So, I've been in Bordeaux just over one week now road biking. I'm here for 3 weeks visiting my girlfriend and getting some much needed training in after doing college exams. So far its going pretty well with sunshine everyday and some seroiusly nice countryside!

 Luckily i'm situated beside the only hilly area, and there are really cool views of vineyards. The trips making me miss the mountain bike ALOT!, there's only so much of bloody road bikes I can take, but its good for the legs!

Here's a nice photo of a small vineyard and a Renault 4. Funny story, I actually crashed one of these in to our house wall at age 6 with my brother!! No joke It was my Dad's car (It had a starter button and no locks!)

On today's spin, I decided to include my favourite continental past time (searching for ww2 fortifications!). I usually do a bit of research to find this out. In fact, every foreign mountain bike race/trip I do I secretly go searching for this stuff!! Its amazing seeing these artifacts!

So luckily for me, It turns out there's a massive WW2 Submarine base down the road. This place used to house U-boats during the second world war. It's now in ruins as it looks like it was slightly bombed/shot at heavily. Sadly, I couldn't get in properly. But, I was wearing full lycra and had a road bike with me! I might go back and have a proper look see in my civvies.

Here's some pics,



Just getting ready for a couple hours on the road with some short seated power work.  This is a nice training session, and time flies while doing it.

 For the last few weeks I was confined to the dreaded turbo trainer, so I kept my self entertained with some good old war movie's!  Kelly's Hero's etc. Every time there was a battle i'd sprint like a maniac.

This session involves some stretching beforehand and a good warm up (I like to do an hour rolling easy) Then you find a 100m stretch of road and shift to the hardest gear and roll to a stop.  Now, stay seated and for 100meters put the power down while concentrating on your pedal efficiency and Core. Then do a two minute recovery and repeat a few times and over do it again.

I have a nice loop up in Killiney fo this, The scenery is beautiful and overlooking the coast there always amazes me. There's a really chilled out vibe out there. And if you see Bono you can shout abuse at him! (Joking.. but seriously)



Check out these bad boys!

Seriously light, 60grams for 160mm.
Steel braking surface = Very Good, not like other lightweight and useless disc with aluminum surfaces. The Carbon/Allu middle structure keeps the disk rigid under braking force.
These seem like the ticket for lightweight race bikes. But I imagine they will be big $$$.


Innovative Ashima - Brake Test No.1

First I took the PCB's out on the road for 2 hours to break them in, then I went for a quick 2.5 hour MTB. The levers arrived 'reverso style', so I had my front brake on the left of the bars!

 Ill  re-arrange them shortly so I can give them a confident testing. It was a little sketchy!

First things I noticed. They are light! (185gr Front. 202 gr rear.) Lighter than the XTR brakes on the bike previously. They are seriously futuristic too, especially the mega thin pistonless caliper. It actually has no pistons in it. Just a really strong diaghram seal to push the pads outward!. Ashima won a design award at Eurobike for this!

I decided to do the short test on a new local trail in 3rock. The brakes had nice modulation, and performed well on the steep tehcnical descents. They were pretty good with a 160mm rotor up front but, Ill throw on one of the 180mm rotors  supplied by Ashima to get the maximal braking power.
More soon on  these.

Trainings going well too, especially with the snow being gone and the roads finally dry! I haven't got out much on the road bike recently due to the roads. But, I have manged to get some good turbo trainer work outs with friends instead. I also added in a mixture of extreme snow running and extreme snow mountain biking to get the hours up!

I also started doing a new type of 'short' inteval advised by my Coach Aidan Ryan. It basically entails. 1 minute@80% then spint 15 seconds - then 45 seconds recovery then repeat *6 times.  Then 15 minute recovery then repeat the whole thing again! Its fun to do and hasn't left me feeling dreadfull and annihilated.

Now its time to chill out and watch some 'Band of Brothers' WW2 was definetly the best war!