Tag Archives: 20111k

Yay! Splosh! Thud! Hello! #May100 Ride

Basically, that’s the synopsis of yesterday’s ride. 🙂


This Sunday (22nd May) it’s Over The Edge, an annual ride for the British Heart Foundation which goes up Blackstone Edge from Littleborough then back down by various routes of 22, 29 or 52 miles.  I wondered how I’d cope with the hill since I haven’t been up there since I did it with (or after, technically) Joby and Chris last year.

So I set off and at first I struggled like mad.  Bad gear choice, cadence and breathing I think.  I rested just after The Moorcock pub and was nearly sick.  So, I gathered myself and set off with a lot more self-control, then plodded the rest of the way up the big hill without any issues. I felt like I was sailing past The White House at the top, well into the cloud cover by then.

It's a Big Hill

Up and Over Blackstone Edge

It felt great to have got there and the 6+ mile descent down to Mytholmroyd was a blast, if a bit wet and quite hairy on the slippery roads in places!


If you haven’t laughed at my expense already, now’s your chance.

I fell in the canal.  Yup, after 20 years of riding along the Rochdale Canal towpaths, I finally got my come-uppance.  It was raining, the cobbles were slippery, there was goose poo and (critically) I made one wrong decision: I thought that the smoother big slabs near the waterside would be easier to cycle on than the rough-looking cobbles near the structure of the bridge I was passing under.

Stocktaking After The Dunking

Checking Everything’s Working After My Dunking

The front wheel went up onto the slabs ok, but he back wheel didn’t and somehow I was flipped around, my spuds had unclipped and the Fat Boy and I were headed waterwards. I managed to land on my chest on the canalside, then hooked my legs into the frame and crawled forwards to think about my next move.  Thankfully a Good Samaritan and his missus were walking towards me and he jogged to me asking if I was ok.  I wasn’t sure but I said yes and asked him to grab the bike.

One back wheel hoiked onto the towpath later and we were up and stocktaking.  Bike ok, no real pain, and miraculously my phone was totally unscathed thanks to the new weatherproof mount and an extra butty-bag rain cover!  So thank you, Good Samaritan!  I should have asked your name but I felt too much of a prat.

Thud! Hello!

That shook me up a bit so I slowed up a lot the rest of the way home.  I knew I had more than 10 miles of towpath to do including more cobbles and more bridges.  My legs suddenly got tired and the rain seemed colder.  Probably just a reaction to the adrenaline levels going back to normal.

Rising up a little sliproad to one of the many locks, I noticed – too late – a car crossing the path from my right.  Brakes on… feet clipped in…stopped… Thud! That’s all I need“, I thought, “two falls in one ride!“.

A very nice cyclist approached from behind at a fair lick and asked me if I was ok.  Then he recognised me.  Cue mixed emotions.  It was great to meet Adrian and to prove that the messages on twitter are from real people, but my introduction was less than dignified!  He’d recognised my bike and remembered my name, which was very nice of him.  He’s a lovely bloke.

We had a chat and headed off towards our respective homes.

I got home having done over 26 miles and with a big smile on my face despite the dunking, the weather, the unplanned body-slam… And I think I’m doing Over The Edge on Sunday! 🙂

Motivation #May100 Maladies

This May Motivation Malarky

I’ve noticed that the 30 Days Of Biking was a brilliant idea for most of us, urging us to take advantage of the Spring weather to put some miles in.  Since May began, I’m seeing people struggling to get the bikes out.

Why is that?  I know that the May weather’s not been as good as April here in the UK.  I know that the effort of riding 30 times in April is a Herculean one (which I didn’t achieve by the way).  I know that motivation commonly works in cycles and that a pause is a natural reaction to a flurry.

I just hope that we all get back into a sustainable habit soon.  It’s reassuring to read that everyone else seems to struggle finding the time and desire to open the shed door, but it’s more motivational to read about the times you do get out, to see the photos you do take, and to enjoy your rides by proxy whilst dreaming about the one I’m planning to do this Sunday/Tuesday/whenever.

Go on. Open the shed.

Shopping Advice Request

OK, so this isn’t usually a forum where I ask you how to spend my money, but:

1. SDG Bel Air or Charge Spoon saddle?

2. 661 Recon helmet? In the light shade? Or what else should I look at?

