Friday, 19 May 2017

Half Way Their!

So the adventures continue ... so far on my quest for 50 i have reached the half way point.


Wales - 7/10 (3 left in south wales, 1 or 2 trips to complete them)
Scotland - 2/14 (12 left, should be done in 3 trips)
England - 16/26 (10 left, probably 4-5 trips)

The last real adventure was me and Vince wild camping in the boarders. We set off on the saturday to ride at Newcastleton, the hardest part was finding the trail centre. At least the driving around lost was very pretty and in glorious sunshine. After completing a very pretty and flows trail that didn't fail to keep us smiling we along the boarder and into wilder forest.

We had a real hard time finding somewhere secluded enough to park the car and camp near by. After numerous car parks that seemed too busy and every forest road being gated. We eventually found a dead end road and parked our car near by. We camped the other side of a gated path and hoped to not be discovered. We were fine here until morning. We almost didn't make it till morning (slight exaggeration) when the BBQ we had burning for warmth, whilst gazing up at the night sky, set the grass on fire....

The next da we rode Kielder forest. This was a stunning and fun ride, although we could have done without the added black section. This was a killer uphill climb that took about 30 mins, we had to walk by the end. The down hill was a straight line, steep, with no jumps and no obstacles. It was not black in the slightest nor was it in any way worth the climb. It was too foggy on top to appreciate any views either. All in all a good ride and great bank holiday weekend.

The next adventure is looking likely to be a week in Scotland trying to tick off 5-7 new rides up their.

Sunday, 28 February 2016

50 best trail centres in the UK

Its been a while since I decided to write about an adventure! The reason I write them down is so i don't forget some amazing adventures and achievements. Its worth noting that several amazing adventures have transpired since my last blog and none more epic than the coast to coast triathlon me and my little bro did for our combined birthday present (him being 18 and me being 21). We ran 26 miles, cycled 75 and kayaked 4 miles. It was a long 12 hour slog. Craig was an absolute beast of a cyclist and refused to draft any road cyclists, despite our mountain bike tyres. Subsequently he payed the price and when it came to the final run stage he struggled but we powered through and we were still smiling at the end :D

This short blog aims to highlight the start of my 50 trail centre routes and the purchase of my beautiful Mondraker foxy XR 2013.

It all starts on the 25/09/2015 with the purchase of my new bike. Having some car trouble i drove all the way to surrey to pick the bike up and then took it for its first ride around Swindon forest. Since then I have ticked off 14 Trail centres.

This last weekend I managed to tick 3 off the list on an epic long weekend away in wales with Vinny and Johny. Stayed in a YHA near Code y Brenin and had an amazing time. The highlight being a hysterical section of falls for me and Vinny at Penmachno. I was taking the lead and heard a little scream from vince after i had gone over a sizeable drop off. I assumed he was just relieved to get over it and carried on bombing it down the hill. Upon arriving at the end of the section i waited for my cycle buddy. I carried on waiting in the misty low lying cloud for a good 10 minutes, I started to worry and so headed back up the trail. I was walking for a while when I sore his face smiling. He explained he had shot off the trail and tumbled down the bank with his bike going even further down the side of this overgrown bank than him. I just chuckled as i imagined it happening (he was completely unscathed). I wasn't to be so lucky on the next two bits.

It was cold and misty in the open section where we currently stood, we decided to carry on swiftly so as not to freeze. I was given orders to shout, as i often did, when rocky or tricky bits appeared so Vinny could prepare. I was never afforded this luxury on the grounds I had the balls and skill to survive them first time, not always the case mind. So we set off and within the first 2 minuets of defending I attempt a jump, only when it comes to the landing, It doesn't go so well. I hit the edge of the trail and I'm thrown over the handle bars, much to my relief I'm completely fine and more importantly so was my bike. We laughed and continued onwards. The trails were so single track in places their was barley track. Not 5 minutes later I come off again for much the same reasons only to smack my leg on a rock and twist it, the pain is about a 4/10. I walk it off and carry on cycling.

After about 1.5 hours, since leaving our cars, we reach the fork in the route. We decide to do the extra bit and take a little pit stop at the next convenient place to get some sustenance in the form of breakfast bars and the trusty peanuts. We soon get very cold and jump back on the bikes, its at this point i realise the adrenaline has worn off and my knee has seized the pain was now at a 8/10 and i had to cycle for 3 hours to get back to the car.....

Long story short, great ride, great weekend away and I'm looking forward to my next adventure!

Sunday, 2 October 2011

A weekend of getting away from it all

Saturday morning comes around and I rode up to Ilam hall near Ashbourne taking 85 min for the DVO club champs. The aim of the game is first across the finish line wins with the fastest off last; Lord only knows why I was last and with a 2 min gap on 2nd to last. I began the race in the knowledge of needing to catch 33 min of the first person who began the course (highly unlikely). The race was going great and i was flying, 3 miles in i hit a hill and felt some sharp twinges in the arch of my foot (not for the first time), sensibly i pulled out where i sore my 3 min and 5 min man so I was running very well. I later cycled back from Ilam quite disappointed and did it 5 min quicker than the way back in the baking heat. On the Plus side I received a little tan!

