Thursday, 25 February 2010

Sorry mate I... a useless retard who really shouldn't be allowed the keys to a car. The last 2 commutes have resulted in me shouting at people. Some stupid bint firstly edged into the mandatory cycle lane because there wasn't room for her on the roundabout due to a bus already being on there and when I started shouting abuse at her she just looked at me and floored it to get away and complete the "cut the cyclist up" manoeuvre. Today some guy on the east lancs overtook me about 6 inches away, caught up at the next lights and did the rant thing, stupid really, me hurling abuse at him in his car, him giving just as much back with the window firmly closed neither of us able to hear the other. Just getting it off our chests, tho what he had to complain about I don't know, pretty sure the right hand lane was free when he passed me, looks like he was incensed by my presence and just didn't wanna move 6ft to the right. I've reported a driver to SMIDSY before but just can't see the point really, as far as I know bugger all happens apart from my commute route rapidly becomes labelled as an accident blackspot. Would be nice if drivers were sent a letter saying "you have been reported for crap driving please try harder". I also reported a driver on the GMP website for proper dangerous driving but not even a "Thanks, but not enough evidence/motivation" reply, no response at all. Think I might create my own hit list with the reg's of useless drivers - an exercise in futility for sure but hey ho, maybe if I do get smeared across the tarmac one day the list can be checked to see if it was anyone I've had issue with in the past.

Oh and I got beeped at the other day, at a narrow approach to some traffic lights there's a cycle lane on the pavement that goes right upto the lights then drops back onto the ASL, due to retarmacing not much of the painted lines remain, they have erected a little shared use path sign but it's not that noticeable so to drivers it looks like you're wrecklessly jumping onto the pavement to cut the queue and "giving all cyclists a bad name" hence the honk. Anyone know what the universally recognised hand signal for "I know it doesn't look like it but that was a cycle lane, honest" is?

Monday, 22 February 2010

How to break your legs...

Do the 3 towers in 2.5 hours.
Only joking, I've been described by a friend as a "tackle tart" and I definitley have a bad case of upgrade-itis and for some reason I've been lusting after some campag cranks this week. Anyway I had road bikes on the brain so thought I'd do a bit of a road ride, didn't have the 6hours or so for a 90ish mile ride and as I left the house I still wasn't sure where to go but limited time meant I'd have to go for height instead of distance so I went for a road version of the 3towers route (sort of) Over chorley old road, the descent into horwich not only did I have my usual paranoid "what if my carbon forks break now at >30mph" but was now also scared of ice. Up sheep house lane there were warnings of road closure but everything was fine justy a bit of snow at the top. Belmont, tockholes no probs, the drop into darwen was a proper mince, really steep blind corners and loads of grit and that worry of snow/ice stopped me picking up too much speed. Up to blacksnape there was a fantastic view over darwen tower and winter hill was lit by a break in the clouds, very picturesque. More road closure signs heading toward edgeworth but it didn't seem to bother the car infront so I kept on too and just had to weave around some road works. Up to crowthorn and over broadhead then along the top road to haslingden, the road to rammy via helmshore is a regular but I was flagging a bit and couldn't keep the power on. Heading through hawkshaw I realised I'd only been out for 2.5hours so went over to chapeltown and back over to belmont. The temp was dropping and there was mist coming off the snow over the dry stone walls onto the road, with the snow laden trees it was all very wintery. I didn't feel like I'd punished my legs enough so went up scout road which was hard work and got me thinking that 39x26 will not be a low enough gear for honister if I ever do get around to doing the Fred Whitton route. Still not enough so went up matchmoor too then bombed home. Legs definitley a wee bit tired by the end but totted it up to be 58 mile and 5600ft climbing, bit dissapointed TBH especially the height, felt like quite a bit more. First road ride in ages and it was very refreshing to be able to get out the door in less than 20mins, no dithering over bike and kit and then just put bike away again as soon as I got back.


