Friday, 28 November 2014

Velo Set to Ride the TDF, well kind of ...............

Just last week the Bora-Argon 18 team received its Professional Continental licence for the 2015. The team, previously NetApp-Endura, also officially announced its new name for the coming season and released the team jersey.

In a recent visit to the BORA-Argon 18 home by the director of the Tour de France, Christian Prudhomme, the team stated that its top priority for the season is to return to the world’s most important cycling race.
Ralph Denk, team manager of BORA – Argon 18, said;
“We want to be back at the Tour de France next year. We are trying very hard to get a wild card and are quite candid about our goal.
...We are the only ProConti team that was allowed to ride all three Grand Tours over the past three years. We reached the podium in all of these tours, surprised a lot of people with our performance and proved that we deserved to be invited."

Thursday, 27 November 2014

Fitting it in

So on Monday I'm not going to be inthe Alps, or hacking it down some Moab slick rock. I'll also not be cycling across a desert or even finishing the coast to Coast.  I won't even be in Keswick, Cannock or Coed.  Instead on Monday I'll be  going somewhat reluctantly to work before finishing at five, rushing to after school club pickups to dash home for a fast cook tea before the whole family heads back out. My wife goes to gym and I'm taking my kids to the first of the weekly clubs (guides) which lasts for a total of 1.5 dark and usually damp hours. To far away to bother going home and then going back I prefer to wait. But I have a secret weapon on Mondays. Early that day I've got riding tops, tights  and shorts out ready to put on after the fast cook tea and I've also stashed my mountin bike in the back of the van along with riding pack. Because Monday nights is guide night which means 1.5 hours of mountain biking for me.

 In the world of epic this wouldn't register a tremor, with its single lanes and double track climbs and yet it never ceases to put a smile on my face. You see the thing it's my adventure, my escape from the monotony of work. It's free and it's only doorstep away. But it doesn't end there on Thursday last week in between appointments I had a two mile trail run in the heart land off industrial West Midlands. This was preceded by two in between appointment runs and two cycle to  work commutes.

I like most of you after the work shopping family social commitments have zilch riding time, so most of the time if I'm riding / running then I'm I'm fitting it in.
And do you know what ? It's just the way I like it. I get a real buzz of self ( and smug) satisfaction of getting In a cross country run while everyone else is bed, or splashing through puddles along the canal and dodging road kill on the bike into work while everyone else endures traffic jams and Chris Evans. Or sliding through the mud picking on empty trails on a Monday night while everyone else is either a guides the gym or pretending to enjoy I'm a celebrity. 

Yeah I'd love to be on some mega Trans Alp Epic and hit the trail centres every weekend but for me, for now that ain't gonna happen so I'm more than happy to keep fitting it in.

Friday, 21 November 2014

Never Bored

As a boy if I ever I said " Im bored" I always got the answer "Well go outside then" I was either a pain no one wanted around or they knew that if your outside you can't be bored, its impossible.

I still find it impossible. Theres to much going on and my favourite that goes on is th weather. Grey leaden skies, the wind whipped fields and trees or the smell on the wind as its just about to snow. I even like the rain.

I just love being part of the environment as it changes and things happen. Passing through and connecting to landscapes on foot or on a bike allows this to happen like nothing else I know.  Its this connection that I love the most. Connection to hills, dirt, singletrack, trails wind, rain, heat, roads, and of course riding partners. And I know this is weird but I even like the taste or rides.

Its these things that keep riding and have started me running. Not the KOMs on Strava, although we secretly crave them, or being faster than John, (I prefer to be faster than myself when I want to be). No its the landscapes over the hill, round the bend or the new and familiar.

Having said that it never ceases to amaze me how reluctant I can be to leave the warmth of the fire, the comfort of the armchair, to turn  my back on the goggle box or get out of bed to get outside and even walk the dog, run or ride. But as soon as I close the back and door breathe in the fresh air, or feel the first chill of outside Im happier.  So wether its your 1 mile dog walk, your three mile run or your ride home from work tonight - tomorrow enjoy it, cos somewhere I'll be enjoying mine.

Happy Weekend

Wednesday, 19 November 2014

Compression Sir ??

Having recently been converted and convinced of the benefits of compression following a running injury in summer, both Mr Pine and Adam from Wilier Performance had persuaded me of the benefits I can't wait till we get this in stock. 
Swiss brand will be available from Velo M via Madison from 1st January 2015 
COMPRESSPORT has signed a distribution contract with Madison.
The brand's range has been available in the UK & ROI since 2009 with ranges for triathletes, runners and cyclists and will now be distributed to the swimming, motor and snowsports markets as well.

