Thursday, 31 May 2012

Summer rain, dripping down your face again.

The plan was to meet up with HTS and terrahawk and some other prestwich locals from STW, 8:30 is a bit of a late start so me, Johnnie and Si decided to start early, do an hours ride then go back to meet the rest. Johnnie got stuck in traffic nightmare so cancelled but gave me the headsup so I could avoid it. Me and Si suited up and as we swung our legs over the bikes the heavens opened, 20mins of hammering rain, we got soaked and covered in mud. Late start due to detour so me and Si were racing through drinkwater and along the clifton singletrack, we were going to have a look at the bombhole but by the time we got to sewage plant we were short of time so turned back and did the singletrack again, fast and a quick climb back up to the church. Bit of a wiat for everyone to turn up then we set off, some new stuff through prestwich clough, then onto drinkwater, hurst woods round the HTN1 course to the bombhole which was greasy as hell, dark by this time too so just one run each (everyone survived) then onto the clifton singletrack (again) The race whippet on a silly light scott scale was at the front so I decided to chase him, was fun going full pelt in the dark, branches and bushes encroaching on the trail making corners tighter and reducing vision, whoosh. Puncture stop for terra's lad, whippet left us as he lived nearby rest of us got eaten alive during the wait then we rode back at the church for a pint. Good laugh, met some new faces and chatted to familiar faces, hopefully will go on another soon with an earlier start and more riding.

Monday, 28 May 2012

Jet trails

Weekend we had planned to do skipton ride but Si got a last minute attack of the family commitments, Johnnies was romancing his beau so I just headed up to rivi to abuse my legs. My hardware tried it's damnedest to ruin the ride but with such damn fine weather it wasn't going to happen. The climb up winter hill was slightly marred by gears bouncing about all opver the shop, had recabled Saturday night, bought from not my usual LBS and they appeared to be some new fangled bungee cables, buggered about all ride. But there was not a cloud in sight, just jet trails criss crossing the sky, glorious.

Johnnie had mentioned he might be out later so I text him from 2 lads to give me a shout if he was coming. Shredded down 2 lads and swiftly on to wildes, that corner that tried to kill me can be ripped around now, nice and grippy. Punctured going through the woods, front pinch, serves me right for filling in the STW poll "not had a puncture for months" bit of a wrestling match to change the tube. On up Bstard climb and down ice cream run, Si has been proper scoping the lines on here instead of my usual pin ball down it any old way and he reckons not doing the tarmac drop sets you up better for the next corner, as such he is seriously quick down here. Walkers on the tarmac as I came down so took his line, he's right too. Up to the pike down the drops up hole in the wall and san marino, had to pedal for a while at the top due to headwind but it soon died down and gravity took over weeeeeeeee. Back up, getting through a lot of water, will have to ask Johnnie if he'll bring me some more if he's out later. Down of the shoulder was fun and over to spittlers where the ground was good going but still a bit of a slog.
Great hill descent was brilliant twisty at the top warp speed on the double track, woops and line choices in the middle then the hammering of the bars and pedals over the properly fast bumpy grass at coppice stile house. Just on the final drop into WC where it gets rocky I flatted again, oops no more spares so sit and fix a tube in the sunshine, with my last 2 patches. Fone rang, thinking it was Johnnie I answered ready to ask him to bring spare tubes aswell as water, nope just the mrs telling me the boys were having water pistol fights and playing in the paddling pool at grandads. Aww. No spare tubes or patches and a bike and rider with a penchant for snakebites I decided to forego the planned healey nab trails just get home, via winter hill obviously :-) Set off up AICR again, gears acting up again then I was spinning madly oops dropped the chain looked down WTF?! dropped off completely and is 6 feet behind me lying in the dirt, cancel the tubes Johnnie, just bring a new bike this ones had it. Spare links added (good job I brought the full toolkit not the minimal one I was going to use. Up and along George's and push up (!) two lads

This set me up for the shooting hut descent, legs were spazzed tho, and covered in a thick layer of dust
summer riding eh? The dusty downhill was hardwork on my legs but nice and flowy. Pushed up to the res and did loweys singletrack, climbing over the stile midway my legs were properly properly gone, luckily there is a downhill road option all the way home from the bottom of this so not sure why I was subsequently riding up scout road in order to do the quarry drop and thinking "if I climb horrocks fold I can do smithills too". It was all good but the smithills trail has been blocked right after a bend, will have to watch out for that in future. Finally coasting down the road to home I thought I'd done myself in good and proper, stomach all cramped up, knees aching and seemed ready to explode, legs felt like someone had been battering them with a hammer all day and generally felt hung over. Fortunately couple of pints of water then a sit down in a cold bath with bacon rolls and sweet milky tea sorted me right out. Class day, 38miles 6000ft, fantastic weather, all my local downhills lovely. More of this please.

