I get 'cross

My journal of cyclocross
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 There are two social groups in a National Trophy 'pit' and they are completely at odds with each other.
At one end we have the burly men with their dark clothing, all in one overalls, grey hair, portly stomachs and tough boots.

The other group is a pit WAG generally mothers of the under 23 riders and a few girlfriends who have been roped in to assist the burly men, they don't really understand what is happening & mainly focus on cheering. Easy to spot, amongst the dark waterproofs, they have light blue fleeced hats, colour matched wellies and usually a nice puffa jacket.
There is the occasional WAG, new to the pit, introgued at what Johnny talks about to Jason and begged to come along or most likely Jason couldn't 'be in the pit' so has dragged her along.
Typically they won't have been given a few helpful pointers about a pit and how everything you touch will spread mud, poor them, they turn up wearing white, shinning like a beacon that screams "my boyfriend missed out a few key points about the pits to try and get me to turn up." Naughty Johnny.

Vicious Velo are alittle different, we have Kev. He is first up in the Trophy race schedule, as a VET he's finished by 11.30.
He comes back into the pit during the senior race to run the VV pit and tell Delia and I what to do.
We are half way between the two groups, I was probably once more of a WAG a few seasons ago but have quickly learnt not to take anything I value into the pit.
We don't really conform to either group because most of the girls in the pit haven't race and finished in the top ten just a few hours before.
Secondly if you look like a sissy girl the burly men don't give you space in the pit box, you need to give yourself space to hand up the bike. They don't move out your way and they look at you with snide smiles.

Delia and I have worked out a system.

- walk into the pit, wear walking boots or a black pair of wellies, bonus points for carrying a mini tool box. My tool box has zip ties, an allen key and some lube but no one has to know that it could have a special fixing mallet for all they know.

- slap on a pair of surgical gloves, they do the same jobs as marigolds but people think you are messing about if you wear washing up gloves.

- put your pit pass on a lanyard you got from some other event (something logos like Le Tour, Festina, Tour of Britain) and tuck it into your jacket, so people know you have pit accreditation but also you know how to use it and don't need to dangle it about the place.

- when waiting for the riders to come back through the pits comment to your pit crew competitors how sparkly and clean their bike is, big up their ego on their bike washing ability.
The crew only has a few short minutes to wash all the mud from a bike and clean the drive train.

- know how to jet wash a bike and over order on the water. Last thing you need is to run out of water and start trying to clean the bike using a sponge and a bucket, your creditability will sink faster than the titanic. You messing around in the corner with a bucket in a National Trophy race, come on you need some kind of machine that reeks of petrol.

This has been working fine all season and previous seasons.

Kev mostly looks after the washing because it requires biceps to kick start the throttle on the jet wash, knowledge of the machine and getting the water to pump through.
Except at Shrewsbury there was no Kev, there was just two girls and madness hit. The jetwash stopped working, we had to get the buckets out. We had to stand in the pit gates with semi-clean bikes.
It was then the WAGs came to our rescue and helped us jet wash Paul's bike. Phew.

I did this race. I really enjoyed the course. The weather was very cold but there was sun. 
Good experience running and riding in proper sand.
I would do this race again and then stay for a race on the Sunday.

I finished 19th or maybe 20th. Would have liked to have been in the top 15. Would need to go 10 seconds per lap fasterto make up that time to get top 15. It is easily possible. 
Got a few things to work on to come back stronger.

Credit: Cyclephotos.co.uk / Balint Humvas

 Vicious Velo X Race - 22nd December 
VCL X Race - 23rd December

A double cross mash up with everything including Divine chocolate, look mum no hands hot food, dogs, drums, me doing the PA, prizes, food, cakes (approved by me)

I'll be bringing cakes too! for a ViCiOUS cake stall

Separate race for women / vets on the the 22nd December

Yeh that's right you are so excited you want to do a sick.

