Category: family

Making the effort

I seem to remember saying in the last posting that I was off on my travels, well I was until 2:15am Friday morning when the hospital called, Father in-law was not looking good. So we laid there all night till early morning waiting for the inevitable next phone call which never arrived. So early Friday morning I dropped the wife of at the hospital and then went back home to look after our son. He made it through the day but because of the uncertainty we never made our trip up north. I worked from home for the day and contacted all those that were expecting me to say we were not coming. Long story short, the father in-law is still with us but the outlook is quite bleak.

Despite last weekends events I did get out on the bike on Sunday, a small loop around Throop, felt not so bad afterwards, would of felt event better had it not been for the headwind on the way home.

Today I decide on a ride to the beach, started off cloudy but quite warm, got to the beach and it started raining, by the time I got home it had stopped was still cloudy. Then when I came to wash and oil the bike it started raining, seem like I upset the weather gods today.

I was intending to go to a bike demo day and Queen Elizabeth Country Park in Hampshire but with things as they are I felt it was safer to stay closer to home. It is now looking like I wont be able to fund a new bike until the new year anyway.

As many you will know my fish tank cracked and leaked all the water over the floor in early January. Well I have a new fish tank (in fact I have had it for several weeks) and I am slowly building it up. It is slightly smaller than the last tank (capacity wise) although slightly longer but not so deep or wide. Because I am now feeling paranoid about the new tank cracking like the old one I have made a couple of modification. The new tank stands now stands on a 1.5″ piece of ply to help take any unevenness out of the carpet\floor and where the tank sits on the stand which was only 1/2″ thick, I have added another piece of 3/4″ ply to make it 1.25″ thick hopefully that will help stop it twisting or warping and thus cracking. I have also added some egg crates, which looks nothing like egg crates. They are in fact 1/2″ high plastic mesh that covers the bottom of the fish tank. Any rocks that is added to the tank sit of this egg crate\plastic mesh and it distributes the load more evenly over the bottom of the tank. I have the rocks and the sand to go in the tank which will be the next job over the bank holiday weekend.

Finally something completely different for the music video, take 5 minutes to listen to what this guy is saying…………..

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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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here I sit

I am not really sure where I should focus my mind at the moment, I don’t like looking back and thinking about what would of been had I done thing differently, I don’t want to look forward as that only make me think about forthcoming problems and I not happy where I am now.

This past week has been a strange week, a sort of lull before the storm, although I am not sure when the storm is going to hit. Work has been those sort of days when you are busy all day and then look back at the end of the day and nothing has been accomplished, you just spend the whole day dealing with lots of minor dead end problems. I am on holiday for the second part of next week and the first part of the following week but it looks at the moment that I am going to have to work on Saturday (the one in the middle of my holiday) again, work that one out!

I am living in a house of bugs, we had a phone call on Monday asking us to collect our son from school as he was unwell. Fortunately I was able to leave work and go and collect him, since then is has had a hacking cough. I was feeling below par earlier in the week. The wife felt under the weather in the middle of the week. The only one who has not been ill is the daughter and she been working long hours and overnight so she been temperamental because she is tired.

Virgin Media are really peeing me off, the internet problem I complained about back in May and contacted them again at the end of September and early October which they complete ignored is still on going. I have not contacted them yet as I know it won’t be a pleasant call to them. I am planning on doing it one day next week when I am on holiday but I will be more angry when I come off the phone than when I start……

I have done no riding this week, I had planned to go out one night this past week but forgot to put my light on charge (it takes over 18 hour to charge). Then I decided not to ride the following night as the weather forecast was iffy and it turned out to be a lovely night………well would of been had I gone out for a ride.

I am not happy with the bike at the moment, it has a creak and I can’t find it and I hate the sound of that creak as I pedal along. I spent this morning and the early part of the afternoon trying to find the creak to no avail. I popped into my local bike shop for some (creak resolution) advice, his advice was to go over everything I have done again. I picked up a few useful tips on the Mountain Bike Forum so I have a lot to do tomorrow and my son want to go for a ride although that will depend on how bad his cough is.

