Wednesday, 30 March 2016

Stunning Day with SuperSam

They say a picture tells a thousand words so today I'm going to use very few words and thousands of pictures. Sam and I had another great day out with a ride around Fineshade Woods and then over the road to the bigger boy trails at Wakerley. Both these Forestry Commission facilities have featured in my blog before and if you want a bit of off road action without leaving the county, this is as good as it gets.

What a handsome boy in his C&D Cycles CC club jersey

No trip to Fineshade is never complete without a climb in the treehouse

Into Wakerley

Looking Good

Getting better at the hills


The tracks were a bit muddy

Did I mention the stunning day?

Oh OK yes it was a stunning day!

Good handling skills and no falls.

All finished with a well earned hot chocolate!

Sam was excellent today. After his crash last times he was naturally a bit nervous and to be fair he did look out for his previous crash site. However he got over that and then really enjoyed himself. My Strava is interesting because I have a load of PR's. There's only one explanation for that. Sam is getting quicker.

Now you have to be careful what you say to kids because they tend to remember better than adults. Apparently I said 10 year old Sam would be ready for Wakerley when he is 15. Got that wrong didn't I. What I'm really hoping is my Sam keeps biking with me and when he's 15 we'll be off for days at Cannock Chase or somewhere like that.

There's video footage too but no time as yet to do any editing. I might let the young master himself do that bit. Back to work tomorrow - boo - but only two days and it's the weekend again - hooray!

Happy Pedaling!

Saturday, 26 March 2016

Blustery Saturday

Today's club ride was an absolute cracker. This route showcases everything that's good about road cycling in Northamptonshire and indeed included some of the roads that have been used by the Ladies tour in recent years. It had quiet roads, ups, downs and fast flat bits. So chapeau to Andy Brown that's top quality planning.

The only downside of today was the weather. As I said yesterday Friday was predicted to be the only nice day of the Easter weekend and so far the forecasters have it right. The wind was horrible at times. It turned downhills into uphills and I was very glad not to have aero wheels because side-winds were already unpleasant to deal with.

Group wise it was a case of natural selection. Those who could go quick did. The rest of us did what we could! The exception was Steve who wins second best quote of the day for:
"I'll be like dogshit today...everywhere!"

By the time we got to Brixworth even our big ring maestro had enough of the strong winds. Probably also because we'd just fought our way up Station Road into Brixworth. I had to sing the woodpecker song to keep my spirits up as I ground away on the granny ring.

Steve does love to say hello

Yes we were all knackered

Neil shortly before winning quote of the day

The only disappointing part of this route is starting and finishing in Kettering and having to endure simply awful roads. As we were finishing the ride the lights went red on a pedestrian crossing. That atrocious attention seeker Pete Squires did the unthinkable and failed to unclip in time. As he crashed to the floor we all began to wonder if he was okay, except that is for Neil, who just called him a wanker. Concern quickly descended into delirium as I laughed so hard I nearly hyperventilated. Pete was of course fine with nothing damaged apart from his pride. Bike clubs, like all sporting organisations are overly resourced with piss takers. We are no exception!

Karma decided to pay me a visit a hundred yards from the shop. My foot slipped trying to clip back in and my quad locked with cramp. This left me helpless for a few minutes where I could neither clip back in or put weight through the leg. When I did make it back to the shop Andy F was way too keen to give me a rub down but hey I was in no mood to play hard to get.

Karma wasn't finished with me though. I bought a couple of bits and when Andy inquired if these would go in the book (a fantastic service to us club members allowing us to buy now and pay later if there are bits we need in a hurry such as inner tubes and bits like that.) I replied no, I have my card on me. Then I searched my zip pocket, which was unzipped, where I found no card. Two options; I hadn't brought my card or my card had fallen out of my pocket on the ride...well thankfully I found my card in my wallet at home. It's still not a nice feeling though is it? Conclusion: No Pete I shouldn't have laughed so hard!

I love my Giant Propel. That's not it in the picture above. That is Danny's new ride and I'm very pleased for him. They're fantastic. Unlike me, Danny has the engine to make this thing really work and many KOM's are now in deepest peril.

I've got the standard Giant road wheels on my Propel. One day I'll upgrade those and when I do it will be something similar to those American Classic beauties that Danny has gone for. Wow! They really finish the job.

At the shop we were treated to cake courtesy of one of the workshop lads who is 18 today. Happy birthday Jordan. When I got home it was one better in terms of recovery cake. That little cracker is a chocolate and peanut butter cup cake with  cream cheese and peanut butter icing. I'm so lucky to live with the Queen of Cakes!

So what's the verdict on today's ride? Great route. Great to be out with the club. I'm happy with my progress following manflu but I want to be quicker, much much quicker!

Happy Pedaling

Friday, 25 March 2016

Good Friday!

Today was a stunning day to be out and about in the countryside. Rumour has it the rest of the Easter weekend will not be this nice. That's a shame but at least we had today! I woke feeling better than I have for weeks and the first silly thought I had was that I would be tip top to join the C&D Cycles CC Long Good Friday ride. I'm sure I haven't quite got 80 miles in my legs so to avoid that thought growing I started cooking. Soup was made and tonight's Gammon joint was roasted. After that I hadn't got time to make it to the shop and the silly notion passed. I still feel like I missed out because they appear to have had an excellent ride. Oh well, another time!

