Sunday, 31 January 2010

Riding the track

Another session with the cyclechat boys. After a warm up it was five lots of 10seconds sprint, 10 seconds recover. Then after a recovery period repeat, this time standing up, I tried for the first two but I couldn't sprint and stand up so sat down for the last two. Some more riding on the blue then the lumpy bumps. Followed by a pursuit thing where four went off the front and worked together to get back on the back. The working together thing didn't work that well as none of us knew what speed the others could ride at. After that a 250m sprint, something I am rubbish at. Then a last cool down where Ali and I hooked up with the othe girl and did a nice through and off till the end of the session.

Stopped for pizza on the way home to use up the pizza express voucher that expired today.

Tired but happy now.

Saturday, 30 January 2010

Hills = Hurt

A text from Kate yesterday led to a plan for a hilly road ride today. So after getting home from work there was some frantic bike fettling going on so I could take gears. Ruby had no tyres as they had gone on the langster! Kate arrived nearly on time so I wasn't quite ready but she brought her cute puppy with her. Ali was in heaven and her afternoon plans changed to playing with puppy.

We set out up the first hill and I remember that even an unfit Kate flys up hills. She assures me that she was working hard and could nearly taste blood in her mouth. But from where I was with my heart pounding and struggling to breath as she disappeared she made it look easy.

Out towards Blackburn, a skirt round Darwen, back through tockholes and down to Belmont. Then it was time for one last hill before the cafe. The climb was hard but good but coming down to Rivington was interesting to say the least. With ice everywhere, I thought we were nearly clear of it when Kate clattered down. We walked across the cattle grid and then made our way to the barn. Just in time for tea - although a little late for cakes.

Then it was time for all our layers and head back towards Bolton, I was glad to get climbing up Choreley Old Road as then I warmed up and my hands came back to life! But once we were spinning round the ring road I was getting cold again and glad to get home.

My legs decided by 15miles they couldn't climb and I was beyond slow, but its good to get out in the hills again. It's coming back!

Friday, 29 January 2010

An early start

Today I was working over at Macc Forest. After last time I really didn't fancy driving round in rush hour traffic, way to send my anxiety levels up. So after spending an evening making my mountain bike rideable I went to bed with a plan. I was awake from 4am anyway so the plan was easy. Breakfast just after 5am and then I left just after 6am - Ali checked I knew how early it was. The motorway was lovely but it was still dark when I arrived. I read a chapter of my book and then it was light enough. An hours run around the tracks of Macc Forest. I just followed walking trails and although I never got high it was steep up and down a lot and I managed to find 300m of ascent. Relatively slow and data from my garmin is here for any geeks that are interested.

Tuesday, 26 January 2010

Ran 3.1miles, Cycled 31miles, Consumed 3100kcals

Ran 3.1 miles

Got out this morning, over to the Golf Course by a route I normaly run home. 5 x 100m intervals on the golf course. Struggling to breath, legs screaming, kind of fun!

Cycled 31 miles

Headed off to work, via cooksons for some new brake pads. Having left 20minutes later that should be lots of time! Only Chris kindly got my rear brake working correctly, it hasn't been quite right since I got the bike two weeks ago. 30minutes later I realised I better go and had to push hard all the way to school. Not easy when your legs are screaming!

Consumed 3100kcals*
*Probably an underestimated

A combination of a huge bag of chocolate buttons, mini rolls and heading out for a huge dinner now means that nearly all of these are chocolate based!

31 Years Old today

Monday, 25 January 2010

Spin for the Win

Another monday fixed ride had been planned for today with Jumbly. I had plotted out a route for my garmin that didn't look too hilly. I had slept really badly last night, not helped by my knee playing up (yes you would think I would learn not to go running on tarmac after a bit of time off!) Just as I was about to leave I turned the Garmin on only to be greeted by a low batterey message - not the first time this has happened, it was fully charged when I took it off the charging cradle last night. So I plugged it in for a quic 10minutes thinking I had left myself loads of time as it was. Off I went at 9am and halfway there remembered that we were meeting at Adlington, 3.5miles further than Tesco but I always think it is just 5 minutes further. I pushed hard to try and not be too late, but these days I always seem to be late. Still an average moving speed of 15.4mph impressed me!

