Monday, 26 January 2009

15, 16 and seveteeeen !

15 and 16 were just straight forward there and back affairs, work sucked.

However number 17 deserves a special mention, it was a social ride, Dave, Sharon, Kelvin, Ollie and Jennifer set off once again up Jack Bridge and this week it was a whole lot easier, no dizzyness, no rising puke this time, following much the same route as last week and all going well until I hit the ground hard.

Hard enough to break one of my teeth !

I've worked it out now, I was slowing down and looking for somewhere to stop to take photographs, about 3mph I reckon when my front wheel slipped off one of the pack horse stones into hub deep mud, the bike stopped but I didn't, landed on my back bursting my camelbac bladder (which I didn't notice until I got home) and catching the inside of my right leg on the brake lever as I flew over the top, left knee and both shins took a clattering.

Bars bent, back brake lever bent, front brake blown out.

And of course it goes without saying that there was an audience of ramblers who looked on open mouthed until I stood up and shaked myself down, this time I did feel sick.

The guys came past asking if I was okay, of course I said yes, but then once past I had to sit down and gather myself, my left knee was throbbing, I had two boiled eggs on my shins and both of these were bleeding, soon after some adrenalin kicked in and I got going. The rest of the ride was much fun but I could feel a stiffening going on as we made our way upto the top despite a feeble attempt on my part to play the card, and the effort was rewarded by the sun coming out just as we hit the tops.

Coffee and cake at the railway and we were done, another 15 miles in the bag but more importantly a few more circles along the road to fitness :-).

Sunday saw me out walking (or that should be limping) in the peak district for a change of pace, it was also a reccy through Macc Frest for next weekend's 1 Ton Weekend.

This morning I was far too stiff to ride, i fact it was difficult to walk, hopefully thats my annual crash out of the way for this year....ouch...

Legs don't look too hot today mind unless brown and purple are in fashion.

This week should see a few 20 milers before a big weekend of two 60 miles days.

Monday, 19 January 2009

11,12 , 13 and 14

No 11 was a straight there and back affair, 8 miles.

No 12 was a return to the Calder valley as per the picture above, Dave, Sharon, Matt, Dave and I headed out up the usual start of Jack Bridge, always a killer start no matter how fit (or not) you are, if you are fit you have no excuses and can go faster and it hurts like hell, if you aint fit you go slow and it hurts like hell.

There was a ride last year that started up here and its the nearest thing I've ever felt to having a heart attack, not today though due to the conscious decision to take a geared bike :-)

Anyway, the top was reached despite the suicide driver trying to get her Corsa down where her satnav was pointing ! then more up and on to angry farmers wife, the out and across to Whirlaw in the bogs where the above snap was taken in fantastic light, I regreted not having a bigger camera with me.

Down from Whirlaw to Singletrack Towers where poor old Sim was working, a buttie and a brew later and we were out along the canal heading upto London road, the tarmac climb seemed to go on forever, eventually topping out at the start of the porridge trail that is London road in the wet. Uptil now I had been riding within myself, slowly conserving what little strength I had but finally that dissappeared during a conversation with Matt, it was as though someone had turned off the gas in my legs, from there on it was a battle of mind over matter to drag my carcass over to Chips Bday present.

This fantastic challenging downhill trail was unrideable for me, I was tripoding more or less all the way down until the last section at the bridge, after that the slimey rocks gave way to slimey grass but the even fully loaded Kendas managed to find a small amount of grip through the trees so that ended the day on a high.

15 miles

A very civilised evening followed, good food and wine and then a very scarey film that Matt and I agreed to give up on as we were both scared shitless !!





No 13

To Oxenhope with Tanya in tow, Dave, Sharon, Barney, Piers and Andy all gagging for a ride in the sunlight, we didn't know about the wind until we hit tops. A fine dose of the Usual plus, shoeshine, Manywells, the windy road etc etc. Trails were wet and slippy but in good nick, Lame Lamb should be renamed as Tame Lamb, there isn't any challenge to it at all now, which is sad really as this was one of my many nemisis trails (more to come on the theme later).

Legs were tight and sore all the way round, the windy road was excruciatingly painfull, tap it out ?, more like grind it in !, then onto the moors where my meagre technical skills deserted me and I slithered about from rut to rut all the way down to the road and across the conduit hitting almost every hub deep puddle along the way. The legs did just about last until we got to Piers house (and perfect timing as the sleet started just then),for a quick bike hose then into the pub for a swift beer, all in all a great ride with great company and a top weekend, more to come no doubt.

