Friday, January 22, 2010

Out to play

So, as part of Operation Lardarse, we need to establish a routine. I know, routine is boring and saps your life away, “variety is the spice of life" etc etc. But I'm not going to try to living on spices alone, so there has to be some routine somewhere, and it may as well be here.

Tuesdays are, and have been for some time, biking night. The good, the bad and the ugly of 'Team Dogger' (see this post for an explanation of that one) head out for a night ride, usually on trails we all know quite well, either the Meanwood loop from Headingley or one of the loops out around Temple Newsam/Kippax/Aberford area from Laurent (the Frenchman)'s house.

Usually a couple of hours riding at least, with the odd stop for gossip. Over the winter I've dodged these on the basis of not getting back from work until after the others have set off - well, that's been my excuse anyway. Mainly I've wimped out of them. If I make sure my bike's in the car on a Tuesday morning, my lights are charged, and I've got a bit of extra food for the day, I've no excuse.

Last Tuesday was my first proper ride of the new year. There were 5 of us; myself, the Frenchman, Martin L, Giles and Gareth. We set off from Laurents just after 6:30, heading out into the cold dry air and soggy, wet ground. I'd changed the normal all-conditions tyres for my pair of Mud-X's in the hope of getting a bit more grip, and they certainly worked on the soggy grassy bits of the trail. However, this being a winter ride Laurent opted to avoid the wettest bits, so I felt like I was dragging a dead badger on the hardpack. Oh well...

The route's on the picture below, we rode anticlockwise. Myself, Martin and Gareth got misplaced for a little while (note - none of us actually carry a map. Martin happened to have mapping functions on his phone. This comes in handy sometimes, like when Giles and the Frenchman wander off and you need to know how to get home). We were out, including stopping to look at the waves on the river (kayakers, eh?), for about 2 and a half hours. I, personally, was a bit broken by the end of it. Combinations of lack of food, overheating, and very draggy tyres could be blamed, but mainly I place the responsibility firmly on the rather good pace and my lack of fitness.

In other news, I've got a new-ish programme (Nokia SportTracker) on my shiny new phone (Nokia N86) which will satellite track my routes, so expect more maps and updates as the Operation proceeds. Okay, it's geeky as hell, but it keeps me amused.

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