As soon as we got moving my watch died, fortunately Jumbly had put it on hers after reading my tweet about a low battery. As this was her first time navigating there were a few wrong turns but we mainly stayed on route. A brief stop at Booths for a toilet break - oh and a snack for me - I found the local odd man, who was having an intense conversation with me, I unfortunately couldn't tell what he was saying! I seem to attract them though.

Onto the pub, not before dragging the bikes up a couple of actually quite hard hills.In fact Jumbly even took us on a bac road at the last bit to add in an extra steep bit! But no walking so a sucess! The pub once again provided lovely food and just as our food arrived the table by the fire was vacated so we quickly moved.

Leaving was hard, it was cold out and it was only when we had gone inside we realised how cold. Extra layers and we headed spinning as fast as I could determined not to brake, Jumbly was a little more cautious - or sensible!

Splitting again at Adlington I decided to head down Chorley New Road and then climb up to Moss Bank Way, by this point my legs were sore! Stopped at Asda and then the last bit home. I was tired.

59miles in total so I'm on the way back but I do hurt now!

Sunday, 24 January 2010

I went running :-)

Well after another day of falling asleep on the sofa this weekend was looking like a waste of time. But once it got dark I managed to bully myself out of the house with promises of there being noone around. There was but I just ran. 3.5 miles in 34minutes, not fast by most standards but I was working and managed to maintain my pace on the hill back to mine!

Friday, 22 January 2010

Ali's birthday

Yesterday was Ali's birthday and my work for the day was cancelled so I was left with lots of tasks, mainly spoil her rotten. First of all it was get her up and out to work. I had made her a card and she thought I would forget so that put her in a good mood. Then I had to go and get cakes for everyone at her work. I managed even following her list to get twice as much as needed! So lots of cakes brought home for me! I had to drive to get them as I was under instructions that shoving them in a bike to cycle would mean squashed cakes.

Then it was lunch, I took Ali a picnic, making her some wraps as a surprise, they seemed to work ok. It was cold though so I didn't stay till the end.

To end the day we went to Barrocco's for dinner. Pizza followed by pizza for me and lots of wine for both of us.

I was shattered but it was a nice day, Ali now thinks she is old!

Tuesday, 19 January 2010

Commutimg fixed

After much "should I, shouldn't I?" I decided just to try fixed for the commute, I could always stop and flip the wheel if it was too much! Obviously I meant to leave 15minutes early just in case, this worked out well as when I left 15minutes late I was running on time - as long as I stayed fixed! It went okay and I think I was coping better on the downhills, the one off the Bury road I almost felt comfortable letting my legs fly round uber fast. I am scared what happens when I need to stop - I know use the brakes like I usually would!

Traffic was so bad in Whitefield, do I assume the M60 was closed or something? I ended up getting off and walking along the pavement there was literally nowhere to filter!

Soon I was getting used to the bike, once I remember that scooting wasn't easy as the pedal I was attached to still moved! Into the office and collected files and Ali's birthday present! Then onto the school for a bike fixing morning - my job was mainly to pump up all the tyres and pass the correct tools! Afternoon at work went brilliantly! Felt really confident! So great day.

Rode home and I could feel my back, think that might be all the work files, usual work stuff and Ali's present making my bag heavy.

Home, washed bike and decided night riding was crazy! I have plenty of miles to do getting to work this week and I will have lost a load of fitness!

Now what do I think of fixed? Still not sure! Also think I am slower as go slower down the hills, how fast must I be spinning my legs to get anywhere near 30mph?

