Category: rides

the truth hurts

Not everything is going to plan, but we are not along way away from what was planned, food in take (the right sort of food) at the moment is erratic. It is OK one day and blown out the water the next. But I know what I should be eating and I am not, why??

Yesterday (Saturday) was supposed to be a starting point for me, my birthday had come and gone, I know what I should be eating and I had a ride with my son booked. Cue gale forces winds and heavy rain so I gave that up as a bad idea at 6:30am when I got up. I could see no reason to end up looking like a windswept drowned rat for riding around some fire roads in the New Forest. If I had driven loads of miles for a days riding around one of the trail centres then I would of ridden as I had a reason to, but not the New Forest. So excuse’s made to my son and the promise of a ride on Sunday it was off to do some shopping, just the bits we forgot or could not get on Friday night.

Sunday dawned bleak and over cast but by the time everybody was out of bed, blue sky and the sun were out in force and it was not as cold as they had promised ( I will eat those words later). I had wanted to go to Hurn Forest but my sun wanted to go to Moors Valley, so he won. Unfortunately my normal parking spot was full so I headed for the car park on the other side of the road a bit further down. It was not as flooded as it was last time we parked there which I thought was a good omen so I decided to ride this side of Moors Valley again, Bad Idea no. 1 I opted to ride up the hill at the start, Bad Idea no 2, before I had even got a third of the way up the hill I was a gasping wreck, this did not bode well. The plan was to do a bit more exploring of tracks I did not know where they went, well the first two ended up as dead ends so I opted to go the normal way. Two of the son Christmas presents had been a mud guard set for his bike and a pair of Seal Skin Socks so I knew we would have to find a bit of mud to give them a test, Bad Idea no 3. There is a wide 100mtr long straight stretch of dirt path which at this time of year is mud bath, well my son got to try out his water proof socks when he became stuck in the middle of a large puddle and had to put his foot down which came over the top of his trainers. When we got to the end he mentioned that the rear of his trousers were not as wet as normal so the mudguard was doing it jobs. I found an old trail I had ridden before but obviously not in the muddy winter, lets just say that I had to peddle down hill!

Soon my son was complaining of leg ache and to be honest my lack of fitness was really showing so I was not adverse to heading back to the car park, especially as I was getting sore……….as a friend of mine would put it, near my toy box, it was dam painful. We still had plenty of mud to negotiate so pain was now my companion as well as being an unfit gasping wreck.

We made it back to the car park, I packed the bikes away in silence, a combination exhaustion by lack of fitness and mud and frustration at my inability to pull my finger out and get my weight problem sorted.  One decision I have taken is when I am going back to slimming world, February 5th. I really need to get my weight sorted, I really need to get my fitness sorted, unfortunately evening rides during the week are not currently an option due to work commitments. I am currently working now (17:40 Jan 13th) doing remote upgrades which need to be done out of work hours and are  6 hours drive away from me.

Finally one of my favourites songs (the whole album is good); Elbow, One Day Like this


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and so the end is near……….

No they are not the words from My Way sung by big Frank (and many other) close but no cigar as they say.

Things have looked up a little since my last post, I have managed to sale my camera gear which I have had up for sale  for about 18 months but never really pushing the point of selling the gear. I decided that it was just sat there doing nothing other than going down in value so I decided to take a hit on the price I wanted and let it go. I just hated seeing it sat there no being used. The money will certainly help Christmas along and my hardtail bike (the Cannondale) will benefit from a new drive train components.

Feeling sorry for myself on Friday after being informed by a friend he had won a prize in a competition (a decent one at that) I hoped that looking through my old e-mails would reveal an e-mail I had missed informing I had won something, I even looked in the spam folder and to my surprise there was an e-mail in my spam folder telling I had won a prize!! It was one of those online advent calendar type competition, the e-mail had been send out on the 15th and I only found it on the 20th. I won a JD Bug scooter, one of those aluminium things you see the kids scooting around on. My son was most impressed as it meant he got an early Christmas present.

I have only been out for a ride the once since my last blog, I did a short Throop loop just for the mileage count, it was nothing exciting. Felt fairly wiped out when I had finished. I fitted two new mud tyre to the bike (Michelin Country Mud) when I got back, they  are very cheap at £8.99 per tyre which is cheaper than they were 2 years ago when they were £10 per tyre. Although cheap they are a very good mud tyre.

