Sunday, 5 July 2015

Wyre Forest

It's really been too long since I rode at the Wyre forest, sometime last Autumn I think. Conditions today were near perfect, dry, sunny and warm and apart from a few isolated areas of mud the forest was dry and dusty. Unfortunately the bike I had planned to take developed a fault so i had to use the Fat bike. Not the ideal bike to use when trying to keep up with guys on either light weigh cross country machines or full on enduro rigs, but at least i could use it as an excuse to ride at the back! when i uploaded the data from my bike computer to Strava I actually got my fastest time on 8 segments, so either i was deadly slow before or I didn't do too bad.
It's always difficult to plan a route to keep everyone happy, a good mix of climbs, descents and singletrack is the goal and I hope I achieved that. A few tweaks to the route and it'd be pretty much perfect.
There were a couple of trips over the bars but thankfully no lasting injuries. New guy Kris joined us after making contact via the NWAlps facebook group and survived!
ride 89
16 miles
total 1525
commute 349

Kinks like (sunny afternoon)

another hot day, rode out to meet @charlotteTCR at the gym. I really don't go well in the heat, I have no energy at all when the temperature rises, good job I live in the UK really!
ride 88
15 miles
total 1509
commute 349

Hot Hot Hot!

really it was a daft idea, 29 degree heat and loads of humidity and we went riding in the woods, i was finished after 4 miles, soaked in sweat and totally knackered. I'd purposely hydrated myself all day, drinking as much as i could, to the point of having to go to the toilet about every 15 minutes, goodness knows what it would have been like without the extra fluids. after 12 miles we'd had enough and retired to the pub. I'm glad we did ride but i'd thing twice if the temperature gets to this level and humidity again.
ride 87
12 miles
total 1494
commute 324

Distillery delivery

It's my Dad's birth day and knowing he likes a little tipple i decided to take him a bottle of single malt by bicycle. Listening to the bottle slamming against the frame on some of the down hills was worrying but it remained intact and seemed to go down well when presented.
The picture of course is staged, hard spirits and cycling don't really mix!
ride 86
12 miles
total 1482
commute 324

making the most of it

Straight out from work today, it's just too nice not to make the most of the longer daylight days, of course with the dry weather comes dry and fast trails which i made full advantage of. It also brings clouds of insects too and it's not an idea to linger in one spot for too long unless you want to become the evening meal for all manner of wee beasties

ride 85
13 miles
total 1470
commute 324

Sunday, 28 June 2015

a ride after 42 miles on a fat bike and a night on the beers was never going to be all sweetness and light and this one ran true to form. I was probably dehydrated, more from the ride than the alcohol and my legs were protesting on the climbs. I decided to just use this ride as a recovery session, easy pedalling out for lunch. It was marred somewhat by getting a puncture but at least the surroundings were good to find the thorn and swap a tube. my exercise for the day was probably the pumping i had to do to get the tyre to seat on the rim. After the swap I carried on to the lunch stop but didn't want to stray too far with no spare tube so looped around not far from home and eventually sheltered from the rain at the club, had a pint and fixed the tube. Once again, there are worse places to fix a tube
ride 84
8 miles
total 1457
commute 324


