Thursday, November 3

Brexit court defeat for UK Government

Whether you are pro or anti Brexit, this is the correct decision. To have it otherwise would see this country ripped apart like at no time since the English Civil War. The rule of law MUST be upheld, even in the face of 27% of the UK who will now complain about "democracy".
This isn't just about the benefits or otherwise of the European Union, this is about who we want to be as a nation: the multi-cultural, international hub of the world that everyone likes (except maybe Robert Mugabe) or a nationalistic and xenophobic inward-looking quasi-dictatorship. Look at history, at nationalistic governments - when did they ever turn out well for its citizens? Many will say "oh, you're taking it to the extreme, it'll never happen here." I'm sure that's what they said in Germany circa 1928, in Srebrenica, in Zimbabwe, in Rwanda, in the numerous military junta in Latin America, in a Trump-led USA (God help us all!)...
I don't know who is advising this government but the constitutional law is very clear and, in 2010, the law declared that all referenda could be at best advisory, due to Parliamentary sovereignty. They can appeal all they want but this is a legal decision, not a political one.
And, when MPs come to vote on whether to commit suicide - sorry, I mean trigger Article 50 - I hope they and the general public remember this: they are NOT there to represent the views of their constituents but their best interests and those of the country at large. Do teachers do what the children in their care want them to do? Do doctors just go with what the patient wants, regardless of the health implications? No, they look after the best interests of those in their care.
One of two things is happening within government: either the lunatics have taken over the asylum and are looking forward to ditching environmental regulations, labour legislation, human rights, scrapping the NHS, ditching benefits entirely, etc...or this was part of Theresa May's grand plan: to say "I did all I could but the law is the law, it must be respected whether we like it or not". I really hope it's the latter because the former doesn't bear thinking about.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-37857785

Sunday, May 8

Giro di ZHR


Giro di ZHR - a twist on the stage race format!

The winner of the coveted Maglia Rosa will be the rider with lowest aggregate time over the next three ZHRs. Qualifying events:

There will be separate male and female categories; depending on numbers, there will be further categories based on weight: 

  • 54 kg and under
  • 55 to 64 kg
  • 65 to 74 kg
  • 75 to 84 kg
  • 85 to 94 kg
  • 95 kg and over
For future ZHR Grand Tours, it may be possible to have age categories too.

Saturday, May 7

Zwift racing and training rides

Zwift Handicap Races and The Richmond Rides kick off again on Thursday 12 May - are you ready?


Saturday, March 19

ZHR Special Edition: Watopia Mountain

IMPORTANT INFO
• Please add ZHR after your name
• Race distance is 1 full forward lap of the new mountain route: https://www.strava.com/segments/11597764
• Please select the correct Flat course option
• Kit - wear whatever jersey you like
• We are on Discord: https://discordapp.com/invite/0noIBY1G06dYFwWT
• Add ZHR when you save your session to Strava
• Please join our Strava Group: https://www.strava.com/clubs/zhr1

DIRECTIONS
Good news is that you only need to make one manual turn:
* Select the Flat course option after login
* Line up at the Forward start line
* Set off with your group at your allotted time
* After the first underwater tunnel you will come to a junction (see photo below)
* Press the left arrow on your keyboard or left turn on your mobile app
* No further turns are required
* Keep riding until you cross the finish line


This is where you need to make the only manual turn, if you selected the Flat course:



I'll use Zwift chat to give you the GO GO GO but, in case of any problems, please use an online clock such as www.time.is and set off at your allocated start time. Alternatively, you can set up your own personal web countdown timer, e.g., http://www.webcountdown.net/ - once set up, you don't need to remember your start time in the heat of the moment - just watch the timer hit zero. When you set it up, you get a unique URL for your timer - just save it to your Bookmarks/Favourites and recall it on race day.

