Tuesday, 29 April 2014
Monday, 28 April 2014
Thsi is a picture taken by the gateway to the world the day Apollo the wonder foal arrived at Rock HQ. I took it to remind us what a little puppy he was.
Posted by Tony at 22:23
Sunday, 27 April 2014
In spite of the weather I decided that doing the Hay on High 100 miler was the order of the day but instead of starting out really really early I hung on and waited for the weather to clear. It didn't, the rain got steadily heavier and I set off a full hour and half behind any other rider in the race. The long an lonely road was insanely steep in places, always wet, often into a head wind, I had forgotten my GPS so had no idea how fast/slow/time was passing. I rolled in to the first feed station an hour and ten minutes after starting and was pleased to find a cup of tea, a map and the news that after two more massive hills there was a bit of flat, but none of it was fast. I met a group of soggy lycra clad riders sat on the roadside, broken bike and lack of spanners meant their ride was over. Further on I took the chance to gulp some drink, misjudged the steepness of the road, couldn't put my bottle back in the cage, fumbled my grip on the bars, couldn't change gear or direction and fell off. Once unraveled from the bike I remounted and tried to not convince myself that baling out was the option, my knee was hurting, it was raining, I was wet, cold, alone, miserable and not enjoying the trip. But I pressed on, after all if Davina did it then so could I.
At this point my bike started complaining loudly, every rotation of the pedal something groaned or missed a beat. Self arguments continued, its not that bead, its falling apart, youre looking for excuses, bale out now before it really breaks. Another heavier downpour sealed the deal and I pulled the ejector handle and floated in to the start zone and handed my racing chip in. Enough.
Mechanic on hand took bike away, self doubt then filled my mind, would they find nothing wrong, would I end my race looking like a fat bloke who had bottled it. No. Top bike man found that the big ring, that's what drives the chain round, had bent so every rotation the chain was trying to fall off but the speed of my pedaling (ahem) caught it again and so we continued on our merry way. Could he fix it, yes he could.
So while bike got TLC and I got a cuppa and tried not to drip muddy water on the clean floor I could not help but notice several things.
One was a very handsome poodle called Albert, the other was a soggy group of cyclists sheltering from the weather. There were four of them, two lovely blond ladies and two handsome chaps. As its rude to stare at very pretty ladies who make lycra look good I concentrated on Albert but there was something familiar about one of them. Then behind me through the door walked a stack house of a man who was a good head taller than me, biceps bigger than my thighs and a very broad grin. He chatted for a moment with me about the weather, bikes, he was the rescue driver for the group I was avoiding looking at. There was something familiar about him to, I would have said so but thinking it through he was far younger than number one son, he who cannot be named, so was unlikely to be a friend of his that I knew by default so left it.
The soggy maidens and chaps left with stackhouse.
It was then that mechanic putting my steed back together revealed that stack house was a Welsh International Rugby player, George North and one of the girls was Becky James, world champion cyclist, her sister, brother and friend. Not a bad bunch to have sheltering in Drovers Cycles on a wet day. So if it was good enough for a world champ to bale out it was good enough for me.
Look what I went and collected this afternoon, still in the rain, a lovely trailer that will come in really useful to move all sorts of things. Like pooh.
And I know where there's some that wants shifting!
Posted by Tony at 22:46
Saturday, 26 April 2014
Thursday, 24 April 2014
Serious training has been avoided but I am almost back on track, or the bike, where I lack serious road miles I am making up for in effort on the spin bike (in fact I am about to lead 10 or so spin classes at the local leisure centre) and this weekend (essay for university and child care permitting) I am doing the Hay on High 100 miler as part of the "programme" to prepare for to epic 300km ride on 1st June 2014 to raise money for Myeloma UK, a cancer research charity that uses the money to support families and seek treatments for this nasty illness. Unfortunatley one of my closest friends has this illness, Paul, hes the one bothering the ex goat (she was a UXG but is now an XG) in the pic below. Paul and I go back a long way, I even covered for him after he barfed in his wifes glove while we sat out a blizzard close to the summit of Mt Blanc. He's a talented musician, a great Dad and Granddad, crap joke teller (we all have our weak points) and an expert brewer. He's always a laugh (despite his crap jokes) and is the epitomy of Mr Nice Guy. So I am going to do my bit by cycling the 300km and you can do yours by Texting the number 70070 and enter the code TTTA and an amount from £1 to £10, as many times as you want to. Or you can log on to www.justgiving.com/its-uphill-all-the-way and donate there. Its that simple. You can do it, and help nice people like Paul.
