Tag: bikes

NWV Club Dinner 2021

The North Wirral Velo committee is pleased to announce that the almost annual dinner and prize presentation is to be held on November 13th, back at the Nelson in Wallasey.

This year we are pleased to share that the nicest guy in cycling, Mr Matthew Stephens is guest of honour! Matt, who was one of the countries top riders (and national road race champion), is now a pundit on Eurosport amongst others covering top flight races around the globe. Coincidentally, he is also a former North Wirral Velo member!

He is coming along to share a few stories from his career on and off the bike and present the prizes to the club’s champions.

Matt Stephens, former National Champion, Grand Tour Rider and jolly nice chap

Tickets are now on sale, email hello@nwvcycling.club for further details.

Shed life, shed life baby!

I have been trying to write this latest installment for a while but getting my head around another lockdown and the challenges this brings to family and work has made it a little tough. Coupling this with the recent weather has meant most rides have been in the shed and that does not bring too many funny anecdotes, but I have done approximately 45 hours training since the last update. Over Christmas I let myself switch off for a while as in previous years I have just kept working and working all throughout the year until the inevitable collapse or loss of interest.

Obligatory Xmas Snowball!

Obviously, I did not start to put double cream on my Weetabix or anything too decadent, but I did let myself eat and drink what I wanted and just switch off mentally. I now realise that this is not going to be disastrous to the work I have already put in. By switching back on in January I can lose those few extra pounds I put on and just accept some of the goals may shift to the right a little, after all this is for fun not my job! ‘Switching off’ for a week will probably help in the long run.

Cycling indoor outside

Testing

Christmas also brought about a change in training focus from Cardio work and shifting to increasing power/FTP. Before this change in focus though I had a couple of tests to complete.

  1. First up was the dreaded FTP test. I was quite looking forward to this though and actually did it ‘blind’ for the first time. My thinking was if I could not see power I could ride off feel and not necessarily chase a number and rode to HR/cadence only. I was actually a little surprised it went down slightly from my best ever in March as I have been feeling great on the longer Saturday rides. In hindsight I possibly could have gone a git deeper but with a heart rate hitting 186 bpm I was not exactly taking it easy.
  2. The second test I completed was a Sub Threshold test. This basically is completing 4 x 20 minute blocks at 90% FTP and seeing what happens to the heart rate during the blocks. The results of this were really positive as it showed that I am capable of putting out the same power after 90 mins as after 10 mins without a great increase on my internal system (I can still breathe basically). This shows that the work I have done September to December has been successful.

Being me, I let the FTP test bother me slightly as I could not understand how I could feel stronger on the bike but the evidence seemed to show overwise. This leads nicely into how Scott has helped me in a major way.

Being bothered and dressed for a rare venture outside!

As mentioned at the start I would previously let this eat away at me and start trying to smash myself every minute I was on the bike. Scott has made me realise that this is a process and by having set goals I can measure how I am going and train smart. He also pointed out that even though I have not been trying to increase power at this stage, both 60 and 90 min powers have significantly increased and for the first time ever I have the foundations to really build on. One of the problems I have faced previously is that I have had power but suffered in the middle of races when I have just dropped off and hopefully that is one issue I have addressed with the CV work.

I have finally got around to ordering more kit as promised, hopefully I will be modelling my new Nopinz tights for when the big freeze finishes in my next blog. You never know but I might actually ride with people again before I am 40 and make use of the new skinsuit I have ordered that will probably now have its first outing in the shed as we are locked down untill 2022!

The Cause and the Challenge

If anyone wishes to find out more information about the Yorshire Beast or help me support DimentiaUk and the MS Society please see the links below.

https://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/DavidCuthill1

https://velo29events.com/sportives/yorkshire-beast/

Stay safe, ride smart and help each other through the next few months!

Dave

The Beast in the Shed!

6 weeks and over 43 training hours after signing up for the Beast I though it was time for a little update. As we have been through another lockdown and the weather has been rather dank (A word that came to me as being very appropriate on a cold wet Sunday riding through Cheshire) riding with anyone or anywhere interesting has been out of the question, but this has allowed me to really concentrate on myself and the workouts planned by Scott. Below shows a typical ‘dank’ day and that even having mudguards does not save your feet!

