RR - Hell of the North Cotswolds.



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Andy Chequer

Guest
8am this morning and my bed was like a womb. Rob's already up and about getting ready to go but this
magnetic bed syndrome just won't quit.

So anyway, we're running late. Typical fashion really. We load my car up with the necessaries and
head north - Rob's driving because he doesn't mind driving at 100mph in broad daylight, so we're
likely to be less late than we might be. Suffice it to say the uprated brakes and suspension I
fitted a couple of weeks ago is thoroughly tested and comes up smelling of roses. Bwahahahaa.

We're bound for Winchcombe, near Cheltenham, to attend this

http://www.cc-cc.co.uk/hotnc.asp

And we arrive about half nine and head off. There's a choice of 50 or 100km routes, and we decide to
go for the fifty as seven months of winter and van driving has left me out of shape. I can tell Rob
wants to do the 100, but he's very nice about it. Bless. A good proportion of the route is in fact
tarmac roads, albeit knobbly, back lane Cotswold type roads. However, there's plenty enough off road
to give it a nice mix.

An altercation with a tree in Ashton Woods last week has really mangled Binkie's rear mech and
hanger, so I've decided to use my current hack bike, My rigid Orange Clockwork. It's a very early
one (about 1989 I think) and its old school geomety of slack head and short fork make for a very
rideable beast in this terrain. It's got slick tyres on it but I figure that they'll work better for
today than my knobbies, which I couldn't be bothered to nick off the crocked Binkie anyway. Rob is
also old-schooling it today, riding his old (94ish) IBOC Mongoose carbon.

Turns out the slicks were a tidy choice (er, mostly....) and the first sections of climbing sees me
making steady progress with little rolling resistance and I'm beginning to feel good. We pass some
people on really shiney SC and Specialized (they must advertise in FHM or something) and I feel a
twinge of inner smugness on my 14 year old steel Clockwork. I've got a positive mindset about me and
these hills will be mine.

The route is not waymarked per se, but the directions cards are quite helpful and generally
navigation goes well. There are some vintage motorcyclists bimbling about too, which was interesting
- being overtaken on the trails by a man with a Biggles 'tash on a 70 year old motorcycle is a new
one on me.

What next? I dunno. I think I got the mid-ride mesmer thing going on. The Cotwolds is a really
pretty place to spend time, and I've not been here before to see it in such detail. There's hazy
sunshine afoot as miles tick by, keeping those pedals spinning.

We're descending a hillside towards the midway point and suddenly there's cyclists everywhere. Loads
of the buggers. I think what happened was that we'd rejoined the route for the 100km stage and we've
got a load of the fastest riders from that stage at the midway point where nice people have put out
buns and tea for smelly cycling types. There's an interesting array of machinery here - people are
generally riding this event on hardtail MTBs, though there are cyclocross machines and even an
elderly Holdsworth road bike.

Anyways, more riding, and I'm begginning to realise what a cunning idea these suspension forks are.
There's some really quite knobbly downhills to contend with and I'm feeling every inch of it. I find
that with a rigid fork over really rough terrain, you need to keep a grip on the bars that is loose
enough to avoid getting Vibration White Finger, but tight enough so the bars don't jump out of your
hand when you hit larger rocks. I'm trying to Zen my way down but by the end of a lot of the
descents I'm begginning to feel pain (I spent most of yesterday demolishing a stone fireplace so my
forearms were still burning from that). But I get a reprieve as the tarmac sections come to my
rescue and I can ride no-hands and try and get some sensation back.

Homeward bound now and a brief section that traverses a golf course and there are some MXers at this
point. I really don't think that they were supposed to be there - there are kids walking around and
stuff - struck me as very stupid behaviour.

More of that forearm inferno and suddenly there's a bloke with a camera. I'm really not ready to
have my picture taken, as I've really lost the plot big time on the descent (which is in a steep
vee shaped trench) and I'm really kinda plummetting out of control on my geriatric MTB as I
rattle past the

and generally anticipating hitting the ground with my face.

But the whole thing made me feel good. Kind of why it's nice to ride yer bike, after all, think of
all those repeats you're missing on the TV.

In summary,

- I like rigid forks.

- I like suspension forks more.

- Decent canti's stop just as well as V's. And boy does the Orange need some.

- I like the Cotswolds.

- I like non-competitive events, but not races.

- I am still fit enough to ride a bicycle a decent distance.

- I like ladies in Lycra.

- I like Bananas, but fig rolls have greater impact toughness.

- I like hazy sunshine rides that don't let you get too hot or cold.

Enough typing already. Coming soon, Chequer rides a Polaris and wields a digging implement in the
name of trail building.