Riding home through cheetham hill on friday I was catching up to a cyclist, hmm endura longs (like me), endura overshoes (similar to mine), blue waterproof (same colour as mine but a different jacket) the man obviously has style :-) I got closer, ooh sks mudguards (check), tektro mini Vs (yep me too) and bugger me if he wasn't riding a blue pompino too. "scary similar" I said as I pulled along side, nice chap, had a chat about mountain biking, singlespeeding, hit the north and other biking stuff. Apparently the morning commute had been a nightmare, ice everywhere and cars getting all sideways near him, I'd gone in on my usual route just a mile or two west, same elevation and I didn't notice any ice, wierd.

Thursday, 11 February 2010

Brass monkeys

Ride home last night was ok, a bit soft under tread where mud had thawed but not too sloppy. This morning everything was hard packed again only colder, tootsies were like ice by the time I got in. Speaking of which, I recently purchased some sock guy flames merino socks (£9) and some endura thermolite (£10 for 2pr) both pretty warm so in the interests of science I donned one of each on a big cold ride the other week. Not much in it for most of the ride but towards the end the merino cladded toes a teensy bit less numb than the others. The thermolites are cheap and almost as warm but velcro wrecks them (bit of a problem as I can't get my winter boots on without the velcro cuff folding in and sticking to the socks) merino are money no object and possibly a better investment in the long run. The flames are pretty thin tho, I'm sure there must be some thicker warmer merino socks out there.

In other news Charlies been keeping us up the last few nights, I ended up moving to the spare room at 3am, not good, maybe teething pains.

*repair* New cog & chain on the pompino
*repair* new Rear Mech (XT rr) chain & gear cables on kinesis

Wednesday, 10 February 2010

Thats what I'm talking about

This is the weather I'm after, nice and chilly, ground is hard but not much ice about, perfect. No-one could manage riding last night so thought I'd save my energy for 3 days of offroad commutes. Chargng down single and double track with some decent tunes on beats dodging the dickheads on the road. Was flying this morning, summer speeds in most places.

Random stuff, watched One Born Every Minute last night, was good but Mrs is already planning a sibling for Charlie! Used electric toothbrush for first time last night, awesome, how cool are these? Bit sad I know but if you've not tried one before I recommend it. Just walked to the shop and in a 2 minute space saw 2 vintage bikes in really good nick, '93-ish purple kona lava dome and a similar age saracen, both looked like all original parts (flat bars, thumbies and zmax tyres etc) Retro-tastic.

Noooooo! Within an hour of posting a veritable blizzard has kicked off and huge snowflakes are sleeting horizontally passed my window. Ho hum.

