Friday, February 29, 2008

1 Degree Fiji Fun Cycle

The big announcement... 1 Degree, a Fiji Times Climate Change initiative, will be the main sponsor for the Fiji Fun Cycle. The 1 Degree Fiji Fun Cycle is a gentle (flat) 10km cycle along the Suva foreshore (Queen Elizabeth Drive) and will start from the National Stadium at 8am, Monday (which is a public holiday) 17 March and is open to all members of the public... all you need is a bike and a helmet. Adults $10 and children under 13 $5.

More soon...

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Big Announcement tomorrow!!!

Check back here tomorrow. There's something big involving cycling in Fiji.

The pain........

People ask me why I enjoy cycling so much... I say, tongue only half in cheek, "the pain... I enjoy the pain." The burning legs and lungs going up a steep hill (in my case any hill), the ache in your forearms after hours in the saddle... no pain in the arse that went numb ages ago. The hurting feet and fact that you're elated when you finally get off the bike. I could never really explain the pain to someone who hasn't done it. I came accross this quote which sums it up perfectly. Those that don't cycle will say "you're just crazy"... those that do will nod gently in understanding... :D

"To be a cyclist is to be a student of cycling's core lies pain, hard and bitter as the pit inside a juicy peach. It doesn't matter if you're sprinting for an Olympic medal, a town sign, a trailhead, or the rest stop with the homemade brownies. If you never confront pain, you're missing the essence of the sport. Without pain, there's no adversity. Without adversity, no challenge. Without challenge, no improvement. No improvement, no sense of accomplishment and no deep—down joy. Might as well be playing Tiddly—Winks."
Scott Martin... I don't know who Scott Martin is but he sums it up beautifully.

Friday, February 22, 2008

27 :) 37 :D 47 :O

"I swear to God the last time I checked I was 27 and now I'm 37." -- Bobby Julich (CSC), among America's elder statesmen in the Amgen Tour of California.

I know exactly how he feels!!!! I'm 47 today.


PS: sometimes I act like I'm still 17 :D

On your next "long" ride think of this guy

British cyclist Mark Beaumont completed an around-the-world ride in 195 days to break the record by nearly 3 monthss. Beaumont rode 29,611 km averaging about 160 km per day. The ride ended last Friday where it began at the Arc de Triomphe in Paris, after which Beaumont declared, "I am very much looking forward to not getting on the bike tomorrow."

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Fiji Fun Cycle 08

Monday 17 March at the National Stadium, Suva

The Fiji Fun Cycle 08 will take place at 8am Monday 17 March.... by pure coincidence it is St Paddy's day... and my wife's birthday.

We're in the final stages of signing up the naming rights sponsor and I hope we'll be able to announce this in the next day or so.

If you want to get involved there will be an organising committee meeting, 5.45pm Esquires Coffee Shop (RoC1) at FNPF Place.

If you know of anyone willing to donate prizes (no matter how small) or would like to become a sponsor, please let me know.

Here's are a few pics from previous Fiji Fun Cycles.

Haven't seen so many bikes in one place in Fiji

Velocity Cycling Club members check bikes before the ride.

Susan (left) and Jessie McGoon... the Fiji Fun Cycle poster girls

If you've got wheels... you're welcome. The guy in the
wheelchair came half way accross Fiji to take part and
behind him was our youngest cyclist (3... I think?)

VukiBoy,won the best (un)dressed prize...
a return trip to NZ from Air New Zealand.

Abe Simpson - CEO of the Land Transport Authority,
sponsor of the LTA Fiji Fun Cycle presents an Unwired
Modem to Sr. Sera Kaota of the National Diabetes Centre.
Velocity cyclists, Lionel Evans, Felchya Whippy and
David Johnson.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Amazing "hand jobs"

I thought I'd share a few pics from the Handmade Bike Show. I was going to write stuff about how cool these bikes are and heap praise on the builders... but the bikes say it all. Click here to check out the gallery.

Friday, February 8, 2008

Celebrity Cyclists

I'm not much of a "Star Gazer" myself but every now and then flipping through thye Sky pacific channels I get stuck on "E". As much as I hate it, and I REALLY do hate it, I can't seem to look away. It's like passing a gory traffic accident... you can help but look. Anyway... while I was stuck on "E", trying to press the remote to get back to Discovery Channel, I saw Oprah riding a bike and I wondered what other celebs cycle... A quick Google and I found a list at Quick I stole it - sorry Carlton (Carlon Reid is the site owner). There are quite a few names that I don't know and the list is a little UK biased... probably 'cos Carlton is a POM.

Cycling celebs

Film star Michelle Pfeiffer relaxes by taking her bike apart and putting it together again.

When not dabbling in Jewish mysticism, Madonna rides her bike with husband Guy Ritchie and their son Rocco.

Comic and film star Robin Williams owns 30+ road bikes. He rides with his mate Lance Armstrong, the seven times Tour de France winner.

When singer Jarvis Cocker of Pulp wants to get anywhere in London, he throws his long-legs over his trusty mountain bike.

