Monday, 24 September 2012

commuter success

This mornings commute, well it was windy, it rained the whole way in, I got a puncture (fortunately a topper upper, didn't have to replace tube midride) bike felt weird like the back end wasn't connected to the front, it was busy, it was murky, my stealth tights and neoprene overshoes leaked, my gloves were saturated I was soaked by the time I got to work...

and I loved it! over 2 weeks since I was on a bike, even a grim commute was awesome, sooo glad to be back on 2 wheels. Has to be said despite being damp I was snuggly warm, bolton coucil have widened some of the cycles lanes on my commute and no-one nearly killed me, so a better than average commute anyway :-) Just ordered some reproofer for the normally excellent stealths so should be sorted soon, mud tyre also ordered, winter it seems is upon us, lets see how my resolve holds out under the relentless rain we're getting.

Wednesday, 19 September 2012

To all the doubters

You can fit a sofa in the back of a chevy matiz.

Not been too well for a while now so no riding but then again weather hasn't exactly been conducive has it? Still pretty pissed off tho and getting fat and unfit.
Oh yeah and SSUK has been cancelled :-(
Wow that seems a good deal, cassette is a bit small for my liking but all that for less than a grand? Nice!

Tuesday, 4 September 2012

1, 2, many, lots

Another day off another day without the car or willing volunteers to taxi me around to nice riding destinations, ho hum stick with local then. Another nice forecast that was a bit over optimistic, another big ride planned, same old same old. All lycra'd up and ready to go in my disco slippers, pity then when I hit the trails and was reminded of the shite weather we'd had, mud and puddles everywhere, coupled with no guards, no waterproof shorts or boots, oh dear. Anyway set off to do the full 3 towers compendium and maybe some extras afterwards. Up the golf course, two lads, wildeswood, school climb, ICR, up AICR, pike, sun was out, nice and warm and managed to ride down the slabs and ruts quickly and smoothly for the first time in ages. Up hole in the wall where my left knee started to ache, not a good sign so early in the ride. On to the mast, san marino is even more cut up than last time but still a decent ride down, calves and thighs battered and burning by the bottom, ouchy. Round belmont res and witton weavers way, drop down the roddlesworth river trail (wet!) and round the resers, steep up to the road and steep down to earnsdale res and the long cobbled road climb back up onto the moor then up lions den and over to the technical chute. Last time it was dodgy, riding up to it I thought "this trail is gonna have me this time" how true! Before I even got to the chute I popped the front wheel off a drop landed on an off camber grass tuft front slipped back slipped ended up at 45degrees to the trail, dab. seconds later a greasy little rut had me dabbing again, in the chute whilst threading the front wheel between some big rocks the back wheel slipped 6" sideways of another rock, dab, thought I'd got away lightly then as it eased off very reminiscent of nan bield ride I misinterpreted the edge of the trail and the front wheel dropped off, crash. Hmmm.

Up to the tower and down the walker free superfast sunny hurst trail, woosh, along the ginnel to whitehall and prospect farm then the dirt road from cadshaw to wayoh res and that lovely 2.7mile 600ft climb up to the bodyfarm, mmm. Nice ride round holcombe up the super steep climb to the tower, down the steppy drop then up the climb again, never mind feel the burn, feel the fade, distinct lack of power in my legs. I had considered a foray over to cragg quarry but my aching knee and the mudbath of cowpe lowe put me off so down the cheeky trail and back around holcombe. Hmm so which way back, decisions decisions, hey my knee has stopped complaining how about back round the towers, sorted. That crowthorn climb served as a nice injection of speed if a little bland, stopped at the duck to scrounge some water, no cash for the gorgeous looking choccy cake. Had a chat with a 70 year old geezer stopped for a mid-ride tipple, longtime cyclist, followed the tour one year in the 60s, skied and ridden most of europe, has his proper mtb (a 20year old mint condition Klein) at his lakeland gaff where he does most of his riding, awesome. Would have stayed to chat more but it was 4pm had to motor. Back the way I'd come to darwen then straight up the dirt roads to the tower, this is a relentless climb specially with tired legs but made it up just. Had considered heading for rivi via brinscall and maybe great hill but no time. Unlike friday's road ride which seemed to drag it ddidn't feel like I'd been out for 6hours already, it had flown by. So straight over the top and down cartridge hill and onto WWW. Was weird, my stomach was empty and threatening to implode, any sign of an incline and my legs were powerless but on the flat I could still wind up the speed pretty well, so shifted over to belmont in quicktime and lined up for san marino climb. Started well and after hoiking up the big step midway I thought I might have it nailed but on a very muddy cut up section I got offline and fell into a huge chasm of a ditch then further up I got distracted by a rider coming down the hill, wandered offline and stopped again, ah well they can't all be winners. Headed over to the shoulder and belmont old road, sodden joyless cobbled hell that it is. Round to georges lane and I grovelled up to the pike then managed to crash going down the slabs, a grassy rut got me again. Kids bath time was rapidly approaching so big ringed it all the way down the road and was home in 20minutes, big cup of tea, slab of cake and a sit down in the garden with the hose cooling my aching legs. Aaaaah.

Mapped out and it looks like I was robbed, I was sure I was on for 70miles but cutting the route short and missing brinscall and great hill robbed me of some miles and ascent, should have set off earlier. Final figures 65miles and 9,774ft in 8 hours, as ever "it felt like more". I'm not in my best shape at the moment but as things are I'm pretty happy with the 2 big rides I've done this long weekend. Just felt like I had a lot of riding to make up for the low mileage this summer and the most of september is booked up with other stuff :-(
Roll on SSUK

Silver Streak

Kick out the shocking summer we've had with a big road ride. Despite road riding for a few years now I've never managed a century but then again as I'm first and foremost a mountain biker I'm quite proud of my longest ride being a proper rufty tufty offroad one, so kinda mixed feelings on this issue. Anyway decided to head for blackpool and maybe manage a century. Forecast was for hot and sunny with no wind, half hour after setting off it transpired it was cloudy, cool and breezy, arm warmers and gillet donned I carried on, tockholes, hoghton, samlesbury, missed my turning and ended up on a M6 feeder dual carriageway, whoops won't do that again. Preston woodplumpton, headwind not very strong but relentless, inskip, elswick, singleton, weeton. **** me long flat road riding is boring, road is fun if you're going hell for leather but taking it easy is rubbish. Got to the seafront and had a ride up the prom, loads of people about but it was trying to rain so ate my cake, bought some rock for the boys and headed off. Back the way I came till woodplumpton then over to longridge and ribchester, get a few gentle hills in. Roads round ribchester are a right old mess, don't remember them being that broken up but they've had that filler stuff layed over the top and it's not good, got bounced about all over the place. Legs were fading so stopped for my customary mid ride newsagents refuel, double decker and a bottle of pop, just the ticket. Through Blackburn, diversion through longshaw and tracks round the back of ewood, then a lovely steep climb back to tockholes and back home the way I came, riding through Bromley Cross I realised the rock had gone out of my pocket, gutted! Got home feeling tired and legs pretty empty and starving! Major refuel time.

Mapped out my ride with some trepidation, final answer 101 woohoo! best of both worlds, bearing in mind keilder has been mapped out at between 102 and 107, I've managed a road century but still got an MTB ride as my longest ride, excellent. 101 in 7 hours, a not very inspiring 14.odd mph average.
Gratuitous bike by the beach shot