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TEAM RIBBLE: Ailbhe and her Aero 883 all set to Tri

Team Ribble sponsored triathlete Ailbhe Carroll looks back on her 2016 and forward to her new tri season which begins on Gran Canaria on March 26th.

My last race of 2016 was in October and finishing racing that late made for a very long season, yet it was my first ever full season without injury or illness. I got to the end of a season absolutely whacked purely because I completed the season from start to finish. It was the first time I have ever felt like a proper triathlete!! Tick that box off!! Yahoo!

Team Ribble tri

I won one of my final races of last season in a new course record and was happy to represent Ribble on top of the podium. It was a non-drafting race and I was ever so proud to have the fastest bike split whilst on my road bike versus everyone else on TT bikes. Shows how awesome my Ribble Aero 883 is… fact!! My bike was my saving grace in 2016. I have documented all my races here on the Ribble blog and there has always been a pattern of my very forgetful limb packing. When I have rocked up to races and forgot to pack my bike legs, my Ribble Aero 883 has still got the job done. This is testament to the high standard of bike that Ribble put on show. Match made in heaven.

Thanks for all the support

All in all 2016 was a great year. I didn’t get half the results I was dreaming of, but 2017 is another opportunity to showcase again and alongside my wonderful supporters I know we will achieve together. Without my trusty bike I would have been lost. Ribble helped me out when I had no bike at all and the difference they have made to me has been extraordinary. A massive thank you to the guys at Ribble for everything they have done for me as it is simply amazing. Polaris Bike wear have been another high up on that list of wows. Protection of bikes doesn’t come cheap and these guys have helped endless amounts. The amount of times I travel abroad knowing my bike is safe is too many to mention. I made over 30 flights in 2016 and my bike has been safe from start to finish. Thank you for your support.  My feet and body have been laughing it up in Newton and Newline kit from the guys at New running gear. All conditions are catered for and I am ever so thankful for what they have done for me. A team like this makes achieving and living your dream a lot easier. Thank you thank you thank you.

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New Triumph Coaching team

Alongside everything else, I have joined forces with my boyfriend and two other friends and elite international triathletes to form a coaching business called Triumph Coaching. We would love for you guys to have a look at our website and get in touch if you have any questions. We are very keen to hear from you all and would love to know your goals and ambitions for 2017. We are happy to help you in triathlon or just single sports so whatever your needs are we would love to be involved. Just click the link and you can also find us on twitter, facebook and Instagram at team_triumph1

Progress and tri goals

2017 training began in the winter around Loughborough and it was quite ‘fun’ keeping track of how many fingers and toes still had feeling in them! Winter always brings with it a whole pile of laughter!

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I am happy to report massive leaps and jumps forward in my fitness compared to this time last year. I have been able to reduce my working hours which is allowing me to train more and recover… something I didn’t have time for last year! This I know is going to make all the difference in 2017.

I don’t know whether it’s because I have gained a whole year to my life or not but my average heart rate is decreasing by a lot on all my runs. I have always been a high heart rate kind of gal – things are changing! Either I am over the hill or I am actually making use of this consistency in my training and finding fitness! A crazy thought!

My days are structured and planned down to the last millisecond – it’s not for everyone and can be annoying sometimes as you just feel like rest is a mile away all the time – but hey ho, one of life’s musts!

I have some nice goals set out for 2017 and I am very excited to get achieving these bad boys! I am aiming high and striving for more. I know what’s what and as I am my own coach, I know what I do day in and day out and what my stats and figures say I can do. My goals are big for 2017 and I am very excited to get going this weekend in the Gran Canaria European Cup tri (26th March).

I hope that everyone has had a good ol’ crack at winter training! Winter miles for summer smiles and all that jazz!

Happy pedalling everyone!

Ailbhe

The Not-So Great Outdoors?

For some time now, scientists have been telling us to spend more time outside.  According to them, short term memory, vision and concentration can all be improved by spending time outdoors – so why then do we spend so much time doing the exact opposite?

Thanks to a recent survey by the team here at Ribble Cycles, it can be revealed that Brits spend a meagre 8% of their time outside between Monday and Friday, and an even more depressing figure of 5% on a weekend.

Furthermore, women have been named as the more serious offenders, with men spending up to 30 minutes more time outdoors on a weekly basis.

