Thursday, 28 June 2012

Come back to what you know

A full nightride, sorted. We had a new guest, Craig came over form darwen, just getting back into mountain biking, visited our side of the hills to check out the trails. I rode over in the drizzle and was inside the cloud climbing burnt edge. Dropped down hole in the wall and wildes, quite dry considering the weather, through the trees was wet but it nearly alwasy is. Rain and most of the cloud had cleared by the time I met Johnnie and Craig and we set off. Up to georges and down ICR, nice easy intro for Craig. Upto to the pike where we saw a couple guys on Intenses set off, we followed and had a chat at the bottom, after a few mins I realised they were part of the group I met and rode with in Spain with Switchbacks a few years back. Rode with them along georges and they showed us a rooty singletrack bit through wildeswood, nice, altho one of them trashed his rear mech and had to freewheel home. Swapped details may be meeting up with them for future night rides.
Up hole in the wall not too bad as I turned back I saw a runner catching up with Johnnie and Craig decided to give him a run for his money, shifted into middle ring and put in some effort breathing hard expecting to hear footsteps any minute, near the top I was feeling the strain turned back and runner was miles away, mixture of pride and dissappointment at the wasted effort. Quick regroup then on up to the mast and did san marino cut up but fairly dry. Split at the bottom Johnnie and Craig taking the road back to rivi, I skipped the quarries and rode through smithills to home. Good to do a proper ride, the drive up and short rides I have been doing are a bit feeble.

Goit eaten alive again are the midgies on steroids this year or what?

Monday, 25 June 2012

Warmers is where it's at

Nowt much to report, been riding to work xc where possible, getting pretty muddy in the process and slowly going round the twist. My blinglespeed was creaking form the BB area, stripped it down and sure enough the bottom bracket had some play, oh dear <18months old and it's shot, so much for "square taper lasts forever" to be fair the play was pretty minor and I would normally have continued to use it but that big carbon downtube amplifies sounds and the creaking was doing my head in. New bb was silent for one ride but then creaking continued, loads of faff tried, replacement nds crank all to no avail, looks like the cranks have had it. Will have to put some external bearings crankset on it, not good on a wet weather bike, will have to get my arse into gear and bodge some greaseport versions - don't hold your breath.

In other news it's raining but warm with it making sartorial choices troublesome, waterproofs are already out in my book but even softshells are proving boil in the bag at the moment so I've been going for "stay warm when wet". Roubaix arm and knee warmers with a gillet, pacamac showerproof on standby for stair rod rain. Works well for commutes, got totally soaked once and quite damp a few times, longer rides might be risky but for hour long stuff it's fine.

No extracurricular activities, need some decent riding soon, just an OK forecast and I'd book some riding time but no, rain rain and more rain, just not  quite as bad as recent. Well whoopee :-(

Tuesday, 12 June 2012

Blah blah blah weak ass excuse

So basically you're gibbing out of this weeks nightride?

Spiral fracture of the fibula. Ouch. Thats Si's summer of riding "attached to another object by an inclined plane, wrapped helically around an axis". I dunno, he survives stainburn then breaks his leg having a kick about with the lads from work*. Apparently it made an awesome sound when it broke, heard the length of the pitch (I wasn't there, still trying to grow a new big toe nail since the original was removed during my last game) Just waiting to get it pinned, his ankle is in a pretty bad way too.

Man down!

*I may get a T shirt printed up for him with that slogan

Thursday, 7 June 2012

Nervous tension/where's your head at

Typical, at a quarter to home time the heavens open, cheers! After our heavy exertions at stainburn (a whole 8 miles according to Si's sportstracker) it was a tough choice in the morning, a wet (well, damp) ride to work xc and then a short nightride or an ride in on the blacktop then a longer nightride. After several disappointing incidents on road I really don't like running the gauntlet anymore so xc it was. Just a light smattering f mud on the way in, dry day was looking forward to the trails having dried out. Nope, chucking it down and I was in my proper riding gear that I would want for my nightride so I wimped out and got the train home, nice and dry.

Met Si at moss bank again, in the rain - again, and headed up the hill. 2lads and wildes dispatched ok despite being greasy, heading up school climb I told Si I still felt nervous from stainburn, weirdly he agreed, emotional scarring I tell you, Si figured post traumatic stress disorder. Lining up somewhat apprehensively at the top of ICR Si went first, me at the back on my hardtail. I Started following his line, to the left of the tarmac then changed my mind cut across and jumped off the tarmac heading right , landed badly (thought I'd flatted the front) went off course and onto the grass, hit several very big rocks each slowing me down till I almost stalled and then another bounced me off into the undergrowth. More crashes in 2 days than all of last year!

Tried to get my head together, upto the pike where the weather had cleared on our particular hill and it seemed a nice night, off the top along georges and up to san marino, taken a bit gentler than we have done recently, got down ok into a load of drizzle, shower proofs on. Did the quarry, up horrocks fold and down smithills and home. Not bad, hope all this crashing stops, if the saying "if you're not crashing you're not learning" is true I'm happy to stay stoopid.

