Over the past few weeks since Helvellyn i've been getting back into the swing of a structured training plan.. working with Mark (Forgy) again for 2009... last year it worked really well with constant contact between the 2 of us we worked a really good programme and before my forced break i was in best biking shape of my life, unfortunately we didn't get to fully test the form but 2009 should be a good opportunity to see what i can do.
Weekdays are a mix trainer and gym sessions.. weekends are long slow base miles.. the weekend before last i was in Newcastle dealing with black ice... unfortunately not the AC DC album but the nasty stuff that drops you to the tarma hard withot warning... in just under 3 hours i took 2 heavy falls.. the first 10m from my front door.
Last weekend was a freezing 4 hours in the Manchester rain... testing the single speed mountain bike on the road an getting in some base miles... its just too undergeared on the road but a bigger gear would make the long and sometimes steep climbs here unbearable for zone 2 base miles.. so the bike is getting another build.. think it'll be version 5 and the finished product will be a 1x8 speed road mountain bike wih narrow range rear block and a thumb shifter operating the gears, well no one can accuse me of being run of the mill.
Unfortunately the rainy ride escalated an already sre throat to a full blown cold, even so training did not cease and think it aided recovery to do some sweating on trainers and do some good interval and single leg drills to ' The Flying Scotsman' film.. Obree is a living legend and the king of hard work and suffering.
This weekend was a classic peaks ride.. Ladybower figure of 8.. only managed to get one fellow rider to venture out, Dave from TSW cycles, good as haven't seen Dave much since moving to Manchester and good to have a chat and catch up while enjoying some nice muddy riding.
The weather was a little wet but unlike previous weeks wasn't unbearably cold... the first climb was touh going as grip was minimal although Dave looked to make lighter work of it than i did... felt like i had no grip and as i fin it difficult to spin up climbs i was frustrated at not being able to push a good gear and get normal low cadence going i prefer... later discovered this was due to me having very little grip and Dave using some nice mud tyres giving him a ton of grip.
The ride was going well... usual mix of muddy climbs and fast loose rocky descents, then we reached the last descent of the day... named by others as 'screaming mile' due to its flowing nature.. not as rocking as most but natural banks help the turns and keep the speeds high... that was until someone decided the trail needed sanatising:( this is unfortunately becoming more popular... basicalling involving cutting out natural and re instating sections with nice wide hardcore surfaces... although the sign indicated that the bridleway was closed at the top we thought we could pick our way down.. the top 200m metres remained unchanged.. then it became a 'motorway' style trail.. easily 4 times wider than it was then it became a ridiculous mud bath... you rolled when you could but if you had to dab your leg went in upto your knee:( The trail is now just memory in those that had previously ridden it an i am unsure as to what they can possible make of this muddy disaster.. time will tell but it won't be in the same league.
Well the forth coming week has fallen as both christmas and my first rest week... so Merry christmas to all.. don't over indulge and make sure the festivities don't get in the way of riding.. just think how quiet the trails will be with most users indoors watching tv eating mince pies.