Friday, 10 February 2012


Are we going to pay now for a mild winter so far? Needless to say the weather got the better of us today and instead of pushing down on the pedals here I am pushing down on the keyboard. I intended to do a decent ride in place of the Guiseley trip but the extreme cold weather, together with a "bit of a chest" has put me off. The good news is that Phil, our prospective host over there, has become a grandfather after years of trying. His daughter gave birth to a strapping lad interestingly named, Thomas Seth. Now isn't that a great start in life, a name like that - Seth. Congratulations to Joanne and her husband, whose name escapes me.

We are hoping to help Phil celebrate next week, all being well. There is very little else to report but I suppose that doesn't usually stop me. I will look after myself for the rest of today and hope to be in good nick when the weather eases off. There is a good weekend of sport to look forward to.  

Wednesday, 8 February 2012

Weather Watch

It was bitterly cold this morning but I managed to venture out, partially laden, to the delightful village of Newburgh in West Lancs where I visited a gentleman best described as a friend of a friend who was recommended to me as someone who may be able to help and advise me on things I may need to take with me. Robin turned out to be very obliging and helpful and extremely knowledgeable about all things bike. It wasn't the most convenient time to visit but he agreed to check on things I'd never heard of such as, chain splitters, folding tyres, kickstands etc, which he felt I may need to add to my equipment. While I was there he was visited by a couple of his friends who were cycling enthusiasts who were interested in my project and I thoroughly enjoyed their company. When I say enthusiasts I mean people who have been cycling for 50 odd years which is, by the way, 45 odd years longer that I have.

I continued on to my mother's house from Robins and had a sandwich and "several" biscuits there with my mum and two of my sisters. The other sister, Cinderella, was working. The sun came out and it turned into yet another beautiful winter's day. How many times have I written that? I attempted Parbold Hill the hard way on the way home, lighter by two bottles of Dalwhinnie which I had left behind as presents for the forty year old nephews. They are now officially old enough for the good things in life, real ale and malt whisky. Predictably, I didn't manage it without stopping. I actually got one telegraph pole further than I have ever done and finished it off after a break of a minute or so. The average speed both ways worked out at just less than 12 mph which is acceptable with the bags on and that lump in the middle. Acceptable to me anyway.    

The trip to Guiseley on Friday is in jeopardy due to heavy snow forecast in the Pennine area on Thursday night. We will be keeping an eye on the weather forecasts and will make a decision tomorrow (Thursday). There's always next week, I suppose, and we have been lucky with the weather so far this winter. 

Monday, 6 February 2012


I have two nephews and they were born within a few weeks of each other in January and February 1972. Consequently there was a joint 40th birthday party on Saturday night for all the extended family, and it does extend, believe me. It went down very well and it was great to see, and catch up, with so many of my own cousins there together with the more immediate usual suspects.

There were a few conversations, mainly with those I haven't seen for a while, about my ride and how training was going and what the hell are you playing at etc, and I vaguely remember near the end of the night, being informed that a few of "the lads" were coming over to meet up with me in Budapest, which will be a nice little interlude at about half way to Turkey. I checked my itinerary and found that I arrive there on a Tuesday which is no good at all. The choice then seemed to be slow down a bit or speed up a bit to arrive at a weekend. Predictably, I have decided to go for the latter, no, not because it's more of a challenge, but because I know that one or two can't make it the week after. It just adds 15 miles or so per day and still gives me rest days as planned, if I need them, that is.

Needless to say I was a bit hung over on Sunday but it was still quite icy and I didn't venture out. It was miserable and murky today at first and then the sun came out and it turned into a beautiful afternoon. I had to get out and do a bit. I packed a load of random stuff in the bags and did the Chorley ride of 19.2 miles. The bike was noticeably heavier but I still managed 12 mph plus which amazed me, but then I suppose the weight only really affects the uphill bits. There is also the possibility that I'm getting better at this game but I'm not too sure about that. I may have a ride tomorrow or may just go to the gym. Another 20 miles or so on Wednesday should see me right for the ride to Guiseley and back on Friday and Saturday. We'll see.