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Gamer , Dog lover , Cyclist and an all around crazy person ... Yup that is Me..




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Circle complete

Categories: General, Rides | September 13th, 2011 | by Assi | no comments

During the weekend I’ve participated in the Glasgow to Edinburgh Challenge ride , for me this was closing a circle .

As last year I considered this ride the starting point of the training for the L2P , completing this event today was my inner way of closing this chapter and moving on.
This years ride was along the same route as last year but the weather was not as accommodating with winds and some rain , I had a much easier time with the physical aspect , but also it was a one long cycling trail as we were told there we 16,000 ( yes ,you are reading correctly) rides taking part in the event .
This caused the entire length of the path to be full of riders and also in some place made overtaking the slow rides difficult ( and some time down right dangerous ) as the morons where riding two abreast and blocking the path, and if you wanted to go past them, you had to move in to the car’s lane.

So , as this is the last entry regarding the L2P cycling and related activities , the Blog will change it’s focus in the coming weeks , But do keep coming back as this will be the place to hear about my next Failed saving Throw.

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L2P Day 4 – Paris

Categories: Rides | August 16th, 2011 | by Assi | no comments

We started the morning in Beauvais , with a day of staggared start and a goal of 90km to the finish line at the Eiffel ,as my bike had it’s chain replaced very early in the morning the start of the ride was delayed untill the change took place and then I Hit the road .

This morning another rider and I decided to ride together drafting and alternating positions , so when we got out of the town we picked a nice pace of 34km/h and started piling up the miles , toward the first water stop .

A Hugh hill along the way ,3.2km /2mile of slow climb gave us a pause and we were caught up by two lovely female riders that joined our pack to enjoy the speed and the company – and for us Y chromosome beings , the view ;-)

Along the path we saw some of the other riders that stopped at a Cafe or a pub for a short drink and we greeted them and joined in once.

About 8km /5 miles to the lunch break I had to pause for my knee to take a breather and the group did the “Top Gear” approach and stormed on , so again I was riding alone and in a slower pace , and we hit a town roads , twisting and winding via one way roads that are so full of pot holes I thought by spine will break and the bike frame will shutter .

Red lights began to dominate my path and I had the misfortune to hit all of them , not one of the traffic lights i approached was green so every time it was to unclip my shoes and get a good position to start , this went on all the way, but i wanted to catch up to the group , so I kept on paddling .

All of a sudden , the Lunch point was there and it was all clear , only the truck and 2 more bikes , and the table had no food , my first thought was ” I am the last one in and all have left already” , turns out i was the 3rd to arrive , and the food was not yet ready , about 15 minutes later my group arrived , the ladies had to have 2 pit stops and i just went past them not knowing they were behind me .

The stop was on teh banks of the Seinne on the outskirts of Paris and from there we had 14km/8miles  to the “changing point” . I joined the group and we cycled all the way in a nice pace with the rain keeping us cool but not to soaked .

In the change stop we got our T-shirts and I replaced my Clits paddles to regular paddles so it will be easier to Stop/Start in the streets of Paris , I sent Linor the place to meet us and off we went in a large convoy making and much noise as we could and taking pictures while riding .

From the change point to the Eiffel Tower is was 3.2 km /2 miles and we did it in 20 minutes of tedious slow ride .

As we got to the Arc De triumph we hit the traffic and we all had a bit of a shake about the horror stories of it’s traffic , but we managed to clear it out with not major incidents.

Seeing Linor at the end was worth all the pain and hurt as I did it …I Cycled from London to Paris !!!

Total Distance 480km /300 Miles

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L2P – Day 3 : Bum Sore

Categories: Rides | August 15th, 2011 | by Assi | no comments

I am a Muppet … to those not familiar with the expression , it is a polite way to say a person is an idiot .
Imagine you are going on a long ride/hike/run , a sensible person will make sure he has as many things he can arrange to make the journey as painless and as comfortable as possible right ?? Well , apparently I don’t .
In all my planning and preparing I did not account for a padded shorts or padding on my saddle , So by day 3 even the thought of placing my bum on the seat gave me shivers of pain .

