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Still biking? Definitely…

“Still biking Grant?” is a question I’ve been asked many times throughout my life, by friends or different people that I’ve met along the way. Riding a bike has been such a big part of what I do, it’s hard to imagine it not being the case. I think it’s the momentum, freedom and just being outside, that I love so much

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Swinnerton Cycles – Celebrating 100 Years

Blog Post by Grant

Swinnerton Cycles is a family owned business located in the heart of Stoke on Trent, Staffordshire.

The shop has been present for as long as I can remember, and it’s a place my parents took me to when I was quite a young boy, to choose a bike for Christmas.

When I recently learned of an event to celebrate the shop’s 100th anniversary, this confirmed just how long the shop has been a part of cycling, both locally and nationally.

The celebration was on a Friday evening and on arrival the shop was already full to the brim with people. Barney Swinnerton greeted people at the door, and weaving my way into the main area of the shop it was great to see many of the Swinnerton family and other familiar faces dotted around.

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Monte Zoncolan

Blog post by Grant: Monte Zoncolan Tuesday 21/07/15

Monte Zoncolan was another climb that had grabbed my interest when watching the Giro d’Italia on TV several years ago. I recall Simoni riding for Saeco on a Cannondale and I think Pantani was trying to re-establish himself after a ban.

There are seemingly a couple of roads that climb to the top of Monte Zoncolan, but the one used most recently in the Giro and deemed the most challenging approach, starts in the town of Ovaro.

Ovaro is about seventy miles from where we were staying in Arabba. That sort of distance can take more time to travel than you might think, as the mountain roads can make travelling by car quite a slow (but beautiful) process. The journey took about three hours, but the scenery remained mountainous and spectacular throughout, so the time passed quickly.

The outbound trip contained a couple of minor incidents, the first being grumbled at by a cantankerous bus driver after we stopped for just a few moments in what must have been a bus stop. Unfortunately, the combination of being reprimanded in Italian and attempting to apologise in English achieved little, but thankfully we managed to get back on track quite quickly! The second incident involved us being flagged down by the Police. This was just a simple check of my driving licence. The process still felt a little unnerving as we’re just not used to seeing guns when in the UK, and the Italian police are armed. Having these two occurrences within the first half of the drive started to make me silently question…..what next?

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Test Day at Torq Fitness

Blog Post by Grant

A friend introduced us to Torq Fitness around eight years ago. At the time, Torq were based near to Shrewsbury and were offering training packages that suited our needs. Putting a little more structure to our fitness training seemed the right thing to do, so Emma and I took the plunge, booked an assessment day, bought a six-month plan and have been heading back to Torq every year since then.

Torq relocated to a premises in Powys around a year ago. We visited the new place just after they moved in November 2014. They were still settling in, but it looked good, with a much larger, specific area for the fitness testing well under development.  That was twelve months ago, but now fully completed…..it’s superb. The fitness assessment area has a blend of equipment to enable testing, a teaching/discussion room, soft seating, and a very stylish shower area.  Nutritional information and the actual range of Torq products are also on show.  All in all it provides the basis for a great day.

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