Tuesday, 29 December 2009

In Summary

I don’t think I’ll make it to 3500 miles for the year.  I’ve pretty much stalled at 3300.  Snow, ice and laziness have got in the way.  Despite that, it is still my best biking year for ages.  I’ve even done a couple of mountain biking trips.

Christmas was good.  My sister and my Mum and dad came up.  My Dad hasn’t been up for years, so it was good to see him.  I got a Washburn Rover travel guitar.  Hopefully it will encourage me to play more, the idea is that I will take it away with me when I go to Bristol.

We still have a couple of inches of ice on our road.  It snowed the weekend before Christmas and it still hasn’t gone away.  This is pretty unusual for round here, any snow at all is fairly rare.

I went out last week and did 40 minutes or so in the snow on my mountain bike.  Hard work but great fun.  Not been out since, too icy.

Not sure if I’ll get any more miles in this year, maybe a few to work and back on Thursday, but other than that, I doubt it.  So 3300+ will be my 2009 total.  I will have to set a higher target for next year, 4000 maybe.  And do some more mountain biking.



Sunday, 13 December 2009

Winter is Here

Winter has definitely arrived.  Monday was proper icy.  Only where the road was muddy or where water had been splashed from roadside puddles, but still real ice. And cold. 

I was down in Bristol til Friday, but again it was pretty cold and icy.  And foggy.  Coming back from the pub on Friday night, the visibility was down to a dozen feet, made worse by the condensation on my glasses.

I had arranged to go mountain biking on Saturday with Karl and co.  The plan was for Karl and Alison to pick me up at 8AM and drive up to Grizedale for a 9:45 start.  If I’d had my mobile with me when the alarm went off at 7, I would have rung Karl and cancelled. 

I’m glad I didn’t.  It was glorious.  As we drove round Windermere, the clouds and the mountains were reflected in the water.  It was picture perfect.  We met up with the others a bit late and exchanged the usual pleasantries and insults, before hitting the trail.  The day was a nice mix of fire road climbs, fast loose descents and swervy singletrack.  I was bitterly cold, not getting above freezing all day, but bright sunshine and no wind.  The only real problem was that the short stretch of road we had to do was covered with black ice.  Joe took a tumble when his bike just slid out from underneath him.  Highlight of the day was Tony loosing his mobile, then finding it again.  Lowlight of the day was right at the end.  There is a short loop of the North Face Trail we could do before going back to the car.  Alison didn’t want to do it, so headed back to the car park, while the rest of us hit the first of several short ice covered boardwalks.  Not only were they unrideable, they were also largely unwalkable. At one point we were crabbing along sideways with our heals hooked over the edge in order to avoid sliding down.  By the time we’d got past this and onto some rideable tracks, Alison rang to say she was lost.  We retraced our steps, she retraced hers and by the time we found each other it was too dark and we had to head back to the cars.  All in all it was a brilliant day.



Sunday, 6 December 2009

Pride before a Fall

Not a literal fall, although I came close.  Just two poor mileage weeks.  Again work has got in the way.

Last week I was in London and didn’t get out too much.  I only managed one and a half days of commuting and didn’t feel up to our usual Thursday ride as I didn’t get back from London til late ish.  I had stayed in a really crappy hotel and didn't sleep particularly well, I never do.

The week before, I only did the Thursday ride and a short MTB ride on Sunday.  I was knackered at the beginning of the week after the mammoth exertions of the previous week.  The Thursday night was hard work, with strong winds and heavy rain again.

Sunday we went up to the South Lakes for a leisurely mountain bike ride.  Forecast was for rain, wind, cold, sleet and generally poor.  On the whole, it was OK.  Very wet but not too cold.  At one stage I was sliding sideways down the face of a rocky outcrop, while the trail went forwards.  Not exactly out of control, but not in control either.  But I survived.  My second MTB ride in as many weeks, and in as many years!

Hopefully, I can still do the 3500 for the year, but it does mean doing 100+ miles every week from now on.  And I’m in Bristol for 3 days next week.

Wish me luck