Posted by Tony at 22:58
Wednesday, 23 April 2014
How did you find Kobe? Simple I moved the carrot and there he was.
Posted by Tony at 22:27
Tuesday, 22 April 2014
It's back! The war continues. It's tried to surprise us with an early spring offensive. We are ready!
Posted by Tony at 22:18
Monday, 21 April 2014
Posted by Tony at 21:05
Sunday, 20 April 2014
Posted by Tony at 22:14
Saturday, 19 April 2014
The pocket rocket is going through his startling spring moult, from dark brown to white not quite horse pooh white in a matter of days (scroll down to see him a week ago)
Posted by Tony at 22:28
Friday, 18 April 2014
Unlike last Easter break when we went sledging, this years sunny spell meant a quick trip to the coast (not at all a recce of a long bike ride route) where we engaged in traditional activities of bothering crabs and shivering while eating ice cream. The apprentice soon got the hang of Bank Holiday weather and discarded all protective clothing so he could turn as blue as his wellies while the MkII rug rat tried to eat the beach a handful at a time. After a quick game of beach cricket which entailed yours truly slogging the ball as far down the beach as the prevailing wind would allow and toddler running after it shouting "That's a good shot Daddy" ad infinitum we returned to Rock HQ where racing steed was prepped for mega ride Easter Day.
Racing steed has been used for commutes since last mega ride in County Durham and has felt a bit slow, which I put down to me accumulating lard from birthday excess. However thanks to having purchased a bargain set of tyres with a pretty white band each side, while I was changing boring black but perfectly good tyres for fancy types which weigh .25 of a gramme less than the old ones thus offsetting the 3 kilos of extra lard the pilot carries after binging on Northern ales and cookies, the cause of slowness was discovered. As rear wheel cover was snapped into place and the valve located to inflate it one of the spokes just fell off. There being only 20 of a bladed aerodynamic type, the loss of one is, especially given the weight of rider, going to have an impact. Fear not thought I as I retrieved from floor, tis but a simple task of re poking spoke back in hole and attaching to wheel and tightening spoke with spoke tightener on my Swiss Army knife (its the funny looking bit next to the get the stone out of horsey hoof bit which is another you will never ever use) Anyway on trying to fix it the full horror of what had happened to wheel became abundantly clear as a large chunk of everso expensive alloy fell off the rear hub. This bit is intrinsic to keeping spoke attached to wheel. The loss of this chunk meant spoke 19 was also in peril of joining spoke 20 and spoke 18 was as bent as Tory MP's expenses claim. I gave the wheel a half hearted spin contemplating Sundays ride with a less than full compliment of spokes and gave up all hope when it spun with a bigger buckle than found on a Cavaliers boot. Unless the back wheel fairey arrives between now and Easter then my speed machine will not be joining in the fun. Its done over 3000 miles since last April so has been hammered but I wasn't expecting such metal fatigue especially in such good wheels, even with a heavier than average rider.
A ride of a different sort tried to cheer me up, Apollo the wonder foal who, when he arrived here 4 years ago, could not see over the stable door, is now a muscle bound softie who is always on the lookout for extra calories. Hes clearing up after the Ryelands here, not that they have left much.
By the way, good guesses re Irene but no one has got it right yet, she's not from Dexy's Midnight Runners or Blackhawk Down, think of legwarmers and guess again.
Posted by Tony at 22:45
Thursday, 17 April 2014
Wednesday, 16 April 2014
Posted by Tony at 22:33
Tuesday, 15 April 2014
Posted by Tony at 22:52
Monday, 14 April 2014
Sunday, 13 April 2014
Posted by Tony at 22:03