Monday, 20 December 2010


Wow that was hard work, rode in offroad this morning and it hurt! Riding on the flat was like an exercise bike on very hard resistance. Some places were well tamped down by weekend walkers, others not so, following the tracks laid by a quad bike at forest bank was OK until front tyre touched the powdery snow at the edges and pulled over started a big front wheel drift. On a short road section I picked up speed and frost formed on all leading edges of me and the bike, including my discs, as I found out when I tried to brake! Properly tired now, going home will be a grind.

Had plans for the weekend which all changed due to the snow, took wife's little matiz out saturday morning, quite tail happy on sharp corners, back end skipping out frequently - all slow speed on big open quiet roads so amusing rather than terrifying. Later doing the shopping in my car it was the other way round, understeer, turn the wheel and nowt happened, eek. Still manged to bimble around without any fuss, no spinning tyres, getting stuck or near misses, I'm a pretty lame driver so if I managed ok I dunno why there were so many numptys revving the nuts off their engines going nowhere and/or getting stuck. So glad I didn't have to drive any distance tho.

Wednesday, 15 December 2010

A very mixed ride

Near death experiences, ephemeral christmas trees, gay cruising and some very slippery stuff. It was the official (ie formal/boring) christmas do yesterday afternoon, there are 2 more to go so I abstained from drinking so I could get out for probably the last night ride before christmas. My mrs thought my "priorities were all f***ked up" apparently I should have been out getting pissed like any normal person. Ho hum. Johnnie bailed at the last minute, ill health again and no doubt moving issues. I was going to head over to darwen and back via jumbles but as I got onto winter hill I decided I hadn't done 2 lads/wildes for a while so I went down there. 2 lads was properly slippy not quite lethal but definitely a handful, in a good way. Halfway down wildes just as I got to the cobbled section I was thinking this was the first quick run I'd done in ages, got to the lefthand bend before the sharp right and suddenly I was on a wide section of compacted snow/ice shhhiiiiiiii... straighten up, off the brakes, unclip one foot, just head straight on (towards the wall at the far side) and think smooth thoughts. Made it across, phew, sharp turn before I hit the wall and thank my minion ST for not dumping me on my arse. Lucky escape, sticky tyres have been ace during all this snow/ice.

Up school climb and the pike, very slippery coming down from the pike. As I was eating my mince pie riding up winter hill access road I looked up, the mast was wreathed in cloud, the red lights up the mast shining out created a christmas tree effect, like so
very festive (awesome artwork eh?). San marino was fun, legs aching by the bottom, this really is a very stiff frame but I said that about the kinesis at first too and I did manage a 40 miler at weekend without irreparably damaging my undercarriage so can't be that bad. I headed over to the jumbles via bj alley where I saw at least 2 different guys (presumably) drive all the way along, get to the end and turn back, wonder what they were upto... I ripped along the roller coaster then down www (where I saw a barn owl - cool!) to turton tower and home. Very very tired today.

Monday, 13 December 2010


Nowt much to report last week, rode in xc on tuesday and it was like a bloody ice rink, went home onroad where I noticed the front brake was rubbish, leaky caliper had pissed oil all over the pads. Whether this is due to cold weather ruining the seals or my latest hamfisted maintenance i dunno, either way caliper is screwed. Threw a hope mini on saturday night and finally went for a proper ride sunday. Almost all the snow has gone and it was milder weather so I could tone down the sub zero clothing but still cold enough for hard packed trails. That was the plan anyway, mixed results tho, I was pretty warm even overheating slightly but my feet were still cold (crap circulation I guess) the ground would be arctic winter frozen solid one minute then I'd sink into a mild miserable winter boggy section. Great to be out tho, went up winterhill then over to darwen, had issues getting me and the bike over the 8' dry stone wall at belmont res! Re-rode a load of different trails I've been shown by various people but never been back to. On my own so the pace was reasonably high, whilst climbing out of darwen I noticed the sun was very low, oops. I'd come out at 11:30 to do a 4-6hour ride, bearing in mind I leave work at 4 everyday and it's pitch black, I came out without lights, I can't believe I didn't see a problem with that plan! Idiot. Quickened the pace even more, up duckclough didn't quite manage the climb, a lungbuster at earnsdale res (where I may have seen julbags and friends) and then up wheelton for a hat trick of nasty climbs within an hour. Down to white coppice and along anglezark then fast as I could home. Legs were toast when I got back, walking downstairs was proper painful. This is just a taster tho, next years plan is to get quick, this years aim was distance, next year its speed, hopefully do a few brownbacks races.

Wednesday, 1 December 2010

Fading fast

Ride home was a little easier last night but still took me ages to get back. Going through the woods the snow was light on the ground and looked grey, like ash, with the bare tree's and gloom it looked very blast site/post apocalyptic. First time I've ridden without a headtorch for a while too, really increases the night ride tunnel effect, look to the side nothing but dark, can only see where your bars are pointing. Got home after the time I normally leave to go nightriding, text Johnnie and he was in a similar position, cancelled again, sensible choice. Not so sensible was riding in this morning, I died on my arse, halfway in my legs were weak, stomach feeling off again and dizzy, hmm. The ride home is looking fun it's proper heavy snow. Oh and I've just seen a guy walk passed our building with a pair of skis over his shoulder!