Friday, 4 December 2009


9am - 12pm

TRI SWIMMING ALL YEAR - the pathway to success.

Session outline

Welcome to new members

Individual feed back from the last 4 weeks practice – swim diary reviews .

Review of Aims – summary.

Re cap on the main basic swimming principles.

CONTROL Key to race and pool work

Have you got it / and if so …where do you lose it ?

Q & A

Land warm up exercises and stretches – on pool side.


WU and drills re cap KOS ( left & right – with zoomers/ fins )

6 KOS – pull & rotate

CU ( catch up ) – 2” hold at front of stroke.

New drills SA ( single arm ) a) leading arm ahead b) arm by side.

Fists and fingers

Use of hand paddles

M/S CONTROL swimming

Use of the clock - S/C (stroke count ) – RPE – Golf games

The 3 R’s Range – Rhythm – Relaxation = Control

25’s – 50 ‘s 75 ‘s and 100 data swims
S/D Swim down.

Plenary session after changing. Issue of training sessions for the next 4 weeks + .Q & A

Equipment required for the session. Heart rate monitor and watch – training diary for swimming over the last 4 weeks .Pen & Paper.

Pull buoy – zoomers or small fins , drinking bottle full of energy drink.

Any questions or queries from the above – just contact me by phone or e/m

Mob 0797-985-4567.

Best regards

Bill & Dunk.

IRONMAN Austria Christmas Special: 50 Entry Slots on 11 Dec!

Kärnten IRONMAN Austria:
UNIQUE CHRISTMAS SPECIAL!!! On December 11th the registration opens again with 50 entry slots!!!

Another 50 slots will be given out as a special Christmas goody!!!
On December 11th the registration for Kärnten IRONMAN Austria opens at 11.00 a.m CET and closes when all available entry slots have been sold. The cost is €450,-, of which €50,- will be donated to charity.


All who are interested in an entry slot can register on December 11th from 11.00 a.m CET via

We are looking forward to your participation!!

Monday, 30 November 2009

Osama B’s – Race Report 2009 (Day 3 - Final day) by Bruce Turvey

Day Three – Comeback time for the Pipe and Tweak

“These okes are muck, and the jockeys nubile toasted herself trying to get away from us yesterday, so let’s finish these lurkers.” That was the plan, but without a trace of navigational skill between us, it was always going to be tough to follow the pack and find the six or so minutes we needed once we knew where we were. But that was the plan and we were sticking to it.

For the first time in my racing life, I spent most of the day enjoying the Swazi scenery with about 58 other riders. So lost were we, man. The slow pace wasn’t suiting our riding style. Narcotix, loving being in the lead pelican, summed it up. “Okes, I blow in two hours whether I’m riding or standing, I have one and a half left, could someone please make a decision.” There were very little decisions being made until a cat on a motorbike told us where to go, and the race was back on….sort of. More getting lost, more milling about and we kind of muddled our way to the snack area again. Sneak of sneaks!! The jockey was off like a shot while the rest of us were taking in a potato and some energy loob. “Pipe, the jockey’s doing a sneak!!” We tossed our snacks and ran after them still chewing and drooling replenishment items. After a few big ones, we had caught them. Life was good again, we had the jump on the matching okes from Cyclebad and could put the hurting down – until we got lost again. And sure enough, we were a happy little group again.

Chances of victory were looking slim. Pipe and I were muttering stuff like, “do you know where we are, cos when you do, we gotta dump the clutch.” Took us a while to work things out, we finally did, but not very far from home. Like a jack in the box, the Pipe and I were breaking like mine workers on a Friday afternoon. Big gear on front, standing and pumping like Rocco Sifreddi on summer holidays – we were gone. A little look back saw a chase without much anger. Things were looking up again, as long as you didn’t ask the legs how they were feeling. Crying out in pain no doubt, with the Pipe up ahead yelling “Cmon son.” Fitting, cos I felt like a small child getting beaten by the Swazi mountain. World of pain, a quick summit and a run in with Mickey’s Madness. Watching the Pipe faceplant in front of the cameraman raised my spirits somewhat, but what happened thereafter has to be age restricted to be fair. We basically drop kicked, threw and yanked our bikes over The Madness. A clattering mess, we arrived on the tar getting yelled at by a long skinny local in a one piece biking suite in what must have been some local dialect. We understood little of what he said, but took it to mean “hurry the *&(*$ up.” So we did, and spanked it over the line in first place. Now we watched the clock and counted down the time. Sure enough, the Boys Blue had made a hash of The Madness and victory was ours. So sweet it was, man. And just when we thought things couldn’t get more entertaining…..the cuzzies from the coast come caning it towards the finish – give each other a longing look and go for the high five, only to entangle their bikes and land beak first, sliding in a dustball over the finish. It was spectacular, but did cost Craig a collar bone. Cheap at the price. What a day, what a week, what a millennium!!!!