Popular outdoor activities for both sexes included taking pets for a walk, walking to and from the car and going for a run. However, what is surprising is that cycling to work remained way down on the list, with only 2% of respondents stating they enjoyed this particular pastime.

Reflective

Obviously, this didn’t sit well with us  – especially when you consider the positive effects cycling can have.
For starters, for those who choose to cycle to work, a huge amount of money can be saved each year, as things like bus tickets and train fares pale into insignificance. What’s more, for anyone who chooses a cycle over taking the car, things like road tax, MOTs and insurance costs don’t need to be considered – something that could
amount to thousands of pounds in savings.

From surfing to hiking, countryside strolls and skateboarding, there are plenty of outdoor activities we could all benefit from occasionally . However, when it comes to kick starting a new lifestyle that’ll save you money, improve your health and still get you to work on time, nothing beats a good old fashioned bicycle!

Interested in getting yourself outdoors a little more? In addition to cycling, why not try some of these top activities in 2017:

. Playing Sunday league football.
. Joining a tennis club.
. Taking part in a Tough Mudder event.
. Running a marathon.
. Indulging in a spot of wild water swimming.

Alternatively, explore the range here at Ribble Cycles and find your next road, cross or mountain bike and kick start a new riding habit today.

Total sample size was 1060 UK adults (aged 18+)

TEAM RIBBLE: Share your rides and ride with new friends with the Team Ribble Strava Club

If you’re a ‘Strava addict’ then why not join your fellow Ribble bike owners in the Team Ribble Strava Club? As we go into winter there is no better time to show us your dedication in clocking up the miles and climbing.

You might only be ticking over with weekend riding or knocking out the miles in a daily commute but share it with us and see where other Club members are riding.

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If you are interested in the leaderboards then we have some serious riders in the Ribble Club putting in over 20 hours of riding a week, long rides over 100 miles and breathtaking amounts of climbing. Look out for our current top dogs – Mark from Blackpool, James Ward from Leeds and cyclocross racer Richard Haughton from Kirkham – who are putting in some serious riding at the moment.

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Strava’s global community

Strava, for the third year running, has just published its annual End of Year Insights report for the UK, providing an unparalleled insight into the behaviours and trends of the UK’s cyclists. The tens of millions of members of Strava uploaded an astonishing 9.6 activities every second of every day in 2016, up from 5.3 activities per second in 2015.

The average UK cycle ride on Strava in 2016.
The average UK cycle ride on Strava in 2016.
Here are the other 2016 Cycling Highlights:

– Globally, cyclists shared a total of 161 million rides in 2016; 27.4 million of those in the UK.

– 223,376 rides were recorded as commutes each week in the UK.

– Male cyclists recorded an average 41 km per ride, while female cyclists averaged 34 km per ride.

A further measure of Strava’s social community is the kudos, where members give praise to another’s activity. Strava saw 1.3 billion kudos given worldwide, with 183 million kudos within the UK. An impressive 51 million photos were also shared worldwide, with 5.4 million images shared in the UK alone.

How the UK compares on Strava

In terms of cycling countries, the UK only lags behind the much (averagely) flatter Netherlands for average cycling speeds. The cycling mad Netherlands leads with a 26.92 kph average for male cyclist with the UK just behind with 25.61 kph.

We look forward to seeing you in the Team Ribble Strava Club.

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GUIDE: Britain’s best velodromes – where to ride track in the UK

Ride at the UK’s top cycling centres

British cycle racing hasn’t always been the huge success story that it is today and, like many great sporting feats, the results of London 2012 and the Rio 2016 Olympics came after years of preparation, dedication and investment.

Britain’s velodromes naturally have played their part in this success – both past and present – and their place within cycling’s rich folklore should never be downplayed.

But where and when did the first velodromes spring up? Are they still used today? And if so, are they the places where Britain’s gold medalists honed their craft?

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The early velodromes

One of the world’s first velodromes was built at Preston Park in Brighton, a 633 yard long track that opened in 1877. Portsmouth velodrome soon followed, featuring a single straight joined by one swooping curve.

The materials that were used in the early velodromes differed from track to track, as did each circuit’s functionality. While some were built specifically for cycling, others were built around the outside of running tracks, providing extra lanes for runners to train.

