Tag: canford heath

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.

Tags: , ,


Well the home PC front is slowly improving, I now have a home PC I can use, running Linux at home things take a little longer to set-up and resolve (no reflection on Linux just me setting it up). Things are not helped when I took the opportunity to change the version of Linux I use (think moving from Windows XP to Windows 7). I am slowly getting system back up and running, recent sucesses are printing, access to my network & USB disks and recovering my old bookmarks from the old PC hard disk. Not being helped tonight by a very slow internet.

Went for a ride last night, not sure how far I went as the gps on the phoned decided it did not want to work (what is it with me and technology lately) but it was in the area of 25 miles. From my house out to Canford Heath, then into Delph Woods and onto the CastlemanTrail, down to Upton House then back up the Castleman Trail to the Willet Arms, down to the river and along the river to Canford School then back up to Canford Heath and then home, just under 2.5 hours quite a good ride really.

Mondays weigh was what I had expected, I really need to get my head straight on my eating, it not so much my main meals but my need to snack and what I choose to snack on is what is hurting me at the moment.

A couple of blog’s ago I mentioned about my ears, well I got to the docs last Thursday and it turns out that one ear is blocked with wax and the other is half blocked. So since last week I have been putting Olive oil in my ears twice a day to soften the wax up ready for an ear syringing this coming Friday, can’t wait to be able to hear properly again.

Now for something rather silly

BUCS 2011 X.C Carnage! from Joe Bowman on Vimeo.

Tags: ,

lots on my mind but nothing to say

That is how I feel at the moment, lots of stuff racing around my mind, no sooner does one thought slowly subside than a new thought comes screaming past and the thoughts start racing through my mind again. But there is very little I can (or want) to talk about on here.

Monday night was a good weigh-in, lost 3lb, I had my doubts after a bit of major troughing earlier last week, but I lost the weight so I will accept it, just as I have accept it when the scales say I have put on weight.

Went out for a ride last night, first evening ride since my “night time face plant in the snow ride” at the start of the year. Working from home yesterday so had the ideal opportunity, waited until five o’clock and then got myself ready and out the door in double quick time while there was still daylight available, although it was fading fast. I decided to ride over Canford Heath, first time I have done a night ride over there in the dark. Very strange riding over there in the dark especially when I rode one tracks in the opposite direction to the way I normally ride it. My legs (thighs) felt heavy at the start but at the end I powered up (for me anyway) a long slope, I was still the wheezing gasping wreck when I got to the top, I just got there faster.

Tags: ,

playing in the mud

I think the weather forecasting gods must have been listening to me a couple of weeks ago when I posted about the lousy weather forecasting. Last nights – this morning forecast was correct, overnight rain ending around 7am. It was not raining when I looked out the window at 7am, must admit it did not look inspiring but it was not raining.

After a late breakfast I wheeled the Cannondale out the shed and fitted the new chain and completed the other couple of jobs I had to do. There were still dark heavy clouds in the sky but no rain was falling. Looking around it seemed as though we had had a lot of rain over night.

I left the house at 11:30 having decided to do a short loop around Canford Heath. My earlier speculation that we had had a lot of rain was soon proved right, the path from the golf club was a very muddy. I other thing that struck me was how warm it was, by the time I rode up the short slope to the second gate I was sweating and I was only wearing a long sleeved base layer, cycling jumper and my padded cycling shorts….yes shorts! The trails were either very muddy or a running stream. After a short loop of the heath I headed for home, I wanted to save some energy for tomorrows long ride.

Looking over on Bike Radar and I came across a link to this site Bicycle Design Blog. The basic of the site is that budding bicycle designers submit drawings plans for complete bikes or bike components. These budding designers can be anything from a professional designer to a kid sat in his bedroom. I am still working my way through the blog, but the three wheeled cycle buggy for the disabled looks great.

Tags: , ,

a better day

The sore head has gone (or at least going) and things are looking brighter.

I went for a ride this morning, but it was a late ride for me. I normally leave at 7:30am-ish but I got up late and found the F1 Grand Prix was late starting due to the weather so I sat and watched that till the end, an interesting race which swung the championship in another direction. I did not ride my normal Throop loop instead I went over Canford Heath and Delph Woods, managed not to get lost this time…

When I got back I reduced my Whyte to a pile of bits, I have removed all the linkage from the rear suspension. Not happy that I found several of the bearing a bit lumpy and gritty feeling, going to remove them from the linkage tomorrow (got to knock up a bearing press!!) and clean them but it looks as though I need to replace all the suspension bearings (8 of them).

My routes page (I mentioned last night) is up and running, let me know if you try any of my routes

Tags: ,