During the night i managed to charge up my phone so I can use the tracker software , or so I hoped , but as I started in the morning , the cloud cover was so think that the App just couldn’t get a Satellite signal and I had to shut it off.
We had a staggered start this day , meaning slow riders leave early while the faster riders can leave about an hour after , I opted to start early , so I will not be the last to arrive to the hotel that night ,relative to the other days this was an easier day , we were riding via rural France with small villages and not too many big hills , after about 30km I felt an odd roughness on my rear wheel , and knew I was riding flat . I stopped at the side of the road and saw everyone passing me by as I fixed the flat .
When I put the tube in, I decided to save time and use one of the compressed air canisters I have to pump up the tube, it went great in the first 10 sec and then there was a loud pop and all the air was out again – it actually burst the tube – creating a huge hole in it.
So I had to start it again and this time I used the manual pump to get me road ready.
Once that was sorted I started moving again , I noticed two riders closing in on me and as they passed I started Drafting them, I think that was the best decision I made the whole day , as they kept a good pace and at some time we were averaging 38Km/h and going up hills with a fast pace I was not even noticing it was hills .
We covered a long distance , past the lunch stop and then we hit a hill where my chain fell off , and I lost the guys .
I fixed it and kept on , but the pace was slow and the rain decided to come back again .
In one of the villages I saw a couple of the riders stopped at a Cafe , and joined them for a hot Chocolate , which was a good thing as it warmed me up just enough to give the boost to cycle to the hotel , but unknown to me at the time was that my chain was bent and due to that it kept on altering the gear during the ride , and I had to do 14 km with gears rattling and shifting with out my control .

When I got the hotel I handed the bike to the mechanic and only in the morning we found this issue .

Total distance covered today 107 km

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L2P -Day 2 ” Head Wind”

Categories: Rides | August 15th, 2011 | by Assi | no comments

We woke up In Calais with the sun thinking about making an appearance , but the clouds decided to cancel that show , a quick breakfast and on to the bikes , “turn right when you leave the hotel and follow the signs” , turn right we did and hit the wall of the head winds , I don’t know how fast the wind was blowing but riding head in to it was rough to say the least.
Having my knees sore from the day before I put on the bracers ( applying Vaseline under it so it won’t chafe to hard) i paddled
on , for the first 11km I was using the two lowest gears cause I just couldn’t put more pressure on the knees .
Then we hit the “undulations” or in the riders plain terms “Big F*&king hills” , sore bum , aching knees and a hill do not go well together but I managed to soldier on to the first water stop of the day where I took the knee bracers off only to see that they rubbed me so bad i had clotted blood in the under side of my knees, No worries , it will pass.

From there on I rode with out the bracers and it was actually better , I managed to pick up some pace and made the lunch break ( a lovely spot near a pond – don’t ask me for the name of the place) , where the Nokia phone battery decided to die , taking the GPS tracker with her, so now I don’t have a track record of the route from the water stop to the end ( this was at the 80km point ).

Lunch was a welcome stop as they broke out the hot food , a warm plate of Pasta with Chicken , was brilliant , I didn’t even bother looking at the rest of the food.
After that we climbed on the bike and we resumed our way to Abberville which will be our resting stop for the night , with the crew saying 40 km to go , in relatively smooth and easy road , My Ass will testify other wise !!!
The road was rubbish and the hills were not flat … unless you are a Sherpa !!! , and to top it all up the wind died down .. to our joy .. only to have a serious pissing heavy rain come down on us for the next 40 km.
The water proofs were a bit of help and we put on our rear lights , to say that by the time I got to the hotel I was soaked will be an understatement in the least .

Day 2 over and another 120 km done .

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L2P – Day 1

Categories: Rides | August 10th, 2011 | by Assi | no comments

The day started early , 5:15 wake up , and 5:30 breakfast , everyone was excited and we joked about the shape of the antena near the start point – pictures will be posted later and you’ll see what I mean.
A quick briefing and we handed our bags before we were about to set out . The day was divided to four sections (at least according to the brief) leg 1 , a 22 mile (35km) to the first water stop , as we rode it became evident that the mileometer on the support car needs calibration , first stop was at 26 mile (43 km) , from there to the lunch point we were told 30 miles (50 km) , again it was more then that.

By the time I reached the lunch break my knees were screaming bloody murder , so I put on the knee bracers and soldiered on ( we were told that we only have 30miles left (50km), divided to 2 legs each 15 miles (24km) in true one leg was 18 mile and the other was 12. on the way we encountered some hills that put Devil’s Dyke to shame and in the state of my knees I had no option but to get off the bike and walk up the hills .
After the last water break myself and another rider started toward Dover ,we had a good pace and i was able to keep with him fairly well, then we hit a snag : the road turned to an M road , which we can not ride on , that was our first indication that we may have taken a wrong turn somewhere , turns out the sign fell off and was put in place about 30 sec AFTER we went past that junction , this caused us to visit flagstone and waste 3 attempts to get back on the main route only to find ourselves heading to the M road again .
Eventually we took the “scenic” route and arrived at the end point roughly 10 minutes after the first ones . We left the Bikes with the Staff and headed for the pub for a much deserved Pint!
The total distance covered today (including the ride from the ferry to the hotel 162KM (101 miles) , My knees are sore and unwilling to bend without protesting , I soaked them in the bath for 20 min and will let them rest the night , so they will be ready for tomorrow.

