Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Funny Gran Canaria Pictures

Walking around I've seen a couple of funny things - these are a few of the things that I actually bothered to take my camera out for

We were walking to the beach in Maspalomas and found a random weighing scale

The following are unusual for their use of cool sounding English. I guess Chinese and Japanese guys get to laugh at us all the time.

I was going to pick this up for Mel as a present - I don't think should would be impressed.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

A day in my GC life

Mel has just gone back to Ireland (college meetings to physically attend) but I'll be staying here for another week. With that, our little apartment seems rather quiet so I thought I would sit down and write something.

These last two weeks have been amazing. Both our lives during this period have been pretty much focused on two things. Work (the thing that pays the bills) and cycling. The separation here from our normal routine and distractions has allowed us to become very efficient at both and I get a good feeling of being on top of the work and training for the new season. The weekends are fun, and rest days (Mondays and Fridays usually for me) are mostly about work and a tootle to the beach for lunch but the real benefit that I have found is in the other three days of the week. At the moment I'm getting in 3-4 quality hours on the bike each of those days (a little less if I include any intensity).

I climbed up this today...

... and met Mel for coffee here before she left

It is a simple life – one that I could only really stay focused in for a few weeks without a change but I have enjoyed it. You really do ONLY work, ride, sleep and eat.

Friday, January 16, 2009

2009 KCNC Components Arriving

As the start of the season draws closer. Boxes and packages from our sponsors have started to arrive. One of the first boxes was from KCNC right before we left for Gran Canaria. I have been using KCNC components (Seatposts, chains and skewers) for the last two seasons and am looking forward to expanding the components we use this year (and dropping another few grams from the bikes).

For me KCNC are a company that makes lightweight, durable (who cares if it's light if you can't finish a race) and very affordable components. The part that I have been most impressed with has been their seatposts. For 2007 and 2008 I raced off-road on the Ti Pro Lite which weighs just 150 grams. It has been a set and forget component for me and I really can't praise it enough!

I have not setup the new parts yet but from the onset, for 2009, the road 11-23 cassette really stands out - at just 114 grams it drops more than 100 grams from the cassette I used for road races last year. Come October 2009 I'll update with how it lasted a season's racing.

Anyway, here are pictures (on scales of course) of a selection of the bits that arrived.

KCNC Ti Pro Lite Seatpost - 150 grams

KCNC 110mm Stem 106 grams

KCNC 11-23 10 speed cassette 114 grams

KCNC Bar Ends 52 grams

KCNC Road Brake Callipers 161 grams

KCNC Road Skewers 45 grams

KCNC 100mm Stem 100 grams

KCNC MTB Skewers 45 grams

KCNC SC Bone Flatbar 117 grams

Mel and I will of course update our blogs as more shiny bits arrive - I love this time of year :)

Thursday, January 15, 2009

2009 Gran Canaria

As anyone following me on Twitter or Facebook would know (yes, I joined Facebook – I resisted for a long time but gave up at Christmas), Mel and I have currently relocated to Gran Canaria for a few weeks. This is by no means a holiday, just a chance to do what we usually do, work and cycle, in slightly warmer surroundings. I organised most things and Mel took the important role of finding accommodation, a cute little apartment in Vecindario with blazingly fast internet (vital for the work end of things!).

My days are now filled with long road rides (no MTB with me unfortunately although I hope to hire one at the weekend) followed by the rest of the day working and then off to bed. A simple life with little distractions and I'm really enjoying it.

Since we arrived, we have basically gone on two hard rides, a rest day and then repeat.

I had known that there was a chance of rain on the first day we arrived - down at sea level it was fine, but as I rode towards the 1,700m peak of the days ride the weather turned misty and rainy. Fortunately, it was still around 20C when I got back to our appartment.

The next day proved to be 100% dry affording some spectacular views.

Mel enjoying our rest day. We tootled around for an hour and found the nearby waterfront.

5 days and counting I have been wearing shorts :)

Yesterdays ride seen clear skies and gorgeous views all day - it's so easy to go on long rides when it's warm and sunny and you have these panoramas.

Tenerife in the background

The profile from yesterdays ride

Friday, January 09, 2009

New Years Day

A picture from New Years Day when Mel and I walked around Glendalough. January 1st is our annual "go for a walk/hike" day. Lunch in Laragh was great afterwards.
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Sunday, January 04, 2009

Riding the "Best Descent"

I've been enjoying a lot of off road riding these last few days now that I'm back home. I had to stop and take a picture of this today - one of the descents in our area. And yes, that is a huge drop to the left - later you actually skirt along the edge.

I had bone dry trails for the last few days, but today things started to get wet again :(