Tuesday, 31 August 2010

Finely honed body in tip top condition fail.

Sorry more bitching about my health.
So I was just getting over my (possibly) tonsilitus last week, felt OK saturday quick spin upto bike shop to stock up on power gels. Fine on sunday took charlie swimming and then pub lunch (no booze) but later eating some soreen my bloody tooth broke, great yawning chasm of unprotected tooth root. Brilliant, 2days before the dentist is even open let alone a free appointment, damn that fruity malt loaf.
Woke up monday feeling a bit groggy but it soon developed into full on hangover mode, headache, weak and nasueous. WTF? I didn't even have a drink, 2nd weekend in a row, I feel like Bilious. Was in bed at 4pm, still a bit iffy this morning. What the hells going on? Grrrr.

Friday, 27 August 2010

Why? Seriously why?

So I'm ill, again, I'm not happy but before I go apop-bloody-lectic I'll just chill out and see if I can get over it in time for kielder. Anyway, no riding to work, it's school hols so light traffic, for a limited time only I got free parking at work plus I had a few errands to do after work so I took the car in friday-wednesday, hould be cheaper than the train too*. By tuesday I was sick of it and I gave up on wednesday night, put the car away not to be used for commuting again without a damn good reason. Even with the hols it's busy out there, you gotta concentrate a lot coz everyone is trying to cut in and is swip-swapping lanes to get 1 car length ahead, not a good way to start the day, in normal commute conditions it must be a nightmare. If I was stuck driving to work everyday I'd be looking very bloody hard at alternatives, cyclings not for eveyone but train, bus or tram, you can just get on and switch off, read a book, watch some vids on your mobile, play some apps, catch a few more zeds whatever and arrive at work if not wide awake then a lot less stressed than having driven. I'm lucky (well I planned it actually) I live and work near 2 stations with frequent trains but park and rides have got to be better than driving into a city centre. When I ride in I see plenty of people who seem to be doing the same bolton to manchester rat run everyday I bet half of them could quite easily use public transport but they'll have a whole raft of spurious reasons why not. I really cannot see the why people put themselves through it.

*it is, not worked out how much yet but the petrols def cheaper than a day ticket, if I got a monthly or annual ticket I doubt it would still be cheaper than running a car tho.

Tuesday, 24 August 2010

Customer service? Whats that?

Figured I'd better get the pivot bearings on my etsx changed they're three years old, back end feels alright but a little flex. I asked merlin who I got it from but they don't do RM anymore but said if I got the bearings they'd fit them - fair enough I guess. I had a look on silverfish website for dealers, leisure lakes nearby and rutland who I've had stuff off before. Emailed both got replies from neither, grrr. I emailed silverfish saying I aint gonna go through your entire dealer list til I get someone who'll help me so sell to me direct or tell me who has them please. I get a reply saying they have them in stock so any dealer can order from them here's the codes. Erm I just said I wasn't going to trawl through your dealer list, I replied asking for RRPs no reply. Fortunatley BETD had some kits for £40, pricey but bearing shops were charging similar and I'm hoping these are the best sort for my bike. Got them next day, cool.
Was going to go to merlin after work to drop frame off but I nipped down to the workshop and I managed to change them without much trouble. One pivot axle wouldn't come out but the guys made me a custom drift, sorted. Quite easy actually (when you have a fully kitted out workshop to hand)
Just need to get my forks back together and fit a new freehub (don't want that failing during kielder) was going to service my shock too but don't fancy screwing it up and having to get it fixed a week before kielder, will do it after.

