Friday, 25 December 2009

A walk in the snow

So, we dragged ourselves out of bed at a ridiculous time for a Christmas day morning and were out the door for 9 o'clock, eek! By the end of the walk some 7 hours later I looked and felt a bit pooped, Shona as usual was fine and still 'Tigger-bouncy'.

We stumbled across a huge flock of geese snuffling around in the snow for some mid flight food. They could have just been killing time though as no-one would want to fly in the pea souper the day had become. It had started out full of blue sky promise but rapidly deteriorated.
A smackerel of lunch was provided by Jetboil Inc and Knorr Soups Unlimited washing down several large slices of Barm Brack, yum.
More scenes of Northern Snowiness. Its really is quite deep out there in places and lots of fun. My newly won Arc'teryx jacket got a proper workout as we rolled and frollicked in the snow. Thanks go to the Canadian tourist board and Heason Events for providing that!

We leave you with a question...

How many snowy expeditions did it take the likes of Bonnington, Cave, Kirkpatrick, etc before snowfights wore a bit thin?

(It would take about 50 for us I think, tee hee.)

Sunday, 11 October 2009


just got back from a week in spain with everyone at FreerideSpain in the very sunny Alpujarras region. We took the roadbikes for a last fling in the sunshine for 2009. It wasn't the plan but somehow managed to ride every day...

up to the alledged second highest village in Europe, Trevelez, for the first run. A couple of hours up followed swiftly by a howler of a descent back into the valley - nearly missed our turn off as there was a van parked in front of the signpost - eek. Now that could have been a long detour into the wrong valley.

next day, off to the coast with Simon (our host). it went something like this,

rich "*gasp* so is this *pant* your comfortable pace then *wheeze* "
simon " yeah, pretty comfy"
rich "*gulp* oh, help... *gasp*

made it to past the coast and half way back to Orgiva before things started to go a bit squiffy. note to self: if the first 40k out to the coast are at an average 38kph bloody slow down.

Another ride out to the coast on Wednesday. This time over to Castell de Ferro on the coast via Haza de Lino on the top of the hill and the never relenting climb from the coast through Polopos on the return. For a frame of reference the bar at Haza de Lino is at 1200m. It was very warm.

Saturday was a fab big 130k ride out almost to Granada before turning left and heading to a steady loop into the hills thru Jayena and Agron. There really is so little traffic out there that it seems like we had the place to ourselves. A bit cooler today but still around the 28 degree mark. Keep drinking and slapping on the sun cream. Never, ever pass up a chance to fill that water bottle out here. Some of the Spanish guys we saw out and about were already in arm warmers and tights but we were feeling close to fried a lot of the time.

If you own a road bike then maybe you should get out here sometime. The roads really are something else. The climbs are immense and the surfaces really are smoooth. Spanish drivers really have to be experienced. We were passed within 6ft a handful of times all week, y'know what? they all had UK plates. It's almost like the locals would rather push another driver into a ditch than pass too close to a cyclist. Simon, Emma and Lee are great hosts. They'll take you out and show you the best routes, leave you to explore with a map or anything inbetween.

time to give the legs a rest, easy commuting only for few days :o)


ps If you're ever snacking at a cafe in Lanjaron and a cute pooch that looks a little like a German Short Haired Pointer comes begging, could you take him home to FreeRideSpain? He's probably escaped again and has no shame.

Sunday, 20 September 2009

it's next weekend, eek...

just back from 45 miles on the crosser. Lovely Sunshiney Day. hope it's like this next Sunday, i hate walking up hills in the rain :o)

Sunday, 16 August 2009

many Madones go mad from Manchester.

Okay, finally got the image from the event photographer. Number 346 in daft things to do is pop down and see your friends racing around a field in the middle of the night, in the middle of the night...

It started as many things seem to around here as one of those throwaway comments. Must stop throwing those around. Shona and I worked all day Saturday while our mates were starting their racing at Sleepless in the Saddle down in sunny south Derbyshire - about 75 miles away. Harsh meanwhile was driving up to the Howgills to run around a bit for a couple of hours. He got back to Manchester at 4 and we finished work at 6. Rendevouz at his place at 7-ish, he thought it might be a good idea to finish getting his stuff together, then we left.

Somehow the mis-communication went around that it was about 50 miles to our beds, oops. Our merry, at some points not so merry, band pedalled our way thru Macclesfield, Leek, Ashbourne and finally hit Catton Park at around 00.30 Sunday morning. 'Funny' points, depending on your perspective, included two of us colliding tyre with bladed spoke - you couldn't puncture that way again if you tried...

