Proper cheeky

I had a fast training ride (yep, another one) the other night over to Horwich and up and over Winter Hill. The weather was absolutely glorious, although the ride to Winter Hill included a fair amount of mud and water so by the time I steamed into Horwich I was caked in shite. Let’s hope this nice weather hangs around for a bit though.

This has got to be one of the cheekiest cheeky rides I know. There must be a dozen great big signs on the road on the way up Winter Hill saying “NO UNATHORISED ACCESS”, “REPORT TO RECEPTION ON ARRIVAL” and my personal favourite “NO CYCLING”. The more of these signs that I passed and ignored, the more I felt like a helicopter was going to arrive and drive me back down to Horwich. It didn’t come and it’s a good job, because the view from the top and the downhill to Belmont road made all the sweating and lawbreaking worth it.


“San Marino” as its known locally is one peach of a trail – fast, rocky and with just enough scary bits to make it (almost) worth the 16 mile ride from my house.

I returned mainly on the road and some more little cheekies that I know. 35 miles in total.

Wake up to mud

For the first time in weeks, I had a morning training ride in the sunshine today. At 6am it was gorgeous, and the view from the top of the first climb was what summer is supposed to be (in that you can see for more than a mile). By the time I was on the way back home at 8am, the clouds had gathered again. Rain forecast for this afternoon too….


Big fat dog

Syd’s unfit. We used to run together often, but Rachael’s arrival and my more recent regular morning bike rides has meant that the poor lad’s been neglected on the running front. He still runs around every day when Deb takes him to the stables but his weekly “mileage” is well down. We went for a 6 miler last night and by the end of the run I’d overtook HIM. As anyone who owns or has owned a dog knows, this is the wrong way around. Once we’d got home, he didn’t move for a good 4 hours.

So…he’s on a diet and he’s going to get 3 runs a week from now on. He’s also banned from hanging around under the high chair when Rach is “eating” a meal – we reckon he’s picking up a fair amount of extra heft from the titbits he collects off the floor.

stir crazy

A quick hour’s blast on the SS on Sunday night. I’d not ridden at all since Wednesday so I was ready to really give the pedals a good stompin’. The weather continues to be utter pants and most of the local trails are now permanently submerged. It makes the mud easy to wash off, but apart from that it sucks. Mud tyres and Crud Catchers are so uncool in July.

I’ve perfected my technique for riding the “sponsored by Elastoplast” gravel track through Hurst Woods (many more will ride this during the Hit The North race next year). If I move forward an inch on the saddle so that the nose of it is trying to violate my bumcrack I’ve found that with most of my weight over the front wheel I can Hold It Wide And Let It Slide like Sam Hill…that’s what I was thinking to myself anyway. “F*ck me, I’m like a downhill mountain biking GOD I am”. Not really, but I did ride it pretty bloody quickly. 

I soon slowed down once I reached this bit:


Way down south

After a relatively relaxed start to the week (a run and a ride with Phil), I rode from Rochdale and followed the Pennine Bridleway south. The PBW is great. You can ride it all the way from here to the middle of the Peak District, most of it completely off road. Admittedly, the drawback is that on the way are some of the biggest hills the Pennines have to offer, so don’t bother unless you like a reet good grind uphill.

It goes a bit wrong at Glossop. The bridleway isn’t completely finished around the town, so there’s a temporary route for cyclists which is the most confusing thing I’ve seen all week. So through the town centre I went, rejoining the trail before Hayfield. Then it went wobbly again just north of Buxton as the signage deteriorates a bit so I joined the road and rode towards Macc (through the forest). The ride was just over 70 miles, must be 55 offroad with a whopping 3000 metres of climbing. All in 8 hours. Quite pleased with that. I’m having another go in a couple of weeks too – this one’s definately a new favourite.

Afterwards, Deb and I went for a meal at Panama Hatty’s in Manchester. We’ve been together 10 years this week. Ahhh. I ordered the jerk chicken – the HOTTEST thing I’ve ever eaten. Evil.