Most of my midweek work has been done on the turbo but with Christmas in full effect in the Cuthill household I have been kicked out of the conservatory to make way for the ‘Grotto’ and moved into the shed. Apart from being slightly self-conscious about the grunts and groans emanating from the bottom of the garden to the neighbours ears I do quite like it and being freezing in there seems to have some advantages for temperature control. As the pictures show I reckon it worked out well.

Obviously, we have the Strava enthusiasts stating only outside miles count and all that rubbish, but the indoor work seems to be paying off for me. I am only a couple of pounds off my target weight and my zone 2 and 3 power levels seem to be going in the right direction compared to heart rate, Scott must know what he is doing! (Scott is a fountain of knowledge) One thing we are finding is that sprinting is not mine or my cheap turbo’s forte however as my 5-30 second power is not too great.

Ignore the feet!

I still have not got around to ordering any new kit as I was looking forward too but the MS Society has sent me this this cycling jersey that will match my Orange bike perfectly when the weather picks up in the Spring. For now, my Christmas jersey is back out so look out for me on the roads (At the weekends)!

Keeping riding, training indoors but mainly stay safe and have a great Christmas!

Christmas in full effect and maintaining training/life balance!

If you would like to support me and donate for either Dementia UK or the MS Society please follow the link below as any donations will be shared between the 2 charities.

https://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/DavidCuthill1

2021 – The Year of the Beast

2020, I got fit, raced twice (did ok), then the world fell apart. The END! Roll on 2021.

2021 is going to be a pretty big year for me as I turn 40 in April. I know you all thought my grey beard was premature, but I really am that old!

Having got myself fit and with my race specific goals shifted to 2021 I started thinking of a cycling related challenge to mark my 40th year and was drawn to the Yorkshire Beast (Again). I have looked at this previously but have been put off by people’s reactions to riding 200 miles in 1 day with 16,000 ft of climbing, over 100 times up West Kirby hill! No more being put off though, 2021 is the year and I am signed up for the 19th June. Please see link below for more info.

Obviously, this is going to take some planning and hard work to complete as you must complete the ride in 16 hours or be captured by the ‘BEAST’, a fancily painted van! To help me with this and my Cat 2 racing ‘dreams’ I have enlisted the services of Scott Maclean at Kinetic365 to plan my training and keep me focussed. Scott will also stop me from reading about training when I am not training so I do not completely neglect me family and grinding myself into an angry, fatigued mess like I turned myself into in 2019.

One advantage of making this crazy decision is that I will have to get (unfortunately not another bike but I will have to get my carbon frame fixed after finding a very untimely crack in it), some more quality gear from Blake Pond and team at Nopinz, look how happy it made me last time.

On a more sombre note I also want to use the ride to raise awareness (Possibly some money too!) for charities supporting MS & Dementia. My wife Rebekah and I have both had family members effected by these conditions and both are truly devastating.

My plan is to document my journey to the Beast as well as the day itself so hopefully it will not be too bumpy a ride and supply some good stories/pictures along the way.

Stay safe in these crazy times

Dave

Get Ready to Party!

No hair or jacket required

The North Wirral Velo’s annual club dinner/prize presentation is on this coming Saturday (16th November). It’s a night to celebrate the past 12 months of the club’s success and gives both of the non-follicly members a chance to let their hair down. As for the rest of us, we’ll just get drunk and do dad dancing.

As well as the prize presentation and buffet, there will be (of course) the world premier of the latest much anticipated NWV movie. The lucky attendees get to see it before it’s public release (probably a DVD in the bargain bucket at Aldi). But more importantly there will be a talk from our guest speaker, Helen Bridgman. She was one of the very talented and courageous Internationelles team that rode the entire Tour De France route one day ahead of the race.

Thanks to everyone who has supported the club over the last year, we continue to grow and continue to introduce people to cycling and riders to racing.

