Category: cycling with my son

hello, still here

Been a few weeks since my last post so I thought I better make a post.

On the riding front been out a couple of times (and not on the days that I mentioned in my last post). Once was a couple of weeks ago when I went to Moors Valley, had a miserable ride, probably one of the worst rides for a long time, just did not feel happy or comfortable on the bike, did one lap of the trail and then came home.

Went out today with my son, had to change plans at the start as the road to the Hurn forest was closed due to fallen power line thanks to a fallen tree. So we decided to go to Moors Valley again. My normal parking spot was full (I don’t park in the official car park, I don’t mind paying but I hate being ripped off). So I parked a couple hundred yards down the road in a very flooded car park. As were unloading the bikes my son said “what is up there” pointing to a fire road, I said “lets find out” In fact I have ridden in the north section of Ringwood forest before (it on the other-side of the B3081 which splits Ringwood Forest, Moors Valley being on the south side) but it has been over a year so of we went. I said to my son as we were getting ready lets find some mud to ride in which based on the rain full we have had lately was never going to be that difficult.

We were soon pedalling through mud and water, taking the occasional detour into the tree’s to shelter from the downpours which were arriving as per the weather forecast (shock horror, a correct weather forecast!) Eventually my son started to complain about tired legs, just as well we were heading in the direction of the car park, we were about to find out why the car park was flooded. First we heard the traffic on the main road, I realised where we were at about the same time as the puddle started to get deeper. It is hard to ride through puddles that are axle deep but as there were dog walkers watching I was not going to give them the satisfaction of seeing me fall off into the water and made it through the puddle. I stopped and looked to see my son wading through pushing his bike, apparently he saw how deep it was on me and decided to walk through as it was better option than falling off into the puddle. By time we got home and hosed the bikes down the heaven open, just thankful we had managed to get a ride in.

Hopefully there will be some more rides in the coming weeks as I have a lot of holidays to take before the end of the year and I am hoping the get out on my own and ride.

On the work front, the server move went very well (we have to move them before we can replace them), a lot better than we had hoped for, we had problems but these were in fact nothing to do with the server move which sort of marred the success of the move.

As for everything else, it is still on going, there are good days and there are bad days, hopefully soon the good day will out number the bad days.

Finally a bit of music, something from Abba, but not one of there hit singles.

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and so it goes on…..

I would of liked to think things were going to get better, but based on current circumstances they are not. Work has been s***e this week, 3 trip to head office and very little of what I needed to get done got done but that does not stop them demanding it. Finally to end the week on a low note, I broke a tooth today eating a crisp or rather it just broke. It one of the ones I had the root canal work on late last year. The bit of tooth is still in my gum and I have managed to push (with my tongue) the broken bit back into place so it does not hurt my gum (as it was doing), but I can now only eat on one side of my mouth now. Hopefully I can get to see the dentist on Monday.

I went for a ride this morning (pre-broken tooth) with my son. As it has been a couple of months since his last outing (and painful knee due to schoolboy pranks) I decided to go out to the New Forest and ride the old railway line from Burley to Holmlsey and back. It is only 5 miles round trip but by the time I got back to the car park anyone would of thought I had ridden 10 times that distance, I was just dead on the bike. As is normal when we are in this neck of the Forest I was forced to stop at the Station House Tea House for refreshments, as you can see cycling requires a lot of chocolate cake and milk shake.

Ryan refuelling
Waiting on the old platform
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wrong turning

Most weeks I travel up and down the A338 two or three times, while I have investigated quite a bit of the wooded areas on both sides of this road there was always one small entrance into the woods that caught my eye which I had not explored until today.

I have seen piles of logs stored there, I have seen guys on MotoX bikes going into the woods there so I always felt that I should explore it. The main thing that has stopped me in the past has been a long road ride from any of the other wooded areas I normally ride. I decided to ride there with my son today as we would drive the van to the location so no nasty road riding.