Walking into Catton Park was weird. We all knew where we were as we'd been here before under racing orders. Seeing the lights of riders whizzing around the hillsides was a familiar and comforting sight. As we hopped off our bikes and wandered thru the campsite looking for familiar tents and vehicles it seemed a little odd to be asked by a resident camper where the nearest standpipe was, dunno mate we really have just stepped into the arena.

Three of us headed straight for the food tent of course. We were all starving and it's the most likely place to hook up with the straggly racers we were looking for. Sure enough pretty soon we'd scoffed baked potatoes, pasta, coffee and flapjacks and *bonus points* found some familiar faces. We followed back to the friendly village of tents and popped ours up ready for later.

After confusing some with our sudden appearance we headed off to heckle nightime encouragement at some bike riders, mostly team players though as the soloists seemed to be in their own special place, caves or something. I don't pretend to understand.

After a few hours sleep we hit the food tent again, heckled a bit more and said our goodbyes. Throwing our excess gear at Sherpa Dave we headed North and were home in time for tea in Manchester, cheers Harsh ;o) The funnest 24hrs we've had in a while.

Well done to everyone who raced, everyone we know placed well.

You stand on the start line, you're already a winner.

Saturday, 15 August 2009

check yer rims!

it's not big and it's not clever.

thought it was about time to do a rim swap on Shona's CrossCheck front wheel. Popped my relatively new Phil build on to keep her going and slipped the Landcruiser on her old wheel for one more time to ride into work where the wheel jig is. Only got up to about 70 psi, it was at 90-ish when on her bike, and BAM! whistling ears.

don't leave it too long kids...

Tuesday, 30 June 2009

y'know...'s time to do a bit of running. 3 Peaks forms out tonight y'all.

Sunday, 28 June 2009

more of the Original Source Mountain Mayhem stuff.

So, now the dust has settled and the legs have returned to their normal state of just a dull hum. We did okay. That's 'we' as in me and Shona. All I had to do was ride. She gets to add up calories and carbs, fill my pockets, wash the bike and poke me with the sharp stick at low points. Fab.

As is now the norm we filled the Van Bleu with almost everything on Thursday morning. Leaving after work and getting down there on Thursday night is just so much more relaxing than fighting with the Friday night traffic. The M6 was fabulously quiet. Once at Eastnor picking the right place to pitch up always takes time when it's empty and there's so much choice. We found a flat bit in the end, got sorted and had some supper. One of the best bits about Mayhem is having 3 days off to submerge in an alternate reality. All the prep is generally done during the week before and our house looks like a complete tip. It does mean that once we're pitched up we're in the strange place of having nothing to do for 36 hours or so. Kind of enforced rest. Weird.

Friday just gets busier the longer it goes on. A steady stream on 4x4's, caravans and even a couple of tiny little Daihatsu campervans flood onto the site until it's packed to the fences. Time to wander around and catch up with people you haven't seen for a while. Even if you have seen them it's nice to see them off the bike and in civies. Relax. it all seemed a bit subdued this year, less trade stands and stuff to see - is everyone cutting back or did Pat just have his mind set on what's happening next year? Somewhere along the line we fitted in a lap of the course. That was fun, relaxed pace and Shona got to find out the new 650b bike cuts the singletrack thru the trees, or something.

Saturday started in a relaxed fashion. We wandered around a bit. Found Crispin camped totally inappropriately miles away from the solo area. His gazebo was soon installed next to our dining tent and he seemed to spend the rest of the time before the start fiddling with shock pressures. As it had rained all night I stupidley had a panic half hour with mud tyres that I ended up not using, fool. We caught up with the guys from ID and checked out their new fixie frame, nice. The Gritty Kittys and Bury Leisure Lakes weren't too far away either. Had a spot of elevenses then relaxed some more...had the rider breifing...chilled....