Tuesday, 22 May 2012

2 day rule

Feeling no better today but more importantly no worse and 2nd sunny day in a row = I'm riding. Gorgeous, sharing the trails with deer, rabbits, squirrels and herons is sooooo much better than doging homocidal motorists. Trails are in pretty good condition, might even consider ditching the crud guards at this rate. Just hope I recover properly for weekend.
Remember I bought a 240 rear hub? Might actually be reay for use now, only took 11months. Strip, new bearings, build with crest rim, ding the crest on my other wheel on the second ride decide crest won't be strong enough get an arch rim and rebuild. Test ride realise bearings were fitted badly and dragging a lot, get shop to fit some new ones. fitted rimstrips last night and inflated tubeless no problems. Better be worth all the hassle.

Monday, 21 May 2012

yay...erm I mean eurgh

Weather has changed yippee, but as is usual for me I welcomed the bright sunny dawn with a sorethroat and prolonged bout of sneezing, oh. Coupled with the fact that rather embarrassingly the only working bike I have is the squishy hemlock I binned the riding to work offroad plan. Blinglespeed is missing a stem donated to the hemlock, etsx back wheel is in bits waiting to be tubeless-i-fied and a quick urban ride on thursday caused the forx on my mmmbop to piss oil all over the place. To be fair I was rather busy this weekend overhauling my absolutley knackered commuter. That brown stuff on my cranks a couple of weeks ago
Was my BB self destructing, cranks were wobbling quite badly by thursday. Wheels, brakes, tyres and bar tape were in a bad way too
Fortunatley I did have assistance.
And sustenance
:-) All better now tho.

Tuesday, 15 May 2012


a proper ride! Sunday there was an STW ride planned, lakes if nice, or if not then join lowey and chums at penmachno. Once again crap weather in the run up meant I wasn't enthusiastic. No Si or Johnnie to chauffeur me around either so nearly didn't go but manned up, loaded up the roller skate and set off. Little car was struggling up kirkstone, passed a load of roadie turned out it was the Fred Whitton ride, not a nice day for it, blowing a gale. Met at hartsop some regulars, some familiar locals (Gavgas and friends) and a new guy who I found out later (next day on STW) was Postierich. Straight up the haweswater to start, jacqui was climbing well so I took my lead from her, bad move, rode more of the climb then I ever have before but goosed my legs in the first 10mins and never really recovered for the rest of the day. At the res the wind was silly so High St was definitely out so we climbed a little higher then rode across to angletarn and boredale hause, we climbed this last year and it was rubbish, well that's coz we did it in the wrong direction, downhill it is awesome. Minor off from me when nadgering up over a big step I stalled then a big gust of wind blew me over and away from the hill, landed and rolled on the grass. Tony had a similar experience, others weren't so lucky, on a rocky down Nick and Rich both binned it, nick caught his leg, rich seemed uninjured. New bike was handling well, will need some tuning of shock pressures and twiddling of knobs to get it just right I think but happy so far. Graham was extolling the virtues of his new spangly carbon nomad, lucky sod, looks good.

Had a puncture stop near the tarn one group stopped the rest of us went slightly ahead to a more sheltered spot when an obviously grumpy walker stomped passed us, he wasn't happy, saw him stop and get out his map, battling with it against the wind getting grumpier, we reckoned he was checking the status of the trail and were betting on whether he would come back and shout at us or carry on and have a go at the others. Sure enough he stomped on and moaned at the others. "you do know this is a footpath don't you" Nick's "we won't tell anyone if you don't" seemed to diffuse it a little and he just said "well don't knock anyone down" Well handled Nick :-)

