Sunday, 28 April 2013

Beast me Baby.......

Was the request from Wors and Toss earlier this month. They had been chatting in the pub about how long it had been since we did a full on Lakes epic, and decided to get their shit together and organise one.

In a remarkably short amount of time we all managed to get a date when we would be able to ride, so Saturday 27th was to be the date. I couldnt decide between some hardcore carrying around the Newlands or something a bit more straightforward. As it was, Danny lead the Boggies on the Helvellyn traverse the week before and it whetted my appitie so Helvellyn it was. All we needed was the weather.

Rather omniously, the forecast for Friday was for a snow band to pass over the Lakes, but Saturday was looking fine. We decided to chance it.

JD joined us also and we managed to find a greasy van for a cracking Bacon and Sausage to start the day off.

Over Kirkstone and it quickly became obvious that there was indeed a bit of snow up on the hills, but not enough to bother us. Parked up at the lay-by  just after Glenridding and got kitted up.

Was pretty windy to be honest and a touch chilly too so we all layered up.

Within 5 mins of the climb up to Dockray, everyone was stopped and stripping off. Long steady climb this was to get the heart pumping and we were soon at the start of the coach road. Couple of geordie lads caught us up here and we had a good crack with them. Turns out they were planning to doing the same route, but had never done it before.

Next up Brutts Moss. This has the capacity to swallow you whole and belch contentedly afterwards. Those of us light enough and careful enough got through no problem. Unfortunatly, JD did not resemble any of those descriptions and the big blundering oaf went in up to his bollocks. Unfortunately I wasnt around to see his sinking, but Toss regaled us with the commentary  Apparently he was cursing the hill, the path, me and life in general. Seriously though, turned out he tweeked his hip when he was being sucked off and the poor lad was struggling for the rest of the climb. The rest of the climb being a fucking brutal tussle with Great Dodd. All 2800' of it. I was pretty glad to see the top actually and the whole of the Dodd's ridge stretched out before us right up to Helvellyn itself on the horizon.

Undulating ridge ride past Stybarrow and Watsons Dodd, and we sped down to the top of Sticks Pass. Here JD had to retire. He was in to much pain and it would have been fool hardy for his to continue up the 2 biggest carry;s of the ride. I was actually pretty jealous of him though as he got to ride Sticks, which I have been meaning to tick off for ages now.

Shouldered the bikes for the pull up onto Riase. It was hard work but over pretty quick and then a quick spin before the final pull up Lower Man. The summit was now in sight and the sun even came out to help us celebrate getting there.

Butties in the shelter and we had a spin to the Gough Memorial for the classic view of Striding edge before we headed over to Nethermost and Dollywagon. Was great high level riding in glorious conditions, we really were lucky with the weather.

I knew what was coming up and was pretty circumspect with my riding. Toss gave Dollywagon a fucking good go and I reckon Jase probably cleared 90% of it with some great riding. But the water bars did for me. Was good fun egging each other on though.

At the bottom we were stright into the natural techy Grisedale descent. This was much more up my street and we all really enjoyed this bit. Multiple different lines down bedrock and loose scree, it was fucking ACE! It did however beat you up and was pretty energy sapping. Toss's legs started to shake uncontrollably here, much to mine and Wor's amusement.

After Ruthwaite Lodge the trails evened out and bit and we had a great spin back to the car. As a great end to the day, we called into Hawkshead Brewery for some fine ale. A fine way to end a perfect day.


Wednesday, 24 April 2013

A Ride full of reflection

Nice evening on Tuesday, trails were dry, time was however short. After Sundays crushing news though, I was determined to get a spin out.

Pretty straightforward solo ride up to the hill and down San Marino, but had a lot of thinking time. Thinking of the rides we did with Dave and the Darlington crew. Every one a great ride out. Also thinking about the fragility of life and the stark reminder that we are all mortal.

This life is no rehearsal, we dont get second chances... so we need to live it to the full. I'm fortunate that I have a hobby that allows me to do that and blessed with great friends who make it that bit better.

I'm told that Dave carried a quote in his wallet by James Dean.... it read "Dream as if you will live forever, live as if you will die today."

Very apt.

Monday, 22 April 2013

A Sad Day - Dave Johnson RIP.

After Saturdays ace ride out, I got the crushing news that Dave (Deejay) Johnson had passed away. A complete bolt out of the blue.

I'd not spoke to Dave for a while and after my domestic implosion in Jan / Feb 2011 and subsequent non riding so I never got chance to sort out a ride with the Darlington guys.

He was fit as a fiddle, one of the best riders I have ever ridden with. Moreover he was a true Gent and a finer guy you could not hope to meet. He was always a bit of an inspiration to me too. As we all get older, we wonder how much longer we will be able to pursue our beloved sport. Dave was living proof that age is no barrier to being a shit hot rider.

I first met Dave on a ride around Grizedale that was arranged on STW. A small group which included Junkyard, Ton, Steve, SFB, Donk, Yoshimi and Faz. Was a brilliant day out and I remember Dave just sitting in the group at our pace and having a great crack with him. His knowledge of the trails of northern England was astonishing.

We arranged a ride around Rivington next and the subsequent rides, all arranged on STW, became known as the STW Northern Chapter rides. These grew in popularity which kind of became the very reason why they died off. Instead, we often arranged rides via emails or calls and each one was a total pleasure.

I cant believe that after the Rammy ride with G and Mart last Wednesday we were chatting about him in the pub, and a few days later we get the terrible news.

Ride on mate... you will be deeply missed by all whos pleasure it was to ride with you.




Saturday, 20 April 2013

The Four Towers

Forecast for Saturday morning was belting. Unfortunately non of the lads could make a ride so it was to be a solo. The night before I hadnt really got anything planned, but waking up early on the Saturday and seeing the sun shining through the curtains I decided on making the most of it.

Bike fully fixed and I was feeling pretty fit from all the cycling I have been doing so I thought I'd have a bash at the Four Towers, but in reverse. I was a little panicy about being back in time to pick Jazzie up from work, but it turned out I would be well on the right side.

Dropped into the valley and climbed up past the Last Drop. Lots of walkers about enjoying the sunshine and the trails were bone dry. Through the gold course and dropped down to the Witton Weavers. Climbed halfway up and took the path down to Victoria Mill. Only ever climbed up this way, but it was a good little down hill actually.

Into Chapeltown and over the dam. Still water reflecting a lovely blue sky.


Now started the climb up to Crowthorn and the body farm. Legs felt very strong here and middle ringed it all the way up. Superb view from the top, but the wind had picked up from nowhere and made the path round the horseshoe a bit more like hard work.

