Thursday, 30 April 2009
In other news we got a second car, Mrs D has to drive while shes at work so we got a little chevrolet Matiz, 4yrs old, immaculate condition only done 3500miles (I did more than that on my bike last year!) A massive 796cc engine, rock and roll, but I've driven it a few times and it is sorted for town driving, loads of room inside, seems to have a power assisted clutch, I kept nearly putting my left foot through the floor first time I drove it. Really light gear changes too, seems to have a close/low ratio gearbox so pulls away from lights OK and has a combined mpg of 54. The corolla (you can tell I'm a real petrolhead cant you) can now stay on the drive all week and I'll just get it out at weekends for bike transport/day trips/whatever.
I seem to be turning into Victor Meldrew, I was on the train the other day we were crammed in like sardines and apart from being able to clearly hear a guys ipod who was stood 3 or 4 people away from me (some sort of "bitter sweet symphony" mashup if your interested) all was well. Then I heard this Tsloch.....Tsloch....Tsloch. It had probably been there for I while but I just started to notice it. Tsloch........tsloch...tsloch........tsloch. Hmm, looking round I see ipod man is chewing gum with his gob open, it's really, really loud and its irregular, slow then dead fast then slower, proper getting on my tits it was. This guy is well dressed, suit, shirt and tie, presumably got a decent job and reasonably intelligent so why is he chewing like a slack jawed imbecile? Normally I suffer from chronic englishness, don't complain about anything ever, but after a few minutes of this I can feel my blood boiling, I leaned forward and attracted the guy's attention. He took an earphone out and I told him to shut his mouth while he is chewing as it was annoying. I should have added "and turn down your bloody stereo" but I was happy with that, he shut his gob, I calmed down and could think straight again. Everyone I've told this to so far has said he could be a psycho and I could have been stabbed, but with all the people he'd have had to wait till we got to a station and some people to get off and I was nearer the door so no worries :-)
Tuesday, 28 April 2009
Back on the singlespeeds today, I rode the pompino to work, inbred for a tuesday night ride (notice the pattern? Sun=gears, rain=SS) The weather forecasters were conspiring to prevent me riding, predicting heavy rain and it was trying all the way home from work but I M'd TFU and went out. It was fine, no rain and the ground was dry considering all the rain lately. Flew up barrow bridge so decided to give winter hill a go, not tried it singlespeed before. Went up to the mast Lowey's way, down san marino then back up. Not as hard as I thought it would be (Darwen hill is harder) my wrists were aching at the top but that probably had a lot to do with the beating they got on the way down. Down the "back way" onto belmont old road (oh and after a few weeks on hardtails and FS both those downhills were as much fun as you'd expect them to be on a rigid...ouch!) over to rivi, no chance of me doing the ICR sans suspension, down Jon's 200 backup chorley old road and down to B Bridge again. Legs are feeling it today.
Fremington edge is a bugger of a climb, steep with a loose covering of gravel and os so long. Your on the edge just climbing the default gradient so when it steepened up at the techy bits you were killing yourself to get over them and then there was no let up afterwards to get your breath back. I collapsed to the ground hyperventilating twice, hardcore climbing, the lack of a warm up probably doesn't help either. I may go back and try to clean it when you can get a third lung fitted in the NHS. There was a fast big ring downhill, more climbing then the swoopy fast descent to Storthwaite Hall was class. The big climb from Fore Gill gate was fun, just the right sort of smooth gradual climb where you can get into a rythmn and eat up the miles and vertical meters, I pushed it pretty hard and with the beasting of the first climb I was in danger of blowing up so I chilled a bit for the rest of the ride. Some great downhills, that short springy dales grass, it's like riding on thick green carpet, the final storthwaite section was a deep channel winding its way down the hill, all grass and all bermed, ace! On the "back breaker" (i think) I followed deejay, normally a risky move for me following a local, as I tend to go quite a lot quicker than usual, ignoring the fact that I dont know whats coming up but I survived and there were big smiles all round at the bottom. TBH I'm having real troubl;e remembering where we went and the order of climbs/downs but it was a good ride and everyone seemed to enjoy themselves, I only found out yesterday Tom crashed properly banging himself up, dunno where that happened presumably near the end, broken ribs ouch! Another great STW ride roll on the next one.