Hey, if I can’t abuse my readership by picking their brains, what can I do with this flippin’ blog? 🙂

100 Mile Challenges in 2011. A Review and #May100

Keep On Cycling

As the #Apr100 drew to a close, I had a quick look at the monthly challenges spreadsheet.  It makes encouraging viewing! 🙂

Your Miles In The Monthly Challenges

This Is What You’ve Done!

Since January, participating riders have varied from 30, down to 27 and back to 36 in April – thanks I’m sure to #30daysofbiking .  As you can see, leisure miles have climbed throughout the year.  Amazingly, over 9,000 total miles were clocked in April, with over 7,300 non-commuting miles on the sheet.

I’m in awe of you lot.  Nutters like Mental John (May100 completed already), in particular, but all of you are fantastic.  You’re keeping me pedalling.

A Personal Note

So far this year I haven’t done 100 miles in a single month, but I know that’s got to change!  I had big plans for a 35-miler last Saturday to hit the #Apr100 but some weirdly named virus (Parvo B19 I believe) resulted in my left hip shouting a loud “No Way” and me sitting painfully at home for the day.  As suddenly as it had arrived, the virus checked out overnight, allowing my OH and me to enjoy a brilliant, leisurely ride to Todmorden along the Rochdale Canal towpath on Sunday.

Half A Tim Taylor's? Don't Mind If I Do!

Half A Tim Taylor’s? Don’t Mind If I Do!

Cappuccino, flapjack, ice cream, half a pint of Timothy Taylor’s Landlord and just short of 20 miles later, we’d had a lovely afternoon despite the strong easterly.  In fact, the wind pushed us home which was an unexpected bonus 🙂  This is what got me into cycling in the first place.

Added to my Tuesday night Hollingworth Lake loop, I’ve had a good start with just over 30 miles clocked for the #May100 so far.

If you want to check on progress so far, the #May100 #20111k spreadsheet is here for your delight.  If you’d like to join in, then let me know – this old sign-up form will still work.  I’d be delighted to add you on.

Tell me Phill sent you! 🙂

March Review. #Mar100 Superstars.

That Was The Month That Was

I hope you enjoyed some riding in March.  I did.  Once again, I didn’t hit the 100 miles but I clocked just over 70 and I’m chuffed to have done so.  The best ride was over to Bury from our Rochdale home to buy my spanking new camera, then back past home and up to Hollingworth Lake before a little climb up to the Moorcock pub in Littleborough.  I didn’t have the time to attempt Blackstone Edge that day, but the 26 miles were a total pleasure.

Performances and Props

26 different riders logged miles in the #Mar100 spreadsheet, which is amazing, considering the dark nights, cold days and general  everyday life. I’m cuffed to be associated with such motivated people, and that motivation gets me off my bum and into the saddle more often than you know.

Mental John Berry once again took the crown with a staggering 908.55 total miles, 896.99 of which were non-commutes.  I’m still allowing turbo miles, by the way, although I’m not sure how much longer I can let you lot get away with pretending to ride! 😉

Martin wasn’t far behind with 606.69 qualifying miles and our Canadian recent recruit Jane Victoria King put over 350 miles into the British Columbian early spring.  Nice!

Too many other riders stand out, but special props to Jo Simcock who’s ridden over 360 miles on a basic MTB with little more than coffee and determination powering her through ride after ride, after ride. Fantastic stuff, Jo!

The #Apr100 is already underway, and the sheet can be found at the end of this linky.  Get riding and get logging, people!

Summary. It Wasn’t Summery

Despite the weather, the #Mar100 riders amassed a total of 6,374 miles in March.  More than 4,800 miles were not commuting.  I am humbled by your efforts and I am inspired to get on my bike today.

My plan is that I’m going to try uploading a gpx file to my new phone and follow a track I copied from Singletrack Magazine up over the moors from Newhey towards Oldham and back via the good old Lake.  Wish me luck!

30 Days Of Biking

A few weeks ago, Phil at TheTribe mentioned a website to me that I think you should all register on.

30 Days Of Biking

30 Days Of Biking

You’ve go to love the strapline these guys use: “We Ride Our Bikes, Every. Friggin’, Day“.

The idea is that you ride your bike every day in April.  Then you tell the guys about it.  Register here.  I’m not going to be riding every day, but I’m certainly going to keep looking at the website and I’m going to be inspired by other people’s stories.  It seems to sit ideally alongside our 100 mile month challenges and I’ll be emailing everyone on the Mar100 sheet about it.

What do you think? Are you joining in?

Tell ’em Phill sent you 🙂

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