Catching Up

Ok ok, time has been a big issue for my lack of posts. Combine that with the horrible image uploading on the wordpress iPhone app and its not been motivating for me.. (also the resizing of pictures on the web version is TERRIBLE!!-can anyone help? I use the % scale and it completely distorts the original dimensions)
Edit: the pictures are also uploaded in a random order and when i try move them to the correct order and the captions stay behind or merge with another caption!!

Anyway, what have I been up to?

Well, had a few larger rides – 60km (only packed one flapjack..) & 70km (learned from my mistakes and pack a whole packed lunch!)

I’ve also had a birthday in the middle so got a few nifty things:- Crank Brothers multi tool (a bit disappointed as there’s not much leverage), Cat-eye Velo 7 (very impressed!) and some SPDs (complete with 3 humiliating falls and a nasty ankle injury)

I’ve certainly been putting in the miles and, hopefully, this will pay off for the charity ride.

I’ve also been buying myself all the rest of the gear for my ride. Things like a pannier rack, bags (pannier & frame) etc. I’m yet to buy some bib shorts, a new helmet, some better fitting shoes (my old ones were Aldi £15 ones) and some new glasses. I bought some glasses but broke the frame trying to change lenses!! Hopefully the warranty will cover it

Finally, I’ll leave you with a selection of images taken over the past couple of weekends



I love making new friends


I also love lunchtime..


Half way point- the top of a looooong climb (we climbed for about 20km!)



We followed the canal a long way


Jordan took the first fall, I turned to look at him and laugh-causing me to fall


Planning the next step


As i say, we followed for a long way


There were many manual rail crossings


Enjoying the rare sunny day


We found a bench to rest my phone camera on


Making another friend


Wahoo (2/2)


So this is what i’ve been excited about!

Ok ok, I got it from Halfords. Slap me on the wrist and get it out the way

My budget was £500. This isnt a big budget in terms of mountain bikes.
I had seen plenty of bikes but the spec on this bike (VooDoo HooDoo by the way) blew all the others out of the water.
I made sure to give the bike a good check when I got home (Halfords are notorious for their bad workmanship) and I was impressed with my local shop. Its really the luck of your location when it comes to Halfords.

Already been out with it (and had to heavy crashes yesterday-but the ground was soaking so i’ll let it off) and tested light downhill, singletrack and cross country and I’m so happy with it.

A few minor upgrades here and there and I’ll be ready to tackle the Trans Pennine Trail in no time!




Hi folks,
I’d hate for this to turn into a shameless plug. I just wanted to update you.
We’ve finalised a date for the charity cycle; 28 June – 01 July.
To some it may not seem like much but it’s our first cycle lasting more than 4 hours.. so pretty huge for us!
We’ve decided to raise money for cancer research. ONLY if you REALLY wanted to, there’s a link below to dontate. (Again i’ll make it clear.. I just want to make you aware of my trail, dont want to force you into it. ONLY IF YOU WANT)

If you decide you want to dontate, please do let me know so I can personally thank you


JustGiving - Sponsor me now!


Sorry for not being around much lately folks!

Have been incredibly busy. Too busy for exercise (shame on me!)

Anyway, i bought some new inner tubes. (£4.99ea or 5 for £14.99…no brainer) and put them on. Also bought a £1.99 bell- best £1.99 i’ve recently spent. Man oh man was the track busy this bank holiday weekend! The English sun was blaring out and everybody loves a good old walk by the river. I rang the heck out of that bell.

I also ordered a ‘cheap-ish’ bike pump and put that on my frame. Even though its cheap im very impressed! Aluminium frame, folding stock (makes a handle) and pumps both Schrader and Presta valves. I’m been pretty naughty, travelling without a puncture repair kit and a pump for the best part of 3/4 of a year. Sometimes my buddy has been on hand and he carries one, but now I’ve no excuses and know better.
(For those interested, this little baby cost me only £3.99 and I really would recommend it.)

Just before my bike ride this weekend, I went on another run with my mum and the dogs. Nothing too far but just enough -as the weather was very hot, I was offroad & with the dogs. Just under 9km.)