Night 3 – The most important stage by far

The festivities kicked off early. The bikers wanted to see if they could drink the Maguga pub dry – and I think they did. By the end we had resorted to Malibu and Pepsi cos the beers, the cane and the rum were overs. The blur of feeding, the odd speech, some more zulu dancing, not to mention the disturbing imagery of Boris topless in an orange G-string busting out moves to ZZ top, was nearly all it took to round off another memorable Swazi Frontier.

Some misguided attempt by some French lady to end the jol early was ill received. “Bluh, bluh, you are disturbing le guests!” was responded to by “We are the frikking guests, and we haven’t ridden one lap of Swaziland and over The Brutals to go to bed early. We left Europe to get away from you lot, leave us alone! And touch that DJ system at your peril” The party raged on uninterrupted.

Who could forget though, the piece de resistance so generously imparted on us by Narcotix. Always having the last say, he hit the middle of the “dancing ring,” bust out some well clevva break dance moves terminating in him spinning on his head and nailing the stiff little man landing to the maximum. He then got up, gave the okes a bow, and retired. Respect!!

Another top race, a top crowd, unreal organization, inspirational sponsorship, spanking scenery, off the scale mountain biking and a ballistic bender. Again, big it up to Fossil and Les for a special occasion. Only thing wrong with this dice is…we have to wait about 349 days til the next one.

Wednesday, 25 November 2009

Osama B’s – Race Report 2009 (Day 2) by Bruce Turvey

Day Two – To Bulembu and Beyond

“The day to not eat your smarties early.” Save some juice for the hill into Piggs Peal. Riiigth. Two years, Piggs Peak Hill 2, Teaky and the Pipe – 0. The start was civil enough until we got to the business end of the hillage. The hill eating wife was clearly on a mission to put some pressure on us. Soon enough it was just us and the hill people again. The pace was hurting me, as was the chain in my backpack. I started bleating, but the Pipe was hearing none of it, enjoying every second of my pain. It seems three out of the four of us was enjoying my pain. I swear every time I so much as glanced away, there was a mini attack. At this stage, the sport truly sucked. I had had enough, luckily we were only 30 minutes into Day 2, so there was plenty joy left in the tank.

Sick of my bleating, The Pipe reached into my camelback and retrieved the spare chain. I think the camera man at the top of the hill was a bit surprised when the Pipe threw the chain at him saying “hang on to this, boet.”

We crested together, and for once, the downhill was a treat. Shortly afterwards we hit the snack stop, with a tidy lead on the rest of the pack. We were off again, naturally following Paul’s directions. When he stopped to check his bearings, inevitably the Pipe would lean over him and say something like, “are you gonna work this one out or what, the okes are catching us” between bites of an energy bar. Not sure if that behaviour is not done, but it didn’t seem to phase us much. Soon enough with a poorly timed bit of navigational advice from myself, we got the four of us lost. And our lead was gone. Back in the pack with the Thompson Twins from Toyota and a bit of the Dunkeld Dudes thrown In for spice. This is where we made the fatal error. We backed Paul’s directions instead of chilling with the folk that had this directional thing waxed. A bit of a push for home was on the cards, though it turned out to be more of a push for something pretty far from home. Having navigated Wappo’s Step without incident, we followed Paul up some mountain of his own imagining. After sometime and some pretty useful additional hill training, we realized we were wrong and went back down the cliff face. Just in time to see half the field come past us. You know you are in trouble when the likes of Willy get a sniff in and come charging down the hill screaming “I got you fu*ers nooooow.” His charge was shortlived at the next hill, nevertheless, things were looking bleak for the Osamas. I think we rode past some dudes in baggy pants, then we knew we had hit rock bottom, and the Piggs Peak wreaked havoc on the two of us. At least we had the jump on the little people we thought. But it wasn’t long before they too came past us. I think it was somewhere around the time where the Pipe had gotten off his bike and rested his head on his seat. Looked like he was having a nap. Things were way bleak. We managed to top the hill and roll into Piggs Peak. If there was any juice left in the tank, there would have been much wailing and gnashing of teeth, but we were too poked. The look on the faces of Cyclelab Clones was enough to make me wanna toss my two energy bars and one tot of protein shake. Urrrghhh!

