Wednesday, 31 October 2007


I forgot until about 5 oclock that it was halloween, no problem just added an extra bit of frisson to riding on your own in the dark, I think I may have discovered the getting fit secret, ride solo off road at night, you automatically ride about 4mph faster than you would normally and end up doing a fartlek sesion every time you hear a noise !

another hour tonight means I'm at about 65 miles since Monday, its a start as I keep telling myself :-)

no stray animals tonight just wet trails, in fact very few darkness joggers either (how do they do that running in the dark thing ?)

tomorrows plan is to get up at 6 and do a river run, hopefully 20 miles before getting to work, then swap bikes again and a roady ride on the way home, idea being to tire myself out so the first night alcohol free will be shortened by sleep :-)

and in honour of the occasion tonights final choice is Wychwood pumkin alle, wychwood honey'd ale and a bottle of chateu neuf de pape, a suitable end to a couple of months of liver abuse ;-)

couldnt see the Innis and Gun stuff :-(

Tuesday, 30 October 2007


The morning ride didnt happen but tonight I took the long way home on the Ratbred, 17 miles along dark country lanes and nearly T boned a fox that ran out right in front of me, I think we both jumped out of our skin !

I'm liking the fact that I am keeping a mountainbike and a raod bike in my office so that I have a choice every day of either a road ride or a mountainbike ride depending upon my mood....

I especially like to see the look on peoples faces when they come into my office and see 2 bikes lined up and ready to rock and ridng clothes drying out on the radiator, the Germans today were excited to see a muddy (last nights mud) mountain bike and wanted to know all about it :-)

Tomorrows plan is to ride into work and then do a longer night ride, the weather forecast looks good so I've packed bigger longer lasting lights for the ride.

Tonights beer choice was a pink belgian, a leffe and some red wine, tomorrows choice will be Innis and Gun rum soaked aleand a good bottle of red to finish up with.

Monday, 29 October 2007

well possenger !

So, last weeks plan didnt go quite as perfectly as I'd hoped, the chest infection/lung collapse/man flu stuff kept me off my bike for the rest of the week after Tuesdays ride but I was cool with that because Cornwall was all over good and I still managed to get out for walks along the cliff tops with my camera (even saw some quite good birds, hen harrier, turnstone, lots of gulls)

All in all a relaxing week, just what was needed.

And back to realty this morning, road ride into work on the Ratbred (must take a photo soon) was uneventful and my Cove Stiffee was waiting patiently when I got there, lunch time saw the rain come down but as I was determined to get out along the river this evening I fitted some mudguards (and despite what people say they are really practical for keeping you clean, clean enough that todays 3/4s will still be wearable tomorrow) pumped up the tyres and fitted my riding lights.

5 oclock came and I was out, the trails are dark already but not too wet (yet) and even though there was a light drizzle it was still a real pleasure to be out on my first nght ride of the season, the air smelt of autumn, the leaves were covering the trails and best of all no one around.

10 miles later and the rain turned into a heavy down pour so I turned for home happy with my lot, and happy that I had a big enough big on my back to carry the selection of belgium beer I picked up, my friend Raoul would be happy with the image of me on a bike with a bag full of begium beer :-)

and on another positive note I have 2 more nights of alcohol before a self imposed month of abstinance which should lead me nicely into my weight loss/fitness program in time for the Strathpuffer (I'm still hopeful of getting there should some other plans alter)

Tomorrows plan is to ride along the river into work, retracing tonights route, lights are charging as we speak :-)

Tuesday, 23 October 2007

turnin circles

slowly but still turning, the hills around here are bloody steep ( I might have mentioned this before) and quite long compared to local roads, one in particular dropping down to Mousehole (which is apparentley called muzzle or something ) was about 400 yards long and as I know now is 1 in 4 in places. As I dropped in I thought I'd challenge myself to riding back up it, which I did, just, it bloody hurt and hasnt helped my sore lungs as more cold air was breathed in deeply :-0

and my legs are sore from the effort (which is a good thing), cant wait for the weight to drop off and I'll be flying up these things !!

Anyho, another 20 miles got ticked off riding from Lamorna to Marazion and back, nice quiet lanes and not too busy roads finished off with a nice bike trail, lots of climbs all into the wind but my legs are starting to feel some life coming back.

Will take tomorrow off and then aim for a bigger (50 miles plus) ride on Thursday, looking at maps tonight and planning :-)

Sunday, 21 October 2007

Yay for me

20 mile road ride doesnt sound like much but in my condition and given that the hills around here are bloody steep I'm pleased with my day today, he tinbred rides well and I'm pleased that I opted for the compact chinset with its 34/26 tooth combination.

My chest is sore and tight through breathing cold air very deeply but that'll soon be gone, plus I ticked a box today, I rode to Lands End (which by the way is a shithole thanks to Peter DeSaverry IIRC) which is one of the things I put down to do this year, need to head to John OGroats next.

And on a high note my mind is wandering and wondering about doing daft things on a bike again, it'll just be like the old days !

Friday, 19 October 2007

a weight off my shoulders

Despite the best efforts of our oil supplier to scupper my holiday plans the lads at work have pulled out all the stops and I left work this evening feeling relieved and happy :-)

so, this weks riding has been almost zero due to reasons as stated above, but next week will see me out on the bike and having fun, I'm decided on the roadified Tinbred, it rides a treat now I have tweaked the position, the Kojak tyres are faster than normal 700c road tyres or so it seems, the compact chainset works a treat with an old school LX front mech and a cheap and cheerful Tiagra rear mech, deore V brakes feel better than they have any right to and overall Steve at the Bike Shak has done a sterling build up for me.

