Saturday, 1 July 2017

Big Blog catch up...too much to mention!

Forgive me peddlers for I have sinned. It's been 26 days since my last blog and my goodness there's been some riding since then! I've done a bit, SuperSam is going from strength to strength and some of my clubmates have completed epic challenges! In literally do no know where to start!Oh okay how about Sam!

To put it quite simply I am incredibly proud with Sam's cycling development. He's also very fortunate to be part of KCC cyclones, which, in addition to loaning him a good bike, is giving him a number of really cool opportunities. Recently he was part  of the team (although he didn't ride as he was the reserve,) for the Silverstone TT. He's had a couple of go ride evenings at Rockingham Motor Speedway and there was last weekend's grass track racing. At the grass track he was described as a great team player and possessing an incredible turn of speed when required!

He's clearly loving his cycling. Others are noticing too. Cyclones coach Mark Evans has seen the progress and we had a great chat about it at last night's MTB race. In those Monday night ride outs Sam and I were shown just how much good riding is near us locally. If you haven't found it yet, the offroad  trails in the woods near Desborough Leisure centre are superb.

The woods in question are in the top right of the picture above. They are full of jumps and berms and flowing trails! Who knew hey?

The other place we have been going to regularly has been Wakerley Woods, a forestry commission managed wood with a good little blue trail for Sam and his mate Joe to get their teeth into. It's about half an hour drive from home, has free parking and the trails are well maintained. The only word of warning is not to trust the dog walkers, they can't read and have been known to obliviously wander along the bike trails!

So that's you caught up on SuperSam. I've always thought he would develop into a good rider and recent evidence is that he's on his way! We're going to support him any way we can.

To my riding. Well I didn't even blog a club ride from a few weeks back. So let's start at the beginning and work through. The ride in question was even more notable because my very own Queen of Cakes provided the baked goods for the post ride re-fuel!

I only have a dim recollection of this ride. Needless to say it's a route I really enjoy, especially in the Welland Valley around Eyebrook Reservoir. I got some pics so let's share those!

There's Mark's latest Chinese knock off Bianchi...realistic price tag too!

Selfie/Group shot at that famous viaduct

I've had to miss a few weeks of Friday Night Summer Series and was hoping to get back into it on Friday 23rd of June. However, work got in the way! I found myself in a complete sulk still at work past 7.30pm on a Friday evening. Never mind eh! The rest of the weekend was not good for cycling as we had a festival style wedding to go to and then well I sort of recovered on the Sunday! All of which put a big dent in my Virgin Pulse Global Challenge ambitions. I'm currently 5th in my trust and our team sits in 2nd place. That won't do will it!!! I did however make it back to FNSS MTB racing last night...

Last night's course was too hardcore for the likes of me. The hills were enormous and I was completely outclassed by an amazing field of riders. I had mechanical issues which wrecked my ambition for the evening which was not to lose a lap to the majority of my age group. I'm not sure I'd have done it even if my gears had behaved themselves. You know you're in trouble when a kid on a fat bike overtakes you!!! However, that's not the point! Once again I absolutely loved this. A great venue, very good course and a lovely atmosphere among the riders.

Thanks to the wonder snapper that is Mick Brown for the picture above. It's not as impressive as the time he caught me in mid air and yes I should be riding not walking. Look, it was too steep for me to ride up. Other awesome specimens made it look easy...unfortunately kicking them off as they come past is frowned upon! I'm looking forward to next week at Delapre already, especially because I know there isn't anything that steep there!

To today's ride. I really did wonder what I should do this morning as my legs felt tight. I rocked up at C&D Cycles and was asked 'Fondo Rich?' Anyone with sense would have said...erm no thanks I'll see how I go on the 30 mile ride and maybe do extra if I feel up to it. It's me though isn't it and rather foolishly I just said: "Yeah of course!"

I may have been influenced by the riders I saw before me. I love these guys (don't tell them I said that,) and I wanted to ride with them. I have to say 30 miles in I still felt spritely, was keeping up well and didn't feel my decision had been foolish at all! In the picture above you can even see Mark Baird taking a turn on the front. Unfortunately Bairdy was taking me the wrong way up the A605. The rest of the bunch had turned left behind us!!!

A couple of things to note were that we had a slight tailwind and it was particularly flat for the first half of this ride. We don't come this far out very often and it's seriously beautiful in the East Northants villages. The cottages are different too. The rest of Northants is Old Red Sandstone, in the east it's Limestone. One village in particular, Abethorpe, was stunning. 

As predicted my legs didn't last! We started to hit the hillier bits and they just died! Thanks to the two Marks I had a nice tow down to Harringworth and the truly splendid spokes cafe. This is a pop up cyclist cafe in a lovely cottage courtyard. Very good service, reasonable prices and friendly staff.

The layout of the place is great. It's just a really good idea!

Bairdy, whilst surrounded by things to take pictures of, decided he needed to take another snap of his knock off bike. I have it on authority it's made from papier mache and will melt in a decent downpour. Oh well at least those campagnola components are probably hard wearing!!!

yellow bike

Prince of the mountains?

Ashley also raced FNSS last night. Unlike me he did well in the under 23 category and also unlike me he wasn't suffering as much as I was. He did mention being a bit down on performance but frankly no one else could tell! 

Being a big group we sort of took over a bit. However there was a lot of other cyclists there too. A great deal of variety on show with road bikes, hybrids and even a tandem. Sideshow Bob also turned up. Banter flowed on the benches.

There was as a great deal of cake on offer but I simply couldn't partake! It feels like cheating on my wife to buy someone else's cake so I opted for a solero. Very exotic it was too! The club riders said the cakes were very good but the Guinness and Chocolate cake was second to the Queen of Cakes. Well the one with my foot on his throat did...not really Lee, they do love your cakes best!

I was desperate for the break and the cafe was very nice but it didn't do me much good. The ride up to Seaton was just horrible and I cramped. Andy and Neil dropped back to help me out but I was now really struggling. When my legs are gone they're gone!  Even riding down Stoke Dry hill didn't perk me up and round Eyebrook reservoir, Bairdy took another turn giving me a tow. At which point I looked at the bike computer and realised I didn't need much more for the 100km Fondo. The others were going up Rocky Hill, riding back down and then doing Cottingham too. I knew they'd be waiting for me no end and frankly I wasn't up for those monster hills. So we said our goodbyes and I headed back the most direct way. I half expected them to catch me back up as I dawdled the last five miles.

So that's us caught up! I need to give big Kudos to Chris Barratt on his mad one day 286 mile ride, to Steve and Darren on their fish and chip run to Hunstanton and back, to Heather for her continued Audax rides and to Marcus on his 134 mile ride. Rob Campbell completed the 200+ mile Chase the Sun Sportive which inspired our own D2D in 2015. Even today Neil and Andy Brown headed off for a 100 miler after the cafe stop. There's other stuff too with TT racing and some riders like Jonesy and Stuart building back up to the big miles! It's all good in the club!! (If I've missed anyone just say and I'll edit you in)

In the week on the radio I heard the inspiring tail of Stephen Murray. Check him out here: Staying Strong BMX . He went from being the world's best to a horror accident where he was given a 1% chance of survival. Now paralysed from the neck down he refuses to let things get him down. He truly is staying strong!

That's it!
Happy Peddling

No comments:

Post a Comment