Tag Archives: Road Cycling


This is the first time for me. Clubland, Ibiza. Despite DJing when younger I’d never been here. I wasn’t that much of a hardcore clubber I suppose. The murky drug side of it all put me off too. I have never really been one for all that stuff.

Now, at the age of 32, and with TPO’s 30th in a matter of days, we decided to come for a bit of a mixed holiday. The Balearics for me is something I associate with cycling training camps. Majorca has some of the best roads and a climate that is favourable makes it precisely the type of place cyclists like to spend a week or two at the start of the season. A bit of searching on the Weight Weenies forum, and I was told that there was enough riding on Ibiza to fill a week too. In that time you could pretty much cover the whole island. I packed the bike into the (new) bike box, and we headed to the sun for 5days beech, cycling (me), running (TPO) and relaxing in the sun. This was followed by two nights in Ibiza town doing the party thing. Fortunately, I am not at work again until Monday 2nd, so I will have some time to recover.

Well lets just put it this way – the roads are awesome. Too twisty to be fast in a car, so locals seem to stay below 80km/h most of the time. I have ridden along country lanes, with the sun shimmering on irrigation tanks, a perfect mirror of the brilliant blue cloudless sky. I have seen farmers rebuilding a dry stone wall. I have seen the coastline, beaches, boats. I have seen hairpin bends, and the type of twisty yet smooth road descents where you go as fast as you dare, the tyres and your faith in your brakes being the only limiting factor – the mountains in the north really did give me what I was looking for, as the pass climbs from sea level to 270m in a very short distance. It was a case of selecting the granny gear and grinding. All of your effort going into climbing in autopilot mode, while the sweat of the 35degree heat glares down on you. I drank litres of fluid. Perhaps 4 – 5 litres a day. I got up at 7:00 to avoid the heat. I once more fell in love with my bike again.

It is true to say that traveling with a bike is a pain. You need to hire a car or get a larger taxi – you need to pack it properly and cross your fingers that nothing will happen. You need to be prepared for it to be destroyed. I ride a lot of bikes though, and honestly, there is nothing like riding your own one on the sort of roads you kid yourself you ride. The sort of roads which are the image in your head. The type of roads where Armstrong and Ullrich would have duelled. Yes, it isn’t the Alps or the Pyrenees and they certainly are on my list, but please don’t dismiss Ibiza if you have a week to spare. Particularly if your own pretty one is with you. The parties in the evening, riding in the morning and sleep all day is a sweet way to pass the time.

Just a word of warning. Do not burn the candles at both ends too much. It could be messy.

My rides were as follows:
45.3km 422m climbed
62.2km 802m climbed
81.4km 971m climbed
28.0km 245m climbed
85.2km 1072m climbed

So 302km with 3512m climbed. Not too bad, given this is a holiday and I went clubbing all night between the first and second ride!











Getting on it.

To use the words of a friend of mine, ‘at the moment you are on it’. I seem to be too. I just can’t get enough of riding at the moment.

Today I had planned to go out on the bike, no matter what. I had checked Manchester Wheelers website, but there was no ride on the cards. I was by myself. I sent text messages to a couple of people, but I don’t really know them, and so when I didn’t get a reply it didn’t surprise me.

The Pretty One was asking yesterday about my plans for today, “well, I need to ride. For one, I need to undo the evil of the crisps and beer” (at the little local beer fest that we went to). If that sounds like I am being a bit silly about food, we ate perhaps two, if not three packs of crisps each. Give that crisps, essentially, are just a waste of time with very little nutritional value at the best of times, it was only lack of option which drove us to this.

The Pretty One looked a little disappointed. “Can we do something together? I know, what about I drive somewhere and you ride there?”

“Good plan – where?”

Chatsworth House was chosen, and I looked at the map and decided on a route through the Peak District to Buxton, then on to Bakewell via the A6, before taking the back roads to Chatsworth.


It was a ride which would rival the route last week. Yes, there was less height gained, but there was one, or two 15% climbs more than last week. Also, I was riding alone. No one to hide behind, and as my friend Matt Page said, yesterday had 3D wind. It came at you from every direction at times – I don’t think it was quite as bad here as it was in Wales for him though – most of the time it was behind me. It hardly made the ride easy though, and again I was lusting after a 25 rear sprocket.


The weather was cold. It was one of those days when you seem to have to take all of the clothing that you own with you. Short sleeve jersey, bib shorts, arm warmers, wind proof, knee warmers, buff, helmet, Ergon HC1 mitts and of course a set of Oakleys. On the climbs though, I had to peel lots of this off, down to an open jersey, with the rear pockets stuffed with the arm and knee warmers. It was a constant struggle to keep warm – you can’t leave all of this kit on when climbing, because it will be soaked with sweat and cause you to freeze.

The ride itself was epic. I will do this ride again. Even the A6, which I wasn’t looking forward to, seduced me as it weaved along a river, cut its way through the rock, while going backwards and forwards under the railway line. It was like Switzerland, but just with the wrong type of trees. It wasn’t that busy either, and, for once, there was a road surface which didn’t feel like it had been shelled. The descent was over 20 minutes long too, even with a 76.4km/h max speed.

Climbing out of Bakewell, I got a message from TPO that she was on her way, and that the schedule was working perfectly. As I pulled into Chatworth, it reminded me of Longleat. Such a beautiful house, I headed for their restaurant, grabbed some pasta and a coke and ate, and lay on the grass for 10 minutes until TPO arrived. Even then the exercise wasn’t over. After the superb picnic which TPO brought with her, we then went for a walk up to the tower overlooking the grounds. I am afraid I had to stop, like some kind of fat person, for a breather half way up.20120514-083232.jpg


Ride Statistics

Time: 3:03:34

Average Speed: 24.1

Distance: 73.6

Max Speed: 76.4

Total Ascent (m): 1,092

Total Descent: 1,006

Max Pos Gradient: 14.4%

Max Neg Gradient 16.1%

Today, I think I will go for a run.

This was an amazing installation outside Chatsworth House – Shauna Richardson’s Woolly Lions.


More here http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-derbyshire-17922125

The Tower, and the view from the top.