Monday, August 31, 2009

Home again without photographs

We have had a lovely weekend in England to celebrate Mum and Jen's 60th birthday with the rest of the family.
The flight home was almost pleasant so our potential trip to the US next year is back on after being temporarily in question following J and DKs behavior on the flight over.
We have shopped a great deal and now all of us have at least a few new clothes and some have a lot (J - not me!).
The highlight of the weekend is buying 2 pairs of 34" waist trousers.
We have been at the hospital this morning with DK to see where is missing ball is. Apparently his tummy is more interesting though so they want to investigate that further before hunting the missing ball.
Sorry this isn't much of a post, but we're occupied.
Barium enema anyone?

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Happy Birthday

I must admit that I had more or less forgotten that my Mum's birthday was actually yesterday. We sent a card and called to wish a happy birthday but it had slipped my mind a little because we were or are not heading over there until today.

MK is packing everything into a large case and bringing the boys to meet me at the office this afternoon so that we can go straight to the airport.

Last night I went out biking with the club again, it turned out that the 60km I did on Monday night was perhaps a little too much and I struggled to keep up on the hills although I did win the sprint for the sign at the end of one of the interval sessions.

I'll be forced to rest for the coming few days and there will be a very big challenge of not eating all the tempting and fattening treats that will no doubt be put in front of me throughout the weekend. I'll just have to buy some small trousers and use that as a motivation although the last time I did that, they sat in the drawer for so long that by the time I was able to wear them, I no longer wanted to...

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Cycling Jerseys

I am something of a tart when it comes to cycling jerseys although I don't think I have bought one for quite some time (I am into jackets at the moment, which is an even worse habit). My favourite jersey this year has been my Rapha classic jersey that is probably 4 years old now, but still going strong. Another favourite is my Fat Cyclist jersey that I bought from the US a couple of years ago. The Fat Cyclist himself is a blogger who I have been following for 2 or 3 years and who lost his wife to cancer just a couple of weeks ago. I like his jerseys and I like supporting him and his fund raising for the Lance Armstrong Foundation, but I don't like getting screwed by Danish customs for importing jerseys and paying more than the cost of the jersey, just to get my hands on it.

Obviously I don't really need to buy any cycling jerseys at the moment, I have a few (although I sold several on eBay recently) but I'm thinking of getting one of the following, but can't decide which:

Firstly a new Rapha jersey, now reduced in price by £20 and I really like the colour:

Then there is the new Fat cyclist Jersey that is available to pre-order. If I don't order it by 1st September, I won't get one. They are available as Team Fatty in memory of his wife Susan (the one I have at the moment is pink as well and I like the colour and sentiment)

or in the orange

I expect that the price will end up being similar for either of them given the Danish import costs, the cheaper Fat cyclist jerseys will end up being the more expensive and the Rapha jersey does have the advantage or being made from sportwool which is a really nice fabric and the quality is certainly a bit better that the twinsix jerseys.
Any thoughts?

Monday, August 24, 2009

Busy as can be

We have been extremely busy this weekend, I have spent most of 2 days finishing off the painting in the living room so all of the woodwork is now gleaming white and there isn't much paint on our newly finished floor.

On Saturday I made pancakes for breakfast before I had my 8am haircut and then amazingly the painter turned up to do the outside of the house whilst I worked on the inside. She worked most of the day and came back to re coat the bits she had done on Sunday. Maybe she'll finish it next weekend...

We took the boys out for a ride in the bike trailer on Saturday afternoon before our barbecue but 25km with the trailer was the only riding that I managed to fit in this weekend. I guess I'll have to make up for it today and tomorrow.

I spent Sunday painting some more and then in the evening we met with K&L at T&Bs for a surprise celebration of their 40th wedding anniversary. They were very surprised to see us and were very happy with the family portrait photograph of us all that we had taken last week.

The final big event has been DK having new drains put in his ears this morning which means being put out with gas and then spending the day recovering and getting used to hearing again although he seems to be in a very good mood again already.

Trying another new layout with the sofa

Freshly painted woodwork
DK checking the cupboards out

Friday, August 21, 2009

B type won out this morning

My alarm went off at 6 and I was out of bed checking the weather at about 6:10. It had been raining and was overcast, but in general looked to be OK. The ride was on.

I grabbed my iphone and headed for the throne in order to wake up and to see what was going on in the world before getting into the lycra and going out on the wet weather bike. Unfortunately, but the time I had done my business and checked up on the state of the world, DK and J were both awake and out of bed (I was only on there a couple of minutes, I promise)
By this stage, there was no way I was going to be out the door before 06:30 meaning that I would be home somewhere around 7:45 and definitely into the late for work time zone by the time I had showered and eaten.

