nr's blog

Flying Monochrome 1 May, 2011

Filed under: Cycling,Outdoor climbing — nr @ 8:39 pm

Well, it’s been a good few weeks since I wrote anything here, and there’s good reason for that – I’ve mainly been enjoying the weather either riding my bike, or getting in some groundwork for my next climbing trip. The unseasonally nice weather has made both of these things even more enjoyable than usual, and so I’m sitting here with a massive grin on my face having thoroughly enjoyed the last few weeks, and making plans for the next few. So, first things first, the cycling. Just looking at the numbers, it’s easy to see that I’m enjoying the new bike. 1082kms at an average of just over 28km/h. This includes a couple of sportives – firstly the immensely enjoyable “no excuses”, 130km in the company of Sol and Tom, and a very pleasant day out in the country. We missd out on a silver award by under two minutes, which I’m not unduly unhappy about, as we were by and large taking things pretty easy, with a couple of extended food stops, a leisurely puncture repair by the roadside, and even a toilet break in the last few kms when I suddenly realised that dehydration was the least of my worries. And anyway, it’s not a race… And then, about three weeks or so back, the tough 150km of the “spring lambs” event, which was by and large the same course I did last year in the company of Andy. This time I was with Sol, and really, things couldn’t have gone any better. (Apart from another puncture that is…) We completed the 150kms about 40 minutes faster than I managed last year, and even had enough energy for a small sprint finish. Brilliant. And the bike, was, of course, perfect. The white handlebar tape isn’t quite as white now after 1000kms, and the tyres no longer look quite so fresh out of the showroom, but it’s still perfect. In fact it’s even more perfect now than it was a month ago, because it now looks like it’s done 1000kms in all weathers rather than looking fresh out of the workshop. Really, I couldn’t be happier with it. Well, I may invest in one of Drew’s delicious Ti stems, but that would be purely in the interests of making an investment in the UK manufacturing sector, not because they’re possibly the most beautiful thing I can think of to adorn the front of my bike.

On the climbing front, it’s also rather exciting news. I had a week off work recently, and spent it with my family down on The Lizard peninsula, which is one of my favourite places in the country. As always, I did a fair bit of walking around the South West Coast Path, but spent rather longer than usual scoping out some cliffs for a climb, just in case I ever manage to get down there with a rope and a willing partner. Then on Friday, I was chatting with Sol, and idly mentioned that we really need to get out on a climbing holiday, when several things came together, and the upshot of all this is that in about a month we’ll be heading back down that way with a guidebook, a couple of bivi bags and some climbing hardware. As I mentioned some years back, sea cliffs scare me. And that’s a good thing in this case, as I’m genuinely looking forward to a bit of an adventure on some tottery old choss that could fall down at any moment. What’s the worst that can happen?

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