Twinkly Dave – Mud splattered bicycle and pizza enthusiast Growing old disgracefully

June 27, 2006

SSMM06 – not quite right

Filed under: bikes,lunacy - mine — dgpowell @ 11:32 am

original pic copywrite joolze dymond Well, I think it’s safe for me to say i underperformed at mountain mayhem.
The main problem I had was that i simply couldn’t eat (or rather shovel food down my neck in quick bursts; which i normally can, even during 24hr events). I can’t explain why my digestive system threw a bit of a wobbly, i didn’t feel in any way ill before the race, i just ended up wasting lots of time in the solo tent eating a couple of mouthfuls then having to sit and wait for everything to calm down, before eating another couple of mouthfuls and doing the same.

My lap times were all within about 10% of each other. Even at the end of the race i still felt fine and was able to push the same gears, but was always aware that i couldn’t up the pace due to not taking on enough food; i didn’t want to risk hammering out a few faster laps and blowing up.

I was also a bit hampered by my hands giving up within the first 10 hours, (leaving me riding the last 14hours with blisters all over my palms the size of ten pence pieces (oww)), having to carry enough water to not stop (a 3ltr camelback also full of tools and spare tubes) which weighed quite a bit as well as having to stop regularly to refill my water bottle but it was mainly the inability to digest anything without a battle that held me up.

I enjoyed the course, all the training on hills paid off in spades on the climbs where i was continually overtaking team racers with no trouble and i felt i was nailing the descents when i wanted to. It was also nice to have so much encouragement from all the other racers and spectators; in general i didn’t get any further than about 20ft without someone cheering me on, which was ace!

Might write a bit more later, once i’ve actually tried to remember what happened during the event, but for now i think i’ll fill in my entrry form for SITS; i’ve got some proving to do to myself that i can get a better result that 18th ;o)

Geeky (race) Stats:18th (out of 110 finishers), 24laps in 24hrs 3mins 47secs (19hrs 55mins riding time),
196.56miles, av speed 9.6mph, max speed 33.7mph, 21004ft climbing,
136bpm av heart rate (inc all stops),
5ltrs High 5 “4:1” energy drink, 8ltrs water, 250ml orange juice, 330ml coke drunk, 18 “squeezy” gels, 6 “EAS Myoplex” energy bars, 4 “John West tuna light lunches”, 50g “ritz crackers”, 100g wine gums eaten

June 19, 2006

riding with a number on

Filed under: bikes — dgpowell @ 4:31 pm

me racing So Sunday came and went, as it often does, with me racing in the Leisure Lakes xc series. A combination of fathers day, crap weather, the footy and a midlands xc series race being held nearby meant that I was the only top catagory racer…so i raced against the masters. And won (thought i’d better add that).

I was able to take it a bit easier than normal, which was good considering i didn’t want to go too hard and fatigue myself before next weekend or over cook it and crash.
Sadly I still crashed; this time i claim that a tree stuck it’s root out to catch me, and rode hard enough for my legs to ache. But (for once!) i didn’t crash hard enough to do any damage that won’t have gone by the weekend and i should have enough time to recover completely before the 24hour.

Congratulations and commiserations in equal amounts go to rich, who got 3rd place (yay) in the fun catagory, narrowly being beaten in a sprint finish for 2nd place (boo). He has also gratiously leant me his bike as a spare for thankyou for that; it is now clean, with nice straight wheels, a tighter cassette and headset and a much shinier drivechain :o)

Only a few days left until my biggest race of the year, it looks like there’ll be plently of super tough competition so I hope all the training pays off; all that’s left preperation wise now is to eat lots and lots of good stuff, check the bikes are in good order and rest…
…it’s an excuse to sit in front of the telly stuffing my face!*

*sadly not with cake, but hey ho!

June 15, 2006

What’s ahead…

Filed under: bikes,food/booze,lunacy - mine — dgpowell @ 10:15 am

me in the middle of place for me
It’s usually around this time (the week or so before a big race/event for which i’ve been doing lots of training) that i start to wonder just what i’m going to do with all the free time once it’s all over.
By “free time” i’m not implying that i’ll just go back to being a once-a-week rider; i need a good dose of counryside far more often than that, i love the feeling of being fit and being able to stomp up the hills at a rate of knots and the smug satisfaction i get from thinking “i don’t care how crappy work is today, in a few hours i’m going to sneak off and ride my bike”. I’m thinking more about what kind of riding i’ll find myself doing without having to stick to a structure in order to get a set result out of my legs.
Well, OK, i’m thinking that and “what will keep me hitting the trails and roads when it’s pouring down outside for the 4th day in a row and my shoes are still saturated with rainwater and all my riding gear sqwelches when i touch it”, what will stop me from just rolling home and curling up on the sofa?

