Tuesday, 27 September 2011

So many choices

Day off booked tomorrow, weather looking good, all bikes in tip top shape rideable, not got a clue where I'm going to go, peaks, lakes, calderdale, yorkshire dales....not got a clue yet. Just hope I don't end up having a lie in...again. Had intended to do the peaks pootle last weekend but slogging my guts out all week (hey I'm an IT desk jockey, carrying PCs and crawling under desks all day is practically forced labour to me) then a rough night with the kids on friday I woke up to rain on saturday and sacked it off, lie in, lovely it was too. Woke after 10 still raining outside feeling nicely rested and decided I'd made the right choice. Regretted it when I saw the vid on sunday tho :-( nice weather some trails I haven't done, much fun being had.
Nice leisurely ride in monday morning, splitting headache all monday afternoon, rode home monday felt ok, I'd taken it easy but felt pretty tired monday night, maybe not do anything too big tomorrow then.

Thursday, 22 September 2011


My quest for speed has been pretty much non-existent but last week ended with a bit of a bang, friday I went in xc, lovely, bit muddy but not too bad at all considering recent weather. Nice all day, suited up for ride home, shorts, t shirt and gillet, got out the door and light rain, oh dear, waiting at lights in town I donned my well travelled but underused arm warmers. As I got to offroad the rain started proper, did consider waiting under the trees for it to die down but I had to get home and go shopping for Charlies birthday presents so put in some serious effort and  get home quick. Coming through drinkwater park I went under the viaduct one of those perfect timing moments where weather can play jokes on you, it was already raining hard, I got a quarter second of let up as I passed under the viaduct only to be greeted by a wall of rain on the other side, absolutely bouncing down. Quickly soaked to the skin, or atleast I thought I was soaked until I hit some over hanging ferns where I realised I could and did get a fair bit wetter. The woods singletrack was taken at full speed, spinning out along the road passed the sewage works, as fast as I dared along the canal  stone edging and blasted through moses gate. Properly pushing myself, felt great. last steep road climb to home I had a grin plastered to my mush, partly coz I was having such a laugh but also to make sure everyone was in no doubt I wasn't suffering here, I didn't want any "Haha look at the stupid/poor cyclist caught out in the rain" this was fun. Home, swill bike and legs down, empty shoes of water thow everthing straight in washer, go shopping. For the record I reckon arm warmers and a gillet are better than a waterproof for summer (ha!) showers (haha!).
Bit peaky saturday but had a fun day, took charlie to curly wurlys (like whacky wharehouse) I've never been before, was great watching him run/climb/slide round and I joined him briefly, helped him over some obstacle and watched in horror as he almost folded in half on landing, only to jump up and carry on laughing, then I went over, did the same on landing and quickly realised I'm not quite as supple as him, ouch. Babys head wetting later, took it easy paced myself and left early still puking next day tho, jury's still out as to whether it was dodgy kebab, a bug or just self inflicted. A mate was puking on the night after only a couple of pints so could be bug or I could just still be in denial. I'd perked up by the time of Charlies party all the family came round and we all had fun and some gorgeous chocolate cake, my mrs is getting some proper leet baking skillz.
Monday was booked off for riding so it was a pity I woke up feeling like death, aching all over, head bunged up, getting seriously out of breath going up 1 flight of stairs, bugger. DIY it is then. Not turned a pedal since friday, me and Si were sposed to be riding this friday but a big job has broke out at work so Si being a company man has cancelled his hol, I (being less workplace motivated) would have been tempted to ride anyway but as I'm still not right I'll not bother and instead accrue some work brownie points, which at last review were worth even less than home based ones. Ho hum

Thursday, 15 September 2011

Ah yep, that's night riding.

