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4th March 2012
Riders: Richard, Adam, Wobbem, Nick, Tim and Rich Lonegroover
Alternative three hills ride
Weather: 9 °C

They say you should never try to relive past glories as the reality never quite measures up to the memories. You know the kind of thing, that summer holiday when you were a teenager, that first romance or in this case that great ride that we had back in October last year.

And it was ironic that on a ride badged by me as not being one for time wasters that Ii ended up being the one causing the dealys.

And this one couldn't have gone more wrong. First up the weather was appalling with continuous rain which started about 6 a.m. and continued all day. It reminded me of my trail centre ride in Ireland a few years ago.

This of course caused the trails to cut up badly and I was slipping and sliding on the mud and greasy tree roots. The mud was splattering in my eyes and left me looking like an extra from Apocalypse Now and finally a mechanical that puts the bike out of action part way through the ride forcing me to make my way home.

We set out from an empty Starveall car park on Leith Hill and seemed to spend the first 40 minutes riding trails where we were saying "this is much more fun/easier riding it the other way" but eventually got onto the Caspers descent (which strangely we do normally use as a climb).

My chainset was chain sucking like a bitch right from the off. The chain has seen better days but the conditions weren't helping at all.

Then around the rear of Leith Hill up a sweeping bridleway that Davebus showed us last year. A constant spray of water from my front tyre was leaving grit in my teeth and eyes which was playing havoc with my contact lenses and forcing me to descend trails with a screwed up face and eyes half-closed in a strange grimace.

Across to Summer Lightning and then down the Rookery and across to Abinger Roughs towards the climb up White Down that takes you to the Pillbox. I start the climb and every third pedal stroke saw the chain sucking requiring a half stroke backwards which didn't help me getting up a steep slippery climb.

Eventually the chain had enough of this and wrapped itself right around the small ring and tore my rear mech off as it broke the rear mech 'stop'. You know, that bit that butts up against the mech stop on the frame. Maybe I should sell it to Niall as he didn't seem to realise what the rear mech stop was for when he dropped by a few weeks ago to get me to help sort out some shifting problems.

I left the group to ride on (they had to cut the route short themselves) and headed via road up to Ranmore Common and then down towards Westhumble. I had been able to pedal as long as I didn't put too much pressure through the cranks but just before Westhumble station the chain snapped and the rear mech finally gave up.

Luckily a train arrived within minutes and I shared the ride back to Ewell with a mixed group of roadies from Richmond who had a similarly miserable experience with punctures, mechanicals and a lack of waterproof clothing.

I think I scared them slightly with my mud-pack face.

Let's perhaps wait another couple of months until we try this one again...

 

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Untitled Document

all photos and content copyright of Richard Sear 1999 to 2015


11th March 2012
Riders: Richard and Cas
Road ride
Weather: 17 °C

Well the new parts for the broken Prince Albert haven't arrived yet so I was in the garage this afternoon doing some tinkering around including cleaning and degreasing the chainset and cassettes on the Specialized Allez (yes, I have finally cut down that steerer too; new pic soon) and Trek 1200 SL which soon get dirty when used on the daily commute when Cas texted me asking if I wanted to go on a gentle recovery spin ride (his words).

Cas knows I'm always up for a road ride so within 40 minutes I was changed and knocking on his front door ready to go.

We started off gently but the weather was great and the roads riding well. Cas had ridden 130 km yesterday but once his muscles warmed up he seemed keen for more. We followed our well worn route out to Nutfield before taking a slightly different route to Salfords, back to the bottom of Reigate and then out to Leigh and Newdigate with Cas telling me about the delights and sights of his Bikram Yoga classes that he has been attending.

Then we turned for home via Box Hill, a 25mph plus extended dash along Dorking Road and then through Kingswood and Chipstead before the final climb up Park Lane and past the Mint pub to find ourselves back in Banstead High Street.

Down Winkworth Road and Banstead Road bring me back to Ewell with a shade under 90 km in my legs. That was some gentle recovery ride!

