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
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.
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
Yes at long last the white stuff arrived on the south coast and for once it was more than half a dozen snow flakes. it started around 10pm last night and by 6:30am this morning we had several inches of the stuff, dear son woke me specially to tell me it had snowed over night!!
I had already planned to work form home today but the down side to working from home is, you can’t get a way with having a snow day (the latest buzz word apparently). I must admit to having a couple of snowball fight with the son during the day. His school and the daughters college were both shut so they were home for the day. As usual with this country, it came to grinding halt as soon as the white stuff arrives, all those country that get meters of the stuff for several month of the year and carry on a normal every day life must shake their head in disbelief at this country when we get snow.
As a consequence of the snow I did not go for a ride tonight, instead I took a walk along the river where I normally ride, the path was well trodden and there were signs of bike tracks in the snow so it looked as though it had been a little busy along the river path today. The wife decided she wanted to feel what the snow was like on her bum, so having been told not to walk down the centre of the slope which was very slippery and that she should walk down the edge, she knew better and walked down the centre until she did the comedy sketch bit of running on the spot on ice and then fell to earth. Unfortunately in my attempt to offer assistance, I had to cross said slippery slope and ended up kissing the snow with my butt as well.
When we went out for the walk I never thought to take the camera with me, so here a couple of picture from first thing this morning.
It may not look a lot of snow, but that is the most snow we have had in 10 years down here.