Gurning up hole in the wall on my singlespeed, rear tyre ripping up some grass just about keeping traction, lights illuminating the incessant drizzle and mist, ay up winters back. After last weeks rest I wanted to get a full weeks commuting in, weather looked foreboding but no rain yet, wasn't sure whether to ride to rivi or car, always feel like a lightweight driving up but being able to decide last minute to ditch for waterproofs and a nice warm dry ride home are powerful incentives. I manned up and rode. Barrowbridge reminded me I was out of shape, up to winter hill down hole int wall due to lateness, a saddle up mince, as was wildes. Over to rivi and met Johnnie, he's had even longer off the bike so leisurely climb to the pike whilst catching up on events. Met some of the boggies at the top, chatted a little then we all launched down the drops. Down georges lane just got to the big puddle on the corner when Johnnie shouted me back. As the boggies infront passed a guy with bike leant up against the side of the trail, one boggie asked "OK mate?" guy says "No".....nobody stopped, johnnie checked "did he just say No?" boggie confirmed. Oh well, we'll stop then eh? The guy had flatted but then his pump had broke so we leant him one. Black mark against the boggies there, not very charitable, especially after actually asking.
Anyway up hole in the wall, over to san marino and more saddle up mincing (that carbon seatpost is begining to look like a liability) lots of new water run off gulleys and damage from last weeks mini monsoon and my brakes howled everytime i touched them - which was a lot. I had a couple of dodgy moments where I almost lost it, as did Johnnie, but we got down safe, final chinwag and then a quick blast home on the road. Short one but just the job.

Pleasant enough commute this morning, chilly but reasonably quiet, I noticed a couple of cyclists join the height roundabout from swinton just as I got on, they followed me onto east lancs, together we hogged our lane all the way to salford uni, felt safer than normal apart from the prick who squeezed between us and a motorbike in the middle lane, silver car, golf I think, bwfc sticker on back window, unable to use the middle pedal, didn't get the reg, too busy swearing and gesticulating. nice day, was hoping to ride in xc tomorrow but looks like it'll be pissing down again :-( Think that's it for this year, apart from (hopefully) some frozen winter trail action we will have to wait til next spring for dry dusty trails.

Tuesday, 6 September 2011

Still lurgy-ed

Still got a cold, so my idea of grabbing a keilder cancellation last minute was out the window, lucky escape there I feel, ouch. I had decided if I wasn't doing keilder I'd do a biggy to make up for it. Weather was looking good, alarm woke me at 6, felt rough so hit snooze and had another 2 hours kip, feeling a bit better I got up at 8 and headed for the peaks. Parked up on the road between glossop and hayfield, headed over to lantern pike. Passed a big group of horse riders just below the pike, they started off with "You're not going to ride up that are you?!" but quickly moved on to "check out his legs" and a few phwaors ego stroked I kept on. Ripped down the other side but the steep climb up ollersett showed up my lack of fitness, proper struggle, my travel plans were duly amended no trip to edale today. My bike was creaking like mad too, there was a bit of play in the back end last time out so I'd tightened everything up extra tight but now it made a racket every time I stood up. Grrr. Peep o day, up mt famine, drop into roych clough, nice, picked up a flat but it held till the bottom, quick change and back up to mt famine and dropped into caldwell clough, where I ran into the horse ladies again, more astonishment, more perving - them, not me. I dropped down into hayfield and headed back up towards kinder res. I stopped for a crackin cumberland barm (with egg) at the butty van and got chatting to another mountain biker Lee, he's an STWer and does the peaks pootles, he recommended coming along to the next one. He was headed the same way so we slogged up kinder and did the middle moor descent together, we each pointed out other routes we'd done in the area. Middlemoor was great, lots of pink heather, pretty dry and fast, multiple line choices, some faster than others, especially if you forgot to unlock your forks ;-) excellent stuff. At the bottom we split Lee was headed over to lantern pike I had an appointment with some cheek. I pushed most of the way up chunal moor but the wormstones singletrack was well worth it, cracking end to the ride. Bit short considering I had all day but I wasn't up for anymore. Hope I can get rid of this cold for next week, really slowing me down. Stripped the bike at home, everything looked ok, bearings seem smooth, back together with the minimum torque to prevent play and it seems OK, no creaking, hmmm.