BIKE FIT – why do you need one?

A wheely good afternoon to you all from the world of Paul Ashman Cycling. I hope you are all well and if like me willing this cold weather to end. I have to say the last couple of rides have been freezing and last weeks race allowed me to very quickly lose feeling in my fingers and toes. Never mind only 15 weeks and I’ll be out riding in that Majorca sunshine 🙂

So onto my blog for today and it’s all about bike fits. Many people will ask the question do I need one or will it help me? The answer hands down is yes. We all suffer with aches and pains when we ride and those little niggles that won’t go away and most of those is an ill fitting bike. Believe it or not a small thing like seat too high or low, cleat angle wrong or stem length incorrect can have a massive impact on your position on the bike and lead to all sorts of issues.

I had my first one some years ago and back then it sorted me out. Since then I know my position due to weight loss and being fitter has changed so I thought best get checked over again. Also having a new bike can make the difference as every angle of geometry affects the set up. So I took a visit to Danny Clayton my sports therapist who is also a qualified bike fit specialist ( http://www.dc-injury clinic.co.uk ).

The bike fit took in three stages to fully access and look at every aspect. To start with general body shape and posture was looked at. Here it was noted that I lean over onto the outer part of my right foot this due to a bunion and previous ankle injuries. This as a result can have a knock on effect and could be the cause of occasional knee pain I get on the inside of my right joint so this was the first area to address, more on this later.

Secondly Danny assessed my body flexibility and strength in various parts of the body. This was done by means of various flexing and restraint type manoeuvres. This highlighted a slightly weak hamstring but otherwise I am in a good shape which pleased me. That showed me that despite my age my body is in good order and this bodes well for future goals and targets. It’s all about marginal gains and even though this term is a myth to some it clearly does work and every little step makes a difference.

Finally it was time to jump on the bike set up on the turbo. This allowed us to check all angles and position when riding. There is a set of parameters as a guide and sitting in between these measures for a well set up ride position. My angles all work well and showed stem length, saddle height and crank arm length correct for what I need. There is room for a slight raise of the seat post in the future to increase power but this is when my hamstrings strengthen. Back to the knee pain I occasionally get it was decided to address this by way of 1mm shims. These sit under the cleats and raise the inner part of the foot by 1mm increments to offset the outer foot lowering. I will add a shim very two weeks up to a maximum of three to see how this goes but hopefully it will have an impact. Danny has also given me a set of exercises to do each day to build up the hamstring strength.

The overall fit took two hours and was an incredibly interesting and fruitful session. I personally learnt lots and to come away with data, pictures, a full report and ways to improve is a great bonus. I can’t tell anyone how to spend their money but would totally recommend this and certainly suggest give Danny a call and see how he can help you with bike fit or other sports related injuries.

Until next time happy riding and enjoy ticking the miles off rolling the tarmac!

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2017 review and 2018 preview……….

A wheely good evening to you all. So here we are in the January of a new year and it is a very exciting one ahead with lots planned for Paul Ashman cycling. Firstly though let’s look back at 2017 and what a year it was.

The year started with an unexpected 5 week stay in hospital due to a collapse brought on by a blocked artery in my brain. After many tests and appointments as well as five months off work I had surgery in Oxford at the superb John Radcliffe hospital which was a huge success and I have had no relapses of the condition since. Even the non stop headaches I was getting have gone. So even though this was a time that meant I could not do much including cycling and gigging with my band it did give me time to plan Paul Ashman Cycling which was officially born later in the year.

Once out of hospital I set about regaining fitness and putting the plans of the business into place. The summer brought many exciting cycling adventures none more so than mine and Neil’s London to Paris and back by bike in four days. All 600 miles through wind, rain and sun but knowing we had raised nearly £5000 for the Royal Marsden charity. And we got to see the final day of the tour on the champs Ellysee. After returning to the UK it was a brief few days of rest before a week long trip to the alps with Recycles RCC. This was a great week away including climbing the Galibier, Telegraph, Ornon, Ventoux, Alpe D’Huez and more. This was my fifth trip to the alps but one of the best I think down to my base fitness level being much better. This in turn made the climbs easier and allowed me to take in the scenery a lot more.

Once home it was back to the business as Paul Ashman Cycling officially went live on September 1st 2017. The main aim is to bring cycling, news, education and events to the people and in particular young people of Swindon. The work came in much quicker than I imagined and very quickly I was seeing children all across the borough teaching them all manner of cycling related things. The main basis to my work is a thirty week bespoke plan I have written to deliver to students of all ages. This involves practical on bike lessons looking at bike handling, safety and maintenance as well as classroom activities around history of the sport, diet, fitness, nutrition, route planning and much more. As we speak I am seeing upwards of 800 children a week and it is a pleasure to be able to bring cycling to the people.

2017 closed with more riding, the club going from strength to strength and the business growing at an alarming rate of knots. So then onto the new year……..

