30 April 2015

No cycling but plenty of new reading material

CRANKED - a magazine for mountain bikers Issue # 1 landed and a couple of free stickers. It looks good, feels good and smells good. The contents isn't too bad either! plenty of fantastic photos and some cracking good stories mixed in as well. Not had enough time to read it all but the FAT Peru article is nearly completed first.
Also landing on my door mat was Singletrack 97 and Cycling Plus June. So plenty of reading and more time to read as I have been off the bike since Sunday trying to rest up my ribs/shoulder. I have more movement now and will hopefully get a ride in tomorrow.
As for the van will it went in for more surgery on Monday @ Tyre Plus Durham in Langley Moor who have a cracking old school mechanic, I have know for many years and always does a excellent job, defo recommend them. As for the replacement Fat track pump, well I am awaiting a phone call from Evans at Gateshead when the replacement lands, not holding my breath lol.
Only other news this week is after chasing my local councillor / BT  re our internet speed of less than 1mg he has finally got BT to upgrade our box, well they have promised to do it very soon!
Oh and N Power has well and truly messed up my electric account/refund/direct debit and don't know what to do with it!

more soon - just hope the heavy showers and wind has gone, and it warms up

26 April 2015

Fresh Goods Sunday - 66 Degress North Fishermans Hat

I just cannot stand wooly hats that are not windproof. I have umpteen hats with various logos etc on and are ok to wear if it is not windy but if there is a breeze you might as not be wearing a hat. I have several black workmen hats with thinsulate liner and they keep out the wind but are all looking well worn, covered in paint, grease etc and was looking for a nice looking windproof hat for normal wear. I first come across 66north on Bike-discount (German) website but not seen any of there gear over here in the uk. When we were on our hols in lakes I was looking for a new goretex jacket in Blacks at Ambleside and noticed they had this hat on the display next to the till. I asked if it was windproof and they said it should be, only one way to find out, buy it and wear it. This has got to be the warmest hats i have ever owned, and the most expensive. I have tried it out in 50mph winds, freezing cold weather and it still keeps my head warm and not to sweaty. The rrp is £30 but was in the sale for £18. Comes with a 2 year warranty as well!
Here is the manufacturers blurb -
Having 100% lamb's wool and 100% Merino wool layers, the 66° North Men's Fisherman Cap offers both warmth and breathability to ensure your head remains fully protected at all times.
It can be worn inside out if you wish, to place the breathable Merino wool against your scalp for added breathability, allowing moisture to wick away from your skin and hair. It has the distinctive 66° North logo woven into the front, so it's sure to catch the eye.
  • A breathable, warm hat from 66° North
  • Double wool layers - 1 100% lamb wool layer and 1 breathable 100% Merino wool.
  • Moisture wicking - the Merino wool draws sweat away from the skin.
  • 66° North logo - eyecatching design.
I will defo be buying more clothing from 66north if the quality of the hat has anything to go by.

Local offroad saturday & local road ride today

Yesterday it was just me & Jane out for ride on the mountain bikes. We took the van through to the Boyne, Langley Moor and parked up. We then joined on the old railway line to Bishop Auckland. There was a strong headwind all the way there but the sun was shinning. The line was busy with dog walkers, joggers, cyclists & horses. I think everybody went out early as heavy rain was forecasted from 11am onwards. We packed the pertex's just in case we did not get back in time but forgot to pack the camera as I was charging the battery in the kitchen. Once we reached Bishop we were going to go to Auckland castle tea rooms but they did not open until 10am and it was just gone 9.30am so we decided to call in past Inspiral cycles for a look around. The shop has just opened a few months ago is already looking good and well stocked. We also found a cracking butchers next door but we never took the back pack to carry any goodies back (know better for next time!). From there we went to the castle tea rooms, very posh! had a cuppa and scone then back on the bikes again heading along the line back to Langley Moor. It went very dark at Willington with the rain starting but it blew over by the time we got Brandon. Packed the bikes away & drove home in the pouring rain!
Next job was to ring Evans about the Fat track pump, I emailed them on Thursday but have not had a reply. None left in stock, sold all the black ones but white was available, no thanks. I wanted to drop off and collect a replacement pump from the Gateshead branch so had to ring them to arrange this. Replacement pump should be there in 5-7 days, wait and see.
Today I decided to give the road bike a dust off and try and see if I could ride it. I thought I might have been ok but after 20 miles I was in total agony/pain in the left shoulder/ribs. It started out very cold 1.4 degrees on the Garmin but the sun was shinning away for nearly all the ride. I kept it local with a few hills chucked in as normal. I covered nearly 32miles with just under 3000ft of climbing and could not wait to get back in and take some pain killers! The bike was going well but not me.
Once home, shower and warm clothes on, cut the grass, wash the car, wash two bikes, fed & watered the lawns and a few small jobs on the van. Lunch, do this blog then clean the outside windows. More soon

We sat on the right table with the bikes parked up just outside the window.


First stop the day for a quick drink/pic before heading the hill

salty roads up Tow Law way

Peth Lanchester - last big hill of the ride

Lovely clear view of the mast today

Downhill nearly all the way home from Burnhope

23 April 2015

Local offroad ride again on the Beargrease and a catch up

What a week it has been, work is just crazy busy, Angus is looking for a job as he leaves school in 4 weeks. Took him through to Gateshead for an apprenticeship test. Van brakes are playing up again! My shoulder is no better. After the hospital appointment today looks like I is the top/back of my left ribs that is the problem. Different exercises to do and another follow up appointment to see if I am getting any better. If no signs of progress they are going to have a closer look at my ribs. Today managed to squeeze in a short steady ride on the Beargrease again. The weather has been fantastic with the sun blazing away nearly all day every day. Rain is coming though so the trails will not be so dusty!
The Topeak Fat pump landed yesterday but will be going back. The pressure gauge dial is always on 4 psi! not good and its the first time I have every had a faulty Topeak product, not to worry.
The first issue of Cranked mtb magazine dropped through the door today, so if I can find some spare time I will have a flick through it and post some info up here.
Below are a few sunny pics from today tootle, more soon -
Went down to the !sands" on the way out

and had an explore down the bottom end

loads of new singletrack through the thorn bushes!

bumpy downhill, just made it

through the woods

and down past Frankland

the woods were looking good in the sun light today

pushed up the steps to save my arm/falling off

sweating like a pig by the time I got to the top

normally blast down this short flight of steps, not today

more beautiful flowers in different woods

through old mount oswald

along to Baxsters wood

stream/rivers very low in Durham at the mo

back way to Whitesmocks, New College, The Carrs then back in

20 April 2015

Local offroad loop on the Beargrease

Last night I had the worst night sleep yet with my sore shoulder as I forgot to take my pain killers. Got in from work and the sun was shinning so decided to go for a sort & steady spin around my night loop rote down to around Durham, around Maiden Castle/trod then back home via Frankland. The trails are lovely and dry/dusty and fast going at the mo. Durham was busy as students are back and a few tourists kicking around. The Jumbo Jim is going well so far. I had the pressure at 10psi but have dropped it down to 8psi for today and still seems too high. I will drop it down to 7psi for my next ride to see if that makes any difference. I haven't managed to proper test/push the tyre yet as my shoulder is still very sore and I am just at a slow cruising speed at the mo trying to avoid any bumps etc. Below are some photos - enjoy and more soon.