Robinson leading the 2012 National Trophy Series
There is a curious thing in cyclocross or maybe its womens cyclocross is that pretty much if I wanted to race against the best people in the world, I could.
Not because I'm at their level, just because that is the way it works.

Most recently I've been pulling up to the start line and standing alongside Louise Robinson (Ian Cleverly has written a post on the Rapha site about her domination of Three Peaks).

Domestically this year, aged 46, she has been matching the other twenty somethings toe-to-toe. Twelve years  ago Louise Robinson took the silver medal at the World Cyclocross Championship in Sint Michielsgestel loosing out on the rainbow bands by a not so shabby 57 seconds to Hanka Kupfernagel.

Looking down some weird text only list based website built in 1998, I picked out that she managed four podiums in World Cup CX races in 2000/2001, Zolder, Oostmalle etc
She was 3rd in the Gloucester GP in the US in 2004 too.

I don't know what CX was like in 1995-2006 as I didn't do it, I played football but I think it was probably pretty niche with little support from BC.
Today there is much more coverage, it is more popular in Britiain though it seems there is still little support for womens CX from BC.
But to this day (though hopefully the form of Harris and Wyman look like it will change history) no other British CX female rider has climbed onto a World Championship podium. Louise Robinson is pretty unique and me and Delia get to line up against her formidable skill and fitness.

We often discuss Ms. Robinson, we've turned her into some sort of superhero and placed her on a pedestal. This is because we have little information, googling doesn't really turn up much, she's an enigma to us, to which we only have her results to relate to.

Our questions to each other on email, via text and at races are below:

Claire via email 15 Oct "Robinson is a hero. I like how she doesn't even bother warming up. She just turns up and does her thing.  Sidepoint - I need to practise my starts."

Delia via email 22 Oct "How do you think Louise Robinson got that dark tooth?"
Claire via email "Probably did it in a race and then carried on and won it."

Delia via email 17 "I read the race quote from Louise Robinson after the race and she said she just entered on a whim and she hadn't ridden her bike for two weeks. She's a machine."

Delia at Koppenberg CX race 31st 1 Nov "You know at the peaks, I had Mark and my dad and a car to go to all the support points. I saw that Isla Rowntree had fashioned this wheel support thing to her bike, she was just riding that around all the mountains to be the pit crew for Louise Robinson. Them two are nails. No wonder she won."

Delia via tx 3 Nov - 16:54 "Louise Robinson is on twitter! Get her followed. She came 8th"
Claire replied "I know! LR was 2mins off Wymans and 4mins ahead of GB youngsters. Yeh I found her on twitter, got some good chat."

Delia via tx 4 Nov  "I bet Louise Robinsons lungs are the size of chip pans. In fact, I bet she has fish and chips for her tea after the Euros."
Claire via tx 4 Nov "I reckon Robinson will smash us all up tomorrow, the Euros were just a warm up."

Delia 5 Nov via tx 5 Nov "Who'd win in a fight between Louise Robinson and beryl burton?"
Claire replied "Louise would win, burton would wimp out and time trial her way to safety in scotland."

Delia 18th Nov at race "Spoke to Louise Robinson on the startline today. Said well done for the Euros, she said thanks."

Delia at CX race "your bike is pretty light."
Claire at CX race "yeh but I don't think it has an effect. Look at Louise Robinsons bike. I think it made of 853 steel."
Delia at CX race "yeh she probably made it herself."
Claire at CX race "she probably has 8 speed. And she still wins."

Claire at the last CX Trophy "I have switched to bananas for breakfast, porridge is a bit to much to digest for the 11am race."
Delia at last CX Trophy "yeah, I had to get up super early to get Kev here for the race. So I had time. I wondered what Louise Robinson has?"
Claire at the last CX race "probably none of the chemical crap with electrolytes, probably a bacon sandwich."

Claire via tx 30 Nov "Gonna do a blog posts about all the discussions we have about Louise Robinson, like how she would win in a fight against a shark etc. I looked up her results in 2000/2001, she was the original CX kid. I hope she doesn't come and punch me for doing the internet about her."