Andy Chequer.
 
H

Huw Pritchard

Guest
On Sun, 13 Apr 2003 19:34:29 +0100, Andy Chequer did issue forth:

> 8am this morning and my bed was like a womb. Rob's already up and about getting ready to go but
> this magnetic bed syndrome just won't quit.

Just wait until next week, mate. Tents all weekend. You'll enjoy it really.

> So anyway, we're running late. Typical fashion really. We load my car up with the necessaries and
> head north - Rob's driving because he doesn't mind driving at 100mph in broad daylight, so we're
> likely to be less late than we might be. Suffice it to say the uprated brakes and suspension I
> fitted a couple of weeks ago is thoroughly tested and comes up smelling of roses. Bwahahahaa.

Did he leave anything important in the washing machine this time? ;-)

> And we arrive about half nine and head off. There's a choice of 50 or 100km routes, and we decide
> to go for the fifty as seven months of winter and van driving has left me out of shape. I can tell
> Rob wants to do the 100, but he's very nice about it. Bless. A good proportion of the route is in
> fact tarmac roads, albeit knobbly, back lane Cotswold type roads. However, there's plenty enough
> off road to give it a nice mix.

50km? Should be in fine form for the Polaris then. Were you carrying a tent and sleeping bag with
you when you did this?

> - I am still fit enough to ride a bicycle a decent distance.

Oh good.

> - I like ladies in Lycra.

There'll be some of those next week. I think they're mostly in the "Veterans" class though.

> Enough typing already. Coming soon, Chequer rides a Polaris and wields a digging implement in the
> name of trail building.

I'm kinda scared about this whole Polaris thing, you know. There's some biggish hills in the
Isle of Man.

--
Huw Pritchard Replace bounce with huw to reply by mail
 
S

Spademan O----L

Guest
"Andy Chequer" <[email protected](youdontwantthisbitinit)thisisasparagus.com> wrote in message
news:[email protected]...
> 8am this morning and my bed was like a womb. Rob's already up and about getting ready to go but
> this magnetic bed syndrome just won't quit.
>
> So anyway, we're running late. Typical fashion really. We load my car up with the necessaries and
> head north - Rob's driving because he doesn't
mind
> driving at 100mph in broad daylight, so we're likely to be less late than
we
> might be. Suffice it to say the uprated brakes and suspension I fitted a couple of weeks ago is
> thoroughly tested and comes up smelling of roses. Bwahahahaa.
>
> We're bound for Winchcombe, near Cheltenham, to attend this
>
> http://www.cc-cc.co.uk/hotnc.asp

Excellent, proper riding! none of this sunset cliche or singlespeed propoganda... We all feel
nostalgic at times for those steel rigids.. building a rigid up ATM myself, should be a change from
the 5" turner.

>
> Enough typing already. Coming soon, Chequer rides a Polaris and wields a digging implement in the
> name of trail building. Andy Chequer.
>

Details!
 
A

Andy Chequer

Guest
"spademan o---[) *" <[email protected]> wrote in message
news:[email protected]...
>
> "Andy Chequer" <[email protected](youdontwantthisbitinit)thisisasparagus.com> wrote in message
> news:[email protected]...
> > 8am this morning and my bed was like a womb. Rob's already up and about getting ready to go but
> > this magnetic bed syndrome just won't quit.
> >
> > So anyway, we're running late. Typical fashion really. We load my car up with the necessaries
> > and head north - Rob's driving because he doesn't
> mind
> > driving at 100mph in broad daylight, so we're likely to be less late
than
> we
> > might be. Suffice it to say the uprated brakes and suspension I fitted a couple of weeks ago is
> > thoroughly tested and comes up smelling of roses. Bwahahahaa.
> >
> > We're bound for Winchcombe, near Cheltenham, to attend this
> >
> > http://www.cc-cc.co.uk/hotnc.asp
>
> Excellent, proper riding! none of this sunset cliche or singlespeed propoganda... We all feel
> nostalgic at times for those steel rigids.. building a rigid up ATM myself, should be a change
> from the 5" turner.

I don't get nostalgic for steel rigid MTBs because I've never stopped riding them. I have to say
that on 90% of the ride the rigid was a pleasure. It was the really rocky knobbly downhills that I
really got the **** kicked out of
me. I reckon I would have been much better off with a bigger tyre at a lower pressure at this point.
An SS would have been **** - the 21 old school XT ratios did me nicely.

I would also say that during my commute into Bristol today the Orange felt very rattly and sick.
Which was OK because my forearms weren't much better!

