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….”
I built my pedal powered dinghy last year and after much development I’ve been able to use it as supplementary training instead of always riding my mountain bike. The boat never forces you to put additional effort in. It entirely lets you decide how hard you want to work and setting off with the boatContinue reading “Boating at last.”
Crocosmia originate from Southern and Eastern Africa and are also known as coppertips. We have 2 types in the garden, the orange form and the much taller Lucifer variety. Both types are sometimes seen in the countryside as escapees from gardens but I’ve been surprised to find the bright red Lucifers in remote locations onContinue reading “Flower of the Week, 3rd August.”
My last ride involved 5 laps of a 10 minute circuit with 178 feet of ascent on each lap. It was an excellent training ride and I wanted to do something as good today. I haven’t yet succeeded in my challenge to ride a local circuit in under 14 minutes, which I set as anContinue reading “Training again.”
I feel like I haven’t been putting my usual, consistent level of effort into my mountain biking, so today decided to do something about it. It may be because I’ve already achieved 2 of my 3 annual challenges that made me relax but having tried for the outstanding target I was shocked. I was wayContinue reading “Riding 5 laps. The biology and the psychology.”
We have several types of lily in our garden, which flower at different times in the summer. We don’t remember the name if this particular one, which spent years struggling under the shade of an oak tree. In 21 years from the acorn the oak became too big for us, spanning the entire garden. NowContinue reading “Flower of the Week, 28th July.”
For a variety of reasons I haven’t done any exercise more strenuous than dog walking for 5 days. I stayed away on Friday night, then had a busy weekend with rainy days so I couldn’t get out on either bike or pedal powered boat. Today we were also told to expect showers before a moreContinue reading “When you just need to get out.”
We don’t usually have areas of the garden with colour themes but by accident a border near the house is predominantly orange. We removed some over grown geranium and have planted a rose, the Lady of Chalotte. The crocosmia are coming into flower to join the orange and red nasturtiums.
Sometimes a mountain bike ride just seems perfect and this may happen for a variety of reasons. The stars simply align. Today I had just such a ride which started as an idea with very little ambition. On my last ride I tried to ride a circuit of around 14 minutes in a fastest everContinue reading “When the stars align.”
Have you ever returned to a mountain biking trail and found things were not like they used to be? Yesterday I went to a circuit, which on the app. Strava is called Birkacre Race Route. In the bone dry conditions it was bound to ride well and I know that a couple of small obstructionsContinue reading “Whatever happened to the good old days?”
Nasturtiums are an annual flower but can often self seed. I collect seeds in the autumn to plant in spring. By doing this you may find that you lose the variety of colours which you originally had from cultivated plants or seeds. It’s also worth planting some seeds in pots to transfer exactly where youContinue reading “Flower of the Week, 16th July.”
On my last ride 2 days ago I set a fastest ever time on the app. Strava, gaining a King of the Mountains title. I was massively thrilled to do this especially as I’d added the particular downhill, and regaining the KOM, as one of my annual challenges. In order to prevent todays ride seemingContinue reading “Exploring the past.”
Today was predicted to be as warm as 28 celcius which, for North West England, is distinctly warm. We had a rather cool June and early July, at least in the North of England, so now the temperature is about where we’d expect it to be for mid July, which is usually the hottest timeContinue reading “Riding on a warm day.”
Rose campion, or in Latin lychnis coronaria, is one of my favourite garden plants. My wife and I “borrowed” some seed heads from a garden on our way back from seeing a total eclipse of the sun in 1999. They were the bright scarlet form at the top of the page. Later we acquired, byContinue reading “Flower of the Week, 9th July.”
Our son is home for a few days and he left his kayak here. Today would have been a great chance to take the kayak and my pedal powered dinghy down to the canal to sail around together. As is typical of young people he got a more tempting offer in the form of aContinue reading “A shorter boat trip than I’d planned.”
Last week I had a good week of activity with 2 mountain bike rides and a trip in my pedal powered boat. Today the weather was good after some early drizzle. The TV news has mentioned a hot start to July but that must only apply to the southern regions. We’ve had daily maxima inContinue reading “Choices.”
We don’t have much in the way of colour themes in our garden, preferring to mix all kinds of colours together. At the moment, though, we have some strong yellow flowers in various parts of the garden.
I’ve had quite an active week, exercise wise, with mountain bike rides on Tuesday and Wednesday. After a more restful day on Thursday I wanted to use my pedal powered boat today. I also walk our dog, Freddie, every day but only when we walk a hill will it ever take much out of me.Continue reading “Taking it easy in my boat.”
It’s extremely rare that I ride my mountain bike on consecutive days but I rode both yesterday and today. I have occasionally used my bike and pedal powered boat in this way, though, so it isn’t exactly unprecedented. Yesterday I was expecting it to rain today, so even though I’d been invited out for aContinue reading “Second ride in 2 days and more tyre testing.”
The rear tyre of my Boardman FS Pro mountain bike was worn out, with virtually no tread in the middle. It might seem as if this wouldn’t matter so much in dry, summer conditions but it does. In north west England we can get mud after summer rain. Also you need grip at any timeContinue reading “Testing my new tyre.”
Foxgloves contain a heart stimulant, digitalis, which can be extremely dangerous. They are a biennial so flower in their second season, though sometimes will survive to flower again. They produce tiny seeds prolifically and seem to prefer a dry and harsh environment.