Wednesday, 29 September 2010

food lovely food

I was teaching a one-one tonight that finished in moston. Since my mum lives just down the road I kindly invited myself to dinner. As my mum tends to do she cooked enough to feed an army. Not that I was complaining. Now noone needs to worry about me eating correctly...even if lasst night I had cereal for my tea.
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Saturday, 25 September 2010

A "test" ride

A day spent bike building and there was only one thing for it.......go for a ride. As a change I drove me and Chris to Lee Quarry and we played at being trail centre riders.

First a play in the pump track...

Then on to the skills area...

Before I squealed and walked most of the black...

Back to mine for pizza and that not the perfect day?

Sunday, 19 September 2010

A new biking fashion

Last night I was out at a wedding. unsure what to wear minxgirl came to the rescue lending me a dress for the occasion. knowing I would be riding over from at the least the station I paired it with some leggings. I had lots of suprised comments that I had arrived on my bike. But I think it really got set off when I put my pink waterproof on over the top.
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Wednesday, 15 September 2010

A school night adventure

I took two half days at work and Kate got the train over to manchester, Vikki met us at the pub it was time for a bivvy adventure.
I had my sleeping system on my bars and my duck to keep me company. We headed out of Manchester dodging the cars and onto the trails at Prestwich.

I timed it perfectly and we were at the bottom of the Belmont descent at 7:30, meaning we were only a minute late to the pub.....excellent by my standards. Vikki had even managed to get us secure(ish) bike parking sorted.
After a couple of pints it was out into the wind and the rain, Kate hiding in the door insisted we waited till the worst of the rain had passed (I think the weather might be nicer in the midlands). Before we headed for some nearby woodland. Wandering through looking for a nice flat spot we found a shelter already built, so it was a night of luxury!

Up in the morning and a roll down the hill for Bacon rolls at mine before riding back to Manchester and the train for Kate and work for me.

Monday, 13 September 2010

Hmm its getting dark earlier

I was teaching a one-one this evening which involved a bit of off-road so I brought the cross bike. just before leaving work I realised it was getting dark. the cross bike has no lights. fortunately my bag has a rear light and I had brought my joystick. a handy bungy cord and I was sorted!
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Sunday, 12 September 2010

Three towers, two punctures

Today was HorwichCC's annual Three Towers ride. I've been meaning to make this for a couple of years so this year I was organised. I said I couldn't work and set an alarm. I was awake before the alarm but it was one of those days I didn't really want to go out, curling up and hiding was more what I wanted. But I knew that I would beat myself up about it and organising things to keep me busy only works if I do them! Obviously I managed to leave late so I rode over predominatly on road. It felt hard and my heart rate shot up, I don't think I have recovered from Kielder yet. On Chorley Old Road I ignored a road closed sign only to find that the road was actually really closed, I cheekily rode along the pavement for a bit since it was so quiet. I got to the barn for 10am so bang on time and it was ages till we left. There was a huge crowd of us but I was the only girl!

Up to the pike and they chose the school climb and then we carried our bikes up the back. Good fun and something I wouldn't do normally. It reminded me that I am rubbish at carrying my bike, but the on-off showers stopped while we were at the top. Down to Pigeon Tower to catch up with the sensible people who had missed out the Pike before heading along Belmont Old Road. Now I don't enjoy this on my mountain bike so on a cross bike? Once we hit the road we lost a few, apparently it was too rocky, which I think was the point as it was a practice ride for the three peaks (which I am glad I am not doing this year but am thinking of next year....)

Over onto the Darwen Moors but not actually up to the tower, at some point I punctured and two guys decided to assist, I left them to it ;-) Over past the Strawbury Duck which looked packed, will have to pop in and see if it is back to its best (someone told me it is good again). Over to Peel Tower, not the nice easy way but another way with some carrying, I rode down in with Chris recently and thought it was a nice downhill! t. 

Down to the bridleway over the shooting range and the lads had organised a feed stop for us. Very impressed, lots of cakes will make me do it again!

Then it was back to Belmont and up the Belmont descent, lots of them walked/ran up. I was determined to ride. Five dabs but I was happy with that. I let them go back to Rivi from here and headed off back to mine.

46miles on tired not fully recovered legs. I enjoyed it but I'm not sure I'll ever feel comfortable in big groups.

Friday, 10 September 2010

Commuting home again

This week my legs have not been right since kielder100. Monday and walking was hard as my right knee decided not to work. So Monday and Tuesday I got the train. Wednesday and Thursday I felt a little better, although shooting pains down the left leg weren't great, so I rode in and got the train home. Today I rode both ways. It was great. I love commuting!

