Wednesday, 28 October 2009

We should have gone quicker at the Duo...

While in France for the Duo, Team Grumpy were browsing round the Duo Normand website for an indication of how following cars were controlled. They didn't find out, but we did come across this marvellous page, resplendent in quasi-Franglais (click on the image for a full-size version):

Now, Team Grumpy are avid consumers of the infamous Pop Belge, the blonde from Belgium, Leffe. This has the expected consequences on the Grumpy dietary systems, rendering Team Grumpy possibly the FARTEST team in the event.

Oh well, perhaps next year...

Friday, 23 October 2009

It's all gone a bit base over apex already...

...well, at least for Grumpy Bob, who's start to the winter's training has already faltered in the face of a mysterious cold. Though it was widely ascribed by Mrs Grumpy to galloping hypochondria, Grumpy Bob is convinced his seven day headache was a bona fide cold. In any event, pedalling away on a turbo was pretty much out of the question...

Saturday, 17 October 2009

Silent Movie - Duo Normand video

The epic movie generated by the Team Grumpy Film Studio is available over at Flies&Bikes. Refer to that page for browser compatibility (tested with Firefox/Linux, Firefox/XP and IE8/XP), and be warned - it's not riveting viewing!

Monday, 12 October 2009

Training begins

Coaches reckon it's a waste of time, but I have discovered over the years that good seasons follow a winter of weight-training and poor ones (such as the last two) follow years when, for whatever reason, I have not done any weights. The biggest difference seems to be in climbing hils and I am aware that my climbing has been awful for the last two years.

I'm not talking body building or even strength training here. I do fast repetitions of squats using light weights with a straight back. This last point is essential as I have a history of back problems and one mistake and it's not just the end of the weights but also much of the early season for me. It has been back problems that have prevented me from doing any weights for the last two years - though, in each case this was not caused by weight-training, but by, well, having a dodgy back.

Anyway, I am now quite good at organising the set up to avoid problems and the bar is kept on a high pedestal, so that I do not have to bend at all. I merely stand underneath and raise my shoulders up to the bar and off I go. Similarly, at the end of the session I can lower the bar on to the pedestal by bending my knees. It all makes sense really.

At this time of year, a typical 'starting out' session will entail two sets of 100 squats (with a short interval in between sets) with just 30kg of weights. The reps are eventualy done at pedalling speed, so approz. 92 per minute. But initially this will be too hard, so I settle for c. 60. It is surprsing how soon this can usualy be increased. When I can mainatain 92 reps per minute for two sets of 100 I will extend the number of reps. I do not increase the weight for two reasons: 1. I don't want to build bulk, and, 2. increased weight increaes the risk to my fragile spine.

It's surprising just how aerobic this session is. But when - in about a month's time - I am doing sesions of 4 x 120, this can actually become anearobic. I plan to do this every day, which should be attainable given that the whole session does not take long to complete. But it is a tough proposition I can tell you.

All I have to do now is avoid any problems with my back and all being well I will return to the bike in December.

Sunday, 11 October 2009

Team Grumpy suffer technophilia and go a bit hi-tech

Grumpy Bob's purchase of a Polar CS600X bike computer is symptomatic of a malaise afflicting Team Grumpy - technophilia. This condition manifests itself as an enthusiasm for technically challenging gadgets which Team Grumpy's ageing neurons struggle to come to terms with.

In Grumpy Bob's case, he has had to finally bite the bullet and RTFM. The CS600X is sufficiently complex that it defies use without properly pondering the instructions. Setting up the Power sensor was fiddly but not complex. Setting up the GPS unit proved impossible without RTFM - Grumpy Bob will be making a second attempt at using the G3 GPS unit to record a route and to deliver speed/distance data to the main unit later this morning (watch this space).

"Grumpy" Art, on the other hand plumped for a Garmin GPS unit, but almost immediately set about the upgrade process in a spectacularly precipitate manner: by contriving a 30mph spill while traversing a roundabout. In keeping with historical records of his bike handling skills, it is noted that the manoeuvre in question did not actually involve a turn as such... Anyway, while in Normandy it became apparent the device was busted - unfortunately repair/replacement was the option, rather than upgrade.

In an effort to cure this sad bout of technophilia, Grumpy Bob is looking to upgrade the TT frame as part of his half century celebrations later this year. Watch this space for more details, but suffice it to say that this will fit Team Grumpy rule #3 quite well.

Saturday, 3 October 2009

The 2010 season started this week!

It may seem a bit premature, but after a bit of time off following the Duo Normand, Grumpy Bob knocked his season on the head, and at the beginning of this week he began his build up for 2010. Of course, at this stage this doesn't mean much more than preparing for the training to come, and indeed Grumpy Bob has focussed on thinking how to structure the winter training programme, for he's very aware that he has lacked structure to his training over the last 12 months or so.

And, in keeping with the spirit of the Team Grumpy rules, he's got hold of some new kit to enthuse himself: a spanking new Polar CS600X HRM bike computer...with power sensor.

This represents a bit of a change in direction for Grumpy Bob, who's always maintained that training to power has the potential to be rather dangerous. In his view, the important parameters to monitor while training reflect the physiology of the athlete, not the power produced. At the moment, Grumpy Bob plans to use power measurement to assess training progress. But he's open to suggestions, particularly of good sources of advice regarding the use of power measurement in training!

Grumpy Bob's initial review of the Polar CS600X is over at,