See you all next Saturday…..

OB1

NWV Prepares for “No Deal Brexit”

As the country is seemingly on course for a no deal Brexit, the Executive Board of the North Wirral Velo have been putting together plans to mitigate any negative impact it may have on it’s members.

Useless

With uncertainty as to the flow of imports into the UK, the NWV has been stock piling useless essentials ahead of any potential supply chain interruptions. Items that the club has been panic buying include Spokey Dokeys, handlebar plug tassels, inner tube dust caps and those annoying lock rings that newbies still put on the inner tube instead of throwing them away. There is also a large stock of playing cards and pegs (in case anyone wants to sound like a motorbike).

Just one of the items that could be affected by Brexit

Of course the ramifications of a no deal Brexit have potentially much graver and far reaching affects on the economy. Major employers may move their operations into the Eurozone, in sections such as finance and manufacturing, causing job losses. Big concerns as to the flow of imports for items as basic as food and medicines have been one of the main talking points of the whole Brexit debacle

Sniffles

In an attempt to try to combat any issues “down the road” the NWV have started bulk buying medical items such as cold and flu remedies, in case anyone get the sniffles, blister plasters for those new heels and hang over cures for after the Tuesday night social ride.

Getting the sniffles is not to be sneezed at.

Waffle

The NWV have also entered into negotiations with various markets outside of Europe to source suppliers of waffles, bacon and syrup in an attempt to keep their favourite cafe, Cleopatra’s in Holt, well stocked for each Sunday ride visit. A spokesman for the club said:

The centre of the waffle and syrup* loving cyclists universe

*other foods are available

“Cleopatra’s haven’t actually asked for any help, but as a major part of the clubs business is trading in waffles and bacon, we felt duty bound to try and help maintain the high standard of service we receive from the bistro in Holt. We just hope that no other clubs get wind of the stock we have and decide to get in before us and scran it all.”

Dragons

There have been rumours about border control checks on the Welsh-English border as the Welsh have (the same as a lot of English people) changed their minds about Brexit after the 52% leave vote of the referendum. The issue of a hard border with Wales or “Cafe-Stop” as Brussels have labeled it will affect many cyclists on the Wirral and in Cheshire as they ride in search of a few climbs before going for waffles and bacon.

NWV’s test tunnel near the Welsh border

Dig Deep

The NWV Executive Board have been in negotiations with the owners of Cleopatra’s who’s premises are technically in Wales. The Board have proposed an audacious plan to dig a tunnel from the Farndon side of the Dee, under the riverbed, a church, quite a few houses and come up into the back yard of the cafe itself.

Head of projects for the club, Dave Cuthill, has estimated the cost at around £8.3 million and stated, “we may need to put the subs up a bit to cover the cost”.

As we head towards October 31st, nobody knows with absolute certainty what the state of the nation will be after that.

Whatever happens, ride safe!

NWV Executive Board
and OB1

A Grand Day Out

The North Wirral Velo turned out on mass for the recent Sigma Sports West Coast Classic, in the lanes of Lancashire.

A motley crew at the start. Not the Motley Crue (as in the 80’s rock group)

Fourteen from the club made the trip to the start in Preston for a very well organised event. The course was a scenic 97 miles through the Lancashire countryside taking in a couple of tough climbs in the first half of the event.

A line out on a narrow section of the course

With only one puncture to deal with (even though it took 4 punctures worth of time to fix) and a couple of feed stops the ride time was a very respectable 5 and half hours. Official times where in the region of 6 hours 42 minutes which was good enough for the Silver award.

One fixing it, many observers…

Overall it was a great day and the NWV train devoured all in it’s wake, despite missing two of the clubs key rouleurs (one through injury, one through beer)

Cruising through Lancashire

The next big day out at an organised event for the NWV is the Tour De Mon in Angelsey on Sunday 18th August, although there will be a lot of miles put in by the guys before then!

The NWV meet every Sunday at 8am at the Glegg Arms and every Tuesday at 7pm at the Red Cat. If you are looking for a friendly group to ride with, then please come along and join us!

