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Garmin Ride Out 2016

Yesterday was the Anual ride out organised by Garmin to raise money for charity and once again I was lucky enough to secure a place along with quite a few of my mates so I knew it would make an awesome day again.

Sue and I headed to New Milton at around 7:30 and this year found the venue straight away, parked, pee’d and headed to registration 🙂 I picked up my lovely Garmin Jersey along with quite a few freebies and then for the included breakfast, Today I had a bacon and a sausage roll which was just scrummy and good energy too. By the time we had done breakfast my mates had arrived, they all chose to cycle over which made a pretty decent 100-mile ride for them and would have been 120 ish for me which was too much because I am racing on Sunday.

We sat around and chatted for the next hour or so and it was great, although it had clouded over and gotten quite cold too. I then saw one of my hero’s Alex Dowsett which made me happy.  I chatted to a dozen or so Canyon riders and was desperate to take this a step further but thanks to Canyon I will be in a better place to do this next time which should be fun and help raise brand awareness too.

At 11am the riders started to head off and we all joined the queue, I guess I crossed the start in around position 200 maybe slightly sooner but I was in no rush at that point.  The first 4 or 5 miles were a plod and overtaking all sorts as we headed to open roads. Into the forest was breezy so we stayed with a bunch until we hit Ornamental Drive and we split as we tackled this beloved hill. I reached the top in 3rd place within our group of 10 or so but we never regrouped again so I rode on to catch up with Paul and Daz, I caught up but lost them soon after at the next hill but I was happy chasing them down, both very powerful riders. This was a fab start to the ride.

We turned into the airfield and I realised being solo was a mistake 🙂 the wind was long and hard but I did have a lad tuck into my wheel so at least I was helping someone, as we reached the other side he shouted thanks as I accelerated away again into Roger Penny Way and WIND 🙂 but I was enjoying myself and proper solo at this point. I rode like this for about another 10 miles or so trying to keep my watts around the 240 mark, conscious of Sunday’s important race.  I passed the feed station at about 27 miles but it was raining and windy so with a full water bottle left I decided not to stop and carry on, a decision I would be very happy about later.

This year they had once again thrown the 25% blissford hill into the mix. O joy with my 53 ring haha YES I changed to the small chainring and YES I still went up at a snails pace haha.

20 miles to go and they were a very lonely 20 miles haha. I think I passed around 5 cyclists. The first a couple of lads together who tucked onto me for a few minutes but soon dropped back, the next a lad on a 2013 Aeroad who was desperate to out-do me but after an aggressive show of strength, sadly, he never had the minerals, it would have been good to have a partner for the last 10. It was raining quite heavily now and it seems to suit me.

The next lad I passed was just before Burley and I shouted to him that it was quite lonely up here 🙂 joking of course. As I passed he shouted that I was now 5th overall, this gave me a little buzz and I picked up pace a little.

I almost got into trouble at Burley, going much too fast into a bend then realising it was a “give way” my front wheel locked up, thankfully the car coming towards me round the bend flashed his lights and waved me across so I corrected, kept my 20mph and sailed across thanking him and my guardian angel…  Thanks, driver, you were AWESOME in both realising my error and acting quickly, that could have been nasty and 100% my error. Silly schoolboy error!

Up out of burley and the last 4 miles at speed but again maintaining 240W I never saw another rider but sure enough I rode into a deserted wet field 5th overall which I was delighted with especially given the conditions and the fact that I maintained 233W average.  Speed was a little over 21 mph which I’m happy with given the location and conditions and mostly solo ride but since training with my power meter, I don’t take too much notice of the speed.

At the finish I saw Switch who congratulated me on a quick finish, he is super quick but not riding today and then I found my Susie who to be fair was pretty shocked to see me too 🙂   I grabbed a quick bite because I was suffering from lack of grub and then I got cleaned up and changed.

It was a while before anyone else arrived (coz I’m super quick) haha but Sue noticed Alex Dowsett looking very wet I approached him for a photo. I apologised about timing but like all Canyon ambassadors, he was 100% happy and chirpy and especially so when I dumped my hoodie and he saw my shirt 🙂 grabbed a nice photo, shook hands and he patted me on the back, made me very happy.

