Sunday, 31 May 2009

Welsh Ride Thing.....part done

I might get round to a full "race rpeort" but for not I will say that I bagged 6 of the 11 (10 plus a bonus one) check points despite arriving an hour and a half late with a splitting headache. The push over the boggy moorland was not a whole heap of fun but I made reasonable time considering. Bugged out of No7 as it was all pretty waterlogged. Cut down to the A44 and bivvied in a lovely bit of pine forest. Super sunny both days and I was back at 11:30 am on Sunday having covered 94km.

The bivvi kit and packing were pretty much spot on although I did pack the matches and water treatment tabs in the wrong bag that lead to a couple of horrible moments. Oh and I burnt the porridge to the bottom of the Ti mug and I can't get it off! Might try sandpaper now...

BIG thanks to Stuart and his wife for organising the event and providing cups of tea and bothy locations :) forestfreeride.com for training and guides in Mid Wales.

Alex

Sunday, 10 May 2009

Plans, plans, plans.....

97km, 3500m of ascent, 10 checkpoints and quite a few "where the f*** am I" moments :)

So do I race it or take it easy?



Alex

Thursday, 7 May 2009

OK I know its been a while

But I have not been slouching. Started a new job, ridden the HoNC 100km on the Solitude fixie with 40c tyres and toasted my knees in the process, fitted and fettled a pair of Maverick SC32's on the BlackBuck (best forks ever) and lots of other stuff.

Next event up is the Welsh Ride Thing at the end of the month. I have the kit list down and packed and the food sorted. All up weight is 26lbs including all the food for 3 days and 2L of water. Weight with out food / water is @15lbs so none too shoddy. Distribution is similar to the Get em Dai Ride but with the new Camelbak Octane 8 taking the spare clothes, wet weather kit and camera (as well as water) This pack is really nice as the hip belt is a good width and has side pockets. This takes some of the weight off the shoulders and makes it a little more bearable. I have used it on all day rides on the BlackBuck (including all the tools, spares and first aid kit in...1kg for it all!) with no issues.

The photo of me geeking out over weights is taken in the new SolitudeCycles Bike Research Lab (or our cellar) which has had light, power and insulation added. The junk has been cleared and a tool board and vise added. I also treadted my self to a drill, new screwdrivers and socket set...living the life!

I have the maps marked up and a route planned. I hope to download it on the GPS tonight if I have time. 10 checkpoints in a big loop should make it an interesting ride, I have one night at a Bothy that i have good info on (see the earlier aborted trip to mid-wales for a bothy night) and the other is in a pine forest over looking a lake (and one of the check points...if you have the grid ref!) I will be sure to post lots of pictures and do a write up when I get back.

The Mav's on the BlackBuck have been a revalation, while the longer legs and less off-set have slowed the steering down a bit it has helped the over all stability and the 95mm of travel has helped on the bumpy fast trails. I have just fitted a WTB Stout to the front end as the WeirWolf and ExiWolf were slipping out under hard cornering...and I am no superstar on a bike! I hope that this super grippy (if a little heavy) tyre will keep the front end planted. All up weight of the bike is approaching 30lbs which has made some people flinch but its front and rear suspension (CaneCreek post remember) and a heavy-ish steel frame with big wheels, slime tubes, big bendy bars and modorate kit. It ride fine and the only time I notice it is lifing it on to the car.

Non bike stuff included a trip up to Birmingham to see Snuff and NoFX play the O2 Academy. It was a really good gig with two great old school punk bands playing a greatest hits from their extensive back catalogue.

Over and out.

Alex