As I had to wait in for a parcel this morning it meant my ride with my son would not be until this afternoon. While we were waiting we did some tyre swapping between bikes. I put the new Panracer tyres I took off my hard tail last week onto my Whyte. The old Panracer tyres I took off the Whyte I put on the sons bike, even at half worn they have more thread than the tyres he had on, so should improve his mud paddling abilities.

So with bike ready and our stomachs full we headed out into the afternoon sun for the short drive to the woods. What happened next could simply be explained with the following phrase we arrived, we saw, we turned round and went home!! To give a bit more detail, we parked at the gate unloaded the bikes and then headed off down the path, all of about 40yds. This brought us out into a clearing but there were no tracks heading off from the clearing, I could see where one of the logging machine had come out of the forest into the clearing (no doubt to drop off the logs I had seen earlier in the year) but that was now overgrown and very boggy. So within two minutes of leaving the van we were back at the van loading it up ready to head off again, must be my shortest ride ever.

We headed back to Hurn Forest and did a quick little ride around the forest there.As normal I gave my so a new surface to ride this week, tree roots, He ridden over them in the past, but there quite a few on the route today, enough for him to say it was bumpy anyway. He also learnt how to fall off into the heather and not be seen!!

Tomorrow, don’t know but something will happen……….

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once more into the mud

Well the mid week ride never happened this week, no excuses it just happened that way.

Now that out of the way, it was not till the last minute that I decided where I was riding this morning, ok not last minute but 20 minutes before I went out the door. It all started with me thinking that I should try and change my rides, so that my mid week ride could be a short Throop loop in reverse, Saturday would be a short local rides on Canford Heath or parts of Hurn Forest with the family and on Sunday I could do a New Forest or Wareham Forest type ride.

Well early Friday night all 3 of us were going to ride tomorrow so it was going to be over on Canford Heath. Then mid evening when the daughter came in from work she announced that she going to spend the day with our son, ok just the wife and I riding. Then the wife said her knees were to painful so she would not be riding tomorrow, just me then. Reading the forums for the local mtb club a new person asked asked where he could ride, so I offered to show him some sections of Canford Heath either Saturday or Sunday, so that is me and possibly a n other on one day and me on my own the other doing a New Forest or Wareham type ride. Just as we were going to bed daughter announces she is going to sleep over at a friends house.

Saturday dawns bright and sunny but showing signs of heavy over night rain. No contact from the new club member regarding my offer so it me on my own. Wife says she thought son was coming with me, I explain that he is supposed to going out with daughter who is not hear (I am now dressed in my cycling gear and the bike is out the shed ready to go). It is then decided that as the daughter is unlikely to be back until about midday that I can ride with my son and then the daughter can take him out this afternoon, confused? so was I, I just wanted to go for a ride.

So now as I was riding with my son I decided to head for Canford Heath, basically do the same ride as last week but just throw in a couple of up hills and down hill bits to see how he coped. I had even charged up the Muvi video camera up ready to record some riding, so I took it with us intending to capture the son’s riding. That failed, mounted in on my cycle helmet but I set the bracket pointing to far forward so all I got was the trail about three foot in front of my front wheel.

It was quite a bit muddier than last week but on the whole the son coped well (especially considering the dirt jump style tyres he is riding on). He failed to get through the clay pit and ended up stopping in the middle of the big puddle which I had left to near the end of the ride, so from there it was home arriving just after midday (I promised him I would mention a collision with a wall and metal post on the way home, high metal post, low handle bars opps!).

Daughter turned up just after we arrived home, we had lunch and then she took the son out which left me to clean two very muddy bikes, I think there will be a lesson in the responsibilities of bike cleaning and maintainance on the agenda very shortly.

Tomorrows ride……………..there will be a ride, watch this space!!

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weekend mud

With the rains we have had over the past couple of weeks there was very little chance of anything other than mud on the trails. Yesterday was a family ride over the local heath. For the wife it was her first return to the heath for nearly 18 months, for our son it was his first visit (on a bike).

