I've been pretty consistent with keeping a training log over on veganfitness, but decided to see in the new year by starting my very-muchly-own blog which can be found here:
Feel free to post comments if you so desire.
Tuesday – Evening Cycle
Just a short pootle. Was shattered after work, but, as always, it was great to be on the hills!
Distance: 5.85 miles
Average HR 158
Max HR 188
Wednesday Morning – Hill Run
Distance 3.43 miles
Av HR 167
Max HR 189
Thursday – Evening Cycle
Shattered again after work….but managed a surprising pace both up and down the Beacon. Unfortunately the last 40 minutes were plagued by a puncture that just would not patch! Had to stop three times on the way back. Still it was one of those dry moody evenings that I love, and I’d had a good ride, so it didn’t bother me
Distance 8.35 miles
Av HR 159
Max HR 189
Friday – Morning Run
Legs surprisingly sore from Thursday night!
Distance 3.40 miles
Av HR 166
Max HR 186
Saturday – Rest Day
Far too monged to go out again on the bikes and instead spent the day on the sofa watching the DH in Champrey and Le Tour
Sunday – Downhill Day
Spent the day in the FoD working really blooming hard to try and get my footwork dialled in the corners. It gradually came together, although I didn’t feel 100% in control of the bike on the rougher stuff and felt pretty slow, especially in the morning. It’s like my brain can only process a bit of info at a time and cornering was using most of it’s processing capacity!
There is a bit of headcam footage (change to 720 HD for best quality!) we shot – it’s such a useful thing to be able to watch it back and see where it is going ok, and where it’s not. You’ll see that as things get rougher (and I know the trail less well) on the bottom section of the full length run, my footwork gets a bit lost again. On the otherhand, it’s not looking too bad on the top section. Really need to learn to hip jump properly though, ‘cause I’m getting dangerously close to twatting my pedal on that bank
Friday – Double Dose of Malvern
I managed to get the afternoon off work at short notice to help goog do a double tour of Malvern – firstly for his workmate who could only make an early afternoon outing, and then for faffmeister n smudge who could only get down later. We managed to convince ourselves it would be worth the pain for Alps training benefits. By the end of the afternoon we’d covered over 22 miles…..doesn’t sound like a lot of mileage but there was over 1600 meters (yes, that's meters, not feet!) of climbing, so certainly not an easy afternoon pootle. This could explain why I look so knackard on this pic
It was great being back on the HT again, although I must admit I have lost my HT finesse somewhat from the recent sessions on the boingers. I wish I had more riding time, I’d spend 95% of it with the HT if I did, it certainly forces better line choice and smoother riding style. I was struggling a little with the front end, the fork is lovely for bigger stuff, but steering accuracy is quite, erm, variable, unless I really press over the front. As I am so light I barely have any air in the bombers (they are air-assist coils), but this does mean they tend to dive a little in corners. I often think about changing the fork for some bolt-throughs, even potentially downsizing to a 140 mm RS Pike. Still, I was flying along the singletrack and switchbacks, so I’ll probably wait until my wheelset gives-up-the-ghost and then make a decision on forks.
The trails were riding superbly well, perfect conditions in fact, as the recent downpours had settled the trails from their recent sketchy-dust ridden character. Noodle trail was a little on the aggressive side though, or should I say the vegetation was….
Resulted in lots of this ---------->
Saturday - DH day at the Forest of Dean
Took the boingers down to the FOD on Saturday with Craziwayne and Zangolin for a full day of DH. Considering the horrendous forecast, and the weeks rain before hand, the rain stayed at bay and the trails were surprisingly hard packed.
Let me tell you a wee bit about Craziwayne….he started riding a few months or so back and has a erm, rockyridge or something. Certainly more XC orientated than DH, but I had a feeling he was gonna have some fun at the FOD. He’s got that spark, or lack of fear, perfect timing, or whatever it is that those naturally gifted sorts have. Within a few runs he was hitting the jumps on the corkscrew pretty hard, considering it was the first time he’d really done anything like that. Then we lent him the DH bikes to try……….so much for ‘it’s not the bike’ – balls to that. If someone has inherent skill, they so definitely CAN be held back by the bike….
