Friday, 31 December 2010

good riddance to 2010


I'll be glad to see the back of 2010, fair to say that it was probably the worst year of my life with one thing or another, most (but not all) of the bad things have been documented on here....

But here's some of the good things from 2010 to focus on for 2011

Riding, reasonable fitness in fits and starts mixed up with lots of aches and pains, some great days out and even enjoying the one race that I did, well what I did of it anyway.

Several weekends away riding with friends who have stuck by me despite me being a miserable bugger.

Enjoying my photography more than ever and really enjoying the time spent photographing birds.

The weather, real weather, hot sunshine, cold snowy days, all good.

Walking, not done as much as I wanted to but still enjoyed what was done.

My wife and family, goes without saying but without them I wouldn't have survived the trials and tribulations of this year.


So, what for 2011 ?

Work should last for another year or so, so my big traveling plans are on hold till 2012.

Drinking has to stop.

Weight has to be shed.

Aches and pains need to be sorted.

Fitness needs to be attained.

Stretching and running and yoga.

A road trip to Scotland with the boy, riding and snapping.

Riding with the boy, a highlight from 2010 is his interest in riding bikes (always assuming he can get out of bed !)

More work on the Anglesey project, would be nice to aim for 2012 exhibiting.

and maybe, just maybe 2011 will see enough nature/bird work for Dave ?

Tuesday, 30 November 2010

On reflection

I'm not giving up, in fact the only thing I'm giving up is drinking, at least until the works xmas do on Dec 17th....

Last night of alcohol tonight, tomorrow night is into the cellar and onto the turbo trainer as it looks like it will be icey as hell tomorrow, so same strategy as last year, not going out on a bike in ice and snow, todays fall onto my hip was a painful reminder.

2011 has got to be a better year than 2010, its not all in my control, but the little that is needs to be under control, health, fitness and attitude.

Monday, 29 November 2010

Giving up

its been a while

my back is no better

my legs can do the riding thing

my back hurts after a few hours or if I have to push hard on the pedals

and now I have a cold/flu....

apart from commuting bike riding is done for this year

quite fed up really

Tuesday, 7 September 2010

K100 was fantasticical



I didn't ride the race but still had an ace and very tiring time...

back up two weeks

I rode a couple of longish rides, culminating with an attempt on Salter Fell, sounds more glamourous than it is, I wanted to ride from the caravan in Pilling off road to Lancaster, then up the bike path to Caton and then uphill to Salter Fell, its a ride I've been map staring at for a number of years now but never got around to it. Well this time I had a reason to try it, a final try out for my back in anticipation of K100.

Set off in sunshine along the road until I could access the Lancashire coastal path, then along this quite cheeky trail to Glasson dock, its a real shame that this isn't open to bikes, its interesting that this should be restricted to walkers as it would/is perfect for cycling along, and no detriment to anyone. Anyway, all going smoothly, no back issues so far, got up through Lancaster and then to Caton and popped off the bike trail and up.

Ands this is where it started, pushing on the pedals hurt like hell, even spinning a low gear was difficult, after 4 miles or so I stopped and tried to gert off my bike, my back spasmed and I almost fell off !, stretching helped but this was a clear message. I made a few calls, left messages, decision made, I'd be going but not riding.



Looking down to the sea I could see how much I'd climbed, a mere fraction of what K100 had in store, I was relieved with my decision to be honest.

So, the weekend arrives, Friday night was spent helping to register the riders, standing in the same spot for some 6 hours was not the brightest idea in hindsight, but two pints later and I'm fast asleep, up again at 5 and this time ready with camera in hand helping out Joolze cover the event, 100 miles ia lot of ground for just two photogs and an extra pair of hands is useful, see here for results, some of them are actually in focus !



Race finished, my job done, just watching the state of the late finishers (of which I would have been one of) again confirmed my decision, I don't think I can face another DNF again.

Sunday and again up early to take Biff to Ullswater for his triatholon attempt (this after having completed K100), he set off on he swim and I felt quite humbled, hats off cock :-).

With time to kill I decided to go and ride a trail that I last rode over 15 years ago, across from Patterdale and up the bridleway with the lake to my left, it was wonderful old school mountainbiking, lots of pushing, a few dodgy moments where I scared myself and had to remember I was on my own here, no one else about at this early hour. The pushing took it out of my back and decided to cut the ride short at Howtown and then remembered that the steam ferry stops here.



