Tag: mud

hey, it can only get better………………….

I was hoping things would get better after Wednesday central heating problems, but no. Friday the wife missed the bus to work, I had been reluctant to take her in as the van had just been cleaned for a customer viewing later in the day and I did not want to get it covered in all the road grime you get on these cold frosty days. So I ended up taking her into work and on the way home I have to travel through a large set of traffic lights which is busy at the best of times but currently the lights are being replaced so there are lane closures and long delays. On the section of road I approach the lights, there are two lanes but about 100mtrs from the lights the inside lane is closed off. Everybody is in the outside lane, I am slowly moving forward when I catch sight of a car coming up the inside lane, I am now just short of the cones and signs closing the inside lane as the car passes me and then just turn right in front of me having realised that he could get no further up the inside lane. My front bumper met his rear wheel, resultant damage to both vehicles is mostly scratched paint and bumpers. So the customers got to see the van all nice and clean complete with a custom bumper job!!

Saturday I went out for a ride over the local heath, still building myself up after the several weeks of no riding. The ride itself was nothing spectacular, made it up a hill which I have targeted as one of the hills I need to beat although I was a gasping wheezing wreck at the top. It was nice to be able to get home and not have to wash the bike as the ground was so frozen although thinking about it I would of been unable to wash the bike as the hose was frozen!! I digress. Anyway the wife had gone shopping so I came home to an empty house. When I put the bike round the back of the house I noticed that the back door step was wet, which seemed strange since everything else was frozen and it was dry when I left. I went back round to the front door and let myself in. I then headed through the house toward the back door so I could go and lock the back gate. When I opened the utility room door I was greeted by a lake of water on the floor, it could of only come from the washing machine or the washing machine plumbing.

I called the wife and informed her of the problem and suggested she curtailed her shopping trip to come and help with the bailing out. Once out of my cycling gear, I realised that the puddle was not getting any bigger so what ever was leaking had stopped (or run out of water). The washing machine had been on but had now finished its cycle. That meant that either a pipe on the washing machine had split or the waste. outlet had sprung a leak. The wife arrived back home as I finished clearing the washing machine so I could move it out and get to the pipework. I started to pour some water down the waste pipe which quickly overflowed onto the floor. I gave it 5 minutes to run a ways and then pour some hot water down the waste pipe, this started to backup but then suddenly cleared. The waste pipes runs round the side of the house and under the back door, sometime ago the bracket holding the waste pipe under the door broke so there was a slight sag in the middle of the pipe. I guess that water was sitting in the pipe and overnight Friday and Saturday morning it froze. A temporary repair has been made the hold the pipe up so that it maintains the run to the drain and does not hold any more water.

While the rest of the country woke up to snow this morning, all we woke up to was wet rain soaked roads and a rise in temperatures. So this morning ride was a mud fest, although there were still some frozen bits hidden in deep puddles which made things interesting. I did a Throop loop but it was only a short loop as my legs were feeling it a long with a another problem\injury I am plagued with, so I decided not to push it and headed for home.

I am hoping for a quiet weeks this coming week, some how I don’t think I will get one.

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the end is nigh

Yes it that time of the year again when the TV, radio, newspapers, your favourite web site and blog’s are highlighting the past 12 months. Personally, I would rather forget the past 12 months, it was not great the first time round and I can’t see the highlights being any better. Having mentioned the past 12 months in my last blog posting the only thing I am going to say about 2011, is I hope 2012 is better.

Due to the weather I never got to go for a ride on Thursday, it was wet and windy. With the wife at work I brought the bike into the kitchen and spent an hour or so on a small job to hopefully eliminate the squeak on my bike. I removed the chain-rings and chain-ring bolts, cleaned them and then reassembled with a little copper-slip grease to hopefully eliminate the squeak.

Friday dawned damp and miserable with the threat of heavy rain to come in the afternoon. While having breakfast I received a message to say that the ride was still going ahead although the distance had been shortened due to the conditions. So I loaded up the van and then headed to mother-inlaws to drop our son off then headed out to Sturminster Marshal which was where the ride was starting from. By the time we left there was 14 of us and the rain had started to fall, we did not get very far as we had our first puncture within 20yds of starting. Apparently a small flint like stone from the ride leaders drive was found in the tyre. We were soon back on our way as the rain continued to fall, our fist section of off road track came with a health warning as parts of it were chalk and in these wet condition more like ice, they were not wrong. The front wheel was sliding around on the chalk between the grasses bits trying to find grip, it made avoiding some of the deep puddle interesting as you could not just suddenly change direction.

