Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Shrewsbury 3 peaks training - 25 Feb 08

On a cool and windy morning the Team met in a Co-oP car park after travelling down from Leeds and up from Bristol, got changed, prepared the bikes and ourselves for the Shrewsbury 3 peaks training session. The ride started with a ten minute road section before the inevitable upwards climb that wasn't too steep to start off with which was easily ride-able. A bit disconcerting though as we were passed by a mountain bike tandem! That was impressive but I don’t think my wife would entertain the idea! However the easily ride-able section soon materialised into an awesome muddy downhill section.

The only issue with this awesome muddy downhill was that we were going up and not down which wasn't encouraging as bike after bike went past us blasting down the trail and commenting on how mad we must be to go up and not down. What they didn't realise was that our trail didn't just involve the one fell which they were riding, but three!

During the whole route we were also tracked in realtime with the new Minorplanet 6000 which can be seen with a snapshot of the detailed report.

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Once at the top it was clear that the howling wind was becoming a real issue and it was going to be against us for most of the day, wind blowing into your face makes cycling up hills and dales quite a difficult task, but the top did bring some quite rewarding sites.

It was easy to see why the area is very popular with walkers and cyclist with some quite steep but very picturesque heather covered fells. Anyway back to the training; the route which Marc had picked was without doubt the best route we have trained on yet. It was challenging in the vertical sense, it was challenging in the technical sense of having to negotiate goat tracks on the side of steep hills, extreme uphill sections and of course some quite extreme downhill sections that saw average speeds over the minute in excess of 30mph.

And 30mph isn't bad across fields when being challenged by kamikaze sheep, eh Adam??! All in all a very physically challenging but enjoyable day where we covered 30 miles of terrain that was as near as possible to what we are expecting on the challenge week. More of the same please Marc!

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Monday, February 4, 2008

30 miles around Harrogate (in the snow!)

Come rain, sleet or even snow, the training continues (well it does if you have a bike, Elliot is still waiting on delivery of his new steed as the old one has died)

As you can see from Peter's 30 miler around Harrogate.

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South West Training Sat 2nd Feb

Meanwhile, down South the weather was much less formidable as John, Marc and Justin set out for a ride through the Forest of Dean.
The decision was made to try and get some miles under our belt so we headed for the single track route.
Having been instructed to get some pictures we decided to head for a part of the forest that we knew would give us some good photo opportunities and make the ride look a bit more exciting and challenging than it actually was…no point in letting our snow challenged comrades ooop North know we’d taken the easy route!!
Marc and John got themselves to the top of a nice drop while Justin prepared himself for his David Bailey impression at the bottom.
Marc was first off…
Always ready with a stupid idea, Justin shouts ”Do the jump at the bottom!”
This would have been a great photo as so far none of us has had the bottle to go for this particular jump.
Marc hits the jump…
Justin misses it with the camera….and then hears a crunch from behind him as Marc’s bike hits the ground.
“oooh, that sounded like your frame going” says Justin as he turns round to find a dazed and confused Marc sitting on the floor…
Marc sticks his tongue out to reveal deep teeth marks across the top and bottom and a lot of blood. How he didn’t bite his tongue off remains a mystery as it transpired the crunch from Marc’s bike was his head hitting the handlebars.

Anyway, they’re a tough lot in the South West and they carried on undeterred by Marc’s injury. At least that was the plan….

Within a few miles Marc got very hot despite the low temperature and went very white, so we cut it short and headed back so Marc could get to A&E.

So only 10 or so miles completed by the Southern contingent this weekend, but at least we got to practice our first aid.
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Sunday, February 3, 2008

Coast to Coast land profile

Now starting to wish we lived in Holland!

Dalby Forest training Saturday 2nd Feb

In the continuing effort to get our fitness levels up Adam and I (Mark) took to Dalby Forest in North Yorkshire on Saturday.
It's a fantastic place with some very impressive purpose laid out mountain bike trails, but as novices to the area we left the black route alone and followed the red route.

Soon after starting the red route it was clear that not many that morning had followed the black routes as the snow had completed covered the area. Along with the quite heavy snow the area had also lost all power so we were foolishly riding on empty stomachs, not being able to have breakfast at the trail cafe.

Anyway, the red trail proved to be extreemly challenging as it was, considering the added obstacle of snow and ice which had us both either over the handlebars or spining out of control on more than one occasion!

After about 4 and a half hours we called it a day and headed back for some well earned nourishment, but I don't think it will be the last time we have seen Dalby Forest.
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