Saturday, 27 February 2010

A good week

This week has been a a good week. On Wednesday me and Mikey took Ted for a ride. The conditions were wet and miserable but it was a great opportunity for me to get used to his handling. It was a good ride, despite the weather, and we rode at a quick pace. I was pleased to find that Mikey appeared quite impressed with my new found climbing abilities as he watched me defeat my old nemesis, with ease.

A ride on Friday with my Mum, added more miles to my total. Unfortunately this time, although the sun was out, the wind was fierce and no matter which way we turned we always seemed to have a bitter headwind. This made it quite difficult to keep up any momentum and I was disappointed that I didn't quite make it to the top of my old nemesis. Ah, well, no biggie.... there will always be a next time.

By today, I was thinking I should save my legs for an adventure on Sunday - Mikeys day off. But as I wanted to do some sort of riding, I decided a pootle down to the beach with my Mum would be nice. It's only a mile down to the beach and I thought that when I got there I could attempt quicker dismounts (in preparation for my cyclo-cross debut). It seemed like a good idea as if I was going to attempt them, the sand would make for a soft landing. Everything was arranged and I headed out on my MTB (I didn't want to get my new bike full of sand).

Shortly after setting off, I got a text from Mikey saying he would be on his lunch break in 45 mins, so in a hasty decision we turned round and cycled into Penzance to meet him for lunch. Argh, if oly I'd have known - I could have riden Ted as it would have been great practise on the loose terrain of the coast path. It was a pleasant enough ride; except at some point near Marazion Marshes, when some imbecile in a people-carrier decided to overtake us, whilst we were over taking a parked car, and he headed straight into the path of a child riding with his Dad coming in the opposite direction. It was a scary moment but the child seemed oblivious to his near fate. Marazion is always hellish to ride through and it's pretty rare that you can get through without incident, so once we were on the coast path, we could relax a little as the only thing to think about now were the swarms of walkers and dogs to navigate through.

Half a cheese toastie later and we turned for home. This time there were even more walkers and dogs obstacles. At one point an old lady walked straight into me, despite me calling out to warn her of my presence as I slammed on my brakes. Thankfully, that was my only close call on the journey home. We even managed the hill out of Marazion without incident and with only the need for one brief stop for a breather. So much for a leisurely short pootle, we had just done another 13.5 miles.

Wowsers, It's only just Saturday and I am already well over target and I still have an epic adventure to go on tomorrow with Mikey - I just hope I still have something left in my legs.

Sunday, 21 February 2010

Super Ted

Yep, this is yet another post about how much I love my new bike. ;-) I apologise if anyone believes that I am merely "gloating" but that really isn't my intention - I am just so SO excited, as well as being aesthetically pleasing, he has completely exceeded my expectations. I knew that having a lighter and nippier bike would help me improve, but I am flabbergasted at the HUGE difference he has already made; I'm riding faster, I'm finding hills easier and generally, my overall riding ability has dramatically improved.

On Saturday, the weather was so nice that it would have felt wrong not to take advantage of it and ride Ted, so I convinced my Mum to come out for a spin around the surrounding villages. It was a nice ride, despite an evil wind. The warm sun had lured me into a false sense of security and I had left the house without my "snood." Amazingly though, my lungs didn't collapse under the bitter wind entering my airways. WoooHooo! Hopefully this means that, although I am far from being fit and athletic, I have improved the condition of my asthmatic lungs.

I was chuffed to bits. But not quite as chuffed as when, I conquered one of my nemesis' - a quite short but very steep hill that has always defeated me. Somehow, Ted got me to the top, without the need to catch my breath half way up! YAY! I was over the moon. LOL! I think I startled the local horses when I triumphantly cheered at the top.

By Sunday I had already achieved my weekly total but with Mullerton being off work, there was riding to be enjoyed. So, despite the miserable grey and wet weather, we prepared for another Teddy adventure.

Despite the initial rides, I still needed to do a lot of work with Ted to feel more confident riding him. Don't laugh, but I seem to have lost the ability to raise my arms to indicate any turns (I guess I'm still getting used to the drop bars) and as I am still a little wobbly on him, any traffic un-nerves me; which unfortunately makes me even wobblier (I presume I find him twitchier, 'coz I'm used to a heavier bike with wider tyres). Anyhoo, we decided to avoid busy roads, especially as I was very wary that the wet roads would be even more tricky for handling. (Interestingly though, apart from on the descents, I wasn't really aware that the roads were wet and slippery.)

We decided to strike out on a new route to break up the monotony of riding the same old roads. So off we set. It was exciting getting out somewhere different. The best thing about not knowing where I was, was that I wasn't actually aware of what was around each corner, which proved useful, especially as it didn't give me chance to see the long and steep hills which lay in wait. Normally, these hills would have induced an instant dread, but as I said, Ted is SUPER and amazingly we got up them all without too much trouble.

When we got home I felt such a sense of achievement and pride. It amazes me to think that 6 months ago, there was not a cat in hells chance that I would have even attempted to ride some of the hills we rode yesterday. LMAO! In fact, when I started to ride again, last August, I never imagined that one day I would be able to keep up with Mikey on a decent ride at a half decent pace.