We lost a packet of time, not to mention the yellow jersey. Riding, even in the sublimest of surroundings, can suck properly.

Night Two – more sheer luxury, aircon, TV, swimming pool, couple of beers, some burgers – our troubles were over man.

Monday, 23 November 2009

Osama B’s – Race Report 2009 (Day 1) by Bruce Turvey

Willy and the Pipe arrived in Johannesburg and it wasn’t long before we had clocked in at Dunkeld Cycles for a spending competition. What was intended to be a 40 minute visit comically turned into a 3 hour drama. Most time consumption was due to the guys at Dunkeld’s inability to fit a tyre on The Pipe’s KTM hardtail (aptly named “The garden gate due to its lack of features). Aiden, aka Narcotix, felt we couldn’t pop this tyre on without a compressor, at which point we went to the nearest BP. One tub of Stans and an hour later, we still had a rim with no tyre. More importantly, we had covered the entire garage floor in Stans and this was the venue of Narcotix’s first one liner; “It looks like a dairy cow exploded in this place.” As far as I was concerned, the poor rim job and white tyre goop was more reminiscent of something else entirely, but I’m sure any mention of “Goodwill Humping” will get edited out by Lesley, so I won’t.

Day 1: Brutal

Dawn of day one started like any other Swazi stage….a brisk start shortly followed by me getting lost within the first ten minutes. There was a strange comfort knowing that very little had changed. We fiddled around on some small hills as the pack spread and concertinaed again, depending on how badly the lead guys were following the route cards. Things seemed more chilled this year without Nic “I’ve trashed every bit of my bike in the first ten minutes” Floros. It also left us quite exposed as a pair. Believe it or not, our tactic this year was to lurk at the front with the leaders and sneak the win at the end of each day. Many asked us “what happens if you have a technical,” to which we replied….”I don’t know.” I may have said something to the effect of “Whats a technical?” It made for interesting riding there is no doubt.

It turns out my new bike, pimped out by the dealers at Dunkeld Cycles, was just the thing for the Baboon’s Back. Something that ate me alive on the hardtail last year, felt like a warm up on the spinning bike with my new dual suspension cab (bit gay I know). Speaking of gay, I did have to wait about 10 minutes at the top for my “hard core cos I ride a garden gate with 1876 technology” partner. Once there, we spanked the downhill, (thankfully without incident and without the red trailer) and the dice was on. It wasn’t long before the usual suspects were out in front. The Jockey and his greased lightning goose (both on soft tails this year) were beyond neat and tidy through the single and tricky stuff. Hanging on for the ride was The Osamas, the Toyota Twins (again resplendent in their matching outfits) and some cuzzins from the coast….Craig and John from …get this – Team Love the way that team name just rolls off the tongue. More on these two a bit later (ha ha, I just said “more on” he he)

Turns out I managed to mangle the little gear thing at the back of my bike. Great news was I now had one gear to choose from out the back cluster. The Pipe started getting grumpy with me cos I wasn’t keeping up at all. He kept saying “clean that back thing” so after using everything from a used energy bar packet, leatherman and indigenous foliage – the gears were still smoked and I was doing some quality pushing. At the half way eating hut, I said to the Pipe “Put the potatoes down and fix my bike, doos.” He’s the more technically minded of the two. He then looks at me like my brain was missing. “Your whole back sprocket is shredded…doos.” So it was official, I had 3 gears left to get home.

From there, the mini pair in matching pj’s had the jump on us. There was not much we could do cept settle in to a bit of a rhythm up the brutal. It was going well, I had a gear I could use, and the Pipe was starting to fire. We were back in the mix and the jockeys were in sight. I think we even screamed at them something to the effect of “We’re coming for you, you are about to enter a world of pain.” Words I’m sure absolutely no one believed for a second, least of all me.

I couldn’t understand why I was going so slowly and with so much hand pain down “Heenan’s Steps” until I got to the bottom – and discovered I had locked out all the suspension. Technology – who needs it!!! On the way down we passed the mini mountain goats cos they had punctured. We now had the lead and put in some solid rowers walk up those steepish Brutals. Having picked up a useful jump, we were lost. Obviously there was no route card, so we chilled and waited for the Toyota Two, who grudgingly told us it was “left.” Back into the Rowers walk, I saw some flickering flags and we flew direct for the top of Brutal. Again, not much of a hill, as I keep telling Fossil. Even worse there is only one Brutal this year, and last year we were promised 3 Brutal. Things are deteriorating in the Swazi hills – its gotta be said. Long story short, once we had some bearings and some memory from the year before, we were unstoppable and got in with a useful lead. Day one sorted.

