Tuesday, 31 January 2012

Nearly DNF

Friday was 'orrible on the way home, really cold, sleet and lotsa traffic. Back end of the bike was feeling a bit weird, kinda wobbly, old knackered tyre must change soon. Riding through swinton big hiss of escaping air, tyre flat in 2 seconds oops. Found a bus stop to shelter under and change the tube. New one in and start pumping, oh dear, tube is bulging out of a hole in the side of the tyre, uh-oh. Disconnect pump and valve core comes off with the pump, must have cross threaded this in the past. Double uh-oh. Use my make shift tyre boot, try to cobble together a spare pump adaptor but no pressure going into the tyre. Hmm break out the emergency micro rocket. Bit of a love/hate thing this, nice light pump that stays hidden in your bag/pocket until you desperately need it but when you do it takes half an hour to pump your tyres up. Inflate to about 70, disconnect rear brake, text Mrs to be ready for a rescue call, set off, try to get warmed up again and keep hoping it'll last 8 more miles. Which it did, just! Got home got changed tried to warm up, I went back into the hall about 20mins later and Psssssshhhhhh. Tyre just spontaneously went down, no one touching it, phew, close one.

Tuesday, 24 January 2012


He's the man, the man with the frigid touch. Got soaked on way into work, proper cold rain it were too, my aldi gloves just weren't cutting it. Dentist again in the afternoon so headed back into leigh, decided to give east lancs road a shot, segregated cycle lane not the road obviously. Not bad, smoothish, couple of muddy side roads to cross and some junctions that could/should have been made cycle priority instead of car and straightened out but not a bad attempt got some speed up too must have had a tailwind, not as fast as the road obviously but that's a 60mph zone. Scary. Got pretty wet, cooled right down in the dentist then struggled to warm up on way home, still, miles in the training bank.

Monday, 16 January 2012

Close but no cigar

Finally some big blue sky riding, sunday was a cold clear day so went out riding after lunch, barrow bridge road was all frozen up sketchy, climb was frozen solid nice but I was still suffering, this is my local climb, that I do pretty much every ride, why is this causing me difficulty,
I even had gears for crying out loud. Winter hill was all frozen too, good stuff, over the top san marino was riding well, first ride this year, looks like it suffered in the xmas rains, loads of >1' drop offs now but all solid and grippy yesterday so I flew down, few walkers coming up one lady didn't appreciate me landing the big water bar drop off and out 2' to the left of her dog, hey ho. Legs were spazzing out by the end, hard work on the hardtail. Over to dam to turton moor and I flew towards tockholes with the wind behind me. Climbed up the side of cartridge hill and down the rocky singletrack, fricking awesome, best part of the ride, mainly solid and grippy but a bit of frost making it interesting, almost managed it dab free but an icy/boggy bit near the end got me. up to the tower very busy, down to sunnyhurst res with only a few walkers to slow down for, rode back up to the woods but the drop to tockholes was rubbish, tonnes of walkers.

Rounds roddlesworth, some quality midride fuelling, Sarah Nelsons finest (My parents took charlie to the lakes on saturday, lucky lad)  then tried a new route up onto wheelton moor, bit of a problem with the map not actually matching the trails on the ground and other trails just disappearing but made it round to the foot of great hill, rode to the top took some pics and did the full run into white coppice, first bit was as good as ever, the dirt road was all iced up, the boggy middle section wasn't frozen, the bottom section was fun but absolutely battered my arms. Met with Johnnie and his kids at WC, they were out for a little ride, had a chat, laughed at the kids playing, got cold, split, couldn't get warm again. The rest of the ride was rubbish, very wet and muddy round anglezarke, (nice views tho) my legs were shot, got to the barn just wanting it all to end, pity I was 8miles from home, should have winched up to geroges lane but could not push myself into it, cue long slog home on the road.

Some good proper frozen ground winter riding in there but loads of muddy bits in between and looks like the weathers going to change again before the next nightride :-( Nice to get out tho, got to slowly claw back some fitness. only 3 weeks til hit the north.