GROUPS (subject to late additions):







Saturday, February 27

Zwift Handicap Race

If you're not on Zwift yet, check it out: www.zwift.com

In case you don't have a Facebook account, I organise the now twice-weekly Zwift Handicap Races. Here are some further details:

NEW RIDERS
Please supply me with your best 3-lap time for Reverse Watopia Hills (Strava segment: https://www.strava.com/segments/10825706) so that I can calculate your handicap and start time. Otherwise, your 3-lap Watopia or single lap would be sufficient. 

NOT-SO-NEW RIDERS
Your handicap for subsequent races will be based on the fastest of your previous three race times. You only need to indicate that you are “Going” to that week’s race and I will include you on the start list.

IMPORTANT INFO
• Add ZHR after your name, essential for timings
• Race distance is 3 laps of Watopia Reverse
• Please select the "Prefer Hills" course option
• Kit - wear whatever jersey you like
• TT bikes only, please
• We are on Discord: https://discordapp.com/invite/0noIBY1G06dYFwWT
• Please join our Strava Group: https://www.strava.com/clubs/zhr1

DESCRIPTION
This is a race with a difference: all riders will be given a time handicap so that everyone has a chance to win. The handicaps will work so that, in theory, everyone arrives at the finish line more or less at the same time, whatever your ability or FTP. This is an event to bring everyone together in a more inclusive race, whether they are ladies, sub 2 W/Kg, Cat A, etc. 
The slowest rider will set off first; the quickest rider chases everyone down. I will set riders off at timed intervals and I will post in advance a list of start times, so you won't have to hang around too long if you're a faster rider. Ride until you go past the start/finish banner, then to a u-turn (using the app or the down arrow key on your computer) and roll up to the reverse start line. Don't cross the line until your start time, as I use the 3-lap times on Strava for timings.
I'll use Zwift chat to give you the GO GO GO but, in case of any problems, please use an online clock such as www.time.is and set off at your allocated start time. Alternatively, you can set up your own personal web countdown timer, e.g., http://www.webcountdown.net/ - once set up, you don't need to remember your start time in the heat of the moment - just watch the timer hit zero. When you set it up, you get a unique URL for your timer - just save it to your Bookmarks/Favourites and recall it on race day.

RESULTS
The winners will be the first across the line and the fastest time overall. There will also be special mentions, especially for the most improved riders.
Race results will be posted as soon as possible on the ZHR Facebook page, followed by a video of all the finishers as they cross the line.
New Riders will have an asterisk by their result to indicate that their handicap may have been inaccurate, whether too lenient or too harsh.

Saturday, November 14

Paris





The terrorism in Paris isn't about religion, nothing to do with Islam (which strictly forbids such acts) and nothing to with countries or cultures; this is about power, inciting violence against muslims (the very people they purport to represent) in an effort to increase the numbers of radicals to join their cause.

Do not play into their hands by seeking retaliation against muslims, immigrants, refugees, Syria, etc. If you do, you become as much a terrorist as these scum, as you're helping them achieve their agenda.




Sunday, September 27

Blast from the past

While having a clear out at home, I found a couple of old cycling magazines from six years ago that I'd kept...well, because I was in them! 

I was interviewed in 2009 by Cycling Weekly for its monthly Cycling Active magazine and its Health & Fitness for Cyclists Winter Riding Guide, where they wanted to encourage cyclists to make the most of the winter by joining indoor cycling classes from which they would benefit, i.e., not aerobics on a bike! At the time I had only just got into coaching as a profession after leaving my Civil Service desk job, so this article was before my classes became even more specific, with better and seamlessly mixed music. 

The gym studios didn't have power meters back then and, indeed, most places still don't but Cassie and I have our own Wattbike at home, so we can transfer our applied training knowledge that we know works in practice and transfer it to our classes, regardless of any metrics; HR monitors are good, power meters even better, but what makes a great coach stand out is how they engage you beyond the numbers. 

Anyway, although it makes me cringe - I'm not one for self-promotion, letting the quality of my work do the talking - here is the interview with me in Health & Fitness for Cyclists, which was then used (with added details) in Cycling Active about training-specific indoor cycling in general: