Monday, 31 December 2012

Day 7 (Rides 6 and &) - Tod CX

I didn't fancy Tod Cross this year, it was going to be a muddy one. But I had lots of friends heading over so I still decided to head over. I was hoping to catch up with Rich and minipips on the Rochdale canal but I was a bit late leaving so caught up with them at the race.

Ride over = 36km meaning only 37km left

After lots of chatting and food afterwards I set off back, weather was its usual wet and windy self. I was tempted to accept Ali's offer of a lift but I knew that if I rode back I could finish the challenge off. I didn't go the shortest way and there was one loop at the end to make sure but 38km on my Garmin and I had finished!

The challenge was harder than expected but it was great at getting me out on my bike, now for 2013!

Saturday, 29 December 2012

Rapha #festive500 Day 6 (Ride 5) - Riding with Minipips

Today I was hoping for another big day as I was riding home from my sisters. I have to admit I wasn't feeling enthusiastic about the challenge anymore but I had made plans to meet Rich and minipips for lunch in Ashbourne at 12noon. Waking up at 8am I wanted to continue hiding in bed, it sounded wet and windy. But I knew I had to get out seeing as there was no way minipips would bail. The first part of the journey was pleasant if I ignored the wind, nice country lanes and not too hilly (I'm always surprised how hilly round Coalville is). Then I got to Derby, somehow I ended up on the ring road on a flyover just as the rain became a deluge, nowhere to pull over I was glad I had my lights on. Once I negotiated Derby I found myself on lanes again and it even stopped raining! With perfect timing I arrived at the Ashbourne end of the tunnels for 12noon and my lunch date.

Ashbourne didn't seem to have any cyclist cafes so we ended up in Costa, which meant huge hot chocolates, before heading back up the Tissington Trail. Minipips showed us how its done, out-sprinting me to a bridge and having regular haribo stops! For most of the trail we were sheltered from the rain but once in a while we came out in the open and it hit us, still I was able to shelter behind minipips!

At the end of the Tissington Trail as back to loving cycling so I headed off to Buxton, then Whaley Bridge, then Disley, the Stockport, then home. I kept thinking about getting the train but I was having too much fun! Meant I got a big chunk of the festive500 done though.

155km rode today, thanks minipips for the company.

Friday, 28 December 2012

Day 5 (Ride 4) Rapha #festive500 Searching for brake pads

Arriving last night I noticed that my brake pads were more or less non-exsistant so today's plan was to head out and get some. I had promised my sisters dog I would take him running so it was only going to be a short ride. I looked up local bike shops and found one about 14km away which looked perfect. I detoured on the way there to get to 16km but on arrival it was shut. Nothing else was turning up on a search, unless I went to Loughborough itself, so I decided to try Halfords. They had the right pads so I'm all ready to ride home tomorrow.

30km today means I am 53% through the challenge.

Day 4 (ride 3) of the #festive500 was to my sisters

I was out of the house just after 9am with 125k to ride to get to my sisters, I was hoping to stretch it a bit further as I was behind on the challenge. I got 5mins down the road before I stopped and put full waterproofs on, safe to say I wasn't expecting to enjoy this ride. But my sister was expecting me so on I went. After 30k I spotted some services so I nipped in the back way, a hot chocolate and a bacon roll helped me feel better. It was nice and quiet, just me and a handful of truckers.

On I continued making my way along country lanes, feeling very slow but watching the miles count down. I detoured a bit from the planned route to add a few miles but still had the fun of riding through a busy Leicester. Just as I was arriving at Helen's I realised I had nearly no brake pads left, not good as you are coming downhill!

Just over 130k covered took me to 47% complete, still a lot of riding to do then!

Wednesday, 26 December 2012

Muddy, muddy, muddy

No riding today which means I still have a lot of miles to do for the Rapha #festive500. I did go for a run though, this off-road half-marathon is getting a little close. The training plan said 7.5miles so I headed out to the woods again, only I did a bit of exploring. Found some dead ends, did some loops and got my 7.5miles. The mud seemed even slipper than last time and it was slow slow slow. But time on my feet and all that.

