Wednesday, 30 September 2009

Three peaks analysis

That makes it sound a bit posh, but I have been looking at the results.

26 people finished after me and I was 424th and 15th female out of 20. (7th and last in the Senior Female category).

Anyway I was basically last, there was three of us together, to the stile on simon fell but I did pass a few people on the way up Ingleborough on the bits I could ride. I've had a look and, of the finishers, there were 3 people behind me at the top. (There were 8 who did not finish). So I was really right at the back then. Each of the splits after that there were more people that I was faster than. I was making up places all the time. None of those splits were amazing, but I could have pushed harder, when you are at the back it can be harder to. But I think I could knock a fair amount off my time just by doing some scrambling up steep hills training. So that is the plan.

It is odd, I am really pleased with this race and have none of the disappointment from transwales. Yet overall I finished a lot higher up in transwales, I was a lot closer to being competive and in some ways it was more enjoyable. This race was so far beyond my comfort zone and I really thought I wasn't going to finish when I was struggling on Simon Fell. In a lot of ways it reminded me of the first merida I did where I finished 2nd from last, but chuffed I had done the long distance when so many others hadn't!

Our ride yesterday

Tuesday, 29 September 2009

Novice night riding

Tonight my friend Odile got to go on her first night ride. We set off in the light at Rivington but the cloud we were riding through meant that visibility was limited! Jumbly came out to join us and realised she hadn't done any night riding at all last year!!! How can you let a whole winter go without scaring yourself in the dark? The ride was a nice 10mile pootle, up to Georges Lane, back down, up again and then down again. Up on Georges Lane you couldn't even see the hill the Pike is on!

I came home an easy way, mainly road! Almost took the wrong fork on the only bridleway I did ride and got here just as dinner was ready - timing!

Monday, 28 September 2009

Simon Fell

How do things look so much flatter when someone takes a picture!!! This is only partway up, I had already had about 10 "breaks" to let everyone go past me. By this time I was able to drag myself up by the fence for about 10m before a short break before continuing! Still can't believe the picture, that looks easy to walk up!

Sunday, 27 September 2009

The three peaks

Well I certainly would happily never see Simon Fell again, I knew it looked vertical I didn't realise it actually was! I got onto the first off-road section fine, managing to hold my place in the scary peleton even when one guy tried to dive on top of me! I was off walking a little before I wanted to as there were so many people around but it was fun. That was till we got to the real steep section, everyone came past me as I tried to move upwards, my HR was through the roof yet I was making no progress. Pulling on the fence and grass helped, my bike hitting the wall in front of me didn't! Eventually I got to the top on Ingleborough with maybe two or three people behind me. Still I was so pleased, I honestly thought I wasn't going to get up it!

I headed down and it started to get better, I was passing a few people on the descents and Ali was cheering at the bottom, onto the road and I started to think that maybe I could do this! The road section was lonely and it was windy so there was noone to work with. I briefly caught another girl but pulled away when the road went up. Soon it was the next hill, Whernside, I caught a load of people at the bottom and so had company on my way up. I didn't realise it was possible to move so slowly but this time I didn't feel like everyone was passing me and I kept going! Off the other side and there were a few bits that I had to walk! Scarily I could see someone running the whole descent pulling away from me! I can't walk down the stop with a bike how could he run? Out onto the road again with noone in sight, I had been descenting with someone else who was riding as much as possible but he unfortunately punctured near the bottom. So working into the head wind I headed for Pen-y-gent. This started great, I could ride up it! In fact over half of it was rideable and the rest really was nothing like earlier! (I don't think anything is like Simon Fell!). At the top I headed down, determined to ride, I think I walked two rocky sections and that was it. I passed loads of people as well which helped me stay on the bike!
Then it was one last road section, I pushed hard towing a guy to the finish. I was shocked to finish and actually didn't feel too bad. My lack of an ability on the uphills had meant I couldn't actually push myself as hard as I sometimes do!
So next year??? Well on Simon Fell I thought no way, as I thought I actually wouldn't be able to finish it, but once that was over I was plotting how to train for it! I am starting running again and then next spring I am finding all the steep bits round her and carrying my bike up and down. I think I could knock a lot of time off with just some training! This is one event where cycling fitness is not enought!
I think I just missed five and a half hours. So I wasn't that competitive but I am so pleased to finish something that plays so nicely to my weaknesses!

