Mountain Bike Shenanigans

May 28th, 2009

Sunshine. Warmth. No rain. And a clear run through all of the traffic lights on the way home. Today was a great day of commuting.

Sanitised Trail
May 25th, 2009

Rode today, taking in the Goyt Bridge Loop that is now one the of established routes from home and a more interesting alternative for riding than the river run. Unfortunately we discovered today that the council have sanitised one of the best bits on the route. It’s now under tarmac and has gone from being a nice downhill woodland trail to a section full of steps. That said the best bit is still there – a roll in to a chute, but it’s now behind a fence so you can’t ride into it any more and then the roll out at the bottom hs been turned into a muddy mess. Perhaps I shouldn’t complain too loudly, a lot of the riding in Reddish Vale is cheeky, but it’d be rude not to poach them. It was good to be out in the sunshine, but after weeks of rain, there was plenty of mud too.

Still Raining
May 22nd, 2009

No change in the weather – it’s almost the end of May but it feels like March. I’ve ended up getting rained on everyday I’ve ridden the Cross Bike to work. It’s quite bizarre. Last night to add to my excitement, some little Chinese fella in his Honda nosed out into the busy main road. I wasn’t sure if he could see me, because I couldn’t see him. In fact when he eventually leaned forward, he could barely see over the steering wheel and I had to double take to check he was older than twelve. Anyway I’d slowed down so much that the rider on the road bike I’d over taken just before caught me up and passed me and then I never reeled him in before I turned off which wound me up a bit.

Then on the final section home there were two more thrilling events. The first being a white van man who decided that without indicating, he would execute a u-turn in the road in front of me, which I really wasn’t expecting. It was close. I was quite thankful for the decent brakes on the bike for that one. Then at the last crossroads junction before home I was cut up in a move that is my pet hate – being overtaken just before a junction and then cut up when the driver realises that they have to stop and give way. I think I was either numbed by the two previous incidents or so sick of riding in the rain that I just wanted to get home, but I couldn’t even be bothered to show my appreciation for such considerate and forward-thinking driving by shouting “Cock!”

Why does it always…
May 15th, 2009

…rain on me (when I’m on my cross bike)?

A few weeks ago I decided that I would sell the Harry Hall commuter. There is a long term plan to replace it before winter with a similar bike, but I decided that as I have a beautiful Indy Fab Cross Bike not getting used, I’d fit the pair of carefully chosen 23mm tyres that have been sitting in a box for about 9 months and ride it over the summer.

So earlier this week the Harry Hall was taken off the road and a big clean up of it started. The Cross Bike lost the knobbly rubber and a pair of Apple Green Schwalbe Stelvio tyres, that match the paintwork perfectly, were fitted. Of course since then it’s rained almost every day. New tyres and diesel slick roads don’t mix well so I still haven’t had a chance to push the bike and find out if they’re any good.

It has without doubt rained on every day I’ve ridden the cross bike so far. I beginning to wonder if there is more than a coincidental relationship…

May 12th, 2009

Don’t play chicken with a bus. That was last week’s lesson. There is a thin line between centre line riding and riding on the wrong side of the road towards a double decker. I never caught up with the crazy fool who pulled this stunt on Friday night, but if I had he’d of been on the receiving end of a torrent of abuse. He would not have walked away from that collision.

Some drivers really just don’t like cyclists. Like the one the other day who purposefully moved over to block me from overtaking him when he was stationary in traffic. Now that’s not very nice behaviour, but at the end of the day it’s a ridiculous move because when you’re stuck in traffic in a car, there’s very little that will stop a biker finding a way around your car if they want to get past.

This morning’s gem was rocking up at a set of traffic lights to almost be taken out by a passenger throwing open their door. I was on the inside, fortunately just coasting to a stop alongside the only car at the junction, when an office worker jumps out in front of me. Eeek. At least I know the brakes work, but if I’d been going faster he’d have been taken out.

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