Saturday, 31 January 2009

My birthday ride

Eleven of us arrived at Lower Barn for my birthday ride, after the usual faff, which wasn't too bad as I told kate an earlier time ;o) we were off. Up to the pike where we were nearly blown away! It certainly made riding off the back interesting!We headed down Jon's 200yards before going back up the commonwealth downhill and then over to the ICR, the only reason some of them were there before dropping to the first cafe stop of the day at Chapel cafe!
After that it was over to the woods for a quick play before back for another cafe stop!

A great ride and a great group. We also had perfect weather!
25.9miles @ 7.3mph
1018m ascent
p.s. I saw matt fly past when I was waiting to meet everyone, the year has started! No need for me to moan about the wind today he will be doing it soon!

Friday, 30 January 2009

First impressions are good!

After stealing the saddle and pedals off my trek I headed out for a quick loop. Seeing as I knew there wasn't much daylight left I didn't go far from home. Just explored trails I usually run on. It's a lot easier to carry than a mountain bike - set of steps to see! It felt fine going downhill, only I was scared of the idea! I think it'll take more than I realise! I had to stop twice before I got the saddle height right and then the minute I hit the mud I had to loosen the brakes as the noise was scary! Then I found that although they slowed me down stopping was harder, not great when heading for a road junction! But I loved it! So who wants to come cross riding?
9.81miles @ 9mph
200m ascent

How exciting!

Thursday, 29 January 2009

Anna joins the century crowd

I met Anna for the ride we had planned to do the other week. This time my GPS decided that the route was nowhere near us so it was up to Anna to try and remember where we were going. This led to some exploring and a few wrong turns but all turned out well as we found the pub and then the cute critters in the pictures above. In the pub we were talking about how Anna had rode 59miles yesterday and I told her another 3.5miles and she would have done a metric century. One thing led to another and we were mile searching and Anna is on for the metric century a month challenge!

80.98miles @13.2mph
891m climbed

99 singlespeed kilometres

Rode to Disley to do a night ride with a group of girls. They were fast! I am tired, home at gone midnight. Lots to write about but it'll have to wait I'm tired!

Tuesday, 27 January 2009

A misty night ride

This evening I headed out for a ride. It was very misty which led to my lights reflecting back at me! I headed off to do the strawbury duck loop on the way out I met a guy waiting for his friends and I saw them again later. I think they must know a track I don't know about as I met them coming the opposite way and I don't think I'm that slow!

14.35miles @ 9.3mph
367m of ascent

I have done this loop at 10mph before, but it was drier and a clearer night. Still not bad for January.

I'd also gone running this morning, tried some exploring but it led to more tarmac than I would like. Think I'll get the map out again and try and plan something different.

Singlespeed or gears?

I've put a poll on my blog. Do you think I should ride transwales singlespeed or with gears? There is no singlespeed category this year unfortunately!

Vote over on the sidebar and comment here as to why!

Monday, 26 January 2009

An amazing Birthday present!

Today I turn officially old according to Ali! I got up to an exciting box to open. Seeing as we weren't meant to be doing presents this year it was very exciting! I was made to wait to open that box and open other presents, Jon had got me some cool stuff! (A wired keyboard, we have a silly wireless one that stops working when it feels like it! A DVD about Lance and the all important bottle of wine). Then I started on Ali's box, inside there were lots of little parcels I had to open them in a certain order and the first one was an entry form for transwales!!! To say I was suprised was an understatement, it had been agreed if we could afford it Ali would do it and I would do support! We have even been planning her training (well I have!) The remaining parcels were the all important, Ali washing my bike, Ali putting the tent up, Ali and mel transporting my stuff, Ali cooking me food. I am so lucky and so excited! Only one question left, do I do it singlespeed?

