Monday, 24 February 2014


My first puncture free week of 2014, probably due to giving "Flat Friday" a miss, I've had a cold so only did 3 days commuting and no night ride. Sorry best I could do, not a lot happening riding wise at the moment, hopefully hitting the lakes at weekend, tho we shall see....

Wednesday, 12 February 2014

Illusions of winter

Got blasted by horizontal snow on the way home last night, thunder and lightening too, not very frightening but kinda started to put me off the nightride. Got home to find Si had family stuff so couldn't make it, everyone else seemed to be busy too, skies had cleared so it seemed a shame to waste an evening, grabbed the blinglespeed and set off to destroy myself. Up the usual route, been a while since I SSed up there, gold course was breathless but ok, edge lane started ok but as I was "dancing" on the pedals halfway up the rear tyres started spitting traction, ICE! At the corner a 4x4 came down the road passed me, I tried to warn the driver but he just gave me a funny look and didn't seem to listen.  Onto the tops, light smattering of snow everywhere and damn chilly but nice clear skies. Went down hole in the wall gingerly seat up, then the top half of wildes, cut across back up the Rake and did the rooty section of wildes (with my forks locked out duh!) then all the way to the bottom and up school climb, this is not a nice SS climb. Upto the pike the wind had picked up, not as bad as last week but still a bit of a wandering line around the switchbacks (where I was reminded how good light wheels are for mid climb acceleration) and a battle to the pike. Straight down the slabs, very cautious over the drops but the ruts were pretty firm so not too bad. Along georges constantly on the look out for ice, up the access road (gurn) and over to the shooting hut descent. Again, snow everywhere, clear skies, really cold above ground but below the snow the trail was still mushy, boo. Descent wasn't bad fluffed a stream crossing and when I dabbed ankle deep in water I was very thankful for my lakes keeping my feet warm and dry. Down coalpit road and home through smithills. Out for just 3 hours and I had toasted my legs, grrr rufty tufty singlespeeding.

Still not cracked it

Another commuting week, another failure, did ok with the slippery slopes, monday I had an explore and did the usual route then scouted out another which is steeper to begin but less slippery and then slackens out so I'm not right behind the saddle when trying to thread my way through/around ruts. 2 cleans on the first day, cool. Tues and thurs got me a clean so I'll take my 4 for the week, friday wasn't so great, argument with a dogwalker that turned into a discussion then ended up with me fixing a puncture and them offering sympathy for my bad luck. Took looplines to my mums and got lost, ended up on the leigh line after the detour, got back on track soon enough but found I had another slow puncture on the front, topped that up a couple of times then 2 blocks from my mums rear tyre started hissing too, 3 flats in one trip! Sat in my muddy gear patching tubes at my mums, lovely.

So still not managed a full week without a flat, grrrr.

Elementally tough.

Last tuesday we finally opened the 2014 nightriding account, met Si at the park was going to catch up with johnnie up top but he's managed to injure himself whilst riding with showing off* infront of the kids again, he text to say his knee was not having it. Set off up the hill, out of practice on the golf course climb so felt tough work. Up onto the tops and we skipped two lads and dropped down hole in the wall, slippy, a few moments with the back tyre sliding down a different rut than the front. Wildeswood next, wet going through the tree's and the backs of the houses. Up school climb and around the gardens to georges where the wind had picked up a lot we headed up to the pike, on the bumpy switchbacks we were wandering about all over the shop getting pushed off line and blowing a gale on the final climb. We didn't hang around and dropped down the slabs ASAP, wheels down, no popping wheelies off the slabs. Headed back down georges to climb back up hole in the wall, nightmare. Fluffed the narrow chute before the stream and dabbed but after that determination set in. WInd was so bad I was zig zagging across the trail, off one side and then the other, lumpy rather than knobbly back tyre was spinning and fishtailing aswell, near the top I was knackered but grimaced and kept on. Reckon I probably pedalled twice as far as the actual climb length. Looked behind to see Si's head torch bobbing, could tell whether he was digging deep or walking, the latter unfortunately. Over to the mast and down san marino, was a bit muddy, no need to brake on the first quarter due to strong headwind but after that we sped up and by the corner we were getting up to silly speeds. Legs and calves burning by the end. Si had a full body dab on the muddy ruts near the road oops. Skipped the quarry, straight up scout rd and down through smithills where we hit a load more mud. Hard ride for the meagre distance but we finally got a nightride in.


Monday, 3 February 2014


...start to the year, 263 miles is pretty damn poor but with no guarded up commuter bike for half of it and bloody awful weather for pretty much all of it what can I say? There were one or two OK days but family stuff meant the days it wasn't appalling I was busy and the days I was free it was. Lurgy affected play too. Got in a few runs and a couple of games of 5aside at work so my muscled haven't completely atrophied. Will do better next month!

Oh yeah the new bike, that's going OK, feels very like the old one but a couple of pounds lighter and a bit stiffer, front doesn't feel too bad after setting the tyre pressure properly, there's some give in that carbon fork, rear, hmm we'll see, reckon my backside could take a beating when I try a long bumpy ride, we'll see. Finally got around to hopping the canal wall at the end of the first week commuting so I must be reasonably comfortable on it. Tensioner is holding the chain well, the chain is still wearing rapidly, I can see the tensioner is a lot lower than it was when I set it up, looks a bit clunky but no need to take up the slack and faff with disc/hub alignment once a week :-) Might post a pic or two soon but no I'm in no hurry, it's not really finished yet.


Another week of commuting and sod all else, nevermind. Wasn't bad, hadn't punctured all week and had cleaned the slippery slope of CX gnarliness twice (third day I went a different route home) so friday was looking like I might get a clean sheet, nope, just as I was getting to the bottom of the slope the back end went, I unclipped to dab and my rear wheel caught again just before I put my foot down, wasted dab, no clean run. Also by friday night my front tyre was looking awfy soft, grrrr, try again next week. Atleast the weather is looking a bit better so fingers crossed we may get a night ride in and shhh, whisper it.....maybe a weekend ride (shock horror)