Singletrack Nation


Turbo Training & Sabbath
May 29, 2008, 10:44 am
Filed under: Bikes, Music

A necessary evil as I see it, when the gaps for riding in a hectic family/work life are minimal and tend to bookend the day, then the turbo trainer becomes a sort of evil friend.  It’s either the alarm going off at 5.45am or struggling into riding gear at 8pm at night when the mind and body just want to switch off, those are the turbo times — usually once things crank up and the pedals start moving it isn’t as bad as first anticipated, this time of the year the garage turns into a sauna, there is something about creating a pool of sweat on the floor that is inspirational in a way.

Of course any session would be a form of mental torture without some musical aid, the world’s best invention ever after the wheel and suspension fork has to be the ipod – and last night it was the mighty Sabbath that helped me through the 45mins of torture…

Nothing like the Metal Dwarf screaming at full tilt to make minutes tick away, enter the dark world of Sabbath and embrace the pain!!

So far this month I think I have managed 5 sessions, it varies depending on weather and energy levels, much rather be on the trainer at 6am than 8pm, it just forcing myself out of bed…

If I am to have any chance of doing this – then it is a necessary evil….



The land of neverending sun
May 26, 2008, 7:13 pm
Filed under: Bike Rides

Bike: Commencal Meta 5.5
Distance: 23.5 miles

The weather was perfect again for a ride, really have been spoilt recently, I am sure it will all end in a flood of rain and tears some day soon!

No camera today so no photos, the pace was high anyway so I was doing all I could to hang onto Aaron & Dave’s wheel, legs were well and truly trounced at the end and the numbing pain they were in that night let me know it was a good ride.

Just did the normal Davagh loop, one comedy moment fall off as well, snagging the bars on a fallen branch whilst trying to negotiate a tricky wee descent, bars clipped, one rider headfirst into a tree and associated bracken, no damage done, well only to my pride!

The technical climb out of the Deer Trail caught me again, that one root, the wheels just lose traction over it, it really needs a near enough trackstand and then a bounce of the wheel over, problem being the legs are on fire from trying to that point already, ah well, it’s always good to have challenges..

Ran with new tyres this ride, got some Kenda Nevegal 2.35’s, cracking tyre, great grip and a nice rolling pace, only issue being the rear tyre is so wide it was catching the front mech when down in granny ring land, so will have to swap out for a slightly smaller rear and continue to run the 2.35 up front..

The motionbased stats that spill out of the GPS showed we were hitting a fast enough pace, although our rest stops were slightly longer, too much talking!!



House of pain
May 19, 2008, 10:38 am
Filed under: Uncategorized

Bike: Cotic Roadrat
Distance: 17.86 miles

A late Sunday evening ride, felt the need to inflict some pain upon myself, so took the rat out for a quick road blast.

I had an idea of a route in my head that would hopefully last about an hour, it was spot on and according to the GPS actually took me 1:02:56 – so in my mind there is a perfect goal for the summer to get round that 18 mile loop in under the hour.  I took it flat out as best as I could last night and actually managed to sustain a decent pace, averaging 17mph for the route, legs were a little heavy from Friday’s ride but after 30 minutes that was all but shook off.

Motionbased link to the route here, no real hills or anything, pretty flat all the way apart from the odd kick, which makes it a good training route for the rat and it’s 44/16 chainring setup.



The only way to spend a day off
May 16, 2008, 3:16 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

Bike: Commencal Meta 5.5
Distance: 27.45 miles

A day off work and what better way to spend the morning when the rest of the house is either at school or work than out on the bike.  I secretly was aiming for some pain today wanted to really push it and see if I could get 2 laps of Davagh in plus the road ride up, well I managed it, did the usual lap of the forest then hit the Middle Run for another lap then double-backed along the Middle Run again taking in the alternate route, legs were absolutely fried but it was worth it.

Weather could not have been better, not too hot, little wind and the trails dare I say it were nearly dusty in places, can’t remember that since oh, maybe this time last year!!

According to my GPS I was in the forest for close on 2 hours, didn’t see another living soul in all that time, just me and the bike and a certain degree of pain and punishment, couldn’t ask for more!

Grabbed the camera as I headed out this morning but in the end couldn’t be bothered to faff too much in stopping and taking photos, took a couple though.

Long ladder on the Stream Trail

Nice and dry trails

View plate at the top of Beleevnamore Mountain



Avoiding the hellhounds
May 13, 2008, 7:57 pm
Filed under: Bike Rides

Bike: Commencal Meta 5.5
Distance: 8.9 miles

Home from work @ 6pm, dinner was just about starting, I asked for an extension and threw some bike clothes on and headed out of the door knowing my spaghetti would be waiting for me to cook on my return as well as the general kid chaos.

The roads were mad busy and I couldn’t face a fight with the traffic especially after an exhausting day at work, so decided to take in my own little loop of a few local wooded sections, not great but not bad in a wake the lungs and legs up kinda way, apart from the usual dodging of the local dog walking population and their hellhounds!

51 mins later it was all over, was aiming for the hour but couldn’t quite stretch it that far, still some is better than none.

One of the those nice brown cardboard boxes turned up today with some Continental Mountain King tyres in there, need to shoot now and get those own and give the bike some tlc, brake calipers need tightened etc and still only 1 mug of coffee today, where does the time go!

Mountain King 2.2



At long last…..
May 11, 2008, 7:32 am
Filed under: Bike Rides

Bike: Commencal Meta 5.5
Distance: 24.6 miles

It was a long awaited ride around Davagh Forest today, it is my local ride, but with work sapping much of my weekends recently I was so looking forward to this ride.

Thought it was going to be good and glad to say it ended up that way, Dave and myself hit it quick and didn’t really stop for breath, the legs feel it now, but it was worth it to know that the long winter months of forcing myself out into the elements or onto the turbo trainer were worth it, legs was snappy today for me…

Motionbased link to the ride

I really am a glutton for all the stats and fancy graphs!