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Archive for the ‘Bicycle’ Category

  1. Geraint Thomas reflects on a disappointing Tour De Romandie

     

    Capture

    The Tour of Romandie didn’t quite go to plan for myself or the team recently. I was struggling with fatigue after pushing hard in the first part of the season and so felt tired and not as good as I have done previously this year. 

     

    The weather at the race didn’t help a lot either! When we arrived to the team hotel, it was snowing and also settling on the road. Luckily we could still race but it was certainly the coldest week of racing this year. We started with a 4km prologue, with a few snow flakes falling around. It was a good start to the race with Kwaito and myself 3rd and 4th respectively on GC.

     

    Unfortunately it was all downhill from here for myself and I slowly dropped out of GC contention. Froomey also had some bad luck on the first mountain stage when he punctured on the penultimate climb. The race was really heating up at this point so there were a lot of riders dropped and groups everywhere. This meant our team car wasn’t behind the front group as they were stuck behind dropped riders, so Mikel Nieve stopped and gave Froomey his front wheel. As the pace was so high they couldn’t get back, which meant I was the only guy left in the front group. I tried to get a result for the team but I cracked 5km to go and lost about 50sec to the winner Nairo Quintana.

     

    The rest of the race was about getting what we could from it. Froomey won stage 4 with a really impressive ride which was great to see. On the final stage we tried to set up our sprinter Ben Swift for the final but unfortunately there was a big crash which he got caught up in. Luckily he wasn’t too badly injured, with no fractures or breaks. That’s classed as a ‘lucky crash’ for Ben, as he’s had a lot of injuries and operations following crashes so we were glad it wasn’t too serious.

     

    After Romandie I had a mini break. A week off, to do what I want, ride my bike a bit but with no structure or stress. A little break mid season helps me to freshen up mentally as much as physically before another big block. It’s a chance to spend some quality time with my wife and enjoy a few drinks and meals out. 

     

    Next up is another 2 week training camp up in Tenerife, followed by Tour de Swiss, potentially National TT Championships and hopefully the Tour. I’m definitely going to enjoy a steak and an ice cream while I can! 

     

  2. Geraint’s Wheel of Fortune Competition

    Geraint Thomas MBE has been the Protect Your Bubble bike and gadget insurance ambassador since 2015. We work with him to provide you, ours fans and followers with exclusive updates, blogs and amazing giveaway prizes such as authentic kit worn by G himself. Make sure you keep following @PYB_Bike to keep up with all things Geraint Thomas and check out the latest blog he wrote for us on his altitude training and the Tour of Flanders HERE

    Those who follow Geraint Thomas will know he got the new season off to a flying start with back to back wins! Geraint has been extremely generous and has donated a signed race number and jersey from one of the races. We’re very excited to announce we have set up a competition for one lucky person to win this fabulous prize!

    If you fancy fancy winning this one of kind piece of memorabilia worn by Geraint Thomas, simply watch the vine on our Twitter profile take a screenshot when the wheel of fortune is on the last race Geraint won and send us a screenshot to @PYB_Bike with #PYBG

    You can enter on Twitter HERE

    Good luck!

    wheel of fortune competition

    Competition Full T&C’s

    Eligibility

    1. The promotion is open to residents of Great Britain (England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland), Isle of Man and Channel Islands only, excluding employees of the Assurant Direct Limited (the “Promoter”) and their immediate families, agencies of the Promoter, and anyone else professionally connected with this promotion.

    2. This promotion is only open to individuals aged 18 years or over on date of promotion entry.

    3. The promotion begins at 12.00 on 26th April 2016 and closes at 11.59 on Saturday 30th April 2016 Daylight Saving Time (DST). Any entry received after the closing date and time will not be valid. Proof of sending is not proof of receipt.

    4. Entrants must have access to the internet and a Twitter account.

    5. Entry is free and no purchase is necessary to enter this promotion. A maximum of one entry per person is allowed and a maximum of one prize may be won per household.

     

    How to Enter

    6. Watch the video vine posted on the PYB_Bike Twitter feed entitled “Geraint’s Wheel of Fortune”,take a screenshot and reply when you see the name of the last race Geraint Thomas won on the rotating wheel. Your comment must contain the #PYBG hashtag.

    7. No entries from agents, third parties or those automatically generated by computer or any software will be accepted. Incomplete or corrupted entries will not be accepted. Entries are valid only if they comply with all the requirements stated in these rules.

