Thursday, 29 April 2010

Too Much Too Soon

Feeling fine I rode into work yesterday, nice gentle pace, breathing hardly laboured, nice spinny gears. Got to work felt fine, rode home felt fine, rode up to Johnnies to drop off his brakes, felt fine. Stopped at fredericks for an ice cream as I've never been before - how much? mmm yum yum - met Johnnie had a look round his boat, said hi to the goats and wallabies, set off for home. Got home suddenly felt shattered. Still not feeling right this morning, damn. Totted it up as 48 miles, bit more than I thought it would be, very relaxed pace but still a bit too much I think. Back to resting for a couple of days now, hope I'm OK for Cragg at weekend. Loweys warning yesterday and my mild hypochondria is getting me worried.

Wednesday, 28 April 2010


After giving the credit card a break my tackle-tartery is now back on form, brake pads (boring) gore sealed gear cables (hoping these sort out my shifting) and a new pack. Ordered a wingnut hyper 3.0 on Ton and Deejays recommendation, it arrived next day and I've had a play with it, liking it so far. Damned expensive at close to a tonne sans bladder, luckily my 3L camelbak one fits fine. Pack is very light weight but looks tough and can fit LOADS of stuff in it, way more than my mule. With the design and bungees it can open up to stash more on the outside too but also be cinched in so it's close to your body. Sits way down your back on your hips like a big bumbag, I'm hoping this will prevent the backache I've been getting on long rides when I've been carrying lots of water and spares. Mind you at SSEC with bugger all in my bak I still got back pain so could also be down to tight hamstrings.

Also finally going to fit the fox floats I got way back in Nov and the hope xc3 front wheel, they're going on the etsx for now but if the forks are plush enough they will go on the heckler to lighten it up a bit.

Tuesday, 27 April 2010

A week without riding

Wednesday feeling grim, lovely weather
Thursday feeling grim-er, lovely weather. Grrr
Friday feeling grim-est, lovely weather, getting bored now
Saturday still grim, still nice weather, not funny anymore.
Sunday still grim but at least it's raining
Monday not too grim, mixed weather
Tuesday feeling human again, nice weather.
Being ill sucks, being ill during gorgeous weather sucks ass big time, back on the bike tomorrow I think, fully expect it to lash down for the rest of the week :-(
It was a "chest infection" according to the quack so gonna be a steady intro back to riding.

Thursday, 22 April 2010

Psssssst, how not to night ride

Riding home from work tuesday I was feeling pretty tired but a nightride had been arranged and the sun was shining so out I went. Going up barrow bridge I knew I'd be gibbing out early, legs had nowt in 'em and chest was feeling tight. On winter hill the wind was really bad, going down the Kennels launching off a drop I got blown off line, landed badly and pinch flatted. Ah well first one in a while so can't complain, only 1 spare tho better be careful. Wildeswood was ace, I was flying and it's riding really well now, that corner that had me off in winter has finally firmed up. Met Si and Johnnie, Si had forgotten his helmet, whoops, he ummed and ahhed for a bit then decided to carry on. Up the gardens and up the kennel run to san marino mmm looking forward to this. 20seconds in I flat again, cadge a tube of Si, really windy and temp dropping so I send the lads on ahead, I set off but find Si not far ahead with a flat. Stop and help him - well sit out of the wind and watch him :-) Set off again and another 50 yards on Si flats again. Bugger! With the stops we are really cold, 1 tube left between 3 of us, sod this for a laugh, Johnnie climbs back up to our position, they take the spare and head back the way we came I mince down very carefully to the road then blast home. Couldn't get warm again till I got in bed. Woke up middle of the night throat on fire, hardly able to swallow felt better after a drink but still not right. I obviously hadn't properly recovered from weekend, with that and getting so cold I've come down with something, achey, chesty, sore throat. I'm still dragging my arse into work on the train but I'm pissed off, gorgeous weather and I'm grounded, could be clocking up loads of xc commute miles GRRRR!

