Sunday, 19 March 2017

Wow exhausted after todays ride out.

My friend John rocked up as arranged at 9am. John wanted Ern to have a quick butchers at his gears, after I had reattached his front mech cable on Thursday. The gears were just off so it did not take Ern long at all to get them working. John has not used his bike for some time so really the front mech just needed a little lubricant to free it up.

For once I was pretty much all ready and prepared to go, so we headed off towards the Farmers trail, intending on having a ride around about Beamish. It was quite blustery this morning so we figured riding some trails in the woods would be a good idea.

I took a few pics at the start of the Farmers trail of my new bike the Silverback Synergy and handed my camera over to John so he could get a few of me in motion. As we reached about the half way mark up the trail, it began to get quite muddy, with some large standing puddles of water and the trail had been worn quite a lot since our last visit when going this way. The trail was at a real angle as the farm traffic, walkers,horses and bikers along with the wet weather had eroded the surface.

Silverback Synergy Fat Glenn Johnstone
Ooh isn't she pretty
Silverback Synergy Fat Glenn Johnstone BTK crossover
Big Grins
Silverback Synergy Fat Heading up the Farmers trail
Heaing up the Farmers trail

On the way up I stopped at one point as I felt my cleat had come loose. I got off my bike and took a quick look, there was thick clarts on the bottom of my shoe, so I thought I must just not be clipped in correctly. I had another go and again as I set off and did a few crank revolutions my shoe felt wonky. Again got of my bike and this time took my shoe off to inspect the cleat. Nope it was solid, so shoe back on. As I attempted another push on the pedals there definitely was something not right, so once again I got off. This time I inspected the pedals and noticed it was my pedal that looked wonky. On closer inspection I noticed the pedal had threaded out of my crank arm and was sitting at an angle...Not good. My immediate thought was 'how the hell has this happened', followed by 'Awww crap am I going to need new crank arms' which would have been gutting as I have only been out once on the bike and new arms are quite expensive.

As we had rode up the trail, it was not so bad rallying down and heading home. I gave Ern a call to let him know what was up and he came with the car to meet us at the end of the estate. Once home Ern had a look at the problem. It appeared the pedal had wound it's way out. Luckily it had only just say caught the outer thread on the crank arm. So Ern wound a pedal in from the opposite side, cleaned out the thread then popped the original pedal back in with a spot of thread lock for safe measure. He also made sure the pedals, both sides were torqued up.

Silverback Synergy Fat Playing in puddles
Playing in the puddles
Now to start our adventure again, heading back up the Farmers Trail, wow it felt harder the second time around lol. Once we got up the trail and headed down the other side and into No Place, we turned Right and went down on to the New Road and continued down into Beamish. Passing the entrance to Beamish Museum and continuing down past the old farm which is part of the Open air museum. Once down by Beamish Hall, we turned right again and this is were we hit more off road riding.

As we rode along this section we again stopped and this is where I fitted the 20 degree wedge into my BTK Crossover. I had also put around 60 psi into the Rock Shox shocker. A little play around getting some pics by the stream and splashing in a puddle and we were off again, heading through the woods. At this point it was lovely the sun streaming through the trees and the wind be kept at bay.



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BTK Crossover Glenn Johnstone
Wedge in BTK Crossover
Silverback Synergy Fat Glenn making a splash
Making a Splash
A little further along the trail and we came to the huge pond, again I grabbed my camera and got a shot of my bike on the edge of the pond, just before it toppled in.

Silverback Synergy Fat
Cooling her Tyres
From the pond it is pretty much an upward ascent and boy was I feeling it. By the time we got along to were the trail meets the road the wind had picked up and upon getting on the road and the ride along to the turning off towards Tanfield Railway it was windy as hell. The wind came at an angle that felt like it was pushing us back, but also a strong cross wind. It's times like this you have to be switched on as the road is a narrow country one and cars can come past way too close. It was hard to maintain a straight line I know I was weaving all over the shop.

I was pleased when we came to the turn off for Tanfield Railway. I had to have a bit of a sit down as my stump was aching right in my hams and around my butt. It is times when I push myself I realise just how much fitness I have lost. And I do not mean just riding I mean wearing a limb day in day out. Most people take walking for granted, however as an amputee as soon as you stop using your prosthesis as regularly it has a huge effect.

Anyhoo back on the bike and we come out at Tanfield railway. We just miss the steam train as I was going to get a picture. So head off back towards Stanley. Instead of going along the Causey Arch, which is a boring ride, we cross the road and go via Tanfield railway and across the Causey Arch Bridge. No complaints from anyone today.

By the time we reach Tanfield Industrial estate I am really flagging and we still have some canny climbs to get back home. We cut through the factories and try as i might I run out of steam on one of the hills. Time to get off and push. I hate doing this as it feels like a fail, but I reflect as I am pushing my bike 'Hey I am out and trying my best to get back into the swing of things'. I am still coughing lots and my chest and throat are on fire. John knows I am  struggling, so encouraged me on and congratulated me for doing so well on the hills and banks we have climbed today.

As we get onto the C2C John suggests we head up Barn Hill...Omg not another bloody hill. I managed to get just over half way up and again had to get off and have a bit of a push. John joined me to keep me company. A push up the back of the indoor market, yes another bank lol Then it was just a case of riding up Stanley Front Street and turning for home. Once at John's a quick 'catch you later' and I was off down Durham Road and home. I couldn't wait to get in, have a shower and fell asleep exhausted.

My phone went flat so no Strava result, John had his on and said we did 12.5 miles. Wow I was exhausted. I will no doubt be back out again next week and try and increase my stamina, fancy getting back to doing a spot of swimming too.


  1. Pleased you are out riding by yourself and with John, blogging about your rides n baxter, going on face book making posts, overall, that's great. Very well done xx