Wednesday, 4 June 2014

Burnhope and the big hill, which actually looks bigger than it looks, when you look at it.

Now I know once I pop my video on Youtube, people will take a look at this "tiny hill" and just say things to the effect off "what hill" or "what a pussy", however I can assure you this little hill was canny hard work and it's a lot steeper than what it appears in any photo or video shot.

My hopefully lucky horseshoe
When I first rode the hill a few weeks back with my friend John we both looked at the trail and thought "nee probs", even John who hates banks and hills wasn't too concerned. Anyhoo as we discovered it proved to be a canny little challenge and so I decided to return and have a go on my Fat Bike, rather than my attempted Fail! on my 10 speed NS soda.

Not much of a story here, however you guys know my writing skills. I could probably write a 10,000 word essay all about the inside of a ping pong ball.

So this is how my day went yesterday. Up bright and early for work. I don't mind getting up as I love my job and the people I work with. I'm only there roughly 4 hours per day Monday to Friday and doing what I'm do at times certainly gives me a kick up the arse when I'm feeling down. I get to come home and do the stuff I enjoy, that means I'm lucky. Life is all about what you can do and a lot of the time we all need this reminder. So my shift is complete I check my phone no calls or messages. Ok then I think I'll head out on my bike. It's been a while since I was out for a ride by myself and to be honest I really enjoyed the solitude. This is no reflection on my pals I really do enjoy going out with them. No it's more a case of riding at my own pace listening to a few tunes, and doing my own thing.  

I packed up my new camera, GoPro and a few spare batteries,clamps and bits and bobs to enable me to shoot some pics and get some footage. I filled my water reservoir up with ice cubes and then placed some fresh water in from our filter tap. My dad fitted a filter tap as every time I was having a drink, like a cup of tea the bloody stuff tasted all chemically, it was awful. In fact it's so bad I can even smell the chemicals if I'm offered a brew out of the ordinary tap. My Camelbak Mule is all ready for the off. No Bike Bag dude frame bag today I'm not carrying that much.

I head down our back street and turn right then a quick left. This way will take me along a regular route, one which I have spoken about many times before. I'm heading for Wagtail Lane and up by the windmills. Up and down the small hills I go, eventually coming out  on the top road to Wilkinson's Bank or Wilka's Bank as most people in our area refer to it. Isn't it weird how as a local you grow up calling places totally different names to what they are actually called upon a map.I have just checked on-line what the actual road name is an it appears it's called New Acres Road, well that's news to me, learn something everyday. Tell you what I wish I could learn right about now,as it's really pissing me off, it's this Blog. Every time I write a sentence the stupid thing reverts to a different tint case text. Yes yes I have changed it in the settings and No it won't comply with my wishes to leave it on NORMAL VERDANA. I know it will appear semi ok to you guys it's just as I'm writing this it's dam annoying...never mind moving on.

As I get on New Acres Road it's only a short ride to Chapman's Wells and from here I can get on to the road which takes me along to Burnhope, past the TV transmitter and onto the quiet lane, where I can head off road. The road heading along to Burnhope from Maiden Law has to be one of the most dangerous roads where cyclists are concerned. Not because it's particularly twisty, narrow or full of hills. No it's more a case of idiotic car drivers who just think "Ahh a long open road, lets floor it along here". They then proceed to come past you in excess of 80mph at times and in some instances miss your bars by mere inches.

I'm safe I made it along the dangerous road, twice, once there and once back. Only one real annoyance, that was for an impatient lady who just drove across my path as a fellow motorist watched on with his window down shaking his head. He looked at me in one of those "dear me she was a bit of a cock wasn't she looks". As I passed him I said "cheers mate" as he had waited the extra 10 seconds to allow me to cycle past.

Anyhoo I'm on the lonely road. I like this it's quiet and peacful. I setup my GoPro and I'm off shooting, feels like ages since I did anything movie wise. As I get to the start of the trail and look down I think "err looks tad muddy" I kind of have the wrong tyres on for the job, but what the hell. This is so much fun I feel like a big kid splashing through the puddles and sliding in the mud. I'm not sure how my footage will turn out but so what. I continue to pay and shoot, lay and shoot all the way down to the bottom of the trail. I then open the gate which leads onto another section of trail and I'm off again. Wow last time I as down with John this was all dried out. There had been a tractor of some kind down and it's huge tyres had left impressions in the mud which were deep. These were now full of water and mud and at times hard to navigate.


As I continued down the trail and into this gorgeous meadow like field which was full of all different types of flowers of various colours I just missed a horseshoe on the trail. "Pleased I didn't run over that" I thought as it had loads of nails sticking out. I got off my bike and retrieved the shoe and placed it in my backpack, a memento of the day and hopefully when hung in our shed will bring me some luck.

I'm almost at the start of the big hill, a little mess around in the meadow getting a few pics and then I set my GoPro up and I'm off. The thing about shooting a video by yourself is you have to come back for your camera. So I was riding so far up then having to go all the way back, then riding up past the point I was at shooting again then riding back. As you can imagine I was pretty kanckered by the time I got to the top. But hey I got there and was well chuffed with my performance.


Before I had set out on today's adventure I had put new tendons on my Bartlett Tendon (BTK) and wow did they make a difference. On the one hand whilst in position 2 on the cams it was easier to get out of the saddle and sprint, foot over foot and also take in the hits by leaning off the back of my bike, on the other I discovered I was really sore fro where my socket was rubbing and riding up the hill took a lot of effort,due to the resistance of the new tendons. So overall a good workout, if a little sore.


One more photo opportunity then I rode home and yeah normally that would be the end to my little tale. But no on arriving back home all the stress that had been relieved from an enjoyable bike ride was to be made 100 times worse.

This is where we get on to the tale of our shed, or should I say shed and shed extension, which was originally made for my buggy that I had, but has now become something akin to Steptoe and Sons. My dad in his infinite wisdom and cowboy tendencies has decided we needed a shed overhaul, to create "More" space. So over the past few days he has been moving stuff around. The work bench which was in the Posher of the sheds is now in the shed extension. This means there is potentially more room in the proper shed. Anyhoo I gets home and after having a chat with Ern he then shows me just what he has done to create more room. Now before I go on I want to make this perfectly clear I own 4 bikes, our Kyle is staying with us and owns one, the Klunker I couldn't ride and gave him.

I am invited to look in the new improved shed and "Oh aye it looks canny", then Ern points to my bikes and I can't quite figure out straight away what he has done. It's only when he says "I have turned the bars" I realise WTF... Oh yeah to get all the bikes in he has loosened the stems and turned all the bars. Ern goes on to explain that now whenever I want to go for a ride all I have to do is grab an allen key straighten up the bars on my chosen bike and then I'm good to go. Then when I return all tired out, possibly soaking wet, cold and muddy, open up the shed,retrieve the allen key loosen my bars and put my bike back again. My thoughts on this "ERRR F$@K NO". I am now absolutely positive Ern does this to wind me up, it's like some big joke to him. Most people I know would ask you your opinion have a discussion, but not my dad. You can have a chat with him he says he takes everything on board then it's as if he says "screw you" waits until your not around then does what he wants anyways and demolishes something or re-invents something. I swear throughout my life I can't remember any-time we have bought something and it hasn't been specifically adapted. I mean for fecks sake a bookshelf is a bookshelf right?...No not when Ern gets his hands on it, it's got to hold more books and be specially adapted just in case you need to put dvd or cd's on it...Oh and what about that potted plant, and we all know plants need irrigation so some sort of water device with internal plumbing will have to be devised Omg! Just stop...

The End...well apart from today's Vid LoL

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