Thinking back to our weekend in Burnsall Village

Posted on Jun 17, 2014 in Bikes, Friends | 0 comments

There is no doubt about it, I am so lucky to have my wonderful relationship with Suzy.

She places few demands.

She comes and goes, admittedly sometimes she’s gone a long time, but that keeps us both keen.

She has money, though I have no idea where from, she intimates her husband looks after her even though they haven’t been together for a few years now.

And she’s generous.

All I do in return is look after Freya, try to be there for them both when they need me, and generally just be a good friend.

We didn’t ride as much as we’d planned. That was my fault. I have hardly ever ridden up a real hill having bee cycling in and around Manchester over the past few years, but hardly anywhere else. And even though I’d borrowed one of her road bikes, I just couldn’t cope.

These hills are huge, they’d wear you out walking up them, and they twist and turn, and then you have to remember the cars too. What was even more surprising is how hard they are to ride down – you need nerves of steel to just let go and lean into the bends, taking the whole road when there’s nothing coming.

I now really want to do more hill riding, but I was useless at the weekend. After the morning Suzy suggested that we call it a day and I was delighted to say yes. We locked the bikes up at the hotel and walked along the river instead, and we both jumped in for a warm swim which was truly wonderful and must have given the teenage lads a thrill – there were a few of them out with their parents and they couldn’t believe there luck as two (I’d like to think, nubile and attractive) girls slipped their bras out under their tee shirts and jumper in the river in their pants.

Wonderful wonderful. Suzy I thank you again.

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Riding the route – Le Tour, Yorkshire

Posted on Jun 14, 2014 in Bikes, Business, Money | 0 comments

This is about cycling, but it’s also about insurance, a subject that until now I haven’t thought a lot about.

I haven’t seen Suzy in a while as she has been away working but she promised ages ago that we’d go up into Yorkshire to ride some of the route of Le Tour, and sure enough this week she honoured the promise.

It was both wonderful and oh so hard!

Anyway the business side of the post came because of two insurance issues we tackled before we were able to set off.

Suzy arranged to borrow a friend’s car to take us up to just north of Skipton to a pub called The Devonshire Fell. It was a really nice big BMW luxury Landrover type thing and we only had to take the front wheels off our bikes to get them in. But we had to buy a short term insurance policy for it and I was surprised when Suzy printed and read all the terms and conditions.

She insisted to me that it was vital, and that she’d just upgraded her home contents insurance to take account of her new bike which will have cost her a heck of a lot (like more than two grand). Suzy explained that not having the right insurance is almost as bad as having none. If something happens and you need to make a claim you will have enough to worry about anyway, you won’t want to be worrying if the insurer is going to pay out or not.

I had a look online when I got to the hotel just now and found a good piece on the Express site that explains clearly how an insurer would be within their right not to pay up when you have been stupid yourself. It talks about things like leaving the sat nat on the car seat, or, like Suzy, when you buy something new and expensive, you forget to let your insurer know.

It was all an education for me, but then my only processions that I care about are my bike and my iPad. Perhaps I should think about insuring them?

She’s finished in the shower now. I need to have one then we’re going down for a drink before dinner. It all feels so grown up – here’s the view from our window…

From The Devonshire Fell

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Still waiting to ride the O

Posted on Jun 1, 2014 in Bikes | 0 comments

It feels like an age since I took on the Orange P7 from Colin’s dad, but I still haven’t ridden it.

I came so close, but as soon as I sat on my new charge saddle it tipped back, the happening wasn’t serious, but it was pretty damn surprising. I didn’t quite fall off.

Trying to tighten it up didn’t work. The knurls (is that the right word?) that hold the two bits of the seat post together must have worn away because I couldn’t make it grip.

I’ve now left it in The Bike Shed, the shop at the end of the road, where they’ll get me a new post.

All in all it will end up costing me as much as a reasonable new bike, but no new bike is ever likely to be as cool as the P7 will be.



I’ll pick it up next week and then I need to get myself fit as there is talk of the girl’s cycling club going out to Coed Y Brennin – no idea if that is spelt right, but it’s the big mountain bike trail out in north Wales. One of the girls has a house out there where we’ll all stay, and then ride the few miles to the centre.

Right now just riding up the hill to her house would do me in completely, and I’m the youngest of the girls so I can’t let them trash me. I’ve been giving it hell around Manchester on my Plug, but you have to ride a long way to get to any hills around here.