Monday, 18 January 2010

Fixie Chicks

A slighty better nights sleep in that I got to sleep before 2am but still waking up all the time. At 6:30ish I gave in and got up. But the difference this morning is I got stuff done, dishes, Ali's sandwiches and Oatie cakes baked (Ali was asking for some last night so it was a nice suprise for her to get up to!) Today was a planned fixed rider with Jumbly meeting at 10:30am. Obviously I decided to attach my lock to the bike, then realised that my pedal couldn't get past it just before I was meant to leave. So as always I was a little late leaving. I used to be such an organised person as well, still timekeeping will improve again I am sure!

Once we met we headed off to the bike shop for some new bars for Jumbly's bike, she fancied drops as she wasn't comfy on the current bars. I pointed out she was balancing on her fingertips and not holding onto them. There I saw the ideal rack for young boys.

After that we went to Jumblys and fitted new bars and I gave a quick lesson in taping bars, the finished result was pretty good actually! Then on the bikes for beer and food! We went to a lovely pub, friendly staff and a fire to dry our gloves by.

Then back to Jumblys via another bike shop, its new but not exciting, to be greeted by Glyn offering hot chocolates. I left as it was getting dark with no front light, opps! Then realised Ali had no front door keys so went via her work to collect her and home.

Big grin on my face all evening, things are stabilising again. Now the question is do I dare try riding fixed to work in rush hour tomorrow?

Sunday, 17 January 2010

Riding fixed on the road

Ali was insistent that she wanted to come with me on my first fixed ride so today I was dragged out of the house. First the wheel was flipped round, then on bike. Hmmm try again. Round the back streets near me, cornering slower than I ever have before. Then over to tesco where food and wine were purchased for later and cakes to fuel us on the ride home.

The ride home I was a little braver downhill, not braking before the road even went downhill and at one point felt like my legs were spinning like a fool.

I never forgot to pedal and I am still worried what will happen when I do.

Wednesday, 13 January 2010

A new toy, leaving the house, 2010 targets

The other evening I was setting Ali's spreadsheets up for 2010 and asking if she had mileage targets and it got my thinking about mine. Well Ali asked is more accurate. I have been pretty useless since just before Christmas and not really getting any exercise done - in fact without Ali dragging me boarding it would have been about two hours over the last couple of weeks! At first I couldn't even imagine riding and running but realised I had to sort myself out so two targets were set. First cycling at 8400 miles, I don't want to up in much from last year (8000) as I know that I might find myself mile chasing and just dragging the road bike out lots!  In fact I was almost tempted to set a lower target as I wasn't working at the start of last year. But this target is 700 a month and hopefully I will keep riding lots for work as well. Running was the next one, last year I managed about 170 miles and my target was 300.  Something more realistic was needed but still a challenge as last year I had a few months with no running. So I have settled on 180 miles!  Up to this point in the year I am on target with running and nearly 300 miles behind with the cycling!

Well after two days of nothing and not getting out of the house, no that's not true I dragged myself to the supermarket on monday I knew I had to get myself out today. Since I had a Doctors appointment at 4pm I knew that I couldn't spend the whole day thinking about getting out and not doing. At first I thought about going for a ride or a run but I knew it wouldn't happen so I arranged to pick the new bike up from work. This was ordered a while before Christmas and I wasn't expecting it till today but it had arrived last week. Although I was in work on friday I had cycled there so getting a bike back was't an option. I can tell I haven't been right as I wasn't there first thing on monday morning and although I planned to go yesterday it hadn't happened.  So today I got dressed, put the tyres I wanted on the bike, some lights, bike shoes, reflective bits for the seat stays and some oatie cakes to keep me going were thrown in a bag and I was on my way.  I ran into Bolton got the train to Manchester and then ran to work. I don't know how people do Mountain Marathons running with a full rucksac is hard work.

