Saturday, 30 January 2016


 spent half the ride today like this, 21 miles into a headwind in the highest gear just to move. 2nd half was 13.5 mph without pedalling on the flat bits. 41 miles then walked 4 to the pub, shattered now
41 miles
total 231
commute 72

hot hot hot

 wet and mild like a tropical jungle but without the toxic plants and venomous animals. even Waseley wasn't like a Dogs Trust convention either. It was like a strippers convention though but without the sexy music as we de clothed at various points.The rock cake though was as big as my head and i only just managed to scoff it. Not doing so would have been a disaster and massive faux pas. thankfully reputation was upheld and only crumbs remained
22 miles
total 190
commute 54

Saturday, 23 January 2016

cheap and dirty ride

with a few sportive rides entered this year I needed a road bike, Now i'd love to spend £££ on a state of the art carbon racing bike with the latest kit on it but i really can't justify the cost for the amount of use it'll get compared to a MTB. So my basic priority was a good frame that i could use to put some decent parts that i've already got on to. the Giant defy has good reviews and because this is last years model it has a great discount on it, it cost a lot less than a good set of wheels usually does. this was my first ride on it that wasn't on an indoor trainer. It took a few miles to set up the saddle and bar height to how i like it, when it's sat on the turbo trainer it's just not the same as on tarmac so i was prepared and took the the right tools with me on the ride. I have to say it's lighter than i was expecting for the price and it feels as comfortable as my old carbon frame was. I'm glad i went for the M/L frame rather than the large and i'll need to drop the front end a little but so far all good
ride 9
23 miles
total 168
commute 54

Hi Viz dash

a week of hard frosts on water soaked roads meant i'd avoided any sort of riding to work for safety reasons, i had too many offs on ice last year and I don't think it's worth the risk to put myself out of riding action just to say i've ridden a bike. the turbo trainer has taken a bashing though. But tonight the temperature was three time it was yesterday and in a flash of Hi Viz i was out on the bike battling the traffic and glad to be pedalling and actually moving!
ride 8
11 miles
total 145
commute 54

sausage dash

after a ride in bitter cold and rain, where the feeling in your feet has disappeared after half an hour and even downhill gives you the same headache you suffer when eating too much ice cream too quickly its usually a relief to get home and into a warm shower and dry clothes. and so it was today, however my arrival home coincided with a txt inviting me to tea and cake, suddenly the cold was forgotten and i got the bike out again and headed straight up the hill.  a three mile climb was rewarded by a pork power bar and hot tea!. i'd remembered to pack a windproof to wear on the three mile downhill that followed and the extra bonus was that i experienced that just home to the warm feeling twice in one day
17 miles
total 134
commute 54

Daffs in Jan

 the snow has gone and the remnants of the freaky warm weather we've had this year are evident to see, Daffodils fully out in January!
17 miles
total 128
commute 54

winter arrives

 the Spaniard & the Puppy enjoy the first snow of winter
well, suddenly it got cold and we had snow! albeit less than an inch and even that only at the highest level. Even so the fat bike was twitching and straining at the leash to get in it. It certainly brings out the kid in you, amazing what a little frozen water can do to raise a smile. Apart from when it's frozen on tarmac on a twisty downhill lne, then it causes all sorts of clenches to suddenly start!. we were hoping the cold conditions would make the ground more solid and it did for an hour or so but then it was back to the deep sludge.
ride 5
17 miles
total 111
commute 54

Sunday, 10 January 2016

non stop

topping out on Walton Hill
Solo ride today and not knowing where to ride I though I'd have another go at the Waltonberg climb, this time without stopping to take photos until I got to the trig point on the top of Walton hill. It was an effort and having yesterdays climbs in my legs didn't help but i made it non stop and am now the Strava KOM for this climb in 2016 (ok, i'll confess only 4 people have actually ridden it this year!)
ride 4
23 miles
total 94
commute 54

the Waltonberg

Russ battles the 23% section
 Somehow I've managed to enter my first sportive race in May, the race is "the tour of the Black country" a race that has some 19 sections of mild off road and more technical cobbled sections. The toughest of these is the "Waltonberg" a climb in the Clent hills. embarrassingly I didn't know of it's existence and todays recce ride was the first time I've ever ridden it. the steepest part is 23% and it's very rough. the conditions today make it harder, very greasy, there's no chance you can stand up and pedal as the back wheel just slips and starting off again after stopping to take the picture resulted in inadvertent wheelies! it certain will be a challenge on a road bike and I hope it's a bit drier in May!
ride 3
33 miles
total 71
commute 54

the road less travelled

having a break on the climb of Ickneild St
sometimes the road is just as challenging than off road. I'm not talking about gradients here, although that is a factor. What the challenge was today was less travelled lanes that have suffered from the recent weather. Floods, erosion and lots of mud. Sounds like a section of singletrack in winter but no, this is tarmac and it's just as much fun as off road.
ride 2
15 miles
total 38
commute 54