    8. Entrants must continue to follow the @PYB_Bike Twitter account to be eligible.

     9. Entrants must not publish repeated tweets.

    10. Entrants must not attempt to enter the promotion using multiple accounts or multiple entries across different social media channels. Entrants found to be doing so will be ineligible to participate in the promotion. It is the responsibility of entrants to ensure they comply with Twitter’s rules regarding usage.

    The Prize

    12. There is one winner. The prize is a signed winning race number worn by Geraint Thomas

    13. Cost of shipping is included in the prize. Any redelivery requirements where a user has not been available to receive their delivery that requires an additional costs is the winner’s responsibility. The winners are responsible for all expenses not expressly stated in these terms and conditions as being included as part of the prize.

    14. The prize is not transferable & cannot be exchanged. The prize is awarded “as is” with no warranty or guarantee, either express or implied.

    Winner Selection and Notification

    15. The winner will be randomly selected on 30th April 2016 by the Promoter from all of the valid entries submitted during the promotional period in accordance with these rules.

    16. The Promoter will contact the winner within one week of 30th April 2016 via private message on, Facebook or Twitter. In all matters, the random selection made by the Promoter shall be final and no correspondence or discussion shall be entered into.

    17. The winner is required to respond to the private message notification within 7 days in order to claim the prize. Failure to do so will result in the prize being forfeited and another winner will be selected.

    18. The Promoter accepts no responsibility for failed delivery due to provision of incorrect contact details by entrants. Any prize that is returned undelivered will be assumed unwanted and the Promoter reserves the right to select an alternative winner to receive the prize using the same process referred to above in these terms and conditions.

    19. The Promoter reserves the right to ask for evidence of identity and address of the prize winner.

    20. By entering this promotion, entrants will be deemed to have accepted and agreed to be bound by these terms and conditions.

    21. Losing entries will not receive any notification.

    General

    22. The Twitter handle full name and county of residence of the prize winner will be available upon request by sending a stamped self-addressed envelope to; Geraint Wheel of Fortune, Assurant House, 6-12 Victoria Street, Windsor, Berkshire, SL4 1EN after 30th April 2016

    23. In the event of unforeseen circumstances the Promoter reserves the right to provide alternative prizes of equal or greater value.

    24. By entering, all entrants grant Promoter, and their licensees, successors and assigns, the assignable, perpetual, worldwide, fully-paid, irrevocable, non-exclusive license to publish, reproduce, prepare derivative works of, distribute, display, exhibit, transmit, broadcast, televise, digitize, otherwise use, and permit others to use their entry for this Promotion, including the names and likenesses of any persons embodied therein, in any manner, form, or format now or hereinafter created, including on the Internet, and on Promoter social media sites, and for any purpose, including, but not limited to, advertising or promotion of Promoter, all without further consent from or notice or payment to entrant or winner(s). Promoter is under no obligation to make use of the rights granted herein.

    25. The Promoter and its agents will only use personal information supplied by entrants to this promotion for the purposes of administering this promotion, unless consent is received to use such information for any other purpose. All personal data shared by the entrants will be collected in accordance with Promoter’s privacy policy available at http://uk.protectyourbubble.com/legal-privacy/privacy-policy.html

    26. Nothing in these terms shall exclude the liability of the Promoter for death, personal injury, fraud or fraudulent misrepresentation as a result of its negligence or any other liability which may not be excluded by law. The Promoter excludes all other liability to the extent permitted by law and in particular without limitation to the foregoing, the Promoter shall not be liable for any indirect, special or consequential loss nor for loss arising out of matters outside of its control nor for entries lost, delayed or undelivered, nor any liability for technical errors or communication failures in networks and/or internet access.

    27. By participating, each entrant agrees to release, indemnify, discharge and hold harmless Promoter and Twitter, Inc., and each of their respective parents, affiliates, subsidiaries, and advertising and promotion agencies, and the respective officers, directors, shareholders, employees, agents and representatives of the forgoing (collectively, “Released Parties”) from any and all injuries, liability, losses and damages of any kind to persons, including death, or property resulting, in whole or in part, directly or indirectly, from entrant’s participation in the Promotion or any Promotion -related activity, the acceptance, possession, use or misuse of any prize and/or Promoter’s use of the rights granted herein.

    28. The Promoter reserves the right at any time to modify, discontinue (temporary or permanently) this promotion with or without prior notice due to reasons outside its control (including in the case of anticipated, suspected or actual fraud). The decision of the Promoter in all matters under its control is final and binding.