At the fork I decided on going up to Pilgrims cross and hitting Peel tower from the Bull hill side. Was a bit concerned about the boggyness, but neednt have bothered as it was pretty dry and was riding really well.

Dropped down to the second tower (peel) and realised that I hadn't actually visited Turton! Cockend.

I took the rocky track down to the start of the return round the horseshoe and it was fucking great fun. Bike felt brilliant with the shock now serviced and my new front brake finally giving me a bit of confidence to fly down here.

Passed a couple of jocksters on the Horseshoe and swapped pleasantnesses. Was soon at the top of Crowthorn again for the sprint down to Wayoh. The steep climb up to the Duck was a lot easier than I thought it would be but the chute up to Cadshaw was pretty hard work.

Up the Bastard and it was at this point that I started to perhaps realise that my legs were feeling great. I didnt even stop at the top for a breather, just carried on to the top of the moor. All the recent cycling I;ve been doing is really paying off and I think I'm probably about the fittest I;ve been in years.

The Moor crossing to Darwen Tower (number 3) was a pleasure. Lovely views and firm riding. They have even brought up a load of stone to repair the mud baths on the moor.

Big group of Jocksters at the tower who were very friendly and had a good chinwag with. From here I thought I'd visit the cafe for some food which meant that I could go down Stepback Cough. This has been well washed away over winter and is now a FANTASTIC balls out rocky downhill, grinning from ear to ear and the blast down to the cafe was good fun too.

Bacon and a massive pot of tea from the Cafe hit the spot.

Spun along the road to the start off piss poor which I took the the farm then over the Dam. Legs were beginning to feel it a little bit here as, apart from the cafe I had be on a fast pace all the way round. Up Sheep Houses and the Belmont road to the Pike. Long slow climb up and slapped my hand against number 4. Bit breezy but the view was ace.

Still had a bit in the legs so decided to push up the kennels and hit San Marino, but at the top of the kennels i needed a lie down as my back was aching a bit.

Well deserved rest though. San Marino was fucking brilliant. Apart from the fact that I minced every drop after the spaniel because I just can NOT get used to flats and my feet coming off them.

Steady blast down Belmont Road and home. Was hoping to push the ride out to 40 miles, but in the end it worked out at a whisker under 38 and 4.3k of climbing. Wonderful day out on the bike.

Thursday, 18 April 2013

Rammy!

So took Graham and Mart up on the offer a joining them for their regular Wednesday rides. Managed to get to the Coach and Horses for 5.30 to meet the lads. Fuck me it was windy. However G played a master stroke of navigation and headed us out into the headwind via the forests so we were pretty well covered.

Bit of a climb out of Edenfield and We were into the woods that I went through when we rode the turbines last year. However halfway down I spotted a loose rocky track to the side and asked what that was... "Mikes wife's lane" or something like that. The lads were a bit surprised that I have never rode it so we climbed back up and went down. Fucking great fun!!! Big rocks loose and techy... was ace.

Hereabouts I got completely lost but we went through Summerseat woods I think and arrived at the Hare and Hounds. Turned around here and headed up to moor road which was inspired as the wind was that strong it was blowing us uphill!!! Off road and we scooted along to the Robin Hoods Well down. Lovely and fast but lost my footing on the FUCKING FLAT PEDALs that I am really struggling to get to grips with. Still arrived a the bottom intact with a big beaming smile.

Scuttled around the valley, through Haslingden and then a brutal climb up to the Halo. Cant believe I;'ve never even seen this feature before, but got a good shot of G riding under it.

From here I had a quick blast on Marts Blur. Felt like a kids bike as it was so short, it didn't feel right at all for some reason, probably a size too small for me. Next up was a Downhill to Rawtenstall. The lads warned me that it was a bit loose and so it was... brilliant fun. sliding all over the shop, two wheel drifts, the lot! a proper hoot!

Couple of pints to end off in a pub somewhere which was ace, then the long climb back up to the car into the teeth of the hurricane.

Deffo going to make this a fortnightly ride. Fits in really well when I dont have the girls, plus there appears to be a smorgasbord of little trails all over the shop round there.

Cracking night oot!

Saturday, 6 April 2013

Lee and Cragg - Lofty and Paul!

Me owd mucker Lofty recently got himself back into mountain biking and we had been trying to get a ride sorted for a while, we finally managed it on Saturday with him and Paul coming over to ride Lee Quarry.

They had never been over here before so it was a good opportunity to show them around.

Met up in glorious sunshine at Futures and had a good chat. Paul was on a pig which he had just set up and unfortunatly the gears gave him problems all the way around, but by the end of the ride he was loving the frame.

Tough climb up on the slabs then we all hit the slab without issues and I took the lads over to the skills area. We managed all 3 runs and decided to head up to Cragg.

The lads hadnt ridden in 2 weeks and were feeling it a bit coming up the loop when Lofty started with cramp. Poor lad was suffering in both legs so we took it easy with plenty of stops.

By the time we got to Cragg the cramps were getting worse so we only did half the loop before heading back down to lee. Belting run more or less from the top of the link road all the way to the car, taking in the red. Buzzing at the end although my maintenance regime has now come home to roost.

Top shock bush gone.
Shock pissed oil out and was squeaking like a canary.
First three rings on the cassette detached and wobbling around. This one is the killer as I;ve had this drivetrain since I got the bike and will therefore no doubt mean the replacement cassette will need a new chain and chainrings also.

Oh well, at least it will be in good shape for Summer.

Cracking ride out and great to catch up with some old friends.

Friday, 5 April 2013

Getting fitter gets you too the pub that bit faster

Thursday night. Been dry for what seems like ages now and a lot of the snow has relented. We intended to have a nice fast blast this evening and then to the pub for cheeky beers.

Toss, Jase, JD and myself set of at a roaring pace and were soon sailing up Coal Pit on what was a lovely night. The sun was setting but we were just too far behind to catch it properly. Jase got a cracking pic of the siloette though

I had a functioning front brake this week and was quite looking forward to San Marino and was not dispointed. Jase and me flying down, but he somehow found a line into the spanial that kept his speed up whereas I minced around the left side, he was gone then even with me pedalling like fuck to try and tag him. Was superb though. Dry and fast. I hope we see it in this shape for a few rides this year!

Toss and JD made it down intact and we headed off to the tap. Not been in here for ages and it was ace. Cheap quality ale and mighty fine crack with Pikey turning up later too.

Friday, 29 March 2013

Back to the Bull - Thursday nights ride again

Its Good Friday! Everyones off so I persuaded Eldest that she would be fine babysitting herself. A ride to the pub it was to be!