Friday, 25 September 2009

Leaving things late!

Well brakes on bike, bar tape on. Hopefully they work!!!
Pipe lagging is next, no idea exactly how to put it on but assume anything helps!

Thursday, 24 September 2009


"take it easy and enjoy the freedom of the outdoors"

A great quote from Kate

A cultural evening

Last night I headed off to the theatre with some people from work to see On the Piste in Oldham. One of the actors works with us when he is resting. The play was great, lots of laughs and a few moments that felt like I had been there before when on snow holidays. Great evening and good ice-cream in the interval.

Monday, 21 September 2009

Track accreditation day

A while ago I persuaded myself to sign up for a track accreditation day. Now Ali has been after doing one of these for ages to get her accreditation as she struggles to get to the sessions after work. But me I am just scared stiff of the track. Wednesday I rode down for a reminder of how scary it is. Still I got through the session with my hands not going numb so maybe I wasn't holding on too tight!
Sunday morning came and the alarm was off way too early for a sunday. We commented how cold it was as we got in the car to head to Manchester Velodrome. Once there we had to find some nice man to get us our bikes as they weren't ready and then it was time to start. Straight up on the track in a line changing every lap. Not too bad, I wasn't trying to freewheel, then something went wrong and we were all over the place. We were pulled off the track and told we were meant to be experienced track riders. Obviously we were very varied. Back up and down for the next hour and we were getting there, still speeding up all the time but basically a line and less of a mess.
Break was a time for certain points to be given, I had to relax - a way to go then, that was the most relaxed I had been. I was aware I was moving out too much. I need to get used to fixed gear and riding on peoples wheels.
Then the next session, warm up then round the black, red, blue lines followed by up and downs, all three bike lengths apart, that was fun! Remember to look every time! The we did our line in pairs changing, suddenly I found I couldn't be scared of the wheel in front, I had to hold my line, I liked it!!! Then a chain gang, all seemed to be going well then someone keep going and those of us further back had no idea what was going on. We got it back and were taken off the track for lunch.
A nervous lunch where we thought noone was going to pass, would they let me back on for the assessment - anyone dangerous wouldn't be. Back we went all on the track to warm up in our line, round we go, oh dear what is happening, its ok, no its not, yes it is, oh that's a wheel, sorry, down I go. Hurt less than I was expecting, lost some skin off my arm and think my hip will have some nice bruises. Wash it and back on.
Then its the accreditation, told everything we had to do, same as earlier but no breaks and off we go. We were riding for ages but all was fine. Then off and up again for half laps, followed by a mock race which showed me I was slow but I could hold my line so it was easy for people to overtake me.
Off the track and we've all passed. Wow! It was hard work, I was tired with so much thinking all day. Lots I need to work on but somehow I did it!

Saturday, 19 September 2009

Rivi half marathon.

Today was going to be the much needed rest day. So when we woke up we decided to wander over and watch kate, Jane, Julbags and Jumbly run the rivi half marathon. The day was perfect for running, or wandering around eating ice-creams like Ali and I did!

The route seemed mainly off-road.

The trails were dry.

There were some steep bits though.

Afterwards it was off to the pub for food and a chat.

Thursday, 17 September 2009

Tired legs, tired trio

I knew this week would be hard, I had a lot planned. So I minimised it a bit by cancelling the ride I had planned on saturday. Yesterday was still a biggie. This morning I fell asleep on the sofa, only the postie knocking getting me up in time for work! So now I am focusing on saturday and no riding!

Wednesday, 16 September 2009

Ride number 4!

Quick ride up the hill to Belmont, up to rivi, down the ice-cream run, up the pike, off the back, up winter hill and down to the pub for drinks and crisps. Fab fun!

