Friday, 30 January 2009

(Getting to the)...Stage rage

Went to see Rhod Gilbert last night in Huddersfield. The man is a fecking brilliant, the night however was not. We set off with an hour to get there in time for the publicised start time (but who ever starts on time) Getting on the M61 there were 20mph restrictions and signs saying all lanes closed so I took a chance and diverted onto the east lancs as it looked clear. WRONG! Slip road onto east lancs was chocca and the M61 was actually clear as they had finished clearing up after an accident. Eventually got onto the M60 at around about the time we should have been ushered to our seats. I barreled down the Mway and made it into huddersfield quick sharp where I promptly got lost in town centre oneway hell. Eventually found the sign posted theatre parking but as we left the car park absolutley no directions to the theatre Aaaaargh! Anyway Rhod doesn't do the standard gig stuff, he started on time (so we missed 30mins) and only did a token encore i.e. he didn't wait for 5 minutes applause before coming back on. He just came straight back on talking about what a wierd custom it was. If it was upto him I think he'd just do his full set then leave but then all the regulars would be sat around for ages waiting for him to do his encore.
Check out his myspace, looks like there are quite a few clips. Oh and the LBT in huddersfield seems pretty decent, not too big so even if you're on the backrow of tier 2, like us, you still get a good view and no big qeues at the bar, I wasn't drinking but the bar didn't look over priced and parking is only £1. Just don't get stuck in traffic on the way and check your directions first, it's actually pretty easy to find.

Thursday, 29 January 2009

Goodbye slow club, hello filth!

Well seeing as how there has been no hot water at work I've had to get up, shower and crawl into work so as not to work up a sweat. I've been overtaken a cpl of times which was embarassing and there's been no extra curricula activities. Anyway I checked yesterday and the hot water is back on so this morning I came in offroad. I fully expected to get to work looking like the mud monster of manchester, there were quite a few really slippery sections and it was mud 90% of the way but I wasn't too bad.

Oh yeah Bontrager mud X tyres, got one of these for the back of the singlespeed a while ago, so the verdict? Pretty darn good, they roll down the road like a 50 pence piece but for offroad at this time of year they're crackin, bit smaller (2.0) than I normally run so a bit harsh on rocks but dig into the soft stuff well, can't remember spinning them out yet and I haven't noticed any sideways slide off camber or cornering (the mythos on the front is getting a bit worn so that is sliding a bit, must change asap). I like 'em.

Friday, 23 January 2009

From zero to hero

From aw shite to awriiiight!
from drizzle to the shiz'nizzle
Alright I'll stop now. Yesterday started grim, loads of rain (yes that fine stuff that soaks you through) and I thought I was gonna get soaked. Anyway halfway to work the rain stopped (and I was still warm and dry) and the weather got dryer and colder, nice one. The trip home was uneventful and I had a tailwind unusually, got home grabbed the inbred and went out for a niteride. I tried one of the trails I found this summer and realised I couldn't find my way at night and it's not a suitable for winter - too muddy but once on my usual trails it was fun. Got home knackered but happy and sank into a red hot bath, good way to end the week, nice easy day on the train tomorrow then hopefully local ride on saturday and I want to check out lee quarry on sunday.

Wednesday, 21 January 2009

Green lanes

(The tarmac versions) cycle lanes eh? good or bad?
Last week as I was going round a bloody huge roundabout some guy in a van was making screeching noises and leaning out of the window seemingly trying to pat the ground (you know like chimps do when they are excited) I think the point he was trying to make in his own simplistic apelike manner was that I should have been in the cycle lane on the roundabout. The one thats sticks to the very edge and you have to stop and give way at every exit. Hmm, give way to people approaching you from behind? Nope seems a bit of a no brainer that, I'll stick with the tried and tested method, stay in the flow of traffic and follow the rules everyone else does (or should) and hopefully enjoy the benefits of people approaching giving way to you when you're already on the roundabout.

I'm sure I've said this before, 33% of cycle lanes are bloody stupid and/or dangerous, 33% are a good idea but not mandatory so people drive over them at busy times (i.e. dangerous times when you need them most), 33% are mandatory and in a good position but still get driven over cos no one seems to enforce it anyway. Are cyclist involved at all in the planning of these things? All in all not massively effective.