The bike is lovely, reflective bits on and tyres changed - the ones on it look deadly in this weather!  Some chatting and I was off home, dropped into Cooksons to give them my spare Singletrack magazine and they were dead. In the door and it was a quick shower and change. Had a quick look at the Garmin and noticed I had done the journey at 15.2 mph - fast for me especially in the snow that was coming down. Gear felt fine so probably won't change it, had thought I would need to. But stayed seated for most of the climbing. Think fridays after a week of commuting will be hard though. Before you ask I rode it singlespeed, I need to practise fixed riding first I am too scared to try it on busy roads out of Manchester yet!

Then it was off to see Dr T, I had said I would go back after Christmas. Ali came this time, although she was late leaving work so I had to leave without her and she rushed in still in bike kit. Outcome was what I expected and I have to cope with that. But things are looking up again!

Now I need a plan for tomorrow any suggestions?

Sunday, 10 January 2010

More boarding in the Bolton Alps

After thinking through the options we decided to stay local for boarding today, I haven't really been on form so we decided to do without the stress of getting anywhere.  A few emails were sent out and Simon decided to join us.  So just after 10am we set out to the golf couse, I had my eye on another Golf Course but a few runs were needed on the way over.  One short run on a slope and we moved over.  Only thing missing in the Bolton Alps is some lifts so it meant some walking.

Still now the snow isn't deep powder - although there is still powder to be found - a longer run is possible.

After a while we were trying to jump off little rollers and having a great time. 

A lunch stop to rest the weary legs and it was back out again. Since the slopes were still quiet we weren't going anywhere!  Time to start playing in the bunkers, turns out it was a perfect kicker and some sessioning was had.

Back to the first slope for a who can glide the longest at the bottom fun.  Then a tree run and some snowangels, try and make a snowman, and me getting buried in snow time before we wandered back for some hot chocolates.

Another great day on the boards, think its time for more snow now please!

Thursday, 7 January 2010

Another snowy run

Plan today was for another run, I said I would go before lunch so just after 11am I was out.  Headed towards Affestside but didn't go the whole way it was very slow going!  Still lots and lots of snow!  Most of the paths are quite compacted and my shoes grip ok but still slide a bit.  Going up the hills it was more powdery and it was very slow going but great fun!  Out for an hour and left knee was making its presence known - fine now though.  So no ruuning for me tomorrow, I have training at the office anyway so will be riding.

Wednesday, 6 January 2010

Is the mojo back?

I've been in one of my not wanting to leave the house phases, its not been that much of a problem as Ali has been dragging me out to play and before that I had the cool bivvy trip to the peaks.  So today I needed to get back into it especially as I feel a little guilty I'm not out playing when kate would love to and can't.  A Horwich team mate said hi on his way past on a cross ride so I was feeling like I really should get out.  Running shoes on and I was off out.  Through Seven Acres and onto Leverhulme Park and back.  It was fantastic fun and the running went from firm snow - good surface to run on - to slush - rubbish and slippy - to deep powder - just so much fun!  I bumped into the horwich boys at Leverhulme - their brakes were not really working!  But they seemed to be having fun and it made me think I needed to ride again!

I got back slightly later than planned to messages from Ali wanting me to meet her at lunch for snowman making as she felt silly doing in on her own.  Since I am on go slow at the moment I was a little later than I meant to be and I soon had a grumpy Ali on my hands as the snow did not stick so no snowman!  Still she got to do a snow angel!

After she went back to work I ate my lunch and headed off to find the Middlebrook way.  After falling off in the snow a couple of times in a Cemetry I found the steps down.  These were interesting it was more like a slippy slide, I think I should have just sat down and slide down it!  The middlebrook way was lovely and rideable!

I came out in Horwich and debated riding back on the road but decided to head over to Rivi, climbed up near the School and then past the Lamas.

Up onto Georges Lane which involved a lot of pushing to get there.  Tried to decide if this was steep enough to board down?

