Aww, cheers all The coaching is worth it, and I know I am very privileged to be able to afford it....but I think I would struggle to justify £700 in accommodation! Blimy
Sunday - Cwmcarn Had another brilliant day down at Cwmcarn on Sunday with a great group of riders. The sun was out and the trails cold, but fast. The recent changes to the lower jumpy section was still claiming victims, with two riders out with broken bones before lunch. It's frustrating to have to moderate speed coming into the big table, but the face is now so difficult to handle it's become a necessity for us less pro-like beings! Conversely, Some changes have been very positive, with the addition of a nice transition to the jump after the large berm and the huge jump under the bridge which lets you fly for ages with very little effort.
Still spent the day throwing myself down the chicken run and not off the road drop. It's even less tempting now the chicken run is as fast! If I'm honest, I had psychologically decided not to do it before we even left home in the morning as otherwise the time would be spent thinking about the drop and not the rest of the trails. Overall, trail riding was going pretty well again. In fact, comparing one of the videos from Sunday to an older one, I've made up 15 seconds in time to just before the rock garden (after that the track, and my line choice, changes too significantly to make a comparison in time worthwhile). Flat out fast sections have never posed too much problem, so the time gain to that point on the track has been pretty much all from footwork improvement. More importantly,everything feels under control....well, just!
So - video from Sunday (not particularly great footage wise, we could have done with setting the camera up better)
and the one from about a year back...
Good stuff, eh?
Oh, and finally got to have a nosey down the black and the lovely flowing singletrack that branches off the red. I'll be riding the black from now on, once I know it, it's going to save a whole load of pedalling and mean reducing the disadvantage of being light and having to pedal the big bike so hard to try and keep up with the guys.
Monday - Gym 47.5 kg for 5x5 - DONE! Definitely coming to the end of this 5x5 cycle now - I will fight all the way to get another two weeks out and thus 5x5 with 52.5 kg (about as near as dammit to current bodyweight). Shoulder was still sore to start, but eased off once I had warmed up.
Squats Bar 10 Free 10, 10 Bar 10 30 kg: 5 40 kg: 5 47.5 kg: 5, 5, 5, 5, 5 - felt like I was beginning to tip forward on occasion. Must focus on keeping my core strong now the weight is starting to feel heavy
Pull-ups Warm up rows then 3, (woot!), 2, 2, 1, 1
Lat pulls 4 block: 10 6 block: 10, 10 (shoulder too sore for these)
Press-ups 15, 14, 12 (shoulder felt fine)
Tuesday - 6 mile Nightride Test ride for Fenella, goog's new mmmbop, and a test ride for a Minion-Hiroller 2.35 60a tyre combo for me. This is, without a doubt (no arguing now!!) the BEST all round xc tyre combo in the world.....FACT! They corner like a dream, pedal way better than expected and generally feel, hmm, (for want of a better word) 'stable' at speed and over the rocks. Dumbfoundingly good.
Seated shoulder press - shoulder still too sore to press
Bench Bar: 15, 15 25 kg: 5 30 kg: 5 32.5 kg: 10 35 kg: 8, 8, 8 - pretty pleased with these, all easy enough with the first reps paused on each set. Want to drop bench down the exercise priority in favour of push-press on this day, but with a dodgy shoulder just have to make the best of what's there. Shall have to get this shoulder stretched and sorted before next week.
Just take it easy eh DHD. Have to make sure you don't put too much pressure on your shoulder as don't want to make it worse. It'll heal up in its own time. Keep it moving, but don't rush it. Hope it gets back to normal soon.
Thanks for the tips re tyres. How much do those babies weigh all up?
Alistar wrote:Just take it easy eh DHD. Have to make sure you don't put too much pressure on your shoulder as don't want to make it worse. It'll heal up in its own time. Keep it moving, but don't rush it. Hope it gets back to normal soon.
Thanks for the tips re tyres. How much do those babies weigh all up?
Will do boss!
Tyres - well, here's the manufacturers weights....
Not a problem for DH, but 'eckitythump it's soooo much better with the lighter, harder compound for XC. I even, almost, liked pedalling uphill today!
Saturday - Malvern Pootle
A few hours on the hills, fighting the Westerlies to stay upright. At least the gales kept the walkers away so, despite being a Saturday, we had no trail conflicts, only lots of HT fun. Fenella came out for a proper outing, and it was obvious very quickly that goog was very happy to be on his new playbike.
The winds on the ridge deserved full attention, and leaning as much as possible to try and stay on line. It was often fruitless though, with the bikes being constantly pushed uncontrollably....and often rather to-close-for-comfort to the electric fencing. By the time goog was totally blown off the bike, we ended sat on the floor laughing at the stupidity of the situation. It wasn't long until we dropped back into the shelter of the eastern flanks!
Following the wooded trails to St Anns Well cafe was a pleasant pedal, interrupted by finally riding a short steepy, now free from electric fencing, that has been eyed up for a fair while.
