Tuesday, 29 January 2013

A slushy, flooded Mere 200

So where to start, this was my birthday Audax so I got my entry in nice and early. Ali was away so I knew I would be riding to the start, only in the morning I struggled to get up and nearly left it too late! Anyway it has to be said on Saturday I could not imagine the event happening, there was so much snow. But the weather forcasters were correct and it did rain and melt away. So after a quick ride across Manchester I set out from Cheadle, just after the main pack due to a bit of faffing!

I passed a few people, said hi to a few, but was soon riding on my own, which is how I spent most of the day. There was a noticeable headwind already and I had put cross tyres on so I knew it wasn't going to be an easy day. At the first control in Delamere I stopped at the cafe, turns out most people didn't. I was hungry though and very glad I had on the next slog to Ellesmere. It was basically a long straight road into a headwind with no shelter at all! At the control here I chatted to a few lads before pushing on, I wanted to make the next cafe before it closed. At first it felt easy, I guess I had a tailwind but soon I found the floods. At first they weren't that deep, but it wasn't long before they were hub deep. After one I had to stop and take all the stuff from the flood out of my rear mech. Fortunately I made it to the Raven Cafe in time and ordered both a Bacon Roll and chips, I was hungry!

Leaving here it was lights on, although it was still pretty light, I came across a road closed sign due to a flood but feeling confident from before ploughed in, it wasn't long before I was up to my headset and then stuck! I waded back out and found my way round, I found out later I was nearly through it I just couldn't see round the corner.

As it got dark I was very glad of my exposure lights so I could see the potholes in the lanes and that I had charged my Garmin a bit at the last control. I love night riding though and it wasn't long before I was back on the outskirts of Wimslow and then at the hall in Cheadle. The usual lovely finish where we were fed soup and sandwiches as I looked up train times, only to find it was a replacement bus service and I would be riding home.

166miles recorded on the Garmin, which died two miles from home, very sore legs and a big smile!

Saturday, 26 January 2013

More Birthday Snow

This time the snow came for my birthday and there was a lot of it. Watching it fall last night cars were struggling up our road, a major road out of Bolton! This morning the road had obviously been ploughed but at least 8inches had fallen. Ali is down at her mum's so any adventure was on my own. I decided to run up to Affetside.

The first bit through the Golf Course and then Jumbles there were people about. But once I started up the hill I had virgin snow. Not that there was much running, deep snow and running is hard!

At the top I headed down the way I couldn't find going up the other week, soon the snow was knee deep. It was great fun trying to run!

7.5miles in total and out for over two hours! Hoping legs aren't too sore tomorrow as I have a ride planed.

Tuesday, 22 January 2013

Playing in the Snow

After an amazing weekend in the snow it was unlikely that Monday could be as good but as it was Ali's birthday I was hoping that there would at least be some snow. We woke up and there was quite a lot near us. Unfortunately the birthday girl had to go to work so I rode in with her and then went shopping on the way home. I rode in to meet her for lunch, the plan being to build a snowman but having been told they could have a short lunch and finish early plans were changed.

Just after 3pm I met Ali and we headed over to Barrow Bridge, climbing up I was soon walking. Partway up we had a stop for Ali to make snow angels, I almost wished we had our snowboards with us as the slope looked perfect! Carrying on we headed up on Winter Hill, there was some really deep snow, but the actual road to the mast had been gritted. Back down the Belmont descent involved lots of sliding off and Ali ended up in a ditch at one point. There was lots and lots of giggling.

From here we headed over to Ciao Baby (previously Barroco's). We were definetly the only people there in waterproof trousers! It was okay but nothing special but I got to have pizza!

Then all that was left to roll back to Bromley Cross and along the railway singletrack, we were getting a little cold on the way back.

More please!

Saturday, 19 January 2013

Anglesey Trail Run

Friday and the snow is coming down, there is a red snow warning for Anglesey and we're meant to be running a half-marathon (actually 15.5miles) there on the Saturday. We decided to head down and see how we got on as they had confirmed the race would be running. Conditions on the A55 were difficult but driveable. We got within half a mile of the B&B but the last hill defeated Mel so we parked in a layby and walked up. We knew that it was going to be a snowy run on the Saturday.

