Sunday, February 12, 2012

Rollin' on ma six-fo'

Out for a pedal this morning to have a few words with the black dog. I had fitted the front 24" Halo combat rim with 24x3" Halo Ception tyre to the Inbred and wanted to see how it went.
The rolling radius is smaller on the front, despite the much larger volume tyre, though probably by about 3/4", so not much. There is definitely more rolling resistance though.
I picked my way along some of the trails I know around the local area, it's about a 10 mile loop roughly and a mix of paved roads and slarry bridleways.
There's also a few areas where the streams are the bridleway.
So why the 3" front then? Well I really love fat (tyred) bikes though the cost is pretty salty, so when the option of borrowing the wheels from my mate Phil came up (cheers Phil) I jumped at the chance. There's a matching rear, but with a measly 2.6" tyre on. Long term plan is to build a singlespeed with them. Anyway.
The stream above has a swirl pool about 2' deep just as you get to it, but you can make it through by going to the far left along an underwater rock ledge. I almost made it...
Along a bit further and after a cracking set of rock steps to descend (just visible in the background) there was a fallen tree to deal with.
Here the SPDs made life a chore and I wished I had my beartraps still fitted.
This trail runs out by a river, which you can cross if you don't mind wet legs as again it's about 2' deep.
You can see tyre lines from other vehicles making it. Tempting isn't it? Maybe in the summer, as we're only about halfway round at this point. The chicken run is to back up a little and make use of a narrow plank bridge about 50yds further along.
That duly done it was out onto the road then back up another hill into some woods.
The ground was still pretty cold and there was the odd patch of ice to crunch through, which was fun.
Then I was tempted by an off-piste run through the pine trees, mossy hummocks and rabbit holes. This was really enjoyable until I got a branch in my left eye and promptly fell off through a small pine tree as I was unable to get out of my right SPD. Grrr...
Once able to see again I went to snap a pic only to discover the phone battery had died. Ah well.
Turning round I headed back on track and back towards home.
So what have I found out running a chubby front? Well it's actually quite fun (most importantly), the bike does float over the gunky muddy slarr a lot better and really the rolling resistance isn't too terrible. It's not like I'm doing the TDF on it. So roll on the parts collection for the singlespeed when I can run both wheels...

Monday, February 6, 2012

The month that was

Well, January.
I always think that a new start comes in a new year, cliched I know. I'm hoping January won't be indicative.
A rough start when I had two massive anxiety attacks whilst on a business trip to London. It's no fun waking in the night shaking hard and being unable to get your breath.
Still the trip itself was good and worthwhile and I got to meet some great people and talk about some exciting things. If you're an iPad user, check out the Museum of London's; Dickens' Dark London App...

I had a pedal along the local canal and noticed a dam in place. This was because of bridge repairs as I found out further on.

Also interesting were a load of freshwater mussels down in the water. About the size of your fist they were.

Next up was an MTB enduro race, the Brechfa Frostbite 40. Dropped in length down to 23 miles (according to Jay's GPS tracker) it started off well and I put in some reasonable times on the first two special stages, not 'setting the world on fire' times, but good enough. Then I suffered the most massive set of cramps I had ever had in both quad muscles. I'm not normally one for outbursts, but I couldn't help but scream in agony until after about 5 minutes I was able to overcome the muscles and actually bend my legs. This was at around the 3/4 mark of the race. I began to walk off the cramp and then got back in the saddle. Every time there was a long bout of effort required though, the cramp set back in. Cue a shocking time on the final stage due to having to half walk it. So disappointed, and a crap start to the years races.

After that I decided in a huff to shave, so the three/four months of good beard and 'tache action was bade farewell. I couldn't do a full shave, but the grade 3 guard was fitted and all the style and panache was gone.

A few days later I was on the way to work on the Tenere and got sideswiped by a guy changing lanes from middle to outside and not seeing me. I've no idea how I didn't crash and it was as scary an experience as I want to remember feeling the bike shunted a couple of foot sideways. Thankfully they have admitted full liability so I am waiting repairs to the mighty Princess.

As the weekends came around I went up to a friends farm in the Forest of Dean and helped continue the work begun in December in making and fitting a set of 3 bay doors and a partition. The front doors are 10x8' and the partition doors 14x10'. Made from 40x40x3 box section there's some weight behind them...Pic courtesy of Debs.

It was a long weekend with work done late into the night Sunday courtesy of Transit van lights.
But it was done.

Whilst waiting for bike repairs I have an SV650 courtesy bike. I've always liked the little SV and I am enjoying using it as a replacement for the Tenere.

To finish off one month and head into another I headed up to the Fens to catch up with friends and have a pedal. I took the pushiron up in the mighty Quickspaz and was glad of my mud and snow tyres when on Saturday evening the snow fell, and fell some more.

It was still around on the drive back Sunday morning.
Still the little van did good.
Here's hoping February turns out better, so far it is onto a good start thanks to good friends.