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

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.