 

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Tip of the week

MTB in Canada

external bearing replacement

Goodridge hose replacement

dialled bikes rough ride

7 Stanes riding in Scotland

Single speeding
Swinley

Buy some night lights
South Downs MBR killer loop
Buy an MTB DVD
Chainsuck
Buy some night lights
Buy an MTB DVD
kit reviews

Untitled Document

all photos and content copyright of Richard Sear 1999 to 2015


17th March 2012
Bike maintenance

More bike maintenance as the new parts for the broken Prince Albert finally arrive from Germany.

New crankset, cassette, rear derailleur and chain are fitted successfully. I also spotted that I had managed to bend the steel rear mech hanger. But luckily steel bends back with a bit of persuasion and it all works perfectly now.

Here's to another long period of smooth runnings.

 

READ MORE:
watch my mtb videos
Tip of the week

MTB in Canada

external bearing replacement

Goodridge hose replacement

dialled bikes rough ride

7 Stanes riding in Scotland

Single speeding
Swinley

Buy some night lights
South Downs MBR killer loop
Buy an MTB DVD
Chainsuck
Buy some night lights
Buy an MTB DVD
kit reviews

Untitled Document

all photos and content copyright of Richard Sear 1999 to 2015


18th March 2012
Riders: Richard Adam and Steve
Pitch Hill
Weather: 12°C

As our Summer trip to TrailAddiction gets closer and closer (103 days and counting) the excitement level is rising particularly amongst those riders who haven’t been before.

Steve who has organised the trip makes regular calls on me enquiring what bit of kit I recommend or what the best travel arrangements are and Adam has gone the whole hog buying himself a new bike (well a 2nd hand eBay bargain Santa Cruz Bullitt with Rock Shox Boxers up front as well as a full face lid and armour.

With a trip to Cwmcarn DH track at the end of the month they are both keen to try out the kit and so we all roll up to the Bat cave early on a Sunday morning to put it to the test.

Immediately we encounter issues as the 3 big bikes won’t fit on Adam’s rack and so Steve has to nip home to get his bigger car which rather handily comes with a bigger rack too. As I comment at the time, it’s good that we discover this now and not on the evening that we are heading to France although as I’m booked into Steve’s car I’m not too worried!

Conscious that riding a big bike in the Surrey Hills is total overkill we have agreed that rather than aim for a normal ride we will be doing some filming with the 3 GoPro HD’s that we own between us. Adam has also bought some RAM mounts from our American cousins over at GPS City for the GoPro this week and wants to trial these.

We arrive at Pitch Hill Quarry car park and the fun begins. I take us on a route around some of the quieter trails. Even so I am surprised that we only see one other rider out for most of the morning. Must be the heavy rain yesterday. We mess around on various trails with the process generally being me riding ahead and picking an interesting corner or trail feature, placing the camera somewhere, pushing or riding back up the trail and then all three of us riding down. Repeat this for the next 3 hours and we didn’t get a huge amount of riding done but we did all enjoy ourselves.

I discovered little I didn’t already know about the SX Trail but I did discover that I really like the effect of a static camera rather than one mounted on me or my bike.

Steve discovered that the Evo is a great bike that can handle anything you chuck at it but that the DH tubes and tyres he is riding make even the flat stuff really hard work.

And Adam discovers that the Boxxers give a really unnatural body position when used on stuff that really isn’t downhill and I think that his back is still giving him trouble from the unfamiliar riding position. Don’t worry son, once the trails start to point downwards for seven hours a day you will soon realise the benefits.

Oh and the results? Here are a couple of videos. One edited by me and the other by Adam

Intro: an MTB-Idle movie

Diary Days: Mother’s Boys

 

READ MORE:
watch my mtb videos
Tip of the week

MTB in Canada

external bearing replacement

Goodridge hose replacement

dialled bikes rough ride

7 Stanes riding in Scotland

Single speeding
Swinley

Buy some night lights
South Downs MBR killer loop
Buy an MTB DVD
Chainsuck
Buy some night lights
Buy an MTB DVD
kit reviews

Untitled Document

all photos and content copyright of Richard Sear 1999 to 2015


25th March 2012
Riders: Richard, Davebus, Adam, Rich Lonegroover, Wobbem, Mark and Si
Pitch Hill
Weather: 19°C

The Spring is finally here. The clocks went forward an hour at 2 a.m. this morning for the start of British Summer Time and so even though we lost an hour's sleep a good sized group of riders turns up at Hombury YHA to sample the local trails.

