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

July 31, 2007

playing catch up/bruised shins

Filed under: bikes — dgpowell @ 9:15 am

After slacking off for a few weeks (well, not slacking off as such, more “tapering for races, then doing badly at them and not getting very far”…plus i had to impliment Training Plan D, to keep ahead of simon in preperation for SITS) i felt a good bit of training was in order over the last two weeks. Last week in particular was rather big, my biggest training week in fact, with (working from monday to monday) 35.5hrs ridden and 514 miles ridden outside, along with 2x 1hr turbo trainer sessions and a 1hr spinning class. Marvellous. I wish i as a full time pro now, as i think i could enjoy riding that much every week rather than being stuck in this office with pointless bitchy people!
Anyway, the other reason for riding more is, of course, to play catch up to freak boy matt, who’s now many many hundreds of miles ahead of me in this year’s mileage. With any luck he’ll implode soon and then victory will be mine!

Sunday’s ride over in yorkshire had both good bits and, well, pretty dull bits in it. MBRs killer loop out from skipton round bolton abbey etc might well have become a killer, not through toughness but through boredom as rich and i traipsed across flat dull field after flat dull field seemingly included just to prove a point that you can get from one good bit to another without the use of roads (a point well proven, if a little meaningless). There were some fun bits over the moors though, which kind of made up for the dullness and the final descent seemed quite good fun…even though rich had thrown himself overthe bars earlier in the ride to give himself matching scratched and no doubt bruised shins!

I’m not going to complain about the weather, as it’s stopped raining on me every few seconds (i think maybe the sky ran out of water on thursday when it utterly drowned me) and has actually been quite nice out for the past few days…provided the wind isn’t included…
damn, couldn’t make a whole paragraph without mentioning the wind, oh well.

July 25, 2007

skew-whiff

Filed under: bikes,lunacy - mine — dgpowell @ 10:22 am

Yesterday’s ride started off quite nicely. I felt good riding out through Longridge and flew along the B roads towards Clitheroe enjoying the lack of rain. Once through Clitheroe i crossed over the A59 and set about destroying the Nick O’ Pendle climb, which i did, catching another rider on the way…then dropping him like a stone on the fast descent into Sabden.

That’s where it went wrong. Riding out the other side of Sabden the turning i usually take, off to the left, up a steep 1 in 6 onto the top of the ridge behind Pendle hill, was closed with a diversion pointing in the opposite direction.
“Fair enough” i thought, “i’ve been meaning to check out this climb for a while anyway”.
So i stomped up the road away from where i’d normally be heading, making sure the roadie i’d passed on the previous climb didn’t have a chance to battle his way back to me. About 10 minutes later i reached a road junction with “Diversion Ends” signs all over the place, which confused me greatly as I wasn’t at the other end of the road that was closed…in fact i had no idea where i was.
I headed further down the road i was on in the hope of finding some helpful road signs but, this being rural lancashire, that wasn’t going to happen! After another 10 minutes of spinning round random northern villages i ended up in a part of Padiham I had no idea existed and decided to cut my losses and just follow some main roads until i got to somewhere familiar

Now, as anyone who knows me will testify, my sense of direction is not brilliant and i ended up more lost than ever. This, however, was not the most embarrasing part, oh no! The most embarrasing part was that, when i realised i wasn’t going to just ride myself back to somewhere familiar by chance, i decided to look for Pendle hill and just head towards it…but i couldn’t find the hill!

Now Pendle hill is a prominent feature of the Borough of Pendle’s skyline, so much so in fact that the council adopted it’s outline as their official symbol. It’s pretty big, much bigger than anything else around for miles, infact you can normally see it from a good 15 – 20 miles away, yet within the space of an hour of being at the top of it i’d managed to lose it! This came as a bit of a shock to me as i trundled round, getting more and more worried that i’d somehow ridden right past burnley without even noticing.

The confused riding round and round looking for useful road signs continued for another half hour before i ended up, quite randomly, at a junction i recognised. Full of relief I was able to find my way back to Whalley and an earlier part of the route, from where i could continue over to Waddington and pick up my planned ride over Waddington fell and onwards, a little delayed and somewhat annoyed at whoever decided to end the diversion at as completely arbitrary point!

I get to do it all again on Thursday, though this time i might just ignore the “Road Closed” signs and ride the normal route…and shout at anyone who dares try to stop me!

