Sunday, 16 November 2014

its been a while

Usual apology for not posting

My last post was after my bike ride. Since then lots has happened. Life has been up and down but I don't post about that on here.

I went to font and had an amazing time. Here are done photos

I climbed every day I climbed a few 6s in don't which felt like an achievement.

June and summer was a wash out as I had a toe op and I could not climb. I got really fat.

To lose weight I started swimming. This worked well too well really and I then signed up for a sprint triathlon. Which I completed. On the same day I entered the battle of Britain at the detour and got a decent score.

I have just got back from el chorro where I climbed a 7 for the first time this year. Nice to sell be able to climb a 7a with out really training hard. Photos from chorro

So that gets us to today. I am sure there is stuff I have missed but it's been a quiet period as far as achievements go.

I will do a proper bog shortly. When I have something interesting to say

Sunday, 27 April 2014

I did it!!!!!!! #P4P5

So the title gives it away but I did it I completed the pedal for pounds 5.

It was a fairly grueling affair but to be truthful a little easier than I expected.

Day 1 started by waking up at 4.20am and getting stuff together. Thankfully I got picked up and got a lift to canalside where the coaches gave us a lift to london. 
We got into London at around 11.30 and then all got changed in some tiny changing rooms about half a mile from the emirates. We then rode down to the stadium where we had our picture taken and set off in groups. My team (yellow) were the last to leave at about 1.30
A perfectly framed picture by josh

We had a fun ride through London through busy traffic and eventually on a cycle path. It took us about 1hour 10 to do 6 miles to get out the city. Not the best start but things picked up from there. 

We got to the water stop at around 3 ish.
Support van run by the lovely support team
the rest of the day was a blur of lovely sunshine and reasonably not very busy roads. Passed a place called Newton and looked but could not spot Tom Adams sadly. we eventually got to the hotel at around 7pm and was starving. 
I jumped in the Jacuzzi for 10 mins or so to massage my legs then headed for a meal with the rest of the yellow team staying at the same hotel. 
Great end to a good but very long first day.

Day 2
The day started with my bike getting looked at by the support team. I had been having difficulties with my gears. Turns out my large front cog is bent. The guys tweaked the derailleur then we were on our way. 
We had a nice gentle start to the day with 10miles of cycle track. the rest stop came too early really the first 25 miles were easy. I only took a short rest and then we were on our way. The next section I found grueling. Feeling lost I was not drinking enough and feeling pretty dehydrated. When I made it to the next rest stop it had been over 27 mile of grueling heat with me not drinking enough. We had a long break and the rest of the yellow team got a picture with Andy Booth (I was in the toilet queue). 
He saw the funny side when we gave him the camera and asked him to take it
Getting going took some effort but thankfully John and Gav talked me through the first few miles then I was okay again. We made it to Leicester late afternoon and all the yellow team went for a meal at the local spoons. It was cheap curry night but decided to give the spice a miss with the biggest day next. 

Day 3
We set off early to get going we faced a 75mile day with rain and wind forecast. The rain came early and we had a slow start trying to get out of Leicester. We did eventually and then headed north to Nottingham. We made it to the water stop in south Nottingham at around 11. The roads were fairly okay and we bumped into some lads from Leicester also cycling to the game for charity. We had a nice chat at the top of a hill then set off again. We only stopped briefly at the first stop as we needed to keep moving. 
The second stint of the day was crap ... Slow through traffic in Nottingham dying for the toilet but no where to go. We had a fun experience where the cycle route went straight through the centre of a market. Some of our team literally road through a market stall. Next came national cycle route 6 .. Turns out the national cycle routes are grim dirt tracks. Bumping which with two and a half days of saddle soreness was awful followed by trying to cycle through mud. After the first off roading session I got a puncture fantastic! We set off again down some roads then more dirt tracts and fields. We eventually made it to the second rest stop around 430 with over 20 miles to go we were pretty pissed off at this point. 
The last stint was a bit better but still a grim time missing turning, My gears were screwed. My garmin battery died 15 miles out. Then Josh had issues with his breaks. We went on and three of us waited for them 8 miles out. With no sign of the three fixing joshes bike We started to worry another team came past and told up they had a puncture. 
About half a mile from the hotel we ended up in another field I got stuck in the mud. Got off pushed and tried again but it was futile. I pushed to the end of the field where I saw josh covered head to toe in mud he got stuck and fell over in a puddle. At this point we all climbed over a wall and cylced the last 300m to the hotel. 
We set off at 8.30am and made it to the next hotel at 8.10pm almost 12 hours but it was done! We were back in yorkshire
Again we ate as a team at the local pub and had a good evening knowing we had the easiest day left. 
Thankfully there was a guy cleaning bikes when we got to the hotel and he looked at my gears. I could do nothing with the middle gears but sorted the top gears.