Ride aborted :-(

The thing about these early morning rides, is that you have to get out as soon as you can, no procrastinating, no dithering around deciding what to wear or trying to work out what time you'll be back. That stuff has to be done the night before so that you can roll out of the sack, into your shorts and out the door - it's the only way.

Tomorrow morning I am having a hair cut at 8 so I can sleep in a little and have a ride later in the day. If I can manage to get out of bed, then maybe MK and J can have their pancakes for breakfast before I have to go out. It really depends how long the little-uns sleep for.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

A types and B types

If you look up A type and B type personalities in Wikipedia you will be told that A types are over achieving, driven and aggressive whilst B types are relaxed and easy going. That is the definition that I was aware of before I moved to Denmark where the definition is somewhat different. To a Dane, an A type is someone who wakes up early in the morning and is fresh as a daisy all day until their batteries run out at about 9 in the evening. There are several of these in my family including my brother, Dad and my wife. A B type on the other hand finds it difficult to get out of bed in the mornings but can stay awake all night if the mood takes them. I'm a B (certainly in the second respect and probably in the former too)

However, when I do manage to get myself out of bed and moving in the mornings I always feel great as a result. This is mostly because I am pleased with myself for overcoming the attractive forces of the pillow but also because I generally don't do it without something attractive as a result.

This morning I was out on my bike at 7 in the sunshine and had a wonderful hour or so doing my normal 40km loop before coming home to a pot of tea and the rest of the family getting ready to leave the house empty for me to work from home for the day. I have been busy all day, but it has all seemed great simply because I got out of bed and went for a ride. It's a shame I can't manage to do it every day during the summer, but more often than not, the pillow wins over the saddle.
Weight this morning 96.8kg and it is all still heading in the right direction with my eating. I'm really smug I know.

Here's a picture of MK on the beach a couple of weeks ago to make up for my lack of photographs this week.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

The thin trousers

Today is something of a watershed day, whilst I have retired a number of pairs of trousers and shorts to the cupboard over the last month as I have grown out of them (meaning they are now too big), today is the first day that I have dug out a pair of trousers that were hitherto too small.

When you find that a pair of trousers is too small it is with some reservation that they are put away for a thinner day and in my case, that happened the summer before J was born. Since then I had just been getting fatter until this spring. That means that it is now about 4 years since these "slacks" saw the light of day. In the wardrobe with them is a pair of grass green cords that I wore the night before I got married and not since and another pair of jeans that I bought in Aix en Provence and have never worn.

I have been trying these three pairs of trousers on for a few weeks now and am fairly confident that I can wear them and breath at the same time which is really cool. There is, however, one problem. I may have liked them when I bought them and I am really smug that I can now wear them again, but unfortunately they all look rather dated, the cords are OK, but only for certain occasions, the chinos are baggy in the wrong places and the jeans are just out of date.

There is one consolation here in that whilst everyone hates having to shop for new clothes because the old ones are too tight, there is a great deal of satisfaction involved in buying new clothes because the old ones are falling off you.

Time for some shopping in England next week I think...

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Wheel is dead

After taking my the hub apart on my mountain bike wheel last night and reporting the findings to the collective knowledge of singletrackworld, I am afraid that it is dead.
The wheels were £125 including tyres and tubes which are alone worth more than £50 meaning that the wheels themselves were very cheap. You know what they say about cheap stuff??
Well you get what you pay for and this is the second set of wheels that I have had from on-one and it will certainly be the last.
So what next? I am pricing up some options, but given that we have just had the floors done and are having new windows in a few weeks, I think I may have to wait a little while before I get that bike back in action. (I should add to that list that I am also about to build up a new winter road bike that is yet to be paid for)
On the positive side, I have had another successful weekend on eBay and have sold the insulated vest that Dad bought over from the US that was too big for me for £15 more than it cost along with another couple of bits and pieces so there is still a little in the PayPal piggy bank.

Those cookies at last

Monday, August 17, 2009


The temptation was a batch of Smarties cookies that J and I made on Saturday whilst we were home alone. I had hoped that I would be able to make them for J and DK and not eat any myslef, but I was wrong. I did indeed eat a couple on both Saturday and Sunday, but I also cycled a fair bit so I don't think much harm was done.
The boys and I enjoyed our day on our own on Saturday, we started with a trip to the supermarket, followed by cookie baking, lunch and a bike ride with J on his bike and DK in the trailer. DK then slept for a couple of hours whilst J and I watched Jungle Book. All in all it was a big success especially as MK was expecting there to be some casualties by the end of the day...