Wow, two o'clock already. Trotted around the half mile run course with Crisp letting the teams rip each other to shreds at the front, in another world. I've never done a proper run start, mebbe I should...? Still loads of solos behind us and we got on with it. The course started with a grind of a grassy climb which I sometimes walked, other times just grinded it out and once or twice rode with gusto. Well maybe it was just one time near the end, in a shot blok induced frenzy. Most of the course was completely recognisable from previous years, nothing too shocking. The stuff in the woods started damp and just got better. Polished from thousands of wheels it was lovely for most of the 24 hours. Once out of there it was time for a drink and snack on the straight before the weird marbly section on the way back to the campsite. Using tubeless tyres at low (25psi) pressures I can only imagine what that section must've been like for the raceheads with their pumped up semi-slicks. A bit of grassy stuff followed and then it was on to the Kenda climb. Just a boring concrete track to allow a bit of overtaking, no joy in that and I rarely rode much past the first gate. Once that was out of the way things got a little more interesting on this side of the course. Up thru the woods, bit more dirt track, that kind of thing. Nice muddy descent with a right hander followed by another, sharper right hander. The second one had a root strategically placed that 16 people who happened to be in front of me at the time messed up completely, grrr. That was followed by the obligatory off camber section which shamefully I never completed. The 2 feet above the big slippery root lay just out of my grasp.

After being spat out of the ferns onto the dirt it was all plain sailing to the start/finish. A nice loose dusty zig zag of a descent down to a short sharp climb was given an easier 'chicken run' after some riders came a cropper on practice laps. Maybe they didn't realise they had entered a Montain Bike Race and failed to get enough practice at 'riding off road down a hill'. FFS. At the rider briefing we were told the run for chickens was slower and longer. After a couple of laps everyone realised that the alternate route was actually faster and quite fun too. It had a little jump half way down and had the challenge of having to slow down enough top rejoin the course 'proper' at a t-junction. Then through the dips, skips and jumps where everyone got their photo taken getting 2 inches off the ground. Followed by a screamer of a grassy descent back to the start, and repeat.

After each lap pockets were emptied and refilled. Early in the evening, I think, I switched to plain water instead of energy drink. The go juice was just making me feel squiffy. I stopped for a bigger feed at 9 ish after getting it just right passing through the timing tent just before 8. After then I would have had to stop too early to put lights on. So 7 hours into the game and I swopped from the Surly 1x1 (comparatively heavy but with knobblier tyres on) to the Trek 69er ( semi slicks and sooper light ) The course was drying out nicely and I just love the 69er, just comfier and faster. No dramas with lights this year. Cateye double Shot on the bars just for added light in the twisty bits. Using a homebrew cree 4led on my helmet and a lipo 4hr battery taped to my seatpost that lasted all night. I rarely powered up above half way and it was plenty bright enough and no changing batteries faff.

Stopping for food at 9ish was an attempt to ward off sleepiness in the middle of the night and it worked. By 5am I was goosed though and had 30 minutes slumped in a chair, damn my weakness. Those above me in the rankings just kept on going. I've got to develop some strategies for coping when it all goes a bit squiffy.

Once that little episode was over though it was great. Sun was up, birds were singing, etc, etc. just another 8 hours to go. It had rained a bit during the night, just to keep us on out toes and parts of the course were really quite damp. By mid morning the mud in the woods was getting that plasticine quality to it. Not too bad at all really. Still eating and drinking well and the sun was shining. People out on the course were mostly quite chipper and the banter continued. Things started to get a bit frantic as they always do after midday. The top teams battering out some continuously stunning times. Can't help but think that some of the impatient people were battling for 83rd place though.

So that was almost that for another year. Pulled out another couple of reasonable laps for the last ones and timed it quite nice to be in at 2.20ish. I felt reasonable too. So I scolded myself for not putting more effort in and spending more time pedaling instead of eating noodles.

Stats? 18 laps of a 8ish mile course in 24hrs and 20 mins. 12th soloist overall. 1st solo singlespeeder. Acceptable. See you at the next one.

ps if you dropped your empty gel packet on the course then your a git. you shame the tribe of mountain biking :o(

pps well done riders Jason, Mike, Crispin, Julie, Ros, Amy, Gav, Rob and everyone else who was smiling. The pit crews, what would we do without you? Shona and Andrew ( and Mrs Andrew and baby ).

Monday, 22 June 2009

that was Mayhem.

I'd like to thank big wheels, carbon XXX seatposts, tubeless tyres, the sun gods and Crispin for being the wind in our sails.

seriously tho' thanks Pat for the organisation and especially Shona for looking after me and poking me with a sharp stick at 5am when i really didn't want to get back on the bike.

Tuesday, 16 June 2009

Friday, 12 June 2009

Lace mine 650b...

ain't it cool? 1st proper outing on sunday - the sun will shine...

ps title credit to this fab site

Thursday, 11 June 2009


Aching, blistered and scuffed now. Two days in the Rhinogs really took it out of us. We haven't been scrambling and hiking for a while now and now we're hurting. No running today.

