Knee Pain Cycling

This afternoon as we left the cafe stop, I had a sharp pain in my right knee that wouldn't go away. It didn't effect my performance (in fact the slower I rode, the worse it got) however pretty much on every upstroke I got a pain around my knee. It was totally out of the blue with nothing to suggest I had done anything out of the ordinary.

This was the unfortunate state of my shaven knee having had it looked at by my brother before having treatment. One of the advantages of having a brother who is a qualified Sports Therapist that any problems are sorted out quickly.

If you're suffering from knee pain or any other pain, or simply need a sports massage to flush out the lactic acid then it is worth seeing a Sports Therapist. In this instance it was simply a sharp pain which has turned out to be the start of a bigger problem. If you're in the North West check out or drop me a message and I'll put you in touch with my brother.


Well it turns out that I have a lateral tilt of my right patella (my left is perfectly fine) which basically means my knee cap is slightly pulling to the right hand side. My right leg is my dominant leg and the reason for the patella moving to the right is due to a combination of my ITB and outside of my quads being tight and strong. Basically my left hand side of my right leg isn't strong enough.

This is a common diagnosis with cyclists so if you're having any knee problems it is well worth having it checked out.


Firstly my quads, especially my ITB band, were very tight and needed massaging out. Tight ITB bands (a muscle strip down the outside of the quad) is a common issue for cyclists; I've spoken to many cyclists about the horror and suffering of having it massaged! So after half an hour of excruciating pain we then moved onto sorting out the knee.

After shaving my knee, Chris laid out some meshing.
He then applied Zinc Oxide strips, these are special in that they don't stretch like normal strips.
He applied 3 strips and they are going to help pull my patella back into place alongside muscle strengthening exercises. 
To help strengthen the weaker left hand side, he has given me a couple of exercises, including squeezing a football and squatting with it.

Revolution Track Cycling

On Saturday I was fortunate enough to have been given 2 free tickets, courtesy of British Cycling, for the opening Revolution night at Manchester Velodrome.

For anyone into cycling, you will definitely love it and even taking along long suffering partners/family they will too. I took Becky along, it was her first time to Revolution and she loved it (although she said it would be better if they also had showjumping on in the middle at the same time).

The format is excellent with different races split up across the evening. The organisation is super slick so you are never waiting around, as soon as one race finishes another begins. The races are also quite short and snappy too so Becky she never got too bored.

There is a nice mix of Elite Professional riders (for example: Russell Downing and the incredible Alex Dowsett were involved last night) alongside lower level professionals, academy riders and up and coming riders. The boy and girl stars of the future races were really good.

The racing is fast, with the crowd roaring on the last sprint laps or when the bunch is caught by the lone break away rider to take a lap off them.

I also loved the relaxed atmosphere, you help yourself to a seat, no allocations, and you can grab chips, beer, ice cream you name it and just enjoy.

Definitely worth attending over the Winter if you can. November's promises to be a cracker with star riders already including Ed Clancy, Geraint Thomas and....MARK CAVENDISH.

The next event is on 19th November with two rounds in January. Parking is free, racing starts at 7pm and you'll be finished between 9.30-10pm. More details visit

Plantronics Ad

Spotted this Plantronics ad. Really like the idea and turning a potentially boring product (telephone headsets) into something fun while remaining grounded to businesses.

Tour de France 2012 Route

The 2012 Tour de France route has been announced. The route sees the riders spending several days in Belgium, negotiating roads familiar with the Spring Classics. Remembering the 2010 Tour de France, which spent time on the Belgium pave, we should be in for an interesting first week. The route stays in Northern France for most of the first week which will give chance for a trip across the channel for us Brits.

Moving forward the 2012 Tour de France route has more flatter stages than previous years however Prudhomme has found some new climbs with "very steep parts and very high gradients". Stage 7 finishes on La Planche des Belle Filles, with an average gradient of 8.5% over 6km, the steepest section on this climb being 20%!

For me stage 16 will be a killer with the riders taking on Col's Aubisque, Tourmalet. Aspin and Peyresourd.

Altogether there are 5 mountain stages with 2 summit finishes; across the Tour there are 25 second, first and HC climbs, two more than last year's race. The 2012 route also sees 3 Time Trials, no guessing what Andy and Frank Schleck will be spending time doing this Winter!

I was delighted to read about Mark Cavendish's move to Sky. It is such great news for British Cycling. I look forward to see him working with Bradley Wiggins & Geraint Thomas.

