Thursday, 29 October 2009

Night riding

Ali was running over near Rivington so I got a lift over and met Odile for a night ride. I came up with the idea of heading over to the Nab. I need more practice in trees when its dark there was a lot of screaming from me! Then it was back to Rivi, up, down and back round via the castle, the trails there were lovely covered in leaves. Before we split and I headed home.

Wednesday, 28 October 2009

Cake, ride, cake

Another day another ride, once again I took ages in the morning and we headed off a little late. Stopped at Cooksons to collect Ali's wheel before heading over to Hebden Bridge. There we were greeted with cake, I could have happily spent the afternoon eating it but I had promised Ali we could go riding! Jenn had plotted us a route so we headed off, lots of climbing - is there any way other than up from Hebden? But all rideable even by me!
A few stops while I rode back and forth through puddles so Ali could get a picture or twenty!

Before dropping back down to the valley.

A was a little tired by the climb up the other side, but some snacks and she was storming downhill!

Back to Jenn's for more cake! I think I like riding over there, hopefully there will be cake everytime!

Tuesday, 27 October 2009

Ali, bikes, beer, food

So since I had a PJ day yesterday it meant ali's wheel wasn't ready for mountain biking so the question was what to do? So we headed out on errands, first to Cooksons to drop her wheel off. Then it was onto the trafford centre to pick up something for ali's sister. Then we had some debate about if going to my work to pick up some mud guards was too far or to go home, since we were both hungry we decided to head into Manchester and grab a bite to eat at Taurus before maybe getting the train home.

The route I had plotted took us along a road shared with tram lines, after I had taken us into a morrisons carpark by mistake, I was soon back out but Ali rode round for a while! The tram tracks went from being parallel to the road to crossing the road so we took a nice wide arc to hit them as close to 90 degrees as possible. The nice truck driver behind gave us loads of room. The next set of lights another two cyclists caught us up as we were sat at red, setting of again, nice big arc for me to cross another set of tramlines. Ali though was cut up and forced nearly into the tracks by one of the cyclists! To rub it in more at the next lights he started to tell her how he had come off on them and ended up in hospital! At this point being less than impressed she decided we were to drop them. He headed off first sprinting hard, Ali went past him as if he was standing, I though had to work harder but did leave him miles behind trying to keep ali in sight!

Onto Taurus for fab food and a couple of drinks.

Then it was off to work, I only got Ali to turn down one dead end when I went straight on! Followed by back into town for more beer and pizza!

After that I agreed with Ali that the train home was the way to travel! Especially when I tried to order San Marino beer (instead of San Miguel).

Saturday, 24 October 2009

A day off

I've needed a day off for ages, its a big adjustment working so much and then I keep going cross racing on my only day off. After a late night last night collecting Ali and then waking up way too early the day has been spent in PJ's eating cake. Now I'm enjoying a glass of wine after dinner. Just what was needed!

Friday, 23 October 2009

Grumpy - Ride - Relax

Too boggy to ride

The ride meeting point was Belmont 5:30pm. 5:25 after loads of false starts and shouting at Ali on the phone for no good reason I got in the car. Got there parked up and Jumbly suggested heading to Tockholes, once there I realised that since it was dark the only option was the one set of trails I knew, so up onto Great Hill it was. Off via the track towards winter hill, over the flagstones then pushing through the bog, even some carrying. Yes a simple night ride became a bit of an adventure. Not a soul was out there and after moaning all the way round and loving only sharing Great Hill with some sheep and Jumbly I felt loads better.

Friday nights are made for night riding!

Thursday, 22 October 2009

Another run before breakfast

Since I was too lazy to go out riding on my own last night I got up this morning for a run before breakfast. This time I took left turns instead of right turns and there was a little less climbing. Otherwise it was much the same. Still two runs in a week is where I want to be. Put compression tights on for the ride to work today, hopefully it might stop the muscle soreness!

Wednesday, 21 October 2009

Smashing a PB

Wenesday once again saw me and another instructor racing across Manchester in our lunch break to get to another school. Last week we averaged 16.2mph, so the aim was to beat it, we smashed it 16.7mph! Overall the route loses 75m in elevation but compared to most of the riding round Manchester I do seems hilly. So the question is can we beat that time again?

Tuesday, 20 October 2009

Running before Breakfast

I don't function in the morning till I eat so getting up at 6:30am to go running might seem a little crazy. Well that is what I did and 5k later I was home. The run wasn't fast and it wasn't pretty but it was fun being out nice and early. Now time for a shower (breakfast was eaten as soon as I got in!) and onto the bike to get to work!

Sunday, 18 October 2009

CX on Merseyside

Due to not being alble to get to the cross race in Manchester this weekend due to working I decided to head over to Liverpool to race there. This was a bit of a change for me as last year I only did the races close enough to ride to. Yes Liverpool is close enough to ride to but with the tired legs I have riding back would be too much! My sister had kindly offered me a lift but due to a change of plans Ali came over too.The course was so dry, my bike was still clean at the end! But there were a fair amount of places where you had to get off your bike. With a tight gate to squeeze through, some hurdles and some vertical slopes it was going to be hard. I thought I had a good start till I realised there was hardly anyone behind me! It was a small field though so I assume that everyone there was a highly tuned athlete! After that I made steady progress, although looking at my stats I was lazy in the middle third of the race, noone near me to try and hold on to, need to work on that one!

