Monday, 29 April 2013

Last run and ride over Winter Hill

I'm going to miss my Monday night runs with Ros. It keeps me running as I haven't had the motivation to go on my own and it is great getting out into the hills.

Since I've now finished work I was inside all day packing (and falling asleep on the sofa) so I rode over on my mountain bike. It was nice to get some off-road miles and ride some of the trails that feel like mine after so many years of riding them.

Sunday, 28 April 2013

Mrs garage Bikes birthday Ride

It was Sarah's birthday on Friday but today was her birthday ride. A huge crowd of 23 met at Garage Bikes to headover to the ice-cream farm. The ride over was the usual Morley fare except it was dry so there was no mud, poor Sarah had to cope with dry dusty trails on her birthday and we all know how much she loves mud!
At the ice-cream farm a cake was produced, candles and a lego cyclist meant it was the perfect cake for Sarah, unfortunately the lego cyclist crashed at some point!

Then all that was left was to ride back, which meant a lovely rocky descent and some more dry dusty trails.

Lovely day. Thanks to Sarah for having a fab birthday ride, Al for fitting a new bottom bracket for me when we got back and Ali for driving me over in the morning so I could get there!

Thursday, 25 April 2013

An evening ride over to Entwistle

Hannah was over and Ali decided to join us on the ride. So as not to kill Ali as she isn't very fit at the moment we headed over Entwistle way. I managed to take them on some new trails to them and the sun came out. Nice seeing as it was raining this afternoon when I was out with the kids and drizzling on the way home.

A nice 12mile ride and back home for pizza.

Wednesday, 24 April 2013

Question of Sport

Ali loves Question of Sport so I always apply got tickets when its on, up till now I've never got any (it is very oversubscribed). This time though I got tickets for the 5:15pm show. We both had the day off work so got there nice and early to make sure we got in, they send out more tickets than spaces as some people won't turn up. Ali almost had us in the queue for the earlier recording. Once that queue had cleared we went in and found out it wasn't full and we could go to that screening but that might mean we wouldn't get into the later one we had tickets for but that we might see two. Easy decision then! It was fabulous. I enjoy watching it on tv but it was even better and funnier in real life.

Coming out they were saying if anyone wanted to come in again that you could do. Ali asked if it was seperate tickets to sit behind the teams, next thing we knew we were being squeezed in behind where Matt Dawson sits! When he came out he even asked Ali which team her football shirt was, Cambridge United of course. You really feel part of the action.

After that screening we thought the next one would be full, there were no obvious seats in the one we had just seen. But no the girl on the door said there was and we saw our third recording of the day.

Fantastic day, I had a very exciteable Ali all day.

Monday, 22 April 2013

Happy Birthday Garage Bikes

The wonderful Garage Bikes is two years old today. Happy Birthday!

Sunday, 21 April 2013

Plains 300k Audax

I rode this event in 2010 and remember really enjoying it, yesterday while I was trying to stay awake till the start at 11pm I was wondering what had possessedme to enter it again. I was riding my lovely Kermit with road tyreson.

It wasn't long before we were on our way and soon I was riding with a small group for the first section, we weren't going as fast as last time but I felt strong.
First stop was at Whitchurch and I chose to go to McDonalds as we could go inside, get a hot drink and use the toilets. After this I was mainly riding with one other, although a lot of the time we were about 50m apart, it was nice to see another set of lights though. As we approached Newtown the sun started to rise, unfortunately behind us but I did stop and take a picture.
At Newtown I once again chose McDonalds instead of getting cold on a garage forecourt. From here it was back to Dinky's and on to the Garden Centre at Radway for Cake. I was riding alone but seeing familiar faces when I stopped.
My navigation strategy seemed to work well, I left Buttons in charge!
Unfortunately once home my Garmin won't upload, there appears to be a problem with the USB port, guess tomorrow I'll have to contact Garmin!

Still 313k covered, 15hrs 5mins total time, not sure how much moving time but I know I probably had about two hours stopped in cafe's etc!

Thanks so much to Garage Bikes for helping me build such a fantastic bike!

Saturday, 20 April 2013

A Sunny Winter Hill Evening Ride

Hannah was over and I'd said I'd take her down the Belmont descent on her bike where the forks work. So we headed up via Smithills. It was a perfect evening, th wind had dropped, the sun was out and the trails were dry and dusty. Heading down the descend Hannah was right on my rear wheel the whole time, it's been washed away a lot and there are some big drops and lots of rough rocky stuff. I didn't feel like I was descending that well though.

Back home and it was time for pizza, followed by icecream after I decided I had to have chocolate icecream! Lovely evening.