I had opted for a simple figure of 8 loop around the heath avoiding the worst of the hills and leaving the biggest puddle (read lake) till near the end of the ride so if anybody got it wrong and got soaked at least we would be heading home.

Being as the heath is only about a mile up the road from home we opted to ride up there, there only one section of main road to negotiate and riding along there was done on the pavement, all the rest was side roads.

Once on the heath we started with an easy fire road ride before turning off onto a tyre track rutted trail. This is where we had our first faller, dear son being a little nervous and finding him self on the hump between the (deep) tyre tracks wobbled and fell over the handle bars, fortunately only his pride was hurt.

After descenting the hill we soon found the mud as we rode through a stream running down a narrow trail. We were soon onto another fire road and heading up to out next bit of single track. Here dear son quite happily took off like a rocket, near the end of the trail I had to shout to him to mind the drop near the gate (there quite a few gates on the heath) fortunately he saw the ramp section and went down that (the other side is two steps).

The next section I did not expect either the wife or the son to ride and I was not wrong. The first bit is a little downhill slope on loose loamy soil with a small bank at the bottom to go over then a 90 degree left into heavy muddy soil before turn 90 degree right, a short straight and then up a short very sharp slope. To be honest I have yet to get up the slope. I rode down and around and stopped half way up the slope and pushed the last few steps to the top as normal. I got a shout from dear son to give him a hand with pushing his bike up the slope. When I got to the slope the wife appeared riding her bike towards the foot of the slope having climbed back on the bike after the muddy soil section, seeing dear son stuck at the bottom of the slope she applied her brakes and stopped only to find that she had stopped on the centre section of the path and could not put her feet down, cue the wife falling sideways into the undergrowth. I decided to pull dear sons bike up the hill first before rescuing the wife from the undergrowth.

The next main section was the clay pit, basically it is a small pond that overflows across the path and runs off into the woods, unfortunately where it overflows is all clay, I know the easiest route through and I cleared it without a problem. My wife and son decide they are going to walk across (to save falling off, it smells foul). Dear son promptly try to walk through the middle of the clay with his foot disappearing into the clay to above his ankle boots, the wife walks through with no problems.

Next there is short descent then the big puddle, I told the pair of them where to ride, I then showed them where to ride around the edge (in the middle we are talking axle deep). Dear son sets off and with a lot of shouts of encouragement from me gets around the edge ok and joins me on the other side. Unfortunately the wife set off at the same time and right behind dear son and found herself cycling into the middle of the puddle to avoid running into the back of him, she managed to make it to high ground in the middle having drowned her feet but still had the second bit to go, after a few words of encouragement (you can stay there if you want but we are going, sort of thing) she eventually cleared the puddle with very we feet.

The rest of the ride was fairly straight forward before picking up the fire road and heading for home.

I did my normal Sunday Throop Loop ride this morning, for one reason or another I have not ridden it for a couple of weeks so I was not sure what various section of the ride was going to be like, to be honest it was not as muddies as I had expected.

There was nothing exciting to report apart from three minor events. First I was confronted with 4 young bulls on a very narrow path, fortunately they were close to where they got onto the path so I managed to shoo them back up the path and into there field. Secondly I fell off, front wheel dug in in some loose sand and I fell onto the handlebars before exciting the bike side ways and finally my saddle nearly fell off. It seems as though when I dismantled everything the other week I did not do the saddle clamps up tight enough. With the noise it was making I got to the point where I had already made a note to look at the saddle when I got back home. I had stopped to open a gate and as I pulled my bike round to get back on the bike, I grabbed the saddle and it moved all over the place stopped. I removed the seat post and tighten everything up again.

My afternoon consisted of cleaning the bike and putting a new felt roof on the shed, the temporary repair I did and couple of weeks ago came off sometime in the weeks and inside the shed was soaking. So I got some felt from B&Q yesterday and this afternoon I could be found sitting on our shed roof. At least that another job out the way.

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