£7.20 got me and my bike a ride on the boat back to Patterdale, here I bumped into Dean and handed responsibilty for Biff over, my weekend done, home for 4 and an early bed.

Thursday, 26 August 2010

Cross... bikes




Last week was a good week, 210 miles on the cross bike, mix of on road and off road, however the longest ride was only 65 miles, I needed a century and today was going to be that day.

Epic fail, 74 miles only, my legs were fine but my back was hurting like hell after only 35 miles, bearing in mind that it had been relatively flat, only 3 hills of any consequence, I got to the cafe, coffee and a ham sandwich, a gel and off again, the Delamere perimeter trail is always good, on a cross bike with poor brakes it was even better.




Heading back home and constantly having to stand and stretch now, decided to stop at another cafe, pot of tea and the best flapjack ever meant my legs were still strong despite the ever present headwind. I got to within 5 miles of home and was confident of the 100 ( I'd planned to head up the trans penine trail to Reddish to complete the ton) as far as my legs were concerned but my back was hurting a lot now so decided to bin it and get home and take a hot bath.

Pretty fed up really, I've done some work, well enough to get me round the K100 this year, I've taken care not to injure myself, but my body is telling me something that I don't want to hear, luckily one of the failings of my body is an ever creeping deafness so I'm not listening.

One more big ride and I'll be as ready as I ever will, K100 I'll be there :-)

Thursday, 19 August 2010

so, where were we ?



SSUK came and went, it was rather a good weekend, everyone relaxed and enjoying the Welsh countryside, someone won, someone threw their dummy, most everyone else enjoyed SSUK for what it is.

Best thing ?, well seeing friends from all over the country, I so nearly bailed due to not feeling at all well on the Friday, so glad I went, and disproved the myth in the Outcast :-)

What else ?, well Biff has convinced me to do K100, I've been plagued by self doubt due to physical issues and was on the verge of calling it, but he obviously saw through that and we shall at least start together and aim to finish together.

With K100 in mind I've set too this week to try and prove my back, a 30 miler on Monday and all well, a few twinges and stiffness in the morning so rested Tuesday, Wednesday and set out to do a metric century, half on and half off road, mission accomplished with nothing other than usual aches and pains.

I had thoughts of going for a proper century today, just to prove to myself that I can still ride a 100 miles, my legs were heavy from yesterday but essentially fine, my back was stiff again but loosened up with movement, so I set off full of hope, only to be swiftly brought to earth. I'd picked up a saddle boil from yesterday, damn those "one ride left in em" De Marchi bibs. The pad had come unstitched and obvioulsy found a tender spot to rub.

Back home and a very liberal dose of arse lard and I set off to duplicate yesterdays ride, only with more off road content this time, 65 miles later and I'm done, tired, dehydrated (2 bottles is just not enough) but happy, 70% off road, one bacon and egg butty, coffee and a few stops to rearrange things down there, rest day tomorrow, more again at the weekend.



and finally, today was a Cancer sucks sorta day, I wore my best socks

Saturday, 7 August 2010

3 road rides

3 reasonable rides done, each time my back lasted a bit longer, and sat here now after 30 mins of stretching its not hurting at all, fingers crossed !

First ride last Sunday and we headed straight up Cragg Vale, the longest continuos ascent in England, and apart from some heavy breathing my lags felt fine all the way up, however once at the top I hit a pot hole unsighted, hard enough to buckle the back wheel and jarr my back, that was effectively my ride over, just 20 miles but some reasonable climbs, happy.

Tuesday and straight out after work, despite the rain, heading into the back lanes, sprinting up my old hillrep hill and all okay, 30 mins later and some pangs from my back so common sense kicked in and turned back, 30 miles.

Thursday and again straight out after work, I'd spent all day reading various cycling mags (as my laptop was being swapped for a newer version so I had nowt to do all day) and was up for it, first 15 miles was into the wind and I was keeping an average of 18mph and thinking that this could be a 20mph 30 miler, however, once again after an hour my back was starting so I headed back soft pedalling, still ended up with an average of just over 18. happy again.