The recent snow had been melting a bit so we headed up the hill via Coal Pit. Jase, the lazy twat, had been using the car all week so was itching to get out and stretch his legs. This rather unfortunately involved ripping mine and Tossers off and beating us with them. Fucking RECORD time up to the mast. I was fucked trying to keep up with the big bastard and Toss was utterly delirious.

Was a stunning night though. Lovely cold, crisp and clear with some great views over the moors. We decided to plunge down San Marino, however, my ongoing issues with my front brake came to a head with the lever coming right to the bars and no effect on braking. Fuck.

Was a crying shame too as San Marino was in the best shape I;d seen it in months. Hard dry and fast, just the wrong kind of fast to consider with only a back brake. Jase, on his new Five was at the bottom by the time me and Toss had set off, beaming from ear to ear. I was pleased to make it down in one piece.

Up to the Bull for beers and a welcome return to the hallowed Hostilery. Ale was superb as always and we even entered the quiz! 7 Pints later and a nice sedate ride home ended what was a cracking night.





Wednesday, 20 March 2013

Unexpected local miles!

Saturday with no kids! However due to a long winded and utterly boring reason I had no car so couldn't pop up to the lakes like I planned. Plus for some reason, after commuting twice in the week, my legs were feeling a little empty. Not happy with that state of affairs. So I decided to have a local one.

Set off about 11 with nowhere in particular in mind and found myself heading up to Blow Job Alley. Only a couple of bummers milling around, but I did notice that the gates and fence posts have all been sprayed PINK!

Piss Poor was quite easy and it was about this point that I realised that I wasn't tired, at all. In fact I felt very very strong in the legs and pushed a pretty big gear all the way up. This commuting and running lark is really paying off finally. Piss Poor was however, very fucking wet. Soaking and muddy in fact. By the time I go to the end I was covered head to toe in shit.

Into the car park at Slipper Lowe and plunged down the rocky track, ace fun getting pinged about all over the place. Sharp climb up to the cafe was again dispatched without too much effort. I thought I'd break from the norm here and head over to Sunnyhurst Woods via the steep cobbles. Was a nice run actually and started the long long diagonal climb up to Darwen Moor. Again felt really easy. Tagged the tower and clocked the wonderful views, then flew back down. Blasted past a load of riders on Stepback and stopped when I recognised Danny. Had a quick chinwag and realised it was the Boggies. Set off again and recognised a few of the riders but was having too much fun on the descent. Its been ripped to hell over winter and is now an ace fast rocky blast. Two old dears held the gate open for me and the long fast jumpy track to the cafe was nailed. Had a brew in the Cafe and, still feeling fresh I decided to head over to Rivi to bag the Pike and make it a mini 2 Towers ride. Was just leaving when Donk emerged from Roddlesworth. Nice to have a catch up, not been riding with Dave since Snowdon last year. He was on his ludicrously light carbon single speed pain inducing weapon of torture.

Bid farewell and blasted along through the mud of Piss Poor again, but over the Dam to Belmont. Even the road climb up Sheep House Lane felt easy, although the pouring rain was a bit of a pain in the arse here. Fast blast along Belmont Road and up the Pike. By this time the rain had cleared and the views were brill.

Blasted down the rocks to the gate and then rather than head over the hill to San Marino (Donk had said it was a bog) I took the road to Bobs Smithy then down the Golf Course.

All up nearly 30 miles but only 2.5k of climbing! Laverly day out.

Thursday, 28 February 2013

Cheeky afternoon rides!

Had to take Kelsey to Cannon Slade on Tuesday for a sixth form interview. Went well, but we were home for 3.30. So dropped her off at her mums and kitted up!

Belting little ride, just up coal pit, shoulder (frozen and slippy) ICR, Gardens, up onto the Pike, Kennels and San Marino.

Whisper it.... but its nearly dry! Ground giving loads of grip. I'm also happy to report that I'm feeling pretty much fitter than I have felt in the last 2 years. Running and the odd commute is paying dividends and on the climbs today my legs felt very strong.

Just getting dark by the time I got in.

Perfect afternoon!!!

Tuesday, 26 February 2013

Local Exploring

So Saturday was planned. Harry from STW arranged a ride starting at Philips Park and taking in the new trails there and some local stuff. I'd always fancied a ride around there and here was the perfect opportunity  I planned on cycling down to meet them and then cycle home.

However I made a right fuck up of it. Totally underestimated the time needed to get there, plus a puncture in Farnworth (!!) meant I wasnt there till 10.50. PLus I got lost looking for the car park.

So I did a couple of loops of the new red stuff that they have built. Good fun too. Comedy moment right at the lip of a big g out. came sailing up the hill and it transitions to flat straight away... over I sailed, forgot I wasnt on SPD's and took off from the fucking bike!!! Luckily I landed on the pedals and saddle but was a real close run thing.

Bit more exploring on the blue trails then headed back along the Irwell Sculpture trail and the Locks at Nob End where they are building the Meccanno bridge.
Then took the trails through Moses Gate, 7 Acres and finally Hallithwood and back home. 26 miles in all and a good run out.

I prefer the hills though.

Tuesday, 19 February 2013

Days that make you feel alive! A Lakes Epic.

Free weekend and unfortunately the lads couldn't join me for a ride, so I posted up on STW if anyone fancied a Peaks trip. I never got the offer of a lead so at the last minute I changed my mind. Couldn't really be arsed with navigating around Ladybower as its been so long since I've ridden there, so I decided to opt for the Lakes. What a fucking decision!!

We met at Under Loughrigg, myself, Nick, Jac, Graham and Jamie. Good group. kitted up and we were off with the first brutal climb up past the old golf course... soon had us pumping. At the summit of the climb Nick asked if we were doing the cheeky stuff that Gav showed us down to Clappersgate, but I said we were just heading straight down to Loughrig Tarn. Its a nice run, but I fucking hate the walkers we come across here. I class ramblers into two groups. The first group are fucking pig ignorant, self important, stuck up disdainful twats who look at mountain bikers as though we had collectively shit through their letterboxes. These indignant twats HATE sharing the "legal" trails let along cheeky stuff and would happily see us eradicated. This group can be found aplenty on Loughrigg. The second group are to be found in the more remote and higher reaches of the lakes, proper walkers and outdoor enthusiasts who you can nearly always have the crack with. The first group always walk Loughrigg because they are too fat or stupid to venture beyond it. I fucking hate them.

Anyway, Jamie was flying down the descent to the tarn and took a tumble on some slick rock nearly wiping G out in the process. Sadly I missed this opportunity for a good laugh.