I've got a secret...happy days :)

Monday, 19 January 2009


First "sociable" ride of the year, went riding with a workmate. Si got himself a pretty decent looking Scott Genius last year and I thought I'd introduce him to rivington and winter hill, he enjoyed it despite coming off a couple of times. Now everythings has defrosted we got more than a little muddy but not too bad. We did a 15mile loop with some fast descents and some techy ones, all good fun. I left Si back at his car and thought I'd go the long way home, weeeell that somehow turned into and extra 21 miles, back up winterhill fast down to belmont road and then home the way I should have gone last week via turton and the jumbles. I saw a mean machine offroader with monster truck tyres near delph res and funnily enough he was stuck. Its a narrow road and it looked like he'd pulled over to let someone pass but the ditch at the side of the road collapsed under his monster weight and the thing was leaning over so far the roof was resting on the top of the grass bank at the side. PMSL. "Lets Off Road!"
Lets Offroad

Monday, 12 January 2009


Frosty ride Darwin, originally uploaded by D0NK.

Took the maxlight out for it's second outing, I've replaced the phaons with vanillas and while I missed the wind down lower front end on the climbs the bike felt better the rest of the time. It was damn cold but I managed in shorts with knee warmers. My cheapo aldi jacket was great as ever and the matching gloves were fine for most of the ride. Usual winter hill climb followed by kennel and jons 200 downhills then over to rivi. Found a mental line in the china gardens where someone has been carving smooth turns down a really steep section like they were skiing. At first it looked like a water channel but on closer inspection it was tyre tracks, very impressive but I doubt united utilities will be happy. Since they cut back all the rhododendrons there loads of stuff to explore, could be a proper playground for bikes if they dont get banned. Up to the pike and back down to georges lane, down the first section of jons 200 again cos its so good, and then to the TV mast on winterhill, I saw a few bikers heading down the road which got me thinking, why? Whats the point of riding down a straight road? But when I got to the belmont road descent I was thinking they might be right, this is a very fast downhill and the top was full of ice so I was taking it very easy at first but then the ice cleared and I started to rip. This bike is hard work, it's fast, fun and confidence inspiring but it's still not full sus and your legs have to work hard to absorb all the bumps. Decision time at the bottom it's 2:45pm and I've got no lights can I fit in a quick run to Darwin tower? Course I can, when I hit ice on turton moor I wasn't so sure and nearly turned back twice but I persevered. I pushed it pretty hard on the climb up cartridge hill, the top section was frozen solid so I was flying across to the tower. Erosion has made the drop into darwin more fun but I started to bonk pretty bad (going DOWNhill told you this bike was hard work) Doubledecker turkish delight and a cherry coke at the bottom sorted that tho. But I was still 8 miles from home and it was getting dark and the temp was plummeting. Pity I didn't have my lights I could have ridden offroad at a reasonable pace instead I had to charge down the road as fast as I could before it went pitch black. Decent ride, a not bad 34miles with a respectable 4600ft climbing I've done 40miler lakes rides with less climbing, just remember your lights next time Dave.

And we're off

First ride of the year, my cold seemed to have subsided so I rode into work on Friday, took it nice and easy no problems only marred by the complete lack of hot water when I got to work. Grrr cold showers. Going home was a little more eventful, near eccles an MPV coming up behind me at a mini roundabout (pretty big one tho not one of the really small ones that anything bigger than a mini has trouble getting round) driver decided to go round the wrong side of the roundabout to get infront of me, you guessed it 20ft before a huuuge long line of stationary traffic, typical nutter bloke behind the wheel I thought but as I go past I see it's an old woman, seems anyone can be an impatient cock. Nearly lost the back end on a sharp turn, started to slide but I managed to catch it. I dont think it was ice just damp and maybe all the salt on the road didnt help. Again just near home someone tried to take me out, bloke passed me really feckin close while I'm in a bus lane! I collared him at the next set of lights but he just denied all knowledge of doing anything wrong. I caned it home with a shitload of adrenaline coursing through me - more from confronting the guy than the actual incident. Still good to be back on the bike eh?

Thursday, 8 January 2009

Happy new year

This year started with a god awful hangover and a re-appearance of the previous nights munchies, not good - was a cracking night tho. This was followed immediatley with a cold so as of yet, no rides this year, hopefully this will change tomorrow.
Goals for this year, hmm.
*Last year I managed over 5200 miles but most of that was on road this year I think 4.5k but with atleast 2.5k offroad miles.
*Mary townley loop (again).
*A century road ride with proper hills in it hopefully Fred Whitton route.
*More rides with other people.

Erm thats it for now will add more when they come to me.

Oh and if anyone knows any decent addins for a ride diary/calculator please let me know.