The rain by now had changed to a fine drizzle, the riding was through mud. The basic of the ride was that we would go around Badbury Rings and then head out to the old airfield at Tarrant Rushton. There is only a hanger, a couple of other building and the some of the perimeter road left there now. We slipped and slid around Badbury Rings on to a narrow trail about 6″ wide. This narrow trail which is sunken into the ground is difficult enough in the summer with the long grass, stinging nettles and over hanging branches. But now the entire pathways has been cut back but you still have a narrow trail which is just a stream of mud which you have to stay in the middle of to avoid hitting the sides otherwise you end up falling off. Fortunately everybody made it down in one piece and in my case with a lot of dabbing of the foot to help with balance and forward motion.

Another climb across an open field of mud before we came to the airfield and around some of the perimeter road. As we left the airfield and down a narrow trail along the edge of a field I saw a mouse or a vole like creature scurry across the path just in front of my wheel not once but twice. 14 miles later we were back at our starting point where the ride leader turned hostess laying on a mini buffet and drinks (tea to sloe gin) for all the mud splattered riders. I think it was more of a slog than a ride and as can be seen from the picture below it was dirty, yours truly is far right.

A view of the dirty bums from yesterday ride

Due to bike cleaning duties (I was only able to hose the bike down yesterday) and dads taxi duties this morning I was unable to get the bike ready for the last ride of the years so I will be starting off the new year with a ride tomorrow after fulfilling more dad taxi duties taking the daughter to work.

Finally to all of you a happy new year and may it bring you the joy you are looking for.

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it is too quiet

It is Christmas eve and it is to quiet around here, dear son is in bed a sleep….. allegedly, the wife and daughter are upstairs wrapping pressie, I sat here typing this having just finished playing family taxi for the day after picking the daughter up from work.

Lets back track a few days, Thursday I collected my forks from TFTuned despite getting lost looking for the Industrial estate, must update my sat nav, according to the sat nav I was in the middle of a field. Later that afternoon they were fitted back on bike, unfortunately I was not able to take them on a test ride as I had other things that needed to be done and anyway I had a ride planned for Friday morning.

Friday was a day of heavy precipitation (rain to me and you) so the bike stayed in the shed.

Today is Christmas Eve and I had to keep up the tradition of riding on Christmas eve, but first I had to drive the troops to the shopping centre so they could mount a dawn raid on the local supermarket to get those fresh bits we were still missing. In the end I still managed to head out on my bike just after 9am although I was not sure how long I would ride for.

For the past couple of weeks I have had an aching pain in my right leg, I can’t lay in bed on my right side for long as I get a pain in my right hip which is the one I fell on when I came of my bike in the ice and snow in January this year and then landed on again when I crashed in May. My knee has a dull ache in it like a pulled muscle but without the pain of a pulled muscle when you move. I also have a pulled muscle feeling around my groin on the right side from time to time (sound more like the walking wounded).

I decided to ride the Throop loop. At the start I was feeling a bit tight like I had not cycled for a few weeks but as I got a couple of miles under the tyres I felt OK. It was muddy, on two occasion having me off the bike, the first was when I tried to ride up the side of a rut, the front wheel just slid along but I had already committed to going to the right and the bike just fell side ways and I was able to just step of the bike. The second was in a deep mud pool the bike just stopped, I got off the bike and the bike just stood there supported by the mud.

By the time I was left Hurn Forest my right leg was aching and as I came down across Parley common I could feel my thighs starting to pull so I decided to give the return loop back to Throop and along the river a miss instead heading straight for home via the road.

The forks acted as they should which was good news, always a bit concerning when something fails but they can’t find anything wrong with it.

I am planning on going for a ride on Boxing day morning, dads taxi start again as I have to get the daughter to work as there are no buses, so as I am up I might as well go for a ride. Not sure exactly where or how yet but a ride I will do.

