Sunday, 22 February 2009


" Live the dream, live the dream, live the dream
Like the 80s never happened.
People are afraid, are afraid
To merge on the freeway.

Disappear here" *

Les trois garcons. Semi disdain.

Family of sasquatch. Complete disdain.

Remember to look bored.

Live the dream.

Doublegood ride today. A ride of two halves. No need to go on about the Rize. Amazing as usual. Set it up a bit 'softer ' this week. First dalliance with danger didnt dissappoint. Riding a double set of steps up around Anglezarke,thwupping down em like they werent there. My masochistic alter ego likes them to be there ,but it was fun nonetheless.
We're still warming up . It's damp and breezy.After spying a family of deer up in the trees,we figureofeight around the resi' paths ,slippery bridge etc,and then up past the Anglezarke rock face.Instead of the regular tarmac climb up to the moors we do half of it off road. A tough climb up to the viewing spot on a slippy singletrack,and then round the corner now on the road up to Jepsons Farm we turn onto the moors ,past the war memorial and drop down into Leadmines Clough.
After a little play on a 'alternative' drop we head across the open moorland. It's even more damp and cold ,but the stiff breeze isnt entirely face-on ,so it's not all bad news. Not easy though. 5 mins or so later and its fairly drizzle-ing. On the drizzle scale ,about a 7. I notice I havent fitted my mudguards. It's not the mud that bothers me ,it's ingesting the more ,er ,organic material deposited hereabouts.Ah well. Try not to think about it.
We drop down to the very basic stone slab bridge , and head on , up. A tough climb up to the road is made harder with the path disappearing and turning to mud ,and with us turning more into the wind. The Rize just digs in ,although top marks goes to Gaz on his Kona coiler ,clearing the last bit with aplomb ,whilst I got my feet wet. What can I say ? I went for the impossible line.
We turn left and up on the road and soon reach the end of the bridleway around Catter Nab. The drizzle No7 has eased off, as we head round to the Pidgeon Tower for a flapjack ,just as the whistle blows on the first half. My gloves are soaked at this point and after just a few minutes my hands are frozen. We have a few minutes and then crack on. Andy is heading back, so at the top of the gardens he heads back down ,and we head on . We've done around about as much as we'd normally do on a cold wet windy Sunday morning.Time for the second half then.
For no particular reason we give the Pike a miss and head along Georges Ln to the now popular climb/slog up Wilders Moor.I'm feeling a twinge of hunger as I lift the Rize over the gate. It's as wet as it's been in recent weeks.Tyres squirming ,but biting . Just about enough. There's this bit of clay ,see. Just south of Humphreys Ditch. It's had me the last couple of times. Flailing around in the Spuds.Most ungentlemanly conduct. Its claggy ruttedness is not going to have me this week though. And it doesnt.
Gaz attacks the ditch first. More clay . Slippy super counterproductive. It's like being on the 'travelator' on Gladiators. The coiler ,expertly piloted ,forks wound in, digs in and pops out the other side .
Game on . I've not cleared this either the last few times,and whilst the Rize hasnt really let me down up to now ,I'm feeling more than a little unsure as I drop into the ditch.
And then I'm riding out the other side. Yay. I must point out though in past weeks it has been a bit edgier on the exit,but hey ,you take it as it comes. I'm ticking the box.
More climbing up to the road. More slippy slippy slidy. The Rize just romps up. Gaz took it to the Peak District a few weeks back. He said that it's hard to justify the £3k cost over a 'regular' bike,but then he said at the top of all the climbs you're way in front of the gang,so you kinda think again. A bit anti-social I suppose ,but that sums it up quite well. It raises your game . And it doesnt exactly hang about dropping down either.
Normally we'd hit the road and turn 'up ' towards the mast. As this is shaping up to be a local epic though, I direct the dynamic duo down the road towards the cattle grid ,where we turn and head above the quarries. Some fairly well packed ,(but wet),bits are punctuated with boggy bog bits. Tasty . Clouds are rolling in and away by the minute. It's damp and still fairly breezy ,but not actually raining ,so that's OK .
The path ends at a gate halfway down the Scorpioni ,but in yet more epic-ery ,we head up not down.
I am now more hungry.
We hit the bridleway around Walker Fold and then head up to the hidden valley. Another tough little climb ticked off . A boggy transition stage across the moors brings us out on the main mast rd again and out of the relative calm of the valley into the wind again.
In yet more epic-ery we head straight up to the Two Lads. Straight up. No poncy-ing around the back . Right up the bloody north face. Luckily there's a setting for this too on the Rize. I'm on cafe imminent mode now. I need a brew. And cake . Running on next to empty I dig in up the climb . It's hard work ,but ,well ,you can guess the rest . It's a bobby dazzler of a bike.
It's proper windy on top . Not breezy . Gareth hasnt ever done the downhill off here ,so it makes sense for him to go first. It's not like he can get lost though . It drops steeply at first ,and into a nice little twisty bit ,before flattening a touch for the final drop to the dog kennels. Slippy ruts are made even trickier with the fierce crosswind. Womp rats . Beggars Canyon . T-16. Brill.
Hunger+adrenaline ensues.
We regroup at the bottom . Without any further ado , we head back past the Pike,which with a rumblytumbly seemed to take forever. Jeff's been carrying his dodgy elbow all day ,so rather than push it on the Ice Cream Run ,we head down through the gardens. Just going through the motions on the A-ICR,avoiding walkers in the midday sun.
Yea . Midday sun. Hmm.Where did that come from?
The last bit of tarmac couldnt have come a moment too soon,and within minutes we were stuffing our faces with a variety of sweets and savouries. I ordered the foie gras ,but ate it with complete disdain.
The Rize . Dont mention it.

This weeks ride can be viewed HERE in detail on mapmyride dot com. You can see the elevation profile and mileage and everything . It's ace. Change the 'street map' view to 'satellite ' or 'hybrid' for a better idea.(Although I did slightly cock up the plotting at the beginning,it's a fantastic tool )

* Bloc Party . Song for Clay. (Disappear here).

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