Friday, 12 July 2013

2 week catch up

Local rides mostly with a few jaunts out of cheshire, well one actually.

Monday 1st, 28 miles along the TPT.

Tuesday 2nd, 20 road miles.

Weds 3rd, 25 miles around Gisburn Forest with Piers, we managed to get lost on man made trails !, and when Piers fell heavily for a few seconds I had that "oh shit" feeling but he manned up and got on with it :-), it was by any standards a good days riding.

Thurs 4th, 62 miles, up to Delamere, just pushing te miles up a bit now.

Friday 5th, 54 miles, Salsa Vaya, damned if I can remember where I went !

Weekend off bikes then boom, straight into a century, a real old fashioned imperial century, Salsa Vaya with 40mm tyres so not exactly easy, mix of 45 off road miles and 55 tarmac, 101 miles and I still felt good in the legs at the end, in fact it was only my wrists that were sore, pleased with that.

Monday 8th, 101 miles.

Tuesday 9th, declared this a rest day, I was tired so just drove to Delamere and had a spin around the singletrack, 8 miles and a picnic.

Weds 10th, 38 miles, rode with Barney to a hill, the biggest hill in Cheshire, slept on top and talked lots of shit. It was Barneys first ever bivvy so it was definatly a "not roughing it"  version and I think he enjoyed it.

travelling relatively light

pub stops along the way

remembering some good times in the past

after some boil in the bag meals (which are delicious BTW) we spoilt ourselves with some fine cheese and wine

I think that we were in his spot

emptying the excess water ( I think thats what it was)

Sunrise shadow

Thursday 11th, early start and another amble through the lanes, 48 miles in total.

That means 384 miles in 9 days of riding, should help me through the Lakes 200 that I am starting on Sunday with another old friend, we aren't racing and not going to be strict on the route, but will be self sufficient and expect to have a least 2 nights under the stars.

Monday, 1 July 2013

MTB Trail Leader

Part of my redunancy package was £1000 that I could spend on "retraining" for a new career, with that in mind I booked myself on to the CTC's MTB trail leader and MTB tech leader courses, both at the Dales MTB centre.

Run by friends Stu and Brenda, its located just to the bottom right of this picture in the fanstastic setting of the dales, the course was run by Sam Cook, one of the legendary mountainbike racers of the early 90's (Sam was a sponsored Orange Bikes rider).

I turned up early on the Monday with an arrangement to go riding with Stu for the day, unfortunately I'd managed to sleep awkwardly and had a crook'd neck :-(, so as Stu had the lawns to cut I went out for a bimble on my own, just along the river and back, but enough to loosen things up a bit.

Tuesday dawned and with it big blue skies and sunshine, too good to miss a ride today, and as the course didn't actually start until 5 that afternoon I decided to explore. Once again heading up river to Gunnerside. I'd long ago seen that there are the remains of lead mines scattered around this area, scanning the map showed at least 2 locations.

Heading uphill in the blazing sunshine proved that my fitness is still sorely lacking, and that despite checking my map several times I managed to miss the right hand turn that would take me into the valley where the remains are, backtracking until I found the trail, I was presented with a lovely swoopy singletrack descent right down to the valley floor, hard to resist letting the Krampus fly.

Had a good long chat with a chap who had walked up the valley to see the ruins, he knew the history of the place well, and we both agreed that whilst we had arrived here for pleasure, the thought of doing a 10 hour shift having walked up from Gunnerside and then back again afterwards was not that appealing !.

Now that I'd dropped all the height, and looking down the valley at some very interseting tracks I decided to head down to Gunnerside by following the river, it was fine for a while, occcasionally getting too technical for my skills which meant the odd carry (also mindful that I was on my own and apart from the walker I hadn't seen anyone for hours).

I ended up in a lovely little wood, that would have been perfect but for the fact that I was carrying a 30lb bike, still it only took half an hour to get through on foot, once down I headed back to the river to follow the trail home, a nice day out, some 30 odd miles covered and back in time for the start of the course.

The course itself was most enjoyable, good folks and a great teacher, Sam has a nice way about him and gets across what he needs to without seemingly any effort, 2 full days of theory and field work and glad to say we all passed, so now I am a qualified MTB trail leader.

Driving home that night meant passing York so I picked up No1 daughter and a car full of stuff to be stored whilst she is away in New Zealand.

Last week was spent at home, just the occasional ride out in between showers, although one day I did get to Delamere for a play out on the new Cotic Solaris.

And then on Thursday finally linking the trans pennine trail with the Middlewood Way so that now when I head into the peaks I no longer have to endure the A6 through Stockport.

After a weekend away in Anglesey with Jan, this week will be all about riding bikes and not drinking, today I went out in the rain on the Salsa Vaya, 28 miles in under 2 hours without really trying at all, maybe there is a hint of fitness finally coming through ?