Fashion designers Jeff Banks and Sir Paul Smith are avid roadies. Smith’s company has sponsored cycle teams, and Banks Jnr owes his love of cycling to Banks Snr:
“My dad was a racer before the war. He bought me an Italian racing bike when I was 11, and I suppose I’ve never looked back. There’s not a major col in the Alps or Pyrenees that I haven’t climbed. I suppose I do it for the sense of achievement you get when you complete rides like that. It’s amazing.”

Movie star Daniel Day-Lewis has a house in Ireland, close to Sir Paul Smith. The two cycle together. In a February 2008 interview with Esquire magazine Day-Lewis said: “I cycle everywhere…I’d still like to make a film about cycling. I still feel there’s something to be done there.”

TV football pundit Simon O’Brien, who used to be Damon in Brookside, still cycles on shoots and is a former co-owner of a green-tinged bike shop in Liverpool.

Cerebral ex-footballer Graeme Le Saux has recently taken to two wheels. He’s even competed in cyclo-cross races.

Hotelier Sir Rocco Forte is a late starter: he only took up cycling five years ago when his love of endurance sport led him to triathlons. He likes all sports but now cycling is “the thing I love best…I am addicted.” He has ridden two Etapes du Tour, the amateur stages of the Tour de France.

Failed US president candidate John Kerry is a mad keen road cyclist, owning a custom-painted $3000 Serotta Ottrott which he pedals when he gets a spare moment. George ‘Dubya’ Bush took up mountain biking in February 2004. He said:
“Nothing compares to getting your heart rate up to 170-something, riding hard for an hour-twenty, getting off and not hurting, as opposed to 24 minutes of running, at the end of which I hurt. When you ride a bike and you get your heart rate up and you’re out, after 30 or 40 minutes your mind tends to expand; it tends to relax.”

One of the current Democratic presidential candidates is stick-thin enough to be a cyclist and may even be bike-friendly, if elected to the top job:

“As president, Barack Obama will build upon his efforts in the Senate to ensure that more Metropolitan Planning Organizations create policies to incentivize greater bicycle and pedestrian usage of roads and sidewalks.

Guitar legend Eric Clapton owns a stable of fancy Italian road bikes and rides often.

Writer Beatrix Campbell is a confirmed cyclist:
“In the context of the great debates about identity politics - are you gay or straight, nationalist or republican, British or English and so on - I would ask, “Do you ride a bike?”. I love everything about the machine - the sensation of the tyres on the road, the mobility - and I love the fact that you have this intimate relationship with the elements, and the landscape.”

Talking Heads frontman David Byrne gets around New York City on his mountain bike. He said:
“I’ve known for twenty years that biking is the best way to get around this city. Back then, people just looked at you like you were crazy. At least now the cars slow down sometimes when they see you…The landlord and the city building code people let me install a shower in my office because I ride a bike to work. I can gallery hop or hit the clubs at night or in the afternoon cheaply and efficiently. It beats cabbing, and the subway is sporadic at night.”

CTC president and Channel 4 news anchor Jon Snow knows the fastest way to get around London’s congested streets is by bicycle. Top tip: to cool down after cycling from the ITN news centre to interview, say, the PM at 10 Downing Street, Snow has an ice-cube applied to the back of his neck by the make-up crew. He rides everywhere:
“My whole day is built around meetings that can be achieved around bike rides. My contract actually offers me a free car from my home to my office and back, but I suppose I am addicted to cycling.”

Woe betide any drivers who mess with comedian Alexei Sayle: he’s big and bike-proud. He cycle-commutes in London and, like Jon Snow, is just one of the cycling celeb customers of Condor Cycles in London. Others include Adam Woodyatt (Ian Beale in Eastenders), Strictly Come Dancing winner and Chicago star Jill Halfpenny, Mick Jagger, (he has a Condor road bike and a custom hybrid), and Chris Tarrant and his wife. In 2005 they bought a tandem (but it clearly didn’t save their marriage…) - no news on what the mistresses ride…

Every Liverpuddlians’ favourite MP-cum-editor Boris Johnson cycles to and from Parliament and his office at the Spectator magazine.

US band Grateful Dead rent studio space from bike supplier Marin of California. The band’s guitarist Bob Weir is a mountain biker, and often rides with mountain bike co-founding father, Gary Fisher. Weir said: “Bicycles are almost as good as guitars for meeting girls."

The Prime Minister of Belgium, Guy Verhofstadt is a cyclist and a fan of cycle-sport. He said: “In politics, one can learn some things from cycling, such as how to have character and courage. Sometimes in politics there isn’t enough of those things."

Lee Iacocca, former boss at Ford and then General Motors, invented the Ford Mustang, the SUV and the Minvan. But his gas-guzzling days are now over: he’s now pinning his hopes on electric bikes and claims to ride his company’s products. He said: “After fifty years in the automobile business, I’m bringing you the future of transportation “and it’s electric!”

The reclusive members of German electronic-pop pioneers Kraftwerk don’t just write songs about road-bike races - their 1980s Tour de France album is an influential classic - they ride. Hard.