I don't really know how to compare it. But I guess it is like lining up alongside David Miller who went to the Olympics and all that and still wins races to this day.

I just want to say that if you get the chance try and race in the Eastern League if you are a vet or female rider.
1. They always always have a good cake stall
2. They always get the results printed and on the board within the hour of the finish
3. Friendly
4. Gridding is accurate and based on past performance
5. Vet and women riders get their own race so there isn't a mass bundle
6. This is me after I managed to win an Eastern League - you can see I'm having fun.

Credit: Cyclephotos.co.uk
A mystical land of grey skies and mud, wind and rain  lies just across the channel, its a place that earned the reputation as the heart land of cross. General gossiping about this place brings up whispers of how incredibly hard it must be, the courses are totally different from the UK and the people who race on them are warriors.

I'd hear stories like 'See her, yeh, she's been racing in Belgian' there would a sharp intake of breath and we'd all know to what out for her in the following 60 minutes.

I've always wanted to race there. Seems like just an achievement to make it there. For two seasons I've said it but just never had the spare weekend to do it.
Then when the the days seemed to align and ViCiOUS team can help in the pit, Delia and I choose the one race that it literally the hardest most technical course in the calendar. It would probably be ok if that course was in Britain, but there were loads of other obstacles to overcome ontop of the technical course. Like we don't know what we are doing (how sign on works, pits, toilets, getting changed, timings), can't speak a word of flemmish and are racing against the foreign.
There is also the fact that as soon as people found out I was riding it, they mentioned the hill "oh its got a massive hill on it, big cobbled climb." So before you start there is apprehension.

Credit: Gerard 'Ned' Brown

In the end the foreigns weren't the problem the British invaded and took the top two spots on the podium.Good work Harris and Wyman
What a massive learning curve for me, Delia and the VV pit crew. 

1. Don't watch Skyfall until midnight at the IMAX when you have to get up the next day at 4am
2. Ride the course before. We went into that race only knowing the first turn was going to be left.
It isn't our fault the channel tunnel got delayed. We also ran the wrong pressures. We should have been on 1.5 bar not 2.5 bar so we went flying and skidding all over the place.
3. That cobbled climb is the easiest part of it. Its just cobbled and straight up, pretty easy to ride just ride forward and put the power down. Sven Nys makes the Koppenberg look flat. It is not. There is a second climb past a little house and onto mud. That was the longest section of running I've ever ever done and it burnt and spit dribbled out my mouth.
4. The Belgian's liked our kit, they didn't really understand it as it has no sponsors but they liked that is was bright.
5. No one likes disc brakes, they scowled at me. Its not pure, CX is about skill and the thrill of seeing riders with the skill. It was very very clear that we were the commodity for those 18,000 screaming Belgiums to enjoy. Disc brakes help you stop, help you control your bike and mean you don't go in the pit as much, well that means less crashes, less changes in the lead, less edge of the seat action.
I'm pretty sure ol' Nys paused as he exited the pits on 3 to go to let Niels Albert recover and get  back to him so it would look like more of a head to head race. That made everyone scream with delight
6. The course isn't just off camber it has all these ridges that the trackers have made. That took some concentration and then after three laps it was all over for me. I was lapped at the bottom of the descent and my race was over and I was just getting to love the course for the fact it was so hard that riding more of the descent gave me little moments of relief.
7. I fell on my head once, the crowd liked that.
8. I'd like to go back but knowing what I know now, I can do it better. Much better than 26th
9. Delia's got the climbing legs I don't and she finished 18th.
10. I had some Frites with curry sauce and I really really liked it
11. Delia pulled on a port-a-loo door because we both really needed a wee and it upset the person inside, we were just checking it was/wasn't locked.
12. Thanks to all the people who cheered me on. Brits and Belgium including Gerard Brown's children, they were certainly the loudest.
13. It not really possible to describe that race, but I think people should go to it, even just to watch it. It is amazing to see elite riders go that fast.
14. They gave me a raw meat sandwich, I don't know what that is about!
15. Belgium commentator could not handle Delia's name. She got all sorts of De-li-ah, Derler, Dee Dee