Some nice rocky stuff followed and some scarily exposed traverses, extra puckering in the high gusty winds. Got pretty tasty at a few points but when Gav is leading it's to be expected dabbed a few times but managed not to crash. Cracking downhill to patterdale followed by the high route to the ullswater trail with a drop down silver crag, scary but just doable tho nearly crashed when a bush I hadn't noticed hooked my arm. Ullswater trail was ok, better in the other direction, then a long slog back up boredale rideable 90% then a push and the wind let loose howling down the little channel almost pushing you over, quick regroup and set off dropping down to hartsop bit easier and faster, nick, having finally been convinced after his crash that dropping your saddle is a good thing, was flying, he blitzed passed me and Gav, whoosh. Nice easy coast to the cars, nice day, some new tails, nicely technical not too much carrying, reasonable weather only the wind slightly marred it, will definitely be showing the lads round this route soon.

Rich got some pics
Lemon Drizzle Cake eater!!!!!

Im a bad bad man

First commute in after my holidays and it wasn't good, quite a few people upsetting me. Down the dual carriageway a few people passed too close until I moved to just right of centre of the first lane then I had a bloke tailgate me beeping and waving me to move in, I pointed out the 2 other (empty) lanes he could use to overtake me, he was disinclined to use them but eventually did when I refused to move. After that a bloke in a fiesta passed unnecessarily close, me doing over 20 him doing 40ish so a combined speed of 60 and a passing distance of ooh about a foot and a half despite having another completely free lane at his disposal. That was the last straw he was waiting at the next set of lights where I got unnecessarily close to his wing mirror*, turned back said "oh sorry was that a bit close?" and shrugged my shoulders, he then tried to drive into me. I did the manly thing and went and hid on the pavement. Not big, not clever, been a looong time since I did anything like that and I regret doing it now, partly because I'll have to keep an eye out for him in future and partly because I doubt he'll come away from the incident thinking "ooh maybe I was a bit too close and scared that vulnerable road user, should watch my driving in future" more like "****ing cyclist he better watch it in future or I'll smear him over the road" Think I'll give up riding the dual carriageway, just not worth the hassle, ride in the gutter and you get loads of people passing too close, ride in the centre of the lane and you get occasional person abusing you for being there and the odd nobber passing really close seemingly just to annoy/intimidate you**, you can't win. Hoping for dry weather, I want some offroad stress free commutes *just flicked it, no permanent damage ** they have to move partly into the other lane to get passed me anyway, why they can't move over fully is beyond me

Tuesday, 1 May 2012

twenty four little hours

Sunday was planned for a proper ride, helvellyn and skiddaw were mentioned. All the rain had us erring, thinking about maybe hitting a trail centre instead if things were bad. By friday the forecast of a weeks worth of rain in one day and high winds we aimed even lower, meet at lee quarry and do graham's stw ride taking in bits of the Mary Townley loop. Sunday dawned (eventually) lots of heavy rain, blowing a gale and weather warnings and advice not to leave the house unless necessary, hmm. Crap weather chicken began, seriously considered calling the lads to see if they wanted to cancel but waited for one of them to make the call instead. No-one chickened out so, idiots that we are, we turned up got changed (in the rain), rebuilt Johnnies bike (in the rain) and set off up the the quarry (yep in the rain). We were getting blown about all over the shop and it was freezing, proper face numbing stuff. Faff stop halfway up my hands were already numb in my winter gloves, a few more lads came past, one was gloveless, his hands were bright red, looked like a beginner so I guess gloveless due to lack of kit rather than choice. Ouchy. No way were we heading any further from the cars so we just did a couple of laps of LQ. Wind was all over the shop, behind you one minute stopping you in your tracks the next. Pedalling down hills getting blown off line, scary. Tried the new pump track but a bit too advanced for us, old pump track was beset by wind so waste of time. I had a shot at the step down jumps but just the once. Social pace taking it easy and having a laugh. Went round for a second lap then Johnnies chainset exploded at the play area so we just descended straight to the cars and tried to get warm again. Pie stop at stubbins, awesome pies but a bit pricey. Just an hour and a half riding, well 90mins away from the car anyway, character building but as Johnnie said "I've already got lots of character building rides under my belt and stories to tell, I don't really need any more" Next time maybe I'll be the crap weather chicken :-) Then next day was glorious sunshine and gentle breeze, I was sweltering riding in to work and tailwind all the way home. What a difference a day makes eh?