2012 Tour de France route

30 June - Prologue: Liege, 6.1km

1 July - Stage 1: Liege - Seraing 198km

2 July - Stage 2: Vise - Tournai 207km

3 July - Stage 3: Orchies - Boulogne-sur-Mer 197km

4 July - Stage 4: Abbeville - Rouen 214km

5 July - Stage 5: Rouen - St Quentin 197km

6 July - Stage 6: Epernay - Metz 210km

7 July - Stage 7: Tomblaine - La Planche des Belles Filles 199km

8 July - Stage 8: Belfort - Porrentruy 154km

9 July - Stage 9: Arc-et-Senans - Besancon (time trial) 38km

10 July - Rest day in Macon

11 July - Stage 10: Macon - Bellegarde-sur-Valserine 194km

12 July - Stage 11: Albertville - La Toussuire/Les Sybelles 140km

13 July - Stage 12: St Jean de Maurienne - Annonay 220km

14 July - Stage 13: St Paul Trois Chateaux - Le Cap d'Agde 215km

15 July - Stage 14: Limoux - Foix 192km

16 July - Stage 15: Samatan - Pau 160km

17 July - Rest day in Pau

18 July - Stage 16: Pau - Bagnères de Luchon 197km

19 July - Stage 17: Bagnères de Luchon - Peyragudes 144km

20 July - Stage 18: Blagnac - Brive la Gaillarde 215km

21 July - Stage 19: Bonneval - Chartres (time trial) 52km

22 July - Stage 20: Rambouillet - Paris Champs-Élysées 130km

Kitchen Conference 2011

Sorry to have not posted recently but I have been man down with this cold/flu bug doing the rounds. As such I've not been up to much but sleeping. Luckily before I was hit with the dreaded lurgy I visited the 2011 Kitchen Conference run by KBB Review magazine.

The main reason for my visit was to support Duncan Marr, MD to one of my clients at work Franke, however it was also interesting to get a top level insight into how the industry was performing.

As you might expect everyone was finding it tough, many were finding their revenues flatlining however there were deals still to be had especially at the bottom and top ends of the market. The top end of the market was particulary lucrative as consumers searched for greater reassurance of quality product and service.

What I found especially interesting was that the majority were of the opinion that sales were made through adding extra value to services. One point I found very interesting was from William McGrath, CEO at Aga Rangemaster. McGrath is a very positive chap, listening to him you feel enthused and he obviously enjoys his work greatly. I'm sure that a big part of this was that Aga Rangemaster had announced "better-than-threefold" increases in operating profits in the first half of 2011 just before the conference.

In the tough times we are in, how have Aga Rangemaster been able to increase operating profits so greatly, especially considering their product is highly aspirational with a price tag to match? William McGrath put it down to hard work in changing consumer behaviour. Their marketing has concentrated on making the kitchen the heart of the home; if Aga Rangemaster can persuade consumers to part with big sums of money on a new cooker they will be more willing to spend time socialising in the kitchen. How do we get consumers to part with big sums of money? Interestingly McGrath mentioned that such is the poor return on current savings, by investing the money into an Aga the consumer will be raising the profile of their home and with it the value of the property.

This big, bold thinking. Such thinking is wonderfully refreshing. I've blogged numerous times about how targeting consumers emotionally will have a greater effect on profit and here it is in action.

Sink & Tap on Kelly Hoppen Superior Interiors

One of my clients Franke, are having a sink and tap featured on Kelly Hoppen's Superior Interiors on Channel 5 tonight (Tuesday 4th October, 8pm).

The products being featured are the gorgeous Planar PPX sink with Planar Chrome taps. The episode sees interior designer of the stars Kelly Hoppen take on the Applebaum family’s kitchen in Chigwell, Essex.

For more information on Franke sinks & taps check out their website, they have a handy dealer locator if you're in the market for a purchase.

I would also check out the stunning Mythos Fusion Fragranite sink and Minerva boiling water tap which, as well as being your traditional hot and cold tap, disperses boiling hot water instantly - perfect for brews! 2011 is also Franke's 100 year anniversary!

Johnny Helms TT - Sunday 9th October 2011

This Sunday sees the second Johnny Helms Memorial Time Trial which takes place on the outskirts of Chelford and Knutsford.

Johnny Helms was a long standing cartoonist for Cycling Weekly, when he passed away his cycling club Warrington RC decided to set up a memorial 2-up TT.

The Johnny Helms TT is 22.8miles and sees legendary vets pair up alongside younger riders. Last year Derek Hodgins and Carl Ruebotham won. This year sees the return of legendary Time Trialist Dave Hinde and Weaver Valley's very own Alan Kemp taking part.

The Course

Event HQ
Marthall Village Hall.

The course (22.8 miles)
Start in Snelson Lane at first junction south of the A537, continue south and turn left onto Pepper Street and then left onto the A537, then left into Seven Sisters, then left onto the A50, then left at Stocks Lane, then left into Chelford Lane, which turns into Pepper Street. Circuit is completed three times and on the third lap turn back into Snelson Lane to finish near the start.

The younger rider must pace the veteran around the course until the final mile, at which point the veteran must take over and pace the younger rider to the finish.

