No not me the bike, on Friday we had that rare thing here called snow, must have been the first decent snow fall in the area for at least 10 years, ended up with about 4 to 5 inches of snow. I would of loved to have gone out for a ride Friday afternoon but apart from working (they owe me time anyway) and the fact that I was waiting for an insurance accessors to visit and a plumber to visit (more on the later) so I had to stay in. So I was all ready to go riding on Saturday morning after we had done the shopping and running about. By the time I was ready it was mid afternoon and any rides would of led into darkness and my big light is not charged. So Sunday morning it was then, I was reasonably early with the intention of leaving as soon as it got light and that is exactly what I did. We had had no more snow since Friday night, Saturday the snow had become quite slushy and and Saturday night – Sunday morning it froze.
I gingerly rode down the centre of the road trying to avoid the patches of ice that had formed from the melting ice of Saturday. I had decided to ride over Canford Heath, I can’t make my mind up if this was a good or bad idea, the heath is a well trodden route with dog walkers, family wanders etc. all the slushy snow was frozen solid. Riding a cross the top of the heath was like riding on a cobbled street to the sound of Rice Krispies going snap, crackle and pop in your ear as the ice cracked as I rode over it. The back wheel was skipping and sliding all over the place and I was nervously trying to hold the front straight. I had a few respites from the icy cobbles but then I had to look out for sheet ice, there was still quite a lot of soft snow about but that quite often hid a muddy section underneath.
At one stage my front brake froze up after riding through a few puddles and by the time I started to make my way back I found I could not change the front dérailleur as it had frozen solid so I had a very slow pedal home. A ride that normally takes me about 1hrs 40 minutes took 3hrs today and I was knackard . Finally to make things worst, I had to put the bike away covered in mud as there was no way I could clean the bike.
Here a view of Poole from Canford Heath
The plumber, on Tuesday we noticed that we had no hot water, heating was ok but the water was just of the chill. After the now customary argument with the utility company about being covered for central heat breakdowns we were eventually told that we were not a priority and it could be 5 days before they could come out. Following day wife get s phone call from the plumber but she at work and so am I so we rebook for Friday. So there I was waiting for the plumber who decided not to show or even call to say why. Fortunately with the help of a friend of the wife’s on Facebook we managed to get the hot water working (and is still going), it was a stuck valve on the motorised valve.
Today this site hit the magic 10000 page views, in fact it is probably more than that as the site had been running several months before I added the counter, so I will give myself a pat on the back and thanks all those that made up those 10000 page views.
Tonight tunes comes from the aptly named Snow Patrol
It might have been minus 7 this morning but it was a lovely sunny day. I decided to let the day warm up a little before venturing out on the bike this morning so I never left the house until 10am and the temperature was about minus 4. I wanted to see if I could retrace a ride I went on before Christmas with the local mtb club or more exactly one section of it which I had not ridden until that ride. I headed out over the heath and rode up my training hill, not so good this week as I stopped half way up but at least when I got to the top I was not a gasping wreck. Considering how cold it was I was comfortably warm wearing a long sleeved thermal base layer, another long sleeved base layer and then a long sleeved jumper on top, no jacket or coat, my normal Lycra jogging trousers, Altura thermal liner gloves with my Gore gloves over the top and apolar buff, snug as bug in a rug me.
Much of the heath was still frozen when I got there but as I got out towards Corfe Mullen where the sun could reach the ground was becoming muddy which made the riding interesting as it was difficult to tell what was frozen mud or soggy mud. Fortunately I avoided falling off the bike although I nearly went over the bars when missed a small ledge and took the option to go into a shallow stream. The water may have only been a couple of inches deep, the underlying mud was nigh on 12 inches deep and my front wheel went straight down and stopped dead.
Thank fully I found the route I was looking for so I have extended the area I can now ride and there is still a lot more to check out.
Compared to last week this week was particularly quiet, heating has behaved its self, there been no more overflowing pipes so all is good in fact I have even got the front door bell working, so all is good.
Hopefully out riding again tomorrow but that will depend on the freezing conditions and the forecast freezing rain, sounds like an interesting combination.