As an aside I always used to build my own bikes, ts rael pleasure to do this but just dont have the time these days, sounds pretty lame ass I'd agree but that time now needs to be put ito the family and other things, best part though is that both Leon and now Steve re great mechanics and I'm more than happy to have them build a bike for me, combine them with Sideways Tim and its doubtful I'll ever build again, at least not until I end up working for one of them :-)

With a bt of luck I'll be posting positive stories next week as I explore the lanes around deepest darkest Cornwall.

Tuesday, 16 October 2007

this is turning into a not very funny thing

tomorrows plan has stalled, work stuff has got in the way and I wont be riding in Wales as planned, I could carry on and take the day off but that would be leaving a big pile of crap for someone else to pick up and thats not fair....

So, plan Y , drive to work, leave mid afternoon, pick up the Tinbred buld, drive home, ride back to work, sort out crap, ride home the lon way giving the Tinbred a shake down ride ready for next week

Next week will be mobile phone free and riding every day even if its pissing down.

today was a straight there and back affair, nothing to say

Next year I need to hatch some plans, the West Highland way with Sara is on the cards, a week in either Verbier or Santa Cruz doing something epic, no racing other than SS stuff (and I never race at those events anway) and hopefully a family break in Napa Valley for the SS worlds

Need some more suggestions, need more time

Monday, 15 October 2007

the long way home

today I managed an hour of cycling, thats a goodish start to the week, legs felt strong and I had a go on the one hill en route, only 20 seconds of leg burn before enough to get that sick feeling ;-0

its a start.....

tomorrow will attempt to get up at 6 and go the longer way into work and then change bikes and have a river run on the way home, Weds looks like a trip out to ByC, its slowly starting to fall into place

Just tghe one hiccup, Strathpuffer is off for me now as I fogot to check with Jan and she's already arranged a weekend away and considering the number of wekends I get away with I can hardly complain (esp as she'll be reading this !)

Thursday, 11 October 2007

1 and 1 half hours

thats todays ride time

thats all

Wednesday, 10 October 2007

feeling like an old man ?

I was this morning, went the long way to work (only 8 miles or so) but my legs refused to go round in an orderley fashion, got to work and got to discussing the weekend, all the others are in a similar state, some worse than me, we are all over 40 now and for the most part out of shape, we reckoned that the 5 and a half hour walk on Saturday was thde equivalent of 5 and a half hours on a stepping machine so really its no surprise that we are all walking like old men !

Anyhow.... the ride home was easier apart from having a strange pain in my left thigh muscle ?, started off down the river but the trails were wet through from yesterdays deluge, combined with my sore legs I bailed out after 40 mins and headed off home, still it does count as circles turned in my attempt get fitter.

Decided the raceguarded Jake will be my weapon of choice tomorrow, the weather report doesnt look too promising so road mles will be good :-)

And ending on a high note, Mikey tells me that the area where we are holidaying next week is great for road riding, lots of hills and great views, thats made my mind up to take the newly roaded Tinbred (which is due to be built next Weds at the Shak)

So the plan is to try and ride for a few hours every morning whilst the family are lounging around before the serious activity of looking for the perfect cream tea !

Monday, 8 October 2007

not riding a bike

really sucks, especially when you have a chest infection and your mates cant stop telling you how much fun they had on the trails...

back from Germany with a stinker, decided to go on the weekend anyway but sans bike, had a good time, some last vestige of fitness left meant I got to the top of Cadair Idris first but boy have I suffered with stiff legs ever since, its been a year since I last did a walk of this length, going up was fine but coming down hurt like hell

anyhow, 2 days of rest (plus lots of good food and beer) means that I'm ready to go and it starts tomorrow :-)

Tuesday, 2 October 2007

2 fast hours

surprised myself tonight by riding home along the river at a constant 16mph, 31 something miles in just under 2 hours, maybe it was the coffee I've been drinking all day :-)

more likely it was rested legs after yet another weekend lost to the double edge sword of family life and apathy combined with an excess of alcohol and food, things rareley go to plan but its fair to say I never saw that particular twist coming this last weekend.

Anyhow, I'm away to Germania tomorrow for a business trip, landing back on Thursday with just enough time to pack a bike and a bag and then it off to sunny Wales for a long weekend with the lads from work, plan is to ride Friday, walk Saturday, ride Sunday and Monday, get some hills in my legs and chill out.

On yet another change of plan the Tinbred has gone to the Shak for a rebuild, after a chat with Leon it will reappear as a fast commuter, compact chainset, close ratio block and mudguards, this will be my Monday to Friday bike from now on, enabling me to get the miles into my legs that will be needed for the Strathpuffer.

Just 3 months to go and I feel like I'm starting from scratch, which actually isnt that far from the truth but tonights ride tells me that there is something lingering in my legs to work on, a session on the dreaded step machine for an hour twice a week should also take the sting out of the inevitable pushin/walking up the hills which is traditionally where I do the real damage, one of the problems of getting old, I used to be able to run for 3 hous with no problem, these days a stiff walk is almost a guarentee of a calf muscle stretch ;-(