Davebus hasn't been around for a while so it was great to welcome him back as well as Si who has been under the physio for four months (apparently the physio's boyfriend isn't too happy) but has booked himself into Trailaddiction to join us in July and felt that he's better get himself back in the game. Even though he claimed to be unfit he was at the front of the groupall the way around when even Rob was flagging.

But before we set off it was great to catch up with Mr Smith (Gary) who I first rode with way, way back in December 2003 but who has been enjoying the road bike for far too long now. You picked a great day to get back out riding.

Up the normal climb towards the top of Holmbury Hill and imagine my surprise to find the trail part-ruined by tractor tyres and then the whloe wood to have been felled for commercial activity. The trail certainly felt different although on a day like today someone commented that it was certainly a lot warmer than riding in the shelter of the trees.

Down Secret Squirrel which has lost its return route back up to the top bridleway and then over towards Surfer Rosa then up the short steep climb which had a wonderful blue sky above it. Life's a beach sometimes.

Over towards BKB via a nice twisting trail that is so much fun we return to do it again and then up onto Pitch Hill where we bump into Andy and then cover some of the better known trails including Trail 1, Proper Bo, Rollercoaster, the steep, steep trail next to the Rat Run, Evian, Supernova and a number of other before returning to Holmbury to finish with a blast down Yoghurt Pots and Telegraph road to dump us straight back into the car park for the return journey home.

27 km plus another 16 km for me as I ride to and from the Batcave in Ashtead to hook up with Adam makes it a great ride on what is the hottest weekend this year.

 

READ MORE:
watch my mtb videos
Tip of the week

MTB in Canada

external bearing replacement

Goodridge hose replacement

dialled bikes rough ride

7 Stanes riding in Scotland

Single speeding
Swinley

Buy some night lights
South Downs MBR killer loop
Buy an MTB DVD
Chainsuck
Buy some night lights
Buy an MTB DVD
kit reviews

Untitled Document

all photos and content copyright of Richard Sear 1999 to 2015


31st March 2012

So it’s the end of the first quarter and in line with the way a typical review at work would go let’s have a look at how I’m progressing against target.

As at 31st March 2012 I should have ridden 2,992 km

I have actually ridden 3,199 km

That makes me 207 km ahead of target.

How does this compare to previous years? I have only recorded the number of days I commuted rather than the distance covered. Out of a possible 64 days commuting I have commuted the following number of days

2012 - 43 days
2011 - 28 days
2010 - 27 days
2009 - 13 days

That’s a great start to the year and now the warmer weather and light mornings and evenings are here I’m looking to really kick on.

How are you doing against your target?


Ride Archive

December 2015
November 2015

October 2015

September 2015

August 2015

July 2015

June 2015

May 2015

April 2015
March 2015

February 2015

January 2015








































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Untitled Document

all photos and content copyright of Richard Sear 1999 to 2015

Top

click to view click to view click to view Steve Neill Big Trev Orange Dave dialled bikes pewter headtube badge Dave and Dave outside LOMAC Dave on Summer Lightning A grinning Trevor Steve (again) Davebus and Neill on Stane Street Jason next to Denbie's vineyard Trevor struggles up the climb Dave followed by Jason on Stane Street Banstead Downs singletrack It was getting dark by the time I got back Richard (that's me!) Surrey Hills logo at the top of Coombe hill Gary dicing with the cars through New Malden Stag party Gary's Giant SCR 2008 model  A cheerful looking Gary part way round Richmond Park speed limits for cyclists! Kingston Gate, Richmond Park view off the side of Headley Heath Bianchi K-Vid carbon forks self-portrait whilst climbing between second and third hairpin on the Zig Zag Road, Box Hill Dave and Mat, the folly, Reigate Hill urban riding, Richard in Ashtead High Street a bit underexposed but a nice shot of the view from the North Downs Way Richard dropping in on Colley Hill No, not the Mediterranean, this is outside LOMAC, Ashtead High Street Richard showing off for the camera Mat and Richard, Stane Street Richard, Headley Heath Mat on Headley Heath Gary with our 'rabbit' in the distance Gary in the dusk Richard Gary chasing the yellow 'rabbit' in the distance Cas Cas Richard 'self-portrait'