15 miles

No 14, up early full of intentions but legs said NO WAY, so straight to work, and now its snowing so straight home, 8 miles.

2 days of rest coming up and then back to business :-)

Thursday, 15 January 2009

Junk Miles ?

Actually no, ride No 9 was the shortest way to work this morning, only 4 miles but into a nagging wind, not fun at all.

But tonight along the river, in the mud was great fun, (Ride No 10) 17 miles later and its done and I enjoyed it, and the real bonus was that I was lightless until 5 o'clock and only put me lights on after nearly riding into a horse, it reminded me of a snowy night ride a few years ago when the moon was so bright we could ride just by the light of the moon, a special evening.

I reckon that if I can keep tis up in January then I'll have a good base for Feb and should be able to start stretching the rides out a bit more, 30 or 40 miles days should happen in Feb and then March with even lighter nights should see some Delamere road rides in preparation for the West Highland Way.

Wednesday, 14 January 2009

Rides 7 and 8

Along the river this morning in the drizzle but by the light of a full moon - 11 miles.

Short way home tonight, in the drizzle - 6 miles

Tuesday, 13 January 2009

Ride 5 and 6

No 5 was just 5 miles to work this morning.

No 6 was the long(ish) way home, 15 miles along unlit country lanes sure gets the heart pumping.

Thats all.

Monday, 12 January 2009

Rides 2,3 and 4

Saturday saw an early start in amongst the ice and frost, the trails were lovely, all hardpacked and firm, slowly melting under tyre, just an hour and a half was enough for the frost to get into my lungs and set off the cough again but it were more than enough.

Ride No 2 - 15 miles.

Flat firm trails deceive, I had a half assed idea that beneath all the blubber there was some lingering strength, how naive !

Sunday saw the return of the grey and the rain, up and out early and into a headwind that truly revealed that 3 months without exertion cannot under any circumstances be hidden, crawling breathless and sweating like a pig I managed a good 12 mph into that headwind. Out and around the back of the airport I also managed to find the only remaining sheet of ice left in the whole of Cheshire, I was half way along it before the realisation hit home.

And then it got even more worserer, a hill, not just any hill but a 1 in 4 MoFo that takes some doing at the best of times, and this is where 40 years of bike riding comes into play, settle down and spin, don't let the bile down and don't let the puke rise.

Another hour and a half and I'm done, this time though there's no illusion !

Ride No 3 - 18 miles.

Monday morning and my fat ass really didn't want to get out of bed, however the fun factory needed some attention so I dutifully rode to work, did some stuff and then rode home with sore heavy legs, tomorrow night I will attack that same climb once again, there's only one way to do this stuff, the hard way.

Ride No 4 - 9 miles.

Friday, 9 January 2009

Onwards and Upwards - Ride No 1

So, the holiday season is over, the ice has melted and the world hasn't actually stopped, life at work is difficult to say the least, we are almost 30 billion dollars in debt but some people still believe in us and have been kind enough to give us another 3 billion to get us over this difficult period - God bless America

Got to see my apprentice over the xmas period, albeit too briefly (and no sight of the lovely Laura ), he's come a long way and is now one of the best photogs on the mountainbike scene IMHO, however, HE needs to keep to his own unique eye :-)

So, all the negativity has been put away for the weekend, 2 days of bike rides ahead, how can it get any better ?, well to start with today I did the first ride of 2009, all was going well, trails are in reasonable condition, not many people about for me to scowl at and then I remembered that the spare tubes that I had in my bag were 700x23 and the tyres on my bike were 29 x2.1's !.

Within 2 minutes of this realisation I heard the pop !, front wheel flat at approximately 5 miles from home, not a cat in hells chance of that tube fitting so I set off jogging, to be honest I wasn't that bothered as I'd already ridden 10 or so miles and was happy, had that slight warm leg feeling that has been so missing for the last few months.

Got home about an hour later with a very sore heel, riding shoes aren't really designed for running and walking but otherwise fine, quick bike swap and I was out back on the trails and the 30 mins later in work, shave, shower and coffee and all was well.

Long difficult day and then short way home, got cut up at the lights and the driver wound down his window and apologised !, blimey charlie !

Ride No 1 - 15 miles on the bike, 5 miles walk... a good start