OK it only leaves me to wish you all (and your families) a Very Merry Christmas

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pretending to be a steam train!

When I was younger it was sticking a piece of cardboard on the rear fork stay so that the cardboard rubbed on the spoke so it sounded like a motorbike going down the road (well at least we thought so) when we cycled off. Yesterday I went out on a club ride and there was a small group of us at the back of the pack, huffing and puffing up this muddy, claggy, slight incline and a small voice from behind chirped up and said “we sound like a bunch of steam trains……..”

Yesterday it started out cold and sunny but by the time I left for the ride it was cold a cloudy. I decided to ride the 2.5 miles to the start point via the local heath and then into Delph Woods and then down the old railway line. I avoided most of the muddy bits on the heath but decided to take the easy path around the edge of Delph woods. This was ok until I came across the muddy bits, they were muddy and deep. By the time I got to the starting point my bike looked like it had done a full days ride in the mud already. I was also over heating by this time, so off came the first of my four layers.

The ride started and then stopped about 100yds up the road after the pedal fell off the ride leaders bike, not a good start fortunately it was only about 20yds from where his car was parked. We headed back to the local heath I had cycled across earlier, there were a couple of trails I had not tried before. One was a steep descent which had a lot of roots at the start and the other was a bit like riding in a deep gulley down one side of a hill and up the other side not a steep hill just a gentle incline in a 2 foot deep gulley just wide enough for the pedals and lined with prickly gorse bushes, fun! At the end of this section the 2nd of my four layers came as I was getting warm again. But now here is the problem, when I was going down hill my upper body was cold, when climbing up hills I was to hot, I can’t win…

Once we were off the heath it was off onto some new trails for me, not exactly sure where we went but hopefully I will be re-visiting those trails again over the xmas period. The ride finished with a nice little down hill section which brought us out on the old railway line close to our start point.

I have a busy week ahead at work, lots to try and get sorted before xmas plus I have some time to take off before the xmas holidays start. Dentist again for me tomorrow which is hopefully my last visit and he can finish the treatment.

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it was muddy

I dragged my self out for a ride Sunday morning more for the fact that I was determined not to miss another ride than wanting to go out for a ride. While it was not raining it had been and was quite wet. Even as I pushed the bike up the drive I still had not decided where to ride, over the local heath or a normal Sunday loop around Throop. The local heath would be more interesting but the shorter ride and obviously Throop would be less entertaining but a longer ride, Throop won.

As expected it was quite muddy in places, I tried some trails I had not ridden for a while and found one that I don’t think I have ever ridden. It did not take log for my legs to start complaining, not sure if it was the lack of riding or the amount of mud I was trying to get through. I should of taken a picture of the bike when I got back it was covered in mud.

I had intended to go for a ride tonight, well one night this week. It won’t be Wednesday as I am up to early and knackered by the time I get back and Thursday they forecast gales and heavy rain, Friday night is shopping night so that only leaves Tuesdays, it never happened. Not sure why just did not have the get up and go (I think it got up and went…)

If you have wondered how the weight loss is going then don’t, it just not happening at the moment, my mined is else where at the moment and times like this I eat, not a good combination.

The Internet, why is that the one thing communication companies can’t do, is communicate, I mean I have been promised call backs by Virgin media regarding my Internet access (which has got better but not what it should be) and I get nothing. Yesterday at work I call BT because we had a problem with a phone system, they will call you back within 4 hours sir I was told, so why was it this morning (20 hours later) that I got a call from BT far east support centre asking me what the problem was, are they as bad at reading English as they are speaking or listening to it that they could not understand the notes they had been given . So 4 hours after fixing the problem the problem reoccurred, oh hum. But why are they so bad, BT are honestly the worst company I have to deal with, they are so incompetent and stuck so far up their own rear, it does not bear thinking about. They have a monopoly on telecoms in this country (ok the monopoly is not as bad as it was) they just think they can do what they like and please don’t mention Ofcom, they are a toothless tiger. Complained to Ofcom once about BT complaints department, what did they do, pass it onto BT Complaints!!

Right I am stopping, I am starting to rant, peace and love, peace and love…….

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