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Showing posts from 2016

Boardman CXR 9.0 CX bike - first ride and review

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Boardman CXR 9.0 - review and first ride

I thought I'd take a quick break from walking and mountain related blogs and share my initial thoughts on the Boardman CXR 9.0 Cyclocross bike following today's first outing and CX style ride.

So first things first - spec.  Well you can read the full spec on the Boardman Bikes website but the headlines, for me anyway, are;

Aluminium frame - Boardman X9 alloySRAM Rival 2x11 speed groupset with hydraulic disc brakesBoardman CXR carbon CX forks with internal cabling and 15mm Thru-AxleOh, and it's £1,250!!! This is the entry model in the CXR / Elite line up which basically means that you can't buy this model from Halfords - it needs to come from Boardman directly (online or in-store).  It's slightly frustrating as the "in Halfords" top end Hybrid (Hybrid Pro) has the X9 alloy frame (and it's great!) but the equivalent CX bike uses the X7 frame which is a fair bit heavier and spec is no where near as competitive - fo…

Isabelle's first mountain - The Old Man of Storr, Skye

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September 2014, Skye, Scotland

A year or so after getting married there in 2013 we found ourselves back on the Isle of Skye (Scottish Highlands) and, with both my parents and our new daughter Isabelle along this time, we wanted to head back up to the North of the island and walk up to Needle Rock and The Old Man of Storr.

It was a perfect day and the slight haze off Loch Leathan and the Sound of Raasay seemed to bring out the detail in the surrounding hills and forests giving it an almost HD quality (sadly not really  done justice by the pictures from my phone!)

The basic plan was not to retrace our walk from 2013 (here), as the final ascent over and onto The Storr is not really suitable for babies, but to simply walk from the car park on the A855 up to the area around The Old Man of Storr and Needle Rock, have a bite to eat and then head back down to the car - hopefully without too many tears or tantrums, from Isabelle or me having to carry her!


Parking alongside the A855 just before…

A walk in the Yorkshire Moors from Kilburn, revisted

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It was back in Feb of 2013 that Donna and I first walked this route (read about that here) and on that walk we took along a friends dog, Jinny.  This time, in October 2016, we were retracing our steps with our own dog, Monty.


Distance - 8.5 miles
Duration - 3hr 20m Difficulty - Medium Starting point - Kilburn Nearest pub - Forresters Arms, Kilburn, YO61 4AH Route map and pdf from ViewRanger - here
GPX file from walk - here
OS Map - OL26 Notes - route can be very muddy in winter/after rain and watch out for the stream crossing the just after Byland Abbey

The walk starts from the main car park in the middle of the village of Kilburn and while the parking is free its limited so we started early to avoid the hassle of looking for alternative parking spots - the car park has the added benefit of being next to a great pub, the Forresters Arms, which is ideal for a post walk pint or pie (or both!).

We had a chilly and misty start to the walk but luckily there was no sign of the rain that had been fo…

“Sardines” Road Trip - River Arun Swim, 3.8km, Sat 18th June 2016

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“Sardines” Road Trip - River Arun Swim, 3.8km, Sat 18th June 2016


(Waiting for the start)

I’ve not been in a swimming race since club swimming at school (and I wasn’t particularly great back then!) so quite how and why I signed up for a 3.8km swim in the River Arun escapes me.
But it’s all good training isn’t it and as 3 of the other “Sardines” were joining me it was going to be a good laugh if nothing else.

3.8km or 2.4miles (ish) is an Ironman or Long Course triathlon swim and the attraction of this race is that it’s started at high/slack water just as the tide turns and the current starts to pull you down river towards the sea - and hopefully the finish line!
The Arun has one of the fastest tidal currents in the UK so this race is where you go for PB times at this distance - with a current up to 3 knots (max) this could be almost double a lot of people’s swim speeds!

We arrived in Littlehampton (nr Arundel) at 8am on the morning of the swim and once we’d managed to get to the same …

Something a little more aero I think - Argon-18 E117

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Ok, ok, I know I said the Spin (below) was "the" bike but as anyone who rides bikes and has that two wheeled bug will know; "there's always room for one more!"

But seriously though this wasn't a knee jerk reaction to seeing one in a shop window (although Donna might say otherwise), there was a chain of events leading to this......

It started with a Shimano Dynamic bike fit from Service de Velo - something that I'd been meaning to get done for ages and following some very good review of a new bike shop in nearby Botley (Service de Velo run by Mark Alexander) I decided to book in and get fitted.

2 x 3hr sessions later (the 1st of which I paid for and the 2nd Mark insisted we do, FOC, to get things right) I left knowing a few things;

my Spin set up is aggressive, but comfortable for me, but riding it through an Ironman "may" not be my best optionmy left leg is slightly shorter than my right (on the bike) and a 3mm shim in my left pedal sorts this…

2016 Heartbreaker half marathon

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Entering a half marathon seemed like a good idea when it was months away....  "sure" I said when Donna asked if I wanted to join her on a 13ish mile run through the New Forest, a race called the "heartbreaker" due both to the expected temperature at the end of Feb and the hills you have to run up and down during the race.
But, it was going to be good Ironman training so why not, sign me up, I'll have loads of time to train for it!

By mid Feb however thing's weren't looking as rosy as I'd hoped on the training front.  A strained back in the first week of Jan 2016 meant nearly 2 weeks of total rest just as I was getting back into training after the Christmas break - despite the horrible weather we'd been having - and although a couple of visits to the sports massage clinic helped I didn't really start running again until the beginning of Feb and even then it was only 5-10k during lunch breaks at work.

On the up side I'd started running wi…