Sunday 26 October 2008

One Week

One week without posting, and one week without riding. My slightly scratchy throat on Saturday turned into full-blown "I feel rubbishness", which wiped me out for three days. I did manage to get to the gym on Friday, but then I woke yesterday with some kind of neck/shoulder spasm. So overall, not great.

In the meantime I've started to think about events that I could do next year, that might be a bit different to this year and might enable me to buy more things.

Firstly, the UK Singlespeed Championships. I don't think this will really require me to be fit, it's more a case of finding someone to go with and getting the entry done in time. It might allow me to spec up the Inbred with some shiney new bits.

Secondly, The Dragon Ride. This is a long (100 mile), tough (big hills & the odd mountain) road ride, in the middle of June. It's a bit like the Etape Du Tour, but much nearer and much cheaper. Jon seems interested in this, he's definitely a bit of a roadie at heart. Of course, doing a challenging road event may well require a much better road bike. I've discovered the Orbea Orca (not discovered in the "dug up in the jungle" sense, more the "read about it in a magazine" sense). It's one of the few road bikes I've seen that doesn't look like it's been painted by a chimp with a fixation for primary colours. On the minus side, it might be totally unsuitable for what I want to do, and is verging on the stupidly expensive. We shall see.

Not much mountain biking in the list yet. To balance things out there might be for XC racing, and I've booked to go on a guiding course. This is step one (of about 12, one of which involves finding oil in the garden) in the escape the normal job plan.

Saturday 18 October 2008

Friday 10 October 2008

A plan that nearly came together

Last night I was out riding with Darren, when he revealed one of his "special" plans. It started when I arrived at his, and he suggested going away for a ride the next weekend - but I would need a day off to do it. Mainly because it was a day trip to California.

Friday - Fly to San Francisco
Saturday - Ride Pine Mountain, Repack, and whatever else was to hand in Marin County
Saturday eveining - Fly back
Sunday - Arrive back in the UK

Travel light, hire bikes over there - it just could work. I could even fly in bike kit, camelbak and helmet on. I might get a few odd looks, but I'd be well protected if something fell out of the overhead lockers (which they always warn about but I've never seen happen).

By the end of the ride he'd more or less convinved me (helped by the offer of a ticket bought with his airmiles), I just had to check I had nothing else planned.

And you can guess the rest - I did. Bah. A "Grease" night, at a local hotel. How did that ever happen? I'm going to dress as a disgruntled mountain biker. I'm sure there were a few of those in the film.

Tomorrow I'm off to the bike show, so there might be a few pics of exotica appearing on here.

Sunday 5 October 2008

Baa bap ba, ba daaa, da da, da da da da daa!

It's been a filty weekend. My one chance for a dry ride was blown by thinking I was on the verge of a cold and been kept awake by someone who has a cold. So I ended up in the garage, on the turbo trainer, for the first time in ages. I was nearly scuppered by not having any clean cycling shorts (how did that happen? I've got seven pairs!) but I figured I'd worn normal shorts in the gym and not died, so I used some of them.

It was a bit odd being back on there, but at least I got to use my new laptop to watch three episodes from Simpsons series four. When we first bought a DVD player I purchased lots of stuff I thought I needed, such as the first four Simpsons series, Ghostbusters, all the Futuramas. Obviously I've not watched a lot of these - the fourth Simpsons series was unopened (after a good four years). I guess that as they are on TV every night I don't feel the need to watch them on DVD. So, being back in the garage might be a chance to catch up on all those boxed sets, and maybe buy some more.

Anyone want to buy me the complete Buffy the Vampire Slayer?

Wednesday 1 October 2008

Playing Frogger

Last night's ride had a few things that added a sprinkling of nutmeg on the egg custard of normality. It was the first ride of the year that had that autumn feel to it - dark, rainy, wet, gloopy, windy and a distinct chill in the air. Also, I was riding my singlespeed off-road with mud tyres - probably the first time since my arm fell off. And then I was playing frogger. But not in a good way, being a frog. I was one of the bad guys.

For some reason that I can't be bothered to google, about this time of year the roads get dusted with dead frogs. At least, I like to think of them as frogs, as toads aren't as pleasant. They come out in the rain and the dark and sit in the road, waiting for a passing car or bicycle to turn them into flatfrogs. Some of them have the decency to face you as you ride along, so their light coloured fronts glisten in your bike lights. These generally get dodged. Others have less sense, and are playing a dangerous game. The third kind are already squished so avoiding them is more down to a desire to keep tyres clean than the preservation of froggy existence.

I don't think I squished anything that hadn't already been under a car, but it's going to happen one night, and it's not going to be pretty.

Especially when I photo it and post it up here.