So, there's still some zip in my legs, my back is getting slowly better, all knee pain had gone (although worryingly my right hip is aching a bit even in this warmth) and next weekend I'll be at SSUK to test my body, the SS IF has been retrieved from the cellar and fettled, hopefully get out for a few hours tonight, and then Delamere tomorrow for a blast through the trees.

3 weeks till Keilder 100, camp site booked, still undecided on bike, obviously gears, 3 weeks for my back to repair....

Sunday, 1 August 2010

nowt to say

knee

back

patience

all just about worn out

Tuesday, 15 June 2010

Germany oh Germany


Last week was spent in Cologne for work, probably the last time, it was okay.

What was not okay was the fact that whilst there I recieved a text message telling me that an old friend had passed away that morning, another soul lost to cancer.

What was good was that being there meant that I wasn't riding and therefore was resting, come Saturday and I was raring to go, a local 45 miles on the Stiffee, mixed road and off road, sunshine and lollipops, all well and good.

Sunday was spent in York celebrating No1 daughters birthday, Monday was as boring as ever at work but then an evening road ride beckoned.

All okay until I got home and my right knee exploded again !!!!.

Not happy, but in context its a very minor issue, physio tomorrow.

Monday, 31 May 2010

Low tech bikes

The plan was to ride to Delamere, ride at Delamere and then ride home from Delamere on single speed mountain bikes, a few things conspired against us but in the end the most sensible and in hindsight obvious solution presented itself, single speed cross bikes !.

One gear and rubbish brakes.

Miles were what was wanted, at least 62 so that I could keep my century a month dream alive, the weather looked mixed, the roads were full of bank holidayers so we stayed on the dirt, the trans pennine trail headed west. It wasn't too busy, lots of families and kids on bikes, and some of the gates were open due to the Manchester to Liverpool charity ride that had taken the same route earlier in the day. We arrived at the sea after heading into quite a headwind, a 5 minute break for an energy bar and then turned back to retrace our steps (although the mile or so of wind assisted singletrack along the estuary was fun) till we got to Warburton.

I wanted to show Jenn some of the back lanes that I ride, a future century in mind, so we headed off for a slight detour that cunningly passed by a pub, a pint later and we were back on the lanes and heading home in the dying sun, about 70 miles in all, a cup of tea and we're done, a nice introduction to the flat lands of Cheshire :-)

Friday, 28 May 2010

Simple things

video



Not felt like riding much this week, Monday afternoon must have taken more out of me than I thought, Thursday and I rode in the short way, taking a longer route home but no spark, Thursday night saw some tinkering with my Stiffee leading to a long ride this afternoon, the sun did its job and now all is well again :-)

Monday, 24 May 2010

and we're back in the room



100 rides is completed now, some of it might get published in STW sometime soon.

So, what's been happening ?

Sore knees, eye infections, heat stroke and lots of riding, culminating in this last weekends 24 hour solo UK championships, it was probably the best race I've ever been involved with, a brutal course of 11.5 miles that had 580m of climbing per lap, the climbing was particularly tough with what felt like half of it on either grass or through the woods on a freshly cut trail.

Although my race went as well as I thought it might I only completed 4 and a half of those laps, doesn't sound much (and to be fair isn't compared to the winners 22) but it still amounted to 52 miles in 29c heat over about 6 hours riding time, considering that right upto a few days before I wasn't going I'm pleased with that, my fitness was fine, my preparation was fine (no cramps at all) and I made the right decision to pack when my knee started to creak.

Grant did really well to complete 7 laps despite suffering from quite severe heat stroke, Jac and Amy put us to shame by completing 10 and 13 laps respectively, all 3 riding singlespeeds.

The team behind the event once again pulled out all the stops, I couldn't see anything to fault the organisation, next year I'd like to be on their side of the event helping out and putting something back.

So what else ?, work is on going, still no actual end date in site, NZ is off, the timing is just wrong and I'm not about to walk away from work whilst they want to keep paying me, maybe next year when I'm free.

So what next ?, evening rides with Jan, Jack and maybe even Jennifer are on the cards soon, soon as exams are out of the way for the kids, Afan later in June, then SSUK in August (followed by a few days in Brighton) all this interspersed with a few small adventures, bivvies and fun rides during the best summer for a decade.

and more updates here soon.

Thursday, 22 April 2010

100 rides

is coming to a close, well less than 20 to go now so should start reporting more inane drivel here soon, betcha can't wait eh, both of you :-)