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Guy_Watson

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Everything posted by Guy_Watson

  1. Guy_Watson

    Dumping Jennifer Aniston...

    If Brad Pitt were a bike, he'd probably be a Trek. The image is well established, no need for gimicks - you know what you are going to get from a Brad Pitt film - reliable entertainment. That's what I get from my Trek 1500. OK a Madone it ain't but it handles really, really well - in fact it's probably the best handling bike I've had, including 2 DeRosa's (Pacino & DeNiro ) But like Brad got fed up with good old reliable, never-let-you-down Jennifer, me and Shimano have had to call it a day. I liked riding my Trek but something just didn't feel right. After using Campag for 25 years I felt like I was missiing out on something and as good as Shimano is, it just doesn't suit me. I hate the big ugly brake levers and the shifting is a bit too light for me. OK - I admit it - I just don't find it sexy, the sad thing is Campagnolo is like Angelina as far as I'm concerned. Went out today for a spin on the new sexy 1500 and it was like being reunited with a old freind. I was gutted to miss riding with the guys today - I missed the start of the Hantspol reliability because I decided to fit an Ergomo power meter at the last minute and was faffing about getting it calibrated (the stuff I have laying around my garage!) I was glad I got out - lovely sunny day and I've only been out once since New Year's day. I'm toying with a goal for the season now - I'm not going to mention it yet because there's no point even thinking about it any more until I can ride the bike more regularly, I reckon a minimum of 3-4 days a week. Getting the bike sorted with a powermeter is part of the plan (I now can't wait to get out on it again) but the following stats say it all: Weight = 13st 4lbs (10 kgs overwieght ) Gut = 37 Inches (7 Inches over ) But the good news is, with precious little training, my RHR is 54 and I managed to average 300 watts for 15 mins today.
  2. Guy_Watson

    Guy's Campag Trek 2

    Got these ITM bar grips in Italy - they clip over normal bars & offer more comfort by increasing the size of the contact area. I've never seen them anywhere else. I used them on the 154 mile Etape in 2004 and they were great. As part of the rebuild, I've taken my time to get everything how I like it - the brake and gear cables have been cut to lengths that make the steering is 100% nuetral - check out the thin rubber sleeve where the rear brake cable would otherwise be exposed (prevents damaging paint when clamping the top tube in a workstand or boot rack) plus the short peice of clear soft plastic tube on the cable outer to prevent chafing the paint on the head tube. Also I've decided to do some training again and I've fitted an Ergomo powermeter.

    © © i-Team.co.uk

  3. Guy_Watson

    Guy's Campag Trek

    After using Campagnolo on my bikes for 25 years I was prepared to give Shimano a go because I wanted to buy a Trek after they decided to sponsor i-Team - and Treks come with Shimano - so why not I thought. I'm genuinely interested in techie stuff and I was interested to make a comparison. After a year I can say that Shimano did everything I needed to do and didn't let me down once but I definitely prefer the positve & clunkyCampag gear change, being able to brake and change gear at the same time and being able to go from the big sprockets to the 11 tooth in one shift and not have to do it one sprocket at a time. I think it just comes down to which one was on your first bike. Anyway, I really love the frame and there can't be too many Campag Treks - nice to be different.

    © © i-Team.co.uk

  4. Guy_Watson

    Lapierre x-lite carbon

    I've seen your bike in the flesh when you came down th race at Goodwood Pete and it's lovely - very rare in the UK too ('like that ) Very, very light too!
  5. Guy_Watson

    2007 - So Far So Good!

    The loony Italian nieghbour was there at midnight complete with bottle of Sambouka and 2 glasses - what a quality geezer he is! I've had a great day today, awoke to a perfect morning for cycling, bright sunshine and about 10 degreees with a bit of a breeze. First thing I did some website work on a new main website for the www.i-team.co.uk main site. It's going to use the Joomla Content Management System and the aim is to make it a lot clearer what i-Team is and what we offer. Got a bit engrosed in what I was doing and left it a bit late to leave the house on my bike for a pre arranged ride. Met a group of i-Teamers at 'The George' on top of Portsdown Hill and did an hour and a half through the lanes including climbing the 1 mile 1:12 drag up through Forestside. Popped a cheque in for i-Team's CTT subs for 2007. The knee felt better today but my back's a bit sore - did some yoga stretches after the ride and it felt better. Made the most of the last day of the holidays by going to Winchester with the family in the afternoon and sat with a coffee watching the ice skaters outside the Cathedral. Had a bit of a 'grumpy old man moment' when I refused to ask for an 'Americano - with milk' when I just wanted a simple 'White coffee' - and NO! - I didn't mean a pint of hot milk with a coffee bean on top. I blame it all on globalisation - 'A White Coffee' used to convey what I wanted perfectly - what made me laugh was the fact that the person serving me was older than me and should have known better - the poor chap couldn't even pronounce half of the names of the coffees on the wall behind him! - I made him laugh though and wished him a Happy NY - I think I ended up with a Frappiano. A perfect day! Going to start weighing myself from tommorrow!
  6. Guy_Watson

