Wednesday, 18 October 2017

traditional sunday fayre

i't been a while since i had a MTB session on a sunday afternoon, this is partly due to having a day free in the week and also the fact that everyone else is out in the woods on a sunday afternoon. there are families, dogs, horses etc and it's difficult to avoid them. Today though we seemed to manage it for the most part. sticking to a route away from the honeypots such as the cafes and car parks (people don't seem to stray far from these) we got quite a few good runs in and then tacked on a good loop to add some mileage, it can't all be fun! actually it is. it's always to sit on the sofa on a Sunday night with your legs burning from the effort compounded with the tingle of nettle strikes
ride 76
23 miles
total 1641

rare saturday ride

Free from commitments on a saturday after work I met Ian for a great night ride in the woods. the weather was hot and humid and the trails "buff". we smashed a few descents and ground up some climbs and as it was the weekend we decided a pint was in order. we gate crashed a 50th birthday party too and i got some lovely free food!
ride 75
10 miles
total 1618

one is never enough

not satisfied with one ride today i took the fat bike out in the afternoon for a tour of the local wood. Perfect time during the week as they are empty and great for playing in.
ride 74
9 miles
total 1608

more grass up the middle

Great ride with Russ around a very well sign posted byway in a circular route starting from Ledbury. quite lumpy route, it is afterall on the foothills of the Malverns. i think we probably only rode on a major road for about 100m the rest was lanes like the above. seldom used and great fun
ride 73
22 miles
total 1599

long way in

technically i suppose this shouldn't be in a pic a ride because i vowed not to do reports of commuting to work as they all be the same. However this was a break from the norm. today i decided as i was due to start late and finish late i'd get up early and make the most of the sunshine with a bit of off roading on the way to work. stunning morning for it and i was all set to do the same on the way home
ride 72 however and here's a great tip. if you charge your lights in july ready for a 24hr race and then don't actually use them don't expect that charge to have lasted until October! major panic as i tested the lights an hour before home time and find there's no charge at all! luckily i had a rechargable "commuting light" unluckily i only had time to charge it for 1 hour via a usb. i've never pedalled so fast thinking at any moment i'd be plunged into darkness and the other road users wouldn't be able to see me and I  wouldn't be able to see where i was going.
ride 72
15 miles
total 1577

Thursday, 12 October 2017

shortest ride of the year?

it may have been the shortest ride of the year but it sure hurt a lot more than a lot of them. mainly the next day and the day after when my arm ligaments started to complain that they weren't used to being used in that way. pulling those bars up and landing takes it's toll! i had to have a sit down to recover too :-)
ride 71
2 miles
total 1562

ride 2

got in from the mornings road ride, changed helmet, added baggy shorts and went for a spin up the woods, just for a mess about. polar opposite to the earlier ride. sessioned a few spots and just made sure i did enough miles to add to this mornings to total 50+ for the day.
ride 70
14 miles
total 1560

Grass up the middle

I really wasn't feeling this ride, the first 5 miles seemed like a chore. I almost turned around and went home. I'm glad i kept going though. things got better as i found the more remote lanes. those route so seldom used they have grass growing up the middle of the tarmac. these are the lanes that add a bit of mystery to your ride. you're not quite sure what is going to be around the corner or if the hard surface is going to disappear and be replaced entirely by grass or mud.
once over the 5 mile slump i began to enjoy the ride and the bike, i've not ridden a proper road machine for a while and it took a little adjustment, the Cube is very forgiving though and just slips along. it also copes well with the mixed surfaces too. before i realised i'd done 30 plus miles and was starving. a trip to Lizzies satiated that and as i made my way home on this lovely day i didn't feel like stopping. so i got home and swapped bikes for more off road fun..
ride 69
37 miles
total 1546

Wednesday, 4 October 2017

rides on the edge in slow-mo

the question today wasn't so much "where shall we ride" but more "what shall we ride  those trails on" Dan's original idea was to ride parts of the Tour of The Black Country route which is a sportive based on Paris-Roubaix, a mix of road and gravel paths and bridleways, traditionally ridden on a road bike and the off road sections are quite tame. but due to poor weather we thought we'd stay closer to home. So i suggested riding the trails we normally use our MTBs on but on the gravel bike inspired bikes instead.
The conditions were warm but wet, over night rain made the trails very slippery and would have been a challenge on fat rubber, 35mm "gravel" tyres made for very nervous moments but huge grins. having to pick a line to avoid the worst of the slick roots, the patches of deep mud and daring to lean the bike over on corners made it seem like i was riding a 80's twitchy "ATB" with narrow bars and useless tyres. I've not had so much fun doing 8mph going down hill on the edge of adhesion for years and years!
I'll admit we didn't ride "double drop" or "certain death" or anything remotely technical but the trails we did ride felt that technical as we reached the limits of the bikes we had. we also managed 34+ miles, something we'd not have done on the fat bikes. for once i think i earned my slice of cake!
it may have looked to anyone who saw us like we were riding in slow motion but i can assure you everything was clenched and the woop at the end of a difficult section was a genuine cry of relief and happiness at surviving intact and upright.
ride 68
34 miles
total 1509

lost in Worcestershire

Some of the best rides have no plan, they are off the cuff. You head in a general direction with a vague idea of where you are going and then adapt the route as you come across something interesting or a track or road you've not ridden before but heads in sort of but maybe not quite the right direction.
I rode back roads i'd ridden before. i pedalled along lanes i've never visited in my life time. i touched tarmac. mud, gravel and grass with only the fading light limiting my distance as i hadn't fitted a light on the front. it was pretty wet in places from the morning showers but a good set of mudguards from Mudhugger kept things comfy. i don't think i saw another cyclist all afternoon.
great ride that went nowhere really, just in a big circle of discovery
ride 67
50 miles
total 1475