Monday, 19 November 2012


After the sniffle infested riding disaster that was September I've been slowly increasing my mileage so when I Got a pass out for a full days riding this weekend I was wondering about a big ambleside ride or maybe a long route at llandegla, so many choices, unfortunately saturday's forecast was poo so did no prep friday night and sure enough it was piddling down all night and most of the morning, my riding mojo was AWOL. Local slog it is then, let the mrs have a lie in and didn't leave til lunchtime pointing out this wasn't the planned alldayer (which I would be cashing in soon as the weather perked up) Feeling good so I grabbed the singlespeed, I knew it had been a while but checking it was august the last time I rode this, but way back in june (!) since I did a proper SS ride and boy did it show. Grunted up the golf course and I had almost reached winter hill road before I subconsciously flicked my index finger looking for an easier gear. Hole in the wall was just slurry, even my mudXs were having trouble coping. Wildeswood went ok, no way was I going up school climb tho so went down to the barn and up AICR. Messed up the cobbled corner before the pike, only just got around it and I was struggling getting up the final loose section. Not good. Rode the drops and struggled in the ruts, down georges to do wildes singletrack, felt slightly guilty riding this, I had meant to stay away from it during wetter parts of winter but there were plenty of other tyre marks heading for it so wasn't going to deny myself, fun. Up the tarmac to the mast and down san marino, a lot slower than tuesday but still fun.

Over to witton weavers way, dropped down to roddlesworth river then climbed to the cafe, suffering. Up the cobbled road was OK but going up lion's den I was dying, just no strength to pull back on the bars, very nearly stall crashed twice when I tiredly wandered off line and hit rocks. Damn my weak, limp, noodley, little girls roadie arms. Don't matter how many miles you've got in your legs if your arms are shot you'll struggle with thrutchy SS climbs, a shedload of willpower and luck only just got me through the climb. Round the hill and dropped to sunnyhurst and over to whitehall climb, round cadshaw to strawberry duck and around entwistle res, (rear brake gave up) going up the super steep climb on rollercoaster I was trying to grunt and swear myself up it but eventually stalled, where the dog walker I hadn't seen cheerily said "nearly" I'll get it next time. Water had finally seeped into my shoes by now and my toes were getting numb so round turton golf course along the chicked run and home through tonge moor. Got home head to toe covered in mud, my bike making some crunchy noises, dunno if pads wore through or the braking surface fell off, will check the carnage tonight.

39miles 5,500ft. Damned hard work, gonna take a while to get used to proper hills again, still tired this morning, wrists were aching as the cockpit is a bit short for full on climbing but worth it on the downs. Dropper post worked well, I don't normally drop the saddle on the blinglespeed so was descending with more confidence, will strip it tonight see how much crud gets inside during ~5 hours of awful conditions.

off the beaten track

In the last couple of months we've been wearing a groove in our local trails, AICR, pike drops, wildeswood, school climb, ICR maybe 2lads or hole in the wall at somepoint. Anyway getting a bit samey so tuesday as Johnnie was stuck in traffic me n si set off from moss bank park and tried something slightly different, up the golf course and winter hill off the shoulder, lot's of muddy ruts, gully is proper deep and pretty damn slippy just about managed it. Along the horrible cobbles of belmont old road, down ICR, not bad, not far from Si's back wheel and held it together (and picked up another sizeable ding on the down tube next to the last one) Up AICR to georges lane, down wildes singletrack, up old rake and the slog up mast road. San marino was slippy but I did alright, Si's still getting acclimatised to the mud soa little off the pace but kept upright. Next we went down the road to the quarry, crash barriers have been trashed by a car (again) Down the quarry, tricky it's been a while, got down ok then back up horrocks fold and down through smithills. Good run, it was late and I was quite tired at the end, a lot more mud than usual but a nice change.

Monday, 12 November 2012

Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz and Hello!

Purchased some bicycle blingery from The Bike Monger, time will tell whether this is a good investment or sheer indulgence. Ladies and gentlemen I give you the white industries freewheel.

Slightly disappointed, thought it was going to turn up in some brushed aluminium case, from the fuss others have made, better than a plastic bag and it does look shiny. Bunged it on and gave it a spin, nice tick tick tick sound. Wednesday morning went out and gave it a proper whirl, complete silence while pedalling and then zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz* when you freewheel. Imagine the world longest zip hung from the roof of a sky scraper, get hold of the zipper and jump of the roof, that's approaching the sound a WI freewheel produces on a long downhill. Shimano freewheels rrp are £30 now and getting harder to source cheaper, bugger all sealing and a bit clunky, got through 4 since I bought the pompino and that's including me stripping and regreasing them now and again. I have high hopes of this bit of kit. Loads of people out on bikes, crossing Oldfield road I saw a lady cyclist waiting on a road bike, looked closer as I went past, singlespeed/fixie nice, black bike, pink accessories hmm, pink jacket hmmmmm, hang on a minute! Yep it's trio, hello! Long time no see. At hacienda corner there were 4 cyclists infront of me at the lights and another couple behind. Nice to see more bikes around and stopping at lights too :-) *if you care (some people obviously do) an enthusiast has youtubed it so you can listen for yourself.

Monday, 5 November 2012

Kids stuff

Me and Charlie went and met up with Johnnie and his kids at weekend, it did not go well. As predicted charlie managed a tiny bit of riding then decided he'd had enough and wanted to run/walk the rest of the way. Persuasion and coercion weren't working, he wouldn't get back on the bike, cajoling and out right piss taking equally elicited no more riding. Bribery with sweets managed to get him to "ride" to the next gate but that was it, after that he was chauffeured for the rest of the day (I'd taken the bike seat aswell) while his bike was stashed in Johnnies rucksack. Johnnies little 'uns did a cracking job, ripping along the trail, both managed to crash in the same spot in the same manner, one on the way out and the other the way back. A dip in the trail, carry speed down into it then try to get up the other side, not quite enough speed meant they didn't quite made it, started to roll backwards didn't manage to brake and crashed. Both were pretty cool about it and kept on going, good stuff lads. Nice afternoon out, walkers were pretty chilled, just need to get Charlie more interested in riding. Hopefully do another kids ride soon.

Oh and this may be the answer to my indecision, mmmmmm.