Then in the afternoon I went for a walk followed by cream tea with Ali's mum. Feeling very full now!

Tuesday, 25 December 2012

Day 2 of the Rapha #festive500

I wasn't sure I'd get the chance to ride on Christmas Day, my Mother-in-law certainly didn't get it. But there was a gap while the others were cooking so I headed out, only had time for a quick 30k so I rode 15k turned round and came back. Turns out I rode 33k as my Garmin had frozen for a while on the way out. I was back in time to have a shower and make myself presentable for Christmas Dinner.

.....only (?) 397km to go.....

Monday, 24 December 2012

Ride 1 of the Rapha Festive500

Heading out from the Mother-in-Laws I just took the smaller looking roads. It wasn't long before before I came across road closed signs, making my way carefully I was followed by a car. As I splashed through water up to my knees I was glad to see, eventually, the car turned round. This was the first of many flooded roads, one that normally had a ford to cross had a nearly completely submerged car! Fortunately there was a pedestrian bridge for me!

So 71km done only 429km to go....

Sunday, 23 December 2012

Muddy Run

After a few days of feeling ill, sore throat, temperature etc I was feeling better today so I took myself out for a run. I'm down in Cambridge so the running was flatter than at home but once I got off-road it was muddy. The mud here is clay based and likes to try and grab your shoes. It was great fun though and gets me running again.

5.5miles, my training programme for the half-marathon said 7.5miles so I'm a little behind.

CSP Cyclo-Cross Waddow Hall

I had been looking forward to this race, for the first time I would be lining up on a start line for a women's only race. Not only had the organiser put on a race for us, despite being told by the league that there was no call for it, he had also ran a number of training sessions. Unfortunately I had only been able to make one of these. On the day I had talked Ali into entering as well, although she wasn't happy with me when I signed her up as apparently she hadn't quite decided. We did a quick lap of the course and hilly and slow going was my impression. It wasn't long before it was time to start, 21 of us lined up, then go. A sprint off the line and I was second heading onto the hill where we were all walking/running. But is wasn't long before Ali came past me.

I was then swapping position with another girl, being caught on the first part of the course, huge hill, but making time up on the downhill, while keeping the same distance behind Ali. Having practised my getting on and off my bike skills I was hopefully of not losing as much time as normal. It turns out I need a lot more practice, what is fine in a field near home is near impossible with my heart rate above 180bpm.
The second half of the course had one muddy techy descent and then lots of corners, I was pleased with my cornering and on the whole avoided braking. At some point Pauline came past me on the hill, running as \I stumbled my way up. My corner confidence led to me sliding off my bike trying to go past Emma still it was only mud.

The race finished after 40minutes, how can 40minutes of riding be so hard, with Ali finishing 3rd. I was in 6th and it certainly showed me I have lots to work on.
It was a fantastic race, Ali said if there was one every week she would race every week, praise indeed frrom someone who doesn't really enjoy racing.

So here's to next years race, or any other organisers who fancy putting on a women's only race.

All pictures are from @sportsunday

Monday, 17 December 2012

The Winter Solstice

I had entered this Audax last year but had woken up to snow and an email from the Organiser suggesting that it would be better not to ride. As Ali didn't think driving over was a good idea I went back to bed. Obviously I had to enter again this year even though it would make the weekend very very busy.

After ice earlier in the week it had warmed up and looked like it was going to be a nice, if wet day for the ride. Ali gave me a lift to the start and Mike was letting us start whenever so at about 8:55am I headed out. After riding on my own for a while I joined two lads who were chatting. Turns out one of them was one of the guys I had led back to the headquarters in the North-West Passage after coming across them lost in Rochdale. We were making good time when we were flagged down to be warned of ice. Making the decision that this must just be a freak road we headed round on the dual-carriageway and re-joined the route. Fortunately this was it for ice. It was here another guy joined us, unfortunately his friend had come off on the ice and smashed his helmet so was abandoning. We were making good time as a group and arrived at Old Ma's to not too long a queue, this was good as service wasn't exactly rushed. The wait was worth it though as the beans on toast was lovely.

