Friday, 27 April 2012

Whether the weather be good or ...

Following on from my last post, the April weather this year has been in stark contrast to last year.  So far, I think it has rained more days than not and probably almost all days have at least a shower.

This morning, once again I was caught in the rain.  This time it started as soon as I got the bike out of the garage and didn't stop.  Friday's are one of my long ride days, usually at least 25 miles going into work and a bit of rain wasn't going to put me off.  In fact I'm sure I ride harder in bad weather than in good.  I find myself pushing hard through the adverse conditions, keeping in the big ring on the undulations and pushing on over the tops.  There is a certain something about crashing through the torrents of water running across the roads, trying to keep extremities warm and torso cool...this is what monuments are made of <lol>


Thursday, 19 April 2012

The end is nigh...

...well at least the end of the Ardennes week, and the Spring classics.

If you think that the weather hasn't been too favourable this April, one only has to look back to 1980 when Liege-Bastonge-Liege was raced in blizzard conditions on April 20th.  It was so cold and frozen that only 21 of the 174 riders who set off from Liege made it back.  This edition has become one of the top major classic races in recent history.  After two riders, Rudy Prevenage and Ludo Peeters, broke clear and gained 2mins on the frozen remnants of the peloton, Bernard Hinault and 2 others gave chase for 20km through the blizzard conditions.  Once the escapees had been caught, Hinault rode away into the snow to cover the remaining 80km alone in the blizzard.  By the finish, Hinault had a lead of over 9 minutes on the next rider home, and the average speed was just below 22mph!

Apparently it took over 2 weeks for Hinault's hands to thaw out, and to this day he has problems with the feelings on some of his fingers.

Hinault presses on to Liege
The forecast for this weekend in Belgium isn't anywhere near as bad as then, but another classic race like last year will no doubt unfold - who'd have thought that the Schlecks would mess up the finish like that and allow Fast Phil to complete a week of victories in the Ardennes. 

Thursday, 5 April 2012

Smellie Hellies

A big problem for cyclists, or those that exercise regularly, is the aroma our kit takes on after a while.  Even highly technical fabrics that have been treated to combat the onset of the Smelly Helly usually succumb to this problem after months of abuse.

About 6 months ago I notice that my faithful Altura Night Vision Wind jacket was starting to take on a life of it's own so to that effect, I got some Halo Sports Wash via Tesco Direct for just four quid.  I wasn't too sure if it would manage to bring my jacket back to life, but I owed it to my work colleagues to give it a try.

It took a couple of washes using one and a half measures for "heavily soiled garments" to get working, but it did improve the aroma.  I did notice that the smell would come back, so I made sure that the jacket got washed after every ride along with my other kit and things have stayed on the straight and narrow.  

So I would say that Halo can help prolong the life of your sports kit, particularly if you ensure that kit gets washed soon after use and not left lying at the bottom of a gym bag or laundry tub.  It can take a bit of time to bring old kit back to life, and then it needs to be given the TLC it deserves.  If the discipline is followed with new kit then Halo can help you get a long life out of it.