Friday, 29 February 2008

Sunrise and bacon.

The photo shows Amy riding up to meet me at Rivington Pike very early this morning. Inspired by reading the blog of another local rider we decided to do a breakfast ride. Between us we took a stove, pan, plate, oil, bacon, ketchup, bread rolls and orange juice (neither of us thought to bring a fork so the bacon was flipped using a tyre lever). Breakfast was underway while the sun was still rising. It was freezing up there, I had no idea bacon could take so long to fry in such conditions (it took a while for the penny to drop and make us use the plate as a lid to speed up the cooking). Even though we'd both packed lots of extra clothes we both got pretty cold, my hands were numb for most of the ride down which made for some precarious braking. An absolutely top way to start the day though.


Wednesday, 27 February 2008

Perfect evening.

Singlespeed nightride with a pub stop. I'm sure the beer had nothing to do with my stalling in the middle of a lake like puddle and having no choice but to put my foot down. Arrived home smiling with wet socks and an appetite. Husband has been dispatched to the curry shop for takeaway! Perfect evening.


Tuesday, 26 February 2008


It's a myth but I'm sure we've all heard that thing that Eskimo people have 50 words for snow, well out road riding in the West Pennines today we needed 50 words for wind. It was blowy, gusting, howling etc etc etc. It was unbelievably windy, and curiously in a 50 or so mile ride the wind was only behind us on two small sections the rest of the time it did into your face with eye watering velocity or whipped side on causing serious road bike wobble. The last hill of the day, which is particularly brutal, was double tough as I had to pedal hard to get up it and still pedal to get down the other side.


Sunday, 17 February 2008

How bad can it be?

So, somehow I seem to have agreed to step in as Amy's team mate for Trans-Wales. It's 6 months away, but already I'm lurching between excitement and terror!


Friday, 15 February 2008

More beers than gears*

So a few posts back I was writing about needing to get myself psyched up to take the singlespeed plunge, well I did more than just dip my toe today. A few chats with regular riding buddy Amy revealed that she too was interested in singlespeeding, a bit of partner not looking credit card waving by her and today we were both ready to ride offroad with no gears. Me and my bike got dropped of at Amy's this morning and we thought we might manage a few miles from her place, we anticipated a lot of pushing, we expected pain, we thought there'd be sweat, I fully expected to spend the ride tasting blood. But, you know what, it was brilliant. We both loved it. We ended up doing 20 miles, 810m climbing, a pub stop half way for burger and beer. It was different to our normal full suss, geared riding, not necessarily harder, just different. Now I'm not into giving lectures, but if anyone reading is thinking of trying a different sort of riding but is hesitant, then don't be, go for it. If you're thinking about making that first ever road ride, or venturing offroad for the first time, or wondering if the track might be the place for you. Me and Amy have the grins today to prove that stepping out of your comfort zone is a good thing.


*More beers than gears

Tuesday, 12 February 2008

just around the corner

So, when race day starts like this you know it's going to be a good one...

Actually it started in the dark, at 4.30am. There are very few things I'd get up that early to drive three hours for but the Thetford winter enduros qualify, because they are consistently so much fun.

Where else can you find yourself giggling out loud as you lean the bike deeper and deeper into the luscious, swooping, buffed-to-perfection berms, pumping the dips and loving the last minute decision to put the super-grippy, super-wrapped summer tyres on in February as shoulders brush tree trunks at what feels like 45 degrees whilst following riders recede in your virtual rear view mirror?

"Yay, jump to berm! *hup* woooo! bwarrrrrppppp..."

First and second place ladies, supposedly immersed in a "ding-dong battle" but actually just having a good old natter about downhilly time trials and long travel forks...

"You're only supposed to blow the bloody doors off!"

Short sleeves, unzipped, the red dancing shoes and the white summer socks undug from the bottom of the sock box in anticipation of a tan.

And nearly, but not quite, getting back for that eighth lap, despite working so damn hard, but not really minding, because it'll all be there next year.

Summer is going to be good.

Spooky ectoplasm head picture.

Night riding. Scary, but so much fun!


Monday, 11 February 2008

Sunglasses and bare legs!

I've been a lazy cycling commuter for most of the winter, the odd half-hearted attempt, but the train is so inviting when it's pouring with rain. Oh, but today, what a day? A day for riding if there ever was one. Sunglasses and bare bits of leg, in February! 15 miles of seaside riding for me this morning, so much smiling, so many cheery hellos. Every light was green, every roundabout clear, car drivers were courteous, the wind behind me, you know the sort of thing, absolute perfection. The cycling was great, the rest of my day was shit, but there you go you take the rough with the smooth!


Friday, 8 February 2008

Rocks, food and a bike shop.

The Lake District for a perfect day out with friends today. We rode and carried our bikes over some rocks, had some top quality food and browsed in a bike shop. Need I say more?


Wednesday, 6 February 2008

All day just riding and laughing.

I rode with my friend Amy yesterday. We did a big offroad ride, I left my house after breakfast and needed my lights for the last 8 or so miles. It was one of those days where we laughed a lot. We laughed at the mud, the face stinging rain, the constant stopping to change clothes, my bizarre decision to use a wind ravaged portaloo on a hilltop rather than find a modesty-tree, the man who told us off for cheeky footpath use (we were suitably contrite to his face but we giggled afterwards). We laughed at cows blocking the trail, crazy dogs, near misses with tractors and finding a hole in the fence next to the section where we always have to lift our bikes over the gate. We didn't laugh when we stopped at our favourite pub (which had been specifically factored into the choice of route) to discover they had stopped serving food. There was no funny side to a lack of chips! A great day out and when I got home I rewarded myself with more pancakes than would normally be considered polite. We're planning another all day ride for next week but with pub opening hours to be researched more thoroughly ahead of time.