Saturday, 31 May 2008

The Alps

didnt happen.

Instead I had a week with the lad, walking photographing and drinking beer,

back track to last week, after getting the 69er I rode it all week, just down the river before and after work, its still a grand bike.

Bank Holiday weekend came and I rode on the Sunday and the Monday, Sunday was again down the river and back  trying to unwind from the stress of the event that made the alps not happen and get over the dissapointment of not going.

Monday was an early start to Delamere, exploring the new sections of singletrack, getting lost and finding stuff I never rode there before, I also formulated a plan to spend the week with Jack on Anglesey.

Tuesday drove to Gigrin Farm to photograph Red Kites, must have been at least 50 of them, shot loads

Wednesday, Conway RSPB site, up the Great Orme, over to south stack, walking photographing.

Thursday, photographing Arctic Terns at Cemlyn, staring at the sea.

Friday, Conway RSPB site, Sideways cycles to pick up the new IF, home.

Saturday (today) ace ride out in the peak district with Crazy Legs, 360 and Lovely lip man, it was ace, 23 miles, 4000 feet climbing, 4 hours ride time, lots of chat, laughs, leisurely lunch at the new Edale cafe (which is ace)

Sunday, 18 May 2008

new bikes rock

After a week away without a ride I was desperate !

Coupled with some bad news (although in the scheme of things its a minor dissapointment really) I felt the need to ride and lo a new bike appeared.

Thanks to the guys at the bike shak I walked away on Saturday morning with a Trek 69er, now I've been secretly coveting these bikes from afar, the first one I saw belonged to Matt and I liked everything about it, what really impressed me though was the fact that Matt loved it despite it being a freak shitter !

then just the other week I saw quite a number of them that were both stock and highly modified, everyone I spoke to loved their particular version of this bike...

therefore there was a certain inevitability about this being my next bike !

Anyway, mine is slightly modified but only the bars, saddle and seatpost (only really for a longer and less shit version) have been changed and it got ridden today.

The plan was to ride to Delamere, ride around Delamere and then ride home, however the water board had other plans, a major burst leaving most of south Manchester waterless meant a delay in getting out and I ended up going down the river to Reddish Vale and then exploring my way back home via various trails, canal tow paths and main roads, probably about 45 miles in all.

First impressions are that it rides really well, just like a bike to quote Rich, the big wheel upfront does its stuff, the back wheel follows through (I foresee a large number of pinch flats as the back wheel does tend to slam in), the bike is very easy to loft at the front, and it creaks !!

even so I like it a lot, the concept seems to work.

so, tomorrows plan is to get up early and go the long way to work and try and work out whats creaking.

Monday, 12 May 2008


Unnecessary Chamois Time....

copyright Fez Ferrentino

I know better, its been discussed by most of us at some time but yesterday I fell foul of the UCT, I got home and had to hang around for a wee while for various reasons, I knew it was happening, I could feel the burn at the bottom of my cheeks, just at that point where the crease is !!

and then once out of the bath for some reason I thought it would be a good idea to apply some minty arse lard (I was obviously more dehydrated than I thought), thats not a good idea in any shape or form !!

so an unsettled night followed when I needed a good night sleep and woke this morning feeling pretty sore and stupid, its eased a little over the day, enough to allow for the long way home down the river, just under two hours in the sunlight.

Sore again now but at least I didnt put any more minty arse lard on !!

Tomorrow will be my last ride until Saturday, 3 hours down the river, then off to Germania again for another 4 days of alcohol fuelled fun and frolicks (not really)

Sunday, 11 May 2008

Some days are better than others

Today is one of those days

78 miles with only 10 on tarmac, all the way to the Woodhead pass straight from the front door, lots of sunshine and warmth, trails dry and dusty, little wind, all in all a great day until I arrived home to be greeted by some terrible news, a dear friend has been diagnosed with cancer (what a fucking awful word is that) kind of takes the sail out of your wind does that.

Thursday, 8 May 2008

Glad I was arsed

60 miles in warm sunlight tonight, wind in our faces both ways ??

but it were reet good

pint at the end




Wednesday, 7 May 2008

could be arsed

although the early morning came and went, I did get out this evening, okay it was down the river which is nothing special at all, but the trails were dusty, there was a hell of a lot of folk out either running or biking due to the fabulous sun.

It has to be said that days like today take years off, I love that warmth perculating through your body, tonights ride was fast, only an hour and three quarters but enough to get a good sweat on.

I managed to remember to drink all of my 3 litre bladder during the ride, its something I'm always forgetting until its too late but am currently concentrating on eating and drinking healthily and that means about 3 litres of water during the day at work, and then more when riding.

Tonight I'm treating myself to a couple of glasses of red whilst reading the latest cycle sport international and the 20th anniversary issue of MBUK, 20 years !!.

Its 21 year for my mountainbike career, I look back fondly on the Claude Butler that Janet bought from her catologue for me (hey does anyone ever buy anything from catalogues anymore ?) and am happy to know that its still going strong being ridden around Tatton Park.

One day I'll get around to making a list of all the mountainbikes I've owned :-)

Tomorrow promises more of the same weather and the plan is to do a road ride to Delamere, thats just over easy 60 miles, then on Friday rest, Saturday do catch up and Sunday will be the tour of Anglsey with Ali and hopefully 360 (who will be ripping our legs off having just come back from cycle touring rural Spain)


Tuesday, 6 May 2008

couldn't be arsed

went to work on the road bike this morning full of intention, but over the day my legs stiffened up and the numerous bites around my ankles were irritating me, so come the time to ride home and I headed straight home the short way.