Pics here and here and here
Friday, 24 April 2009
I'd decided to head up rivi but my legs were dying as I got into bolton, I called in home, snarfed a couple of bananas and headed out quick before I chickened out. Good ride, did back of winter hill, ICR, up AICR and rivi then down Jon's 200. Lots of downhiller wannabes out, padded up, full face helmets and goggles and BIG bouncy bikes. Where are these downhills that need such equipment? I'm sure someone must be hiding some worldcup quality downhill tracks round there somewhere.
Nearly 50miles all in, my legs were dead when I got home, was sure I wouldn't be able to ride in today but I had tuna and pasta when I got in and sat with my legs raised for the rest of the night (and scoffed a whole easter egg). I didn't feel too bad this morning so rode in no problems. My back and shoulders are sore from the urban antics but legs aren't too lifeless.
Thursday, 23 April 2009
Oh and I'm sure anyone remotely interested in bikes has seen this already but if not WATCH IT, very, very, very cool video, slick editing, cool music and it all just flows really well. That's one of the reasons I was jumping off stuff and riding down steps this morning.
Tuesday, 21 April 2009
Monday, 20 April 2009
Wednesday, 15 April 2009
Watched the last half hour of The Hospital last night, it depressed me, no doubt it was edited to provoke a reaction but some of those young mums wound me up. Stamping their feet cos they want their pregnancy/labour to go their way despite all the health care professionals advising against certain things, then afterwards the girls saying, (surprise, surprise) next time they'd be following doctors orders. One girl was gasping just walking down the street but carried on smoking throughout pregnancy anyway, then after being presented with her healthy baby saying smoking's not as dangerous as everyone says. This was the same girl who takes the word of her mates over doctors/consultants about whats best for her and her babies health. It's not their stupidity that depresses me (I was a stupid kid once too) it's their refusal to accept that they know bugger all about bloody important things that don't just affect their lives but their babies as well.
Tuesday, 14 April 2009
Just exactly how ace is my ETSX ;-)
*(a teeny tiny bit of air)
Tuesday, 7 April 2009
Friday, 3 April 2009
Last nights commute home was gorgeous, sunny, proper shorts an T shirt weather, a glimpse of what the next 5-6 months could be like (interspersed with large bouts of wind and rain obviously) I just took it nice and easy enjoying the loveliness of even this little slice of countryside nestled between the burgeoning masses of manchester and bolton. Pushed up the climbs, sat for a minute at gates and enjoyed the view, freewheeled the downhills. Nice. Knackered today, already done over 100 xc miles this week and in March I managed to clock up more xc miles than road which I think is a first. I'm going to be having a rest this weekend, with all the riding I've been doing lately MrsDonk is starting to feel like a mountain biking widow.
Thursday, 2 April 2009
I like this bike, no I really like this bike, the STW ride was great, it climbed well and it descended with the best of them despite being amongst plenty of full sussers. It was perfect for lee quarry being a bit more precise for those balance beams than a full susser. It flew home across holcombe moor, uphill it felt like I had a tailwind behind me but nope the wind was gently blowing against my face me when I stopped at a gate. All round a bloody good ride.
So is this the one perfect bike for me? No, a couple of weeks ago I was praising my rigid singlespeed for it's simplicity, before that I was gushing about the heckler pinning all the descents and climbs in the lakes and next time I take out the etsx I'll be reporting how fantastic that is. So are all my bikes the best in the world? Do I have such a short memory I can't objectively compare them back to back? Or is it that a bike is a bike is a bike and which ever one I currently have my leg swung over is the best in the world?
Bit of all of the above I think, long may it continue.
Wednesday, 1 April 2009
Afterwards Si dropped me off in ramsbottom and I rode home via holcombe moor and the jumbles, a decent bit of riding. I'd definitley recommend Lee Quarry to locals for a quick blast or for a detour if your already riding round there.