Sunday, 9 July 2017

Okay I'm going to do a whistle stop tour of another wonderful week of cycling. There's road, off road, me, SuperSam and a competition win to squeeze in.

First ride of the week was just one of my standard morning rides. The weather has been fantastic and it's just great to get out. Surprisingly I got some PRs on segments I ride regularly. Something is working then!

Friday night was back to the wonderful Friday Night Summer Series. This week it was Delapre in Northampton which was a brilliant course. I felt great at the start and was determined to achieve two things this week. First was not to lose a lap to the majority of riders in my age group and secondly to stay in touch for at least one lap. It was all going quite well for about a quarter of the first lap and then inexplicably I fell of the track in a barely technical section. To my embarrassment, everyone went past me and that was the last I saw of everyone who didn't lap me! DOH!!!

I soldiered on around the course for four laps and in reality it was an improvement on my efforts the week before. Hidden in the woods running parallel to London Road was some great single track with berms, pump track and tabletops. Who knew that was there? There was plenty of other good features too with the the splash through and a couple of short sharp steep bits. I did my best and was knackered at the end and even better I only lost a lap to the very best riders. It remains a privilege to ride alongside some of those superfit specimens. Even better still the kid on the fatbike didn't catch me this week!

On Saturday I was on a bit of a mission. I wanted to ride with C&D Cycles but I also needed to get home in plenty of time to get Sam to his races at the Leicester Cycle Circuit. So I set out with the intermediate group on a route that headed out to Castle Ashby and back. However it quickly became apparent that I'd left my legs in Delapre and I was dropping back on the first few hills. I didn't want to hold people up and I really wasn't in the mood to try and keep up. Mark Baird once again dragged me back to the group but my mind was made up and I headed off on my own just before Sywell. I relaxed as I took up my own pace and it struck me what a beautiful day it was. I headed through lovely Holcot, over the causeway and onto Brixworth. At this point I realised I had at least another hour to burn and I came up with the plan of heading through Cottersbrooke and onto Haselbech. No one knows how to pronounce that village but there's a great downhill from there. So obviously I decided to ride up it. The women's tour used this climb as a QOM this year and there were still rider names painted on the road. 

I took the picture above in a stunning sunny Brixworth but have to point out something that is totally bugging me. Why is my helmet never on straight? I've adjusted it loads but it always ends up skewiff! Anyway I had a lovely ride back and was home in plenty of time to get Sam to Leicester.

The event at Leicester Cycle Circuit, a brand new purpose built facility, was organised by Dean Barnett of Welland Valley CC. WVCC invited Leicester Forest CC and KCC Cyclones to join them for races from under 6 through to the over 12's. 

The track is excellent. It also has lights for all year use. There is however, nothing else there yet. The pace just lacks facilities at this stage. Saying that they really have got the most important bit right. The track is superb and it's clear to see how it will be an excellent resource for local cycling. We NEED one of these in Northants.

The quality of the racing was excellent and all of the KCC Cyclones were a credit to the club. Sam was a bit off the pace but tried really hard. He's not done much of this type of racing before and I know he can make some quick gains with a bit of help. What people didn't know was that Sam had had quite a tumble earlier in the day on his BMX at the skate park. Massive credit to him for getting back on his bike to race.

So to the last ride of the week and possibly the most enjoyable. Sam and his friend Joe are loving the Mountain Bike riding. Usually we go to Wakerley but with the recent discovery of single track with jumps and berms just ten minutes ride from home we headed to Desborough.

wonky wonky helmet!!!!

The only thing missing is some proper downhill sections. There was more than enough to keep us interested until our drinks bottles ran out! Check out the videos of the boys having the time of their lives!!!

 It's become traditional for us to have a prank crash shot. The boys thought they'd fooled me with this one until I pointed out that they way they fell didn't make sense! Good try lads!!! To be fair they didn't fall for my attempt either!

I have exciting news...I won some wheels! You know those Facebook competitions where you 'like, share and comment,' to enter? Always wondered if someone wins? Well it turns out they do and in the Forme/American Classic competition that winner was me! I didn't believe it at first but look at the pics...I have new wheels!

These little beauties are American Classics Hurricane Wide road wheels. They're tubeless ready and apparently really quite good! To be truthful these are the wheels I would have chosen and they complete my Giant Propel quite nicely. I just need to wait for Andy to get back from holiday to set them up properly. I did think about doing this myself using my tyres and cassette from my Giant wheels. That would be silly though, why get a great set of wheels and them set them up shoddily? So I think a new cassette and some Schwalbe tubeless tyres are the order of the day. I can't wait to try them!

My stroke of good fortune has given me renewed vigour with regards to competitions. As you can imagine I'm entering everything and anything now! Honestly I feel very very lucky. What a great prize. So my advice to everyone is, especially with so many Tour de France you have to be in it to win it!

Happy Pedaling!

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