By the end of the day, Craziwayne was hitting the biggy on goog's Intense, and wasn’t that far off clearing it. It took me years to get the confidence to try that!
We spent the morning on Corkscrew before a run down sheepskull and the afternoon sessioning, sessioning and more sessioning on the biggy. TBH I did better than I could’ve expected, as I managed to carry speed through the berm and get the lovely kinda-hip-jump perfect before hand.
Out of probably thirty attempts I cleared the big table smoothly only once, but at least I managed it – it is a pretty big table afterall! Still, I was making hard work of it compared to Zangolin and Goog and catching the rear wheel. I’m not sure whether it was lack of speed, lack of pumping the face, lack of pumping the jump before….or something as simple as not sucking up the rear end on reaching the transition. I think I’m looking pretty good on take-off though
Sunday Long Mynd
Met up with a MTBB crew for another Mick Long Mynd Special, and, yet again, survived the looming rainstorms unscathed. At one point we were looking at showers all round, but managed to stay dry up on those hills!
I must admit, I was thinking of bailing the night before after the long day at the FOD on Saturday. Surprisingly, however, my climbing legs were most definitely there and I was storming up all the hills from the start. Goodness knows where that come from; I put it down to the half a tub of Swedish Glace ice cream the night before!
After the superfast double track descent we headed over to the woods to ride some of the DH runs Mick has done a great job of locating over recent months. The more times I go to the Mynd, the more surprised I am by the quality and variety of the trails there.
Oh, and of course we had to do the beautiful Minton Batch…….where I had my first proper ‘off’ for a while. That’ll teach me not to tailgate! Oh I’m proper battered today – both knees, both elbows, my left little finger and my head. But the worst is my right wrist – by Sunday evening it was proper agony, thank heaven it’s easing off now so can’t be anything worse than a bit of bruising….not long for it to recover before Les Arcs.
Still, the crash did little to dent my mojo and that last descent to Little Stretton was as corkingly quick as ever – even with all the walkers, I still managed near 30 mph. I dread to think what kind of top speed you could get on a walker-free day. Possibly one of the best ways to end a nice day in the hills
Here's some of the riding from Saturday on VIDEO
Sunday - got 30 mins on the bike in the morning
Tuesday AM - 40 minute run
Messed up my GPS so got no figures - goodness knows what's going on with the thing now, I'm gonna have to read the instructions or summut!
Tuesday - Rest
Wednesday - Too much work!
Thursday - Evening blast round Sutton again. It was nice - did about 10 miles. Went very much BOING in the bombholes and generally enjoyed the fact that, despite the sky threatening rain, the trails remain bone-dry and superfast
Saturday DH Day at Hopton
What a fantastic crazy-long day. Headed up to Hopton with Johnstuff and, despite those threatening clouds still looming, we yet again had dust not mud to contend with. Wonderful, really wonderful!
I was still finding the bike slightly uncontrollable on the front end to start, but was trying to resist adding more rebound. However, these 2010 Team BoXXers are so amazingly tuneable. Unbelievably so! A single notch on the ‘slow speed rebound’ and everything felt in control again. After that I found utopia – the bike felt forgiving, and kept the ‘pop’ I had been so worried about loosing. With one little turn of a dial. Wow
goog has got Monty set up right now too......
The afternoon was spent filming one of the trails. Nothing huge on it, but previously I have found it quite difficult to keep my speed through the flicky corners, and whilst picking lines. The first run down wasn’t bad, but the second I was flying through a few sections…only to find goog had struggled to keep up as his grip had come off! We got a few more runs in and, on the whole, it felt so fast. This was despite the fact that my footwork was still very poor on the corners. I keep trying, I keep forgetting! No doubt the dry trails help, but Maggie is undoubtably far more responsive than Marilyn ever was.
