28 April 2013

Winter Kit back out again

Decided to take the kids out for a longish one today for some training. Forecast wasent looking too good and windy so planned a route in one direction with hopefully a tailwind. We headed of upto Park Head Cafe @ Waskerley. Had to put the lights, windscreen wipers and heater on the van on the way up. Got out and it was 2.5 degrees and you could hardly stand up in the wind. Gear on and went for it, not a soul at cafe and only passed five brave riders heading up towards to the cafe. Once we dropped to Hownsgill it was more sheletered but still cold & cloudy but no rain. We turned right to head towards Broompark instead of dropping down to Birtley. Had a quick break at Lanchetser and alook at Diggerland on the way back down the lines. Not many people out today walking dogs / horse riding and the lines were nearly mud free. Once back to Bearpark we headed to Durham for an icecream (hoping the hut was open), thank god it was open but didnt stop around long as it was freezing. 4 miles back home nearly all uphill warmed us back up again. Nearly 27 miles but hardly no climbing.

Took the Dale Super X Hi mod out today for a change and was strange to ride at first as its been a while since its turned a wheel. By god its fast compaired to Fat Bike along the lines but less comfortable. I forgot just how light it was, it was flying up the steep short clicks / dippers. On the other hand the deep section carbon wheels are a pian with strong side winds and the bike being so light. Going to get a some more miles on it over next few months to try and get my mileage back up again.

27 April 2013

A good old mixed week

After last Sundays Nutcracker mtb race my legs were trashed for a few days. I was thinking back when the last time i raced mtb xc and im sure it was Lightwater Valley many moons ago. That was a fantastic fun course and a real laugh riding under and around the wooden roller coaster. We went to the League2000 on the Monday night and that was a killer after a day at work/school and being out all weekend. Took an hour to get there but we got home slightly earlier this week 9.45pm. The kids enjoy it but its a slog and we are up and out the house before 7am the following day. A busy week at work as well so not much time to play.
I brushed the dust off my trail trainers and did a 53min trail run around Maiden Castle/Houghall woods area and was a blast but by god did the legs feel it after not running for over six month! Going to start to do some more trail running or should that be jogging.
Friday came and it was freezing cold, blowing a gale and sore legs so decided to head for the hills, well Tow Law for a blast on my Supersix. Got 27miles in and 2000ft + climbs with a massive headwind for 13miles out but lovely quiet back roads. Mostly a tail wind back in and sun came back out so was happy when i finished.
Quiet weekend as im skint and on my arse until pay day so time for catching up with some bike washing/servicing jobs etc!

21 April 2013

Nutcracker Rd2 Gandale, Catterick Sun 21.4.13

Well I thought it was going to tough but it ripped my legs off. Dragging Arran around on the tandem for 32 miles aromund Durhams hills the day before was probably not the best idea the day before the race. It was dry with very little mud and perfect under tyre but the weather was overcast, windy & cold. Not as windy as last year but just enough to make it hard going. Race report to follow but here is MBE's gallery of todays first, second & Sweat Monster races. All the pics are free to download and keep. Rd 3 is @ Akse Estate, Richmond. https://picasaweb.google.com/scotbrown1/NutcrackerRd2Gandale

20 April 2013

First Durham Village's Tandem Tour of 2013

Its been a long winter and havent had the Cannondale Tandem out once. Dragged it out, knocked off the dust, pumped up the tyres and it was ready to role. We have a 32mile loop around the outskirts of Durham which takes in many of the villages and a few climbs along the way. Some of the villages en route is Nevilles Cross, Shincliffe, Bowburn, Coxhoe, Kelloe, Quarrinton Hill, Cassop, Shadforth, Sherburn Hill, Litteltown, Sherburn. High & Low Pittington, Carville, Gilesgate, Durham & Framwellgate Moor. Fantastic weather, sunny but still a cold wind in places. Here are some pics and the half way park stop.
Turning into High Shincliffe at the top of the climb

Heading towards Kelloe from the clib out of Coxhoe

Half way stop

Some canny seats to have a snack

On the way into the park area

Coming to the crossroads at the top of the climb out of Shadforth
Legs are tired now and probably over done it for tomorrows Nutcracker but we all enjoyed it.

19 April 2013

Nutcracker Rd2 this Sunday

Rd 2 @ Gandale, Catterick this Sunday. We have been for the last two years and is a great tough venue. The wind last year was just a killer and made the course even harder than normal. Not sure if the stream ride section is in but by god it was rough two years ago. Better get the granny ring sorted as there are plenty of short steep climbs. There is entry on the day £26 and free carparking in the field (hopefully not too muddy!) Smile for the MBE Camera. I will stick up a gallery after the event and a race report. Watch out there may be a FAT BIKE about :-)

Had a cracking local 15mile offroad ride on Thursday night around Durham. Found some great singletrack trails through Houghall woods and one I havent ridden in over ten years at least. Two massive bomb holes as well, hot, sunnyish at times, then drizzle. Bumped into Jim from MTS on a new IBIS disc cx bike with Di2 Dura Ace groupset - a thing a shear beauty.