Sunday morning at 9.30 I meet Steve to go mountain biking somewhere in the Peak District. We arrive in Calver about 10.30 and decide to explore the café whilst waiting for Chris to arrive. Steve and Chris clearly had been in here before and ordered what can only be described as a 'bucket of tea/coffee. We spent about half an hour talking and glancing over routes and maps before deciding to ride a nearby route. We park up and assemble our bikes, Chris suddenly realises he has left his skewer for his front wheel at work in Carsington. He decides to head back their after having just driven from their, meanwhile me and Steve plan to ride for an hour.
So whilst that wally was driving, we were riding and loving it!

We started out slowly just testing our legs and checking the map at every junction. We strayed slightly from the bridleway on a rocky decent at one point and stumbled upon two women on horseback. They shouted us to turn around and head back up to the bridle way, I was not about to argue with a horse. We started climbing again up a rocky single track, when my front wheel jammed down between two rocks and I came close to walking myself over the handlebars. In the process I strained my hamstring and bruised my thigh. Not that i noticed till I reached the top of the hill and the adrenalin wore off. We later sore a heard of grazing highland cows with beautiful ginger coats and massive horns blocking our route, amazingly they didn’t seem phased by us and we went on our way. We ragged our bikes down a steep rocky decent down into Calver, got lost a little and ended up cycling back to the car all along road and boy was it steep it was around 80 mins.
Chris pulled up just after I had finished stuffing my face, what timing! He assembled his awesome Treck fuel ex 8 whilst i stood drooling. We rode around part of mine and Steves previous route and the soon went the wrong way (according to the guide book) but it worked well cutting out a large road section. We then started hitting a few big climbs where I seemed to storm ahead of the others, getting nice rests at the top. However, Chris got bigger rests on the decents as I let out whelps of pain when i kept coming of my flat pedals (I want my cleats back). Roughly 2 hours after starting our ride we were back at the car, beating the rain and I was stuffing my face again with an even bigger grin than before.

Wednesday, 28 September 2011

A tale of exploration and of food deprivation

After a great day at university (having solved my methodological problems for my dissertation) i got home shoved a couple of tuna sandwiches in my mouth and got on my bike. I started the cycle expecting to do the normal (slightly boring) ride up the A6 and around either Shinning Cliff or Black Rocks pending my physical state. However, for some unknown reason i turned off the A6 unexpectedly, so i kept going and then decided to turn of this road until i found a footpath up onto the Chevin (a nice little ridge of a hill traveling alongside the A6).

After i came down of the Chevin i felt in the mood for more exploring so i tried numerous roads and paths but kept failing until i stumbled on a road i new from a 30k race i had done previously, so i sped off and up the grassy footpath beyond that. when i hit the next road the hunger pains kicked in, so i opened my Camel Back and ate a bar which made me more hungry so i ate another and another and another oooh and then my last one. So much for rationing!!

After my food binge i arrived at the woods and cycled around them taking some new routes in and didn’t even know existed. after an hour of playing on crags, jumps and pointy rocks i headed back to the A6. I cycled back along the Chevin and took the back route to my house reaching 36.5 mph which il aim to improve on next time :D.

Wednesday, 21 September 2011

Welcome to the ultramarathon club

Yeh thats right today i went on a little training run that turned into 52 km taking me just under 5 hours. I began by stuffing my camell back with bars, water and full waterproofs incase things got hairy.
so i set off at about 4pm and decided to run to Shinning Cliff about 16km away and then back, but i was enjoying it so much i decided to go all the way to Black Rocks and catch the train home. My journey to Black Rocks sore me getting chased by about 40 cows i was very very scared and ran very very fast. After which i took my 1st of two pit stops, at a farm shop a few miles from black rocks, i was in and out in 2 min and bought 2 pints of milk that was super creamy, i ran with the bottle munching some bars for a few miles till i reached the top of Black Rocks.
leaving black rocks it started to rain and got dark very quickly, i ran down the high peak trail to the A6, passing under a bridge in the dark i couldnt see a thing and for fear of falling i produced some impressive high knees.
from here on it got very boring and i had 14 miles of it, all road and i dont really like roads. tell you the truth the best bit about the roads was the uphill, where there was much less impact upon my joints. i stopped for my second time in Belper for some electrolytes courtesy of a Morrison's petrol station. i pushed hard gritting my teeth, my stride shortening with every step and my right knee decided it didnt like bending anymore and gave up about a mile from home.
well it certainly feels nice to be seated just worried im stuck here !!

Monday, 19 September 2011

40 miles of cycling for 6 km of running ??

For some unknown reason i decided to help DVO out, by being a controller at Carsington pastures next week. So yesterday i cycled 20 miles up their whilst blaring my motivational playlist on my ipod! On route i almost squashed a stoat that was playing chicken with me ... bit i won!!

It took me 1 hour and 40 min to get to their so i had a quick 30 min snooze in the sunshine on the hill side whilst i waited to meet the other controller and planner, we walked and jogged about for an hour or so. We said our goodbyes and parted.
The way home was an amazing cycle, i took a different more off road route that was slightly longer but so much more fun !! I reached 38 mph and averaged 18 mph making my journey home 20 mins quicker.
I got home and dont think i could have been any dirtier!! spent ages cleaning the bike today wish i could just pop it in the shower with me and apply some raddox haha !!