Saturday, 24 January 2009

Longest ever singlespeed ride

Today I was told that I had to be out of the house all day as Ali had stuff to organise for my birthday. So I arranged to meet Vickster for a ride out Calderdale way. We met the far side of Rochdale and I decided that I was going to take Rigger, after the peaks ride I am getting braver at taken him places other than my local rides and with people I don't always ride with. I also decided to ride there, Ali had offered to come and pick me up after the ride. I always forget how much slower I am on the road of rigger so I arrived a little late, fortunately so was Vickster so it worked out fine. While I was waiting in the car park there was a steady stream of cyclists, I think it was an Evans ride. We set off and fortunately were going a different way to the Evans ride. Although the hills were hard most of them I was getting up, just the few steep sections where I skidded out. On most of them even Vickster on her geared bike was struggling although she was determined to get further than the singlespeeder. After the descent into Waterford, brilliant! I realised that my front tyre was a little flat. I tried putting some air in but five minutes later it was going down again so I put a new tube in. I'd been told a 26" tube stretches fine so I had just being carrying them - too lazy to fix my punctured 29er tube. It does but it took two of us to get it in so I might be carrying 29er tubes in future when I ride on my own. After that it was a mixture of nice rocky base or really muddy riding, punctuated by a million and one gates. Before a cheeky track across the moors took us to Todmorden, since we both had lights and were starving we stopped for food even though it was getting late. Huge toasties and lovely chocolate cake (for me Vickster was being healthy?) and we were on our way. Only my front light decided not to turn on. Up the hill it was fine, we were mainly walking or riding two abreast. At the top we realised the descent was singletrack, another try and it came on, phew! Dropping down there was a bit of walking but mainly riding. It was nice when we could see the reservoir where the car was parked. Crazy me then cycled home!

58.79miles @ 7.9mph
1715m climbed

Friday, 23 January 2009

Getting muddy

Today I headed over to Rivington to meet two of the girls from the wednesday night ride group. Once we were all in the same car park we headed up to Winter Hill, I took us a slightly longer way to take in the best that the area had to offer. Then it was back up to Rivington, up the Pike then down the ICR before heading over to Heaply Nab - could see the new trail today wonder if we can ride it yet? Before going to the cafe for well deserved cake. I then rode home, it was hard work climbing on my singlespeed. But I enjoyed having a nice long ride.

43.25miles @ 7.6mph
1580m climbed

Thursday, 22 January 2009

Cambridge lose to Wrexham

Today was a quick trip over to Wrexham to watch Cambridge United. Unfortuatley the team forgot how to play football so Ali wasn't a very happy bunny.

Wednesday, 21 January 2009

Ali's Birthday

Today Ali is really old! At christmas I made my mum a blanket and Ali commented that she would love one. But realised I didn't have time to do it and would have to work on it while she was about. So in January I have been busy, this week has been crazy! Every second that Ali has been out of the house I have been working on it, hiding it once she got home. It was just finished by this evening, which is a good job! Turns out although she told me that she didn't want a present she was disappointed that she didn't even get a card off me in the morning and it appeared that yesterday I had done nothing. Now she is all happy and tigger has been enjoying snuggles under it.

Running up the hill again

Having been lazy so far this week, well actually too busy to do anything! (The reason for this will be revealed later) So today I headed up to Affetside repeating the run I did last week. I was determined to improve on my time as even on flat bits last week I wasn't managing 10 min/miles.
It was even boggier this time on the hills, on the way up I nearly lost a shoe a couple of times but even when it might have been quicker walking I kept plodding away. My slowest split was on this section, 12:20 min/mile (9seconds faster than last week). On the way down the hill my watched beeped at me, my heart rate was over 180bom, not a suprise it was hard work as my feet kept disapearing into the bog and I was trying to ignore it and actually run faster downhill than uphill - I am rubbish on the downhills.
The last mile or so was really hard, this is where having the garmin came into its own as I could see my average pace coming down as I kept pushing - slowly but coming down. So I kept pushing, managing the last split in 9;ao min/mile pace.
7.4miles @ 10:12 min/mile pace
242m climbed

Monday, 19 January 2009

Why do people think I'm crazy?