Throughout the history of the Olympics, many velodromes were used – all of which differed in size, length and technical aspects. In fact, it wasn’t until the 1990s when the length of velodromes were standardised, a factor which resulted in the reason why today’s events take place on a 250 metre track, as opposed to the various lengths that were used throughout the 20th century.

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UK’s greatest tracks

Although some of the early velodromes may have closed their doors, there are still many great velodromes here in the UK and the number of facilities continues to increase. Just take a look at some of the tracks below.

Lee Valley VeloPark – now arguably the most famous velodrome in the UK the Lee Valley VeloPark, in east London, is the track where Sir Chris Hoy, Victoria Pendleton and Laura Trott rode to victory during the London 2012 Olympic Games.

Manchester Velodrome – the home of British Cycling (the sport’s governing body), Manchester Velodrome is the place where some of the nation’s finest Olympians have trained over the years. Located near the Etihad Stadium, the velodrome is also open to the public  – just make sure you book well in advance if ever you fancy a few laps!

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The Sir Chris Hoy Velodrome – while the Manchester Velodrome may be home to British Cycling, the Scottish Cycling team can often be found training on Glasgow’s Sir Chris Hoy Velodrome. Again, this track is open to the public, which is handy for any cyclist looking to build their fitness.

Herne Hill Velodrome – is one of the oldest tracks in the world, built in south London in 1891, and for decades was the home of the famous Good Friday Track Meeting. In 1948 it hosted the track cycling events at the London Olympics and it is still a very popular track for training and racing today.

Newport Velodrome – The Welsh National Velodrome opened in 2003 and was used by the British track cycling team for its pre-event training camps ahead of the 2008, 2012 and 2016 Summer Olympics. It has also been crucial in developing a string of talented Welsh cyclists such as Nicole Cooke and Geraint Thomas.

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Remembering Leicester track

While the tracks above highlight some of the best UK velodromes today, it’s worth remembering one of of the great velodromes of the past.

The Saffron Lane Velodrome – an outdoor stadium that once played host to some of British Cycling’s most memorable moments – was a 3,100 seater velodrome located in Leicester. The Leicester track hosted the UCI World Championships in 1970 and 1982.

Unfortunately, the opening of the new Manchester Velodrome hastened the end for the once glorious Saffron Lane track which eventually closed its doors in 1999.

Take a look at the map below to see where all the UK’s velodromes are located and to find out more about which notable cyclists have trained where.

Ribble launched the new, exciting full carbon Eliminator track bike during the 2016-17 track season. Read all about it here.

 

Name Location
1 Caird Park Dundee
2 Sir Chris Hoy Velodrome Glasgow
3 Meadowbank Velodrome Edinburgh
4 Tommy Givan Track Orangefield, Belfast
5 Middlesbrough Sports Village Middlesbrough
6 Richmondshire Velodrome (Richmondshire Cricket Club Velodrome) Richmond, North Yorkshire
7 York Sport Velodrome York, North Yorkshire
8 Roundhay Park Leeds, West Yorkshire
9 Quibell Park Stadium Scunthorpe
10 Long View Leisure (Knowsley Leisure & Culture Park) Huyton Knowsley, Merseyside
11 Manchester Velodrome (The National Cycling Centre) Manchester
12 Forest Town Welfare Mansfield,Nottinghamshire
13 Lyme Valley Stadium Newcastle-under-Lyme, Staffordshire
14 Derby Arena Derby
15 Aldersley Track Aldersley,Wolverhampton
16 Halesowen Velodrome Halesowen, West Midlands
17 Carmarthen Park Carmarthen
18 Maindy Stadium (Maindy Centre) Cardiff
19 Newport Velodrome (Newport Velo) Newport
20 Palmer Park Stadium Reading
21 Gosling Sports Park Welwyn Garden City
22 Lee Valley VeloPark Leyton, East London
23 Herne Hill Velodrome London
24 Poole Park Track Poole, Dorset
25 Bournemouth Cycle Centre Bournemouth,Dorset
26 Calshot Velodrome Calshot
27 The Mountbatten Centre Portsmouth
28 Preston Park Brighton, East Sussex

 

 

 

 

GUIDE: Get a grip with 8 of the best Autumn, Winter & wet weather tyres

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Now that the dark nights and wetter conditions are here, in the UK, we’ve put together this handy guide to eight of our best tyres for autumn and winter riding.

