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December  2014
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Christmas @ Cannock

snow, cannock and shorts

snow, cannock and shorts

Title: Christmas @ Cannock

Location: Birches Valley, Cannock Chase

Description: It is that time of year when presents need to be bought and people start to stock up on food like there is no tomorrow, this must mean that it is time to arrange the (almost) annual cakeriders cannock christmas ride…

Date: 28 December 2014

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2014 challenge – november

mugdock skyline

mugdock skyline

So November was always going to be a tricky month to get the miles in with work commitments, the onset of winter weather and a visit to that there London.

This was all proven to be the case with the lowest mileage of any month so far in 2014…to get any kind of mileage in during the month it meant a lot of night rides, often damp night rides at that.

read the rest of 2014 challenge – november »

2014 challenge – october

loch lomond

loch lomond

Entering in to the final quarter of the year the big challenge was to keep motivated to get the miles in as we enter the colder, darker and wetter months of the year…fortunately at least the beginning of the month saw a lack of rain.

read the rest of 2014 challenge – october »

the cove is dead, long live the cotic

the replacement for the cove

So after solid 10+ years service the time has come to finally put the trusty cove stiffee out to pasture.

After much debating the replacement was decided on a “steel is real” cotic bfe.

read the rest of the cove is dead, long live the cotic »

The Chatel Reunion Ride – October 2014

Seven riders arrived at Cannock, ready to take on the off piste sections. After a tardy start (ZQ timing?), with most of us turning up around twenty minutes late for a pre-ride coffee, we finally got ready to ride. It didn’t take long before we lost Steve (damaged front sprocket) and Rich (dodgy Crank Brothers pedal) to mechanicals. In fact it happened at the bottom of the first hill!

Many hands make light work

read the rest of The Chatel Reunion Ride – October 2014 »

2014 challenge – september

topping out on the burma road

topping out on the burma road

September saw the lowest monthly total so far in 2014 which is in no small part down to starting a new job and no longer commuting by bike! So the brave new world of non-commuting kicked off with a couple of rides in the Caigngorms which included Laggan and Glenlivet. Both of these purpose built trails were great but the highlight was the natural Burma Road. Nothing overly technical but a good old skool ride in some big hills on a fantastic sunny day.

read the rest of 2014 challenge – september »

Paradise Lost and Paradise Regain’d

Rounding a corner“Of Mans First Disobedience, and the Fruit Of that Forbidden Tree, whose mortal tast Brought Death into the World, and all our woe, With loss of Eden, till one greater Man Restore us, and regain the blissful Seat, Sing Heav’nly Muse, that on the secret top Of Oreb, or of Sinai, didst inspire That Shepherd, who first taught the chosen Seed”  –  John Milton 1667 –

It was a day of exploration, adventure and culture. As Charles and Charles ventured north to the North Yorkshire Moors, to ride the Paradise Trails.

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Aidy’s 40th/Leith Hill return

Blueberry Bakewell Tart and real plates

As a small celebration of Mr.Banks turning forty he decided he wanted to have a bash at mountain biking, handily living in Dorking this gave me an ideal excuse  to have a look at the new trails at the top of Leith Hill.

With this in mind we gathered a small but merry band together: Me(in charge of directions!), Ledger(in charge of claiming he’d always followed someone else so had no idea where we were) and Aidy(birthday boy and first time on a mountain bike for a number of years).

We met at Head for the Hills in Dorking High Street to collect Aidys bike, the two of them pretty organised and me getting dropped off in a pet shop car park to change my shoes and get ready, we picked up Aidy’s demo bike (not a hire bike as they don’t hire them out but Aidy charmed them his honesty and they gave us one anyway). A lovely Trek  Fuel was adjusted and fettled a little bit before we set up off Coldharbour Lane to the top of Leith Hill.

Unfortunately not knowing anyway to get to the top offroad we had to endure  a reasonably nasty road climb for most of the hill before finally hitting dirt just before the cricket pitch and up a very nasty steep little climb, little spin along the top to peer at some of the new stuff before the final last little evil climb to the top of the hill and a quick breather to take stock and pretend we didn’t need to catch our breath. One day I shall conquer hat steep little climb but gravity and traction were unkind to us all.

read the rest of Aidy’s 40th/Leith Hill return »

2014 challenge – august

big cake

big cake

In the words of Iain Dowie I feel like I put “in a good shift” in August. With the finishing of the Commonwealth Games at the start of the month and the move to a more regular working pattern there was a bit more time for getting out on the bike. To mark being able to get out on the bike again the first ride in August had to be finished off with a “small” piece of cake. Start how you mean to go on and all that. read the rest of 2014 challenge – august »

laggan and fort bill weekender

view from red/black split at laggan

view from red/black split at laggan

So the date had been in the diary for a good long while but with recent variances in weather we were a bit unsure of what was going to in store for this trip. It was decided to ignore the weather forecast and head to Laggan first so as not have to make the trip north at crazy o’clock to make the most of the uplift.

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