Tag: moors valley

more confusion

Last week I was ready to change the bottom bracket bearing after two rides were drowned out by creaking, since last weekend I just lubricated the chain and put the bike away (the bike was only dusty as we were still getting a bit of an early summer weather). Well I went for a ride today and it was in utter silence, nothing not even a hint of a creak, I don’t know what is going on. I was going to order a new bearing tonight, now I am not sure what to do.

Yesterday morning the heaven opened, I was planning on going out in the afternoon but decided to give it a miss. I was not the only one, only two riders turned up for the ride, they went on the ride and never had any rain for the duration of the ride…

Went out this morning, decided I needed to do long ride after yesterday non ride and as there was some new paths I had found and wanted to try and I also wanted to have another test of my Zero High5 tablets so I decided on a home to Moors Valley Country park and back ride. A total of 32.8 miles with 80% of it off road and unlike previous ride from home to Moors Valley, I did not ride over the same section of trail more than once. I can report that I did not have any problems with cramps although that may be related to the fact that it was not particularly warm this morning so I was not sweating as much as normal. In fact it was that cold this morning that I had to stop after about a mile and put my winter gloves on rather than my fingerless gloves that I started with. By the time I got home I was knackered.

Now for a farewell, I started this blog on the 6th May 2009 it was just general chit chat nothing special, no theme. Like many new blogs it soon seemed to loose its way and within a few months it was on its way to becoming another dead blog. Towards the end of 2009 I came across a blog called MassiveMTBer (Don’t ever stop). The blog was written by a guy called Clive Chapman, he had a serious weight problem and had rekindled his love of cycling as part of a plan to get his weight back to where it should be. I found the blog easy to read, well written, funny, humorous, frank and honest. In fact it was good enough for him to be asked to pen a couple of monthly column for one of the national cycling magazines, that no mean feat.

This weekend Clive announced that he had penned his last blog post, with a new job and new coaching commitments (he is a rugby coach) he does not have the time to continue writing a daily blog. But Clive blog has touched so many guys with a weight problem who have got back into cycling as part of a plan to get there weight under control it is really going to be missed. His blog was a kind of meeting place, not in the real sense like meeting your mates in the pub. But in the way where you knew that other guys with the same weight problem as you were suffering from were there reading the same blog. Clive’s frankness honesties of his own weekly weight ups and downs made those readers reflect honestly on their own weight when it came to standing on the scales. Clive’s blog became a sort of weigh loss club for guys.

Good luck with your future Clive, you blog will sorely be missed.

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bloody gps…….

When I do a new ride or add a new section to an existing ride I normally take the gps with me, this morning was no different even though I was doing the same route as the other week I was adding a bit to the ride to push me over the 30 mile mark. So with the gps on my handle bars and set-up (I thought) I was off. Once home I plugged the gps into the computer and uploaded the route or at least I thought I had, but when I opened the route in memory map it was showing me the same route as last week, I was not impressed, it seems that it never recorded today’s ride. The problem with the gps was the only bad point of the entire ride.

I was awake early this morning and eventually prised myself from the clutches of the duvet at 6:45, had some breakfast and got the bike out ready, made some drinks and by 7:45 I was off. I opted to go with just a long sleeve base layer and my cycling jumper, I am glad I did as the sun came out and in the sun it was very warm. To counter the muscle problems I have had I came up with a plan, I had my camelbak with water and a litre of energy drink in a bottle. I split my ride into three sections (8, 15 and 24 miles). At each point I intended to drink around 350ml of energy drink and at the 15 mile mark I would consume the jam sandwich I had made as well. I would drink the water as I went around the loop. After about two miles I felt a pulled muscle pain behind my left knee, I have had this pain on the last couple of rides and thought that maybe with two weeks off with no riding it would be better. No chance, at this point I decide to keep going and if it got worse well I would then head for home.

Before I left I was concerned that may be with the all the rain we have had the river would have flooded but to my surprise the water level was well down. If the river was showing no sign of the rain we have had, the path was. The nature reserve section was very slippy on the surface as was the Sopley common section over by the end of Hurn Airport runway, a similar slippy story in Hurn forest as I headed toward Avon Heath Country Park.

When I got to the Country Park I stopped for some running repairs, the rear brake was rubbing, so I re-centered the calliper and set off again. I kept pushing on trying to make sure I kept a balance between speed and not pushing myself to hard. My knee was still hurting but no more than it was when I started. I soon joined the Castleman Trail heading toward Watchmoor Woods. Just before the end of the Castleman Trail I took the short steep climb up to Watchmoor Woods and then turned away and headed towards Moors Valley. At the 15 mile mark I stopped for my jam sarnie and drink.

