30 June 2013

Busy, busy week inc C2C training

Its been a very busy week and i have never stopped.
Monday - was a rest day from the bike but got caught up with a load of jobs around the house afte work
Tuesday - got finished slightly early so hit the tracks on the Beargrease. Overcast evening but still warm. Stopped local and had a good blast around covering 25miles & 1250ft climbing.
Wednesday - the sun was back out so took the road bike out for a blast around the hills of Tow Law and surrounding area 36miles 3500ft climbing
Thursday - legs were tired so back on the Beargrease for a steady 16mile loop from Meadowfield and just under a 1000ft of climbing.
Friday - raining and a rest day but decided to go out for a meal on the night. We had not been to the Chilton Moor for over a year and knew it has had a tart up / new menu. Booked a table in advance and plonked ourselves down. Menu had a cracking choice of all kinds of food and prices werent too bad. Even better as we had the choise of two mains for £12 because we ordered before 6.30pm. Combo starter was excellent. Along wait for the main but it was worth it. Four plates full for food and very tasty. Kids had ice cream to wash it all down and four rounds of drinks as well, total bill just under £44 - bargain - defo be going back there again.
Saturday - just been paid and no food or drink in the house so off to Morrisons - nearly 3hrs later and spent £260 ! but that did inc £50 derv for the van. Arran had his School Summer Farye on the pm - spent a small fortune but had a great afternoon.
Sunday - time for C2C training. Got dropped off at Nenthead. Cold, windy & overcast but by the time we climbed out of Rockhope (the offroad way) and onto the Moor the Sun was out. Got a cracking tail wind down the Waskerley. Rocker was under our tyres in no time. Cracking 52.5mile ride and planning the middle leg of the training route now - probably Threlked to Nenthead next

This weeks brown box deliveries inc a Ice Toolz crown race remover tool. I was sick of messing around with old screwdrivers & hammer etc over the years and was time to get the proper tool. I ordered this one  from BikeTart as it has 36% off and free delivery. It landed within a few days and there was a voucher code for another 10% and future orders - click on the photo for the code if you want to order anything. Not used it yet but Ian D has one and he recommended it.  

The heaviest box of week was this beauty. More on it next week but here is link to the watch - creative watch company Many thanks to David Cooke for the excellent sales service.

28 June 2013

2014 FAT Bike Models inc Carbon Beargrease

Details are starting to show up on various websites with info on Surly, Salsa and Singular brands. I think the most talked about will be carbon verion of last years alu Beargrease from Salsa. Bikeradar has done a short test ride on a prototype and wrote a breif report and some pics here . No details of the 2014 Mukluk range yet but dont think it will be very long to wait.

Surly have chnaged the colour and some spec on their range of Pugsley, Moonlander etc. The new gold colour of the moonlander is defo brighter than the previous years black.

Singular Cycles here in the UK also have a new prototype out called the Puffin. Its looking good and if the price is right should be a good seller. Some detail on their Facebook page
and last but not least another uk company Genesis are doing the Caribou, steel frameset etc
Kona are also going to do one but not sure if it is going to be imported to the uk shores

24 June 2013

Parkhead Station Cafe ride

With only a couple of rides in on the FAT Bike last week and a day off shopping @ the TOON on Saturday is was time for a spin yesterday. Forecast was not looking good and was going to be a race to see how far we could get before the rain started. It was a cool start to the morning with a stiff breeze so Richy planned to have a ride upto Parkhead Station Cafe & back. By the time we got to the Consett junction I knew the last leg onto the open moor upto the cafe was going to be tough going. I was not wrong, it was a headwind all the way but it was dry and getting warmer as we reached the top. Normally its the opposite and you start to put layers on. Got to the top, quick break then join the hoards of riders heading down the Waskerley on the C2C. Its was like a motorway, never seen so many cyclists but is was the most popular weekend to do the C2C / longest day etc. Once we turned at Consett to head back to Durham it was alot quieter with just the usual dog walkers, horse riders, runners, kids etc ! Just got in the door and the heavens opened and i mean opened. We skirted the rain clouds all the way from Consett with just a few light shows so did well. Here is the Garmin route 47 miles and a couple of thousand foot climbed

