Friday, 30 July 2010

1000 Miles of Trash Talk

We were set up for our usual Thirsty Thursday ride this week, when Karl announced that he didn’t have yoga and could go early.  Ian had to see to his horses, but reckoned he could catch us up.  We would spin out over Beacon Fell before hitting the pub!

6:15 came round and neither Karl nor Ian were here.  I asked Jayne if I should swap my lights and bag over to the Hewitt audax bike.  The dead pan reply was “Alison can ride Beacon Fell on here single speed!”. Fixie it was!!!

In the end Ian and Karl arrived at mine within two minutes of each other.  We set out at a brisk pace with a following wind.  After going under the M6, it was 5 miles of climbing, culminating in 1/2 a mile of 1 in 4.  I struggled up the first climbs, keeping pace sort of with Ian and Karl.  The final climb was a killer and they left me for dead.  Oh for the artifice of the derailleur.

But worse was to come.  After getting to the top of Beacon fell, there is a choice of two or three very steep, very fast descents.  On a geared bike we try to keep above 30mph for the whole 5 miles.  I managed to get to 27mph before my legs went and I was bouncing too much.  But I’d made it up the hills.

Today, I passed the 1000 mile mark on the fixed. 

Proper update on Sunday (maybe)



Sunday, 25 July 2010

3000 Miles!

I finally got over the 3000 mile mark.  I thought I would get there last week, but circumstances left me 32 miles short of my target.

This week has been my normal commuting week and I should have topped the 32 miles by mid week.  On Thursday, I was 1/2 a mile short when I got to work.  Ordinarily I would have ridden round the car park a bit, but I had what I thought was an important meeting.  Turned out not to be an important meeting after all.

I have had an ordinary week otherwise.  Thirsty Thursday was the normal ride out to the Plough.  I had Friday off, so Jayne and I rode out to the Weird Fish.  Ian said he would meet us on the way, but in the end got there just after us.  We’d raced, thinking he was ahead of us, he’d waited thinking the same, but in fact we were just ahead.

Friday night was eventful, leading to us staying up all night, so Saturday we took it easy.

Today we’ve been out for 20 odd miles on the tandem, just to Bonds for a tea cake.  Still only a mediocre week though.

Miles for the week – 107.5

Miles for the year – 3075.5



Tuesday, 13 July 2010

P7 Build Up

I got round to putting the P7 back together at the weekend.

july 2010 002 


july 2010 003

Decided to put the rigid forks back on until I can get some suspension forks with a 1” steerer.

 july 2010 004

XT V-brakes on the front

july 2010 005

Stem and seat post were a bit rusty and needed some attention

july 2010 006 

Rear brakes are a pair of Dia Compe canti’s

july 2010 008 

Club Roost bars and XT brakes/shifters

july 2010 009

A old rear mech and a Suntour XC top swing front mech

 july 2010 010

Old San Marco Rolls saddle

july 2010 011

New BB, this was a pig to put in

 july 2010 012

Very good rear wheel from Karl, chain needs shortening

 july 2010 013

Front is the old one from the Marin

july 2010 014 

Just need tyres, gear cables, grips and the chain shortening


Sunday, 11 July 2010

Mixed Fortunes

My working week was pretty much as usual riding wise, 56 miles for the week.  Weather was a mix of threatening and 60-80% humidity, difficult to dress for but not unpleasant.  I missed out on the usual Thirsty Thursday ride.  Ian had his sister over from the States, Alison had to do an emergency mercy dash to her Mum’s and Karl was in Italy, doing things like the Stelvio, Ghisallo, Mortirollo, etc.  Poor him!

I had arranged to camp overnight with Simon, up in the Lakes.  We have had the driest 6 months ever recorded, so what is the forecast for the weekend?  Yes rain and more rain.

Simon picked me up at 9 ish and we headed up to Bassenthwaite village, getting there for 11 ish, we got the tents set up, then headed out to do Skiddaw.  We didn’t have a map that told us how to get to White Water Dash (the start of the ride from this side), so we asked a local for directions.