Credit: Cyclephotos.co.uk
Waiting to be gridded. Credit: Cyclephotos.co.uk

Warming up. Credit: Matt Hinselwood

Signing on (they were confused, as we didn't show up in our outfits)

Free packed lunch fromthe organisers. Raw pork...

There are some more photos from Balint Humvas from Cyclephotos.co.uk here

Tame Impala - Elephant
Azealia Banks (feat. Lazy Jay) - 212
Nas - The Don
Netsky - Love Has Gone
Emile Sandé - My Kind of Love (Gemini Remix)
 Rudimental (feat. John Newman) - Feel The Love
Jessie Ware - Running (Disclosure Remix)
Hot Chip - Night and Day (Dusky Remix)
Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs -Tapes & Money
Florence & The Machine - Spectrum (Say My Name) (Calvin Harris Remix)
 M83 - Midnight City (Eric Prydz Private Remix)
Major Lazer (feat. Amber Coffman) - Get Free
Guy Called Gerald

Warm up for at least 10 min, progressively increasing workload into Zone 2 for the duration.
After your warm-up, do 2-4 sets as follows:  (2 sets for 60 min session)
4 min at your hardest effort; then easy Zone 1 for 1 min.  Note average power during
the 4 min effort, as you will build workload from this.
Then do 3 min @ watts higher than your 4 min effort; then easy Zone 1 for 1 min.
Then do 2 min @ watts higher than your 3 min effort; then easy Zone 1 for 5 min.
Total time per set inc rest time - 17 minutes.
Repeat set 1 – 3 more times.

Cool down at least 10 min, progressively decreasing workload to low end Zone 1.

Its tricky and requires a bit of practise. That is where I find the motivation. Focus on sustaining the workload.  Not going out too hard, that your effort drops near the end.
You can change gears, sit and stand, work in the flats and work the hills.
I've been putting in a bit more turbo time recently. I'd prefer to go to the park but the constant rain and Army Fitness groups keep putting me off.
For the turbo to truly be bearable you need a good set up and I have found something that just about works for me.

1. No loud music from a hi fi. If my neighbour was next door making a noise like a plane was taking off that was intertwined with thumping dance music I think I'd be very upset.

2. Got an interval app on the iPhone. Then i can hear it ding and buzz and what not whenever. And you can listen to music at the same time.

3. Got pro summer shorts. Lighter the material the better as there is no wind to cool you down, key is that it has a back radio pocket, so you can slot your iPhone into it and listen to music and hear the dings of the interval without the cable whipping around your knees and face.
I like the Rapha Pro Team shorts, ViCiOUS Velo team shorts or Craft Cape Epic bibs. They meets requirement perfectly.

4. Buy some Skull Candy over the head ear phones from TK Maxx in Clapham.
I don't know about sound but they block out the turbo noise, they make music sound better and fit nicely around my ears and head rather than
Apple's earphones. They feel like someone trying to put their fist in my ear.

5. Download BBC iplayer. Listen to radio shows rather than over play ones music and get bored of it. Latest tunes and they are free. That has kept me entertained pretty well so far, I have a tendency to make a playlist and play it 100 times within a week then decide I hate all the songs on the list.

This is the course for Thursdays GVA Koppenberg Cross.

Perhaps an idea that wasn't such a good one as its one of the hilliest courses I've ever seen. And I prefer power climbs not drags.
That said its 2 hours from Calais and closer to go to than a few races in the UK.
So while the Team ViCiOUS crew are prepared to help me out, I'm going to go out there and try my hardest.
I feel like I've gone back in time by four years, 2008, Bradford National Champs
I was so nervous, I wasn't gridded as I had no recognised points, I was so worried that as Helen Wyman came past to lap me I'd get on her way and she'd get cross (luckily that didn't happen).