July 23, 2007

retreating…

Filed under: bikes — dgpowell @ 9:14 am

into my own head seemed the best way to deal with the torrential rain during yesterday’s ride.
Within about an hour of me setting off there’d been no let up in the intensity of the rain and my goretex jacket had wet through (i’m not overly annoyed by this as, lets face it, no waterproof fabric save a bin bag would be able to cope with the hammering rain while riding at 20odd mph). I hunkered down over the bars and began to get slightly obsessed with a dry patch on the bars where my hands rest when on the hoods; moving hand positions for climbs was bad, as i the dry area was exposed, i had to keep it nice and warm and comfortable at all costs.
Another hour later, after a bit of exploring random roads following the decision that the silly fast descent off the nick o pendle into sabden might be a bit sketchy – given that i was getting wheelspin when climbing out of the saddle – i hit the bottom of the climb over waddington fell, settled into a rhythm and stomped my way up, suprising myself by riding right out of the rain and into “proper summer” blue sky.

Of course, the 2hrs of biblical downpour had stripped my chain of any hint of lube, so i shortened the ride (but managed to keep all the climbing in) and arrived back at home in blazing sunshine, with the jacket stuffed in my jersey pocket, hoping for a suntan.

Sadly that didn’t happen, but i did get back from feeling strong over all the hills (and climbing them all in at least one gear higher than i was able to earlier in the season, which was nice) in time to watch itv4’s coverage of the tour and see how to ‘really’ climb stuff. Ace.

Now i just need to get all the water out of the rims and i’ll be ready for this weeks monster rideathons!

July 19, 2007

ruuun forrest, ruun! (then ride, then run, then ride a bit more)

Filed under: bikes,on-one — dgpowell @ 11:47 am

the 3 peaks entry list is on line and i’m in!
yay!

i’ve never done a cyclocross race before…and this is a hell of a first one to do…suffice to say much carrying of bike up crazily steep hills will be getting done over the coming months

hopefully riding this bike:

(that’s not me in the vid, BTW)

July 17, 2007

twentyfour12: a bit sick

Filed under: bikes — dgpowell @ 9:43 am

big wheels, big idea, big failure7 odd hours of travelling to get there, so much wind on the campsite that one side of my tent was touching the other (i eventually moved it behind an SIS team van in fear of it collapsing completely), hammering rain so loud i thought it might rip straight through the tent, resultingly no sleep…and all this before the race even started

Suffice to say i didn’t do well.
I felt OK standing on the start line, but within 2 laps it became apparent my stomach wasn’t going to work, i was unable to drink anything while riding and force feeding/drinking at the pits after nearly every lap just overloaded my guts to the point where i was eventually sick while riding up the nice rooty, singletrack climb not too far into the lap. Unsuprisingly i was already well off the pace when i was sick, which was horribly depressing when i thought back to how i wasn’t far off the pace at mountain mayhem despite never really hammering it round, and had been lapped by the leaders a couple of times when i eventally dropped out after 9 laps.

I think the highest place i got to in the 24hr race was 4th and was somewhere around the top 10 in the 12hr race, but was never going to be challenging for anything higher than that.

Oh, after 7 laps i stopped (again) to try and eat something and to get the front mech of the cabal sorted as it had got knocked out of line in a crash. rich (who had spent every lap up until then meeting me at various points on the course to check how i was doing and to see if i could eat or drink anything…then running himself ragged back and forth to the campsite if i wanted anything he hadn’t brought with him!) took it off to get fixed properly and came back a few minutes later telling me that the rear brake had been stuck on to the point where the rear wheel wouldn’t spin! I got back on with the newly fettled bike and instantly went 4mph faster down the first descent…without pedalling (like i had been before)…which would suggest that it hadn’t just been the mud slowing me down beforehand!

The course, once it dried out and stopped resembling mountain mayhem in the claggy crap stakes, was fun. Lots of singletrack with awkward roots (29ers seemed to do far better over them), intermixed with short climbs resulted in a course that meant you were never far from an interesting section…though it did mean that you rarely got a “clean” lap as the slower riders would bunch up on the more technical sections and you’d not have enough time to get past them on the wider parts before then next section of singletrack.

Anyway, yes, i dropped out. Sucks. Time to get over it, add in some extra training for SITS (no point having a rest week this week seeing as i didn’t do all that much over the weekend) and aim for a better race then.
Don’t know why my stomach didn’t want to play as i didn’t change anything from all the other races i’ve done this year, will just have to hope it was a one-off. Ho hum.

Unimportant Update: I finished 17/79 in the 12hr race and 19/25 in the 24hr race, after dropping out 10hrs 39mins in and wasting somewhere in the region of 2hrs sat on the ground outside my tent between laps

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