Night One – sheer luxury of the en suite mansion up the hill. A sweet change from the dormitory the year before. Went to sleep thinking “I hope this doesn’t make me soft.” But with my lengthy goose next to me, soft wasn’t part of the equation.

Wednesday, 18 November 2009

Osama B’s – Race Report 2009....written exclusively for Pedal Studio by Bruce Turvey

What an event, and more importantly, what a change from last year. I referred back to the Osama B’s race report from 2008 and it resembled a Vietnam flashback of sorts. A complex kaleidoscope of falling, pain, bleeding, equipment destruction, budget accommodation and hardship. In stark contrast, this year turned out to be one of sublime riding, little pain and infinite comfort. A series of crash free days followed by fine dining and tranquil accommodation. Apparently being last years’ winner had something to do with the accommodation, but the lack of pain had to do with something else entirely. Turns out the rowers have learned how to ride. Now that’s a helluva thing!.

To put you in the picture, I rode this thing last year with my equally virginal mountain bike rowing partner, Warren. This team was all about enthusiasm and very little about talent. In terms of the confidence to competence ratio, so important in sport, the former way outstripped the latter. Yet, enthusiasm overcame all and we managed a hugely unexpected win.

But things change, and Warren saw it fit to immigrate to a small, largely uninhabited island off the north coast of Australia. This in a move to advance his mining and work (no other) career. I was left partnerless and faced the wrath of the jockey and his gravity proof nubile on my own. Needless to say, I panicked and considered my options for a new partner. It even crossed my mind to quit while I was ahead, cut my losses and enter into MTB retirement, pride intact, forever known as the “one hill wonder,’ yet forever unbeaten in the Swazi hills. Now there’s something to tell the grandchildren – if there ever are any.

What I did for a partner, was unashamedly poach the new Osama B from a last year’s team that placed third in the men’s section. Enter “The Pipe.” Yes, another rower, this one longer than your average garden hose and considerably more powerful (I’ll leave out the drinking problems and rap sheet of run ins with the law at this stage). A more accomplished mountain biker than Warren and myself, the Pipe needed some fine tuning and we were on. “We gotta win this dice bru!!” was the call and “We can’t lose to a bunch of sawn off garden gnomes, best we put in the training.” True to form, I hit the bar and the rowing machine by way of preparation, and the Pipe hit the bar and the cliff-like hills behind his dairy farm in Knysna. “This cycling lot train too much,” we agreed. “It’s not about volume, it’s about intensity.” Not known for conventional training methods, the rowers thought they were in the dice. We were exposed to any stage lasting more than about four hours – but you gotta back yourselves. If it’s not hurting, you aren’t trying.

Day One to follow shortly......

Friday, 6 November 2009

Pedal Studio Instructor helps raise £5000 for charity

So, anyone keen for 6 hours of spin? Yes, yes, pick me, pick me!! Of course I am up for a 6 hour spin-a-thon, especially when it is for a good cause.

This past Saturday, 40 women of varying ages and fitness levels made their way to Brighton to cycle for cycle hours in aid of Breast Cancer. Each rider was required to pay £40 to enter and asked to raise a minimum of £60. In true form, we all had to wear pink outfits and accessories – I am not really a pink person but I succumbed to the pressure and wore a pink cycling shirt. Others wore wigs, leg and arm warmers, socks, earrings, head bands and whatever they could get their hands on.

Three different instructors were to teach two classes each – the first class was a warm up ride, just to get the blood flowing – nothing too onerous or hectic but enough to make you sweat. The second ride however was what I believe to be the most challenging of all the rides, we took on a leg of last year’s Tour de France route. This is the class that I pushed myself the hardest in – lots of switchbacks!! Maxed out the old heart rate. Love it! The third ride was taken by Mel Chambers, the event organiser and was a nice, long mountain climb. Again, a challenging ride and I pushed myself on this ride also. Following this third ride, I was absolutely famished….had a quick pit stop for some fruit and nuts – lots of other riders where digging into jelly babies, mars bars and various other goodies – not really my taste for a long ride. So far, bum OK!!

