Friday, June 21, 2002

Friday. Yesterday my legs were 'pinging' they had a feeling of strength about them, which I remember from 14 years ago ! Whatever. Yesterday evening I went out to truly test that fitness ! Drove up to Horton-in-Ribblesdale. Parked the car. Surrounded by fat walkers with ridiculously large boots and stupid hats (this is the English dales, not the bush or Himalyan foothills). Off I went, along a short stretch of tarmac then hit the first rough stuff on a bridleway over past Pen-Y-Gent to Littondale. Very rough stuff. At first I bumped along in a lower and lower gear as the incline grew. Lots of loose stones eventually forced me to walk, which set the scene for much of the ride. Up past Hull pot onto a boggy stretch of land. Here there were great deep ruts in the path made by trials motorbikes. They made the going impossible. Short ride, skid and stop before I fell. Brief stop up to my front hub in a bog. Did fall, wacked my shin. along a brief bit of made up track with a nice gritty level surface that lasted about a mile, then back to ruts, boggy ground with long deep ruts. The downhill bit into Littondale and a bit of tarmac was bits of walking and riding. Then a very steep track over to the next valley. A 350 meter climb along a zig zag rocky track, rideable in parts, then too stony in others. Well, could have ridden much of it without the rough surface, the gradient was sever but I could force it. At the top stopped to eat Salami, Primula cheese baguette. This was Horse Head ? 2000 feet, 608 meters. And did some naked worshiping to the ancient gods. Down the other side into Langstrothdale ? I think. This was better, rocky mostly rideable. Very nice final steep grassy stretch to the road. This went along I decided to do the hill over to Cam End. After the first steep bit I began to suffer, lower and lower gear. Then through the little village. Stopped to put it in the little ring. Then up the long miles uphill to the top. Really nice here, what a view, curlews calling. Left over the top and along to Cam Farm. Tarmac, then a track. Now its 10.45 and getting dark. Its a little cloudy, a half moon shining watery through high cloud. As the track got rougher I walked more. Stony, and all I could hear was the rattle of my chain clanging on the inner ring. Walk, get on, rocky bit off and walk. Straining to see the ground, on and on. Now 110.20 and really dark. Then a white stretch of made road, gritty but rideable, then tarmac ! Past High Birkwith, avoidind a hedgehog and back to the car. Washed some of the mud off my boots, and wiped it off myself. 20 miles, started at 18.40. Back at 11.50. almost 5 hours ! A tru epic and my first real mountain bike ride across real mountains.

Thursday, June 20, 2002

Thursday morning in Horwich to RECIEVE some training for a change. That should be fun. Especially as I've arranged it myself. Hmm. We'll see soon if someone turns up. Well, on Tuesday evening I went and rode a 10 mile time triall, in spite of the fact that I hate racing on dual carriageways with motorway junctions, slip roads, big multi-lane islands. I rode hard, not 100%, and did'nt push as hard as I could. I took it easy on the slip road over the carriageway at the turn as there were a few cars about. I caught my minute man after 6 miles. No-one caught me which I thought was a good sign as a couple of fast looking men started behind me. I did a time of 24.30. I considered this as slow, but looking at all the other times I was in the top 10. Out of the 7 riders in my club I was 2nd. The winner did 22.40, almost 2 mins faster than me. The fastest in our club did 23.35. I could probably gone 30 secs. faster. Now I rode this on my road bike with no tri-bars. I beat lots of people on low-profile time-trial bikes, some wearing go-faster helmets, with shoe covers and so on. Twats. I think one other guy rode a standard road bike. There was a crash by the finish where an idiot rode into a kerb, probably was'nt looking where he was going as some of these time trialling wankers ride with their heads down to go faster. He looked bad, bleeding from a head wound. Word is he broke his shoulder (I did that once, nasty) and needs plastic surgery on his ear (Ugly ears ?). Also he has a history of crashing and causing crashes on the track. I did a 23 mile steady ride earlier in the day.
On Wednesday I loafed about and sanded down patio table & chairs, varnished table & 2 chairs. After that my shoulders ached ! Lied down for 1 hour, had a quick bite to eat and drove over to Wood End and rode on the club bash.
Could'nt get off to sleep last night, probably because of the effort and my heart was still going hard. Got off pretty quick on Tue after the race though. Feel good now, my legs have that 'pinging' feel of good strength. I really need to ride o race now, with hills in too see exactly how good I am. Next race is 3 weeks off !
The club have put me in the team to ride the 2-day, they seem quite impressed at my recent performance.

Tuesday, June 18, 2002

Tuesday. Well, drank beer on Sunday and Monday evenings, sitting in the garden. Last night (Monday) carried on until 4.30 and the sun was just coming up, drinking absinthe. Very not a good idea.
Took David for a muddy plod around the Lickey Hills yesterday afternoon. He enjoyed it, tired at the end and he had to walk up the last hill.
'Worked at home' (ie did'nt do anything as I've nothing to do). In the office today, only reason is to visit shops at Solihull at lunchtime. Then I'll go home and do some training this afternoon. Must do some speed work. Try and go on the bash tomorrow evening, providing the weather behaves. After the humid warm and windy weather of late it is getting fresher today, looks clear at the moment.
Well that was pretty damn dull. No races, did 44 steady miles around the lanes by Great Alne and Ullenhall on Sunday.

Sunday, June 16, 2002

Sunday, and I'm drinking beer ! Hurrah !!!!
So, left early on Friday after a visit to solihull, mainly to buy cheese and hame sarny from M&S. Quick visit to Jeffersons to see departing accountant. Never liked him anyway, sanctimonius git. He was kicked out and did'nt even have the balls to buy the drinks and food on his company credit card. When or if I get made redundant I'm going for one hell of a big night out in Manchester, all on Amex. Got home and did 32 really hard miles around the North Worcestershire lanes by Feckenham and so on.
Sat, took David for a music exam, then out for an easy ride around Worcs lanes. Then took Jayne & Joanne for a meal, bought Hoegaarden, drank it.
Sun, up early, went to Wythall, no-one there.