Thursday 10 May 2012

A bit of everything.

Ok so mostly in the last few weeks my life has seemed to involve pulling on plastic with the odd bit of rock and some pedalling thrown in for good measure.
Ian Hey back from 18 months in the deep south and cranking again.
This last week has seen a brief respite from the miserable wet-ness and a full weekend of real rock climbing - who'd have thought it?!
Last Saturday (my birthday - yes I am indeed quite old now) Ian Hey, Ruth, Rob Adie (and Buster) and I went for a little trip to the Churnet valley. Now looking at the map it really doesn't look that far from the Roaches but good grief it seems to take forever. That combined with not just 1 guidebook which doesn't make the approach to the car park clear but 3 of them!! (Niall Grimes I think you need to write a better description!) It's all very well saying follow Red Road from behind the pub - but frankly finding the appropriate pub seemed to be the crux. This was my first visit to the actual crags last time I tried to go I failed to find them after flying into a rage whilst trying to drive a large van around narrow lanes where all the junctions seem to be those 45 degree ones where you can see absolutely nothing when driving the aforementioned big white van. On that occasion I left the area before spontaneous combustion could occur!
This visit reinforced with another MIC and an MIA I though nothing could possibly go wrong! Not the case. And after the piss taking I got from Ruth when I returned home without finding it last time it was sweet revenge to see that she couldn't just find it immediately either!
Ian on Ousal High
But find it we did and so we got to sample the delights of some Churnet sandstone. We headed to Ousal Crag for some traversing - topping out definitely not very appealing! Then along to Cottage Rocks, very pleasant. A stop into the Ramblers Retreat - nice pie but how long does it take to bring 3 drinks, a toasted teacake and piece of Damson Pie? I'd hate to be there when it was busy!
Last stop of the day was Wright's Rocks which was more a fact finding mission than much actual climbing as by then skin was thin and it was also getting a wee bit chilly.
I think I'll be headed back there sometime especially when the weather is looking a bit dodgy, it was bone dry down there with reports of rain and wind and cold elsewhere in the Peak - result.

Sunday was a new day and a very different venue I headed off to Malham with Jonny G for some beasting. Jonny was psyched to get the tick on his Upper Tier project Herbie, and I wanted to open an account with New Dawn down on the catwalk. I can safely say that both these objectives were attained - nice one Jonny! New Dawn well it might take a while but I'll be back for another go........if I can just sort out that nasty move at the start!

On a more random note I seem to have gotten back into cycling a bit of late, mostly due to Ruth deciding that she wanted to start having a go at racing. We have both been going to the cycle circuit at Ashton for their tuesday night race series. Ruth has done the last 3 weeks and I missed last week due to excessively tired arms. So anyway the first week was VERY busy there was a field of 55 which is a hell of a lot of bikes and riders on a small circuit, especially as quite a number of them didn't really seem to have quite the control of their bikes as would have been ideal. But not that surprising as it's a race for the lowest category riders (Cat 4), which is what you automatically are until you earn some points to move up through the ranks. I did alright that first week but I was a little bit cautious as I don't really want to get involved in any Mark Cavendish style crashes......what an horrendous move from the other rider (Roberto Ferrari).

This week I was feeling a bit more confident the field was smaller only 22 and everything went more smoothly. The pace was slower despite my best efforts to liven it up, everytime I tried to push things on the group would chase me down and then sit up rather than continuing on at any speed......probably worked out for the best as otherwise I might have been absolutely destroyed and unable to put in any turn of speed over the final laps. As it was I managed to come home 3rd after narrowly avoiding another rider who punctured on the final bends.
Pretty chuffed with that and it meant I won back my entry fee.

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