Ride safe!

A Ride in the Hills Ends in a Pain in the Bollards

There was a great turn out for last Sundays NWV club run into North Wales. The group set off for a spin over a few local climbs including the “easy” side of Penbarras and the long steady climb of the Nant-y-Garth out of Rhuthin.

Top of Penbarras before the impending disaster

After a stop at the Fisheries for a spot of lunch it was back home via the well used Burton Marsh Greenway to the Wirral.

Unfortunately one of our Mikes had forgotten about the set of bollards in the middle of the path, despite having passed by them at least 3,500 times.

Whilst trying to get a shot for NWV cycling photographer of the year, Mike had a complete breakdown in common sense and decided to ride headlong into the bollard. If you have ever wondered what the answer to the age old question of “what happens when an unmovable object meets an unstoppable force?” well, now we know. The answer is Mike lands on the deck in a pool of his own blood worrying about how his bike is.

The last photo taken by Mike before his close up with the bollard

Good news is that the club did have another three Mikes out that day, so we could afford to lose one without much disruption. Other good news is that Mike is ok and after a check up at A&E is allowed back into the mental asylum from which he had escaped from for the day.

The local council have commissioned a plaque for this bollard that will commemorate the level of stupidity that occured on this day.

Plaque to commemorate Mike’s disaster.

So if any of our readers are thinking of riding along the Burton Marsh Greenway, stop and take a selfie with the plaque and remember to use the hashtag #mikethebollard and post it to our social media channels on @nwvcc

And finally,

Ride safe!

For Club and Country

Evergreen Pete Clarke recently represented Great Britain in the 2019 World Sprint Duathlon Championships in Pontevedra, Spain.

A duathlon, for those not familiar with the event, is a three part race consisting of a 10 km bike ride (with no bike), a 30 km bike ride, then a final 5km bike ride (again with no bike).

Pete’s final position was 30th out of 64 in his age category, even though he didn’t run at all for 3 weeks due to Piriformis syndrome he has suffered with since November. Pete managed a consistent 7.40 minute pace for both runs and pulled back a lot of time on the bike were he impressively finished 3rd fastest in 53 minutes 12 seconds. It was a hilly course with 800ft of climbing so the club rides into Wales payed off!

Pete reflected,
“The whole event was so great and competing in my category against the world’s best was memorable. Got a few stories to tell of the friendly banter with the other nation’s competitors! I would like to thank the club in helping me over my injury on the club rides in letting me do the routes I was comfortable with.”

A big well done to Pete, as always a great ambassador for the club, but also a great ambassador the sport and GB! Long may your cycling and cycling without a bike, continue!

NWV go North, South, East and West

A busy weekend for the Velo as the club was well represented in may parts of the country.

North and East… The Tour of the Pennines

An intrepid band of some of the clubs hardest grimpeurs and rouleurs went to the North East to fly the NWV flag in the Tour of the Pennines Sportive. While some made a trip of it and went the day before, some were more hardcore travelling up at v. early o’clock to get to the start in Northumberland.

The lads got around the challenging 78 mile route with the nearly 7000ft of climbing and were rewarded with medals. Some even got a rub down and a few beers

“The Magnificent Seven Rode…”
“You’ll never guess where he found this beer bottle!”

An enjoyable day out for the boys at a well organised event.

South and East…. Herne Hill Velodrome

Meanwhile at the other end of the country, our very own track maestro Will Bridgman was showing the southerners a thing or two on the…er.. “concrete boards” of the legendary Herne Hill velodrome.

Not that he needed to, but Will again proved why he is the most angelic member of the NWV by winning the Devil Take the Hindmost event. A fantastic result, well done Will, keep the flag flying!

Northish and Westish… Basically back nearer to home

Despite the number on “international duty”, we still managed a club run at the weekend. Venturing to the dizzy heights of the MTB centre at Llandegla.

The club now has regular weekend and Tuesday night rides. If you would like to join us, please email the club hello@nwvcycling.club or contact us via our plethora of social media channels.

Ride safe!

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