The fourth hour was full of surprises, we didn’t know what was coming on the road ahead. The fifth ride, well, you guessed it, it had to be done - lots of cheesy tunes but I should note that Kylie didn’t feature even once! The final ride, again taken by Mel, was a low end endurance ride, recovery ride but guess what – no one wanted to do much in the way of seated flats or seated climbing! Sore bum? Affirmative!

Between us, we raised just shy of £5,000 and I believe further funds are coming in after the event. My hat goes off to all those women that rode, particularly those that are not instructors or regular cyclists – of which there were many.

The only improvement that I could suggest is that they use the star trac spinning bikes.

A great event and one that I would happily do again – maybe with a bit more padding on the cycling shorts.

Best regards,

Karen Caldwell

Thursday, 5 November 2009

Talk by Chrissie Wellington

Thanks to our close links with Physio4Life in Putney, we are being given an early heads up on a talk Chrissie Wellington (World Ironman Champion 2009 & Sportswoman of the Year 2009) will be giving next MONDAY 9th November at the Physio4Life Clinic, 125 Upper Richmond Road, Putney SW15 2TL. The talk will be announced on Tri 247 later, and is expected to sell out by the end of the day.

There are two sessions on offer and you need to pay £5 to confirm your place. The money raised will go to Macmillan Cancer Research.

Session times are as follows:
Session 1: 6pm-7pm
Session 2: 7.15pm-8.15pm

Each talk will include a Q&A session at the end.

To book your place, please call Physio4Life on 020 8704 5998

Monday, 26 October 2009

24 Hours of Fury by Tom Newman

On Friday 11th December at 3pm ProVo2’s Tom Newman will make the first pedal on his 24 hour indoor cycle. Raising money for The Princess Alice Hospice (, Tom will be aiming to cycle continuously for the twenty four hours with one eye on the newly set world record of 448miles…..

Tom’s challenge is different to most other 24 hour cycles as he is ‘selling’ 30minute of 1hour slots on a second spin bike alongside him. Tom comments ‘I wanted to raise money for the PAH and felt that by selling slots it gave people the opportunity to take part in the fundraising. A marathon is a long way for most people but 30minutes of cycling really isn’t’.

The event is being held at Horsley Sports Club, East Horsley, Surrey, KT24 5AH where there will be various events happening throughout the 24 hours such as live music and a DJ on the Friday night and a cake and tea sale throughout the Saturday morning for local cyclists, walkers etc. Please do make the effort to head down to not just support Tom but also help raise funds for a superb charity that needs your help.

For donations or to take part please visit

Monday, 19 October 2009

Spinning Showcase London 09 by Karen Caldwell

What a fantastic weekend!! – I was still buzzing from the Spinning Showcase well into Wednesday!!

Most of my friends thought that I was crazy spending an entire weekend at the Spinning Showcase held at the Chelsea Football Stadium here in London – what an amazing setting! Crazier still I turned down 2 parties, one of which was an engagement party so that I could participate in the Heroes Nation Charity Ride on Saturday night.

After signing in and scoping out the grounds, all of us cyclists/instructors headed off to our various rides or lectures. First up was a battle between attending the lecture held by Michelle Colvin on Endurance Training or riding Mark Tickner’s (Michelle’s partner) Tour de France ride with footage on a big screen to motivate you as you rode!! A tough call. Personally, I wanted to learn more about endurance training and making spin programs that weren’t immediately considering boring if in the endurance zone – this is unfortunately the perception that most cyclists have of endurance training so off to the lecture I went. I knew that there would be other rides to be had.

There were so many great rides and informative lectures and sessions, it was truly very difficult to decide what to do. In then end though, every person has their own particular interests and so you attend those lectures that spark your interest – for me, it was endurance training, interval training, make a difference with metabolic assessment, the ultimate training for weight management, learning about the importance of sleep, strength training for cyclists, learning about the proper fit out of bikes (all kinds) and the importance of weight training. The biggest thing that I took away was that I do indeed need more sleep to allow my body to repair and rest, I should take a day off from training or at least recovery train and that I need to do more strength training and in the week since the conference, I have been trying to introduce these changes into my routine.

The climax for me was definitely Saturday night – we were all kitted out in our spin shirts – we looked great. A big thank you to Sandro for designing these lovely shirts. I can only imagine how we all looked riding together, as one unified team. The funds from purchasing our shirts were directed to the charity and I tell you what, Sarah really set the scene with her music selection – the first sounds we heard were that of a helicopter coming in to rescue injured soldiers. I certainly had a tear or two and I am sure that I wasn’t the only one. I love knowing that our spin bikes are scattered over the globe helping injured people to get back on their feet. I still have that chant in my head – body and bike, body and bike….there’s not much that’s separates us.

