Saturday, 23 September 2017

The 3 Amigos Ride Again

As the title to my blog says "The 3 Amigos Ride Again". I cannot tell you the last time I had a ride out with both John and Lee. Put it this way it has been way too long, as this mornings local trail adventure was sooooo much fun. According to Strava we covered 14.1 miles the majority of this being off road, on either farmers trails, parts of the Chapman Wells nature reserve or in the local wooded area surrounding Chapman's and Quakies. As I still do not feel 100%, being able to get a little off the beaten track and yet stay close enough to home, so that I can bail at any point is spot on.

The 3 Amigos

Thursday, 14 September 2017

Had my new drone all of 10 minutes and crashed it Oops!

An exciting afternoon, as my big boys toy has arrived. It is a DJI Spark drone. Upon opening the box I was greeted with this very cute little blue drone.

DJI Spark
Everything you get in the combo bundle
I eagerly got everything out of the box and began charging him. Thank god for Youtube as the instructions came in 7, yes that is 7 small booklets. Even with my gigs on I couldn't read them. Mind you not that I am one for reading instructions. I figure if something doesn't work straight out of the box, well it's broken isn't it? I have therefore left Ern reading the vast manual which he has printed out from online.

So Cute, but very angry
Appears well made and has loads of features
So far following the Youtube guides I have managed to update both the drone and it's controllers firmware. I have also managed to get the drone started and hovering, well before I crashed it into the wall of my bedroom and thought I had broke of a rotor blade...Ooops!

Whilst in firmware mode, it makes some weird tunes
Rotor Guards in Place
Second attempt was much better ( I put the rotor blade guards on this time). I could get the drone to go up and down, and circle left and right 360 degrees, however could I hell get it to fly left or right and could only get it to come towards me by flying backwards, ie the camera facing away from me. Mmmmm more practice required and must get Ern reading faster to get me up to speed.

Apparently my little drone also thinks it is in China according to the on screen display, so that needs sorting. I certainly do not want it returning to base in Beijing. Batteries only last around 16 minutes per flight I think so it would be pushing it anyhoo.

So far I have just had a little bit play around in doors in my bedroom, man this little thing is loud, it kind of sounds like it's pissed off when you fly it around. I swear it had a go at poor Ern and buzzed him, wasn't me!

All batteries on charge now and I will try and figure out how to use it and get some footage, so watch this space.

Saturday, 2 September 2017

Just messing around in the woods

Today's adventure out with John on the bikes was a short one. I am having a few problems with socket fit, kind of changed shape once again so my socket feels rather tight. Not to worry everything is in place to get sorted by the amazing team over at Pace Rehabilitation. Really don't know where I would be right now without the support of these guys. Definitely not jumping around and acting like a teenager in the woods that is for sure.

Man why do I have to live in such a hilly area. No matter which direction I go, here in jolly old Mordor there is a hill. Hey Ho back up the farmers trail we go.

As John and I set off up the Farmers Trail we were followed by a
combined harvester and two tractors one of which was pulling a large trailer. We pulled over to the side and let them all get past and they headed up to start work in the nearby wheat field.

John heading up the Farmers Trail
Silverback Synergy Fat
Mid way up the farmers trail
Silverback Synergy Fat
Beautiful sky
John had been talking of seeing one of our friends on Facebook, Mark Peterson and all the cool pictures Mark had been putting on. Saying "I would like to go somewhere and have a play at maybe jumping off some stuff". Although we have beautiful surroundings, like woods and countryside I couldn't really think of anywhere to errr "Jump off stuff". I then remembered this little place down Beamish woods. Funnily enough it is where I actually attempted my first little jump on a bike after receiving my BTK way back in 2009.

Checkout the facials LoL
I had been loaned a Transition Blindside and man I can remember having a wide range of emotions going on. Everything from being real excited to absolutely bricking it. I mean I had never jumped anything since I was a nipper and as I was just getting back to cycling and the use of the Bartlett Tendon at the time well it was very nerve racking. It's kind of a weird feeling strapping what is essentially a bucket with an artificial knee joint and then relying on 2 elastic bands to be there when you take off and land. Obviously the BTK and especially the latest incarnation the BTK Crossover have so much more technology and design put into them, but never the less it was and in a way still is a leap of faith. No matter what you pop on to replace a lost limb, there is still the fact there is nothing quite like your own bits...So look after them and appreciate them people.

BTK Crossover
BTK Crossover

Knee in hyper extension, not good

Anyhoo we arrived at Beamish Woods and I showed John the little jump. "Ok you go first" John said. Yeah I could see what he was thinking, "you have a go and if you fall off I think I'll pass lol". So we set up the GoPro and just started messing around.

Silverback Synergy Fat

Silverback Synergy Fat

Silverback Synergy Fat

Silverback Synergy Fat

Silverback Bikes

Eventually John says "Ok I'm ganna have a gan". He pushes his bike up the hill and gets to the top and says "Bloody hell it looks steeper from up here like". I tell John, "you might want to drop your seat down. I mean you don't want to catch your nuts if...ahem! I mean when you land". John is cautious his first time down the hill, but enjoys it so much he attempts it a good few times, gradually getting faster and gaining confidence. We probably stayed there a good hour and had a blast, so much fun.

Silverback Synergy Fat
Coming through Beamish woods
Following on we rode through a bit of wood I had never been through until we came to this massive steep hillside that was proper rooted and gnarly. I couldn't see all the way down through the tress so wasn't sure what it would be like to ride down. There were 3 young lads at the top, so I said to them "What's it like going down?" Too which I got the reply "It's canny steep like mate". "Mmmm decisions, decisions"," Awww screw it" I just went for it. Fuck me it was steeper than I thought lol At one point I felt I was going to go over the bars. Just when I thought I was at the bottom, the trail turned and there was an even steeper bit. No stopping now, arse hanging over the back wheel, thank god I had put my Rock Shock Monarch on the highest  flexion resistance, as this allowed me to fully flex my Crossover and control my bike. Last thing I wanted was to be too far forward with a hyper extended knee, recipe for disaster. Once at the bottom, man did I feel like the cat that got the cream, a big grin all over my face. I know for an everyday mountain bike rider this would just be a walk in the park, however for me when I think back to when I first had my amputation I couldn't keep my balance on my bike and would fall off on the flat, in my garden. John congratulated me on my descent after deciding it was way too steep for him to have a go at and he pushed his bike cautiously down the trail.

A grand morning playing
My mate John
 As we rode on the trail became more familiar and I knew we would have an epic climb back up towards home. Once we started climbing out of the woods, coming up the back of Beamish on the road towards the South Causey I could feel my stump feeling like it was going to explode. Man so fatigued and my hip was killing me. I had been riding today with more resistance in my tendons as Paul my prosthetist over at Pace  had relocated my receivers, as well as me putting my old tendons in place and then around 40psi in the shock. It's like riding, then doing a whole separate work out as you ride. I should probably have thought on and reduced the pressure in my shock and put the cams on an easier setting for the rest of the ride home. It's weird after all these years riding with the BTK and now the Crossover I am still learning what are the best settings for what ever I am doing. I had never really used the Highest flexion resistance setting, until chatting to another user and friend Jude. Jude does a lot of Down hill and I was interested to hear about how he sets up his knee, using the Shock on max resistance and to my surprise a relatively low amount of pressure in the can.

So only 7.1 miles or so covered today and lots of pain, but man it was so much fun and for me that is what it is all about.