2018 is going to be a packed fun year with lots going in the world of Paul Ashman Cycling. Here is some of the things I have planned with the business, the club and my own cycling activities and trips.

• Paul Ashman Cycling expanding into more schools with more after school provision taking place

• Sportives I am riding include White Horse Challenge, Tour de Yorkshire, Etape Caledonia in Scotland, Crudwell 24 hour and I’m sure one or two more along the way

• Trips to the cyclocross World Cup in Holland, Paris – Roubaix, Majorca, The Alps and the Grand Depart of the Tour de France in the Vendee

• Racing more extensively starting with the Odd Down winter series

• Continue to expand the Recyles RCC

• An exciting charity endurance ride to raise money, more on this will follow in future weeks

As ever there will be lots more fun things happening and I will continue to develop, promote, encourage and get more people into this wonderful sport we all love. Until next time get out on those bikes and enjoy riding.

Laters!!!

Meet my pair of S-Works bikes 😍

A wheely good welcome to this latest blog from Paul Ashman Cycling. Over the last few weeks you will have read and heard a lot about my s-works bikes well here is the final instalment on these. This is for all the geeks that want to know spec and more technical details.

The two s-works bikes I have are both Roubaix models with the winter/race one being a 2008 limited edition Quickstep model and the Summer one a 2013 SL3.

So let’s start with the winter bike. The Roubaix was designed by Specialized for the cobbles and provides great comfort and a more forgiving ride but not lessening the performance of the bike. This one is the limited edition Quickstep model and was made famous by Tom Boonen. It is a full carbon frame and forks with the zertz inserts to soften the bumps. The groupset is Ultegra bar the chain set being a carbon FSA model. I am running a race set up with 53/39 on the front and a 11-25 cassette. This is for two reasons, I will use this for racing and I feel this set up will make me stronger through the winter. The wheels are Cole wheels and even though aluminium come in very light shod with the Continental GPS 4000 SII rubber. This combination gives a solid feel with great grip and running through the corners. Flat line speed feels great as well. The finishing kit is an s-works carbon seatpost, Specialized stem, 3T aero flat bars and a toupe pro saddle. Along with prologo bar tape, elite bottle cages and 105 pedals it rounds out a great well specced bike for the winter and racing going forward. This bi,e I have owned for two years now and is a very comfy ride coming in at 7.67 kg.

Next up is my summer bike or as many of you know my ‘dream build’. I have built this up over the last few months sourcing all the parts individually and making sure weight was always at the forefront of the build. The frame is a gorgeous 2013 in a gloss red and white with internal cable routing throughout. Again it is a Roubaix model but has a slightly more racey geometry than my other one. The groupset on this is full Dura Ace with a compact 50/34 chainset and a 11-28 cassette. This will predominantly be my summer bike so I wanted a groupset that would climb hills and ride distance better for the likes of Sportives, The Alps etc. The wheels are carbon clinchers made by Far Sports. They come in at 1200g for the pair so are very light and at 40mm deep very aero. I have them shod with the S-works turbo cotton tyres, I like these as the tan sidewall gives a slight vintage look. Finishing kit is an S-works carbon post and bars, stem, bar tape and saddle and along with elite cages and dura ace pedals complete the set up. This comes in at 6.91 kg so very light and it really is my dream build. I cannot wait to be slinging this up and down the Alps next summer and taking it over over the likes of Alpe D’huez, Colombiere, Glandon and more…….

So there you have my geeky detailed breakdown of my bikes. I feel very proud to own them and ride Specialized which in my opinion make the greatest bikes. Until next time happy riding and good luck to those embarking on the Rapha festive 500! It all starts on Sunday! 😊👍🚴🏻

My Interview on Swindon 105.5 FM

A wheely good evening to you all and I hope you are well and enjoying your bikes as much  as me!

This is a very short blog to give you information about a recent interview I did for local radio. Jo Garton who I have know for many years asked me to go on to Swindon105.5 FM to talk about my cycling business and my work in the local schools. Obviously I was delighted and didn’t hesitate to say yes. What followed was a fun interview allowing me to share the work I am doing in the schools in Swindon and the local area. Please click the link below and have a listen and of course let me know what you think.

*****MY INTERVIEW STARTS AT 31 MINUTES INTO THE PROGRAMME*****

Many thanks and until next time happy cycling.

Rouleur Classic 2017 – What a night!!!

So a wheely good welcome to you all and I write this on the late night train back from London having just been to the 2017 Rouleur Classic in London with my good friend Karl and his dad Roger. This is our third time on the trot and we enjoy more each year. Once again the venue was the amazing Victoria House and yet again Rouleur didn’t fail in putting on a superb night surpassing previously visited years with oozing amounts of quality, memorabilia and stars of the cycling world. From the Mavic service course cars parked up outside I knew this was gonna be a treat. Entitled Monuments it was to celebrate the great riders who had conquered on the cobbles and roads of Flanders and Roubaix. 


