Sunday, 19 April 2015

Text from John "Do you fancy a ride out in the morning"

My blog is all about my adventures, these adventures predominantly involve bicycles as hey that's what I do and that's what I enjoy. Of course I will write about other stuff as and when it happens and it may not involve bicycles, but I can never see it involving knitting.
Feeling a little bit sore from yesterdays ride I got a text from my friend John asking "hey do you fancy a ride out with me and Michelle". Michelle is John's mate who I have met once before and went out for a bike ride with. "Why not" I thought, so I replied to John and found out where we would meet up and what time, John saying both he and Michelle would call down to my house at 8:30am.

Come Sunday morning I was up for 6:00am, even though I'm feeling a bit tired lately I still can't lie in on a morning. I got my self dressed and popped my computer on and began looking for new songs on Spotify. It's something I do from time to time, always looking for stuff that will fit in with video's I have in mind, well when I can get my dam GoPro and camera to work properly lol.

8:00 am soon came around so I made myself a coffee from our Tassimo machine and popped in 4 slices of fruity baby bread in our toaster. Got to love a bit of toasted baby bread smothered in butter n jam in the morning. I figured this would keep me going until I got back from our ride. Of course I also shoved a couple of snack bars in my Camelbak just in case I got peckish on the way around.

I then went out to the shed and sorted my Fat Bike out. Last week I had asked my good friend Si Ellis of Cycle Solutions if he would have a look at the rear wheel on my Fattie. The cones felt a tad loose and the wheel itself a little grimed up. Si replaced the bearings, adjusted the cones and informed me I could do with a new free wheel hub, so he is going to order one in for me and fit it in the near future. Si always doe's a spot on job and is very reasonable, trying to give a quick turn around for clients. What I like about his service is he will always examine the stuff to be looked at and give you a proper quote before going ahead with work and he always explains exactly what he has done and writes it down upon your receipt. Good Stuff.

Anyhoo when it comes to bike mechanics I'm about as much use as a one legged bloke in an arse kicking competition, actually I did quite good in that competition, but I was pretty poor at the dwarf throwing. Rear derailleur's always confuse me. I struggle to figure out how to pop the chain on the casette and get the back wheel in the drop outs of the frame. I know not exactly rocket science to some. Maybe it's because I don't really do the maintenance of my bikes. I tend to leave that to Ern or like I say Si. I know I should learn. Anyhoo after a little bit on messing on and taking a second to figure out how my other bikes chain went around I finally managed to get my rear wheel on and even tighten it up, make it go around and be able to hit my gears...WoW  even impressed myself, well it didn't seem fair to get Ern out of bed.

Ok good to go I had a little ride up my street and clocked John and Michelle riding down. When they got to me John asked to borrow a pump.  I informed him I only had my small one which I keep in the back of my Camelbak as the track pump had mysteriously gone walkies. Ern swears it was in our car last time I visited Kielder, but I can't remember seeing it never mind using it, nope I think one of the local kids has pilfered it. Ern is always repairing their bikes, setting up gears, blowing up tires etc. During the summer I would say they come between 10 to 15 times per day so the bloody doorbell is on fire. Ern never complains and always goes and helps them out. Me I'm a grumpy old git so they never ask me for owt. If I answer the door they always say "is Ern in" "NO". You see I'm more like my grandad, he had the darkest sense of humour and was very stern. Before the days of Political correctness some would even say he was a bully, but a loveable one lol. I can remember when I was small, he used to have stubble akin to Desperate Dan and he would grab me and rub his chin on my face. I would then cry out for my Nana Johnstone and she would come to the rescue. Grandad Johnstone would make me weed his garden out the front. I would be there hours until every last weed was pulled out and wouldn't get so much as a thank you, nope more of a "whey a suppose that'll have ta dee".

Michelle's tyre just wouldn't inflate with my tiny little pump so I got her to bring her bike near the shed, whacked the compressor on and it was up in no time. Then we were off, yes you have guessed it, up and along the Farmers trail. John likes me to decide a route when we go out and he quite happily follows. So today I took John and Michelle down into Beamish, going past the Shepherd and Shepherdess and turning around the back of Station Cottages... You aren't really supposed to ride bikes here, so I got us off the main path as soon as possible. Why you aren't supposed to ride bikes there is unclear to me, probably some by law that goes back to the 17th century when guys like Dick Turpin were around, obviously you may have ran him over with your bike. The route I chose I hadn't been on in like ages. The woods had been really thinned out and a more definitive trail made. This trail became quite steep and pretty technical, so possibly wasn't the best route for Michelle. John doesn't always like where I take him either,generally because it's muddy, however his confidence has grown considerably from when he first started riding and he will now have a go at riding roots and technical areas.

Enjoyed this bit trail
Huge drop down, hard to capture on camera
I lay my bike down I didn't fall off

Courtesy of Mr Chambers
  Eventually we dropped on to a trail which led us down into Ousbrough Woods and crossed the stream and pushed our bikes up the steep embankment to the other side. 

From here a lovely ride through the woods before coming out on to a small back road, with a steep incline. This road if you follow it leads all the way to Sunnyside. We got off way before there however and ended up heading back towards Beamish.

Cross the stream and push the bike sup other side


Still running the Nates, got used to the drag now
I fancied going a slightly different way to usual  so guided us down a trail to the left. I had been down it before many years ago but couldn't remember where exactly it went. Anyhoo as we followed this trail it eventually brought us out into part of Beamish Open Air Museum. There were numerous styles to get over on our way there and in one of the fields I even got the chance to do some sheep wrangling, who needs a sheep dog?

Tending my flock
Come By Come By
No sheep were hurt in the making of this
Of course once in Beamish you know you have an epic climb back up the hill. We eventually ended up right back at the Shepherd and shepherdess where we originally started.  From there it was just a case of popping on to the C2C and home.

Concentrating ....NOT!

That's not the end for me however. As soon as I got in I decided to have a go on my running blade. Well I was warmed up. Both Ern and I headed over the Millennium Green playing fields and I tried to go for a jog around the footy pitch. WoW what a nightmare. Not sure if I was too knackered or what, but it's the worst run out to date. I only managed 0.4 miles of stop start running and my prosthesis was whipping all over. After completing the short distance I was in so much pain and barely able to make it back to our car. So all in all not a happy bunny as far as running goes. More work required on my part I think. Paul my prosthetist over at Pace rehabilitation has been awesome, spending hours working on a very bespoke socket and trying to get the alignment correct. One of my problems is I have really strong abductors, yet not such powerful adductor's. This is also my first real run out in months following being unwell and of course now I'm not exactly in great shape because of this Lymphoma. My biggest worry being if I need treatment will I be proper poorly and find myself in a position where I can't train and end up right back at the start.
Figuring out how you do this again
I suppose the main thing is I'm keep trying, however un-pretty it looks
Time will tell I guess an thinking positively who cares about the start or finish it's the journey in between.

Thanks John used a few of your pics...

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