Sunday was the second day of the conference and well, I needed to ride so I rode the first three classes back to back. Truly enjoying every moment. First up was an amazing class by Sarah to gently wake everyone up with the rising sun and moving mountains, I followed this with Sandro’s 2 Fast 2 Furious (I couldn’t resist it – the titled grabbed me) and then I followed this up with Michelle’s Race Day – part of an ironman event and this really tested my ability to stay about 80% maximum heart rate but I did it. The Activio heart rate system was fantastic – I really loved this and found it to be very accurate. The best thing about this system is that it is anonymous and easy to follow with the zones represented by colours in a dial. You really do work harder and smarter when you know that you need to be in a particular heart rate zone. There is so much truth in the words used by both Michelle and Sarah – it’s easy to work hard but it is hard to work easy!! I so wanted to ride Mark’s To the Beat of the Drum – another catchy title – but I decided I best not as I had a 7am spin class to tackle first thing Monday morning. I felt like I could ride all day though!

Everything ran so smoothly – I honestly couldn’t fault the weekend. Some great organisation invested into this weekend. I think that Sainsbury’s and Starbucks at Fulham Broadway shopping centre were certainly increased over the weekend!! Everyone ventured off there at lunch time before returning to the stadium to sit in the sun.

It was disappointing not to win the incredible spin bike that was being raffled but I am sure that this went to a worthy home.

In summary, this was an incredible weekend – very informative with great rides and great people. I am confident that many new friendships were formed and hopefully we will see each other again at the next spinning event in Blackpool or again in London next year (if not before). So happy to have been part of this wonderful event!!!

Thursday, 15 October 2009

Granfondo Pinarello race by Rob Tagg

I had competed in the Granfondo Pinarello race this July and have to tell you that overall it was a wonderful race from a scenery and organisational point of view.

Main positives are
1 - Smaller field than the other sportive races like L'Etape. We only had 1,300 in the main race so it is not crowded
2 - Easy flight over to Venice and then a 30 min taxi
3 - You get to eat real authentic pasta during the built up to the race (including breakfast)
4 - Some lovely fast sweeping downhill sections after the 90km mark
4 - Great weather, scenery and they give you a beer and pasta at the end for your efforts

I completed the 200km race in 7h20 with 3,100m of climbing. Frantic start with hundreds of crazy Italians flying past you at 45 km/h so the first 20 min involved survival tactics but hard not to get caught up in the mad pace at the start. The major climbing was in the first 90kms which took me 4 hours with lovely switch backs so you could see all the way down the valley. The next 110kms was super fast - managed to get behind a big group which at times I was fighting to hang onto at the back because they were doing 40-45 km/h on the flats. Wonderful experience and well recommended for the racing nuts. All the hard training paid off - mixture of road and spin classes.

Nokia Windsor Triathlon Sunday 13 June, 2010

Nokia Windsor Triathlon 2010 entries are about to go live. This year the race will be accepting online entries only. There will be no paper entry forms. Once the online places have been filled, entries will only be available through our official charity, Leukaemia Research Fund. We encourage you to enter early, as the race reaches full capacity at a quicker rate every year. More Info on the Nokia Windsor Triathlon Here!

Monday, 5 October 2009

Pedal Studio Rider Mark Chamberlin takes time out to tell us about his ride from London to Paris

Hi everyone,

Day 1 : We departed from Croydon on a clear but chilly day and the forecast for the coming days was for no rain and around 22 degrees each day. We were warned that France is not flat (like most people think) and there were plenty of hills on the first day. Within 5 minutes of the start we hit the first major hill of the day and that really spread out the field, I ended up spending most of the morning riding with "Team Patel" and a few partners from a legal firm in London. Little did I realise that I would spend the rest of the 3 days cycling with them. A huge lunch was put on for us after about 75km and we then headed off on the afternoon leg to Dover to make sure we made our 6pm ferry. Two very big hills towards the end of the day took their toll on the riders but I was fine on them. I arrived in Dover at around 15:30 in the first 20% of riders and waited there for 2.5 hours for everyone else to finish. The ferry across to Calais was a shambles and cycling in the rain, dark and freezing cold to the Holiday Inn led to 2 accidents. I was roomed with a Scottish chap - weird rooming with a stranger.