Next up the spin through the fields to Elterwater and then the brutal climb over to Little Langdale. Jamie was on fire and sailed up without problem, I was pleased as punch as I managed to clear the whole climb for the first time. I was however going so slowly that G who was pushing was going faster than me. At the top we got a good glimps of the snow covered Weatherlam. Cracking view.
Quick regroup at the top and we headed over the ford to Hodge Close. The views all day were utterly stunning and the hard pack rock gave us no issues with either mud or water. Brilliant.

Passed some ignorant 4x4 drivers who insisted on taking up the whole track at Hodge Close, but we were soon past and climbing up over the road and then past Iron Keld. Again, I managed to clean the switchback climb up past Tarn Hows which has been a nemesis for me, everyone else managed it too. Fast descent to High Cross for a quick sandwich and then into Grizedale. The views over the Coniston range and Walna Scar were breathtaking. Jac was beginning to suffer a bit here as she had not ridden properly in quite a while, but typical Jacqui she just carried on, remorselessly grinding out the miles.

Parkamoor had quite a bit of snow on it and it was good to see so many bikers out in the forest. The classic view from The Park was as good as ever.

Here all the climbing started to pay back. The fast blast down to the hippie commune nearly had me though when my Front tyre pinched and instantly deflated. Shit myself but fortunately managed to keep it on the track. Harsh climb up and the track over Bethacar Moor to the start of Moor Lane. This was fucking ACE as ever and unbelievable we all made it to the bottom without and punctures. Big smiles all round.

Climb up Breasty Haw was hard work I have to say, legs already ahd about 20 miles in them by this time, but we took our time and were soon up. Cracking descent to the road, the path has been washed out loads since my last visit with Toss and JD. Devils Gallop also was well and truly washed out. Nick, right up my chuff on the descent double flatted just before the jump, he must have hit something so hard cause I actually heard both his tyres let go.

Road spin over to Far Sawrey and the last climb of the day, the long pull up Claife.

We were all beginning to feel it here, it was a long old day by any stretch, and poor Jac was on her chinstrap, but as ever she never stopped. Even Nick admitted to being shagged out, but G and Jamie looked pretty fresh, the pair of bastards. Colthouse descent was ace and we were soon regrouping at the gate for the road spin back to the car. Brilliant views over the lake to finish off with.

A fantastic day on the bike, a real red letter ride. just shy of 31 miles and 6085 feet of climbing. Was proper pleased with that. Hope to get many more rides like this in this year!

Friday, 15 February 2013

The End of Abstinence.

Firstly, done a shit load of riding and not blogged any of it. Getting very lazy at the moment. However January was great. Rode more off road miles than any other month in the last 12 months, lost 12 pounds, one chin and dropped a jean size. Being suddenly single does seem to have its advantages.

One of the main reasons for the positive health was stopping drinking for 4 whole weeks. Didnt think I would be able to do it but I did and guess what I didnt really miss it either. Toss and Jase were also joining me in a month of abstinence, however the weak bastards failed at the 3 week mark.

As a reward for this endeavour, we set a date of 2nd Feb for a good ride to the Irwell Works Brewery. Me JD and Toss set off, Jase had dad duties to attend too and was cycling over to the brewery later on to meet us.

We headed up towards Darwen tower on a freezing cold day. Just how cold it was we did not register whislt cycling, but the gradual freezing up of things let us know. First the studs on my new Flat pedals started to ramp up with ice, making gripping the pedals pretty hair raising, then the rear mech froze up.

By the time we were up on the moor, Toss's freewheel froze. End of ride for him. He called Gail and arranged to be picked up at the bottom of Darwen and he would meet us at the Brewery. So that was just me and JD. JD I suspect would be the first to admit that he was not at his best on this ride. OK it was a decent distance, but it also had some horrific climbs, most notably Crowthorne. Poor lad was struggling, it wasnt helped by the fact the my recent healthy regeime and running resulted in me being able to maintain an almost constant conversation all the way up. He finally collapsed at the school and needed feeding.

Night had closed in at this point but we soon got to the top of the climb. Fuck me it was proper freezing up here and we didnt hang around getting round the Horseshoe, lovely bit of trail too. We then took the steps and secret stuff that Graham and Tony showed us and we arrived at the Brewery.

Graham and Mart were already in so we settled down for an excellent crack and catch up with the lads just as Toss and Jase turned up. Binners joined us too for what was an excellent night back on the beloved Ale. I really really love this place. Nice surroundings, nice people and fine ale all by candlelight. JD really was fucked the poor lad, not his usual self at all and practically falling asleep. Toss was arseholled, me and Jay not too bad, but the ride home was fuckign great fun. Reckon I racked up well over 30 miles too for that ride taking into account the ride home.

Brilliant.





Wednesday, 23 January 2013

Big Kids in the Snow

Saturday ride this week. Was itching to get out as being in the house on my own was not appealing one bit. Toss Jase and me set off over a thick blanket of the white stuff, and it was bloody cold too.

Fortunalty the snow was still pretty fresh so was offering quite a bit of grip. I'd put the flats on for the first time coupled with some walking boots which I picked up cheap from Sports Direct. Bloody hell them DMR pedals grip dont they ??

Toss was on his old girl after messing up his mech up the other week, but his old girl had SPD's on. This did provide me much hilarity I have to say following him up coal pit.

Coal pit path was a nice climb but most of us stalled a few times. At the top Jase got a good picture of me on the mast run.
Bumped into a couple of riders on the mast road and then we headed down to the kennels. Much falling off for all of us but we got to the bottom ok, was a bloody right old laugh actually, ploughing through drifts on the steep drop to the kennels.

For some daft reason we climbed the pike and it was howling, freezing cold too, so we didnt hang around and headed straight down to the ICR. This was ridiculous. Thick sheet ice at the top which we pushed past for about 10 yards before deciding to chance it. I was completely out of control on most of it, not daring to touch the brakes and consequently got to the bottom in record time, albeit petrified.

Shot off down to the lower barn to grab a brew and saw them doing a full on Hog Roast at the top barn. Must have been for a function I think, but it smelt lovely.

Nice brew at the barn and Bumped into Tongy who had been over to Darwen.

We climbed back up the Dentist which was ok actually, then beasted ourselves back up the hill via Hole i't wall. I was fucked by the time we reached the top of San Marino and was glad of the downhill. Very slippery and through some thick drifts but we all made it to the bottom unscathed, although my upper body was aching from gripping on for dear life.

Great run out.