    DeRosa Vision 2002 - Guy Watson

    This one's a bit retro - it was the top of range, just before carbon became King. The only carbon on this bike was the DeRosa branded Mizuno forks. This was my best bike up to 2003 & my first DeRosa. Previous to this I had a Shogun Tiawanese cheapie, so I really noticed how good this bike handled. I never saw another one with that paint job. Nicely tricked out with Red TA chainrings. This was one of the best bikes I've owned.

    © © i-Team.co.uk

  7. Guy_Watson

    Good Riddance 2006!

    Had another good ride yeaterday - there was only about 7 of us out and I was able to relax and enjoy myself with some good guys. Still getting used to not being last up the hills - great feeling and so encouraging. Cycling is definitely doing my back good but my knee is very sore and I have to make sure that I don't start favouring one leg more than the other, otherwise that will start to affect my back. Quiet night in with the young family tonight with Thai (food not bird ) take-away booked for when the ankle biters are in bed. Then at midnight, I'll be out in the street banging pots and pans together with my loony Italian nieghbour (he used to race with Lelli from Cofidis when they were youngsters - working on getting him into i-Team ) GOOOOOODBYE 2006 AND GOOD RIDDANCE I SAY! In a lot of ways I'm glad to get this year out of the way. I've changed jobs twice, had a new son arrive (only good bit for me really) had to deal with a long term Schizophrenic Mum, having to help my Nan move house after my Grandad died - and then she collapsed and was in hospital twice for weeks at a time. I took on far too much outside work with coaching, being cycling correspondent for the local rag - I had to give up any thoughts of cycling just to keep up with it all. Looking back I don't know what I was trying to do - I think I just had a big problem saying NO! - maybe I was just trying to keep my mind off other things? It's also been an especially difficult year for me with i-Team - at times I thought I'd just created a big moster and was getting pretty stressed out with it all and at one point that I really wondered why the hell I was doing it. I never thought about packing it in or handing it over to someone else though. I'm a stubborn sod and if I start something, I'll bloody well see it through. What keeps me going is I know exactly what i-Team can be and each year, even this year, I do get closer to the final package. But I did get a buzz from seeing members winning races and having a lot of fun too. The family have been so supportive - embarrasingly so for me. I've hardly spent an evening or weekwnd without the laptop - 2007 will be time for me to give them something back. I already feel like I've turned a corner - little things like getting the new website doing what it should do has made me happy and I feel much more positive. Looking forward to a year of stability in all aspects of my life - I've dropped everything else I was doing apart from i-Team and I'm going to make sure that I enjoy my i-Team project AND ride my bike in future. This new frame of mind is already making a difference at home and I am rediscoveing my love of cycling too and this has helped give me some good ideas for the future of the i-Team that I look forward to working on with renewed enthusiasm. I'm now going to order that Take-Away! BRING ON 2007! :P :P :P
  8. Guy_Watson