Leaving here we were making good time and although I went backwards on the hills by this point I had been adopted as a human sat nav so the two stronger ones waited for me. We arrived in Market Drayton for the second cafe stop at the Morrisons and they laughed at me for being organised enough to have a lock! The fourth member of our little gang turned up just after us and we left together. having made good time meant that we rode the roughest road in the light which I think we were all glad about! The last stop was Mike and his wife and their horse box which had some very welcome mince pies.

Unfortunately about a mile from here we had our only real incident. A huge sunken drain got one of the riders in our group, he went down behind me and flew over the bars. Fortunately the car behind was able to stop. We got him out of the road and assessed the damage, lots of blood due to a split lip and a cut on his nose. We got him patched up, Chris went and got plasters, and then sorted out his bike. Amazingly the only problem with that was a punctured front tyre. We headed on our way again once he was feeling better. I made sure to report the hole this morning.

We rolled into the finish just after 7pm and Ali was waiting for me. It was perfect timing as 5minutes later it started to rain! I had a brilliant ride, thanks to the lads for letting me wheelsuck so much you were stronger than me! Now time to get entering some more Audax rides.

Moving Average 15.5mph
1600m of climbing
Total Time 10:10:55

Friday, 14 December 2012

Frost Riding

Another day when me and Sarah both had some free time so she came over here and we rode out to the Strawbury Duck. It was a perfect winter day, cold crisp and sunny. No real ice till we were nearly at the pub and Sarah rode down her first ever set of steps on her way out there. The Strawbury Duck itself was a little disappointing, chips were great but burger and fish fingers not so much. More ice on the way back but mainly avoidable. Great way to spend a day off.

Thursday, 13 December 2012

Christmas Ride

Hannah came over for a Christmas Ride and Pizza, she said 50miles was too long, I did suggest 49 and she didn't seem to bothered. But with Pizza to be eaten I led us on a slightly shorter ride. We even found a Christmas Tree to complete the ride.

Saturday, 8 December 2012

Zoom Zoom

Ali wanted to have a go on the Phillips Park trails so after collecting her bike from Cooksons we had a quick blast. 7.5miles my shortest ride in a long time but lots and lots of fun.

Cake and Berms

When I found out my friend wasn't working on Thursday I invited her over for some fun. The day started with lunch at Slattery's, lots of chocolately goodness (we did have 'good' food as well.

After that it was over to Phillips Park to try out the new trails in Hit the North land. Wow they are lots of bermy fun, I had a huge smile on my face, one section was so much fun we rode it three times.

Lovely way to spend a Thursday.

Wednesday, 5 December 2012

A long run

Running is something you should build up slowly, injuries being much more likely than biking. I obviously am rubbish at taking my own advice! After my couple of morning runs and then two Monday night runs (which were a big step up on their own) I agreed to meet Ros on Sunday for a 13mile run in the hills. Ali shaking her head at my stupidity offered me a lift over so that I didn't completely kill my legs.

It was a perfect frosty moment and most of the boggy bits were pretty solid. There was a little bit of ice dodging on the way over Winter Hill and Great Hill but on the whole nothing too slippy.

I was flagging near the end but had a great time. We got back to the smell of bacon and two little boys who wanted to get all their toys out.

Now to keep this running up.

Sunday, 2 December 2012

A muddy Morley Ride

After a bit of comparing diaries we came up with a date to go and ride over with our friends in Leeds, they warned us that it would be muddy so I knew it would be a little different to our local riding. We were there before ten but had the all important second breakfast before heading out.
The route was fantastic and yes very mudy, I failed at some hills and blamed my lack of singlespeed legs but actually I think the mud monsters grabbed my wheels and stopped me moving!
There was even a teeny-tiny stream crossing, the others sailed through it, I took three (maybe four) attempts and eventually did it. Not sure why I kept stopping I didn't want to walk it and get wet feet!
The turn-around point was an ice-cream farm. They had lovely waffle baskets where you chose three flavours of ice-cream! After that it was the best descent of the day, a little chilly due to the water flowing down it.

Then all that was left was more mud and more smiles before the best part of the day. Sarah had made an amazing chocolate cake! She even sent me home with extra. So now I need to ride with her every week for cake.......