Delamere Night Ride

Made it to Delamere last night for a ride with a few guys from Craig’s work. This was my first time there (in this decade) so I was interested to see what its like. Flat was my first impression! There’s some small rises and a wee bit with some interesting drops and steeper stuff – the loose soil and lack of grip were a new challenge compared to trail centre grit and stone.

My lighting rig held up OK. Currently running a 10W halogen on my head (homebrew MR11, overvolted 20%) and a tesco C cell Cree 3w on the bars. I was totally out gunned by Jan with his homebrew triple LED rig. Oh Well. Lets not get into an expensive arms race here eh?

Riding went well, until we got a little lost and Rich detoured into a ditch, removing his rear mech, snapping the dropout and bending the chain. One new singlespeed conversion later we got our bearings and headed on out of the woods, snagged a McD’s and I got a class run from Formby home – Golf thrashed without remorse ;-) .

Lee Quarry is on the list for the next night ride.

Lee Quarry

‘Last weekend I took the BeOne Nirvana up to Lee Quarry in Bacup, Lancashire. Theres about 8km of trails that have been made up at the quarry, covering XC, DH and trails riders. In short I’m impressed by the quality. The trails stuff looks big (to a man who canna trackstand). The Black (read DH) section is apparently enough to get pulses racing, but I didn’t do it this time out. Come back with my wuss pads!

The red XC loop makes up the majority of the riding, with a nice balanced loop. As usual its up up and away up a wide fire road style climb, the berms, rocks and single track. Some of its quite exposed, there’s some small step downs and some rock garden style stuff. The loop ends on a fun descent with a jump line (nothing big) and some fun single track.

The short lap length means you can do several laps and by riding sections 2 or 3 times you will see improvements in technique. For the beginner it’ll be hard and scary, for the intermediate rider its a great place to develop.

There’s even a race series being organised by BrownBacks here.

All in all worth a look for local riders, and promised further developments at other local quarries could make this a great place to ride. Make a full day of it and hit the Rossendale Dry Ski slope with its freestyle bits as well.

Trails Alien in Edinburgh

Simply awesome.

On another note, the BeOne is still untested – I went to Llandegla, but about 10 miles away a con rod came through the bock of my Mums Saxo (Borrowed as the Golf was in the middle of a bit of work). 30k thats done and then bang. I WILL get out at least one day this weekend. Hopefully both as theres a Delemere bash on Sunday morn.

BeOne Nirvana 1.0

So here it is: my new bike. It’s not actually new though – its just the frame that I bought from CRC with all the bits from the Rockhopper on it.

dsc_9622

The frame is a BeOne Nirvana 1.0 with 100mm rear travel, linkage operated RockShox Monarch 3.3 air shock. I made an impulse buy here – this is the frame that BeOne use on their £3k full susser, but in the sale at CRC for £260. Seemed like a bargain and I have been wanting full sus for a while so I went for it.

First impressions are good – the frame is nicely welded, and looks like it should be mega strong. The shock seems to do its job – I’m new to this air stuff so time will tell. All the XC stuff seems to not have coils these days ;-(. The frame weighs 2.9kg which i guess is OK – the Rockhopper frame was 1.8kg in comparision.

The build was easy enough as all the parts from the rockhopper fitted without issue. The frame was supplied with a Richey integrated headset and an allen key seat post clamp. I ditched that for QR anyway. I was tempted by a new chainset, but no more cash right now. This means I’m still about 5 years behind with my square taper BB! The rear disc mount was straight as well which is a bonus with my very picky Hope 4 pots.

Heres the rough Spec Anyway:

  • BeOne Nirvana 1.0 frame
  • RockShox Monarch 3.3
  • RockShox Tora 318
  • Hope Enduro 4 brakes (205/185)
  • Charge Spoon Saddle
  • Rest is all 2003 Rockhopper

Hopefully get down to Llandegla for a shake down tomo. I already had to nip out to Halfrauds for a shock pump. Not bad at £20 – wiggle wanted the same and I would still have a flat shock until Tuesday….

More work on the Golf

Over the Weekend I managed to sort out the broken door lock barrel, strip and clean the throttle body, replace the spark plugs, cut the airbox for more flow and remove a few other bits hat need to be out of the way of the impending cam belt change.

The belt turned out to be rather looser than it should be, so I don’t want to run it until I get the new belt in. So that delays the oil change a bit.

I also need to do the following:

  • Check and possibly replace the dizzy cap, rotor arm and HT leads
  • Check the gearbox oil level
  • Clean everything :-)
  • Install the sub amp wiring
  • Sort out why the headunit isnt getting a permanant live
  • Fix the parcel shelf hanger
  • Investigate either an alarm or remote locking kit
  • Look at fog light options

Should keep my busy for a while! Lets hope this weekend is dry. No chance of an early spring is there?

