What a wheely good summer on the bike…..

First and foremost a wheely good evening to you all and an apology for the lack of blogs over the last few weeks. I have to say this is down to being out riding my bike so much and boy have I taken on some great rides and trips. I will try and take you through the highlights and what is ahead and I assure you not such a delay on another blog post!!!

Back in June I was out in Mallorca for the first time riding this great island. Everyone had said how majestic it was and what great riding there was well I was not disappointed at all. My goal was the Sa Calobra which I didn’t do just the once but twice while out there. the first time was more a chance to see what this legendary climb and descent is like and get a feel for the road etc. two days later I was back to really go for it and did a 46 minute ascent of the climb which I was very pleased with. Another great descent was off the top of the Puig Major, 9.7 miles of pure smooth flowing tarmac right down into Soller. The other great ride was out to the Cap Formentor lighthouse. This road is a great rolling road all the way out to the headland with some fun switchback turns and hair raising descents. Mallorca really is a cyclist paradise and I will be back soon, all being well for the legendary 312 sportive in April.

Following on from this was two great club rides of a greater distance than normal. One was a return trip over to Chepstow. Riding across the old severn bridge is a spectacle in itself and one I won’t forget in a rush. A week after this we went over to the Isle of Wight. Starting out from the New Forest we rode down to Lymington and then took the ferry over before taking on the island anti clockwise. this is the first time I have does it this way and it was a pleasant challenging change none more so than the heat we had that day.

This brings me to my annual trip to the Alps. The 7 days awaiting me at the end of July was something eagerly anticipated. I love my trips over to this beautiful part of the world and this trip allowed me to try some new rides and also take my club members on some new mountains for all of them. One of these was the Col du Glandon. This is a great challenging climb of nearly 20km and putting this at the end of a tough day in the saddle tested everyone to their limit. Another new climb for me was the pas de confession. This takes you up to the balcony road above Bourg D’Oissans and the views are truly magnificent. From there you come out on to hairpin 6 of the legendary Alpe D’Huez and have the choice of up or down!!! I have said this over an over but if you have never been to the French Alps do it as it is great riding and already I cannot wait for next years trip back out there.

This leaves not much left of the summer but I still have some exciting trips ahead. Shorty I will embark on a short solo bike packing trip around Belgium. I have never done this before but inspired by the great riders of the Trans Continental I want to try this type off riding. Mine will only be a short trip but still self supported carrying all I need with me on the bike. Keep an eye out for future posts on this trip. And then the first week of September it is the Tour of Britain and this race I intend to get away to about five stages, mostly by bike. I have heard Geraint Thomas our newest Tour winner will ride so that will certainly bring the crowds out.

Well until next time which won’t be as long happy riding and stay safe. Laters!!!!!

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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.

 

All over for another year!

So as the curtain came down yesterday on one of the best if not the best Giro ever it left us in awe of Tom Domoulin. This 26 year old from the Netherlands lit up the race from start to finish showing grit in the mountains, patience on the flat and pure raw time trialing talent in the the time trials. A little over three weeks ago the race rolled out of Sardinia with one word on everyones lips, the Colombian Nairo Quintana. Could he do the Giro Tour double? How would he do in the Dolomites and Alps? And many more questions.

Well over the next three weeks all would be revealed and it did not go to plan for the young Colombian. He was out raced by the Old Shark himself Vincenzo Nibali in the mountains and outwitted all over by Tom Domoulin.

Before any of this there was plenty of other stories to keep you on the edge of your seat from the crazy police motorbike wiping out our own G, yes bloody motorbikes again!! To another young Colombian in Gaviria taking the points jersey and four victories on his Grand Tour debut at 22 years old. Lets also not forget the epic maintain battles involving Sky’s Mikel Landa who took the mountain jersey and of course the ‘natural break issues’. That along with Quick Step Floors having there best Grand Tour in a ┬álong time it was a race full of stories.

So fast forward to yesterday and needing to overturn a 53 second deficit the current Dutch Time Trial champion Tom Domoulin truly delivered his country their first Giro victory and first Grand Tour win for over thirty years. At 26 years old he clearly has more Grand Tours in the tank and I can see him one to watch for the future.

So back to that Colombian Quintana where does it leave him? Well Le Tour is only 5 weeks away and the battle between him, Richie Porte and Chris Froome is going to be epic. All I can say is ‘Viva La Froome’ and bring on the the Tour de France.