The boys arrived and we all swapped stories, lots of accidents due to the bad weather but thankfully none of us and hopefully nothing too serious and I must say that once again the New Forest drivers were AWESOME thanks, guys and gals.

I had the most amazing day, albeit not the “group” day I had planned but to be fair I could have slowed down and rode with the rest of the gang but I was enjoying my ride too much.

All in all a fab Garmin ride, we never won the raffle, I rode into the field 5th to a fanfare of NOTHING haha and we went for a lovely lunch afterwards.

I must add tho in all seriousness THIS WAS NOT A RACE it was 100% a social coming 5th was nice but its just a number today.

Thanks to my awesome DHC crowd for a lovely day and my awesome Sue for supporting me.

Jules x


Just been informed by a fellow ride that I got the KOM for the 2016 Garmin ride, 2 of them in fact 🙂 so very happy




Here are a few photos from todays event and unless mentioned otherwise they are taken by the very talented Sue Porter Photography I hope you have enjoyed our sports photography and please consider using Julian Porter Photography for any photography requirements or events you might have coming up. Sue and I photograph almost anything where people are involved and we would love to hear about any projects you have coming up.

My sports adventures

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Julian Porter Photography






UTAG Julian Jenkinson Memorial TT P881R

A few months ago Southampton lost one of its great athletes and record holders, Julian Jenkinson. Although I cannot claim to have been “friends” with Jules, I did meet him several times and chat to him, I speak to anyone named Julian :-).  He was a lovely young man and died of a heart problem way too young.  Yesterday I joined 149 on my peers to ride the UTAG Julian Jenkinson Memorial TT on the famed P881R course.

This was only my 4th TT although I know for sure this is the route my racing will take for 2017.

This month was/is my birthday month and as always we celebrated hard, a little too hard this year and the past 2 weeks have been seriously bad nutrition so my cycling has suffered, Fair enough I can still ride my 40/50 miles in the 20’s but a short fast TT is a whole different animal and I knew I would struggle.

Sue and I arrived at the start in plenty of time so that we could catch up with some friends and that was the right thing to do today, I was pretty nervous and not feeling great about my chances. Everyone was complaining about the traffic but having done this race a couple weeks ago I was mentally prepared for that. I bumped into my friend Aran who gave me a much-needed pep talk  and advised me to take it steady out there which is exactly what i decided to do, I was not after any records and wanted to arrive home safely.

I was number 66 so starting at 16:06. riders are set off at 1-minute intervals so although you are mentally competing with your peers, there is very little actually head to head racing in fact only if you are overtaking or overtaken.

Sue was photographing today’s start so I headed off for my warm up and then arrived ready to go. One more thing about TT’s you are actually held at the start so you can clip into your pedals, a very odd feeling I must say.

5-4-3-2-1 and with a gentle push I was off. A quick smile to Sue and into battle I went, A clear run out onto the A3 where I took up my place mid lane and held it for most of the race. The drivers are well used to these events and absolutely GREAT for the most part which is a joy.  Today I was working on speed with ,y Garmin because I have not finalised my new stages power meter yes so keeping the first couple of miles at around 25.5mph felt good and better than I expected too because the first 5 miles were into headwind,  As I approached the first roundabout about 2.5 miles I stayed in the bars and rode through thanks mainly to knowing the road and 2 fab marshals and of course a very compliant and patient motorist  🙂  through the bends and back out onto the A3 I had picked up to the 27’s average now and as I reached the flyover my average speed was 27.7mph. Around

Around the flyover and up the gentle climb which felt like Everest back onto the A3 again. Technically I had a tail wind now so this leg should have been quicker as it was for most people but I think August was catching up on me. I felt my speed drop slightly but nothing to worry about, Back into the roundabout again in the bars but the last 2 miles or so were tougher, I could comfortable keep in the 25/26’s but loosing ground slightly, Not sure if this was indeed a physical thing or maybe a mental thing, who knows. After 8.5 miles #66 past me and that was it. I picked up again and gave the last mile a bash, I saw #65 and that was my goal. I passed #65 just before the finish and crossed the line with an average of 26:7mph so  nice unexpected PB.

22:40 official so 14 seconds faster than my best and I am honestly over the moon considering everything.