I don't really like driving to ride somewhere, sitting in a car for a few hours just to ride around a 10 mile off road circle, even if it does have jumps, berms and drops etc seems a bit of a waste of time not to mention fuel. I don't have a problem with public transport however and luckily London Midland trains are quite happy for you to pop a bike on their trains without a reservation.It was a bit cramped in the "bike" section as there were two touring bikes already there, the owners had travelled down from Sheffield on their way to Hereford.
I disembarked from the train at Great Malvern and straight into the stiff climb up to the town, now I wasn't exactly riding a bike that was ideal for tarmac cruising, the 4" tyres on the fat bike tend to suck the tarmac and put up quite a lot of rolling resistance but I'd fitted spd pedals to do a bit of spinning and once up to speed it rolls fairly well. Hills though are another matter as all told the bike weights a lot nearer to 40lb than 30. There was no choice though now, all i had to do was ride home. I decided to head back to Worcester and then get on the canal to get me nearer to home turf, The route i took wasn't really planned, i just followed my nose keeping the Malvern hills on my left and the river Severn on my right. Because of the proximity of the hills the road was very undulating and i had to battle to keep momentum and keep the speed up. numerous sprints out of the saddle followed by trying to recoup some energy by coasting the down hills was my strategy. If i had a £ for every comment i got on this ride about the size of the tyres I'd have had enough for a slap up meal at the eco-pump tea room in Gheluvelt park, as it was i settle for a huge piece of sponge cake and a pot of tea whilst expailning "those huge tyres" to people also sat in the cafe garden including an old guy who asked if my bike was a Raleigh!
the final stretch was all off road via the Droitwich canal. It was dry on the towpath and i got a good rhythm going only interrupted by a fox stood in the middle of the path, he was in no rush to move either by eventually wandered off through the reeds as ig ot very close.
Knowing i was out with the boys for a beer that evening i had to get a shift on to be back in time and had tea in the saddle in the form of a pasty. i got home with just enough time to shower and change before being picked up
ride 83
42 miles
total 1449
commute 324


got a few days off work so spent the morning DIYing, as you do then out for a spin in the woods. It was incrdibly hoyt and humid, looks like i picked the right days to have off. I stopped at Waseley cafe for a late lunch and a chilled out relaxed ride ensued via Romsley and the canal
ride 82
23 miles
total 1407
commute 324

Monday, 22 June 2015

A summers day out

 Phew! today's ride, Lots of climbing, lots of over grown trails, lots of sunshine, lots of tea, some cake, more climbing, huge jumps, small jumps, "drop offs only" please, a bit of skate park action, a stream crossing, short cuts narrower than your bars, horse dodging, sketchy descending, New (to some) trails, pebble surfing, cattle grids, Linda McCartney burgers, a detour, an irate driver, open garden day and poo alley was poo free!
ride 81
32  miles
total 1394
commute 324

Saturday, 20 June 2015

tree 1, Dan 0

After a week of lovely weather the night we had arranged to ride turned out to be wet, not torrential rain and not continual just light drizzle interspersed with the occasional heavier burst. It was very warm though so even wearing a T shirt and shorts I felt comfortable and the precipitation was actually welcome as a cool aid after a few climbs.
Even though the weather was less than clement and we didn't start riding until 1900 there seemed to be a inordinate amount of people in the woods near the visitor centre so we headed for beacon side, showed Ian the new singletrack and made our way to Bono. the rain hadn't penetrated under the trees yet and so the ground was hard, dry and grippy, perfect for fast riding.
 At the top of Bono I made the fateful decision to use the "son of Bono" option. You enter at speed and enter the twisty and sometimes off camber bits, negotiate the awkward roots, thankfully still dry and then thread your way through the trees on the final drop back onto the original Bono trail.
Those final trees though had other ideas or the elves who fox riders in the Mint Sauce comic strip were lurking behind them and after i had passed between them i heard a sharp crack and a groan from behind me. hitting the brakes and coming to a stop i turned back a little apprehensive to what I was about to find.I found Dan holding his arm and sat on the ground next to his bike. He'd caught a short, stubby but thick (at least 3" thick) branch with his upper arm at full speed. the force of the impact had broken the branch clean off the tree! As painful as it must have been it was a relief that the injury wasn't more serious, no gushing blood or broken bones. Clearly after i had ridden through the elves had pushed the trees closer together and Dan had fallen foul of their mischievousness.
We had to treat Dan's injury with medicinal alcohol in the shape of a beer but we all knew that however painful it was now the morning and the following days would make tonights discomfort pale into insignificance.
ride 80
13 miles
total 1362
commute 324