Blog – Emma Coldwell


The latest blog from Emma Coldwell with lots of riding the bike, a visit to a cyclo-cross race and a peachy rear …

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Blog – Emma Coldwell

NOTE: Send your results as well as club, team & event news here

Time flies when training is fun!

It’s been longer than expected since I last put finger to pad. Training has begun in earnest again and training has come before my blog… which I guess is better than blogging and procrastinating about training! Balancing or rather juggling responsibilities of working, looking after two small children, a house and putting in the hours on the bike takes some doing!

After the disappointment I felt with the injuries having an impact on my first season, its fair to say that I was over the moon (and back) to discover that I still managed to bag some silverware! When I first received the message, it was in disbelief and I thought it was a competition I needed to enter, rather than one I had unwittingly already won!


It’s the Yorkshire Cycling Federation (YCF) Ladies BAR for 15/25/50 mile TT’s. I don’t think I get presented with da bling until February, but it was against some very stiff competition. I think I am most pleased with my 25 mile time, especially considering the short time I was training for and more relevant perhaps was that I forgot that was the ‘winning weekend’ in which I was first lady for a 10 mile TT on the Saturday followed by my 57 in the 25 on the Sunday. (Jumps up and down in glee and does a dodgy celebratory dance).

Supporting role
At the Durham National Trophy, we went to support Simon Maudsley. Its a great spectator sport (although it was freezing) and we soon learnt how to manage the quick exchanges in the pits. Bikes cleaned repeatedly and despite not taking part on a bike, we (Emma and her partner) were certainly mud splattered but had great fun doing it! Well done to all who took part. Its fair to say that Alfie Moses seemed to have his very own fan club!

So my training bike is often a topic of conversation. It is old school… heavy and as I have already mentioned, it has gears set up to ‘make me strong’! Or, as someone told me on today’s ride, give me tendinitis! It’s affectionately referred to as the ‘Iron gate’. It was the bike I started my training on earlier this year and the little training I had, worked!


So it’s back to it. The pleasure of riding this steed was certainly not assisted by the sticking brakes and rubbing mud guard… I think it was sabotage – the additional resistance either designed to slow me down or ensure that each pedal stroke is like weight training!

Some of the old school methods of training are without shortcut, however when you combine that with modern technology and hard work, the results should come. I am still sorting out a turbo bike that we can put the power tap wheels on has delayed my imminent power test, so training has been to heart rate for the time being.

I rely on the turbo trainer for most of my mid week training. We started off on a magnetic turbo trainer, a basic one that did what it needed to initially. I have had to upgrade to the Cycle Ops (jet fluid) Pro series power turbo trainer… the more my power increased we found that there was not enough resistance. It also offers a more road like feel… I have yet to try rollers – that will be another story in itself and I would rather stay upright for now!

We had a great Sunday Social to The Courtyard at Womersley last Sunday… a very popular stop indeed especially with those powered by the pedal and in need of warmth, good food and refreshment! Tea was kept topped up… food served incredibly quickly and even a bottle filling service to finish! Thank you ladies. You also need to get there early if you want a table. By the time we arrived at a very respectable 11.00 (for our elevenses) I was so mud splattered that I looked like I had been off road! The joys of wet weather, mud and ineffective mud guards!


Mud splattered again!
It was a great route for the vast majority, also pan flat, so constant pedalling – great for training and plenty of signs too. I found that my eyes searching for the next sign made the miles fly by. My sprint is improving but still lots more practise and strength training required, but we have the time and motivation for that! So a good 75 miles in the bag.

The mid week training consisted of two turbos and a little run out past Harewood, along Arthington Lane and up Pool Bank… if you have read my previous blog, you’ll know I did this on my second ever ride on a bike in January. I got off. Something that is just not done!

This time I enjoyed riding up it, measuring how far I have come (despite the hitches). Laughed at the thought of having to get off as I began the climb. Because of my gearing, I find I have to get myself into a rhythm and just keep pedalling. Sometimes I will distract myself with the scenery or even just looking at the road in fractions… breaking it down, so each fraction seems small… even if the climb isn’t!

For anyone who knows the area (Leeds), it’s certainly not the hardest climb to be had (and Old Pool bank is certainly worse and there are plenty more that are even more challenging) but you do feel it… by the time you reach the first of the of the concrete railings, you can feel the burning sensation in your legs, you remember incorrectly that it levels off just ahead… then as you round the corner, you recall that there is actually a steeper stretch as you reach the second set of railings… now you definitely feel the burn.

Then the relief as your legs spin faster as the road levels beneath you… whoop! Then its a pleasant blast to the lights – the end is in sight and unlike the turbo – if you pedal quicker it does actually end sooner! Then comes the blast through Bramhope that I love!


Another of my favourite climbs is the A660 Chevin Road (most definitely not the old Chevin) as it’s a long gentle climb and a really good measure of my fitness/ form!

I was fortunate to go out with a great bunch of very experienced cyclists recently. We did a lovely route to the Pavillion, back through Askwith to Otley with (what I am told is usually a mad blast) up the Chevin – today was a steadier spin – with a little sprint towards Lawnswood.

I loved it and I am looking forward to riding with the group again. I have a lot to learn and its great to hear stories and tips from those who have ridden, raced and time trialled for years. Thanks to Darren for kindly stopping to collect the fiver I dropped out of my back pocket too… not quite as spectacularly as his silver and gold coin spillage all over the main street in Otley at the beginning of the ride – fighting with jerseys, rain jacket and bike as the lights turned green! I owe you a coffee sir!

I have also finally found some drinks that I actually like and don’t make my kidneys ache… (something that I found happened regularly when I consumed more than one bottle). The CNP Race drink is just perfect! Not overpowering flavour…and just as easy to drink as water. Tried both the Berry & Mango and Banana… both are great, but my preference is the latter, mmmm! I have yet to try their protein or recovery drinks out… the topic of diet and supplements is probably best for another blog when I have tried and tested a few more!

The new kit should be arriving soon… so the team Photo shoot is on the horizon! A far more skillful man behind the lens than my skin suit selfie attempt!

Another lumpy route planned for tomorrow with 4800 ft of climbing within the 58 miles. My thighs are going to keep expanding at an alarming rate! I notice the change in how my clothing fits, my waist smaller and defined, thighs mahoosive and according to my colleague Michelle after complaining I was getting too skinny, saw my rear and declared it peachy… thank you honey!

A cyclists figure is far removed from the trendy, shapeless look that I have always quite liked, but the bike is here to stay and I am embracing the new shape!

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