Going solo wasn't such a bad thing though. The ubiquitous phone box shot tells a bit of a story. It wasn't warm but for the first time in ages there was no need for a base layer or overshoes. Towards the end I think I could have got away with cycling mitts too.

Look at that! Like I said, a lovely day for a bike ride. I was happy in my cycling too. I think I'm a few weeks away from fitness but the chest pain has gone and it wasn't just granny ring and hang on for every climb.

Whatever the weather I'm looking forward to getting out with the club tomorrow for the all important Saturday shop ride. 

There was only one niggle on the ride and that was a mystery rattle coming from my front wheel. As with many things in life I like to catastrophise and I'd imagine all sorts of expensive scenarios up to and including a Giant recall. The truth however will be explained in the video below...

The outdoor fun wasn't over though! The day was too good to waste. So Mrs Lindsley, the Queen of Cakes, and I took the dogs up to Weekly Woods for a very pleasant wander.

It's a little known fact that the only reason I've no beaten Andy Brown's KOM for the Weekly Woods lap is all the dog walkers. I've been flying round there at times and little foofoo meanders obliviously across my path. Well if you can't beat them, join them! I expect the despicable Mr Brown just left a trail of canine devastation in his wake...

I treated my loverlee wife to a well earned Starbucks whilst the dogs carefully monitored the traffic situation.

I now feel duty bound to report the most hideous safeguarding issue in the Glendon area. Not only are they politically incorrect in their labeling of children but it's a fact, according to Lee, that all those slow children are locked behind that little door. They are also fed through that hatch disguised as a diamond plate post box. Still nothing we can do about it is there so never mind eh...oh erm...I'm not sure what was in her Honey Machiatto (I do not recommend those!)

Meanwhile back at Lindsley Home Sweet Home the dogs and Mrs Lindsley are having a snooze. Too much fresh air.

Happy Pedaling (and other outdoor based activities!)

Saturday, 19 March 2016

Not the ride I wanted but still good to get out...

I knew I wasn't 100% but hoped getting out on the bike would sort me out. The man flu I'd had two weekends ago has left me with a bit of a productive cough which is more irritating than debilitating. I hadn't been out on a club ride for ages so I thought stuff it I NEED TO RIDE! Unfortunately my best Bob Fleming impression came back and it became clear that a trip to Neville Holt was unwise. So I bailed and came home. It was nice to see everyone though. I've missed those guys!

Those of you who don't know Bob Fleming please see here...

riders gather

Steve has a new sponsor...don't tell Andy

So this is how my ride went. I'd swapped the road tyre back on to "Whanau," my beautiful Giant Propel, yesterday, determined that all this winter bike nonsense can be forgotten again until November. It felt great as I zipped down the hill and then bunker hill didn't feel too bad so I thought I'd be OK. I left the shop with the banter bunch and we hadn't left Kettering before Neil's tyre went bang! The poor chap didn't think it was a good idea to continue and I don't blame him, that would have been a disaster on a descent and at least he wasn't too far from home.

Obligatory mechanical shot

  1. Rule #49//
    Keep the rubber side down.
    It is completely unacceptable to intentionally turn one’s steed upside down for any reason under any circumstances. Besides the risk of scratching the saddle, levers and stem, it is unprofessional and a disgrace to your loyal steed. The risk of the bike falling over is increased, wheel removal/replacement is made more difficult and your bidons will leak. The only reason a bicycle should ever be in an upside down position is during mid-rotation while crashing. This Rule also applies to upside down saddle-mount roof bars.23

Lovely gloves Neil

Leaving Kettering we encountered some curious driving practices before the first minor slope at Rushton. At this point I started to doubt myself. Then going into Desborough, which is not the north face of the Eiger my lungs felt on fire. I was completely shattered, so soon after that I called it a day and limped home. Pathetic I know! Also it denied my hero Pete Squires his mention in the blog. Hard luck Pete.

With very little cycling of my own to talk about it's time to discuss the exploits of others. At the height of my manflu Cav and Wiggo were rounding off a great Track World Championship for Great Britain. The road season is in full flow with the Spring Classics and a big win for 'G' and team Sky last weekend. Even better though was the exploits for Sport Relief last night. There's stuff we haven't seen yet though and I'm looking forward to seeing how James Cracknell got on in his Raleigh Chopper hour record challenge.

His inspiration is this other crazy geezer who did Mont Ventoux on his chopper and holds the current hour record.

Via the 'Selfie on a bike,' twitter feed I found out about a very inspirational man. Ernest Gagnon was over 500lbs had type two diabetes and was losing circulation in his legs. What did he do? He got on his bike. He's lost over 200 lbs and has participated in 25 cyclocross races. Check out his blog here:

Finally if you're into road bikes and you've never watched it, check out the GCN show. It's  great watch.

I'm hoping for some happier pedaling. Until then, at least there's always recovery cake.