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

November 13, 2008

cracking day, gromit

Filed under: bikes — dgpowell @ 10:49 am

Day off work yesterday to get a nice ride in (in daylight, a rare treat at this time of year). Think I picked the right day of the week for it; wall to wall sunshine, pleasant temperatures, little wind, quiet roads, quiet villages, quiet hills, nice!

Legs felt quite good throughout, I’m not exactly at full bore ATM, but I span round well enough (and grovelled up the hills like a good ‘un). I saw 3 other cyclists during the day, all older gentlemen who obviously had nothing better to do with their days than just ride round the countryside. Poor buggers, what a terrible life they must have 😉

Route was most of the Pendle Pedal course, but cut a bit shorter after Wray – heading straight to Caton before rejoining the route to go over Quernmore and the Trough, to make up for having to ride out from Preston to join the roads used – possibly my favourite route when the weather is being kind – the views are superb all the way round, the hills are steep, long and a good test of the legs/lungs and the descents are a constant battle to stop looking at the aforementioned views and concentrate on keeping the bike on the road!

160bpm av HR (198max)
for 6hrs 27min,
108.2 miles,
a nice load of climbing (somewhere around the 2850m mark i think) – much of it straight up silly steep slopes (when you get braking ruts from cars on the corners you know you’re on a proper climb),
4621Kcal burnt off,
2.5lts Maximuscle Viper drunk,
2 Nutrigrain Oaties, 2 nutrigrain “normal” bars, 1 geosource bar, 2 High5 energy gels eaten
100% oil on my chain washed off by the 50 mile mark (it’s bright orange with rust now)
1 pheasant nearly headbutted (stupid bloody animals then pheasants)
10+ countryside toffs with shotguns impressed with my speed riding back down the Trough of Bowland 🙂

November 6, 2008

in things again

Filed under: bikes,food/booze — dgpowell @ 12:10 pm

Stathpuffer entries went online at midday yesterday and all 25 solo spots were gone by about quarter past…as well as 7 more that supposedly didn’t exist.
One of those spots belongs to me again, w00t.
I love the strathpuffer, it’s stupid. I can’t wait to get back to looking scared, riding on sheet ice in the pitch black for a whole day (provided I can keep a bike working for that long this time…)
me on the ice last year
I am already stockpiling brakepads in anticipation. 🙂

Real Ale Wobble in just over a week too, for which I will be sending the entry form off for this afternoon. w00t again.
Accommodation is sorted thanks to steve (we’re too old and wussy to camp out any more), so i look forward to more of this:
bike, singletrack, scenery, yay
with a little liquid refreshment here and there to make things move more smoothly…

November 5, 2008

another nice ride

Filed under: bikes — dgpowell @ 10:51 am

Out on the superlight yesterday afternoon/evening. Setting off in the “daylight” (read: gloom) and riding into the night was quite nice – it’s definately easier to get going during the day – and spending rush hour spinning along quiet country roads is definately the way forward!

Between Slaidburn and Wray I saw the sum total of 4 cars, which was ace as it meant that, for the most part, it was just me and my lights in the middle of nowhere in the pitch black. Very cool, very atmospheric, in the night time no-one can see you suffer up the hills 🙂
I imagine there were 4 drivers sat at home last night telling their respective partners “there was some tool out riding a bicycle over tatham fells last night – in the dark! He didn’t seem to be enjoying it either. Strange bunch those cyclists.”
He’d be right too…though I was enjoying it and setting a decent pace at the same time.

The descent off the tops was, well, thrilling. I had enough light to see well ahead of me but it still feels about a million times faster once the sun’s gone down and you have the added risk of sheep using the road as a bed. Sheep that don’t like to be woken up by some lout on a bike screaming at them and stay put, all curled up thank-you-very-much. Sheep that seem to like sleeping in rows straight across said roads. I had to come to a complete stop at one point and actually prod one of them with the front wheel to get it to shift – and got a dirty look for it.