    29. This promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with, Facebook or Twitter. You understand that you are providing your information to Promoter and not to Facebook or Twitter. Entrants to this promotion hereby release Facebook, and Twitter from any claim or liability suffered in connection with this promotion

    30. This promotion and these terms and conditions will be governed by English law and any disputes will be subject to the exclusive jurisdiction of the courts of England and Wales.

    Promoter – Assurant Direct Limited trading as Protect Your Bubble, whose registered office is Assurant House, 6-12 Victoria Street, Windsor, Berkshire, SL4 1EN and whose registered number is 5399683

  3. How to avoid saddle sores

    How to Avoid Saddle Sores

    Blog-image  

    First of all the odd saddle sore when riding is inevitable. Your bum isn’t designed to sit on a thin piece of leather. However there is a difference between the odd, manageable saddle sore and feeling like nails are digging into your backside and thighs every time you sit on a bike.

    Get the right saddle and angle

    There is also a difference between having a sore bottom because you find your saddle uncomfortable and actual sore’s, however getting the correct saddle is crucial. Every derriere is different and requires a different saddle! There is a lot of trial and error here but it’s worth putting in the research and time. Pop into your local bike shop if you’ve got one near, they are likely to be able to give you lots of advice and recommendations!

    The second thing you need to do is make sure your saddle is set flat. There is a lot of advice out there that suggests tipping your saddle forwards slightly will improve comfort. Whilst this is generally true it can lead to problems elsewhere such as the knees. A quick fix perhaps if you’re in trouble and need to get home but not something we would ever advise on a permanent basis.

    Padded shorts

    Proper cycling shorts are the first thing you must purchase if you’re planning on getting into cycling or upping your distances. Ill-fitting or worn out cycling shorts are a recipe for chafing and saddle sore’s. You only need to spend a short amount of time in the wrong shorts to understand exactly where we’re coming from here. A well-made and fitted cycling short with the chamois in the right place can really make all the difference! Lastly make sure you leave the underwear off, chamois shorts and briefs (especially cotton) do not go well together.

    It’s always recommended that you take your shorts off as soon as you stop riding and shower. If you can’t shower it’s still worth getting changed into fresh clothes. (anti-bac wipes are ideal in this situation) This will help prevent against harmful bacteria as well as allowing your shorts and body to air out.

    Chamois cream

    Chamois cream can really help but we must stress that it isn’t a fix nor should it be applied by the bucket load. If you’re really struggling with saddle sores the cream isn’t going to fix the problem and you need to address at source. However it is useful in reducing friction and helping to prevent chafing. It’s worth looking for one that has antibacterial properties as this can help prevent infection and sore’s in the first place!

    Rest and recovery + Food

    Lastly and arguably the most important thing you can do is rest. Getting a goodnight’s sleep, particularly if you’re riding for continuous days at a time will not only allow your muscles to recover but also your skin. When you’re tired & warn down your skin is much more susceptible to spots and rashes. By giving the body the rest it requires you should increase your chances of avoiding saddle sores.

    This isn’t the nicest point to end on but it’s worth bearing in mind. If you know there is something that doesn’t agree with you it’s worth making sure you don’t eat said meal before a ride. If you’re already sore you’ve already lost before you’ve started!

  4. Geraint Thomas on Volta ao Algarve success

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    So it was the second time that I have raced at the Volta ao Algarve and I managed to win it for the second time. Result! It was different to last years race as going into it this time I was the sole leader in the team. Last year I shared leadership with Richie Porte, so to carry the hopes of the team and to deliver is a great feeling.

    It wasn’t all ‘plain sailing’ as cycling never is. I had a crash early, on stage 2, which was an important day for the overall classification. I wasn’t badly hurt but I landed on my lower back, a similar area to where I fractured my pelvis during the 2013 Tour. That made me a little nervous for a while but I soon realised that it was nothing more than a knock. I’ve certainly had a lot worse! The rest of the stage went well and I ended up 2nd. It was a good boost of confidence as I wasn’t too sure how I’d go, after a big block of training.

    The following stage was a time trial. I have always enjoyed a time trail stage. They are long days though, as they usually include a recon of the course followed by a lot of hanging around waiting to warm up for the race. Everything is planned to the minute from waking up, to eating our breakfast and pre race meal, training, warming up. Our warm ups last around 25mins, we then get off the turbo 10mins before our start time where I’d have a last minute trip to the gents, get my radio sorted, skin suit done up, overshoes and helmet on and roll over to the start. I’ve done so many now, from my track days that it’s almost second nature. The race itself went well, although I had a problem with my bike which meant I couldn’t get my biggest gear, the 11 sprocket on the back wheel. This was a big disadvantage as the final 3-4km were super fast with a strong tailwind. As it happens I managed to limit my loses there and still end up 3rd behind Fabien Cancellara and Tony Martin. This result along with the day before set me up nicely for overall victory. I was 3 seconds behind Tony in 2nd place, with 3rd place a further 17 seconds behind. 

