Monday, 7 January 2008

Bike and Hike... then Bike somemore.

Over a week now since my last blog post, time has been spent travelling and training.

The new year was seen in with a trip to the Lake District with Rachel, we had this booked for a long time and as always stayed at our favourite B&B in Keswick.. Yew Tree House.. run by some great people who really go out of there way to make sure that your stay is as good as it can be. They never seem to mind storing my bike as Robert there is a rider himself and he never minds my unusual start times in the mornings to squeeze the most out of the time spent there.

New years eve was an early morning trip to the pool.. followed by a drive to the Lakes, a mooch around the shops then a quiet meal in the evening with Rach.

New years day we met up with a friend from my Uni course who was there with his girlfriend and we made our way to Glenridding to tackle Helvellyn...

A great bit of walking to be had here, for the first time i wasn't going up with a bike so got to do the proper route up striding edge and down swirral edge. Striding edge is a good bit of scrambling and with promise of snow on top we made our way up..

Once on top visibility was not good... pretty foggy so no spectacular views to be had here... plenty of snow though..

After making the top we descended via swirral edge.. got back to the car after 5 hours of walking.. excellent day in the greatest part of England ( in my humble opinion).. pictures courtesy of my good friend Richard Holland.. together with his girlfriend Shona i think all had a good day out.

January 2nd, 2.5hr mtb ride.

I managed to pick up a route from the local bike shop.. Borrowdale circuit... about 27km apparently with some downhill sections detailed as deadly.
I got away at 8am as first light was breaking.. something extra special about riding at this time when everything is a little quieter and stiller.
I took my fully rigid single speed to the lakes and had left the conti 1.5" tyres, big mistake, every heard the saying 'never bring a knife to a gun fight'? this was totally applicable as i tried in vane to pick my way down some sections that would have made a fully armoured downhill rider whince.. alot of sections had to be walked as its way too early in the year to suffer a major injury:)
As it turned out i made a few navigational errors but deinately got a good feel of this route and will be revisiting it when i get chance.

January 3rd, one leg drills

as always one leg drill for 2 minutes a leg.. thought last week that these were getting easier must have been having a good day.. ouch. fell like they do some good though.

January 4th, 4.5hr steady road ride

Used a very similar circuit to that i did with Darren out towards oakham, this time was riding with another rising star Blake (Cowley) from Nottingham Clarion club.
We mixed it up a little with a variation on the route but still managed a solid 70+ miles... weather was foggy but not the biting cold it has been so was comfortable.. really enjoy this run out and i think it'll get some use over the next few months.

January 5th, back to Newcastle. Bikes and all packed up and back at the parents awaiting first lot of exams... managed a good 45 minutes walk on the beach with my brothers dog libby:)

January 6th, 3.20hr mtb ride

Good thing about being back in Newcastle is that i can ride out to trails from my doorstep.. although it take sover an hour to ride here its a good route along the banks of the tyne.

Another early start just as it was getting light... rode with ipod for first time in a year and it made a refreshing change to have a soundtrack.
Wasn't in Chopwell woods for 2 minutes before i had a comedy fall... traction was low and hill was steep so couldn't get up a slippy climb.. stopped.. tried to start again slipping the pedal and not being able to unclip other foot hit the floor, possibly in front of the only other guy in the woods at that time... what can you do but laugh at yourself:)
Weather was good.. not cold at all.. enjoyed the long climb all the way to the top to a rooted section of singletrack/downhill which i always stall badly on seeking the perfect line as the trees are staggered on the trail making you make some left to right turns while negotiating roots..
Todays experiment was the effect of music on riding:) first run at it was with the beatnuts for some hop hop flow.. not bad, second run was with Deftones for some out and out thrash.. nailed it, definately fastest i've got through the section.
Nice ride home with wind on my back..

This is my recovery week so i don't think there will be much of note happening this week but we'll see


Britchenko said...

I always have great fun and joy reading your posts.

Lake District, keeps rumbling in my'll probably have to be my guide one of this days... ;-)

Happy New Year for you and Rachel!

Al said...

Just noticed you pic at:


Well done mate. You deserve it.