Bike Village 2014

Bike Village 2014

I’d better get my act together and get some blog posts done I have so much to write at the moment.

You may know I have recently been back to France and stayed with Bike Village again. We had and amazing week, raised some money for Autism and climbed more than the height of Mount Everest in a week.

6 consecutive days of riding in the French alps with Sam and his guides was again an inspiring experience. We climbed between 1500 and 2000 metres everyday and descended again through some of the steepest terrain you can imagine.

I will be putting up some photos, hopefully a video and some maps shortly.

Also to come :

* We have recently got a puppy – there will be photos
* And I visited Cannock Chase trail centre last week – there will be a review

‘Twas the night before Bike Village

And all through the house all Tim could think about was them big hills!

Well, I’m packed and ready for tomorrow’s trip. Bike and clothes sorted, boarding passes, passport and cash safely stashed and now all I need to do is go to bed.


This time last year I had no idea what to expect from a week in France with no ski lifts or gondolas. It was hard work, I loved it and it gave me a whole new attitude to my riding for the rest of the summer. I loved every minute I spent on the bike, I started to enjoy the climbs and my technical confidence grew.


Come the winter, the darkening evenings, the rain and the mud and soon things changed. Winter riding is still fun, but it’s not as easy to get out and the maintenance and kit cleaning takes so much longer! The result – fitness, my fitness at least, fell considerably.

The winter and non stop rain seemed to go on forever, and I started to get concerned about my fitness and just how much I was going to enjoy this years trip to Bike Village.


So plan B was formulated and I started to run. I hadn’t done this for years and certainly hadn’t done it properly before. The idea was, if I wasn’t able to fit in more bike rides then I was going to make up for it with running.

I have made some additional efforts and stepped up a gear with my interpretation of training recently. Is it going to be enough? Will the occasion lift me? Of course it will!

Roll on Sunday… Cos tomorrow we fly!!!



Give me your answer do…


I have started June well and so far 3 days in I have ridden my bike twice and ran once. Tomorrow is the turn of running again.

A friend told me that 30-45 min of running was a good way to help with bike fitness. It exercises the heart, lungs and legs which I guess is a good thing. But what is a better form of exercise – a 30 minute run or an hour on the mountain bike?

According to Strava I used approx the same amount of calories doing these two activities yesterday and today. But which did me the most good in terms of bike fitness?

A little something every day

Thats Me That Is!

So I said I needed to do a little something every day in June and today I did a little run.

6.1km after work took me about 35 mins. Doesn’t too bad but something was a bit dodgy about the first km as it looks like I had the Strava app paused for most of it!

I wore a pair of North Face cross trainers that I have had for a while, they seemed like they should be perfect for the job. I was wrong. While they are comfy to wear they don’t have enough bounce for running.

To add to the pain I climbed 90m over the duration of the run too – I really need to find some flat areas to run!

Let June Commence


As mentioned yesterday, June must see me increase my exercise level if I am to be fit enough for Bike Village in 3 weeks. So I started today with a few hours on the bike. Other commitments meant it couldn’t be an all day thing but I still managed a little over 30k and over 400m climbing.


First stop today (after a very tricky climb up a rocky bridleway) was some local rundown buildings for a few photos and a minor skills session. This little spot is where I have been having some fun recently and I must take a video camera and make a short film. It’s basically a flat piece of land but there are loads pallets and planks of wood around and I have been practicing my bunny hop and my balance.


A climb up to the Cherhill monument resulted in a puncture like I have never had before. A piece of Flint or some other sharp stone, sliced a nice whole in my tyre and inner tube.

Then I headed over to the Roundway and Oliver’s Castle (that’s Oliver Cromwell by the way). A beautiful local spot that form part of my occasional commute to work.

There is a nice little decent through a field that I thought I would check out for possible inclusion in next weeks ride that I am leading for MB Swindon. I am not sure this area has been ridden for a while as it was bumpy and muddy from horse and cattle hooves and the loop back route at the bottom was as muddy as I have ever seen it. I guess we won’t be going that way then!

Anyway, it felt good to be out in the sunshine and good to make a good start to the month.

Edit – also looks like I walked 6km today and started Day 1 of the Facebook Abs challenge…

Tomorrow its June

Bike Village

Bike Village

Yes, tomorrow is the 1st of June 2014. That means it less than 3 weeks before I go to Bike Village again. I’m excited, but this year I feel totally unprepared. A rotten Winter and Spring have simply meant that the amount of riding has been lower than it should be and my fitness is not great. So I need to make some tracks over the next few weeks to soften the blow of a week of alpine riding!

We intend to raise some money this year for the National Autistic Society as my friends son has autism so we want to raise awareness of this complex developmental disability. All money raised will be donated to the National Autistic Society. They are the leading UK charity for people with Autism, and their families. Click on the Just Giving Page link below for details:

Strava June

Strava June

We are going to attempt to climb the equivalent height of Everest during our week away and I’ve got to prepare for this. I need to do some form of exercise everyday – running, cycling, walking, digging the garden! Anything… I have joined a few Strava challenges to keep me motivated and this Thursday is Run 2 Work Day! What am I thinking?

A busy few weeks are ahead at work also, but I need to get fit. Watch this space and check my progress – if you are interested that is!

Not a bad start to the day

Sunny MTB Commute

Sunny MTB Commute

I failed to make the most of the sun and drier conditions and get out on a bike at the weekend. Not because I was lazy or anything, we were just otherwise occupied in some last minute preparation for our inaugural family camping trip next weekend. We thought it best to check the tent out and with some other activities the weekend just disappeared.

So I decided that I was going to ride the bike as much as possible this week, starting with a bike ride to and from the office today.

The sun was shining as I left home at 7am. I had planned a route that I guessed would take me about an hour and a half – it took me 80 mins – and would give me some climbing, some fun and generally a good work out before arriving at the office.

The route took in the Cherhill Monument, Yatesbury and Roundway and was perfect. I like my job but it was a shame to have to go to work at the end of the ride and not continue or loop back.

Here are some stats from Strava from the morning ride:

Distance 19.6km
Moving Time 1:18:09
Elevation 288m
Average Speed 15.1km/h
Maximum Speed 47.2km/h