It’s funny how a lot of girl cyclists blame their big arses on their miles in the saddle, my little arse is as tight as a bun, and I’m very proud of it – shame lycra isn’t my thing really.

Oops – sorry just a little self indulgent digression there.

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New bike obsession

Posted on Apr 8, 2014 in Bikes | 0 comments

I’m trying to not just write about my bike every time that I open the blog, but it is the only thing I’m thinking about most of the time.

Suzy is away, will be for ages. College is a bind in that there’s is so much to do, but I’m not really enjoying it at the moment.

And then there’s the bike.

I only gave Colin’s dad £100 for it, and I have already spent that much again on it. The tyres were the originals and so the walls had started to perish. I bought new ones and inner tubes too. Nice Schwable ones with puncture resistant strips built in, and much more narrow than a modern mountain bike would have.

Then I replaced all four of the cables, and the brake blocks.

I’ve ordered a Charge saddle like the one on my fixie, and in the same tan leather too.


And I’ve stripped everything down and cleaned every little bit of fifteen year old mud off it.

I like the idea of leaving the slightly scuffed up paint, and where it’s worn from Colin’s dad’s leggings rubbing the top tube on one side. It gives it a lovely patina.

I’ve also scrapped the old curled bars ends he had on it and replaced them with really subtle ones that’ll be just right for pulling up hills, but that don’t spoil the look of the bike.

I think it will be a thing of beauty that older mountain bike enthusiasts will want to come and drool over, and who knows, some of them might want to drool over me as well!

No photos yet, but there will be soon.

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No ride. No ride.

Posted on Apr 3, 2014 in Bikes | 0 comments

I’m not obsessed with bikes, but I do like them a lot.

I feel distinct withdrawal symptoms at the moment having not ridden in a couple of weeks. I also know that as a consequence I’ll have a bloody sore arse again after the next ride and it’ll take a few painful days before the bruising is replaced by muscle tone.

And it’s double no ride, not because it’s so good I stated it twice, but because Suzy is away for a whole month having taken a piece of work with a film crew in Bulgaria making a whole series of adverts for Cilit Bang!

Lucky cow. She’ll be well paid, spend absolutely nothing, have a real laugh, and the only down side is that they tend to work long days and she has had to leave her daughter at home.

Back onto the bike though – I have just bought a mountain bike. I know I don’t have any money, despite working loads in the pub over the past few weeks. One of the lads at college said that his dad had an original Orange P7 in his garage that he has had for about 23 years, but that he hasn’t used for at least ten years. I was immediately excited and asked if I could see it.

We went straight away even though his dad was away, and I fell in love with the thing.

This is a beast from long before all the mod bits like disc brakes, suspension and other things designed to add comfort but that also add weight. It’s low tech, light and very exciting.

And now it’s also mine.

It needs some work. It has a nine speed block on a bike designed for a seven, and so the chain doesn’t run well. At some stage the seat post has had to be drilled out and the new one doesn’t fit properly, and everything is pretty well ceased up. But the important thing is that Colin’s dad was as short as me, and so it fits me perfectly, especially the top tube which is nearly always too long a blokes bike – I’m all legs!

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A fall. A service.

Posted on Feb 8, 2014 in Bikes | 0 comments

Fell off yesterday.

First time since Suzy gave me her Charge.

Fook it hurt!

I was blasting along the Fallowfield ring doing a bit of lung work, sprinting until you feel like you’re going to burst, then going for another hundred metres as fast as my body would carry me.

It’s a great way to workout and leaves you burning all over.

And I hope it’s good for me – it must be. Except today.

I was passing some girl (well, older than me, and a whole lot more stupid too).

She had headphones on. Shit, i know loads of people do it, but that is so bloody stupid. You have to be in touch with everything that’s going on around you when you ride.

And she had her hood up.

Neither of those things on their own need have caused us to collide.

But then the stupid cow decided to turn off to the right.

Without looking.


I hit her like hitting a wall.

She was still lucky though as I veered off to the right a bit and crashed through bits of hedge and fence whereas she just hit the ground.

And then she had the nerve to lose her rag at me.

She’s lucky i didn’t hit her again for good measure.

So last evening I left the Charge at CycleLogic to have the wheels straightened, a new front tyre, new cables and blocks. All stuff I have intended to do for ages, but haven’t quite got around to as I’m riding most day.

I’m not letting stupid off the hook though. And I’m going to shout at everyone I see wearing headphones to make a point.

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