Saturday, 30 June 2012

South Downs Double......nearly!

Ever since reading about the south downs way a couple of years back, I have wanted to ride it. This became more of a possibility when Mark joined the team as he lives close to the start at Eastbourne.
So with about 6 months of planning last weekend saw my first ride and Marks first attempt at a 24hr ride.
Mark is by no way a endurance virgin but he mostly rides 12hr events and he had rode parts of the SDW but only as part of a BHF ride, of one way split over two days.
We planned way back to do the event on the longest weekend of the year and as a result this meant missing Mountain Mayhem (given the mud not a bad year to miss) and a planned early start of 4/5am was planned but in true "King of Faff" style Mark was still building his bike at 11pm on the Friday night. Those who Know Mark wouldn't be surprised by this as he has even had the start of races delayed for his benefit.
So with a later than planned 9am start we parked up at Eastbourne and with a bit more faffing we were ready to roll. A quick photo opp from a local who proceeded to advise us that her husband was planning the same ride but over "5 days" this did start alarm bells ringing......
And off straight into one of many climbs it was slowing going due to a massive crosswind, so strong that I was able to lean into it and it pushed me back upright!. With a average speed of about 9mph and it was about 3hrs plus until we had reached Brighton which was about 30miles in and this then showed the enormity of the ride as we had another 70 to go until we reached Winchester the halfway point.
I had decided to not use any energy gels or drink on the ride and stick to zero tabs and real food, which lead to a noticeable lack of speed and the difficulty of keeping fed but was much easier on the stomach.
Ian had kindly leant me his small block eights and these were the perfect tyre for the ride as very fast rolling and a godsend of the hard-pack/tarmac sections, Mark was also running these but in their 29er guise.
Just outside of Brighton we found a BP garage with a Marks and Spencer's and a wild-bean cafe, this was a awesome refuel stop and was only metres of the trail, a great spot for pasta, sushi and a coffee and muffin!
We plodded on and eventually came closer to Winchester but the heavens had now started to open and by time we reached the town centre we were soaked. Mark had researched and found a Subway about 50m from the finish so this was our goal. So bikes outside and inside I go to order to foot long meal deals. It was most amusing being on Winchester High Street eating subway and dressed in racing lycra with all the party-goers leaving the the pubs! but oddly no comments maybe too shocked or used to such nutters.
We sadly decided at this point not to ride on has we didn't have the waterproofs/kit to ride safely back for 12hrs in the mud and torrential rain. We tried to get a hotel but decided this would be near impossible given the state of us. So luckily Marks brother who lived nearby picked us up and gave us a bed for the night and we planned to ride the return leg in the morning.
With a few hours sleep and more faff we finally got going about 2pm missing a 20mile section out. As soon as we started we were confronted by loads of riders nearing the end of a 42mile Wiggle ride on the trail and they looked knackered/mud caked from that!
Over the weekend we also saw many riders from "company85" who were completing a 2day event on the trail riding from London to Brighton.
We rode on and managed to get back to our garage to stop for some more real food at a late teatime, this time scotch-eggs is what I craved!
As the light faded we used our Hope LED 4 Epic lights and were really impressed by the spread of light even on the lowest setting on such a open trail.
Lots of strange sights were witnessed over the hills including a couple eating their sandwiches in a transit van in white chemical suits at 10pm, Mark dubbed them "GM crop terrorists" and also a few vehicles grouped together with one having steamed up windows!?!
We eventually arrived at Eastbourne 11:30pm got changed and headed to the McDonald's drive through and enjoyed a late supper with the Chav's.
Drove back to Marks and it was 2am Monday morning and the Goodman family had to be up for the school runs and work at 6:30am.
Shame we didn't manage the Double in one shot but Im sure we will be back soon for another attempt ;)

Saturday, 23 June 2012

South Downs Way - Technology, eh?!

Dean and Mark are off on a bit of a ride today. The plan was to include their Endomondo logs below, but in classic endomondo fashion, the site doesn't appear to be streaming them yet! Guessing the put their phones into airplane mode BEFORE starting Endomondo. C'est la vie.

In the mean time, if it does come up, this is where you'll see it:

Mark -

Dean -

They may be some time....
Tuesday, 12 June 2012

Definition of sensible...

You know what would be the most sensible thing to do the weekend after riding nearly 200 miles in then rain? Yeah that’s right rest, have a lie in and generally chill out.
So how Scott from Niner, Gareth and the rest of the Loco tuning boys managed to convince me that racing in the 4hr solo event at Bristol bikefest was a good idea I’ll never work out? Anyway the entry was all to readily excepted by a frankly far to chirpy Matt Carr (Again wearing trademark flip flops) and it was time to head home and try to work out how i was going to manage, or more precisely how a bike i hadn't looked at since Belgium a few weeks previously was going to manage!
Loudly it turns out.
The race was more a exercise in staying power rather that actually racing, the first half lap was defiantly powered by Gels and adrenaline - thankfully i had Nay from Bristol mountain bike club to remind me that there was a skirt waiting for me back at the tent if i should decide it was all to much. I’m not sure quite how but i managed to pull off a 15th place finish which honestly surprised me, as Gareth has said it proves that the hard work is now paying off...