Wednesday, 17 April 2013


Ali was off down south to cheer her sister on at the Brighton Marathon on Sunday as I was working on Saturday I couldn't go with her so plans were made not to leave me alone. Saturday after work I headed off to Leeds to see Bella, Al, Jem, Sarah, Hannah and Norn (the last three had been out playing in the woods in the afternoon. We spent the evening pizza and chatting before I headed off to York with Hannah and Norn.

Sunday and after a lazy start to the day, including cake for second breakfast me and Hannah headed out on bikes so Hannah could show me how hilly York is, this invoved going over the bypass loads to get some climbing in. There was also some bridges across the river, I wasn't allowed to jump off them though!

Then it was time for lunch, we met up with Norn and after sandwiches it was time for dessert. I had to have the trio dessert! I choose Chocolate Cake, Lemon Cheesecake and Crumble. All of them were delicious but it meant that riding back (the long way) felt hard work!
All that was left was for me to get the train home, I had been organised andbooked both the train and my bike on it. Train was nice and quiet anyway so it wouldn't have been a problem. The rack was different to any I had seen before!
Once home I was still too full to eat any more so it was straight to bed!

Friday, 12 April 2013

Playing on Ruby

When Ros suggested a ride afte work tonight I thought I'd ride Ruby for a change. She has been a bit neglected as her wheels were on snowy. Ali was a star and changed the cassette onto the wheels and I got the tyres on. After a bit of searching I managed to find a front QR skewer so I was ready to go. Wow I'd forgotten how lovely she was to ride I almost felt like I was dancing up the hills. 27miles and the rain stayed away, I'd forgotten how nice it was to go for an evening road ride.

Wednesday, 10 April 2013

Into the Mouth of Madness

Another Wednesday ride with Greg, this time I suggested exploring Prestwich Clough after geocaching round there on Monday. We followed that by a lap of Hurst Woods and some of the Phillip's Park trails. After lunch we headed off to collect a cache that Tony and Jenny had shown me the entrance to on Monday but we didn't have the torch you needed to get to the actual site.
After putting plastic bags on our feet we headed into the tunnel which took us under the M60. It felt a long way walking bent double, probably a little easier for me than Greg! Eventually we reached the chamber where we climbed up to the cache, logged our visit and Greg dropped off a travel bug. The journey back felt shorter and we were soon scrambling back up to the bikes.

A unique cache and I was glad I wasn't on my own!

Then it was time to head home, feet a little soggy even with the bags, with a few detours to explore Moses Gate Park since it was a lovely sunny day.

Tuesday, 9 April 2013

A mini adventure

I suggested to Sarah a little mini-adventure for our ride today so we could give Al a hand in Garage Bikes in the afternoon. So just after 6:30am I was out of the house and for the first time in ages had lights on, not to see but to be seen as lots of cars had their lights on. I was meeting Sarah at Sowerby Bridge station so I had the fun of a headwind and Blackstone Edge to ride up. It was cold at the top and I was regretting my choice of shoes on the descent.

After meeting Sarah and a quick bacon teacake it was time for some exploring. I had plotted a route between Sowerby Bridge and Morley using the canal, cycle paths, roads and some off-road sections. The canal was lovely to ride along, tarmac most of the way, only one point when we missed a bridge over to the other side and ended up on the road. But soon the fun started, to cross the M62 we ended up crossing a golf course and then climbing over a fence. Further on we had a path so narrow all we could do was pop the bikes up on their back wheels and push them through while we breathed in.

All that was left was to get from Batley to Morley, turns out it is hilly! Untill today I hadn't noticed that normally it involves going through a tunnel on the train! Then it was cuddles with Bella Dog, lunch and then time to help Al with some bike building.

Lovelly day 43miles for me in total on the way over and a bonus 12miles riding back from Rochdale train station in the evening.

Monday, 8 April 2013

Kermit comes Geocaching

I haven't been geocaching for ages so obviously neither had kermit! I met up with Jen (from work) and Tony to tick off some of the caches round Phillips Park. Although I have ridden through here loads I have found none of the caches! I had downloaded the caches onto my old Garmin which is perfect for caching but sometimes turns itself off on rough terrain so not ideal for navigating. It wasn't long before we were pushing our bikes over rough ground to the first cache and it was a find. (Jen and Tony have become experts since I introduced Jen to it back when we were doing risk assessments over in Liverpool).

Then it was time for the next one, in typical trio fashion I headed in a straight line, which then involved a bit of scrambling with the bikes. Although we were all on cross bikes Kermit didn't have a rack, pannier and mudguards which made it a bit easier for me!
Lots more caches and discovering parts of the area I didn't even know exsisted, some that look like they'll be lots of fun on the mountain bike, we came out on Bury New Road. Realising it was 1pm, no wonder I was hungry we headed to the pub. Jen had the odd combination of soup and chips, although she wasn't dipping her chips into her soup as I had imagined ;-)

After lunch it was more caching including looking at one that needs to be saved for another day as we needed a torch! Then realising the time I headed home. Having been warm yesterday and seeing Sarah riding in 3/4's and a t-shirt I went for 3/4's today. Not sure it was as warm and the brambles maybe liked my leg a little too much! Still it is the first time this year my legs have even been out a little bit, but back to tights tomorrow I think.

