Thursday, 4 February 2016

A Few Days Holiday

I have been off work the last few days as I had some annual leave to use up before the end of March, so I only worked Monday and Tuesday of this week, then I have had the Wednesday, Thursday and will also have tomorrow off. Come the weekend no rest for the wicked however as I am off down to Darlington to do my Level 1 coaching with British Triathlon. I have been very kindly invited to take part in some coaching sessions by the head coach and my good friend Graeme Moore along at Phoenix Triathlon in South Shields. In order to do this I obviously need the relevant knowledge, experience and coaching certificate. I have helped Graeme out in the past with a few minor sessions and although I don't feel I do much, well Graeme always appears very happy to see me and that counts for a lot.

Truth be known (those of you who read my blogs know I always say it how it is lol) I have been feeling less than motivated. I am terribly critical and quite cynical of my performance, so when I am feeling I am not doing my best or just feeling quite unmotivated or lethargic I have a go at myself. Obviously this leads to feelings of being miserable, less than adequate and also that feeling I hate which is of failure. So I decided with my days off instead of just sitting in the house I would at least try and do something. So yesterday I went for an enjoyable yet really hard and cold ride out with my friend John. We rode locally and covered just over 23.5 miles, my furthest this year. I always find it amazing that we can still discover new places to ride locally and yesterday was no different.

Up The Black Path

John and I rode over from my house to South Moor and took what is affectionately known as the Black Path to get us to Chapman's Wells. I think the path is called this because in days gone past there used to be large slag heaps of coal, hence the path was pitch black with coal dust and fragments of coal
 
John coming up the Black Path
Me coming up the Black Path
 As we rode over near Chapman's Wells we took a slightly different route and discovered new gates had be put in on the field where years gone past a whole host of cows and sheep had been buried when the Foot and Mouth epidemic was about. In the fields there are rather large pipes coming from the ground, all dotted around at intervals. I always wondered what they were and a local fellow explained to me, it was to release all the gas from the dead carcasses.

My PYGA OneTen 29'er
Heading up towards the nature reserve
A little flare through the trees

It was freezing in these woods
John all fenced in
Me

John had wanted to ride over to Buttsfield yesterday, which I believe we did if John's sat nav on his mobile phone was correct. You see he had had it in his mind we would go and visit the scene of a local murder some 26 years previous. Many local people will remember when Mr Albert Dryden shot and killed a counsellor who was there to demolish his house. As I recall the house was hard to see in the first place as it was practically buried to beat planning regulations and as both John and I didn't really know where the property was well the discovery of the place was a fail. John you need to do more homework mate lol. Anyhoo end result is we had to ride all the way back up the big steep hill at Knitsley. To be fair considering I am seriously out of shape I found the hill not as bad as I remembered last time I got lost coming that way.

As we approached Consett I was wrecked, all I can say is thank God for McDonald's, a McChicken  sandwich, coffee with six sugars and a cookie later I was ready for the home stretch, although I now felt a bit sickly lol. After stopping I was now bloody freezing. Got home safe and sound and after putting my bike away came in to discover my new saddle and bars had been delivered for my Fat Bike. I had ordered a SDG Duster saddle and a lovely pair of Race Face carbon bars, wow they are so light. Will pop them on tomorrow maybe.

Too today. My poor dad is loaded with cold and he says "you would think someone had been punching him in the  chest". I had it in my head to take wor Baxter for a walk and also try and get some pictures of him as it has been ages. Baxter is now 9 months old and he is a real handful. I mean he is a lovely, affectionate dog, it's just he is so naughty and mischievous.  This week for instance he has destroyed not only his fur pet bed, but also his mattress. My dad popped up a fence around one part of out garden to keep Baxter off the lawn and give the local birds a place to eat their food in peace. Well Baxter has now developed the ability to jump, so what does he do? He jumps the fence, eats all the birds food, destroys the bird table as well as the bird feeders  then looks around as if to say "That's a job well done". Yesterday Baxter jumped the fence and just would not come out of the garden, running around like a hooligan and looking at me as if to say "screw you pal, you have no chance of catching me". In the end I got him out after I went and retrieved the garden hose and gave him a cold shower and thought to myself "No screw you, who is laughing now", actually still him as when he came past me he shook all over me lol. Bad Boy!

So this morning Baxter and I went for walkies. I took him along and up the Farmers Trail, where I grabbed a few pics with my GoPro. We then cut off to the right and across towards the Farmers Fields. Here I got my big camera out (which I haven't a clue how to work) and tried taking a few more snaps.

There's wor Baxter
And Sit Like a Good boy
We walked around 2 miles. Baxter doesn't exactly help on the muddy sections as he has a tendency to pull, so in a few spots I almost went arse over tit. I am trying to get him to be a good lad on the lead, but he just has a real stubborn streak. I swear he has selective hearing, rustle a sweet or crisp wrapper and it's like "Huh Food", ask him to follow a command and it's like talking to a post. We both arrived home covered in mud, however I enjoyed our little jaunt out and I got a few pics too.

I think Baxter is chuckling to himself
Once in the house, this dog is bonkers. I was up in my bedroom when I heard Ern telling Baxter "Get down". He has only decided to jump on top of his crate and sit there crying to go out for another walk.  


It's hard setting up camera on timer with no tripod
Baxter and I
My Stick
Can we PLAY!
Run Bully Run
GoPro was still on
B&W Baxter

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