connections. "The last one said, "Actually it was a
civil engineer. Who else would run a toxic waste pipeline through a
recreational area?"

Comprehending Engineers-Take Eight

Normal people ... believe that if it ain't broke, don't fix it. Engineers believe that if it ain't broke, it doesn't have enough features yet."

Comprehending Engineers-Take Nine

Two engineering students were walking across campus when one said,
Where did you get such a great bike?" The second engineer replied,
Well, I was walking along yesterday minding my own business when a
beautiful woman rode up on this bike. She threw the bike to the
ground, took off all her clothes and said, "Take what you want."

The second engineer nodded approvingly, "Good choice; the clothes
probably wouldn't have fit."

Monday, September 18, 2006

Biking, lots of fun

After a miserable August of rubbish non-performances at races and sickness, I'm finally getting back into form, just in time for the Marathon Champs which are on this weekend in Carlingford.
I'm a little hung up about having to race over such a distance (50km) as its twice as long as any other race I've done.
To prepare, I've been doing lots of miles, including a 80km spin to Djouce which was plagued by punctures, mostly on the IMBRC bikes. MAD got off lucky on that one. Surprizingly I actually felt great after that ride, not even tired.
This weekend I started out at 8am on Saturday to meet Morgan in the Leadmines at 9am, gives us an hour to find our way around the place before having to bring the beginners around it! After 2.5 hours with the beginners, I decided to take a bit of a roundabout route home. Turning south on leaving the Leadmines, I headed for Enniskerry and then west to Cloon wood, on a road which has a most horrible and numbing climb, especially on when riding on your own. I think thats the first time I've ever actually complained about a climb :-)
In Cloon, I put a bit of power down and sprinted up the fireroads to the top, feeling real good at that stage. The weather was great, the solitude was good and I was feeling quite content. Until I was chased by a flock of sheep, which was a little strange. On top of Cloon and heading north again, I took in my favourite piece of trail, the featherbeds/Glencree valley and out onto the Military road, which for once wasn't howling with wind! 28km from the Leadmines to my front door in 1:50 which I was quite pleased with.
Certainly it was a nice self confidence boost after a debacle of a midweek training ride with Ryan, in the pooring rain. I struggled up Kilmashogue hill in a time of 17mins 30secs, at 90% effort. Which basically means that I was fitter last Christmas, before I started training, than I am now. Starting to worry about the 'Cross season......... Naturally, Ryan cruised by me without even breaking a sweat. I then went on to puncture and put a small tear in my new back tyre and hit to fix it atop 3rock in the monsoon conditions, reason enough to go tubeless I think! Disastrous ride, I was glad to get home from it, soaking wet, freezing and pissed off.

Then there's always the highs that make you think why you love it all. Like the introductory days that we've been having. Great to see high turnouts and smiling new faces, and hopefully a few new club members for the future too.......

Why not leave a comment, I have a sneaky suspicion that nobody actually reads this......

Sunday, September 03, 2006

About time I updated this.......

Well, there's been quite a lot and quite a lot of nothing going on in the 2 months since I lasted here's a list.
-Mtb holiday in Spain with Freeride Spain Highly recommended!
-Running the MAD Dash
-Working in the county council
-Getting 12th place in Experts in the Nationals
-Getting a kidney infection
-Trying (and failing, no matter how hard I train!) to get some fitness back after 4 weeks off
-Drinking nothing but water and cranberry juice for 6 weeks
-Missing the Limerick NPS, dropping out of the Castlewellan and Slade Valley NPS' after 1 lap :(
-Watching Ryan and Mel tearing up the racing scene, trying to stay in the same timezone as them in training!
-Selling my beloved yellow bouncy bike which I hadn't been using.

And thats about it really.

I've now got about a month off before returning to college, the plan is to ride lots and get into shape for the Marathon Champs (September 22nd) and the 'Cross season, starting October 1st.
Also, I'll be doing the Saturday beginner/introductory spins to try get some new members into this great sport of ours.......

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

A new baby, all shiney and new.....

Yesterday I got to see Helen and David's newest addition to the family - Matthew.
He was born on April 19th at a healthy 7lbs 11 ounces and is now about 8 weeks old. I was amazed by how tiny a kid can be.....before being reminded that I was even smaller at age! Apparently he looks a lot like me when I was younger, but don't all babies look the same anyway? Helen tells us that he never stops crying - but he was remarkably silent when in our place, he only cried once and that was quickly cured by picking him up - all he wants is loads of attention!
Someone pointed out that by the time he's celebrating his 21st birthday, I'll be celebrating(?) my 40th, going through a mid-life crisis and have sprogs of my own, which is a bit freaky. 19 years is now the gap between oldest and youngest in the family, I'm starting to feel like an old fogey!
What was really scary was to see how his older sister, Rebecca (3) reacted around him - my heart was in my mouth as she lies down next to him, then manages to roll on top of him, hit him with a loose arm and drop her shoe on him and try to fold up his mat - while he's still lying on it! - he's one tough little fellow!

I'm off to Spain in the morning with some friends from
MAD, Morgan, Mick, Paddy, Nigel and Mark. We're staying with and I can't wait!

Saturday, June 03, 2006

Back on the trails....

Finally finished the exams on Wednesday and couldn't wait to get back out into the hills again. First up was the 4th round of the club league on Thursday night, where I came third (podium place, woohoo!) but felt absolutely wrecked having not been on the bike for so long. Felt satisfied that some semblence of fitness was still there when I passed and dropped Mick on the last climb, but he wasn't too pleased about that!
Saturday we took a beginners spin up to Masseys, had two 12 year olds with us who struggled quite a bit, also another kid who has to be watched carefully.....very slow spin but a beautiful day for it.....
The weathers been great this weekend, so getting in as much biking as possible before returning to reality on Tuesday with a new job.....

Sunday, May 21, 2006

Hmm thought I might start a blog, no real reason for it, just for a laugh really. It's not as if I have anything worth reading anyway!

The last few weeks have been tough....hurt my shoulder in the NPS in Ballinastoe on May 7th, so missed the next round on May 14th in Lumpers, though in a way I'm sort of glad I did, it was a horrible day and very muddy, not the sort of riding I'm best at. Besides, standing around in torrential rain getting soaked to the skin and handing out waterbottles and encouragement to the fine lads and lassies of MAD was fun! As usual, Ryan was our star performer, putting in some fine races. Someday I'll be as fast as him! Got a lot of catching up to do in the Club League also.... Up until the injury I'd been riding / training 3/4 times a week and now I haven't been out in 2 weeks, I'm itching to get back in the saddle again, feels like an eternity! Also getting quite fed up with the shoulder rotation exercises too....
To compound the problem, I also splashed out on some pimpy Hayes HFX Carbons and XT shifters for the hardtail and I'm dying to use them.

To add insult to injury I've been studying hard for the exams, which start Monday 22nd. To say that I'm totally screwed would be a massive understatement....

Thats about all for now, I'll update when theres anything I reckon is worth posting...or I just become bored.....