    The 4th stage was a typical sprint stage. We still had some undulations and some wind to deal with but they are generally straight forward. The main goal for days like these is to save as much energy as possible, try to recover from the last couple of day’s efforts and fuel up ready for a big day. The finish is a nervous time as there are often crashes or splits in the peloton where time gaps may occur. It didn’t go exactly to plan, as the race was really heating up and the sprinter’s teams were starting to jostle for position when I punctured. Like when I crashed on stage 2 the boys waited for me and quickly got me back up to the front of the peloton.

    It all came down to the final day of racing, on Sunday. It was 169km and a hard stage with 4 categorised climbs finishing on the top of the final one. Tony was dropped with about 40km to go which meant I was leader on the road and so had to turn my race into more of a defensive game. In the run up to the final climb I was a little nervous. I didn’t feel great but knew if I rode the climb within myself and kept a close eye on Jon Izaggerre who was 2nd place on the road I would win. My team mates put me in the best position to start the climb and then it was just a case of getting to the top. In the end I felt OK and paced it well, finishing 5th on the stage and taking the overall win.

    It was a amazing feeling to win, especially considering the calibre of riders that were there. Contrador and Aru had both won grand tours last year. And there were other good climbers, who had finished on the podium of grand tours like Tibuat Pinot, at the Tour de France and Rigoberto Uran who has twice finished 2nd in the Giro. As my dad says ‘got a few good scalps there’. It’s still early season though and a lot can change but it’s certainly a good morale boost going into a big block of racing from early March to May. I have 3 big one week stage races with Paris Nice, Volta a Catalunya and Tour de Romandie. I’m also doing a few one days with the longest race on the calendar, the 300km race Milan San Remo. My favourite cobbled race the Tour of Flanders and The oldest race on the calendar Liege Bastone Liege. It should be a fun couple of months!

    Geraint Thomas,

    Protect Your Bubble ambassador 

  5. Quadlock Giveaway Terms and Conditions

    The team at Quadlock have very kindly given us a couple of their universal mounting systems to give away to 2 of our lucky followers.

    See below for full T&Cs:

    Quadlock  Giveaway

    Eligibility

    1. The promotion is open to residents of Great Britain (England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland), Isle of Man and Channel Islands only, excluding employees of the Assurant Direct Limited (the “Promoter”) and their immediate families, agencies of the Promoter, and anyone else professionally connected with this promotion.

    2. This promotion is only open to individuals aged 18 years or over on date of promotion entry.

    3. The Twitter promotion begins at 10.00 on 26th February and closes at 17.00pm on 4th March 2016 British Summer Time (BST). Any entry received after the closing date and time will not be valid. Proof of sending is not proof of receipt.

    4. Entrants must have access to the internet, an email address, and a Twitter account

    5. Entry is free and no purchase is necessary to enter this promotion. A maximum of one entry per person is allowed and a maximum of one prize may be won per household.

     

    How to Enter

    5. To enter this promotion, visit twitter.com/PYB_Bike, follow the Protect Your Bubble Twitter account from your Twitter account, and re-tweet the competition tweet which will include hashtag #PYBQuadLock and ‘RT & Follow’

    6. Retweeting of any other post during the date range specified above that does not contain the phrase above does not count as an entry

    7. Entrants must continue to follow the @PYB_Bike Twitter account following entry into the promotion in order to continue to be regarded as eligible

    8. Entrants must not publish repeated Tweets

    9. Entrants must not attempt to enter the promotion using multiple accounts and entrants found to be doing so will be ineligible to participate in the promotion. It is the responsibility of entrants to ensure they comply with Twitter’s rules regarding usage

     

    The Prize

    10. There are 2 winners who will both receive a Universal Quadlock Bike mounting kit

    11. Cost of shipping is included in the prize. Any redelivery requirements where a user has not been available to receive their delivery that requires an additional costs is the winner’s responsibility. The winners are responsible for all expenses not expressly stated in these terms and conditions as being included as part of the prize.

    12. The prize is not transferable, cannot be exchanged and has no cash value. It cannot be redeemed by the winner for cash or any other prize. The prize is awarded “as is” with no warranty or guarantee, either express or implied.

     

    Winner Selection and Notification

    13. The winner will be randomly selected on 5th March by the Promoter from all of the valid entries submitted during the promotional period in accordance with these terms and conditions.

