Went out for a ride for the second week running today, can’t say that many time this year. Unfortunately it did not quite go to plan. Right up to the moment I pushed the bike off the drive I had not decided on which route to take. I had decided that which ever ride I took it would simply be a mileage ride to get back into the riding which just so happened to be on the on the hottest weekend of the year, not good planning. Even though I left in mist this morning I knew it was going to be hot so I had 3ltr of water in my camelbak and 1ltr of electrolyte drink in my water bottle. I decided on a Throop to Ashley Heath loop but not taking in the Moors Valley trail. That whole ride comes in at about 34 miles and I knew I could not cope with that. So when I got to the Castleman Trail I headed straight down to West Moors rather than going round Moors Valley.
By now the mist had cleared and it was warming up, as I got to West Moors I could feel my calf’s tightening up I still had some of my electrolyte drink left but I knew if my calf’s were tightening up now the drink I had left would not be enough to get me home. So I decided that I needed some extra resources so went into the village to find an open shop. I was going to get some ready salted crisp for the salt content as that what I seem to lacking and something to wash it down with, I came out with two packets of salt and vinegar crisps and a bottle of Lucozade. I ate the crisp and washed them down with the and then set off for Uddens and Cannon Hill plantations.
My calfs seemed to be coping with the intake of salt but my inner thigh muscles were not, by the time I left Cannon Hill plantation they were complaining as soon as I exerted any pressure on the pedals on the slightest incline. I made it through Stapehill and Longham in moderate pain until I got to the roundabout at Bear Cross, the slight incline up to the roundabout had me grimacing. I got off the bike to massage my thighs, I have no idea what the motorist though I was doing but I got a hell of a lot of funny looks stood there rubbing my thigh muscles.
I remount and carried on and it was only when I got to the last little incline up my road that both my thighs and calf’s muscle kicked off together. Anybody would of thought I had just ridden some alpine pass on the Tour de France rather than the ant hill at the end of our roads I was grimacing in so much pain.
Having had time to think about it, I am putting it down to the hot weather we have had for the last week or so. I must of had a very low level of electrolytes\salt in my body due to all the sweating so going out cycling and sweating heavily just made the matter worse despite taking a suitable drink with me.
One think I think I need to work on is working out different rides rather than doing the same route every weekend, I think I have worn that record out. Hopefully if I can get some form of fitness back I can plan a few more longer routes.
On other matters work is manic at the moment, the wife’s legs continues to get better but slowly with twice weekly visits to the doctors for a change of dressing. On a side note they want us to pay for these changes so we will see what happens when she goes back this week, more on this in my next posting.
This weeks musical interlude is Elbow One day Like This which was used in the Olympic closing ceremony and is now back in the charts.
The cool air of an early morning ride, the whiff from the sewage plant as you ride past, the clawing on your arms from the gorse and brambles bushes encroaching on your path, stinging nettle attacking your shins as you try to avoid the bramble and gorse bushes and a couple at it in there car at 8:30am in the morning in a secluded corner (at least that what they thought) of a field. Just some of the sites and sounds of an early morning ride around the Throop Loop this morning, yes it all fun here folks.
I thought it was about time to throw my leg over my bike and get this fat arse moving again. I opted to ride on Sunday as it was supposed to be the cooler day and I had things to do on Saturday morning. Everything started nicely, as per normal on a summer ride all the paths are sporting overgrown vegetation and I was soon under attack. Narrowly missed a large bramble at neck hight, fortunately managed to duck under it. But as I dodged the brambles I ended up riding into the stinging nettles or if I dodged the stinging nettles there was always a brambles or a gorse bush to welcome me on the other side, I am sure those damm plants are ganging up on me.
Then there was the couple in the car, well it is certainly not a place I would of thought was secluded (5mtrs from the road) next to a bridleway gate (there is actually two gates). I saw the car and just thought it was a dog walker had parked there (not for the first time) but as I went through the first gate I got an eye full of there “in-car entertainment”, think the bloke was a bit shocked that they had been spotted. I was going to say nice day for it, but thought I might put him off so just carried on my way smiling to myself.