Friday, 20 August 2010

Rain stops play

Bit of an explore last night, straight from work to drinkwater park then took the irwell valley trail up towards rossendale. Was going to go upto edenfield then back round holcombe moor. It soon started drizzling but not too bad and I was pushing a decent speed towards radcliffe along Bolton-Bury canal. Got lost in Bury, signage is rubbish, after Bury it got more interesting following the irwell, more twisty and singletrack-y but too many gates and steps. Started raining harder :-( Had more trouble following the route at summerseat and by the time I got to nuttal park it was properly raining so out with the asda bag showerproof and I turned back for home. It was a hard climb up onto Holcombe moor and by the time I'd dropped from peel tower the spangly new drivechain was making some proper 'orrible noises, slapped a load of squirt on which quietened it down, brilliant stuff that. Flew down crowthorn and on to the strawberry duck, climbed up to green arms then down passed turton tower and home. Rain spoilt it a bit and I probably won't bother with the irwell valley trail again but still a decent ride out.

Thursday, 19 August 2010

Recovery riding

After sundays exertions I was in full on recovery mode, train to work Mon/Tues and then a nice slow road commute weds should have had me fully recovered, well nearly. Was going so well till the commute home where I picked up one and then another drafter. Pedalled along at a nice slow pace for 5miles or so, neither showed any signs of taking the lead. I got near kearsley roundabout, the approach could never be called a hill but it's a short steep climb. Stop at a redlight at the bottom then we set off, I stood up put the power down and just accelerated til I was spinning out, hit the roundabout at about 25 and I was away. I just wanted to send a message in big bold caps U R DROPD. So much for recovery.
Just trying to get ready for kielder now, a few things on my shopping list and some prep on the bike to do. Doing a ride tonight, stag do this weekend so write off any more training, usual riding next week, hopefully a couple of normal sized rides bank holiday weekend then an easy week til race day. Not exactly text book training but I'm feeling more hopeful than last week.

Monday, 16 August 2010

Some training....finally

Well bugger me summers back, had planned to ride saturday but the met office assured us sunday would be the best day so I made other plans for saturday but with it being so nice I had a nasty suspicion it was gonna be throwing it down sunday. My fears were unfounded and I set off at 10 in glorious sunshine. Plan was to do a try out for Killdave, big mileage, no saddle dropping, no taking helmet off for climbs, a decent pace as little stoppage as poss and try for an overall >8mph average. Had planned a route over to cragg quarry weeks back but never had the chance for various reasons - mostly weather based. So heading for cragg obviously I went straight up winterhill :-) down kennel and wildes, upto the pike down AICR, over to leadmines. Going along the top I ran into a horny bull (quite obviously so) and 4 cows completely blocking the trail, had to shout at them quite a bit to get them to move. Looking back on this it might not have been a great move, if I was in my home with 4 ladies in an excitable state I doubt I'd have appreciated a mountain biker crashing through.
Over to white coppice and up through the plantation. Saw lots of guys in power ranger suits at roddlesworth, must be some mental DH tracks over there :-) Water (and cake) stop at tockholes cafe, up darwen tower, down whitehall, up the 666 along the rollercoaster at entwistle where I was chasing another mtber, first time I've ever seen another rider there I think. Fast drop to turton tower then up the road to crowthorn.
I was still going OK, faster than my usual "all day pace" can't believe how many riders were out, I think everyone who owns a bike saw the weather on saturday and thought "right I'm definitley riding tomorrow" Holcombe horseshoe was great best I've ever ridden it, upto the tower which was open but no time for a brew keep going to pleasent view. Down raven shore and up via the train station, a tasty bit of riding this, will be back. Up east st onto sand beds lane and a loooong climb to cragg, no signage but finally found it. Did 1 loop, it's good and as I was taking it easy it flowed rather nicely as opposed to my usual charge into everything and either stuff it up or grab massive handfuls of brake. At this point I ran out of food (oops) had meant to go to lee quarry too but that would have been pushing it I think so back the way I came, pub stop for a coke and water refill chatting to some bikers, hope the smell didn't offend my clothes were smelling pretty lived in by then. The climb back up to holcombe was fine and along the top I was buzzing, combination of the coke sugar rush/caffeine hit plus a cracking tune on mp3 player I was giggling as I belted along, great fun.
I saw mr potatoehead from STW on the horseshoe had a quick chat then ripped down crowthorne to the strawberry duck, I had meant to do the rollercoaster and turton tower again but halfway round entwistle I changed my mind it was only 5:45 plenty of time so I necked a caffeine gel, rode down BJ alley over to belmont and went up san marino. Was pretty tired and not confident, aching all over including ribs (!) and my stomach was starting to go a bit funny but I settled into 22x32 and took it nice and easy and cleaned it. Anyone offering the hero biscuits? I'll take one. Turns out I was 65miles in when I started that climb, I'm quite happy with that. Wanted to lie down at the top but knew I'd never get back up so bent over stretched my hamstrings and went all dizzy when I stood back up. Was going to ride back down but didn't fancy loss of concentration high speed crash so backdown through the golf course and barrow bridge.
Did some proper post ride stuff too, ibuprofen, a cold bath (really feels nice on mashed legs) and a choccy for goodness shakes, supplemented with double soss egg n chips which soon settled my stomach.
Not feeling too bad today just tired obvioulsy, final stats were 74miles, 10500ft ascent, 9hours, 8.2avg, 4 flapjacks, 1 gel, 6L water. I'm very happy with that, biggest hardest ride ever. There's about 15miles of road in there which will help the avg but I had gates and some map checks to slow me down. If the weather for kielder is like that and I ride like that, then I've a decent chance of finishing, some big ifs tho. All in all a pretty fantastic weekend.