On entering the event it was awash with the creme de la creme of brands showing their products under the dazzling lights. I could go on for an eternity but one that stood out for me was the s-works stand complete with the latest SL6 tarmac and some very nice custom frames. I know I am biased but s-works bikes, components and frames for me are the epiphany of top drawer bike manufacturing and I know my good friend Paul Jackson in Northern Ireland would not diasagree with me. 


Of course any show is not just about the products but it’s meeting the pros and people from the industry that make it all tick. You can imagine my delight seeing Sir Bradley Wiggins once again. This guy is a legend and chatting to him about tattoos and bikes was just great. Every time I have met him over the years he’s always made time to talk and just generally be cool as he is. 

Of course the main stage hosted a wealth of top names. From Jonathan Vaughters talking about the new Drapac team to Johan Museeuw reminiscing on all his classics victories every guest had a story to tell and entertained the packed crowd. 


As the evening drew to a close all it left was one more skirt of the stands, collect our goodie bags and head off into the crisp London night air. Once again a totally amazing evening and I would recommend get a ticket for next year as rumour has it with the theme being World Champions we may see a visit from Peter Sagan, now that would be special.

Just leaves me to say thanks for reading and subscribing and please check out my twitter and Instagram. Until next time happy riding and laters!

Recycles, Le Tour, S-Works and more……

A wheely good welcome from Paul Ashman Cycling. I’m sat writing this on a London Underground tube journey and just thinking how can people live and commute like this all the time. It’s hot, packed and seems so stressful all the time. Give me my bike, the freedom and the fresh air any-day.

Things are continuing to pick up at PAC with the possibility of taking on a new assistant to meet the demand. One area that he will help with is a trials/bike stunts club. Teaching young students how to do this in a safe and proper way and even create the next Danny McAskill. Who knows?!?

Just last week we had the Recyles RCC Tourist Trophy which tied in with the clubs second birthday. We had a great turnout for what was a fun packed day. I can’t believe it was two years ago myself and Simon formed the club and it has grown from strength to strength. The day involved a hill climb, a free wheel descent, a speed test and guess the weight of the bike competition. It was a great fun day and Simon came out the winner with me a close second. The hill climb let me down so a little more weight needed to trim off I think to keep me sprightly up those hills lol!! A big thanks to Denis for planning the event.

So last week the route for the 2018 Tour de France was announced and crikey what a brilliant route they have put together. Individual and team time trials, cobbles as well as the Alps and Pyrenees shows a challenging and very entertaining route. I will be heading out to the Vendee region for the opening three stages which I am really looking forward to. This edition also sees the first time that teams will have only eight riders, will it deter Team Sky…..no chance. Froomey all the way for his fifth title I think.

Finally I must just mention my dream s-works build. Those of you who follow my instagram or facebook will have seen the developments and now it is ready to be built. This bike will be fully kitted with Dura Ace and S-Works components and the final build should tip the scales sub 7kg. Please check out my instagram or facebook and follow to see finished pictures once all completed.

That’s all for now folks so until next time enjoy your bikes and riding. I’ll be back after the weekend with a report from this Sundays Surrey cycle show I am attending. Laters!!!

 

PAC Update

So a wheely good morning to you all and I hope you are all well and enjoying the lovely Autumn weather we are currently experiencing. Its been a couple of weeks since my last blog and I thought it would be good to touch base on whats going on in the world of Paul Ashman cycling.

The term has started in a rather manic busy way but all is good and great to be out there working with so many individuals on their bikes. I have started new projects in four primary schools on a weekly basis helping teach children everything from bike safety and handling through to the history of cycling and much much more through my 35 week course I have devised. The children turn up every week with their bikes and are loving the fun sessions we are running. Alongside this I have started three after school and one lunchtime club in schools. These run much the same way as the structured programme but with more emphasis on out on the bikes with a practical element.

For more older students I have started running an after school club in a secondary school as well as a cycling club in a sixth form college. The college club has a high calibre of riders and we have been out on some great training rides already this term. The plan with this club is to enter some sportives, races and take a trip abroad next year. With more new projects on the horizon it is all looking good and boding well for the future.

On a personal level my riding is going well and I have managed to keep up the training regularly. Just this weekend gone I raced in the Richard Kell memorial race in the cat 3/4 section which was a great race. Not until the last few laps did the peloton split probably due to the wind whipping across the circuit. I will be back there in two weeks for the final race of the series and then the week after I am racing at the Mountbatten centre in Portsmouth.

In terms of the pros most will be on their well earned end of season holidays and with the World tour drawing to a close attention turns to the cyclocross season. Roll on next year with the new season seeing some new riders with new teams. I am looking forward to some trips next year including The Tour, Paris – Roubaix, Tour de Yorkshire, Gent Wevelgelm and maybe a couple others thrown in the mix.

So all that leaves me to say is happy riding and enjoy those bikes.