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Dunwich Dynamo – ✓

Categories: Rides | July 17th, 2011 | by Assi | no comments

Well , another item is done and another ride under my “belt” .
To those of you that posses a sane mind ( Who are you and why are you reading my blog , do I know you ??? ) here is some information about what is the Dunwich Dynamo .
The main concern with this ride is staying sharp and not too sleepy , i sorted that issue with a very simple and elegant solution , when I arrived to the Pub , I stepped in and ordered a pint of Coke.
Considering the fact that my Caffeine intake is … none , the amount of Caffeine and suger in coke usually holds me up for more the 16 hours .
Then the wait began, we had to have a map but the guys with the map only arrived at 20:00 and then the queue form fast , so getting a map was time consuming.
I got on the bike with a large group that formed , and we headed out at 20:30 , cloudy skies but still plenty of light , we wanted to clear the forest part while there was still light.
The pace was good , but during the wooded part I tried to point my torch to the road , not just sky high , and it promptly fell of the bike.
I was more upset about the loss of the 4 rechargeable size AA batteries then the torch itself .
First stop was at the 50k mark , and to our surprise it was 22:15 when we got there , one of the guys said we need to slow down as this a very fast pace.
Considering there where the “greyhounds” in the event , those riders that do 35kph uphill, I thought we were doing ok .
As night fell the clouds cleared and the full moon came to shine on us and it was a beautiful night, a bit cold, to ride through the rural English country side, lovely houses and small villages and hills and more hills , now I finally have a full understanding and comprehension to all those books with the landscape description of “rolling hills” , they are not steep hills or even high ones, but they just seem to go up and down forever.

The main food stop was in the 86k mark and was good, and after that just on to the end.
At the 140k point we came to a riders pile up , at first we suspected an accident , but the a sign, a miraculous and wonderful sign came in to view “Bacon rolls , Vegie Rolls , Tea + Coffee , Water” , We Stopped !!!
My wall arrived at the 8mile before the end , my right knee started to protest with a very load “pop” and from then on it was a horrible pain to push down the peddle, I had to get off the bike and walk for a bit until the knew will ease up and then climb on the saddle .

I reached the finish line at 5:57 AM with the ride computer calling it a 186k.
My bum was so sore sitting is painful , but i have accomplished this task too.
On the way home the crash happened, the body no longer high on Adrenalin and Caffeine just felt drained and now sleep is coveted .

Oh , as usual when I do this rides I have my Sport tracker application active , this time when i checked it in the first stop it said we did 8k , the gps link was not working – Annoying !!!!

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Jury is still out …

Categories: Rides | July 10th, 2011 | by Assi | 4 comments

Today I did my (hopefully) last Esher to Hove cycle challenge. The weather was good, is started out with a cloudy day, windy and some dripping but as the morning progressed and turned to noon the sun came out (although the wind did not die).
I attached myself to a couple of riders and kept pace with them, we where doing good time and keeping a nice pace (an average of 26 kph /16mph) even in the hills (going downhill we broke the 50 kph some time) .
We were passing riders and getting good time, but something felt odd , when we reached the 50k mark ( half way point ) we planned to stop at the refreshment stop, but and this is the twist of the story, there was no stop !!

After looking around for a while we came across some other riders and we learned that we took a wrong turn in one of the junctions and we are now at least 16k /10 miles off route.
Turns out that there were 2 events happening in the area on the day and both were using markers that were black arrows on yellow background, and in one of the T junctions we followed the wrong one.

