New year is normally a time for forgetting the past and making a fresh start, unfortunately in my case I think somebody forgot to tell life that we were starting over for the new year. For the last two weeks I have been laid up with one of those cold\virus things doing the rounds. I blame my son has he brought it home from school and spent a week off school. Then it was my turn and spent 4 days laid low with the bug, apart from the sore throat, headache, felling hot and cold, this bug came with the added bonus of dizzy spells when you stood up or moved around. Having spent 5 days at home I was getting cabin fever so as the wife wanted to do some shopping I felt a trip to Sainsbury’s would be a good idea to get some fresh air. So we drove to Sainsbury’s, by the time I had walked from the car park to the entrance I was holding onto the wall to keep me up, the world was spinning, it was like being drunk without the drinking, not nice. Fortunately I am over the worst of it, still a slight sore throat but at least the spinning has stopped
Having the cold\virus meant I have not done any riding for two week and we have not started the decorating of the lounge yet which is now two weeks behind schedule. Apparently the new carpet is now at the shop ready to be delivered and laid, think it might be there for a couple of week more yet.
I have joined up to Slimming World again, I had to delay it a week due to having the cold and virus but attended a meeting this past Tuesday. I will openly admit I was nervous about getting on the scales, it was not as bad as I had expected but it was still not a healthy weight which ever way you look at it. My increased weight has caused inflammation in my left knee, I am now on a course of anti inflammatory pills to calm it down while I get on with losing weight again.
In all this bad news we have had a couple of bits of good news, The other week the wife says we have won a tenner on the lottery, so she goes to collect our winning and got the shock of her life when the girl behind the desk handed her £64, we actually had four numbers on one line. The other good news is that the insurance company has paid out for the fish tank and the cabinet which caused the flood, just need to get the lounge redecorated, carpet laid and then I can think about getting a replacement tank.
I was checking my cycling helmet out the other day and noticed the state of the foam pads in the helmet, they were gross (think 18 months of sweaty dirty head). So I contacted the UK importer and asked if replacements were available. They replied with a part number and stated that I would need to order the replacement from an approved shop. So I contact a local shop and was informed that the parts were currently on back order………………………………………..June 2013!! Funny how I found a new helmet on special offer on the Internet that same day!!
Well a bit of music to end with Lacuna Coil, only found out about these guys a couple of days ago and have not stopped listening to them since.
Statistics from Saturday and Sunday morning rides. I thought I would take the camera out with me on my Saturday morning ride after the overnight snow fall (couple of inches). Pity I never thought to check the batteries before I left home, managed to take one picture before the batteries died. I remembered to changes the batteries in the camera before this mornings ride, I managed three pictures before the camera died again, must stop buying cheap batteries, £1 for 10 no wonder they were a bargain……….NOT
Both dog attacks were this morning, I decided to ride my short loop around the Throop and Merritown this morning. The first dog attacked me on the way out along the river, fortunately the dog was muzzled but it did not stop the dog from trying to bite my calf and ankle. Then I got attacked by another dog on my return along the river in virtually the same place. Unfortunately this dog was not muzzled and he kept trying to bite my ankle, I treated him to a swift kick in the jaw for his persistence. In both case the dogs were not on leads and their owners were about 50mtrs away and made no attempt to stop their dogs other than calling them (which both dogs ignored).
The ride themselves were good, yesterday morning ride was across the local heath in the freshly fallen snow, on many parts of the ride my tyre tracks were the first imprints in the snow. My first OBE (Off Bike Experience) occurred on a short (40ft) steep descent. My glass had become steamed up and as I approached the lip I did no notice that somebody had been sleighing down the line which I normally take so as I went over the lip I had to quickly adjust my line and go down the centre of the track which had some deep ravines in. I consequently lost the front wheel dropped the bike, stepped over the handle bars and then ran down the rest of the descent only to bump into the two sleigher who were watching from the bottom who I had not seen through my foggy glasses. I walked back up the descent remounted my bike and rode down.
I was not cold during the ride, the sun was out and there was a lovely blue sky, I only had a base layer and cycling jersey on and I was more than warm enough. I quite enjoyed my first real ride in snow, ended up with the front gear change freezing up and covered in snow and slush.
This morning ride was the opposite of yesterdays, dull grey overcast sky’s, cold and very icy. My OBE on this morning ride happened on the road towards Throop mill which was covered in compressed snow which had in turn frozen and turned into sheet ice. Being a country lane it is not what you would call smooth, I must of caught the edge of a rise or dip as my front wheel just washed out and I went sliding down the road on my butt. Fortunately there was no traffic around so I just picked myself up and remounted and continued very carefully down the road. I must admit on the way back I walked that section of the road as it was bumpier than the other side as I did not want to go butt sliding again.
Hopefully going to try and get a ride in late tomorrow afternoon but it will depend on how frozen it roads are around here.
Below are three picture from yesterday and today
Despite patiently waiting the snow never turned up, there was the slightest of sprinkles Friday night and that was it, as usual us southerner don’t get any.