I had started out with the intention of not pushing it (not been on the bike since the 15th July) and I think I got it about right. I only did the short loop and it was only the last miles or so that I felt myself struggling.
The wife has been back to the doctors as the swelling in her leg has not gone down, he scared her and send her off to hospital the following day for DVT scan. Thankfully nothing was found. A week later she was back at the doctors with the swelling not improving and at the end of the current course of anti biotics. We came out we a different course of anti biotics and another doctors appointment for a weeks time (this coming Tuesday). Thankfully it looks like the swelling has gone down a little bit.
Work is very busy at the moment, which I guess with the economy as it is, is a good thing. Currently sat here typing this and waiting for it to cool down a bit so I can go and work on the bike. I like the sunny weather but not when I have to stand in it.
OK finally a bit of music, mate of mine from school loved this group personally at the time I could not see what all the fuss was about, but now yeah I really like them.
With the rains we have had over the past couple of weeks there was very little chance of anything other than mud on the trails. Yesterday was a family ride over the local heath. For the wife it was her first return to the heath for nearly 18 months, for our son it was his first visit (on a bike).
I had opted for a simple figure of 8 loop around the heath avoiding the worst of the hills and leaving the biggest puddle (read lake) till near the end of the ride so if anybody got it wrong and got soaked at least we would be heading home.
Being as the heath is only about a mile up the road from home we opted to ride up there, there only one section of main road to negotiate and riding along there was done on the pavement, all the rest was side roads.
Once on the heath we started with an easy fire road ride before turning off onto a tyre track rutted trail. This is where we had our first faller, dear son being a little nervous and finding him self on the hump between the (deep) tyre tracks wobbled and fell over the handle bars, fortunately only his pride was hurt.
After descenting the hill we soon found the mud as we rode through a stream running down a narrow trail. We were soon onto another fire road and heading up to out next bit of single track. Here dear son quite happily took off like a rocket, near the end of the trail I had to shout to him to mind the drop near the gate (there quite a few gates on the heath) fortunately he saw the ramp section and went down that (the other side is two steps).
The next section I did not expect either the wife or the son to ride and I was not wrong. The first bit is a little downhill slope on loose loamy soil with a small bank at the bottom to go over then a 90 degree left into heavy muddy soil before turn 90 degree right, a short straight and then up a short very sharp slope. To be honest I have yet to get up the slope. I rode down and around and stopped half way up the slope and pushed the last few steps to the top as normal. I got a shout from dear son to give him a hand with pushing his bike up the slope. When I got to the slope the wife appeared riding her bike towards the foot of the slope having climbed back on the bike after the muddy soil section, seeing dear son stuck at the bottom of the slope she applied her brakes and stopped only to find that she had stopped on the centre section of the path and could not put her feet down, cue the wife falling sideways into the undergrowth. I decided to pull dear sons bike up the hill first before rescuing the wife from the undergrowth.
The next main section was the clay pit, basically it is a small pond that overflows across the path and runs off into the woods, unfortunately where it overflows is all clay, I know the easiest route through and I cleared it without a problem. My wife and son decide they are going to walk across (to save falling off, it smells foul). Dear son promptly try to walk through the middle of the clay with his foot disappearing into the clay to above his ankle boots, the wife walks through with no problems.
Next there is short descent then the big puddle, I told the pair of them where to ride, I then showed them where to ride around the edge (in the middle we are talking axle deep). Dear son sets off and with a lot of shouts of encouragement from me gets around the edge ok and joins me on the other side. Unfortunately the wife set off at the same time and right behind dear son and found herself cycling into the middle of the puddle to avoid running into the back of him, she managed to make it to high ground in the middle having drowned her feet but still had the second bit to go, after a few words of encouragement (you can stay there if you want but we are going, sort of thing) she eventually cleared the puddle with very we feet.
The rest of the ride was fairly straight forward before picking up the fire road and heading for home.
I did my normal Sunday Throop Loop ride this morning, for one reason or another I have not ridden it for a couple of weeks so I was not sure what various section of the ride was going to be like, to be honest it was not as muddies as I had expected.