After the race we had some lovely tea and cake and Sue and I headed off for a cider and pub lunch, my last indulgance before next Sundays 25 mile tt.

Here are a few photos from todays event and unless mentioned otherwise they are taken by the very talented Sue Porter Photography I hope you have enjoyed our sports photography and please consider using Julian Porter Photography for any photography requirements or events you might have coming up. Sue and I photograph almost anything where people are involved and we would love to hear about any projects you have coming up.

My sports adventures

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Julian Porter Photography


Canyon INFLITE AL 9.0 review

I have decided to post a little review about my latest bike purchase and my third Canyon bike the Inflite AL 9.0 which is sold as a CX type bike and perfectly suited to a winter bike too which is what I was after.

I ordered my bike on the last day of August and predicted shipping was w/c 19th October but Canyon were moving to a brand new factory during this period so delays were expected. My bike was shipped on 28th October so only a little late, after a couple of UPS delays and a weekend it arrived with me on 2nd November.

Because this was not my first Canyon bike I knew what to expect and the Bike-guard box arrived looking perfect so after a quick chat with my UPS guy “another bike jules” haha I set to opening up and checking my latest toy.  Upon opening the box I was reminded just how great Canyon pack them and after a few minutes I lifted the Inflite out of the box ready to start the assemble process. I spent a few moments checking the frame and then started to unwrap it.  The build is a pretty simple process for anyone with basic bike skills, you need to fit the front wheel, cockpit (handlebars) and seat post all of which is done in a steady and enjoyable 10 minutes using the Torque wrench that Canyon supply. I copied setup from my Endurace but will get a bike fit done later this week or early next just to make sure.

Once built I checked it over again and then started to put my bits on.  I went for the Ultergra model so I fitted a new set of Ultegra carbon pedals as well as my Garmin Sensors and light clamps to the front and back. I then changed the tyres and tubes, The inflite came with Schwalbe Rocket Ron tyres for CX use with light weight tubes and I changed to 28mm Continental Gatorskin tyres which are my preferred winter tyre with Slime smart tubes which self seal in case of a puncture, I also use these in my Nerve MTB and they are fab, much too heavy for a race bike but perfect for my winter ride where weight is not such an issue.  I then fitted the SKS Mudguards and following the online guides at Canyon made it simple. I really thought that was going to be a work up but it was not.

All finished my bike is now ready for a spin.  I took her out for a quick couple of miles just to test everything like braking etc and it was great. The gearing felt a little odd but I have gone for CX gearing so it will be great for winter hills and sportive rides as well as any CX work I want to try.

My first impressions are great. This is a lovely bike very well spec’d for £1399.00 The gearing is a delight to use thanks to the Ultegra and the hydraulic brakes are spot on. The ride feels comfortable and confident and despite not being a fan of mudguards they work and look fine. The Gatorskin tyres make for a very comfortable ride as does the Ergon SM30 saddle but more on that after my first decent short ride.

LONG RIDE.  Ok on Friday I went for a longer 40 mile ride and it really was baptism by fire! solid rain and blustery winds made the perfect conditions to test the Inflite and she coped admirably.  I headed off in 8am heavy traffic and it felt a little wobbly but I soon realised that was me trying to ride and look at the bike at the same time 🙂 so once I got vanity out of the way I headed up the hill easily thanks to the CX gearing and headed off to meet my friend Faith for a spin.  We headed through the gritty, leafy lanes into the New Forest which is a perfect testing ground for this bike, The lanes were covered in leaves and puddles and as expected the Inflite took it all in her stride. I did have one slippy moment on a bend with leaves but that was only because I was pushing the boundaries but easily recovered. The mudguards did there job perfectly and the disk brakes were simply outstanding, I can tell you coming from my Mavic carbon wheels these brakes are a game changer for the winter.

We arrived at our 20 mile cafe stop and I was amazed that my little first aid pack in my jersey pocket was dry and clean and considering it was 20 very wet miles that was pretty neat.

I cam also very happily say that the Inflite is no slouch, she is plenty fast enough and I think a great addition to my stable and I  am going to love her 🙂

My Aeroad is due very soon and I will do a full photo by photo review.




