Not a bad start to the day

Sunny MTB Commute
Sunny MTB Commute

I failed to make the most of the sun and drier conditions and get out on a bike at the weekend. Not because I was lazy or anything, we were just otherwise occupied in some last minute preparation for our inaugural family camping trip next weekend. We thought it best to check the tent out and with some other activities the weekend just disappeared.

So I decided that I was going to ride the bike as much as possible this week, starting with a bike ride to and from the office today.

The sun was shining as I left home at 7am. I had planned a route that I guessed would take me about an hour and a half – it took me 80 mins – and would give me some climbing, some fun and generally a good work out before arriving at the office.

The route took in the Cherhill Monument, Yatesbury and Roundway and was perfect. I like my job but it was a shame to have to go to work at the end of the ride and not continue or loop back.

Here are some stats from Strava from the morning ride:

Distance 19.6km
Moving Time 1:18:09
Elevation 288m
Average Speed 15.1km/h
Maximum Speed 47.2km/h

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Many doubted I could do it.

You didn’t think she would let me…

Well I managed a morning of mountain biking in Majorca today. I rented a Specialized HardRock hard tail for 4 hours for only €8, this also included a helmet and a bike lock. Not a bad deal really, though the bike could have done with a service!

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The HardRock is an entry level bike with mechanical disc brakes – with levers fitted the wrong way round as far as I’m concerned. For some reason in parts of mainland Europe they like to put the rear brake on the right hand side, where I like to have my front brake. Luckily I do a lot of front wheel braking so there were no surprises as I grabbed the brake, other than the bike didn’t stop so quick.

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I used the ride to scout out some locations for next week that were just out of the resort and within a short bus or taxi ride away. Looking for some quiet coves and the neighbouring resorts was fun, and exhausting in the heat and on the not very well greased and lubed rental bike!

Still I covered 25km and got some great pictures.

My GoPro Hero 3 turned a few heads – not sure if it was the camera or the fact I was holding it above my head and at arms length while riding that was causing a stir… Hopefully I got some decent shots for a video, I will have to wait til I get home to go through the clips.

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Missing the Sun

Yes I am missing the sun shine and dry ground already. Its amazing how quickly we become used to something and a few weeks of dry trails and blue sky has given us Brits a taste of what life could be like somewhere else.

Can I really justify moving to another country just to satisfy my desire to ride my bike on dry, dusty trails?

Not sure. Anyway I will be heading out tomorrow on wet muddy trails and no doubt let you know how it goes

Failed

Sorry folks. I know you were hoping to tune in and see some photos taken while riding in the sun this weekend.

Well sorry, I failed to ride either bike this weekend.

Today we went to the Cotswold Water Park where we enjoyed a summer day, dipping in and out of the water and having a picnic lunch. Returned later afternoon to spark up the BBQ and watch the end of the tennis. Well done Andy Murray!!

To follow was a cool off in the paddling pool and once the kids were in bed it was time for the season opener for the very last season of Dexter.

Off to bed now to dream of riding later in the week and prepare for a big ride next Sunday in Wales.

Sunny Sunday Morning Ride

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After a late night boozing and eating large quantities of Indian food I had to get up and get out this morning; while my wife and kids were suffering from the very late night for the kids and the usual I’m never going to drink again comments from my wife.

The sun was shining and I had no hesitation after breakfast of getting kitted up and breaking out the Rockhopper. I have a saddle bag on the Rockhopper with a few bike specific parts in – the correct 9 speed power links and a 29″ inner tube (among other things) so I decided to pack my smaller camelbak today and rode a bit lighter and with the bare minimum of tools and accessories.

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A 14 mile loop took in one or two regular trails and also one or two diversions I had heard about but never been too. I also topped about 35 mph on a stretch of road coming back which always raises the heart rate a little bit.

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I sought out a large bomb hole which I had heard about but never ridden to, and was not disappointed by the sheer size of it. There were some jumps and the opportunity to drop in among some trees on a steep bank. It’s fair to say I killed some time having a few goes.

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The highlight of the ride was a cheeky bit of single track at the far end of the loop that I have only ridden once before. It twists through a wooded area on the side of a pretty steep hill, culminating in a nice descent which is only really passable at certain times of the year as it gets really over grown.

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I was out for about 2 and a half hours in the beautiful morning sun and during the toughest climb the temperature hit 20 degrees C. As you can see took some great pics with my iPhone, I also took some video with my GoPro which I will share with you tomorrow.

After lunch we took the kids to a local farm / petting zoo. We have been there a few times but today was real fun and we saw some baby rabbits. Not sure i have ever seen a week old bunny before – melts the toughest of hearts I can tell you.

So to man up a little I removed and degreased my cassette and chain when we got back – grrrr!