Wednesday, 12 March 2014

Another quality forecast

....except for where I'm riding obviously. Weekend forecast seemed to be gloriously sunny all round, now maybe I wasn't paying attention or maybe they just messed up again but as we rolled into glenridding sunday morning it was overcast, cold and raining, grrrr. Me and Si togged up, the original plan was stakes pass followed by silver crag, ullswater, boredale loop but as the hillsw ere covered in cloud we figured we'd start with ullswater loop. Off we went, bit of a push upto the BW, forgot how tech/thrutchy the path was so a bit more pushing, finally got to the start of silver crag warned Si "it gets a bit tasty around this corner" about 20 meters later I had my heart in my mouth going down a rocky step section, gulp! Turned back and Si had just ridden straight at it and cleared it good going! More of similar and worse followed go tto the bottom shaking like a leaf, bit early in the day for rocky tech fests, hadn't got into my flow yet, took a good 5 mins to calm down, not helped by the hard work that is ullswater lakeshore, either direction it takes a lot of leg and upper body muscle to make progress. Puncture stop meant we could chill out for a while. Didn't meet another soul on this normally walker heavy path. As we rolled passed sandwick we could see the sun illuminating the northern shore, no such luck for us and as turned into boredale a headwind hit us and that was our pretty much constant companion till we got to boredale hause where we just got blown every which way. Decision time stakes or the other hartsop angle tarn loop, Raise was still covered in cloud and a fair few snow patches suggested it's be damn cold and I was worried about car suck so decided on hartsop. Fast downhill then, weeeeeeee!

I'm sure I've described the climb out of hartsop before, hard work, still not had my talas forks serviced so are running at full length only, couldn't keep the front end down so didn't even make the second gate.
We pushed and rode our way to Hayeswater and then pushed some more towards the knott untill we hit the turn off, a newly refurbed bit of trail, bit being the operative word, once it got to satura crag there were the usual mishmash of lines and the wind ratcheted up several notches meaning you couldn't actually pick a line and stay on it, more pushing. Finally the trail levelled and the wind eased and we rode down to angle tarn, nice easy gradient decent surface for the most part and a few stone pitched sections near the end to get you going.
A sit down by the tarn for choccy flapjacks, cheers Si then on to boredale hause again from the top this time. Starts with a narrow trail clinging to the side of the hill with a few dodgy rocky step downs. On one the trail was just over a foot wide, the drop to the left wasn't sheer but you'd be rolling a hell of a long way and probably hurt yourself a lot if you went over, the step down was steep and sent you to the left, pretty bloody hairy, I wasn't sure whether Si would be riding it but got the camera out anyway and sure enough he did ride it and the result?

Rubbish, proper dodgy bit of trail and in the pic it looks like a bloody garden path, pics never do trails justice. Anyway on we went, I really like the bit after stony rigg, had a few "not sure I'll make it" moments with some steep rock steps and broken up sections, lots of fun. After boredale hause Si took the slightly easier left track while I took the right, after managing to get down a well dodgy cut out overhang step section I thought I was on for a clean run so was whooping until I spotted the massive rock jump, "oh maybe not then, forgot about that". Still more fun to go tho with plenty of rock kickers to get some air off and finally rolling into patterdale knackered but buzzing off adrenaline, great stuff and oh look the sun has come out for our drive home, lovely.

Monday, 3 March 2014

What Winter?

Well that's it then, winter passes us by with nary a frost let alone a deep freeze or "winter wonderland" dump of snow. I love proper winter days, trails are frozen to practically summer dryness, wide open cloudless blue skies, wrap up warm and your set for good day out on the bike. Snow would have been nice, not had chance to get the sledges out with the kids this year. Boooo. I know there's still a chance for the weather to give a last minute kick, was nippy this morning but barely any frost, but I doubt it. Winter 13/14 just a load of wind and rain, bleurgh.

My cold is entering it's third week, hoping it'll abate now, we'll see, is March going to be my first proper month of riding? 371 in Feb is not exactly stellar performance and only 2 none commute rides ffs, taking me up to a grand total of 4 for the year, piss poor. Hoping 2014 will not turn into a year to forget riding wise.