Number 1

Finally kicked off the years riding, nightride and oh what a lovely evening...! Pittling down from the off but Johnnie had already text that the weather report was "mtfu" I was suited and booted and ready for whatever the weather chucked at me, fancied a long ride too give the legs a good workout. Rode struggled up barrow bridge and the mist started, got up onto winterhill and visibility was down to about 6', then I remembered I had my lights on low so upped them and visibility got to about 12' not a massive improvement. Glasses off due them keep steaming up, dropped down hole in the wall, very slippy but my minion ST did a sterling job upfront, lots of driftyness but held on OK, good work. Onto wildeswood, dropped down the first section in my usual kamikaze style despite the low visibility straight into the 2 blind bends, round one, round the next ARGH TREE! right across the trail, slammed on was at maximum braking and still heading for it so closed my (unprotected doh!) eyes and put my head down, managed to stop with my head against some of the outer twigs/branches, lucky escape there. Got to the meet, Si was waiting but no Johnnie, checked my phone "In A&E with son, sorry" hah likely story, looked out of the window and thought sod that more like :-)
Climbing up rivi I realised a long ride was out and Si has been beating himself up at the gym recently so decided on a quick one, up to the pike, down wildes avoiding the tree, dropping into the forest a log viciously attacked Si's front tyre at a shallow angle and he very nearly lost it. I got to the stud farm no sign of Si so turned back, he'd flatted in the woods. Quick change then down to bstard climb, oh joy, up that then I split, Si did ICR and fortunately flatted so he wasn't going flat out when a few seconds later a landrover came round the corner. I limped home down george's lane, and through the golf course, where I stopped at exactly the wrong spot to drop my saddle, sorted that, set off and a few metres ahead was a car, lad in front seat, girl in back both hurriedly dressing themselves, they must have seen me when I stopped to mess with my saddle, if I hadn't stopped I'd have caught them in flagrante fully illuminated by my hopes :-) Battered down to barrow bridge and home to bike wash and lots of food, just one question, where did all my fitness go?

Monday, 9 January 2012

The eternal reek of damp wool

Really getting peeved with all this rain, proper downer, where are my cold clear winter days? And snow dammit, I bought a sledge and I wanna take the kids out on it. Still not been offroad yet, starting to properly miss mountain biking, surprised it's taken so long, normally a few days off the bike will get me itching for a ride, trip to the lakes needed soon i think.
Commute in this morning showed my chest isn't 100%, was getting short of breath hammering down the east lancs, out of practice. Nearly wiped out some school girls too, I was doing about 20 through swinton, a  pedestrian crossing light flicked to amber when I was about 10' away, not much chance of stopping even if I did a full on emergency stop, the girls (both engrossed with their mobiles) just stepped out, on amber(!) not even red, let alone any sign of the green man putting in an appearance, pretty sure they had no idea I was there. Kids eh?

Friday, 6 January 2012

2011 debrief

Yep time to crack out the excel and start fumbling my way through filter and autosum.

Hmm bit of a sparse year riding wise, 4397miles in total from 179 rides, 400miles less that last year but similar number of rides. 2194 road 2203 xc so I can just about claim to be a mountain biker. Only 2 half centurys and just 9 rides over 30, hmm.
119 clocked up getting to work (3070)
60 just for fun rides (1327)
29 nightrides (578)
17 away trips this year (378), bit dissapointing but did quite a few good local rides.

Pompino unsurprisingly was the most ridden again (1937)
Blinglespeed, the new boy, dominated xc (1154) thats 3091 SS miles this year
RM managed 23 rides (532)
Mmmbop only did 15 (313)
Canondale road bike was much underused (257)
Heckler only made it out 8 times!  (130)
Inbred retired in Feb (74)

longest ride:- hilly road ride
Hardest ride:- STW Lee and Crag
Best ride:- hmm tricky one, just been rereading some of my posts, it's cheered me up and reminded me that there were quite a few awesome rides, high st solo, coniston loop, newlands, 3towers nightride, first really sunny ride of the year and Mr Sparkles darwen rides were a nice intro to new local trails but I guess it's going to have to be the walna scar slackers ride with lowey's lot, nice trails (presanitisation) gorgeous weather, mid ride dip, plenty of banter and a really good laugh.

So how did my 2011 aims go
Brownbacks races - nope
Get fast - nope

Sneak in a last minute keilder entry - nope
Do more miles than last year - nope.
Oh dear.

Will try to think up some more unacheivable aims for this year...


Wednesday, 4 January 2012

Off the net and on the wagon

Well end of year was a bit of a washout, literally. Not been online since before christmas and not turned a pedal since christmas eve and that was just a (failed) short trip to the market to purchase some large fowl of some sort. Woke up boxing day with sore throat, swollen glands, headache and generally feeling like crap and I've been that way, on and off, since. Ho hum. Weather hasn't exactly had me pining for the trails either bloody 'orrible eh? Been great spending so much time with the family tho altho we've not being doing much just hanging out and visiting relatives but that's cool.

Have been spending a lot of time losing a lot of sleep playing Skyrim (xmas pressie of the mrs) awesome game, feels like more of an adventure than oblivion, more like morrowind. Graphics are amazing, UI is a bit iffy but I'll cope, currently in danger of getting bogged down with too many tasks and losing direction so I'll knuckle down and stick to one route. They've also made it more one or t'other, you have to make choices now, rather than (like oblivion)  being able to be everyone's mate and be good at everything you have to specialise. Some stuff coming over from falloutNV too which is no bad thing.

Will try a gentle commute tomorrow see how I manage, hopefully nightride again next week.

Oh yeah, happy new year, hope you all had a good christmas.