I've set myself some goals.
Top 30
Don't get lapped
Don't give up on the climbs
Stick to schedule through the day, eating, warm up, etc

I've fitted a compact chain set so that my new lowest inner ring will be 34t and ive put on a new 12-27 cassette

Dugast Rhinos on both bikes.

I've not got many superstitions, well I have none I have mostly routines that I like to stick with. One is to wear my pink framed Oakleys for CX because they have a clear lens and then I don't have to mess about with sunglasses instead of getting ready to race.

Another is to keep my gloves in a special place in my bag so I can always find them.
My gloves are a pair of Specialized MTB gloves and these ones are lucky. They aren't my lucky pair of gloves they are lucky to still be existence. Four seasons have past and those little £20 things won't give up. Their staunch refusal to be put in the bin is admirable.
I like them because they fit me right, aren't to hot, aren't to cold. The padding is just right and they dry up nice and quickly when they get doused in mud.
As the years have past a not much remains constant, tyre fads come and go, shoes start to stink but these thin bits of mesh with 'reinforced Micromatrix synthetic leather palms' have fought to keep my hands from rubbing against the bars in every cross races I've ridden since year dot.

Then suddenly at the first race of this season, some, nothing-mid-weeker the tip of my finger burst through a small hole in the material. I felt the cold metal of my shifter on my finger tips and it shook me to my core.
My gloves appeared to have finally given up, and without warning, splitting under the pressure of all those gear changes. A slight twinge of sentimentality hit me but then I realised my routine would be compromised.

Some alone time with a needle and thread gave me hope that I could eeek out their existence for one final blow out season. The season when they actually get to taste Belgian soil.

My fingers are crossed.
There is a little known unsporting trick that riders of the X68 bus use, it's called Bus Stop Guarding.
Typically people who do it, have not been waiting the longest.

Bus Stop guarding is the art of turning up to the bus stop and hanging around the actual stopping sign to ensure they are first on, in disregard for others who have been waiting longer on the bench or the wall.
If you played football as a kid, it is like 'goal hanging'. Unsporting and frowned upon.

It matters only for the X68, as the bus is an express and doesn't stop until Waterloo. If you are the first on you get your pick of the best seat, in some cases, the only seat. Guaranteeing comfort for the next 40mins, rather than having to apply a bare knuckle grip on any bits of bus you can find as it swings around cyclists on the Kennington Rd.

Most other usual sporting x68-bus-ers who get on, like the lady with the silver pearl earrings stay back (Yolande). And get on in the order they arrive, same with a lady I call 'Betsy' who is a professional older lady, and the small man who sits on the wall near the bus stop in the order he arrived, eg before or after Betsy.

Then there's WET HEAD. Very thin lady who always turns up with her long brown hair wet, in winter she wears this stupid hat with a bear thing on the front, with her wet hair sloshing underneath. She is queen of the guarding the bus stop. She'll stroll up at 2mins before the bus is due to arrive and practically hug the sign. In blatant knowledge that Betsy, small Indian Chap, Yolande and the girl with gold hoops have been waiting there for ten minutes.

The most cleverest trick with bus stop guarding is if bus comes along that you don't want. One momentarily steps away, allowing school kids to flag it down if they need it, then two steps back and they are right up close.
It's annoying because I've seen other people think that the 'guards' want the bus and delay flagging it down. the guards then step away and the bus doesn't stop.
Equally they can stand right in the way of other people trying to get on their bus. Or queue behind them thinking they are getting on.

Only once have I successfully foiled Wet Heads plan, it happened by chance. A bus came along, it wasn't the right one, she stepped to the side. I saw on the horizon the x68 and shuffled along the pavement towards the back of the waiting bus. Wet Head was too busy guarding and when she realised she had to leave her perch as the bus had pulled up behind, she was last on.
Betsy made eye contact with me that day, it was basically a high five.

