Saturday, 3 January 2015

Life gets in the way...

.....So, Happy New Year!

Obviously spurred on by the New Year,  I'll have increased the training as it now starts in anger.  Think Rocky on the steps and you won't be far wrong.  Well, if Rocky is a wheezing, sweating snotty mess full of Man Flu.

Yep, thats right - I've had the flu.  Now without wanting to blow this out of context, I absolutely LOATHE the flu.  Colds I can deal with.  Food poisoning, chest infections, kidney infections I can stand.  But flu is utter utter shit and I hate it.  The problem is, you never know when its actually done with you.  You wake up after three/ten days of misery thinking you're through it, only for it to bite you hard later on in the day, turning you into a shivery sweaty mess that wants to sleep only can't sleep because you're either too hot or too cold or you itch or your nose is running get the idea.  Its rubbish. So total annual mileage for 2015 is currently 0.  Brilliant.

However, sat on my arse with nothing to do I did start planning the route.  Various tools allow you to do this and the TCR Facebook group has pointed me in the direction of a few.  To start with, just to give me an idea I stuck it in the AA route planner using the avoid tolls/motorways function.

From this (slightly convoluted way of showing a) picture, you can see its a) a bloody long way and b)...its a bloody long way.

The next step is to go through using a tool such as googlemaps or strava and map piece by piece each section.  Finally this will be converted to a .TCX file and loaded onto my Garmin.

Garmin...ah yes.  I have two Garmins, a 510 and an 800.  The 510 is the one I use on the turbo, the 800 the one when I'm riding a route I don't know because it has the SatNav function.  It also has a handy function that allows you to get to the most remote part of your ride, then randomly switch off and drop all maps and routes.  Massively useful, I've taken advantage of this feature many times.  So I need to have a look at other potential devices although the Etrex seems to be favoured very highly.  I had a look at this in Cotswold and thought it was a bit rubbish, but it does use AA batteries which is a nice touch.  Which in turn brings me on to charging devices.

Two options from what I can tell.  One - dynamo hub.  If you're doing 200+ miles a day you might as well use some of that effort to charge your phone so you can tweet how knackered you are.  Two - something like a PowerMonkey solar charger but thats obviously assuming its going to be sunny.  Option three of my two options is stop in a nice hotel and charge your devices while you shower and raid the minibar.

The issue I have with dynamo hubs is that I already have a nice set of wheels to use, with nice rims.  I could have the front rim built onto a dynamo hub, but I'd rather not given a choice.  The PowerMonkey type affair has mixed reviews, some people say they're OK, others reckon they are bobbins and not worth bothering with.  Which leaves option three.....Hmmm, what would Mike Hall do?  I need to get hold of a dynamo hub'd front wheel and give it a try.  Bike24 are banging out Shimano ones for £35 so maybe worth a punt.  I know its not a SON but its not SON money either.

Next up, a highly scientific piece about tri-bars.  I bet you can't wait for that...oh, and hopefully some riding at some point.


  1. Really enjoying your blog - keep going and see you on the start line of TCR2015

  2. Hi the Tigger, thanks very much! I need to do another, about to get on the turbo for ANOTHER session so will do it after that! See you in July!