L’ETAPE london

A few months ago whilst looking through sportive’s to ride my Friend David mentioned the L’ETAPE in London. The inaugural l’Etape London by Le Tour de France, organised by Human Race and in support of Access Sport brings the glamour of the Tour de France to the capital and the opportunity for me to ride through London town after missing out on Ride London.

I decided to book it with Dave and our mutual friend Jason, we often ride together and it would be Jason’s first 100 miles and all of us first to see 117 miles in one epic ride.

The banter running up to the race was just awesome and as the day got closer we all started to realise the enormity of cycling 117 miles in the Autumn on what could be uber busy roads. I had a big wedding Saturday which was not the best prep for a big day out but there you have it 🙂 so home at 10pm and bed, up at 4:30 feeling like the walking dead haha loaded my car and then the boys arrived and off we set, 3 awesome stealth like bikes on the roof and the 3 amigos inside 😉

We arrived in good time and parked at the Stafford centre and after 5 minutes getting ready we headed off to the race village, as we arrived we literally were directed to the start so no time to mingle, we were in the second from last wave of the long distance riders and I could not work out how they sorted this race but we assumed the slower riders left first to allow the extra couple of hours to cover the miles.

The weather was chilly but we all felt good. The start was quite fun after we all had to swear the pledge not to run red lights 🙂 to be honest the 3 amigos never do anyway, mainly coz we are always ready for a rest stop 🙂  The first 10 miles were through Central London heading towards Epping so although slow they were quite interesting. We all 3 took turns up front and as we reached Epping we went through the “official timing station” this was to time the faster part of the route without London Traffic, we picked up the pace and started to catch up with the slower riders and generally had a blast. at around mile 26 we arrived at the first food stop, my first food of the day and it was very welcome and very well stocked. My only comment would be that maybe they should have some “take with me foods” like Wiggle do. But they did have loads of “eat me now food’ and COFFEE :-).

We headed onto stage 2 and I was starting to feel the miles after yesterdays wedding, after 40 miles I could feel myself aching and doubting being able to continue at pace BUT our goal was always 15-16 mph so all good because we were averaging low 17’s at this point.  The next food stop was much the same but without coffee so we snacked and applied lube 🙂 then headed back off out and I noticed we had climbed 950M at that point and only half way through the course. The next 10 miles were the hilliest but they were also the miles I loved that changed the ride for me. I started to feel good and stronger (funny what food does) and as we reached the 70 miles stage I was really feeling epic. I genuinely felt unbeatable and could have really gone for it. We reached the 3rd and final food station with about 42 miles to go and came up with a plan of stopping at 100 miles. We were already into Jason’s longest ride ever so all feeling pretty good about things.

The next 22 miles flew by, we happened across a couple local lads and I took the front for about 8 decent miles then this lad took over and we made great pace with an awesome “castelli cafe train” between us all we smashed that section and came across a petrol station as we clocked up 99 miles so I decided to pull in to refill my water bottles knowing the last 18 miles could be tough. We stopped for 10 minutes for the 4th time and just chilled in the sunshine soaking up what we were doing.

We headed off for the last section of our ride making great pace again and pretty much rode that way all into London town and into the Velodrome for our lap of honour with an average overall speed of 17.5 mph I was both delighted and amazed coz it was reasonably hilly and pretty much headwind all the way, buggered if I know how but it was haha.

As we passed the finish we were handed a beautiful medal, we took a few snaps and headed back to the car for the trip home which needless to say was a buzz.

Brilliant day with great company. Jason did an awesome job for his first ever sportive and first ever 100 miler +

We met some great people and saw some pretty decent sights, traffic was better than I expected and the route was lovely, I would definitely recommend this ride and route. HumanRace put on an amazing event with the best signage I have ever seen, a few dodgy junctions which could have been better sign’d but honestly 10/10 for a fab sportive.

I cannot wait now for the Dragon Ride next spring with HumanRace which is 142 miles 🙂

Big thanks to the dream team Jason and David for a fun and fab day and of course my amazing wife Sue for letting me do these crazy things, I love you to the “super” moon and back XX

Here are a few photos from todays event and unless mentioned otherwise they are taken by the very talented Sue Porter Photography I hope you have enjoyed our sports photography and please consider using Julian Porter Photography for any photography requirements or events you might have coming up. Sue and I photograph almost anything where people are involved and we would love to hear about any projects you have coming up.

