Tuesday, 31 March 2009

No century this month

Well since today is the last day of march there will be no century this month. Originally I was going to do it saturday but then I took Ali's mum to rivi for tea and cake, then the next plan was for today but Ali is still ill and although she told me to go her face said not to. Seeing as when I went out for my shorter ride she asked me to be back in 3 hours she obviously wants me about. It is hard to fit a century in when life gets busy, its basically 8 hours out of the house and sometimes that time is hard to find.

But after last weeks road miles commuting to and from manchester today I got back out off-road. I headed off and joust explored tracks, linking them up with ones I knew. Let to some pushing but also some nice new trails. It felt great to be out there and the new grips seem fine. But I think the next present for rigger might be carbon bars, coming down the cobbles in ramsbottom my arms were dying!

27.14 miles @ 9mph
806m ascent

Thursday, 26 March 2009

Busy week

Not much blogging for me and no adventures. I've been on a course is manchester this week so its travelling in and out in rush hour traffic. Quite good fun for a change and means I'm ridding 29miles a day.

Monday, 23 March 2009

A birthday ride

Today was my friend Ros's birthday and as it turns out she has just moved to Bolton so she asked me to take her on a ride. The 5 miles to her house took me about 40minutes - usually 30 would be plenty - due to the wind and hail! We were joined there by Julie and sat and chatted till nearly midday when we decided to brave the weather. By this point the hail had stopped but the wind was still up. The decision was taken to go over to the duck and stay off winter hill. Once we got there it was closed, so we dropped into Edgeworth and found a nice pub - £6.95 for two courses! I had chilli followed by chocolate fudge cake. From there we headed over to Peel Tower - failed the climb again. Before dropping down the cobbled road where both the other two came off, Ros came off the better with her knee protectors on but Julie was struggling with bending her knee for the rest of the ride. From there it was a mix on road and off-road back to belmont where I headed home.

31.44 miles @ 8.8 mph
1017m ascent

Saturday, 21 March 2009

20miles chasing Ali

Today Ali asked me if I could find her somewhere to run that was flattish and not too far away. So last night I plotted a route from the outskirts of leyland - I know from cycling to Southport that it is relatively flat round here. We headed up there in the car after stopping at Asda for some lucozade - this is what they give you at the london marathon so it is time for Ali to get used to it - and lots of Jelly Babies. We were off running by 1pm, after a false start - I set off the wrong way on the loop we were off, Ali leading and me behind on a bike.

I was actually beginning to feel very cold part way round, after the sun yesterday I didn't really wear enough. But I was doing a good job of passing out lucozade and riding at just the right point that she could pick jelly babies out of my rucksac. The route was a mixture of quiet roads, farm tracks and one or two cheeky footpaths.

Back at the car and both of our garmins said 20miles so it was back in the car, a hobble round tescos - Ali wasn't doing a good job of walking there - to get pizza then home.

The pace was nice and steady and was probably the ideal recovery for me and a good long run for Ali ready for the marathon next month.

A Recovery Ride

Yesterday I wanted to see how my body was after the peaks epic. When I finished it wasn't just my legs that were sore but also my wrists and triceps. So I headed out to meet Ali for lunch in the park opposite her work. It was a lovely sunny day and great to see her. Then I rode off to Rivington via Barrow Bridge, a little loop then home. I felt fine and was really glad to be out. Only did 23 miles but felt I could have carried on for hours.

Friday, 20 March 2009

A peaks epic

4:30am found me getting up and putting on layers of bike clothes - it is cold at that time of the morning. A quick breakfast bike on the car and Ali dropped me into Manchester piccadilly. On the train at 5:44am and I was on my way to Sheffield to meet Kate, Simon and Jon. Kate and Simon were at that point on the train heading up from Nottingham. We got going at 7am and followed my GPS out of sheffield, much easier when an area is so built up. Soon we were off-road and onto Stanage as it warmed up. Simon got right out to admire the view up here and the layers started coming off.
Then it was down Bamford Clough, Simon scared us all at the top, but it was just steep and a little slippy, easier to ride than walk as Jon found out though! Into Hope and then up the broken road and onto Rushup Edge, along here we met Rich - he had told me he didn't have a singlespeed but didn't mention he would be on a fixie! Then it was a push up to Jacobs Ladder.

After a quick look Rich flew down it, its really impressive watchin a guy ride fixed on something I am almost too scared to ride at all! Then it was into Edale for lunch - a well deserved lunch! Before heading on via Jaggers Clough to the Beast. Here I have my favourite memory of the day, Rich riding down the first rocky bit looking like he is on a shopping bike just pedalling away! I would love to be there when a load of body armour big travel bikes are there, he looked like he was riding on a flat sustrans trail! It wasn't long before we started climbing again and I decided to throw myself in front of Simon's wheel no idea what happened!!! After this is was round Fairholmes and Rich decided to miss out cutgate - I think he wanted to get home before midnight!
The rest of us climbed up cutgate with bikes on our backs! Once at the top it was great, it is amazing singletrack I can see why people rave about it and why it is a dry weather route!