13 April 2013

New treat for the new girl

On the way from Grizedale to Threlkeld i called in past Ambleside. There is a cracking little bike shop hidden up a back street called Ghyllside Cycles. A shiny thing caught my eye in the display cabinet and thought oh i will treat the new fat bike to one of those. Its a little different to normal but works a treat.

I found out alittle more about the bell here - http://www.amba-marketing.com/products/585-amba_disc_bell.php Ghyllside cycles had a couple in so there is one left in the cabinet. Might get the disc engraved with some text but not sure what. I have seen a pic of one at this Weekends Bespoke Cycle Show that looks like it has been gold plated.
Also when i got talking to the lad i spotted a box with a pair of Surly Knard 29x3" tyres in, i asked what they were for ? well further in the box was the Rabbit hole rims etc. A box upstairs was a lovely shinny new Krampus framset ready to get built up with Alfine 11 speed Di2 ! its going to be a shop demo but they cannot a start with the build as they are waiting for stock of the alfine rear hub @ Madison. Its due in stock in May so not long now. They also have a Puglsey on Demo and one in the window as well.

Lakeland Trail Centre Bliss

We we have ended up back in the Lakes again so why not take the bikes lol. Weather was fantastic so headed upto Whinlatter for a blast, first route was Altura Red North Loop. Every section was open this time but was still icy on alot of the higher sections but nearly all the snow had melted. Hot on the climbs but chilly on the descents.
When we got back to the carpark we normally do the Altura South Red loop but decided to do the Blue instead. Been a few years since we have done this one and is great fun with plenty climbing and tech sections on the way back in. Its more like a tame Red than a Blue. When we landed back in the carpark for the second time it had clouded over and the wind picked up making it very chilly. Quick look around Cyclewise, Angus got a Altura Tech T Shirt in the sale for less than a tenner, good buy. We normally drive back down to Keswick but this time we decided to have a blast down on the bikes. Chirst i hit nearly 40mph on the fat machine, it was an eye watering experience. We then followed the C2C route into Keswick for late lunch.

That was enough riding for one day, time to chill out and enjoy some time going by.
The weather was great all week so I headed down to Grizedale to have another go at the North Face Red Loop, I was on my own today so found a little carpark/layby just before Moor Top Carpark which is less than 10ft away from the trail and you dont have to cough up the £7 parking fee. I set off in glourious sunshine with alot less wind, the trail was mostly dry apart from a few puddles and icy sections. Didnt see a sole the whole time i was out. Lost my water bottle within two miles so was alittle thristy when i got back to the layby. Did the loop in a steady 1hr 10mins. Really enjoyed it but not as good as other trail centres and is a pig to get to.
On the way back i wanted to ride a section of old Railway line which is on the C2C that i havent ridden for many years, so i parked up at Threlkeld and cycled towards Keswick. Its very easy going with only a couple of gentle climbs but great views when you cross over the river several times and the elevated timber walkway section. Stopped at keswick market place for a quick break then back along the line to Threlkeld for late Lunch. Sun was still shining and was lovely in sheltered places. Sorry no pics and they had the camera today

Enough is enough, time to get the wheels turning

Well after many days/weeks of working in the house / garden the sun was telling me to get out and get a couple of hours in. Last Saturday morning the Fat bike got dragged out for a few miles. Angus came along as well. We had a loop planned but changed our minds by the time we got to Broompark Picnic Area. We ended up heading to Waterhouses then up the climb to Stanley Crook. On the top we stopped for a quick break looking down over Crook and still plenty of snow on the hills in the background. The lines we lovely and dry and was easy going. Headwind on the way back in but the sun was still shinning.
Nearly there

On the flat section near the top

At the top, snow in the far hills

Better duck for the viaduct

Lovely dry singletrack

Singletrack down through the woods

Following the river Browney

Nearly back on tarmac

Down hill through the woods towards Durham

Landed at Durham Riverside, just another 3+ miles to get home and nearly all up hill
That was a steady 25 miles of easy going riding. Cannot beat it.
Sunday came and again the sun was out but loads to do before going away on our Hols so dragged Arran and Angus out for the night loop down into Durham around about then back home. A quick 13 miler blast to turn the legs over. Then it was time to pack up ready for some Lakeland Trail action