Z+5 is 1 Part of 3 Events this week, We shall Call ‘Em, Life Changing !

24 06 2010
I love this picture.


In what could turn out to be an iconic picture I snapped the above on Monday Morning. I had just put a smaller stem on the slightly larger Ribble and was about to leave when I thought “That looks great, Time for a piccy”

I started the week on the Ribble, but that’s not how it would end.


Took in a couple of great hills in what turned out to be a 22 mile day, while I was nowhere close to the pace I was at before my holiday I was sneaking up to the distance, but weight wasnt the only thing I lost on Holiday, fitness was also lost too, lets hope it returns ASAP.


Tuesday I kept it to 14 miles due to the fact I got up late and was knackered at the end of a long day training.


Back up to 20 miles again, and enjoying the hills I was taking on the way home, the 12% 1 Mile hill was turning out to be quite fun, Half way home and in Ashton I stopped at a red light (I know, breaking the stereotype that all cyclists run red lights) I was in the big ring and ready to sprint away, as soon as I stepped on the peddles BOOM I heard a bang and felt a wobble, looked at my rear wheel and it was badly damaged, before I know it there was an almighty noise, the wheel skidded and that was that, the rear derailleur had sheered off and gone into the spokes, had a nice walk home but can’t help thinking I could have done 26.2 miles if it wasnt for the issue.



Was back on the Surosa and remembering why I love it so much, finished on 19 miles for the day but whats more is that I stood up for half of the 12% hill IĀ  am now taking in, it was the hottest day of the week and by the top im sure I looked half dead, well that was the impression that the paramedic gave when he took a double take at me, either that or he was thinking “A fat lad shouldnt be able to do that” lol

Here is a pic of the hill, from now on its know as THOD (The Hill Of Death), while it’s not great, it give you an idea of the mile climb.

Looking down the bit I cycle up.

OK so its nothing for you 10 stone cyclists but getting my 290 lbs up there isn’t easy, added to the fact that to get to this point from where I work it’s a gradual hill, im happy enough.


Was tired Friday morning, so only did 11 miles BUT in events that shocked me I set an average of 16.5 Mph, Happy nuff, Friday evening took in the above pictured hill and that was that and another 20 miles done.

I then watched th 3 LIONS ROAR !!!! ………..After watching old game highlights I put ITV on to watch the 3 Lions turn into 3 pussy cats, but that’s for another day, Ohh I take the blame as just before kick off I ordered the new England away shirt !! Took optimistic eh.

Sooo, me looking for and attacking hills is event 1 or 3 I talked about in the title, long may it continue.

Event number 2 happened on Saturday Morning:

When I got married my Ring size was “Z+5” I then put more weight on and it wouldn’t fit, it was too tight, that give you an idea of just how HUGE I used to be, the next time I attempted to put it on it was way too big, so we decided to leave it for a bit and allow me to lose more weight, so when I took it in on Saturday AM to get altered both the shop assistant myself and my wife almost passed out when we found out that it will need to be made 10 sizes smaller !!!

Event Number 3 was Saturday afternoon.

I said when I started to lose weight that I wanted a tattoo, well now was the time, I went to

Heart 4 Art (Shameless plug alert)

In Ashton and set about getting my first tattoo, I was a little worried that it would hurt as it was totally new to me, but it didn’t, actually it was enjoyable, so much so that I want me another šŸ˜€

Thanks again to the great people at Heart 4 Art who put me totally at ease………….What is it you say ? Well ……….

Touchdown CHARGERS !

That was taken just a few hours after it was done so its gonna take a while to settle down, but not bad for a “First time”

Stay tuned as we will have some excellent videos for you in the coming weeks.



Surosa Toledo Pro Vs Ribble Audax Review .

27 04 2010

Today I decided to write a review of 2 popular Audax bikes, Allow me to start with a bit of backgroud that explanes why I have both of them in my stable.

