Friday, 31 July 2009

July Round Up

School holidays started this month which means more time off-road. I did my hardest ride over two days out to the far end of the peaks and back and got used to riding full-rigid which I love. Ali has also been keen to get out more which is fab!

The figures:

4.74 mile running (ekk! Need to get running again)
369.39 miles moutain biking (all singlespeed)
71.18 miles cyclo-cross
591.36 mile road

20935m 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 63% complete

Plans for August include SITS and then transwales. After that its kielder100 followed by the three peaks in September, yes I'm in both of them. So some running, scrambling up hills and go faster training needed.

Thursday, 30 July 2009

Today as I looked out the window at the rain I was glad I wasn't riding! I decided instead to make a shoulder pad for my messenger bag, I think it will improve the comfort loads!

Tuesday, 28 July 2009

A wet Mary Townley Loop

When Ros asked me on sunday if I fancied the mary townley loop on tuesday I couldn't say no even though this is meant to be a rest week after some really hard weeks. So she picked me up at 8am and we headed off to Waterfoot where we started the loop. This way round meant we got the bit with a thousand gates out of the way near the start! It seemed like we were at the monument to Mary Townley very quickly.

After that the heavens opened and most of the ride was just grinding into the rain! That nice noise of brake pads wearing away accompanied us and Ros even thought about changing hers! I spent a fair amount of time ploughing through deep puddles which reminded me of last years transwales!

It didn't seem that long before we were heading over Rooley Moor Road and back to the van. Even with my legs in there we are tired and don't know how to work after a day off we made good time, getting round in just under 8 hours without really pushing too much during the day.

Monday, 27 July 2009

Ali's home

I got to Liverpool airport just as ali was coming out, couldn't have timed it better! She suggested a trip to pizza express, so we came home and got the vouchers. I suggested riding so we could share some wine. So for once I got Ali on a bike in normal clothes! On the way home I clipped a rear light to her jeans, it worked suprisingly well!

Sunday, 26 July 2009

A short ride

Todays planned century was cancelled so I let myself sleep till I woke up. Then since it was early I decided to meet my friends who were riding at Rivi. Took me ages to be bothered leaving so I asked them to text and let me know the route and I would bump into them somewhere, as it turns out I got to Ros's house and they hadn't left as they hadn't fancied the weather!

A short ride up to pigeon tower, down the ice-cream run and then back up and down the Belmont descent, before I peeled off to get another hour in.

On the way back I came across a dear on the track, he stood looking at me for a while before bounding off. Camera decided it needed the flash so I wasn't quick enough for the picture.

In the end I did 2hrs 45mins which took me to 30 hours for the week - wow! Don't think I was much company was in a grumpy mood! But thanks as otherwise I wouldn't have gone out!

Saturday, 25 July 2009

A track session

Today was the cyclechat track session, I thought about driving but it was too nice so cycled over to the velodrome. Legs felt fine apart from right knee a little sore. But sprinting was impossible!

Putting mileage on I realised that I have done more miles this month than any month previously! I'm getting close to 1000, don't think I'll get there as going to let my legs have an easy week next week!

Friday, 24 July 2009

An evening ride

After dropping at the airport, falling asleep watching the tour and hanging my sleeping bag out to air and then it raining and soaking it. I headed out on a local ride with Odile. We headed up winter hill and at the top bumped into Ros, Kate and Gavin. Down to Belmont, where Kate had a flat and we made her fix it! The first time ever she has had to do her own although Ros did try and help! Then a quick pint in Belmont before freewheeling home for pizza.

Legs felt fine, but I need my bed now! 15miles in total and reminded me how long it is since I have been on my local trails!

A big bivvy adventure

TeaCake had come up with a crazy plan to ride the pennine bridleway, bivvy and ride back. Redbike booked the time off work but I was meant to be working the friday - trip was thurs/fri. So I came up with my own plan:

I would ride out to where they were meeting on wednesday and then ride part of the way with them on thursday before heading home via a train station. A bit of time was spent with maps and playing on bikehike and the route was planned - all 73miles of it. Redbike decided that he would ride over from leek and meet me there to save having to drive to cromford on the thursday morning. I told Ali not to worry I would be home before her on thurs to help her pack as I had to drop her off at the airport early friday morning.