Oh i forgot to add, congratulations to Team Mud Dock (James and Nevil) who both rode brilliantly to complete not only their first mountain bike races but looked to be having a gret time doing it, well except Nevil, im not fast enough to see anything other than his dust...

Team Mud Dock, Nevil on the left and James on the right.

Nevil on the top step of the podium after winning the three hour event.

A brief reminder.

Continuing my plan to not only do interesting things but actually write about them welcome to the next instalment of ‘Shergie’s completely random series of events thinly veiled as life/training/riding’.
 I’m no going to lie I got back from Belgium and was a little bit broken, the new Lurcher is very fast and incredibly direct but even with the addition of a carbon post and what is possibly the most comfortable carbon saddle in the world it is still incredibly stiff, to give my back a rest I reluctantly left the on-one at home and headed up to Snowdonia for a week in a damp field.  Luckily I had managed to hide the road bike in a Canoe (No seriously, I’m not joking…) and so once all the scouts had become tired of being cold, wet and being marched up and down the closest thing we have to a mountain it was my turn to get cold and wet…

 I had originally planned the route from just outside ffestiniog to Bristol at just under 160 miles, a big day in good conditions. Unfortunately a week without comms had rendered me unaware of the front coming in and the severe weather warning that had been issued for the whole of wales. To be honest if I had know it wouldn’t have stopped me id have just gone back and collected my overshoes from the tent that they were lying in…

 The route look something like this, I wont go into it too much but suffice to say it took just under 11hrs to ride 180 miles. By Dolgellau I was wet, by Rhayader I had third degree pneumonia and by Chepstow I was suffering.

Its not the longest time I have ever spent on the bike, nether is it the wettest but the combination of the two combined with the solo nature of it has certainly reminded me of the mindset I need to be in one month from now.

Hard. Hard as nails.
Monday, 4 June 2012

£5 road tyres....

Having had a set of Michelin Speedium 2 on my training bike for about 5,000miles and not punctured once, until I decided to use them on a turbo trainer and basically flattened off the tread which then caused a piece of flint to pierce the carcass for the first time, I was mildly impressed!

I had picked up another set for £5 each on CRC (no before you ask they haven't got any more) and had planned to put them on the training bike. But whilst building up my new road bike earlier in the year I thought given the weather these will do instead of spending another £40 on tyres.

In 25c width and a folding kevlar bead they weigh in at 280g which is respectable, a nice fast rolling near slick tread.
They are on and have completed on average a 1000mile a month and are yet to puncture, even given the bad mud covered farm roads which most of my miles consist of.

It always makes me laugh when on club rides, the guys with their £40 ultremo's are puncturing every ride and replacing them in a few months.

So I ask unless you are crit or road racing do you really need more?
Sunday, 3 June 2012

One gear?

I have been threatening to build a single speed bike up for some time and when I spotted a Inbred "blue Waffle" with a headset fitted and both sets of swapouts for £99!!! I had to have it.
I guess given current trends it should be a 29er but hey im a short guy and that's means another set of wheels so will stick to the 26er.
A near new set of Nuke Proof forks were found on ebay, which I must say are rather nice but funds are hard at the moment as the missus is sapping them at the moment for a garden project :)
I haven't ridden a steel frame since my custom Fuquay back in 1992 and I am somewhat excited to get out there on it.
As for the rest of the build I will be actively scouring Ebay for some bargains in the next couple of months  and likely to use use a set of Hope XC-3 I have for the wheel set.

Saturday, 2 June 2012

Getting back up to speed

Well I admit its been a while since my last blog, and yes it may be due to forgetting but I’m going to blame it on doing the stuff, its not like I forgot to write about it, I just figured well anyway I don’t know…
Anyway excuses over, in the same way that if you cant remember something it didn’t happen (Drinking rules #1) I’m just going to pretend that I haven’t been slack and bring you up to speed as quickly as possible so we can all put this ugly mess behind us, so in no particular order…

Turbo training
Sufferfest DVD’s
New Lurcher build
Less Turbo Training
Old Friends
New Friends
Ride’s with friends
The best race I’ve done for a good long while
Dried strawberries
975 miles (Of driving)
A ferry or two
7500 meters of vertical assent
Blue Flashing lights
Tea Stops
Pit Stops
Lots of Pedalling

Under way
Massive admiration for Mike Hall’s circumnavigation of the planet
(And near certain record)
Tan lines
Planning more adventures

To do
More tan lines
More Pedalling

So there you go, I am going to try and be a little more regular from now on but I wouldn’t hold my breath…

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