Thursday, 1 April 2010

Race Update

Quick update on what's been happening with the racing season this year.
I've been racing as an A3 this year, so mostly it has been handicap races with the A1 and A2 riders. Aside from one race, but more on that in a bit.

Annaclone GP

10th in this race, a tough course and the a1 and a2 riders caught the handicap group on the last lap, I managed to stay with some of the a1, a2 who jumped through and came in strong with a good lead out.

Phoenix GP

6th position and my first point! Also got £10 for the prize money. Better than a poke in the eye. Was a great race, the a1, a2 groups didn't catch us and I had a decent uphill finish, if I had more of a kick I may have placed higher.

John Haldane

New course for this race in Newry, basically up and down a dual carriageway. Doesn't sound that exciting but a good workout. I took a flyer from the bottom roundabout and attempted to time trial to a win. Got caught about 250m from the line... ah well... gotta give these things a go.

John Moore Memorial

New course for this also, tough course at that. Finished well in the bunch.

PJ Logan GP

Hardest race so far this year, a figure 8 circuit with strong cross winds and LUMPY ass hills. Finished in the bunch. Loads of dropouts so pleased enough with performance.

Ciclosport GP

Was hoping for a better showing here to be honest. Strong headwind on the 'out' stretch of the course. One of my team went up the road, so no chasing. When the a2 group caught us I should have been on my teammate Niall's wheel, but I missed my opportunity.

Tour of Ards

Didn't know if I was to get a start in this as I was on the reserve list, but I turned up on the day and got a race. A hard course on not great road surfaces, but pretty flat. It was fast. Didn't even see the break of the a1 guys going.

This was also the first mass start race of the year. Good prep for the Tour of the North.

Aghagallon GP

What a race. Tried to break on the first lap and one guy came with me. At the end of the first lap, two other bridged to us, then one of them cut in front of me and wiped me out. End of race.

I'm now covered in road rash up my left hand side which isn't terribly pleasant.
Damage to bike:
- tape
- shifters
- rear wheel damage
- pride

Tour of the North

Ok, so I'm getting a little ahead of myself. This starts tomorrow evening at Stormont and I am nervous. The crash this week didn't help either.

Wish me luck!

Monday, 15 February 2010

Reliable Reliabilities

So its February, and the reliability not-races have started again.

Last weekend 7th Feb was the East Antrim CC trial, nice enough weather and on decent roads. Fast pace at the start with a tasty tailwind the whole way round... till we turned into it and it was headwind time. This was slightly mitigated by the fact that we took in a 3-4 mile descent down into Glenarm which was just awesome. If it had have been drier I think it would have been faster and more awesome-er.

Yesterday was the Maryland Wheelers Trial. Man, this was fast. I reckon an average of about 24mph+ over the course of around 70 miles.
The big boys were fairly hammering the pace. I felt fine till the P-stop... then something happened, either riders went on or something.. but it left everyone chasing like hell to get back on. Including me.

Right into the red-zone, then couldn't settle properly till we hit the climb at the horsehoe bend in Castlewellan, always fun weaving through those going backwards on it.
More fast paced stuff right up to the tea and sandwiches stop.. with blustery crosswinds forcing echelons.
The ride went on in this pace till Saintfield where it turned onto the John Moore race course... then I got blew out. Nothing left in the legs at all.
I'm putting that down to a number of things:
- I had a hard club run the day before
- I had a bit of a sniffle
- I ate the wrong food
- It was nigh on impossible to eat at the speed we were doing
- I was on my winter bike

Pick an excuse.. any excuse :-)

Anyways.. this weekend is the Phoenix CC (my club) reliability trial.. and a summer bike will be out to play. I reckon that alone will drop about 5-6 pounds of weight that I don't have to muscle up a hill.

Feeling somewhat toasted today!

Thursday, 3 December 2009

This is the saddle thats been on my winter bike for the past 6-8 weeks now. I've pretty much been testing it out for Paul @ Wiggle. (Mine is the black one..)