So on wednesday I left at 9am and headed off, the first part towards manchester and round the outskirts was easy enough and the sun was shining. Soon I was on the killer climbs at the edge of the peaks. Around this point I realised how easy it was to get my maps on my sleeping bag so I could easily read it. Although I had my garmin I like to know where I am on a map!

I so enjoyed this setup that I will be making sure I always print out maps so they fit like this, I had the route on 5 double sided A5 maps so I was counting down as I switched maps.

The ride out was hard but fun. By the time I got to Hayfield I was wondering if I was going to make the pub in Cromford before they stopped serving food! About 7pm my phone rang with Jon asking where I was...he had said he was leaving home for the 25mile road ride from leek at 6:30pm - I know he is always early but..... My answer was miles away! As it turns out after being passed by fell runners on a hill it was downhill all the way and I got to Cromford at 8:10pm, in time for lots of food and a couple of drinks.

Jon kept getting dressed to leave but I insisted on finishing my drink, we then went the wrong way by miles and managed to eventually get to the visitors centre at Middleton Top after 8miles, most of which felt like they were uphill. Once I managed to get Jon to stop disappearing off up the pennine bridleway - he obviously wanted a head start! We pushed our bikes up the hill and found our spot for the night, it was just gone midnight!
I didn't sleep well but was quite pleased by the lack of midges in the morning. I like Jon's tent, although might have been more impressed if it had been put up a bit better ;-)

After breakfast we headed back to the visitor centre where Kate rode in, she managed not to get lost coming from Cromford!

So it was time to head off, I was shattered and glad I was only riding home - not sure I clicked that it was going to be 65miles at this point! The women at the visitor centre looked at us as if we were crazy when we explained the plan, she explained to us it wasn't all a nice disused railway line and the other week a couple of lads had taken 10days, they had planned 9 but it took longer!
Not long into the ride the kate's bottom bracket seized completely, some force applied and it was moving but it soon did it again. My suggestion of pedalling backwards every so now and again worked and we got to the cycle hire place at Parsley Hay. They were fantastic, took the bottom bracket out, cleaned it, put it in and it seemed fixed! It lasted the rest of the ride so what can you say. When Kate tried to pay them they told her to put a couple of quid in the charity box. Definetly buy something from the shop if you are passing!
After that it was Jon's turn for a mechanical! He had singlespeeded his bike and the chain kept coming off the tensioner. Kate helped, by hovering, knocking the bike over and making helpful comments. But that seemed to work!
My tired legs meant I was being dropped on all the hills! So it was nice to come round a corner and see the two of them walking, gave me an excuse for a rest as well!

My favorite comment of the day was Kate saying can we have a "faff stop" Jon heard "fag stop".
Descending down Roych clough was fun after pushing up it the day before. I think I made my best eveer attempt at it as well, only walking one drop - still think it is huge! Then it was into hayfield for a much deserved burger and chips!
I had two options at this point, go to New Mills or continue on to Glossop, I chose the latter ignoring the fact it was gone 3pm and I had said I would be home for 5!

That took ages, although it was lots of fun! We split company just on the outskirts of Glossop and I headed towards Ashton. Here I rang Ali to grovel, she kindly said I could ride home!
From here it was past the B of the Bang

Then home, somewhere my garmin died!
145miles over two days, I'm shattered my legs are very tired but it was so much fun!
All the rest of the pictures are here.

Tuesday, 21 July 2009

ready to go

New bars on bike - yes picture before strapping on sleeping bag would be good! Now just rest of stuff to pack, tour to watch and bed!

Today I "warmed up"with 72miles on the road bike, legs weren't really there! It was a ride of three parts, part one into work - bottom of dip. Part two to Jenn's - up the steady hill - part three home - three big bumps!

Good fun, even if it did pour down when I was riding with Jenn!

Sunday, 19 July 2009

Ali's adventure

Ali decided she wanted her own say on the weekend so here is her account:

Hello Everybody! Welcome to my first EVER blog thing.