Oh yeah, I’m mad (apparently)…

In other news, it’s CT (cake thursday) today, even though it really (really) feels like friday and I got given free cheese yesterday (lancashire with black pepper and some smoked brie) which was nice.

June 12, 2006


Filed under: bikes — dgpowell @ 10:19 am

darwin tower Yesterday was a day of re-learning the art of the two wheel drift across dusty trails, from sliding over the fast cobbles on the descent from rivington pike to the balancing of brakes and steering to get past the throngs of dogs on the waterbar descent from darwin tower, it was all about leaning back and pushing the tyres over…woo!

Steve and I rode out to rivington barn quite early on, beginning to bake despite it being first thing in the morning (well, not quite first thing maybe). We met matt and simon outside, chatted for a bit, ate some grub (when the barn finally opened) and set off up the hill. the climbs were hot…in a temperature sense (although they are quite good as far as climbs go), the trails were abundant with riders and the descents were bone dry and dusty, which was a nice change.
We took it easy down the descent to belmont, neither one of us wanting to mess it up and crash this close to SSMM, said hello to yet more riders (seriously, how many mtbers actually are there?!) and cruised along the road to darwin tower. More climbing followed, more technical climbing in fact (dare i say, a personal favourite), in even more heat with a quick circuit around the tower. We paused for a bite to eat and then set off down what is usually a steep climb amazing the locals with our jumps off waterbars…evidently the people of darwin are easily amused!

To get home I employed a bit of “exploration” (ie. i went the wrong way, refused to turn around and somehow managed to end up at the right place through sheer luck), which resulted in us finding a nice new climb and a great swoopy descent. This joined up with a nice trail through sun dappled woods and eventually brought us out in Abbey village (i think)…thereby cutting out a bit chunk of the road, woo!

The afternoon was just as nice as the morning, so rather than waste it inside, Angela and me rode out to the sea front at Lytham, via lots of quiet country roads (past lots of nice looking pubs and windmills…and windmill pubs). Our original intention was to have an ice cream, but by the time we got there the pull of a nice cold pint was just too hard to resist (we tried really hard to resist, really we did ;o) ) so we sat out on the green in the sun stareing at the views and generally not wasting the summer, excellent!

Overall, i rode 80.6miles in 5hrs 44mins (riding time, the actual time out of the house was far bigger) which dragged my weeks total riding to 223miles, which means that, apart from the week following CLIC (where i rode 101 miles), i’ve ridden well over 200miles a week (normally over 250…with lots of hills thrown in for good measure) for the past 3 months!

June 5, 2006

3000, a Fell and a Bomber

Filed under: bikes,food/booze — dgpowell @ 9:11 am

it got 27 degrees hotter than that OK, I’ll start with the Bomber, a pint of Lancaster Bomber; good stuff for drinking in the warm June sun at outside the Higher Buck (not the Lower Buck) while talking nothings…tastes even better with a few hills singing through the legs.

A Fell, Waddington Fell if we’re naming names, was rather big. In fact i think it might get some sort of award as the longest climb around these parts that i can think of. OK so the climb over to Tatham Fell is pretty long, as is the climb up to the Jubilee Tower near Lancaster, but i don’t know if either of them quite match up to it in terms of continual gradient. We went up what is apparently known as the “back” of the hill, which had numerous corners each opening out in to, well more climbing really, all of which seemed to be a perfect suntrap (27 degrees according to the bike computer).
The descent, although too windy to hit silly speeds, was still a “sit at 30mph for several minutes” type affair past quaint looking pubs and red faced roadies grinding upwards…it should be quite intersting on the road bike…

3000. Miles. Outside, so far this year, not including things like riding to work, the shops, the gym etc. God knows how far i’ve actually pedalled if you include all that, the spinning classes and the hours spent on the hamster wheel…sorry, turbo trainer. I passed the 3K mark yesterday somewhere near Waddington (just after a Bomber in fact), 60 miles into what turned out to be a 79.6mile ride. And (ooo, should never start a sentence with “and”) what better way to celebrate that little benchmark than with a sunny day and a chance to DUST THE BIKE OFF when i got home, rather than the usual ‘scrape soggy crud off everything’.
More of that please!

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