Hey, if I carry on at this rate, you all better look out for me at the next Winter Olympics - that is, if Cyclocross ever makes it into the official games. ;-)

Monday, 15 February 2010

Ted's shake-down Ride

After giving up hope (due to lack of funds) on Thursday, I thought my new dream bike would never be complete. However, on Saturday I had yet another surprise waiting for me. As well as the new canti's he had bought me on Friday, I was amazed to find Mullerton had also bought me some girl-friendly bars & tape. So now, with a little reshuffling (ie, loans from Mullerton and borrowed bits from my hybrid bike) the bike formerly known as not-Bob had everything he needed to make him complete.

Ted was finally rideable!

I was so excited - but at the same time extremely anxious - Argh, what if, after all this money and effort, I couldn't ride him? I knew my thoughts were irrational, as I'd managed to ride Mullerton's cross bike, which was a size too big. Surely, if I could do that, I could ride a bike that had been custom built to my own specifications.

Anyway after spending Saturday evening adding the final bits, yesterday was the big day. The sun was out, the roads were dry and dusty and the wind was gentler than it has been for a long time. The weather was on my side and the conditions were perfect, yet I still couldn't help but worry. Thankfully my excitement was greater than my doubts and no sooner as I sat on the saddle was I pedalling merrily down the road.

Overall, I really enjoyed myself and was surprised at how well I was riding - LOL! I even managed to leave Mullerton in my wake halfway up a hill, when I accelerated off without warning him. There were a few dodgy moments, where I struggled with the twitchyness of such a light bike - when the smallest of pebbles felt like they would send me careering off balance, but this all added to the fun and excitement. I had a shiny new bike and nothing was gonna stop me! I was loving every minute. We had only intended to do a few laps round the local roads - not venturing too far from home, just in case adjustments were necessary. But as the weather was lovely, we continued on our journey, stopping briefly to say hi to my Mum then fix her bike so that she could join us.

It was all great - apart from one horrible moment when I stupidly decided to take a short cut by venturing off the quiet country lanes and onto a busy, yet narrow, main road. I've done this road numerous times on my other bikes with no problems - so I wasn't really prepared to be so scared. Eek! Oh why, did I decide to take this route? We were now on a very narrow "national speed limit" road, where of course the cars won't wait and there's nowhere safe to tuck in. Much to our dismay, no sooner as we started down this road, a huge convoy of Porsche's and other mid-life-crisis-cars soon came hurtling past at +60mph and far too close for comfort. At this point, my nerves got the better of me and made me feel even more wobbly and ridiculously vulnerable as they all squeezed to overtake us at illegal speeds. Phewph. Somehow, we made it and got back onto the quieter roads and the fun could re-start!

By the time we got home I was on a complete high. I even found a clean cloth to wipe off all the dust that had accumulated on the bike - something that usually I will try to convince Mikey to do for me or leave it for another day . ;-)

Ted had exceeded all my expectations. I knew having a cross bike would be fun, I knew it would be lighter, I knew it would be faster, but I really hadn't realised how much so. It was awesome! I just can't wait to get out and ride him again.

Sunday, 14 February 2010

Hey, Have you met Ted?

Introducing Ted
Originally uploaded by kittykins!

(This photo was taken this morning, before his shake-down ride.)

Friday, 12 February 2010

Bike Build stopped in its tracks!

The last few days have been very exciting as new bits have been arriving to build up the Yeti.

As most of you know, I could only afford to buy the frame and not the whole bike, but since then I have had this silly notion that I can recreate the full bike by buying pretty much the same stuff but last year's or 2008's cheaper models of all the components.

Unfortunately, there is no way that I will ever be able to afford any Easton X forks (old or new). Thankfully though, Plan B was to beg, steal or borrow some, which I did. So the first addition to the frame was a pair of borrowed forks (from Mikey - until I have saved up enough for my own - he only uses them for the cross races).

But the excitement really started when the first bits of my very own arrived. First through the letterbox were the Easton seatpost and stem (both cheaper 2008 versions). Then came the Cane Creek headset (bought at trade price). Next came the shiney Shimano group set (not the Ultegra, but almost - the next best thing, again at trade price).

Unfortunately, I then got a mini statement from the bank and realised that I was outta money. So despite my supersavings, I was still coming up short. Ouch! I am suddenly skint.

So the build was now at a standstill; at least until next pay day. I was still needing bars, canti's, pedals, a saddle and wheels (but at a push I can steal some wheels from Mullerton). Argh! All seemed lost!

That was until this evening when Jumbly kindly offered me a Bonty saddle. I can not thank her enough. Then to my suprise Mikey arrived home with a valentines treat for me.... some Avid Shorty brakes. Things suddenly felt brighter. Now all I really need is some bars, as with Mikeys wheel loan and if I pinch my Globes pedals, the Yeti will at least be roadworthy!

So close yet so far.....

Monday, 8 February 2010

He's here!

Yay! There's a Yeti in my house!

Unfortunately, it will probably be a while until I can ride him, but for now I am going to just enjoy building him up.

Sorry for photo overload.... Mikey got a bit excited! =D

Saturday, 6 February 2010

Woop Woop! He's on his way.

Just a quicky for those of you, who haven't heard (via Twitter or Facebook).... A lovely Yeti Cross frame now has my name on it and is making it's way to our local bike shop.

Yay. I am soooooooooo excited and can hardly wait (even though I can not afford any components for it yet!)

Until he arrives, here is another catalog pic. (I am sure that I will bore you all with some pics of my very own soon.)