Monday, 4 May 2015

Short ride out after work, time to think!

I had agreed to work this Bank Holiday Monday in my new role as a health trainer. I was actually quite looking forward to meeting some of the new acquaintances I had made up at Quaking Houses Village Hall and of course representing the Health Trainer Service in speaking to other people within the community. I started at 11am and was done by around 4pm, the day flew over and was quite a success. This is my 5th week in the new role. I find chatting to people no problem, this is in fact my favourite part of my job. The paperwork side, well I'm slowly getting to grips with it, just so much to take in and remember.

As soon as I got in from work I would like to say I ran up the stairs and got ready, however it was more of a fast'ish limp, taking two steps at a time. Off with my casual stuff I had been wearing and straight on with bikey gear. The other week when I had been up to Kielder with the boys I had forgotten my under shorts so I had had to purchase a new pair at a local bike shop in this quiet little village, anyhoo I bought a complete pair of Endura baggy shorts along with liner and have to say I quite liked the fit. They also have a variety of handy pockets and appear to wash and wear well. So I popped the Endura's on complete with a base layer and my rather snazzy Troy Lee Jersey.

As I had came in I had mentioned to Ern (my dad) I was going to head out on my NS Soda just, fancied a change. The reason I mentioned it to Ern was I wasn't sure if he had been off tinkering with my NS. As I have told you before Ern has a habit of figuring it's easier to store my bikes by loosening the head clamp and turning my bars. So I just wanted to make sure my bike was in one piece and I didn't have to rebuild it from the frame up before I set off, as you never know with Ern, he may have decided it would store easier in bits in our loft or something on those lines. Anyhoo on investigation of my bike I soon found Ern on resetting up my bars and taking my hand actuated dropper post from my Ibis to pop on my NS, oh and there was a little matter of no pedals, so I had to steal a pair off my Fat Bike, which is currently without a rear wheel as Si my good friend and local bike mechanic over at
Cycle Solutions has my wheel and is going to sort me out a new free wheel hub as mine is a bit knackered.

Ok bars sorted,seat post sorted and a set of pedals. I grabbed my trusty Panasonic Lumix, the new shiny Blue one I had to purchase after wor Kyle lost my brand new shiny orange one in a lake last year. Weird as the cameras are exactly the same brand and model, however I feel the orange one took a better picture. I couldn't be bothered to fill my Camelbak bladder so just hoyed a bottle of ice cold pop which I had had chilling in the fridge into my backpack and I was off.

In typical fashion, didn't have any real clue where I was going. Decided to head through glass wood, no that's not it's proper name I just call it that as it's full of glass, due to the under age Lambrini girls and boys, well I suppose the boys drink larger or cider. I could have just as easily chosen to call the wood tin wood to I suppose.

NS Soda Air

The Rape Seed all in bloom
 Once out of the wood after a quick adjustment to my seat post I headed up the Sandy Lonnen. Going up the Lonnen the fields to my right looked beautiful with there bright yellow rape seed all flourishing. From here it was through South Moor golf course and  I came out at the windmills on Wagtail Lane. Just as I approached the top road as I looked to my left I saw some lazy scumbags had been fly tipping in the area. Nothing boils my urine more than people who do this. For gods sake we have local amenities and it's just as easy to pop along to the local tip instead of making our local area look a disgrace. Not only that half the stuff dumped doesn't naturally erode or takes years and it can be very dangerous to our wild life. Like I say Scumbags!

Public Byway

NOT Public Dump
Bike having a rest
One of the windmills
Near the road
A nice jaunt along Wagtail Lane muttering to myself about the inadequacies of the human race and I came out at the top road to Quaking Houses  and Burnhope. Here I soon put the memory of the rubbish behind me as I rode along baaaaa'ing to the sheep and new born lambs in the field. I got a few replies which is always fun. Last week I did the same thing and was greeted by some simply lovely joyful ickle lambs, then all of a sudden one particular lamb gave off the most unusual BAAAAA! It was so deep and gruff and had me bad laughing.A short ride up and then down the bank and I turned off right and got on a trail which took me to one of my most popular riding destinations and that's Chapman's wells. A very enjoyable pootle around Chapman's, not bumping into anyone and plenty of time to consider the meaning of life. As I was heading up the trail I happened to look out across one particularly large field and spotted and absolutely stunning Long Eared Owl. It flew away from me, then turned without a sound and flew right past me, before banking away and heading off towards the woods. At this point I was rebuking myself for not bringing my DSLR  as I would have liked a nice shot. Maybe I will take the car up that way and have a walk about and see if I can capture some images. Not sure my camera lens will be big enough, probably need a huge zoom lens lol.
Overlooking the fells
NS Soda Air

Quakies Fells in the background
  Back on to the road and up towards Maiden Law, then a turn right and a quarter of a mile or so and I could loop back and get back into Chapman's Wells. I stopped to take a few pics, then headed down and through Quakies and into South Moor Park. Instead of coming home I thought I'd take in one more bank, so proceeded  to ride all the way up South Moor bank to the Arch and turned for home at the traffic lights. If  I'm coming through Stanley at the top end I always like to jump the 3 or 4 steps opposite the Blue Boar Tavern, today was no different. Doing daft little things like this makes me feel like a kid again. I used to spend hours up the Front Street when I was younger with all my friends, all playing on our BMX's, either that or along the Gas Works.

It's weird when you become disabled you always have the notion that if you didn't become disabled ie in my case loosing my leg  I would be out doing what Danny MacAskill does. When Si visited me yesterday and we discussed all types of bike porn and watched a few video's on Youtube including Danny I sighed and said "God it frustrates me so much as I can't do that", to which Si commented "I have to bloody legs and I can't do that either",  we then had a good laugh. To be honest I can't really remember what it was like to have two legs I just know it's tough at times having one, like I say soooo frustrating and I don't mean stuff like riding a bike. Things like not having your limb on and wanting to have a cup of tea somewhere other than in the kitchen. Or making a meal and having to come back two or three times to carry stuff. Not being able to stand in a shower, wanting a pee on a night, it's easier to use crutches than fanny on putting on your leg. Oh and my biggest D'oh moment when I get a pair of socks out and still go to put the leg that's missing one on. Oh and I have now sussed putting shoes on, it always pays to put your good leg shoe on first, this for me means I don't put my left shoe on my right foot, as it's a right pain in the arse putting my right shoe on my plastic foot, then having to take the bloody thing off again.

Still I'm told I do canny by my family and friends and even by my NHS prosthetist the other week. I figure as long as anyone just tries their best, well no one can ask or expect any more, even if we do set extremely high goals for ourselves then berate ourselves for failure.

Anyhoo moving on as I came from Stanley I popped in to see my friend John, just to check he and his family were OK and see if he fancies a look out later in the week. I think I may have a few afternoons off and I'm hoping John will help be my camera dude and we can make a short video.


  1. Nice to see you out bud, We are gonna have to get the calendars to have a meeting and do some pedalling soon...

    1. Yeah just been having a few short rides to try and see how I go. Still struggling with fitness and to top it off tweaked my shoulder when I was trying to come down those trails in Beamish.