I really liked the course, with the mix of singletrack and fields, but it was a short lap and I'm glad the field wasn't any bigger! As it was the leaders lapped me three times!

I finished 2nd female, 1st female was once again flying I think I need to do some specific training to get anywhere near her!
We waited for the prize-giving wondering where everyone was, turns out they were going to send prizes out, so I still have no idea if there is a prize for 2nd female or not!
As always Ali took loads of photos, they're here!

Wednesday, 14 October 2009

Night riding with the boys

I've been meaning to get out with donk and John again for ages but seem to never have a chance. So I planned in advance and headed over to Rivi for a 7pm start. There were four of us in total and we headed up the pike, then up winter hill. It was a little misty up there so we headed off. Simon punctured near the top, flying off his bike. Fixed we headed on down, only for him to puncture again. I left them at Belmont and spun on home. Definetly up for more night time fun next week!

Tuesday, 13 October 2009

New meal "Wednesday"

Yes today is tuesday but due to me planning on riding tomorrow and Ali off out to see her sister we moved the day forward.

Tonight we had Vegetable Risotto, I forgot about pictures or anything but I can tell you it was lovely!

Sunday, 11 October 2009

The end of a busy week

So today was the last day of the week and the 6th day of work. This was a big week for me and it was going to be interesting how I would cope. Well today went well and I have enjoyed the week so yay!

Today I was leading sky rides, so I headed off early to pre-ride the route I was the main leader for. I got to the start of the first ride a little too early and then the rain started. There were only three riders, with the rain I wasn't suprised. A nice ride and it showed me once again how important these rides are!

Afternoon came and the weather improved, a good turn out and some fun laps of heaton park.

Then home with 35miles completed on the cross bike.

Now onto next week, I have a night ride planned to make sure it isn't all road riding!

Saturday, 10 October 2009

Cyclocross racing is fun!

After a week of commuting and with working on sunday I had planned to have the day off the bike on saturday. After a great night ride last night and a sucessful shopping trip for boxes to store ali's bike clothes this morning I started to think about going to Clayton Vale for the cross race there. I looked at how far it was and Ali pointed out it was a bit late and I should probably drive, I didn't fancy driving and so I asked her to come. Then I decided to do some cleaning, fortunately Ali stopped me and said we had to leave or I would have missed the start. We got there half an hour before the start, just enough time to preride the course and get to the start when everyone was lined up, oops!

I started right at the back and just headed off, soon I was seeing gaps and heading into them but once we hit the singletrack it was slow progress for a while. The lap was longer than last year which meant we were spread out pretty quickly! For the first couple of laps I was in a battle for 2nd position with Eleanor from Weaver Valley CC, I knew one mistake and she would be past as I could hear her behind me all the time! The second time on the steps I got a small gap and started to pull away slightly. Slowly I picked off the odd place and it wasn't long before the leaders flew past me! I thought then I would probably be lapped once more and I was right they came past me just before my last lap. By this time I was clearly in 2nd with a big gap to first and enough to third.
It was fun and even though I could have pushed harder I was getting there. Wondering if its time to do some training to teach myself to go faster! I could have continued riding at the end!
A quick look at my stats from this race last year and my average speed has improved, 11.4mph compared to 10.7mph. Although riding a cross bike as oppose to a mountain bike might have something to do with that!
Ali's pics are now here

Friday, 9 October 2009

Night riding with cows and cookies!

I was meant to night ride last night with Ali, only we decided arguing was a more productive use of our time. So we decided to go out tonight. I got home and got everything ready, packed a bag for ali and waited. She was a little late back after having to carry my post home, I hadn't realised how big it was, she had bits strapped all over her bag! We got going at 6pm and needed lights for the road! Soon we were off road and watching it getting darker and darker with more and more lights coming on in Bolton-town. Up to the top of winter hill and we were in the clouds. At the top it was time for the cookies I had bought specially yesterday before adding an extra layer and heading down the hill. Here we came across a load of young bulls, no idea what they were doing there but they didn't look like moving, I think our lights were attracting them! But none of them were looking too angry as we went past slowly. After that it was home along the road and now its time for takeaway!

September Round Up

Kielder 100 was the main event this month and what an event, I loved it. learnt loads and can't wait to go back next year! Back at work, although hardly got any so lots of time but no money!

The figures:

0 mile running (This has to change!)
173.83 miles moutain biking (all singlespeed)
165.66 miles cyclo-cross
369.29 mile road

19639m of ascent

Progress on targets:

  1. Run at least once a week Failed in March :o(
  2. Run 300miles in the year 38% complete
  3. Cycle an imperial century a month Failed in March :o(
  4. Cycle 8000miles in the year 80% complete
October now, it'll probably be mainly commuting miles and the odd cross race now. I'm also going to start running again!