Monday, 8 February 2010

Ooh thats a big one

I'd been hoping for a big freeze again so I could get a decent mileage in this weekend, it didn't happen but that didn't stop me. Motivated by Lowey's ride last week and my own failed attempt at new year I went for the 3towers, notched up 47miles and 6700ft ascent and I was still up for more, pity my bike wasn't. Overcast but no rain I went all Ed-O and took my best bike out in the filth. I set off, up passed trios boarding spot and through the jumbles, up crowthorne and I realised the maggot farm isn't just a smelly farm owned by Farmer Maggot but a stinking barn where they breed maggots, lovely. Up to peel tower, first time on a proper geared bike so first time I've cleaned the climb. Got lost trying to find loweys path back to the horseshoe but made it eventually, after the climb out I had some cake as I rode along, unfortunatley I put the last huge chunk in my gob just as I came within range of the maggot farm, ewww. Loooong downhill back to jumbles and over to darwen which I would have cleaned if I hadn't dropped my glasses halfway up. Grrr. Decided to go to white coppice via great hill, well I had to warrant bringing out a bouncy bike :-) Up the road climb (very narrow) a car came up behind and immediatley tried to squeeze thru where there wasn't room, just for that you can wait move to exact centre of the road, much revving of engine and beeping of horn ensued. After a good few minutes I pulled over and waved him through, wasn't a boy racer as I expected but an oldish guy out to walk his dog. Knob. Excellent downhill tho I did get stuck in the water run off channel with thick grass either side and went OTB when I didn't see a big hole, ran it out tho. Drivechain was a muddy grinding paste and I was getting major chain suck in granny ring by this time (who's stupid idea was bringing an expensive bike out in all this mud?) so middle ringed it up to the pike. Decided my legs hadn't been punished enough and went up winter hill too. The beatles were singing all you need is love, I was thinking a fine sentiment but a working freehub would be nice. In the dip halfway up I freewheeled for a few seconds and couldn't start again, pedals spinning but nowt happening. Swore and kicked back wheel a few times and the hub engaged, right don't stop pedalling Got to top and freewheeled down belmont, top laugh but even on a normal day 5mins in the "aggro attack" position my thighs and calfs burn, with 40miles in my legs it was very painful. Got to road and absolutley nothing from the freehub, had to scoot the (mainly downhill) 5miles home, pain in the arse but I was buzzing from adrenaline/endorphins and as I flew down to Astley Bridge I was bobbing my suspension in time to Fall out boy and fat boy slim. I think I will be signing up for Kielder100 after all, my legs weren't bad when I got home, reckon I had a few more miles left in them, admittedly not another 53 but I've got time to train before september.

*new rear tyre on etsx nev 2.1 ust*

Thursday, 4 February 2010

This could all go so wrong...

I thought as I set out for work yesterday, I had a dentist appointment in the afternoon deep in samuri country, about 14miles from work and another 9 from home and snow was forecast. I normally ride to the dentist if it's nice and drive on manky days, I umm-ed and arr-ed for a while until I saw sense and grabbed the bike. The ride in was nice just a bit chilly, how nice is a warm towel to stand on when you take off your cycling shoes? I love little things like that, having a proper hot powerful shower and a warm room to dry my kit in is pretty good too mind :-) Sure enough as I left work the snow started, well sleet actually, pity as I had dressed for snow, the sleet started to permeate through my gloves and top as I was getting to Leigh, roads weren't bad tho and quieter than I expected considering it was school run time. No dental work needed (yay) so just had to scrape the snow of my bike and get warmed up quick, more snow meant a few slips pulling away from lights but otherwise OK. Never did get properly warmed up again tho and was glad to get home, brrrr! Seeing the carnage caused on the motorways yesterday it looks like 2 wheels was the sensible option after all.

Tuesday, 2 February 2010

Less than confident

It's 9:30 tuesday 2nd Feb, rain is beatng against my window and metcheck says...

Hmm wonder what it'll be like tonight, 0.3 mm of rain my arse.

Monday, 1 February 2010


Bit chilly int it? Woke up yesterday to find a light dusting of snow and cold cold cold. Had a party to go to in afternoon but fancied a quick ride, was having serious trouble getting motivated and slobbed around for a few hours. Finally dragged myself out at 11 thinking I'd wasted half the day then I remembered normally I'd just be getting up at 11 on a sunday, kids eh? All the way up to winterhill it seemed I was following the tracks of someone from practically my front door (Tioga psycho/edge don't see many of them about) bit weird. Down belmont, nearly lost it on a slippy bit but pretty good. UU have bloody well shut the road across belmont res, sod that, a bit of wall climbing and dragging bike through bushes got me round that onto witton weavers and along to darwen. The local dungeons and dragons squad were out in full uniform down at Tockholes, it was proper icey so cut through the trees on an ok bit of singletrack. Quick go round darwen tower then across to cadishead and as I was running late a quick blast home, I'd forgotten how much fun big ringing down fast dirtroads is.
I didn't think I'd made a great start to the year but totting up the total for Jan is almost as much as last year and more of it offroad so not bad. Last few rides have wiped me out and it's taken a while to recover, not sure why but its the same today, hmm hope it doesn't continue.