Events of the day : 3 accidents, 2 people hospitalised. One guy fell and broke his finger and another woman's brakes failed and she went through a stop street, over a busy road, into a fence and straight over the fence into the bush.
MC - no punctures, no injuries, no accidents
Distance - 149km

Day 2: An early start to what would be the hardest day of the tour. The route took us through many small villages and towns, where I was convinced there was more activity in a cemetery at night than in many of these country towns and villages. The monotony of the route took its toll, along with the heat and the field was spread out over many miles. I headed off in the lead pack shortly after lunch and had a great ride in the afternoon mostly on my own. Got into the Holiday Inn in Arras at 4pm and took it easy until dinner. Roomed with the Scot again and he was starting to irritate me.

Events of the day - no accidents, plenty of punctures etc for many riders.
MC - no punctures, injuries or accidents.
Distance - 135km
Moment of the day - walking to bed at 20:45 and seeing a rider arriving at the hotel reception. He got lost when the organisers forgot about him and they had taken all the route signs down. Shame - 12 hours in the saddle.

Day 3: Another 7:45 start on what turned out to be the best day of the trip. The morning's ride was south from Arras which took us through the old battlefields from WW1 and many memorial sites for those who died during WW1. A truly moving experience. Other sights included passing the South African and British cemetery's as well as a tree now known as the "Last Tree Standing". The ride was at a casual pace and I stopped at most of these viewing points and memorial sights. No big hills on this stage, smooth roads and mostly down wind. Stayed at some dodgy hotel in Compeigne - bought the Scot his own room as I couldn’t share with him anymore.

Distance - 139km
MC - No punctures or injuries, but I did break my chain after 28km as I climbed a small hill - as my mayday call to the roving mechanic connected, I turned around and there he was at the stop street behind me !! It was quickly sorted out and I was on my way again.
Moment of the day - standing at one of the memorial sites taking a picture of a grave of a South African soldier with an inscription saying "Known to God".

Day 4 : The easiest and shortest stage of the trip with a flat 115km ride into Paris. A lot of excitement and anticipation amongst the riders. The goal on this stage was getting to the Eiffel Tower with no injury or accident or puncture. It was fitting that I ended up cycling into the heart of Paris with my buddies that I met on Day 1 and Tiesto cranking away in my right ear. Thanks Lee for all the CD's. Armin and Tiesto kept me going on Day 2.

Distance - 115km
MC - no punctures !!!
Moment of the day - cycling in convoy around the Arc De Triumph and then down the Champs Elysses with crowds lining the streets applauding us and taking photos.

On the whole it was a tremendous experience and I would recommend it to anyone who wants a challenge.
Finally, thank you so much to everyone for sponsoring me and supporting my charity that I chose. In the end, I raised an amount of £1835 for CLIC Sargent.

Saturday, 3 October 2009


Join the Full Potential team for 7 days intensive training on the volcanic island of Lanzarote. Our camp, now in its 5th year has grown from strength to strength. It has evolved and now we offer a package that caters from Novice to experienced athlete.

Club La Santa is run as a modern hotel with all the necessary facilities of a combined sports, active holiday resort and conference facility. Located on the north west coast of Lanzarote, approximately 20 minutes from Arrecife airport, Club La Santa is appreciated by young and old, elite and beginners, holidaymakers and sports teams. Relaxation, fascinating nature, breathtaking surroundings, live entertainment, friendly people, delicious food and an excellent climate combine to make Club La Santa the perfect location for your training holiday.