    2 Days / 2 Rides!

    I'm watching Match of the Day, waiting for Pompey / Hammers highlights, so taking the opportunity to do some blogging. I know the score already and as well as Pompey winning, the nice thing is I bet one of the Project Managers at work (Hammers Nutter) £100 - so looking forward to seeing him sometime soon! Things are moving along nicely now cycling wise - I had my longest ride so far on Saturday and now I've ridden my bike on consequtive days for first time in ages. It was nice to get out on Xmas day - there's still something nice about the atmosphere of an xmas morning, it reminds me of how quiet the roads were when I started cycling in the 70's. Met some of the team at 'The George' on top of Portsdown Hill - this was where we always used to meet for the Portsmouth CC club runs. I took a nice route through some lovely quiet lanes - some where a bit slippy but for me, I love to practise setting the bike up to the point where all grip is lost and then correcting, to bring the grip back. Doing this on slippy roads means that I can practise at a lot slower speeds than on dry days, so I think that when the back roads are slippery, it's probably the safest place for me to ride a bike near the limit. I hate traffic and get really bored pounding mile after mile along a B road. I felt fairly strong today considering but I've got to be carefull not to stress out my knees and back and try to do some steady riding. I noticed a funny little thing today. Despite the fact that I am not even riding with a speedo at the moment, let alone an HRM or Power Meter, I noticed that there is an unexpected effect from when I used to train with power, Because I remember how much power I would need to chuck out to get up a certain hill, I found myself doing sums in my head to work out whether it's worth trying to stay with a group, or just put it in 1st. and save energy. If the length and gradient require me the chuck out 800 watts for 45 seconds, I know I'm OK but if I need to do 600 for 2 mins - I might as well not bother because I know I will blow at a certain point. We were only out for just over an hour but It felt great down the pub on Xmas day, knowing that I'd sort of been training. This morning I was out again with a similar crew and we did about 2 hours. Mind you I nearly turned back before the end of my road - my knee was so sore and I thought I'd over did things the day before but after 5 mins it was fine and had a good ride - going to have a couple of days off now to let my body recover. Sorted the tex editor out on the website today - makes this blogging much more fun! - just a few niggling things to track down and sort now like buttons being the wrong colour.
  9. Guy_Watson

    Mince Pie Suprise...

    Yesterday's club 'Mince Pie Ride' to Winchester and back was my 4th ride in 2 weeks since I started riding regularly again - quite a big leap up in distance and toughness of the route for me, so it was a nice suprise to be able to finish this ride comfortably. It was a hilly 30 miles out in the bunch and a hard flat ride back in small groups or solo. I was in a small group of 6 or so but wasn't comfortable on the hills, so when a young rider was in trouble, it suited me to drop back and stay with him. I was really pleased that I could hold what felt like an upper zone 3 / zone 4 effort for an hour or so on the way back without blowing. I think that's the secret to come-backs - It's easy to under estimate how much you are improving, if you just compare yourself with other riders who are going better than you. I prefer to monitor how long I can hold a hard effort for. I'm untrained but used to race, I can still do a race effort but I'll go pop after a few minutes. I'm lucky though because my body adapt very quickly to training, even after a few rides. I already notice that I can hold a hard effort for longer than a few weeks ago. A bit of the improvement is due to increased VO2 max but the main reason is down to increased blood volume I think. I notice this happens in the 24 hours after a training ride and lasts for 3-4 days - so if I can train a min of 2 times a week, I'll improve week on week. I know from my old diaries that 2 endurance rides and a hard short ride each week, will actually get me a long way. So, now I can hold z4 for 30 mins or so, 'all' I've got to do is loose weight and for the same effort, I'll be dropping rider that used to drop me. If only it was as easy as that! I'm not going to think about structured training untill I am riding my bike a bit more regularly, just going to ride my bike for a month without monitoring heart rate and power - but even with just a few rides, I can feel an improvement and it's hard not to get exited and start thinking of winning races again - gotta not get carried away and keep riding the bike AND LOOSE WIEGHT! The bggest problem for me at the moment is my back. I had a major problem with it at 17 and it forced me to stop serious cycling for 15 years. Since I started cycling again, I think that my cycling actually helps my back but often, between rides, I'm hobbling and limping about, trying not to let my back go into spasm. My current problem dates back 3 months ago when I stupidly lifted 3m lengths of 150mm tube on a building site. I think if I can ride the strom for the next few months with some 500mg Ibuprofen, I'll be OK. Back pain is a bit like being unfit for me - it hurts now but you know from past experience that it doesn't last forever.
  10. Guy_Watson