Rides numbers 1, 2 and 3

I knew today I wasriding on the track from 12-1. Then there were vague plans about maybe riding there and back with Jenn, maybe on road, maybe some cross. See what happens with couriers etc.

Everything worked fantastically, I rode there on my cross bike on the road, had to ride hard as I left late! Had a great hour on the track! Then we rode cross bikes to ramsbottom, via an ice-cream stop, split the far side and I rode home.

On the way home I had a silly puncture thing, failed to find the cause, punctured new tube, took 10 minutes to get a thorn out and then got home.

Wondering if its too much riding since I'm riding again this evening?

Tuesday, 15 September 2009

Off to watch the pros

The tour of britain came close by today so I persuaded Jumbly to trust my route planning and come for a ride up waddington fell to watch them. After I was a little late, due to forgetting how much further Addlington is from tesco we got going. Straight up a hill that the road sign told us was 17%. All the way over towards Jeffery Hill we were having fun and the weather was great. We did get held up a bit by rush hour though! We got to Waddington Fell just before the pros and headed up, by this point I think I had broken Jumbly who has had a hard week already. Somehow I lost her, turns out she couldn't get her feet out of the pedals and had to stop just below where I stopped, only in the crowds of cyclists it was hard to spot each other.
The pros soon came past, the leading three dancing on the pedals, the chasing group looking strong and then the last few making the hill look hard. Although they were probably going twice my speed it was nice to see it didn't look any easier for them than me.

They were closely followed by Jumbly. We then dropped down into Waddington for lots of food and Vikki rang her broom wagon for a lift back.
A fab ride and the weather was amazing!

Monday, 14 September 2009

Trio takes the roadies off-road

Last night I get an emergency message from Jumbly, can I help with a route from Salford to Bolton that doesn't involve main roads as she is a human sat-nav for Dave Gorman. After admitting I didn't know who he was I got looking at maps. Not long I had an idea and soon the route was plotted. It used a lot of sustrans trail so needed to be checked. Sometimes they are fine on roadies sometimes they are impassable! So Jumbly turned up at my house just before 9am and we headed off to Walkden where after only a couple of wrong turns we found the track, on we went to find the canal. Right past the back of the trafford centre, I guess most people have no idea it is there at all! To the lowry where we met Dave and his friend Chris. A few errors at the start and eventually I not only got us on the canal but on the right side as well, not before I fell off my bike while playing with my gps, opps!
The route worked well with just a bit of the A6 near the end, I dropped them off at the middlebrook way and had to turn and head for work back the way I had come.

We all managed really well on road bikes, a couple of bits were a little rough, but worth it for the traffic free element. Dave's journey sounds fab to me, he is riding to four corners of the UK, much more interesting than Lands End to John-a-groats!

Friday, 11 September 2009

Summer again

Last night I took Odile on my strawbury duck loop, the pub was closed and looks like it has been for some time. But the weather was amazing, shorts and t-shirt weather and views back over bolton that made it feel like a summers day! It's been so long since I have done the ride that lots of parts felt different, the stables had gone, with new ones in a slightly different place. I tried to trap my thumb in a new gate. But all in all a great ride!

Wednesday, 9 September 2009

Short (?) Ride

I met Jumbly this morning for a ride to cooksons as she needed some brake blocks. I suggested cross bikes so we could chat as there are some nice trails to take you there. When we got there, after some window shopping (I am trying not to buy anything at the moment) I checked my phone and Jon was nearly at Bolton, a lot earlier than I said I would be in. So a couple of texts and we agreed to meet in Adlington, so Vikki and I headed back, getting even muddier. It was a lovely day for riding.

Once I left the pub I got as far as rivi and had to stop for ice-cream before getting home with 52.5 miles on the computer. So much for a short ride!

Sunday, 6 September 2009

Podium Piccy


Woohoo!!! It's me!!! And bubbles!!!

Kielder 100

Wow how hard was that but how much fun...

So on fri Ali and I headed up to Kielder Forest to take part in some silly event. Somehow it was after 4pm when we left so obviously I was a little stressy! We got there in plenty of time and after sorting out Ali's entry, getting the tent up, eating and getting to the riders briefing I was shattered!