Calling the event help line was no help at all as they could not even tell us where we went the wrong way or how to get back on the main route, so one of the guys opened the GPS on his mobile phone and we started the ride toward the end point .
After several hours we actually found the event route and rejoined the correct route, at that point we covered already 80k/50miles (the whole event is 100k/60m) only to learn that we are now on the route 27m marker.
So grunting and with a bit of complaining we soldiered on, knowing that near the end Devil’s Dyke awaits us.
When we reached the base of the hill my computer said we already covered 125k /77miles , while everyone else is just shy of 90k/53m .
The first leg of the hill went slow but I conquered it, then the big dip and the steep climb, and this is the part where the jury can’t make a decision, on the short steep climb (150m ) I was unable to cycle and walked it, then got back on the bike and finished the hill, if I was fresher of that extra 30k, I think there is a strong possibility I would not have paused.
After that it was all down hill and relativity smooth and easy ride, when I reached the finish line the computer said 133k/82.6m (out of 100k/60m route).

So have I beaten Devil’s Dyke or was I defeated again ?

What do you think ?

Sports Tracker record of the ride

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Devil’s Dyke (2) – Me (0)

Categories: Rides | June 27th, 2011 | by Assi | no comments

And again it was an unmitigated Knock out , He beat me fair and square , I had no chance on beating him and in 2 weeks we have another rematch.

For those of you who don’t know what I am on about let me put some information in here : going south from London toward Brighton , you go through some hills , but 5 miles/8 KM (after doing 50 odd miles/83 km ) you come the that last big hill before the descent to Brighton, there are several passes where you can cross those hills and one of them is “Devil’s Dyke” , it is a beautiful view point on to the shore line with a gold club at the top, but it is a very steep hill to climb that stretches goes on for more then a mile.

Last year when I did the Capital to Coast I had a wager with a colleague over a Pint that whom ever breaks at this hill owes a pint at the finish line , when I reached thew end I owed him , but it turns out he owed me too so we called it even.

Yesterday I did the ride from London to Brighton as a part of my training , and we crossed at Devil’s Dyke, and as you can see from the title, I lost again . I am not kidding my self ( or maybe I am) but I want to be able to climb this hill once cycling and not walking it up.

Wish me Luck!!

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Starting a new

Categories: General, Rides | April 11th, 2011 | by Assi | no comments

After the dismal performance in the Iain Rennie Challenge I decided to reevaluate my fitness on the bike and set my training regime a new , and get my fitness back .
I seem to have forgotten that most of my training was when i cycled to work in west London , but now that I no longer work for that employer I no longer ride to work .

So in order to resume my training I’ve decided to set a new course and use it , so I selected the A4164 from Hemel to Leighton Buzzard .
It is a 45k ride and has some nice hills to add some difficulty to the ride. It also has some very badly maintained roads on some sections , so that is not much fun .
I did my first ride this last Sunday , my time in total was not good , nearly 2 hours for a 44k ride , but as it is a new base ride to start from , I should no be too hard on myself …should I ?

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Challenge … Forfeited

Categories: Rides | March 27th, 2011 | by Assi | no comments

Today I took part in the Iain Rennie Chiltren Cycle challenge , the goal of it is to raise money for a hospice and nurses.
There were 3 options 10 ,35 and 75 mile routes (16 ,51 and 125 km ), I signed up for the 75 mile ride .
When the envelope with all the details arrived , I had my first doubt about what I signed up for , the route like a serrated knife skyline , with climbs of 600 feet (200 m ) and more in many places, but I decided to go ahead with it .

The start of the ride was good and I had a good pace , I was hoping to have an average pace of 20 km/h (13 mp/h) and in the first 2 hours I did , then the hill climbs got harder and harder and the day got hotter and I found my pace falling and my energy failing .
At the 60 km mark , I refilled my water and tried to find out if there is a snack spot any time soon ,but the road marshals did not know, that spot also was the point where if one wanted he can change route and join the 35 mile course, beside myself and 2 others I saw , all went for the shorter course.
As I started the second part I felt my power leaving me and I had to walk up many of the hills along the way , my km/h dropped to about 10 , (6 mp/h) , and eventually I found myself unable to continue .
Encouraged by a road marshal remark I braved the next 10 K and reached the 80K mark ( 50 M), there , beside the marshals was a Pub !!!
I left my bike with the marshals and zombied ( to say I walked would be stretching it) as hardly had any energy left), I got in the pub and asked for the fastest food they had , it turned out to be a Toast , I asked it to come not toasted , I wolfed it down ,I think there was Egg in it , still I ate it. I also took 4 slices of bread with butter and after that went back to attempt to resume the ride . As I looked at the watch it was already 2PM , and the closing time for the event was 4:30 , quick math told me I would not make it .
I through in the towel and got a ride to the finish line with the Marshall’s.I was so out of energy that even with 4 layers I was shivering and barely standing .

So out of the 75 miles I set out to do I managed 50 , Challenge … Forfeited.

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