I won't leave it so long till my next geocaching adventure, 19 caches found. Thanks for the company Jen and Tony.

Sunday, 7 April 2013

Rocks, converted railway lines, roads, cake and friends

Originally we had a Dales ride planned but after a Bank Holiday spent climbing over snow drifts Sarah fancied something rideable, fair enough I guess. A group of us (Me, Al, Sarah, Vikki, Ali Mills and my Ali) met at Dove Stones for a nice 34miles pootle. To warm up I rode over, it was a perfect morning and felt like it was going to warm up. The first section was mainly Pennine Bridleway over to Tintwistle. It was mainly nice wide, dusty trails with some fun rocky descents, here I was very glad of my disc brakes but Al was having the most fun on his full sus!

There were a couple of bits of snow where we had to walk but mainly there was a path to the side. The snow also seemed to come just on the uphill when we were ready for a rest!

Onto the trans-pennine trail and we were all glad of some flat riding, oh actually slightly uphill riding along the converted railway. It wasn't long before that ran out and we had a nice switchback climb up to another bridleway, the road looked as if it may have been the easier option when we descended back to join it.

Linking up side roads we dropped into Holmefirth and the long awaited cafe. Ali had been finding it hard by this point, something to do with working away meaning very little riding this year, so was extremely happy to reach the cafe. She tucked into soup, followed by quiche, followed by two scones! Sarah of course had to have tea!

All that was left then was 4.5mile uphill on tarmac, followed by 4.5miles downhill on tarmac.

What a fantastic day in the sunshine. 22miles to the ride and 34miles of riding gave me 56miles for the day.

Saturday, 6 April 2013

Forest of Bowland ride.....aka Killing Hannah off....

A conversation on twitter led to the rough plan of a ride in the Forest of Bowland yesterday, as long as I wasn't working. I had plotted a route taking in Waddington Fell and the Trough of Bowland, to be kind to Hannah who lives in the flatlands of York we rode the hilliest section of the route before the cafe stop. An email from Ros the night before saying that she wasn't feeling great gave me a glimmer of hope the ride might be cancelled, I really wasn't feeling like it, but I knew if that was the case Hannah would turn up and give me no option but to get out of the house.

The day looked sunny out and Ros collected me and we were soon on our way to Waddington where we met Hannah, who couldn't read my mind and bring me a second breakfast, still she shared her chocolate which is something I can barely understand. Before we set off it started raining, hmmm it had been sunny in Bolton! But as soon as we headed up the hill the rain went and we had a lovely day for the ride, the wind had even dropped a bit since Thursday.
Although there was bits of snow on the hills the roads were completely clear, you just had to be careful of excess grit on some of the corners when descending.

Pulling into Scorton we all ready for the cafe stop. Three lasagne's filled us up nicely but the others decided it would be rude not to join me in cake. I had decided in anywhere with three types of chocolate it was compulsory to have cake!

Leaving the cafe the hills weren't as big but it definetly wasn't flat. Hannah's legs were starting to complain a little but she seemed to still be smiling so I assumed she was enjoying herself and kept talking at her! Back to Waddington and cars packed me headed off, me and Ros to Bolton and Hannah back to the flatlands of York.

Reminded me how much I love the roads out that way, must make sure I get out again soon.

Friday, 5 April 2013

Visiting Baby Alic

It'd been a while since I'd seen Kat, last time she was heavily pregnant now she has a tiny little baby. I got the train to Clitheroe and rode over to Skipton, the headwind made it really hard work and deciding to leave the A59 and take back roads led to snow drifts and a huge hill.

Alice slept most of the day, only waking up to eat. We took her out for a walk round the village and before I knew it it was adter 8pm. Hence a fast ride to the station, my front tyre seemed a little soft but I made it with minutes to spare for the 9:40pm train, a late night for me but not as late as if I'd had to wait for the one an hour later.

Lovely day with lovely baby cuddles.

Wednesday, 3 April 2013

Playing in Phillip's Park

It's been a rough few days which has also meant I haven't been on my bike since my last commute. This isn't a road I want to go down so today I made plans to meet Greg at Phillip's Park. Riding down I was getting pretty warm so once we met at the berms I took a layer off. Lots of laps of the blue and red stuff and some new bits for greg before a Costa lunch.

Then I headed home, had a little crash where I must of caught a bar end, it came right off, a few minutes sat down, a few tears and I was feeling fine. It took me a while to find the bar end but it went back on fine.

Plans are made to repeat next week