soggy ride

I met up with Phil last night, doing his late night offroad commute from Manchester to Ramsbottom. He’s always trying to get a personal best on his commute home so it was another fast ride…well not that fast as a large portion of the route was covered in a strip of ice that reflected the our lights like a mirror. Once in Rammy, I turned around and came back. Note to self- 36:16 is bloody hard work going up Holcombe Hill.

My Goretex jacket needs re-proofing. I was soaked when I got home (it was that fine rain that soaks you through).

I’ve also reached 100 miles for this year….wooo.

a return to running

I went for a lunchtime 4 mile run today with some lads from work. Once again, I felt pretty slow and it still feels like I’ve got less than 2 complete lungs, but it was a nice run all the same.

I’ve been busy entering stuff today – I’ve entered the Isle of Man End to End (September) and the Cheshire Cat Sportive – a 102 mile road event in March. I entered this one last year but ended up not doing it for some reason. I can’t remember why now. The route has been improved for this year apparently – it now goes past my brother-in-law’s house and up some cobbled climb called “swiss climb” or something. Sounds horrible!

With any luck I’ll be back in good shape by March 😉

Freezing!

According to the people on the telly, it was the coldest night of the winter so far last night. I didn’t check, but I think it was supposed to be about -8 or -9 around here. I was going out for a ride though, eeeeh…I’m like a coiled spring at the moment I tell thee. Good job I’ve got loads of “proper” winter clothes these days. Gore fleece – ace. Gaerne Eskimo boots – ace. Goretex thermal gloves – ace. Thermal tights – pervy (and ace). Helly base layer – stinky.

It definately felt very cold, I had to drink from my hydration pack more often than I would normally do as it would become blocked with ice after 20 minutes or so. I rode up to Birtle on the singlespeed, down to Nangreaves then back over towards Bury and home (just before midnight) via the Sustrans trail. There was a lot of snow around and thankfully not too much ice, apart from the deep, frozen puddles that were hiding under a layer of snow. Those gave me one or two scares.

My lights packed in before I got back, despite me having 2 battery packs with me – evidently the burn time is drastically reduced when it gets cold. I’ll have to take all 3 packs in future.

Todmorden cyclocross race

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Billed as the “triumphant return of Cyclocross racing to Todmorden”, the New Years Revolution race attracted a large number of riders including many of the “big names” in CX racing. One of the not-so-big names was me. Taking part in this didn’t seem to be such a good idea given I’d spent the last however many weeks either ill or unable to train for one reason or another. I knew it was going to hurt, in other words (and I was right!). I needed to get my arse back in gear at some point though, so why not like this? I planned to ride back home after the race anyway so I’d have a chance to spend a couple of hours at a lower intensity than the inevitable red-line heart rates of the next hour….

 

Just before the start I bumped into Andrew in the car park who was taking his ‘cross bike for its maiden voyage off-road. Once we’d registered we went for a quick look at the course including the horrible slippery cobbled climb, then realised we had about 15 seconds to get back to the start line before the race started.

 

We made it, and off we all went. I can’t remember passing too many people but I do remember quite a few fast lads and girls passing me, some of them at warp speed, some of them by virtue of their shoes affording better grip on the slippery cobbled climb.

I was still breathing. I’ve not had a heart attack yet. I’m still coughing up some stuff but it’s not blood. It’s going ok, but I’m slow.

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I started to get a bit faster, but I figured that everyone else was probably getting faster. I saw Dave Haygarth go past me for the second time. I saw Rich and Gingerflash with their cameras, so I was glad I wore the little black number 😉

 

Then it was over. Kind of without warning really. Ben just said “that’s it Jase”, so I just stopped. If I’d known I was on my last lap I might have given it the kitchen sink and maybe I’d have been lapped by less people. Hmmm. Maybe not.

I rode home from Tod afterwards – it’s a nice undulating spin along the valley to Rochdale and then through Bury. I rode for a bit with a couple of old guys from West Pennine CC, then had to stop for some food.

A very enjoyable race and I’m so pleased that I’m able to put some serious training mileage in now and make up for the last few weeks.

 

Some stuff on the British Cycling site here

Hit the North Preview ride

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Loads turned up. As usual we met in the local car park and did a lap with various riders who have either entered, thinking of entering or just out for the hell of it. In contrast to past previews (where we’ve done them to get some more punters), we’re already full up this time. Still, folk want to know what the hell they’ve let themselves in for so it’s a useful and fun couple of hours.

The now-traditional shenagans took place. Mechanicals, long waits for following groups, people getting left at the traffic lights 10 yards from the start, etc. We had coffee and cake this time though – we had a small Critical Mass outside Costa Coffee 😉

Click here for Simon’s vid