What we offer:
  • RUNNING: The roads and trails that surround the resort are excellent for runners. Every day we have 2 or 3 run sessions. They appeal to everyone from the competitive types to the novice runners. Our week includes talks, discussions, track sessions, skill sessions and races over 10k and Half Marathon.
  • SWIMMING: Club La Santa has 2 separate swimming areas – the main, Olympic sized pool is for serious swimmers, while a separate complex is provided for leisure. The Olympic-sized, open-air pool is 50m long and split into 8 lanes, each segregated by ropes. We have ¾ lanes booked on a daily basis for group swimming in ability based lanes with expert swim coaching. Timing pace clocks are at both ends of the pool and the water is heated to a temperature of 23°C or warmer.
  • CYCLING: We offer a full range of guided bike tours, bike fit, technique and handling skills . The tours suit all levels of ability, from very basic beginner’s to our advanced. We offer the possibility to cover most of the Ironman bike course. Every day we plan a bike ride from 90 minutes to 7 hours all based on ability and target.
Benefits of our training week:
  • Coached run sessions on trail, road and track with Olympian, Liz Yelling.
  • Daily guided bike rides in ability based groups over undulating terrain
  • Daily swim sessions in an outdoor 50m pool with excellent pool side coaching
  • Brick sessions – bike to run
  • Trail treasure hunt in teams – very competitive
  • Races – 10 k run, Half Marathon, Duathlon and Triathlon with timing chip recorded data
  • Over 30 free activities provided by Club La Santa that you can dip in or dip out of
  • Group meals and dinners with evening entertainment
  • Coach trip to Puerto Del Carmen for shopping, open water swimming or running
  • Evening talks, lectures and Q&A opportunities
  • One to one coaching in any of the three multisport disciplines
For more information or to book a spot contact Debbie on or 0208 123 7806

Friday, 2 October 2009

Training Log - Peru Ride by Andrew Clayton

Oct 1st - 6:30 am - Carmen

Walking to the studio this morning I knew winter had snuck up on us, even with all the sun of late - there was a bite in the air and Wandsworth Park was dark and empty of the outdoor gymers. It is the 1st of October and I have been inactive since I completed my iron man on Sunday 2 Aug - we are talking 2 months of NOTHING !!! The odd Munich Beer fest featured, a huge Pedal Studio Boat party definitely featured, sure a quick down hill sprint in Fort William ( but that was gravity assisted in a big way !) did hit the highs for thrills in September BUT I have managed to stack on 7 kgs in 2 months !!

I was late for the the start of the class and Carms gave me the eye ball but also said it was nice to see me again ~ it has been some time ! Straight into a hill climb ! OMG - I sucked for air. I know you are all missing the HR system but for once I was glad I was not plugged in. It would have been RED zoned for me and green for everyone else. I still check my rate as I ride, it is a habit to keep my body in check and I was off the scales. I kept my head down and continued to climb.

I was surprised to see only 3 other riders - the morning session creates such an energy and really kicks the day off - come on folks, it is time to get more stuck in.

My goal - A massive massive hill climb in Peru in less than 6 weeks ! I will be back in class a lot more so I hope to see you all there.

The class was great, Carmen has really developed as an instructor over these past few months and the controlled intensity of the class that she delivers leaves you challenged and rewarded. She challenged us to compete against her. That always makes it fun but the there is no getting away from the honest grind of pushing resistance and the legs did burn even if the tunes helped keep the mind drifting off. I eased off for a few of the climbs and certainly the sprints I was not in the front. I had planned to sit at the back of the class and take it easy but I guess the competitive nature is a spirit that cannot be killed. It makes me realise I need to get the HR system fixed ASAP so that it can act as a control and keep things focused to goals.

Right now I have got 8 kgs to loose otherwise the climb over the Andes in Peru is going to be tough as and added to the weight will be all our equipment and food !

Short term objective 1 is ticked and that was get out of bed at 6:15 and go to spinning for the 1st day of the month, can you believe October is here.

Pedal Hard,

Weight - 96kgs
Endurance level - low
Strength level - low to medium
Heart Rate - in upper thresholds around 188bpm and moving up.

Monday, 28 September 2009

Ladies (and some men) are your boobs in the way of the heart rate signal ? Bryony explains ....

Ladies! Having trouble with your heart rate belt read-out dropping in and out from the screen in the studio? I had this problem a lot over the last few months and tried everything from gel to wetting the belt to tightening the belt around my chest etc. No luck – and no readings either. I switched belts in case my regular one was one of the ones Andrew was having trouble with. To no avail. Instructors got sick of seeing me hitching up my top to fiddle with the damn thing. Instructors put the monitor down on the floor in case the angle was wrong to pick up the belt’s output. Eventually, thanks to chatting with other lady riders – thanks Jan B! – the suggestion came that my boobs might be getting in the way. (An instructor had apparently already spotted this but was far too polite to say, hence this article to spare his/their future blushes!) An inspection of my sports bra showed that the straps had slipped and a quick hitch sorted the problem instantly! It may sound obvious but it took quite a while to get to the bottom (top?) of so I wanted to share with you all in case you’ve been having the same problem but were too embarrassed to say anything.

Now, has anyone got any other embarrassing spinning/cycling related problems or stories to share? I’m sure I’m not the only one! Post queries or tales in the comments below