St Anns was as lovely and friendly as ever. Great tea, great cake, great soup, great service - what more could you ask of a cafe hidden right up in the hills? Unfortunately the MHC disagree and have waged war against the current tenant, despite overwhelming public support for his 20 yr management of this little gem.
Finally, we dropped into town via switchback after switchback after switchback, to accost Elgar and grab a picture for the STW Weekend Photo Challenge thread, this week's theme being 'public art'.
cool pics DHD. where in the world is malvern (malvern pootle sounds like a ye olde village name!)? my british isles geography isn't what it should be, anything south of thelwall viaduct is france to me looks lovely anyway.
"No se deja de pedalear cuando se envejece. Se envejece cuando se deja de pedalear"
bob_summers wrote:cool pics DHD. where in the world is malvern (malvern pootle sounds like a ye olde village name!)? my british isles geography isn't what it should be, anything south of thelwall viaduct is france to me looks lovely anyway.
It's around Calais then
The Malvern Hills are located at the junction of Gloucestershire, Herefordshire and Worcester - so kind of just come into the Midlands area. There are a load of little towns that surround the hills, as well as the main town (Great Malvern). It's a nice place to live
Sunday - Nibley DH Definition of the neighbour from hell = mine.
5:45 am is not an appropriate time to get to sleep for a 7 am alarm. Not wanting to let anyone down, it was a case of get up, get caffeine and get hoping that the excitement would see energy levels through the day.
Thank fuck, it worked.
Nibley is a cracking little place, local built trails are so much fun, especially with a bunch of riders who know how to have a good time!
We warmed up in the quarry, sessioning the drop-ins and following jumps. Here's a headcam off the edge filmed by goog - everything always looks so much smaller on film!
Personally, there was a good improvement in my jumping since last time, which I put down to the recent training day with Jedi. When I got the 'pump' right, it was so noticeable, even to the guys watching. Superstuff! Even managed to just about pull off the more difficult rocky chute-table combo, which was particularly pleasing (photo taken by Jodie).
The main line at Nibley had a much needed re-build of the lip to the gap jump. None of us managed to land it smoothly however, and the double bounce effect was probably close to taking casualties, well certainly for me at least! Luckily I managed to stay on the bike all day, unlike Jodie who had a rather nasty tree-rider interface. It's never nice to loose people early to injury.
Here's some headcam of the main line - I was a little distracted at the top worrying about the I-pod falling out my pocket, but kind of got it together once onto the singletrack. There's definitely a fair few seconds left to shave off though!
Monday - Hill Climbing Van had to go in the garage at the bottom of the hill, so chucked the bike in an pedalled the 2.5 miles home. Uphill. Into a headwind. It was not fun.
Tuesday - Hill Descending The distinct lack of van resulted in goog BMXing to the train station at 5:40 am. To help numb the pain of a walk back up the hill, I decided to ride down in the evening and meet him. With a small detour over the hills, over course. Ended up tracking down some hidden singletrack which turned into a bit of switchback heaven. The steps at the end though, they were left for another non-solo day.
Wednesday - Gym Squat day. Gawd I felt really grumpy and lethargic after a shitty day at work, but decided to just go along and see what I could do. I think I was pretty convinced I'd struggle to get 50 kg for 5x5 so figured there was no point waiting until a good day as I had been putting squatting off for two days already. Turned out alright in the end. That's not to say it wasn't blummin heavy mind.
Here's a video of the last set, and a thread I started over in t'other forum about form n that.
Back work W/U rows then: 2, 2, 2, 1, 1 Dumbbell rows
Thursday Rest day
Friday - Bench Day Warm-up - run/cycle
Bench Still don't really have a plan for bench, but this was the first time I've lifted 37.5 kg since coming back so was pleased to get the 3 sets of 5. Bar: 10, 10, 10 25 kg: 5 30 kg: 5 37.5 kg: 5, 5, 5
Push Press First time I've been able to press since hurting my shoulder in that bike crash a few weeks back. It really helped finding a 10 kg light bar to warm up with first. Certainly can't strict press without a lot of pain yet though. Light bar: 10 , 10, 10 20 kg: 8, 8 25 kg: 8, 7, 6
Zangolin, the king of goldandbluebikebling (photo below) kindly offered to show us some of the hidden singletrack around Haugh (pronounced Hoff) Woods. After last minute discussions about the pace (i.e., it had better be slow!), and an assessment of the forcast, we couldn't refuse the invite.
Starting at Haugh Woods car park, Zangolin immediately led us into the forest via bizarrely summer-dry trails. Root after root after root on some sections, with sweeping corners on others. We were immediately impressed by the quality of trails, and becoming increasingly so as the ride progressed.
Indeed, the best of all were kept to last, when we were taken down the best flowing singletrack I think I have ever ridden in the UK before a steep rooty DH style plummet to the end.
