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Well, first of all apologies for my absence on these pages. I haven’t stopped riding although it is still at a reduced level, the weather has taken a step back towards winter so that has slowed things down a bit. I don’t feel sufficiently motivated to drag myself out when its freezing cold.

Most of my rides have been local and in 30 – 40 mile range and so far this month I have amassed about 200 miles. I just haven’t written about them because frankly there has been nothing new to say as they are all on local, familiar routes.

Last week was also a good week for cycling on TV as the new season gets under way. I watched Bradley Wiggins win the 7 day Paris – Nice with Sky race and also another Sky team, including Mark Cavendish in the Tirreno – Adriatico week long race. So because of the races i only had mornings available to get any chores done, including riding.

Last weekend was my turn to lead the Team MK club ride which went OK. It was to one of my favourite tea/coffee stops at Carlton. I had asked for a piece of coffee and walnut cake and a coffee. When the cake arrived it was enormous, so big in fact that I could not eat it all. It was very rich. A layer of coffee and walnut sponge and then some coffee flavoured creamy filling then another layer of sponge and more creamy stuff on top covered with pieces of walnut. As I am typing this I am thinking “Why didn’t I take a picture ? “. The answer being that I just didn’t think of it at the time, as usual !

Today I made a start on preparing the Felt for coming out of hibernation on clock change day, which here in Europe doesn’t happen until the last weekend in March. I checked the cables and brakes and also swapped some tyres around. I put some ‘Continental Grand Prix’ 22mm wide tyres on and inflated to Continentals recommended 110 psi (7.5 bar). Up from my usual 100 psi. While I was at it I put a pair of ‘Continental Grand Prix 4000’s’ on the Specialized to see out the next couple of weeks until it goes into summer hibernation. On close inspection the Schwalbe tyres I took off had a couple of little splits in them, obviously where some pointed object had penetrated the outer but had not caused a puncture. This is I guess is another recommendation for Schwalbe. I don’t like the idea of knowingly riding around on suspect tyres, it’s not good for peace of mind. I also binned one of the tyres I took off the Felt, also Schwalbe, for the same reason. The tyres I removed have all been around for over a year but have not necessarily been in continuous use as, like today, I tend to move things around just when I feel like it.

Today I ordered a pair of Continental Grand Prix tyres in the 20mm wide version, some real slim beasties and only weighing 180g each ! The 23mm Grand Prix’s I have weigh in at 205 gms.

So I will keep plugging away at the riding and endeavour to keep you posted here. I might even include some pictures, you never know !! Also if I go somewhere new I will post the Garmin map and data. In a couple of weeks time I am marshalling at a Team MK race day at the MK Bowl so I hope for some photo opportunities there.