Tuesday, 28 October 2008

Jake the Snake let me down

well not really, yesterday's commute was wet for a change, the river had been over the top during the night but subsided 10 feet or so by the time I got there, it was slushy muddy miserable ride..

But then coming home in the evening was excellent fun splashing through the huge puddles by the light of light and motion, an hour or so later and I'm home, getting undressed in the kitchen

Early night ( no alcohol) and a sound sleep made a pleasant change, up at 6 and out by ten past, 3 miles down the same wet and muddy tracks but this time quite icey (well frosty really) and I turn to climb only to feel that split second "give" just before the chain snapped, fortunately I managed to not go over the bars.

As I was in total darkness I could'nt see clearly enough to repair the damn thing so decided to walk home in the sleet, trying to hold a light in your teeth and operate achain breaker is not an easy thing to do !, and just to really piss me off I got oil all over the new Pearl Izumi winter gloves with the pittard leather palms and then the same oil all over the freshly wrapped yellow bar tape.

I have to report that the event 3/4's worked really well and the new Berghuas jacket kept me nice and warm, got home, fixed chain and went back out again, did the same route as I had planned and got to work 15 minutes late, so quite pleased with myself, thats 3 hours riding in two days now.

And, on a further positive note I really enjoyed the cold this morning, once again its proper weather not grey drizzle, if only every day had real weather I could cope with that much better :-)

Sunday, 26 October 2008

9 days without a ride

Thats possibly the longest time ever between rides barring holidays and work trips for 20 years, and I haven't missed it one bit, instead I have been pretending to be a photographer for the last week, been all along the north west coast photographing birds, the weather has been mixed, either raining or about to rain, some sunshine, lots of wind, never boring.

I reckon I've shot around about a thousand different images and may even have some worth showing when the time is right, in total now I have around 500 gigabytes of images to wade through this coming winter, thats the sum of all my trips to photograph birds over the last two years, I think about 80 different species which is not too bad considering I wasn't looking for rarities and concentrating on every day birds.

and now the week off work is over and its back to reality....

The commute to work is the main plan in getting some riding in now that the darkness is upon us, the cross bike has been fettled with new brake pads and some 35mm tyres, the chain has been lubed and new bar tape fitted (yellow for a change) and some new waterproofs have been purchased ( Endura Event 3/4's and a Berghaus jacket reduced at Chain Reaction) so I'm ready to go, only slight issue on the horizon is that the local trails are under water after this weekends rain, hopefully that will subside by the morning as the weather is predicted to get cold but finally stop raining.

Tuesday, 14 October 2008

wet behind the ears ?, well just about everywhere actually

tonights ride home was bloody awful...

back track to last week, didn't do much other than ride to and from work for the best part of the week until Friday, Friday came and more of the same stress and mither at work and I finally gave in to the chest pains and headache and walked out at lunchtime, I figured that my head was in such a spin that I was beyond being affective and it was time to call it a day, the fact that the sun was shining and the trails were dry just added to the momentum.

2 and a half hours later and I was back in the land of the living, destressed and sweaty, and importantly a sense of reality had returned.

Weekend didn't see a bike being even looked at, dropped No1 child off at her university on Saturday and then had an early night ready for an early start to get out photographing early, plan was to got to Tatton Park for the rut but the weather put paid to that, dull grey wet.

Quick change of plan saw an early start at Marshside, lots of birds around but limited photographic opportunities so I headed up the M6 to Leighton Moss where the sun had come out, a new to me bird (Bearded Tit) and the pleasure of watching and photographing a heron catch and finally eat an enormous eel finished off the day.

Monday saw an early start as I knew I'd have a long weekly report to put together at work, proved to be a good move as the trail was still in good condition so I went the middle way and the report still got done on time :-)

Home to pick up the car and 360 and away to Delamere for a night ride with the Delamere Regulars, idea was to shoot the ride for an article in Singletrack magazine, it actually worked out quite well, 4000 asa 1/15th at f1.4, no need for lights, the Nikon D300 is pretty bloody amazing, there's no way on earth that I could have done this shoot without extensive use of flash which of course would have completely ruined the atmosphere.

Anyway, the ride was ace as always with Dave Dodd leading, the evening was warm and balmy and for the most part the trails were dry and tacky, 2 hours of glorious singletrack, anyone who says Delamere is boring and flat is frankly talking out of their arse !

Today I again got up early but this time it was to allow me to clean my bike at work, those dry trails seemed to have thrown a lot of mud onto my bike, all done and dusted and then tonight home in the pissing rain again .
Chocolate Lime is now put away and the VooDoo Earzulie has been retrieved from the cellar, skinny mud tyres and crud catchers have been fitted, this will be the commuter bike of choice for the coming winter along with some Endura Event 3/4 baggies, a new white Campag rain jacket (yes white Jo, its slimming ) and some Pearl Izumi waterproof gloves...

I'm good to go now, bring on the worst of it ;-)

Thursday, 9 October 2008

lazeee ness prevails

I guess I should do an update of whats been happening of late in my bike world

lets think now...




nothing much at all really, the shutdown at work is now finished and we are into the seemingly never ending start up phase, I've been riding to work on and off, and again been coming in the car due to the neverfuckingendingrain :-(

Oh yeah, went to watch and photograph my friends at the 3 Peaks cross race, that was a great day out, I even had the odd twinge of jealousy as the weather was perfecto for the race and everyone was enjoying themselves.

Ride wise ?, er I think I've maybe done a couple of river runs at the weekends, had a weekend away in Wales with my work mates where I did absolutely sod all but eat drink and be merry (well not really merry, I dont do merry), went fishing one day which was fun but didnt really light ny fire, did a bit of walking and carrying a large camera around in the vain hope of seeing some wildlife.

This week I got the OnOne roadrat out and had a couple of quick spins into and away from work, then got the Chocolate Lime out and headed down the river in the fog and then the sunlight, was hoping to do the same tonight but the sun has gone out and the greyness has returned with a vengence so it looks like a short spin home followed by some food and wine (still not doing too bad on the drinking front, not perfect but not bad) and then an early rise to come along the river to work in the fog no doubt (note to self, wear some arm warmers tomorrow)

More updates after the weekend I guess, hopefully a report from the Welsh hills :-)