Been giving the comments I made in my last blog about weight issues a lot of thought, if nothing else the knee pain I am now suffering should be enough to encourage me to get my weight issues sorted, or at least you would think it should. My intention at this time is to enjoy Christmas and new year, not go mad with food or drink  (not that I do with drink, last alcohol I had was the end of August) and from the 2nd January start to get it sorted. Sound easy doesn’t it, only time will tell.

I watched a program that I had recorded which was on BBC 4 about the Slade (glam rock band), it is only as they go through all the songs they recorded that you remember all the songs you had forgotten all about. With it being so close to Christmas it would be to easy to put a “Merry Christmas Everybody” video up, I am pretty sure you have probably heard it enough while you have been out shopping. So I am not going to go down that route, instead here is one of my favourites. The video is old and grainy but if you are off that age, play the video and close your eyes and I bet you will start thinking of things you were doing as a teenager………

Merry Christmas one and all


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down, up, down but always onwards

That how it feels at the moment, things look better and as soon as you feel happy it is back downhill again. But it is always onwards…………………..

Booked a few days holiday last week (well 9 in fact) so I am not working any Friday between now and the new year which is good and I also have a whole week off as well. Had the first Friday off just gone and made the effort to get out on the bike. I was a bit unsure where to go so I opted for the easy option and go to Moors Valley. I had noticed a small path leading off the main trail at the start so I thought I would find out where it went. Well it was nothing exciting that was for sure so I won’t be going down that way again.

After one lap of the trail which included a detour due to tree felling I just went for a ride around the forest, nothing exciting just lots of deep tyre tracks (from tree felling machinery) to negotiate in soft sand and mud, got back to where I parked at about the time I had intended to. My legs felt very achy that night so I guessed I pushed it a bit.

Was hoping for a quiet weekend except the servers had a different idea though, well it was not the servers fault there was a power cut Saturday afternoon but the servers were not the least bit co-operative about starting up properly Sunday morning.

OK it is getting on for Christmas and all the big companies have their Christmas adverts are on, John Lewis is no exception. They are using a copy of the 1984 Frankie goes to Hollywood Christmas song “The Power of Love”, Gabrielle Aplin tries hard but unfortunately it is not a match for the original. If you have not seen the advert yet you, see the video below and so you can compare the original version is the bottom video, hope you enjoy

NOTE: Video’s now sorted



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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Lets be positive

The negatives will be along in a minute…………

Two weeks, two rides but I will use the term ride loosely for this weeks ride. Last weeks ride was done for the mileage around the Throop Loop. So this week I thought I would try the local heath for a bit more of a work out. The Throop loop is a fairly flat ride, the local heath has a quite a few short climbs, I wish I had not bothered.

The first reason for saying that it just showed how unfit I am currently, I was wheezing like a good-un just riding on the road to the main road and that was only because of a slight incline. Any hill I approached on the heath had me wheezing and gasping for breath.

Any technical skill I had had also disappeared, I have not been over to the heath for a while but two of the trail I used to ride have changed, one has been sanitized into a boring stretch of orange gravel after a pipe was laid along its route and the other has been blocked off (a short steep descent). So I planned in my head a new loop which included another short steep descent. I had already ridden this descent once so I was not worried about it, the top has a lot of roots at right angle to the line of the descent so you have to line up properly at the top. So I took a couple minutes to familiarise myself with the roots at the top plan a route and go from there. To save boring you it did not go as planned and I found myself grabbing the rear brake and sliding down side ways.

At the bottom the descent it leads into a long straight shallow downhill section with railway sleeper sized drop off’s (they are actually steps when you walk up the trail). I have ridden down here several times and only had one problem and that was the last time I rode down it and I did exactly the same thing this time. I complete missed timed every drop off the sleepers and the last one there is a narrow worn gully in the middle of the path as a came off the sleeper I tried to avoid the gulley but my rear tyre found it there was a horrible sound of nobbly tyres being dragged side ways as the rear end of the bike shook itself. Two section I had ridden ok in the past but today I did not have a clue.

The next bit of trail was a short steep climb, I have made this climb in the past but I was not going to hold my breath today. I had barely started the climb before there was a large bang from the rear of the bike. Exactly the same thing had happened that had happened back in April this year, the tyre had blown of the rim and the still inflated inner tube was contorted around the rear wheel, here a still from a video I was recording at the time

Tyre comes of rim – again

Once the tyre was back on the rim I was that dejected I climbed the hill (3 stops on route) and headed for home, I was a beaten man.

I was going to mention the negatives, but I never meant for this post to be this long, lets just use the phrase, same shit different day. I just hope I really enjoyed my previously life as I am sure as hell having to pay for it in this one.