Friday, 18 January 2013

Lipids are bad for your health

No not an anti greggs rant instead i'm talking about little icey puddles of imminent death* my commute was covered with them Thursday morning, nightmare. Fell off in the first 5 mins frozen churned up ground, stalled, couldn't get foot out, crash. New tubeless rear tyre ran ok thankfully, took long enough to get it mounted. On my way home i tried some of the new stuff at phillips (on harrythespiders instructions) had difficulty finding it, detour round whitefield but found a nice bit of trail, eventually found the end of the trail so rode it backwards, then once I got to the hall rode it right way round. Nice and swoopy, berms and some jumps if you want to, couple of places where you can jump doubles or ride the berms around them, good stuff. Preferred it backwards riding it blind in the dark on a cx bike but reckon on an mtb in daylight it'll be proper quick. Had started snowing so was a light frosting on the trails. Got to darcy lever there was more snow over the puddles, a bit worrying, speeding along until I broke through the ice slowed right down and handling went all wonky as I crunched through the ice, pretty hairy.

More snow this morning and more speeding along silently then hearing the scary crunch of ice under the snow, eeek. No offs but did get another front tyre, will give the rear a week and if its ok go to tubeless front too. Riding home was ace took the scenic route, more snow made for interesting riding. Got to the woodsy singletrack as I was hefting the bike over a style I saw a bike light only 30ft away, oh ho, race time, got on the singletrack and put the hammer down, whoosh. Got to the end waited for the rider but after half a minute no sign so I kept going, snow on the next road looked highly polished so I minced and rider caught me as I got to the canal. Had a chat as I rode the WoH, mountain biker from Moses gate, also a rivi regular. More near death experiences as I was bounced waaaay offline by icey ruts and unexpectedly crashing through ice into deep ruts, scary but I had a big smile plastered across my face as I got home.

*was going to go with uncertain death, much nastier, and some of them were bloody big puddles but bipuds sounds stupid

Tuesday, 15 January 2013

Day one, one month on

OK slightly over a month but xmas is pretty much bike free nowadays. So hows it going? Well 15 commutes, just short of 400miles, I'm enjoying it but it isn't without problems. I'll mark the crash down as MOSF*, what I do have issues with is the amount of punctures I'm getting, another last night means on average I'm puncturing every other day. Dunno if they're all pinch or some thorn/glass or just duff tyres (conti CX 35mm). Was running 40/45psi but after the first flurry of flats I upped it to 45/50, this seems pretty damn high for CX where 30ish seems more common and it's not like I'm riding rocky trails, just a few cobbles and stuff, already noticed the loss of some control and comfort (possible contributing to the crash?) don't want to go higher pressure-wise. Tried fitting tubeless last night but it wasn't happening, will try with work's compressor tomorrow see how that goes, can't go on with this amount of flats. Grrrr. Saddle is comfy enough but it's a short snagger, that's getting changed just as soon as I can be bothered, got a flite waiting to go on. Hands can get a bit battered if I rest the heels of my palm on the bars while I'm on the hoods (ok if I grip hoods properly) so some chunkier grip tape will be added at some point. Only one guard bolt has worked loose but since I threadlocked it it's been ok, no rattling or rubbing. Everything else seems to be fine gearing is spot on, a bit hard for the few small climbs on my commute but just right for flying along the rest. Slipping around on the mud is the right side of amusing, not much to compare them against but apart from their propensity to lose air the tyres seem to actually grip ok, not binned it yet. Been having some slippage from the rear tyre on a wet wooden bridge and the wall of hypothermia while trying to accelerate, hub is right at the end of the dropouts, if I take a link out of the chain and get the wheel forward it might sort that out, no biggy tho. Gone through a set of rear brake pads already but I was doing a lot of brake dragging at first, hopefully pad wear won't be an issue, TBC, other wise brakes are working ok (BB7s). So far I like it, if I get the puncture issues sorted i should be a happy CX bunny.

