Tuesday, 23 September 2008


Thats supposed to sound like a tired and fed up sigh :-(

3 weeks into the shutdown and I'm pretty pooped to be honest, I've had one day off in the last 23 and each of those 23 have been at least 12 hours long, another few days and its done for another 3 years and I'll be glad to see the back of it (insert self interest part here) I'm dissapointed that despite being the manager of my plants I'm still as involved as ever in these damn shutdowns, the old plant mangers seemed to be able to be completely aloof from all of the hubbubb of the day to day stuff, how times have changed !

Anyway, on a positive note I have actually ridden my bike 4 times so far this week, last week was a right off, Monday morning saw an early start along the river, dry and dusty trails, only 25 minutes but better than nothing, the return in the evening saw the same route in reverse.

Today I got up at 6 and headed in the middle way in the dark, I cant remember the last time I rode in the dark, sometime last winter I guess ?, anyway, 90 mins later I'm at the office and drinking strong coffee, another long and tiring day and I head home the middle way in the evening sun.

Reading both Shaggy and the Dr's blogs has reminded me that I NEED to do some bivvying next month before the wetness and coldness comes, there's a special place about 15 miles away thats on my hit list, it is VERY cheeky indeed being a NT property and also has the extra frisson of being the place of numerous stories of witch craft and hauntings, it'll be fun.

I also need some new bivvy stuff, my old Goretex bag is buggered and I cant find my light weight down sleeping bag, so some new purchases are imminent.

Photo's and full reports to follow soon :-)

Thursday, 18 September 2008

I'm growing my hair

thats about the most interesting thing of late.....

I rode my single speed Spot 69er bicycle last Sunday, I rode my bicycle with my good friends Dave, Sharon and Simon around some of my favorite bicycling trails, it was rather good fun and I felt as though my bicycling legs had the remnants of some strength in them somewhere.

This week though I'm ashamed to say that I have driven my car to work every day so far for the lamest of reasons, the reason being that I am currently on day 18 of on average 12 hour days and I'm quite tired having only had two days off last weekend, I have also been drinking quite a lot this week which isn't really helping much.

But tomorrow that changes, the single speed Spot 69er bicycle has been recovered from the cellar, lights have been fitted and tomorrow I'll be getting up at 6 to head to work the long way in the dark.

Next week I'll be attempting to ride every day, at either end of the day for more than the shortest distance.

The difference ??

The weather, today the sun came out and for the first time in a long while I felt some warmth on my face and the weight of the oppressive grey sky lift from my shoulders, I wanted to ride my bike :-)

Monday, 15 September 2008

its my birthday (in the style of Altered Images)

Birthday Boy
Posted by: Matthew
Date: September 15, 2008 12:05PM

I don't see it anywhere, so, Happy Birthday, SteveM.

Re: Birthday Boy
Posted by: Robin Fisk
Date: September 15, 2008 12:07PM

<<<<< Over there ;-)

Re: Birthday Boy
Posted by: Nicky
Date: September 15, 2008 12:10PM

well happy ones from here..

Re: Birthday Boy
Posted by: Matthew
Date: September 15, 2008 12:49PM

over where?

Re: Birthday Boy
Posted by: Andy Armstrong
Date: September 15, 2008 12:59PM

Happy birthday Steve :)

Re: Birthday Boy
Posted by: Raoul
Date: September 15, 2008 01:09PM

Yay MHR Papa M ;0)

Re: Birthday Boy
Posted by: ChrisHeath
Date: September 15, 2008 01:10PM

Happy birthday again Papa M.

Y'know Matt? << Over there.

Re: Birthday Boy
Posted by: Matthew
Date: September 15, 2008 01:20PM

oohhhh...*that* place, I don't go to that neighbourhood no more.

Re: Birthday Boy
Posted by: Steve
Date: September 15, 2008 07:32PM

thanks Matt :-)

Re: Birthday Boy
Posted by: Steve
Date: September 15, 2008 07:37PM

do you know, I was pondering things today as I'm prone to do...

one of my favourite moments of my life so far

sat in a field at 5am wondering where I was in amongst all the fog and tents when I heard a whoosh woosh wooos sound and out of the mist came Andy on a bike complete with two bottles of beer, we sat and watched the sun come up and cemented our life long friendship :-)

Monday, 8 September 2008

30 in 30, day 3

15 mins to work on the road bike this morning then a long day at work meant I almost bottled it but I didn't in the end and actually enjoyed doing some hill reps that made me dizzy :-)

An hour and 15 minutes, 21 miles, job done :-)

Sunday, 7 September 2008

30 in 30, day 2

Goes without saying that I didnt make either of the rides I could have today...