Had a new tent on loan from North Face. We tried out a Big Fat Frog - its a bit heavier than the Tadpole but has an extra loop in the front so that while one of you is messin' around in the main body the other can sit and cook comfortably in the porch. Would be great for storing wet gear too - we seem to do a lot of that...

Anyway, those Rhinogs are big and deserted, didn't see a soul on the hill. Lots of goats though, some big uns too. You should get out there, or maybe not - we like it quiet :o)


Friday, 5 June 2009

Bee Em Ex

Got the little bike out today at work after too long off and hell it's fun. A couple of us are heading down the track soon - probably monday week. If you're mad ferret let us know. It may even have stopped raining by then.

Saturday, 23 May 2009


...that was a bit wet. Bailed after being soaked for 2 days solid. looking forward to some good weather for the holiday weekend - big road miles i hope.

see you out there.

Sunday, 10 May 2009

Toasted legs

still finding new back roads in the next valley. Joined up some of those with a blip along the canalside and kept myself amused for a few hours. rain stayed away and i can't help thinking a cross bike would be more apt than a Madone for this stuff.

watch out for the next one - lakes, 3 days, 150 miles - self supported, Dutch style ( oh, yes, we'll be opening all our own Edam and relying on no-one to carry those clogs )

ps well done to the Fred girls & boys - hear it was tough going for a bit.

Tuesday, 5 May 2009

direct drive bikepacking, sparse boondocking, and various random tangents

gotta love that Matt Chester...

Monday, 13 April 2009

long live long rides, in the sunshine....

bike - 69er ss
distance - 100k off road
time 8.o ish
ave - 12kph
fig rolls eaten - all of them
legs - goosed

that is all.

Sunday, 12 April 2009

Scottish skiddadles....

We had started off planning to ride from Inverness back home to Manchester but quickly changed our minds when we sat down and thought about it. It was, after all, supposed to be a holiday - so we treated it as such with a couple of random epic days thrown in for good measure.

Arrived Thursday mid-morning and assembled the bikes from their boxes in blazing sunshine. All good and looking shiny - not for long. Plan was to head into Inverness and pick up some cooking gas for our newly acquired Pocket Rocket. This stove turned out to be a fab little thing. Smaller and lighter than the multifuel we have been carrying around, we'll keep that for adventuring where gas isn't available. Got that on board and headed out of town and onto the Great Glen Way, via a disagreement with inconsiderate driver in a 40 tonne wagon - grrr. The GGW more or less follows the banks of Loch Ness all the way down to Fort William. We weren't going that far, aiming to turn off inland at Fort Augustas. So, we had two days warming up on fire roads and singletrack in the sunshine. Shona's birthday that first day so we indulged in birthday tea of beer and chips - offset by salad sandwiches.

Evening of day two saw us diverting out of Fort Augustas to a bothy along the canal a bit - really lovely location right at the end of a steep climp out of the valley. Made us realise for the first time this trip how much it had been raining lately. The ground all around looked reasonable but as soon as we stepped a little further into the surrounding area it turned out to be extremely wet underfoot. Next morning we set off into the rain back along the same route we had come out the evening before. Except this time it was a steep descent into the valley - whoop! Saw our first deer of the trip that morning too, scarpered as soon as they sniffed us of course.

Pretty much as soon as we left Fort Augustas the track started to climb. We've since found out that the Corrieyairack pass is the highest in the UK and it certainly felt like it as we battled wind, sleet, rain and low flying hares to get to the top. Pretty simple double track route finding took us to the snow covered tops and a zig zag descent through drifts to the valley below. Talking to a local later in the trip the horrendous eroded condition of the track was due to flash thaw a couple of winters back and plans are afoot to renovate it. Today was one of those days when Shona found it easier and surged ahead while I did a bit of pushing. After exchanging pleasantries with a Duke of Edinburgh Award group pitched up on the edge of the woods we smugly headed for the warmth and comfort of another bothy. This was the third of the trip as we'd brewed up in another on the first side of the pass. It seems we could have stayed out for weeks in this area and not had to carry a tent as bothies are dotted all over the place, though we found out later in the trip they can get a bit congested and we were glad of our tent.

