I am a lifelong mountain biker who rarely lacks motivation. I had always ridden bikes off road like most kids but in 1976 I bought a “scrambler” for 70 pence. This was a bike which was dedicated to off road use. In 1977 I added a homemade suspension fork. I used the front suspension unitsContinue reading “Why I’m writing this….”
In the 1990s, when I used to ride my mountain bike with friends, we’d often loop around town to link some classy sections of trail together. We aimed to keep the route as much off road as we could and that was the kind of old school ride which I undertook today. I wanted theContinue reading “An old school ride.”
Today the weather has remained dry so I set off on my Trek Fuel EX8 mountain bike for a ride to Healey Nab. Unusually, I had no particular plan for my ride, which is not good for training or improving fitness. I wanted a relaxed ride so didn’t set any targets but just getting outContinue reading “Mechanical mayhem.”
Fartlek is a Swedish word meaning speed play. The aim is to ride continuously, taking it easy on some sections of the ride whilst working hard in other parts. You need to recover from the bigger efforts so by riding in this way you can improve your ability to recover. This will always be importantContinue reading “A wet fartlek!”
By analysing my last 2 mountain bike rides using the app. Strava I found that I was riding rather slowly for much of the time. I’d like to improve my fitness so this clearly isn’t good enough. Last time out I was obviously still fresh towards the end of the ride because this was theContinue reading “Putting the effort in.”
If you asked a local mountain biker for a good placec to ride, they’d more than likely say “Rivington”. Rivington itself us a tiny hamlet but is often used to refer to the West Pennine Moors where Winter Hill at 1,498 feet is the high point. On the western flanks of the hill lies RivingtonContinue reading “Rivington Pike.”
Summer may be a faded memory but that doesn’t mean that there’s nothing to see in the garden. Above are the glorious shades of an Acer palmatum.
After discovering that my fitness had fallen compared to previous years, I’m now determined to train harder during the autumn and forthcoming winter. I rode 5 fast laps of a hilly circuit this week and 2 days after wanted another challenging activity. Great Hill rises to 1,253 feet and gives me a 16 mile, almostContinue reading “Making the most of the autumn.”
To complete a mountain bike ride as quickly as possible you basically just need to maintain the same amount of effort throughout the exercise, getting gradually more tired. With luck you’ll reach exhaustion as you cross the finish line. This may be possible in a velodrome or maybe a flat road with no wind butContinue reading “Keeping pace.”
I fitted a new 11-46 tooth 10 speed cassette to the Trek Fuel EX8 so I’m now ready for a winter of mountain biking, whatever the weather throws at me. The only part which I still need to renew is the bottom bracket, which is an easy job. It was good to have a newContinue reading “A very muddy ride.”
I’ve been riding mountain bikes for an awful long time and have seen some massive changes. I’m very much in favour of bigger wheels and intend to ride a 29″ wheeled bike this winter. This bike, a Trek Fuel EX8, was conceived at a time of change and if it had been built a fewContinue reading “Is mountain bike technology going the wrong way?”
I chose to use my pedal powered dinghy again today for several reasons. Firstly I haven’t done anything more energetic than dog walking in the last 5 days. I had a Covid booster vaccination a couple of days ago and my only adverse reaction this time was tiredness so I haven’t felt like putting aContinue reading “The last sail of the year?”
Autumn continues apace with its spectacular colours.
Today started bright, sunny and still. After walking our dog I thought it was a good day to sail my pedal powered dinghy, perhaps for the last time this year. I towed the boat to the Leeds/Liverpool canal and set off northwards. I wanted to complete the longer than normal trip which I’d abandoned onContinue reading “The last sail of the year?”
This winter I want to use my Trek Fuel EX8 mountain bike to save wear on my slightly newer bike. It has 29″ wheels and a 1 X 10 transmission. With only one chain ring at the front there’s less to go wrong in muddy, winter condition which add an extra burden of wear toContinue reading “Problems with my winter bike.”
Today was beautifully sunny with temperatures of around 16 celcius. A mountain bike ride was tempting but since the weather is unlikely to be so good for much longer I thought it more prudent to sail my pedal powered dinghy. The forecast was for some strong and gusty winds. I’ve sailed the boat in windyContinue reading “My boat, in windy conditions.”
We have a dozen or more acers which are starting to show their fabulous autumn colours.
Winter is hard on mountain bikes. The wet and grit cause lots of wear of all moving parts. The transmission is especially vulnerable but suspension bushes can also suffer badly. Ideally you wouldn’t want to put your best bike or bikes through this and classic mountain bikes are even more prone to wear from muddyContinue reading “Trying my winter bike.”
I did a long trip on my scooter on Saturday and didn’t feel like putting in a big effort on the mountain bike yesterday. Today the weather has been good, with plenty of sunshine, so I thought it was an ideal opportunity to use my pedal powered boat. It gives me a useful training sessionContinue reading “Boating whilst the weather holds.”
Although I’m a fanatical mountain biker I’ve had an equally long association with motorcycles. I was desperate to get on the road at the tender age of 16 and have had a powered 2 wheeler ever since. In 1999 I bought my first scooter for the automatic transmission, practicality and more accommodating riding position. I’veContinue reading “My other two wheeled life.”
The colours of autumn are ephemeral, though no less attractive than the shades of other seasons. It’s worth going into our garden often to see sights which may only last a day or so.