Obviously while up on the most exposed section of the ride it rained on me (i think it’s the law that the worst weathe should hit you at the worst possible time), but the suprisingly warm temperature meant I didn’t feel the need to stop and add layers to the well thought out clothing system I had bodged together…and anyway, when it’s dark you can’t see the rain, so it doesn’t seem so bad.

Back through Lancaster (with “oh god, has it been a year already since I was riding though here at night with all the christmas decorations up” running through my head) the bicycle was king and i barely had to slow down to slice through the snarled up traffic before hitting the A6 and nailing it. Nice.

Coming out of Garstang I caught up with one of the Preston Wheelers, also out enjoying the comparitively balmy temperature, lack of rain and light winds. We shared the workload back into Preston (taking it in turns to get blinded by each others rear lights…) and I didn’t see our speed drop below about 23 until our ways parted on the main road back into town. Nice. A glance at my HRM while in front told me I was definately trying – 184 on the flat means I’m moving at a fair clip in my book!

Home and stopping all the stopwatches/computers/hrms/alarm clocks/grandfather clocks/etc showed a time of 4hrs 5mins for the ride, which is a decent time – especially considering the slower speeds down the hills in the dark and those damn sheep. An average heart rate of 160bpm suggests I was above cruising speed all thee way round and the freshness in my legs as I stepped through the front door suggests a little bit of fitness is coming back to me. Hurrah!

November 3, 2008

flattering to deceive

Filed under: bikes,on-one — dgpowell @ 11:22 am

I think I needed that. A proper nice ride on the scandal race bike, nowhere new – just the “usual” route through abbey village, roddlesworth res., darwen tower, reservoirs again, belmont, up to masts, down swoopy singletrack, down fast gravel track past farm, up school climb, rivi pike, AICR, home – but I nailed everything, the climbs were skipped up with a flow that I’ve not had for ages, the descents were skimmed down with a smoothness that I didn’t realise I’d not had, but was delighted to rediscover.

The fact that many of the trails have been eaten away badly by the rain didn’t slow me, in fact the extra technicality just had me grinning as i flung the bike around underneath me like…well, like an extension of myself (uugh, I hate using that turn of phrase). My legs felt fresh and powerful – I even chased down a roadie (who was, in turn, chasing down a roadie) up the road from belmont – everyting just, flowed. Damn, I used “flow” again, feel free to insert your own superlative for my greatness instead 🙂
Everything worked, everything felt smooth, comfy and fast on the bike – like it should be, like you always hope it will be when you first set off on each ride – and it wasn’t until I’d finished cleaning said bike after the ride that I realised maybe the no-holds-barred, flat-out-race-bike had a lot to do with just how well i was riding.

I’ve spent ages setting up it up perfectly for me, so it should flow like some sort of really good flowy thing, it’s built up with components I trust to the Nth degree and I’ve not compormised anywhere, so when i skim down the steep cobbly descent near darwen tower, past the rider on a full suss, feeling like i’m gliding a rocket down over marshmellows the bike has to take at least part of the credit.

scandal in race mode

anyway, it’s done it’s secondary job and made me feel great about riding (it’s primary role being to kick other people’s arses round various race courses) so I think I’ll put it away until the next race and stop convincing myself that I’m better than I actually am!

In other news, Angela’s decided that she needs to learn all the “proper” mtb skills you develop from riding a hardtail and wants something faster and more purposeful that her current full suss cruiser, so has bought her self one of these:

giant arete 2
(click for biggie)

how nice is that?!
I reckon that’s all the bike you need to go from enthusiastic “have a go at anything” rider right through to, well, anything you like. I’d be happy on that (if i were a girl), be it riding all day, messing about on the singletrack or even racing. The fact that she got it for under £500 just makes it even better.

In fact I’ll tell you what it reminds me of – my old cannondale. It’s built up with a similar level of components (well, actually it’s got some nicer stuff on it) and has a nice frame that’d be worth hanging nice pimpy stuff off as parts wear out. Basically it looks like a bike that can progess as you get better and start to demand more from your components. I went from enthusiastic rider, through transalp have-a-goer to racerhead on the cannondale and that giant looks like a bike that could keep up just as well.

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