Once the wetter, harsher weather arrives, road surface conditions can deteriorate making bike handling trickier without the right tyres and the risk of puncture higher.

Invest in a new pair of road tyres for the winter and they’ll keep you riding right through to springtime.

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Continental GP 4 Season

Available in three widths – 23, 25 and 28 mm – the GP 4 Season from Continental is one of the very best wet weather tyres out there.

When I canvassed opinion from fellow staff who commute to Ribble throughout the winter months, our chief Product Tester Andy simply replied, “4 Seasons, 4 Seasons, 4 Seasons!” He added, “I got 4,000 miles out of the last set. They have really good grip in all conditions, especially the wet damp roads and good puncture protection.”

Personally I’ve also successfully used them in an alpine Etape du Tour to minimise the puncture risk and maximise cornering grip should I be caught in a downpour. The GP 4 Season is a truly versatile tyre and it will serve you well right through the winter.

VIEW THIS TYRE

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Michelin Power All Season Folding Tyre

With the Michelin Power All Season, its grip that is the focus of the fabled French manufacturer’s performance claims. These great tyres are also available in three widths (23, 25 and 28mm). The thick tread contains Michelin’s Aramid Protek Plus puncture protection layer.

Road.cc were impressed with this tyre, “The tyres feel supple and I found my favoured spot at around 95psi, which gave a cushioned, luxurious ride while still allowing me to spin along at what I fondly imagine to be a good pace.”

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Vred IMG_1471
Vredestein Fortezza Senso Xtreme Weather Twinpack

A grippy, competition tyre for extremely cold and wet weather conditions, the Fortezza Senso Xtreme Weather features Vredestein’s newly developed XWS compound developed for low rolling resistance and outstanding grip.

Cycling Weekly call these “good all year round” and road.cc were “impressed by their sure-footedness.” Also available in three widths (23, 25 and 28mm).

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Schwalbe
Schwalbe Durano Plus Folding Tyre Twinpack

The SmartGuard protection belt made of elastic rubber achieves an unusually high level of protection for a racing tyre but the flip side is that it makes this a heavier tyre – which is perhaps not a really bad thing in the winter months.

The dual compound ensures optimum adhesion, even on the wet rides of autumn and winter. Schwalbe call this “the most puncture-proof racing tyre there is” and it’s available in 23 and 25mm widths.

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Continental GatorSkin Folding Tyre

The Gatorskin is famous as a hard wearing, puncture protected tyre designed for fast riding and commuting. It’s probably the most popular road bike tyre in the UK with cut-resistant Duraskin and Kevlar-reinforced layers.

The slick tread for exceptional grip in both wet and dry conditions which makes it such a winter favourite.

Once known as the Ultra GatorSkin before the new GatorHardshell was introduced there is a 25mm width option which adds some extra comfort to your ride.

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gatorhardshellContinental GatorHardshell Folding Tyre

If you’re a fan of the GatorSkin then you can take it to the ‘next level’ with the Continental GatorHardshell for even more protection. These road tyres are practically bulletproof or at least I cannot remember ever having a puncture whilst using them – they are perfect for winter when the last thing you want to be doing is changing a tube at the roadside.

According to Road.cc the GatorHardshell “should reward you with exceptionally long life, puncture resistance, a very comfortable ride at speed and very good value for money over the life of the tyre.”

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COMMUTER & TOURING TYRES

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Schwalbe Marathon Rigid Tyre

For a less racy bike or a rougher commute you might want to consider the ever-popular Schwalbe Marathon. The Marathon’s highly elastic GreenGuard puncture protection layer is 3 mm thick and one of the main reasons that this durable tyre is commonly used on touring or adventure bikes.

The Marathon is a legend, a good solid commuting tyre available in a wide variety of sizes.

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Continental Touring Plus
Continental Touring Plus Rigid Tyre

The commuting tyre for those riders whose only concern is puncture protection is the Continental Touring Plus. This extremely tough puncture-proof layer is virtually impenetrable to stones, glass and thorns.

Like Schawlbe’s Marathon the Touring Plus is a popular touring tyre with a fast rolling central tread section. Between the tread and the carcass, a puncture protection layer of highly elastic special rubber is practically impenetrable and successfully defies all foreign objects from getting to the inner tube beneath it.

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