Sweat, Kettles and Girlfriend Attacks in Turbo Training Land!

Getting on the Turbo Trainer.

Getting on the Turbo Trainer.

2014 for me was all about serious training. I wanted to be bike fit, fitter than I’d ever been. I had big plans and even invested in a turbo trainer so that no matter what the Scottish winter brought outside, I could still power my way through the training sessions to be at the top of my game. That was the plan anyway!

The winter part of the great fitness regime was not really going according to that plan. Illness and a few bike related problems had held me back a lot!

Moving on though! January is the start of my super structured training plan. The long slow and painful rides are here and I’ll be keeping you up to date with my self inflicted pain. For those of you interested in the sciences and nitty gritty details I will publish those on my next blog.

This week I began the indoor training sessions with an epic 3 hour stint on my new Minoura B60-D turbo trainer. It was my first time training indoors on a bike and I paid for it! Not taking into consideration how warm the room would become I left the heating on. Within an hour I was dying. My jersey was sticking to me, every pedal stroke dripped sweat on to my bike frame. Half an hour later I was forced to go and refill a water bottle and I even brought in a kettle full of water to refill the water bottle. Towards the end of the ride my girlfriend arrived home. I don’t think she will ever get the image out of her head. A grown man, riding a bike indoors, drinking from a kettle, covered in sweat. Not only was she ashamed she had ever met me, she proceeded to attack me and the house with air freshener!

None the less my pride remained intact and 3 hours & countless litres of water later I stopped spinning the pedals as I crossed the line I’d never left in victory!

Time for an ice bath, food and more water, all at once!

The best thing about a turbo trainer? No Punctures!



Failing to Prepare … lessons learnt on the road!

Written by Ae7's Gary Parsons
KTM Strada at night in Glasgow

KTM Strada at night in Glasgow

There is one saying that I have followed pretty much my entire life:

“Failing to prepare is preparing to fail”

Or there’s the 6 P’s that an old school coach taught me:

Piss Poor Preparation = Piss Poor Performance

Now I clearly always take these sayings on board and never forget to prepare properly. Ok, maybe on very rare occasions I don’t prepare! Let’s take last Friday for instance. Whilst I was at work during the day in the Ae7 warehouse, I realised I’d forgotten to bring my house keys, wallet and mobile phone with me. These are normally stowed carefully in my daysack when I cycle into work in the morning (preparation). Now, I had obviously just failed in the first 3 parts of the 6 P’s and to make matters worse I knew my girlfriend was out the house and wouldn’t be back till later on that evening.

No biggie! Plan B was put into place. I had eaten well throughout the day, so to kill the time until my girlfriend got home I figured I would simply go out for my training ride earlier than planned.

I set off on a simple 40 mile circuit at a steady pace around Glasgow. I managed to get to around the 30 mile point of my ride when suddenly a feeling of impending doom hit me! I felt & heard the air take a one way trip out of the back tyre.

So there I was on a cold wet Glasgow night with muddy streaks up my lycra. Of course, had I prepared as planned I would have been fine. However, not only did I not have my keys, wallet & mobile phone, I also never had my tyre levers, puncture repair patches, spare tube or pump!!

I therefore had to walk around 8 miles from the south side of the city to the west end where I live looking like a skinny replica of Chris Hoy. Glaswegians are known for humour and the locals who stood outside the bars smoking cigarettes didn’t disappoint! They were wearingt shirts that were 3 sizes too small yet they had the audacity to make endless comments about my love of lycra & apparent disregard for fashion! Now this was a Friday night and as the time passed I began to fear a little for the safety of my KTM Strada, not to mention myself, so I swiftly picked up my walking or pushing pace as I passed the seemingly endless streets of Friday night revellers!

I did learn a lesson in being prepared though and funnily enough the next day my bag was filled with everything I might need from a small kit of patches to my mobile phone. There hasn’t been a day since that I haven’t carried all the little items that would have saved me that night! I also have at least 5 really funny lines of retort for the smokers!!!

Always be prepared!



The Amatuer Cyclist – About Me

Hi, welcome to my first blog in a series called “The Amatuer Cyclist”.

Gary & his girlfriend Layla

Gary & his girlfriend Layla

I’m Gary your everyday common cyclist, preparing to embark on a journey into competitive cycling. Im going to use this blog to document the path I take along the way, this may include:

Equipment, training methods, routes, cycling clubs, nutrition, books, races, repairs and much much more.

I hope this blog will show what is possible with a bit of hard work but also that competitive cycling is easily accessible for anyone no matter what level you’re at. I’m not going to hide anything, the pain & gain, the tears and personal triumphs will all be shared.

I currently use my bike for leisure, fun & commuting to work, which is usually around the 15-20 miles each day (nothing massive). This means I have a long long way to go on my journey to achieve my goal of being a competitive cyclist. I just happen to work for Ae7 Bikes, the online bike store, which gives me an inside view of the cycling industry. It also makes getting equipment that big bit easier although I’ve found being surrounded by bikes and bike bits means I only want more than I probably need!

This weekend I will be visiting the Clydebank based Lomond Roads Cycling Club and joining them on a club ride. This will be the first club ride I taken part in and I’m really looking forward to it.

KTM Strada 800

KTM Strada 800

I currently ride a KTM Strada 800 and this has definitely been the best cycling investment I have made! It is bullet proof, handles well (I’m doing my best not to use the word love on an object) and my adoration of the bike has got my closest and dearest worrying about me. Clothing wise, I’m currently using Endura gear. I highly rate the FS260 clothing range and wear this 90% of the time I’m riding.

I just put together a 48 week training plan which will hopefully prepare me for a couple of events next spring/summer. On my next blog I will document this in more detail and discuss the different forms of training methods practices I will be using to improve my fitness, speed and all round ability on a bike.

For the time being though I’m simply your average cyclist with a little ambition, hope you will follow my adventure towards glory – watch out Mr Froome!

Written by Gary ParsonsAe7