Thursday, 17 January 2013

Time to sort my shit out.... I'm Back!

I have been most remiss in completing my blog, and for those of you remotly arsed, please accept my humble apologies.

Problem is once you get behind it gets harder and harder to keep up with. Prior to chirstmas I wasnt riding much anyway and I had ongoing commitments with a lady.

A lot has now changed. I've turned into a massive fat bastard over christmas and resolved to do something about it so found myself riding a lot more. After recently being dropped off in Dumpsville by the lady I now find that I;ve got even more time to ride so off we go. In order to catch up I'm going to skim over the rides so far.

Last year.

Dom came up and we went for a nice ride to the pub via the Shoulder. Now, prior to him even seeing the shoulder in the flesh, Dom had poked fun at us for suggesting that its a bit tricky in that it is quite steep. So given the opertunity to take him down it we all jumped at the chance. Needless to say he walked the fucker. Good if short ride but excellent crack in the pub afterward.

Couple of good night rides, one of which ended up back at the Strawberry Duck for a few ales before we headed back to the Tap. Highlights of this night were the frost. The mud on the bikes froze hard. The other was Toss and JD riding the wooden steps without a hint of fear. I shit it and didnt bother.

Beers in the tap were excellent and was the ride.

Few other small rides which I cant remember then we had the impromptu Christmas ride to the Bull on Sunday 23rd. Was a good ride actually. Good turn out too. Me, Toss, TR and Wors. We headed over the hill and down hole in't wall then over to the pike. TR was looking a little "peaky" and elected to take piss poor to the top of Sheep Houses whereas Me Toss and Wors went down the ICR. Brilliant fun and Toss exclaimed at the bottom that this was the first time he rode the ICR and actually enjoyed it!! Road then back up Sheep Houses to meet Andy at the top who by this time was not looking at all well. Road to the Bull and by the time we got there he was delirious.

 Anyway, turns out he had some sort of bug. He was ok after shitting his brains out in the toilets. The ale flowed as did the banter. Cracking night out.

 Chirstmas came and went as did New Year. I was in Wales on New Year and took the bike with me. New Years day was spent riding loop one of Penmachno. A superb way to start the year and also clear the head of a massive hangover. Nice day too and bumped into some lads from Wheelbase who I had not seen in years.

Riding Penmachno, it became apparent to me that my massivly inflated waistline was now impacting upon my riding ability. Not good. So i'm set on a pathway to much more riding. This was further enforced by a ride the following Saturday. And a cracker it was too. Toss, Wors and myself went over the Hill on a gloriously sunny day and we were in shirt sleeves!!!! Big sky's too. Up Coal Pit down the shoulder, ICR Gardens up the Kennels and then down San Marino. a wonderful days riding and boy did it hurt me. The excesses proper came home to roost.


The very next day I decided on getting out again. Solo this time so headed up to Darwen moor. Fuck me it was like the Somme up there. Piss poor, up Higher Pastures then accross the moor to the tower. This was a battle against the mud really and was proper hard work. Just what I needed actually. At the tower the wind picked up so I headed for home via the Lyons Den and the Road. Lyons Den however is in shit state. The whole hillside is starting to slip and slide away taking the track with it. Its now a fucking massive mudfest. Shame as it was a cracking downhill.

Toss and myself ended our beer assault on the 6th Jan, Jase had already started his dry spell, so without the need for a pub trip the Thursday night ride was extended. Jd joined us and what a night it turned out to be. Ascending through thick fog we passed through it to reveal a perfect temperature inversion. The starlit sky was breathtaking. So Many stars too see because the usualy light pollution from the towns had been blanketed out by the fog. Stunning.
Good ride too. Shoulder, ICR, gardens, kennels and San Marino. I lost feeling in my lips at the bottom and San Marino due to the wind chill. Fucking brilliant night out. Red Letter Ride.

Finally I went out on Saturday. Feeling a bit fitter so I pushed the ride out a bit. Up to the woods, hole in't wall, up the pike. The wind was howling and freezing on the pike so I didnt linger too long and battered it down then straight down the ICR. Its surprising how quick you can make it down when someone holds the gate at the bottom of the pike for you! Then went over to Anglezark, had a row with a fucking prick of a dag walker after his stupid shit machine bit me and then hit Healy nab. Nice run around the red but the climb back up has been obliterated. Still fun though. Paused for a quick pic of Yarrow then the remorseless climb up Lead Mines into the teeth of the freezing tempest. I even had to stop and put me gloves on it was that cold... In the daytime!! unheard of. Finally dragged my carcass through my front door nearly 25 miles later, but I must admit it felt like 40.

So thats it. Up to date.

Life is currently shit after being dumped, however I intend to fucking sort that out sharpish with a couple of rides this coming weekend. Saturday with the bummers and Sunday with the STW lot. Snow is forecast so smiles will be obligatory!

Bring it on.

Saturday, 24 November 2012

Finally - Hillarity at Gisburn

I was very kindly invited to a slackers day at Gisburn the other week, by my fine biking colleagues, Toss, JD and CW. These gents all "work" at the same tea bag manufacturing plant and had decided to take a day off. They decided on Gisburn. Naturally I was all for this. A finer venue for midweek slackery I could not think of and jumped at the chance to join them.

5 weeks had elapsed since I had ridden my bike and it had taken its toll. Big fat belly and startling lack of fitness combined to make this ride a suffer fest for me. Still its my own fault plus I was suffering mentally from the lack of riding so a day with mates egging each other on was just what the doctor ordered. I also noted that the new Swoopy section was now ride able and was looking forward to giving that a go.

The day started  with Toss kindly buying me BSE barm cake which was devoured in sharp order and we headed over to Cocklet Hill to meet the other two. They had arrived just before us so we all started to kit up together. Whilst sitting on the back seat, i happened to notice JD doing the customary spin around the car park, he came parallel with the car trying to pop up the front wheel. On his way back he just got in sight and popped the wheel a little too far up and fucking looped out!!! Oh jesus H christ, how we laughed. It was Fucking perfect. Poor bloke however did sustain some minor injuries and considering he wasn't wearing a helmet he was pretty lucky. I did not fare so well, my sided are still hurting to this day from laughing so much.

I got my own bike out and did admit to being deeply ashamed as to the state of it. The brakes however were something else. Howling like a banshee and were to do so for most of the day.

