Saturday, 18 October 2014
Today was old school, we just went for a ride up the woods, taking advantage of the still fairly dry and puddle free conditions before the autumn really kicks in and returns everything to it's base elements mixed with copious amounts of water.
Today we pedalled, attempted to wheelie, mostly stayed upright, ate cake (or raw tea cakes) drank tea and struggled to keep up with Dan who "was having a good day", we thought he'd left the oven on and was rushing to get back. Great workout though and the perfect excuse to have a sleep on the sofa in the afternoon, which I'm sure all the Freeride/Enduro heroes also do.
*lets not mention those shorts Ant ;-)
Saturday, 11 October 2014
The off road sections had deteriorated a little due to the wet weather but everything was passable, even the above trail that gets more than it's fair share of abuse by our hoofed friends. A challenging track at the best of times with it's hidden roots but now just about to succumb to the churned up nightmare of winter it was actually fun to pick lines around the trampled bits, the going as they say was good to soft.
So as usual when having fun, time passes quickly and i didn't get to the cafe until 12:30 but then what self respecting eating establishment would be shut at probably it's peak time when most peoples mind/stomach turns to food, well this one does. All in darkness and with the outside chairs stacked up it looked closed and very unwelcoming. i checked the internet to try and find details, maybe this was a one off, but no, they close every Sunday at 12 noon. they must be making a lot of money in the week to be able to ignore the potential takings from a Sunday lunch time.
So, disappointed and a little hungry I carried on, it probably did my waistline good and definitely benefited my wallet but I'll think twice before visiting that cafe again...it'd probably be closed anyway
Wednesday, 8 October 2014
singletrackworld I see it as "be aware" of the bull rather than "don't enter" but i agree the wording could have been better
The steep chute I discovered last autumn was due a visit and despite some fallen trees it was still accessible. The exit though is very steep and I hopped off the bike to walk up the slope. Which is when my theory that walking is much more dangerous was proved as i stood on a hidden log, my foot slipped from under me and i felt a searing pain in my lower back, probably a pulled muscle. If it's been riding I'd have been fine. Humans eally aren't designed for walking ;-)
Sunday, 28 September 2014
We met on a saturday morning at Cannock chase, home of the Monkey and follow the dog trails. Now the big issue with Cannock is it's proximity to Birmingham and this means it gets very very busy and because of this it isn't my favourite place to ride at all. However Ant had enlisted the help of Nick who knows the area like the back of his hand and I knew we were in for a great route using hardly any of the way marked trails and lots of off piste singletrack.
And so it proved, with minimal fuss we we ready and after a very short section on the monkey trail which was already busy we turned onto natural trails and were on our own, this set the pattern for the day, super singletrack, technical and fast downhills, cannock's trademark narrowness and trees that seem to reach out and grab you and not another rider to be seen. It was a very chilled ride with no ego's, everyone just out for fun. The area has a huge amount of trails and we only scratched the surface of what's there.
Seemingly only just after we started (always the sign of a great ride) we were back to the final descent on the official trail and it was a shock to the system to see so many riders, even queues of them at one point!
We were spoilt by Nick's local knowledge and also by Ant and his O.H. who had prepared goody bags for everyone I'm sure there were a few jealous looks in the car park as we cracked open the beers (you can see the thirsty onlookers in the back round)
Happy birthday Ant, here's to many more birthdays and even more rides!
As i wheeled my bike into work i noticed the rear wheel had a pronounced wobble and on further inspection noticed on of the spokes had sheared off at the nipple. It had broken rather than becoming unscrewed so was unfixable without replacement, not something i could do at work. The only thing i could do was tape the spoke to another to stop it flapping around and at the end of the day ride very carefully home hoping the wobble didn't get worse, more to stop further damage than danger to myself as it was unlikely to collapse but could get increasingly harder to re-true back to shape .
when home I had to strip the cassette off, remove the old spoke, replace it with another and spend a good 30 minutes truing and tensioning the wheel back into shape. I then refitted the cassette and put the wheel back on the bike, only one thing to do now and thats to test it before relying on it to get me to work.
The repair was fine, now dramas, no pinging and no rear wheel steering any more! i even did a bit of "gravel grinding" and came out unscathed