Tuesday, 20 April 2010

A weekend of lactose and lactic

SSEC finally arrived, unfortunately Johnnie couldn't make it so I was on my own, drove down no worries and my pitched tent. I had a chat to the guys either side of me (Brian and Jason) then in not time we were off for our social ride. Quite a stop start-y affair but weather was lovely there were some nice/niche/weird bikes to look at and all the minutiae of cycling to chat on about with friendly strangers. Brian was on his old kona explosif (94ish same as my now deceased lava dome), unfortunately half way round his rear wheel exploded (worn rims, tyre popped off) so he had to ride back on the rim. Rest of us went on to do "the follow through", a steep techy down lovely but with a mixed group much mincing ensued. I was starving by the time food was laid on in the beer tent, my curry wasn't great but sheer quantity made up for quality. Later on the cheese board was opened, a 12ft long custom made job, absolutely packed with all the cheese everyone had brought, I was in heaven. I ate more cheese that night than I ate all last year! Loads of different types excellent! Couple of bands were on, a few bevvies then an early(ish) night. Got up during the night and the tent was frozen over, loads of frost on the flysheet which later on cut short my lie in when it started to melt and drip into the tent.
Race day was rushed, a quick breakfast of cheese baguette (I'd made up from the cheese board :-) ) then huge queues for the facilities and my own ineptitude meant I missed the rider briefing whoops. I hadn't got any food and only a little water but no time for refuelling - still only a short race like SSUK I assume so no worries. Ride out then leave the bikes for organisers to move and hide while we wait round the corner. I'm told it's 4 laps so must be short laps then and we're off, my bike was at the bottom of the inbred pile so a slow start but I started making my way through the field, lots of overtaking going on then the doughnut at the front of our little group took a wrong turn following some random riders, eventually got back on course behind a load of people we'd already passed! At this point I realised this wasn't going to be a short race and someone confirmed 4 x 8mile laps. Oops time to slow it down a bit, got to start/finish and loaded up on water and some fantastic choccy flapjack. Course was superb some long climbs but longer descents mainly singletrack lots of fun I started to relax and instead of racing tried to get good downhill runs, either overtaking less technical riders just before a down or if no one was behind me waiting at the top for a clear run down. I don't rate my singletrack skills but I was stellar compared to a lot there, there were some fit fast riders who couldn't cope when it got twisty. Anyway I wasn't fast enough, as I was getting ready to start lap 3 the leader flew passed to start his 4th, seriously quick, that meant I wouldn't be able to finish. Lap 3 was hard work but the pressure was off so I had fun and chatted to plenty of people. On the finish line Paul spotted me, we were on a switchbacks holiday years ago (same time as Julbags too) he'd done well, 4 laps on his (very) pink inbred 29er. I seem to remember us being at a pretty similar level back then so he's improved a lot more than me.
The rest of the afternoon was drinking and daft stuff (bike hurling, belgian beer tasting, prize giving/earning) followed by a hog roast, another 2 bands were on and I ended up sat round a fire, drinking and talking bike stuff til the wee small hours. A really good bike filled day with some fun people.

Wednesday, 14 April 2010

Track may become indistinct

Lee Quarry revisited and another clothing fail.
Well with all the loveley weather and the hype about Lee Quarry it would be rude not to visit after work. Getting geared up in the morning I glanced at my boots and windproof jacket but thought no diaphanous summer shoes and gillet are just the ticket, mistake! There was frost on the ground and my fingers and toes were bloody freezing by the time I got to work, but no problems it'll be scorching later...right? Drove up to Si's picked up his bike and we rode over to LQ, bit of a 'mare actually involving the never ending rooley moor rd climb, getting lost, proper cold wind, unrideable moorland crossing, the wrong quarry and wet feet. I was getting pissed off, stupid clothes not keeping me warm, stupid shoes letting water in, all my own fault of course. Eventually made it and met up with Johnny, Trio and Odile. The new stuff is ace! the middle red run in the skilss area has enourmous berms and with practice I reckon can be taken flat out at ridiculous speeds. The blacks not as good but still some silly steep berms, practically wall rides where stalling seemed possible if you went too high. I was really looking forward to the pump track and it was ace, first time I've been on one but have done a tiny bit of BMX in the past. Hard work tho, I had a few goes then did 4laps at once, no pedalling but I was knackered by the time I'd finished. After that I finally got the chance to try a STEEP loose down I'd spotted at the STW weekender. Clambering up I spent a little too long looking at it and once at the top almost psyched myself out of it, got on my bike rode towards it fully expecting a refusal but pushed myself and went down. Proper squeeky bum, seemed to be picking up too much speed and too loose to really brake but made it OK and the guys said it looked smooth enough. No second go that time but will prob do it again. We did the loop again then split, Si and Trio down RM rd me and Johnnie back to his car, I chickened out of riding home, feet were like blocks of ice and as it turned out stained brown from the peat, which I've not managed to completely remove yet!

A decent ride, still more to checkout at the quarry and practice needed to get a really good run, I will be back (with proper clothing)
Pics by Trio, the usual "steeper than it looks" applies :-)

Tuesday, 13 April 2010

Gratuitous baby pics

It was such a lovely day we went out for a walk on sunday, Charlie in his harness we had a wander through smithills then up through the appropriately named Horrocks Wood.

