Thursday, 23 September 2010

It's that time of year again

These last 3 weeks I've been doing early shift meaning I've been getting up at 04.00 to be out of the door at 05.00 for the cycle in to work.
As the Summer finishes (was it here?) the morning temperatures are starting to drop the ride in is now in the dark and it will soon be getting darker in the evenings too.
It's this time of year when you can be cycling along in silence with just the hiss of tyres on the tarmac enjoying the ride when you start to hear a faint squeak.
As you cycle along the noise starts to get louder, you start to wonder what part of your bike is rubbing?
Next thing you see is a flash of a reflector in your lights as you nearly take out the bike in front of you with no lights as he wobbles into view!!
Bloody ninja cyclists!!!

How hard is it to buy a set of lights from Tesco (other shops are available ;-) ) for the measly sum of about £2, I try and make the point of saying "nice lights bud" as I pass but the comment usually goes in one ear and out the other at the same speed that I'm cycling at.
Around here they all also seem to wear Hi-Vis jackets thinking that they are safe using just them. Hi-Vis clothing is ok for being seen as long as the vehicle lights are pointing at you. If the riders cross your path you don't see anything until they are right in front of you and collision is imminent.
Perhaps I should oil my bike less so they can hear me coming, but you'd think that a bright light illuminating the path for meters ahead would show there was something else coming along, but no they still ride into your path.... Perhaps I ought to just spear them with the front chain ring and be done with it.
Trouble is I'd then have to bury the body and clean the bike of course. That sounds too much like hard work though :-D

and breath..........................

Saturday, 18 September 2010

More ramblings

Still not managed a long ride this month due to Steph going back into hospital, having the kids and 2 x 6 day weeks on early shift.
Luckily I'll be out on a 600km ride next weekend up to Yorkshire and back with a bunch of others so my RRTY (200km+ ride a month) will still be in place.
The combination of no riding, no gym, long hours and eating and drinking too much feels like I've put on a couple of pounds. I'll be glad when I can get back to normal again with work and family life so I can think about next years rides already :-D

All rides next year will be in prep for PBP (Paris - Brest - Paris) a 1200km ride that has about 6000 riders from all over the world coming to ride it.
I hope to qualify and ride it and with enough rides under my belt to make it a bit easier. Rides of that distance will never be easy but with the right training it might be easier!!

I still have a few rides left to do this season so might get the trophy for top recumbent rider at the AGM although that's not a given as I've been chased all year by another Bacchetta rider,Tim Edwards up in Scotland who has around the same amount as I have.
It's been good to have another recumbent rider out doing audax, it's a shame we've not met up and rode together yet though, he was going to do the Dutch 1200 earlier but never managed to get over to it in the end.

On another note I've taken over the reins of DIY audax organiser for the Midlands, North and Mid Wales from Danial Webb. He has loads of other stuff to do for the club and has no time to do it, so after he put a request in on yacf I was the first of a few to reply and got the job :-D
Details can be found on my other blog page


Monday, 6 September 2010

Another long time...

..since I last posted, I've been busy with family life most of the last 3 weeks due to my youngest 3 kids mother having an accident while horse riding, breaking 6 ribs and spending almost 3 weeks in hospital.
Plans for long rides went out of the window as I had them overnight at the weekends.

I still managed to get up to Derby to borrow the Greenspeed Glyde velomobile from Rob who kindly let me have it.
It was great fun and if you think you get a lot of attention riding a recumbent, you should try riding one of these. It stops traffic :-D
The plan on having it was to use it for work and then ride over to the Mildenhall cycle rally, do a long audax in it on the Saturday, spend Sunday with it on Kevins pitch chatting about it and recumbents. Then ride it back and do a 600km ride on it the following week while off work.

The ride over took a bit longer than expected due to a puncture on the way through Bedford, tube changed and found it wouldn't inflate due to dodgy valve. Another tube later it was up to pressure and I was away again.
Dragging the 80+lb velo and my 200+lb up over the Greensand ridge after Sandy was slow work but the mountain drive worked well and it was a bottom gear spin up and away.
On the flat the machine went well and could be kept above 40kph fairly easily. It was a bit warm inside and I had to make sure I had plenty of water along the way as I was soaked in sweat.
The next fun bit was after a food stop and I'd got it wound up to 45kph again when the n/s wheel hit a stone and the tyre went with a bang!!
Unload all the camping gear and luggage to get to the spare that Rob had kindly left inside.
More time lost fixing that and it was away again through Cambridge and onto the rally arriving at after 21.00.

I'd found out on the way there that long rides in it were not that comfortable for me as I needed more reach on the steering as it was making my shoulders ache.
The seat could go back another notch and the bars would move forward slightly but this would mean adjusting the pedals and maybe the chain so I didn't bother with it.
It was fine over the distance I was doing in it but it just meant I decided to not start the audax ride. Again this was no problem as I went out on the 65km cake and beer ride instead :-D
Great fun around the lanes of Suffolk and more fun overtaking 3 cars and a TT rider at 65kph

As said above on Sunday I helped out on Kevins (D-Tek recumbents nr Ely) pitch with all his recumbent bikes chatting to all that would listen about the benefits of them.
Beer fest on the Sat/Sun evening was also fun, less so the Thai restaurant that was expensive with tiny portions and rude staff. So bad it was funny!

Monday morning was again spent chatting and catching up with friends before I hit the road for the journey home. Uneventful ride back but a bit slow due to too much drink and food.

As Steph was still in hospital I'd cancelled my weeks holiday as I'd not be able to do what I'd planned, so it was another week of commuting and 12 - 14hr night shifts.
The Glyde had to go back on Friday but I'm hopefully going to try out a Quest later in the year and Rob has also said his new one Glyde will be here in a couple of months and I could have a go in that also for comparison. The one I borrowed was a prototype hence the new one being a lot lighter. Maybe I should make a trip over to the Netherlands again and take up some other offers of rides over there.

It's just a shame I can't afford the price tag on these machines at the moment, but the time will come when one will be mine and I'll be riding about the country with a big grin again:-D :-D

More photo's can be found in various replies on this thread on yacf.