Tuesday, 13 September 2011

No Aslan Or Fairies

Well it has to be said that the weekend just gone was a good one. Family, shopping, friends and bike all rolled into my two days off.  If most weekends were like this then I'd always be a happy man.

My ride out was a mixed bag of fun and frustration as well as a bit of fungi interest but more on that in a bit.  I went out to hamsterely with the intention of having a good blast round my favourite trails.  As it happens I wasn't doing much blasting, the only thing that was, was the strong winds that built up during the day.  My first climb up and things weren't right.  Someone had swapped my legs during the night without telling me and giving me some duff ones.  My god it felt hard.  Maybe it was more to do with two months with me not being off road but I felt sluggish all the same.  Getting out of the saddle seemed to help even less.  Still later in the ride this issue soon wore off and the legs regained some composure, and I was finding the long climbs less hard.  Shame my gears are still playing up.  Seriously starting to annoy me now.  I've realigned them countless times, twice on this days ride but each time the cable either stretches or beds in.  Since its first instalment the cable has had to be pulled through at the rear mech by over an inch!  My legs not working is one thing but my bike is not on.  I've worked as mechanic over the rears and know how to set up gears of many different types but never has this set of new cables caused me so many issues.  If you are wondering they are Clarkes Cables.  Never again!!

Still, the ride was on the whole good.  I was pleased to not have lost any of my flow and felt like a deer through the trees, fast and graceful.  Shame that certain technical aspects continue to let me down.  I need to get more confident on two aspects.  Firstly getting my bike airborne and not being scared to do so. I'm not talking wanting to do big jumps just short drops and rock lips that I can launch off rather than braking like an idiot and rolling off.  Doesn't help with my speed.  Falling off my bike and breaking and dislocating both my elbows at the same time as I have done in the past really knocked my confidence.  Secondly rocks and roots in the wet.  Never was good at this but I know that comes with practice.  So this winter I'm just going to have to face my daemons and take them like a man.  Particularly if I want to do better in races.

As you can see I've been taking a couple of pictures on my ride around.  The first one is at the start of Transmission descent.  The stone table reminds me of the one in the Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe.  Its very Narnia esc and the views across the horizon or as beautiful as ever.  Still there was no sign of Aslan or for the matter a white Witch, however, there was this suspect gnome sitting at the base of the table which you may just be able to see.

Also going along with the fantasy theme was this large amount of toadstools or Fly Agaric to be precise.  True fairyland toadstools.  I've never seen so many of this type of toadstool in one area in my life.  This photo only cover a part of the many that surrounded me on the skills section in the woods.  No fairies though......

Back home in my kitchen progress has been made with my road bike.  The new tyres are on and I've done the handle bar tape (bloody pain in the bum to do as ever) aslo the brake cables have been done with some lovely Goodridge sealed cables.  All that remains to be done now are the gear cables, cassette and chain.  That'll have to wait till next month though.

Till then, happy riding folks




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