About a week after I bought my Brompton …


About a week after I bought my Brompton I put my name down for the Brompton World Championships 2011 which take place at Blenheim Palace. 13km seems a bit short – would prefer something like a 25k race ….. not that I am in with a chance but sure looks fun.

2010

2009

2008

No Comment Needed


 

1 car = 42 bromptons

 

 

Bikes are the future – if you live in a city you owe it not to yourself but everyone to get on your bike and use less car transport. A bike city is a friendly city. And if petrified about theft then get a Brompton and take your bike into places with you.

Suunto T6C Review



Suunto T6C BLACK

Well it has been a month of intensive use on the T6C for me and I thought I would write a short review on it … it’s been about 30 hours of exercise so sweaty use mainly running and cycling. Most of this review is based on previous HRM I have owned and used … Polar 710 and a 625x , Garmin 301 and 405GPS

LOOKS / PHYSICAL

Well the Suunto is small and neat – it nearly looks like a normal digital watch. It is comfortable on the wrist and light. It is only 55g  and is waterproof to 100m. The cutouts on the strap sit comfortably on the wrist bones to when running. I used to find the Garmin a bit clunky and sharp edged – solved for me by running with a thin wrist sweatband to stop it rubbing banging too much. The Suunto is easily on par with the Polars and I forget it is there running until the auto lap beeps me to check my pace.

FEATURES

The features are great – it obviously does heart rate with a belt and has a barometer/ altimeter built in which is much better than the GPS fix the Garmin used to try. I have to confess now that I have a Suunto Core too so the menu system is very straight forward to me and I didn’t really need to consult the manual to find my way around. Not sure if the lovely Finnish watch is easy for everyone.

SOFTWARE

The best part of the Suunto and the movescount software is the EPOC and Training Effect information. They are linked but here is a brief blurb explanation:

EPOC with pace change halfway through

Excess Post-exercise Oxygen Consumption

EPOC is the additional amount of oxygen the body needs to recover from exercise. Previously only measurable in sports laboratories, EPOC is a scientific indicator for the accumulated training load of each training session. Measuring your EPOC makes it possible to objectively gauge whether the training session was sufficient to improve your fitness level. EPOC is also used to calculate your Training Effect.

Training Effect: Any physical trainer will tell you that in order to maximize the impact of your workouts you need to train hard enough to make a difference, but not so hard that you injure yourself. Without a personal trainer to advise you, an optimal training range is exceedingly difficult to figure out because your target training zone will change as your fitness level improves. Suunto’s  Training Effect feature tells you whether you’re training too little, too hard or staying within the zones for optimal performance. Training Effect uses a simple 1-to-5 scale to display how intense your workout is based on your current fitness level. And with alarms, you’ll know as soon as you hit your limit. If for example you do a hard training at level 4 it suggests you do at least 2 sessions or recovery at 1 or 2 to prevent overtraining.

Training Effect is an accurate measurement of how hard you have trained. To calculate your personal Training Effect, Suunto heart rate monitors user data from your personal fitness profile and combines it with an analysis of your physiological progress in real time. Your heart rate monitor then formulates your Training Effect, presented as a number on a scale from 1-5.

The other remaining body parameters provided by the analysis software of Suunto t6 are energy consumption, ventilation, oxygen consumption and respiratory rate.

ACCESSORIES

The T6C uses the Ant Pod system – I have a bike Pod as well as a GPS Pod. One of the nicest things is that you can set speed on the watch to display individually for these pods. I have the GPS set to min/km for running (pace) and the bike one is set to km/h (speed)

The downside:

NO1

Firstly memory
I thought this Suunto would be a bit like the Core in that once memory got full the old entries in the logbook were overwritten (unless they were protected. With the T6C this is not the case – the watch still records total duration but stos recording exact parameters. When that happens you get an entry like this on Movescount

Memory Full - the result

So halfway thought a cycle and just as I started doing repetitions … a wee bit of a pain but lesson learnt. I reckon that recording all parameters ever 2sec (speed, HR, altitude, gps) will give you around a 4hr session recorded. Switch to /10sec if doing a longer race.

NO2

I have scratched the face of the watch so wrote to Suunto to see if there is some fancy scratch remover and I got this reply …..

Dear Sir,

Thank you for contacting Suunto.

The material used for the display in the t6/t6c models is mineral crystal glass. While mineral crystal glass is scratch resistant, this does not mean that the display is scratch proof and if used in rough conditions like mountain climbing we would recommend use of a display shield.

Unfortunately there is no product that can remove the scratches, but it is possible to replace the display at our service center.

With best regards,
Suunto Helpdesk


Stuck in Kuwait


Snow in the UK and transport grinds to a halt. Currently in Kuwait waiting for the decision to be made on whether it’s better to go east (to Dubai) before heading west (to Glasgow direct flight) or whether I have to wait here for morning flight to heathrow and then Scotland.

7am view from hotel

Staying in cheapy Ibis in Kuwait – but one block from the sea so this morning got up and went down to esplanade for a run.
It’s in the Salmiya area of Kuwait – 12 kilometers southeast of Kuwait City and is one of the largest areas in Kuwait consisting of both commercial and residential areas. The blocks located beside the Persian Gulf coastline have a great deal of commercial and up-scale residential real estate. The interior residential areas apparently hosts a huge population of foreigners who seem to do all the work here…..

This area was flattened during the Gulf War Salmiya by the invading Iraqi occupation, but was gradually rebuilt and re-populated. This area used to have old rugged 3-storied buildings and open fields and the beach front, once a hub and harbor for the fishing and pearl diving community, has been transformed into another middle east faceless area of tall towers and roads.

esplanade

But when they redesigned it they did get some things right – although there seems to have been no thought given at all to cycling or alternative transport.
The esplanade has been nicely laid out and makes a great running route – paved with a nice seabreeze coming in should make it doable even when it hits 50C in the summer.

Had a great 8km run but noticed that Kuwaitis don’t run – they all were walking for exercise – only saw 4 other runners and they all looked like expats or visitors to me.

HR from run - Suunto T6C

A tough bike in a hot place


I had a problem I wanted a bike for my trips to Baghdad – I only ever spend 3 weeks here at a time every 6-8 weeks and I was sick of having to drive a loan car while here A HUGE 5.7L beast of a truck the 6km into and away from work every night.

Running was easy but not the nicest as there is a section with a tunnel, no pavement and running with a backpack sucks, so a bike was the solution.

They sell bikes on this base but they are cheap $180 stomp and you break a crank type of bikes. So to bring one of my bikes out could have been possible but a pain. I also had the problem of where I could keep it when I go home or other places.
The solution a new Brompton S6 and a flight-case for it. As I only ever have hand luggage the size is no issue – I am probably still travelling lighter than the average Joe.

Lovely to cycle in the morning – even when it is hot the ride is great – takes about 11min no slower than the old car took but much more liberating

Now its winter but no great shakes about 7C in the morning and up to 18C in the day ….. Lakes here are full of Cormorants, ducks, pied kingfishers, egrets, the odd grey heron and the very large Carp they feed on.

Not the worst commute I have had to do.

Chris Akrigg gets broken


Chris Akrigg on a 700c wheeled brakeless bike bombing in the woods.

A little while ago i thought it would be a good idea to put a freewheel on my fixie. I’d miss placed the brakes so i had to run it without, this wasn’t a good idea as i ended up wrapped myself around a tree. Anyway, i did manage to get a bit of footage before injury then bad weather stopped play. It is what it is, whatever that is! A bit of fun on a 700c…