    14. The Promoter will contact the winner within one week of on 5th March via private message on Twitter. Prize will be posted to the address provided by the winner within 7 working days of the winner claiming. In all matters, the random selection made by the Promoter shall be final and no correspondence or discussion shall be entered into.

    15. The winner is required to respond to the private message notification within 7 days in order to claim the prize. Failure to do so will result in the prize being forfeited and another winner will be selected.

    16. The Promoter accepts no responsibility for failed delivery due to provision of incorrect contact details by entrants. Any prize that is returned undelivered will be assumed unwanted and the Promoter reserves the right to select an alternative winner to receive the prize using the same process referred to above in these terms and conditions.

    17. The Promoter reserves the right to ask for evidence of identity and address of the prize winner.

    18. By entering this promotion, entrants will be deemed to have accepted and agreed to be bound by these terms and conditions.

    19. Losing entries will not receive any notification.

    General

    20. The twitter handle, name and county of residence of the prize winner will be available upon request by sending a stamped self-addressed envelope to; Quadlock Giveaway, Protect Your Bubble, Assurant House, 6-12 Victoria Street, Windsor, Berkshire, SL4 1EN after 5th March

    21. In the event of unforeseen circumstances the Promoter reserves the right to provide alternative prizes of equal or greater value.

    22. By entering, entrants and winners (as applicable) grant Promoter, and their licensees, successors and assigns, the assignable, perpetual, worldwide, fully-paid, irrevocable, non-exclusive license to publish, reproduce, prepare derivative works of, distribute, display, exhibit, transmit, broadcast, televise, digitize, otherwise use, and permit others to use their entry for this Promotion, including the names and likenesses of any persons embodied therein, in any manner, form, or format now or hereinafter created, including on the Internet, and on Promoter social media sites, and for any purpose, including, but not limited to, advertising or promotion of Promoter, all without further consent from or notice or payment to entrant or winner(s). Promoter is under no obligation to make use of the rights granted herein.

    23. The Promoter and its agents will only use personal information supplied by entrants to this promotion for the purposes of administering this promotion, unless consent is received to use such information for any other purpose. All personal data shared by the entrants will be collected in accordance with Promoter’s privacy policy available at http://uk.protectyourbubble.com/legal-privacy/privacy-policy.html

    24. Nothing in these terms shall exclude the liability of the Promoter for death, personal injury, fraud or fraudulent misrepresentation as a result of its negligence or any other liability which may not be excluded by law. The Promoter excludes all other liability to the extent permitted by law and in particular without limitation to the foregoing, the Promoter shall not be liable for any indirect, special or consequential loss nor for loss arising out of matters outside of its control nor for entries lost, delayed or undelivered, nor any liability for technical errors or communication failures in networks and/or internet access.

    25. By participating, each entrant agrees to release, indemnify, discharge and hold harmless Promoter and Twitter, Inc., and each of their respective parents, affiliates, subsidiaries, and advertising and promotion agencies, and the respective officers, directors, shareholders, employees, agents and representatives of the forgoing (collectively, “Released Parties”) from any and all injuries, liability, losses and damages of any kind to persons, including death, or property resulting, in whole or in part, directly or indirectly, from entrant’s participation in the Promotion or any Promotion -related activity, the acceptance, possession, use or misuse of any prize and/or Promoter’s use of the rights granted herein.

    26. The Promoter reserves the right at any time to modify, discontinue (temporary or permanently) this promotion with or without prior notice due to reasons outside its control (including in the case of anticipated, suspected or actual fraud). The decision of the Promoter in all matters under its control is final and binding.

    27. This promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with Twitter. You understand that you are providing your information to Promoter and not to Twitter. Entrants to this promotion hereby release Twitter from any claim or liability suffered in connection with this promotion

    28. This promotion and these terms and conditions will be governed by English law and any disputes will be subject to the exclusive jurisdiction of the courts of England and Wales.

    Promoter – Assurant Direct Limited trading as Protect your bubble, whose registered office is Assurant House, 6-12 Victoria Street, Windsor, Berkshire, SL4 1EN and whose registered number is 5399683.

Prices may change. Protect Your Bubble is a trading name of Assurant Direct Limited, a company registered in England and Wales (registration company number 5399683). Assurant Direct Limited is an Appointed Representative of Lifestyle Services Group Limited. Lifestyle Services Group Limited is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority under registration number 315245. You can check this on the Financial Services Register at http://www.fca.org.uk/ or by calling 0800 111 6768.

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