I think I am getting to that age when all you do is moan……………

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Spoil sports

Why are some people out to stop other peoples fun?

Earlier this week my son (Ryan) got a new mountain bike, a proper 26″ wheeled bike. He had simply outgrown his old 20″ wheeled bike so it was time to put him on a proper bike. I was confronted with an extremely large box on my return home on Tuesday evening and an excited 11 year old once he saw the box. Setting the bike up was pretty straight forward and about 30 minutes later Ryan was taking the bike for its maiden ride along the pavement outside our house, a few wobbles but nothing un-towards. Then the bike was put away with the promise of a family ride on Saturday.

On Friday night the wife pulled out with a painful thigh muscles, I decide to change the venue as the local park area was in the open and with the forecasted sunshine I decide that a wooded area like Hurn forest with shade areas would be a cooler option.

Saturday dawned grey, dark grey in fact, it was closer to black storm clouds. I thought at one stage we were going to have to call the ride off as it looked like it was going to pour down. Eventually the dark grey clouds turned to overcast type clouds so we loaded up and headed for the woods.

Hurn Forest was quiet and humid with little breeze, we set off up the main gravel path so Ryan could get used to the feel of the bike. After about a mile we stopped and then I got him to ride round slowly in small circle to get him used to handling the bike. We then set off down one of the paths to do a small loop. We only saw one person walking their dog on a wide path, who we gave plenty of space to but the look on her face said she was not impressed. We carried on round our little route and eventually returned to the spot where we started. By the time we got back the women we past earlier was walking up towards us, as she past us she turned and told us that we are not allowed to cycle down those paths pointing to the one she had just walked up and we had ridden down. Well sorry that not I was told by a Forest ranger said I, “oh that not what I was told, it must have changed” and off she went. Why the hell does she feel the need to impose her will on other? does she not like others enjoying the great outside, a young lad out in the open enjoying himself, and not loitering on street corners or gathering in groups at shopping precincts scaring and harassing the public?? This is the second time I have been told I can’t ride in a certain area by a member of the public when I have been told by Forest rangers I can. I know am getting older, I just hope I don’t turn as grumpy as these two.

Last Mondays family ride never happened in the end. We decided to have a wander around the New Forest instead. We ended up going to the Fordingbridge side of the forest and had a short walk with several large hills to climb and descent.

I went for a ride on Thursday night this week (now I seem to be riding with the wife and\or Ryan on Saturdays I still want to have two long rides per week). I did a large loop, going a cross Canford Heath, out in to Delph Woods, then up the Castleman trail to the Willet Arms, down the road to the river and along the river bank to Canford school then back in to Canford Heath and then head for home. Not sure what the distance was but I guess it was about 12 to 14 miles.

Out again tomorrow for my third ride of the week, probably going on the long Throop Loop, still looking for the elusive path from the Castleman trail to the A31.

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a week I would rather forget

This past week was one that had I been given the option I would of avoided. On Monday my yo-yo weight returned. Late Tuesday afternoon I was informed of a minor problem with one of our database (at work) and tomorrow (Wednesday) can I get a copy of the database from the backups to they can compare the data tables. Why then on Wednesday do I get the third degree as to what the problem is and then I have problems with the recovery of the data from the backup tapes. Thursday, I get a phone call lunch time to say the father in-law had been taken to hospital after having a minor stroke. Friday no problems just rushing around catching up with everything else I had missed in the week. Saturday, had decided to take the wife out to Moors Valley for her second ride since getting back in the saddle. First problem can’t get near Moors Valley as there is a country show on in the area and all roads of grid locked. So we turn round and opt to go to Hurn Forest, find a parking spot, get the bikes ready, put helmet, on wife fall out van…………take helmet off, put bikes back on van drive home! Thinking I should stay in bed tomorrow……..

I did actually go out and ride this morning (on my own), ended up going over the local heath, tried a few more of those paths that I had not tried to date. Tomorrow I am trying an old route with a new twist. After this past week I might be asking for trouble so I am not saying anything about it.