Feeling more motivated than ever right now which is good. I’m going to latch onto that tonight and do a long bike ride whilst the weathers holding out..though looking utside its suddenly gone rather overcase



I’ve given up (+ running)

Ok, let me start with today (Sunday)
The bike i’ve been using had 2 complete flats. To summarise, 7 patches (=7 seperate punctures..) later they’re still going down. I’ve put it away for now- besides, it needs new tyres I guess. I did, however, give me a chance to strip the bike and clean it up nicely. The cassette now sparkles!
So thats what i’ve given up on

Now lets cast back to Friday evening after work. My mum is training for the Great North Run. She wanted to do a bit of cross training so I agreed I’d go on a bike ride with her. It was a beautiful evening. Took the bike out, and thats where I noticed the punctures.
I didnt have time to sit and sort them out so I decided that, whilst I was geared up, I’d go on a run.
I used to do a hell of a lot of running when I was younger. I played football often and I could sprint (my best asset) but also do long distance decently. Orienteering was one of my favourite PE lessons. Reading maps AND running around beating my mates. Whats not to like right?
Anyway I havent run in quite a while so I found it a convinient excuse. I had aches where I forgot muscles existed and pains on my feet from my poorly fitting shoes. It was torchure. But it was a great stepping stone to regaining fitness (aside from all my cycling)

Saturday morning I decided to go out again. Madness, surely? My mum came along and we went a bit further (because of the nature of the Great North Run, she runs at a slower pace than me so it meant I was able to keep going for longer).

I’m sure feeling it today, but I feel great for doing it and plan on keeping it going.

Whilst this blog is for my cycling, I created it for a training log of my TPT Charity Ride. That being said, i’ll keep the running blogs bunched together or shove them onto the end of my cycling one every so often.







Another short ride

To get back into the flow, (and because my girlfriend wanted to go out on the bikes) I went on another pretty short ride last night. Just enjoying the evening beside the River Don.

We encountered a few ‘obstacles’ on the way, but managed to squeeze through them safely.

Not much to say about the ride, so I’ll just upload a selection of photos taken last night. Apologies for the light levels



A beautiful sunset over the river and motorway bridge


A small pond we found off the beaten track


TPT sign (& Jade)


Avoiding an obstacle


I tried to make friends but she wasnt the welcoming type


A whole herd of the things!


A floating boat station next to the local canal. A tad wobbly

Friday / Saturday

I’ve been a little too busy to post a blog this weekend I’m afraid.
I’m going to Edinburgh for a few days so when I’m back I’ll go into more details. I also have a couple of pictures I can put on.

Friday – went on a small ride on some VERY technical trails. Nearly too technical as I came hurtling downhill at full speed, feet off the pedals and barely enough time to brake to save myself from crashing straight into the river. Killed my confidence a tad.

Saturday – did a very long ride similar to last weekend. (Conditioning the many hours sat on a seat.) Then I had a walk to Cusworth Park and fed the ducks and enjoyed the evening.

More to follow..

Friday in more detail (I’m coming back to this post 1 1/2 weeks after the events so my memory is a little rusty..)
Finished work half an hour early. A family friend and my regular riding partner somehow convinced me to go out – I had a LOT of work to do.
Anyway, it started off well. Doing our regular shortened route of the local wildlife reserve. Down one side of the River Don where the most technical / hardest parts were a sharp thin descent, and a very steep climb. Then on to the next side of the river. The side that has been carved through many years of downhill bikers. You know the sort that you can stand in any place and see so many drops, jumps and winding trails. Now, DH biking is not my thing, I do a handful of the technical bits, but I stay clear of the dangerous stuff. I’m not interested in damaging my bike (its more a XC-come-single track bike. For lighter use), not interested in smashing my shoulder and the likes and I get enough adrenaline rush, for now, on the ‘baby’ bits that I do. That being said, I approached a section I thought easy, it was a pretty steep bowl, but no roots or rocks protruding that would throw me off. Off disappeared Jordan, then Mark, then my turn. Made the bowl fine, then to my horror, there was a very technical area with a fast jump and the works. I had to be committed or I was going to hurt something. I was hurtling over roots to the jump and my head was screaming, lean back and pull up! I cleared it- awesome! Then I was all over the place. Completing the last corner through shrubs, and a very short stopping area before heading straight into the river. Safe by 2 foot!
Time to head home.. but there was still a lot of tricky hazards to pass. Nothing I hadn’t done before mind, and I made it home in one piece.
I was definitely ready for the pub that night

A relaxing day compared to Friday.
Did the long ride which I’ve come to enjoy, exploring the other regions of Doncaster in the sun. Still got home pretty tired, but the more tired I am the better prepared my body will be for the Trans Pennine Trail Charity Ride.

Had a quick shower and went to my girlfriends house. She’s very lucky to live right next to a brilliant country house called Cusworth Hall (I’d recommend checking that link)
We like to have evening walks there and feed the ducks. It’s great because you can spend as much time there as you want around the grounds for no cost (and the museum inside is pretty neat too!)
When the weather picks up I plan on taking the guitar there for a ‘location’ YouTube video.