This evening I went over to Horwich for a meeting of Horwich CC, of whom I am now a member. On the way there there was some slush on the roads from the earlier snow. As we got ready to leave two of them tried to give me a lift home but I couldn't wait to get out in the snow. To be fair after seeing a car crash - they were fine, I scooted over to check! I did wonder! I would have loved to have been off road but I was on my road bike. No chance of clipping in, banging the pedals with the cleats doesn't clear the ice as effectively as on my off-road shoes.
I had to stop at Asda to get some milk on the way back and I was told twice by staff to be careful.
But I loved it! Hope its still there tomorrow!

Sunday, 18 January 2009

The new shecyles

Well taking the advice from my last post I have set up a new forum for us girlies.

Hopefully it'll take off

Come visit

Saturday, 17 January 2009

Stuck in the mud

Today Jon came out to mine to come riding. Ali had decided to join us and so last night we plotted a route, Ali said it was important that some of it was new to me too! We set off up towards the Witton Weavers way, Ali had found a way that didn't involve scrambling up a cliff with bikes on our backs which was good! Once on the Witton Weaver way we began to wonder if it was going to be windy all day! we came across the following bunch.
Lots of talking to them and they kindly moved for me, before closing ranks again only moving when Jon and Ali asked nicely! After that it was over onto Great Hill, the first part was climbable, with the odd comedy moment due to it being a little boggy. But before long we were reduced to walking as we lost the path! But we got to the top of Great Hill and enjoyed some of Jon's biscuits before heading down the slabs in the direction of Winter Hill. This was nice and rideable but soon the slabs ran out and we entered bog central, all of us ended up lay in it at some point - Ali says she didn't but she got stuck more than either of us!

First it was my turn, Ali left me there while she took a picture!

Then Jon ended up in the bog. After a while it became obvious that Ali had some secret powers as she floated along the top, at this point Jon decided to try and catch her putting loads of power down and flying over his handlebars, it was a good impression of superman and I'm sure he was glad he landed in a bog as it is a little softer!

After that we dropped down the cheeky trail to belmont to some nice pub grub before spinning home on the road. (Thanks Jon for pushing me when I spun out!)

The demise of shecycles

Logging on to shecycles the other day I was greated with a page from roadcyclinguk explaining that shecycles was no more and we could post there or bikemagic. Now this has really annoyed me, I know it shouldn't matter but I cannot believe they just shut it with no warning. I know the site has been dead as such for a long time but they had said that the forum was still to run. It has been quiet in recent months but it seemed to be picking up again. I was hoping to organise a Rochdale ride but the few who were interested I now have no way of contacting. I had a look on bikemagic and the thread talking about the closure perfectly describes why it won't be the same even if we start our own threads. It feels like the end of something amazing as its due to shecycles I got into riding met most of the people I know through riding. I know times change, I know I'm not good at change but why did it have to be so sudden?

Friday, 16 January 2009

Trying riding a cross bike

Today I went riding with Carolyn who I had met at some cross races this year. She had two bikes at her disposal after the nationals so one was swapped to my pedals of choice and we headed out round rivington. On the way over my legs were complaining climbing the hills, I don't think I've done much recently but my body is feeling it! It was an exciting ride, we helped three girls with a mechanical. Then we came across a traffic jam.A guy riding with us snapped his chain! But we had nice cake in the cafe.

In total we did 11miles and I loved it, except for the fact the brakes didn't seem to do alot. In fact riding home I was nearly over the handlebars as my road brakes felt so strong - not used to that! But I think I will be having some fun on a cross bike, it really seems a do anything bike!

Thursday, 15 January 2009

A little bit of an explore

Last night Ali and I changed the wheels between ruby and my winter bike as the rims on the wheels on my winter bike were probably liable to disappear any minute there was so little left. I have to admit I did the easy bit, changing the tyres. Ali changed the cassettes, cleaned it to her standards after I had cleaned it, tighten the hub so it didn't wobble. All in all it was nearly a new bike!