*my own stupid fault

Saturday, 12 January 2013

Let's get started

A varied start to the year, first five days at work got me 5 xc commutes, damp conditions but no rain. Not bad, unfortunately I also got two more punctures, not so good. No weekend ride due to family stuff but did get out for Tuesday nightride. Late home due to puncture so I met Si, Johnnie and guest rider Phil at the pike. Got to burnt edge and was enveloped by fog, pretty low visibility on the hill. I was struggling, xmas inactivity xc commuting and nightriding after is not a great combo. Dropped to George's still foggy couldn't see ahead of you but look down the hill and you could clearly see the lights of Horwich and Middlebrook, bit disorientating. Got to the pike and the fog was really thick, no sign of lights so rode down the steps, they were slick and I was rusty, at one point I was braking as hard as I could without skidding and I was still accelerating, eek! Got to the bottom and I could hear voices and soon see lights through the fog so waited for the guys. Upto the pike and down the usual route, with lights on full a lot was being reflected right back in my face, oops, did the drops ok but the ruts were slippy as hell, I binned it halfway down as I tried to dab but there was nowhere to put my foot due to the trench next to me. This amused the others, Si came passed then he too fell, phil succumbed at about the same spot as me, Johnnie looked like he might make it but crashed before the end. Full house! Up hole in the wall and push to 2lads, this is in really bad shape now, will be avoiding for a while. We headed along George's to do ICR, still changing week by week, not too rocky this time, all down safely. I split there back up the hill and home, short one to start the year.

Another two commutes to finish the week, as I grabbed the bike to ride home on Thursday the front tyre was soft again, grrr pumped it up and blasted home on road with just 2 top up stops. Friday and i made a noob mistake, I follow the tramlines through the city centre, a fairly direct traffic free route, have to cross the lines a few times tho. At first I used to bunny hop them, but familiarity breeds contempt/complacency, hopping leads to unweighting the wheels, which leads to pronounced weight shifts which leads to barely perceptible weight shifts which leads to your front wheel sliding down the tracks which leads to you not getting your foot out in time which leads to knee, hip, hand then shoulder hitting the deck, bike flipping over and trying to land on your head, ending in sitting in the city centre with walkers around you a fair amount of pain and a lot of embarrassment, oh and ripped stealth pants. Not a good morning, forgot how much it hurts crashing on tarmac, couple of grazes and bruising. Thought my knee may seize up during the day and prevent riding home but apart from reopening the graze it wasn't too bad. An inauspicious start to the year.

Double checked my stuff today, overshoes ripped, gloves ripped at stitching and jacket ripped on shoulder, crashing on tarmac is expensive as well as painful.

Tuesday, 8 January 2013

The Twelve Hundred (2012 results)

So that was 2012, hmmm. Hope it was fun for you, not a bad year all in all but definitely mediocre riding wise. 4968 total mileage, better than last couple of years, if I'd got off my arse during christmas break I guess I could have topped 5000 but just couldn't get in the mood, other stuff to do. Unsurprisingly the majority was commuting (3755) a third of it offroad (1231) the rest on tarmac (2524), just a few road rides, 23 nightrides meant my jib out rate for the "weekly" nightride was rather high (ashamed face) and 26 normal rides. Only got to 15 away fixtures this year and only got to the lakes a few times, more peak rides this year. Anyway all that boils down to 1213 miles of riding just for fun, doesn't sound much does it? 53 rides, 1 a week, hmmm. Will have to try to do better this year.

Winding down

Not much to report for the festive period, met up with Johnnie and eyerideit (STWer) at rivi for a quick ride before christmas. Johnnie had sorted a quality bodge for eyerideit's leaking forks.

Was a decent ride, slipping and sliding around, I'd taken the blinglespeed and I quickly found out I wasn't at SS fitness yet, barrowbridge was hard, climbing over burnt edge into a monster headwind was awful. But I made it round ok including climbing old rake and mast road to 2lads then later school climb so not completely pathetic.
Bit of a blur after that, went running at somepoint, legs were well tight a couple of days later so decided I needed a short spin on the bike but time and daylight were slipping away so I knocked up a curry, bunged it in the oven and grabbed the pompino for an hours blast. Gotta get your fixes in when you can. Stomped up to horwich via middlebrook, climbed up chorley old rd and then home via some twisty turny bits, had to overtake cars a few times, I was proper caning it, so much for a spin out to stretch my legs. 65 minutes after leaving rolled back through the door, job done, now where's that curry?
And that was it, no biggy to finish off the year, never mind.