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Love/Hate Relationship: The Mary Towneley Loop

Cannondale Flash Carbon 29er

It’s one of those rides.  One of those ‘have to do it every so often’ rides.  One that you look forward to and dread in equal measure.  The Mary Towneley Loop is a 44 mile extension to the Pennine Bridleway and is a doorstep challenge for me, living 4.5 miles from the route itself.  It’s too long to do in all but the brightest and longest summer evenings but it’s not ...[Read More]

Selfless devotion to family

Selfless devotion to family

Sometimes in life it’s time to stop doing what you enjoy, and pay some dedicated time to other family members. With young families, my brother in law Simon and I get very little time together and no quality time to speak of in the last couple of years. With his birthday fast approaching, I decided to redress this by trying to get some good face-time together as a little treat to him.

Exercise and Exorcism

A minor mountain climbed yesterday at Lee Quarry in the fourth race of the five race Hope XC Series, as one gangly bet rider set out on his first race at Lee Quarry since he broke his collarbone there in April 2009.

Golf Ball Fell Race 2010

That didn’t quite go according to plan.  Not that there was much of a plan… but I got a bit of a shock in a race. You usually get them in sport once or twice per year, but it was a hard lesson to me that you can’t just drop into a fell race for the first time in a few months and expect to perform. Add to that a nice relaxing holiday with only a few ‘get me by’ bike ri ...[Read More]

The unlikely adrenaline hub of the world: Rossendale, Lancashire

In a way, it’s a strange discovery; one of those little unpredictable things that happen in life. As a cyclist who’s done a bit of everything on a bike, and still would do if he had time, I’ve found myself refining my cycling to niches and events that present realistic but challenging goals. I expect quite a lot out of myself from my cyclocross racing, and when push comes to shov ...[Read More]

Ronde van Oost Lancashire 2010

Ronde van Oost Lancashire 2010

It’s been a fun day – I don’t do much social bike riding in a busy life but when I do, I want the rides to be like today’s in inaugural Ronde van Oost Lancashire.   Billed (roughly) as a local answer to my favourite classic the Tour of Flanders (or “Ronde van Vlaanderen” in Flemish), the Tour of East Lancashire set out to mimic, amitate, and at times outdo the F ...[Read More]

February half term in Peebles – again

If ever there was a good sign that a holiday works, it is that you do it again. There’s a good mix of the things that seem to add up to a good little holiday for the Haygaths at the Peebles Hydro hotel. Too pricey for a full week, but just within the realms of decadence for three nights in Feb half term (especially with three nights for the price of two!). It was a similar recipe to last yea ...[Read More]

Bread of Heaven

It’s a simple formula that’s bound to win every time. Putting gentlemen together in a mountain area for a couple of days is just about all it takes. Other holidays or excursions have various frills around the edges, but the basic raw ingredients of a good bunch of fellows and a load of stunning upland are what it takes to make the bread of Heaven. And so it was, last Saturday morning a ...[Read More]

The last bike ride of my thirties

So this is the end of my thirties. Today. That’s it after today – tomorrow, I’m middle-aged. Hurrah! (well – did you think I’d be bothered??) In more of an attempt to wangle a good day out than anything else, Matthew invited me to a day’s leave Mountain biking, well in advance of today (largely because of a technical glut of annual leave he had to take) so when ...[Read More]

Three Peaks Cyclocross 2009

Well that was lots of fun and very satisfying. I’ve ridden every three peaks cyclocross now since 1995 and apart from a broken seatpost in 1999 about 3 miles into the race, I’ve completed them all. But today was the sweetest for me. The last three events have been exceptionally good to me with not many issues on the gruelling 37 mile race, but today in particular was my smoothest ever ...[Read More]

Grizedale Mountain Bike Challenge 2009

As ‘training rides’ go, they don’t get much more beautiful, thrilling, punishing than the Grizedale Mountain Bike Challenge.

Gisburn Forest Mountinbike Trails… now with added fun.

I managed to finally get to ride most of the best bits (I think) of the new MTB trails at Gisburn Forest last night. I must say I was impressed. I’d be primed / appetite whetted by a combination of Matthew, some photos by Andy Rushforth, and a blog post by Dave Powell. I headed up last night because I decided to take a mental break from racing for a couple of weeks. Thursday night’s Pr ...[Read More]

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