So this morning I set off at 9am to go to the velodrome to meet Anna, she had plotted a nice looking 50mile loop that I had saved on my garmin so she didn't have to try and remember it. My legs were taking a while to get going and after I while I worked out that I was cycling into a headwind. I arrived on the dot of 10 though so I was happy. While waiting for Anna I got my phone out to let Ali know I was there fine and there was a message on my phone explaining that she had managed to break her bike getting it out of her flat! I'm sure she'll post all about it on her blog. I was left with a decision then, to go straight home, do the planned loop or do something else. I have to say I just wanted to go home I have been so un-motivated and today was no different. I thought I'd save the loop to do with Anna, in that mood going further south isn't the best plan on my own and I didn't have lunch - no I am incapable of going into a pub on my own, sorry. So I headed towards Ashton looking at the hills, somehow I ended up back in Ashton after a loop so headed towards Oldham, then Shaw, onto Rochdale, Middleton and then home. It worked out well and I got a good ride and enjoyed it.
58.35 miles @ 13.6 mph
915m of ascent

Wednesday, 14 January 2009

Running up a hill

So today I headed out to Affetside and back. Since it was a longer route I tried wearing my smallest camelbak at first it was annoying me, it would be better if it had a waist strap. But soon I forgot it was there, except to drink water. Definetly good for me as I don't tend to drink enough water. I managed to run, well sort of but not walking, the whole route. Some bits were very muddy or boggy and it was hard going up the hill. But I enjoyed it and felt like I had had a good run.

7.32miles 236m of ascent

Before this I nipped to cooksons with riggers wheel, I got a few looks riding my bike with a wheel on my back, but it felt very lazy to drive it!

Tuesday, 13 January 2009

Christmas presents

It's a bit late but I couldn't post them before Christmas as they were suprises. Here is a picture of Wendy (Ali's sister) and Ali in their presents.

Results are up

As I am a geek I had a look at lots of stats, incase you are bored here they are:

Alison 41:14 92/156 finishers 18/66 female finishers 7/22 in F cat

Trio 41:48 98/156 finishers 22/66 female finishers 9/22 in F cat

Sunday, 11 January 2009

A 5 mile trail race

Today I went with Ali, and her friend Louise, to run a trail race that was described as about 5 miles, mainly flat with a sting in the tail. I had decided to try and maintain 9 min/miles. I actually found the race hilly, lots of short sharp climbs that hurt! But I enjoyed it. Ali passed me after about a mile, but was only just ahead of me till 3 miles where she pulled out a bit, before really getting me in the last bit. But I was only 33 seconds behind her so I was pleased. I also just beat Ron Hill!

Garmin Stats:
154m climbing
8:55 min/mile pace

Saturday, 10 January 2009

CX Nationals

Today I went over to marshall at the Cyclo-cross nationals, a cold day meant I was glad of all my layers, but I didn't need all the ones I had brought - always better to have too many! Lots of fun watching the speed they go at, I even had two of the under 23's crash at my feet. I'm quite sad to miss the races tomorrow. If you get a chance nip over to Bradford to watch!

Friday, 9 January 2009

Running in Ramsbottom

This morning I dropped Ali into work and then Rigger at Cooksons so I decided to run somewhere different. The thing I like about running is I can do it from my house but today I decided to run at Ramsbottom. From the car it was straight up the hill to Peel Tower, lots of sliding on the ice slowed me down! Then it was over the misty moors, some walking as I kept trying to fall over, but mainly very slow running!

4.41 miles
255m of ascent.

Wednesday, 7 January 2009

January - Century a month Challenge

I had decided that today I would get out and ride my 100miles, I had plotted a flat route from round here so I had no long climbs to contend with. I set off just after 9am. The day seemed nice and warmer than it had been, it wasn't long before I entered the mist though. This constant drizzle was to be my companion for the rest of the ride! I never bothered putting my waterproof on though my windproof did a good enough job and I had obviously dressed right as I never got cold. The most notable thing to happen on the ride was a white van man stopping to tell me I had dropped something 50yards back, turns out it was my phone so I was very grateful!

