Sunday, 28 March 2010

A week away

I knew this was going to be a poor week.  After two weeks of fairly high mileage, I was due to be away for most of the week.  Birmingham on Tuesday, then straight to Birmingham airport on Tuesday evening to fly to Zurich.

I did ride to work on Monday, and to the pub on Friday, but only 18 miles.  We got out yesterday for a short tandem ride and again again this afternoon, but only 30 miles or so in total.  The weather was sunny but very windy, so quite a hard ride.

After getting up early all week due to being on Central European Time, I was looking forward to a lie in this weekend.  Unfortunately, it wasn’t to happen.  Saturday we were woken up by number 2 son heading out to a scout camp.  This morning I had to get up early to marshal at a local triathlon run by a friend.  Last night was also switch to British Summer Time, so 7 o’clock was really six.  I’m knackered.

The tri went well, I was manning a level crossing, taking numbers for anyone delayed by trains, so they could have a bit of time removed to compensate.  Fortunately the race was run exactly on time, and so we only had two trains to contend with and only 3 or 4 people delayed.  Much to the disappointment of some who were hoping for a breather.

Anyway, snow forecast again for next week, my riding partners are away in Spain and US, so not sure how much I’ll get in.

Miles for the week – 48

Total miles - 980



Sunday, 21 March 2010

Tandem Miles

We went out on the tandem today, heading for the Cafe de Lune.  By the shortest route, it is about 40 milers.  Unfortunately, from Pilling, it is about 10 miles of quite busy roads, it is a popular motorbike route and a scenic back road to Lancaster.  We decided to try and find a back route to Glasson Dock.  It was a beautiful morning, sunny with a slight tail wind.  We got out to Cockerham in record time and pulled off onto the road out across the salt marsh.  Suddenly, the slight tail wind turned into a huge head wind.  We struggled down to the parachute centre only to find it a dead end.  Then round turned back and headed to a different farm, to find no road but a possible footpath.  We pushed down the path for 15 minutes or so until we came out on another road, all looking good.  We headed inland then had a choice out back out to the coast or further inland.  We chose the coast.  Wrong!  After doubling back into the wind, we found the road back to Glasson Dock.  Lots of swans and a model aeroplane club.  Then onto the bike path to Cafe de Lune.  We must have seen about 15 tandems out, including one group of about 10. 

The cafe was mobbed.  Ribble Valley had arrived a bit before us and filled the place.  We got a seat outside, but the sun had gone and the wind was rising.  The Ribble guys left and we move inside, much to the confusion of the staff.  Heading home was into the wind and much slower.  After a tea cake stop at Bonds, we finally got home with 51 miles under the belt.  The farthest we’ve done on the tandem in many years, probably before we had the boys (15 years!).  Jayne is a bit stiff and sore and tired.  (don’t ask about her bottom!)

Yesterday I went mountain biking with Simon.  He was on his new Orange P7 singlespeed, a very nice bike.  We set off up to the Lakes in steady drizzle.  It didn’t lift all the way up.  We were riding it the Cartmell Fells area.  The start (in the rain) was a couple of miles of rolling road.  Then it was up a steep grassy climb, typical Lakes with grass, mud and exposed bed rock.  After a few wrong turns, we hit the fantastic downhill section.  I was really pleased with how I rode it, but I had too much air in my rear tyre and not enough in my rear shock.  It was still good though.  and nice to be out with Simon.  It never stopped raining though, until we stopped riding, when the sun came out.

The rest of the week was fairly quiet, but i got 70 miles in on the Pompino.

All in all quite a good week.

Total for the week – 134

Total for year to date – 932



Sunday, 14 March 2010

An OK Week

I had an OK week this week.  Not outstanding but OK.

It started quite badly.  Monday morning I got 1 1/4 miles to work when my chain came off.  I got it back on the front, but when I came to the rear sprocket (single speed fixed), the sprocket had come off.  I have a Miche track cog on, which has a screw on carrier with a splined sprocket kept in place by a lock ring.  The lock ring and the carrier had come unscrewed and the sprocket fallen off.  I walked back home and swapped to my Hewitt.

The rest of the week I rode the Hewitt.

The Pompino hub was OK apart from the last few threads which were trashed. This meant that I couldn’t refit the Miche sprocket as there were no threads left for the lock ring.  I ordered a Dura Ace one piece sprocket from Wiggle.

We were meant to go mountain biking on Sunday with a few of the core team.  Unfortunately, it wasn’t panning out.  But friends were up in the Lakes and free Saturday to ride.  Unfortunately, my in-laws were up and we were due to go out for a meal early Saturday evening.  If I could guarantee to be back by 4:30, I got a very begrudging pass to go.

I picked up Nic and Ian early Saturday morning and set off to the Lakes.  It was a cold but sunny morning.  We got to Clappersgate just at 10, where Heather and another Nic were waiting.  No sign of the rest.  Eventually Karl et al turned up after missing the turn of the M6.  A turn they have taken 1000’s of times!

We decided to do as much of Castle Crags/|Tarn Hows/Loughrigg as we could manage.  Alison and I decided to skip the tricky climb and head to the top of the crags on the forest road.  We flew down into Sawrey.  The climb up into Grizedale forest was hard and after a quick splash through a small stream, my rear tyre went flat.  So we stopped for lunch while I fixed the flat.

Soon we were up into the forest.  I was struggling, my legs were really heavy.  But I got to the top of the drop down in to  Coniston.  The descent was fantastic.  There is a line between in control and out of control.  I was just over the line!

Karl got a pinch flat half way down.  We waited.  Then we set off on the road to the next section.  Nic’s tyre was flat.  We stopped to fix that.  It meant we were too late to finish the ride.  heather and some others headed off to do the rest. The rest of us headed back on the road.  All in all, a beautiful day in the lakes.  The sun  shone, it was warm, the hills were glorious. And I managed to get back in time to go for our meal.

Today we did a quick trip out to the pub and back.

Total for the week – 107

For the year – 798



Sunday, 7 March 2010

Best Week Yet

I’ve been at home all week.  As a consequence I have had a very good week.  I’ve ridden in every day.  The weather has been dry but cold.  A couple of days there was ice on the road which was a bit scary.

Thursday night was our usual pub run.  Riding out was OK, a bit cold, but a beautiful clear night.  The consequence of the clear night was that when we left at just after nine, it was freezing.  -3C apparently.  Karl’s water bottle froze.

Then Friday, Karl couldn’t meet me til later than usual.  I left work earlier, so had a bit of time to add a few miles.  I ended up with 70 miles of riding to work for the week.

Then this weekend, we got out on the tandem.  We had arranged to ride out to Cafe de Lune on Sunday, about a 45 mile round trip.  So on Saturday, we did a gentle 15 mile ride out to Bonds.  Then we went into Preston to do a bit of shopping.  I got a linen jacket for £21 that should have cost £90.  We didn’t find any cycling sun glasses which we’d mainly gone to get.

This morning dawned very cold, but sunny and hardly any wind.  Alison and Ian turned up at 10:30 ish and we set out to Cafe de Lune.  It was cold but a great day.  Overall we did 45 miles, coming back was quicker than going.  The road surfaces were awful.  But a nice day out.

Miles for the week – 144

Total so far – 691