Then onto Chorley Old Road which will be a dead trap in the morning as there will be a nice layer of ice on it!  Then onto the Bridleway down to Barrow Bridge.  It started fine, then I had to walk, then carry, then hold the bike above my head and wade through waist deep snow!!!!  At one point I was really guessing which direction to walk, I was glad it wasn't dark.  Rode the last section.  Well a couple of metres at a time before bailing into the snow!  Unfortunately by this point the camera batteries had died and I had forgotten new ones!

After Barrow Bridge it was carefully down the road to the ring road and then a scary ride home.  Some drivers seemed to think the conditions meant give me less room!

Great fun although very slow going I was out 3 hours and only covered just over 16 miles.  Hope this has brought the mojo back!

Tuesday, 5 January 2010

More boarding....

Just as I was about to make Ali's lunch and then think about running to her work via the bank there was a knock on the door.  Yes Ali was back!  She had got there and since only a few others had managed/bothered to get in she asked could she go home to play in the snow.  Fortunately her direct Boss is a snowhead too and said yes!!!  So it was breakfast number two and then back to the golf course for some more fun!  This time we didn't have the slopes to ourselves though as there were lots of people sledging!  But there was still some fresh stuff at the edge since the sledges just ground to a halt when they tried it!

When it got a little busier we moved over to the kicker we had found earlier, a bit of building and shaping and it was sorted.  After a while I was feeling a little more confident and was even just about grabbing my board - its so long since I've boarded I was amazed!  Ali did take some photos of this but managed not to save them as we were using my phone due to someone bringing a camera with no memory card in it!

When some sledgers started having a go at the kicker, no it didn't work!  We headed home for lunch both pretty hungry.  But no way were we staying in then, so it was off back out again.  Firwood fold where we used to live looked amazing as we walked/sledged through it.

The slopes were pretty tracked out then so we reclaimed the kicker and rebuilt but the run in was horrid, so we tried a longer run but it wasn't quite steep enough.  So it was back to the first slope we had tried in the morning.  It was now pretty quiet compared to the steep slope and still had some nice powder on it.  There were also a couple of lads trying to board on the hill.

It wasn't long before I spotted some powder in the trees so we ended the day with some tree runs.

Can't believe we had our very own snow day on our doorstep, over the course of last night and today I think about a foot of snow fell.  I have never known this much snow in England!

Early morning boarding

Last night it was snowing for a while so we went to bed and set the alarms for early (I thought 6am but Ali had set hers for 5:30am as she knew that she takes ages to get out).  So really early she dragged herself to the window says there was loads of snow but maybe we should go back to sleep.  I had a look and told her not to be silly.  So it was breakfast, snowboard gear on and out the door.  There was a good 4 inches of fresh powder and it was still snowing!

Over to the golf course and we tried the slope we had found on our walk, it was slightly hidden so we hadn't noticed it before.  With all the powder it wasn't quite as steep as we would have liked so it was on to another slope.  When Ali had come over before Christmas she had found it too steep.  With about 6 inches of fresh powder it was perfect.  It was hard work walking though, my calves were trying to cramp all the time!

Oddly enough we were the only ones there so it was fresh tracks for us.  As the slope got tracked out we headed over to another slope and had a go on a kicker that had been build by kids sledging the other day.  Great fun!

As time was getting on it was back to the longer slope for a couple more runs before rushing home, pushing a car out of a side road as we passed.  Ali changed into running gear - biking would be slow going with all the cars struggling - and headed off to work.

It's now snowing again so it might be night boarding later!

Sunday, 3 January 2010

Snowboarding in England?