So off we set, and were soon at Stocks. Pikeys Corner has had some work done on it but its still a bastard if your not careful. Shed all my layers at the bottom of the climb and took it nice and steady. We were soon at the top of Homebaked. I suggested that the guys hang back at the top so I could get a good few pics of them coming down the staircase. As I was flying down I came across the horrific bog halfway which nearly swallowed me whole. At the bottom, turns out CW went into it head first, JD coming round the corner to find him almost totally immersed. I was gutted to have missed his fall. Anyway, the staircase, always looks slippery from the top but there is loads of grip once you commit.
Regroup at the bottom and we carried on to the middle overlap. Here I suggested we popped into the forest to have a look at the log ride. Was slippery as hell but CW managed to nail it.

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Non of the rest of us wimps tried it. Toss soon found himself on the floor just after this, a simple stumble lead to a fall which cut his shin. In fairness it looked pretty nasty.

The long fireroad climb up to the top of the Hope line had be blowing out of my star... somehow JD actually managed to fall off at about 3mph going up here. A superb achievement.

At the top, me and toss shit ourselves looking at a small drop, which JD and CW immediately flew over. The rest of the Hope line was fucking great fun actually. I think I even managed about 4inches of air!! Sick! Even wing commander Toss was airborne for a few seconds! Naturally CW and JD made it all look easy. The cunts.

Back up the climb and CW wanted to show us the DH line. The first drop off the fireroad is fucking massive. About 7' or so by the time you land. CW looked it over and then promptly flew over it while us three looked on. Very impressive to be honest and so far out of my comfort zone it was ridiculous. He then took us to an insane cliff drop. No shit, the top 6' must have been vertical before sloping out. We all had a bash at the baby one to the side, but Chirs Nailed the big fella. Once again... fair fucking play.

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We missed out the North Shore section instead going up the fire road to the long pedally section over to Whelpstone. It was a nice spin actually and got the legs going.

We reached the slab and Toss was physicing himself up for it having bottled it last time. Him and JD pushed straight up and the cunts went down, not waiting for me to shout encouragement or even indeed video them. Gutted. I went up the normal route which is now an unridable mudbath so they had the best idea really. Its still steep, no matter what anyone says. and a touch intimidating, but gets the heart pumping.

Down the switchbacks and onto the fire road to the start of Hully Gully. We pointed out to Toss that it is nearly impossible to miss the turn, I reckon he did it on purpose when he was here the other week. Anyway, off we set and Toss shouts he will follow my line. Flying down the slippery surface I hit the first section of Berms and nails them fast, hitting the top and sailing over the next one, it was on the third one I think that I heard the yelp. Toss had not pedalled enough as stalled at the top of the second one and fell off. Unfortunately, he did not sustain too much damage just loss of pride I think, I wasn't too sure because I was having too much fun to stop. It really is fucking ace this run. Gets to the bottom for a regroup and we were all grinning stupidly, Toss however was complaining that he had fucked up his hip so couldn't go back up for another go. Strangely enough he was fine powering up the next hill though. The Cunt.

The Spin along the old red was nice and fast and great fun through the roots and berms just after the forest. After we passed the bottom of the hope line i was keeping my eyes peeled for the entrance to the new "Swoopy" that the volunteers have just finished. This cuts out the fire road descent to the Blue and its very good. I knew there was a drop coming up on it and soon found it near the end. I stopped and didnt fancy it if I'm honest, stating to the lads the we had "a Refusal". Naturally CW flew down and I was left thinking that I needed to go down it otherwise it would be a bug bear for me for months to come. Over we went and it was pretty straightforward to be honest. Excellent section of trail. Well done the builders.

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The final run along the blue was ace fun too. However by the time I was climbing up the last climb through the forest I was fucked. Head lolling from side to side and everything. I was pretty glad to be back at the car actually.

Superb day out and proves the fact that riding with mates makes everywhere better. A great days riding and a proper laugh to boot.




Wednesday, 21 November 2012

OBAD

I'm going on a bike ride on Friday!!!

The first in weeks. I'm so giddy.

Monday, 15 October 2012

Sunday Sunshine!!

Been AGES since we had a sunday lads ride. Toss suggested it and a quick show of hands suggested a good turn out. I came back from sunny wales a bit early and we met up at 1.15 for the off. Or so we thought. My bike was sadly displaying he effects of a shockingly poor maintenance regime the results of which could clear by heard 42 miles away ..... (this video needs the sound up, however I guarantee you'll turn it off pretty sharpish)
video
I'm not proud of this. Additionally, my jockey wheel had seized, by inner tube was poking out through a ripped sidewall, and then the River turned up and needed his gears sorting out. By the time we eventaully got riding it was 2.15!!!

Still no matter, was lovely to be out, the sun was shining and all was well with the world. Myself, JD, Toss and TR only though as Weesters misses was on a "coffee morning" with someone called Winston.

Up horrocks fold and I had to stop to have a couple of painkillers as my knee was playing up. Apart from that though I felt great, the two commutes in the week had done me the power of good.

Coal pit was nice and gentle but TR was struggling a bit. When we reached the gate we got a snide remark from some old gentleman walking his dogs and wife, insisting that we ignore the footpath signs. Thanks for your help mate, we will do just that. The irony of him making the remarks right next to the trespass stone was obviously lost on him.

The climb up the path was ok actually, bit muddy in places but not as bad as I thought it would be. TR announced that he was blowing out of his star so decided to bin it and return home.

Up to the top of the hill and we ventured down the shoulder. Loads of paragliders around for us to dodge. Toss paused with his fancy SLR to take some pics which came out nice actually. I just got some vids of the lads coming down the plunge.
video

Slippery as fuck on the run down to the bridge, toss slipped off the step when carrying his bike and it twatted him on the head. Hillarious.

Quick spin along Belmont Road and we flew down the ICR. Man I love this little descent, however Toss and JD were not so keen, the run having taken its toll on our arms and legs.

Climb back up through the gardens was easy enough and then we decided on going up the Pike. At the top we spotted Wors carrying his bike up so we waited for him to arrive and we blasted down the fast track.
And it was fast... pedalling out in top gear flying over the rocks. Fucking ace.

Up the kennels we chose to go as the path of least resistance. was a bit boggy but mainly rideable all the way up. The road was shit boring but then we got the San Marino. Jase headed off and I followed him fairly apprehensivly as I suspected it would have been cut up to fuck. Actually it wasnt too bad. Jase flatted just before the first turn, I couldnt really be arsed waiting for him so I flew down the rest. Big fuck off hole just at the side of the spaniel which nearly caught me out, but otherwise all good. Massive grins at the bottom. Toss and JD had kindly waited for Jase and they all came down to regroup.

Through the trees and home Man it was fucking brilliant ride. Sunshine and mates and fun. set me up for the week that did.