Tuesday, 7 September 2010

Kielder 100

It hardly seems five minutes since I was up here and racing the inaugural kielder100 and we were back again for the 2010 version. No Ali racing this year as she had managed to hurt her back in the run-up (good for me as it meant she could look after a stressing trio!) On the friday we got ready to go and then I changed my mind, I wasn't as fit as last year, I couldn't do it, we wouldn't go. Ali ignored me and we were soon in the car on the way up the M6. Arriving at the campsite we found our pod, thanks to Rich being organised and booking in advance before deciding on a different adventure we were camping in luxury.

After registration Ali cooked me dinner, she is good, we then got eaten alive at briefing and I decided that looking stupid in a midge net was worth it. Off to bed and thanks to Jon for lending me the comfiest sleeping mat in the world I really was in camping luxury. I still didn't sleep well and I should learn that if I wake up cold I should put more clothes on and not just try to go back to sleep as I just wake up again! Morning dawned and Ali was up and cooking me porridge (while I was lying in bed denying all knowledge of any race!)

Up to the castle for the start, wow there were a lot of people! 534 started out of the 627 on the start list. I "dibbed" in and joined the queue. I found Jane and tried not to feel too nervous or remember how bad I felt last year. Once again we just all started riding and it wasn't long before the pace car pulled off and we were allowed to race. I was on Heathers wheel at this point but we hit the hill and she disappeared, if fell running makes you that fast uphill maybe I should try it? With so many more people on the course some of the singletrack was a solid line of people meaning that I was riding harder than I liked at times but also slower than I maybe would have with the trail to myself on some of the downhills.

But after the first bag drop it got quieter. Just after I finished all the vimto in my camelbak and was swooping down some singletrack I came round a corner to see Ali and Andy taking pictures. It's always nice to be cheered and I was feeling good at this point. I did see if Ali had my spare camelbak but she was expecting me to want it at Newcastleton. So I headed onto the next water stop and filled up there.

At this waterstop we had to head down the hill and up a grassy bank before completing a 7mile loop back to the water station. At some point on the loop climbing a fire road my rear tyre exploded off my rim in a cloud of latex. Time to work out how to remove the rim strip (the valve was attached) and put a new tube in. For me I managed this with minimal panicking, although I did think at one point I wouldn't get the tyre on as everytime one bead was seated the other didn't want to. Jane came past and stopped to check I was fine but I told her to keep going as all I had to do then was fill the tube with CO2 and it meant I had a target to try and catch ;-)

Then it was the lovely switchback push up the boardwalk at the top where Joolze seemed to be doing a spot of landscape photography! Then the course headed over towards Newcastleton. I felt I knew this trail well having ridden it twice since last years even and tried to pretend I was with Ali on the fireroad descents (she was noticeably faster than me last time we were here so I had to not brake!) It seemed like no time at all and I was getting to the feed stop at Newcastleton.

In I went and grabbed a chocolate-cake-biscuit thing and a banana before waddling out, Ali insisted I did more waddling for the camera! I made my stop short and got back out quickly, heading up to cover more of the Newcastleton trails.

I had nice chat with Jane at Newcastleton as we both stuffed our faces! She was much better with the timing dibber than me, I needed someone to help me!

The next section to the final feed was good. Last year it had been hell but this year I felt good, I mean everything hurt but I still felt reasonably strong. The last feed I grabbed some more water and my teacake and waffle and proceeded to walk up the hill before riding a section with two lads where we were almost taking turns at the front and pulling each other along. Back into the singletrack and I had to walk up a couple of sections but I recognised the last uphill and so there were lots of smiles as I turned onto the last descent. Flying past Ali offering me the keys to our pod I told her I couldn't stop there!

No picture of me finishing as although Ali ran the last mile down to the finish (not along the trail though) I was a lot faster on the bike! Odd that ;-) Back up to the castle for my free beer and food and to wander round in a daze for a while!

A fantastic event and I'm already thinking about next year maybe gears??? Ali is looking forward to getting to ride it as well.

Time: 11:55:58
5th female, 2nd female singlespeeder, 205th overall

Wednesday, 1 September 2010

Ride the Lights

Last night was ride the lights in Blackpool. I've meant to go for the last few years but like a lot of things it never happened.  This year in a bid to be organised I sent an email out a month before. So on Monday I remembered and thought I should get organised. It turned out that only me and Vikki were able to make it so I got the train from Manchester after work and Vikki got on at her stop. This amazingly worked seamlessly and we did meet up. The train had quite a few bikes on, not all going to Blackpool though.

We got there and it was full of cyclists, but not too exciting as it was still light so we headed off to find a chippy. Vikki brought out her suprise then, beer. (Note to self meet up with Vikki more often!) We sat watching the sun set and enjoying our chips and beer, I really enjoyed the real beer might even be tempted to try something similar again. Then it was time to actually ride the lights.

We weren't moving fast, but then I don't think they would work fast as usually you would be in a traffic jam. They weren't really that exciting but it was loads of fun.

All that was left was the train home where the train driver himself squeezed our bikes on an already packed train. Great to see so many different people on bikes.