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Howard_Radcliffe last won the day on June 10 2016

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About Howard_Radcliffe

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  • Birthday 03/07/1967

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  1. I think I did most of my review of the year a few months ago, after my neck issue, but I thought I'd write a quick update. After visiting the neck specialist again, the prolapsed disk has shrunk enough to stop pressing on the nerve and my neck pain has mostly gone. The nerve impingement over the summer resulted in a loss of muscle mass in my left tricep and pectoral muscles, so I've spent some time over the autumn and early winter trying to get some strength back into those muscles. The strength has been improving recently, but there is still some way to go in terms of building up the muscle mass, but at least I can lift some reasonably respectable weights again. In terms of riding, I'm now able to ride for around 3 hours, with the Mince Pie Ride before Christmas the longest ride for probably 6 months. So now its time to start to train again, to lose weight and to gain power. I've got a way to go on both fronts, but I like a good challenge. The Christmas flu is just about gone, so time to get cracking. Looking forward to 2013.
  2. It will be good to see you back out on the road Kent and I'm pleased to hear that work seems to be a little more secure.
  3. A quick update on my neck and riding. Saw Doctor last week about my neck, it looks like I have degenerative disc disorder in two discs in my neck. Its not as bad as it sounds, apparently its quite normal for someone 'my age' (cant believe I've got to that age!!). Basically it means a couple of the discs have shrunk a little and become a little fibrous. The main issue is that one of the discs has prolapsed and is pressing on the nerves that go across to my shoulder and down my left arm. Hopefully the disc will heal itself and to be honest, its a lot better than it has been for a long time, I even managed 2 hours on the bike today without any real pain, so thats good news!! Off to see a neck specialist in a week or so to see what physio / exercise I need to do.
  4. I thought it was about time for my annual blog update, one of these days I will start to use this more often 2012 has proven to be a bit of a non-event compared to most years. Early season form looked promising, but a very busy summer at work and having two young children to soak up my time has meant that 2012 was a year of trying to stay fit and trying to get some racing done. I've managed to enter a few road races and a couple of the Vets races at Dunsfold, but I've got to admit that the year hasn't gone according to plan. In early July, I started to have some issues with what I thought was back pain, which seemed to get increasingly worse through the month and despite a few visits to the Chiropractor, things did not improve, in fact the pain spread to my shoulder, left arm and neck. After a few more visits to the Doctor, then a physio and then a shoulder / back specialist it looked like the issue was actually with my neck. I had an MRI scan last week and am due for a review of results next week, which will hopefully show what the issue is. Needless to say, I havent done a huge amount of riding in the last couple of months. The last time I was out on the road was 3rd August. Things have improved to the point that I can now ride my turbo trainer for 45-50 minutes, so I'm starting to try and get some base fitness in my legs and hopefully avoid going too far backwards. I will try and race again this season, but it looks like the focus is now moving to 2013. Perhaps 2013 will finally be the year I get below 13 stone and win a race again !!
  5. A quick update on plans for 2011. 1/ The ever elusive goal of getting below 13 stone, currently 13 stone 1lb today. Aiming for 12 stone 10lbs by mid May. 2/ Win a race and consistently place top 10 in races. 3/ Complete the Marmotte in a reasonable time, havent yet decided what constitutes reasonable yet 4/ Update my blog more frequently. Training seems to be going well and power output is up and weight is coming down. Early season sportive form looking good. Race form still needs to be improved, especially sprint positioning.
  6. I thought I would update my blog with a review of the goals I set for the year. After a good summer of racing, I made the move up to Cat 2 last week. I didnt managed to win a race, which was a bit dissappointing, but came very close with a couple of 3rd places, one of which was around half a bikes length from a win. Today was my first E/1/2 race and it was certainly a baptism of fire. I managed to stay with the pack for the first half of the race, but hit the wall going up a climb and had to drop off. Managed to form a small group of 5 riders which I picked up on the way around the track. Rode hard for the remainder of the race and went the full distance and wasnt last (just) so its a start. I feel like I have been coasting a bit with my training this year and I think my improved race results have been due to better tactics, rather than better fitness. If anything I feel less fit than I used to be. The move to 2nd Cat will be hard, but I think its what I need to get me training hard again. I'd like to score at least another point this season. I also completed the long route of the Grand Fondo this year, however 9hrs was well beyond my reach, mainly due to the fact that there were 6 climbs rather than 4 on the new route and even the best riders took 1 hour more than the old route, so 10.5hrs felt fairly respectable. Weight has refused to budged from the 13 stone mark, wavers between 12 stone 12 and 13 stone 2. Need to really work on that. Power meter has been bought, so that gives me more numbers to focus on.