So, Trio invited me to join her on her latest adventure - albeit invited me to do a very feeble version. After last weeks Southport trip (a whole 72miles) I was most insulted by the thought that the whole adventure - a mere 45 miles eash way over 2 days - would be too much for me! So I insisted on doing the whole route. What I hadn't bargained for (despite having helped plot the route) was the fact that the way to Gisburn Forest was a WHOLE lot hillier than the way to Southport.

So we headed off bright and early (10.30am) on Saturday. I complained a bit (or a lot) about being tired right from the start but we were soon nearly at Blackburn after lots of bits of trails that I already knew. Around this point my legs fell off, or that's what it felt like, so lots of thanks to Trio for pushing me up some of the hills around this point. I was also concerned that despite me being on my full-sus bike, Trio was beating me down the technical downs by MILES on her fully rigid SS. I sense I need to improve in this....

By the time we reached Waddington (definitely not Warrington - this was a constant source of amusement to Trio) which was my last chance to go home for the night, I seemed to have found some extra energy - thanks to Mr Kipling's angel slices - so we kept on going. Through West Bradford and a few more places too, and then across a crazy river/valley/cliff type thing that Trio & Jon had been to before. I managed to navigate that, and we stopped for another little cake stop in a farmer's field before heading on to the pub stop.

To say I was glad to reach the pub would be an understatement! A couple of pints later, and plenty of food too, we were ready to head off to the bivvy spot. We cycled into Gisburn forest and tried out some of the new trails. The swoopy berms were a bit much for me after the miles so I was a bit of a wimp and will have to try them again, but we'd soon got our little spot for the night, just as it was getting dark. I slept pretty well, but woke to discover that our bivvy trip had again been gate-crashed by not one, not two, but THOUSANDS and THOUSANDS of horrible little midges. I curled up further into my bag, while Trio for some inexplicable reason, decided to get up and confront them!!! Needless to say, the midges won that battle!!

I gave up the battle of staying asleep at about 5ish, and didn't hang around to have breakfast (unusual for me) before heading off onto the trails. It took longer than I had thought to get to the car park in Gisburn Forest, and I was glad to stop there for my cereal which perked me up loads! Some more climbing and then decision time - was I going to cycle all the way home or get the train?

I decided I'd like to try to get up this hill I'd heard everyone talking about - Nick O' Pendle - and there was a possible cut-back to the station after it. Well, I was expecting this to be a REAL NASTY challenge, particularly with how I'd been feeling the day before, but I found it ok and was suprised when I was at the top - I thought there'd be another bit to go! I thought some of the other climbs on the adventure were a lot tougher, particularly the nasty climb out of Accrington-ish (although as Trio points out that wasn't actually a road..hmmm..).

So after making it up there, I was all for the trip home (as I had decided there were no more hills to confront). I was a little bit wrong on this front, as further studying on the map revealed a worrying number of "arrowed" roads. My worries weren't helped when, during our next food stop, the heavens opened. We still had over 20 miles to do and my enthusiasm was waning!

Not to worry though - as once I got going again I was fine (and the rain eased off). A few more climbs and a bit of an adventure in discovering where the bridleway crossed the motorway - thank goodness I didn't have to carry my bike up the vertical banking (as suggested by Trio) - and we were descending down towards Haslingden. A lovely bit of trail, and I would love to give it another go.

Then just home along the road and a nice bubble bath to:
a) Remove the midges, and
b) Soak my aching limbs!


A weekend adventure

Since I got no work on sunday this week and nothing was planned Ali and I decided we should do something exciting. A while ago I had planned a route to and from Gisburn Forest to use as a bivvy adventure. I mentioned it, suggesting that maybe Ali could meet me in Waddington after getting the train to Clitheroe.... she suggested doing the whole ride out! Friday wasn't looking hopeful as the rain bounced down so the wet-weather plan of trying the ride but getting the train home was planned. I spent the rest of friday evening packing and putting my brake on Ali's bike...must get that sorted!!!! A start time of 10am was agreed and it was off to bed, a lot later than I meant to go. In the morning we were all packed up ready to go and thankfully it didn't start raining till we were a couple of miles from home. The pattern continued all day with showers! The first section out along the witton weaver way was well known and then after tockholes there was a little carrying over stiles to get us the other side of Blackburn. Not long after Plessington we came across a closed bridleway which led to a road diversion involving a busy A road, not as much fun!