> > Enough typing already. Coming soon, Chequer rides a Polaris and wields a digging implement in
> > the name of trail building. Andy Chequer.
> >
>
> Details!

The Polaris is this weekend in the Isle of Man and will be co-produced by that nefarious Pritchard
bloke. I'm taking the Zaskar with me because whilst I like steel rigids, I'm not sufficiently rose
tinted to take on rocky terrain for two days on one when I've got a perfectly good Bomber equipped
hardtail about the place. The trail building I've just been along to one evening so far but
hopefully we should get some more in in a couple o weeks.

Andy Chequer
 
G

Graham Haller

Guest
You may like to look at this link.. http://www.donnan.co.uk/cycling%20events/honc/honc2003/index.htm

"Andy Chequer" <[email protected](youdontwantthisbitinit)thisisasparagus.com> wrote in message
news:[email protected]...
> 8am this morning and my bed was like a womb. Rob's already up and about getting ready to go but
> this magnetic bed syndrome just won't quit.
>

You should be so lucky, 6.15 in order to get out to Winchombe for 7.30...

> So anyway, we're running late. Typical fashion really. We load my car up with the necessaries and
> head north - Rob's driving because he doesn't
mind
> driving at 100mph in broad daylight, so we're likely to be less late than
we
> might be. Suffice it to say the uprated brakes and suspension I fitted a couple of weeks ago is
> thoroughly tested and comes up smelling of roses. Bwahahahaa.
>
> We're bound for Winchcombe, near Cheltenham, to attend this
>
> http://www.cc-cc.co.uk/hotnc.asp
>
> And we arrive about half nine and head off. There's a choice of 50 or
100km
> routes, and we decide to go for the fifty as seven months of winter and
van
> driving has left me out of shape. I can tell Rob wants to do the 100, but he's very nice about it.
> Bless. A good proportion of the route is in fact tarmac roads, albeit knobbly, back lane Cotswold
> type roads. However, there's plenty enough off road to give it a nice mix.
>
> An altercation with a tree in Ashton Woods last week has really mangled Binkie's rear mech and
> hanger, so I've decided to use my current hack
bike,
> My rigid Orange Clockwork. It's a very early one (about 1989 I think) and its old school geomety
> of slack head and short fork make for a very
rideable
> beast in this terrain. It's got slick tyres on it but I figure that
they'll
> work better for today than my knobbies, which I couldn't be bothered to
nick
> off the crocked Binkie anyway. Rob is also old-schooling it today, riding his old (94ish) IBOC
> Mongoose carbon.
>
> Turns out the slicks were a tidy choice (er, mostly....) and the first sections of climbing sees
> me making steady progress with little rolling resistance and I'm beginning to feel good. We pass
> some people on really shiney SC and Specialized (they must advertise in FHM or something) and I
> feel a twinge of inner smugness on my 14 year old steel Clockwork. I've
got
> a positive mindset about me and these hills will be mine.
>
> The route is not waymarked per se, but the directions cards are quite helpful and generally
> navigation goes well. There are some vintage motorcyclists bimbling about too, which was
> interesting - being overtaken
on
> the trails by a man with a Biggles 'tash on a 70 year old motorcycle is a new one on me.
>
> What next? I dunno. I think I got the mid-ride mesmer thing going on. The Cotwolds is a really
> pretty place to spend time, and I've not been here before to see it in such detail. There's hazy
> sunshine afoot as miles tick by, keeping those pedals spinning.
>
> We're descending a hillside towards the midway point and suddenly there's cyclists everywhere.
> Loads of the buggers. I think what happened was that we'd rejoined the route for the 100km stage
> and we've got a load of the fastest riders from that stage at the midway point where nice people
> have put out buns and tea for smelly cycling types. There's an interesting
array
> of machinery here - people are generally riding this event on hardtail
MTBs,
> though there are cyclocross machines and even an elderly Holdsworth road bike.
>
> Anyways, more riding, and I'm begginning to realise what a cunning idea these suspension forks
> are. There's some really quite knobbly downhills to contend with and I'm feeling every inch of it.
> I find that with a rigid
fork
> over really rough terrain, you need to keep a grip on the bars that is
loose
> enough to avoid getting Vibration White Finger, but tight enough so the
bars
> don't jump out of your hand when you hit larger rocks. I'm trying to Zen
my
> way down but by the end of a lot of the descents I'm begginning to feel
pain
> (I spent most of yesterday demolishing a stone fireplace so my forearms
were
> still burning from that). But I get a reprieve as the tarmac sections come to my rescue and I can
> ride no-hands and try and get some sensation back.
>
> Homeward bound now and a brief section that traverses a golf course and there are some MXers at
> this point. I really don't think that they were supposed to be there - there are kids walking
> around and stuff - struck me as very stupid behaviour.
>
> More of that forearm inferno and suddenly there's a bloke with a camera.
I'm
> really not ready to have my picture taken, as I've really lost the plot
big
> time on the descent (which is in a steep vee shaped trench) and I'm really kinda plummetting out
> of control on my geriatric MTB as I rattle past the

