Tuesday, 20 November 2012

Running off-road in the dark

Ros and Vikki keep inviting me running so after doing a few morning runs I decided to give it a go this Monday. Turned out it was just me and Ros as Vikki is injured. We ran from Ros's so it was straight up the hill. Along a bit down a bit, more along, more up. It was muddy in parts, slippy leaves over rocks in park. But most of all it was lots of fun. Going to try and make the effort to meet up more often.

Taking a moment to enjoy the view

Working in Liverpool today, its ages since I've been over so I was looking forward to the commute. Used my muddy shortcut past Carr Mill in both directions. On the way it was misty over the water so I stopped for a while. On the way home I sat on the wall and watched the red sky sinking. Sometimes its important to stop and appreciate the world.

Saturday, 17 November 2012

CX Training

After being inspired by last weekends cross training I was determined to practise my skills. So today I headed out to a local park with Ali for support. I started off with practising dismounting, over an obstacle and remounting. I'm still having to think about it but it is feeling easier. After that it was time for dismounting, shouldering the bike and carrying it up the hill, I would say running but it was more like shuffling. But I was managing the getting off my bike and getting it on my shoulder without stopping moving.
I finished off with practising starts. Ali counted down and we raced to the other end of the football pitch, obviously she beat me everytime but hopefully not everyone can sprint as well as she can!

The next women's session is next saturday at Townley Park in Burnley, I can't wait and hope there will be lots of people there.

Monday, 12 November 2012

A Saturday spent Geocaching

Originally when I got up on Saturday it was foggy and not looking promising out but once Ali got up the sun came out and we decided to go and tick off some more local geocaches. It was a perfect Autumn day and reminded us how pretty it is near us and how we can have mini-adventures from home.
I managed to find a rope swing and couldn't resist.
We discovered some local history.
Enjoyed our cake with a view.
Watched Ali try and dive into a muddy puddle.

It was a lovely day, we finished it off by going out for dinner in the evening.

Sunday, 11 November 2012

Today I went Cross Training

I've done a few cross races over the years, sometimes I love it and sometimes I hate it but the one thing I don't have is any cross skills. I'm not too bad at descending due to mountain biking but anything that involves you getting off your bike and everyone streams past me. When I saw that there was a women's cross training session being organised in Burnley I realised this was the perfect time to learn some skills. So this morning I headed out into the fog. By the time I got to Burnley they weather was lovely. About eight of us gathered ready to start our training.
First I had a slight mechanical, trying to let some air out of tyres I let too much out, oops. But then pumping it back up the valve broke in the pump, it took a lot of pulling to get it off, but once that was done and a new tube in and I was on my way.
I'd just missed remounting but we were on to dismounting. It was explained well and then we had to practice. I surprised myself and after a bit of practice I was confidently doing it without having to unclip the left foot before I even thought about it. Then it was time to put it together with a little hurdle. The first time I forgot to pick my bike up I was so concentrating on getting off my bike, oops. It's great what a bit of practice can do and I was almost feeling smooth at the end. Definetly something that is worth me practising as I lose lots of time at any hurdles.
Then we looked at how to carry our bikes, my water bottle was in the way and it was nice to hear I had come up with the right method for the three peaks. We also practised picking up and putting the bike down, another skill to practice that will definetly save time.
After all this we went for a ride, got ourselves muddy and finished with some descending.
It was a really useful and enjoyable session so thanks to Mark and Alan. There will be another session at 10am in Townley Park Burnley on Saturday 24th November, any women welcome you don't need a cross bike just something you can ride off-road.
Mark is also organising the only round of the NWCA CX league to have a women's only race. That is on the 15th December in Waddington, it'll be great to get some good numbers and show that there is demand for women's races.

Monday, 5 November 2012

Sub-Zero commute

This morning it never went above freezing on my commute, I had decided to chance the off-road cut-through and it wasn't too muddy. Most of the puddles had ice on them and I even managed a spot of geocaching on the way. The light was amazing and reminded me once again how much I love this time of year.

Saturday, 3 November 2012

A Delamere Reece

I'm leading a ride out in Delamere later in the month, the last time I had been out there was last year when I was leading a ride for the same group. On that ride some of the singletrack had been shut off just days after I had checked it out. This meant I might have to find a completely new route. Ali had come up with the fantastic suggestion that I did it on Saturday instead of Friday and then she could join me. After checking with work that was fine I had a lovely Friday and got my Garmin and maps ready. This morning I had Ali out early and we were riding just after 9am.

We parked up just past where I would be leading the ride from and after a false start that involved some skinny bridges and lots of mud we found a rideable start. It was still very muddy and this would be the theme of the day. The first bit worked well and I found a couple of areas for skills practice. But it wasn't long before were trying to follow singletrack that didn't exist. There was lots of back and forth, exploring and carrying but eventually we had linked some nice bits of singletrack up with the fireroads. Poor Ali was full of a cold and getting hungry so we nipped to the station cafe for some lunch.

Bacon Rolls and Cake were the order of the day and certainly perked Ali up. The forest was getting busy by this point and we started passing lots of runners. Turns out Hell Runner was on. So we did our best to stay out of their way. Most of them looked a lot muddier than us!

Ali was taking the risk assessment part seriously and decided to see what happened if she fell off, turns out she ended up lay in a bog with her bike on top of her while I took pictures! No harm done she was just a little muddier than before.

Getting back to the start we headed round again, could I make our wanderings into a flowing loop. On the whole it went well. Only a couple of wrong turns which were quickly spotted. The forest was getting even busier and we even passed loads of huskies (so cute) getting ready to race. Unfotunately as we were using part of the track which was about to be closed for the race we didn't get to go round again so I will probably nip out once again before the ride to ensure I know where I am going.

The leaves were a lovely colour and it was a lovely place to ride, if very muddy! Now we're home I have to write up the risk assessment, oddly Ali says I can do that bit on my own!