It seem as those some little Chinese keyboard ninja gained access to one of my e-mail accounts, when I logged on to the account via the web interface I was asked to confirm had I logged in from China recently, as much as I could do with a holiday it was not me.
So I shall spend the weekend changing password here there and every where and checking log files for any trace of forced entry, oh the joy!!
On a happier note, I think my back is well enough to get back in the saddle this weekend although the weather tomorrow is not particularly inviting, I think I will wait and see what tomorrow morning is like weather wise before committing myself. Sunday is the better day so if I don’t ride tomorrow then I certainly will Sunday. If I ride tomorrow, Sundays ride will depend on how my back feels after Saturday ride.
Finally thanks to all those that have subscribed, nice to know I make interesting reading!! If you want to subscribe the subscribe button is under the calendar
Well today was the 2nd of my three days of riding. Woke up early and left on time (a first for this family). It had rained overnight and there were shower as we drove to the Purbeck’s but there was no sign of the strong gusty winds that had been forecast. We arrived at the Banks Arms Studland just after 8:40am.
Primera (the LBS running the event) had set up shop under a large Marquee next to the pub (was to be very handy later in the day). Sun, Marin, Whyte, Cannondale and Specailized were represented with around 28 bikes in total to test ride. Once the formalities of signing disclaimer and fitting pedals was done we were ready for the off, this is where my problems started.
I had chosen to test a Whyte 120XT, this is a full carbon frame, 120mm travel, full suspension bike. This was to be my first ride on a full suspension bike.
With two lads from the shop acting as guide and chaperone for us (there was easily in excess of £15000 worth of bikes we were riding) and 6 riders we set off at a brisk pace determined to put these bikes through their paces, unfortunately unless it is downhill and the wind behind me I am not a fast rider. In short within the first 2 miles my legs had expired and I was well off the back of the pack although they did wait for me at each gate. I was given the option to take a slightly easier route over a hill which I took so me and one of the shop lads headed off one way and the rest went the other way. Well the hill was not steep just long and drawn out with much of it covered in sandy soil and I have to say that I walked the bike for a fair bit of it. Eventually we reached the top and rejoined the rest of riders, I tried to apologise for my slowness (I felt like an unfit pratt) but everybody waved it off so I shut up.
We were soon heading off down hill, now I have never ridden on the Purbecks so knew nothing of what the track held for me. So it was with blind faith in the bike that I was throwing myself down this narrow single trail at speed as though I knew every twist, turn and root on the trail. It goes without saying something was going to happen, fortunately it was only minor, I clipped one of the ruts which threw the handle bars into a gorse bush and I managed to whack the middle finger on my left hand on the bush. Think I must have bruised it because it don’t have hurt. Finally as I got to the bottom of the hill I had a muddy puddle to negotiate, as I went through the mud it pulled the front wheel to the left and as the bike veered to the left I lost my balance and parted company with the bike, now I really felt like a prat. I remounted and we our way back to the pub.
When I got back to the pub I realised that I had not thought about the bike as I was riding, it dawned on me that I had missed the saddle hammering my butt over the bumpy stuff. I realised that I knew very little about the bikes capabilities and yet I was happy to throw it down the narrow single track not knowing what was in front of me and I did not know if or how the bike would handle it. When I was riding some of the more technical bits it coped very well. I think the fact that it handled everything that I threw (literally) at it, seem to show that it is a very capable bike.
I had intended to have another couple of rides on some of the other bikes but due to the results of my first ride I decided that this would not be a good idea. I felt pretty peeved of with this but I knew I had not really tested the bike on my first ride as I had spent most of my time trying to keep up, another ride would of only been the same. I think had I done the route on my bike I would not of been any faster but I would of ridden more of it.
By now the weather had closed in and the forecast wind and rained had made an appearance, so I decided it was the ideal time to leave. As I said my goodbyes Alex (Primera boss) offered me the chance to take a bike on a days test which hopefully I will do later in the year.
Below are a few pictures before we left and the Marquee that was being used.
As any bloke will tell you, man flu is a very serious illness, women will even ridicule the man about this disease telling him he is not really ill. Fortunately the powers to be have made a one of those health warning films about Man Flu, what to do.
On a serious note, my head is spinning, my nose is running like the angel falls, my eye feel like there is large shutter door trying to close. I have a total lack of energy and tomorrow I have to get up before the sun does, drive 140 miles sit through two meetings and then drive 140 miles back home when what I really want to do is curl up in bed and sleep………
Hopefully my ill health will be clear by the weekend and I can go out riding but then again I have seen the weather forecast, Saturday heavy rain and Sunday showers but we all know how good they are at forecasting the weather don’t we.
Somebody pass me a tissue……………
Thing 1) The past 5 days have been days of lovely blue sky and warm spring sunshine but it was to much to expect for it to last into the weekend. I woke up this morning to a grey overcast sky and the day progressed to get colder and greyer.