Crossing the ribble for me made it a real adventure, it felt like we had gone a long way, even on a road bike that isn't close! After this we followed the ribble way for a while, some kind person had marked the bridleway with regularly spaced arrows. Carrying rigger across the bridge was interesting, but Ali's method was even funnier!
Soon pendle hill was becomming clearer and we passed through Waddington, deciding not to stop at the cyclists cafe as Ali had been struggling and I thought the best idea was to get to the pub (The Dog and Partridge at Tosside - recommended!) as I was worried once she sat down that would be it!

After Waddington she seemed to find a second wind and we enjoyed the ride to the pub. Arriving there at about 6:30pm we were quick to order beers and some food. We enjoyed ourselves in the pub till it started to get dark, by which point I was fed of kicking Ali to wake her up! Into the forest and Ali decided the trees looked scary and she didn't want to sleep near them. A section of the new stuff - Ali hated the berms - we found a spot near where I stayed with Jon. Got our stuff down and basically fell asleep!

I didn't sleep as well as on other bivvy trips and the midges came out to play early! We started riding at 5:15am! We stopped at the carpark for ali to have her breakfast - I had eaten mine the minute I woke up but once Ali was up she wanted to get away from the mean, nasty midges!
Ali was finding it hard at first and was planning on getting the train, the plan all along! The only question was would I be nice enough to get the train with her - I really wanted to do the ride!!! At Chatburn, with no idea of train times Ali decided she wanted to try and get up Nick o Pendle, leaving me as I had to have a rest halfway up!

At the top she was heard to say "is that it?" Some people are annoying with there natural athletic abilities! She also made the decision that she wanted to ride the rest of the way home!!!
It was only really my second ride fully rigid and one technical section ali said she felt sorry for me having to ride without suspension, I was enjoying it actually!

We stopped near Padiham at a petrol station for supplies - sandwiches, donuts, crisps, jelly babies, water (the essentials) - and had a second breakfast. Before the next off-road section, we climbed a steep bridleway only to end up where the lorries are in the picture below.

We wanted to be up the hill the picture is taken from, my suggestion of running across the A road (which is basically a motorway) and scrambling up the banking was vetoed and we went back to find another way. A nice horserider told us how to get there so we were soon on our way.

After that it was haslington, helmford, ramsbottom and home. The decision was made in Ramsbottom to come back on the road.
Back home, bikes washed, kit dumped on kitchen floor. We are both tired but happy! Early night tonight I think!
Day 1: 47.27 miles
Day 2: 42.67 miles
Still annoying that Ali can do a ride like this with no training! But she points out she was really happy to have a granny ring!

Thursday, 16 July 2009

A little wet this evening!

I met Odile tonight for a ride over Rooley Moor, after rushing to get there due to me forgetting it was basically uphill the whole way there I got there to find Odile was at the wrong end of the road. Still it didn't take her long to drive up! Then it was up the long climb. At the top we played on some tracks I hadn't been on before, which included a bomb hole! Somewhere on that bit Odile got a flat and realised she had forgotten tubes so I shoe-horned a 29er in! The descent down to waterfoot was my first real bit of technical riding on the rigid forks and its thumbs up! Think I need to think about changing the bars and new grips though. Any recommendations???

I'm just happy to get off-road again, has felt like a lot of road recently!

Wednesday, 15 July 2009

Back running

With the entry to the 3peaks done I thought I had better get running again. So today I ran to the supermarket and back. I am one of those cyclists who always runs too far the first time and run too far and then pay for it the next day. So I ran to and from Asda, about 2.5miles and on the road. Now time to build on it!

Tuesday, 14 July 2009

Why are my gears not indexing?

