Monday, 9 April 2012

Spring ... mostly just riding bikes.

The blog has been a little neglected of late this spring ... not through lack of content as I have been busy just through I guess plain old lack of time to sit down and pour some thoughts onto the internet.

At the moment it seems if I am not riding bikes i'm building bikes .. and even when bikes are built they are needing constant love and attention as the weather is still taking its toll not to mention the miles they are having to cover.

Stand out recent events have been the Whinlatter Challenge, the Ronde van Oost and some just good honest long day rides with friends.

Whinlatter really didn't go to plan for me ... I was ill with a cold, the weather was real hot and I just didn't feel right .. however on the plus side the riding was good .. I had made a fair start and was up in the top 2o steadily making my way up through the field but I felt sick so couldn't eat so just had to survive till the end. I ended up in 26th ... worse than last year but in a field of 350 plus riders I can't feel too bad.

Ronde van Oost , a tribute ride organised by Alan Dorrington to the great Ronde Van Vlanderren road race of Belgium ... this 50 mile low key event is basically a meeting time and a route with a fantastic cake stop toward the end of the ride.
Starting at the Heritage centre in Pendle the route then takes in the quiet lanes and sections of historic cobbles the local area has to offer. As I was staying in south Manchester at Graces parents it seemed a good idea rather than drive the 30 miles to the start to up the mileage and take a ride over. Endurance racing types Dave Powell and Jason Miles were in attendance as well as top photographer Ed Rollason .. we set off in the last group and the pace although variable was comfortable.
There was some fantastic long climbs and some short sharp efforts too ... just before the cake stop a cobbled climb out of Hebden Bridge I struggled to walk up although Dave Powell made it look easy... as the climb topped out the cake started :)

Huge thank you to SportsSunday Photography for the cake stop !!

The final 15 or so miles I rode back to Pendle with a rider from Honister 92 road club, unfortunately I failed to get his name but the Ronde was rounded off with a tea cake and coffee before the ride back to Manchester. Look forward to next years.

Day rides have been a plenty .. I really haven't found many events I want to ride in the run up to Dirty Kanza so have been concentrating on just good days out on the bike.

First started with our recent spell of good weather .. definately worthy of a day off work mid week ... myself and Adam Cooke took the opportunity to go ride a long route in Swaledale .. starting out from the Dales Bike Centre as it offered both route advice and a cafe we soaked up all the best tracks the area had to offer ... long climbs then flowing descents ... Trail centres really do allow a much better appreciation of natural riding... ride a trail centre all groomed and sanitised then try and flow a natural trail with no defined line where you really have to think about what you are doing... was a pleasure to ride this route.

Now we come to this bank holiday....

Good Friday ... again myself and Adam Cooke took the time off the get some good miles in ... after the great weather we were now enduring not so great weather .. we rode a road route to Alston and back ... 130 miles ... low points being drifts of snow and Adam feeling ill after only covering 30miles .. high points being the miles are in the legs and Adam still completing a further 100 miles whilst feeling sick ... legend !!

Saturday ... finally I got to ride the Salsa Vaya .. went out on the local club run so got a decent 50 miles in at least ... mixed it in the faster longer ride .. constantly stretching legs until only 3 riders were left then had to sit up as the previous days ride stiffened up my legs.
The Vaya was a pleasure to ride ... even if I subsequently discovered my cranks weren't spinning freely .. it really is the right tool for the job and i'm very happy to be taking it to Dirty Kanza ..

Sunday .. the mountain bike came out for a local 2 hour loop .. I really like this mountain bike ... I actually might keep this one :)

Today .. an easy spin on the turbo ready for another solid week of training :)

Hoping that the weather forecasts are works of fiction and next weekend will see some better weather as I want to do a VERY long days riding :)