Left work at 11 during (guess what ?) yet another rainstorm, but forteified by the word of Jo(B) I none the less headed out down the river, intrigued to see both how far I could get and how much damage to the trails the flooding has caused.Almost certainly the highest I have ever seen it, my usual trail was still at least 3 feet under and even riding the high trail meant I had to stop just after Didsbury as the trail there was under a foot of water, I could have carried on as I was already as wet as I was gonna get but my sensible side got the better of me and I turned for home.

And it looked a lot lower than last night, judging by the tide marks in the grassy banks it was at least another 8 feet :-/

Just about got to the burger van when the rain turned from drizzle to torrential so decided to stop and have a cheeseburger and a brew, even though the cheeseburger is made from animal byproducts I have to say that at that moment standing in the rain nothing in the world could have tasted better and after 20 muddy miles I felt as though I had earned it.

That done I then headed back to work to show my face and makes sure all was well and also finally and once and for all stop the seatpost of the new Spot from slipping, a quick jet wash, some lapping paste and I was away again, this time spinning down the road heading home.

28 miles, 3 hours, lots of photo stops, 17 stone 5 lbs

Saturday, 6 September 2008

30 in 30, day 1

Start again

Getting home late on Wednesday to find Manchester suffering some bizarre tropical rainstorm meant that the first attempt at 30 in 30 was over, I just couldn't face going out in the wet despite Jenns best attempts to send me "that look" over the internet !

Thursday saw the car being fired up for the first time in almost two weeks to get me to work, one thing I'd completely forgotten about was the fact that myself and 6 others were celebrating 30 years of work on Sept 4th.

Could say lots about the last 30 years but the most shocking thing is how quickly it has passed, and there must be some of the old school managers from the Shell days who would be rolling in their graves if they knew that we are now in charge !

Anyhow, there was no bike ridden that day but lots of beer and fine times.

Friday dawned early and I was pleasantly surprised to feel hangover free, must have been the cup of tea before bed that did the trick, middleish ride to work that morning but had to be curtailed due to the continuing tropical storm which continued right on through the day which meant that I fired up the car (which had been left overnight at work) and another failed day.

So, come today and a new determination to start again, only one bottle of beer with tea last night meant that I had a good nights sleep and an early start to drop off Hana at work and then onto work myself to show my face to the shutdown boys.

Then at 11 I got on the bike during a lull in the rain and actually pedaled a bike for one hour and fifteen minutes, 21.5 miles and really quite pleasant :-)

The initial plan for tomorrow was to do the Manchester 100 but I really need to see my friends as I feel as though I have been ignoring them just of late (I haven't really but thats how it feels) so I'll be driving over to Oxenhope with Mr 360 for a loop of the usual with some Bingley thrown in for good measure.

I'm pretty sure it'll be raining and wet but if it goes to plan it'll mean 2 out of 30 done.

Tuesday, 2 September 2008

30 in 30 begins

Monday Sept 1st

17 stone 8lbs

Up at 7 (late) so straight to work on the Spot (20 mins)
bowl of Oats
Cheese sandwhich
Leave work at 5 and spin, and spin, and spin for the next two hours, decide that 32x18 is not the best choice for a road ride (it was pissing down and the trails were wrecked) but I just settled in to a 90rpm steady flow, got to thinking about how many hours Jenn must have been in the saddle to have ridden 120 miles a day, just as I was pondering that Leon appeared fully Trekked out and we got to talking about some girl that Simon knew who has just ridden from Canada to Mexico !.

home, bathed and then out for a meal with Janet, this time last week I was sat in a swanky restaraunt in San Francisco

Olives, Pizza, tomato and basil salad, half bottle of Rioja Blanca (there goes the wagon, leaving town without me)

Tuesday 2nd Sept

Up at 545am, out for and hour, 17 mles, now ready for a bath before work and flying to Germany, tomorrow home at 8 and then out for another hour, no one said it was goingto be easy :-)