Monday, 4 December 2017

the recovery ride

after two days of riding, quality beer and food.....omg the food....and cheese....what was needed was a quick ride to blow away the cobwebs before returning to the NWAlps. Judy and Roy devised a ride, once again a stunner, lots of sand, quality singletrack and narrow gulleys that finished at a cafe before a gentle ride back to base. the perfect end to a great weekend of fat bikes and friends
ride 87
11 miles
total 1848

People who go the extra mile

There are lots of people in this world to admire. those that do heroic things, make sacrifices for others or in some way are inspirational. we could all name a few of the high profile ones i'm sure but there a lot of unsung heroes who go unnoticed and prefer it that way because they think they are doing nothing special, it's their daily routine, it's how they choose to live their lives.
I'm going to embarrass Judy and Roy now, I'm not going to give their Surnames as publicity is not what they crave. in fact if what they do just gets one more person to ride a bicycle i'm sure they would think all their hard work was worth it.

Judy and Roy organise the annual Frensham Foray fat bike ride on global fat bike day and this is the third year they have done it. they don't do it for money, there is no entry fee, all you need to bring to ride is a fat bike and a smile. they go out of their way to plan the route, organise free food (i say free but they are actually paying for it, sorry embarrassing them again) and a trip to a brewery mid ride. it's all so slickly run and they make it look easy. it isn't easy though, there is a lot of stress involved, as there's no fee there's no guarantee anyone will turn up and the food will be wasted, will people like the route? will the weather play ball? it is December in the UK after all. they could just as easily just go for a ride themselves without all this hassle but they don't because they are good people. they are generous with their precious time and always have a smile. they are such positive people it's hard not to be the same in their company, it's infectious.

I've known Judy and Roy for at least 5 years and i can honestly say I'm a better person now than i was before just from their enthusiasm, kindness, generosity, and positivity rubbing off on me. I'm not perfect, i need a Judy hug now and then to top up my glass half full demeanor and a telling look from Roy over his spectacles when i say something daft, usually involving beer.

they are human though and they were visibly relieved after the ride when everything had turned out perfect, the smiles were there all the time, they just got a tiny bit wider back in the carpark at the end.

now i've gone and done it, they will probably be deeply embarrassed but anyone who has ever met them knows these facts anyway, it's not breaking news. If only a few more people were like these two the world would definitely be a better place and there'd be many more people riding fat bikes!

oh and the ride? best route so far, certainly the warmest weather and the brewery now has a tap room with heating!! I'm sorry to the young lady i spilt my beer over though, she was nice enough to say it didn't matter but i'm sure smelling of beer on the way home wasn't how she envisioned the day!

so sorry Roy and Judy, but also not sorry, thanks so much for organising this and for just being you. 
ride 86
24 miles
total 1837

Surrey Hill delight


I was down south in the tropical paradise that is the Surrey Hills for this ride. met up with some great friends who know the area like the back of their hands which was just as well as i'd have got lost instantly. the very sandy terrain is made for fat bikes though and after the second beer i didn't worry where we were!
ride 85

11 miles
total 1813

Tuesday, 28 November 2017

Beach Baby, Beach Baby, give me your hand...

cheeky riding, it's an emotive subject. In England, unlike Scotland we don't have the chance to ride any where we want to. access is restricted. designated footpaths are out of bounds for bicycles unless you are pushing them. we are confined by the bylaws that say bicycles are only allowed on bridleways, byways open to all traffic (BOAT) or roads used as a public path (RUPP), green lanes and permissive paths. sounds like there are loads of options right? well no, it all depends on your area. locally here there are a few bridleways and paths in a very heavily populated few square miles and there can be conflict with other users.
The NWAlps group are very careful not to antagonise these users, after all we are all out there to enjoy the countryside and the last thing anyone wants is an argument or the very worst an injury
so it was with mixed feelings we ventured onto the reservoir sand. this is usually at least 15ft deep with water but has been drained for a week or two and it was just too good an opportunity to miss....and the gate wasn't locked. 
it was a mix of sandy soil at the top and very squelchy mud nearer the water line. we didn't linger just marvelled at the probably once in a lifetime chance to ride here. we can tell everyone in the future that "we rode our bikes on the bottom of that" as the yachts sail past and they will probably look at us as if we were mad. at that point i'll whip out the photos and just grin at their disbelief.
ride 84
21 miles
total 1802