After a refuel I headed down the fireroad and then into the trees for a little downhill path through the trees rather than follow the fireroad to the start of the “Through the Forest” cycle trail. At just over 4.5 miles there is nothing technical about it (it is a blue route), but it is proper single track with either large boulders or trees right on the trail edge, throw in a couple gaps of about handle bar width, 90 degree corners and it becomes a great ride at speed. Once I reached the end of the trail I headed back toward the Castleman Trail and West Moors.

West Moors is the end of the Castleman Trail (you do cross it again a bit later) and time for the last of the energy drink, by now the pain from my knee is spreading to my left calf muscle but there is little I can do as I am already heading for home. Through West Moors and on toward Ferndown where I find more mud, in fact lots of mud on the common at Ferndown. I plug my way through the mud avoiding the horse riders until I reach the A348, that is the end of the off road sections and it is now a 3 mile road ride to home.

I completed the ride in about 4 hours and after a bit jiggery pokery with Memory Map I have worked it out that today’s ride was about 32.5 miles so apart from the gps problem and a minor knee problem it was a good ride. My thighs were not twinging, my right calf was ok so I may have got on top of the energy and drinking problem on my rides. Just hope there is no bad side affects when I stand on the scales on Monday.

The weather forecast is for rain tomorrow so it likely that I won’t be riding tomorrow. It will give me time to sort out Cannondale ready for riding and it will give me a bit more time to sort my knee out.

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tomorrow never comes

That what my mum used to say (I expect she still does), and without becoming to philosophical I guess she right. A bit like my weight loss, it will not happen unless I put the effort in. This past week has not been a good week but then it has not been a bad week either for eating. I have not pigged out but I have been nibbling when I should not have done. Life is a bit stressful at present and when I get stressed I eat, comfort eating I think they call it which is no good for the diet.

Then there is the cycling, I need to find the balance of the right food to eat (and drink) before and during a ride. I am ok going at my pace on a 25miler, but if I try a longer ride or I ride at a faster pace then I start to get problems with my calf and thigh muscles. Tomorrow I am hoping to do the same ride as I did the other week out to Moors Valley and back but I intend to ride the complete cycle trail at Moors Valley this time rather than start a 1/3 of the way round. The extra bit riding to the start of the trail and then the extra third should see me over the 30 mile mark. But my thighs tighten up last time and I ended up riding quite slowly. Tomorrow I want to also do the ride quicker than I did the last time, that means I can expect my muscle problems.

Now I know a lot of the food to eat prior to riding and during the ride, but two favourites I hate, Porridge and banana’s and they are pretty good diet wise as well. So there are two out the so called best energy foods out the windows to start with. Other favourites like energy drink and energy bars are not exactly diet friendly, which is ok on the one hand as I will burn them off, but I want to burn the stored energy I am carrying around with me. I don’t want to take on-board the calories before or during the ride just so I can go the distance. I have several idea’s in my head for food tomorrow, which one I will choose I don’t know, you will have to read my blog tomorrow to find out.

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I am not sure if that was me saying it or the scales when I got on them tonight, seem like I had an edible christmas, it did not make good reading. Well that is all I am saying on the matter, I have eaten it now I have to lose it.

This morning I went out for my fourth consecutive ride and boy did the top of my legs know it, they were aching before I had even done the first mile. It was a very hard slog, it soon became apparent that I would have to amend my plans for the ride as there was no way these legs were going accept any climbs. I finished doing the Moors Valley blue trail (I wanted a gps of the route) and then decided that I would just ride a few of the fire-roads and tracks and go from there. I got back to the visitor centre only to find out the rest of the family were back at the car as the son was not feeling very well, so my ride was cut short, by the time I had got the bike on the car it had started to rain so I doubt I would of stayed much longer. A total of 11.5 mile for the day, not as much as I had intended but I doubt it would of made any difference to the weigh in, at least it was better than not riding at all.

The eagled eyed amongst you may have noticed a few minor changes on the web site, just trying to generate a bit more traffic to the site, while it could be argued I am advertising (the Chain Reaction logo on the right) it is purely a link exchange to help generate some traffic. I changed the weather link as the Google one was just not working properly so I have added Met Office widget. I have also added the Moors Valley trail to the routes section (which is hosed via gpsies web site) to the route page.

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