New wheel on ruby, bargain from chain reaction flood sale! Gears just not right, after ages playing notice that the chain was not fed through correctly on sunday when the boys fixed it! no chain tool at the moment so need to get one asap!

Saturday, 11 July 2009

A trip to Southport

Due to the fact that I have been all busy recently Jon made sure that he booked me for a trip to Southport once I had a free day! The decision had been made that it was to be a cross ride. Ali decided she wanted to come so last night we replotted a bit to bring it nearer to 70miles than 90! Ali has only really done one long ride like this when we went to Southport for the tour of britain so it was going to be a challenge for her! During the night I was woke up by my knee but I was determined to ride so some strapping was put on. Jon arrived early, but we had said 10am so we were both up and dressed! The ride started easy enough along the middlebrook way then over to Haigh Hall where I had fun playing on a few bits through the trees. We carried on finding this ever so cute railway line running into someones back garden!
For a while we were following roads and trails covered in carrots, Ali decided she needed a carrot break. After I had washed one for her she took a bite and exclaimed "It tastes just like a carrot".

Jon was very pleased to reach the sea, for some reason he hadn't had breakfast this morning!!! We had our chippy then.

Then we decided to get to the sea, at Southport it is always quite far out so we rode across the beach, Ali made it look easy she must have magic skills as me and Jon struggled.

I even rode into the sea, but it was so shallow!

Then it was time for some kite flying, Ali got it going till somebody (me) got in her way. It never flew as well again!

After a paddle it was time for some ice-creams, Ali managed two!!!

Then it was time to head back, Jon was happy to have some carrying, apparently it wasn't a trio adventure otherwise!

A quick blast through rivington and home with a very tired Ali after 72miles! I think at least half was off-road although mainly just dirt tracks.
A fab day!

Forgotten adventure

Ali is very cross with me, here is me saying that I haven't been up to much and on thursday evening we had an adventure. As I am working in Whythenshaw this weekend we headed out after work to ride there. Once we got there and Ali had been told off for thinking someone was talking to her I realised I had lost the map somewhere. Not wanting to really hang around we headed off to Rusholme for a nice curry. As we were finishing in walked two more cyclists who ended up at the table next to us! They hadn't seen our bikes, turns out they hadn't realised there was a bike rack directly opposite making it really easy to keep an eye on the bikes! Then it was time for the train home, we were too full to try and ride!

About 30 miles in total, Ali has only gone this far on her roadie a couple of times before!

Friday, 10 July 2009

Playing in the park

I've been so busy recently, what with working, so there have been no trio adventures. But on thursday we had a short hop between schools so we found a park to sit and have lunch in. They also had this fab sea-saw! I was a little lighter than the boys though! Tomorrow there is a plan for a trio adventure so hopefully blogging will start again!

Thursday, 2 July 2009

A summer evening!

Today I had only 30 miles to cycle to and from where I was working so I planned a mountain bike ride with Odile in the evening. We arranged to meet at the Hare and Hounds in Holmecombe. I had to ride home fast to be in time and amazed myself with a 15.5mph average. It was then onto rigger and off on the ride over. We had a great ride in the sun on dry trails, but I didn't really test the forks - although the cobbles hurt! Once back at the pub we met Ali and had some food and a couple of drinks before heading off home.
A great way to spend a summer evening!

Wednesday, 1 July 2009

June Roundup

This was the first month of working lots of hours again. The big plus is how well it was gone! I have managed a couple of five day weeks. I have to admit I was worried about coping with work again. But maybe it helps that it involves being on a bike a lot? I have been all over Manchester so its been mainly road miles. Still there was mayhem in the middle, which I trained through and got a fab result!

The figures:

1 mile running (this was a fitness test on a treadmill but I have to count it!)
84.27 miles moutain biking (all singlespeed)
55.13 miles cyclo-cross
637.04 mile road

12038m of ascent

Progress on targets:

  1. Run at least once a week Failed in March :o(
  2. Run 300miles in the year 37% complete
  3. Cycle an imperial century a month Failed in March :o(
  4. Cycle 8000miles in the year 51% complete