Note my example today of blonde with brown jacket (a new character at the Beulah Spa, stop). 4 buses came and went before our actual X68 arrived on time. I watched her guard, then step away, then step back, she's got her technique down, because she steps back even before the bus has pulled away, but not so the driver thinks she's trying to get on.
And Yes, when the 07.44 - X68 bus did arrive, she did get on first and yep got a good spot by the window.
"I’ve enjoyed the Tour de France but, so far, I think the highlights DVD won’t be a blockbuster because Wiggins and his team have controlled the race. For me a good race sees the yellow jersey flutter from shoulder to shoulder like a butterfly on a summer breeze. But this year Cancellara netted the yellow butterfly in the prologue. A week later Wiggins and Sky team have caught it and look to set to mount it in a glass case for display in a London museum."

"We’ll have to see what the Pyrenees bring. There’s a risk the race for yellow falls flat. Blondin described a stage of the 1972 Tour where the “Aubisque and Tourmalet had become boulevards” and we could see Wiggins taking his Froome-dog for a stroll."

From The INRNG

I certainly agree. Total dominance lead us to finally dislike Armstrong and cheer for the underdog.

Leather note book
Cooler bag
Mavic cap
Mavic service car
Chocolate biscuits
Route 'booklet' (268 pages)
Special edition newspaper
Sick bag for day in the team car

I downloaded the Tour de France app, its quite good although you have to pay 69p for it. It has photos and live updates and if you are going to France to watch a stage it will tell you when the riders and caravan are due to come through certain sections.

I noticed at the bottom there was an Official Game - it cost £1.99 to buy the app.
You load a game, choose a team (1 of the present Pro Tour teams in this years Tour) and it selects 5 riders for you to manage.
I chose Liquidgas and entered my name Peirrer Pan Aux Oeuf.
Then you play the stage - it takes  2-3 minutes to play a stage through and you select your riders to attack, team sprint, sprint, stop pedalling. Other riders will attack and you can decide to go with them or hang back. Chasing everything will decrease your riders energy, if you don't use them strategical, you'll be out of luck and off the back by the middle of Le Tour.

The game presents you with various challenges for each stage e.g.
'create a breakaway group', 'finish in the top 30 for a stage' 'win a stage with the fighter'.

It is good to begin with, sometimes my fingers wouldn't select the right buttons and didn't realise the final sprint was coming up and missed it on the opening stages.

After several stages your riders become tired and their energy bars drop. So they can't keep up so well on the climbs as their manager you'll need to strategically increase their energy using recovery points you've earnt over the stages by completing the challenges.

After a while it all gets rather boring and not very true to life. On one of the mountain stages Mark Cavendish attacked and on another day Vinokorov went after about 25k on a long flat stage.

on my first trial play, I end up winning the Yellow and the Green jerseys. Nibali taking the Mallot Jaune by over 25 minutes from my team leader Ivan Basso who was a further 5 minutes ahead of the next GC rider.

Its fun, you don't need any 3G or Wifi connection to play. But it also isn't very hard or realistic.
I think it is suitable for kids rather than seasoned followers of Le Tour.

Condor & IG Markets Nocturne Bike Race 2012 from Crispin Deverill / Taiko 太鼓 on Vimeo.

Note my new role: Camera Assistant. That's right, move over Scorsese
I once bet on the 2006 World Cup and won £90 from a £2 or maybe £1.50 bet. It was quite a slim chance of getting it right. I bet 0-0 by full time with Zidane to score in extra time for France.

Betting is tiresome and pointless, you'll always loose in the end, with Bradley Wiggins odd on favourite for yellow it would be no use betting on him to win, it as you'd get pennies back the odds are so strong in his favour and betting against him wouldn't be fair or supportive.
So I'm going to take Ben's Mums daily predictions and bet £1 and guess the winner of the stage.