We replaced the wood we'd burnt the night before in an early morning raid on the woods. It was still wet under our wheels as we set off under bright blue skies. The other side of the river from us was a herd of maybe approaching 100 deer, difficult to see on the photos as they are so well camouflaged against the heather. Amazing sight. After whizzing along the valley floor for the morning we arrived in Newtonmore to find everything shut up tight. It's the self proclaimed walking entry to the Highlands, apparently. We pushed on to Kingussie where we feasted in the chip shop and raided the supermarket. If you're ever there and faced with the choice get yourself into the independent supermarket at the west end of the street, good choice of supplies. Resisting the temptation to take a closer look at the ruined barracks we had a good spin through the woods and up to Glen Feshie. After crossing the rickety bridge and rolling a bit further up the glen we found our fourth bothy. Popped our heads in the door - bear in mind this was 4 o'clock-ish - and found a couple of guys already in their sleeping bags! Catching up from a boozy session the night before they said they had all good intentions of going for a walk but just couldn't summon the enthusiasm, tsk. So, while they got their act together on the fire making front we took a walk further up the glen to see what we'd be missing the next day. Our route the next day took us west so looking down here gave us ideas for future trips. It was a fine sunny evening and great to be going for an exploratory stroll.

Two things made this trip more pleasant than our Welsh one a couple of months ago - Shimano MT-90 boots and Sealskinz waterproof socks. The boots are great for walking in as well as cycling so no need to consider other footwear. When we got to a river crossing we'd roll our trousers up, take our socks off and put our boots back on. Yes, our boots got wet but at least they got to dry out while our feet were cosy and dry in the Sealskinz. No more trenchfoot from days in soggy boots and socks!

The bothy got pretty crowded that night. There was the first two, us, a Danish family of 5 and much later a father and son turned up too. We were so glad we popped our tent up and retired there as apparently the snoring was very loud. The following morning saw us faced with the dilema of route choosing. After our initial climb out of the Glen (and it was a stiff climb) we rolled over some open moors surveying the hilltops. We were faced with a choice of high level route via the Mingaig Pass or the low level route vis the Gaick Pass. The snow on the tops and the low cloud helped make our mind up, and we opted for the Gaick Pass. Given the ferocity of the winds we were to encounter later that day that made us resort to pushing the bikes (we couldn't cycle against it!) it was probabaly the best choice. A few river crossings later and a great lockside bit of singletrack that lasted for about 2k we hit the doubletrack that took us down to the main road to Blair Castle. We were waved at ferociously by a busful of kids just as we appeared all bedraggled looking. This is where we picked up the Sustrans route 7, mostly a traffic free route spinning along the valley to ease tired legs at the end of a long day off road (and in water).

We got to the campsite in Blair Atholl at about 7, threw the tent up, grabbed a shower and headed for the pub. We spent a couple of days here catching up, eating, washing and lazing around. Well, we did for one day, on our second day here we rode up Glen Tilt, 14 miles uphill to the waterfalls. We spotted a couple of kayakers on the way back down, nutters! There's a lot of fun looking white water in that glen. So, that's the easy way out into the hills for us next time. Off the train and straight out to throw the tent up. We've got an ace 4 day route planned.

So by now it was Thursday morning and we had a train to catch in Perth on Friday afternoon. Just time for one more BIG day in the hills. Headed over to Aberfeldy via that handy route 7 again. This one seemed particularly handy for keeping us on quiet back roads between off-road bits. Out of Aberfeldy and straight up immediately after lunch - when will we ever learn? Over the moors with more brilliant views over brooding landscape. It never ceases to amaze how few people we see when out on these jaunts, it's great. Also makes for a harsher bump into reality when we do get back, it's awful to be honest. The climb ended at a singletrack road the plumeted us back to the lochside all too quickly. We then headed West for what seemed like ages on the road (and into the wind) to get to yet another steep off-road climb out of the valley and into Glen Almond. We had an appointment with a cup of tea at 09:45 on Friday morning at the other end of the glen. Pushing on so that we didn't have too much to do the next day we literally did have to push it was that steep. There was also another river crossing before we finally (it was dark) found a grassy knoll to pitch the tent on and get a load of food inside us, much needed. Just as we'd pitched up it started to rain. This was Scottish rain too and wind with it. Of course, I slept right through it all. Well, mostly. It was still raining when we were having breakfast too. Thankfully it stopped for us to break camp and it was really quite warm as we got our heads down and pedalled for our appointment with shortbread. The weather had rained itself out and it was a gloriously sunny day.

So that's it for another little while. We made the train in Perth and while waiting for our connection in Edinburgh got some top food from Hendersons veggie cafe on Hanover Street. Picked the van up when we got back to Manchester and started the big clear up that's inevitable after this kind of trip. Spent this afternoon washing mud off the underside of the tent...

