Posts Tagged ‘ride’

So, it’s been a while since I last put up a post here on Sweat ‘n Gears. The past few months I have been with work – a new international role that I have. As such, finding time to work on the blog has been a little hard. But making the most of a day off from work, I thought I would write up a few posts.

Last week saw the 10th edition of The Tour of Britain take place. The race had many big names take part including the likes of Mark Cavendish, Tour de France winner Bradley Wiggins, and Garmin’s Dan Martin, to name but a few. And on Sunday the race concluded with Bradley Wiggins taking the overall honours!

One video from the event that really caught my attention was this one from the AN Post Chain Reaction team. It stems from the day Sam Bennett took the win on Stage 5. You can see (and feel) team manager, Kurt Bogaerts, well up with emotion when he hears that Sam took the win.  Enjoy the clip!


If you’ve not already seen this YouTube clip, then where have you been hiding? It’s about 4-year old Malcolm and his first descent of the first ramp on Hellion at Highland Mountain Bike Park.  If this video doesn’t make you smile and want to go ride your bike, then nothing else will.



Hope you enjoyed my first ride report for the inaugural Amsterdam 300 put on by the awesome UK-based charity for disabled people, Scope. To complete the reports, here is my second epic ride report which can be seen on the NeilPryde Bikes website.

But before I sign off on this post, I need to say a HUGE THANKS to the following companies who supported me during my training and the actual ride. They are: NeilPryde Bikes (bicycle), Sport and Speed (clothing), Todays Cyclist (lights) and CNP Professional (food and drinks).

And if you like videos, here is my video diary for the final day of the ride:

Beautiful canal in Belgium

Hi all – it’s been a while since my last posting here on my blog but as you will see, I have been rather busy doing some crazy miles and rides. The craziest of which is a ride I’ve just recently completed – the Amsterdam 300. I’ve written up a ride report which, as per my last report, is available to see online at the NeilPryde Bikes website. To give you a taster of what I went through on the first day, here is my video diary:

Make sure you check out the ride report too –


Taking a ride around Chieveley in Berkshire

Back in November of last year you may recall I became a NeilPryde Epic Rider. The main point of the team is for the riders to provide feedback 0n the bikes but also to provide NeilPryde Bikes with rides that we would consider epic. This is so that we could inspire more and more people to get on their bikes and go and try out these routes we were taking on.

I filed my first Epic Ride report with the team at NeilPryde and here is a snippet of what I wrote:

I first heard of the Ride It! events when it was launched in the Spring of 2008. The event series was designed to ‘cater for both mountain and road bikers in a non-competitive environment, with an emphasis on having fun with other riders’. So when I heard the event was coming to West Berkshire, I …

Now to get the rest of my ride report, make sure you head over to the NeilPryde Bikes website and see what I have to say. And if you like it, please feel free to share it with your friends and family.


Sitting on my trusty steed, my NeilPryde Diablo

Towards the end of last year, my friend from work, Graham told me about this ride he was thinking of doing – the Amsterdam 300. It’s a two day ride from London to Amsterdam covering 300 miles.

The website sells it as:

Pedalling 300 miles across 4 countries, in less than 2 days is no ordinary cycling challenge. An exhilarating night cycling stage from London to Dover is followed by a 100 mile daylight dash along the French coast and into Belgium where a riders camp awaits. Rested and refuelled, the peloton departs camp at dawn and crosses into Holland, where the tempo rises across the coastal lowlands for the final push to Amsterdam, arriving in time to celebrate in style and for some belated ‘Dutch courage’! This epic road cycle across Europe will raise funds for the UK’s leading disability charity, Scope.

If you don’t know, Scope is a charity that supports disabled people and their families at every stage of their life. They work with disabled people to achieve a vision of a world where disabled people have the same opportunities as everyone else. So very worthwhile cause if you ask me!

So aftersome careful deliberation, today I decided to take the plunge and go for it. I’m still trying to get my head round it and what it will take to do, both mentally and physically, but am feeling quite excited about the prospect.

Now to take part in the ride, other than train really hard for it, I need to raise £1200 in sponsorship money. With that, I have set up for myself a Virgin Money Giving fundraising page to help with the collection of the sponsorship money.

So dear readers, if you are feeling kind and generous and would like to help a worthwhile cause, please feel free to donate by clicking here:

Thanks in advance!


For those of who have been keeping tabs on this blog would have seen that The Prostate Cancer Charity in the UK are trying to become the charity name behind cycling. Just the same as running is for breast cancer, they would like to make cycling the sport for prostate cancer. A natural association if you like.

Prostate cancer is the most common cancer in men and as a result, one man dies every hour from this horrid disease, not to mention the 35000 men that are diagnosed with it every year. So it’s not something to shy away from. But rather a disease that we need to fight against.

