Thursday, 25 June 2009

The Monkside Dewey habit

On top of Monkside.

So, it was a bright sunny day. Plan was to bag a Dewey hill in Kielder Forest. 

I started off just south of Kielder castle and cycled past Gowanburn. It was here that something didn't "feel" right with the route, but I carried on. Later I found that the Border County Ride track had been re-pathed closer to Bakethin Reservoir then my old map showed.

The forest tracks wasn't a problem until I stated the climb up Pleshetts towards Wainhope, then a very stoney track made cycling hard and it was soon off and giving the bike a push; when the pushing stopped and the cycling began it was in the granny gears. 

The final section to the top of Monkside was steep track and loose gravel making pushing the bike even harder them pedelling it. What an unusual top Monkside is! It's paved with blocking and has electric hook-up points. To all intents and purpose it's a caravan site!  Strange.

The bike ride back was fast, furious and dangerous ;-) It was in some sections here that I found the "proper" Border Ride Route.  All told about 4 hours in the sun, but I was knackered.

From Monkside overlooking towards Pell Fell.

Wednesday, 17 June 2009

Top 5 people I hate!

Ok, pop pickers, here's the countdown to the top 5 people I hate most.

Number five: A certain fuzzy haired family that live in Jarrow.

Number four: Politicians who lie once they've been caught cheating.

Number three: Banks.

Number two: Drivers who drive right up your arse.

Number one: Doctor's surgury receptionists!

Saturday, 13 June 2009

Shocked and Saddened

I was shocked and deeply saddended by news of the death of a friend and ex-workmate David Steward late last year. I've only just been told the news.  I worked 5 years with Davie and he had the driest humour man can think of. Apparently he collapsed on a nightshift at work.

Cannot believe he's gone...RIP Dave, old mate. 

Sunday, 7 June 2009

Single speed racer

This morning I changed my singlespeed bike's tyres to more "tarmac" friendly tyres, but still mountain bike derived. They have deep treads, but no knobbly bits. So, this afternoon, I decided to go for a speed run. Immediately the tyres made the bike faster. The pedelling was easier and the rolling resistance was noticably smoother.

So, what time did I do my standard run in? Mmmm...interesting, 1 hour 10 minutes.  Less then 5 minutes from my fastest in its 24 geared version.  However, that 24 speed time was done on slick 1.5 inch tyres!!! 

So now, I'm off to buy another single speed convertion for my other rear wheel, the one with slicks on and I bet I'll beat the geared bikes time next week ;-)

Wednesday, 3 June 2009

A load of Baltics


Yesterday I went to the Baltic Art gallery in Gateshead. Yet again, in my opinion, it has consistantly failed to reach a standard of exhibition that an 11 year old couldn't fail to reproduce or exceed.

What a waste of time. What a waste of space. What a....(fill it in yourself)

Whatever your interpretation is of Art/Modern Art there has to be skill involved. Whether this skill is visual or representation it should be skill. Throwning bits of coloured paper, stringing cotton string from one wall to another or hitting nails into the floor is NOT art, it is crap and a waste of money!

Let's start a campaign "Do not donate money to crap Modern Art"

Grumble off.

Monday, 1 June 2009

Sunday on Sunday Crag

Yesterday, me and Mountainmanjunior decided to climb a rough and rocky route over at Patterdale.  The day started hot and sunny and got hotter and sunnier! From Patterdale we walked up Grisedale valley, which is one of my favourites in the Lake District. At Eagle Crag we took the steep route up the right leading to Nethermost Cove, a scoop gauged out by a huge glacier. To the right we could see ants of people climbing Striding Edge. Moving leftwards we could see grags and steep rock. To our left we climbed to the beginning of the ridge leading up to Nethermost Pike.

By now every bit of breeze was welcome as the sun was almost at full "British" power. The descent from Dollywagon Pike to Grisedale Tarn was steep and brutal.

At Grisedale Tarn I showed Ross the Brothers parting stone. This commemerates the last meeting of William Worthsworth and his brother, John.  Wordworth's brother was later lost at sea in 1805.

From there a slight path leads to St Sunday Crag, at 840 metres high the sun blazes down at you - almost the Lake District "death Zone". It was here we parted briefly, as I went a small distance to a "Birkett" hill and Ross would take the normal path down. After about 15 minutes we met up, but this time poor mountainjunior was limping - his reoccuring knee problem. With that, we decided to be safe and miss the last 2 Wainwrights and slowly walk back to the car park.

Ross licking his lunchbox, like the old dog he is! And.....

...Having embarassing stains after licking his lunchbox - Mmm...we shall say no more.

The final view from Birks, looking over towards Ullswater.