REVIEW - Schwalbe Marathon Extreme - 700x35c tyres. I first purchased a pair of these tyres well over a year ago now for general use on the lines / urban riding as i was sick to death of wearing out general cx tyes & getting punctures. At the time it was the most I had ever spent on tyres for a bike and thought to myself these better be something special for the money. They are not the lightest buy any means but they are also not the heavy. They went on the rims well and pumped up great. After many rides / miles never had to touch them once. Right time to get a second pair and they had dropped in price as Schwalbe had took out a new model which had less offroad tread pattern - no good for me so stuck with the old model. These went onto Angus's spare wheels for more general / mileage use. Again no probs. Bought my new cx bike and a third pair was bought. These have never been off the bike from new and showing no signs of wear. Yes they are expensive but you save that in tubes / patches etc. They roll well on tarmac, plenty grip off road as long as its not too muddy, good puncture Double Defense protection and have a reflective strip on the sidewalls for night rides in the dark. Spa Cycles @ Harrogate still have stock in various sizes here

22 June 2013

Three Peaks CX Video plus other stuff

Here is a cracking video clip for this years Three Peaks CX event, if you have done it before you will understand the video clip and probably have a bloody good old laugh, i did. Full info on this year Three Peaks Sun 29th September is here well worth a look down to watch the riders suffer in pain on the climbs and even the descents and on the road, well the whole race really. Edit the below link dosent show up on I pads etc so here is a direct link

FAT Fork adaptors are finished and ready for use

Also some photos from NE XC Series Rd 6 - Saltburn here not very good and not many as there was no where to watch apart from the finish area really and the woods were dark. It was muddy and slippery with plenty of trees roots through woods and bitten by midges, bloody hate the things. Arran had a cracking race but was alittle short in duration. He got 3rd overall and 1st U10. Angus did the full course which was over 5k by all accounts and 95% singletrack through the woods. He really enjoyed it and got 5th overall. The killer was the walk / ride from the carpark to registration then another 10mins to get to the start line. First time any of our bikes have been as muddy for long time, sticky mud as well - took some washing off the next day. Talking about that I will do a review on some cleaning products soon.

Events Coming up

STOCKTON CYCLING FESTIVAL - 4th, 5th & 6th July 2013 full deatils are on the velo29 events website We have been going to this event since it very first started and is always a cracking day out on the Sunday. There is loads of things to do for all ages & abilities on the day from the Sky ride, bike demos, stunt shows, stalls etc. Just hope there is some nice weather as it has been a complete wash out a few times in the past with people taking cover under the foot bridge and the rain bouncing a foot high on the road.

Nutcracker Round 4 Sheffield - Sun 23rd June 2013. Its well out of the region for this round but should be well orgainsed as ever. By the looks of it the cousre is going to be a very fast / 4.8k short lap in a rural setting. Entry on the day £26. Full details are here
Too far MBE to go but its back to Aske Estate Rd 5 Sun 14th July for the next one.

18 June 2013

FAT Fork Adaptors & other stuff

Well they have landed and will be used alot to carry the FAT bikes across the UK. All the fork mounted racks in the world dont fit fat forks so adaptors have to be used. There are some adaptors in America etc but decided to do some home brew designed ones. A trip to local fabricators and they were designed. They landed today and have been dry tested with forks in. Just need to spray them up and there finished. Couple of old rear skewers slotted through and ready. Heavy but bullet proof! May be use thinner guage uprights and not so tall but then it saves me bending my back so far to undo them. Many thanks to Dave & the lads from aycliffe fabrications yes they fabricated & erected the Head just off the roundabout @ Newton Aycliffe / A1.