New Car – Golf Gti

Last weekend I picked up a Golf Gti (actually more like rescued). Its a 1992 2.0 8v. A friend of a friend had put it in for a MOT and work last year – after it failed for the second time he gave up and bougth a new car. The Golf was then left at the garage who had been fixing it for nearly a year. When they decided it had to go, I bought it for a ton as a both a project and an attempt to save some cash – the 406 is quite a bit more on insurance, parts and fuel than this. The pug also needs an engine mount, rear tyres and a couple of cosmetic jobs.

As we picked it up on the trailer

As we picked it up on the trailer

Turns out the golf needs several brake lines, a battery and a catalytic convertor for the MOT. With any luck I should have it on my drive by next week and the pug can be mothballed until its warm enough to bother working outside on cars :-) .

Christmas Camping trip

Just after Xmas, I went for a few days camping at Great Langdale – a couple of walks, the obligitary outdoor stores in Ambleside, a few pints of Old Peculiar at the Old Dungeon Ghyll and sub zero temperatures. The walking was good – we did Stickle Tarn round to the Back of Pavey Ark and onto High Raise, and an easy womble around theAmbleside area the next day. Temperatures dropped as low as -7 overnight, freezing the tent and the outside of my second sleeping bag! Aside from Nige setting the tent on fire, it all went very well.

Heres a few pics from the trip:

DSC_9564

DSC_9538

Mountain Rescue

This was a Heli lifting someone off the fell side who had apparently lost it and become stuck to the Crag in fear of falling off. THats the rumour I heard anyway – it was long way off and this photo is uncropped at 450mm focal length.

DSC_9570

DSC_9541

Still not posting

I keep forgetting about this blog!

Story now is that I have started proper training for IronMan Switzerland. Its around 6 months away now.

I took December off to all intents and purposes, had a good Christmas and now theres the small mater of 8-14h a week of training and probably 3 stone to loose in 6 monrhs.

In the hop that it will help I am in the process of launching another blog – ironman.mcroston.co.uk. With that blog just focusing on recording my training and thoughts, I think I’ll be more inclined to post on there. Here will remain for random musings, photography (need to by a Flickr Pro account again, shame about the £ to $ interface :-( ). There also is an XR4i to fix, a Robin Hood 2b to do something about and lots of PC stuff to rant on about.

And Happy New Year!

Whoops

Lack of posting.
Lack of training.
Lack of racing.
Weight gain again.
Whoops.

I missed both the Liverpool 10k and the Half Marathon in Carlisle. Liverpool was the day after paintballing, and I was a bit of a physical wreck. The Carlisle tihing was a long drive, it was raining etc so I wimped out. Luckilly I did do a full 21km the week before in training, so my Half Mara PB is now 2:10:xx – which is a huge improvement on my performance at the Little Woody.

Training has been poor as well since Helvellyn. I need a severe kick in the behind – which I seem to have in November.

This time last year I was in Thailand / Vietnam – seems a long long time ago. 2 years ago I was probably leaving Auckland at the start of my adventure. Looking forward I have an Ironman to do, plus a host of support races which I will start planning over winter – I didn’t get into the London Marathon in 2009 so I need an alternate spring marathon – Target 4hrs (?!).

Ormskirk 10k 2008

Sunday was the inaugural Ormskirk 10k, organised by Polygon Direct. As this was my local race, I entered early (race number was 5). This is the second 10k I have done – my first was back in June in Liverpool which I ran in 49:29, making the aim for this one simply to beat that.

I have done very little in the way of training for speed this year, focusing on endurance and the possibility of an IronMan race next year. I thought that my fitness should have been better that it was 3 months ago. So here we go.

Race day was met with perfect weather – a real rare sunny day. The event itself was well run – parking on site, baggage storage and a funky warm up for everyone. I jogged up and down a bit, but still don’t really bother warming up – I feel comfortable running straight off at my 10k pace anyway. The course was good – well marshalled, fairly clear of traffic and nicely undulating. It consists of an out, 2 laps of a shortish loop and then back to the Cricket club to finish. The hill up to the water tower hurt a bit! I ran with my heart rate at 180 average, felt fine and got to the finish in 47:44 – near 2 mins off my first PB and the course was accurate according to the Garmin, so pretty happy with that. Next up is Liverpool in 2 weeks…… I think I could push a little harder and the course should be flatter as well so maybe a 45 could be possible. I also may end up running Liverpool with a few mates as a fun event, so we shall see.