Sky Bet are currently offering a free £10 when you open your account and put £10 into it.
That's £20 to bet with and there are 23 Tour stages.

I'll take it as each stages comes.
1-2 hours ahead of the race starting each day.

Stage 2 - Vise - Tournai, flat stage
Ben's Mum said Cav to win

I wasn't so sure as he only has Bernie Eisel as a leadout and I thought the bigger wider sprinters with full leadout trains would fair better.
Cav odds were even - stake £1, get £1 back.

So, after everything I said I bet against Ben's mum and went with Andrei Greipel who had odds of 5/1 (still a big favourite)

£1 stake gets me a £6 return, £5 profit

Updated result:
Greipel pipped to the line by Cavendish. Ben's Mum picked the winner, I picked 2nd. 
£1 to Sky. Damn.


I rode the wooden Newport track last year in a 3 hour session under the watchful eyes of @booseythebarn aka Martyn Frank.
FYI - it was a really good session and great coaching that I really enjoyed, just annoying Newport is 3hrs drive away!
I thought I would finally go down to Herne Hill track. I'm pretty much there the whole time during the winter for CX but never actually ridden there for the purpose it was built for... track racing.

Everyone must do an induction, it is mainly to ensure everyone will ride safely.
The induction teaches you to look before you move. The banking isn't as steep as at Newport or Manchester so it is not as critical you understand about pressing on in the banking.

Inductions are every Saturday
Register before 11.30
Cost - £8
You can borrow a track bike (bring trainers) or take your own and the coaches will check it.
You must take gloves.
It's pretty simple and the session was basic and didn't require having any kind of racing fitness.
About 20 people showed up under an over cast sky.
Next week there are training sessions £6 for me to try out and progress to Intermediate training.

I just can't believe for all the years I've lived next to Herne Hill I've not gone down there.

Phil, Clive and all the yellow bibbed coaches are friendly and helpful.
Channel 4's London Nocturne Coverage (available on 4OD)
This is screen grab was taken just after I told the presenter I'd done a poo.
Only kidding...
I did however pick the race winner but there were plenty of errors in the delivery... Oops.

Instead of riding into the centre of Brighton like most London to Brighton weekend club runs. Turn left after descending Ditchling Beacon onto the Lewis road (fairly fast) near to Sussex Uni.
At the mini round about outside the uni turn right onto The Drove and you'll then pass Brighton uni on your right.

You'll have to ride one more final climb, it had a constant gradient and easy to find a rhythmn.
It is absolutely worth it, firstly you don't end up weaving into Brighton through all the traffic, dodging people from Crawley who has gone to the 'seaside' for some slot machines.
Secondly, more importantly, you get an amazing view that if you aren't puffing already, will take your breathaway.

Descend on the Falmer road through Woodingdean and into Rottingdean. A cute little village along the coast from Brighton, complete with 17th century pubs and buildings, village duckpond and stonewalls.

When you arrive, find a place called JaJu Beans & Leaves. They mostly sell coffee beans and loose leaves for tea you home brews rather than bee a full scale cake stop. That said you can still pick up an espresso before you head back to the capital.
I've been (no pun intended) sampling their ground coffee selection in my Moka Pot recently and in the latest batch a small packet was slipped into the bag, ethnically named 'Ethiopian Yergacheffe'.

So, if you are looking for new coffee or a reason to ride to Brighton. There you go
(if you take the train back  to London from Brighton, there is a bike bath back along the cliffs into town)

Web: http://www.jajubeansandleaves.co.uk/?page_id=2

Twitter: @jajucoffeetea

Yes it is. Long time no speak, eh?
Right so started cycling to work a bit need to put the base miles back in somewhere but a cycle rides over 1hr 30 minutes doesn't really go down well with the shoulder.
In addition seeing as its raining, alot. Then I thought I'd hit up some intervals on the rollers.
I've started using a new app called 'IntervalTimer'.
It is free, but has ads. However they really get in the way.