One thing was really bothering me though. There is a jump halfway down rather like a double; it involves launching off a tree-stump and clearing two further stumps before landing and turning right. I’ve never done it before and even today I rode round it on every video run we did as the second stump was proper fazing me. One of those “it’s probably as easy as Johnstuff makes it look, but if it’s not and it goes wrong, either me or Maggie could be in a very bad way” kind of jumps.
Luckily I got to see goog launch it both successfully, and slightly less successfully, a few times and survive. After pondering, worrying about lines, worrying about ‘where the hell am I supposed to compress on that’ I figured I just needed a big dose of MTFU, hit it full pelt and let my subconscious take control. It was awesome
Despite work being chaos, I have promised myself I'm gonna start blogging (and training properly for DH!) again!
DH training began early this morning with the first weights session in a while.
This evening was a tour round Sutton Park – got shown some more trails, it’s amazing how many trails are hidden away in the trees! Totally overbiked on the sussers, but it was kinda nice being able to pedal over everything whilst in the saddle!
Lovely evening for it too
Had a bit of a play in the bombhole…tried to get a decent piccy of me in my Animal Liberation Racing top, but didn’t have much success!
Moving time 01:21:01
Elevation gain/loss 204/212
Av HR 138
Max HR 191
Took Maggie (previously known as Cooper, but, for various reasons is far more suited to being named after a certain Iron Lady!) out today for the first proper day of DH at the Forest of Dean. Well, not quite a day as we only managed 4 hours before goog’s hip was knackard and I was loosing concentration…..think we’ve both forgotten just how much hard work DH with the big bikes actually is. I’d certainly forgotton just how bloomin fast you can go on a DH bike on bone dry trails!
Maggie is great, although really rather like a thoroughbred racehorse compared to the 222. I had to calm the suspension down as, although I was loving the ‘pop’, especially on the Corkscrew table (see pic below - which I rarely, if ever, cleared on the 222), once I got onto the rougher, rooty trails, the bounce was uncontrollable and I was pogo-ing all over the place. Until today, although I knew suspension set up was important, I’d not experienced just how out of control it can make a bike if set up wrong! One click of rebound on, and one click of low speed compression off, and it felt amazing again – well, at least when I got my lines right! With the 222 all I had to do was point and hold on and it just ploughed over everything….and smoothed out the trails. With Maggie, every root is like a launch point, which is great if I get my timing right, but if I get it wrong, I don’t half know about it. It’s so tempting to try and soften up the suspension a little more, but, if I’m honest, I much prefer it feeling firm and would rather learn how to ride her like that.
Monty also got his first ride – goog was flying like usual, although he also spent most of the morning twiddling dials. Grown up boys like his bike. Obviously the kids much prefer Maggie and her in-your-face colours
Wish they hadn’t of made the end of Sheepskull into a double though. That’s another trail finish made into something for the good riders to blast over, and everyone else to mince through. I’ve noticed it so much lately; everyone keeps moaning about trail sanitisation, but, tbh, the ‘easy’ DH trails seem to be getting more doubles and gaps added. Even the red run at Stile Cop. It’s a shame as there are so many high level trails for the good downhillers already, I don’t understand why it’s so hard for people to make fun trails, or should I say keep the fun trails, for beginners and the not-so-confident riders without big stuff that requires big commitment.
I don’t want to finish this first blog entry with a moan though, so, back to the beautiful babe that is Maggie for the final sentence. She’s ace…that is all that matters
littlegirlbunny on BLOGSPOT
stephen on BLOGSPOT
bodger_the_biker on Wee bit of Video
littlegirlbunny on Wee bit of Video
littlegirlbunny on Wee bit of Video
bodger_the_biker on Wee bit of Video
littlegirlbunny on Maggie's first proper trip out!
stephen on Maggie's first proper trip out!
littlegirlbunny on Maggie's first proper trip out!
bodger_the_biker on Maggie's first proper trip out!
Dillon - Santa Cruz custom build Chameleon with 160 mm coil Lyriks up front - hardcore hardtail
Maggie - XS Giant Glory with 8.8 inches of unnecessary travel on the back and some lovely TF tuned 2010 BoXXers up front - downhill bouncy babe
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