As suggested in my last post I went for my normal Sunday ride yesterday, out through Throop into Sopley forest and then Hurn forest and then back to Throop and along the river. But it was not an enjoyable ride, there is just so much ice about it is making the riding so damm dangerous and yes, I fell off on the ice again. There is one section where the trail is gravel and sand path, but where the snow has started to melt with foot prints and track in it and then refrozen and repeated the same process over several days the entire path is covered in ice which is contoured to the underlying surface and there is no way you can keep your wheel from slipping out. Having lost my front wheel, I walked the rest of this path. It took me an hour longer to ride the route yesterday than it normally does. Thankfully a thaw looks like it has set in this morning so future rides should be less dangerous.
I took the camera with me yesterday (having resolved the camera battery problem to a dead battery from a brand new box of batteries (decent ones this time)), managed to get a couple of shots from Hurn forest and down by the river.
No ride today, giving myself a break but hopefully going to try out the Croft Trail at Swindon tomorrow, wifey and son are coming along as well although I don’t think the wife will be riding, so hopefully there will be a few pictures (like you really want to see a picture of me riding a bike). I am informed that we are going shopping this afternoon and it a few minutes I am going to build a Lego model with the son, the joy of Christmas presents.
Like many, we have our traditions for christmas, only buying a certain foods to eat over the festive break which we don’t eat at any other time of year, I know Clive at Massive MTBer cooks a special ham for christmas. One of our christmas tradition is christmas day is a family day so the doors are locked at bedtime christmas eve and we don’t venture out of them till boxing day morning, we don’t visit family or friends we don’t go for walks or go down to the pub. I can remember when I was younger, if you saw somebody go past your house on christmas day it was a rarity, now a days the pedestrian and motor traffic past our house makes it seem like any other day.
One christmas tradition that I have recently started is falling of my bike on my christmas eve ride. Having got up really early and out to the supermarket for the fresh food shop and all the remaining shopping bits we were back home and finished by 9:30am. With only the family present delivery and collection to do I opted to go for a ride this morning, decided to ride the local heath again. Well the condition were much the same as they were last Saturday, sunny and cold. One thing that was different was the ice! where the snow had been trampled under foot it was now a sheet of ice, several inches thick, where the snow had started to melt, it was frozen solid ice complete with frozen foot prints and tyre tracks. In fact the only bits that were not ice was the snow under the trees or on the heather. It was a nightmare, I fell off and bashed my knee (which now seems to be the tradition on my christmas eve ride), in the end I had to give up and walk out of one section of the heath as I could not go further than 2 meters without the front wheel sliding away underneath me. Lets hope the thaw starts soon and I can start moaning about the mud fest……………..
As the big days approaches my thanks go to all my fellow blog writers and readers for your encouragement these past 12 months, your input has certainly helped.
It just leave me to wish you all a very merry christmas
Last night was my last weigh in for the year and I had gained half a pound, I am not surprised given what I have eaten, in fact I am surprised it is only half a pound. Problem I have is I am what is called a “stress eater” and yes the past week has been stressful so I have eaten whole large bars of chocolate!! I won’t be at the next weight which is the 27th, so I won’t be on the scales again till the 3rd Jan 2011. I had been hoping to end the year in the 16 stone range but it is not to be.
I was intending to go for a ride yesterday, when I got up it had just started snowing which turned to sleet and then rain by early afternoon. Everything turned to slush city so I decided to give it a miss, (I reckon had I ridden yesterday afternoon, I would of lost that half a pound).
I went out for a ride this afternoon, left it until mid afternoon and headed out through Throop and on into Hurn Forest, by the time I got to Hurn Forest it was time to turn the big light on. I was surprised by how much snow was still relatively untouched and still quite deep (considering the rain we had had) in Hurn forest and that was my undoing. Where on Saturday morning I found the fresh snow on Canford Heath easy to ride, riding the snow in Hurn forest I kept thinking I had a flat tyre as my back wheel was all over the place. Not sure why, maybe because it was dark and I was missing the ideal line, maybe because the surface (below the snow) was rutted and back wheel was falling into the ruts.
By the time I left Parley Common the moisture was starting to freeze on the road, so rather then head back towards Throop Mill and back along the river I headed for home via the road, shorter than my normal Throop and Hurn loop but still enough for a 20 mile ride. Hopefully I will go for a short ride tomorrow and again Thursday. My next ride after that will be Boxing days, going to try and do as much riding as I can to hopefully help counter the festive over indulgent’s, that is my plan.