Thursday, 21 August 2014

You can still fall off on a short ride out!

I've put in a few miles since the weekend, nothing out the ordinary of course. I did a very painful 34 miler with my mate John last Saturday, painful in that I had altered the whole set up of my leg and bike and I think I had just done too much all at once. John invited me to have a ride over Durham way so he could introduce me to his dad. John was telling me his dad is well into his photography, so asked me "bring your big camera so my dad can have a look at it". So on Saturday morning I packed my Pentax K30 and all it's lenses into my camera backpack and took it on a rare outing. I haven't used my Pentax all that much as I'm pretty useless with it for starters, haven't the patience to learn and boy is it heavy on a long trip. Anyhoo as John and I stopped at No Place for a quick snap I discovered "aww crap" I had forgotten to charge both of the batteries, the one in the camera and the spare I had in my bag. Never mind we managed to get a few snaps.

One pic before the battery died
 The K30 is not a top end model but hey it does the job, or should I say it would do the job if I took the time how to learn to use the bloody thing. John's dad isn't the first person to try to teach me how to fiddle with the dials and show me what is the best way to get good results. To be fair it's wasted on me as after buying my little Panasonic Lumix FT5 I don't see the point in having a big all singing all dancing camera. I  have received some great feedback from the few shots I did manage to get from my little Lumix, well that was before it was lost in a lake a fortnight ago Grrrrrr! So now I'm back to my small Canon SX200IS. A camera I absolutely adore, it's been through quite a bit with me and considering it's not dust or waterproof has lasted well.

I also had a 31 mile ride out on the loaner bike I'm using from Bike Swanky It's a De Rosa Idol and this was on Monday. I decided rather than stick with a really long pylon (the bit that goes from my knee down to my foot, which I had lengthened so as to help me become more efficient on my bike) that I would take out 30mm, leaving my prosthetic side roughly 12mm longer than my normal, good side. I have also fitted the dropper seat post from my NS Soda and this works at treat when I need to set off come to a stop. Starting and stopping can be the hardest bit for an amputee as it's real hard getting on or off the saddle when it's high and set at the right height for riding. Anyhoo Monday's ride was smashing, really enjoyed it and I felt quite comfortable on the bike. The bike is a tad small something I went to the bike fit for, so again money well spent. I'm now looking forward to getting my own De Rosa Idol come September in  a bigger size and well pleased the original colour, Blue and White should be available.

Today's ride was to be a short one with both John and Lee. I wanted to keep it relatively short as I didn't want to get sore as I'm taking part in my first triathlon on Saturday. The Arctic ONE Tri & Para-Tri Festival is at Dorney Lake,Eton, Berks. Tomorrow myself, Ern and my friends John and Ade will be travelling down, staying over the night then they will support me in my efforts.

So like I was saying today's ride we agreed would just be a short one. Lee suggested we maybe head out and do a few Geo-caches, he also had the idea of hiding one himself then logging it for other people to find. So we set off from Lee's in search of a good spot to hide a Geo-cache. We rode over towards the turbines on Wagtail lane. I remember as a youngster this road was never referred to as Wagtail Lane, No for us it was the "Lonley Road". From there it was off to one of our regular haunts and Chapman's Wells. And from there well I won't tell you otherwise it's pointless hiding a cache lol. As this was Lee's/ our first we decided to make it pretty easy. I went in search of a stone to hide the small box Lee had put some stuff in and Lee and John went about digging a small area to pop the container in. We all managed to get stung by nettles, a routine hazard in our neck of the woods. I always itch for days. I grabbed a few snaps and we headed off in search of a Cache pretty nearby. 

Lee Writing out Cache Name

A Clue
Discussing the dynamics of hiding a small square container...For fecks sake just hide it under a rock!
I told Lee £500 was far too much to leave in one container

This cache was said to be at Burnhope Pond. We all lifted our bike over the gate and stepped over the style and proceeded to follow Lee's Garmin, which instructed the way.

As we approached the edge of the field Lee said the clue was something about holly and a hole. I spotted a holly bush and we ventured over towards it. John stayed this side of the fence and Lee and I stepped over another tyle and begun searching on the other side. After a few moments John shouts "I've found 
it" to which Lee mutters something about a "basket" and words to the effect of "it's never me", this made me chuckle, here we are in our 40's and just like big kids. That said big kids having  fun.

As we headed on our merry way Lee spotted a really pretty horse, who had a gorgeous little foal with it. He got an apple out of his back pack and gave it to the horse, who appeared ever so friendly. The little foal was a bit shy but eventually came over to stand with it's mom and I caught a few snaps. They both had beautiful blue eyes.

Another cache full of errr...crap!
John the chief Cache finder, Lee "basket it's never me"

The Horse whisperer...No more like you bribed it with a Golden Delicious

Pretty horses

What a cute little guy
 Ok where to go, we decided to head down the Peth Bank, however turn off onto a piece of trail that would lead us down onto the Whitton Gilbert/ Lanchester Road. I had been down this trail with Lee a few weeks earlier and know it's canny rough. It's a pretty good downhill trail, however it's a bit sketchy as there is grass and weeds covering the trail in sections and like deep gulleys where rain has flown down the hill. The mud then hardens and leaves like deep rain water ways (hard to explain, hopefully you get the idea), put it this way a fat bike tyre just about sits nicely in one of these gulleys, thing is as you fly down the trail and Oh yes I was flying you get tram lined. And this is exactly what happened "Oh crap", moving at a rapid pace and wanting to go straight ahead, however the gulley twisted and turned and I got my front wheel stuck. All of a sudden "Wipe out". Next thing I know is I'm sliding to a halt lying on my good side as I go arse over tit. I'm pleased I wear a helmet as wow I didn't half bang me noggin. The impact was so hard my back wheel came out of my frame. I'm now nursing a very sore shoulder and hip. I have to say the ride up to that point was awesome I do like pushing myself, knowing that in reality I should really take more care. I guess sometimes as an amputee I just feel I have something to prove, even if it is to myself. I must have been going canny quick as it seemed ages before John and lee caught up, they didn't even see me take the tumble lol.

As we got onto the Lanchester Road we cycled along until we could cut through the Malton picnic area from there could get on to the Lanchester Way cycle path. As we approached Lanchester we had a bit of a group chat and chose to head back towards home, deciding to take in Lanchester Bank. Both John and lee had never ridden up it before and it's one of those local banks you really should do at some point. I have been up it numerous times now and have to say today on my Fat Bike, yes in granny gear it was pretty easy. I wonder if this is a sign of my fitness, or the knock on the head I had just experienced lol.

Once at the top of the bank Lee wanted to go look for one more Geo before we headed home. I'm not sure if Lee and John found it as I continued just plodding away up into Mordor as we approached home.

And that's it, another adventure over. Now sitting here realising that wow I'm staring to get real sore and stiff and thinking, this never used to happen when I was younger, boy I'm getting old.

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