Michael bins it

After all the father’s day activity today that involved a trip to Macclesfield and a trip to my folk’s house, I ran out of time to do the planned trans-pennine ride. Ah well, I’ll try and fit it in this week. It means my mileage for the last week is short of my target by some 60 miles or so, but when you run out of time, you run out of time. At least I didn’t run out of “go”. In contrast to Simon’s plan to take it easier this week, I’m planning to train right through MM and treat that as a weird kind of training exercise. I’ll probably hurt when I’m racing but what the hell.

This morning Michael and I did the planned ride at Llandegla and it was all going really well until his front wheel washed out in a large puddle and he landed a good 6 metres further down the trail. Severe cuts and abrasions to his elbow, both knees, chest and hip were the reulting injuries. A spectacular amount of mud on his clothes completed the ensemble. He’s ok. “It’s all part of it”, I explained to him. It’s not like he lost any teeth or broke his bike or owt. He was bloody fast today though. On one downhill section of the black run I had to ride pretty fast once I realised he was bearing down on me through a tight berm. He’s climbing well too. It’s in the blood, clearly 😉

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up and down

45 mile road ride today. I’d planned a route that includes a fair bit of climbing – Affetside, Edgeworth, Darwen, Blackburn, Haslingden and back home through Edenfield and Ramsbottom. A sting in the tail through Ainsworth village and we’re done. 45 miles altogether. The entire route goes up and down a lot – top speed was 42mph (in a 30). Not bad for a compact chainset ;0)

Michael and I are going over to Llandegla in the morning. I think he’s getting a bit bored of going there to be honest and he’s wanting a ride in the hills proper. “It’ll be a right bog, mate” I’ve told him. What I really meant was “It’ll be a moan-fest halfway through the first climb, sunshine.”. After that, I’ll drop some Newcastle Browns off at my dad’s then maybe I’ll get another long ride in – maybe that big bugger of a climb up to the White House pub and then down into Calderdale. If I do, I’ll just creep over the 200 miles in the last week. If not, I’ll go out on the SS for a bit. The rain and this knee niggle dropped me a few miles this week.

Mountain Mayhem in a week’s time. It feels a bit weird, not being worried or nervous about it. Normally I’m solo-ing things like this so being in a mixed team of 5 will be like a bloody holiday! Still, it’s all miles in the bag innit and it’ll be a giggle. We’re planning to get a wicker basket to put a plastic ET in and we’ll each attach it to the bars for our lap – that’ll be our “thing”. Maybe we should get 2 ET’s to save pissing about with a toy alien in the changeover area.

A bloody long walk

Well I thought that “ride to Macclesfield, do a 13 mile sponsored walk with the mum-in-law and then ride back again” would be a piece of cake. It wasn’t. First of all, I set off late yesterday morning to get to Kath’s at 8:30am so I had to ride at triathlon speed (see previous post) to make it on time.

I made it on time, but it hurt more than I wanted it to. Not only that but I was pulling a few sketchy manoeuvres through the city centre…pavements, red lights, trams…oh well.

Once we’d met up with Kath’s friends at Tegg’s Nose we were off across what seemed like the entire National Park. Up Shutlingsloe, nearly falling off the other side, up Shining Tor (which would be ace for a fell race – perhaps it is) then back up to the top of Tegg’s Nose. 13.1 miles in total and it was very tough indeed. The temperature was in the 80’s and I had to carry this nasty, narrow-strapped rucksack into which Kath had put a load of butties, water, a flask, camera and I’m sure there were a few half bricks in there for good measure. Still, it was for a good cause and it made a change from the usual training activities. Those “more mature” walkers can shift a bit too!

Simon and I have finally booked the B&B in Switzerland and the flights. So we’re all set, apart from the car hire.

We’re staying here: http://www.chaletheidi.com/

It had to be called “Heidi” didn’t it?

Before that though, I’ve the small matter of Mountain Mayhem the weekend after next (already!). I agreed to take part in this a few weeks ago in a mixed team of 5. We’re all going with families and tents and barbecues…should be a laugh. It will be quite a treat, not solo-ing at a 24 hour event for a change, and I’m looking forward to dragging Budge out of his tent at 3 am to do a lap.

I’m hoping to (and should be able to) ride more than 250 miles this week, plus 3 off-road runs. The dog’s been weighed by the vet and he’s 2 kilos overweight! So I need to run nowadays to get him sorted out.

With any luck this week will also include a trip to Llandegla on Saturday with Michael where we may do the cheeky off-piste bits up in the hills above the visitor’s centre.

Triathlon

A load of us from work entered the Cheshire Triathlon relay some months ago. It was great. My team (Rob, Wendy and me) WON the thing. We rule. Nobody in the relay event was faster than me on the (very painful) 20K bike course, nobody was faster than Rob on the run and Wendy was fourth in the swim. Like I said, we rule.Some of those tri lads don’t like being passed by a bloke wearing MTB shoes on a ‘cross bike either…one of them (riding a Specialized carbon something or other, complete with tri bars and aero seatpost) proper saw the red mist and piled into the trans area right on my rear wheel and then crashed into the kerb, skidding across the tarmac on his clean-shaven sinewy knees. Bless.

For some reason I forgot to mention this sooner, even though our VICTORY happened 2 weeks ago. To be honest, I was more chuffed with getting around the MTL on the singlespeed in less than five and a half hours!Aside from that (and I’m being careful not to come across as a patronising tosser here), one of the best things about this was the number of normally sedentary people at work who worked really hard over the past 12 or so months to get themselves into shape to avoid looking daft on the day. Everybody gave a good account of themselves and loads have since bought bikes and are continuing the training. A few have even entered a full triathlon. Life changing stuff. Not only that, the mouthy gits who were saying that they were going to “destroy Jase” have also crawled back under a rock 😉

Results are on here (somewhere):

http://www.fun2tri.co.uk/cheshire-new/results.htm

dead good week

Another week of hardish training. My relentless schedule took a bit of a knock early in the week because our boiler packed in, making me more reluctant to start sweating and then have to brave a cold shower. Then I went in the cellar to get a tin of paint or something and broke part of the resistance fan on the turbo trainer with my big fat feet. That made it 10 times noisier in use and it vibrated so much that the whole thing was moving around the room…luckily I was able to get a replacement fan for about 4 quid.

Apart from the couple of setbacks, a good week. I’d taken Thursday off to go and settle a score on the Mary Townley Loop. So off I went, out of the house at 5:30 am and singlespeeded it on my own in 5:25. Given I had to open all 4 million gates on my own, I was quite pleased with that. The ride was very hard and hurt a fair bit, but a ride like this is sooooo much easier when there are no navigation issues. Then I got home and went out for a picnic at Hurst Woods with Deb, Rachael and Syd. THEN I went out for a ride on Holcombe Moor/Redisher Woods with Phil.

This weekend I’ve got some road riding planned – over to Macc via Oldham/Stalybridge/Hayfield then a 3 Peaks walk (Teggs Nose and 2 other hills in’t White Peak) with the Mother in Law (!) and then a ride back again. That should be a good 80 miles I reckon. The walk will be a laugh – I’m taking my “proper” walking boots and Kath’s friends are a posse of “proper” red sock-wearing ramblers. I’ll probably start an argument with them about cheeky mountain biking for a chuckle.

Next week I’m getting more serious and going for a 250+ mile total. We’ll see.