Monday, 1 October 2012

The Slackers Ride Again! - Grizedale.

Fucking ages since we had a mid week slackers ride so when Toss suggested a Friday off, I readily agreed. JD also decided to join us and give his spunking new BEAST its first proper outing.

I originally planned a cheeky high level circuit of the Newlands Valley in the lake, but driving up the weather didnt look too clever so I suggest good old Grizedale, you cant go wrong there, but this time we would head over to Claife too.

So parked up at Satterthwaite after gorging ourselves on BSE form a greasy spoon. All kitted up we set off whereby I immediatly noticed that something was wrong. My brakes wouldnt work. They also squeeled horrifically. When I say wouldnt work, I mean the mearly just brushed off a little speed, rather than actually stop me. This happened at the Marin the other week, but as the ride went on they got more bite. So I Decided to persevere.

First climb up Breasty Haw was just as hard as I remembered it, we all made a good fist of it though, Toss aided by his commuting fitness flew up, me and JD slightly more sedately. At the top we had a breather before chucking ourselves down to the road. I fucking LOVE this descent, rocky, rooty and slippery. Unfortunately my brakes reminded me that they were not willing to help me stop at the most inappropriate moment, when, as I pulled the lever I was immediately rendered deaf (along with all the woodland creatures in a 2 mile radius) but still going at exactly the same speed... FUCK.

Got down most of it ok but stopped at the rocky stepdown and got some video footage of the lads doing it.
video
video


Looks fuck all from below, buts its a bit intimidating from above when wet. Quick regroup at the bottom all of us buzzing and JD announcing that he was in love with his new bike. We took the BW over to Devils Gallop and the horrible muddy climb. Toss Spotted a bull residing in the field here, big fucker too and he kind of panicked and made record time across the field. Me and JD were too fucked to be bothered. The run down Devils Gallop was ace as ever. At the bottom we were waiting for JD to come down and he looked well fucking twitchy on the bike. I suggested he might want to loosen up and bit and let the bike to the hard work. He was much better as the day wore on though.

Leisurly run over to Far Sawey and then the long climb up to Claife. I missed the left turn at the top but that resulted in us taking a crackingbit of rocky path to the top of Belle Grange drop, meaning we had to back track a little but it was well worth it. At the top of Claife there were some great views over towards Fairfield.
The Colthouse descent was great fun as ever although I couldnt remember there being that many gates on it. Talk about stop start. Along the road and into Hawkshead we took the long drag up to the NFT and on to Moor Top. JD was struggling a bit here, but fair play to the lad he stuck with it. I was in 2 minds to try and find the top of the new Black Run from Moor top but didnt really have a clue so as JD was getting  tired we just took the final decent of the NFT to the vc.

Here, once again I was fucking raped. £2.95 for a bastard slice of cake. JD faired worse, a bottle of Poweraid and a cold pastie that looked like Toss had just shit it out came to £6.50. The complete and utter robbing fucking CUNTS! what makes it worse is remembering what the old cafe used to be like here, run by a couple of old girls, you could get proper wholesome food for fuck all, replaced by these twats. I'd fucking love to burn the place down and get the old girls back.

I resisted tempation to ride the big kids playground structure (I'll do it one day!!) and we headed on up the NFT to Mustard Hill. The rest did JD good as he made reasonable progress up it. The last bit is a bit soul destroying but otherwise its a good way of getting altitude quickly.

View point on Parkamoor was stopped at and we pointed out the venue of the lads trip for next year to JD, then set off sharpish as it was blowing a hoolie. Brilliant fast descent to the hippie commune.

I told JD that the climb up was the last climb of the day, he didn't believe me, infact Toss and Myself could here him mumbling behind us, no doubt cursing us.

The track across Bethecar Moor was under shit loads of water which got us all wet feet but it was soon forgotten as we headed into the Moor lane Descent. Fucking brilliant this is, I love it. We breifly stopped to inspect Toss's Bane but then flew down the rest of it to the car. Cracking day out.


Monday, 17 September 2012

An Abject Lesson in Getting Wet

Firstly apologies for such a late blog entry, however I have only just dried out.

Having a Girlfriend who lives a stones throw from Snowdonia, I thought it was best that I started to scope out a few rides there. So got my eyes set on the Llyn Colwyd Loop. It fitted the bill perfectly, big country, rocky techy trails and the start was 20 mins from my Welsh office. Only problem was the weather, it was forecast to start raining at 10am, the time I wanted to set off.

As it turned out I needn't have worried. It was fucking pissing it down as soon as I woke up. Truth be told I lost interest in doing a high level route so instead decided on Riding the Marin. I;d not riden this since 2004 (!!) so thought it would be worth a go.

I rained so hard all the way round that I think it actually washed my memory away as, other than being so comprehesivly wet my colon was underwater I can remember little of the trail. Other than it was empty. Oh, and the last downhill was pretty good.

I need gills.

Friday, 7 September 2012

"Anal Beads ??!!??"

Ohh... 2 Thursdays on the trott!! Just me and Toss again as Weester was apparently polishing his gleaming scrotum and Wors was stiring up a diplomatic incident with his bell end in Portugal.

Still the weather looked promising, sunshine all fucking day, however rather predictably the clouds were gathering on the drive home. Shit traffic meant that I was late in and had to shove a full chicken madras down and then set off some 15mins later. Not a good combination. Praps as well that me and Toss were in no hurry, it was actually a lovely warm night but the clouds on the horizon forwarned of rain.

Usual route up the hill, past coal pit and then up the path. The steep drop corner nearly claiming toss in a comedy OTB's incident but he survived.

At the top of the hill, we could see the full on rain clouds heading towards us with vengance, so elected to take San Marino to the pub as it would have been substantially quicker that the shoulder. Toss had brought out his SLR too this evening in the hope that he could catch some nice sunset pics. Instead he got a pretty good wanking face, if I say so myself.... been a while since we had a good one on camera... er.. a picture, not a wank.

Heading up to SM and Toss once again got a cracking pic, really pleased with this one actually.


SLR's really do make a hell of a difference when taking decent pics.

SO with the tempest rapidly approaching, we flew down SM. Fuck me its cut up and rutted. I hardly recognized the run from the last time. Few sketchy moments but got down ok with Toss not far behind. All the Rhododendrons in the wood have been cut back so this is now mega fast also.