There was nothing exciting to report apart from three minor events. First I was confronted with 4 young bulls on a very narrow path, fortunately they were close to where they got onto the path so I managed to shoo them back up the path and into there field. Secondly I fell off, front wheel dug in in some loose sand and I fell onto the handlebars before exciting the bike side ways and finally my saddle nearly fell off. It seems as though when I dismantled everything the other week I did not do the saddle clamps up tight enough. With the noise it was making I got to the point where I had already made a note to look at the saddle when I got back home. I had stopped to open a gate and as I pulled my bike round to get back on the bike, I grabbed the saddle and it moved all over the place stopped. I removed the seat post and tighten everything up again.
My afternoon consisted of cleaning the bike and putting a new felt roof on the shed, the temporary repair I did and couple of weeks ago came off sometime in the weeks and inside the shed was soaking. So I got some felt from B&Q yesterday and this afternoon I could be found sitting on our shed roof. At least that another job out the way.
Got up and looked out the window at 6 oclock this morning the sun was shining and it was clear, so I went back to bed. Got up at 8 oclock looked out the window and it was pouring down so I got up. I had intended to watch the rugby but getting up late and being beaten to the TV by a 11 year old I opted to keep an eye on the commentary on the BBC sports web site.
I left the house for my ride at 9:15 in bright sunshine but a little cool, within a couple of miles I had taken my jumper off as I was hot. Two miles later I stopped again this time with a puncture. Again it was the front wheel and again it was one of those Dr Sludge inner tubes. This time the valve was still fully connected to the inner tube, there was no sign of any seepage of latex sealing any leaks in the inner tube, there was no sign of any foreign object poking through the tyre. I have no idea why it went down, the only thing that is certain is that those Dr Sludge tube are a waste of money and those two tubes from today and yesterday are going in the bin.
After another couple of miles I stopped yet again, this time to put my rain jacket on, it was *issing down. Eventually it stopped raining but I was not going to be fooled so easily and kept my jacket on. By the time I reached Sopley Common (I was riding the Throop loop but in reverse) I was over heating so I stopped to take my jacket off again. Two mile later I stopped again to put my jacket back on again as it was *issing down again and that is the way it stayed all the way home. By the time I got home I looked like a drowned rat. I picked up some new water proof trousers in the week…………..guess who left them at home this morning!!
I don’t know what it was but I was completely wiped out this afternoon, I had several things I wanted to do but in the end I just sat on the sofa with no energy to move off the sofa. Having a early night to night as I have four morning on the trot when I have to be up earlier than normal for work so I want to make sure I get some sleep.
Got up early ready for my ride this morning, pulled back the blind and it was raining, should of really gone back to bed but decided that as I was up I might as well stay up. I checked the rain outside the back door and decide that it was to heavy to ride, I don’t mind riding in the rain if it starts when I am riding but I hate starting a ride in the rain.
Instead I sat drinking tea and getting my Google Calendar embedded and working in Mozilla Thunderbird e-mail client (if you want to know how let me know and I will tell you). By 9 o’clock it was starting to ease off and as predicted by 10 o’clock it had stopped, it looked like it might start again but I got ready for my ride.
When I left it was cold enough to wear my jumper, I managed to keep the jumper on until I got into Ramsdown Woods. Everything looked like a winter ride with puddles and mud everywhere. I tried some new paths when I got into Hurn forest, some better than other. Because of the late start, still impeding rain and thing that needed doing at home I opted not to head out towards the Castleman trail, just carried on with my normal Throop Loop.
Coming back across the fields from Merritown to the weir at Throop I past the spot where the Red Arrow Crashed a couple of weeks ago. The area was decorated with red, white and blue bunting and balloons and several bunches of flowers, I thought about taking a picture but that felt a bit morbid.
I am glad to report that the creaking that has been plaguing the Cannondale for the past couple of months has been cured with the fitting of a new Hope BB. I opted for a Hope BB as you can get replacement bearing (unlike Shimano’s) and they have a very good reputation. Next on the shopping list is a new Headset which should be fitted in the next couple of weeks. Unfortunately with all the running about yesterday I forgot to pick up some degreaser and I used the last of mine yesterday so the bike is looking a bit grubby at the moment.
Finally I am a bit concerned about the weather on Wednesday night, think that maybe the end of the world is nigh!