Went out for my ride at Badbury Rings yesterday. There was a stiff northerly breeze, heavy snow laden clouds filled the sky, it was very cold and very bleak. The first 100yds is a gentle downhill slope into the freezing northerly wind, half way down I had an ice-cream headache from hell. I felt like going back to the car and calling it a day but I stuck with it. I found the ride so hard for some reason, I had put several layers of cloths on (base layer, long sleeve t shirt, cycling jumper, fleece jacket) and I felt too bulky and was on the border of getting to hot. I had planned to do a new section down to the old airfield at Tarrant but knowing it is a wide open space and with the wind I decided to leave that for another day. Ended up doing just under 10 miles before seeking the warmth of the car, When I drove into the car park at Badbury Rings I was the only car there, by the time I started the ride another car had a arrived and the driver has set off on a walk\hike (I thought I was mad), by the time I got back (just over an hour) my car was the only car in the car park again.
Went out for my normal Sunday morning ride around Throop and Hurn, I did not find it so cold this morning plus I left off one of the layers from yesterday (tee shirt) and was a lot more comfortable. It was still cold enough to freeze the front gear change, had to stop a couple of times and clear the frozen mud around the gear change mechanism to allow it to change the front gears.
This cold weather has presented one interesting problem, how do you clean your bike?? My hose pipe is frozen as is my outside tap (despite being protected), I did not want to pour water over the bike for fear of it freezing. My HT is still covered in the crud from Tuesday nights ride, I took a screwdriver to the Whyte to clear the crud out from around the front gear change mechanism, then gave the mechanism and the chain a spray of GT85 to keep the moisture at bay. Now wait and see what next weeks weather brings.
Tomorrow is weigh in night and we find out if the scales were busted last week, on the one hand my jeans are now baggy on me but on the other hand I know I have not kept with the diet this week, not looking forward to it.
Well it was bank holiday weekend and the previous two mornings had been early starts so I had a bit of a lay in this morning, eventually surfaced around 7:15am. Continued with a leisurely breakfast and loading the car eventually hitting the road at 10:15 for the short drive to Moors Valley Country Park. Loading the car I noticed there was a very strong gusty wind and it was cold, so I opted for the Lycra trousers and a heavy top to keep me warm.
Before I go any further I am going to have a little whinge, Moors Valley is a lovely country park, it has a large adventure play area for the kids, numerous trails to follow, a couple of ponds, but I do find the car park fees a complete rip off, at £7 for 4 hours it is not cheap (check the car park prices here). This is why I park in one of the many gated entrances around Ringwood Forest and then ride out from there.
Today my son was joining us for a ride and we were going to take him along a section of the single track cycle trail. He was well impressed to be riding along the old Ringwood railway line at the start but not to sure about having to push the bike up the large hill though. He is only nine and has only been on two wheels for about 6 months so he still and wobbly novice and he found a couple of the slopes a bit hard going but he was keen to succeed. We eventually got to the single tack section and I shot off at speed with our son following mum at a more sedate pace. I was a little concerned he may have found the track a little to tight for him but he thoroughly enjoyed it.
He also enjoyed going up to “The Look Out” which is a large roofed platform situated on the side of a hill looking over the forest, I think it was the fact that nobody else was there and he could cycle into the building.
Once we had finished the single track sections the wife and son headed for the park while I headed off to do some more riding. I was keen to cross the road (B3081) into the other section of the forest. Where I enter the forest here it starts with a long drawn out climb of just under a mile that climbs quite hard in the last 300yds. After the previous days problems I wanted to prove to myself I can still climb and climb it I did………….still in the saddle. I was wheezing and panting a bit……….ok a lot then, at the top but I did make it to the top. I then followed my normal route half way and then decided to find a new route back (I normally follow the same route back). This worked out quite well as I rejoined the long hill about a third of the way up the hill which when I rode up the hill earlier I said that would be a good place to come back down.
Once back in the main park area I headed for the visitors centre to meet up with wife and son. After a quick bite to eat it was time to head back to the car. By now dear son was struggling and on one section I had to give him a helping push up a couple of section. I don’t know if anybody else has tried this but I placed on hand on my son back and pushed him along while trying to avoid his wobbles which forced wobbles from me, how we never ended up in a heap I don’t know. WE eventually got back to the big hill where the wife and son walked down the hill and took a couple of photo of me coming down the hill.
The day ended on success, it was weigh in night tonight and I lost 3lbs so that finished my day of nicely. bit disappointed that I never made my target I set in January but a lot of things have happened since then but at least my weight is going down if ever so slowly. I now have a short week to look forward to as I am heading up north for a long weekend.
For the first time in many weeks I won’t be riding tomorrow, my nose is blocked, it keeps running and I keep sneezing. My throat feels like it has a lump in it and I just don’t have any energy. Mind you the weather is pretty lousy round this way tomorrow so any riding would likely be a mud fest.
Not a lot more I can say really, I’m bit like a bear with a sore head at the moment with everybody pushing my button for fun. Think I might just stay in bed all day tomorrow………..