Simon got out his whiskey again here (hope he saved some for kate on the train home) being a proper singlespeeder! We got to the bottom of cutgate just as it started to get dark. Some bridleways and road - including a push through some grassy fields - led to the transpennine way. Where I tired legs propelled us to Warncliffe woods and then onto Sheffield. Once in Sheffield a straight line was made to the station by following the gps. Here we said goodbye to Jon and simon rode straight into the shop and bought it out of fig rolls.

We must have looked funny sat on the floor surrounded by food! I had about an hours wait until the train and was glad to get off and have Ali waiting there for me. (Even more glad I got away with my train ticket as it was only valid on the earlier train which we missed!)

It was an amazing trio adventure, it was nice to meet Simon one of my teammates for SITS - he is even more of a singlespeed nut than me! He has decided he doesn't like his geared bike at all now! I also loved Rich's bike, the geometry is really clever, sat in the saddle he is right over the rear wheel meaning he can stay sat there on most downhills. Much respect to anyone who can ride the beast and jacobs ladder on a fixie as well!
More pics on Simon's flickr and I'm sure the others will blog later!
My garmin stats:
66.54 miles ( although it always undermeasures)
2880m of climbing
Ride time 8:21:25 (average moving speed = 8mph)
Total time 14:14:35 (we were stopped in Edale for two hours as we ended up waiting ages for food)
Fun rating 10+
Route is here

Monday, 16 March 2009

Summer - one day only!

Today was our summer, well I'm not being too hopeful and expecting more days! It was so sunny I ended up in just a jersey and was wishing I didn't have tights on. Today I was showing two lads round Rivi looking at doing some work with them taking groups mountain biking. I think the morning went well and they said there will definetly be work for me and they loved Rivington as a venue, my local knowledge paid off!

On the ride I saw matt and his new bike. I'm sure it is very pretty under all the mud and grit! I was very excited! To him it is just another bike to break!

It was interesting riding gears, I think I liked it for a change, my first geared mountain bike ride of the year!

Sunday, 15 March 2009

Credit Crunch Sportive

Today I headed off to leek to ride the credit crunch sportive, collecting Julie on the way. It was a lot smaller than other events I have done but had a lovely friendly atmosphere. When we arrived we were given a start time of 10:05 and set off with a group of four lads. Since the event was 52miles I decided to try and sit in with them for as long as possible, this was about 10 miles and I even was on the front for a fair amount. After that we got a bit split up on the climbs but we kept seeing each other all day. There was a quite a headwind for a lot of the ride so when I got the chance I tried to sit in behind bigger blokes - they have their uses! At the feed station my average speed was 15.4 mph, I could hardly believe it! After the feed we were slower, but we went up gun hill - 8% on the chart above! Which was a killer. One last push towards the end and a final average of 15.1 mph. Al I can say is wow! My legs felt it but it felt good to have got a good time.

After lots of chatting at Julies I headed off home, tired but happy. The results are already up but in a pdf so I can't sort it. It looks like Julie and I just missed being joint fastest females by 2 minutes, the fastest time was 2:51 and we finished in 3:35. I thought that was quite respectable!

My garmin stats:

51.72 miles @ 15.1 mph
1336m ascent
Max speed 41.5 mph
Av HR 166bpm

My garmin says the route was 56.8% of climbing, 17.4% of flat and 25.9% of descending - not sure I like that!

redbike also rode the event, but his time is void due to him taking a short cut and missing the hardest hill!

Thursday, 12 March 2009

Adventures are hard but fun

I had thought I would do my march century today, but getting up wasn't happening and then Ali rang me every five minutes for an hour from the airport. So I came up with a plan. I would get the train to Clitheroe and cycle back - off-road of course! I have a lot on at the moment so I knew I had to make use of the morning, so after plotting a route - nearly all off-road and maybe a little bit of cheeky stuff - I did some cleaning and some studying. Then I headed out to get the 13:25 train. I used this time to read a bit and eat my lunch.
Once I got off the train I got going straight away, I knew that some of the ride would be in the dark but the closer to home I was the better as I was more likely to be on trails I know. Out of clitheroe and then straight round a field trying to work out the bridleway and then farm tracks out to the bottom of nick o pendle. This is a climb I've done twice now, both times in the pendle pedal and it is a killer. The map even has double arrows on it to remind me how hard it is. I remember struggling up it on my geared roadie so it was going to be interesting on rigger. I made it although I'm sure at times it might have been quicker walking!

The next big challenge was out of Whalley, I had decided to go up Whalley Banks and follow the bridleway. I was very close to toppling over on the road and once I got on the bridleway there was no chance of me riding - I wouldn't have got up with with gears either it was so rocky. It was up here I saw my first baby sheep of the year! Must mean it is spring! A little far away to pop out with Ali so she can see them though.