Cold today

Headed out this morning and decided not to be so lazy and try a bit harder on the way in. I'm slow on the road compared to most but I can try and be a little less slow! So when after passing a guy he passed me back I worked a bit harder to get in front, stayed there till he jumped on the pavement and through some lights. Onto where I was working and it seemed to get colder, I had all my clothes on. Great session though. Then it was round manchester to Blackley for another cold session. Way home and time to try. Well more not daydreaming and not really working. Made good time, was passed near home by a guy on a langster, no idea what he said to me as he went past but I kept up with him till we went seperate ways at Crompton way.

Great day and I averaged 14.5mph - uber fast for me! Shows I am lazy though as I wasn't out of breath doing that, although could feel the legs more than usual!

Thursday, 8 October 2009

Too scared to ride down the steps

Today I was working in Walkden, I had to remind myself to leave as it is so close I end up leaving way too late! Sun was a little low in the sky on the way there so I took it easy, if I was struggling to see I probably was invisible to car drivers! The first school was fab, there was a lad there with a trike! Meant a kid who couldn't normally join in the bikeability was able to!

Onto the next school via a bit of off-road, this involved some steps to get down onto it, I had a look but decided the mud, wood and corner was not going to happen on road tyres!

Another great school where teachers even brought bikes in so those who didn't own one could have a go.

Back home with some more off-roading and a stop and the supermarket before dragging everything back up the hill.

Less than 20miles today but all in the sun.

Wednesday, 7 October 2009

New meal wednesday

Ali really likes cooking but we tend to get in the habit of the same food over and over again so a couple of things have been put in place to change that. First was a menu planner so we can see what we have been eating. The next is new meal wednesday. The idea is we will eat something new and actually spend the evening together.

Tonights plan was Korean Beef Kebabs and Wild Asian rice.

I picked up the list of stuff I had been given on my way home, took me a while to find spring onions - I was looking with the onions - and sesame seeds defeated me and I came home with mixed seeds and Ali then sorted them, rather her than me!

She started out and realised that the meat and veg had to marinate for between an hour and two, so everything was got ready and left. Then it was time to cook, kebabs made, no mushrooms for me, rice on and oranges chopped. Soon it was time to eat.
It was really nice, I wasn't sure about the oranges in the rice, but liked the lime flavour of the food. I had bought wine to go with it, but next time I think Corona!
Only thing is now we have at least as much left, guess it'll be on the menu in the next two days again.
All in all new meal wednesday was a success!

A different route and different weather

This morning I was working in Moston, so it was a nice 13mile ride over there. Much nicer commute than the last few days, traffic seemed better and there was room to filter. I was a little cold though, could have done with overshoes and winter gloves.

Lunchtime was a 12mile dash across to Worsley, I was worried about this. Didn't think I had enough time and thought it would stress me out. Turns out that I had company and we made great time, only one person got there before us! Definetly less stressful when there are two of you having to do it!

Then it was home, via the supermarket with a random list from Ali. It'll be interesting to see what we get on "new-meal wednesday".

Tuesday, 6 October 2009

Three pairs of shoes to get dry...

Day two of my first week of full time work since I was ill and I woke up in the dark to it raining. I am sure it was light yesterday at 7am!!! Some lights were added to ruby and I headed off to Salford in Waterproof shorts and my invisible night vision jacket. Once there I changed into full waterproofs and dry shoes and socks. The children at the school were brilliant they all had waterproof jackets and were happy to stay out in the rain!

Afternoon and it was more of the same, only a little less rain and midges - I thought they were gone for the year.

Then it was home and time to go running. I had decided on a slow 20minutes today and to get off road round the golf course. It wasn't long before it was raining again. I took it easy, my heart rate was nice and low and did 2.3 miles - it was over 20minutes but it was slow! The last bit was more trying to stay stood up than running as I slipped up and over cobbles.

Now time to try and dry three pairs of shoes ready for tomorrow!

Monday, 5 October 2009

The invisible person

"sorry i couldn't see you" said the women driving at me. My jacket couldn't be brighter and i was in a strong primary!

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Sunday, 4 October 2009

A bad weekend for racing

This weekend I was meant to be racing Dusk til Dawn with Ali. Various things happening meant no sleep on friday and coming home on saturday. So this morning I thought I should go and do the cross race at Leverhulme Park. Halfway through the first lap I had had enough. I had be shoved out of the way too many times and just couldn't be bothered. I continued riding but wasn't really pushing. Then I had someone barge past me slamming his bike through my elbow. That was it for me, I stopped. Think that is my first DNF!!! Think it might be time for a while off racing and some fun rides on the mountain bike!

Thursday, 1 October 2009

Starting running again

Last winter I was running well for me. I had got into the habit and I was enjoying it, I had even started running up hills. Then in April I managed to stop. So its time to get going again and this time I'm going to keep going. Running gets me really fit, I am pretty rubbish at it so I think it has a great training effect. Like lots of cyclists I am terrible for doing too much too soon so I'm making sure I start easy. To do this I am starting with really short runs. I would do the run/walk thing but once I'm out I want to keep running, I know! So today I went out just as Ali left for work, before breakfast as well. So unlike me I don't function without breakfast!

13:32 minutes (so slightly over the ten I had planned)
1.44 miles