Sunday, 19 November 2017

the ride after the night before

after a great night of music and beers i felt, lets just say a little below par this morning, so did Dan but for other reasons, so a small ride was prescribed, take one bike, mix with mud applied liberally to the affected areas and this should clear up after about 10 miles.
and so it was, anyone who knows me or follows the blog wouldn't be surprised how fast i can move when there is cake involved and my performance today just confirms it
ride 83
11 miles
total 1781

mid week hump ride

unusual wednesday off today so of course i went out for a ride, just to Waseley and then a play in the woods, conditions better than expected but as you can see some places are pretty cut up and boggy. it certainly gets your adrenaline going when you attempt to ride down something like this. this is "certain death", the camera always makes things look less steep than they are and this is no exception. it's also a rooty drop in at the top. i dropped in at ususl angle and it all went rong from there. sideways and with the back wheel trying to overtake the front it was a pinball like ride down through the narrow gaps in the trees, over log drop and into the washed out stream bed. miraculously i survived the trip including the drop down to the road and stayed on the bike the whole way down! 
ride 82
15 miles
total 1770

Leaf surfing


Autumn has come with a thump, suddenly there is deep leaf litter covering very soft ground. time to learn how to ride slick roots and mud again. Time to get those summer tyres off and exchange them for something with more bite.
ride 81
21 miles
total 1755

Saturday, 11 November 2017

a play in the woods

after last weeks long ride and the resulting continuation ofillness i was determined to not overdo things this week however desperate i was to get out.
So i just went for a play in the woods, sessioning a couple of trails and not really going far. Luckily having a day off in the week meant the woods were quiet and i could lurk about taking pictures of myself.
I do wonder what people think when they catch sight of me with a camera and a bike in the middle of no where running back up a trail to get into position before the timer expires and the camera starts snapping pictures Probably think I'm as mad as i often feel doing it!
so with 14 miles in the bank i was home, feeling ok and hoping that there isn't of last weeks relapse
ride 80
14 miles
total 1734

over done

so I hadn't ridden for a week after having a cold, a proper snotty one, felt grotty for two weeks but finally on Thursday things seemed to improve so when Friday arrived i was desperate to get out on the bike. it was a lovely sunny day with blue skies and reasonably warm temperatures for November in the UK.
I was still expelling vast amounts of thick mucus but i wasn't coughing and my breathing was fine. I'd arranged to meet a friend for coffee about 15 miles away from home. It was a fairly easy route with not too many climbs.
coffee was drunk, chins were wagged and i set off for home in a similar profile but not a reversal of the route I'd used on the way out and i felt great, I even detoured to take a longer route and have a late lunch on the way home (thai green chicken soup food fans). got home, showered and felt smug that i was over my cold and back in the saddle.
Saturday at work passed without incident and i was again pleased at my recovery from the ride, legs not too achy, all was well.
Sunday morning was a different story, proper relapse. felt awful, achy all over, it hurt to lift my arms and my legs felt like they'd done 100 miles into a headwind. my riding plans went on hold and all i managed was a 5 mile walk.
This is my second cold in 2 months and it's mightily pissing me off, i almost never get a cold. I'm going to look at my diet and make some lifestyle changes i think, maybe start taking some suppliments to boost my immune system and hopefully stop this decline
ride 79
36 miles
total 1720

Friday, 27 October 2017

Shirley you can't be serious!

it was  only meant to be a short ride to photograph the bike next to a particular piece of graffiti art but as is usual with these things the art is constantly evolving and just wasn't what i wanted this time so basically i wondered off and ended up doing 30 miles. even a massive thorn in the back tyre didn't dampen the day, thak goodness for tubeless and orange seal!!
ride 78
32 miles
total 1684