Today I was meant to be at the cyclo-cross race in Todmorden.  But Ali had other ideas, after reading various facebook updates she wanted to go snowboarding.  Some time thinking about the options and the decision was made to go over to the mountain boarding centre near Halifax, as long as the snow didn't disappear.  So I was up at 7am to make us some Oatie cakes to keep us going through the day.  Ali gave them a quick ring and was told there was 2 inches of fresh stuff on a good base so we jumped in the car and headed over.  A quick stop on the way to pick up sandwiches as we had no bread in the house and we were soon in the tiny car park.  Only a handful of cars were there so I went in to pay while Ali got her kit on.  The guy was sorting out skis for a group but it was a case of me signing a disclaimer since I had my own kit.

Onto the slope and the first obstacle was a rope tow.  Something neither of us have used that much, me mainly when I was skiing!  I got to the top and eventually Ali made it up!!!  Time for first runs, I was very nervous as I hadn't been on a board since Feb 2008 and that was just in a fridge!

First run was fun and I was so happy to be back on the snow, even if the run was a little short!  I couldn't wait to head back up again.  I had remembered how to turn so all was good.

After a couple of runs we decided to investigate the run in the middle, no drag lift on this slope so a little walking from the top of the first slope, but it was worth it!  Frest powder and lumps and bumps to play on!

The day was spent playing in the snow, including Ali making a snow angel, in what had been till near the end our own personal powder run - think most other people didn't like the hike out of it!

As always Ali made her angel face first!

I would go back tomorrow if Ali hadn't made it clear that I better not even think about it!

I had almost given up on getting to play on my board again anytime soon.  But today was a perfect sunny day on the piste.

Friday, 1 January 2010

It's cold out there

My usual way of celebrating New Year is to go to bed early and sleep through it.  This year I suggested to Ali a little wild camping trip on the moors.  She wasn't impressed with the tent idea thinking that was a little soft.  But I pointed out I had never been wild camping so she agreed we could bring the tent and maybe use it.  What followed then was frantic packing and a trip to buy food and bubbles.  There was no choice in the food it had to be camp stew, this is ali's favourite for camping etc.  We also picked up a couple of bottles of bubbles, Ali saying one was enough but I insisted on two.

Back home and with a minimum amount of stressing from me we were ready to go.  I had all the food and bubbles, Ali the tent - something not quite right there?  All was going well as we spun along the roads, then we headed off road.  Ali at this point suggested going another way since it was icy.  I disagreed slightly, after some discussion we continued pushing the bikes along the icy path.  At one point Ali even resorted to crawling across the ice.

We eventually got to the Witton Weaver way and I suggested that it would take a long time to get to the spot of our last bivvy.  So instead I thought we should follow a new path, a little voice was asking if it was sensible but she still followed.  At about the same time we both pointed to a little plateau that looked ideal.  So the bikes were dragged up, a flat spot found and the tent erected.  Bedding out and it was time to cook.

The camp Stew was lovely and a combination of me bringing a lid and us being in the tent meant it cooked reasonably quickly.  Bubbles bottle One was finished before we started eating!  Bubble bottle two seemed to disappear quickly as well.

Soon we were snuggled in our sleeping and bivvy bags looking out over Winter Hill, till it started feeling colder.  Tent zipped up we fell asleep waking up to a load of banging, it must be the new year.  I had a look at the fireworks, but we were too high above them really.  Ali went straight back to sleep 10 seconds later.  So I got to listen to the fireworks on my own for about an hour.

I didn't feel like I had got to sleep and I was really missing having a pillow but suddenly a little voice was talking and it was 7am!  Next thing I know she is getting up to take Photos and telling me how pretty it was outside.

Soon I was even brave enough to stick my head out.

Since I was up it was time for me to eat so I started on the bacon (this time with rolls). 

After another while curled up in the warm sleeping bags the sun decided to join us, lighting up the frosty bikes.

Closely followed by some snow showers which prompted us to break camp.  Tent packed, everything else attached to my bag somehow we set out walking towards the road.

Then it was home along the road, carefully avoiding the odd ice patches.

What a lovely way to see in the New Year.

All ALi's pics are here.

Happy new year

Posted via email from trio's posterous