Thursday - finished off building / adjusting Angus's new CX bike ready for the weekend.
Friday - only had time for a quick night loop around Durham river banks and back home. Cracking night and Angus took his new Addict Cx out. Report to follow soon after a few more miles on it.
Saturday - time to get a few miles in so we headed off to Bishop along the lines then to Speeny woods, Croxdale woods, Bowburn and back into Durham & home - 36 miles and steady going route on the Cx bikes. Angus is enjoying the new carbon bling
Sunday - time for a few more miles. Again it was hot after it warmed through by mid morning. Down to Cox Green, took the wrong line and nearly headed to Sunderland, quick back track and off upto Consett. 16 mile climb in the a headwind. Turned left at the coal truck and back to Durham stopping at knitsley farm shop for a refuel at the cafe and spent a small fortune in the shop. Arran got dropped off to finish the last 11-12 miles of the ride with us. Cracking ride - 44 mile route 
Monday - no time for a ride, flat out at work, straigh thome and away down to the League2000 for the evening. Goods nights racing and good crack.

13 June 2013

More boxes of Bling

Sunday - overcast, cold morning start with some drizzle. Only had a few hours so the supersix got dragged out but was not a good start, flat back tyre and could not find a puncture. Anyway set off did local loop of linking local villages with a few good climbs in, 38 miles. The sun was just trying to get out when i got back in.
Monday - was going to be my rest day but Angus dragged me out for a night loop on the FAT Bikes around Durham river banks with a stop off in Durham to do some banking. Cracking night ride which was red hot & dusty. Durham was rammed and everyone was having a jolly good time!
Tuesday - very windy today but still dry and very warm. It was a quick blast along the line from Meadowfiled to Bishop & back 17miles.
Wednesday - finally a rest day of sorts but was building up this bling which landed on the doorstep from westbrook cycles couple of hours later its sort of finished. Just needs some tweaking / adjusting & the bar tape putting on. No its not for me as I have my Dale Super X Hi Mod, its for Angus. I will probably give it kicking now and again though. Lovely finish on the frame & forks. It defo looks better in the flesh than it does in a photo and a great bargain as well

8 June 2013

5th dusty day of riding the Beargrease

Sat morning and its time for a good ride out for a few hours. Was going to take the tandem then cross bike but ended up on the Beargrease again. Lovely clear sunny skies and dry terrain so she was rolling well. Did a loop nearly all offroad / cycle paths covering just over 37 miles. Full route info is here and a small gallery of some pics is here There is a short video of Angus on the tail end of the Lambton Worm, due to the overgrown grass etc cannont gain much speed but still good fun before you end up at Birtley.
On the way upto Consett

Left overs from Consett Steelworks

Consett Crossroads


On the way to Tanfield this over looks you

and this one

 JCB cows in Beamish woods

On the way down to Birtley

check out the dust lines

More dusty riding with some mud this time

Last day of a long week at work and managed to squeeze in a 16miler on the beargrease. This will be four days running the fat girl has been out. This time i did a loop to the SE/NE side of Meadowfield. Along the line through Brandon - left down to Browney under the Viaduct - through Croxdale Estate and out onto the Shincliffe to Bowburn road - right towards Bowburn - back track to Low Shincliffe through the woods - around the Maiden Castle river banks - through Maiden Castle woods / Houghall woods / Crem woods and out onto the Crem / Mount Oswald road - turn left through the golf course cut then down to the Stonebridge and back to Meadowfield. Managed to find plenty mud today in the woods but the rest was bone dry.

Another Dale joins the Clan - not mine but Ian's. He has been waiting a very long time for it coming and has nearly finished paying for it through the Halfords Cycle to Work Scheme but its has finally landed. Enjoy the fun of offroad SS mate. I had an One One 29er SS many many years ago but the hills around Co Durham just killed me off on it.

NE XC Series Rd4 - Darlington - we didnt get to this round last year for some reason so it was our first time there. Its a posh version of a Hetton Lyons but without the lake. The course used all the natural elements of the venue and used the 4X track which was more like a Bmx track on steriods. Here are some photos of the nights action. Arran was flying but also taking it steady on the jumps and got overall 3rd and 1st U10. Angus did the full course and got overall 5th and 4th U14.