2 weeks ago,after hitting an unseen dirt track on my Ribble and breaking a spoke I was forced to use my Townsend while the Ribble wheel was in for repair.

This caused my commute home to take 45 mins (I Can do it in 27 mins these days)

This was because I didnt have brakes, or gears, or wheels that didnt wobble, I was forced , because of how bad a shape it was in to avoid the main roads. I decided then that it had to go and I had to get myself a new “Back Up” Bike.

I set about looking on eBay for another Ribble, however the only ones at a decent price were either REALLY old, or poorly specc’ed. Almost giving up I searched Surosa, there was ONE listed, however it was just 2 miles from me, the only downside was the seller was asking Ā£480 for it !!!!!! It didnt sell and after some hard negotiations he agreed to sell it to me for a little over Ā£350, and here it is.

Surosa Toledo "Pro"

It stunning and pretty much brand new, its the same spec as my Ribble but has much more recent components, this blog post is designed to review both bikes and give an idea what they are VS each other.

Ribble Audax Review:

Ribble Audax

I have rode the 2007 Ribble Audax for approx 3500 miles since I purchased it in August 2009.

It has been a great bike that I use every day, the Mavic Open Sport wheels are not the best, however have taken my 20+ Stone pretty well with just 4/5 broken spokes in 3500 approx miles of riding. It has the older style shimano tiagra groupset and while its been reliable its felt at times, clunky and industrial,

I am at the stage now where I can cruse along on the flat at 20/23Mph on this bike all day without any problems.

When I stand up to accelerate it feels livley, however the back end does sometimes feel a little too lightweight and has at times lost traction when I was stood up and cornering at the same time.

I fitted a Fizik Arione Saddle and I have to say its the single most comfortable saddle I have ever used (I have even owned a brooks saddle and didnt enjoy that)

For Ā£300 ( Although was an eBay purchase it was BRAND NEW !) its been an fantastic BARGAIN and really is a great bike.

Looks 4/5

Comfort 3.5/5

Performance 3.5/5

Durability 4/5

Surosa Toledo Pro Review:

Surosa Toledo "Pro"

WOW This bike was purchased as my “Back Up” but riding just the 2 miles home I knew it was FAR too good for that.

The Toledo has a slightly sloping top tube. TheĀ geometry gives the bike a more upright and relaxed riding position forĀ betterĀ long distance comfort.

Equipped with the 2009 shimano tiagra groupset shifting is smooth, quiet and precise.

The wheels not only look good they also feel pretty good too.

It often felt today like the Surosa was under geared vs the Ribble as I felt I was going slower but spinning the cranks at the same cadence, however every time I looked down at my Garmin Edge I was doing between 19 and 22 Mph, It wasnt under geared, it was just a much more relaxed ride, so much so that I rode 15 miles with a 16mph average.

The first 13.5 Miles were done with a 17.8 MPH average, however it was a bloody hot morning and I didnt bring a drink, so I had to stop for one, by the time I was done I had cooled down and took it easy the rest of the way.

The Surosa doesnt look as light as the Ribble thanks to the oversized tubes, however my average today was quicker than ever (Until I had stopped that is).

Those oversized tubes give it an AMAZING look.

Looks 4.5/5

Comfort 4.5/5

Performance 4.5/5

Durability ??/5

Surosa VS Ribble:

The Ribble inspires you to sprint more. The Surosa allows you to ride faster for longer and harder, between the 2 the clear winner is the Surosa, more comfort, betterĀ  geometry and that Black finish looks the DOGS !!!!.

The other issue is that the Surosa feels more agile yet sure footed when you do feel the need to sprint,

I will be using my Ribble as my new Back Up bike and the Surosa will get a beating every day, that actually saddens me a little, as I had lusted after a Ribble for so long and while I had it, it was the best bike I had ever rode.

The Surosa now takes that title and I suspect a Surosa, not Ribble, will be my next bike purchase when the time arises.

Providing that the Surosa’a durability lives upto that of the Ribble’s……


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