COMPRESSPORT is the existing Official Compression Partner of many world class triathletes and trail runners, of several Pro Tour cycling teams and supplies international swimmers, motor cyclists and ski mountaineers. All products are developed in Switzerland and manufactured in Europe.
"We respond to the problems that athletes face daily," said Jordi SolĂ©, COMPRESSPORT International MD. "Whether to improve performance, enhance recovery or to help them in their everyday life.

"COMPRESSPORT cooperates closely with athletes, scientists and physicians to meet athletes' requirements in compression, endurance and recovery.
"We are extremely happy to partner with Madison as our new distributor in UK & ROI and look forward to work jointly with Madison's team to take COMPRESSPORT to the next level in the UK & ROI."

Madison brand director Will Fripp added: "Madison is truly excited to be working with the market leader in compression technology; COMPRESSPORT. Compression wear presents a big opportunity as a new category for many of our dealers in cycling, triathlon, run and even motocross markets as it benefits all those from seasoned athletes to weekend warriors and sportive riders."

Tools For Christmas, Birzman review

Sick of Socks ? then ask your significant other S/O for this very tidy little number. Or accept that you'll never get bought one as a present and buy it for yourself.

Great Birzman Reviews

Birzman produce top quality tools that are used by professionals around the world, so it's not surprising products receive such positive reviews!
Check out some of the most recent - 
Birzman Studio Tool Box 37 pieces:
Birzman - Studio Tool box - £299.99 SRP                            
'Blows away everything for quality, range of tools and design. 
A great selection of high-quality tools in a tough case. Lust worthy.' - What Mountain Bike
'Kit to lust after – a great selection of high-quality tools in a tough case. 5/5' - BikeRadar verdict

Midlands today Runs Terrible Cycling story

Just watched the evening BBC regional news and see that Midlands Today has joined the cyclist's get hit by cars on purpose debate, or as it appeared in the news piece Warickshire Police seem to have decided its your fault if a car hits you.

Yes, cyclists need to make sure they can be seen but for god sake I ride in primary / secondary position as set out in National Standards and still drivers cut me up, abuse me with shouts or beeps, use their car to intimidate or force me to a move out of their way. Why is this not being addressed in the news?

Is it because the same five police stood on a junction in Warickshire aren't doing anything about it and therefore it can't be reported ?  Hows about asking the police a few investigative questions like how many of the drivers that hit the record high 179 cyclist were at fault and prosecuted ? Or how about some cycling has changed my life , saved me a fortune, helped me stop smoking type story to add some balance to the risk (like driving a car is more dangerous than the bus but its gets you their quicker and it doesn't let you down), Come on BBC your meant to be good at this stuff.

Monday, 17 November 2014

Its Tuesday and Simons in Charge

I've unfortunately got two weeks of unmissable appointments ( daughters parents evening - very missable and the following week the same daughters birthday and a Chinese take away - not missing) So it was either Tom till Christmas or Simons in charge. So we all went with the latter & so it is thats Si's getting a sleep in and he is running the Velo TNR, so be warned anything can happen but you can bet it will either hurt or be fun,  maybe evenprobably both.

Thursday, 13 November 2014

Planning Granted

Velo got some great news yesterday with us being given full permission for our bespoke Alpine cycle shed, and more importantly to continue the combined trading of Velo and CTL at Emerald Way. This follows some difficulties we faced last year due to Velo becomg so successful and the planning permitted on the estate.
Fortunately  Staffordshire County Council and Stafford Borough council have a proactive approach to cycling and sustainable transport. After the business model of CTL and Velo was presented to them by Peter Weatherhead of Weatherhead Planning and the diligent work undertaken by the highly professional John Turner, the planners were able to see just what a valuable asset the two companies are in moving cycling forward, not just in Stoke and Staffordshire but the work we do in Cheshire East and Stockport. Ctl and Velo train over 30,000 people a year on safe cycling and we are part of the reason the areas we work have one of the lowest cycling Ksi rates in the uk despite a dramatic growth in cycling in our areas. And we're not just a posh bike shop. This year Tom 2x Simons and Nick will have ran over 100 Dr bikes offering free bike serving to some of the communities that need it the most. 

So thanks to all wether you've helped with the application, your one of 40+ excellent CTL instructors, one of the top police team that helped so much with the burglary outside and beyond their job, or if your one of our Brilliant Velo customers or club member, thank you and see you soon on the Velo TNR or the Sat club run or just grabbing a coffee in store in our new borrow a book library.

Peter & Sarah