Getting to grips with the app was alittle slow as the app doesn't offer you any tutorials or a help section , but once I played about and figured it out.

Firstly hit 'i' in the bottom corner. You'll open up the settings screen.

Scroll to timers intervals and you'll get some options.
Countdown time is just the no. of minutes or seconds you want to give youself to prepare to start the workout. If you do a 5 minute warm up then put in 5 minutes. If, like me you've ridden home from work, I hit 10 seconds.

For a tabata style session.
Your 'set time' is the time you are cycling your hardest - 20 seconds
Hit the time in seconds to adjust this and hit the 'Bell' to change the sound.

For tabata just skip Low Interval Time and get straight into putting 20seconds in High Interval.
Your rest time is however long you get between intervals and for tabata its 10 seconds.
I repeat the 20seconds on and 10 seconds off method - 7 times, so I scroll to number of sets and hit 7. 

Now it DONE and then the PLAY action to begin the workout.

Green screen will show you when you should be working and red screen is when you are resting.

Other stuff

'Low interval time' and 'high interval time' as well as 'set time' is confusing.  You must enter 'set time' otherwise you'll just do all your rest intervals in a row.

I don't use the low interval time in tabata. You'd use low interval is you were doing stepped splits or practising breakaways. You'd hit maybe 40 seconds in the high interval (zone 5 type effort) and then 1 minute in the low interval for something a bit more measured (zone 4 effort) then perhaps have a 1 minute rest.

I've found that the easiest sounds to here and work with are the Bell and the Airhorn. Anything more than that and it gets difficult to know where you are.
The Bell is a nice little tinkle letting you know to being and the Airhorn is strong, clear and loud so through all your spluttering and panting you know when to stop.

You can have music playback with the interval sounds over the top, there are options further down the settings screen.
By the way, I still haven't done any cycling. I did a 20 minutes run, when it wasn't raining, but then two days later I had this deep pain above my scupla and I decided it was probably not ideal to be doing the running so soon.
I also can't find my cd rom of images from the MRI and X-Ray, because I want to look at them. Anyways, I'll find them.

Whilst I have not been cycling I've been mooching about on the internet, playing Scrabble against my friend over that iPhone jobby.

I have a certain interest in things that get left and abandoned, great theatrical ideas that super futuristic at the time of creation but never quite work out, i spend a bit of time googling images of those things and more recently Owls and Spies (unrelated to the first topic).
Examples include:
The Dinosaurs at Crystal Palace park (they thought they could have tea in them, they are also completely incorrect versions of dinosaurs)
Cane Hill - mental asylum - where both David Bowie and Michael Cane's brother went. In 1991 everyone who lived or worked there just up sticks and it closed. Leaving it rammed full of things for urban adventurers to photograph from paperwork to strange Victorian wheel chairs, padded cells and an 'art room' of scary pictures.
Somewhere in the the Country Side - there is also the underground billardroom, with a glass ceiling under a lake in a souther county of England.

On my journeys around the internet whilst I watched TV rather than riding around the place I've found Dark Roasted Blend - The Art and Mystery of Decay

Sometime in early November, Florida photographer Chip Litherland will load five 35mm cameras with color film, carefully pack them into shipping cases, and mail them to five different photographers around the globe. Each photographer who receives a camera will be challenged to shoot just one picture before they have to ship the camera on to someone else. Assuming they aren’t lost in the mail or ruined by curious customs agents, the cameras will eventually pass through the hands of 200 photographers on a round-the-world journey.

On 22 March I flew to Cape Town for a 8 day stage race around the Western Cape. Day 4 was terrible and 90km into the 147km stage. A rider crashing infront of me, brought me down too. I dislocated my shoulder and wasn't able to continue in the race. My team partner, Collyn Ahart continued and finished the event.
I'm unsure if I'd go next year, I want to complete it, but it is so difficult.