With that, the Charity has teamed up with The Tour of Britain to offer cyclists of all abilities the chance to ride a stage of The Tour, in The Tour Rides. Taking place in September, cyclists can try out the same routes that the pro’s get to race on in the Tour.

The same attention to detail and event planning is put into delivering a Tour Ride as staging The Tour of Britain. With extensive route signage, marshals, motorcycle support, official cars on route and neutral service, the Tour Rides offer a unique full-support experience.

Plus, there are carefully located and well stocked feed and drink stations along the route as well as hot drinks and sandwiches. I’ve been informed that this year’s Tour Rides will also incorporate timing splits and timed King of the Mountains sections (Pro Tour Ride).

The neutral service is being provided by the team at Saddleback Ltd who bring to the UK market those awesome racing machines, FELT – as currently used by the Garmin Transitions cycling team the Tour de France, as well as Lance’s groupset of choice, SRAM.

So on Tuesday 22 June, I was lucky enough to be invited by the Charity to go and try out the Stoke route of the Tour Ride. This route forms as Stage 2 of The 2010 Tour of Britain. It was a clear hot day – 22 degrees celcius. A perfect day to go out for the ride – as you will see from the pictures below. I had been looking forward to doing the ride for a whole week running up to it, especially as it was time out of the hectic schedule we were on for The Tour Series, plus I got to have my last ride on the Felt FC.

As it was a media ride, we weren’t going to do the full day’s worth of riding (ie. Pro Ride). We were only aiming to do 60+ km’s. However, we were going to take in the hilliest part of the route. Our day started off in Rocester, the home of JCB. From there we made our way to Leek taking in the stunning views of the Staffordshire Moorlands.  On the ride we took a short break in the village of Longnor, where we were welcomed with open arms by the owner of the local coffee shop called Cobbles. A true cycling fan, he offered us teas, coffees and sandwiches on the house. How could we say no to that? So if you ever in the village, make sure you stop by Cobbles.

From Longnor we made our way towards Leek, not before taking in plenty of 10% climbs and the well known, Gun Hill. I felt great at the start of the ride but the climbs were relentless and they began taking their toll. I have to say that Gun Hill was not easy at all and I can see why people gather along it when the Tour races over. There were some great downhills too (not too many of these unfortunately), but did manage to get up to speeds of 80km/h.

It was a great day out and I thoroughly enjoyed myself. If you’re on the fence about whether to take part, I would urge you to go for it. Sign up for The Tour Rides, you will not be sorry. And feel good in knowing that you are also putting money to a good cause.

I would also like to say a HUGE thanks to Andrew and team at Saddleback for providing me with the Felt FC to use on the ride! I loved riding it so much, I am now looking to buy it.

And last but not least, below are pictures taken on the day of our ride. These were taken by Joolze Dymond who is also the official photographer for The Tour of Britain and The Tour Series. If you get a chance, make sure you check out her website:

Remember, there are three routes to choose from and three rides at each, for the exception of London, which offers only one ride. For more details on all the Rides on offer (dates, distances, etc) in The Tour Rides, check out my previous posting on The Tour Rides.

Enjoy the pics and sign up!

Starting out in Rocester where our ride began

A beautiful day to be out riding the bike

Making the most of my last day on the Felt FC

The start of many many climbs to come

Easy for some, others not

The scenery was just spectacular

Riding on roads that were virtually clear of traffic. Made for a superb day out

You can almost see the heat come off the road

Some more uphills

Working the Felt. Plus, enjoyed the SRAM groupset. Definitely a convert to its style

How can you say no to that?

Peter and Liz helping us out on the ride, a day after the Chester round of The Tour Series

Some more ups

Peter trying the typical 'fan with water bottle' you see in the Tour de France

He was loving it

...and the fact that I was getting wet

Mind you, afterwards it did feel quite refreshing

Then just for the camera decided to do a typical rider 'response' to getting wet

Maybe over doing it a little 🙂

Watch out for the BIG hand! Getting a fresh bottle from Liz

Seriously enjoying my day out on the Felt. I think I should keep it!!

And there were some downhills too

But what goes down must go up

Liz and Peter enjoying their day out of the office

Quiet roads

Coffee stop in the village of Longnor. Check out Cobbles if you are ever there

Making our way towards Gun Hill

But before we get there, a few more clims to negotiate

Boy it was hot out there

There were loads of these too - 10 per cent climbs

Doing some close ups for the Charity

Taking the mick out of Joolze who's sitting in the boot of the CRV

Suffering on the first killer section of Gun Hill

Really thankful that Paul was there to encourage me along

My legs were hurting big time

Finished the second killer section

Enjoying the fact that Gun Hill levels out towards the top

Almost there

Joolze making us sprint for the top. She loves to see us suffer

Freewheeling into Leek

Enjoying the post ride chat with Paul...

...and laugh