    Andy Jone's Borgini Track.JPG

    © © i-Team.co.uk

  11. Guy_Watson

    Mental

    Maybe it was only drinking one glass of wine the night before (instead of the usual bottle of Pinot) but today I managed to finish the club run without getting dropped for the first time in - well, I can't remember - probably last winter. I really think, for a number of reasons, I've turned a corner now and for the first time in ages, I can think of myself as a bike rider again and maybe do some regular riding. This year I have been incredibly busy - too busy. Work, i-Team, coaching - plus I have really been suffering with an old back injury and a new knee injury. Today though, all that has been forgotten, I've managed to get on top of things for the first time in ages. :D Wednesday I did my usual 8pm to 12pm on the club website development - this time I actually got some where and got my own custom template wotking with the new forum software. Quite why I had to do a custom template from scratch and not just use the default one is beyond me but I guess it's the same sort of bloody mindedness that used to make me go fast on a bike. Anyway, when I went to bed on Weds my brain was still going 100 miles an hour - I couldn't sleep, so I put all the mental energy to good use and did some mental housekeeping. It's been obvious to me for a while now that I was in danger of burn out, so I knew something had to go and I decided to stop individual coaching. I've been coaching 6 riders this year and I get a buzz out of it but I've decided to put it on hold for a while. I was totally knackered on Friday after a day working in London but after the coaching session, I was on a high as usual but something was different, I felt a lot more positive and something told me that I was going to feel good on Saturday. Sure enough, I could feel the difference from the first turn of the pedals and had a good ride. Mind you, I was very lucky today - the roads were quite slippery and I had some front wheel drift coming down from HMS Mercury and had to go onto the other side of the road to avoid hitting the deck - definitely one for my 'suitcase of couarage' as Andy MacFarlane would tell me! I spent the whole afternoon wasted on the couch but you know what? - I'm gonna ride my bike tommorrow!
  12. Guy_Watson

    Paul Gatenby Dolan Road.JPG

  13. Guy_Watson

    Behind Enemy Lines...

    It's been a long time since I had anything to do with the traditiional cycling club scene. For various reasons, something that was once the highlight of the week, became a very negative experience. I'm talking about the traditional cycling club weekly club night, which, if you are outside the clique, can be just a tad intimidating. Tonight was different though - I was invited to the Fareham Wheeler's club house for a talk on time keeping for Time Trials. It's a long story but there is this local Time Trial League that some members wanted i-Team to affiliate to, so that they could ride and compete for the overall results. It took me a couple of years to track down the people that run the league and let's just say they didn't welcome me with open arms - or at least that's how it felt to me. Anticipating the worst and not wanting to be outgunned, I made sure that I didn't go in without a wing man - I chose the best - John 'Killer Kowalski' Hayles, ex-pro wrestler and ex-Fareham Wheeler to boot. Plus I had back-up from young gun Ben Hienrich, who's Grandad is the Chairman of the Wheelers. I'll never know if it was down to my minders or not but everyone was very polite and friendly and the night went well. It was good to meet some of the old guard that have been putting in sterling work running club time trials over the years - and it was good for them to meet me. I think they were suprised when they met me in the flesh - I'm sure it came accross that I actually respect these guys and I have not set up i-Team to be in competition with them, we're just an organisation that runs alongside the traditional club scene. I like to think that they thought I was safe pair of hands with a stopwatch and I'm looking forward to putting on a good event for the league in 2007.
  14. Guy_Watson

    2011

  15. Guy_Watson

    2009

  16. Guy_Watson

    2004 : Year Two

    i-Team's Second Year - First Etape, Team Races
  17. Guy_Watson

    2003 : The Beginning

    Team Launch, Original Members, First Group Rides, First Races
  18. Guy_Watson

    2014 i-Team / P.S.o.C.R. Awards Night

    i-Team members young and not so young got together to celbrate the club achieving Sport England ClubMark status - and to have a good time!
  19. Guy_Watson

    Lea Valley Olympic Velodrome Club Coaching

    The Lea Valley Velodrome was the venue for the 2012 London Olympics and 20 members took take part in a mixed ability club session on Sunday 5th October 13.45 - 16:45
  20. Guy_Watson

    Intandem IoW Charity Ride

    Our main sponsors, InTandem Systems, ran their annual sponsored bike ride around the Isle of Wight on Saturday 24th September. John Belfield, InTandem Systems M.D. writes: This year the event was in memory of our great friend and colleague Skot Lewis, who was tragically killed in April in a road traffic accident. Skot was a familiar and unforgettable sight on our previous bike rides and we thought it a fitting tribute to rename the ride after him, especially given that he had been planning to ride Lands End to John O'Groats this year to raise money for Prostate Cancer.
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