Start List
12.03 1 Gordon Leicester RT S
12.03 2 Paul Spencer Warrington RC V44

12.06 3 Anna Burton Cole Morley CC L
12.06 4 Denise Burton Cole Morley CC LV

12.09 5 Simon Rushden Phoenix CC S
12.09 6 Peter Ryalls Sheffield Phoenix CC V

12.12 7 Darren Topping Warrington RC V43
12.12 8 Steve Heffernan V

12.15 9 Sarah Storey Horizon Fitness L
12.15 10 Mandy Bishop GS Surosa LV

12.18 11 Vicky Stinton Birkenhead North End L
12.18 12 Geoff Dutton Birkenhead North End V63

12.21 13 Adrian Ward Shaftesbury CC V47
12.21 14 Mick Ward Haverhill Wh V77

12.24 15 Matthew Middleton H. Middleton CC S
12.24 16 Stan Brittain Phoenix CC V80

12.27 17 Vicky Thomas Liverpool Mercury L
12.27 18 Phil Thomas Liverpool Mercury V55

12.30 19 Lynn Hamel Team Herbalife Wheelbase L
12.30 20 Peter Graham Lancashire RC V76

12.33 21 Frank Lyon Liverpool Mercury V61
12.33 22 John Akins Liverpool Mercury V67

12.36 23 Josh Cowley Warrington RC S
12.36 24 Vic Marcroft Warrington RC V72

12.39 25 Ryan Mullen Planet X J
12.39 26 John Bettinson LVRC V70

12.42 27 Graeme Holmes V48
12.42 28 Bill Holmes Hull Thursday V75

12.45 29 Paul Curran Blackhawk V50
12.45 30 Jack Wright Middridge CRT V70

12.48 31 Ron Stuart Mid Shropshire Wh V60
12.48 32 Tony Hewson CTC Shropshire V77

12.51 33 Robin Brennan Preston CC V45
12.51 34 Jack Kershaw V

12.54 35 Keith Reynolds Solihull CC V47
12.54 36 Harry Reynolds Solihull CC V76

12.57 37 Paul Holdsworth Hounslow & District Wh V47
12.57 38 Jeff Marshall Hounslow & District Wh V70

13.00 39 Dave Williams Kuota-Esg-Spinergy V45
13.00 40 John Parker Kuota Racing V53

13.03 41 Cheryl Trueman Team Swift LV
13.03 42 Mike Smith Team Swift V68

13.06 43 John McMillan Finchley Racing Team V67
13.06 44 John (Gino) Goddard Kenton RC V78

13.09 45 Andy Tinsley Maxgear RT S
13.09 46 John Perks CC Giro V81

13.12 47 Andrew Eagers Derby Mercury CC V48
13.12 48 Derrick Woodings M.I. Racing V71

13.15 49 Warren Bailey Litchfield CC V48
13.15 50 Ben McKay Warrington RC S

13.18 51 Bernie Burns Aire Valley Cycles RT V45
13.18 52 Bernard Burns Aire Valley Cycles RT V71

13.21 53 Dan McLay Davo Lotto Team S
13.21 54 Tim Harris V

13.24 55 Paul Shallicker RT S
13.24 56 Alan Mellor V63

13.27 57 Steve Daintith Warrington RC S
13.27 58 Trevor Horton Warrington RC V67

13.30 59 Andy Wilkinson Port Sunlight Wh V48
13.30 60 Jill Wilkinson Port Sunlight Wh LV

13.33 61 Steve Burke Macclesfield Wh S
13.33 62 Roger Wrenn Macclesfield Wh V67

13.36 63 Martin Kerry Lancashire RC V51
13.36 64 Frank Kerry Lancashire RC V76

13.39 65 Nigel Farr North Shropshire Wh V57
13.39 66 Phil Guy North Shropshire Wh V63

13.42 67 Nige Wood Wills Wheels V48
13.42 68 Jack Watson M.I. Racing V74

13.45 69 Lynne Taylor Born To Bike LV
13.45 70 Pauline Wallis Clarence Wheelers CC LV

13.48 71 Carl Millar Warrington RC V47
13.48 72 Ernie Lightfoot VC Halton V70

13.51 73 Lee Matthews Liverpool Mercury S
13.51 74 Peter Matthews Liverpool Mercury V68

13.54 75 Charles Taylor South Pennine RC S
13.54 76 Ron Hallam South Pennine RC V81

13.57 77 Stan Maciak Didcot Phoenix V66
13.57 78 John Woodburn VC Meudon V74

14.00 79 Richard Handley Team Raleigh S
14.00 80 Alan Kemp Weaver Valley CC V70

14.03 81 Chris Siepen Seamons CC S
14.03 82 Brian Rourke Brian Rouke Cycles V

14.06 83 Nigel Bishop GSSurosa V45
14.06 84 Bob Porter ABC Centreville V67

14.09 85 Sean Childs Royal Navy / Marines C.A V40
14.09 86 Colin Lewis Mid Devon CC V69

14.12 87 Steve Fidler Team S
14.12 88 Dave Hinde Dave Hinde Racing V

14.15 89 Charles McCulloch V49
14.15 90 Tony Farrell Westmead Team 88 V67

14.18 91 George Atkins Velo Ecosse S
14.18 92 Phil Rayner Welland Valley CC V47

14.21 93 Barry Charlton Lyme RC V45
14.21 94 Les West GS Strada V67

14.21 95 Barry Couldrey Stourbridge Velo V50
14.24 96 Roger Iddles Stourbridge Velo V67

14.27 97 Lee Tunnicliffe Planet X S
14.27 98 Jon Surtees Team Swift V44

14.30 99 Carl Ruebotham Team Swift V45
14.30 100 Derek Hodgins Stockport Clarion CC V77