Day 4
We set off at 8.10 to get in with plenty of time to get to the finish point and get some drinks in. We were facing another over 40 miles which is over my longest training ride but we did not care. The first 10 miles were a doddle and before we knew it we were in wakefield on roads we recognised. 
22 miles left Josh has no breaks
We ended the day with a nice ride making sure we stayed as a team and all met up about quarter of a mile from the training ground and let our leader John lead us into our reception at the club training ground.
500m to go
When we arrived I fell off the wagon straight away. I don't like cider but grabbed a can. Alcohol has never tasted so sweet. After that beer was drunk and the victory parade began. The road was closed and we cycled to the ground then went around the stadium it was an amazing feeling.

The support as we were riding through Yorkshire was amazing we also got cheered on the outskirts of London which was great to have a group of people cheering you on when you are facing another 220miles. 
Also the support team did a fantastic job making sure we all made it back safe. Here are a few picture from yesterday
Me and josh at the training ground
About to enter the Stadium
about to pass the kilner bank 
Me in front of the Leicester fans with Steve and his lad
 There were speeches given at the training ground by all parties involved and one really stuck out. The guy from Yorkshire air ambulance said all rescues in Huddersfield by the air ambulance have been funded by the keep it up campaign since the first bike ride. What a fantastic stat. I am proud to o been a part of that.
I am very close to hitting my goal of £1000 please if you can help me get there please sponsor me.

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Sunday, 20 April 2014

only days till the ride

I am now really excited for my ride. 
I have my jerseys:
I also met some of my team at the meeting on Wednesday. I am now really excited for the ride. The early start on Wednesday will be a killer but I will cope. I get a lie in on compared to work so that will help and we need to average around 10 miles per hour which on the flat will be fine. 

I have seriously upped my mileage this month. so far this Month I have ridden more than any month before. I have also hit a lot of hills amd got in my ascent up.

This week alone I have done ridden almost 100km and with over a km of ascent
This will all pay off. I am now resting up for the ride. The excitement building but I will probably change my mood after the first day and still staring at 180miles to go. 

My training has been interesting again I have fallen over thanks to the spds. Time I did a super man over the handle bars and landed on my chin leaving a nice hole.

My bags are packed and I am ready to go.
The most important thing is I am doing this for yorkshire air ambulance. That is why I am doing it. I am pushing myself and my body to its limit for a charity so they can continue to save lives.
Please sponsor me:

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Now a change of pace I actually went out climbing yesterday. I went to burbage north on Monday night with James. We had a great evening we did not climb anything hard but the weather was perfect and we did some nice new problems and I finished Cleos Arete finally after first trying it back in 2009.

Monday, 3 March 2014

Cycle Training P4P5

So my training has been very eventful so far but it is getting there and riding is starting to make sense. So since I started riding I have done approximately 225km with 2.5k of ascent. That’s about 140miles on a bike.

I am pretty happy with this even though that will be two days riding when it comes to the proper ride. The actual ride will be much easier. I will have more people with me to keep me going and a support crew. I will also be riding in the day and have full days to ride which will make a massive difference.

To the interesting stuff:
Fall I have fallen over multiple times. The most pain full was the in Marsden when I fell and the soft bit below my knee cap hit the curb plum. That almost brought me to tears.
The transfer to cleats has resulted in my falling repeatedly. I did manage two rides last week with only 1 fail on the last mile of my 14 mile ride which was pretty annoying.
I also got knocked over and landed on the bonnet of a white van. It was completely the drivers fault I was on the main road and he hit me as I was riding past.
I think in total I have fallen over 8 times gone over the handle bars twice and knocked off by a car once.

The things I am finding hard:
Hills – They are starting to make sense but I am finding them really hard work. My legs wilt fast on hills. I am struggling to choose the right gear so I am not pedalling too fast and I needing to use too much effort to pedal. On Friday and Saturday last week things made sense I was just a bit slow but I manage two large and steep hills (for me) without stopping.
Traffic – I am terrified and this makes me cycle worse and because I am cycling worse I am more vulnerable to cars. It is a vicious cycle (pun not intended … sorry)

The biggest climb I have done is brockholes to new mill straight up to Holmfirth high school. The best part was then the descent to Holmfirth which was not as steep as I thought it was. Still fun though.

What I would like is to find a nice route of flat riding of approximately 30-40 miles so I can just get used to riding away at a reasonable pace and get some decent mileage. Same I live in Huddersfield then. I might go for a trip somewhere and do a long flat ride like north wales.
The ride is relatively flat for the first two days so hopefully my legs should be okay. The killer will be the last day only 40 miles (only I say …) but it is hilly and we will need to average 12 miles an hour as we need to be back at 12pm. So probably a 7.30 start then ride like hell I guess it will be Donny old road which includes the climb from Wakey to grange moor … Shit!!!

Oh well time to keep training. Any route recommendations welcome.

Also any sponsorship you can give would be greatly appreciated

If you would like to sponsor me or find more details see my just giving page here: or contact me via e-mail etc.
Or donate via this button:

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Here are a couple of pictures from strava of my rides:

More interesting pictures will follow shortly

Monday, 27 January 2014

Pedal for Pounds 5 - My biggest challenge yet

I am a fat weak punter. 