Thursday, 12 August 2010

Owned with bombers

Big bikes for fast riding. Took the heckler out for a spin to test my back wheel, fresh from the shop to fix my inept wheel building (it did fine thanks for asking). Parked up in horwich straight up wildes and winter hill. Down san marino at light speed, must have spent a decent amount of time about an inch from the ground, skimming over the bouncy bits. Winched my way back up in a not appaling 15 minutes. Off the shoulder was a bit less accomplished but was fun, but very ragged. The normally hated Belmont old road was ignored as the very plush suspension just soaked it all up while I spun the cranks. Ice cream run rocked. I middle ringed it up to the Pike just to remind myself I still could and also refused the granny back up hole in't wall. Kennels and wildeswood to finish, brilliant.

Stripped my kinesis yesterday and managed to jam a sharp knife into my thumb knuckle, pretty hard too right into the bone, swelled up now hope it's just bruised not infected.

Monday, 9 August 2010

£7, I want a refund

I seem to have a talent/affliction for guessing the storyline of films after the first 5 minutes. If it's generic hollywood dross just watching the trailer gives 90% of the plot away. This is why I don't watch trailers of upcoming films and never ever watch "next week on..." slots at the end of a TV programme. What makes the best films so good is that all the info has been there but I've still no idea whats going on until the film reveals all, usual suspects, fight club, sixth sense etc awesome.

Finally got round to watching seven pounds last night, originally I knew nothing about it other than it looked a bit depressing. Someone at work had been talking about it the other week, I tried not to listen and told them to shut it but I still managed to hear a bit about the story, I didn't think it would be that important but it turns out it was a pretty bloody pertinant part of the story. Halfway through I was thinking this film is good, it would be freaking great if I didn't already know the ending. When the film revealed all tho it was still pretty good.
If you haven't already, watch it.
I shall be having words with my colleague today.

Friday, 6 August 2010

calm down dear

White van man flew passed me on a dual carriageway doing 40ish a few inches from my elbow, caught him at the next lights. I calmly asked him to explain himself, managed about 5 seconds before I started swearing. Apparently he didn't see me cause of the big black 4x4 in front. So you were tailgating? No he saw me so it was ok. So if you see me bounce under your wheels it's ok cos you saw me? No I saw you I didn't hit you, the lights have changed please move. Grrr. What really gets me is these people (the ones who I get to talk to post scary experience) really don't give a shit, "I didn't hit you so go away and stop moaning you nasty little cyclist" I'm not impressed with my own bodies reaction to it either, adrenaline shoots through my system and I get all jumpy, shaking hands and everything.
Saw another WVM nutter last week, manchester rd, bolton near burnden park asda. Comes flying passed me near the cop shop into the dip, theres a car ahead of him going to be at the lights/traffic islands same time as him so he goes onto wrong side of the road passed traffic islands, burns up the road and through the very red lights at the shell station (wrong side of road again) What a tool!