Thing 2) Never believe what is written in a book, all weather route it said?? Since when has all weather routes included thick claggy clay that stick to your tyres like the proverbial to a blanket.
Thing 3) Your wife will ride down a long muddy hill with deep ruts at speed without a problem, but give her a piece of flat trial and she will fall of the bike and land in the mud.
Thing 4) Cut price Organic Grapes are not a good deal, especially if you don’t like grapes with pips in.
Thing 5) When your wife says we don’t need any shopping, what she really means is we need to go shopping.
Thing 6) The mobile phone will stop ringing the split second you pick it up and when you phone the person back they will be trying to phone your wife (who also can’t get to answer her phone quick enough). When you eventually get through to said person phoning you they will ask you what you want!!
As you can see I have had a fun filled day, a dull overcast day dawned at least that bit of the forecast was correct. The sun did try to break through but it was never for more than 10 -15 minutes worth of sun and then an hour or so before it popped out again.
We decided to do one of the rides from a book we bought a few month ago Mountain Bike Guide Dorset by Colin Dennis. It is a small book which gives details of 33 mountain bike ride across Dorset (they do other area’s as well), these range from 5 miles to 23 mile routes listed in 4 different difficulty levels. We (I say we but it was the wife who chose) decided on route 10 Badbury Rings and Kingston Lacy. It was only a short route, with no hills of any significant and an all weather route. Well there was a couple of small hills, long drag if you like, but what made them difficult was the deep covering of wheel hugging clay based mud from the bottom to the top. At one point on the second hill I stopped half way up but was then unable to get going again as I could not get any traction. I had to push my bike a few meters up the track to where it level out slightly and start the climb again.
The wife took a nice tumble from her bike (not from her point of view though), riding past Badbury Rings itself her back wheel spun out sideways on a patch of clay throwing her to the floor. Fortunately no more damage than a bruised arm and ego. Mind you she is lucky to have made it that far, we had only just left the car park at Pamphill and ridding down the very narrow road when a car cames round the corner towards her forcing the wife to swerve into the bank where she got caught up in some large pot holes (read craters).
On the whole it was a nice ride, the mud made it difficult. When I was plotting the route out last night I thought maybe do two laps or maybe half the loop the second time round. But by the time I got back to the car I had had enough. I think if I knew what the route was like I would of been alright, I would of known what to expect.
I am out riding again tomorrow, not sure what route to do yet (might even do Badbury rings again). I am currently in two minds at the moment, I want to up my miles I do over a weekend, but I don’t want to do it to quickly encase it cause injury or slow my weight loss. I also want to get some mid week rides in, be it early morning or late evening while it is still daylight. With the day getting longer this won’t be so much of a problem, but I don’t want to do to much to quick.
A quick question, what sort of blog do you prefer, one that is a:
- Daily Blog
- Several times a week Blog
- Weekly Blog
- Once a month Blog
No particular reason just wondering
My weight is playing yo-yo’s again, Monday nights weigh-in was a gain, 1.5lbs. At the moment I am losing weight one week, gaining weight the next, losing weight the following week and so on………. It has now got to the point where I am doing a weekly food diary, for those that don’t know a food diary is where you write down exactly what you eat for each meal for a week. I only do these when there is a problem with my weight and eating. Writing the diary normally result in a good weight loss because you are forced to write down what you eat you tend to think twice about that bar of chocolate! I know at the weekends sometimes I am no saint, I suffer from a total lack of will power, but I try to eat properly during the week so that I have a bit in hand to eat a bit of naughty but nice at the weekends!!
But I am beginning to wonder if I have reached a point where muscle is developing and as muscle is heavier than fat I am putting weight on. I have two very un-scientific reason for thinking this, one, I am getting lots of complements about how much weight I have lost because people are noticing my loss. Secondly, I put a pair of trousers on this morning and I was surprised by how much I had to pull the belt in to buckle it up. It was not that long ago that I was wearing the belt at the maximum limit.
A part from weight issues I am struggling this week, life is just beating me up at the moment. I was not happy with only being able to do the one ride over the weekend due to the weather, I was even less impressed Monday morning to wake up to blue sunny skies and then it continues on Tuesday and Wednesday as well, I think the weather gods don’t like my earlier post (will they ever get forecast the weather correctly). The weather forecast for the weekend is looking OK (but can we trust it?), sunny but cold with some stiff winds.
Today was my weekly trip to work HQ so I fall out of bed at 5:10am and leave the house by 6:00am. It was nice to see that it was light from around 6:30am and still light up until about 6:00pm, it can only get better over the coming weeks. I have the idea of a route for an early morning ride if I am working from home so I will looking closely at that over the next week or two.
Talking of routes, I travel along the A44 from the A34 to near Broadway. Today I noticed how the local (or county) council had sign posted the bridle ways and foot paths (I have only been travelling along this road for the past 8 years). Some of these little green sign looked to be pointing down some very inviting little trails.