The next morning the alarm went off at 5am, it was still dark and it was all a shock to the system, Ali was her wonderful usual self and made me porridge. The campsite was full of lots of scared looking zombies. We headed up to the start and got checked in. It wasn't long before we were following a car along for the neutralised start. Then we were let off the lease, it felt like everyone was flying past me. Kate was up there as well and we spotted another girl at the start on a singlespeed. She flew past me on the first uphill. On the first few climbs I could see Julie in the distance and it looked like she was flying, I couldn't hear Ali and kate chatting behind me anymore. But I was concentrating on not getting carried away at the start and let the speedy people fly! I was enjoying myself and felt like I was riding okay except on the downhills, but after 25miles that improved! My strategy was not to stop so at feeds I got what I needed and headed straight off. Cut-off was made with plenty of time and I headed over to Newcastleton, it was bleak over the tops and with no-one in sight a little lonely! It was nice to arrive there and be greeted by a piper and loads of people cheering!

Heading off from there I felt good, I caught the other singlespeed girl who was fixing her chain and pushed on, I felt I was riding the singletrack well which was good! Not long after that I stopped feeling good and my digestion was not very happy. Miles 66 to 73 were the hardest I have had on a bike, but after that I could drink again and things started to feel better. From then it felt like I was plodding away, reaching the last feed where I had sweets was great. After that I was counting down the miles! Any singletrack climb was walked and the downhills hurt so much, at least my automatic pilot for riding downhill seemed to be working!

The finish line was a welcome relief! With Ali there cheering, turns out she just missed the 55mile cut-off, still 60miles on a bike is her longest mountain bike ride ever! after being bitten alive we spun down to the castle, some food and beer and it was time for the presentation. Kate arrived back just as they had started, a little later than me as to save me feeling bad when she beat me she had a play in the bike park over at Newcastleton! First up I was 3rd in the open female which was exciting. Then I got to stand on the top of the podium as the 1st female singlespeeder, I got to spray cha,pagne everwhere for the first time in my life which was exciting. I also got a load of singular goodies, not sure what to do with an XL jumper though, it drowns me!

The event was fantastic, the organisation brilliant and the course a great mix of fireroads and singletrack. Not sure I would recommend it fully rigid though! I think I took just under 12.5 hours and it was hard, but if you want a challenge I recommend it!

Wednesday, 2 September 2009

A little muddy!

A message from Cooksons on my blog - they couldn't find my phone number! My wheels were ready! So I headed off on rigger, dropped down onto Bury road and decided to nip down an off-road track, after two metres I was covered in mud! It hadn't occured to me that since it was wet I would get muddy! Since it was too late I carried on off-road. When I got there I asked if they wanted me to stay outside but they just laughed at my muddy face. The new wheels were put on rigger and at the moment they are nuts but they bit to convert to quick release will appear next week. Another a nice ride off-road on the way home and I realised all I needed to cheer me up was a nice mountain bike ride!

I got home and Ali laughed at me and made me wait while she took a picture! Then told me off for spending money!
Tomorrows job is to get her bike sorted for the weekend, she has some silly idea in her head about riding!

More fun to be had

I've just entered Dusk 'til Dawn in a pair with Ali. It was her idea. At the moment we are thinking I will double lap and she will single lap. She is really keen and it should be great fun. Time to get used to riding at night again!

Tuesday, 1 September 2009

August Round Up

So this month was dominated by transwales. A great week with great weather and great riding. The end of it was quite sad really and took me a week to pick myself back up. Apart from that and SITS there has been very little riding - recovering or tapering all the time, makes me sound so serious!

The figures:

0 mile running (Oh dear that is not good!)
391.83 miles moutain biking (361 singlespeed)
9.33 miles cyclo-cross
191.74 mile road

23677m 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 71% complete

So onto September and the first challenge is the kielder 100, followed by the three peaks cyclocross. I'll definetly be keeping myself busy. Oh and of course there should hopefully be some work again.