road rash

30 miles

Road ride last night, up the Ashworth Valley climb, past Owd Betts and down into Edenfield. It was dry-ish last night but cold and REALLY windy. At a junction I hit a patch of ice or oil or something equally slippery and the back wheel just let go. Down I went, sliding along my arse on the tarmac. Luckily, the car next to me stopped because the driver was checking I was ok, rather than because she’d just run over my head.

No big damage to clothing apart from a big hole through one of my overshoes, a big bruise and some raw flesh on my bum , I had to put my front mudguard on at the side of the road and I’ve lost yet more bar tape. Thankfully I didn’t crash a minute or so earlier when I was tanking it at 35 mph+ down into Edenfield.

It was a good ride despite the crash. I made it to the top of Ashy Valley quicker than I’ve done before so something’s doing me good. I had planned a road century in the Peaks on Sunday but the much-hyped incoming snow might put paid to that plan.

increase the power

20 miles 

A proper brutal climb-fest of a ride last night. Only 20 miles or so, but an out and back that basically starts to go uphill from our back door and heads up towards Birtle, following the bridleway.

I was determined to ride all the way to the top despite choosing to ride The Tank Bike with its 36:16 gear ratio. Mud tyres didn’t help either. Limited time = big pain.


It makes a nice change to see everything drying out. No doubt the weather will get nasty again any minute now, but a break in the constant downpours has been welcome.

I’m getting myself ready for the 12 mile trail race in 3 weeks. I ran 8 miles on Saturday and felt pretty good during and afterwards. Going for 10 miles next weekend and then backing off a bit. There’s no way on earth I’ll drag myself out of mid-table mediocrity but it’s a good way of mixing up the training so I’m happy with that.

I didn’t ride on Sunday until late afternoon. I just did an out-and back up to Peel Tower and back again on the Patriot. It’s so long since I rode this bike I’d forgotten how ponderous it is going uphill, and how fast it allows you to ride downhill.

I’ve a big road ride planned for next Sunday in the Peaks again. It looks like it might snow. L

Billy Two Rides

40 miles total

I had a day off work yesterday so had an opportunity to get a couple of shortish, fast rides in. I went for a pair of contrasting rides – a singlespeed MTB ride in the morning and a punishing and “mostly uphill” road ride in the evening.

The day started early-doors on local trails that I’d not ridden for ages. In fact, the last time I rode some of this was on the “Farewell Garry” ride well over a year ago. Unlike the previous few days the weather was gorgeous in a wintery kind of way. Frosty, dry and clear. Lovely.

One trail that used to be a fun rocky downhill is now under water (probably a recent development due to the weather). In fact, it’s a fast-flowing stream, quite deep in parts. There’s a step halfway down the trail that is roll-able if you get your weight back a bit and keep the front end light to clean the roots and half bricks, but this time, just at the last second, I noticed that it looked a bit bigger and decided to dismount and have a good look. Hmmm. If I’d tried to roll this I’d have got wet at best, maybe I’d have lost some teeth. There’s now a 2 foot drop with a bloody big hole where my wheel would have gone. img_3021.jpg img_3022.jpg

The road ride last night was ok – the weather was dry when I left the house but once on the tops I was in the clouds and had to brave the sleet and lack of vision again. I started to hurt on the way home though; I need to pay more attention to my diet I think. I’ve no concerns over the types of food I’m eating, I just don’t think I’m eating enough to keep me going and I’m definitely not getting enough protein after a ride to help with recovery. Chocolate milk seems like an option. I’ll buy a few gallons of that. I’ve sent off my entry for the Radcliffe AC 12 mile trail run. No backing out now or it’s seven quid down the drain!

So. This year.

Stuff I’m either definately doing or at least hoping to do in 2008:

Gran Canaria enduro 

Fred Whitton Challenge

Lakeland Loop

Cheshire Cat

Mountain Mayhem (solo? dunno. Maybe in a pair)

Sleepless in the Saddle – solo if I can get enough hours in.

3 Peaks Cyclocross

Selkirk enduro

That’s not a lot is it? Erm. Well, maybe it is quite a few. I might not get chance to do some of them due to other commitments (but I am already registered and have paid for 3 already) and I also want to get more into the running this year, starting with the Radcliffe 12 mile trail race in (shit!) 4 weeks time.

I’ve left Hit The North off the list on purpose as although I’m going to race solo I’ll more than likely be distracted by bogs, catering, security guards, making sure everyone’s happy, etc…hopefully I’ll get a couple of laps in but I’ll not be aiming for a podium spot on this one…..

I’ve got a couple of targets this year too, which is a novelty for me. I’m not going to reveal them here though 😉 Not only that, but I’ve started to keep a training diary (Gaz told me to do this 2 years ago). I’ve got to make the most of the more limited time these days so it’s riding late, early and hard.