Thursday, 29 November 2007

Its a washout

this week that is...

Very very bored of the rain right now, so bored that I had to do something creative yesterday

Monday to Wednesday was straight out and back on the road, I knew that the trails would be awash and no fun, but today was different, a poor start to the day gave way to some blue sky and at around 3ish I got a ten minute window to get out before I got embroiled in something else.

Taking a chance and getting changed into riding clothes in my office I was lucky that no one came past to see my naked athleticism !

The trails were still wet and muddy but it felt good to feel some sun on my face, the cloying greyness had been getting me down, anyhow, an hour later and I'm home and happy, happy enough to contemplate going and buying a dinner suit for a forthcoming night out, it was fairly painless, suit, shirt, bow tie and new shoes (stiff black shoes dont half feel funny on your feet) all done, should see me out for the rest of my life :-)

Saturday, 24 November 2007

looking out the window with a heavy heart

its absolutley pissing down, thick heavy wet rain swirling around, totally uninviting ;-(

anyhows, Thursday was officially the best day of the week, ride to work and back followed by a great night ride arond Delamere with the good guys, my Spot was just the same as it was last time I rode it (which was over a year ago) and it ruled, that bike allows me brief moments when I remember how to ride a bike, sliding predictably in the mud, steering exactly where I want to go, its a great bike that derves to be repaired (there's a small crack appearing in the weld on the bottom bracket shell/seat tube interface).

can probably count Thursday as a 25 miler.

Friday was a straight down the road effort to get to work and in complete cotrast to Thursday the sun came out so yet another window of opportunity arrived and I hit the trail, only this time my legs were not in the mood, so rather than push through I bailed and headed home to pick up my camera gear and legged it over to Martin Mere to photograph the swans.

It was bloody perishing in the hides but some of the shots worked out okay.

Weeks total is around the 70 miles, less than needed but still the fun is back in bike riding.

Wednesday, 21 November 2007

riding the lethargy away

this morning I suffered from rainy day blues, made the mistake of looking out of the window and saw rain, rain and more rain, so headed to work the shortest way knowing that my expected afternoon of riding had just been washed away, bit of a hectic day at work, and then got a phone call from Germany early afternoon that raised my blood pressure through the roof, in fact so high that I left early at 3 so I didnt have to deal with anyone in that mood.

Managed to put all that aside and decided to head over to the shak to catch up with Mikey, whilst there was looking at the Trek 08 bikes that they had in stock, have to admit that the Fuel series looks really good, some clever thngs going on with the pivot points and the general finish and look of the bikes makes them stand out, and the price point is unbelievable, for £1600 you can get a bike that will massively out perform a bike from ten years ago that would have cost you £4000.

And I also bought some Endura winter waterproof gloves, nice and toasty inners with a good looking protective outer which isnt too bulky, riding home it appears that the palm pad bunches up a bit in your palm but not too uncomfortable, we'll see how they go on.

After leaving the shak where Mikey agreed to a ride this coming Sunday (which when I think about it may well be the first ride we've done together in 2007 !) I decided to head off home through the lanes, and after about 30 mins my legs suddenly came to life, at first I thought the wind had changed direction, but no, they must have just decided to get stuck in ;-)

An hour later and I'm home and happy, on me way to sainsbury's and I'm getting texts from Punkass suggesting which beer to buy for tonight, settled on Pumpkin Ale and a strong Brakespear organic.

First few mouthfuls of the pumpkin and it tastes good, a bit like pumpkins oddly enough

and best of all, Germany is forgotten about for now.

18 miles today

Tuesday, 20 November 2007

Tuesday bloody Tuesday

to the tune of a famous song by offically the most boring band in the world, just read a joke about the frontman clapping

anyhow, road ride either side today, the shortest way, tired and feeling below parr today, but have booked the afternoon off tomorrow to get out and get some miles in, BUT this damned rain is still falling, if its still raining the trals will be shocking, so a change of plan might be in order, Delamere and back on the road, 60 odd miles will get me back on track this week.

Looking forward now to Thursday's night ride, its the annual Sideways Cycles/Bike Shak xmas spectacular, I've been down in the cellar tonight and rebuilt the Spot 29er (as that it officially my Delamere bike with 34 x 20 gearing, thinish tyres and mudguards fitted as standard).

When I think about it, it must be over 6 months since I last rode in the forest which is ridiculous as its one of my favourite places to ride, in fact it might even have been an exploratory ride with Stever, we rode to a new place, expecting to climb, should get that gig back on really, after all I bought the shoes !