We climbed gently out of the valley up to the moors and turned left as instructed.  We were looking for a right turn into a glacial valley  and with a view of the waterfall.  Wee didn’t see it. Simon recognised some of the houses, but wasn’t sure.  After a couple of miles, we accepted that we’d gone wrong and turned around.  When we were almost back to the T junction, we could see the waterfall and realised if we’d gone right for 100 yards we’d have been right on the route.  6-8 miles of wrong turn, then we were on it.  The first climb is a slog up a series of steps.  Simon steadily pulled away.  After the final gate was a steady off road climb leading to the drop into White Water Dash.  The stream was very low and easily crossed.  Not like when one of us endo’ed and came up 20 yards down stream, sans bar end and with a deep gash in the knee.  We climbed easily up to Skiddaw House and down towards Keswick. Puncture!  I don’t know how, because we weren’t going hard, but I’d pinch punctured my rear.  After mending it we whooped down into Keswick and onto the railway path into Threlkeld and the climb up past Blencatrha Youth Hostel.  After that is was a fast ride back to to Skiddaw House.  Back though the Dash and climb up to the brow before 6 or so miles of down hill to Bassenthwaite. The rain started as we approached Skiddaw House and didn’t stop til we’d got back down to the village.  We were cold and wet.

That evening, we went to the SinnInn and has an excellent meal of mushroom soup followed by chicken stuffed with cheese and mushroom, wrapped in bacon for me and gammon steaks for Simon.  A couple of pints of Cumberland Ale and we were in bed for 9:30.

Next day started damp and drizzly.  We packed up and headed for Hartsop to meet Tony and Paul.  It got warmer but wetter.  When we parked up at Harstop it was 20 degrees and heavy rain.  By the time Paul and Tony turned up, High Street had disappeared in the mist and cloud.  We debated an alternative lower level route.  We still got soaked, but it was a nice ride.  The big descent was long and loose.  I crashed several times.  I’ve twisted my knee and got bruises on both thighs.  We got to the bottom in one piece, just!  Then it was along the Ulswater lake side, an up and down track of wet rocks, roots and drop off into the lake.  We were rubbish. I can’t remember how many times I crashed, but it was lots.  Eventually we made it back to Hartsop and dry-ish clothes.  A great weekend

Sunday, I can hardly walk.  Every move out of a chair is torture.  I’ve spent the bay putting the P7 back together, more on that later.

All in all a fantastic, if fairly low mileage week,

Miles for the week – 107 (subject to change after we’ve measure the mtb routes)

Miles for the year – 2885

Only 115 miles and I’ve topped 3000!



Sunday, 4 July 2010

Wet Wet Wet!

I went out with Ian today, round the Trough.  The weather forecast was not good, rain and wind, lots of both.  Quite warm though.  We set out towards the Cartford Bridge with the wind on our backs and had a pleasant spin out doing 18-20mph with ease.  After crossing the bridge, we ramped our speed up a bit and were doing 20+mph all the way to Scorton.  Whipped through Scorton without stopping and approached the hills.  The rain started, just a fine mizzle at first but got steadily heavier.  As we made the climb over Boundary Hill, it got worse and worse.  The descent down the other side is usually a 40+mph adrenaline rush.  Today it was 20mph with stinging rain lashed into our faces and a sketchy road surface.  I kept my sunglasses on just to keep the rain out of my eyes.  Once down into Marshaw, it didn’t let up and we arrived at Dunsop Bridge very wet indeed.  I squeezed half a pint of water out of my gloves.  Whilst we feasted on bacon and egg butties, soup, tea cakes and fruit loaf, the weather got worse.  The run down the valley to Longridge was into the wind and rain.  We were cold and very wet.

After Longridge, it started to improve a bit and we made good time into Broughton.  Not long after, we picked up the stragglers from the Manchester to Blackpool bike ride.  They were in a worse state than us, tired and wet but also on supremely unsuitable bikes.

Eventually, after 60 miles I was home and could get in the bath.  Bliss!  Ian had another 10 miles or so, but at least the rain had stopped, not like Thursday.

We did our usual Thirsty Thursday ride out to the Plough.  Ian and Alison met me at our house and we had a fairly pleasant ride out.  Karl met us later.  After the usual pints of Bomber and garlic chicken on toast, we set off home.  It threw it down.  I only had alight Gamex top over my gillet and shirt.  By the time I got home, I was soaked.  The others had 5 and 10 miles more to do.  I was probably in the bath with a glass of Chimay before Ian was half way home.

The rest of the week has been pretty normal.  All in all an OK week.

Miles for the week – 174

Mile for the year to date – 2778