Wednesday, 11 March 2009

Into the wild ( two get wet in Wales )

Up at 5 for the train down to Abergavenny - rude awakening. Straight off the train and into the first coffee shop. When will we learn to ask for double strong knockout coffees? Probably about after the 100th time we get a cup of vaguely coffee tasting warm milk I guess.

Then straight out of town towards the hills. It's all a bit of a blur actually. Maybe the memories got washed away! Anyway, over towards Crickhowell and onto the Taff Trail and the weather was rapidly deteriorating. Rain and wind followed us for most of the rest of the weekend. Several ups and downs later we ended up passing up on a perfectly good campsite in the shelter of the woods to push on for 30 minutes or so extra - was it worth it? I doubt it. Somewhere in there there was a descent into the woods that would have been barely rideable on an unladen bike let alone one covered in sleeping bag and tent. Fun stuff that you only come across accidentally while forging a route cross country from point to point. Stuff that you really couldn't justify going back to do but was major fun at the time. So, after a push out of the soggy valley bottom we popped the tent up for what was to be the first of 3 poor nights sleep.

Next morning we were slow to get going - it had been a cold and restless night. Once we'd regained our bearings and realised we weren't actually as lost as we though we were we found our way through the forest out onto the Sarn Helen trail and down into another valley. Climbing out towards Llandovery we looked North and were glad we'd opted out of the snowy ascent of that big snowy hill behind me in this pic...

Pushing on towards hot food through the first of the snow showers we were really looking forward to the coffee and pizza, yum. We dragged our un-enthusiastic selves out onto the road and trail mixes towards Llyn Brianne, it's quite a climb and the weather steadily got worse until we were riding through almost blizzard conditions. If you have to ride tarmac there's worse places to do it though.

The road finally turns to track and we realised just how much rain there's been in this part of Wales recently. The first ford was tackled after donning our gaiters and was quite succesful in that we only got a little seepage even though the water was fast flowing and calf deep. Our elation didn't last long as we came to the second one which was a bit faster and much deeper - once we'd plucked up our courage and plunged in we found that it was up to thigh height. Probably a bit higher for one of us...

We looked at the map and checked and double checked gps coordinates. After getting our headtorches out and tromping through the woods for and hour in the dark we finally found the bothy, whoop! Trouble was we'd stashed the bikes and still had to go back for them. Luckily it was a clear night. We had been on the go for about 12 hours by now and were quite fraught and fatigued. Just glad to get a fire going and get some hot food inside us.

The next morning we avoided an initial thorough soaking by pushing up a track and onto a fire road. Part of the Lon Las Cymru as it turned out. We weren't to get wet again til day 4. We arrived at Devil's Bridge and hit the cafe for All Day Veggie Breakfast. This was well timed as they'd only just reopened for the year a couple of days earlier. Mid afternoon we pushed on up the hill to the bothy.

Turns out to be quite a large and well maintained one - long drop toilet, quite posh! Spoilt by the people already there planing on staying a week and using it like a hostel. We made a note to seek out shelters only accessible by foot from now on.

Next morning we left in the rain and headed North towards Machynlleth passing under Plynlimon. It didn't stop raining and there was even more water under our wheels.

We got to the last water crossing of the trip and got very wet, very quickly all over again. So did the camera - I hope it's going to make a full recovery.

There were glimpses of sunshine on the way to Machynlleth but they didn't help much to dry us out. The baked potatoe and veggie burger were very welcome in the cafe. We brewed up on the station platform while waiting for the train back to normality...

If I've made it all sound a bit grim, I must admit some of it was, though it's all better than being at work. First time I'd used the Epic Designs frame bag and fuel tank and they worked really well - gas, stove, pans, tent poles and more loaded centrally on the bike. Having the bivy bags, sleeping bag and roll mat hooked onto the bars is good too. All so much easier to handle when pushing and manhandling than panniers. They really should be kept for the road.

Roll on Scotland next month...

Sunday, 15 February 2009

if you get offered a bike down the pub...

Trek would like to know about it,

Thursday, 8 January 2009

After today's work I am now CyTech qualified. Whoop!

Tuesday, 6 January 2009

Cross in Tod

Snapped this one in fading light on the way back from the Todmorden cyclocross race. A fab day out and my first cross race. Fun in a painful kind of way, I was glad when the bell went that's for sure. Thanks to Jon for holding my coat...

See you at HTN 1.5