So that what happened.
I’ll upload some pictures tonight when I’m home from work


Action Packed Weekend

Man oh man! What a bank holiday weekend.
I’ve crammed a lot in and my little legs are sore this morning. But that’s good.

Lets start off with:

My regular riding partner (Jordan) was still in Center Parcs so I decided, because I had a few hours to kill, I’d go a bit further than usual. Out of my depth to a place I didn’t know.
I followed the Trans Pennine Trail but in a direction opposite to my usual one.

I did a bit of exploring and came to a beautiful spot that a picnic would fit in nicely.


Stopping for a quick bite and a slurp

Deep enough for a paddle

Deep enough for a paddle

I must remember where this is for a picnic

I must remember where this is for a picnic

After stopping for a quick drink, a few snaps, half a flapjack and to clean the mud off (note: The bike I was using has V-brakes and perhaps about 3/4mm of travel on my forks..) I ventured back out exploring.
The sun was just poking out for the first time this year and before I knew it I was in an area I pass on the way to work. A beautiful little pond and park with a council building at the top (it’s hard to see in the distance but it’s there)


The sun reluctantly came out

I did a loop of the pond and continued on ‘a’ trail (there was two to choose from and I didn’t know which one lead where)
After a long, long climb (you know the kind, those you can see approaching that go along forever and the top takes ages to reach) I had a rest for more drink and the other half of my flapjack. Because I didn’t know where the trail led, I turned back on myself and came back where I’d come from.
Just before I got home Jordan called me saying he was home and wanted to know if I was ‘coming out to play.’ I agreed to a short ride with more technical skills. I’m glad I did! It was so much fun because my confidence keeps rising.


After the last climb

Happy to be back on the trails

Happy to be back on the trails

There were more trees that had been felled. To clear for the summer or illegal logging is anyones guess.


More trees in the way

Making the most of the day

Making the most of the day

The overall ride: ~ 37km


Something a bit different today, me and Jordan went to Doncaster Races (The Lincoln -Rescheduled). It all was going well after the first two races.. and then we lost quite a bit of money. We just got carried away.
We also went on a hike after in the local nature reserve.
Being on my feet all day combined with Fridays ride really took it out of me.


A great change of pace

A family friend asked if I wanted to go on a ride with him. He had a skiing accident which badly injured his Achilles, so he’s been biking for a bit of rehabilitation. He was a keen cyclist before but went with a group rather than alone.
We basically did the same route as I did Friday, but instead of turning back on myself we carried on for an extended run. My gps on my phone lost signal but it was likely over 40+km maybe 45+km.
Didnt get any pictures because we just powered on.
The sun was out all ride and it felt great!

So there’s my weekend.
I’m now lying on the sofa resting.
Going to my girlfriends house to watch the football (family get-together) and eat and drink. A great way to finish a bank holiday!


Working towards a goal

It’s always nice to be driven to do something, rather than idly plodding along, going nowhere and not challenging your own body.

Because I’ve set myself a personal challenge to help a charity, I am more focussed to continue and succeed *. I have a means of measurement and a goal to drive towards. I have the motivation in myself to train (knowing where the money is going), and the motivation to not let others down.

I feel that it gives me a direct line of concentration.
God knows what I’ll do when it’s over. I’ll have to find a new challenge I suppose


“Decide carefully, exactly what you want in life, then work
like mad to make sure you get it!”

                                                         Hector Crawford 1913


*(modesty aside I mostly did it for selfish reasons – the personal challenge. The charity was an excellent bonus and, don’t get me wrong, I’m more than happy to support it!)

It pays to pay

I was fortunate enough to get the bike I use (from a friend of my mums) for a great price – £50! It eventually needed work doing which was £52.

Before the repairs were done, for a while it was rideable. The gears didnt fully work but everything else was more or less there and so I was stubborn and didn’t do anything about it.
That was, until a ride at Sherwood Pines. I had just been round the intermediate trail, and had just started the Kitchener Trail (most advanced one.) However my brake pads were completely worn and wouldnt spring back. So i was squeezing the brakes and nothing was happening and they werent even popping back in place.. I could only make it halfway round before walking back.

I left it unridden for a couple of months (shame on me!) and eventually booked it in for repairs at an LBS.

I’ve now not cared for it as well as this for a long time. Because I paid for repairs,  I’ve realised how important (and cost effective) it is to keep your bike well looked after. I’ve bought degreaser, cleaning kits, lube, brushes, rags -the works. All to keep my bike functioning well (for longer) and looking nice. Basically, it forced me to stop being slack.

Looking after your bike well is very underrated. In reality buying a few simple things is far cheaper than going to the LBS every other month.