Time: 02:37:32 Distance (miles): 11.86 Elevation gain: 411 Av HR: 150 Max HR: 191
About 30 minutes by car to get to these trails, so I guess local in MTB terms. We were definitely lucky with the weather, it's all changed here again this week and is pouring with rain down here and snowing up North!
Went to Ribbesford. It pissed down. Felt rotten. They closed all the trails to build stuff, then opened the most HT unfriendly of all. We came home, ate stuff and chilled out.
Monday - Rest day
Still feeling bleugh. Stomach pains that have lasted weeks and wont go away for long.
Tuesday - Nightride
Dragged myself on the hills in the rain and was glad. The weather was freezing, wet and horrid, but it felt good to beat it.
Wednesday - Delamere Sessioning Thanks to wonderful collapsing trial pits on site, the planned early finish in Manchester materialised and I was able to meet Doug at Delamere.
What a cracking little place the skills area and adjacent woods are. Short sharp downhill runs, drops, jumps and a 4X track all within a short distance from the car. Sometimes I really kick myself for arranging to meet people on a work day, as inevitably this follows an early start and stressful morning, however, even the too-sleepy-to-ride feeling couldn't stop the excitement of being shown new trails. Eventually my jumping wings showed themselves, although they did take some time about it!
We spent a fair bit of time sessioning a series of not-so-easy corners, with Doug showing me exactly how it should be done (he is amazing at picking lines and riding rooty stuff), and me, well..........let's just say my cornering may have got better of late, but there is still a long way to go on tighter stuff!
We finished with a fantastic swoopy bit of trail before heading back to the cars for the necessary discussions about bike set-up, gear ratios, tyres, and of course, when we could get back and ride Delamere again!
Friday - Squat Session
Well, the comeback has continued to surpass my expectations and I made my bodyweight (52.5 kg) for 5x5. Unbelievable, especially considering various factors, that I managed to pull it off this week. Now I am in a bit of a conundrum about whether to persist and see if I can squeeze out another week, or to back off, reduce the volume and bring in some front squats. The volume is starting to feel a bit brutal now and I have to keep reminding myself I am not doing this to be good at lifting big weights, but to be stronger for riding. It'll be all to easy to loose focus and chase numbers again!
Saturday - Local Loop We sat and watched the rain before eventually dragging ourselves out to get the miles in.....only after finally fixing that slow puncture that has been plaguing my back wheel all week. Slow punctures - they are on the list of things I hate. I'd rather flat in style.
Riding wasn't so bad. The rain had stopped, but the pea soup fog kept the walkers away and we managed to fill 12 miles with a good amount of fun. Oak Apple was the smoothest I'd ridden it in ages, such a funny trail. It can be ridden twenty times and feel like a battering for every one trip down that flows.
Time: 2:12:15 Distance (Miles): 11.59 Elevation gain: 670 Av HR: 157 Max HR: 187
Well, maybe.......that could actually be quite a good goal for me as I am getting rather carried away with the amount of weight on the bar and totally forgetting my goals. I shall consider it.
Sunday - Dig Day Finally got to join in with some digging at a private venue relatively close to home. What a rewarding, very much fun day, and that was without riding! The guys have already carved a pretty awesome track through the terrain they have been given use of, and are really starting to make the best of it, with criss-crossing options, berms, jumps and drops. There is still a long way to go, however with a group of eager hands it is amazing just how much work can be completed in a small amount of time.
Three hours later, two berms had been built, tested, refined, retested and left to settle. More trail had been cleared and work on a double step-down section was well under way.
Club membership is £24 a year, which seems like a total bargain as, once the heavy clay bakes hard in the summer, this is going to be a frantically fast and fun place to spend an evening. That heavy clay though.....riding on that in winter, even with 'screams, is a challenge unto itself!
Monday - Soaking Nightride This is more like the British winters that are expected. Miserable, penetrating rain that leaves everything soaking wet. Water is still dripping out shoes and kit bags this morning. To top it off, my inability to source either a new front or rear mech left me with one working gear.
Still climbing the Beacon in the 32 ring whilst spinning out on mud was a much easier challenge than I was expecting. Looks like the extra pedalling effort of late is starting to pay off.
Time: 00:45:13 Miles: 5.39 Elevation gain: 272 Av HR: 161 Max HR: 191
Tuesday - Bench Day Warm-up - 10 mins on stationary bike
Bench Bar: 10, 10 25 kg: 5 30 kg: 5 35 kg: 5 40 kg: 3, 3, 4 - very surprised and pleased at these! The first two triples felt easy so went for an extra rep on the last. There is still more in the tank.
Deadlifts I had, until tonight, a self-imposed NEVEREVERDEADLIFTAGAIN rule. For a reason. My form is so shocking shite yet I can just keep piling the weight on. The 90 kg was easy and I could've repped it. I reckon I probably had 110 kg in me tonight. This is bad. Bad bad bad. Deadlifting is addictive and I'd need coaching to sort my bluddy awful form out so that's it. I am reimposing my number 1 rule = NEVEREVERDEADLIFTAGAIN.