Windmill ride

We had a work get-together today. For months we’ve been competing in a “decathlon” of various events with a client. We’ve had indoor rowing (we lost that), hockey (we thumped them at that), a 10K run (we lost that), 10 pin bowling (we won that) and something else that I think we won. They’ve got a lot of pretty fit people (they’re a leisure facility with instructors and stuff) so it’s never an easy task. We had to choose our 3 events each from the ten and from that the teams of 10 people are formed. I chose rowing, cycling and the yet-to-be-contested kayaking comp.

Today’s event was the 18 mile bike race. We kind of crashed the annual Windmill Ride in Lytham. The ride is normally entered by families with their kids and old folks on steel green laners who generally take all day and stop off at country pubs along the route. So, two teams of 10 turn up on various machines and in various states of fitness/experience, we’ve all got company-sponsored jerseys so we probably looked a bit daft and maybe scary/weird. One lad turned up on his full-carbon tri bike, complete with Planet X carbon wheels.

The winning team was the team with the lowest combined time – so every minute counted. After a mass start, 3 of us, me, my colleague Dan and John from the other team broke away and quickly built up a large gap. We averaged 22mph (ish) over the route and got round in 50 minutes, after a sprint finish between me and John. He said his legs were burning “like f**k” with about a mile to go so that was good 😉 I crossed the line a moth’s nose in front of him. YAY! I won the Family Pootle!

Our last rider crossed the line some time later and did just enough to clinch the win for us with 5 minutes to spare (then collapsed in a heap)! WAHEY! It’s great to see a load of people stepping outside their comfort zone like this, being successful when they do and then maybe carrying on doing it afterwards.

Me and Budge then rode back the 50ish miles back through Longridge, Ribchester and Blackburn, which was fun in the sun.

A bike reborn

I’ve just fitted the limited edition red Hope M4 brakes to the Patriot. Sometimes it’s not what you know, but who you know.  A bloke I know sorted these for me at a good price y’see….

Big floating rotors, braided hoses, Union Jack levers and all anodised red instead of black. I like ‘em, mainly because I’m a tart and they match the red hubs, but also because the performance pisses all over the Hayes Nines I removed. The Hayes are for sale if you want them.


Feast thine eyes….

Made it at last!

Met up with Phil last night near to the Lee Quarry MTB trails. I rode up there from home and was late (again), but at least it forced me to ride like a nutcase for an hour. We managed to get up to the quarry before it went completely dark and rode about half of it whilst “oooohing” and “ahhhing” and “YAYing”. They’re not finished yet but they’re definitely rideable and you can really get a feel for the nature of the place. The trails are actually a lot more severe than we were expecting – the black sections are downright bloody scary in fact. Very narrow boulders on a hillside with a 40 foot drop to the left. Eeek. Other than that, there’s loads of fast swoopy singletrack, berms and Dalbeattie-style “big boulders in a row”. All good stuff. Better than my attempt at low-light photography anyway.

I had this afternoon off work so we went out for a coffee earlier and a browse of a bookshop. It was fun, pondering which Mr Man books to buy. Then I went out for another training ride. I had 4 hours and a bit so decided to ride some trails I’d not been near for years. It was mostly ace, apart from the nettle hell bit. I think I’ve finally got the air pressures of the fork and shock right now though.  I came back via Nob End  – the name of the place still makes me snigger even at the age of 36 😉

Despite all my efforts, that’s still only 70 miles in total for both rides. I’m carrying this on for the next few days then resting up for Mayhem.