After that it was a mixture of farm tracks and footpaths - many of which have been upgraded to bridleways. Although when I was climbing over a locked gate in a farmyard within sight of someone I thought I might have to do the innocent girl trick, they didn't say anything though. By this point I was finding it hard, I really don't think I had eaten enough so I shoved some food down me and started plodding across more muddy grass.
The next thing I know its getting dark and I'm in Darwen, light on and I start heading up to the tower. That is one hard climb and I ended up walking the last bit after a waterbar got me, I just didn't have the power to get over it. By this time it was completely dark so I got my joystick out, turned it on and started heading down towards tockholes, within a minute the joystick had turned itself off. I really missed having a light on my head as well as my bars. Out south of tockholes and then home along the Witton Weavers way.
My right hamstring is quite tight and I have got lazy about stretching so I washed my bike did some quick stretches then pizza for tea. After that I had a bath and then got on the roller while watching tv, followed by more stretching. I must get back in the habit.
An excellent ride and I'll be doing more of the same. Worryingly I found it hard and had to dig quite far into my mental reserves to keep going at times. It was shorter with less climbing than transwales but in ways felt harder, I think as there was very little road. Either that or I have a lot a lot of work to do!
34.73 miles @ 7.8 mph
1186m ascent
Total time 5:52:24

Wednesday, 11 March 2009

Nipping into Manchester

This morning I rode into Manchester to pick up my waterproof shorts from Evans, Gore have kindly replaced them for me. Hopefully these ones will last! I suspect the grit of Rivington caused the problem but they should really have lasted longer than they did. But I stick by my review they are great shorts, just maybe a bit expensive if they don't last!

26miles @ 13.8 mph
363m ascent

Tuesday, 10 March 2009

In a spotlight

I met up with a few people over at Rivington for a night ride. I want to push myself a bit more by riding with other people more. There ended up three of us and we headed up onto winter hill where donk had to leave us as he was having chain jumping off issues. Back up the boggy cheeky trail from Belmont. Halfway up there was a car stopped on the road shining a very strong light on us, very odd. They eventually went and I was glad I wasn't on my own. We split on Georges Lane and I headed home. It was lovely up there and it was nice to ride with others.

26.95 miles @ 8.5 mph
857m ascent

Sunday, 8 March 2009

It's lovely out there

This morning I left to run to my course and said to Ali to enjoy her long run as it was lovely out! My nice short run to total fitness was in lovely weather! I came down at lunch with a plan to go for a quick 20min run - being stuck inside all day doesn't suit me - and there was Ali, she had stopped at the gym on her way back from winter hill. We ran towards home together and she told me stories of wind, thunder, lightening, hail and snow - not so lovely then!
While I spent the afternoon back on my course she went to race on the track! She is getting very fit now!

Friday, 6 March 2009

Busy day

I was on a course all day today, very tiring as I'm not used to concentrating for that long or being inside. Luckily the course was in Bolton so I was home quickly. Once home I grabbed my trainers and headed out for a short run. But since it seems to be staying light longer it ended up being 43minutes. I even discovered a new trail near my house.

4.42 miles @ 9:44 min/mile
110m ascent

Thursday, 5 March 2009

Hail and Snow

I headed out today on rigger now I have got round to fixing him. A new route that actually had some new to me trails. It was great fun reminded me what I had been missing with not riding my mountain bikes recently. The weather was odd, snow one minute, hail the next and then lovely sunshine!

30.99 miles @ 8.1 mph
1107m ascent

Worth keeping as a spare?

Anyone following mt tweets will know that I have been too lazy to sort my rig out. Well new cog is now fitted, riding later to check it is all fine. Now the old one, think its worth keeping? Or just too far gone?

Wednesday, 4 March 2009

squelch squelch

Studying and bike repairs not going well I took myself out for a run. The plan was a quick half an hour round the golf course. It was so nice though I ran all the way to jumbles. It was muddy muddy muddy but great fun.

5.47miles @ 9:43 min/miles - pleased with that as I was trying to keep the pace up!

Tuesday, 3 March 2009

Trying to ride hard

Today I decided to head over to Rivington and do three laps of the duathlon course hard! I took it easy on the way over and then it was head down. I felt like I was working hard but halfway round the first lap a guy came past and started chatting, till the road went uphill and he disappeared! Another two laps and I was pushing! But I only just averaged over 15mph on each of the laps. Still I haven't done any speed work and I was on my winter roadie and it was raining - stop making excuses trio! A nice slow pootle back home and another 50km on the clock.

Monday, 2 March 2009

Collecting Ali's garmin

When I got home last night there was a glum looking ali as she had left her watch at my folks, as you can imagine she really wanted to see her stats! So this morning I headed out on the cross bike to collect it. Basically the same route there but the way back I went a different way, slightly hillier but lots of fun!

32.95 miles @ 11mph

Sunday, 1 March 2009

Dinner with my folks

Today Ali wanted to do her long run and my folks had invited us to dinner so a plan was hatched. I would ride there and she would run, getting a lift back (I obviously rode home as well). The route was plotted and we headed off. At the start we both knew the trails and I did some extra loops but as she started to tire and wasn't as sure where she was going we stayed together. We arrived at my folks after 15.5 miles, nearly all off-road. Ali was shattered and ready for her dinner!