There is no denying this. My current weight is a shocking 90kg. 

Anyone who has read this blog for a while will know I am a Huddersfield town fan. What you may not know is I do not like Arsenal. 

The reason for this is simple ... family. 
My Grandma on my dads side before she died had a partner called Ron. He served with my Grandad on my Mums in the second world war but lost touch after the war. They eventually met each other again when one of my Aunts was getting married and my Grandad invited Ron along. 
He then met my Grandma at the wedding and things clicked. They quickly found they wanted to spend all their time together. 
There was one issue. He lived in Islington. He was a gooner and cobbler making shoes for the royal family amongst others. So they spent half there time living in Islington under the shadow of Highbury and half there time in Huddersfield enjoying the clean air and quiet streets. 

Growing up almost every year we would live in Rons house in London for two weeks as a summer holiday. I grew up joking with them about Arsenals troubles. So it was a jovial dislike. 

Time went on and both my Grandma and 'Uncle' Ron passed away.
I have not been to London for any great period in years and not been to Islington for longer. This brings me to the title of this blog.

The pedal for pounds is a long bike ride for charity organised by Huddersfield Town football club. They run what is called the keep it up campaign. This raises money for Yorkshire air ambulance and Huddersfield's academy with 50% of all money raised going to these good causes. 
The bike ride this year is from the emirates stadium to Town ground. It is roughly 250 miles. They have called it the Chapman trail because of the almost century old connection between the two clubs. P4P5

I have wanted to do the bike ride for a number of years now but always found an excuse. This year being a start in Islington I felt the time was right and my school friend Josh who I do not see often enough wanted to do this also. So we both bit the bullet and have joined up. 

My issues were many:
I did not own a bike
I had not ridden a bike this millennium
I had never ridden more than around 1 mile
I had never ridden a road bike
The bike ride is in April

So I now have a road bike and have done my first over 5k bike ride today. I am slowly building confidence and learning how to ride a bike again. It is a slow process. 
I have 3 months to get fit enough for 3 80 mile days in a row.

The cause is one I believe in. I fully support football youth development and I think the Yorkshire air ambulance is a vital service we should all support especially climbers/walkers and mountaineers in Yorkshire as one slip and their service could be the difference between life and death.

I will be blogging and tweeting my progress with training and will blog after the event.
If you would like to sponsor me or find more details see my just giving page here: or contact me via e-mail etc.
Or donate via this button:

JustGiving - Sponsor me now!

Thursday, 16 January 2014

Er What Now?

Stereotypical start to blog ..
I have not blogged in a while.
I blogged once in November and before that it was October. Maybe I should just stop?

I don’t know why I write this blog really. It’s just something to do I guess?

Since my last blog I have hit a wall in my climbing. I was ecstatic to tick flying arête but then I realised I had nothing left I wanted to do.

Open Projects:

Old Lace 6C – never really put much effort into this one. Maybe time I did?
7A left of holmeward bound – Hit the top jug with my fingers tips but foot popped before I could latch it.
Yendor 6B+ - Wanted to try this for a while but need a good spot and confidence on top move above the block.

Remergence 6B – Was very close until it rained 18 months ago. Not been back
Cleo’s Arete 5+ - Beautiful should go first try when I go back not been on it in 2½ years
Tiger 6B – Just knacky and destroys skin

Not to be taken away 6C – frustrating times working the first move. Is it really only eng 6a?

Other bits and pieces.

Crucifix arête 6A+
Crucifix traverses 6A+ / 6C+
Pebble Wall 6C
None of these make me desperate to return to the crag this minute Like how I was with flying arête.

Abroad I have unfinished business:
La Surplomb de lepraux 6A L’Elephant Font
La Marie Rose 6A Bas Cuvier Font
Arabesque 7a Arab steps El Chorro

These I am keener to get done but there are obvious more challenging factors involved in these routes (i.e. the distance)

I also want to go see Gary and Mel at the Olive Branch in El Chorro. But the fact I want to see them more than I want to climb there suggests to me I might prefer to go somewhere else.

I really want to go to Kalymnos but it is looking pricey. I also fancy an adventure somewhere. I want to go somewhere a little more unusual like Ireland, Sardinia etc.

I guess I just want to do so much that I have not really picked my trips for this year. Last year I had my year planned out. March sport climbing with Nik and Si. September Squamish. Christmas Font!

This made training and planning easy. I need something to focus on or my willingness to train disintegrates faster than tissue paper in a fire.

Anyway these musing are bollox.

I barely climbed outside in December but I went to font over new years. As previously it was amazing and frustrating. We had an awkward time climbing around the damp but we climbed dry rock every day which at the time of year was great. Still no 6 climbed in font though

Here are some pictures from Craig Bailey. Check out his flickr account here: Rockjedi