US rocker Jon Bon Jovi is a mountain biker. He even sponsors an MTB team.

Think motor-mouth Jeremy Clarkson hates bikes? Think again. He and his wife ride Raleigh Pioneers to keep fit.

Who ya gonna call? GutBusters!

If you know me you'll agree I'm not the smallest, thinnest, lightest, racing snake cyclist on two wheels. While I have dropped a fair amount of flab in the past 4 years (30kg) it's really tough to get rid of the tummy.

I have cyclists calfs but a sumo stomach.

I'll be 47 in a couple of weeks and my goal is to get down to around 90kg before I'm 48. I'm not in a great hurry... although I wish its would go faster.... I know that it comes back as faster that you loose it.... if it takes a couple of years, so be it.

I'm fit and healthy (My Doc says I have the heart of an 18 yo athlete - pity I don't have the matching body) and 150km per week on the bike at around 22-24km/h average. That's 6-7hours of strenuous cardio (70-80% maxHR) every week and I'm getting stronger, faster and going further all the time.

But THE BLOODY GUT WON'T BUST!!!! I've given up weighing myself and use my belt as my guide but it's still inconsistent. Heres a good article that may help those of you afflicted with Toomuchbellyitis.

Fred Matheny is a cycling coach and you can find his eBook (downloadable) on year round road cycling improvement here.

Here's an extract from his book, Complete Book of Road Bike Training, on loosing the extra KGs.

It's important to do "core" exercises like crunches to keep the abs toned and reduce lower back problems. You can do them at home on a carpet or exercise mat. No health club needed.
However, remember that strong abs won't reduce the size of your waistline. You can do crunches from now till doomsday and all you'll get is an extremely strong abdominal wall covered with the same layer of fat that presently exists.
Here's why: Fat is lost at the same rate from all over the body. Further, it's lost only by increasing the number of calories burned and reducing the number taken in. There's no such thing as "spot reducing" -- exercising a certain part of the body to take fat off that specific area.
Crunches alone won't burn enough calories to help you shed fat. To lose weight, continue to cycle. Two rides a day may be more effective than one ride of the same total length because your metabolism is boosted twice.
Ride longer weekends, too, to incinerate more calories. The longer you go on Saturday or Sunday, the better. Include hills or friends who push the pace for even greater benefit. Combine your cycling with a sound nutritional plan and you should see steady weight loss.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Fold it!

The bike industry offers heaps of folding stuff. Folding multi-tools, folding tyres even folding bikes. And why stop there? How about a folding helmet. Stash Kit offers a commuter helmet with collapsable sides that reduces the space a helmet takes up. Although not very heavy bike helmets are bulky and people either have to attach them to the bike, where they're easily stolen, or carry them. The Stash Kit helmet folds to a size that can be put in a laptop bag or has it's own little drawstring bag.

Reinventing the wheel
What's next Folding Wheels? Yup! You got it... some bright spark has come up with a pretty cool way to fold bicycle wheels. Again the application is aimed at commuters and travelers.

Monday, February 4, 2008

Who was "Major" Taylor?

Apparently Feb is Black History month in the USA. It may interest you to know the first black American World Champion, of any sport was a cyclist. Marshall “Major” Taylor.

Not many people know the story of Major Taylor, the world one-mile track cycling champion in 1899. Taylor was the first Black American athlete to win a world championship in any sport, and overcame more than his share of racism en route to becoming one of the highest paid athletes of his day.

Major Taylor’s legacy continues in numerous ways, including historical organisations, cycling clubs, racing teams and The Major Taylor Velodrome in Indianapolis.

You can find out more about Major Taylor here

I gotta get one of these!

Fat Cyclist Jersey - in Velocity coours

One of my favourite cycling related blogs is The Fat Cyclist and I would have bought one of the famous Fat Cycist jerseys if the weren't PINK. Made by Twin Six, who make some of the best cycling jerseys, along with SWOBO (I actually own a SWOBO jersey - black of course). But now Fatty has produced his 2008 Jersey and its BLACK and ORANGE... see what we've started... Velocity Jerseys have been this colour combination for a couple of years now.

The design features hand painted lettering, sublimated on said to be inspired by painted leather jackets. Very cool! Aparantly they wont be available 'til April... but that gives me time to save my pennies. And being made for the Fat Cyclist they come in XXXL :D

BTW for those of you wondering what the horse (Clydesdale) has do do with anything. Cyclists over 91kg (220lb) are known as Clydesdales... this is an official category... I'm not making it up. So, all you Clydes out there if you want to place a group order just let me know.

SWOBO jersey - in Velocity colours

...and the Velocity Jersey - in Velocity colours

Sunday, February 3, 2008

Sun, Feb 3, 2008 - 18.30 km. 32.17km/h average!!!

Sun, Feb 3, 2008 - 18.30 km
18.30 km in 00:34:08 hours at 32.17 km/h on Specialized Langster - Fixed Gear. WOW! 32km/h average... that's fast for me... had a good tailwind :)... That's also after doing 44km earlier this morning.
Posted from My Cycling Log