Sunday, 22 November 2009

New film out

Brilliant film by the bikedarlington blog team.

How's the @rse doing?

When I first started really riding lots of miles 4 or 5 years ago, I used to get a bit of a sore bum. The last 2 seasons have been the highest mileage-wise, but no real problems. Even so, I decided to buy a Brooks saddle (B17), and have done about 30 miles on it so far.

My initial thoughts are good. The 'load' seems to be spread over a wider area, thereby reducing pressure 'hot spots'.

My only gripe is I tend to slide forwards a bit, but am putting that down to 'newness'. I have moved the seat forward a few mm on the rail, so time will tell.

I did tilt it back one notch on the seat post, but that instantly put pressure (that I did NOT enjoy) on my gentleman's selection, so I tilted it forwards again.

Windy autumnal ride

Well, didn't manage to convince Mandie to come for a ride, so did a 22 mile pootle around the lanes.

3 cars over took me on the first 21.75 miles of the route, and 6 overtook me on the last 1/4 mile stretch!???

Set the self-timer, press the shutter, run back to the bike and pose.....'s a pity about the focus?

I always think this area looks like the fields of Flanders? This spot is about 2.5 miles from home, and is what call my 'private' training ground.

Summer ride

I found this short video of me pulling Roisin along in her trailer. It is on the back roads near Tophill Low nature reserve in East Yorkshire

Not a car in sight, no lycra in sight, no helmets in sight, no hi-viz (nanny-state, risk-assessed) tabbards in sight.

This is the essence of cycling to me.

Happy Halloween

As this was Roisin's second Halloween, and the first that she would have an idea what was going on, instead of last year's 6 month old gurglings, I decided to get a bit arty/crafty and make her a lantern.

I ended up doing two.

Sorry for the late post, but just found the pics.

Job done....

Well, if I can de-grime my bike, then anyone can do it. A big bucket of (hot) soapy water, a big brush and a dollop of patience.

Picture proof to follow for all non-believers.

Makes me want to ride it now.

Have almost talked Mandie to go for a ride to a local garden centre that has a lovely cafe with a wood-burner blazing away.

A nice big mug of hot cocolate beckons.

Thursday, 19 November 2009

Cleaning time

This weekend the bikes get a thorough clean up. The racer will be de-grimed and put away for the winter, and my commuter hack/tourer will be polished to get it ready for winter. I will also get out the turbo trainer so on the odd days I don't ride outside, I will do an hour or so inside to keep the fitness going.

Tuesday, 17 November 2009

Bums on seats daahlings.......

Got me a new Brooks saddle:

Done 2.5 miles on it so far, will keep you informed as to how it beds in.

Tuesday, 10 November 2009

Mmmmm it's getting cold out there...

So, as I scraped a thin layer of ice off my car this morning before going to work (don't worry I returned to use the bike this afternoon) I thought, 'The roads will be slippy, better take care'.

Obviously such risk assessing didn't take place in the mind of the driver of the small silver Citroen I saw in the hedge bottom a mile down the road. It looked like it had rolled and every panel had a 'textured' look to it. There was an abundance of 'police aware' tape on it so I carried on.

Just before I finished work I could hear all manner of sirens out of the window.

"What's going on?" I asked our driver, just pulling into the yard.

"There's a car on it's roof just out of the village", he replied

I rode a slightly different route home on my detour route to get miles in, and could see over the fields that the crash was in the same place as the one that morning.

Well, at least that's two of them that might now give icy conditions a little more heed?

Hope springs eternal.

Sunday, 8 November 2009

Operation: Rescue Kipper

My 18 month old daughter, Roisin, has a little stuffed toy dog called Kipper. Last night we went out to the local town's bonfire and firework display (which Roisin slept through!!) and, unbeknownst to us, Kipper fell out of the pram somewhere twixt the car and the bonfire.

Mandie realised this morning when we couldn't find Kipper. All Roisin's other toys were there; Hartley Rabbit, Phillip Dog, Bugsy, PG Monkey and Dongle Rabbit, but alas no Kipper.

I then set off on my bike to get to the showground to try and find Kipper. It was a cold but clear morning, and the legs took a little warming up, but a mile or so in and I was like toast. Hot, sweaty, red-faced and out-of-breath toast maybe, but toast non-the-less. The 5 miles to the showground where we parked the car passed by in a blur, and I made my way the the spot we parked the car the night before.

Blinking into the strong early morning sunshine, I scanned the area where we parked the car the night before.

There, with his little beige legs stuck up out of the grass, was kipper, not damaged at all, and just a little damp to the touch due to the overnight mist and light rain.

A quick hurried phone call to Mandie to let her know I'd found Kipper, before jumping back onto the bike, and riding a longer way home for a cheeky 'training session'.

I got home and presented Roisin with Kipper.

At this point the story really needs a description of the teary face of joy and squeals of delight when she was re-united with Kipper.

Sadly this was not to be. Roisin duly threw him on the floor and carried on riping pages out of a magazine spread on the floor.

Was the ride worth it?

Too right.

She got Kipper, but I got another 22 miles in the bank!!

Friday, 6 November 2009

R.I.P. Chris Benn

Possibly the nicest bloke I have every met. He was a real down to earth bloke that loved a pint on a Friday night, and loved motorbikes, a passion we shared. I don't wish to dwell over his passing - suffice to say he was robbed of his life.

I will always remember with affection how, for a small bloke, he could drink me under the table. Also, the last time I was ill through drink it was due to (unsuccessfully) trying to keep up with Chris.

So many happy memories. Cheers mate.

His parting shot as we went to our respective abodes after our Friday night 'sessions' was a quote from his favourite film, Mad Max: "See you on the road, Skag"

Well, it is with a heavy heart that I am sat here now, on a Friday, looking at his picture and pulling a teary smile - "Yeah mate, see you on the road"

It's raining again

And you know what? I couldn't give a monkey's.

I rode away from work this afternoon and came to a junction. Go straight on and my (dry, warm, cosy) house and sofa are 2 miles away.

Turn right and I can do a detour.

Well, I didn't go stright on, despite the rain.

I turned right and did 21 miles, and loved EVERY wet minute of it, because I can feel myself getting fitter with every pedal revolution.

Yee haa.

Tuesday, 3 November 2009

Double take....

That's what people at work are doing now.

They know I ride my bike as much as I can, but are seemingly surprised to see me ride on all directions of roads to and from work.

I do this to add miles onto the commute and to stop it getting stale, but they think my 'normal' 2.5 mile commute is 'extreme', so when I say I did a quick 15 miles before work, they think I'm crazy!

I think they're mad paying the taxman 40-50 pounds a week in petrol when they can easily do some of their journeys on a bike?

Who knows?

Monday, 2 November 2009

So good I did it twice.... commute, that is.

Well, not exactly. I rode the normal 2 1/2 miles to work this morning, and left just before 5 to come home. I detoured on the way home and got 14 miles in total. I felt quite up for it again after I'd had my tea, so went out and rode it again, in the dark with only barn owls for company.

Beautiful moonlit night for a ride in the country lanes.

28 miles total for the day.


Me is happy.