My sports adventures

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Julian Porter Photography



London Duathlon.

This morning Sue and I woke up at 0530 and after a strong coffee I loaded my roadie into the car and we headed to Richmond so that I could take part in the London Duathlon which in Duathlon terms as an event is like the VLM 🙂

I booked this a quite few months ago on the advice of my pal Andy Kumar and I was pretty confident I would be running well by now ha bloody ha!! But I was not going to miss this opportunity so dispute me not running well or indeed at all for a few weeks I was determined to finish thus event and get back to earning my medals rather than, well you should read my last run race report!

I was booked to take part in the 10-44-5 full Duathlon but had already decided to do the 5-22-5, I seriously wish I could have done longer on the bike but rules are rules and on an event like this I was grateful for being able to change. I am 100% sure I could do the longer run but without any training or indeed running this month I thought it wise to think long term.

Moving to the half meant a couple hour wait but I was very ok with that, Sue and I just walked and chatted in the sunshine it was just perfect.

I queued for a front spot when it was time to start and managed 2nd wave and chatted to a couple local chaps and ended up running with one of them which was pretty cool.  The course ran out of the start area and right onto tarmac and up a couple hills, Who knew there were hills in Richmond park !  left then up a pretty decent hill and through some beautiful parkland before the last couple of turns down to the finish with a cheering crowd and we managed in around 27 minutes so I was quite happy with that.

Straight to my bike for a quick transition although it was quite a big area so longer that Portsmouth I would guess. On my bike and I was away, I literally passed everyone I saw with the exception of one or 2 riders that passed me. It felt amazing I just pushed and pushed through the start straight and up towards the big climb, which incidentally made the run look flat haha. But with  ton of support I pushed on and the decent more than made up for it.  This was definitely not a fast cycle course with 3 or 4 very sharp hairpin type bends and the occasional speed bump but it was fun. the finish straight brought us right past transition but for me it was 2 laps so on I went to do it again.  The second lap felt great too although my calfs were cramping up a bit but I pushed on planning to take the last run easier and maybe stretching if needed.  As I approached the transition the marshal stopped me and told me it was a 2 lap race, I showed her my Garmin. THAT made me feel good 🙂 I did this in around 42 minutes averaging nearly 19mph and bearing in mind the route I was drop dead chuffed with that. I am also chuffed that despite a lot of very fast 5k runners our transition was nearly empty when I returned my bike.

Into transition and I saw Susie which gave me a buzz, she shouted that I was ahead of even my “best case scenario” so I swapped shoes and hats and headed out with my legs feeling like jelly 🙂 but having experienced this before I just pushed on ignoring how slow it felt, thankfully my calfs were fine,no cramping at all.  The second race followed the same route so no surprises. I ran this alone although I did try to encourage a lot of walkers that we were almost home.  I grabbed a water at the water station and sank that then unusually stopped for a pee but soon back into it and ran well to the finish to a cheering Sue and crowd.  Again another 27 ish run which was good coz I spotted for water and a pee.

Through the finish I was presented with my beautiful medal which I adore and a great technical tee play a banana and water. No goodie bag but great otherwise and I could not have been happier.  The race village was 100%. Clean loos and great selection of coffee and munch plus in this most amazing setting too.  I actually cycled within 10′ of a deer 🙂

I will definitely do this again despite its £90 price tag. London events bring an awesome atmosphere and a great bunch of people with great bling and for me thats enough 🙂

Before anyone starts shouting !  I am painfully aware that these times are not record breaking and I will not win any awards. I could myself run a 20 minute 5k last year before my accident BUT I am very proud of this, for me this is AWESOME and having proved myself over and over before my accident over all distances I think its time to enjoy my sports without the pressure of PB’s for now.

No official results yet. probably a screw up with the distance changes but I’m not too bothered 🙂

Photos today from my iPhone only.

Here are a few photos from todays event and unless mentioned otherwise they are taken by the very talented Sue Porter Photography I hope you have enjoyed our sports photography and please consider using Julian Porter Photography for any photography requirements or events you might have coming up. Sue and I photograph almost anything where people are involved and we would love to hear about any projects you have coming up.

My sports adventures

Find me on Facebook

Julian Porter Photography