Thats a real shame given that the weather is lovely, but I'm sat here now and grateful, I was obviously tired from the weekend and the few hours have given me some time to think and catch up with my thoughts from the weekend.

Thought Number 1 - Singlespeed events are always good, no matter what happens its always good, its a bloody stupid thing to do is ride a bike with one gear, but its always good fun -  how come ?

Thought Number 2 - Bike people are for the most part good people, there was a little bitching going on (and I'll say now that I have been one of the bitchers) at the weekend, but really, what the fuck is that all about ?, people are just people, not everyone is super cool or hip or trendy, time to get over it....

Thought Number 3 - I have the best friends in the world, this weekend proved that.. for the majority it was the first time we'd seen each other since last year, some had been out for longer than that, anyway it was just as though we'd all been together the day before, sure we all caught up with each others news and the usual gossip, but then come the ride and everyone slotted in, all happy to be together and riding

Thought Number 4 - the difference gap, our gang !

there are folk at the very extreme ends of the age spectrum, from the 11 year old son to the 60 year old father, there are guys and girls who are semi pro, there are guys and girls who are middle of the road, there a few who are well known in the mountain bike community (for one reason or another) and then there's the rest of us, we all rode our bikes together and all enjoyed each others company, some fast, some slow, no matter, we all finished together and had had a good time. 

Is there anything else out there where such a diverse group of people can be friends and  enjoy an afternoon together in such a way ?

Anyway, thats enough pondering for one day, tomorrows plan is to get up early, take the big blue gayer and hit the river trail, hopefully this sun will have dried everything out to create beautiful buff trails !!

Monday, 5 May 2008

SSUK08, a changing of the guard

So, it was ace as always, it goes without saying that we laughed hard, rode hard (ish) and drank hard...

from our end of the field it seemed a quiet night but there was lots of younger folks enjoying the goings on in the marquee, there was some muttering about a lack of disgraceful behaviour, but we were at the far end of the field and made our own noise to compensate, I'm sure that each niche has its own experience and tales to tell, it was a different vibe, thats not to say it was better or worse, just different.

Anyway, I had a lot of fun, Friday night saw some freestyle "wrapping" around some old pop tunes, it was impressive given the state of drunkeness, how Biff managed to string together a whole songs worth of smut around Sheena Eastons 9 to 5, Biff and Jon did an equally rude version of Easy on a Sunday morning ;-)

Saturday dawned and the weather looked good so we set off for some of the well known Drumlanrig singletrack, its fair to say that we were not dissapointed, buff, twisty, sweetly bermed, woodsy, tight, steep, rootsy, dry and dusty, it just kept coming, 4 hours of riding, bantering, enjoying, later and we got back to the castle in time for tea and cakes in the evening sun.

My legs were wasted but happy, I had an inkling that there was some fitness returning and hey believe it or not some descending skills were found hidden deep down inside, I can do roots, I like roots, its what I learnt early on :-)

Saturday night was more of the same, some grumbling about the lack of rowdiness, but then it dawned, that was just us really, and now we are to old for all that stuff despite a few peeps thinking the opposite ;-)

although I have to say that there was a lame ass attempt to heckle me with a hecklerphone, heres a lesson, if you are going to do it then do it properly and dont stop just because someone tells you to fuck off, thats the cue for a full on hecklation, dont give up so easily next time or I'll have to confiscate your hecklerphone ;-)

Sunday and the rain appeared, heavy claggy wet rain, just in time for the race, the usual start line banter was followed by the usual mixing of the bikes, the OnOne Inbred pile was ruined by the fact that they now come in colour, but the Trek 69er pile was funny, and almost everyone saw the funny side.

the race happened, Phil and Anya  won, Niall won the under 12 cat and schooled Dave Gordon and I both uphill and downhill.

The food was fine and well worth the wait, the prizegiving was funny, and then we left, there was to be a party that night complete with band, look to others for that report...

The guys who stepped up to organise did a sterling job, you can be very proud of your event.

We drove home on the howling wind and rain, got home, had a bath and went to bed smiling :-)

Thursday, 1 May 2008


Its this weekend, its in Scotland, the sun is finally out, does it get any better ?

a quick two hours tonight, another gentle spin along the lanes, casually thinking about nothing much at all, got passed by two young fellas all dressed in SIS team kit, they were moving fast, two upping, obviously training.

It occurred to me for about two nano seconds to try and catch them and hold the line, but I couldn't be arsed and frankly who am I kidding ? but then in the distance I saw another roady starting the climb out of Rostherne, I had him by the time I was 3/4's up the hill, tried hard to catch him, hard enough that by the time I caught I was pooped, but stubborn stupid pride kicked in and I got another 50 yards on him by the top.

At the traffic lights he pulled up in front of me, looked around with utter contempt at my attire (3/4 baggies, plain white T shirt and Dirt Rag rasta socks) and turned his head without a word, ignorant fecker, which was a shame as he was on a nice looking Bianchi.

So, I waited for the lights to change and let him go, had already decided that he was going to get passed again, just needed to know which way he was going, and he was going my way, so I let him lead through the lights and just stayed 10 yards back for a few miles, close enough that I could see him sneaking the odd look, close enough to see he was sneaking up the gears, the next hill reared up and once again I passed him, this time though there were no lights to stop us and I never saw him again.

That hurt !

then again on the way home, some miserable twat all dolled up in Specialised gear on the other side, I let on and saw him check out the bike and me, put his head down with no acknowledgement, although a few yards later on he looked around to see me giving him the finger :-(

Mountain biking is much nicer