Sunday, 28 August 2016

tarmac rumble

tough ride for me today, hanging onto wheels and grovelling off the back, 23 strava PRs mean the other guys must have been flying and i've got a long way to go to reach the fitness level i had before my accident.
maybe i should cut back on the cake....
....nah!!
ride 89
37 miles
total 1859

over grown men ride over grown bikes on over grown trails

retracing the Fat FoD ride we did back in June and adding our own bits we got ripped to bits on trails that have seen a lot of growth in the intervening weeks, it was however great fun even if once again my fitness let me down and the jarring of the trail took its toll on my injury. Dan and ian were flying, i was hanging on to their wheels some of the time and getting dropped the rest of it. the only was is up!
 ride 88
19 miles
total 1822

oh, those summer ni-ghts!

trails, sunsets and beers. perfect
ride 87
11 miles
total 1802

first off road ride for 3 weeks

due to injury and being sensible (yawn) this was my first off road ride for 3 weeks. to be honest it sucked, my knee was not bad pedalling but the small hard accelerations dirt riding has did give me some pain. the real problem though was the jarring over roots, rocks and rough ground as my leg muscles got thrown around.
happily though my worries that the aftermath would mean more pain and a step back in recovery were unfounded. actually the opposite was true as the next day my knee felt better than it had before the ride. 
ride 86
15 miles
total 1791

well, that all went downhill quickly

a week ago i slipped on a greasy pavement, bent my right knee the wrong way, put my full body weight on it and sprained my knee ligaments so much i couldn't walk on it or climb stairs. rest and ice treatments followed, as did a knee brace and being sensible and not trying to ride.
after a week i couldn't stand it any longer and tested my knee with a short ride, I shouldn't have bothered, it hurt a lot and i kidded myself it felt better...until the next day when it felt worse. so another 2 weeks without riding was tacked on to the first week. I wasn't sure to be honest if i'd ride properly again, i considered making plans to sell my bikes, i made everyone around me's life an misery with my gloominess. I felt really low. Working in a bike shop surrounded by bikes and seeing and chatting to customers who'd had great rides in the summer weather didn't help either.
gradually my knee did begin to feel better, i could actually walk up stairs like an able bodied person instead of one step at a time on the same leg, i could turn over in bed without wincing in pain as my knee took the weight of my lower leg, things were looking up. I haven't documented the other test rides, that would be boring as they were just me riding around the block and then eventually to work, then the day came that i rode without a knee brace, i did take it with me though just in case!
needless to say I'm taking it easy and not trying to push things for fear of a relapse. I also can notice how 3 weeks of no pedalling has affected my fitness which has dropped off considerably.
don't get injured, it's shit! but it does focus your mind on what you really want to do, I'll be even more insufferable now about riding.
can i apologise now to loved ones and friends & colleagues for being a miserable, moaing and insufferable person for the last few weeks and also thank them for being there for me to sound off on, In the big scheme of things it's insignificant compared to other peoples misfortunes and the atrocities and suffering going on in the world but it was a dark time for me. the tunnel though is beginning to lighten.
ride 85
5 miles
total 1776


Wednesday, 3 August 2016

worcester dash for cake

pedal pedal pedal pedal, downhill most of the way and uphill on the way back. a great test for the legs and an excuse to scoff cake. a seed of a plane for a real ale wobble ride were planted and i even fitted in lunch at Lizzies farm just to bag the extra distance to go over 50 miles. legs ache but tummy full.
ride 84
51  miles
total 1771

recovery

a bike covered in dust and sweat from racing, without a dropper post and with tired legs I met Ian for a quick skip through the woods after riding home from work. my legs protested and it was weird to have to stop and manually drop the seat post for the downhills but it was fun, even if it felt like i was riding these trails like i did a decade ago
ride 83
20  miles
total 1720

Pivot 2412

I've done 24 hour mtb races before all of which have been Mountain Mayhem at Gatcombe park. they were great fun, lots and lots of riders and a vast camping area.
2412 on the other hand was much smaller but all the better for it, there was a genuine atmosphere, you saw people in the arena and they saw them again on a lap and again in the arena so you could chat and compare notes rather than the anonymous nature of much bigger events. this made the whole weekend much more special for me.
the lap was just over 5 miles, half that of the MM lap but in my opinion it was the perfect length, just enough to be taxing fitness wise but short enough that the course planner could put some more technical sections in too without fear of fatigued riders making mistakes as the race reached it's latter hours. the start and finished snaked through the campsites and they encouragement from the track side campers was inspiring. sweets were handed out, cow bells and air horns were sounded and good natured ribbing too place, especially for those of us racing in kilts! there was a horrible climb but on one lap i got pushed up the hardest bit by some spectators and during the race half way up there was a stand giving out tea and scones! once over this climb you knew the fun part was about to start and it was generally all downhill to the finish. lovely snaking singletrack which was rooty and rocky in places and very fast if you had the bottle to stay off the brakes. the fast guys were polite when passing and there was plenty of room for them to do it. add to this a water crossing and some bridges and another trip through the campsite to the start finish line and i don't think the course could have been bettered.
We were there as part of the Beerbabe/NWAlps team doing the 24 hour race (there are two 12 hour races too) we were also working on the Beerbabe stand and the bar. The race has a beer sponsor and we handed out 5 barrels of beer over the weekend, it was so much fun refusing money for the beer and the look on the faces of the riders when we told them to put away their money was priceless!. we also handed out finish line beers to all the riders crossing the line at the end of their respective races. i think i was more tired staying up and doing that than doing the actual riding.
to sum up the weekend, it was well organised, friendly, had a great camaraderie and atmosphere and i got to experience it with some great friends.
ride 82
18  miles
total 1700

Sunday, 31 July 2016

recce lap

so the day has finally dawned, the weather is playing ball and after a quick loo at the course i think it's going to be a great weekend
ride 81
6  miles
total 1682

just for fun

really hot day today but perfect for riding, for doing no handers and just enjoying the ride
ride 80
20  miles
total 1676