I have to say it really is an excellent saddle. I previously had a Specialized Toupe on there and this replaced it. And it replaced it very well! I would say it took about an hour to get settled on it properly and get the height tweaked a little.
But once that was done, its been all good. I guess the best thing I can say is that I haven't actively noticed the saddle because it hasn't hurt, it hasn't rubbed, it hasn't slipped and its been damn comfortable.

That's *damn* comfortable throughout all the random riding I've been doing too. Because its winter training time, the time spent in the saddle has been longer and at a slower speed so you tend to notice things more. Also it has been subject to some time trial efforts (yes I know.. shouldn't be doing them at this time of year) on the way to work and also a few interval sprints (yes.. shut up.) ending in my slapping my arse on the saddle fairly firmly.

The only downside to it, is that it could be a little lighter. Its coming in at 240g+ whereas a Toupe is about 160g so near 100g difference.
I don't think I'd put it on the race bike due to the weight, but for training and winter... its pretty much perfect.

Would I buy it? Hell yeah. Great saddle, great price... only minor downside is that its a bit heavy. Of course... I could just lose some weight.... hmm.

Spending time going nowhere

But at least we tried to do it fast.

Yesterday myself and the boss-man were off to a meeting in Dundalk so demo some of the work we've been doing over the past while.
Journey there was fine till we hit Newry, then it was tailback city. Eventually got through this, made it on time and did our thing.
All good. Then we started to head home, and got caught in more traffic again in pretty damn rotten weather.
An hour later we made it through and started making a bit of progress again... then I was home and that was pretty much it for the day.

Not a terribly exciting story. The reason I'm waffling about this is that while I was sitting in traffic I could see some fantastic looking scenery that was around the Mourne area with lots and lots of rolling hills and some mountains. Where did I want to be? On my bike, pulling faces, while climbing up the mountains. Not stuck in the damn car.

The Newry and Mourne area is home to one of the best amateur races that runs during the year, the Newry 3 day. This is the type of race that makes everyone riding it feel like a semi-pro, even just for a few days.

Its got police escorts, rolling road closures and all the good stuff that makes you feel like you are a pro for a day.

I rode this last year, and while I finished in mid table obscurity I had some great rides in it and some standout sections, like when I rode a TTT trying to bring back the break on the first night so our GC guy wouldn't lose too much time, like when I attacked off the front on the second day taking the GC guy with me to get him a gap and then spectacularly blow up to get dropped on the next climb, only to get back on during the descent.

Well... stand out moments for me anyways :-)

Anyways, the basic upshot is that I had some nice daydreams when busy going nowhere.

Friday, 27 November 2009


Been a long week. A *really* long week.
Busy busy in work trying to get some iphone stuff tidied up and also in some of the services work I'm doing at the moment which is pretty full on and tiring. But its Friday... so this is good, even though I can't summon a lot of enthusiasm for it... kinda feel more like just going to bed.

Anyways... on a separate story.... some days you are just angry on the bike... this happened to me yesterday (thanks bank people - shitheads). At about 3-ish got a call from the bank taking away my overdraft and forcing me to put the amount of it on a loan. One would image that they are trying to save money.... one would also imagine that they should look more at themselves instead of people who put a a decent salary into their bank account every month. Anyways, this really pissed me right off... so obviously the way to teach them a lesson was to ride home *really* angry.

So I did.

Drilled it hard into a headwind for a good 3 miles without dropping intensity, sprinted at every single minor incline (I swear not even hills... just rises in the road), leant the bike over to take corners at full speed, trying to rip my feet out of the pedals and break cranks off and just generally riding like an animal. Completely in contravention to the training plan at the mo... but damn it felt good. The only thing that could have been better would have been if I had have been on a lighter stiffer bike instead of the trusty winter steed.

It was fun! But the bank still suck donkey ass.

Thursday, 26 November 2009

Rich G's Lyrnskey

PB250270, originally uploaded by richard.gearing.

Have to say, this looks pretty damn awesome.

One of the weapons for next year!

caad 9 bb30, originally uploaded by Voodoo2.

Yeah... it took a while, but I managed to get it. At a cost to credit rating, money in bank and all that sort of shit.

But here is spanky caad 9 with bb30 crankset... and man this baby just flies!