Frozen Roaches

Blog post

This was a familiar route. One I’ve done as an Audax event during the early summer, when shorts and warm sunshine were the order of the day. I’ve also done it a couple of times as the start and end of a hilly 200km ride into Cheshire.

Today was a very different ride. A recent back injury meant that this would be significantly further and more climbing than I’d done for probably a couple of months. This meant I took it very conservatively! I geared down and just rolled along very easily.

The sky remained grey throughout. Alternating between cold, freezing fog and eventually dark. The temperature topped out at 1degree above freezing, sinking well below at times. Wrapped up like the Michelin Man, I made slow but steady progress. Never really putting myself out and just steadily getting round.

My reward, growing confidence. I can now move on. Enter some of the longer Audax events that I was unsure of. Begin to rebuild some of the endurance and get on with some intensity on the Turbo. The season looks like it might be on!

Here is the route. Definitely one to do again with more confidence and fresher legs.

  • Share on:

Snakes and ladders

Blog post
Not a bad year

Life can be like a giant game of snakes and ladders. You roll the dice. Work hard. Make progress. Keep moving forwards. Climb the ladders. Then get dumped out at the bottom of a giant snake. 2018 was a good year, with some really memorable highlights!

2019 starts with me returning from a back injury and starting a new job. Again, I’m ready to see what progress I can make and where life will take me.

  • Share on:

Secret Training

Blog post

It used to be that we judged a rider by the way that they smoothly turned the pedals in perfect circles. Their ease on the bike. The definition in their legs. The weathered look about them and the confidence gained from miles on the bike in all weathers.

You could ‘see’ who had put the work in and who had ‘form’. No ‘kudos’ was given. If you weren’t on the ride, you could only imagine, but you could see the effects of hard work.



I’ve been largely off Strava over the last couple of months. The opportunity to be social and even to show off or self depreciate has been strangely absent. 

Secret training has a strange satisfaction. The effects are beginning to show. Pedalling smoothly and beginning to feel the hunger again gives hope in the dark months. Winter may be coming, but the form of spring must surely follow.



  • Share on:
Blog post 

  • Share on:

It all starts here.

Blog post


It all starts here.

It often starts here.

As one of the Common Lane Occasionals, Saturday is a key ride.

What started with a handful of us meeting at Common Lane … Occasionally, has turned into a thriving club and Saturday’s ride is the mainstay.

Today around 20 of us pedal off into the murky Derbyshire Peak District for a morning ride that includes everything from steady climbs, sketchy descents, stunning views and even some through and off action.

Today is the first of 30 Days of Biking and I look forward to plenty more!



  • Share on:

New things 

Blog post

It’s always good to keep it fresh and try new things. Derby track league, here I come! 

  • Share on:

Getting close to Season’s End

Blog post

It looks as though my season of recovery is ever so slowly drawing to a close. I’ve been waiting for some dramatic development to write about, but instead there have been imperceptibly small steps of progress over the last six months or so. It’s only looking back that I can see how far I’ve come.

It’s been a very different season, as I’ve not really been able to plan anything. I’ve just had to rely on being really consistent in my riding, trusting that the progress will come. however slowly.

Unexpectedly it’s been a good season with a number of highlights:


30 Days of Biking: Such a simple concept. Ride your bike every day in April. This was probably the foundation of my recovery, as I got into the habit. This included using the rollers at unusual times, commuting when it wasn’t an easy option and a couple of really wet rides! Great fun though and good to feel part of something much bigger. Tweeting pictures of my commute and getting responses from around the world was certainly an encouragement.


Perfecting the rollers: This time last year I had never even been on rollers. Learning to ride them whilst injured was a bit of a leap of faith. Riding a fixed wheel track bike meant that my injured leg was carried round, which felt odd to say the least. Mastering a new skill is always satisfying and I have to say that I now really enjoy getting the headphones on and ‘rolling along’.


Organising an open time trial: This was another first. Not only for me, but also for the Common Lane Occasionals. Our first open time trial. Went really well, so I’m now organising two for the coming season. Watch this space.


Women’s Tour of Britain: Acting as a marshal for the women’s Tour Of Britain (and the Tour Series) in Stoke was great! Being o the inside of an event gives you a whole new perspective. Even got to look after Lizzie Armistead’s bikes (and make sure Marianne Vos’s cat got a good parking space!)


L’Eroica: I was only partially recovered for this one, so volunteered for the short route. We were sweepers, so had to ride behind the last people on the road, offer assistance and then let marshals know that the last riders had passed. Sounds simple and it was a great day out. Most of the riders wanted to make the most of their day out, so 27 miles took around 10 hours to complete!


21 Minute 10: This was when I knew things were starting to go in the right direction. A good day on the superfast V718 course near Hull meant cruising at over 30mph for a large part of the ride. Putting together the preparation and previous events was pretty good too. 21:51 for 10 miles should get me into most events that I fancy this season.


Track Legs: Reduced power on one side and some time away from the track meant that I had to go through the accreditation process again. First time on the boards for over a year was pretty terrifying. As the power came back, so did my skills and confidence and I’ve really enjoyed getting back into SQTs at Manchester.


Strava KOM: A little bit of planning and a good turn of speed and I gained my first STRAVA King of the Mountain!


Now I’m busy planning for a really good 2017. Wonder what the highlights will be?





  • Share on:


Every great dream begins with a dreamer!

Tales of an almost has been, taking small steps on a great journey.

Where I’m riding

Get Social