Wednesday, 6 June 2012

Sessioning Stainburn (dude)

Or how to scare the **** out of yourself on a bank holiday weekend. Troutie (purveyor of fine lighting) posted some pics of stainburn a while back, Johnnie liked the look of it so suggested we visit sometime, weather was looking iffy so a bit of trail centre action sounded just the ticket, did consider penmachno after lowey praised it but it's >2hours away. We met Si in the car park and set off on the red, straight into the action with a bit of downhill, nice start, some climbing round tight switchbacks and squeezing the bars through tightly packed trees. We swerved off for the short red loop, the next section was downhillish, not losing much height but nice and swoopy and some very skinny skinnies, we took the berms instead and we were back at the carpark, hmm that was short. Back along the red again this time doing the downhill line, now this was more like it, some small drops, few small (rollable) jumps, tight switchbacks which I couldn't let go of the brakes on and rocky sections. Really enjoyed this bit, big drop in the middle, doesn't look it but it's 3-4 feet, rollable but should be jumpable if you can carry speed into it. Then more twists and turns down to the bottom, great stuff, a few ace sections with a rocky hump just before a corner, bike trying to fly into the air off the hump but pushing the front wheel down ready for the corner and whoosh around it. Nice. Climb up to the top again with a detour on the lower mini black route, a stepping stone ride across the top of some rocks then some bloody hard uphill, tight singletrack, steep with big boulders to (fail to) get over.

Back at the CP again and off round the black, following guys in full facers (gulp) so thankful it was dryish as this is all rock. First biggie was a steep roll in ok in but rocky exit, I rolled in ok but didn't make the corner. Si did a better job of it, johnnie declined. Spine was interesting feature of the climb, Johnnie was starting to see a common theme, a nice easy path just off to the side of the mentally technical trail climb, he was querying the pointlessness of making climbing harder, I drew his attention to the fact we were riding our bikes as usual in circles, pointless anyway. Skirted close to the CP again the down the next section, more rocks, off camber on the edge of the hill with some felled trees with spiky branch stumps  running along the hillside, there to prevent you takling a chicken run but also a terrifying incentive to not fall off and impale yourself on them. Unfortunatley Si binned it on a dodgy section but managed to land on trail, johnnie declined. The next scrotum shrivelling section was hovis a steep rocky turn, recced it, I had a go with Si and johnnie ready to catch me if I went over the edge, I made it round but then went off piste. IIRC Si rode up to it but refused, johnnie declined again. Straight after that was cascade another rock ride. First go saw me go off the left on the second rock, second go I nearly made it to the end of the rocks but binned to the left again and heading straight for a tree, instead of concentrating on trying to miss it I panic braked and slammed into it with my shoulder. Ouch. Next was the woodwork me and Si rode it but couldn't make the rocky corner so exited left straight down, Johnnie went for it but went off piste to the right headed for a tree before his front wheel dug into the leaf mulch and swung him right, disaster averted. Next one wasn't very skinny but was high up, the trick was to ride it straight off, unfortunately everyone had a look, some good riders came passed, we had a sit down and something to eat, by this time my limited bottle had completely gone, didn't want to do it, said as much then lined up and did it anyway, clipped a tree on the way in but up onto the board, veered left but held on and then rode out and off the drop. Phew. Johnnie fancied a go at the seesaw, I was staying well clear. He lined up, rode onto it then had 2nd thoughts and put his feet down, then decided to shuffle forward while astride his bike. Cue comedy moment as seesaw tips forward almost throwing him over the handlebars, oh how we laughed, he got some serious stick off us yesterday :) I decided to have a go rode up, seesaw tipped, I wobbled and fell left tumbling into the undergrowth. 2nd go rode up, tipped, wobbled, went right but managed to ride out off piste, I'll have that as a clean. Rest was ok but we were so scarred by the last half hour that the dead easy drop to fade high speed jump was taken at slow speed cause we were expecting something scary.

Up to the CP and another red run, faster this time with a little less braking then the black again ridden at pace, no stopping to scope lines out, I rode much smoother too, I get into a flow and take stuff easier when I "just ride". First slab dispatched ok if not quite smoothly, scary off camber no worries tho Si binned it in same place, hovis done, cascade ridden and only brushed the tree this time. Woodwork ridden, skinny done smoothly seesaw ridden and ridden out of properly tho I did a graceful dismount off the bike as I realised I had too little speed for the drop off at the end of the boards. (didn't attempt the skinnys between the high beam and the seesaw, maybe another day) Another ride/push up and another run at the excellent red. Awesome. Stainburn is like a mini DH centre, ride down push/winch up. Lots of stuff to learn on, don't forget your pads (just in case) and take plenty of bottle, would love to have this on our doorstep.

Whilst looking for stainburn vids I came across this, someone has sexed up lee quarry, gorgeous video.