Sunday, 20 July 2014

squeak, clank, squeek

An overcast morning saw us riding the Timberhonger route. Still smarting from damaged ribs I deliberately planned a route without much climbing so easy the strain on the ribs when climbing and pulling on the bars. However i also decided to attempt the entire route in one gear. This meant lotys of momentum for the short rides and manic spinning on the flat bits, more singlespeed training i guess. We were also trying to diagnose the annoying creak on Charlotte's bike. the bottom bracket had been checked, as were the cranks, freewheel, spokes and any bolt that could come loose. We swapped wheels to see if we could narrow it down and eliminate the wheel and of course no creak when it was on my bike! So in the end I think it might just be the rear QR which did seem devoid of grease and was squeeky off the bike, so QR swapped we'll see on the next ride if it was that
Ride 105
24 miles
Total 2076
commute 523


Another session of twinges and pain on the singlespeed, purely down to the rib injury rather  than the lack of gears. Extremely humid out today after a day of thunder, lightning and heavy rain. Lots of puddles to play in though
Ride 104
14 miles
Total 2052
commute 523

Thursday, 17 July 2014

the Singlespeed is dead, long live the singlespeed

i Was riding the 69er as a singlespeed but the rear hub has been complaining for ages and I think the axle has broken, this'll be the second time,, I'd like to say it is my awesome power but it's just relatively soft alloy and lots of use. and as I don't have another 26" wheel to throw in I've resorted to building up an old friend. The Singular Swift lives again! The niche-O-meter has been dialled down somewhat but it does pedal nicely & feels instantly "right" somehow. sore ribs that hurt when pulling on the bars & single speed might not have been the best idea, combined with the hottest day of the year it was rather uncomfortable but somehow at the same time, great!
Ride 103
12 miles
Total 2038
commute 523

Tuesday, 15 July 2014


In the Tour stage yesterday Alberto Contador broke his tibia and still rode on for 18k. So i though a few sparined ribs would be easy enough to ride through. Well let me tell you they aren't, fine at the start sitting down but out of the saddle pulling on the bars was painful and the longer into the ride I went the worse it got, even in the saddle any bad road surface meant the ribs got jarred. still, a grand tour isn't at stake so i might take tomorrow off!
Ride 102
26 miles
Total 2026
commute 523

ribs :-(

Strava and me just don't mix, neither do ditches at the end of segments, and i felt so quick and left the braking as late as possible, ok, left it too late and ended up in a ditch getting full travel on the forks and in an attempt to not go over the bars i was so far back over the saddle i over extended my arm and felt my rib muscles sprain. I stayed on the bike though despite the G forces wanting to eject me from it. I was more happy with that than the strava result-not even my best time, only 2nd and still 5 seconds off the KOM
Ride 101
13 miles
Total 2000
commute 523

Sunday, 13 July 2014


Todays ride was my 100th of the yearand very pleasant it was too, good company, lots of lanes, great views, & tea and toast. We passed lots of riders out riding a sportive when we briefly joined their route. the only negative was quite a strong headwind which seemed to blow into our faces whatever direction we turned. We even bought cake on the way home!
Ride 100
43 miles
Total 1987
commute 523

SSUK training starts here

In September I'm entering the UK single speed MTB championship so i thought I'd better get used to riding a bike with only one gear. I'd built the Voodoo Wanga into a single speed 69er (29" front wheel, 26" rear wheel). It's great and doesn't feel weird with the two wheel sizes even if it looks odd. I might have to adjust the gearing though, 32:19 is just too spinny on the flat, perfect for off road but as locally there is always going to be tarmac between trails I might have to reduce the rear sproket a bit. On a route i usually ride on a geared bike I got my 2nd best time ever up the long climb, way slower overall but there was a long flat stretch so the time was lost there. I did reach for the non existant gear lever a couple of times but i was used to it by the end, there needs to be a lot more single speed ride to get a bit of souplesse in the legs though!
Ride 99
12 miles
Total 1944
commute 523

Saturday, 12 July 2014

Ups, downs, empty barrels and abuse

Dan and I took the hardtails to Clent today, it was after work and lights were fitted and we took a direct route as I wanted to get the early enough to seek out a trail i thought i'd spotted last time I was there. In the event we followed some other guys down it (two on electric powered MTBs ) and it was as i remembered, quite straight, a few drops but the difficult part was the low sun shining through the trees making spotting a good line to ride very difficult. On coming horses didn't help either. as we came off the hill a beer was suggested and our first stop turned out to be a real disappointment as all the ale was off, only lager available! so obviously we moved on, got the deer farm climb and descent done and stopped at the Holly bush for 2 pints of Hobson's twisted spire before heading back. Dan got verbally abused by some teens in the park, but what did he expect wearing bright pink gloves! :-)
Ride 98
25 miles
Total 1932
commute 506

not quite so flat

After Ant commented on the last road ride and took exception to my description of it being "flast-ish" i suggested that i sort out a route for us in Worcestershire. Unofficially titled The Tour de Gradient it was a quite lumpy route with short sharp climbs and one medium length, non extremely steep, we don't have those locally but as the worst of the climbs were placed near the end of the route it should prove a reasonable challenge. the day was perfect weather wise, sunny & with little breeze and we made good time. It was strange to dbe on such a windy route, not something i normally ride which perhaps i should as it used all the local climbs  be heading via Timberhonger to cutnall green. we then turned towards Clent and the long climb through Drayton, Belbroughton and eventually St Kenelms pass for a snack at Nimming Cafe. then, even though we were only 6 miles from home if it was a normal route we took a longer versions with as many climbs as i could pack in. the guys also opted for a much hillier end when I gave them a choice. Ant did have to stop on the final ascent, not because he was tired but because he was propositioned by an old lady in trouble! In fact she thrust a glass jar into his hand and asked hime to unscrew the lid! not something that happens much on the Tour de France! It was a fun ride, a bit lumpier than the last and I think Ant appreciated why my average speed is quite low after it.
Ride 97
43 miles
Total 1907
commute 506

Wednesday, 2 July 2014

packing it in

we didn't go far but we packed a great many super trails in, Julia's drops, the long & short Kidz trail, son of Bono, the Esses, the short steps and the split penis and of course all the climbs to get to them. all dispatched with our usual panache, Dan, Ben, Ian and myself were out and Dan said it was the best local ride he'd had this year. The weather was perfect and so was the after ride beer!
Ride 96
9 miles
Total 1864
commute 445