> and generally anticipating hitting the ground with my face.
>
> But the whole thing made me feel good. Kind of why it's nice to ride yer bike, after all, think of
> all those repeats you're missing on the TV.
>
> In summary,
>
> - I like rigid forks.
>
> - I like suspension forks more.
>
> - Decent canti's stop just as well as V's. And boy does the Orange need some.
>
> - I like the Cotswolds.
>
> - I like non-competitive events, but not races.
>
> - I am still fit enough to ride a bicycle a decent distance.
>
> - I like ladies in Lycra.
>
> - I like Bananas, but fig rolls have greater impact toughness.
>
> - I like hazy sunshine rides that don't let you get too hot or cold.
>
> Enough typing already. Coming soon, Chequer rides a Polaris and wields a digging implement in the
> name of trail building.
>
> Andy Chequer.
 
B

Bomba

Guest
Andy Chequer wrote:

> I would also say that during my commute into Bristol today the Orange felt very rattly and sick.

Got the job then?
 
A

Andy Chequer

Guest
"Andy Chequer" <[email protected](youdontwantthisbitinit)thisisasparagus.com> wrote in message
news:p[email protected]...
>
> "Graham Haller" <[email protected]> wrote in message
> news:[email protected]...
> > You may like to look at this link..
> > http://www.donnan.co.uk/cycling%20events/honc/honc2003/index.htm
>
> If you stumble across a picture of a large bloke riding a black rigid with slicks on with an
> anxious look on his face, that would be me.
>
> Andy Chequer

Actually, go to www.davidbirkin.com, and click on "Hell of the North Cotswolds" and then "12:30 to
12:44" and the bloke with the skew specialized helmet (1st pic) is me. I was very anguished at this
point and probably only look half that ugly normally. Note Gaffa fix for helmet.

Andy Chequer
 
A

Andy Chequer

Guest
"bomba" <[email protected]> wrote in message news:[email protected]...
> Andy Chequer wrote:
>
> > I would also say that during my commute into Bristol today the Orange
felt
> > very rattly and sick.
>
> Got the job then?

Not yet. I moved to Bristol a couple o weeks back in a kind of "move on and seek my fortune" kinda
thing. I'm working with a bank updating word documents (or at least writing macros to do it for me).
I figure it's best to be in the place you're looking for work.

I'm sure I'll look back on this in 10 years and laugh.

Andy Chequer
 
S

Spademan O----L

Guest
> > Excellent, proper riding! none of this sunset cliche or singlespeed propoganda... We all feel
> > nostalgic at times for those steel rigids.. building a rigid up ATM myself, should be a change
> > from the 5" turner.
>
> I don't get nostalgic for steel rigid MTBs because I've never stopped
riding
> them. I have to say that on 90% of the ride the rigid was a pleasure. It
was
> the really rocky knobbly downhills that I really got the **** kicked out
of
> me. I reckon I would have been much better off with a bigger tyre at a
lower
> pressure at this point. An SS would have been **** - the 21 old school XT ratios did me nicely.

Ahh, keepin' it real.... like I said I'm about to remember why I bought a full-sus mtb, its been a
while since I rode a rigid (c'mon give me a break shaun).

There was never anything wrong with 7 speed, BTW if you need any 7 speed parts theres a guy over in
the singletrack classifieds with some for sale.

> I would also say that during my commute into Bristol today the Orange felt very rattly and sick.
> Which was OK because my forearms weren't much
better!
>
> > > Enough typing already. Coming soon, Chequer rides a Polaris and wields
a
> > > digging implement in the name of trail building. Andy Chequer.
> > >
> >
> > Details!
>
> The Polaris is this weekend in the Isle of Man and will be co-produced by that nefarious Pritchard
> bloke. I'm taking the Zaskar with me because
whilst
> I like steel rigids, I'm not sufficiently rose tinted to take on rocky terrain for two days on one
> when I've got a perfectly good Bomber equipped hardtail about the place. The trail building I've
> just been along to one evening so far but hopefully we should get some more in in a couple o
weeks.

Fantastic, the world needs more trailbuilders. How many people actually turn out to help? Hiow much
trail can you build in one evening?

Steve E,.
 
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