No idea about the weekends shenanigans yet, possiblity of a party over at Hebden but I'm doubtful for that, Sunday should really be a big road ride, I did say that I'd rejoin the old roady club and get out with the old boys, that's certainley get the weight shifted and the miles would pile on, shame I've not around to that really :-(

Another alternative is to get the cross bike out and do a mixed ride, in fact Delamere on the road, couple of laps of the forest trails dodging the walkers and dogs and then back on the road would be a good plan

then again if the local trails are in good enough nick I could scope out the skull and crosbikes race course ?

so many options, so little time :-)

Monday, 19 November 2007

Plan A almost worked

Saturday went as predicted..

Sunday started as predicted nut due to sub zero temperatures the mediumish epic turned into epic light (but nonetheless still epic), it were totally ace, great friends, great trails, great beer, great chilli and yorkshires in the bay horse pub, most remarkable of all though was that we were out riding by 1030 and had finished at 130, into the pub to thaw out.

the usual plus, sleet, snow, VERY wet trails, piss poor brake pad life (as always with avids in the wet), cold toes, cold fingers, VERY cold little Matty, it rocked :-)

Fitness and breathing ability all okay, legs felt fine on the climbs, lots left at the end, its working, Ed asked hows the Strathpuffe training going, to be honest it doesnt really count as training, its more just enjoying riding a bike, but yes its working.

Today was a write off, 4 road miles in for a 7am start, 4 road miles home for a 7pm finish, 1 beer, 1 bottle of red wine, maybe tomorrow I'll get out for a few mles more ?

Friday, 16 November 2007

A perfect storm

Funny old day today, 12 off road miles along the canal in the dark was a fun start, I got out at 630 and decided to head to work a different route, its been a while since I rode along the canal. Narrow muddy trails with the ever present chance of an early bath meant concentration was needed, especially as I came across a couple of black labrabears who lomed out of the darkness !.

Work started bad and got worse around 11ish when a friend handed me his notice, I knew it was coming but am still gutte


after that, a series of meetings which did nothing but remind me of how much I have fallen behind with my day to day work after the summer project....

A change of plan saw me leave at 430 on the Tinrat, just an hour of road work but manged to squeeze 17 miles out to take todays total to 29 miles.

That means 87 mles for the commutes this week, not too bad for a 3 day week, tomorrow is a rest day, plans are to go photographing birds at Inner marsh farm in the morning, get back in time to pick up Jan and then head off somewhere else for a stroll, probably Tatton Park to catch the Acer leaves before the disappear for the year.

Sunday promises wet and windy trails, a longish day in the saddle I hope.

Next week I'll stick t the Tinrat and aim to up the mileage to 150 for the week, we'll see how succesful that is :-)

Thursday, 15 November 2007

Tired Legs today

Managed to get out of bed early and hit the trail, by gum it were cold, easily minus 2 or 3, the trails were frosty firm, even the puddles were icey, 10 miles of this was enough for my hands, and even as I type this some 12 hours later my left index finger is still numb at the end, I figure something "might" be wrong as last time I played (ha ha ha ha a) my guitar I had this same feeling for weeks, maybe the red wine is finall catching me up ?

Anyhow, a boring day at work, sat at the computer all day meant I was tired and weary by the time the bell rang, and as I'd actually cleaned the VooDoo at lunch time and lubed the chain (hey that grinding noise has gone !) I decided just to head off home.

15 miles in the can today, maybe tomorrow will gve a few more miles and then its the weekend, saturdays plan is to go over to Old Moor RSPB site for some photography and then Sunday will be the uusual plus plus over at Oxenhope, starting early and finishing late :-)

Wednesday, 14 November 2007

Fired by the canon of inspiration (TM 360)

last weeks summary first, 100 miles comuting, 30 (proper off road in the hlls) miles at weekend at Tim and B's guest house in Rothbury (many thanks to Raoul for organising and Tim and B for great hospitality, you guys rock a phat one or something like that)

130 miles in 6 days of riding, pleased with that, its about as much as I can manage time wise at the moment, trying to not spread myself too thinly between family, work, bikes and photography


Back to this week and 2 days of business travel gave my legs a rest on Moday and Tuesday, so I was gagging for it today, once again all was well at work and a window of sunshine presented iself so I was out and amongst it again, trails were wet but still firm, the leaves are already turning to mush but the sun shone brightly, did some more exploring and came to a sudden realisation that we could put on a skull and crossbones cyclo cross bike race in the Manchester area.

I'll not say when and where as the whole idea is that you run the race somewhere cheeky and with no rules and regulations, there'll be start time and a finish time, although the finish time is usually left to the discretion of the hecklers, if they want to see more suffering then thats what they get :-).

Anyway, 44 mles today in the sun felt good at the time, an I even remebered to eat something before setting off !

