more moaning about the weather

70 mile ride, mainly offroad, 2364 metres of climb. A very ponderous-feeling average of 10.5 mph.

Big training ride yesterday – rode from the house over to Rochdale then followed the Pennine Bridleway south for several hours. It was hot, very hot. Much the same as the Fred Whitton, I was struggling with it. Around early afternoon I was finding it pretty unbearable. I had to stop in the woods next to the campsite at Hayfield for half an hour just to cool down, then I thought I was going to die on the climb up Mount Famine. When the sun was obscured by clouds later in the afternoon I felt good again!

broken stuff

There seems to be a lot of broken stuff around me at the moment.

Last night, had a big ride planned on the cross bike, fast ride on road up to the quarries, off road for a bit then more on-road. My Dinotte light wouldn’t switch off or go on a dim setting. I had to disconnect the battery to turn it off. Brant reckons it might be in “programming mode” which is pretty impressive for a rear bicycle light. I’m used to that sort of thing with Cisco routers, but not little red lights.

I got out of the back gate and noticed that the rear wheel had a wobble in it much more severe than normal. On further inspection I noticed that one of the spokes had snapped. Grrr.

Back in the house I went – swap bikes, swap lights over. I’m now riding the Patriot and I’ve decided that I’m going to do a much shorter ride. Partly because the bike’s a lot heavier but mostly because I’m really not in the f***ing mood any more.

Then the head tube badge of the Patriot falls off. I’ve not lost it, but I need to stick it back on. Bizarre.

Tomorrow I’ve got a day off and I’ve an offroad century planned. It’s going to be ace, providing nothing else breaks.

busy weekend

Out early again yesterday for a road ride. Uneventful. Fast. 2 hours.

Then met Chris the bloke from Mountain Biking UK for a photoshoot (no kidding). They’re planning a Hit the North article in the next issue of the mag so they wanted someone photogenic to ride the same 10 feet of trail repeatedly with a camera lens pointing at them. Nobody good looking was available, so I had to do. The bombhole actually got BORING after take 26…I can’t post any of the photos here just yet due to potential copyright issues, but the ones I’ve seen look ace. More importantly, we should be generating a lot more interest and buzz about the race which will help with that final “push” on the entries. The preview rides are doing their bit to keep the gossip going too – another successful one yesterday with only a minor injury to one bloke’s nutsack apparently.

After the bombhole/camera interval session, I rode over to Macc on the ‘cross bike. I didn’t get chance to ride off road much, but it was hard, into a headwind mostly and by the time I’d got to the end of it I’d earned a cuppa.

early ride

I was up before 6 this morning (that’s early for me), giving me chance to ride for a couple of hours before work. I’ve got a lot of riding planned for the next couple of weeks including another early ride tomorrow, followed by a ride of the HTN course with a journo then a ride on the cross bike in the Peaks. 3 rides in one day, on 3 different bikes, followed by a proper big ride on Sunday.

I still can’t help but feel that I’ve not been able to do enough for Mayhem, but we’ll see how that goes I guess. A relative lack of time each day means most rides are shorter than they should be and I’ve not stopped using lights in the week yet. Maybe I can wing a 24 hour solo 😉

Mind over matter and that.


“it can be ridden in a shopping trolley”

One of the best trails in the area (there aren’t that many anyway) has been obliterated by the relentless march of progress. This used to be a challenging downhill – roots, steps, a big wheel-grabbing rut and a couple of tight bends. I’ve crashed on this trail more times than I can remember but when you got it right, it was ace.

Now look at it. It’s about 4 feet wider in some places, about a dozen trees have been felled and the bends have been straightened out. A lovely thick layer of gravel has completed the hatchet job.

At the bottom, the theme continues. Elsewhere in the area trails have been flattened in readiness for more gravel and sanitisation. I’m expecting more heartache in the next few days…


They’ve left the really good stuff alone though. For now.


Thanks to the magic of Ebay, I swapped the wheels and fork on the Patriot. The big Z1 Freeride fork was changed for a Pike with the all-important U Turn travel reducer for the climbs. I also reduced the rotating weight of the wheels by 1.3 pounds, which is quite a lot, by swapping the Hope/D321 wheels for Hope/DT 5.1’s. The different tyres also mean the bike sits a bit lower and I have to say it’s a revelation. The previous wheelset sapped momentum as soon as I stopped pedalling, climbs had to be ridden in the granny ring and I was reluctant to ride the bloody thing. It had got to the point where I was even thinking of selling the whole bike.

Now, I can carry speed through turns and rough sections without pedalling. I can move the bike around more due to the lower weight and the amount of effort needed to accelerate is significantly less. It’s like having a new bike, in fact. 1.3 pounds at the wheels is a HUGE reduction.