Accidentally on the Ridgeway

Near Avebury Wiltshire, Ridgeway

I had no intentions of going on this ride. In fact I set out to go for a bit of a spin on the road on my Genesis CDF. Yes, I was planning on avoiding the mud and opted for a cleaner ride and maybe just 10 miles or so before settling down for an afternoon of rugby.

After struggling up a local road climb (Clyffe Pypard), a stupid voice in my head told me I needed more climbing and shouldn’t stop there so I made my way over to Hackpen Hill and up on to the Ridgeway.

My breathing on these road climbs leaves a lot to be desired. I find myself breathing rapidly rather than deeply, and its very hard to recover when you breathe like this.

Genesis CDF Cyclocross

Anyway, this was the tough bit over with. The Ridgeway toward Avebury was going to be mucky, but in theory it was mostly all down hill from here.

The skinny tyres work well to cut through some mud, but they are also equally good at sliding from under you when you least expect it.  It didn’t help that my left cleat was a little tight and unclipping was a bit of a drama on a few occasions, especially as the wind was blowing me the direction of my left cleat!

Along this stretch of my route I spotted some MTB tyre tracks. Those of Tom Scott and the MB Swindon morning ride I guessed. I could have done with some 2 inch wide mud tyres right now.  The 35c Conti cross tyres have some grip, but they  are not designed for this.

It got better  (so I stopped for a photograph!) and I was able to roll a bit quicker, though very nervously I might add! Then it was time for the final stretch home.

Behind Bars

The track from the Ridgeway down into Avebury is rutted and chalky. In the wet conditions this is crazy on any bike – but on the CDF it was positively mental!

Then there was the headwind that made riding downhill back into Cherhill a lot harder than it should have been.

Anyway, if I have one rule its never regret a ride. Whatever the weather or conditions, however long it took or how tough the ride was – its all exercise, experience, character building and generally better (if not colder and wetter) than sitting on the sofa with a cuppa…

North Wales Trip 2015

While I did some video editing of the Forest of Dean ride at the weekend I decided to have a clean up of my video files and deleted loads of old footage. But not before I put some clips together from our trip to Snowdonia last year.

It will be remembered for my first bike climb of Snowdon and the fantastic Pont Scethin route (as well as riding the great trails at Coed Y Brenin).

Hope you like Welsh music and terrible singing!

Oh and if you are wondering why I used Vimeo the other day and I ave resorted to Youtube today – well its because there is a 500MB a week limit and I was too impatient to wait until next week to load this to the web.  I may put it on Vimeo next week. Why? Cos I don’t think I will have anything else to upload.

The tunes in the video may not play if you are reading on a mobile device, due to copyrights etc on Youtube.  The PinkBike link  below should work for you:

If you go down to the woods today

Why not? An invite to ride one of my favourite locations on a slippery and muddy afternoon in January with a bunch of like minded fools – couldn’t turn that down.

It also gave me chance to try out the Hero Session for the first which I thought worked great – proper review coming.

Anyway, a great few hours were spent in the Forest of Dean, away from the trail centre on secret (no so) trails that are fast becoming very popular among riders other than the locals.

We only rode about 20km but managed to find around 7 or 8 descending tracks and had plenty of fun.

Just watch the video!

Word of the day – DETRAINING

Ham Hill, Somerset
Ham Hill, Somerset

This wont come as a surprise to anyone but if you are into the science of sport and health you may find this article really interesting.

You have a safe period of about four days with no large detraining consequences. After that the detraining effect hits surprisingly fast.

What it says in a nutshell is after 3-4 days of no cycling your body starts to change. The efficiency of your heart and lungs fall slightly and leave it any longer and you will start to notice a significant drop in your fitness level and ability to recover.

Changes really begin to occur after one week out of the saddle and result in fitness losses. Aerobic capabilities drop off by about 5 percent. Your blood volume can be reduced by five to twelve percent.  This means a decrease in the amount of blood your heart can pump in terms of the amount of blood pumped per beat and total blood volume per minute. Your muscles also begin to lose elasticity.

Twice a week has always been that minimum magic number of “times to get out and ride” and we have all noticed the how things change if you have a week or 2 off..

If you’re forced to abandon your normal cycling routine for more than two weeks, attempt an abridged cycling schedule, even if it’s one ride per week, rather than stopping altogether. If you don’t have time for a good ride, you can break it up into several shorter rides. One option is to do two or three short sessions a week of high-intensity interval training. One-minute sprints of cycling, alternating with one-minute rests for a total of 10 minutes. Research shows that this can be a good way to maintain aerobic fitness, without significant detraining effects.

So get up and get out at least twice a week or every 3 days and keep yourself in tip top condition…

Bucket List Bike

WTB Vigilante / Trail Boss

If you find a list of “10 things a mountain biker should do“, building a bike is there among them. I honestly didn’t understand why you would do this. I had been looking for a new hard tail for some time and often came to the same conclusion most do, that “you couldn’t build that spec for that money”.  The buying power of bike manufacturers means that its very hard to beat them on price if you want to go down the self build route. Continue reading “Bucket List Bike”