Just before dinner we recieved an email, the race was now cancelled but they would have the 10k course marked out and we were welcome to run it in pairs/groups. So on Saturday morning Richard who runs the B&B gave us a lift over and we met up with Pauline, Greg, Tom and Jenn. It was a lovely winter wonderland and probably the slowest 10k I'll ever run. Lots of fun and lots of smiles up on the mountain.

Monday, 14 January 2013

Sunday, 13 January 2013

Riding in the Dales

I've only rode in the Yorkshire Dales a couple of times and its always been nice riding so when I planning a ride with Hannah and Norn I realised Gargrave was a similar time from all of us so an ideal meeting point. Ali and I were a little late leaving but with clear roads were there just after 10am and in the right car park. After the usual amount of faffing (lots in my case) we set out.

The route basically went up for 7.5miles and then mainly down for 7.5miles. It was a perfect day for it and I think that some of the sections would be a lot harder if they hadn't been frozen. At first we were on tracks but there were some sections across moorland.

I was on my singlespeed as its currently my only mountain bike in the bike room that is working. Meant I was a little anti-social climbing as I had no choice but to go at a certain speed till I toppled off and had to walk. I think the others enjoyed having suspension for the downhills as well. The frozen ruts seemed very good at grabbing wheels!

All that was left once we were back at the car was to go to the cafe for food, cake, hot chocolate and tea.

Lovely day and 16miles according to my Garmin.

Wednesday, 9 January 2013

Superman Impressions

Just as I was thinking I really should go running yesterday morning my friend tweeted about running later. So plans were changed and Ali and I went running with Ros in the evening. Ali had already ran 3miles with her friend so was warmed up as we headed up Winter Hill. At least that's my excuse for them both being faster than me up the hill! It was very misty which made it hard to see using the head torches. Heading down the hill I went flying, but unlike Superman I can't fly so just ended up lay in the mud! Felt a little dizzy so instead of doing my usual just carry on and end up falling over I sat down for while. But I was fine and we were soon heading downhill again.

5.5miles covered....Anglesey is only 15.5miles....eek

Saturday, 5 January 2013

Muddy Morely Miles

Today me and Ali headed over to Morley for the Garage Bikes girls ride. This meant last night I was changing the tyres on Ali's bike as on the last Morley ride she was sliding everywhere. It was an early start but we were organised and out on time. We took over the shop a bit, there were ten of us in total.
The ride was very muddy, I'm sure Sarah just found all the muddiest bits of trail she could. The weather was lovely, mild warm and even the sun made an appearance. Lots of slipping and sliding around and even more smiles.

Back at the shop and we had cake before going out for a late lunch. Lovely day, I just had two very muddy bikes to wash when I got home!

Friday, 4 January 2013

Riding the Rochdale Canal

A nice early start for me this morning as I was meeting Hannah at Sowerby Bridge at 10am. Riding over it was very misty up on Blackstone Edge, I also realised halfway up that I couldn't shift into my smallest ring at the front. Arriving at the station I was straight into the cafe to order food and Hannah arrived just in time to give me the extra pound I needed to be able to pay for the food (silly me forgot to check I actually had enough money with me)!
We set off and found the basin which was the start of the canal, the plan at this point was to ride it all the way into Manchester and then see how we got on with riding back. Just as we passed the sign telling us we were in Hebden Bridge when Hannah called out that she had a puncture. She fixed it and we were on our way...not for long though as it went flat again. This time we checked carefully and only found one place that might be a thorn, not that it was sharp, so we put some magic ducktape on. This time it stayed up....till just before summit, yes another puncture! We decided to ride as far as summit and then head back to Hebden Bridge for food.
We bumped into Emma at Hebden Bridge and then had some lovely burgers for lunch. Then back to Sowerby Bridge for another hot chocolate before I got the train back to Rochdale.
So 67miles, 30 of them was very muddy!

Wednesday, 2 January 2013

Getting a little lost running in the dark

As is typical with me I waited till it was nearly dark to head out running, my training plan said 7.5miles so I decided to head up to Affetside, I remembered the route, or so I thought. By the time I got to where I couldn't quite remember it was dark. I thought I found the footpath but no it ended in a fenced in field. A bit more following of deadends and I decided it was a little silly without a map or good knowledge so I dropped back down into Harwood. Back through the golf course with 5.5miles on my garmin and a smile on my face.