Winter is here

Tim Selfie
Hello!

I’ve had a self induced few weeks off the bike while doing a mini challenge and some intense training for a half marathon that I completed last week.  Yes, I ran 13.1 miles on the road in just under 1 hour 59 minutes.  I may be a little hooked on the idea of doing more of this, but more on that another day. For now though…

It’s on!

Yes its on, the heating is on. Winter is here! I have caved and let her put the central heating on (but I will be checking the thermostat everyday) and as every bike ride is likely to include a mud bath, its nice to know I can come home to a warm house and a hot shower!

Its the season to “make the most of it”. Getting out on those cold and damp days, rather than when its chucking it down with rain, and get out and do some “Winter miles” for those “Summer smiles”.

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Winter miles they say…

The trails on my doorstep are muddy from about mid November through to March.  We pray for the frost and stick to the ones with rocks, roots and less clay content. There is no winter/mud tyre that can cope with clay!

This limits  our options so its time to get some longer rides in. So I got my Winter Season off to a good start on Sunday with about 35 miles of pedaling.

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Mud bath

It was just me on Sunday; though I did make plans to meet a few others from MB Swindon for a coffee stop in Marlborough. However that didn’t happen due to the other group of riders having some mechanicals and running over an hour late.

So I did what I like to do and rode, explored, made it up as I went along and stopped to take a few photos.

I had my own “mechanical” that involved forgetting my keys and the rest of the family had gone out. Luckily like a good Boy Scout (I was never in the Scouts), I was prepared.

I was wet and beginning to get cold, so armed only with the contactless paying capabilities of my iPhone I somehow found sustenance and warmth by way of a visit to my local Costa for a cup of tea and cheese toastie. I changed my wet socks, broke out my spare gloves too…  I survived Bear Grylls eat your heart out!

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Not a very exciting blog post, but with so many photos taken on Sunday I had to write something and share them…

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Coffee Stop #1 of the Day. Greggs in Marlborough
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Obligatory Instagram photo

 

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Here’s some of that mud I mentioned
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Somewhere under there is a crank and chain ring
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That’s nice!
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A South Wales Adventure

Jay Mud (Mudtrek) testing the water depth
Jay Mud (Mudtrek) testing the water depth

Sometimes things don’t go quite how you planned them – but that’s OK. This is what happened on Sunday when I “planned” a route all from the comfort of my computer chair, and took more than a dozen riders from MB Swindon and one from Mudtrek with me along for an adventure in South Wales. Continue reading “A South Wales Adventure”

MB Swindon Club Ride

After a recce ride earlier in the week I was beginning to get concerned about the Novice tag on this ride, and when the attendance figures looked like they were going to climb above the dozen or so I expected, I was a little worried if this was going to be a Novice Ride too far.
A dry few days, blue skies and the promise of a new ride location for some, drew out the numbers and 25 of us left the car park and headed up the first climb-slash-push. Though we hadn’t seen any rain for a few days some parts of the trail were still a bit sticky. The views from Morgan’s Hill make it worth it and with plenty of blue sky it was looking like a rain clear of rain was ahead of us.

Continue reading “MB Swindon Club Ride”

Losing Some Weight

Lowe Alpine LightFlite Hydro
Lowe Alpine LightFlite Hydro

 

Losing a bit of weight is a great way to boost your speed and will help your climbing and as a result many riders are paranoid about the weight of their bike.  Fitting light weight components is expensive – from light cased tyres and carbon frames, to carbon seat posts and titanium bolts, for some it is an endless search to strip all unnecessary weight from the bike. Continue reading “Losing Some Weight”

If its not on Strava…

Genesis CDF Cyclocross Bike
Did this ride really happen?

…did the ride really happen?

I realised this last week that I am a Strava Addict. Yes I admit it.

I didn’t really doubt it and let me get this straight, its not that I am addicted t o chasing down other peoples times and climbs. I am much more realistic than that. I ride for pleasure and fun, and ONLY OCCASIONALLY do I feel the need to try and beat someones time.

Last week my Garmin bike GPS failed to connect to my computer meaning that I lost a ride to the oblivion of the internal memory.  Now let me explain, this was only a small pedal out at lunch time not even 10 miles, but I enjoyed it and I rode down a section of hill on my cyclocross bike that I normally do on my MTB. I was desperate to see how the times compared as I felt like I was moving! This was the first reason I was disappointed, secondly I wanted to show that the CX bike doesn’t stop me riding off road and doesn’t make me a roadie.

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Its not a road ride

Thirdly, I do like to keep an eye on my exercise and while I know full well I went out and I took a photo (above) to commemorate the occasion, my Strava account doesn’t know!  I can’t add manual entries – everyone knows they don’t count!

After much searching on the internet (Googling as we have become accustomed to calling it) I found that i was not alone in my pain. While this doesn’t appear to be a known fault as such, its seems to just happen to these devices to some people. It could be a mechanical issue with the USB port – I don’t know.

What next, a new one? Certainly buying gadgets is great, but the Garmin actually works otherwise.  I know I can use a card reader and take the activities off the device microSD card. Excellent! Problem solved. I can ride again.

So two days later I rode and rode and rode (and took more photos) and got up to a fantastic high speed on a little road descent. Can’t wait to see how I compare with others and my previous times!

ARGH!  I didn’t have the device set up to record to the microSD card! Another ride lost to oblivion – that actually didn’t happen and the only record is another photo.

I have now fixed the issue and rides will be recorded to the microSD card from now onwards. And I have saved myself buying a new Garmin!

More new bike bits it is then…