  7. I'd intended to write up my goals for 2009, but I just saw my last blog entry was this time last year and my goals for the last year seem to be the same as the ones I intended for the coming year. Dissappointingly I dont seem to have achieved any of the goals I set myself for last year, despite having a reasonably good season. Therefore for the record I'm going to restate the goals for the year :- Weight down from post xmas weight of 13 stone 3 lbs to racing weight of 12 stone, thats 17 lbs if my maths is correct and I hope to be at this weight by the end of April. Likewise body fat to reduce from current 17% to 9%. I want to win a race this year. I'd like to move up to 2nd Cat I'm entering the Gran Fondo in Italy again and this year, apart from not breaking my leg again, I'd like to complete the full distance event in under 9hours. To try and keep on track with the weight loss, I'll post updates to update on my success, or not!
  8. Location: Barcombe Circuit, Newick Scout Hut, Newick, Sussex Entry fee for Surrey League members is £12.00. Race Details: Classification Rider Cat Band Name Km/M Starts Fee Regional B 3rd Band 4 3 90/56 09:30 £17.00 (£17.00)
  9. Location: Henfold Hill Hall, Leigh, Surrey Entry fee for Surrey League members is £12.00. Race Details: Classification Rider Cat Band Name Km/M Starts Fee Regional A 2nd, 3rd Band 3 2/3 115/71 13:30 £17.00 (£17.00)
  10. Location: Dunsfold Circuit, Winn Parish Memorial Hall, Dunsfold, Surrey Entry fee for Surrey League members is £12.00. Race Details: Classification Rider Cat Band Name Km/M Starts Fee Regional B 3rd Band 4 3 85/53 09:30 £17.00 (£17.00) Regional A 2nd, 3rd Band 3 2/3 105/65 13:30 £17.00 (£17.00)
  11. Kirdford Circuit, Alfold Crossways Village Hall, Alfold Crossways, Surrey Entry fee for Surrey League members is £12.00. Race Details: Classification Rider Cat Band Name Km/M Starts Fee Regional B 3rd Band 4 3 100/62 09:30 £17.00 (£17.00) Regional A 2nd, 3rd Band 3 2/3 110/68 13:30 £17.00 (£17.00)
  12. Surrey League Dunsfold Park Series Dunsfold Aerodrome, near Guildford Youth Only A, B, C, D, E Youth U16/U14/U12/U10/U8: Starts 18:30 (£3.00) Regional C+ Elite, 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th Band 5 EL/1/2/3/4: Starts 19:00 (£17.00) Entry us is on the line only £12 for Surrey League Members.
  13. Its been a long time since my last blog entry, I had a lot of enthusiasm for this last year, which seemed to peter out in the Spring, so I thought it was time for an update. A lot happened over the last 12 months, I was made director of our company, so the workload increased quite a lot, then in June I broke my leg, which pretty much ended my season there and then. Fortunately, due to good medical treatment and physio, along with some grim determination on my part, I was back racing before the end of the season and even managed to score a point in my last race. Alas, my goal to move up to 2nd cat didnt happen, due to the leg break. In July I turned 40 and in September our first child was born, which was a great event. However that has had a big impact on my energy levels, due to a lack of sleep over the last 5 months and whilst I've managed to keep riding, recovery is sometimes a struggle. At the end of the year I had a fitness assessment and found that my power output was only 75% of what it had been the previous summer and while some of that could be put down to the time of year and the cold that I had and the lack of sleep, I still couldnt help but feel a bit dejected about my form. However my coach felt that all wasnt lost and that I could get back to where I had been. Over the last couple of months, I've mainly been riding my turbo and the new set of rollers I bought with the goal of increasing endurance and stamina over the winter and dropping a bit of weight, before adding in some power development and sprint training in early Feb. Its felt like a long haul back to fitness and climbing ability still doesnt feel like it used to, but I'm sure this will come with time. I've managed to get a couple of early season races in to gauge fitness and have already managed a 4th and a 6th, so I have 10 points to my name already. I now need to decide whether to go for that 2nd Cat licence or not this year. Completed the Fareham Wheelers 50 mile Randonnee yesterday in 2hours 50 minutes and was a few minutes behind the first (small) group back, so felt pretty pleased with that. Things look like they are starting to go in the right direction, fitness wise. Our daughter is now also starting to sleep better at nights and whilst I'm yet to get a solid 8 hours every night, things are much better than they were. So the goals for 2008 :- Get down to 12 stone 10lb race weight Win a 3rd cat race Get 2nd cat licence Remain competitive if I move to 2nd Cat Start veterans racing
  14. A quick update on March and Aprils activities. Training has improved and despite not managing to get up to a regular 10 hrs per week, I've generally managed a good 6hrs plus per week. I also went to France for a week for holiday and cycling, which resulted in over 14 hours of riding, so that helped. The chest infection that I picked up just before I left didn't help and whilst I appear to have recovered, I'm still not quite 100%. Weight has refused to dip below 13 stone, but only just. My target is still 12st 10lbs, which I aim to achieve by the Tour of Sussex at the end of May. Road Racing has been going reasonably well, taking a 7th and 8th at a couple of Thruxton events and finishing in the pack a couple of times at Chertsey and in a Surrey League Road Race after not getting the right track position for the sprint. Fortunately things came together for the Norman Halewood RR, which was one of my main early season goals and I managed to come 5th, despite slight cramping in the sprint, which equals my best result since moving up to the 3rds. Still looking for that next win though. On top of that, I also took a 3rd at the recent Goodwood Spring Challenge MTB race, which was a great result in my first MTB race for at least 2 years. Coming up this weekend is the Mark Brooks Memorial Ride, which will be a good chance to get some quality miles in the bag and meet up with i-teamers from other areas, as well as remember Mark. After that its the Portsdown RR on 6th May and the Tour of Sussex 4 day stage race at the end of May, plus some local circuit races thrown in for good measure. Come June, its the Grand Fondo Campagnolo in Italy
  15. Looks like the Velocity guy is suffering a bit at this point !!
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