Hearty congratulations are due over at Big Williams World for completing the Alcatraz swim for the 3rd time. I did it with him last time and if he is still ip for it in 5 years time, I'll do it again with him. That's a promise.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Friday, August 14, 2009

Morning rides

I love riding my bike in the mornings, unfortunately I love staying in bed just a little more so I don't often get myself together enough to get out of bed and ride before the rest of the house is up and about.
This morning was an exception, I set my alarm for 06:30 and actually got out of bed before 7. I could see that the sun was shining and knowing that MK is out all day tomorrow and that rain is forecast and given that I will not have time this evening, I got myself together and headed for the basement. I was out on my bike shortly after 7 and had a really nice hour and a bit riding my normal loop in the morning sunshine feeling virtuous simply for being there.
This also helped to make up for having missed the bike club training ride last night.
I got home to a busy house and a hearty breakfast before heading off to work late enough to miss the traffic...
Weight this morning after the ride was 96.0kg so it is still heading in the right direction. I am amazed that I don't really feel like I am dieting anymore because I think I am completely over the sugar withdrawal symptoms and I am also noticing that my clothes are generally getting to be too big for me. I have now moved 2 notches on my belt meaning that my jeans are wrinkled around my waist and most of my T-shirts are a bit on the loose side. There are worse problems to have :-)
Tomorrow I have both kids for more or less the full day and it is forecast to rain so I hope we can survive it together. I was planning a trip to the forest in the bike trailer for a picnic, but I can't see that being a success in the rain...
Finally the new Lizard skins bar tape is really nice - 9/10 because it is too expensive.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

The ride that was

Following Mondays disappointment of a mountain bike ride, I was given permission by MK to join the cycling club again last night for their training session. I am very grateful that she allows me to do this because it means that she has to feed the kids and get them ready for bed and last night it also meant that she was late for a meeting although I did clear up the dinner when I got home to make some sort of amends.
The club ride last night met up with the bike clubs from Roskilde and Holbæk for a pseudo race in an area that I generally use for training. We rode about 40 minutes to get there and then when the other clubs arrived we did 3 laps of a 10km course as a race. My previous experiences of racing on the road have been brief at best, maximum heart rate within 5 minutes and dropped after about 25km. Admittedly I have only done 2 races before and I was not in the greatest shape, but still, that was all I could think about especially as these were not the beginners that I was racing with before. The first lap went well and I actually rode on the front to pull back a few escapees at some point before needing to rest in the group for a while to get my breath back, the second lap was somewhat tortuous and I was then expecting that at some point I would get dropped too. The last lap was fairly hard as well and I was certainly glad that it was the last as I started to drop off the back a bit towards the end, but I did finish with the main bunch I was quite please with myself for that.
It is also nice to realise that there was at least one other guy with a more expensive bike than me who was fatter than me and got dropped on the first lap. That eases the guilt that I have for owning such an amazing bike...

(This is not a picture of mine, I don't have wheels like this yet...)

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

The ride that wasn't

Yesterday afternoon I managed to meet up with the guy selling the used SRAM Red chainset that I have been after and it is now MINE. It was an absolute bargain given that it is more or less as new and now I can get back to some more normal intervals between my gears and save the compact cranks for when I really need them.

As MK and the boys were out for the evening and the rack was already on the car, I decided to head up to the forest for an evening of mountainbiking pleasure. It is at least a couple of months since I last rode in the dirt and I was quite excited to get out in the forest whilst it is still dry and summer is hanging around. I was also curious to see how I went given my weight decrease and fitness increase since the last time. I made my way to the start of the trail which is about 15 minute ride from where I left the car and thoroughly enjoyed the first 150 metres or so of riding before I came to the first steep uphill bit. It seemed as though my back wheel slipped in the loose dirt so I put my foot down and then pushed off again. Still more slipping. This seemed rather odd as there was no sound. I got off and on closer inspection found that the pedals were turning, but the back wheel was not. Bummer.
So I battled my way through the mosquitos and forest back to the fire road and walked and rolled back to the car which too about 20 minutes.
The rear hub seems to be completely knackered so I will have to get a new wheel (or 2) but given that they were only £125 including tubes and tyres that cost nearly £50 then I should be happy that they lasted at all and whatever I replace them with will be a weight saving upgrade anyway. I think it will be some of these, but it will have to wait until the next round of eBay auctions end to see if there are enough funds in the kitty.

Monday, August 10, 2009

The end of the summer?

It's been a hot weekend here in Denmark, everyone is getting back from their summer holidays and there is an air of impending doom as autumn lurks around the corner.

The weather forecast is not great for this week and I have a feeling that this past weekend will prove to be the last good one of the year, just as my two bike rides last Thursday and Friday will prove to be the last hot, dry and fast rides of the year.

MK dug out a paddling pool for the boys on Sunday whilst I was painting windows and we were generally busy trying not to ruin our new floor. DK beat us to it with the floor and poured half a pint of milk on it, we are hoping that we can polish out the smears and marks in the varnish...