Our timing was spot on because as we started to climb up to the Bull, the first spots of rain started. Halfway up we got a shout from a passing car and it turned out it was Athers, Toss's ale loving colleague. Kind of a coincidence actually as earlier Toss was discussing the fact that Athers still hadnt been to the Bull. He duly turns around and joined us in the pub for one. Turns out he was picking up his Daughter from Uni at Preston and a couple of her mates. Nice Lass actually, however the conversations split into Toss, me and Athers and her and her mates. It was kind of unfortunate actually that as a lull in our conversation arrived, hers finished with "and I'm getting some Anal Beads for Christmas". I'm not sure if she meant it to sound as loud as it did, however the damage was done. Toss and myself heroically surpressing giggles until Athers' entourage bid farewell, we both enquired as to whether we had both heard correctly then pissed ourselves.

Another cracking evening on the Ale. Al announced however that the pub is really struggling. Indeed this was borne out by a disappointing turn out for the quiz, although the number of hot young ladies there has risen considerably. Be a damn shame if things dont work out for him.

We were blessed that night as when it was time to leave, the rain had stopped and we had a nice spin home on a traffic free Belmont Road as it was closed due to a burst main.

Cracking night out.


Friday, 31 August 2012

The Thursday night pub ride returns!!

A Free thursday night! Excellent forecast too but just me and Toss out unfortunatly. Toss initially stated that the ride was strictly "no beer". However and rather predictably he text about 3 mins before the ride to ask if Beer was available. But of course.

So in glorious sunshine we set off for the hill. Was a lovely run up at a reasonable pace. I did have the intention of riding Kennels, ICR etc... but the promise of beer shortened the ride and we ascended the hill and went down the Shoulder.

Paused at the top of the shoulder to check out the view.... FUCKING STUINNING is the best way to describe it.

The View stretched from the Lakeland hill, Isle of Man (very clear) and Snowdonia.

Off we set down the shoulder, very slippery with the amount of water on the ground, but brill fun all the same. Piss Poor was soaking wet so took our time and then the final run down to the Hallowed Hostilery. just about needing lights by the time we arrived. It was also getting bloody cold. Turned out that it was the coldest August night on record.

Ale in the pub was COTN, Derwent Blond and Pendle. all ace of course. Poor Al has fucking his shoulder and his misses cant get a visa so he was even more morouse than normal.

Pub was rammed with quiz players and a sizable amount of eye candy was in which was nice.

Leisurly ride home in the clear night sky rounded of a wonderful evening on the bike!

Monday, 13 August 2012

The Return!

right, keeping up with recent tradition and start the blog with this.

Fucking get in!!

Not ridden in Yonks it felt like, other than a couple of commutes, I had rested the knee both intentionally and unintentionally. SO a free Thursday pops up with, wait for it, a good forecast!

Just me and Jay out so I was a little apprehensive that the big cunt would rip my fucking legs off, but fair play to the lad, he was well gentle and even tender in his care of me.

Up through Horrocks and onto Scout road I was feeling the lack of exercise, and coal pit didn't do me any favours either. I suggested we did a proper ride and the idea was up the Hill, shoulder, ICR, Pike, Hill and San Marino (to see if it is as cut up as everyone was making out).

Coal Pit path had held up pretty well and although a little damp, it wasn't too bad. Got to the top of the hill and Jase screamed off down the shoulder. I was struggling a little bit with line choices being a bit rusty, but it was fucking great fun. The steep section had plenty of grip and we both flew down it. Took a cracking OTB at the bottom as well, following jay through the fence a moments inattention and I was over the bars before I knew it!

Scoot along the bumpy Belmont road and I was loving being out. Got my second wind and the weather was really helping the general mood.

At the top of the ICR Jay realised that his light had no charge in it, so, being cautious we decided to bin the ICR and just head back up the Hill via the kennels. Push up was made all the easier by the cracking views of the sun setting.

Up to the top of the hill and the legs were ok which pleasantly surprised me. Off we set down SM, I was a bit circumspect but still managed a fairly good run. Ok it was a little rutted, but nothing really too major, if anything its added to the challenge. Bit smiles at the bottom and the final spin home was done in double quick time.

I was fucking buzzing. I;ve missed so much biking this year and the rides we have got in have been blighted by the weather, but this was just a return to form! Its what biking is all about, plus me knees were ok thank fuck.

Monday, 30 July 2012

Thwarted.

In line with recent posts... I'll start with this.

Fuck.

Thursday night ride. First in Ages, with the lads, with beers. I was positivly bursting with enthusiasm for this ride. I had rested the knee for nearly 4 weeks and was feeling pretty good. Later start than normal at 7.30 but no matter, quick blast over the hill and then onto the Bull for ALE.

So we reached horrocks fold when I realise that my rear mech is skipping all over the place. A quick inspection and I noticed that the chain was jumping off the bottom jockey wheel. Strange, so puts it back on, only to come straight off again. Great, the jockey wheel is completely fucked. So thats that for the ride.

I shoot straight back home in free wheel and grab the Hack bike. Off I set and get to Scout road, pop, puncture. By this time it was raining also. Plus my Knee was now beginning to give a bit of pain. Change the tube, pump up and down it goes. I'd packed a punctured tube. Fucking brilliant.

Walked home, in the rain with a sore knee.

Fucking fuck.

Monday, 2 July 2012

Tendonitis

Fuck.

Tendonitis in both knees. Minimum 2 weeks rest off the bike. Dont like the fucking sound of that. Terrible timing too. I'm missing Toss and JD's birthday beers at the Hare and Hounds beer festival AND the Manchester to Blackpool.

Pissed off does not cover it.

Monday, 25 June 2012

Holy shit, very nearly a road ride. Forgive me

So after Wednesday's problems with the knee I was a bit cautious about riding again until I could see the doctor. The appointment wasnt till Tuesday however an opportunity arose that I couldn't resist. Karen was in Bolton with me, but we had to go back via her School Fair in Bagilt. I hatched a plan to borrow pikey's commuter and cycle from Bagilt along the sleepy quiet roads to Prestatyn and then follow the coast path to Colwyn. All signposted as the North Wales Cycleway.

Lovely day dawned but with a horrendous headwind. Perfect kiting weather but orrible for cycling. Steady constant headwind with no let up at all.

Started with a big fuck off climb up to the A55 and then some lovely back roads in the Clwyd foothills. The place is steeped with history too. Spotted this standing carved cross with a bit of a write up on it.


The road took a steep dip and weaved its way into Prestatyn. Here I picked up the coastal path. Would have been a lovely run all the way to Colwyn but for the head wind. Still, the views were lovely.

Knee started hurting at about Rhyl, but carried on and finished off with the big fuck off hill climb up to Colwyn Heights. Was pretty fucked to be honest really even though it was only 35 miles, all practically on road). Still was lovely to be getting out and turning the cranks.