Sunday, 5 February 2012

It's all about the Bike and the other Gear, a blog about equipment.

I'll give you a quick update about this weeks training... Tuesday started as usual with an early morning swim, I decided to skip my post work run in order to go to watch the football. I have a season ticket at Forest so headed to the City Ground after collecting a large parcel which I'll come to later. Needless to say I shouldn't have bothered, it was cold and Forest were rubbish. It's one of my least favourite fixtures too as my brother in law is a Burnley fan, he didn't rub it in too much though. At least it wasn't as bad as the time I was with him in the home end at Turf Moor as we were getting hammered 5-0! Wednesday is my transition training day, 45 minutes on the turbo (a contraption that turns the bike into an exercise bike for my non-tri friends) followed by 4 cold laps around the village.

Thursday, ah Thursday, it's post work swimming and spinning day. I had a quick errand to run before work which was to be my downfall. I always pack my bag the night before so to save time and keep organised (another Don Fink tip), I was half way to work before I realised I'd left my bag. I'm not sure doing it in my underwear like at primary school would have gone down well with my clubmates. I did a turbo session when I got home, but a second session missed in a week, oh the guilt. Friday is a club track session, it was cold and felt rubbish so I won't dwell on that.

Saturday is long run day, I had to nip to Mansfield post work, so planned to run from Berry Hill. It was a mixture of glorious and horrendous. The snow was coming down and it felt great to be running whilst people looked at me like I was insane, the pleasure was matched by the pain of the last few miles running up hill into the wind looking and feeling like an abominable snowman (Catherine). The drive home was long and slow as the snow continued to fall. I woke to a good covering of snow, inevitably meaning there would be no long ride from Eakring, sadly missed again. It meant a tortuous 2hrs 45mins on the turbo, my longest turbo yet, I procrastinated for as long as possible before taking to the saddle and grinding it out.

As for music this week, on Saturdays long run I hit shuffle and pressed play, there was no way I was fumbling around selecting music in the freezing cold. Highlights included Dry the River, Idlewild, Sonic Youth, Smashing Pumpkins, Crystal Castles and Interpol. Todays long turbo was ably assisted by a great film, Gran Torino, here's hoping I don't have to spend too many long rides in the kitchen, good films or not.

So... back to my parcel and something most the triathletes I've met like to talk about... the gear. On Tuesday I went to my local parcel force depot to pick up my new bike. It started with a combination of two things, a friend on one of our Sunday long rides suggesting the need for a winter bike, and wanting a bike that may make the Outlaw ever so slightly easier. So my starter bike, a very reliable entry level Giant has become my winter bike, and I'm the proud owner of a carbon fibre Ribble Sportive Bianco. I ordered it a few weeks ago when I went to visit my sister in the Northwest. I took my Dad and my credit card to Ribble and placed the order in the shop. So I know I'm a little premature for a summer bike, but I couldn't resist. It's in need of a proper set up, for which I'll be visiting Mick at Langdale Lightweights in Mapperley, Nottingham. But to give you some spec, gun metal grey Shimano 105 groupset, Deda seatpost, handlebars, stem and aero bars. And a lovely pair of Mavic Ksyrium Elite wheels, which almost cost as much as the Giant :-/ The bike is white and silver which is great... it looks good, but mostly because it goes with all colours. Every triathlete nows how important it is to colour coordinate :-)

I've come to terms that as long as I'm doing triathlon I'll never have any money. I like the joke about the triathletes car doubling in value when he puts his bike in the back. I'm going to go through some of my good and interesting purchases for you... I know you triathletes will be interested so thoughts and comments are appreciated :-)

I recently got a Garmin 310XT, GPS sports watch and heart rate monitor. It is amazing, I love downloading the data, seeing the maps and analysing the data. Another purchase I blame on the person who told me I'd need 2 bikes, but a great recommendation. I wonder if they know who they are and if they will step forward :-) ?

Calf guards... 2XU ones to be precise. I thought they were quite expensive but I wouldn't be without them now. I've always suffered with calf/achilles problems (ask Lummo) so after my first Duathlon when I felt some cramp in transition they were my next purchase. Along with a number belt... I made the school boy error of trying to pin my number to my very tight tri-suit. The tri-suit was a bit of an early un-nessecary purchase I guess, but as I got into triathlon at the end of last season there were plenty of bargains to be had online.

I was mostly gutted not to get out on the bike today because I received a Castelli windproof gore jacket all the way from Italy on Thursday, crazy I know, especially bearing in mind I ruin my last cheapo one after falling off (See Man Down post). As for bike accessories, geez, it's never ending... helmet, inner tubes, pumps, lights, saddle bags, hydration accessories, endless lycra/clothing etc etc etc. Not to mention the aforementioned turbo.

Now the running isn't so bad, but I did just invest in two new pairs of Asic Gel Cumulous 13's, who ever thought you needed two pairs! I also have two pairs of swimming goggles, but to be honest, swimming you're mostly naked.

The next endless expense is the sports drink and energy bars... I'm currently using SIS psp22 energy drink, SIS Rego protein recovery drink, High 5 Zero electrolyte drink, Powerbar energy bars and protein bars, as well as ride gel sweets, I've also just bought some GU chocolate outrage gel shots which taste amazing chocolate fans.

So all that is really left to buy is a wetsuit... and I really want to get myself some wonderful Absolute Triathlon club kit too. I'm sure I'll find other things to keep spending money on, I'm already eyeing up a TT bike ;-)

Matto_out tri fans xx



  1. Yep, I am on my laptop as Steve went in the shed what feels like ages ago to do a turbo session. He listens to pod casts from ironman talk or something.

    Steve forgot his bibshorts from spinning and had to do the session in his trackies.

    Sounds like you're training well, love Jayne x

  2. I got a ribble 7005 SL in aluminium never looked back , also need a wetsuit after doing wimbleball last year with a large hole in it, my swimming ability not hampered in the least by this! Broke the ten hours of training in a week barrier this week,seem to be getting there slowly.... keep up the good work