Tomorrows commute is planned to be a fairly muted affair, I know I have 2 busy days at work coming on and my chest feels tonight as though the infection thats been nesting here for some time mght finally be coming on :-0

Thursday, 8 November 2007

nothing unusual

today that was, up early for a ten miler to work, I was thinking that I'll try and do this at least one way every day through the winter, work was rubbish and I didnt get out till 630 and by then there was a hurricane blowing so decided to just head home on the road, 15 miles for the day means a 100 for the week...

thats all ;-)

Wednesday, 7 November 2007

littel green frogs

lots of em tonight, had a job missing some of em, must have been the rain ?

anyhow, this morning I woke late and rushed to get out, still managed 10 miles of off road trails before work, uneventful day at work and out again by 5 into the rain, first choice was to just head home the shortest way but then I decided to retrace this mornings route. The trails were mushy, hard to believe that yesterday they were in perfect condition, anyhow, 10 miles later and I'm home, bike is filthy, clothes are filthy but there's that stupid grin on my face that says all is well tonight in my world :-)

Beer free night last night means tonight I'm having beer, Summer Swallow, and a curry (and some red wine also, alcohol free tomorrow nigts in readiness for the weekends shenanigans over at Tims place in Rothbury.

At the risk of it all going wrong there appears to be some life stirring back into my legs, I know that this will happen, just need to keep at it now !

This weeks total so far is 85 miles, hoping to do another 20 tomorrow, rest on Friday and then enjoy the weekends riding catching up with friends and generally mucking about on bikes :-)

Tuesday, 6 November 2007

a ribbon of goodness

Todays early morning commute set me up beautifully for the day, up and out by 6 for 10 miles of tacky trails in the emerging sun, got to work to find all was well and that I potentially had the afternoon free of meetings :-)

A couple of things to rearrange and I was back out in the sun at 1130, down the river along the singletrack river side trails (not real singletrack but the best thing around here), through Stockport and the trails just kept on getting better, sunlight flitting through the autumn leaves and reflecting off the water, trails dry and grippy, only downside was that the Jodphur Cafe was closed by the time I got there and the 2 pieces of toast I'd had earlier had already been turned into energy.

Oh well nothing for it but turn around and head back, had a bit of an explore around some rails I'd been eyeing up but never bothered to follow, nothing at all spectacular but nice and flowy.

By the time I got back to the water park I was seriously bonking hard, first time thats happened for years !, anyhow the upside was that the lakeside cafe was open, and double bonus it had a new owner who was trying to move away from the burger and chips type of place it was previously, a nice egg on toast and a grand cup of tea for 3 quid set me up a treat for the final 6 miles hom.

45 miles all off road today, legs are tingling right now but tomorrows weather looks good again so am planning another early morning trip.

Monday, 5 November 2007

be careful out there kids

road ride to work this morning, first ride since Friday as the weekend gave way to walking and photographing, still the 29er VooDoo was a pleasure to ride, the 34 x 16 gear is just about tall enough for the trails around here and as usual with this bike the 21lb weight made light work of the short climbs.

This evening came and went with a spin down the river, 18 miles in just over an hour felt good, along the way I thought that I saw my mate Jezz over on the other side of the iver walking with someone, od as he had his running gear on ?

I now know why he was walking, the silly bugger had tripped over a dog in the twilight and fell and bust his lip !, unfortunately it was bad enough to warrent a trip to hospitl and as I type he is having his lip stitched back together !!

Remember a few blogs ago when I asked why people run at night without lights ?, well now I know, its because they are stoopid thats why :-)

oh and BTW Simon, tonight I am having beer, 4 nights of sobriety is enough for anyone :-)

and here's to a great Northumberfest 6

Friday, 2 November 2007


Well I managed to hit my mental target this week of 100 mental ( i;e in my head based on past rides with a bike computer thingy) miles commuting, a mix of off and on road..

tonights ride had the extra thrill of dodging the local kids who were gathering to let fireworks off and have fun, not sure who was more intimidated me or them, 50 watts of light probably does look quite daunting :-)

here's this weeks list

Monday - 4 on 17 on road
Tuesday - 4 0n 17 off road
Wednesday - 5 off 12 off
Thursday - 13 off 15 off
Friday - 5 off 18 off

110 miles and aiming for another 70 this weekend

Punkass asked me last night if I'm getting any fitter, well I guess the answer is yes but it doesnt feel like it yet, I know from long experience that another 3 or 4 weeks of similar and it'll come ;-)

and then it gets tough :-0

oh and by the way I jumped on the scales last night - 17 stone 4 lbs, my all time heaviest ever :-/

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