Friday, August 07, 2009

Finally got the monkey off my back

At 5 last night I finally made myself go and meet with Team Cycling Ringsted to go for a ride. There were about 10 of us - 4 grown ups (2 racers and another guy built more for comfort than speed who also brought a friend), several young guys and one girl. We headed south to an area that I don't know at all and I was happy that I had little trouble keeping up with the faster of the guys at the front except for the end of a long hilly section that went really fast where 3 of them dropped me and everyone got spread out quite a lot.
I have been trying to make myself go out with those guys for more than 2 years, but have always been scared of getting dropped and or having a nightmare communicating with them. I am not really my normal self in social situations in Denmark, I become very quiet and introverted whereas when I am in an English speaking environment I think I am much more outgoing. I don't really like the me I am in Denmark as much as the "normal" me, but I just don't seem to be able to get over the language barrier that keeps me from behaving like I normally would.

I got home after about 70km feeling rather happy with myself and certain that I'll go again.
The other exciting thing was that I was only 96kg when I weighed myself although I know I was rather dehydrated.
The dining room/living room floor is now finished and looks great. I can't find a camera to take any pictures so that will have to wait, but it is a big improvement.

Wednesday, August 05, 2009


I have decided to postpone my return to road racing until the 2010 season seeing as I can't get a cheap 5 race license having had one 2 years ago (you can only get one after a 5 year break) and a full elite license is too expensive to justify for the 3 races that I would be able to enter. The fact that the race I had planned for this weekend has been cancelled has taken the wind out of my sails a little too.
Last night I went for a very nice evening ride in the sunshine. I managed 57km at a reasonable pace with some hard efforts and some cruising, I still managed to average nearly 33kph so I seem to be holding on to the fitness that I earned earlier in the summer.
One of the first steps I had to take to get a racing license was to join the local bike club. I have been trying to build the courage to do this for a couple of years but the double header of fear of being humiliated and dropped on the first ride coupled with the fear of having to deal with everyone in Danish meant that I have always found something else that was more important than going along for a ride. Last night I saw the club out for a training run and am happy to report that it vanquished the first concern for me. There were some fit looking guys, but there were also quite a few stretched jerseys struggling to make it up the incline they were on. I am sure I could have hung with that ride. Now just to get over the language thing...

I forgot to mention in my eBay post that MK got a new pair of shoes out of the eBay windfall making that 3 pairs for her this week! I'll post some pictures when she is back home again.

Tuesday, August 04, 2009

Late night sanding

Last night I sanded all of the skirting boards and door frames in the living room and dining room, finishing at about 1am.
This morning I was therefore rather tired and I am now officially sick of being in the house on my own and without a TV which I had to cover before starting sanding. Tomorrow evening I am going to the summer house so that I can bring MK and DK back on Thursday morning for DK's ear doctor appointment.
So for now I need to decide what I am going to eat tonight, go for a bike ride and get on with the sanding - not necessarily in that order. It is really tough not to eat all day when you are bored and on your own, but so far I have managed reasonably well and I was down to 98.2kg this morning, maybe I can get into the 97s before the end of the week...

Monday, August 03, 2009

eBay mania

A week or so ago I decided to clear out some cycling clothes and bits and pieces that I don't use anymore. I don't know anyone near here who may have wanted or needed any of it so I put it all on eBay. Some in bundles of shorts and tops together and all with honest descriptions of them. The auctions all ended yesterday evening, and to my utter amazement, I am now £413 (plus the shipping costs which somehow even themselves out with what I charged) better off.

I am so amazed at what people are prepared to pay for old jerseys, sunglasses and other odds and ends that I think I'll have a more thorough look through the basement to see what else I can sell.
MK will be the first to point out however, that this is not really going to give our bank balance a great boost because I need the money to finance yet another bike project (the first in almost a year I might add).
The Cannondale is going to be stripped and the parts are going onto this:

I know that the readers of this blog fall into two categories: Those who understand why I would want to do this and don't need any kind of explanation and those who don't understand why I could possibly want (I know I don't really need) another bike and will never really understand or accept any explanation. I won't let this stop me though...

I am really happy with my Cervelo that I got last year, I don't suffer with back ache, it rides beautifully and looks great. The Cannondale, on the other hand, was bought in something of a hurry (1 day during our honeymoon) because it was cheap and doesn't ever seem to have fitted me properly. I have ridden it a lot, but never really felt truly at home on it, perhaps the best way to explain is that I feel as though I sit IN the Cervelo and ON the Cannondale.

Anyway, this will be my bike for riding during the winter and on the trainer and for travelling around and about when I don't want to risk damaging by beloved R3SL. You'll understand that or you won't :-)