I had a look at my ten mile splits, compared to my overall average. I was pleased to see I finished strong. I felt strong a long the seafront in Southport and was pleasantly suprised to see I averaged 17.3 mph on this stretch.

101.8 miles
980m climbed
Average Speed 14.6mph
Total time out of the house 7hrs 36mins

Tuesday, 6 January 2009

Running up steep hills, sliding down icy hills

Today I decided to go exploring while running. I headed off through the golf course and then took a footpath that headed up and up. I'm not sure it counted as running at the speed I was moving but it felt like I was achieving something. Back down the hill on another path, lots of sliding on the odd bits of road and I was home.

5.83miles and 173m of ascent

Monday, 5 January 2009

Three girls with three gears

Today a plan had been made and a route plotted at 10:30am I met up with Jumbly and Kate in Hope ready for my first peaks singlespeed ride. I was worried about the climbs as I have memories of walking up them on a geared bike. Arriving in the peaks I was suprised to see snow, there is none anywhere near me! But excited that I was to get another snow ride, this winter is turning into a proper winter.
After the first climb they were both looking very happy. Probably as we had just had a snack of cake.The sky was lovely, there were a few slides off into the snow, but its fun to fall in snow so that was lots of fun.
Down the first descent, lots of dabbing, but after a bit of shouting at myself I got myself clipped in and riding, as you can see the other two walked ;)
After that we dropped to fairholmes the icy road was great fun, as we crawled along at about two miles an hour trying to avoid falling off, kate decided she fancied a lie-down though! A hot drink and we were on our way, unfortunately the bridleway we had planned to head back up on was closed so we added a couple of miles to the ride.
Lots of picture stops were in order as the sky was amazing - the other two will have better pictures I'm sure!

Before long it was getting dark and we still had two miles to go.
I have my light always attached to my singlespeed and Jumbly had a joystick so we got back to road, where it was back to slowly slowly. Still Jumbly had a little lie-down on the ice!
Back to Hope where we nipped in the pub, then put loads of layers on to stay warm, not a pub we'll go to again!

A great ride and I can't wait to meet up again and have another adventure.

942m climbed

Sunday, 4 January 2009

A super-duper ride with Ali

Yesterday evening after getting home Ali and I plotted a route using the wonders of the OS map and google earth for us to go exploring on. She told me that we could leave at 9am so I woke her up at 8am, it only took 20minutes to get her out of bed! We left at 9:26am so for Ali that was amazingly early. The plotted route took us over towards Bury. Ali had her new Garmin which doesn't have a map page so we were seeing what navigating with that was like, so not to cheat I put mine on the compass screen. Turns out it works really well the arrow pointing in which direction you need to ride. The first bit was a bit of road and some cheeky footpaths, no sign of anyone around at all. Some of the bits were frozen ruts which were shaking me around. It wasn't long before we were dropping down steps (my face is a picture, I was scared after coming off on steps the other week) onto a sustrans cycle path. This must have been where everyone was so although it was nice and flat it was slow progress as we weaved around everyone!
After coming off the cycle path we had a bit of carrying, I amused Ali by inching over a narrow bridge backwards, due to my bike being on my right shoulder same as the handrail.

More trails and avoiding as many roads of possible and at one point we met this fellow, I think he wanted to come and play.
Then we climbed up to Peel Tower, I had to walk a few bits because of ice and my legs refusing to drag me up the hill. Ali was getting tired at this point and the tower was still looking quite small.

Up at the tower Ali rode round it since she'd never been there before, I hadn't realised that as we have been over the firing range, just not up there. Here after another cake stop we decided to drop back home on the road and leave the bridleway over towards Entwistle for another day.
21.25 miles @ 7.3 mph
680m climbed