It was nice to be out in the sun, only the week before when we went to the Jumbles we had to wrap up warm against the cold.

Once up on scout road it would have been rude not to visit the ice creamery, if you are ever up there I recommend the rum and raisin. Charlie tried some of the cookies and cream.

Later on he was still hungry so had a chew on my nose.

Saturday, 10 April 2010

First summer ride fail!

Weather was looking good for today so I was running round on friday trying to get a riding buddy or two sorted. Nada, no one up for it and I was bothered by that, dunno why, in the old days it was "burk you coming riding? no? ok on my own then" Now it feels weird riding on my own. Maybe I'm more sociable than I used to be or more likely I just wanted someone to follow me down cavedale to shovel me up and pour me into an ambulance when it all went wrong. Anyway up to the peaks, parked up and realised it was gonna be a scorcher and I was not prepared, I had a serious shortage of sun cream ie none and I'd brought winter boots (!). So long sleeves and high neck gillet to cover up from the sun plus the boots meant I was a tad warm but the trails, wow, superb and Lowey, there was even dust, lots of dust. Best ride so far this year, as I finished the first dusty rocky drifty FAST decent (roych clough) I stood with my hands in the air shouting "this is why I do this" - fortunately there was no-one there to see me :-)

Look, dust!
Plenty of people around around hope/edale but everyone was in a good mood and there was very little "getting in each others way". I held gates open for loads of people, mountain bikers, offroad bikers (motor), walkers and horsey types, only one was opened for me but I've now got plenty in the karma bank now :-) Forgot what hard work it is pedaling the beast bike and I wasn't on top form, always seemed to be 1 or 2 gears lower than usual on any climb as I sweated out last nights beer and curry but I rocked the downs. Still need to get smoother and work on cornering but steep rocky stuff is pretty dialled. Completely shattered now, early night for me. Now where's my sun cream and summer shoes got to?

Classic british weather, glorious sunshine, dusty trails and snow!

Wednesday, 7 April 2010


Time marches on, getting to the better half of the year (hopefully). Last nights ride was rather good, Johnnie Si and myself in attendance, didn't need lights til late on (good job too) reasonable weather and a nice relaxed pace with plenty of chatting. Well the ride proper was relaxed, the to and from not so much. I was late leaving and I've got SSEC in 2 weeks to train for so caned it all the way there, kennels was pretty good, soft going but minimal slop, wildes was a bit damp. Met the lads, up to top car park then over to lead mines and the nab via some anglezarke cheek. Light started to go as we dropped down the phone line, tried to switch on my hopes, oops zero charge bugger! Had to rely on my joysticks measly 240 lumens, was struggling until I realised staying just ahead of Si meant his hopes gave me plenty of flood and I could use my light as a spot, OK for normal stuff but useless on the switchbacks of the nab. Anyway it started to rain as we got to the nab and it set in for good. Johnnie split and me and Si bombed down heapey fold back to his car, I borrowed his battery and headed home. Road route home is never good on SS but hammering up the old road is good training and then a fast freewheel down to town except for the dip at doffcocker where the traffic sign smugly thanked me for doing 6mph git! Soaked by the time I was home. Not a bad ride, won't be needing lights for too much longer now (or waterproofs fingers crossed)

Nyom nyom nyom

Got a free full english breakfast with tea and toast just for riding in to work today! Cracking start to the day. First Bike To Work day I've actually made it too, wednesday is normally a rest/come in on the train day. Got a free HiViz vest too, will use that when I'm transporting Charlie about.

Tuesday, 6 April 2010

Family day(s)

Bank holiday weekend and no riding done (!) did do plenty of diy but it wasn't all bad. Got up with Charlie early sunday while his mum had a lie in and got out the baby bike seat junkyard gave me. Fixed it on to my inbred - dead easy - dressed up Charlie and got out there! He seemed suitably impressed, quick trip down the road and then a spin round a bit of leverhulme park. He kept the back end planted but he's a heavy lump to drag up hills on singlespeed. The Mrs wasn't impressed but not too miffed so we had brekkie then went to feed to quack quacks at the jumbles, Charlie strapped to my front in his harness. He's getting a bit heavy now but we made it round the lake ok with no rain too. The ducks and geese came up really close to us which impressed Charlie tho not as much as dogs - he seems to like them. Up to my mum's for tea, my sister and hubby are visiting from cornwall, had a good evening, proper laugh apart from when I told my mum about charlies little ride, she proper gave me evils. Hmmm might keep quiet about future rides.

Well strapped into his seat and yes that's a smile not a grimace :-) cheers Johnnie!