Jase let me try his ragley for size last night, mmmbops are pretty cheap at the mo and I should be able to squeeze onto an 18" trouble is I'd need new headset (1.5" reducer), BB (73mm), seatpost or shim and a seatpost collar pushing the price up, still less than a new xc120 but not much. 456s are cheap too, same size and wouldn't need the parts, heavy steel tho, or carbon for £499. Hmmm

Wednesday, 4 August 2010

Going out with a bang

So finally managed a big ride yesterday (sort of), with Tuesday nightrides I'm normally getting on for 50miles if I commute aswell (all be it in sections with rests inbetween), so last night I decided to go straight from work, do more miles and eventually meet up with the lads. I had a (very) ambitious plan of following one of lowey's routes then up WW to tockholes round roddlesworth and over to rivi. I'd been pushing the pace a bit but as I got to longworth clough I realised I had no chance so I went over turton golf course, along entwistle, down BJ alley to belmont and up san marino. Was going to try to clean it but Johnny called just after I'd started to say his chain had exploded and mangled his mech so wouldn't be out. Up to the top and down kennel to meet up with Si at rivi. Did the pike up hole in wall, kennel again then wildeswood. I set off first down WW, I stopped as I got to the tree's to wait for Si (make sure he hadn't punctured) but as I turned I could see him pretty close behind. Bloody hell he's getting quick. Off I went hammering it to the bottom. Brilliant. Up bastard climb and over to ICR. Again I set off first, was doing ok till we got to the really rocky stuff then I could hear Si right behind me. Damn, better go quicker. Pushed myself back to nervous speeds, I was pinballing about all over the shop. Then CRACK! sommat twatted the bash ring, dunno if it was a really big rock or a rock flicked up from front wheel, but it killed some speed and I collected a slow puncture, made it to the bottom OK but whilst changing the tube I noticed 1. my bashring is completely destroyed and 2. Frames got a crack in the chainstay. Eek. RIP kinesis :-( I rather liked it, bit small for proper pedalling but nicely chuckable. Back up AICR and limp home while Si did ICR again, not only is he catching me on the downs he's going up pretty quick too.
58 miles all in with 5500ft not too shabby, legs were toast when I got home. Now what do I replace the kinesis with? :-)

Monday, 2 August 2010


"JENS’ BIG RING IS 56. HIS REAR CASSETTE IS 11-11-11-11-11-11-11-11-11-12.

Funny roadie related stuff, cheers Lowey. Also check out the track rider overtaking a crash using the advertising boards.


Or slightly more sweary words to that effect. Only 5 weeks to go til killdave and training has just not been happening. I'm supposed to be knocking out 40-50mile xc rides no problem by now. I'm even less confident now than I was when I signed up. So just 4 weekends to get some rides in and I got a stag do on one so write that off, down to 3 :-(
Was supposed to get a big ride in on saturday, was meeting some guys from STW at rivi so planned to do some proper miles in beforehand then meet up. As it was I overslept (!) so only got the chance for 1 extra hill before the meet. Johnnie showed but no sign of the STw fellas. Hung around for a while then set off. Unbeknown to us it had been cancelled but Hora and 2 mates came anyway but didn't go to meet point. We ran into them on top of rivi and we finished the planned ride together. Pike, San Marino back up the road and ICR, quite wet but nice to be out with fresh faces. Afterwards me and Johnnie went back up the hill and did wildeswood, instead of going home I went back up matchmoor and round smithills for a few more miles. Had a do to get to so left it at that, 35miles and 5000ft, not bad I guess.
Oh and I'm overcoming my fear of ICR, rode it twice and really enjoyed it - well I normally do enjoy it but I get pretty nervous. I'm more relaxed now, the trick is to just ease off the gas a bit and don't ride it like I'm on a burly FSer.